Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Awesome weather

WOW! The Adler Planetarium was wonderful! Much more impressive than the aquarium next door. I printed off the home made field trip guide and set out after the 9AM and 10AM soccer games for DOWNTOWN CHICAGO! It was a beautiful day and the price to the place was free because of a company special day. It included as many shows as we wanted! Too cool. I told the kids that it was like going to the company picnic at the KC zoo where we got to ride the bus/boat/tram/train as much as we wanted too, because they were FREE! We walked along the seawall and found our way to Grant Park and the Buchanan Fountain. Then after dinner near the universities, we walked all the way back to the parking under Soldier Field. Here is a picture into the sun away from the Adler toward the Shedd of my group.

This week is going well and the kids are getting ready for their first spelling test. They have the first 26 phonics cards from the Road to Reading packet and I will pick 6 for them to write down. They are reading the 100 lessons to teaching your child book well. We've finished listening to Little House on the Prairie and moved on to Wind in the Willows. I hope to apply some life science to that story in order to work in a science journal component. We received the Math U See book and may get the Saxon book for comparison to see how Kindergarten math is taught in a homeschool setting. They are only counting and graphing, as well as setting up patterns for math now. They liked sorting the candy from a company outing. They also enjoyed discovering the shell group today. One day at a time though is our motto. It's time to collected the oldest.

Friday, September 21, 2007

My vocabulary is expanding...*sigh*
Orthography is the study of the elementary sounds, letters, and syllables of our language. Therefore phonics is a branch of orthography, as is penmanship. Spelling is also considered a part of orthography.

We're enjoying a good week and I wanted to get a few tidbits out there before closing for a very busy weekend of soccer and planetarium visits etc. The good week included "Horton hears a who," beginning of "Story of the World" with the fertile crescent exersize AND discussion of Ohio outline map including a story about Columbus (since the capitol city of Ohio is named for somebody too). We listened more "Little House in the Big woods" and began listening to "Little House on the Prairie." Questions about how cream is made were very important when we made a microwave lemon cake that included whipped cream. Ma in the stories skimmed the cream and this fact resonated with my pupils. We listened to a story about Archimedes and one story with the older brother about Junie B Jones. We survived phonics & copy work of the second commandment several times this week which might make it easier to do more next week (she said with a wicked, tortuous tone).

The old hard yucky morning vitamins are gone and the new chewable gummy vitamins are being consumed on a regular basis. The home-made planetarium guide for our visit tomorrow is printed and ideas for next week are set up. Let the weekend come - and cooler breezes for the bees.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Busy bees love the breeze

It's either that or "the nose knows radar" lately. We've enjoyed organizing the garage in order to fill the new back yard storage corner; more soccer for all three children; dinners with another kindergartener and her folks, as well as a fellow Kansan at school in Wheaton college; meet/greet other homeschool families in Wheaton and maybe a few in Elk Grove too; a beginning to cubscouts for #1; Heidi and then Jungle Book on audio books for the twins and me; AND a birthday party for 1st graders at a glow-in-the-dark putt putt.
Today was a grand push of the envelop for the twins' kindergarten day. They began regularly, but I decided to try a new website called kidanswers and we found a 15" reading of Pilgrim's progress first section. I'm not sure how much they absorbed, but I enjoyed it immensely. They continued phonics, copy work of the 2nd commandment. I read a book called George Washington's Breakfast by Jean Fritz. We discussed the persistence with which the main character uses to determine what our first president ate for breakfast. You should ask the twins some time and see if they remember. They checked the weather as usual and continued studying the northern border states with Wisconsin. Can't say as I've expressed very well what country is to the north of these border states, but maybe some day they will get a handle on it. Cookie time was next as you may see in the picture. Later, they sorted colored chips and graphed the answers, had play time while I painted the ceilings of two bathrooms in transition and closed out the school day completing the journal requests from PDL while listening to a story about Archimedes and the Golden Crown.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Busy times

Labor Day weekend became the get-everything-done time when we got ceiling fans in all four bedrooms, all bathrooms got plug-ins wired for gfci to function properly, one bathroom got a new light/fan kit wired, new garage work table plug-ins installed so that the deep freeze won't loose power when the cord is stretched too far AND we got time to run to IKEA to introduce the cousins and aunt to amazing idealand. Due to the handy work of the dremel, Daddy and I got the junction boxes in the ceilings for our handy uncle to run conduit after fishing down to the light switches in the wall. A true feat of skill indeed. All children are practicing soccer with the new district teams and will have games this Saturday through the end of October. Praise God none of the games are at the same time AND not far away sites when right after each other. Boy scouts starts for #1 soon too.

Kindergarteners continue with handwriting (A Reason For Handwriting, Kindergarten: by Carol Ann Retzer and Rob Harrell), phonics, literature, math and reading (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann, Our verse for this week comes from the catechism and is The first commandment: You shall have no other gods. History and geography found it's way into the mix with the beginning of the northern border states of the USA. I read from the Grolier Online provided by our local library online about Washington, his namesake state and Idaho this week. All three children are enjoying The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay for introductory lessons on science. More hands on work is done later Bubbles, Rainbows and Worms: Science Experiments for Preschool Children as well as Project Wild or Project Wet lessons. We have our good times and our bad times, but I don't regret their spending more time home for a little longer. How else would we have enjoyed the Morton Arboretum visit during the day last Thursday. Splashing and building dams in the water as well as climbing among the tree tops on rope ladders. Audio books are helping me with my reading times too. We've enjoyed stories about The little house in the big woods and will continue to follow along on that series while we look forward to Herriot stories soon too. YIPPEE!