Sunday, April 5, 2020

Homeschooling Week 2

What. A. Week. We got into a groove a bit more with homeschooling, but it's been a lot of work (for me). The kids seem to be having fun with it all though. They knocked it out of the park with their first social studies and geography quiz. I gave them and myself a free day mid-week. It was much needed, although I don't know who needed it more, me or them? Here's a look at what we did and learned (or re-learned if you're me):

Social studies on Monday mostly consisted of the kids excitedly researching for their world trips. They've done a really great job of researching the places they'd like to visit and keeping track of how much everything will cost (flights, rental cars, hotels, food, entertainment). My dining room table was overrun with maps and Chromebooks.

The highlight of the day was a money scavenger hunt in the backyard. I had them count out the amount of cash I had (it was whatever was in my purse at the time), then I hid it, and they had to find the amount they counted. I told them they could find something to buy on Amazon, but it had to be something everyone at daycare could enjoy and they had to agree on the item(s) purchased. The kids opted to play outside after finding the money and told me they would pick something later on! 

A quarter was missing for awhile but they did find it!

The kids asked to watch a movie while they ate, so it was documentaries all week long. We watched Pick of the Litter, Jane, Liyana, Babies, and Pygmies The Children of the Jungle. All hits with the kids.

My dining room table is my new workspace until the end of the school year.

We figured out that the Magformers work on the garage. We find ourselves using every inch of our property these days. I'm sure our neighbors are thrilled that the summer noise began much earlier this year.

Buds on the trees. I have the best views from my deck as I supervise play in the backyard.

The week before was a chalk mural (that has been washed away), this week was a window mural. I used Crayola washable paints, a squeeze of dish soap, and a drop of water for the window paints. It's still shining bright a week later.

We mixed up the schedule and did karate earlier in the day. The minis know that the quicker they finish their school work, the quicker we're done with our day and they can have "free time." It's been a great motivator for them.

Max got some fun website links from his teachers and all of the kids have been using them. Their favorite is maps quizzes. It shows you a the name of a country, body of water, etc. and you have to click on where it is on the map. They've learned a lot about certain areas of the world so far using these tools!

More documentaries.

I can't beat last year's Balloon Breezeway, but I tickled myself with a taped door (so when I announced "time to go outside" that morning, the kids were met with a taped door they had to take apart to get out), bugs outside their bedroom doors and the bathroom, and brown E's. The kids didn't have the reaction I thought with the brown E's--I had to explain it to them all, the older three then asked where "the real brown E's" were at, and the youngest told me she couldn't wait to color the S's. Sooo....I guess I won't be doing that again!

I told the kids it was a free day, but they wound up doing their own drawing class. Works for me!

Our one activity for the day was a Bear's Nose. I told the kids how well bears can smell, then I blindfolded them and had them guess what they were smelling. We started holding it right under their noses, then with each round would place the items further and further away from their noses. It was a simple and fun activity for all of the ages.

Math involved a deck of cards and addition, multiplication, and division. 

So much playing outside, rolling down the hill, and running.

Harrison pulled this prank on Max...and also used the rest of our cling wrap.

As Elizabeth says, "we watched Garth and Trisha." Automatically on a first name basis. We've been watching a lot of live concerts and performances via Facebook and Instagram. The kids loved watching this one on the TV. It's been a great way to get them interested in a variety of music (a mom can only handle so much T. Swift).

The minis instantly got involved with their Spanish course. The oldest has been taking Spanish classes this year and is doing a great job. The middle mini seems to pick it up quickly too.

The kids asked me what their new pet should eat. Huh? was my response. Turns out they caught a blood worm (!!!) at the creek the day before and failed to mention it to me. There first bug of 2020 wasn't actually a bug but a worm. This might top the time I found them in the backyard building a small house from sticks for a tick they found.

Piano practice, violin practice, and drum practice. My ears hurt, but they seem to love it, along with daily karate, yoga, and gymnastics all from YouTube.

