Tag Archives: curriculum

math games book came in!

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i can’t believe how fast it came in! i’m really excited about going in there and figuring out what games i need to be playing with maeve so that we can get past the counting issue.

i’m even thinking that on the days where we are just not able to get to a lesson, that we can still “do math” with just the games alone. and that might just work out just fine, actually. give her some more practice, in a fun way.  she loves games!

oh and i forgot to mention it comes with a dvd! i have to go check it out! i forgot to watch it today!

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goals for the year

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i don’t have this fully figured out yet…but i thought i’d start putting down what i do already know.

FOR MATH–my goal is to have the entire rightstart math level B book done by the end of december. this is because i found out late in the game that level A is considered (loosely) kindergarten level and so level B is (again, loosely) 1st grade. so i want to be starting level C in january…i feel like that’s more where i’d like her to be.

we didn’t accomplish much of level A last (school) year…because i discovered pretty quick that having a toddler in the house when trying to do focused, one-on-one work, was darn near impossible. i also discovered that level A was just too easy and slow-going for maeven. now i know why, its designed for younger kids! so i did my research (thought i had already, but i missed this one vital piece of info, oh well, no major harm done…) and found out that she could have just started with level B since it covers the same concepts as A, but in a shorter period of time and then moves on to more complicated concepts. so then it was just a matter of finding the money to get the book. finally found the money and decided to start it for this school year, which i’m considering (loosely) 2nd grade.

**remember, when homeschooling, the grades don’t necessarily mean anything…unless you are following the public school model, which i am definitely NOT, since i have a LOT of problems with it. i only use the grades to refer to approximately where we’re at because most people are not homeschoolers and get confused if i don’t use a grade to refer to where she’s at. it really doesn’t mean a whole lot to me saying she’s in “2nd” grade. because she’s not really, because we don’t do the public school model. there are so many concept that i feel they push on younger and younger children that i don’t feel are appropriate for the younger kids (like, i think they push learning to read and write too early…what’s the hurry?)…and i’ll be delaying because of that. and i also think they skip a lot of wonderful things in the early grades (because they are busy pushing concepts that the kids, in my opinion, are really too young to be handling anyway!) like the arts and sciences and world history (in public school, most classes, with the exception of the teachers that go above and beyond, only cover “the 3Rs”–reading, writing, ‘rithmetic–in the early grades.) but i could go on and on about this, so i digress…**

back to math…i sat down and plotted it all out and figured out that if i do 2 lessons a day for the first month, then one lesson a day til the end of december (with some time off for holidays) that we will be done by the end of this year. so far we’re only one lesson behind. so i think we’re doing pretty good! and maeven’s enjoying it too!

FOR HISTORY–i plan to get the SOTW‘s first book, ancient times, done by the end of december as well. this is another thing we got behind on, so i want to catch up by the end of the year. this one is easy to get behind on because of all the wonderful activities and extra readings they recommend in the activity book. so i calculated this one out and i figured out that if i do just 2 lessons a week (and sprinkle in the extra stuff where i can) i can get that book done by the end of this year.

the reason i want to finish SOTW by the end of the year is simply because i want to move on to other time periods. its all very interesting but i just want to keep it moving along, there’s so much to learn about!

for now, that’s all i have figured out for goals for the year as far as where i want to be by the end of december. i will post more goals as i come up with them.

i am debating whether or not i want any goals for tyren. my immediate impulse is no. i was very strong in my beliefs with maeven that i not do any real academics with her until she was about 5 or 6. i really believe in a delay in academics. i’d rather he just play and be a little kid. i feel like imagination should be the focus at his age.

that said, he is a younger sibling, so he is around academics. its not like i’m going to try to shield him from it. but he sees maeven learning and he does watch a fair amount of pbs, where lots of concepts are covered regularly. he already knows his alphabet pretty well and can even point out most of the letters, and can count really well and has known all his colors for quite some time. none of this is because of me. he just picked it up on his own.

so i guess what i’ll probably do is just not worry about it. i am not currently planning on planning anything for tyren…but…if he seems like he really would like something planned…then i’ll figure that out if/when we come to it. i’m not completely against planning something very simple and low-key for him, if i think he might benefit from it, and if it might help our environment be more peaceful (putting him to work instead of trying to distract him all the time).  AND, i’m not against maeven “teaching” him. she is really sweet with him when she’s in the mood.

so basically, we’ll see what happens with tyren…currently i’m not planning on planning anything for him…but we’ll see where the year takes us. 🙂

i’ll write more goals as i think of them. 🙂

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2nd day a success!

