Thursday, May 17, 2007

3 parts

This is a LOOOOOOOONG blog........ just a fore warning. The first part is some more on how I schedule school. The second is shorter and a bit about how school used to be in the early years. Then the last is a list of memory/listening skill activities.

With my of my kids being sick, School is not quit happening this week. There is some, but not enough to write home about.

Hence, I am blogging about homeschool schedules. Yesterday I shared out general weekly school schedule.

Today I will fill in some blanks. As you see on the general schedule it just says ‘math’… or just says ‘Going Places’…. or just says ‘Spelling”. On Saturdays I write a one week detailed plan. It might look something like this:


9AM- Breakfast and read-aloud –Pilgrim’s Progress. Story of the World, Proverbs 12:22

Spelling- G&C –Copy words and write a sentence for each. Ki- Copy Words, Do crayon Rubbings of each word with textured letters. Manuel- CopyWork John 2

Massage with
Manuel (who is Manuel?). My 3 boys read.

rest of School-
Gavin- 13 yrs old
1. Saxon Lesson 65, examples, practice +3
2.Critical Thinking 1 Mind Bender problem
3. Creative Writing Assignment

Connor- 12 yrs old
1.Going Places. Read Text pages 101-110, answer questions in complete sentences.
2. Online Science (cells) take notes in notebook.
3.Math Detective 2 cases

Ki- 10.5 yrs old
1. 10 math dice problems. Multiply Double Digit Dice
2. Beyond the Code-pages 6,7,8
3. Mind Bender

1. Miquon J-12, 13
2. Ingles in 10 Min/dia – pages 22, 23
3. Read

I can pretty much just write assignments down for my boys. Gavin and Connor can do most on their own. I flit between Manuel and Kiel.

And some days we just go on a hike and bring microscopes or we do science experiments. Some days Ki wants to write a story for most of the day.

When we first started homeschooling my boys were 4,6,7. We didn’t have much of a schedule. We mostly did science experiments, unit studies and projects. Almost everything we studies we had Lego Projects to go with it. We used Legos for math and sorting and classification. School was only a couple hours a day. Some school days were writing checked, paying bills, addressing envelopes, going to the post office, mailing a package, looking at the map to see where it is going, talking about who we know that lives there or if we have vacationed there.

Some school days were having them help plan a week’s menu, go through the kitchen to see what we had and help make a grocery list. Then go to the store and find things to go with our planned meals.

School was very free flowing and almost unschooled those early years. The schedules started to get a little more when Gavin was in 4th grade. And Ki still didn’t have much of a schedule at all. He often got to pick 3 school things a day and in what order he did them. I miss those early days. They were so full of learning and newness. I really think that unsctructured, quasi-unschooling is the way to go until kids are 8 or 9.

IN CLOSING- some activities you may enjoy-

Games to improve memory- ("her/She" is used, but of course is for ANYchild)

1.Play the classic simple game of Memory Match- with the cards that you have to find matching pairs by remembering what you have turned over.. but start with half the cards. Or 5 pairs- something smaller- with less to remember.

2. Play 'Repeat' – Tell your child you are going to play a secret game. A game with a secret word and she can't tell anyone else the word but you and she has a mission to tell you this word anytime you ask her. say a word (like 'cookie')and have your child repeat it. Have a secret code word that whenever you say, shge knows to say her secret word. Like whenever you say "poppadiddle' she says her secret word. . Tell her the secret word and have her repeat 5 times in a row. Wait 10 seconds –say YOUR secret word and have your child repeat HER secret word. Increase the time between "Secret Word". Go for 10 secind, then 15 seconds, then 45 seconds, then repeat it over and over and tell her you will ask her again in 5 minutes…… then 15 minutes…

Go as long as you and she want and have time for.

Later increased from 1 word to a 2 word phrase.

You can also use just SOUNDS.. have her secret word be the making the sound of a car or dog, or making the sound of a secret letter.

