Monday, March 10, 2008

Excited to Learn

A first happened in our home today! Mika asked to do more school! She's even looking forward to tomorrow. I'm in shock! Somebody come revive me.

Normally, Mika grumbles about having to do school. It doesn't matter that she only has a few hours of school to do a day. It doesn't matter that we do a lot of field trips, although she does like going places. It doesn't matter that I try to do hands on projects when I can. And it certain doesn't matter that I'm trying to make it interesing and keep the boring stuff, the book work, to a minimum. She still has hated school the last couple of years.

We started my new plan today, or at least the two-week trial of my new plan that I've been working every spare minute I have to plan. Apparently, it worked for her. Here's what we did today.

First, I woke up about an hour later than I had hoped because I'm exhausted from several late nights (trying to figure out how to marry two different curriculums), from being sick (I caught Josh's bug, as did Sammy and Mika), and from the dreaded time change (which always throws me off for about a week). So I didn't get much done in the way of chores. I did manage to shower, clean the bathroom, and eat some cereal. Then we started at 9am as planned.

We are working in our Konos unit for Orderliness and doing the topic of plants. I'm trying to marry Konos-style unit study activities with Heart of Dakota's organization. There are 10 sections to each day.

1. First, we read 1st Corinthians 14:40 and discussed the meaning of the word "orderly" and what the verse meant.

2. We read Lamentations 3: 22-23 and the lyrics to the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness." We sang the song and discussed the meaning of the first verse.

3. We read part of What is a Plant? by Bobbie Kalman. I chose this book as our basic text for the next two weeks. It is simple enough for their age level but provides a decent overview of what I want to cover. Today we read the sections called "Living Things Need Plants", "What are Plants?", and "Not a Plant." My daughter loves read alouds and didn't want my to stop.

This was the first hour of school. Because I woke up late and needed to get some chores done and because of the weather (cold and gray), I let the kids have 1/2 hour of computer time in lieu of going outside for recess.

4 & 5. Next I had the kids do their math and then their language arts book work while I tried to get Josh down for a nap. To my disappointment, he didn't fall asleep.

6. We read and discussed the poem "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer. The kids really liked this poem and wanted to read it several times. We each took a turn to read it in its entirety. We also took turns each reading a couplet. We also looked up any words they didn't know in their children's dictionary.

This was the second hour of school. We left the house to run errands for two hours. We picked up some craft supplies for an upcoming art project and science project, bought cat and dog food at Costco, ate lunch at Costco, and tried to pick up a couple of books that I ordered but weren't in yet.

7. Arriving home, we started an experiment that involves growing grass. At JoAnn's Fabrics, I found these cute little animal pots that you grow grass hair in to use for the science experiment. We planted the grass seed today.

8. We read Eric Carle's The Tiny Seed and discussed his artwork.

9. We made our own Carle-like art work using scrapbooking paper. I joined the kids and made one too. They like it when I work on art, crafts, or other projects with them.

10. We read the first chapter of our read aloud, The Wind in the Willows .

I'm totally exhausted now and still have to clean up our art project, cook dinner, and leave for my weekly meeting. I'm glad she had fun though. Sammy rarely complains but I think he had fun. He spent more time on the art project than Mika did and talked with me the whole time.

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Shadowfur said...

You said, "My daughter loves read alouds and didn't want my to stop." MOMMY!! My daughter loves read alouds and didnt want ME to stop! Not MY!!

By the way, the pink shoe elephant is mine. Yellow shoe alligator is Sam's.

Anonymous said...

Yay! I'm so glad she had a good day! And you did too! LOL! Those flower pots are too cute. I'm so glad your new schedule is working out great.

Michelle Olsen Sasak said...

I really love how you do your unit studies. Reading books, reading poems, growing plants...very different activities that all contribute to learning about one thing. I bet the kids love it :)