Sunday, September 1, 2013

Two Weeks Down

Two weeks of school are down. I have to admit I am pleasantly surprised at how smooth it has been going. Usually our first few weeks are hard for us all to get back in the swing of things. Maybe the new plan of attack is working better this year. We start the school morning with a fun breakfast doodle placemat or we have a fun thinking activity to start the day. Next we work on History and Science as these are the two classes I teach them together. I then give Nico his list of assignments for the day. He takes his list and sets to work on some of them by himself while I work with Luca. We take a 30 minute break for lunch then regroup. I work with Nico on his assignments he needs help with and then finish up with Luca. It seems to work as we having been starting around 8:30am and finishing up most days around 1pm. (give or take an hour).
Here's a little bit of what we have been up to. We had to move school into the kitchen this week due to the heat wave we suddenly got. It had been a very mild summer. We finally hit 100 degrees this week. The school house was just a bit too hot for any of us to be comfortable to learn.
Nico is in 7th grade (give or take a grade) You know how it is with homeschooling. He was not thrilled to get his picture taken on the first day of school.

Luca is in 1st grade. He is starting to have more fun and get the hang of what school is about this year. He is still a lot harder than Nico ever was. His learning style is quite different and we are still trying to figure out what works best. It seems workbooks and computer work are his favorite.

We are using Shurley English 1st grade this year. Luca really seems to like the interaction with it. The first 5 weeks are grouping and learning how to look at things. This is a change from when Nico was in 1st. I used First Language Lessons with him. I knew it wouldn't work for Luca as it is based on reciting and answering back questions. Luca  has to be moving.

We are really enjoying WinterPromise Adventures in the Sea and Sky for World History and Science. Here the boys are working on adding people to the Egyptian reed boat. By the end of it Luca had a guy ziplining and Nico had a guy jumping off the top mast.

This is one of the experiments I found while using Discovery Education Streaming. Homeschool Buyer Co-op had a free month with the option to purchase a year subscription. I love it! We watched the video on ocean currents and then conducted the experiment with different colored ice cubes in hot water to see the convection currents.

I bought Sing Song Spanish last year and we got through 3 chapters. (Although we were meeting weekly with a group so I didn't push it too much). This year we are going to get through the book. I bought Rosetta Stone for Nico to move onto after the book. We have fun singing and using the puppets to learn our words. It gives a little break from doing a lot of writing.

This week we made sails and the boys practiced furling and unfurling their sail. The history study is history but as seen through the ocean and sailing aspect of history. For Nico it puts a new light on World History. It is stuff he has learned before but from a different angle. For Luca it is all new. I am liking all the hands on activities. As long as I can stay ahead of the game we will be good. We are moving into Pirates soon and there is going to be a lot of fun there!

Nico hard at work. He is very meticulous in his work. It has to be just right.

Luca demonstrating

Luca enjoying his math. McRuffy 1st Grade Math is what I am using with him.

I was working with Nico on US History while Luca watched a video on Discovery Education on Octopus (for science and ocean). He then had to draw a picture of an octopus and tell me about what he watched. He froze the screen when he saw one he wanted to draw.

 A trip to Big Joel's Safari was our first field trip of the school year. Joel walked us through his family farm and talked about the animals he had. The kids got a chance to feed them and really see them up close.

Nico was full of giggles from the camels fuzzy lips.

So, here's hoping our weeks keep continuing on a positive path. We have a back to school picnic, ice skating, and a week break all coming up in September.

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