Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Heading Back To Homeschooling After a Long Break

We've had a lot of fun slacking off for the last week or so but it's time to get back to work.

We did lots of sledding and pursuing our own interests but I could see it was time to get back to the real world.  My boys were really getting addicted to video games and screens and I was feeling guilty that I wasn't teaching them anything.  



  • We started in lightly and kept it nice and fun today
  • We did not worry about everyone covering every subject
  • We played lot of games
  • We made sure most of our subjects were hands- on
  • We left plenty of time for self- guided learning 

For science:   

We tried to make a dough combining hair conditioner and corn starch.


We made a great sensory snow dough last year using conditioner and baking soda so we thought why not try corn starch?!  Once we combined the two we noticed it was still a pretty watery dough and it was a bit to sticky for what the boys had in mind so we ended up adding some baking soda to it as well (I would have added more corn starch but I couldn't find any in the cabinet).

We came up with a great dough that smelled wonderful and kept their hands nice and moisturized too.  They played and had a ball for hours with this dough and it never dried out!  I can't give exact measurements since I'm pretty bad at keeping track; basically we used the whole box of corn starch, the entire bottle of conditioner and enough baking soda to stiffen it up to a nice consistency.




For math the boys all played card games:

I took all the face cards out of a deck of cards and the 10's too then laid all the rest of the cards face down on our table.  We played Flip 10.

The boys had to turn over two cards, see if they added to 10 and try and make matches.

They love memory games and even the older boys wanted to play with Evan.  Right off Evan flipped a 7 and told me he needed to find a three (without adding on or counting!).  They had fun and worked a lot on adding.

All the boys playing Flip 10
Once the game was done and Ian won I set the older two boys up with a card game-- multiplication war.

I took out the Kings and we made the Jacks 11's and the Queens 12's.  Much like war they flip over cards and the highest wins; in this case they flipped over two cards, multiplied them and the one with the higher product won.  It was a long game and they got TONS of practice in.

I loved how often they had larger number combinations too that they had to figure out.

We finished up math with a math minute test.  Ian's still stuck on the 4's times tables and Alec tried his hand at the 11's time tables today.

While waiting for his brothers to finish up their math Evan asked to play a math/ logic game on the kindle.  He wanted to play Flow Free and managed to get to level 11 in no time! 

The older boys playing multiplication war. 

For Reading:

Evan read one of his little books to me called I Like Me and then I read to all the boys.  We read Olympig! We read a non- fiction book called snowboard and finally

For History and Geography:

We read several more chapters in Breaking Stalin's Nose.  I can't tell you how much we are enjoying and learning from this book.  It's a truly wonderfully written book about a little boy living in Russia during Stalin's reign of terror.  The author is from Russia and talks about his own experiences in Russia just after the fall of Stalin.  I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn about Russian history.  It's very easy to relate to for kids.

Once we were done with math and reading we played a quick geography game.  I bought a Brainbox game; we bought the one titled The World, but there are MANY others.

 We loved it!  

Inside the box are a bunch of small cards with a country name, map, flag, pictures, etc. on them.  You pick a card, stare at it for the length of the included timer trying to remember as much as you can.  When the timer is out you roll the dice and another player asks you one of the questions listed on the back (that corresponds to the number rolled) and if you get the question right you get to keep the card.  The one with the most cards at the end of the game wins.

 We played for about 10 minutes and each had a few cards when we were done.  Questions range from things like "what is the capital of.." to "how many animals are shown on the front.."  We all enjoyed playing and with a bit of help Evan was able to participate too.


Various Subjects Covered "Outside of School":

Once I declared school over for the day, Ian put in the movie Cool Runnings to watch as our Olympic movie of the day and the younger two boys went back to playing with our sensory dough.  They're finally at an age when they clean it up themselves when they're all done playing.  I often find toys drying on the counter but that's  just fine with me! (History/ Self- help)

We're also more than half- way our book on CD called Science Fair we were so excited to head out for errands so we could listen to even more of our story.  It's a great, funny, unpredictable story about a boy who runs into all sorts of trouble with the CIA, his principal and some "strange dudes called Darth and the Wookie!"  My boys are laughing out loud with this story and can't stop talking about it!
Linking Up With:

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