Week 2 – Exodus

I didn’t get many pictures of the children this week but here is a brief look at what we got up to:

Bible:
Early in the week we read the story of Jesus being baptised and then later in the week L read the version of this story from the Beginner’s Bible to K. We discussed how Jesus is God’s Son and L said: “Jesus is our brother, but why then aren’t all other people our brothers and sisters?” so we spoke about how people can be our brothers in Christ. L did two crafts on different days – one a picture of John the Baptist baptising Jesus and the other a picture of the dove.

dove art
She used blue glue and tissue paper to make feathers on her dove.

Maths:
I printed L some word problems from Resources for Daniel’s Duck – which was her reader last week. The word problems were beyond what we have covered in Math and I debated for a while on whether to try them at all, but decided I would show her two or three at the beginning of the week and see how she coped and stop them if they were too difficult. She really enjoyed doing them – whether it was because I let her cut and stick, use whatever manipulatives she liked or just that she did have to think harder than usual, I am not sure. The problems gave her a first look at multiplication (which we did with addition) as well as a first look at adding numbers in the hundreds. I did try to get her to explain how she got her answers as many times she just told me the answer without any apparent working out. Because I had added this to this week’s Maths we did less Horizons and Singapore Math than usual.

Language Arts/English:
Our read aloud for the week was The Indian in the Cupboard. I was not sure what L would think of this book or if it might be a bit violent for a 5 year old girl, but she loved it and this evening I was told by her: “I big chief. You read more.” We will probably finish it some time next week. There has been a lot of opportunity to work on vocabulary while reading this book to her, but despite not explaining very much to her she seems to have followed the story fairly well. Her reader this week was The Wrong Letter. We did a little grammar this week and are working on adding full stops/periods to sentences but it seems to be a work in progress. For creative writing I just got her to draw a picture of what she remembered from Daniel’s Duck and write something about it. In spelling she moved to practising CVCC and CCVC words – since she has not yet had a problem with these words we will move through this section faster than originally planned.

spelling
handwriting

History:
We covered Chapter 14 of SOTW1 dealing with Moses and the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. We set our own baby Moses afloat in the pool and had Miriam and the princess discussing what was to happen to him after he had been saved from the pool. We also watched:

baby moses
Miriam, Moses and the princess

Science:
We continued our discussion of energy sources and outputs and discussed what options we had for getting energy if we had no electricity. L had to draw a picture of a campsite where there was no electricity but we lost track of science when Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer along with Santa in his sleigh were seen delivering presents to the campsite. “Science does involve magic, Mom,” was my daughters comment.

Phys Ed:
L started dancing this week. She is still anxious to leave my side so I stayed with her for the lesson – hopefully she will settle in soon enough. We also spent the first half of the week in the swimming pool til the rains arrived.

Arts and Crafts
L watched and copied one of Mark Kistler’s Mini-marshmallow art lessons adding her own flair to her picture at the end. Besides the art as part of her curriculum we also made a polar bear with cotton wool fur and sea and a picture of ocean life with bubble-wrap sea.

make a polar bear
sea
cake picture

This week was quite a full week despite the fact that I was at work on Wednesday. Next week may be a very light week depending on what my own work demands are.

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K will be 2 in February. She loves to copy her sister and joins us for any school activity we are doing except for the rare times when she actually naps, so I started her on the ABCJLM 2 year old curriculum this week.

tot schoolagain

We do not have the book Llama llama red pyjama and our library has been closed over Christmas time (and I doubt they have it anyway) so we read Clifford the Small Red Puppy instead and watched Llama llama on youtube instead. K is not very taken by TV and does not watch much that I try to show her unlike her sister at the same age, but she does enjoy books a lot so we read many during the week.

K has been listening to the stories read to L since she was born and I plan to start reading Sonlight’s P3/4 curriculum to her next week. She has the ability to listen to more advanced picture books than L did at the same age, possibly because she has been around us when we have been reading chapter books so I think she will enjoy the stories but we will take it as it goes.

