Tuesday, May 9, 2017

We're Back!

Hello! It's been a while. Ok-a LONG while! We have been super busy.We had a lot going on this past year. We started 2nd grade last July, and we are STILL in 2nd grade! Lol! We have just had lots of breaks this year.

In August, my Mother in Law passed away suddenly. We got a call on Sunday that said "Be in TX tomorrow, and bring nice clothes."  So, we went to TX and attended the funeral. When we got back, we were thrown off track, and took a while to regain our focus. Once the Holidays came around, we were basically useless with schoolwork, so we took another break. In January, we decided to move to TX, so AGAIN-no school was getting done. We were packing and getting ready for our move. We moved in Feb, but we lived with family for 2 months while we waited to close on our house. Again-not much school happening. We have been in our new home for 3 weeks now, and we have really just now picked back up with our school work! So, we are still working on 2nd grade, technically. We've worked on reading and math during the chaos, but that's about it. The beauty of homeschooling, though, is that none of this really matters! We just plug along at our own pace.  Right now, the focus is on finding some awesome activities and/or groups to jump into, and to make some new friends. We are exploring our new city, and getting to know our surroundings.

We did find an awesome co-op to get Lily into, and she is loving that so far. She takes archery lessons and does a co-op class. Now, we are getting into a groove with our schedule and slowly getting a school routine going. We are starting back with FIAR for now and using Singapore math and a full language arts program from WinterPromise. We will be using WinterPromise Animals and their Worlds for our full curriculum in a couple of months. We just need to ease back into schooling for now.

So, hello again! We are back. Our next row is going to be The Story of Ping. Lots of fun ahead with that one! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Five in a Row-Storm in the Night

What a great first week of second grade! We have tried to row Storm in the night before, but something always got in the way. We had lots of thunderstorms in the forecast this week, so this seemed like a good time to try again.

Storm in the Night is about a boy and his grandfather. The power goes out during a thunderstorm, and the grandfather tells the boy a story from his childhood. It is very sweet. 

We kicked off our week (and our year) with a yummy cloud snack!

We Googled "cloud viewer", and found an image to print. We went outside every day, looked at the clouds and determined what types of clouds were in the sky. Some days, there were more than one type!

We watched the weather report every day, and at the end of the week, Lily gave her own weather report.

We made a rain gauge and placed it outside. We got lots of storms this week, so we had a chance to see it in action.

We made an anemometer to help us see how fast the wind blows. The faster the cups are spinning, the faster the wind is blowing. We placed it outside near the rain gauge. We had our own mini weather center going on!

We watched several movies this week to help us learn about weather. We watched Rachel and the Treeschoolers-Rainy Day, The Magic School Bus-Wet All Over, Rock N Learn-Earth Science, and The Magic School Bus-Kicks Up a Storm.

We made a water cycle bracelet. Just take a pipe cleaner, and put some beads on in the order of the weather cycle: Yellow-Sun, Clear-Evaporation, White-Condensation/Clouds, Blue-Rain, Green-Groundwater/Collection.

We made a water cycle mobile. I just checked Pinterest for this, and there are a couple of pins that have the pictures of them. 

 We did an experiment. The sponge represents the cloud. Lily put water into the cloud. She saw that clouds hold a lot of water, and when they get too full, it rains.

For math, we talked about patterns, and made some different patterns using the Geoboard.

We talked about "comfort food", and then we made the recipe in the cookbook-Baked Mac N Cheese.

The book didn't specify a location.  Lily decided to place our story disk on Northern TX after we discussed "Tornado Alley", and how some areas of the country get more storms than others.

We did another cloud/rain experiment. This worked the same way as the sponge experiment, but was a little more visual in nature.

The illustrations in Storm in the Night were done in acrylics. Lily painted a picture using acrylic paints for art this week.

Our final science experiment was a convection current activity. The ice cubes push the cold "air" down, and the warm "air" is forced up. This causes the instability in the atmosphere that produces thunderstorms.

We talked about onomatopoeia, and did a couple of activities with it. This is an onomatopoeia mobile. I found the idea for this activity at: http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2013/09/storm-in-night.html

We discussed the five senses. In the book, the power was out, so the little boy noticed that he could hear and smell much better when he could see. We decided to play "Pin the Tail on the Unicorn", since Lily needed to be blindfolded to play. :)

We completed the Fold N Learn from FIAR. If you want to get awesome Fold N Learns to go with a lot of the books, just go to http://fiveinarow.com/, and subscribe to their blog. You will get a link to them. They are great!  

We also did the parts of the manual that were conversational. We discussed fears, aging, relationships, personification, sources of light and more. It was a great week! Looking forward to The Finest Horse in Town next week. See you soon!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Break and 2016/2017 Curriculum Choice

We did it! We finished first grade! It was a good year, but we were struggling by the end. Lily does NOT like busy-work. No worksheets, no writing sentences, just to write them. Nothing like that. We ended up doubling up on the work so we could finish early. She did great! Phonics is complete. Lily is doing really well with her reading.

I was all set on starting MFW Adventures with Lily this year, but I am putting it back for a year. We are going back to FIAR for second grade. Lily really started having some rough days at the end of first, and I want her to love her learning. Now that she really knows how to read, we can go back to our relaxed style of learning. It's what she likes, and how she learns best. I don't have any extra homeschool kids this year for daycare, so I can take more time to plan and implement lessons for Lily.

So, we will be starting FIAR soon, but for now, Lily is having a Summer break. A real one. One with swimming in the pool, building forts and picking strawberries, and going to festivals, carnivals and amusement parks. 

A Summer of sleeping in every day, and deciding her agenda for the day. Some days, she wants to watch her favorite shows and stay on the computer. Some days, she wants to draw and paint all day, some days, she wants to go outside and play. It is up to her. We don't do Summer enrichment activities, or activities to beat the "Summer Slide."  We learn every day, in everything we do. We don't need a special activity or workbook to help us along. Our learning is meaningful and relevant, so it isn't easily forgotten. And, really, isn't that the point?