Sunday, April 12, 2020

Homeschool Week 3

I've only got until the end of May. End of May. End of May. I keep telling myself but I'm also avoiding the fact that leads up right into summer so it's more like five more months of homeschool. Whew! Luckily I've been given some direction from the mini's schools, but mostly it's my own lesson plans. Since my children are all close in age, I've tried to combine as many subjects as I can so they're learning close to the same things. The only subjects their doing their own grade level work on is reading, writing, and math. This has worked really well for us and approved by their school teachers as well.

Social Studies is a lot of geography, states and capitals, countries, etc. For science we've been doing simple experiments and A LOT of our science kits (I have never been more grateful to our family and friends who gave all of the science and art kits!). The middle mini has a typing class so we signed the other two up as well, so they're all doing typing, the younger two have taken to learning Spanish right along with the oldest, music class happens every day here and is a combination of learning about the top albums (and listening to them), playing keyboard, and learning the drums. Gym is mostly taking walks (and sometimes combining this with science and nature), running, and playing in the backyard. The big project this week for art was building a city out of recyclables. The kids read for a minimum of 30 minutes each afternoon, write a summary or report about what they read, do math (plus a card game sometimes) every afternoon, and journal at the end of the day (it's graded upon use of proper puncuation, capitalization, and neatness). I'm very happy with how they're doing with everything and they've even requested I begin grading them (I'm using a Mom Grading scale).

Here's what we did this week for homeschool:

Elizabeth wrote out our Monday lessons. The kids presented their research on Central America (they each chose a country to study), we started our veggie garden inside (we'll prep the outside area next week and get everything ready for replanting), went over the parts of a plant and how plants grow, painted our paper egg shapes and hung them in the front windows for our neighborhood egg hunt.
We watched them all grow this week! So exciting!

Harrison took his research and presentation very seriously.

This is how Elizabeth reads (or laying on her stomach on the floor as she kicks her legs) and Harrison likes to relax in the chairs while he does his math homework. 

I wound up with a "day off" on Tuesday, so we took advantage of our free day. The minis got our Quarantine Easter Surprises ready (read about that here) and got a start on their big art project. It was also a gorgeous 80 degree day so we were outside for nearly all of it!

It was also Spirit Week "at school." So the entire Spirit Week was shared on the school's app that teachers, parents, and staff use. Tuesday was Pet Day. Elizabeth happily shared off the cats, even though nobody is overly fond of each other!

Their art project for the week was the much anticipated city building with recyclables. They got a great start on it, but lost momentum Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday mom had to lay it out for them: work together, share your ideas, and work on it or get an F. The youngest mini gasped and said, "I can't get an F. I've never gotten an F before." I laughed but it turned out awesome and they got an A in Mom Grades.

How I supervised their art project outside.

From painting art to painting nails to swinging on the basketball pole.

Hubs and I had our first experience playing Ghosts In The Graveyard. The neighbors thought we were insane as we ran around the house in circles screaming. Very fun end to our day.

Since we had an easy Tuesday, we made up for it on Wednesday. Everyone did great on their Central America quizes, art was tie dying Easter eggs, eating hummus and pita breads, latkes, and trying out the Sedar plate for Passover (and learning about Passover, of course). Wednesday evening was just as busy as the day. The minis decompressed with yoga before they began their virtual dance classes. Elizabeth was having a hard time with not being in class, so she requested the boys join her for her living room class. They obliged (and actually, they all did a great job).

Matzah is a favorite here.

Elizabeth loved yoga so much she's been doing it daily and trying out new YouTube videos each time.

Then it was Harrison's turn, followed by Max's turn to perform the violin for us. Great night of performing arts at home!

So proud of him! He had me record him so he could send it to his orchestra teacher.

Thursday was lots of fun and excitement. First of all, Hubs/Dad is home now on Thursday's (he was working overtime), so Thursday's will be Dad and Minis Day to work on special project. However, the weather didn't quite cooperate this day for it, but on the agenda for the spring is: staining and sealing the playset, rebuilding and painting the new wooden playhouse, planting the garden, planning and building a fence for the corner of the yard. The boys did Shop Class with the boys last Saturday, building bird houses and it was a huge hit! 
But on this Thursday, they were mom's. We began learning about Africa during Social Studies, they practiced Spanish, watched a documentary, wrote about the documentary, the usual math, reading, typing, journaling, a card game for extra math, and running a mile because two of the three were goofing off during the card game. The highlight of the day was figuring out Microsoft Team Meetings and hearing the oldest meet with teachers and classmates. I loved it and I loved hearing how invested the teachers are. I even got to chat with a couple of the elementary school teachers who were calling to see how everything was going. It's so interesting to me how being in quarantine has made us all physically distant, but actually closer together. I actually really enjoy that aspect of everything that has happened in the last month.

You better believe that Mom mapped out their mile route around the 'hood, stood on the porch as I tracked them through their phone, and then snapped a picture of them running up the street. 

We had quite a bit on our Friday agenda, but we got exactly half of that done. The city building art project took most of the day (but they knocked it out of the park after I threatened them a bit), started our science experiment, spent our evening watching Trolls 2 before we left for our Easter surprises. It wound up being a fantastic day, even though we didn't get to the reading or math or social studies.

I should have known how the day was going to go when I opened my eyes in and determined that I didn't want to make bagels for breakfast, so I rolled over and ordered donuts for delivery. I regret nothing.

We pulled off the best surprises on Friday. Read about it here.

Of course the kids had to play with their city. Hot Wheels and Lego figurines fit perfectly.

Fun and easy thing we did with celery for science. If you do this too, leave the celery in the colored water for 24+ hours. It took 3-4 hours for the leaves to even look tinted and a full 24 hours before I could give the minis their lesson on the cardiovascular system (when the leaves of the celery were very colorful).

When we turn cookie decorating into art class.

Friday's are family movie nights. Trolls World Tour was loved by all of us. I liked that it was a fairly quick movie too (only 90 minutes). Family movie nights are a great way to end our weeks--I get to chill (and I usually don't cook Friday nights), the kids get to watch something of their choosing, and everyone goes to bed early (although on this particular Friday we were up waaayy later than usual).