Wednesday, July 22, 2015

First Time Down a Rabbit Hole

The last week of schooling has been running fairly smooth. I've decided on Squirrel's gymnastics day, that we will have as an off day. She is only required to do some free reading. She comes home so exhausting that it's pretty pointless to get her to concentrate on anything.

Today at lunch check-in, she was having a mini-meltdown. It happens. She had no interest in learning, and we sat and had lunch, giggled and started on her writing/ grammar daily work. She says, "I've never had a teacher let me eat GRILLED cheese while doing my work. This is Awesome, mom."

Life of Fred is the math of choice this year. I researched it for a while and had/ have my reservations about it being a full-on math curriculum, but the more I read, the more relaxed I become with what it offers.

I'm still supplementing with math worksheets a few times a week since I have a brain that believes you should be drilled to death to learn math facts. I'll get there... (maybe)

Last night, LOF clicked for her. She asked for another chapter. Then another... before I knew it, we had done four chapters in the Apples book. And I believe the only reason it stopped was because a side-learning opportunity sparked her attention.

Chapter 12 talks about the Titanic. And that was all she wrote.
Before the night was done, we'd watched a number of Titanic Youtube videos on the living room television (courtesy of Daddy Squirrel) and we all have a family date to watch Titanic in 3D this weekend.
There are also some great short and sweet learning videos on Youtube about the Titanic. We learned a bit about the way the boat sunk, about the lives lost, the rooms and areas of the boat never destroyed when she sunk. Squirrel was extremely interested to know that so many lives were lost. She was sad for awhile, but we talked about the way history includes these massive and momentous sad occasions for us all to learn from and grow.
She liked that answer. And we read a few chapters of her new favorite book series, Clarice Bean, so she could get her mind off of the sadness that happened. Our first rabbit hole was traveled together that took us from math to science and history.
That's what it's all about. Learning for enjoyment and interest. To remember.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Starting to Learn at Home

We have been schooling about a week. True schooling and learning a little each day. I can see where struggles will arise, especially since I work outside of the home. Currently, I leave a few assignments for her with a sticky note of what to work on.

Daddy Squirrel keeps an eye on her and checks on her during the morning, makes sure she does her morning routines and starts work I leave for her. Then I come home at lunch and see what she has completed or got stuck on.

In the evenings, we do bigger lessons and I read a few chapters before bed. Our first big lessons were history, which she isn't crazy about but she found interest in with the workbook projects.

Today was a big homeschool day for us, though. Squirrel is raring to go! We did a math lesson in Life of Fred last night and this morning. I started her with Apples and judging from the first few lessons, we should get through the first book quickly. I was pretty unsure of where she stands in math. She knows basic concepts: adding, substracting, most time on a clock, and what currency is worth (pennies, nickels, quarters, and dimes).

I figured we would either learn something new in the book or rush through it while enjoying it for a few months. Either way, it's a nice way to learn concepts a new way. 

Today, we spent the morning at the library, then decided on a nature walk. I wish we had started earlier in the morning because we got pretty hot, but Squirrel kept wanting more lessons, so who am I to deny that?

We went to our local hike and bike trail, which we have been on but never really explored from a science and nature point of view but only biked on. I fixed up a nature walk folder and out we went. 

Inside the folder, I stapled a baggie with a few crayons to use for rubbings, and a few more to collect things we find along the way. 

We found lots of interesting things along the way. Some of the roots of the trees look like stalagmites growing up from the ground! We sat awhile looking and listening. 

As we walked along, we found a mother goose and  her four sweet, fuzzy babies. The fourth one was hiding under mommy's tail feathers. Super cute little ones. Squirrel even gave them names: Hermee, Lurmee, Kermee, and Hermee Jr.

We tried not to disrupt them, and they didn't seem to mind us being around. But we didn't get super close anyway. Behind them, about 15 feet away and near the water's edge, we found an awesome nest of goose eggs in the cradle of the tree's roots. I have never even seen this! We were pretty much in awe of nature and God, while we watched discoveries unfold around us. 

When we got home Squirrel narrated some writing while I filled in some details in the notebook of our trip. The best part of our walk was the end when I spotted a hummingbird zooming around some nectar filled flowers. So much fun!