We spoke a lot about circles and she coloured in and painted one this week. She does already know the circle shape so this was review. We found circles while out shopping and also went on a circle hunt around the house.

red circle

The colour for this week was red and we pointed it out everywhere. She sponge painted a red balloon and also painted a stop sign – I was quite impressed by how well she tries to stay in the lines when painting.

red balloon

She went to the Irene Dairy Farm with L on Tuesday and had a lot of fun looking at the calves. She also climbed the jungle gym all by herself and Mom had to rescue her before she tried sliding down the fireman’s pole all by herself too.

dairy
K at dairy

She spent a lot of time in the pool this week and climbed onto the second step by herself and poured water over her head – something she has been quite anti about up til now. We also played putting out the fire which she enjoyed a lot.

pool

1. Draw a ladder on an area of concrete with chalk.
2. Add a chalk fire at the top of the ladder.

put out the fire
fun

3. Get a bucket of water and a sponge.
4. Encourage your toddler to wet the sponge, “climb” the ladder and squeeze the water out onto the fire.

wet
put out the fire now

5. Continue until the whole fire is “out” (usually the ladder is gone by then too else let them erase that too)

I showed her the letters a-g (small print) and told her the sounds they made many times this week and we also worked on some sight words. I am putting up a sentence every couple of days for her to read and when asked she (usually) will fetch me the word I ask for. We also read her alphabet book many times this week. I am only teaching my daughter the sounds the letters make and not their names right now – when she plays on Starfall however she does pick up some of the names.

sentences

Toys she played with this week included:

L’s marble run – K has a lot of fun sending marbles down this.

marble run

Coloured cotton reels that can be threaded (she needs some help with this)
Duplo
Her kitchen set as well as kitchen containers for pouring with in the pool.

kitchen set

Anything else that she can get her hands on 🙂 She helped to wipe down the white board and she loves helping to make lunch, attempting to butter bread and counting whatever it is we make. The number for the week was one so we made an apple tree and stuck one apple on it. We read a numbers book that counts to 5 a number of times this week but counted anything and everything.

whiteboard

<img src="Tot School” alt=”tot school” />

First week of Grade R (kindergarten)

Our public schools went back this week after the summer holidays and most of the private schools start next week so we began homeschooling again this week. On Monday we gave Laurana some school supplies and took her and K out for breakfast. My husband took the day off work and came with us to celebrate school starting.

grade R
KandL

Here is what L got up to the rest of the week:

Bible
I am partly following the 5 year curriculum from ABCJLM so this week we spoke about the Trinity and particularly about God as our Father. L coloured in a worksheet about the Trinity and also drew a picture of herself in a mirror as a Child of God. K is doing the 2 year old curriculum so we stuck to her Memory verse and learnt Genesis 1:1.

trinity
mirror

Maths:
L continued with Horizons 1 which she started at the end of last year. She wrote her first test at the end of this week and I left her to do the entire thing independently helping only when she asked me to help her read the last questions instruction. Except for reversing two 3s she did very well. We also continued with Singapore 1b where she is doing numbers to 40.

maths

Language Arts/English:
L read only one section of Reading for the Gifted Student Grade 1 and then we moved to reading Daniel’s Duck which she read over the next 4 days. I read Ramona the Pest to her as a read aloud which seemed a good story to begin kindergarten with. We are doing some grammar with DoDEA but only did it once this week as it is not a top priority for me for this year and she is picking up many of these skills in other work. She did some dictation sentences for spelling and continued with the l,f, s doubling rule as well as ck endings. For handwriting we are slowly working through the letters that only take up one line when writing in lines. For creative writing I have been having her draw a picture and write a sentence about whatever she draws – we did this twice this week.

History
L continued to listen to SOTW1 and we read about King Tutankhamun and made a mask and then danced to King Tut by Steve Martin. K was sleeping when we made the masks so I made her one so she could also dance when she woke up. We also watched a Youtube video showing some of the treasures that had been removed from the tomb.

tut

Science
We covered unit C3 of BFSU – Potential and Kinetic energy. I set out a number of toys and let both girls play with them before we discussed the energy involved. The marble run was very popular and L wanted to play with it all week. She also had a balloon powered boat as a late birthday present which was perfect for this science topic so they played with that too. Then L decided to combine all the toys and dragged the ramp and ball outside to roll things into the swimming pool. If anyone knows where we can get a good spring-powered toy then please let me know – we had a spring, but trying to play with it proved a little dangerous and needed a lot of supervision.

boat
play
marble run

Since BFSU is meant to be used over 3 years (K-2) and we have been enjoying the energy units, I decided to cover energy in more detail and we used some of the worksheets from Mr Collins Grade 1 Science which we will continue to use over the coming weeks.

science worksheets
Dressed as a fairy during school just because she could!

