Thursday, January 29, 2015

Learning Log of December 2014

I am still trying to catch up with November and December logs. Be sure to check the November one below this one just posted a couple of days ago.

December was more laid back. We still did school but I didn't keep up with the reading for the younger ones. I sprouted a lemon tree in my kitchen and it's so joyous to see it grow in the midst of the grayish winter. See photo to the left. 

Some fun recipes and crafts videos on YouTube. Check out the links!

Read aloud Books

* The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing - the cutest! Definitely a kid book!! haha!
* Thanksgiving for Emily Ann by Teresa Johnston
* The Thanksgiving Bowl by Virginia Kroll
* How Do Dinosaurs say I'm Mad? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
* On a Beam of Light - A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne
* Millions, Billions and Trillions - Understanding Big Numbers by DAvid A. Adler

Christmas Books:
1) The Christmas Box by JoAnne Stewart Wetzel
2) Lighthouse Christmas by Toni Buzzeo
3) Uncle Si The Christmas Elf - Work Hard, Nap Hard by Si Robertson and Ashley Howard Nelson
4) And Then Comes Christmas by Tom Brenner
5) A Chick 'n' Pug Christmas by Jennifer Sattler
6) A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote - One of my favorite books. You can see the movie here.
7) The Christmas Show by REbecca Patterson
8) Shooting at the Stars - The Christmas Truce of 1914 by John Hendrix
9) The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie
10) The First Christmas by Jan Pienkowski
11) Sam's Christmas Wish by George D. Durrant

Audio Books

* My kids, one time or another have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales and classic stories , worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia and Story Nory (lots and lots of FREE audio goodness: Bible stories, Classics, educational stories even ones for non-English speakers wanting to improve their English. We love this website!).

* We all heard Your Story Hour Christmas stories on the birth of Jesus.

* DD11 is listening to  Jonathan Park volume X and Novarupta.

DD7 independent reading list: 

 She is also reading aloud  Read with me Bible to us all during lunch time.

* Shellfish Aren't Fish by Allan Fowler

Read Aloud to her sibling(s):

* Thanksgiving Treat by Catherine Stock
* Merry Christmas, Davy! by Brigitte Weninger and Eve Tharlet
* A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
* Happy Pig Day! by Mo Willems


Listening and following along books on Storyline Online.  DD4 sits in and watches with her sister. :)

Academically: Math - Singapore Math 2A/2B books. We are covering multiplication right now. She is doing copy work, reading to her siblings and to me out loud, and to herself. Science and History are covered by our reading alouds, documentaries, audio books or videos. Using some 2nd/ 3rd grade workbooks I have at home to cover phonics, spelling and grammar. On her own she goes to EAsy Peasy website and reads/ watches videos and plays games for 3rd grade level.

DS9 independent reading list:  

* DS9 is reading the Action Bible on his own.

* Calvin and Hobbes -DS9 reads a few strips at night before falling sleep.

* Handel Who Knew What He Liked by M.T. Anderson and Kevin Hawkes

* The Surprise Attack of Jabba The Puppet - An Origami Yoda Book by Tom Angleberger - Book 4
Read Aloud to his sibling(s):

* Thank You for Thanksgiving by Danci Daley Mackall
* Seeing Symmetry by Loreen Leedy
* Uncle Si the Christmas Elf - Work Hard, Nap Hard by Si Robertson and Ashley Howard Nelson 

Academic Work:
* Mathematical Reasoning - Level E - grade 4, as well as another math workbook for grade 5;
* Watching videos on Algebra; doing 5th grade level math on Khan Academy ;
* Learning Coding with Khan Academy;
* Working through Stories of Adventure and Survival by Globe Fearson - it covers reading comprehension, vocabulary and thinking critically.;
* Doing Science Detective from The Critical Thinking Co. covering earth science, anatomy and biology.
* Dictation and Spelling 3 times a week. I just use the vocabulary he's read or seen the previous days;
* Finished The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain for Book Club

DD11 independent reading list

* Hunger Games
* The Boy Colonel - A Soldier Without a Name by John J. Horn
* The Map Trap by Andrew Clements

* Storm Runners by Roland Smith - book 1
* Storm Runners - The Surge by Roland Smith - book 2
* Storm Runners - Eruption by Roland Smith - book 3

* The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger - Book 1
* The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee - An Origami Yoda Book by Tom Angleberger - Book 3
* The Surprise Attack of Jabba The Puppet - An Origami Yoda Book by Tom Angleberger - Book 4

* Found - The Missing series - book 1 by Margaret Peterson Haddix

* The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
* The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
* The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall

* Drawing Made Easy series - Lifelike Heads by Lance Richlin
* Drawing Made Easy series - Colored Pencil by Eileen Sorg
* Drawing Made Easy series - Dragons & Fantasy by Kythera of Anevern
* Drawing Made Easy series - Lifelike Animals by Linda Weil

On the Kindle:

** Take one or two or three (i.e. reading these yet again!)
Read Aloud to her sibling(s):
* Ocean Sunlight - How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm

