Monday, September 10, 2012

Math at the Grocery Store and Backyard Science- A Day in the Life of a Homeschooling Family

We headed to the grocery store early this morning and I gave each of the older boys 1/2 of my list for some real life learning.



I put them in charge of buying today. While we were there we talked about pricing, unit pricing, and how we decide which items to buy.   Waiting for our food at the deli counter, Evan noticed the prices across the front of the counter and started calling out numbers.  We then had him tell us the number on each of the isle signs.  This was a great exercises for him since the numbers went up to 21 and he really only recognizes his numbers up to 10.  Many times the older two would see a sign that said 2 for 5 or 2 for 6 and I made them figure out how much it would be for each one.  It was neat to see just how much math is around us at the store. 
     

On the drive home we listened to three books on Cd; The Polar Express, How do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? and Bark, George




They helped me empty the car and then while I put the groceries away each of the boys did some more math.  Ian and Alec each did the next lesson in their McRuffy books while I gave Evan a dot to dot that went from 1-20 (to review the numbers we'd just learned at the store) and a maze sheet.  They all finished in no time and Evan was quickest of all; telling me "it was easy mom!"
         
We then read more of our book Wonderstruck... we couldn't put it down and finished the book!  It was an excellent story that I will be recommending to everyone I know to read. 


During lunch we read a few more stories; Lizards (a non- fiction book) and Blue Goose (which Alec actually read to us all). 


Then we headed outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. 

Earlier in the day while driving home from the grocery store Alec had asked if we could fly kites today.  He argued that it was "great for homeschooling because we'd learn all about stuff like air pressure!"  I laughed, loving his argument. 

So we flew kites.


It ended pretty quickly for my youngest since he's just getting over bronchitis and all the running made him start coughing.  The other two got their kites just a bit higher this time but once again got discouraged that every time the wind changed direction the kites fell to the ground.                  
          
We also made some long bows (like the ones shown here ) to practice archery skills they used back in the middle ages.  We found some sticks and while I couldn't seem to get the hang of it, my older two did. 

Ian managed to get his arrow to fly 8- 10 feet.






Evan told me they needed to use the zip- line and swings for part of homeschooling since it uses lots of muscles and energy.  So we had our own version of gym class today.

Evan wears his helmet on the zip line now after falling off one day and hitting his head (he had his helmet on that day and we talked about how much more it would've hurt w/out it-- so now he always wears it)... good thing too as he fell off again today and landed on his back. 


After that the boys started arguing so I suggested we grab our binoculars or cameras and head out on a nature walk around our neighborhood.

 The kids thought I was nuts.  "A nature walk on our road?"  they all asked "How will that work?"
          

 I'm happy to report it worked very well!

I should mention we live in a pretty rural area so even though we stuck to the roads some were dirt, not heavily traveled and very quiet. 

We saw a monarch butterfly, dragonflies and grasshoppers.

It's a monarch!
 We looked at several different kinds of toadstool/ mushrooms and berries (all of which I cautioned my boys never to eat).  We saw, what we believe was a bird's nest high up in one of the pine trees.  Alec found a leaf as big as his head (bigger actually!). 

A huge leaf!
We found many (dead) animals like a toad, baby snapping turtle, mouse (baby rat?), and a tiny snake-- all looking like they had been run over by a vehicle at some point. 

We saw a (live) red squirrel eating some snacks. 
Squirrel


Alec found a tree where the roots were completely exposed and in the air on one side. 


We broke open seeds to see the insides.  We talked about the hard outer shell of the acorn nut versus the squishy "pulp" inside.  It was a great science lesson... too bad I didn't know more. 

Inside an acorn
inside of a seed
Green and pruple berries.. "they look like blueberries but not really"
It was a wonderful day of homeschooling where everything just seemed to flow!  I love when that happens and learning seems so natural.

              

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