Growing Every Day

Posts tagged ‘geography’

Always Learning

So, Builder and I had real troubles this morning pushing through today’s math lesson. We both ended up in tears, frustration, and a blubbering mess. I leave the lesson frustrated. He is upset because he has upset me, and yet he still doesn’t want to have done the lesson. 
 
Then, we each go about our own business, calming down and taking a break from each other. He eventually starts playing with Princess in the living room. As I am going around emptying the trash, I head into Builder’s room and find this spread out on his bed.
file-dec-20-11-52-07-am
He had come across the section of continents in his new encyclopedia, got out his geography game, found the correct corresponding continent and was matching the playing cards to the correct country on the board.  He was then finding that country in his encyclopedia. Wow. Can we say, “school”.
 
This homeschooling journey never ceases to humble me. Learning is a much more natural occurrence than we give it credit for. We feel it must be scheduled, and sequenced, confined…And sometimes, yes, but more often than not, this is what happens. Learning happens.  Evidently it was a geography day, not a math day.
 
Sadly, I again realize that too many times it is not my desire for Builder and Princess to know more that pushes me to push when it is the wrong timing.  It is my own insecurities and fears.
Lord, thank you that this journey is ours with You, not apart from You.  I thank you that what you have to place in Builder and Princess is too precious for me to stand in the way.  I thank you that their learning is in Your more than capable hands.  Thank you for the reminders of when I am hindering instead of helping.  Please, Lord, continue to show us how to proceed, when to turn left or right, and when to keep on heading straight.  I am thankful you have already written our path, and we will follow you to the best of our ability.
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Freezing Fun

Thanksgiving was a wonderful time of family and fun.  We took a break from “formal” activities and focused more on preparing to be with family.

A few days before Thanksgiving, we had a bout of cold weather.  Since seasons are a hot topic with us right now, I thought it would be fun to add to our weather knowledge.  So, we did a science experiment.

Icicles

One morning I checked the outside temperature and it read 31 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mason loves to check the temperature outside so he knew this was on the cold side.  I then asked the baiting question…

Do you know what happens to water below 32 degrees Fahrenheit?

This, as planned, sparked his curiosity.  I put roughly an inch of water in a plastic bowl and set it outside on our porch.  I told Mason that water turns to ice when the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  (In hindsight I would have let him discover this on his own rather than telling him.)  His eyes grew wide and a huge smile crossed his face.  He wanted me to put the bowl where he could see it and keep an eye on it.  After two hours I brought the bowl inside and the top had frozen, but there was still liquid underneath.  He thought that was neat.  We put it outside for another hour and brought it in to observe it once again.  This time all of the water was frozen.

This brought on more curiosities, and he asked if he could take it out.  He spent a good deal of time feeling it, turning it over, and yes, even licking it!  We talked about why it was beginning to melt since we brought it inside and he was touching it.  He decided he wanted to wrap it in some towels to see what would happen.  Once we did, it took a longer time to melt since it was now insulated.

All in all, this was a great teachable science moment

– both for seasonal changes and for a liquid turning to a solid.  I had such fun watching him observe and experiment and investigate.  He was soaking up knowledge and I was soaking in the moment.  (of course I was so into this, I didn’t even think to take pictures)

Here are a few activities we did over the last two weeks…

Week-in-Review

Handwriting:

Assess Writing Uppercase Letters

  • I was curious to know where Mason was in free writing his uppercase letters A-Z.  I knew he was improving on tracing dashed letters, but I wanted to know if he could produce them correctly without the aid of tracing.  To assess this, I had him write the letters on a chalkboard as I named them.  I was looking for if he knew how to form the letters as opposed to neatness, so the chalkboard and large chalk did just fine for us.  > He did great. =)

Reading:

Sight Word Sundaes

  • This is a cute printable that gives another fun way to practice sight words.  This week, Madison (2 yrs) would build the sundae and Mason would read the words as we put the pieces away.