Academic Work:
* Mathematical Reasoning - Level F - grade 5 - she's not working on this book this month;
* Watching videos on Algebra; doing Pre-Algebra on Khan Academy 46% completed;
* Began Algebra I Saxon book - completed the first 4 chapters and then we decided to go with the Khan Academy program because her work can be more independent;
* Learning Coding with Khan Academy;
* Doing Science Detective from The Critical Thinking Co.; watching videos on Biology on YouTube
* Dictation and Spelling 3 times a week. I just use the words/ vocabulary we have seen the previous days and were spelled incorrectly.
* Read/ listened to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain for Book Club and completed the Study Guide by Progeny Press.
* Began another study guide by Progeny Press: The Hunger Games
* Began Exploring Creation with Biology from Apologia. She has a schedule and she's studying on her own and doing all the work required. At the end of each module, I will give her a test. She had her first test just before Christmas and scored 70% on it. This has been good practice to learn how to express herself through writing as well as test taking skills. Until now, I haven't given her tests or graded her for any of her school work.
* Copywork based on The Hobbit. Goal was to practice her cursive handwriting and spelling.

DS9 driving the lawn mower and picking up leaves.

Activities at Home

* We are doing quiet time everyday. That varies from 30 to 60 minutes a day depending on how busy we are. During quiet time, the children are supposed to be reading on their own or playing quietly by themselves (for DD4 that is not reading yet). No interaction between the children should be happening. Sometimes I spend this time with DD4 doing her "school" work or just reading / cuddling with her.

* I have also decreased computer/ game time to 30 minutes a day. I have noticed the children are doing so much better in terms of behavior and learning without so much Minecraft stimultation.

* Playing princesses inside. Mom got some princesses dresses on sale after Halloween and the little girls spend the day now dressed up as princesses. :)

* We had friends come visit and the kids had a great play time as well as crafting opportunity. We made Christmas cards for a nursing home.

* Cooking and crafting.

* We made Christmas decorations with items we already had at home. Teaching the kids to re-purpose things we have around the house.

* DS9 and DD11 driving the lawn mower and working with Dad picking up leaves. You know your kids are growing up when they begin driving the lawn mower and began cooking meals. :)

 Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Homeschooling Meeting. The theme was homemade projects.DS9 shared his handmade shooting devices. They were a hit. DD11 shared her homemade sewing projects and DD7 shared her rubber bands jewelry.

* Our first Book Club meeting geared toward Middle aged homeschoolers. We read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and worked on the Study Guide put out by Progeny Press.

* Visit to an older friend. We had tea, cookies and other treats. We had wonderful conversation and Christmas gifts.

* Christmas Dinner party at our church. DD11 got to play her Irish flute and perform in front of an audience for the first time. We decorated, cooked yummy food, laughed a lot and enjoyed fellowship. It was a fun night.

 Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

* Brain Pop Jr - DD7 watched videos on Classifying Animals;

* SheppardSoftware - DD7 and DD4 together are using the science and art section. DD4 learned about food chain.

* Khan Academy - DD11 and DS9 are using this site to learn Algebra. We watched videos on Number Sets; multiplication as scaling; we took a break from mathematical reasoning books and they are now using Khan Academy to master all pre-algebra skills.

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube

* Pirate Fairy
* Fly Away Home -
* Miss Potter - such a sweet movie. DD7 loves Beatrix Potter books, so the movie was extra special to her.
* Cyberchase episodes - DD7 and DD4 are watching these.
* Merlin episodes
* Hunger Games and Catching Fire - watched these with DD11 and DH.
* The Hobbit - An unexpected Journey
* The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug

* the best wheat recipes... the best pancake from Gemma Stafford youTube Channel. 

Books, blogs and other things I am reading...

* Lucky Girl by Mei-Ling Hopgood - Mei-Ling was adopted as baby from Taiwan and brought to the US. On whim to find out about her birth family she discovers the cultural background and beliefs that led to her adoption. A powerful insight into Asian beliefs. If you like sociology, this is an interesting biography as it uncovers the differences between people and destinies.

* The Hunger Games - book 1 - I am always late hopping onto the latest bandwagon. I kind of like to stay behind and watch for major glitches and problems. :) I think I was flipping through channels and saw parts and pieces of the first movie and decided to watch it whole. So DH and I watched the first and second movies. Then I decided to read the book. There's so many interesting points of discussion here.

* Catching Fire - Hunger Games - book 2

* Samples of Jon Acuff books - check him out if you are needing a boost in your career or thinking of changing paths.

* The Daily Connoisseur - videos on YouTube after watching her Ted Talk. Looking for a way to simplify your life or your wardrobe? Then you need to check out Jennifer's YouTube channel. Great tips from a classic girl.

* The Straight A Conspiracy by Hunter Maats and Katie O'Brien - the authors are genius. They simply repackaged all the most current scientific information about the brain and learning and wrote it for kids. The goal? To motivate students that they can do anything they put their minds to; they have got themselves entangled in a conspiracy that are cutting their dreams short.

* The HomeScholar - getting ready for high school. Have questions about High School? College? You can't go wrong listening to Lee Binz.

More fun stuff coming in January 2015. :)


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