11.21.2016

ivey league academy: week in review!


Here's what we did last week!

Reading:  We continued in our language arts workbook and A King on a Swing reader.  Caleb is just about halfway through the reader!


Spelling:  Caleb did Week 18 of our spelling curriculum and got 7 out of 8 correct on his test!

Handwriting:  We started a fun workbook this week since Caleb was getting a bit bored with the other one.  This new one has the student copy a joke or riddle every day as a way to practice better penmanship.  It definitely holds his attention better!


Vocabulary:  Our words for this week were "sniff," "collection," "wander," and "flabbergasted."  I tracked down an old Sesame Street clip on YouTube that has a song about the word "flabbergasted"....I remembered watching it as a child so it was fun to find it and show my own child!

Math:  We continued in his math workbook.  Caleb had a test this week and only missed one point!


Bible:  We continued in our His Mighty Warrior devotional.  We're a little more than halfway through this one, and I think when we finish we'll move on to Leading Little Ones to God.  Several moms have recommended this classic and I found a copy at Goodwill awhile back.  :)

Read-Aloud:  We continued reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  The chapters are short, so we usually get through two a day.

Science:  We mixed things up this week by not using our "Magic School Bus" curriculum.  Caleb had asked if we could learn about birds, and since there wasn't an episode that dealt specifically with birds, we made up our own stuff.  I found several books about birds at the library (including a fun one about bird-watching with kids!), a cool BBC documentary about birds on Netflix, and a fun activity comparing and contrasting bird beaks.  Caleb loved the last activity; we used pom-poms to represent bugs, small fish, and nuts/seeds, and twist ties to represent worms.  He used chopsticks, needlenose pliers, regular pliers, and a big spoon as his different "beaks" to try to pick up the "food" (the big spoon is similar to what a pelican has).  We also turned his Halloween pumpkin into a bird feeder; he saw something similar on the PBS cartoon "Nature Cat," and I found lots of tutorials online.  We haven't had any visitors yet, but hopefully soon!  If not we'll put out a different bird feeder in the spring.







U.S. Geography:  This week we learned about Michigan.  We learned that the main part of the state is shaped like a mitten, as well as about the Great Lakes and Detroit, where many of the earlier cars were manufactured.


Homeschool Group:  This week was at the center.  The kids did a turkey activity where they discussed what they were thankful for, as well as a nature scavenger hunt outside.  Everyone brought in their favorite snack to share, so we had our own little "feast" just like the Pilgrims and Native Americans.

Links:
Bird Beak Activity (Pink Stripey Socks)
Pumpkin Bird Feeder Instructions (Kitchen Counter Chronicles)

11.13.2016

ivey league academy: week in review


This week's chalkboard had a Jungle Book theme!

Reading:  Caleb continued in his workbook and learned more about adjectives.  We also kept reading through his A King on a Swing reader.

Spelling:  We did Week 17 of our spelling curriculum and Caleb got a perfect score on his test for the first time ever!  The words were a little easier than last week's words, plus we did some hands-on activities for practice, like spelling each word with Scrabble tiles and writing it in salt.



Handwriting:  We continued in his handwriting workbook.  Caleb admitted he was a little bored with it, so on Thursday I let him write in his journal instead.  I recently ordered a different handwriting practice book that has the student copy down a riddle or joke each day; it came in the mail this weekend so we'll start that on Monday to see if it helps motivate him.

Vocabulary:  This week's words were "panic," "interest," "final," and "direct" (the verb).

Math:  We continued in Caleb's math workbook.  

Bible:  We continued in our His Mighty Warrior devotional.

Read-Aloud:  We finished Peter Pan this week!  Caleb liked it overall but we both were disappointed that there were such big words in there; it made it hard for Caleb to understand what was going on at times.  He requested The Wizard of Oz next; we don't have that in our homeschool library and our public library's copies were all checked out, but I found the ebook version for free so I'm reading it off my tablet.  The ebook actually contains the first five books so we have the option of continuing the series if he wants!

