Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Version of Homeschool

As my sister put it, "Shanna's home school just means that anytime you are home, you have to do school"! And she's right! I love the school the kids are in, I love the teachers, and I love having time to myself during the day. I also love the idea of home school and teaching my kids. So, for now, I just plan for breaks and time off school and give them supplemental lessons.

Over Christmas break I planned a unit study about Aesop's Fables. We read a whole bunch of fables, then used two for our studies. We focused on "The Wind and The Sun", and "The Ant and the Grasshopper". We did the Wind and Sun first, reading the fable, we talked about what makes a fable, etc. For math we did some tally charts where we asked all the family members what their favorite season was and who they thought was stronger- the Wind or the Sun. We also talked about attributes of why the Sun would be a good example of gentle and the Wind was a good example of ferocious. There was an interesting discussion about if they could have been swapped with the wind being gentle and the sun being ferocious.

We pulled sight words for the boys and spelling words for Abigail from the story- we did the "-ight" word family, which had a lot of words in the story for Abigail, and Jack and Aidan ended up with words like hot, cold, sun, etc. For art, we made sun catchers and wind chimes. It was totally fun!
When we studied the Ant and the Grasshopper, we did a lot more math. Abigail is really great at math, and I've been wanting to teach her to carry numbers for a while- it was where we left off at the end of summer. So I used the idea of an ant to carry the number all the way to the top. It really clicked with her, and when she was doing her practice problems, she drew little ants carrying each number!

We also did some math figuring out how much food we would need for winter... for PE we did some relay races and tried to see how much we could carry in comparison to our weight. I loved that this story fit into some of our religious values, because we talked about the Church's counsel to store food and why that was a good idea. For science, we talked about the insect classification and what characteristics make an insect.

We made cute little ants out of an egg carton. Man, I love this stuff! :)
At the end of the week, I had them each write and illustrate an original fable. They were totally adorable! Jack wrote: "The tortoise and the hare had a problem. The hare said he is bigger. The tortoise said I am little but I can swim". His moral: Even if you are little you can do cool stuff. I loved this from the boy who is always being called small and always getting frustrated that he isn't bigger and asking me what he can do to grow. I loved it!!

Aidan wrote: "A wolf said a husky did you fight to see who is strong. So they fought and the husky won". Uh, can you tell that Aidan got a stuffed husky for Christmas and he loves that husky just as much if not more than his previous favorite stuffed wolf? :) He had a hard time telling me a moral. At first he said the moral was that huskies are stronger, or that wolfs lose. Finally together we came up with the moral is: Being too wild can make you lose!

Abigail's ended up being pretty similar to another fable we had read, but it did have an original twist: "A turkey was walking down the street when he saw a peacock. Peacock said you are not beautiful, and if you're not beautiful you can't come to the party. Then you can't come to my party. That's not fair. Yes it is. No it's not." Moral: If you are mean to somebody, they will be mean to you. Her story was similar, but the moral was all her own.

Whenever I mention home school, they all cry and fuss and put up resistance, but as soon as we sit down and start doing it, they all love it and really get into it. And, honestly it is only about 30 min a day over the break, so I'm not exactly slave driving them! But they are learning some things, and I'm getting in my agenda! :)


colleensewnsew said...

What a great school you do. It also sends the message that it is fun to learn and that will be a blessing to them their whole life. I am so grateful to call you my daughter!

Er-u-di-tion said...

Great ideas! If you are looking for additionl ways to introduce sight words, please visit us at www.sightwordsgame.com. We currently offer two products - a sight words board game and an activity and coloring book.

Cecilee said...

Love This! Iam getting some great ideas from you. You are amazing.

Valeni said...

Good work with home school Shanna! I love that you are teaching the kids and the results will pay off in the years to come!