Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week in Review: Math & Reading, Bad Burn, He's Rolling!

This post was originally published on my old blog. 

A few weeks ago, I decided to focus more on reading and math for Bridget. She's been very good with math from the very beginning, but the lessons are finally starting to get harder. We're also working more with the math manipulatives. We're using the Math-U-See Primer level curriculum. So far, we both really like it. It was a toss up between Math-U-See and Saxon Math, but I think we'll be sticking with Math-U-See.

Bridget has been building big numbers with the manipulatives. She gets a bit frustrated sometimes (especially with the hundreds), but I am happy about it. A little frustration is a good thing. It tells me she's learning something new, getting out of her comfort zone, and really needing to use her thinking skills. She's doing very well! She has also started building addition problems, and I can't wait to do mroe of that with her this coming week. Below are a few pictures from the math work she's been doing.

When I notice Bridget's numbers getting a bit sloppy, or that she's writing some numbers backwards, I break out her number writing practice folder. I have two pages of each sheet, so it keeps her busy for awhile and most importantly, she's getting the practice she needs. The numbers go up to twenty, so she has a total of 8 pages to complete. Not too bad, although sometimes she wants to take a break because her hand hurts. So we'll have a snack and she'll get back to work. George loves it when I have Bridget work on her writing, because that means the math blocks are available. He enjoys building towers and bridges.

Other exciting news is that Bridget has completed every book in her BOB Books Sight Words for Kindergarten that Grandma gave to her. I'm very pleased with the BOB Books and went ahead and ordered the rest of them over the weekend. I can't wait for them to arrive so that we can continue on with her reading skills.

George had an injury the day before Thanksgiving. It involved Granny's hot glue gun, and resulted in a painful 2nd degree burn. I'll blog more about that when I finally get around to recording our Thanksgiving holiday. It was a major event in our household, as he was quite traumatized by it and talks of it often.

And for the last bit of news... Liam is now a roller! On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, he rolled from his tummy to his back. On the following Monday, he rolled from his back to his front. He's now our little roly-poly.

Linking up with:

Friday, September 26, 2014

Week in Review: Weeks 7 & 8

This post was originally published on my old blog.

Homeschool is still going great for us. The highlight of the past two weeks have been studying ancient Egypt from our Story of the World book. Bridget has become quite fascinated with it. We read from a few books, looked at some pictures on the internet of the Nile River, and got a pretty good understanding of how the double crown of Egypt came to be.

George didn't do too much with the lesson, but did enjoy taking part in the crafty/play stuff. I thought he looked quite handsome in his crown.

The SOTW activity book had a small tutorial of how to build the white crown of Upper Egypt, but I wanted to build the united double crown. After looking at a few pictures of what it looked like, I attempted to make two of them for both Bridget and George. From start to finish, it took me about an hour to construct both (this includes the thinking process). I'm not a very crafty person, but I think they turned out alright. The kids loved them and that's what counts. Next time they'll be old enough to make them with me. I took pictures of each step for later reference for myself, but thought I'd compile them for the blog as well. 
Here is what you'll need:

1 piece of white construction paper
2 pieces of red construction paper
wax paper (about the size of a standard piece of construction paper, rolled in to a ball to be used in step 4)
tape (or stapler, whichever is preferred... I used tape)

Hopefully the rest of the steps are self-explanatory for when I need them 4 years from now.

Math is still Bridget's favorite subject. I keep trying to slow her down and wait to start a new lesson for fear that we're going too fast, but she seems to be grasping it well. She wants to do more and more. Maybe I'll let her take charge and we'll do a lesson a day if that's what she wants and can handle. We've been using our math manipulatives more lately. George especially loves it when these come out. They're his little building blocks. He has fun, but me not so much. Just minutes after this photo was taken, he took the entire box and dumped them on the floor. 

We have an exciting week coming up. Bridget will be turning 5 years old! I think I'm also going to focus more on reading and spelling. I've been slacking on those subjects because they are her least favorites.

