Curious Kendra (and Liam too!) Love Learning Time

learning out of the box

Back from Winter Break

Not feeling very wordy today, so here are pictures! 😉

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This post is brought to you by the letter B

Liam was insistent that he knows the letter A just fine, and wanted to move on. I have no doubt that he does, he knows about 90% of the alphabet (upper & lowercase, and the sound each letter makes) but I just want to reinforce it all as we move on to CVC words. His first word will be “cat”. So today, we did one journal page for the letter B.

Kendra, on the other hand, has been on a Tolkien kick since last night. Her father pointed out that the Lord of the Rings Lego game they play on the Xbox was based on a series of movies, which was in turn based on a series of books. She insisted on watching The Fellowship of the Ring right then and there, and we would lose geek points if we refused. I was a bit worried that parts would frighten her, but she loved it! First thing she did today when she woke up was ask to watch the next movie! So, since I’m leaning towards a slightly more “unschooling” version of things for days that would normally be sick days (she has a cold and a cough), I went and looked up a few ideas on Pinterest to turn this into a more educational event (short of being introduced to one of the greatest stories ever). She has started recreating the map of Middle Earth and we will discuss mapmaking a bit more, there are plans to build the tower with the Eye of Sauron later today, we will discuss how the good guys are farmers and craftsmen and the like, while the bad guys are industrialized and destroy the environment. I will introduce her to Tengwar, the Elvish alphabet, and teach her a bit about cyphers and cryptography. If we are feeling highly motivated, we may recreate Bilbo’s home in the Shire, and I also found a really cute felt Gollum doll that we could make ourselves. Maybe we’ll find some videos about how rings are forged!

I have a copy of a book called Bilbo’s Last Song, so I’ll read that to them, and also have a unit study and a different thematic study for The Hobbit, so I’ll be pulling those out as well.

We’ve been started to work a little on reading words with suffixes, and I just happened to come across a sample worksheet the other day that focused on “ing”. Since I’m punny, I had her do the worksheet and called it “One ‘ing’ to Rule Them All”. Some of the words were king, ring, sing, bring, and wing. I’ll update on the map progression and the Dark Tower as she works on them.

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Flying by the seat of our pants

Last week, we took off for Thanksgiving since their dad was off for most of the week. Yesterday we got a good amount of work done, and today Kendra is sick with a cold, so we’re taking it easy. There are SO many things we want to work on, and just not enough time! Today is mostly just a picture post. Math and reading was yesterday’s work, the Earth Child’s Handbook and Mother Earth coloring page are from today. We are very nature AND craft oriented here, so we’re looking forward to adding this to our regular course of study.

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Regrouping, Vowel Pairs, and Wonderopolis

First off, today I’d like to introduce you to Wonderopolis. We are LOVING this site! Each day tackles a different topic, including a video, plenty of information, a vocabulary list with a definition quiz, a short quiz to make sure they understand the topic, AND additional links to further investigate. Best of all, it’s free! Today Kendra did two lessons, Geology (How Do Rocks Get Their Color), and Health (Why Do People Cough?). She really enjoyed the video included with the rock lesson, and would really like to go to the Rocky Mountains someday now!

After that, we worked for a while on her “AI” vowel pair, and she did a story booklet for it.

Next, we started working on double digit addition with regrouping. My cousin Jane said it always gave her a headache to teach it, and I think I see why! I honestly think Kendra gets it, but doesn’t think she does. Just a matter of confidence and practice!

I’ve mentioned before that Kendra is using the DIY website to learn new skills. Last night we submitted pictures of her Owl Pellet Dissection (towards the Ornithology Badge) and the Cell Model (towards the Biology Badge) she made last week, and I just received emails stating that these were both accepted!

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No snow days for homeschoolers

Actually we didn’t get that much, maybe another inch or so this morning, which was nice to watch, but wouldn’t be so nice if we had to go out! Today we did a bunch of random work, which seemed to work well.

We started out making a blood model out of vegetable oil (plasma), red water beads (red blood cells), white pompoms (white blood cells), and mini pink pompoms (platelets). Both kids were involved in that, and were utterly fascinated with the water beads. Next, Kendra worked on a LEGO-themed place value project in her Interactive Math Journal. After that, we hung up a poster of wild birds for our part of the country, filled up our new bird feeder sock, and hung it outside. After that, Kendra and I finished her Kentucky map puzzle piece, then she read me a new BOB Book (Frogs).

