Showing posts from October, 2014

Halloween Half day

Halloween is not my favorite holiday; I think I could even go so far as to say it's my least favorite.

I hadn't planned on doing anything special today but after just a few short hours of waking up I realized I was going to need to try and make our day extra fun.  The boys were in rare form with extra fighting, extra energy, and lots of excitement.

We finally settled down to work and Ian typed up the rest of his report on the computer while Alec wrote up another 4 or 5 river otter facts.  Evan and I worked on reading and sight words since the two older boys were occupied.

I pulled up all the post it note sight words we used on our hopping trail yesterday and adhered them to our wall.  Evan grabbed a few of his Nerf guns and we played around with his sight words.

First  he just tried to hit the words and would read whatever word his bullet hit the closest to.  As he tired of that game I started calling out words for him to find and try to aim at with his gun & bullets.  …

Fun and Games for Learning

After looking critically at our day, I realized we had covered just about every subject! We had so much fun and played quite a few games along the way too.

Writing-- Evan and I worked on his letter to Santa while Alec and Ian both worked on their science fair project boards.  Alec tried to finish up his river otter facts while Ian typed up some of the definitions for the VCR parts.

Math-- The older boys took a math minute this morning and they both passed!  Then I gave a mini lesson on making improper fractions into mixed numbers.  This is a concept we've worked on once or twice before with no real headway but I had hoped that by playing a game together they'd be able to work together to gain greater understanding.  Well, they had so much fun playing On a Roll that they wanted another sheet of paper and to keep playing more rounds.  I was kicking myself for giving them my only copy.  I spent part of my afternoon looking online for another printout and told them they could play…

A Mid Day Change of Plans!

I'm really starting to feel the pressure of our science fair next week; we were supposed to work on the reports yesterday but with karate, errands, my sister coming to visit with my nephews and soccer practice we just never got around to it.  I knew inviting my sister over meant we would probably not have time to work on their reports.  We haven't seen gotten together in a while for the kids to just play and be kids and the weather was so nice that I didn't want to postpone their trip.  But I did worry about getting any work done.  All three boys worked on some of their math workbooks in the car and Evan worked on a phonics page while the older boys worked on some cursive but that was all we did for school.  I was fine with it, really I was.  They had a fabulous afternoon riding bikes, scooters, and skateboards.  They made up races, experimented with riding on the skateboard using their feet, their butts, and their bellies.  They played ball and made up some games of pa…

Curriculum Wars

I'm not really sure it is about new curriculum, but I feel like I'm always fighting the urge to buy more.  Maybe it's the shiny covers with the cute pictures and the bright colors.  Maybe it's the excitement of something new.  Maybe it's just the hope that this curriculum will be the perfect one I'm looking for; you know, the one that makes all my kids beg to do more.  Mostly though, I think this obsessive need to purchase new and exciting materials is a way to drown out those fearful thoughts in my head that I'm screwing this all up.  When I see one of my kids struggling with writing I start looking for a new writing  program or book.  When I notice our math book is heavy on multiplication and division and lacking in fractions and measurements, I go looking for new math curriculum.  Luckily, over the past few years of homeschooling, if I've learned one thing it's that we're not great at sticking to any curriculum.  I can't justify spendi…

Back on Schedule

With a goal of "getting back on track" in my head for this week, I was much more conscious of our time today.

 I spent less time on the computer this morning and all the boys were ready for our day to begin by 9 o'clock or so.  Ian was up and ready early, making himself his own eggs and toast.  When we were finally all dressed and fed we worked on cleaning a bit of the house.   With all of our field trips for the past month our housework and chores had been really slipping and I missed having a clean house with us all working together.  Surprisingly, no one complained and we all pitched in for 30 minutes or less to clean a little.  

While I was waiting for the boys to finish cleaning I went through and pulled out some ideas for school today.  I tired to hit upon a variety of subjects and knew that these would just be suggestions for our day. 

 Just to give you a quick summary of our day here's the subjects we touched upon:

1.  Life skills-- the boys vacuumed, cleane…

Why I Don't Ask Comprehension Questions

I stumbled upon this article written the other day about how to foster reading comprehension in students.  And while I agree, in theory, with what the article is saying I can't help thinking that this isn't the only way.

There is a whole other school of thought (that I apparently fall into) that believe we shouldn't ask kids a million and one questions to see if they're comprehending what they are reading and to try and increase their reading comprehension.

When my boys are reading a book or listening to a read aloud (either myself or a book on CD): I don't ask them questions.  I don't prompt them for predictionsI don't ask comprehension questions when we're done the storyI don't ask them why they think the author wrote the bookI don't ask them anything else really.  I usually don't even ask them why they like(d) the book or what they thought of it.   Maybe that makes me a bad teacher, I don't know, but I really don't think so.  I do…