Phys Ed
We had a heat wave this week so spent a lot of time in the swimming pool. L has become very happy swimming underwater and jumping into the pool and is also swimming lengths. We worked a little on breaststroke, but mostly we just enjoyed the time in the pool. L will be starting dancing next week – most sports have not yet started again after the holidays yet.

lilo
jump
Why our pool looks so green in these photos I do not know – it actually is blue(ish) in real life!

Arts and Crafts
L did quite a bit of drawing this week and later in the week asked to copy some drawings from How to draw websites (this one) but this caused her some frustration so in the end I let her watch Cbeebies get squiggling and copy the drawings from there. She also asked to make glue and we combined flour with some water and food colouring then painted it over a piece of paper and added glitter.

glue glitter

irene
Visiting the Irene dairy farm with a friend.

Summer Update

We have had a busy summer and I thought I had better update this blog before heading into the New Year and the new year of homeschooling.

We went away on a camping trip in November and so homeschooling took a back seat. There was a heat wave when we went, but luckily the resort had plenty of pools and a waterslide. My husband and I both took L and K down the waterslide – the speed of it scared K though so we didn’t take her many times. L had learnt to swim with no flotation devices and eventually went down the water slide all by herself. K did not enjoy the cold water as much, but fortunately there were other pools which were heated – one very hot one and another that was lukewarm and which she enjoyed much more. As we entered the New Year L took off with her swimming and is now happy going under the water as well as jumping into the pool and swimming lengths.

Lwater

While we spent most of our time in the swimming pools, L also learnt a little about playing chess on the giant chessboard – we need to keep teaching her as she was picking some of it up quite quickly and with her Dad and a man from the resort’s help managed to check mate her Mom twice! K was about as tall as a lot of the pieces, but still wanted to help move them. They also went for plenty of walks and jumped on the trampoline a lot.

chess

K has been using the tablet quite a lot lately and enjoys doing dot to dots. She also uses it to listen to some stories. The children got a tablet for Christmas as there was a lot of competition over their father’s tablet. I often find L lying on the bed playing games.

Ktablet

In the last few weeks of November we continued with homeschooling before taking a summer holiday over December.

In Science L covered energy and did a great job of recognising things that used heat, light, movement and electrical energy as well as figuring out what energy forms changed into other forms of energy. We also covered gravity and had to explain where the centre of a sphere is so they could understand why we do not fall off the earth even though we are quite far south. While her aunt and cousin were visiting we went to the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre which all the children enjoyed a lot and we would like to visit it more during the coming year.

sci
lego
Ksci

In Math L finished Horizons K and started Horizons 1 briefly before we took a holiday. Recently she has been playing Sumdog to practice her Maths facts.

I took L to the bird garden while my husband took K out for an outing. She enjoyed the outing and learnt a lot. She was also excited to see Santa Claus while she was there.

fish
bird
Santa

Christmas was good – we went to my inlaws for lunch and the girls spent a lot of time swimming and playing with presents. My sister and her daughter came to visit for a couple of weeks and L and her cousin had a lovely time together.

LandH

More recently we set up the schoolroom – we will probably continue doing school all over the house but it is nice to have a place to work and display things. L and K spent some time decorating the walls with pictures.

schoolroom
decorations

And that is a brief update of what we have been up to. L starts grade 0 (kindergarten) next week and I plan to use ABCJLM 2 year curriculum with K.

k
two girls

Summer Days

We have had good weather this week and spent a lot of time outdoors. L likes to ask to do worksheets outdoors but that does not work well, so I have tried to add in other activities that we could do outside instead. Here are some of the things we have done this week.

L’s Week

Bible:
We read the story of Jesus in the Temple as a boy and I read it to her out of The Message and then we did a finger painting activity. We have been doing daily virtues (which have become a few times a week virtues rather) and worked on being teachable and honest.

message

History:
We read chapter 9 of Story of the World Volume 1 – The first cities of India and then went outside and used dried grass to build a citadel – I know we should have used clay but this was so much more spontaneous and much quicker and also could be so easily adapted when it needed to be bigger or have more houses or whatever else we changed our minds about.

citadelfortifications
Can we use this for fortifications Mom?