Finally Friday!! All three aced their quiz over the Great Lakes, Oceans, Continents, and South America capitals.

Although we moved onto Central America after South America (we split North America up a bit), our next continent will be Africa. They watched Pygmies The Children of the Jungle. The one thing that stood out to the minis is that the pygmy people didn't wear clothes and smoked. After they watched the documentary, they had to write about what their life would be like it they lived in the jungle. Elizabeth wrote: "I would be smoking. I would be a child smoker." And with that, our homeschool day ended rather quickly.

I opted for a fun late afternoon with a showing of Onward with popcorn and M & M's. My favorite thing about homeschooling the minis is having them journal every day. Clearly, it was time to get out of the house by the time Friday night rolled around!

This upcoming week will be a fairly laid back week. We got confirmation late last week that the minis will not be returning to school this year, but will finish the year with online courses. We're unsure how that looks at the moment, so I decided to give all of us the break and relax a bit. Make no mistake, we'll be keeping busy! I've found it's best for all of us if we're busy and doing stuff rather than just sitting and bored. This will be the week we get our vegetable garden ready, power wash the playset and playhouse and prep for staining and painting respectively. We'll also be doing our Passover and Easter activities this week, art (lots of art), and writing.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Social Distancing Weekend 3

Hiking, walking, and watching movies. That's pretty much what our life consists of. I told my husband he isn't allowed to start any home improvement projects because, while it does seem like the perfect time, it would NOT be okay for us. See, home improvement projects usually involve him making ten thousand trips to the hardware store in one day, being grouchy at the kids for being in the way (in their own home), and not spending time with us. For my own mental health, I need him present and helping me with day to day life right now, not thrown into yet another project that will only get half done anyways. So, hiking, walking, movies, games, and puzzles it is for the win!

I introduced Elizabeth to Girls Just Want To Have Fun, I placed a grocery order, then the minis and I took a nice two mile stroll around the 'hood while Hubs finished up stuff for taxes. 

The kids looked for the painted rocks we placed along the bike path. The kids were disappointed to only see a couple that they placed.

The minis response to see people walking towards them on the bike path: "run! There's people coming by us!" They are taking the social distancing seriously.

The 11 year old: "look at all those people going someplace other than home! Lucky ducks!" I had to laugh.

We've been eating home cooked meals for the most part, but also making a point to support local restaurants a few times a week. We got a 6 pack bowl deal from Big Acai (that's only $36!). We ordered online, it was ready to go when Hubs got there, and we had a mid-afternoon snack of deliciousness.

Saturday night dance party.

Sunday was one of those slow mornings with a homemade brunch, relaxing while watching CBS Sunday Morning and Face The Nation, then setting out to walk the bike trail near our house in another direction. We didn't really pay attention to how far we were walking, veered off the trail for some exploring in nature, and then headed home. The minis complained that they were tired and their legs hurt. When we sat down for an early dinner (because they were pretty sure they were starving), we realized we had walked over five miles. I really do love carefree days like this.

They were soooo excited to see some of our painted rocks but in new places along the bike trail! I told them that means someone is obviously having fun with them and spreading the joy too.

Totally normal thing to do dance poses while you walk.

We discovered a new-to-us mountain bike trail along a creek. This was the starting off point to our nature adventure.

The minis said these trees and vines remind them of the mangrove trees in Florida. 

Exploring and getting active wherever we can.

Sunday dinner was taco night, followed by marshmallow building. We've done this before, but I gave them the instructions: our structures need to be strong enough to hold at least one Magformer. 

Harrison instantly said "I win." Apparently I need more specific directions. Max thought he was pretty clever too.

One all of our walks throughout the neighborhood lately, the minis have noticed bears in people's windows. Elizabeth insisted we put bears in numerous windows. She also felt the need to wake up at 9:00 p.m. for a second bedtime snack of granola bars and bananas.