Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Homeschooling tidbits

 We have been having a very good school year so far! This year is a little different because Megan is no longer the really little girl that just does busy work. We are working with her more this year and it has been fun to watch her learn. So everybody has stuff to do and this morning it was fun to notice the silence that we had for a few minutes while everybody carefully worked on their own project.

 Much of the time things aren't very silent however as we do a LOT of our learning together, through reading or doing.

 One of my big goals this year was to include the Bible in even more of our day. We had regularly read it together after lunch and worked on memory verses in the morning but this year we also added reading the Bible at the breakfast table and sometimes we do Bible stories in addition to that or I read a few verse as we talk about some subject or another. Then also the readers read the Bible on their own too. We love to learn about lots of things but I do think the God's word is the most important and I really hope that we can get it well planted in our minds and hearts! We enjoy it too and I think the more we read it the more we will enjoy it.

Here are some of the other odds and ends of learning we have been doing:
Megan thinks math is quite fun and we enjoying workbook pages this year but then I read an article that talked about how very important it was that young children thoroughly understood the physical concepts of math before doing it on paper. I think she does understand it pretty well but I have backed off on the workbook pages and really tried to talk math with her a lot as we go about life.

 Last week while I was making apple sauce I had Megan be my helper and it was her job to get the apples out and wash them in the sink. As she did it I gave instructions such as get 10 apples and at that point she went ahead and said "I'll get 5 now and then 5 more and that will be 10. Obviously she was catching on to the whole math thing before I even got really started. Then I had her add in various numbers and then we did take away with them (she would wash them and take them out of the sink to put on the counter). After that we divided them into various groups and talked about things like 5 groups of 5 makes 25 and so forth. She thought it was lots of fun and we got work done in the process.

 Egypt was the country we were studying last week. I decided to serve an Egyptian meal one night with Pita bread, Ful (their national dish but we made ours with lentils) and cabbage salad. It wasn't an incredibly popular meal at our house but I was thinking about how economical it was as were most of the recipes that I found. Whether it is our favorite or not I do think that it is good to try foods from other countries. It helps us to remember more of what we have read and helps to prepare us for possible trips and helps us to be willing to eat foods that are not the norm for us.
 We read that Mancala is a game that is enjoyed in Egypt. We have the game but hadn't really ever played it (it came with a large set of games). We tried it out and really enjoyed it. I also realized that it made a great math learning tool for someone like Megan. She was having fun adding up all the beans in her mancala. When she had some she would just count how many she was adding in and then add that number to the number she already had in her head and she did pretty well at that. I was impressed.

The picture above is one taken by Megan and she asked that I share it on my blog. She has been having fun working with a needle and thread lately and this is a bracelet she made out of ribbon and thread. Sewing is something I am glad to have my kids learn as well. While she worked on this little project Aaron was using my sewing machine to work on a Christmas present. Stuff like sewing help the kids to have a well rounded education.

We have also been getting together with some other homeschoolers at our church building once a month. We have already done that in September and October (That day we went on a field trip and then went to the church building to eat lunch) and are looking forward to the remainder of the year. Here are some of the themes that we are planning:
  •  History Day each child dresses up to represent somebody in history and then tells about them. We are putting it all on a timeline as well. 
  • Project Day - We have several projects that the kids can do and then they can use them as gifts if they like (this will be in December).
  • Body Day - This is science themed and every child will tell about and perhaps bring activities to go along with a body part. We are also hoping to get a health care professional (like an ear or eye doctor) to come and talk to us.
  • Art Day
  • Winter Fun Day
  • Field Trip Day
  • and Planning and practicing for an end of year program.

I hope you all are loving learning as much as we are! I would love to hear about your homeschooling.


gypsy.junk said...

Hey Abbi - thanks for "stopping by" again! I think we are very similar, you and I. :)

Gina said...

I love your ideas for specific "Days" for your homeschool group! I think I might borrow a few of those ideas for our group!

Jamie said...

I love when the kids get involved in the kitchen and they don't even realize they are doing MATH,school is all around us why spoil the moment and announce that we are SCHOOLING at this time.They are having fun in the kitchen,love it.

Abbi said...

It is so fun to hear from you other homeschooling mamas! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

All in a Day said...

Abbi, I don't have your e-mail on this computer. My friend is ready for her book back. I know it's not really convenient to do it, but would you be willing to mail it back up to me? I had hoped to get down to Brainerd this weekend, but there is too much going on. Thanks!

Nola said...

This is fun to read about what you are doing. My 5 year old also likes to sew we have done projects with plastic canvas and felt I find are good starter things for her. I got some of the ideas for things from your blog and asking you a while ago in the comments! Also I wanted to let you know I did start a homeschooling group in my area, we have 7 families, a few more moved to the area/started homeschooling for the first time so we have 7 so that is great. I am keeping it simple overall especially since I am pregnant but I decided I either had to run it or it wasn't going to happen. We have a monthly event but they are all fairly simple. More of the type you just "show up" to and not need to bring things (just the stage of life I'm at its easier for me that way). I got everyone's opinion for ideas and then I put them together for a month that worked for me. I have some other moms covering the months right before/during and after the baby is due. We have planned- Sept we met at a park and brought balls etc, Oct we are going to a fish hatchery, Nov to the fire station, Dec to a church we got perimission to use their indoor gym, Jan crafts at my church, Feb cross country skiiing/toboganning, March is the sugar bush, April gym day again, May is a farm tour with a family I know, and June a picnic at the park/simple games. Most activities are free or very low cost and encompass all age groups (infant to teenager). I then just email out everyone the details, they RSVP and we go from there. Its amazing the free opportunities for tours and using buildings eg. some area churches when we just asked. So...thank you for helping me get this started by your post on it sometime before (I think it was in the spring).


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