Monday, April 27, 2015

Lately In Life

Just an update of some of what we've been doing around here.

MATH

Bug finished the addition booklet I printed out for her to use with the addition finger chart. I also gave her the first presentation of commutative addition (modified because it's been a while since I gave it to Miss Priss, couldn't remember exactly the steps I  used last time, and I needed to give it immediately that day) with the printed bead bars. I am in the process of  making her a new version of the addition booklet, to practice identifying the commutative addition equations.

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Miss Priss was working on some pages she tore out of an old workbook we had eons ago, that had been hole-punched and put in her binder. She came to a page that had addition equations involving money and several addends. She was having a difficult time, but has been resistant to using the stamp game - I think it's becoming more time consuming than she feels is necessary. I showed her how it is possible to do the same thing, using dry erase markers on the board. She really seemed to enjoy this, and it actually  made it very easy to slide her over to abstract recording with exchanges (carrying) by doing it this way. 

You can see that we wrote the equation on the left side of the board, used colored dots (to represent the *stamps*) on the right side of the board, and did our exchanging and carrying simultaneously. 


She had a total of six equations, all set around a theme of lunch menu choices - she had to locate certain foods on the  menu and first record how much each cost before being able to work the problem. By the time the sixth came around, she was fairly good at being able to watch the exchanging with the 'marker stamps' and record it as carrying on her paper. I hope that all makes sense. It was really quite neat to see her work that process out in her head and see the light bulb come on.


She also finished her multiplication charts and I pulled out our multiplication board. Here she is working through the board, one equation at a time (starting with 2x2, 2x3, 2x4 etc.) and seeing how many she can correctly recall and place on the board. Really what happened is the first couple of rows came easy, she would check each one with the Pythagoras chart, and she caught the basic skip counting pattern. She finished 4 rows, I think, and it's still sitting, waiting for her to get back to it on Monday. 


At the same time, Bug was working on the hundred board with a little help from the boys. Well, Hoss was helping. Buddy was just kind of there. Half observing, half getting in the way, most likely. Sadly we found that we have a missing #45 chip - got to find that thing. It ruined the work when she couldn't find it. 


I also did a review with the three oldest kids, although mostly in line with what Miss Priss needed, on remembering place values. They had to identify place values in to the millions  on paper, but up on our white board (not pictured) we had actually gotten in to the billions. And for some reason, Miss Priss is consumed with figuring out how much money Alice Walton (the late Sam Walton's daughter) has. That provided for some interesting talks and some intense work on how high a number can get... hahaha ;) 

In this particular work, they had a number in to the millions in each box. They sometimes had to circle the numbers with the correct color for it's place value, sometimes they had to make sure to add the commas in the correct places, or identify what digit was in what place, or the place value name of a given digit, etc. 


LM had been working diligently with the decimal board, and decided to review herself by giving Hoss a lesson. He is very good at adding money (hence early decimal work) of course, and is quite taken with adding money whenever he gets the chance. She decided to go at the lesson from that direction first, and I watched as she explained (in her own terms) what part the decimal point played, identified the numbers on each side - not completely correctly, so I jumped in there to throw in the right vocabulary - and they added a few 'money' equations on the board. 


Then, quick as a flash, she erased the dollar signs, and boom. There we just had decimals. She's quite the - ummmm - commanding personality, so that was right up her alley!


We've also been reviewing parts of speech - something we (sigh) haven't touched on since we moved. Horrid - I know. Oh, well. We haven't, and we needed to review before I introduced and worked with new ones. LM even needed it - she obviously didn't retain them very well. So it was good for the three oldest to. This week we reviewed the verb and adverb, and laughed a little at some combinations. I am going to pull out the logical adverb game next week, because Miss Priss will love it and Hoss is always up for a game. 


Yes, the above picture DOES say car (noun) talks (verb). LM thought she was being funny, I almost debated the logical rationality of such a combination, until I woke myself up to today's technology. Cars DO talk to you. LOL - my husband's car reads him his texts while he drives. Sigh. I kind of like things staying the same. They don't, though, so 'car talks' passed. 
However, when we reviewed the adverb and 'shaves awkwardly' came up, I began to wonder what was going through her mind.... :) 


Hoss was working on some correct punctuation here. He doesn't take his time in writing to make sure he uses correct punctuation, capitalization, and so on. I made a few sentence strip sheets for him to 're-write and correct' which I hope got him to slow down and work on making sure he uses correct sentence formatting (trying to make, "capital letters, periods, apostrophes in your sentences SON!" sound smart!) .