Science:  This week we learned about food chains.  We watched the food chain episode of "The Magic School Bus" and read a few books about food chains, including a funny one with poems about how animals eat (butterflies tasting with their feet, "cowgirl" spiders swinging their web strands like lassos to catch prey, etc.).  I've been seeing fun art projects about food chains where each animal is placed inside the next animal's open mouth; they were pretty detailed for first grade but then I found a freebie online that had a simple version for this age!  I made a prototype the night before, and also traced the shapes onto construction paper so Caleb could cut, paste, etc.  He was also inspired to draw a sea food chain that he saw in one of our library books!





U.S. Geography:  This week we studied Indiana.  Caleb colored his state page and we read books about Abraham Lincoln (who spend some of his childhood in Indiana) and popcorn (Indiana is part of the "corn belt" and Orville Redenbacher, a citizen of Indiana, helped boost its production of popcorn).  We also discussed the race track at Indianapolis and Caleb colored his own race cars!





Homeschool Group:  This week we had our monthly park day and met at a local playground.  It also happened to be Veteran's Day so Daddy was able to tag along!

Links:
Food Chain Craftivity (Teachers Pay Teachers)
Race Car Coloring Page (Color Kiddo)

11.04.2016

ivey league academy: weeks in review!


Here's what we did during the past two weeks!

Reading:  We continued with our current reading/language arts curriculum.  Caleb learned about verbs, when to use past tense, and other things.


Spelling:  We did Weeks 15 and 16 in our spelling curriculum.  Caleb had difficulty with Week 16; to be fair, it had more challenging words on it (including "would" and "make"), but Caleb also messed up one or two of the easier words.  He got frustrated with his test, but when I looked ahead to next week, I saw that the words were a little easier.  I also decided to incorporate more hands-on ways to practice the spelling words, since I've noticed that just written activities (fill-in-the-blank, write three times, etc.) aren't helping Caleb retain the correct spelling.

Handwriting:  We continued in his workbook.  I'm glad more sentences have been appearing in his daily handwriting practice; he's great at putting spaces between words, but right now his letters are still on the large side and it's difficult for him to fit a sentence on the line, even if it's one he's copying from the line above.

Vocabulary:  Our words over the past two weeks were "jumbo," "dodge," "odd," "deed," "dangle," "equipment," "peppy," and "stroll."

Math:  Caleb completed Workbook 1 of his math curriculum last week!  So we are halfway through first grade math now.  He's doing well with the majority of it.



Bible:  We continued in the His Mighty Warrior devotional.

Read-Aloud:  We continued Peter Pan.  Caleb likes the story but I think he gets lost in all of the big words!  Our next read-aloud will be easier to follow, I hope!

Science:  Over the past couple of weeks, we learned about germs, the properties of sound, and the properties of smell.  I had forgotten to reserve library books about germs (oops!) but did get a couple of books in time for sound and smell the next week.  We watched The Magic School Bus and did a few experiments.  For germs, we sprinkled ground black pepper into a shallow pan of water and then coated Caleb's index finger with soap.  The pepper represented germs, and when he stuck his soapy finger into the water, the germs scattered away! 



We learned that sound results from vibrations moving through the air, so that experiment involved pounding a metal pan with a spoon very close to a bowl with some uncooked rice resting on it.  The rice jumped a little, so we were able to "see" the sound.



Then for smell, we did an "odor detectives" activity.  I set up four ramekins with "mystery smells" in them, and covered them with foil with a hole poked in the top (the activity suggested using film canisters with lids, but we haven't used film in at least ten years!).  I had Caleb smell each one, then write down what he thought it was (I helped him with spelling).  He also drew a line to a sign indicating how the smell made him feel ("yucky," "yum," "danger," etc.).  His smells were cinnamon, dried minced onions, mint extract, and orange juice.  He got everything but the onions right, but he did recognize that it was a yucky smell!



U.S. Geography:  We studied Kentucky and Ohio.  For Kentucky, we learned about Daniel Boone and The Kentucky Derby.  We watched the 2016 Derby on YouTube, then both boys made their own horse, including brown yarn for the mane.