A little later in the week we read the first part of Chapter 10: The Far East and examined our mulberry tree which has neither silkworms nor mulberries on it – we will go to a friends house and look at their silkworms however as we have probably left it a bit too long to have our own this year – I imagine the friends ones are spinning already!

Science:

L did B2 of Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding which deals with living and non living things – we also discussed how biological can mean once living and our fruit which was no longer living as it had been picked had to be moved back into the living/biological category. We briefly discussed resources and will go into more detail on this next week. We did discuss symmetry and detail of living things but will need to discuss this in further detail at a later stage.

living

Language Arts:
L read a number of books with me: The Three Wishes, Tom’s Hats, The Incredible Shrinking Hippo and we continued with some of Reading for the Gifted Student Grade 1 which we do a couple of times a week usually. I am continuing with spelling sentences with L and am using the Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading to cover some of the phonics involved in spelling. I change my mind regularly at the moment about how to teach her spelling so will see how this goes, but L has been doing well with it and getting into a routine where she knows what to expect and feels more confident at the moment. For handwriting I am trying to get her to fix a problematic pencil grip – it is taking some effort. We have been reading Little House in the Big Woods as a read aloud and are almost finished. I also read her a number of poems from The llama who had no pajama which she enjoyed a lot.

We looked again at Handa’s Surprise and discussed the adjectives used to describe the fruit then went outside on a “journey” describing the places L choose to walk – “dark, spiky, large, green, damp…”

spiky Spiky – along with the expression
darkSun-spotted

I also did a sentence writing exercise with her to show her how to build more detailed sentences – while she enjoyed the exercise at first when it was verbal she told me her sister gets to do all the fun stuff when it came to writing the sentence she had dictated – maybe we need to do more oral “writing” and expect less handwriting.

no photo She did not want a photo or to do the writing at this stage.

Maths:
As we near the end of Horizons K I have given L more freedom to choose the pages she wants to work on each day – this may mean that she lands up doing a LOT of addition and subtraction together at the end, but I find this works as she is keen to finish the book and start a new one. We have also played a number of addition and subtraction games using polyhedral dice – she chooses two dice to roll and then adds (or subtracts) the numbers that show. She is becoming faster and faster and also much more willing to add larger numbers – she is showing a good knowledge of tens and units and great mental math just by playing with these dice. We did also try adding three dice numbers together and she managed well with this too. In Singapore 1b we have been doing graphs and she has a good understanding of these too.

polyhedral dice

Other activities:
L has been keen on building puzzles recently and will complete a 100 piece puzzle by herself insisting that we do not help her. We are going to be needing some new puzzles soon! Because it was nice and sunny L spent a lot of time swimming and we played a good many games outside. L seems to need to be kept busy as getting her to entertain herself for a short time resulted in the maths manipulatives being drowned.

puzzle
puzzle2

games

drown the manipulatives

K’s Week

I decided to plan a few things just for K this week mostly to work on vocabulary so we used 1plus1plus1equal1 Tot alphabet A sheets and spoke about different types of fruits. I also cut an apple open for her to show her the seeds. Since it is summer here now we also tried a number of fruits that are new for her. I used cards to teach her about a few more different types of fruits and generally expand her vocabulary.

apple
fruits

She requested the Peg and Play and also Hide and Seek shape games a lot so we worked on shapes. She enjoyed painting the shape sheet when I called the shapes out to her – she knows star, circle and triangle – the others are a bit more hit and miss.

shapes

K has also got very interested in puzzles and has started doing 8-10 piece puzzles almost independently (She will get about 4 pieces in correctly and then ask for help) There are a number of concepts that puzzles teach that she is still learning so I am often surprised that she manages to get the pieces in by herself – the fine motor alone is an issue though she seems to have good control, but she knows that a knob fits in a hole, but is not yet sure how to match up parts of a whole.

puzzlesk
kpuz

Her reading is coming on more rapidly now and she has a relatively good sight word vocabulary. I plan on introducing the words I know she knows in different font and sizes over the next few weeks as well as introducing more sight word vocabulary. We continue with short sentences and left to right reading of these words. She is starting to try to follow print in books now pointing to the words rather than the pictures when she wants me to read her something. We are still teaching her the phonetic alphabet and will continue this.

words
no No and yes are two of K’s favourite words to read at the moment – especially No!

K is starting to show an understanding of colour words now too though I am still unsure which ones she knows – she did seem confused the other day when there were two blue towels – one very light and the other dark and she pointed to both a couple of times once I had told her.

