January School

We took a good chunk of time off during the holidays.

It was really nice and I totally understand the lure of it. But y'all, starting back up was hard!  I mean we were all more then ready to get back to routine. And I had fresh new curriculum waiting for us. But actually making myself sit at the school table?  Not so awesome. 

So we started back light. 

A fun unit on chocolate got us off on the right foot.

I'll do most anything if it involves Hershey Kisses at 9 AM.

Gabe sort of blew my mind a few weeks ago when he randomly counted the beans on his plate.  

1-25 without skipping a beat.  And with correct 1 to 1 correspondence too.  I had planned to do a light preschool with him soon, but now most of the things I had planned (like these awesome cocoa cup counting sheets from The Measured Mom) are behind where he is.  Luckily he still had fun with it.  Could be the marshmallows.

Either way, I'm going back to my original thoughts that "preschool" can be accomplished by simply talking to your kid and being observant to real life teaching moments.  It's obviously working for him, so why switch it up?

Josie also had quite a few lightbulb moments this month.

That dang subtraction and fact family junk was messing with her mind and she was not happy about it. She just could not get it down.  Then one math lesson I decided to try these number cards instead of writing and she figured it out!  We were so excited!  I think it was a huge help that she could see and feel that those three numbers in the addition problem were the same three numbers she needed to do the subtraction problem.  

Since that went so well, I searched for some other hands on math games.

We've been playing Flip 10 (flip two cards, if they add up to 10 you keep them), yatzee, and Skipbo pretty much every day.  I also found a few math apps that I let her do in the afternoons that she loves.

We've moved on to place value and she's cruising through it.  Math is once again fun around here, praise the Lord.

Reading and writing are still a little like pulling teeth.

She has gotten really, really good at reading and can read most any book, she just doesn't choose to.  I want so badly for her to love reading.  She just isn't there yet.  I'm sticking to my 20 minutes a day rule and encouraging her to pick up a book when she's bored.  Maybe someday soon she will figure out how awesome books are.  I'm dying to have reading days so I hope she cooperates!

Her handwriting is needing some work.  I want to get her on track by the Summer so I bought A Reason For Handwriting.  She started a week ago and so far really enjoys it.  It does letter practice all week and ends with her using those in a verse sheet that she gets to decorate.  She feels like the level is beneath her, but since she never learned proper letter formation, she needs the basics.  

The problem is she rushes through so it's sloppy.  When she goes slow and takes her time, she writes wonderfully.  So I am ok pushing her in this since I know she can do it.

We started history this month.

I'm using 123homeschool4me's Early Explorer units.  They include fact sheets, a few note booking pages, and a great list of books and activities.  We started with Vikings and then did Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus.  In February we will work on Early Settlers before breaking for Gabe's surgery.  I found a great history curriculum that we will use next year so I'm not sure if I'll pick this back up for the end of the school year or not.

One afternoon, Josie started asking about penguins so I printed out a great unit study from Enchanted Homeschool Mom's website.

We've done research pages on nine different breeds of penguins, science experiments, and lots and lots note booking pages on penguins.  This pack was the perfect level for Josie.  It required a lot of research but still had quite a few hands on or artsy elements to it.

We ended January with another unit from Enchanted Homeschool Mom all about groundhogs!

This one was SO much fun!

I don't think much about groundhogs, but after this past week, I know a whole heck of a lot about them.  I have to say, I'm super impressed with EHM's website.  There is a small membership fee for a lot of the packs, but they are so great for elementary school, which is really hard to find.  I can't wait to do more of these!

* Josie has a curriculum for most standard subjects.  They just aren't as fun to share! *


Robin said...

These are all great and I appreciate the links. I'm going to incorporate some of these with Ava. =)

Something fun my classes enjoyed (for fact families) was when I made a large (think legal size paper) house divided into rooms. We put the "family name" in the attic space and then added the family members throughout the different rooms. When we were finished, we added some of the Melissa & Doug stickers to decorate the house. It made for a fun visual too.

Love this post!

Tracy said...

My 7-year-old daughter is still lacking enthusiasm for reading, too, and I feel the same way. I want reading days, too!

Jill R. said...

Aww, I LOVE that picture with the Groundhog Day hat!! Thank you for all of your kind words about my creations and member's only website :-)

Danielle Huddleston said...

I have to tell people all the time that I do not tend to share the curriculum that we do everyday. Chocolate always makes everything better.