Friday, March 28, 2014

How Close...

So the question asked today is how close are you to being done with the school year? My answer...we are on a year round school schedule, so we are never done. But then I followed that with..we are on a 36 week schedule and right now we are on week 24.
However, that doesn't truly answer the question how close are we to being done. So I'll answer that now.
When planning my school schedule, I focus on the main school subjects...Bible, math, reading, language arts, science, and social studies. In math, we have learned adding, subtracting, skip counting, and money. In reading, we are reading actual books. The Usborne collection of books has really increased Tater's reading skills. In Science, we have learned about the seasons, plants, animals, what every living thing needs to survive, chemical solutions, physical science, and basic cooking. In social studies, we have tackled holidays, the 7 continents, the United States, the community and community workers, mapping skills, and societal rules. In language arts we are writing sentences, learning about nouns, verbs, and punctuation. We are also working on writing skills and writing structure. And, in Bible studies, we have been progressing through the Old Testament.
However, with all that we have learned this year from a textbook standpoint, we still have not learned enough about life. We recently added a new member to our household, Tye, mommas service dog. And while my kids are learning the importance of Tye, they have not yet learned to leave Tye alone. Something we are still working on. We have not learned how to behave and follow instructions when given the first time. But, to be honest, mom has not learned this one either. We are also working on our listening skills, that although we individually have something to say, we must also learn to listen to what others also have to say. We are also learning to listen to God more. That His Word is the final authority and if we say that we love God, we must learn to love His Word. Learning to love His Word also means that we follow His Word. Even the parts that cut us deep. Oftentimes, those are the parts that we dislike, need the most. So, we are learning to follow those Words as well.
So, with that, are we close to ending our school year? We may be close textbook wise, but not really close at all. And even textbook wise, we are not close. We have to learn time, reading comprehension, writing complete sentences that will lead to writing paragraphs, learning about biological sciences, and learning about health.
But here's the thing...we don't have to worry about ending our school year. We school year round, and the things that we don't get to by the end of our 36 weeks will be okay.We will just pick up on week 37. And in life, we will continue to learn the lessons that we need to know in order to live a life that is pleasing to our Creator. That may mean that we slow down and learn that reading our Bible and focusing on God's Word is more important than what any textbook may teach us. For after all. the things of this world are only temporal, and the things of God are eternal! So knowing that the "school" year may be almost over is nothing for us to worry about. After all, the most important thing is that we focus on the Creator of the "school" year.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Week 22 and the Solar System

This was the week of the Solar System. We learned about the planets, the stars, the galaxy, and we skip counted by 5. What a fun and busy week we had. 
Here is Tater looking at our COIN poster trying to identify the penny (we studied last week), and the nickel (the coin we are studying next week). 
Here is Tater working on her skip counting. We worked so hard trying to learn our numbers 1-100, counting by 5's. She was not impressed by my frustration over her not understanding how to count. 
This week was the week of the solar system. We learned about each planet, stars, the galaxy, and the great Creator of the solar system. This week was a lot of fun. Very busy. Here is Tater showing off the planets that she put in order by herself. 
At the end of the week, I let Tater make a picture of everything that she had learned. Here is that picture. 
Here is the planets, with a picture of a male and female astronauts, and stars. This is some of what we learned this week. We also talked about how the astronauts were able to go to space using a rocket and space shuttle you can see both in the picture below. 

Week 21 and The Farm

This week was all about the FARM and the farming life. We even went on a field trip to the farm. We had a blast. We started the week guessing about what we would see on the farm. This is the list that Tater came up with. 
Then we discussed animals that we would see on the farm. We sang songs like Old Mc Donald had a Farm, B-I-N-G-O, Here we go 'Round the Farm. We had so much fun dancing and singing and learning about animals that we would see on the farm. 
We also worked on writing farm words like farmer, tractor, horse, farm. 
Here is a picture of coloring of farm animals and a farm. 
We also started a new math unit...MONEY! We started with pennies. Here is Tater learning to count... $.01, $.02. 
Then at the end of the week, we were able to actually go to a local farm. The kids and I learned so much. We were able to see pigs, sheeps, donkeys, dogs, goats, chickens, roosters, and bees. We had a blast. We were able to hold goats, roosters, and chickens. We also were able to see a bee keeper suit, and to see a garden. So much fun. The kids were also able to get on a tractor and "drive" the tractor. 
At the end of the field trip we revisited the white board and added to our board on what we learned about farms. The list after the visit grew compared to the beginning of the week. 
Here are some pictures of Taylor creating her own farm. After the visit to the farm, Taylor really enjoyed making her own farm.