She enjoyed the games we all played outside and went swimming with me and L once this week – she is more hesitant in the water than L was at the same age, but is always keen to put her costume on when it is swimming time even if she doesn’t get in the water. She has also learnt to undress herself entirely – luckily it is summer!

ball play
L
K
cute girls

Out of Routine

The last two weeks have been a bit different for me and the girls. I worked a full week from 29 October to 02 November which involved long working hours and so we did no formal homeschool. My mother-in-law babysat for us and the girls has a lovely time with her going for walks, swimming and playing games. I did find it difficult seeing them so little during this time.

work viewdoorSome views from work – not exactly helpful for getting photos of the children.

My sister and her daughter arrived on the Friday evening and we all went together to a homeschool expo where the two older girls got to play on the jumping castles and make some crafts while we looked at the stalls and went to a few of the talks. I felt after being there that I am happy with the decisions I have made regarding curriculum and my plans for next year and found the talks encouraging. It is also always nice to get together with people who are also homeschooling. K spent the time with me til my husband took all three girls home so that we could attend some more talks.

TV
The girls watching a movie together at supper time.

L and her cousin, H, did some homeschooling at the beginning of the week – we did a few crafts with them and they continued with their own workbooks. They were both on a lighter schedule than normal however which gave them plenty of time for make believe play outside as well as time to swim and for us all to do some errands and shop. They left on Wednesday evening.

On Thursday L was complaining of a sore tooth so I took her to the dentist and they needed to fill one of her teeth which meant she needed some sedation as she was quite tense – she slept the entire afternoon and evening, though seemed brighter than she had in the short times when she woke up. K had a fever late on Wednesday night from teething and was sick all Thursday sleeping most of the day. She seems to be getting both her upper and lower canines and first molars top and bottom at the same time – poor little girl. It is almost unheard of to have both my daughters napping at the same time and I almost did not know what to do with myself – the house did get cleaned some of course although laundry was on hold because of a big storm we had that day.

A few of the things we did with the girls:

H read Discovery in the Cave so all three girls made a cave rock painting – they painted the background with sponges and various shades of brown and then stuck pictures of animals onto their backgrounds.

K's rock art
This is K’s cave painting – she needed some help to fully cover the page with paint, but did all the glueing and sticking by herself.

The girls built a whole city out of blocks and played imaginatively with their town until K knocked a few over.

town

H and L did an activity on Goldilocks and the Three Bears which involved reading, cutting, gluing and solving clues and then they decorated it. It is a free activity from Evan Moor Literature Sampler

Goldilocksthree bearsThis activity involved fine motor skills – folding, cutting, drawing when decorating as well as reading skills and both L and H did it independently – L needed a little help with the folding. They also did a story sequencing activity reading six sentences of the story and then sticking them in order.

They did a weighing activity comparing masses and a page of Singapore 1b together. The girls also played a game with our polyhedral dice where they would pick 2 of the dice from a bag, roll them and then add the numbers together. This gave a good proportion of easy vs difficult addition sums for the stage L is at as the dice ranged from 4 sided to 20 sided die (we had two full sets in the mix).

Singapore 1b

Both girls took turns reading a page each of Nate the Great and the Case of the Fleeing Fang and when it gave them an activiity to do we stopped the reading, drew a picture of a big dog being chased by two smaller dogs and they both copied the question: What is wrong with this picture? onto their pictures and then showed my sister what they had drawn.

We read the story of Gilgamesh and then painted a mixed up creature – we did mostly mixed up animals rather than half man and half beast like Enkidu and I showed L this video on Gilgamesh later in the week.

L did story sequencing with cards I had made for the story Handa’s Surprise and we spoke about adjectives. I will most likely continue this activity into next week.

With the girls asleep a lot on Thursday I also had some more time to work on their calender and got a lot of it done though it is still not finished. We now have a calender page for writing in numbers and most of the printables have been laminated so it should have better wear and tear.

K is showing more interest in the alphabet and knows a number of letters already. I am taking out different alphabet books from the library and she loves having these read to her pointing to the letters and saying the ones she knows.

book

I have also been doing some sight word reading with her using both Little Reader and some homemade cards – she knows all the names of her family and a number of other words. I have found that teaching her to read words by sight helps me to understand her better as her speech is slower than her sister’s was and she tends to leave off the endings of words a lot, however by hearing her say a word she is reading I start to understand more when she just speaks it without the word around. Picking which words to show her is a bit of an art form as she definitely learns the words that she wants to use in speech the fastest however I have started showing her sentences as well and reading them to her to show her that print goes from left to right.

