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Showing posts from September, 2012

Home learning is not school-at-home

After much striving towards certain forms, reminiscent of a schoolroom, and many hours trying to put them into practice, I have concluded that it is necessary to modify our homeschool day.

Many activities, wonderful though they may be, were designed with a group in mind, and really do not work with just two or three individuals.  I have read many times that it is not wise to try to create school at home, yet, unbeknownst to myself, I was still, in many respects, doing just that!
Sometimes, it is hard to purge certain notions and habits regarding schooling.  But we learn, and modify, and reach ever upward.

Sharing a Good Book - Monarchs, Milkweeds and Mexico

We have been enjoying our little mini-block on Monarchs.  We read a nature story from our second grade curriculum that we hadn't gotten to cover last year, and did some nice artwork and nature walks.  We also got a nice stack of stories from the library about monarchs.  These were really nice ones, as they are really told as stories.  I feel that this is very important at this age, despite it becoming increasingly harder to find such books at times, with so many children's books on science and nature done in an almost encyclopedic style, a sort of listing of facts.  
It is important for the child's listening skills for them to be able to hear a story about a creature and pick up the bits of information that are embedded in it.  In our nature story, it was revealed that the butterflies wings are covered with fine feathers, a new point for my older child.  It was important to find things that would appeal to her, since this is a topic that we have certainly covered before, bu…

A New School Year

I worked on this chalk drawing last night, hurrying to finish it for the morning.  I wanted it to be done when the dk's woke up!  I was struggling to find a subject to start our school year that was brief and that would serve both children, who are at quite different levels.  It hit me after a walk the other day, in which we saw a monarch, and then later that night.  It seems that planning out our blocks and then the individual aspects of them, never ends.  I spent half the summer planning our blocks - and this was a last minute addition, but a necessary one?  I really needed something to sort of usher in the year. A family  block.  
We started by going for a hike through a forest preserve, which just so happened to (lucky us!) have a little plaque about monarchs - with a pretty drawing of one too!  (We love art!)  So we learned on our hike that monarchs only eat milkweed and that it makes them taste YUCKY to their would be predators.  We stopped to LISTEN to the woods, SMELL the…