Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Learning Notes

Today was one of those days when we seemed to get quite a bit done. Maybe because it's one of the first days in almost a month that we haven't been sick and/or had somewhere to go?

Paddy is starting a weather unit for science. These are my favorite charts for tracking weather that I've found online:

Picture weather chart
Weather Chart (pdf)

He's supposed to record the weather and temperature for a week. Another one of those things I really never got around to with my older kids that I sort of look forward to doing now to earn my homeschool-mom merit badge ; -).

In math AND language arts Paddy is learning about how to write dates and use calendars. He already knows how to read calendars, but he doesn't really know the order of the days OR the months. So we have been working on that. It's something that's easily done as part of Morning Time, it's just that I never remember to do it. It ties in quite nicely with weather logs, though, if I can make the connections.

Here's a calendar maker where you can print the year on a page in PDF. I've printed out 2009 and I'm going to use it to teach calendar sense to Paddy, and to Aidan who has always loved calendars. I could cut out the months and have them put them in order, or ask things like "when is Christmas?" "when is Thanksgiving?" "When's your birthday?" etc. I just have to remember to do it.

For art, Paddy is learning about the color wheel, and primary and secondary colors. In lieu of coloring a color wheel, which seemed boring, I had him play this mixing game -- I'm not sure how helpful it was but he had fun. He also made secondary colors out of primary ones here. A couple of follow-up hands-on activities -- here and here.

A couple of things I wish I was doing more consistently:

  • Keeping track of what the kids are reading or what I've read to them (for example, I read Ralph S Mouse to Paddy, AND Mummies in the Morning -- and Kieron's been reading practically a book a day).
  • Keeping a list of review questions to ask Paddy (the K12 lessons do review past lessons but I'd like to have a running set of questions to go over first thing in the morning or at other "between times".
It's nice that Kieron's "Junior Classic" reading is leading to an interest in more works by the same author. After reading Cub Pilot by Mark Twain he read Tom Sawyer and Prince and the Pauper. After he read The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, I gave him The Giver -- different author, somewhat similar story concept, in that case -- and he read it all this afternoon. He wants to read more Poe stories after reading The Telltale Heart and The Raven but some of the other stories are pretty horrible so I don't know.... some of them even horrified Sean.

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