Tuesday, May 24, 2011

School Daze ...

What have you been up to in school these days?  

We have been moving along and enjoying ourselves.  I think I've finally gotten the right materials (for the most part) and am finally finding my groove with just letting things flow ... do the next thing ... no worries about schedules and where we should be and stuff like that ... just being.  So, what have we been doing?  Well, I generally separate my activities into three categories:  "As a FAMILY" (all three of us), "The Hippie" (Grade 2) and "The Princess" (Kindergarten).  Here's what we've been up to lately.

As a FAMILY ... 

For Literature, we finished Pippi Longstocking about ten days ago.  We read Rapunzel from The Rainbow Fairy Book and we are currently reading aloud from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (at bedtime) and Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories" (in the afternoons).

For our Science/Nature studies, we've been taking our time with apples.  We read "How the Apple Blossom Came Back" to start this study.  We've read some poetry related to comparing apples (as I mentioned last week).  We've also had two different activities that involved real, delicious apples.  These were the most fun, of course ~ what child doesn't love school when they get to eat their lesson?  Last week we cut into an apple across (not top to bottom) to reveal the "blossom" inside (if you've never done this, try it ... it's pretty cool).  The girls were excited to make connections between stories ~ this same activity was mentioned in The Seven Year Old Wonder Book!  Anyway, we cut into them and then each of us drew the apple blossoms into our Nature Notebooks.   

The Hippie's Apple Blossom

The Princess's Apple Blossom

Momma's Apple Blossom

This week we compared four different types of apples.  We had one Pink Lady, one Granny Smith, one Golden Delicious and one Red Delicious.  We talked about how each of them looked ~ their shape, their color, their size.  Then, for the fun part.  We cut into each of them and tasted each.  We compared their tastes, which ranged from crisp and sweet to crunchy and sour to a little sweet to "boring" (as the Princess described the Red Delicious).  We pasted these charts into our Nature Notebooks as well (I helped to write some of the Princess's because by this point in the day, her perfectionism was bringing about too many tears). 

The Hippie

The Princess
Both girls attended a First Aid Class at their co-op and have been doing the Presidential Fitness Test in P.E.  

They are also both working on finger-knitting ropes for Daddy's "soap on a rope" that they are making him for Father's Day (shhhh ... don't spoil the surprise).  We missed the day the other girls made the soap from scratch (that would've been fun ... but I got some all natural bar soaps to use), but this week they will be needle-felting the bars of soap and attaching them to their finger-knitted ropes.  Then, Daddy can lather up the bar and the felt will work as a scrubby! 

The Princess (Kindergarten) ...

The Princess and I have been working with reading for the most part lately.  We set the timer for 15 minutes and go for it, building words with letter tiles.  She LOVES it.  She continually tells me how much fun it is!  I will put tiles together like "ell".  She will sound that out.  Then, we will add various consonants at the beginning and she reads all the words in the word family.  Then, I write each new word she's learned on the wipe off board and she reads it to me from there.  This way we are hitting the tactile (playing with word tiles) and the visual (reading off the board).  I can't say enough about how much she is enjoying this!  

She's also continuing to work through her handwriting book and her phonics workbook.  Of course, her favorite part of each week is doing her "Mosaic Letter" (as I named it) and modeling the letter out of dough!

Mosaic letter "O"
Modeling the letter "C"

The Hippie (2nd grade) ...

We are continuing with our St. Francis block.  We will finish up with him next week and move on.  But, for now, we are still working with stories of him and the animals.  Our second story was St. Francis talks to birds.  She has 'recalled' this story to me several times and today she illustrated it into her Main Lesson Book.

The Hippie's

In addition to our stories, she is reading her way through (and narrating back to me) the book Brother Sun, Sister Moon:  The Life and Stories of St. Francis.  She is also working on copying this poem into her Main Lesson Book (one stanza per day):

Brother Sun ... Sister Moon

All praise to you, most high, all pwerful, all good Lord.
To you alone, all praise blongs.
Praise to you, through everything you have made ...

All praise, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the Stars, 
set in the sky, so wonderful and bright.

All praise, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, 
and all the weathers, cloudy, calm, or stormy,
by which you nourish all you have made.

All praise, my Lord, through Sister Water, 
so precious, useful, humble, and pure.  

All praise, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
who lights up the night.
How joyful he is!  How beautiful and strong!

All praise, my Lord, through Sister Earth,
our mother who feeds us 
and gives us fruits and herbs and colored flowers.

Praise and bless my Lord.
Thank Him and serve Him
With great humility.

Last week we took a day to make some of the characters from our stories ~ The Hippie was to make St. Francis and the Wolf ... The Princess to make the three pigs and the sly fox.  Here are a few pictures ... They worked really hard, but the Hippie only made the Wolf (along with a food and water bowl compete with food and water as well as a bone for him to play with) and the Princess only made the fox and one of the pigs.  Sculpy is hard to work with and takes a lot of strength!  Maybe we'll come back to it.  We'll see ...


In addition to our Main Lesson work, the Hippie and I have been working hard to get the number bonds (through ten) memorized.  We've mostly been going about this via games ~ games with cards.  And, she LOVES the games.  And, she's getting them down pat!  

She's also been reading some Aesop's fables to the Princess and I out of Reading Literature: Second Reader.  Everyone seems to really enjoy these!  

The Hippie is working on loom-knitting a hat in addition to the other mentioned handwork above.  
After "school" today, she broke out all the supplies herself and decided to paint a picture (for Daddy's tool box).  It's a LION.  

And, she's been making Fairy Houses out of mulch and twigs ...

I'll leave you with some other moments captured ... 

"Letter Modeling" turned into an hour and a half play-do session

Both diligently working on copywork
Modeling .. a paddle surfer on his board

Modeling ... a surfer inside a tube

These are from the black eyed peas we sprouted a while back ... then planted ... then harvested!  COOL

Wishing you a life as blessed as mine ...  

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