Friday, October 22, 2010

Homeschool Friday

We had a fun week homeschooling this week. We've had a pretty good week about starting school in the morning, and getting lots done. We've been perpetually behind in our read aloud books, but I started reading to the kids during their snack time instead of before bed, and it's so much easier! They're sitting there with food in their mouth so they can't interrupt, and it gives their hands something quiet to do. We've gotten mostly caught up, and are currently enjoying the book "Mr. Popper's Penguins" which is not only teaching us a lot about penguins, but it is pretty funny.

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School rarely starts before 9am, and since the kids get up much earlier than that, Silje got in a quick tea party before school yesterday.

Tuesday is normally our busy day, but it was the off week for our homeschool group, and Silje's piano lessons were canceled by her teacher as well, so we just had a quick trip to town for her choir practice. However, on Thursday, we decided to go on our first field trip with the homeschool group. I was debating whether or not to go, and Knut suggested that I not go unless I can get someone to watch Elias for it, since it was during his nap time, and he didn't want me chasing around a cranky tired baby for a few hours on the outing.

Fortunately, Grandma came to the rescue, and Elias got to take his nap at her house while I took Silje and David the the Prairie Wetlands, which was hosting the homeschool group. Silje went there several times last year in kindergarten and loves it out there. She was in the older group and David was with the preschool group. I couldn't be with both groups, so I stayed with David since he was hanging on my leg, and Silje pranced off to be with her friends without looking back.

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David was pretty excited to get a map to the place, and paid close attention to where exactly we were on the map at all times. We had a "guide" there who pointed out to us all the interesting wildlife in the wetlands.
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We walked through the grounds until we reached our destination on the map: a grove of oak trees.
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There we looked through the leaves, in search of fuzzy white or pink "gulls" that are actually eggs that insects have laid on the leaves before they have fallen.

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It took David and I awhile since he was more interested in rolling around in the leaves. Here's his gull with his "Lil Farmer Gloves" that he rarely leaves the house without.

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And here's his smile that says "Can I go back to playing in the leaves now?"

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Then we headed over to the pond, and the kids laid down on their tummies and looked in to see what they could find.

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There was so much to see.

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David loved that this bridge floated. It was at this point that he was about done and didn't like to keep up with the rest of the group.

When the time came, we got Silje from her class. She had been given a little notebook and got to draw the wildlife she saw and then learn about it. She drew a cricket, and got to learn all about them.

After the field trip we stopped by the library, and I picked out some more readers for Silje to use for the next few weeks since she's still so ahead in what the curriculum package sent us. We also found tons of books on ancient Egypt, which is our history unit right now. We don't need any more books than what we have in the curriculum, but I figured it can't hurt to have more information lying around if she wants something interesting to read in her free time. I'll have to admit, I'm astonished at how much I'm learning in this unit!

We also picked up a bit on penguins, since Silje wanted to know more about them from our read aloud book. She read about them the whole way home and was telling me all about things baby penguins do.

I've added a few "supplements" which has been keeping Silje's mornings more full than usual, but I think we both like it better that way. She doesn't like only having school for 2 hours. So I printed off some coloring sheets and crossword puzzles that coordinate with our Bible lesson of that day, and she gets to work on those. Then I did a quick search on some of my "free teacher worksheets" sites that I've found to be so helpful, as well as the Sonlight's list of suggested supplement resources, and have just given her more work in the areas that we are already studying. She's doing extra work so far in English, geography, and sometimes science, although I think the things I added for her in science are a bit over her head so I think I may drop that. This week I picked up an extra credit reader at the library for her as well.

It's not more work for me to give her more work. It simply keeps her more content, and that basically makes my job easier.

5 comments:

Lise Turøy said...

You can tell David that we got snow here yesterday. it's the first time since 1973 we got it this early. i love it! i love the cold fresh air after spending a whole day at work.

Hope you get your snow soon too David :)

Mom said...

I love that Silje's mind is like a sponge and that you're giving her some more creative stuff to feed her mental appetite. That's great. And you understand David so well. He's intense, but when he's done, he's done! :) We miss you guys so much and are looking forward to seeing you soon.

Penny said...

We loved Mr. Popper's Penguins as well. Paddington is also well-loved around here. I'm glad you're enjoying your lessons as much as Silje is!

Sheila said...

Thank you for the pumpkins!!!
http://thesecondtwinsews.blogspot.com

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

Hi Gretchen,
I came over from Sheila's blog and I'm really enjoying visiting yours. I'm a homeschooler too, this is my 16th year. It sounds like you all had a great time at the wetlands.
Blessings,
Marcia