Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday School

Each Friday morning we attend a prayer meeting at a friend's house. The kids play while moms fellowship and pray. The meeting wraps up at about 12:30 just in time for lunch.

Last year, I had good intentions for our Fridays. My good intentions included getting up early to work on school before we left and finishing school once we returned home. Unfortunately, getting up early is not a talent I possess. And after we returned home and ate a little lunch there just wasn't enough time left in the day for a full day of school.

This year, I developed a plan. M, T, W, and Th we do school as know,bible, math, English, spelling, history, science...the works. But on Friday we will go to our prayer meeting, go to the library, and complete two subjects at home: music and art.

This accomplishes many things for us...I've always wanted to take the kids to the library each week, but we could only manage to get there about once a month. Since we are all already dressed and out of the house, it's not such a big deal to swing by the library.

Also, adding art and music to the end of a full school day was always difficult and rushed. Since these are the only two subjects we do on Friday, we can spend more time enjoying them.

Last April I purchased Mr. Everybody's Musical Apartment 3-book set at the Midwest Homeschool Convention. It's a simple way to teach young elementary students to read and play music notes. We decided to use a xylophone with this book that we purchased through amazon.

The kids learned three notes last Friday and each played their first song. They've been continuing to practice it throughout the week.

We've chosen to study Mary Cassatt during the months of August and September. I plan to add a composer of the month as well, but haven't done so yet. We brought home books from the library last week and looked at all the beautiful pictures.

Finally, G9 and A8 both are required to read two books independently a month a complete a book report on those books. The reports must be completed by the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month. Remember, how I told you about the new friend living in our home? Well, G9 and A8 both decided to read the above book for their first report.

I'm allowing them to choose different styles of book reports, and this time they both wanted to give an oral report and create a poster.

A8 got rather creative with her poster. She did this all on her own!

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Edible River

I believe one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is that I have the opportunity to discover how fascinating human history is and give that to my children.

This year we are using The Story of the World Volume 1: Ancient Times .

We've started the year first by discussing what history is and how we discover it. The kids recorded a little bit of our own family history by creating this book.

Along with fact sheets about themselves, they also interviewed family members and created pages for them as well.

Please Note: The following pictures will prove that having fun with education, does not mean you must be super-crafty, and that participating in extra craft activities does not have to result in a perfect, award winning creation in order for your children to have a memorable educational experience.

Our focus then turned to Ancient Egypt, which we will camp out on for a couple of weeks. The kids are keeping History notebooks, where they colored a map of the Nile. We quickly mixed up some peanut butter cookie dough (2 cups peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs) because it was the easiest recipe I could find and we had the ingredients on hand. After refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes, the kids spread it out in a baking pan, carved out the shape of Nile River and placed a few cookie pyramids along the bank. We baked it for about 20 minutes (I think on 400 degrees). And because we did not have blue food coloring, we opted for chocolate pudding to represent out river.

We spread on more pudding, flooding out the Nile Delta and the banks of our river, just like the Nile would flood over Egyptians crops each year provided the much needed water.

L2 woke from her nap just in time to help us enjoy the pudding-covered cookies.

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