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we actually did quite a lot today.

it went pretty well, although for some reason…despite having things to do, the kids continue to bicker like crazy and are driving ME crazy with it! *sigh* now i understand why mom would sometimes knock my brother and my heads together to get us to stop fighting. LOL! (no, i won’t ever do that, but i UNDERSTAND it now!)

ok, so what we accomplished:

we completed one entire math lesson (not really a huge feat, they are short…but considering tyren was interrupting us, that’s something to be proud of, i think.) i still have 2 more to do to catch up for today (since we didn’t get the lessons from yesterday done). i may do it when daddy gets home and can entertain the little guy.

maeven seems to have a handle on the math concepts that i’m working on with her so far, as well she should since they are pretty simple for her age, but it does make me feel good to notice this. i wanted to make sure to cover these easy lessons (i do rush through some of them that are obviously too easy for her) because i want to make sure that she’s got the basics…and also this math program we are using is very different than traditional math, so i don’t want to miss any unique concepts. right start math is what we are using…it is based on montessori math.  Here is an excellent explanation of the program. its what turned me on to it and its uniqueness. its a visual way of doing math and i think its just SOOOO cool! one of the interesting things is that they don’t even introduce subtraction until the children have mastered addition. also it uses an abacus. way cool! not a traditional asian one, though, its one that they created but still cool.

so so far we’ve gotten one lesson of math done today…we also did some science… i’ve decided that we are working on birds right now (i haven’t sorted through exactly what schedule i want to cover what science topics yet, so i thought we’d just start with birds which she’s already very interested in and we’d just go from there) so i got some books from the library on the subject and only one came in so far. here it is:

so i came up with the idea to learn a little about beaks before reading the book so i threw together a game i learned at SCICON, years ago, about bird beak adaptations. (crazy that i was able to just pull that out of my head! was a very proud moment!)

so i pulled out some beaks:

tweezers, tongs, chopsticks, popsicle sticks, spoons, tea strainer

and some food for the birds:

many different sizes/shapes of beans, corn flakes, pasta noodles, plastic tile squares

and i had the kids have a fun time practicing being birds and trying out the different beaks with the different foods and see what worked better for what foods, etc.

quite an educational experience, if i do say so myself! 🙂  and they had a blast! both of them!

another thing we did today was we watched this dvd:

(Signing Time Vol 8, The Great Outdoors)

for the 2nd time. (actually we had seen it months ago as well, but just checked it out of the library again last week). yesterday we had watched it and sat and really went through every sign with the kids on the dvd. this time, we sat and wrote down the words each on its own index card (maeven helped me at first, but pooped out fast and was more enjoying just signing). we also took it as a chance to practice the signs. then after the dvd ended, we went in the other room and played a game we made up ourselves (maeven and i together!)

we turned over a card at a time and whoever was able to sign the word first got to keep the card. so we had  a little practice both reading AND signing. tyren even joined in…although he doesn’t know the signs as well, so he ended up being our card turner. and our “good job!” person (telling us good job when we got it right). very cute! 🙂

pretty fun! so i’m planning on continuing on like this…there’s so stinkin many of those signing time dvds and i know we can learn a buttload just from them…plus they are fun to watch and now we have a fun game to play. so i’m going to try to just keep adding to this and see how much we can build our sign language repertoire. i have been wanting to expand this for myself for some time…and the kids seem to love it too. tyren has really been getting a kick out of sign language lately. fun to see. and really helpful if we can teach him some of the words he still slurs. he is an excellent speaker but there are still a good amount of words that it takes us awhile to figure out what he’s saying. sign language will definitely help with this.

another thing we worked on today was a “famine project” that i got out of our history book (SOTW).  we are still working on biblical times in our lessons (not real happy with how the author keeps treating the biblical stories as historical fact, but i am not interested in cutting out these very famous bible stories either…i have no problem with my kids learning about moses and such because it is relevant in a christian society, where most of the people around them base their lives around these stories, including their own relatives. i just wish they didn’t treat the stories as historical fact. so i make sure we discuss this and that maeven understands that some people believe in these stories and some don’t.

anyway, so we had a project about famine…since we just learned about moses and the israelites and such…so we went outside and got some potting soil for our yogurt cups:

then we brought them inside and planted beans in them:

then marked maeven’s “W” for water and tyren’s “F” for famine. we will be watering maeven’s generously on a regular basis, and tyren’s  only a little once a week. in a few weeks we’ll see what they look like. should be interesting.

