Thursday, August 28, 2014

And away we go!!!

Today marks the first "official" day of our homeschool journey!  I had planned to start next Tuesday, after the Labor Day weekend but my daughter was literally begging me to "start school" so I pulled it all together to make today Day 1!!
Everyone got up at a reasonable hour, got dressed, made their beds, had breakfast and brushed their teeth in prep for our day.  Each of my older children picked out a special first day of shirt to wear for today - just as they would have if they were headed to PS.  We went outside and took pictures.  We then came in and got to work.  We took advantage of the quiet morning while the baby slept and started our day with art journaling.  Our theme this week is "Keep Calm and Sparkle On".  We discussed the origin of the original phrase "Keep Calm and Carry On" as it dates back to England during WWII.
For our purposes we were inspired by these iterations:
They did journaling pages with this theme as a jumping off point.  The intent of the pages is for them to use the inspiration to write and create however they want.  These pages must involve writing and some kind of art.  How they interpret the theme is up to them.  I put out a grouping of supplies:  lots of glitter and glue, a box of assorted embellishments, a box of sparkly gem stickers, markers, and an assortment of crayons/colored pencils.  
They sat and focused on this project for 90 minutes.  It was truly beautiful to watch.  They shared ideas, shared suggestions and complimented each other on their processes.
This is my 8 year old son's page about one of his imaginary friends names Robby Rabbit.
This is my 9 year old daughter's page.  She was inspired to write this beautiful story.
We then moved onto some handwriting.  I have a fun cursive handwriting practice book for my daughter.  She learned cursive last year in third grade (and she is really good at it) so now we're just keeping her skills up.  Here is the book that she's using:
Here's a LINK to it.  (no one is paying me to share this link with you - I like the book because I like the book and I shop mainly at Barnes and Noble - which is why the link goes there.  No other reason)

My son just finished first grade last June so we're still working on neatening up his print.  We'll move onto cursive with him sometime this Winter.  For worksheets for him I have been using a website that I found (no affiliate links here - just something I found that works) called worksheets.com.  You can create your own print or cursive handwriting practice sheets here.  I've been making them with the children's name, interests and silly things we say to each other.  I find that it engages them more, at least in our house, when what they are writing about is familiar to them.  (being silly doesn't hurt either!;)  I use this site for math, puzzles and other worksheets.

I also have this book for him:

You can find it HERE.

D.E.A.R. time (drop everything and read) happened next.  Each child had approximately 45-60 minutes to read anything they wanted.  They each had a turn in our homemade teepee.  It allowed them to separate for a little bit, rest and recharge for the rest of the day.
We went off for a short visit some friends then a quick dentist appointment for my daughter.  In the afternoon, when the baby went down for nap #2 (so thankful for the time he gives us!) we did our math and science.
The children used baking soda, food coloring, tons (and I do mean TONS) of glitter and vinegar for this sparkly experiment.  The second they added the vinegar to the baking soda it was an instant and super fabulous WOWWWWWWWWWWW moment as the mixture came fizzing rapidly over the top of the cups they were using.  The "fizz" as they called it was sparkly and twinkly due the glitter and definitely added to the awe factor.  
Ty's reaction in the last picture in the series is just the best.  That came along with a huge "whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"  Just priceless.  I will tell you that at the beginning of the experiment, the colors are much more vibrant than the root beer color my son has going on in the last pic.  We started out with one color each of glitter and food coloring and then they kept doing the experiment over and over with different colors until I ran out of vinegar.  Hence the muddy colors in my photos.

If you're interested in this experiment (which, I may add, is super easy, inexpensive, and has a big "ooo and ahh" factor) here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • tall cup or vase (we used a large water glass and my Tervis travel mug)
  • baking soda (I got a big box of the store brand)
  • vinegar (store brand is fine - I definitely should have gotten 2 big bottles)
  • food coloring
  • glitter
  • tray or pan with sides to catch the overflow 

Directions:

·        1.  Put your vessel in the tray/pan - this will catch the overflow.  Place 2-3 tablespoons baking soda in the bottom of your vessel.  
         
2.  Add 6-7 drops of food coloring and 1-2 teaspoons of glitter.

3.  Pour in about 1/2 cup vinegar.  Get ready to enjoy the peals of laughter and giggles!  (at least that's what happened here!)

We cleaned up and the children wrote their description of the experiment along with what they thought it should be called, their thoughts along with a picture of the experiment.



I will note that there is a bit of spray with this experiment so I would suggest wearing smocks of some kind if you don't want to get yourself covered with food coloring (it can stain).  

I was making dinner for everyone while they were doing their write-ups and pictures and when they were done they were officially done with their first official day of homeschooling!  Big thumbs up all around.  My daughter finished her work and then handed me this beautiful note:
I love you too sweet girl!  I consider myself honored and beyond blessed to be able to be home with my children as well as being able to educate them.  I consider it life's biggest treasure.  

My tiniest one made an appearance here and there throughout the day as well!  He's just harder to snap pics of because he is constantly in motion.  Here we are full of post-bath exhaustion.  Off to bed!!
Night night everyone!  Looking forward to more adventures tomorrow!


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