Monday, April 27, 2020

Homeschool Week 5

This week ran MUCH more smoothly than the previous week. I threw caution to the wind and decided to teach in a way that made the minis and myself happy. That meant a lot of hands on activities and games, the second grader learning sixth grade science and the fourth and sixth grader going back to second grade for a few topics. Since it was Earth Week (we turned Earth Day into an entire week over here), we made sure to enjoy nature as much as possible, plant our garden, learn about composting, and spent so much time outdoors! I love that we can have our school days outside if we wish.


The cat comes to "help" with Social Studies every morning.

I found our Compost In A Cup activity here. We've been examining the cups daily and noting any changes.

The minis walked up to school Monday morning to pick up their weekly learning workbook and also snagged a lunch since they were "really missing school lunches." Eye rolls. They LOVED getting to see their teachers from a distance and even waved at a few friends. It was great for them to see everyone, but made them miss school more.

I noticed this one reading in my chair and running his hands through his hair. I laughed because this is an inherited trait (my dad and all of his brother's do this too, especially when they're deep in thought, concetrating, or in a deep conversation) and I couldn't resist passing this along to family members.
Each day, Max's science instructors send out projects, experiments, or challenges for the kids to partake in. Since I've been doing my own science classes with them, he hasn't done many of the challenges, but got really excited about the go-cart challenge. He tested it a few times before doing one final run on Tuesday and sending it over. As it turns out, his cart was one that traveled the furthest! Naturally, Harrison and Elizabeth were there asking him questions and "helping."

I bought their cursive writing books on a whim. This is one of their favorite things to learn--they even practice their writing during their free time! Best $6 I spent (per kid).

As requested, a meat and cheese tray for morning snack. It was gone within minutes and had to replenished.

We put PlantSnap on the minis phone to help us identify plants and flowers along our nature walk through the neighborhood. It's not my favorite app so far, but it's done a decent job of identifying plants (like poison ivy) when we need it to. The minis were thrilled to find crab apples on their favorite climbing tree.

I've discovered our "perfect" schedule for homeschooling. All hands on activities take place in the morning, two hours in the afternoon is reserved for reading, writing, language arts, and math. This is perfect because it correlates with normal daycare rest time. I was helping with puncuation and took a break to check on the one daycare kiddo I had that day. I found her asleep, smothering her doll. It made me giggle.

Gym is one class I'm not concerned about. The minis get sooo much physical activity daily and long hikes on the weekend, but I wanted to end our school day with a fun game. They LOVED the P.E. Dice Game where they had to each take two rolls and then they had to do the number they rolled. 

Elizabeth went out and successfully made each basket she shot. The boys...well, not so much.

I've really noted some big changes in the minis, so positive, some not so much. Much like when they were younger, I've noticed them being very clingy to me and relying heavily on each other for everything. There's extreme resistance to do anything by themselves. It can be aggrevating, but at the same time, I completely understand it. I'm also taking advantage of the snuggles while I can.

I have a menu the kids can see for every day of the week. When they saw yogurt parfaits for breakfast, they went ahead and got it ready before I even got out of bed. Apparently M & M's are a yogurt mix in, according to the minis.

We finally made time to test out our Naked Egg and do a Bouncy Egg experiment. After poking at it and holding it in their hands, I said, "okay, now we'll do the bouncy egg experiment..." Before I could continue, the oldest jumped up and said, "got it!" and plopped it down to see if it would bounce. From five and a half feet in the air. Not surprisingly, it instantly splattered. The younger two weren't impressed. So, not only was it a science experiment, it was also a lesson in waiting to hear the directions until you take it upon yourself to just do it.

Still working away on art kits and sticker books.

How the afternoons look: language arts, reading, and writing. 

The minis attended Grandma Sheaffer's 75th virtual birthday party! They ordered cupcakes (for themselves), flowers for Grandma that were delivered earlier in the day, and an evening of talking and laughing with aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

Cupcake delivery from Molly's. As you can see, they broke into them early.

Our day of freeschooling was great! The minis made homemade donuts for breakfast, decorated the driveway and sidewalk with shaving cream paint (and they helped me make the paint), sealing the playset, finishing the mud kitchen, picking up sticks and pulling weeds, re-planting our veggies, making pita bread pizzas for dinner, and spending the rest of the time outside playing. Learning through their hard work was rewarding for us all.
Elizabeth quickly lost interest in the donut making process since it takes a while, but the boys did amazing with it! Hot oil and all.
The boys insisted on making all of the donuts bite size. I felt like I was eating less that way.

Pausing for a class team meeting.

Eating lunch outside. Elizabeth went barefoot all day long. We put sunscreen on but I failed to think about her toes. Every one of her toes got sunburned. Oops.

We worked hard and the cat napped all day long.

Pita bread pizzas for dinner and pita bread Nutella pizzas for dessert. All around win.

And this was Friday. A few school subjects, a produce delivery from grandparents, free time and playing, and then a Faux Vacay to end the week and start the weekend. Looking at the calendar, we're trying to make every Thursday a full free schooling day and Friday's an easy day. Mom needs those days more than the minis do!
Local business plug: my parents ordered from Capital City Fruit in Norwalk, Iowa and had it delivered. There was sooo much produce to choose from that they split it between them, our family of five, and my sister...and there was still a ton! Well worth the price since it all got eaten within a few days.

Caught this one cheating. Doing math with a calculator in her hand! I applaud her nerve though.

Lego's and instruments. It was a very loud afternoon.

And we we're drive around the city because we can't actually go on vacation. Info coming soon about our faux vacay fun!