Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Official "Not Back to School" Day!

I'm glad today feels a teeny, tiny bit familiar.  Today is the first day of PS in our town and I'd be lying if said that I didn't feel somewhat wistful.  Not in a "maybe I should have kept my kids in public school" kind of wistful, a "that familiar comfort that I'd grown to live by and schedule our lives around is gone" kind of wistful.  There's no doubt in my mind that my kids will thrive in a homeschool setting.  But the truth is...so will I.  For 1,000 reasons this is good for ME as well as them.  Ahem, but I digress!  I'm glad that today is our 3rd "official" day of homeschooling and we're already into it.  We're keeping on with our theme this week of "Keep Calm and Sparkle On".

This morning was a bit "off" around here.  T was up until 10 (in bed)...he just couldn't fall asleep.  And then he was up again at 1:15am for about an hour.  So I let him sleep in until about 9:15.  The baby threw a bit of a wrench into the mix as he did not nap for a variety of reasons but he stayed in his bed for 2 hours babbling and playing.

K started her morning solo with journaling, handwriting, and reading comprehension.  T got up and started his day and followed the same schedule as K.  For their journaling I asked the children to create an acrostic keeping with our "sparkle and shine" theme.  K did the word SPARKLE and T did GLITTER.  I love the mix of art and writing that the journaling provides.  It warms up their brains for the day in such a gentle and creative way.

I've always struggled at personal organization.  For me it manifests itself in the way of clutter but it could easily spin out of hand if I wasn't so diligent about keeping a calendar (or multiple as the case may be) so I sat with each child and we thoroughly went through their own planners to discuss why we use a planner, what I expect of them and how to keep the planner clear and organized.  I hope that as the days and weeks roll on using these will become second nature.  I have started them off by putting our outings along with the towns that these outings are being held in.  This way they will know where we are going on any particular day and it will help them become acquainted with our surrounding towns.  
We then moved onto math.  We had our first homeschool tears this morning as K was presented with her multiplication tables.  These frustrated her last year in 3rd grade and they frustrated her again today.  Last year she was expected to memorize her tables 1-11.  And she tried...very hard.  But for some reason she was having a hard time getting it to stick.  Today I started her off with tables 1-6 in a grid format.  She did ok for a bit and then I could tell (a mile away) that the tears were coming.  So I brought out a box of decorative stones as a manipulative to help her visualize the groupings of numbers she was trying to multiply.  It definitely helped as she progressed through her tables.  She was still upset but we moved through it and onto other math that she was more comfortable with which helped her perk up a bit.  Ty is not quite at the times tables yet but was working on telling time, number lines and patterns.
It was mid-day at this point and we were ready to break.  Today was official "Not Back to School" day at a local beach!  Such fun!!  We hung there for about 3 hours with our fellow homeschool friends and parents.  The kids swam, played, and made friends!  It was beautiful.  Both kids remarked on the way home how much fun they had and what a great "recess" it was!

When we got home we cleaned up and the baby went for a nap.  We returned to our studies for a little bit as the children still needed to do their D.E.A.R. (drop everything and read) time and we had science to cover.  Today's experiment was to make glitter slime which was SO cool!  We discussed that the mixture of the glue (in this case Elmer's Glitter Glue) and Borax produces a putty-like material called a polymer and that a polymer is made up of long chains of molecules.  Polymers are made out of long strands of molecules.  If they slide past each other easily the substance acts like a liquid, if they stick together then it acts like a rubbery solid.  We discussed that Borax is the catalyst that causes this reaction.
After science time (and play) we cleaned up and the kids ran off for more of their imaginary play!  (one of their favorite pastimes)  

today's imaginary play brought to you by Littlest Pet Shop
Off to bed for the littlest, going to read about Cleopatra and continue our group reading of the chapter book Mandy.

More adventures tomorrow!

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