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.