Homeschool Summary – April 2015

April was a wash.  Well, looking back at my calendar, I guess it started with a bang.  And then we were sick for 3 weeks.  Astroboy was feverish for a week, I was feverish for a week, and then I re-injured my back for a week.  So, April was a mostly-wash.

And yet, we managed to get some things done.  I just asked that Thumper at least do her reading and math daily.  Often this occurred while I was taking a nap.  Poor Astroboy mostly played though, since either me or him was in bedIMG_5584.

Fieldtrips: Eggster hunt, Muir Woods, Ms. Grossman’s sticker factory, Exploratorium

The sticker factory was super fun.  We hiked in Muir Woods with visiting friends.  And Astroboy had his first egg hunt!  Exploratorium was also super fun for both kids.

Thumper

  • Language:  Sagebook done!
  • Math: subtraction worksheets, Concept and notation of squares, notation of squares layout, finding the total of squares, power scales
  • Science: Planets, fish, plants
  • Practical Life: galore

The biggest news was that we managed to finish all of Sagebook.  Yay!  Happy dance!  Thumper has advanced, after learning to “read” last month, to reading short chapter books, each about 60 pages long, 2-3 chapters.  5000 characters maybe?  Wow, what a difference having a child who knows how to read.  I’d borrowed all these books on bats a few weeks ago when she expressed an interest.  Now I can just give them to her to read instead of reading to her.

IMG_5647

Toothpick art @ Exporatorium

I’m reminded of the mom who told me she spent her child’s kindergarten year focused on getting them to read. Thinking back to Montessori’s curriculum, it’s set up so the child learns to read by 6 and then they can do all that interesting subject studies.  So then if a child didn’t go through Montessori in the early years, maybe it is important to change the curriculum a bit to really focus on reading that kindergarten year.

For Math, I managed to give Thumper (and Astroboy) my introduction lesson on squares.  Otherwise we’d finished subtraction from 1-9 and then I printed out 10-18 for her to do while I was sick.  I have no clue what she did.  But we are slowly moving forward with subtraction and then some multiplication. Multiplication because she has a Chiao Hu electronic toy/game that helps you practice multiplication, and some “board games” that they sent one month.

planets

For science, she laid out the planets one day because Astroboy found my stash of planet nomenclature cards and cut them up.  Thank goodness it was the old version.   I gave her some books to figure out their order and she just did it all herself.  Though Baba says it’s not really right.  Planet names in Chinese are super easy.  It’s the 5 elements in order, then sky and sea.  金木水火土天海。

We continue to plant stuff.  We added some strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumber to our garden.  Thumper’s been a really good helper and transplanted all of these.  We also got one of those Back to the Roots aquariums and got a Beta fish, and growing wheatgrass and sprouts on top.  Oh, and our silkworms went down to just one really fat one.  The kids really enjoy feeding the fish and watching the silkworm gobble up its food.  I remind myself that all of these hands on experience will be helpful when the kids actually start studying.

IMG_5576Thumper is going through a sensitive period for practical life right now.  Suddently she wants to work the washer and do my laundry for me.  She is obsessed with filling up our pitchers of water.  She wants to learn how to cook.  I’ll write a detailed post later.  But she has now made, by herself, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, Trader Joe’s gnocchi, hot chocolate, lemon honey tea.  And under my watch, I taught her how to make tortilla, cream of wheat and bagels.  I think I forgot a few other dishes.  She also really likes to cut up her own things, like carrots and celery.  I also verbally told her how to make my coffee.  I’m looking forward getting my coffee served in the morning one day!

IMG_5806Astroboy I won’t even detail what he’s learned.  He’s now half way into Sagebook Blue series, 3rd book.  He’s also doing some of the practical life stuff.  Played with playdoughs and trains.  I need to focus on Astroboy after my class ends.  His refrain is always “I have nothing to do”.  And he wants to do nothing that I offer.  I’m trying to figure out why.  I suspect part of the reason is his lack of outdoor time.  One day, he was out all day with Baba playing.  He came downstairs after dinner and I told him, I will let you watch TV. (I had to finish my album)  The boy actually refused!  He wanted to work, he declared. So we spent a half hour in the class working.  We used the multiplication board and he counted on the small bead frame.

I learned/realized something this month.  It’s important to have the environment/supplies ready. Sometimes a child spontaneously shows interest in something.  Having that roll of paper on hand, and knowing some possibilities of what they can do, resulted in the planets work for us.

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