Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today's theme- Geography

I wanted to touch on Geograpy since its been a long time since we'd covered it.  I was surprised to see how much they already knew despite formal instruction. Anna in particular was able to pick out continents, countries, etc.  My secret is, I put up a map on the wall in front of the toilet, works like a charm!  anyway, we read a bit from Layers of Learning and did some of the activities.  we

1.  Did continent quiz using the hall wall map.

2.  Next we talked about the physical features of a globe/map, skimmed through an atlas, and learned about hemispheres using and apple. (Thanks Layers of Learning!)

3.  Finally to close off the day of group school, we played "10 days in Africa"

Now it is time for math and language arts so I'll bring this to a close.  It was a fun morning.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Today's theme- Astronomy

I'm still working out the kinks, but i plan to have one day a week of exclusive science content.  The first unit we're doing is astronomy, which has been eagerly anticipated and wildly popular.

Before starting, I gathered my supplies, gathered my peeps, and quickly formulated a plan for how the day would go.

So first, we read from our Layers of learning unit book which gave a good concise overview.  Then we read from the magic schoolbus book

Which was like information overload, but it did help with our next project, which was to draw your favorite planet and add information about it, (except for the 5yo who did saturn and the moon but didn't add info.  I also let the 2nd grader narrate to me)  We also learned the rhyme that I learned as a child about how to remember the planet order, except instead of "my very eager mother just served us nine pizzas,"  I had to adjust it due to pluto not being a planet to "my very eager mother just served us noodles."  NOT the same.  boo. 

So then we had book basket time, The 15yo continued working on his in more detail, and finally they are watching the tv show of the magic school bus to help it sink in better, since it was soooo much info.  Its working out to be a pretty sucessful day.  Now for math :(

Layers of Learning

Of course I didn't leave well enough alone, because that's how I roll. ;)  And when I was going through materials and came across my "Layers of Learning" materials from last year, i knew I had to pursue this avenue this year. 

The units come in packets of between 40-60ish.  You can buy them printed from rainbow resource or ebooks straight from the company which is what i'm doing.  I am taking part in their review program so I wanted to be able to figure out how to use the ebook without having to use it on my kindle or ipod, since, with this type of material, i prefer to have it in hand, so i can flip through it, mark it up, etc.

So what I did was use my brand spanking new printer (wooohoo!) to print out the units front and back. stapled the spine, then covered it in colored duct tape.  Its working beautifully. I have units 1-1, 1-2 from last year and just purchased 2-1 and 2-2 for this year.  I printed each myself except for unit 1-2 which i printed at the library.  We get a good amount of free printed pages each week at my library, which is great to take advantage of, the one downside being that I can't get it printed front and back.. so the packet is  much thicker.  After seeing the beautiful laser printer color, however, i'm sold on doing  it that way and will probably just suck it up and deal with the increased packet size. 
Here's a picture of it.  The thicker packet, what I did was stapled three times in one direction, flipped it over and stapled three times along the other stapled parts.  Since i'm duct taping it, it won't matter if its pokey.  I gotta say, i'm feeling pretty brilliant about this one ;)

So in order to keep things complicated, as I like them ;) I've decided to use the space and geography unit from the first year, then add in the history from the second year.  I'm not entirely sure if we'll use the science unit from the second year yet or not. It looks like fun, but everyone is bent on studying astronomy right now, so that's probably what we'll do.

So anyway, one thing I love about Layers of Learning is that I can pick and choose parts of the unit, or the whole thing, and it all works out.  Plus- at $5 each, its affordable to do so.  So we'll be doing space, geography from  unit 1-1, then move on to 1-2 in the same themes, meanwhile on history days i'll be adding in LOL in addition to our Build your Library routine.  We'll be starting history with 2-1 which is AWESOME since our local greek festival is coming up at the beginning of October, which i'll be posting about, but essentially its a smorgasbord of food, dancing, but most of all, Byzantine Art, just AMAZING. 

So i should add, that as a review member, I will be getting compensated for my reviews with additional units, but the reviews I post will all be entirely my own.  They are awesome.  Period. And if you don't believe me, you can try the first unit free on the Layers of Learning site
Ok, so that is all!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Back to school!

C and A started school last week. Big A doesn't start college for another few weeks. Today was the start of our Homeschooling year. The day got off to a rocky start, as the house was a mess and that had to be dealt with. Also I lost the signs for our picture taking extravaganza, finally finding them in the "safe place" in which I had hidden them. 

Once we got past those little kinks we proceeded to have a really good day. We started the day by having the kiddos work in their journals and on making a cover page for their binders. Then we all went outside and took pictures.  We then read aloud from "trumpet of the swans" and did a history lesson. We broke for lunch, and then had an hour of DEAR time. (drop everything and read) The rest of the day is theirs to pursue their own interests. We omitted language arts and math today but we hope to get to those subjects tomorrow. Here are the pictures that I took.