Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's Done...

I have moved all the posts on this blog onto my Calico Contemplations blog, they are categorized as Discovery for Life, have a special header, and have maintained their penguin sigs. I will no longer be updating here, all updates will occur on Calico Contemplations.


Wow, It's Been Almost A Month

We've come so far in this month, she is back doing math on Time 4 Learning and is really enjoying it, amazing what a little mastery will do for a kid. I hear all the arguments against drilling and memorization, but honestly I don't think a little hurts, at least not my kid.

We have done some great field trips to the zoo for the opening of Teton Trek, to the Pink Palace to see a movie on mummies, and more planetarium show, pumpkin patches to pat animals, pick pumpkins and play with other homeschoolers.

We did a Magic School Bus science kit on Going Green. We created a mini compost tube, compared the decay rate of plastic, styrofoam, and leaves, made paper, and so much more. She loved checking on her experiments each day, and writing up conclusions at the end.

I've seen her joy and love of reading expand as she has more time and opportunity to do it for enjoyment. She has plowed through several Animal Ark books, as well as non-fiction on bats, vampire bats, cheetahs, penguins, hippos, puffins, tigers, whales, dolphins, weather patterns, and so much more.

Artistically we are seeing her get back into the pattern of experimentation and constant creation. During first grade her production of art work had dropped off to nearly nothing, a huge change from the constant barrage we had from the time that she could first hold a crayon.

Guess this is it for now, I won't promise to update too soon as we know I probably won't. Oh well, I'll either keep posting sporadically here, or eventually wrap this into my other blog. Who knows...


Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Sunny Day At The Zoo

We hadn't had sunshine in about two weeks and we were getting tired of the gloom. Trips to the zoo had been spent dodging rain clouds, and many of the animals stayed in their night houses. Yesterday however, the sun shone, the sky was blue, and the animals came out to play.

Black Bear
Bald Eagle
Bongos & Gazelle
Komodo Dragon
Prairie Dog
Boa Constrictor
African Penguins & Handlers

In case you haven't guessed we love the zoo!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday 13 From The Pink Palace

Thursday Thirteen

We went to the Pink Palace Museum yesterday for field trip day. There is an IMAX Theater, a Planetarium, a wide assortment of permanent and temporary exhibits and then there are displays in the main house.

The main house was being built for Clarence Saunders, inventor of the self-service grocery, before he went bankrupt attempting to maintain control of his company stock. One of the exhibits is a to size replica of Clarence's first Piggly Wiggly.

What struck me the most as we wandered through was not how small it was, or the lack of choice, or even the way you were herded through like cattle; instead what I was struck by were how many things on those few shelves were things I have in my home today.

    Kellogg's Corn Flakes
  1. Kellogg's Corn Flakes
  2. Cream of Wheat
  3. Quaker Oats
  4. Quaker Oats
  5. Gold Medal Flour
  6. White Lily Flour
  7. flours, cornmeal, sugar
  8. Domino Sugar
  9. Quaker Corn Meal
  10. Log Cabin Syrup
  11. Log Cabin Syrup
  12. Jello Brand Jello
  13. Del Monte Green Beans
  14. Del Monte Green Beans
  15. McCormick's Cloves
  16. Morton's Salt
  17. Morton's Salt
  18. Lava Soap

Funny isn't it how so much has changed in our world and yet we still use these things. Makes me feel a little closer to the past, if only for the moment.


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun!

Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So Bad With This...

This poor blog really does suffer. I am trying so hard to keep the main one up and get my websites back up and running, add to that the homeschooling and...

Good thing I don't have tons of readers to be mad about my lack of udates...


Friday, September 4, 2009

For Next Week

My goal for next week is to get an earlier start each day. Somehow, we have traveled beyond the "normal" late start that we were having (between 10am & 11am) and we are now starting between 12pm & 1pm. While it doesn't really matter in the sense that she does the work, I do see it affecting the amount of time she spends playing with friends. So here's to slightly earlier starts and more time outdoors.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

I've Been Lost In Wordpress Land

So getting my other blog fully functional on wordpress has been slightly time consuming. I still have some design work to do, but it no longer needs constant attention.

Of course, to celebrate my shared hosting server is screwed and I can't ftp! Somedays I just have to wonder.

"School" has been going well, and I think we have totally turned the corner with the addition & subtraction debacle. I'm trying to decide what 2nd grade math topic I want her to cover next, and whether I will use Kumon (assuming they cover it) or something else. I am still sort of debating investing in Horizons.

Since we are schooling year round I decided to give her a "report card" every 2 months. This is definitely a hold over from her ps days; but not one she is ready to give up yet. She was thrilled with her report card and loves that everything she gets for "school" has penguins on it.

