Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Learning Log of June 2013

Wild blackberries in our front yard.
June was another crazy month. 
We didn't do any math, although I wanted to.
 I didn't enroll the kids in any extra activities like summer camps, but it felt like I did. I decided to try some Unit Studies with the kids and they have been intense. Besides those couple hours a day of "school", they went to Vacation Bible School, had a lot of playdates at our pool and read books.
 I am so tired. 
I remind myself often that I get to rest 
when I get to Heaven!.
I hope you find something useful and interesting.
We are at the moment doing an Unit Study on Nim's Island. I am recording each day hoping to be able to put a post up with lots of resources and links.
 Pray for me! hahahahaha

 Books Read Aloud to All

* Read by DD10 to her siblings: Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett; Buglette the Messy Sleeper by Bethanie Deeney Murguia;
* Read by DS7 to his sisters: Nightime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta; Pluto visits Earth! by Steve Metzger;
Our poster display of our Unit Study on Africa.

* Mary Slessor  - Forward Into Calabar by Janet and Geoff Benge - Christian Heroes Then and Now - I love this series. As we read this book we created a poster about it as the result of a Unit Study. We covered the Geography of Africa, History, Medicine, Culture and Bible. We watched a couple of videos on Malaria.

I purchased Around the World in 180 Days by Sherrie Payne - Although I am not following it to a T, I am using it as a guide and reading books and trying to do Unit Study with the children. So far so good! We began our journey in Africa. We covered West Africa when we read Mary Slessor and then East Africa when we read about Salva Dut. Hoping to return to learn more about the rest of Africa.

* Hunwick's Egg by Mem Fox
* Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull - we followed up with a video about her on YouTube. Check out the video section.
* The King's Drum and other African Stories by Harold Courlander - these are stories from Africa. We read this to supplement on more cultural information on Nigeria, the country Mary Slessor was missioning at.
* Quilt Alphabet by Lesa Cline-Ransome
* Never Take a Pig to Lunch and other  Poems about the Fun of Eating selected by Nadine Bernard WEstcott
* Marvelous Math - a book of Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
* Lucky Jake by Sharon Hart Addy
* The Treasure Map #1 - Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson 
* Curious George and Friends - Favorite Stories by Margret & H.A. Rey
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Parker -  Based on the life of Salva Dut and the struggles of people in Sudan, this book tells the story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and the people there who struggle to get water everyday. At times, the book's content was heavy for the heart of little children. Use discretion when deciding if this is the right read aloud for your family. We watched a video of Salva Talking to Children about Water in South Sudan.

Is there anything better than reading on Mom's bed?
Audio Books

* The kids have been listening to  worship music, Jonathan Park and Little House on the Prairie CDs.

DS7 independent reading list:
DS7 did a lot of swimming. Reading, not so much.

*The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems
* C D B! by William Steig

This month was a struggle to get DS7 to read more... I know he read other stuff but he almost refuses to let me know what he read, if he read. :( Ugh! Breakthrough: I found out that he prefers books about real people instead of made up characters. I got to find some biography books proper for kids. Any suggestions?

DD10 independent reading list:

* Encyclopedia Brown - Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
* Enccyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch by Donald J. Sobol 
* Encyclopedia Brown and the Cause of the Mysterious Handprints by D.J. Sobol
* Encyclopedia Brown Sets the Pace by D.J. Sobol
* Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man by D.J. Sobol
* Encyclopedia Brown Lends a Hand by D.J. Sobol
* Encyclopedia Brown Carries On by D.J. Sobol
* Encyclopedia Brown Tracks Them Down by Donald J. Sobol

* United Tweets of America - 50 STate Birds by Hudson Talbott
* Ghosts of the White House by Cheryl Harness
* How do you get a horse out of the Bathtub - profound answers to preposterous questions by Louis Phillips
Flying Side Kick competition. DD10 mean kick!

* The Dragon's Eye by Dugald A. Steer- Dragonology Chronicles - volume 1
* The Dragon Diary by Dugald A. Steer - Dragonology Chronicles - Volume 2
* The Dragon's Apprentice by Dugald A. Steer - Dragonology Chronicles - volume 3

Did you know you can make omelets in a rice cooker?
* The Vanishings -  Left Behind series - book #1
* Second Chance - Left Behind Series - book #2

* Nory Ryan's Song by Patricia Reilly Giff
* Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett
* The Pot of Wisdom - Ananse Stories by Adwoa Badoe
* How do you get a Horse Out of the Bathtub? by Louis Phillips
* Sundiata - Lion King of Mali by David Wisniewski
* When Jaguars Ate the Moon by Maria Cristina Brusca
* Funny Frank by Dick King-Smith - DS7 won this book at one of our Summer Reading Programs at our library. Of course DD10 grabbed it quickly and devoured it. It's a cute book... I might have to read it aloud to the little ones. :)

* Life of Fred books - DD10 finished the last 2 books I bought: Cats and Dogs. Now she wants the rest!

Activities at Home

My homegrown tomatoes!
*One morning we found a finch inside one of our bathrooms. How in the world did he get in? We have no clue. But the whole situation was another proof of how gifted my DD10 is with animals. She did not flinch and entered the bathroom with a light towel and captured the bird. Then she brought it out in her hands and let it free outside. Cool and collected. Amazing! In her own words, "I am an animal rescuer!" :)

* No Singapore Math, no Logic of English, no Phonics, no ClickNKids. No formal school! Am I freaking out yet?? Trying hard to relax. :) Just reading books, watching videos, doing hands on projects and creating a unit study based on the books we are reading. It's been fun but intense! (Did I forget to tell you that we "school" year round? Just in different ways according to season.)