This post is linked up to:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Homeschool Week in Review: Week 6

This post was originally published on my old blog. 

We had a successful school week! We were able to get a lot done and Bridget seems to be understanding and remembering what I'm teaching her. George seems to be less interested in participating and did great entertaining himself with his toys. Liam did a lot of sleeping.

Bridget's highlight of the week was finally being able to build a cave! We finished the first chapter of our Story of the World book in which we learned about nomads. We learned that they lived in caves and tents, depending on the climate. We've built many tents in our living room so I thought it'd be fun to make a cave. However, the biggest box we had was the box our globe came in. So I cut out an opening on the side and wrapped the box up loosely with some crumpled brown paper. 

The kids had made some cave drawings (with George being a bit wild these days, I didn't want to attempt having him paint anything) which I put inside the cave for them.

I thought the cave was a bit too small for Bridget but it turned out to be a big hit. She and her little brother were even able to sit in there together! That's about all they could do but it was still a fun activity.

George has been channeling his inner bear lately (growling, walking on all fours, and chasing his sister around the house with his claws up in the air) so he felt quite at home in the cave.

Bridget's handwriting has shown great improvement so we've continued with our math lessons now that I am able to read her numbers more clearly. She absolutely loves math. She's catching on a little too quickly and I'm worried that I may need to buy the next level before the school year is done. I'm hoping the lessons get a bit harder for her so that we can slow down. She wants to keep going after we've done the lesson and completed the work and is rather disappointed when I tell her that we're done with math for the day. I suppose I could be grateful that she enjoys it.


We're both looking forward to a new week with more learning!

For more end-of-the-homeschool-week posts, visit this link.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Homeschool Week in Review: Weeks 1-5

This post was previously published on my old blog. 

This is actually a review of our first 5 weeks since beginning our new school year. It has not been a consistent 5 weeks, but we did officially start during the first week in August. Bridget was very eager to start. I homeschool her on Tuesday-Friday, as she has a mid-day gymnastics lesson every Monday (which finally started back this week). Her little brother George wanted to be included in our homeschool. Here they both are holding their 'first day of school' signs. 

Our first week of homeschool went very well. Liam slept in the swing most of the morning which made things very easy for us. George was semi-cooperative. He loves coloring when it's time to color and he especially loves using the dry-erase markers. When we are not using those things, he either causes trouble in our homeschool area, goes to the play room to play, or on this particular day, I found him fast asleep in his bed at 11:30 in the morning.

Bridget enjoys doing her school work. I think she might like math the most. She's always been good at counting and solving addition and subtraction problems when we present them to her verbally.

Writing her numbers was a different story. We put a hold on our math lessons recently while she practiced writing her numbers (along with handwriting in general). There has been a lot of improvement and I think we'll be able to continue with her math lessons soon.


While Bridget worked on her handwriting, I thought I'd get out her old pre-writing worksheets for George. He did good to start off with, then he went a little crazy. But he's only two and I really didn't expect much from him. It kept him busy and it made him feel like a big boy with his own work to do.

We start off our mornings with a scripture story, and I've chosen to start from the very beginning. Here is Bridget working on her pictures of the creation story. Daddy bought Bridget her first set of markers, and that's all she ever wants to use now.

Making a booklet of our family history during our Story of the World history lesson. She especially loved learning about mommy and daddy.

She still tries to keep things interesting throughout the day. Here she is attempting to color with both her hands and her feet.

 As I mentioned, although we have been in school for 5 weeks, they have not been very consistent weeks. During our second week, Liam went through a growth spurt and did not want to sleep at all in the morning. I couldn't get him down until after 11! I couldn't put him down anywhere without him fussing, which became a huge distraction. Schoolwork didn't get done until the late afternoon on these days, if we did any at all. Just last week he started napping in the morning again and we are back in action. I also ordered some new curriculum materials. It took me a very long time researching and reading reviews but I finally found what I think will work for our family.

I've also had to make changes due to Bridget's style of learning. I've learned so much about her and myself in these past few weeks, and we're finally getting things together. More on all that later.