Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fun times at Creekside

We are well into our second month of this school year and things are going well. We have had a few rough moments and at least one really ugly day but so far I am pleased with everything. Zoey is really enjoying her new math programs and Sierra seems to be picking up number value with lightening speed. Sierra loves to count things and now is adding small numbers. Not on paper, but for example the other day she was finishing a bowl of cereal. I asked her to take two more bites and she did. She then came over to me and said she had already eaten four bites and shows me four fingers. Then she tells me she had two more. She puts two more fingers up. Next she says, "That means I had six bites because see, 1, 2, 3, ..." she proceeds to count her fingers up to six. The the other day I saw her standing on Mom and Dad's deck counting the chairs and she let me know we needed one more chair for dinner. Kids can be so amazing. Of course if we are going somewhere Sierra does not want to go she CANNOT walk but hey she can count to six!

Sierra is also enjoying doing "The Letter of the Week." We just finished "C" and she is finding "C's" where ever we go. Zoey makes me laugh when she wants to do some of the letter of the week activities too. So far I have kept it very simple and only do things when she wants. It is always a challenge with both of them to give them enough to keep them learning and interested but not so much that they burn out and dislike learning.

Sierra is sharing her caterpillar C that she partially laced.  Zoey wanted to do the caterpillar activity too.

Zoey is progressing well with reading, math and handwriting. We just finished learning about silent letter and are now on R-changed vowels. It used to be so hard just to get her through a reading lesson and now it is a breeze. Math can be a challenge some days but the new curriculum we are using has games included and we both have fun with those. It is amazing to see her go from struggling with something to having confidence doing it just because of playing a card game a few times.

In history we are continuing with American History.

We learned about Abraham Lincoln and made hats. Sierra did not want a tall "boy" hat so she made a short pink one. What a funny girl.
In science we have had a few failed science experiments in a row but the girls are having so much fun with the garden on our back patio. The sunflowers we planted earlier this year bloomed and dried out. Zoey got seeds from the flower and planted them in other pots. They are growing quite well. She did the same with the marigold flowers. One day they discovered bugs all over the green bean plants.  Then they had great fun smacking them off with brooms and then squishing them with their shoes. Gross! We did the celery in colored water and that worked quite well.

Here the girls are enjoying doing some nature sketching. They sat there quietly drawing for the longest time.

Here are a few pictures of the garden in August before the bugs took over the green bean plants.

Now that it is September gym class and science classes have started back up. That always adds excitement and challange to our days. We also are having fun with the Five in a Row curriculum.  So far we have done Miss Rumphius, Daniel's Duck, The Finest Horse in Town, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World with Five in a Row. This is primarily for Zoey but Sierra joins in. For Sierra we do Before Five in a Row. The books we have done so far are, Goodnight Moon, The Carrot Seed, Blueberries for Sal, Corduroy, and We're Going on a Bear Hunt. I wish I had time to write updates every week then I would be able to share what we did with each book. Oh well, here are a few pictures.

Playing with buttons after reading Corduroy.
Zoey and the Purple Crayon.
Zoey cutting up celery for the chicken stew we made. It was a recipe to go along with the book Daniel's Duck. She was so surprised I let her use a sharp knife. I was so surprised I did too and that she did so well.
We just started Follow the Drinking Gourd with Zoey and Angus Lost with Sierra. I am excited about all the learning opportunities these books present.
As soon as I upload all of my pictures to Shutterfly I will share them so you can see more if you would like.  I just realized the other day I hadn't uploaded any since last December!
Thanks for reading and sharing in our journey as we teach our children at home. Also, I wrote this on and off over a few weeks so if it is choppy I apologise.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five in a Row contest

Today is the last day to enter the Before Five in a Row contest. Check it out here...

Did I mention that I won a book on Tuesday! I am so excited. It is called Higgens Bend Song and Dance. We will use it next year when Zoey moves on to volume 4 of Five in a Row.