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ordered spelling curriculum

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so i finally decided upon “sequential spelling” by avko…the side-by-side comparison of traditional spelling vs sequential is what sold me…that and that it was recommended by so many fellow homeschoolers. and its cheap!  $9.95 for each level.  sounds good to me! we’ll give it a try and see how it goes!!

i also ordered all the library books to go with our first 2 lessons of SOTW. and today i started ordering documentaries to go along with them as well…though i still need to search some more.

i also started sorting my materials in my massive binder thingy. i don’t know what to call it! i want to say its a trapper keeper…shows how old i am, throwback to the 80s. but its not that brand of course…do they still exist even? LOL! anyway i started figuring out how i want that thing organized…apparently last year i never did figure it out so i’m starting from scratch there. kinda fun actually…hopefully it will work for me.

so i’ve actually done a fair amount (although not anywhere near what i had wanted to do), despite spending the past 2 days in a row with migraines…today’s was a pretty good one too! that always knocks me offtrack.

i also got a lot plotted out in my planner. i have a teacher’s planner that i bought at GW school supply last year that i still had a lot of pages in, since i got so offtrack last year (school year, not regular year). so i planned out til the end of the book, which takes me through february. and then i went through the math curriculum and calculated out how many lessons we’ll have to do daily (we’ll be doing math 5 days a week to catch up on what we’ve not been doing) to get this entire level done by the end of this year. its totally doable and i even plotted in breaks for the holidays. we only have to do 2 lessons a day for the first month or so. each lesson only takes like 10 or 15min usually. they’re not that hard. at least they weren’t in the last level and it looks like this level is pretty similar in the initial lessons. they even say that you can skip the first 23 lessons if you’ve completed level a. of course we didn’t complete level a so we can’t skip all those, but we can skip some…and double up on others.

anyway so i got the math lessons plotted out to the end of the year and then i got the history lessons plotted out to the end of the year. i also want that level (the SOTW book 1) done by the end of the year because we were really behind on that as well. the thing with that one was cuz we just kept doing so very much of the extra activities…so that one we actually didn’t really get offtrack, per se, but i really want to move on to the next level by next year…so i plotted that out as well.

hopefully i’ll accomplish even more later tonite when we get these hoodlums to sleep. i have a lot of work still to do!

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orders arrived

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our math lesson book (and a couple extra manipulatives that we didn’t yet have from the last kit that i added to the order) came in as well as the story of the world audiobook.

i haven’t had a chance to really look at the book yet, but we’ve been listening to the cd. we already read the equivalent of the first 2 cds (out of 7), i believe…so its just review for us right now…but that’s exactly what i wanted for it for now. i want to be able to have maeven hear the stories in the book over and over so that it will be more likely to stick.

and its read by jim weiss, who is the guy that does her sleepytime cd…what she goes to sleep to every nite. repeatedly. (she frequently wakes in the night and finds that it helps her to go back to sleep to put the cd on again…so she gets up a couple times a night and hits play again. its not uncommon for me to wake in the middle of the night to his voice, LOL).

maeven’s been very interested in listening to the cds! just as i had hoped! there’s a lot of great info in there. the only thing i don’t like about the book is that it treats bible stories as historical fact and everyone else’s mythology are just stories. so i preface the bible stories with an explanation of this. i did when i was reading them aloud and i explained it again today. i told her that the author of the book is christian and so she believes that the stories in the bible literally happened. and that’s ok. i told her that i believe that maybe some of it might have happened but i tend to believe that most of it is mythology like all the other mythology we read. i did tell her that some of the things in the bible have been proven to be true by archaeologists though. but i don’t personally believe that all the “proof” that they’ve found is really true, so i didn’t really go into details of that much. not that i know much about it.

i want maeven to decide for herself what she believes in, though, so i always try to explain that some people believe this and some people believe that. and its all good, as long as it works for them and they’re not hurting anyone with their beliefs. and that its not ok to bash another person’s beliefs.

anyway this all came up because i found it fascinating when we heard the story of sargon…and how he was supposedly found as a baby floating in a basket in the river by a servant of the king and then raised in the king’s palace. thought that was really familiar. and this supposedly happened, i believe, hundreds or maybe thousands (not sure) of years BEFORE moses. so, hmmmm…my guess is that story was created by someone that knew the story of sargon. just a guess. things like that i find really interesting…the parallels in mythology. and yet the bible mythology is seen as fact, where other country’s mythology is fiction? there’s a lot of bible stories that mirror other cultures mythology…and the bible stories came AFTER the other stories. kinda funny, i think.

anyway…so the new stuff is in and we’re still working on gearing up for “school”.

today i also worked some on getting my planning book dated and labeled for another year. i really enjoy this sort of thing, LOL! like when i get a new calendar and get to go through and label all the birthdays and such. so i have enough pages in my planner to make it through most of february. then i’ll need a new one.

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