K

K’s Week

K enjoyed having her Mummy home for a full week this week, nap times happened later than usual and were less routine and she spent a lot of time playing. I find it hard to have a theme for K because she joins L for so many of her activities – well all of them unless she does happen to be napping.

with dog
water play
She spent a lot of time playing with water this week.

We spent a good while this week working on shapes – K knows “star”, “circ” and triangle (she cannot say anything for that one though) and is starting to recognise a few others too. She played with a Peg n Play set and also Hide and Seek, another shapes game. We also reinforced colours while she played with these though she prefers to think about shapes rather than colours right now. In true Tot school style I left her to play and she built towers and rearranged and organised the shapes to her heart’s content.

circlesshapes2
Peg n Play
more play
huge tower

She’s known the parts of her body for quite a few months already, but I managed to get some photos of her showing us – usually she is not so obliging.

headmouthnose
head, mouth, nose…

K did a fair amount of painting with L – while L was painting her entire body everytime I brought the paint out at this age, K prefers to stay cleaner and always wants to wash her hands once she is done. We had some cold putty (a bit like very watery play dough) that the girls played with and it took a while for K even to put her hands in it, but she did eventually enjoy playing with it (no pictures as it took too much of my attention).

painting

K’s speech is normal according to most guidelines, however in comparison to her sister she has been slow to speak. While doing gases, liquids and solids with L, I read about how getting toddlers to blow through straws could also help with speech so I set up an “experiment” for L to blow into soapy mixture with a straw – she enjoyed it and blew very well.

bubbles

K is showing an interest in the alphabet letters now and asked me to read her: A is for Africa a good many times this week pointing to all the letters in the book. She knows “M” is for Mummy, “D” is for Daddy and also that L and K are the beginning of her and her sister’s names. She even gets “P” for popcorn most of the time!

trampoline
On the trampoline at the homeschool market this weekend.

Tot School

A Busy Week

This week has been quite crazy and I didn’t even work at all which meant we did have plenty of time for homeschooling. I really enjoyed the full week at home with the children however I developed mastitis later in the week which left me feeling a bit ill and my husband was stung by a bee which caused a bit of drama since he is allergic to them, however we are both on the road to recovery now.

I am in the process of making a calender to have calender time with both girls in the morning. So far I have not got very far, but L found me making some things and so we have begun our shape/colour/animal/sound/phonogram/virtue of the day without things being properly ready. Both girls though really enjoy this so I will have to continue to organise it a bit better and actually add in the real calender at some point and maybe label and laminate things. They don’t seem to mind how it is now however.

laminate
Yes, it definitely needs laminating – K keeps trying to pull everything off the poster and is taking some wear and tear.

L finished with the Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme a short while ago and since then I have just had her read books to me. We have read a variety of books at varying levels. Some of the more recent books she read to me were: The Big Balloon Race, Nina the Gobbledegoat and Nate the Great and the Sticky Case. Because these books are at a lower reading level than she is capable of reading at she is practising fluency and also practising reading longer passages slightly more independently.

books

We started Singapore 1b this last week and L has enjoyed having the scales out to practise comparing weights. I have found that she needs a lot of time just to play with manipulatives and so have started taking out the manipulatives just for play as well as insisting that when we are using them for maths that she use them correctly and can play with them when we are done. This has helped matters quite a bit and she does concentrate during the lesson time. We also continued with Horizons K which she should be finished in about 6 weeks time.

weighing
Playing with the balance scale

I spent the week trying different types of writing with L. I think at some stage we are going to need a curriculum to help with writing, but for now I am just trying to see what works for her. We did some journal writing this week where I gave her a sheet of paper with a large space for drawing and a few lines to write on – she drew a picture and then wrote whatever she chose underneath – I am still trying to figure out what is the best way to approach this as spelling is a big issue and she does ask a lot how to spell things but I do not want it to become another copywork exercise.

journal

We did also do copywork – I have copied some sentences out of a few of her favourite stories over the past few weeks and left out high frequency sight words that she is learning how to spell – I then dictate the entire sentence to her and she copies it filling in the sight words be herself. I try with this to get her to work on her handwriting as when copying she is more able to write neatly and concentrate on where her letters go. At some point in the next few months I will probably try to get her writing in lines rather than on them.

copywork

And finally we also worked on spelling – I dictated some short sentences with easy to work on phonics in them and she wrote them down. We did not do all this every day as it would be too much writing for her and even when we did more than one kind of writing the sessions were split by a good few hours.

spelling
This was done over a number of days though she was tired when we did the last sentence and was battling to write a “p” correctly.