Another things that Hoss and Miss Priss have been working on is learning ASL.
This interest spurned from a series I found at one of our little libraries, actually. If you've never heard of the deaf FBI agent Sue Thomas, her life story is amazing! It was also turned in to this show, which just so happens to have a five volume DVD series, which I just so happen to *love*. The kids have seen enough of it to be very interested in ASL.


In the picture above they were getting a recap on the ASL alphabet, which they actually learned quite some time ago. Below Miss Priss and Hoss were 'talking' to each other over lunch. They said it was their 'secret language'. For anyone further interested, if you have a Netflix account, there is a show called Signing Time, and although we've only gotten to one episode so far, they really enjoyed watching and learning a few new things - like how to ask and tell someone their name. 


Bug is finally wanting to progress more with her reading. She wants to be able to read independently before the library summer reading program, and one day a week or so ago revisited the Bob books that are in 'her' school drawer. We also have an early reader, pink series work (which, if she would get a little farther in her reader, she could easily move in to blue) and other beginning reading materials available for her to choose from. The favorite is still generally the Abeka beginning reader book. 


Buddy hasn't been as busy with Montessori inspired work as I'd like him to be. I have gotten so far down to the basics that we keep the same style in some of our every day activities but I don't have as much out for him on the shelves as normal. And sometimes he does things, and I just don't catch him in time. I caught a picture of him after he decided to build the brown tower one day. He also claimed it was a Christmas tree, and that the bowl on top (which held the two smallest cubes, stacked, although you can't see them well in the picture) was the 'star'. So his imagination got in on that one a little bit, but he also did a great job for the most part of aligning each block - his attention to detail has been getting much better. He's also writing - mostly his name, but it's so fun to see that happen all of a sudden! 


I do try to incorporate 'practical life' i.e. independence whenever possible. Especially if it means I can be doing school or work while they are getting their own lunch. That's always handy :) 


Or if it means they are making goodies that I surely don't need, but that taste wonderful! LM and Hoss have decided that if they just embark on something without making a fuss, it's easier that way and they can show me they can really do it well. That has scored me some cherry pineapple cupcakes and brownies over the last week. 


I took these pictures one day. Raw honesty. All in the same moment, school can look like this in one room:


this in the next:


and this in another:


The beauty of homeschooling :) And the art of taking a picture of one particularly serene moment and, if you don't share the big picture, no one has to be the wiser for it :) 

IN OTHER NEWS:

We went to the pet store one day to get a necessary item for our kitty - who thankfully is now not going to ever be able to be a daddy kitty. If you don't get that taken care of soon enough, it's a rather horrid, stinky mess. Let me assure you. I digress - after we got what we needed to be able to take him to the vet safely, we had to look around at all the animals. Cats, dogs getting groomed, fish of all kinds, turtles, and all manner of rodents (everything looks too much like a mouse to me for me to be excited about this one). We were also able to see a few different types of birds. There's education everywhere, if you look in the right places :) 


Bug celebrated her 6th birthday. I don't know where the time has gone! Her cake went something like this:
1. See cake on internet. 
2. Have too many cooking/baking shows in your past.
 3. Because of #2, you show pretty cake to 5 year old.
 4. Make cake.
 5. Attempt to cover in fondant.
 6. Realize #5 was a bigger deal than you thought. 
7. Cover it anyway, and reassure yourself that it's really okay 
because, after all, she's just newly 6 and still thinks I'm awesome.
 She doesn't know any different...yet.
And she did, in fact, love it. 

I have been able to start getting up and walking in the morning - most mornings with my furry friend, Beaux :) I just posted this because - well - because it's life. I love that time to wake up to the day and be ready for the day before the kids get up, not the other way around!


This last small group of pictures was almost an afterthought. Who'd of thunk (that's a good ol' southern word there) that LM would decide to get serious about drawing with an etch a sketch?! She's always been a little artist - and apparently, there's a new art form - etch-a-sketchery :) 


Basketball Man


Grand Canyon (complete with cursive writing, sketch-style)


The Melting Pot


Profiler

:) We always manage to have a lot of fun around here, get a lot of work done, and live life the fullest we can! I hope you are reading this and can say the same thing!


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