Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Postcard from Where You Live

I am writing today to ask for your help.  Will you send my daughter, a postcard from where you live?  Pretty please, with a cherry on top?? 
THE GOAL
We have a goal is to receive a postcard from each of the 50 states.  There is nothing more fun for my little girl than to receive mail.  My little girl will be over the moon about receiving a postcard and will make learning about that particular state so much fun and real.  If you could write a fact or two on the postcard about your state we would love that, too! 
This idea has been in my head for a few years.  A friend of mine, a fellow December mom asked me to send her daughters a postcard for a project that they were doing for a class project.  It just looked like a lot of fun and seemed like something that we would enjoy doing. 
So if you think you can help us out, please email me at darrylin@comcast.net and I will send you my address.  I don’t want to put our address up for the whole world to see. 
I look forward to sharing our postcards with you as we go on our journey of traveling the 50 states. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Progress and Frustrations

How do I measure our progress and whether it was a good homeschool day or not?  I am still trying to figure that out.    I see how much my girl is learning and I am excited.  I see her progress even when I am not sure that she sees it. Today, we took out the flash cards that she has made in her reading time and counted up the words that she now knows.  These were just the sight words and not the family words that she also knows.  She is up to 15 words.  We cheered and were excited about it.  Today we also did not take out our math workbook.  We took out her favorite “Inchimals”.  We worked on addition.  Then we worked on adding the number 1 to the other numbers or animals,  She loves this and it was showing me how much she knows even though she did not need a pencil in her hand. 
We took breaks and silly breaks in between and it seemed to help.  This is much better than going into one right after another.  She even took a snack break.  She is very into apples these days.  She is on a mission to find her favorite one.  Currently golden delicious is winning as her favorite. 
Writing has also been the struggle part of the day for us.  She has that mindset that she needs to do it perfect the first time.  Even though I have yet to meet that person who does everything perfect that first time.  She also has that mindset that her way is the right way.  I thought today, that we would not do any writing except for our handwriting without tears lesson.  I thought if we did not do it in other areas that it would mean that this area would be easier.  It did not turn out that way.  Maybe, I need to put writing in the beginning on the school day, so she is fresh?

Maybe, what is done at the beginning changes due to what we are struggling with?  I don’t know how to make writing fun for her.  Right, now even though most of the areas of school were a success, writing portion of the day was just a bust.  There was frustration on both our parts today.  I don’t feel good about it.  So what and how do I change so that she succeeds in this area? 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Check In

My girl is in full swing of kindergarten. I can’t believe that we are already mid-September and we started Kinder the beginning of August.  We seem to have gotten into our groove.  All the worries that I had before of not being able to teach her have went out the window.  There are rough days and days that I wonder if I am doing things right.  I think that is normal and I think that every parent and homeschool teacher has those same thoughts from time to time. 
We had to make a few adjustments.  The first was when we did Math.  I was saving it to later in our day.  This did not work.  I was getting comments like “My head hurts when I do math”.  I did not want her to have a bad feeling with math so early on. I actually really, really enjoyed math while I was in school.  So I made a change and we are doing math first thing in our day.  This one change has made all the difference.  Right now, the main struggle she has is actually little to do with math and more to do with writing.  Writing has never been a strong suit and she continues to make progress there. 
Reading is going well.  We are enjoying Ready2Read by Annie Moffatt.  I think that she does a good job blending sight words and phonics in a way that my girl who is right brain gets it.  Annie Moffatt has many, many hands on activities that do well with my very hands on little girl.  I never knew that you could be hands on with reading.  She gets to make her own little books for the different family words and then read them.  So good for growing the confidence of young readers.  Saturday, my girl read her first book from the library!  Such a proud moment! 
Science is her favorite subject.  She gets to be her investigative self.  She looks forward to this part of the week.  She losses all her inhibitions and doesn’t worry about always having to be right.  I love this.  So far we have cleaned a penny with lemon juice and mixed primary colors.  Of course, she did not need her safety goggles but she wore them anyway. 
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Spanish and Social studies are still trying to find a home in our day.  We are doing Spanish but not as regularly as I would like.  Social studies is still in need of some work. 
My Father’s World is working okay. At times I think that it is not as much as I would like.  I am still working with it to see how we can make it successful. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Colored Noodles

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I get the Family Fun magazine and found an activity that I thought I could use being a homeschooling momma.  It was Pretty Pasta.  Here is the recipe.  I thought it would be fun to decorate all those words we are working so hard to learn.  And anything else she chooses to decorate with them. 
Materials Needed
  • Dried Pasta
  • 2 teaspoons of Vinegar
  • 10-12 drops of food coloring
  • Ziploc plastic baggy
  • paper towels and cookie sheet
Instructions
  • For each color you make add 10-12 drops of food coloring to the baggy and 2 teaspoons of vinegar.  I could not find regular old fashion food coloring.  But the different colors of gel food coloring worked just fine. 
  • Add half cup of dried pasta to baggy.  I used elbow macaroni and one other that I can’t remember what it is called.  But long tube noodles.  Close the Ziploc and shake and have a dance party in your kitchen.  My girl loved this part.  She did not like the smell of vinegar but she loved the shaking.  Rest and shake off and on for about 5 minutes. 
  • Spoon or pour the pasta onto the paper towels that are lined on a cookie sheet.  Spread them out so they are one layer.  Let them dry.  You can turn them over once (but I forgot and they turned out just fine). 
I am looking forward to seeing all the fun we will have with all our colors.  We did red, green, blue, purple, orange and pink.  We did not do yellow as the pasta was already yellow.  My girl is very excited to use the noodles.  I see us doing a project tomorrow with them.  I guess I will need to go and make one up.  I will let you know how it goes. 

Explora Museum

We only stayed in Albuquerque a short time before we were to head further north.  We decided that we wanted to try out the Explora! museum.  We went for my girl’s 3rd birthday and we wanted to see how she had changed and grown up.  I remember that we had to explain a lot to her and help her do things at the museum.  This time she jumped in with both feet and had a grand ol’ time.  My boy had a little fun too.  It was a great family day. 
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My boy could of stayed at this exhibit forever.  It was running water.  The goal was for older kids to see how they could change the flow of water.  He was having a blast splashing. 
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He also enjoyed catching the balls as they flowed by.  He got pretty good at it.
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Fun with air.  My girl made the “helicopters” to play with air. 
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Everyone needs to put their face in the air a time or two, right?
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Her favorite color ball, Yellow!
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My boy in the toddler room.  He had fun chasing a ball all over. 
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This is a huge elevator!  It had these chairs and even a couch in their.  It was comfy!
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Taking time out for a stroll. 
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Playing with sound.  So much fun. 
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I think she was in heaven!  She loves bubbles and how can you beat these huge bubbles?
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Grammie time. Grammie wanted to solve the puzzle.  My girl had other plans. 
She was going to make a cake.Guess who won??
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My girl.  How can she be a kindergartener already??