Word Sundae pic

(click here for Sight Word Sundae download)

Geography:

Identify Oklahoma

  • I found a very nice printable map of the United States at mrprintables.com (click here).  I had been looking for a map that I could print on cardstock to keep around as a reference, and/or cut apart as a puzzle – though we haven’t gotten to that stage yet.
  • I wanted to assess if Mason could recognize the state of Oklahoma (our home state).  He did and was also able to identify two other states.  A+ for that assessment!

map image

Science:

Season Recognition

  • We did the water experiment as described above.
  • We also found an activity that consisted of 12 pictures representing all four seasons and Mason had to sort the pictures into the correct season.  (I would give recognition of where I found this activity, but I cannot remember where I found it!)

Season sorting

Icicle image courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Eyes to See

This is the first week using our New Approach of recording lessons as or after they happen.

I have to tell you, I was amazed.

In the previous method of making a list of activities to accomplish through the week, my focus (without succumbing to pressure) was to watch and see which of those specific lessons we completed.  This week, however, my eyes were opened to the amount of learning that truly takes place everyday, naturally.  The challenge this week was deciding what learning experiences to record!  Rather than having my attention concentrated on a pre-made list, I was able to see that when Mason decided to play with the circle math addition facts of 10 for fifteen minutes – it was a math lesson.  When we discussed the difference between cannon and canyon, discussing spelling, and looking up pictures on the internet – this was a science/language arts/history lesson.  I could list numerous other experiences throughout the week.

Don’t get me wrong,

I still have a pathway of advancement that will challenge and move the kiddos forward.  I even found that I personally want to keep a list for each child as to what is the next step in their learning.  For right now, I know the plans I have for them.  I know the next things I want to work on in reading and math.  The freedom is, as I create it or find it, then they can do it.  They are two and four years of age…I’m in no rush!

Week-in-Review

Math:  

Addition facts of 10, by The Learning Leaf

  • Mason rediscovered the two colored counters, with which we made addition cards.  He spent quite a bit of time not only placing the counters but really focusing in on the addition problems at the bottom.  Since the cards are laminated, I gave him a dry erase marker and he wrote in the answer on each, only to find out they all equal 10!  This will launch further exploration and experiences with the very important addition facts of 10.

addition cards copy

(click the pic to download these cards)

Exploring Doubles

  • After working with the addition facts, we took the counters and made two lines for a number.  For example – 4 is two lines of two,  6 is two lines of three counters.  Then it turned into questions such as, “What is two lines of 4?”  This was a lot of fun to watch him explore the concept of doubles.

Reading:  

Story Sequencing

  • While cleaning out the garage this weekend, my husband found a set of Blue’s Clues story sequencing cards.  Mason was very interested in these and spent the next 15 – 20 minutes working on them.  Four cards created a simple story, and he had to place them in the correct order.

Reading Practice

  • We also made a trip to the library this week, and came home with a set of fifteen Hooked on Phonics books in which each book focuses in on a specific vowel sound, as well as incorporating word families and sight words.  Throughout the week he read books #1-8.

Handwriting:  

Writing Practice

  • I pulled out our pile of activity/workbooks and Mason decided he wanted to work in one.  He did many mazes and other small puzzles, which are always good for practicing fine motor skills.  On a couple of pages, there were words to unscramble.  On those pages, I told him what letter to write next, so he was able to practice writing alphabet letters.

Coloring by Number

  • There were also two pages of color by number which is wonderful because he read the colors himself.  So really this doubled as Reading practice because of the sight words he was using.

Calendar Activity

  • Mason traced numbers on an August calendar up to the current day.  He also completed a shape tracing sheet that came with the calendar pack from RoyalBaloo.com (search for calendar)

August calendar

Geography:

Color and Name States

  • A US map was included with the calendar pack from RoyalBaloo.com (search for calendar).  Mason colored in and we named each state.  We will revisit this in the future to learn facts about these states.

colored map

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