For science we worked on discussing the properties of solids, liquids and gases. L loves the hands on aspects of the science and remembers what we do and applies it well afterwards. We melted ice and made our own water cycle in the kitchen and we grouped items I had placed in jars into their categories. We also discussed how air is a substance that takes up space and has weight. Both girls love balloons so we had fun playing with them. We will continue with both topics in the weeks ahead as there are more experiments we would like to do.

water cycle
solids
mess
What happens when you do not pack your science experiments away as soon as you are done and you have a toddler in the house who can climb!

We also played a lot with magnets this week and learnt about the attractive and repelling forces of magnets and also that they attract various metals. We also learnt a little about magnets and hung up one of our bar magnets to make a compass.

L and K finished their art projects of painting the days of creation and read the creation story. For art we then moved on to some marble painting (and I took no photos of this as trying to keep paint in check is not my favourite activity and adding a camera to it would have just increased my stress).

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art

L needs a lot of physical exercise and some mornings when things are crazy before I have even got out of bed I know we need to start with some physical exercise. Luckily it is almost summer and I can get them running around the garden fetching things, trying to turn cartwheels on the lawn and generally being busy even before breakfast. L is also swimming quite a lot although we had a bad hail storm last week and the pool is not looking as good as it should right now.

freezing
The pool is getting warmer but it is still rather cold!

In outside activities we went to a Moms and Tots group for K and then a homeschooling group where all the children spent the afternoon swimming – L even got some swimming lessons from one of the older girls. We also went to a market where children and adults had stalls to sell things and my girls had a lot of fun meeting up with their friends, jumping on the trampoline and seeing some animals.

together

Organising and Categorising

We started BFSU with L recently and the first lesson we did was on categorising and organising things throughout life. With L I played a memory game where she had to remember 16 items that she could look at for a couple of minutes before they were covered up and then we sorted them into categories and saw how many more she could remember (she remembered more than double what she had the first time). I decided to include K in the activities because while she is too young for a formal curriculum she is not too young to learn and play with this concept.

One day she brought all her socks to me so I laid them out for her and got her to hand me the matching socks when I picked one up. She had a lot of fun with this so maybe she should start helping with laundry on a more regular basis.

sock sorting

I also wanted to see what she knew about colours so I gave her two colours of math blocks and had her sort them into two different jars by colour. She liked to put the wrong colour in the jar, say “Oh dear!” and then tip them all out and start again. We later did this activity with two different colours and later with up to four colours at a time.

colour sorting
jars

K has also been interested in doing her puzzles lately and has got quite proficient at them. She is also showing a lot more interest in having stories read to her and is constantly with a book in her hand asking for a “ssss….” (story?)

She has joined her sister in art work that we have been doing to show the days of creation and has enjoyed painting though unlike her sister who at this age would paint herself all over, K does not like having mess or paint on her body and loves to wash her hands when she is done.

We count things with K all the time and a few days back I left K with some math blocks and came back to watch her moving them around and saying “one, two, something or other for three (she is still not speaking very much), f…, fi, ssss” so she seems to know how to count objects to six even if she cannot say all the words.

K went with me and L to one of L’s friends birthday parties and she had a lot of fun playing with her sister and getting very muddy. She also enjoyed pouring bird seed all over the floor at our homeschool group.

bird seed
party

Tot School

Pool-side Art

Its staying light longer in the evenings now which seems to have given us more time as a family (and later nights of course) One evening around supper time the girls wanted to spend a bit of time outside as the evening was still warm and L asked for some chalk. They spent a long time working together to colour an area around the swimming pool and it was so nice watching them work together and chat to each other. When they had finished drawing they decided to dance on their drawings and then went for a walk in the bushes around our house, with L chatting away to K and directing her and looking after her. I followed with the camera so as not to miss their exchange, but it remained just between the two of them.

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art2

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art4

forest