Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Different Types of Learning Opportunities Homeschooolers Enjoy

Our days are often made up of a mixture of learning opportunities.  We have so many different types of learning opportunities available to us. 

There are lessons that I plan and prepare for the boys to complete in their own time.

There are classes we attend.

There are activities and pursuits that they explore on their own.

There are lessons that we all sit down and enjoy together.

There are field trips and hands on lessons.

The beauty of homeschooling is that we can take advantage of a wide variety of opportunities; often even in just one day!



Learning Classes: 
The boys were so excited that they got to spar today at their karate class (physical education).  Alec was thrilled that he was taught a new form and he picked it up rather quickly, like he usually does.  They worked hard and class ran a bit over.  None of the boys minded in the least.  Evan was thrilled to finally be using his new sparring gear.

Self- Guided Learning: 
 Once home we changed, put everything away and Ian was the first one ready.  He chose to start with his math book.  He pulled out the fraction booklet from yesterday and completed two pages on his own, without mistakes, and without any grumbling of any kind!  He immediately started working on his rough draft for our postcard exchange this month (writing).  He made up a name and address for the address side and we talked about what information goes on which lines.  He did pretty good with only a few grammar errors.  He cleaned up all his stuff and headed up to his room to read his Roscoe Riley book.  I love seeing how motivated and self- sufficient he's becoming.  He wanted to learn how to use CAD as part of his goals for this new year and so last night he sat down with my husband to learn the basics of computer aided drawing (technology/ math).  He's much more willing to work a little harder when it's something that is important to him and I have found that through all these little lessons with my husband about drafting and measuring that his math is improving dramatically.  It gives me hope that one day the younger two might be more self- sufficient and self- directed in their learning too.

  Alec was working on his extreme color by number page today.  He had brought it with him in the car to work on as his schoolwork and then disappeared in his room for quite some time after we returned home (art).  Once he joined us at the table, he quickly finished two math pages in his new 4th grade math book; a page about probability and a page on fractions.  He finished in mere minutes and I was left thinking that perhaps he needs a grade 5 book??  He just never seems to think any work is a challenge.

Teacher Directed Learning: 
   Evan made himself some hot cocoa and settled himself at the table.  He then turned to his phonics book and completed two more  pages in it before turning to his math book.  Today we worked on adding on 10 more.  It's a concept we've been working on here and there for the past few weeks.  It came in handy last night when he was asking me to help him use his Amazon gift cards.  He had gotten a $25 card and $10 card for Christmas so I made him add them together.  We then subtracted each toy he wanted from his $35 total to see what else he could buy.  It was a great real life lesson on adding.  I reminded him of that today as I pulled out the 100's chart thinking that would help him visualize it better.  We also looked at finding patterns between the numbers he started with and his answers.  He noticed that the first number in a two digit number is always one higher than it started out as and that the second number doesn't change at all.  He seemed to be getting it pretty well by the time we finished up and we have one more page to go another day so we'll see how much reviewing we need to do next time.  Evan dictated his postcard to me and I was glad to see how quickly and easily they can write up their cards now after 5 months of practice (language arts).  We've come a long way from the whining tantrums!  Evan finished up his school day by reading Biscuit Visits the Big City.  It was slow and painful reading today and listening to him was almost unbearable.  He was getting antsy, cranky and probably hungry too.  I find with all three of my boys if I don't catch them nice and early in the morning when they're fresh and eager to go then schoolwork is more of a struggle.

 Group Learning:  
While eating lunch, I read a chapter in Harry Potter.

We also started a new book about U. S. history called Lewis and Clark and Me:  We briefly discussed westward exploration, travel, and studied the map in the beginning of he story book.  We talked about the route they took and that the book is written from the perspective of the dog.  The boys really enjoyed listening to the first chapter.

Hands- On Lessons: 
 It's been snowing here since 10 o'clock this morning and it took hours for a dusting of snow to accumulate.  The boys quickly bundled up and headed out to play in the snow and with the ice (science/ nature discoveries).  They were hacking away at the ice and Ian was trying to carve the ice with his tiny hatchet.  Evan went to get a hammer to break up the ice even more and Alec was showing me "Ice- tah.  See mom, it's ice in the shape of Utah!"  Hm... self- guided geography!  They were having fun and after a few reminders to be careful with tools and sharp instruments I went back inside to warm up.


Ice-tah! 

They stayed out for well over an hour if not close to two.  They had a great time but couldn't wait to warm up.  We got a fire going in our fireplace.

Ian sat to watch Alaska the Last Frontier (geography) while Alec settled at the dining table to finish up his marble mania maze.  Evan sat and watched Alec work; occasionally testing out the battery pack for him. They finished and watched the marbles race around a few times.  We tried putting all the marbles in at once and seeing what would happen (just so you know they knock each other out of the way and roll off the table and around the room).  Alec was happy to have it all up, done, and working. (logic/ following directions/ perpetual motion machine science)

2 comments :

  1. it is indeed a great opportunity you have here. They are studying and having fun at the same time! Happy new year..

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