Next up was Liam’s turn! He is starting a LEGO-themed Interactive Alphabet Journal! Today he worked on his upper and lower case letter “a”, tracing, writing on his own, and “building” the letters with paper letter blocks. He had a blast!

We’re very picture-heavy today. Enjoy!

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We are the dinosaurs, marching, marching!

FullSizeRenderThis may be a guess, but it seems like most little boys are fascinated by dinosaurs. Liam is no different. So when Emily Cook, of Build Your Library fame released a unit study focusing on Prehistory, I jumped on it for Liam! I already had a few of the books required, bought one, (that it turns out is way too old for him, so we’ll save it for later) and got the rest from our fabulous library! I also used one of those amazing 50% off one item at Michael’s coupons for a dinosaur (T-rex) excavation and model building kit! I was hoping to start sooner, but life happens, so I am planning to start on Monday.

In the meantime, Liam is loving his free trial of Reading Eggs, and we will be starting a LEGO themed interactive alphabet journal tomorrow!

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Just the basics…

Today we just focused on basic skills, reading and math, for the main portion of our active learning time. Kendra is all of a sudden making huge progress with her reading, so we are doing a lot of Step 2 readers and phonics worksheets to teach her about long vowel blends so she isn’t getting stuck on the words she is seeing. I really can’t speak highly enough of this Long Vowel Bundle by Tweet Resources on TeachersPayTeachers. I first discovered it as a freebie of just “ee”, and Kendra really enjoyed it, so I was very happy to discover that a full bundle with all vowel blends existed. She is a very hands-on learner, and these worksheets give her that, while still being fun, and challenging her! You will see in the pictures below that her new “friend” Margaret is helping her with her worksheets.

Math today was a chapter from Life of Fred, where she is learning the difference between ordinal and cardinal numbers. She also reviewed sets. A set of two is her eyes. A set of zero is the amount of American Girl doll clothes she has for her Target knock-off doll, Margaret! 😉 After that, she did a practice worksheet from Math Mammoth, trying to reinforce the basics and learn her fact families.

After all of that, she started working on a felt change purse I got for her the other day. She already knew the running stitch, but today she actually got to work with a real needle instead of plastic, and can now thread the needle using a threader and embroidery thread! I love that she is a “maker”! More pics when it is done! Later today is her piano lesson.

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Minecraft Monday and Cells

This week’s Magic School Bus Minecraft lesson was on cells. There are all sorts of fun art projects to go along with cells, so I thought about the materials we had available, and decided to use a paper plate to make a cell model! Kendra and I stole a bunch of little pieces of things from her father’s craft stash, and she went to town! She especially had fun using a mini pom-pom as a lysosome, which is sort of the cleaner-upper in each cell. We also continued her rainforest study, and worked on a diagram of the water cycle in her Rainforest journal. This afternoon’s Carmen Sandiego Minecraft class studied the wild west and the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, stallions, gold mining in Nevada, a big red ferris wheel in Austria, and the Orient Express.

Liam is continuing to enjoy working with ABCMouse!

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Rainforests and Elections

Since Tuesday was election day, we did a fun project where I set up a form on Google and let the kids pick a category they were curious about, and asked my Facebook friends to “vote”. They chose coins, since Kendra is learning about money. We left the poll open until this morning, when I had Kendra count the results. For your interest, these are the results.

Penny – 3
Nickel – 0
Dime – 4
Quarter – 11
Half-Dollar – 7
Susan B. Anthony – 6
Gold Sacagawea Dollar – 15

For science today, we started a new, year-long curriculum on the rainforest. The introductory lesson discussed the layers of the rainforest, the water cycle, and a few animals that live in the rainforest. Vocabulary words for this lesson are predator, and producer. I am thinking of having her start a journal for this curriculum, including vocabulary words and pictures of what she sees in the lessons.

Math was two chapters of Life of Fred. We learned how the baker’s dozen came to be, and she worked on numbers that add up to 7. Phonics was more work on the “EA” vowel pair, and her reading today was a BOB book focusing on “ai” and “ly”.

We’ll probably do more later but the kids are playing Legos right now.

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Floppy Mop

Kendra just read this to me almost entirely by herself!

Mop was a big dog.
Mop was a floppy dog.
Mop was Tom’s pal.

“Come, Mop,” said Tom.
Tom sat on Mop.
Jack was a cat.
Zack was a rat.

Zack ran. Jack ran after Zack.
Mop ran after Jack and Zack.

“Stop, Mop,” begged Tom.
Mop stopped.
Mop and Tom sat.

Tom and Mop had a nap.
The End.

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