* Swimming, lots of swimming! Playdates and pool parties. We had an uncle come visiting and we spent the whole weekend grilling, swimming and having fun! The kids even put up a show one night with dancing, banners and lots of tumbling and karate tricks.

* DD5 and DD10 have been sewing up a storm. We had some relatives from Brazil visit and DD10 made a stuffed mouse and a wallet out of felt to give as gifts.

* The little girls (5 and 3 y.o.) helped me finish painting the wood slabs for our metal benches.

* Taking care of chickens. They are growing by leaps and bounds and the kids love to chase them around and catch them and hold them to death. The poor chickens! :)

* Helping in the kitchen; grilling outdoors; cleaning house; organizing the garage; watching tv, playing games on the computer, painting fingernails, doing hair, and so much more.

Enjoying the pool with friends!

Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Karate classes and pool party promoted by the Karate School at our local Water Park. 
Painting, painting and painting!

* Tumbling Classes.

* Summer Reading Program at our local Public Library - We had Animal Tales, The McWane Science Museum, a storyteller and the local theater performers come visit. We also learned about coal mining and the machinery used to extract the coal.

* Trips to the park to play tennis and explore.

* Shopping at Walmart with Grandparents.

*Vacation Bible School at a friend's church.

Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

Playing wolves using the tent as their den.
* Graphic Organizers - Now that I have 4 children between ages 3 and 10 y.o. I am trying to incorporate more Unit Studies/ Notebooking activities that we can all do together in one sitting. I have 2 children that read and write and 2 youngest ones who love to draw and color. So I found this website that provides all these graphic organizers that can be used by the children to communicate what they learned from the book I read to them, or they read by themselves. Check it out!

* Science Resources - graphic organizers for scientific themes, glossary studies, games and other resources.

* The Blog Post that I am hoping to use with DD10 to help her finally understand multiples, factors and primes. There are also online games as well as the printable board games.

* More Math help at HelpingWithMath.Com - prime and composite numbers, multiplication table charts and more.

Enjoying family time!

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube

* Courageous - we watched this before a couple of times, but rented it again from Netflix to watch
Our performers!
with Grandma. We love the sense of humor of the movie. I highly recommend this movie and all the others from these producers.

* The Three Investigators in The Secret of Skeleton Island

* Tangled

* MErlin - The BBC TV series. Seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4. I found the DVDs for SEason 1 at our library and after reading a few reviews decided to watch them with the kids. Although it's full of magic and sorcery, there is a clear distinction between good and evil and very clear moral lessons. The good thing is it's NOT scary. So far no se*ual innuendos or too many romantic encounters until you get to Season 2. It's very addicting and the kids can't wait to watch the next episode. We are having Merlin marathons some days.They are enjoying relating the show to the real story and legend.

* Videos of Wilma Rudolph on YouTube

Watching Salsa videos... learning Spanish!
* Oh, Noah! videos on PBS that teach Spanish. Also through Walking by the Way post about how to learn Spanish I found the Salsa videos.  DD3, DD5 and DS7 sat down and watched these with me. Great videos if you are wanting to teach your kids Spanish.

* Jackie Chan Adventures on Netflix again!

* Wreck It Ralph - If you are a gamer  you might enjoy this movie, but my DH and I fell asleep. The kids enjoyed it. The review said this was better than The Toy Story 3. I don't think so.

Animal Tales at our library again.

 Mom's Eclectic Reading List

Is there anything better than ice cream in the summertime?
* Wondering how to foster some good writing in your kid?? Then read this SERIES on How to Become a Writing mentor to your child.

* Do Hard things by  Harris brothers.- If you got a teenager at home, I highly recommend you and your child to read this book. I think this book can be highly motivational to a young adult looking for his/ her place in the world. I was so challenged when I was young and I think it really directed my life. It taught me to never give up and try hard things.

* What a Son needs from his Mom by Cheri Fuller - I am not done yet, but so far I am enjoying this book. I learned new information about how to relate to my son. It's a fine line between guiding your son and letting him exercise his independence. I am really enjoying the section of how to pray for my son.

* Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition by Marilyn M. Shannon - if you have any womanly issues this is the book to read. I highly recommend it. Check out the reviews.
What have you been up to?? How is your summer coming along?

DD3 drawing beautiful butterflies for Grandpa!


Anonymous said... beautifully busy! Love your photos:)We school year round too- I like how you said that it changes according to the season. Though we are really relaxed homeschoolers, I totally agree that we too change with the seasons. Have a great independence day today!

Dawn said...

So many wonderful things in this post. I love all of the books and swimming you all are up to. What could be better. Well, time with family which you all have done lots of too.
Blessings, Dawn

Homegrown Learners said...

I can sympathize with your tiredness, but as I read your learning log I was struck by what blessings you bestowed on your children... so many great adventures, books, activities -- you should be a very happy tired. :-)

I appreciate you always linking with Collage Friday!

Anonymous said...

I read this thinking it was a weekly wrap up and wondering how on earth you fit it in in one week!
That said, there is still stacks going on even for a monthly wrap up! Great month of fun!

Anonymous said...

It does sound like a busy time, but a fun one too!!

Linda Sears said...

After reading through your journal this week, I understand why you are tired! But your attitude is positive and upbeat.
Thank you for sharing your book recommendations and other resources. I'm always on the look-out for good things to add to our lists.
Your days have been filled with lots of fun and lots of learning a terrific summer!