Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Preparing for Summer Break In Our Homeschool

 After thinking long and hard and talking it over with just about anyone who was willing to listen we've decided this week will be our last week of school.  Apparently I'm not that decisive!

The boys are beyond thrilled but they're already planning to head back to school in July.

Seriously, I'm fine with taking a nice long break and am looking forward to having a few months off but they're already planning on more lessons after a few weeks off!


Hopefully, we'll be busy enough that we won't feel the need to dive right back into school in the middle of summer but I know we've tried to take the whole summer off before and failed.  They might not admit it but they obviously enjoy school or else why would they tell me they're bored and ask me to start planning things again?!

I already went through and counted up the remaining pages in the older two boys math books and have come to terms with the fact that we wont have everything all done and tied up nice and neat when we break.  It's killing me to drop everything for a break when we're leaving things feeling unfinished but it's also not fair to the kids to expect them to finish up all the work when we started on these books mid-way through our year.

I also didn't want to push them to do even more on our last week of school just to make up the difference either.  I figure it might actually be a good thing to spend a few weeks reviewing their old work and finishing up their old workbooks when we dive back into school after our break.

So this year to prepare for our break we're just doing what we do everyday and taking a break when the time comes.

Wrapping Up Lessons: 

Math:
The older boys had their last karate class today (they want to take the whole summer off from that as well; I'm torn seeing the progress they're making but they assure me a break is just what they need) and so we settled right down to work early this morning.  They wanted to finish up the bulk of their schoolwork before leaving the house and I think our days work best when we do that too.  Ian worked on two pages in his measurement book about finding the total surface area of a 3-D object.  Alec worked on multiplying 4 digit by 1 digit numbers and using multiplication facts for division.  Evan worked on adding two digit numbers with regrouping.  They all did really well and were able to the bulk of their work on their own.

Science: 
We had gotten a few new school things in over the weekend and rather than saving them all for the fall I put out the chemistry molecule set and the boys each took turns playing with it.   We talked a bit about how elements combine to make new elements; that water is made up of two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule.  Evan immediately quipped "H2O no- no" which was the name of a video clip on America's Funniest Home Videos.  Then excited exclaimed that he understood why it was named that since the baby was playing with water in the video.  Rather than read the instructions and build the various elements shown in the pictures they had fun building their own things and playing around with the different pieces.

The boys molecule models 

Snapping them together

Having fun while learning 
Reading: 
Evan and I read Swim, Fish! together and then he settled down to complete a page in his Star Wars reading book.  Alec read a few chapters in Warriors and by the end of the day Ian and I had read two more chapters in Catching Fire.  We read one chapter in the morning and then he asked me during lunch if I'd be willing to read a second chapter with him after lunch; as if I'd say no!

We started reading The Phantom Tollbooth during lunch too and I told the boys we'd continue with read alouds whenever we were home since that is something we all enjoy too much to stop just because it's summer.

Language Arts: 
The boys all took turns filling in some Star Wars Mad Libs in the car on the way to karate and we laughed over the silly stories.  They still confuse the meaning of verb, noun, adjective, and adverb but they're getting much better at it.  They also pay close attention when it's not even "their turn" to fill in the lines and are always suggesting words they think might make the story funnier.  For the older boys it's good practice with spelling and reading too as well as English.

Wrapping Up Our Unit Study:
 We made some fun Star Wars themed snacks today too.  We're trying to finish up our Star Wars unit and I had a few more "recipe" ideas that I had promised the boys they could try.

We made Yoda Soda-- Sprite and Lime Sherbet float drinks.

We also made Wookie cookies-- we took Little Debbie Star Crunch cookies and used a bit of frosting to "glue" on eyes for an instant Wookie.

Silly, unhealthy and totally fun.  We only had green frosting (leftover from the last time we made frosting) and Alec was joking that he was turning into Yoda.  After helping make the Wookies his hands were a bit green.

Ian snapped a photo of our Wookie cookies; we'll have to work a bit
on lighting and composition.  
Science/Technology: 
After lunch & snack the boys set timers (or their alarms) and gave themselves an hour to play with or watch screens.  The younger boys wanted to watch YouTube videos and Ian wanted to re-watch Disney's Planes movie.  When the timers went off they were off and playing-- without any grumbling or complaining.

Physical Activity and Socialization: 
They played outside on the swings, played with Legos and their imaginations, rode bikes, etc.  They all spent a good portion of the afternoon visiting some of our retired neighbors and playing Uno and card games.  It was great to not have to nag anyone to go outside & take a break from video games or sitting on the couch.  They already warned one another that they could not just spent the whole summer off from school playing video games and watching movies.

Linking Up With:
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

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