Sunday, May 3, 2020

Homeschooling Week 6

I can't believe it's been six weeks of homeschooling. The days go quickly yet so slow. We've gotten into a good groove at this point, the minis are actually learning AND enjoying what they're learning. Goal reached! We kept things fairly basic, with our school days looking something like this: Spanish, social studies, science, cursive workbooks, typing class, free time, lunch, reading, writing, math, journaling, with music, art, and plenty of outdoor time.

Personally, I'm enjoying the study room the most. The minis can go in the room and do their team meetings for school throughout the day. I use the room in the evenings for lesson planning and printing out worksheets. It's definitely our most used room right now!

Studying plant cells was our science unit for the week. I had to Google a few of these names so I could properly pronounce them when teaching. This is my life now.

States and capitals for Social Studies this week.

Making dandelion play dough for a fun Monday activity. They used sticks, flower petals, and anything else they could find in the yard to make faces for their art. Then they played with it.

We gave Acrostic poetry a try. Their poems made my day!

Hair cuts. One kid had his hair shaved and the other had a trim of the back by Mom. Lots of firsts around here!

There's a lot of homeschooling and learning, but there's also a lot of time for imaginative play. That's still our favorite.

The kids requested to begin homeschool earlier than 9 a.m. They informed me if they started earlier, they'd be done earlier in the day....but they wound up using their free time to do online work! 

For art the kids drew or traced their own hands, colored them, and then painted their nails. They even added on rings, bracelets, and tattoos!

Elizabeth drew monster hands!

Daily science challenge: which balls drop the quickest? Which ones bounce the highest when they hit the ground? Thankfully we hadn't put the tarp back on the top of the playset yet!
The small bouncy ball dropped the quickest, the basketball and football bounced the highest.

The kids spent LOTS of time in the kitchen this week. Harrison made pancake muffins with sprinkles, strawberry cupcakes, while Max made a peach cobbler and pineapple chicken with rice for dinner one night. Elizabeth helped put together some sandwiches for lunch one day (she does not have the same love of the kitchen as the boys do).

The minis got access to their new online school platform and LOVE it. They've had a blast with some of the assignments and learning opportunities. One of them was building a fort for art class. Elizabeth took her time, made sure the structure was sound, and then played in it for the rest of the day. She also took pictures to send to teachers.

This was actually the sixth grader's language arts project, but I had the other two do it as well. I loved what they came up with! Only one of my children said they'd still live with me so I could take care of them and they're friends. Elizabeth aged herself and said she'd like to be quarantined with her husband and kids so that she could make the rules. I enjoyed this writing assignment just as much as they did!

I put on jeans one day and wore my hair down. My kids thought I was going somewhere because I dressed up "fancy." Jeans are now fancy.

More team meetings. More learning to type. More exploring a new learning platform. 

Weekly dance lessons in the living room. We put it on the TV so they have a bigger screen to see their teachers. My floors are ready for them to return to the dance studio!

Their Spanish quiz was on colors and simple sentences (how to introduce yourself, telling us what you like). Their quiz was interactive: for each color they had to find something that was that color (example: rojo, one kid grabbed a red pen).

I failed to get pictures of their Iowa landscape drawings. We learned about Grant Wood (even though we have told them hundreds of times, the minis were shocked to learn he was from Iowa. So, I guess they really don't always listen to us...) and then they had to draw their own Midwest/Iowa landscape. Elizabeth drew a picture of someone chopping wood because that's what she pictures when she thinks of Iowa! Both boys drew corn and barns.

I try to make each Friday a fun day. Friday morning was the eagerly awaited Soda Taste Test. The kids had to try each kind of pop, write if they thought they tasted different/compare the pops, and then guess what was name brand vs. off brand. The two youngest mini's nailed each name brand, while two others couldnt' tell a difference. This led to the kids looking up taste buds and how everyone's tastes are different. I love how simple activities lead to more learning.

Hypothesis, tests, and conclusions all written out. Prelude to science fair projects!

The middle mini got a big surprise Friday afternoon: a May Day Basket from his teacher!

Each Friday, the minis are to email their teachers and tell them everything they'd done, worked on, and learned throughout the week. The teachers and school don't require this, but I have them do it for a few reasons. One: to practice typing skills. Elizabeth is such a slow typer I had walk away or I was going to lose my mind! Two: it's a great way for them to keep in touch with their teachers. Plus, it's an extra personal touch to it. Third: it keeps what the've learned and done fresh in their minds. I plan to have them do this until the end of the school year.

Friday afternoon reads outside.

Harrison put the finishing touches on his cupcakes before our 6 feet apart pizza party.

Elizabeth has been practicing her measuring skills (and as a result, so have the boys). They tend to learn much easier if they all work on something together.

And, of course, the apology letters for losing their minds at the end of the school day. 

I'm glad that we've gotten into a good routine with homeschooling because next week we'll start adding other school agers to our learning group! We're all excited and ready for the house to be just a little bit more crazy.