For Ohio, we learned about the Hippoquarium at the Toledo Zoo, Thomas Edison, and buckeyes.  It turns out the Thomas Edison library book was a bust; too much text and it didn't really talk much about his role as an inventor.  Really I should have found a book about astronauts, since more astronauts have come from Ohio than any other state!  It had been awhile since we made any state recipes, so we made buckeyes (peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate so they resemble the nuts that gave Ohio its nickname).  They're so good!  We keep them in the freezer so they don't get soft.





Homeschool Group:  Last week we had a field trip to an apple orchard up in Elijay.  Even though we couldn't pick apples there were still lots of activities, plus we bought apple cider doughnuts and cold apple cider on our way out!



The next Friday, we were at the center and learned about volcanoes.  Each mom brought a different activity; I found a library book on Krakatoa and printed out volcano coloring pages, but I have to say the other activities were better.  The kids painted volcanoes by blowing through a straw to make the paint splatter like lava, made "lava lamps" with a water bottle (using water, oil, food coloring, and antacid tablets), watched a video explaining how volcanoes form, and went outside to watch a crafted volcano "erupt" with a baking soda and vinegar chemical reaction.  Both boys enjoyed it!

Links:
Germ/Soap Experiment (Deceptively Educational)
Seeing Sound Experiment (Cool Science Experiments Headquarters)
Odor Detectives Experiment (Scholastic)
Horse Printable (Learn Create Love)
Buckeyes Recipe (Chocolate With Grace)

10.15.2016

ivey league academy: weeks in review!


I forgot to do a week in review for two weeks ago, and then last week we had a weird schedule (took Monday off due to visiting grandparents, did all subjects Tuesday and Wednesday, only did a few subjects on Thursday afternoon due to a morning appointment and a sore arm from a flu shot, and went to a park day with our homeschool group on Friday!).  So here are the last two weeks in review!

The "No Stinking Thinking Allowed" chalkboard came from a recent day of school when Caleb was constantly putting himself down for making mistakes.  He'd struggle with a challenging word in his reader and say, "I'm terrible at this!"  Or if he made a mistake in his math book he'd say, "This is too hard!  I can't do it."  I told him that was "stinkin' thinkin'" and he thought it was funny but I think it got the point across.  :)

Reading:  We continued to work in his Language Arts workbook; right now we're still in the parts of speech unit, so we did lots of practice with nouns, when to use "I" and "me," etc., and then moved on to verbs.  We also started a new reader called A King on a Swing  for further reading practice.

Spelling:  We did Week 14 of his spelling curriculum the first week, and started Week 15 the next week, but only did half of it, so I decided to start over on Week 15 next time.

Handwriting:  We continued to work in his Handwriting Workbook.

Vocabulary:  During the last two weeks, our words were "fuss," "explore," "jolly," "snicker," "aim," "patient," "creep," and "drenched."

Math:  We continued to work in his Horizons Math Workbook.  He is almost done with the first workbook, so that means he's almost halfway done with first grade math!

Bible:  We continued in His Mighty Warrior.

Read-Aloud:  We started reading Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.  It's the original version of the story, so there's some big words in there and other things I have to explain to Caleb, but overall he's enjoying it.

Science:  During these two weeks, we learned first about cells, then about molecules.  The episodes of "The Magic School Bus" on these topics are fun and easy to understand.  Since Caleb is in first grade and I didn't want to get too bogged down in these potentially confusing topics, we did a coloring page for the cell (though Caleb insisted I print out the page with the names of the parts of the cell on it!), and then for molecules we constructed simple models with mini marshmallows and toothpicks.







U.S. Geography:  We learned about Tennessee.  Caleb colored his Tennessee coloring page and we read a couple of books.  One book was a story about the parade of ducks at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis!  After we were done reading it, we looked up the history of the duck parade online to find out what was true and what was fiction.  We saw photos and videos of the ducks, and also listened to the John Philip Sousa march "King Cotton" (that's the march the ducks waddle along with!).


