Memorable Moments: Week 2, Backyard Habitats

Good job, princess!

We are now finished with our second week of official unofficial school!  The kids are still excited- Princess K anticipates the moment each day that we “play school.”  Each student has a treasure chest incentive chart and they receive stickers for certain achievements in each subject.  On their 8th day of school, they both had filled in their chart and got to choose a prize from the prize box!  We are still just focusing on the basics: phonics, math, literature, and Bible with some science and geography sprinkled in.  During their free time, they did a little art (K loves to draw!) and we went outside several times.  But we are still taking it slow so that I can figure out the right rhythm for our family as we add schooling to our family of six (and that sixth is still pretty new to the schedule).  Also, my toddler is getting those 2nd year molars and so he is needing quite a bit of extra comfort and attention this week.  We’ve done quite a bit of snuggling and reading books together.  Schedule wise, we’ve continued to mostly (with the exception of one day) read in the morning and do our calendar time, math, and phonics during Z-urchin’s nap.  So far, it is working very well.

Reading to my baby boys

What we did this week:

Bible- We read the account of Noah this week.  They have now memorized Romans 3:23, so we’ll have a new verse next week!  Still haven’t found the flannel board, but I haven’t really looked.  I should go out to that garage and just find it.  Maybe this weekend.

Literature- We read Snow White translated by Paul Heins (this one had very engaging illustrations), Little Red Riding Hood illustrated by Christopher Bing, Cinderella from the Treasury of Children’s Literature, Roxaboxen  by Alice McLerran.  We really enjoyed all of these stories and the illustrations were beautiful in each one.  There was something special for me about Roxaboxen- it brought back memories of my childhood when we would pretend that certain rocks at the edge of the creek were our houses and we would blaze trails through the tangled woods on scouting missions.

Made a castle in the sand

Calendar Time- On Tuesday, my children were outside playing early in the morning, about 8:15.  Suddenly, K dashes in and starts shrieking, “Mommy! It’s cloudy! It’s cloudy! For our school time!  Sticker on cloudy! Let’s do school!”  I shrugged,  “Sure, why not? Sounds good.”  So we got to add one solitary sticker to the cloudy bar that day (and really, it was quite sunny later on, but whatever- I’m impressed that she looked up and noticed!  Awesome!).  They are getting closer on memorizing our address and we are singing a fun song that I made up regarding the things we do on the days of the week.

History/Geography- This week, we had fun putting together a floor puzzle of the world map.  We also read about oceans in Kingfisher’s First Picture Atlas.  We went to the beach and a creek this week, so I had them draw a picture of their favorite water location and then describe to me the differences they noticed between the water at the beach and the water in the creek.  The difference they noticed: the waves in the ocean.

Science- We read the book Backyard Habitats by Kelley Macaulay and Bobbie Kalman.  We went to our backyard and looked for living and nonliving things.  We went on a walk at an Open Space Preserve and looked for living and nonliving things.

A nonliving rock

Nonliving rocks

Grapefruit from the branches that hang over our fence from the neighbor’s tree: living.

Flower from the bush in the back: living.

Phonics- X is getting better at sounding out simple CVC words and even some words with

I said the short vowel sound and they (X with a ‘short arm’) pointed to the vowel.

final consonant blends.  One of his favorite words is “jump,” because he calls his favorite video game (Super Mario Brothers for the Wii) “Mario Jump.”  So today, I added the word “Mario” to his word flashcards and when I helped him sound it out, the slow grin that spread across his face made my day.  K is getting much better at the alphabet sounds.  We have Zoo-phonics flashcards and we are going over the alphabet sounds and body movements that go along with each sound.  She is having fun with that!

Introduction to the abacus.

Math- The kids really enjoyed learning the nursery rhyme: “One, Two, Buckle my Shoe.”  Today I introduced the abacus to them and so far, they are enjoying math.  We did a fun coloring project with math this week: I gave them a piece of yellow construction paper on which I had written the “Yellow is the Sun” rhyme (RightStart Math).  I had them draw five of the same item with one color and one in a different color, and then place five of the same sticker and then one of another sticker on this page.  I am hoping that this will help them visualize six as five plus one.

So, we’ve had another pretty good week.  Now, I must go put a hold on some books from the library for next week!

She’s choosing her prize

He chose stickers as his prize

Fun art project: drawing with chalk

She drew a chalk mommy (with really big ears)

Loving the outdoors

At the playground

And here’s Shortstop- just hanging out while we do school

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