3. Play "Hidden Treasure" (do this outside, in the yard ot maybe at the park)—hide 50 cents. (or a plstic whistle or something small) Show her the money first. Then hide it. Tell her where it is. Have her repeat back where it is. Ask her to draw where is it according to what you have told her. Wait 20 seconds (OR however long you think would be good for her) then tell her to find the hidden treasure by remembering where you told her it was.

Gradually increase elapsed time and details of where it is hidden (like instead of "under the blue pillow on the couch" have it be " 5 feet from the cat's bowl"… or "turn LEFT at the chair and walk 3 feet then turn right and measure 18 inches"…

4. Play the word Card game (or picture card or number card).. have a card with a word/picture/letter, etc…. show it to her, have her tell you what it is. Then turn it upside down on the table and have her tell you what it is and turn it over to show her. Then wait 20 seconds and ask her what is on the upside down card. Turn it over to show her. If she got it correct, wait longer next time, if she got it wrong, don't wait as long for the next time.

5. Hand Letter- write the letter of the day on her hand. Frequently throughout the day ask her to look at her hand and go over the letter sound with her. Soon, JUST ask her the sound of the letter in her hand without going over it with her.

6. Put a little red X on one of her toes . Just one toe, either foot. Throughout the day ask her which toe it is (without her looking), then she can take off her sock or shoe, etc to see if she is correct.

7. "What's Next"

At the beginning of the day give her a small itinerary.

"after breakfast we will read a book. After we read he book we will go for a walk"

While you eat breakfast talk about what is next (the book) and what is after that (the walk). Then when breakfast is done, ask her what is next--- see if she can remember it is the book. If she can, ask her what is AFTER the book… the walk.

Increase your list as she gets better with it.

"what's missing"—have a tray with 3-5 items on it (unless your child can handle more). Take the tray away- remove one item, show the child and have them tell you what is missing. As you increase, you can have 10 things and remove TWO and see if the child can tell you both missing items….. (do this outside with things like rocks, leaves, seeds, flowers..)

"Sequence"—have 3-5 items. Call out the names of two items (make sure they are NOT next to each other) and have your child touch them (or pick up and place in front of them) in the order you called them out. Increase to saying 3 things in order, then 4 then 5…… We do this with letters and numbers and words, too. OR, instead of calling out the names of the items, have your child carefully wacth as YOU touch a sequence of items and then they have to touch the same things in sequence. (do this outside with things like rocks, leaves, seds, flowers..)

"What did I say"? Say a list of 3-5 words to your child and have her tell you the FIRST word you said. Make sure you tell her how to play the game first- tell her- "This is a game where I say 4 words and you have to tell me the first word I said." Then give her an example. "If I say the words 'cat, bear, cup, ball'- the first word I said is CAT- so that is what you need to say back to me." ---If 4 is too many, start with 2 or 3. (do this outside with things like rocks, leaves, seds, flowers..)

how to make a sandwich- Pick a task (making a peanut butter sandwich or making a bed) and have her describe EACH STEP involved. Write down the steps she says, then do them like she said them. So if describing a sandwich and she says- get out the bread and put peanut butter on it" you would get out the LOAF of bread and set the peanut butter jar on top the loaf- Then help her learn the specific steps in detail—you get the loaf of bread out of the drawer. Set the loaf on the table, open the bag, take out a slice of bread, put it on a plate. Get the jar of peanut butter out of the cupboard and put the jar on the table. Get a spreading knife out and set next to the jar, take the lid off the jar and set it down. Pick up the knife and scoop peanut butter out of the jar with the knife…."

Don't forget-- a GREAT way to engage them and to help them learn is to let THEM get a turn to be 'teacher'... let them hide something for you and give directions... let them have a tray of 10 things nad take 2 away for you to figure out..... let them tell YOU a word of the day for you to remember.....

this works great with ALL school... math problems, etc...
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