We didn't get to Kentucky the second week, but it's just as well, since while I have library books checked out, I still hadn't nailed down a craft or activity to go along with Kentucky.  I feel like lately I've been short-changing Caleb in our geography studies; I know I just need to make it fun and memorable for him, but the last few states might have been a little underwhelming for him.  I want to get back to at least doing a craft or following a recipe or something!

My parents are visiting next week, so I think we'll take the week off and get back into it after that.  I feel good about it, since we're technically ahead in our "important" subjects (reading and math), and following a pretty good pace for the others.  I think worst case scenario, we'll get to April or May having a few states or "Magic School Bus" episodes leftover, and in that case we could still finish those over the summer since Caleb finds those subjects more fun than anything (he really only thinks of reading, math, handwriting, etc. as "school"!).

Links:
Cell Coloring Page (Homeschool Clipart) 
Molecule Printable + Inspiration for Toothpick/Candy Molecules (One Project Closer)

9.29.2016

ivey league academy: week in review!


This week is our "fall break" so I thought I'd write about what we did last week!  The movie "Muppets Most Wanted" is free on demand right now; both boys love it, and one of Caleb's favorite scenes is where the imposter Constantine (who looks almost exactly like Kermit) is watching clips of Kermit the Frog and trying to imitate him better.  He gets the words to the song wrong and Caleb thinks it's hilarious!

Reading:  This week we finished Six Ducks in a Pond!  Caleb was very proud of himself, and asked if we could leave the book in the living room for now in case he wants to read to Micah.  I found the next few books in the series (no small feat since it's out of print!), thankfully for reasonable prices through Ebay and Etsy, believe it or not (these books are considered vintage!).


We also started working in a language arts workbook so Caleb can learn more about parts of speech, grammar, punctuation, etc.


Spelling:  We did Week 13 of our spelling curriculum and Caleb got 6 out of 8 correct on his test.

Handwriting:  We continued in our handwriting workbook.

Vocabulary:  This week's words were "hush," "daring," "speck," and "tour."

Math:  Caleb had a test this week and did very well!  (He wanted to go back and fix the problems he got wrong.)


Bible:  We continued in His Mighty Warrior.  One day we discussed the idea of being strong in the Lord and "powering up with prayer," so I helped him fill in a simple "spiritual muscles" page.


Read-Aloud:  We finished Encyclopedia Brown near the end of the week.

Science:  This week's topic was digestion.  We watched the "Magic School Bus" episode about digestion; Caleb thought it was kind of gross since the bus literally goes through the digestive system of one of their students (well most of it...they realize they don't want to go south anymore, so they drive back up and make him burp them out!).  We did a fun activity with bread to demonstrate what food goes through as it's digested.  First Caleb ripped the bread (in this case, a couple of stale hamburger buns) into small pieces to represent chewing.  We also dribbled water on the pieces to represent saliva.  Then we squirted lemon juice on the bread to represent stomach acid (the original source used vinegar, but I figured lemon juice would be less stinky).  Finally we wrapped the mushy bread in a towel and rolled it up to demonstrate the intestines; when we were done we were left with a log of bread! So yes, we made "bread poop," which is pretty much perfect for a first grade boy!  I pointed out the liquid and small bits of bread left on the towel to Caleb, saying that the towel absorbed some of the bread, much like our stomach and intestines absorb vitamins and nutrients from the food we eat (then gets rid of what we don't need!).




U.S. Geography:  This week's state was Alabama.  Caleb colored his state page and we read a couple of books from the library.  We learned that Alabama has some caverns, and attempted to make our own stalagmites and stalactites using water, baking soda, string, and paper clips (we also colored the water to make it more interesting).  By the end of the week we had definite build-up, so Caleb opted to leave the experiment out to see what else would form during the next week.




We also learned about Rosa Parks and segregation.  I cut out several pictures of children out of a magazine, making sure I had diversity, and drew a bus on construction paper.  Caleb then glued the children on the bus, and he said they could sit wherever they want!




Homeschool Group:  This week we met at the center and learned about mammals!

Links:
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