Friday, September 27, 2013

homeschooling, week 4

Over the weekend, our family visited Champoeg State Park, for the Fur Trapper's Encampment.  It was perfect because we had just read about Pa going into town to trade his fur's.  The kids got to try their hand at ax throwing, feel real animal furs, see actual traps, and get a small glimpse into what life might have been like during Laura's youth. Sanji even dressed like a pioneer girl.

This week was light on the homeschool front.  Monday started with Sanji and I going to a science co op event.  It was hosted by a really nice mom that I met online, and then in person at Portland Children's Museum.  The group is geared towards 5-8 year olds.  We missed the first meet up, a week prior, because I had to take my mom to an appt.

The activity of the day was making treasure soap!  The kids each picked a treasure and put it into their mold (silicone cupcake molds), glycerin was poured on top, halfway full.   Then each child could add dye and a scent, and more glycerin was added to top it off. Sanji chose red, and grapefruit, with a spider in one soap and a skull in the other.  She did not mix the die in so it essentially became a bloody looking blob, which fit quite well with the creepy treasures she had chosen.  The kids also watched a short video about soap and made "soap molecules" with toothpicks and little poofs.

The red blob is the natural dye that settled, we didn't mix it!

It was my first real experience being with a group of homeschoolers.  Always nervous in new situations, this was no different.  There were at least a dozen kids, probably more, and all the participants were boys, with a few sisters that were either toddlers or teens.  The set up was great and the environment was very welcoming.  I didn't get a chance to talk to every mom, but I spoke to a few really nice women, and the host and her wife were awesome.

The concept for the group is for members to take turns hosting. Having had preschool at my house (whole other story but there was a 14 child co op going on for a few months) I knew I can accommodate many bodies, but I think it would have to be in a more structured way.  The soap making itself was very well organized but the free play portion wouldn't work as well since I don't have the same kind of very large open play space that their home had (complete with an indoor climber, big hit!)

This is our main homeschool space

For the structured part, we focused on one lesson from our Right Start Math program, and did it twice.  We plowed thru 10 reading lessons over the week, and should finish level 1 in about 10 days.  Then I'm not quite sure what to do.  I partly want to move on to All About Reading level 2, but it's quite spendy compared to option B, which is The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, which supposedly covers up to a 4th grade level and is 1/5th of the cost.

She made different patterns withi her quadrilaterals and then glued her favorite

I have so many things printed, and so much TO print, I really need to spend an evening organizing it all.  I did print some file folder games.  Sometimes I forget that simple activities are still very fun, for Sanji.  I printed an uppercase/lowercase matching game. I laminated all the pieces but I need to take the folder and inside pages somewhere to be laminated.  I'm not sure how you laminate the entire folder, if you still want it to close. Clearly I did not do enough Lollipop Logic activities when I was growing up!

File folder game

This week we also started working on our printing.  I have decided to have her start with D'Nealian.  I ordered a workbook but it's basically a look and copy, and she really does need to start with tracing. She can form all of her letters (except R which comes out very funky) but she has an odd way of forming some of them and I've never had her write on lined paper.  I am using free printables and I printed out 1 sheet of each of the letters. Each page has the two rows of the capital letter to trace, one row to do your own, then two rows of the lower case letter to trace, and one row to do your own.  We
are doing one letter a day.

Thankful for these free D'Nealing worksheets

Sanji also had her second Magic Tales Theater class, she enjoyed it even more than the first one. She did ask me to stay and I did this week, but next week I will be hanging out with Rishi in the mama lounge and peek in on her a few times.  Sanji was also very excited to complete two of her piano books and two begin two new books.  Her teacher uses the Bastien's series of books.

I really do want to incorporate some themes and spend more time exploring things that Sanji is interested in.  I'm hoping to develop a solid rhythm early next month!

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