We are continuing weekly trips to the library and zoo, and are trying to add at least one other field trip type event to each week. The Mississippi has won the draw that last 2 and may win again another just for ease and cost ($0).


Friday, August 21, 2009

A Faster More Focused Day

Well, we had a much more focused day today. She finished everything she had left over from the entire week PLUS all of today's stuff. It really was more than I ever could have hoped for.

Of course, there is one catch... I have absolutely no idea why! I wish I did, I really, really do. Then I could replicate today's success and we would all be soooooo happy.

Time for some mindless television view...


Thursday, August 20, 2009

I really do think we are on the right track now. She is happy to do flash cards and worksheets. Math Adventure is her new favorite game. Now if only it took less than 9 hours to be done with school for the day...

Okay, it was just today that this happened but I swear that each school day seems a little longer than the one before. She's not getting more done, I'm not giving her more work, it's like she has become totally distracted. Guess that's what happens when you live in ADD land.

I need to work on next week's little workbook tomorrow, so it will be time to rethink and revamp. Hopefully we can find something that will keep her focused enough to complete her assignments; but allow her plenty of freedom too.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Math Meltdown

So we had a little math meltdown over carrying & borrowing (aka regrouping). I was watching her last week doing addition on Time 4 Learning and I noticed that she seemed stressed. We talked, did some problems on paper, and off she went relatively happy.

Monday I had to go out and my Mother helped her. The poor kid was dissolving over subtraction, not because she doesn't understand borrowing; but because the computation process is too slow. Unfortunately, Time 4 Learning doesn't have a built in process for catching poor performance and generating more practice, instead she stumbled through a section and then came the quiz! My mother quickly stopped her and got her playing a game and doing problems on paper.

Public school sucks realization #101 - it's not important that you get the right answer, it's only important that you know how to do the problem. I mean honestly does anyone think this really works?!?

We have stopped using Time 4 Learning for math right now (still using it for everything else); and are using flash cards for basic addition and subtraction facts, and tomorrow will start Kumon Grade 2 Addition. I liked the single topic focus and the fact that there was no huge program commitment to start. If she runs with it we may just work it for the rest of the year and see where we are then. She's already a much happier camper and that's all I really care about.

If you live near a Dollar Tree and you have a youngster learning addition and subtraction I suggest you run and look for the Teaching Tree Math Adventure game. It is a really simple 2 to 4 player game with about 36 math problems and a poster game board. Our girl just loves it and it was a simple matter to cut card stock into rectangles similar in size to the existing cards and add more problems (we're up to 136). There is also a state fact game (The Amazing State Race) and a money game (Shopping Cents), both simple but expandable and lots of fun for kids.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So, it's been a long day and I'm off to bed in a few moments. We had a fun trip to the library this morning and then we hit the wall. Adding with regrouping is not her favorite thing. Tomorrow we will work with the manipulatives, and I think it is time to break out the flashcards to strengthen those single digit adding & subtracting skills. On a good note she got to play with another story creater and she loved that. Night Night All!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two Days In One

A little late with the entry today, not that anyone is reading or cares...

Yesterday was a long day; but she really held up well. I need to be careful how much lesson reading I give her to do solo. She was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of the social studies lesson and so fascinated with looking things up that it took forever. I don't want to discourage her or encourage just skimming through and not really learning anything.

Based on what I'd seen earlier I did her last section, Penguins, as a joint read and that really seemed to do the trick. Lesson learned.

Today, based on what we learned yesterday, we started the day together doing her science reading and answering her questions on the penguin reading yesterday. It took just under an hour to do both and then she was off to the computer to do her Time 4 Learning sections. She loves that site and she is so excited to write everyday. Last thing she did was paint the sun for her solar system model, she has been dying to get her hands on that kit and now the project has finally begun.

We still have some reading to do; but for now she is out and about with the neighbor kids having a grand time.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Our 1st Full Week

workbook coverworkbook back cover

Today starts our first full week of school! We've done well on the partial schedule that has been in place for the last couple of weeks; but I have to admit it is a bit of a struggle. I would never have guessed it would be this difficult to get out of the summer/vacation mode.

week pageday page

I think Muffin is in for a little bit of a shock when we start working on this week's lesson workbook, it has a lot more in it for each day than the previous one. The good news is that she wasn't really that challenged by the previous workbook and the time it took her to complete was way less than I expected. I can tell there are going to be a lot more unschooling type activities in our schedule than I originally thought.

daily to-do list zoo sheet

My guilty admission though is that I can't wait for Friday, I love going to the zoo! I feel like I learn so much each time we go there, and it is such fun.