Thursday, November 14, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up, Week Fourteen ~ Some About Math

Math is continuing to improve for both children. Caiden is getting faster and more focused with his daily lessons, which means school is much less frustrating for him. Hailey is working on memorizing the multiplication tables by filling out a table daily. They are both working on learning to count by 3s and 4s right now, and we will move on to 6, 7, and 8 later. They already know how to count by the easy ones, 2, 5 and 10. They don't know how much this will help their multiplication and division!

Daily Math

The children have both finished up their daily math books, which means it is time for me to make some more. These books have the same pages which they fill in every day, practicing important concepts with different numbers. I pick what they are needing to work on currently, and incorporate it into the book.

Caiden's had a place to write a daily number, and most of the work was done with that. He has been writing the number in words, in numerals, in expanded form, and separating it out into expanded form.  He also adds and subtracts 1, 10, and 100 from the number. There is a section for writing the date, the day of the week, his name, and also a place to record temperature and time. He did this all every day.

Hailey's book was a little different. She still had a daily number, but she wrote hers in Roman numerals, and did some different equations with it, including multiplying and dividing by 2, and multiplying by 10 and 100.  She also recorded the temperature and time, and had a place for creating a word problem and drawing a picture for it.


The second thing the children do for math every day is drills. Hailey is working on memorizing the times tables. Her favorite way to do this is to fill out a table as far as she knows every day. Silly girl! But she is getting better and better!

Caiden is working on memorizing addition facts. Although he is good with addition, and pretty fast, I still have him working on it. I am gradually introducing the 'tricks' for some of the numbers, and this week he has been learning to quickly add nines.

Life of Fred

Both of the children are working their way through the elementary books in the Life of Fred series. There are 10 books in the main set with 3 additional books available for more learning before middle school. I have divided the books up, so that they will read a chapter or two a week, and then have activities corresponding to it on the other days. In that way I am using the books as a sort of spine.... it is the guide, but it isn't the only thing that we do.

On the off days, I use pages or kits from one of the many activity and workbooks I have bought from Scholastic over the last few years. I frequent their "one dollar day" sales, and love the fact that e-books are so simple to use with a printer. Hailey especially enjoys just using workbooks, and I have 3 or 4 that I use regularly for practice. Abby seems to be following in her footsteps and often asks to 'do math!' in her workbook.

In this way we have at least 3 different math things that we do each day. This helps us keep our lessons short, while still getting in lots of practice. The children seem to really enjoy having shorter lessons with more variety, and I am reassured that they are learning a lot of different concepts.

I still haven't figured out how to post the children's videos on here yet. They won't transfer into a new file format.... I really wish I could get them uploaded so if anyone has any advice I would appreciate it!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up, Week Thirteen (a bit about geography)

Oops! I just realized this never posted! Better late then never, I suppose?  

 The children have finished up their first term of school this year, which means....

Exam time! 

The kiddos love their exams, and it is just a fun chance to show off what they have learned. Because I have been recording their exams on videos, I decided to just post them on here. I have to edit them, and put the clips together, because I am slightly fanatic about things like that. But It is so fun to have the finished product, with their hard work displayed!   And usually lots of silliness, too. I have gotten Hailey's video nearly done and will post it this week sometime.


Today I want to talk about geography. The children have various geography books they use, as well as learning about the world through teaching lessons, most of which happen outside. However, I really wanted to kiddos to have more factual knowledge of the world, specifically, where these places are that they keep hearing about in their books.

I was wondering how to make the map and locations more real to them. I started chatting about mapwork, a very Charlotte Mason idea which I wasn't really confident on how to implement, on the Ambleside Online forum. I decided to steal an idea from one of the helpful ladies there, and so far it has been working better then I ever imagined.

Basically, every so often the children draw a new map from scratch. This is a huge change from what I was doing before, when I had them add things to an outline map I printed for them. They weren't really remembering much about their mapwork using outline maps, so I switched to having them draw them for themselves. Hailey's first map was a little difficult, as she was certain she wasn't able to do it. Since then, they have just gotten better and better. She has drawn 3 or 4 maps, starting with Italy and the Mediterranean.

Drawing the area around the Mediterranean Sea, from her book of Marco Polo.

And more...

In other news, Hailey has finished up learning about the Tudor era. She was fascinated with all of the various characters, and really connected with this period.  The Tudor family is such a cast of conflicting, ambitious, tragic, and selfish characters. They all seem like something more out of a television show then real life! Her favorite of the Tudors was Queen Elizabeth, so I am glad that our biography of her will continue on through the rest of the term. She wasn't ready to be done with them!

Caiden has taken up a new hobby of his own accord. He is collecting, categorizing, and identifying rocks. He has several that he is searching for, among them sulfur, and any crystals he can find. He has happily found a few small geodes, and they are among his treasures. He spends a lot of time outside, with a small hammer and bucket, and his rock books, searching for different specimens. His new must-have item is a rock pick!

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