All Girls School


Christmas Prep
December 14, 2008, 10:19 pm
Filed under: baby, Bubba, christmas, mimi, preschool, rocks, school, science, vacation, winter

We’ve been super busy around here with all of the holiday activities going on. There has been a ton of holiday baking as well as holiday parties and gatherings with friends and family. The girls are giddy for Christmas. Tonight was their Christmas program at church. Mimi and Baby chose to be angels. Bubba was asked to be one of the 3 Wise Women. It was a beautiful evening with the dim lights and all of the children dressed up and excited.

In school we have continued on with geology. We did some easy experiments using Bubba’s rock collection.

We’ve also started to talk about next year. She is thinking about going back to public school. She’s very divided on the issue, though. So, I’m going to work hard on the areas that I feel she’s not as strong in so that she can be ready to re-inter the school in the fall if that’s what she decides. I don’t love the idea and would be happy to keep homeschooling her forever. But, we’ve always said that this was a choice for the kids after first grade. We’ll see what she ends up deciding for certain as it changes hourly.

This coming week will be our final week before taking a holiday break. We’re all looking forward to sleeping in and spending time with our extended families and friends.

Advertisements


Current Activities
September 4, 2008, 10:18 pm
Filed under: art, baby, Bubba, curriculum, guitar, history, math, music, phonics, preschool, reading, schedule, science, sewing, spelling, writing

Spelling – a list without a pretest. Bubba was struggling with the pretests last year as she’s such a perfectionist and there’s really no point in testing her on things that she hasn’t been taught yet. I almost feel like we should let our spelling instruction come naturally through our writing tasks. When I thought about that more, though, I really want the writing tasks to focus on content and structure and I don’t want to point out every misspelled word and distract from the actual writing. So, structured spelling lists it is. There are supplementing pages that are actually kind of fun and a little bit challenging, so she doesn’t HATE spelling this year. (four days per week)

Phonics – I detest this subject as I think it is super super boring. So does she. I think we’re going to nix phonics or at least skip to the few items in the book that would be instructional and useful to her. I’m going to have to look through our book a little more to weed out the busy work. (once per week, but maybe not at all.)

Science – We’re doing a unit on the human body with lots of activities thrown in. She’s also doing quite a bit of writing by logging our daily tasks and making little booklets and stuff. We’ve checked out a bunch of human body books from the library and she has been reading them with and to her little sisters and taking them in the car when we go pick up Mimi from school. The other day she was reading about the heart and we ended up having a great conversation about the relationship between the size of an animal and how quickly its heart beats. We’re planning on a trip down to the Science Museum to see the human body exhibit before it leaves next month. (twice a week)

Math – Right now we’re doing mostly review of addition and subtraction of multiple numbers. I’ve found lots of fun activities that incorporate these. I’m going to work with her on a sewing project to work on our measuring skills (and estimating skills, as I am a laaaaazy sewer). We’ve also done some cooking and we practice our fractions. I expect that the cooking will increase as the holiday season gets nearer and we’ll do a lot of practical math like doubling recipes and figuring out the metric system and equivalencies. She really wants to move on in math and get to multiplication and stuff, but I am feeling that we should ease back into the subject. (three times per week)

History – We tried to do an entire year of history over the summer, but burned out on it. We got about a third of the way through it before we shelved it until the school year. We are still in ancient history, but Bubba loves it. She really gets into most of the stories and we have some fun discussions after reading them. It is always amazing to me the details and names she remembers after reading. There are some that I have to go back and look up that she rattles off really quickly. This is one of our favorite subjects as we always learn something new and there is always some sort of fun project to go with it and reinforce the lesson. (twice a week)

Writing – Most of our writing is done within our other subjects as Bubba balks at having to sit down and write just for the sake of writing. One day per week we do do some sort of writing task. Lately we have been working on different brainstorming techniques. At first she was lazy and bored with it until she ended up coming up with a really fun and creative story based on some of her brainstorming. Every Friday is poetry day and we do something different. Last week we had a book from the library about rocks (her current passion) and it was a long poem about different types. We read it and then she chose her favorite type of rock from the poem and copied out that page in her best writing. We have a book of Roald Dahl poems for tomorrow that I’m very excited about.

Reading – Every day I read a chapter of The Wizard of Oz outloud to her. When we’re finished with the book we’re going to watch the movie and compare and contrast it to the book. I think we’ll do it orally or I’ll have her write down the main points and present it to Dad or something. I’ve been thinking about all of the different books we could read and then watch the movie to compare and the options are huge. I think it will give her a better idea of how much better the books typically are, too, and promote more reading. She also reads for half an hour to herself or to her sisters outloud.

Music – She practices her guitar every day except for lesson days. She was given two new songs to practice at her last lesson. We were also informed of her first recital coming up in October. I can’t wait to watch her play in front of everyone.

Art – At the beginning of every week we start a new art project. She then has the entire week to work on it and refine it in order to have a very thoughtfully and thoroughly finished piece. The first few projects in each unit are more technical, exploring each element (line, texture, etc.). Then there are a few really creative projects that incorporate the techniques previously studied.

(On a side note, Baby started preschool today, but I haven’t had time to get the photos off of the camera yet. I’ll write about it when I have them on the computer. Suffice it to say that she had a blast and it sounds like the day went really well.)



Scheduling
August 7, 2008, 10:52 am
Filed under: baby, Bubba, kindergarten, mimi, preschool, school, summer, swimming

Bubba has decided that she’d like to start school on the 18th this year. I have learned from last year’s drama not to try to push her into waiting until after Labor Day and let her start when the masses start. Technically that should be the 14th, but Dad and I are taking a solo road trip that Thursday, so she’s chosen the following Monday. This means that I have spent the past three days quickly putting together our curriculum for the year. I had most of it ready, but I wanted to look more closely at it all and make sure I wasn’t leaving out anything important. Plus, some of it I am creating myself, so that has required some research on my part. I also developed a loose schedule. It’s not something to adhere to, but a general guide that will help us stay on track to accomplishing our goals for the year.

We have been school supply shopping with the older two girls so far. There’s just something so great about $0.20 crayons. I probably should have purchased another set of drawers to hold all of the crayons and markers and paints we’ve purchased. The thing is, come next summer, we will have to scramble to find any left to use. Oh well, that’s why we stock up so heavily when they’re cheap.

Mimi should find out who her teacher and classmates are today. We’re going to a good bye party for some dear friends tonight and the house just so happens to be next to the school, so we can go look. We have a meet the teacher night on Wednesday and then school starts on Thursday. I am really hoping that she’s in AM Kindergarten so that I can take her and pick her up from her first day before we have to take off. If she’s in PM, I’ll only get to drop her off and I’ll probably cry the whole way to Utah for not getting to talk to her and hug her after her first day.

Baby begins preschool this year. She’ll go two days a week and I’ll get to be in the room one day per week. She is very excited and can’t wait to go buy her very own backpack. We go to back to school night on her birthday and then she starts after Labor Day. (as it should be, thanks Ms. K)

It’s too bad that this last full week of summer is so stormy here. We did spend three hours at the pool on Tuesday, though, so that should get us through to Sunday when we hit a water park with a bunch of friends. It’s kind of our last hurrah.