Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 3

So far our school days are short and easy. This is partially because we don't have all of our curriculum yet and partially because we are just doing the introduction and review stuff in some subjects. Today was no exception.

We started the day with our usual morning chores. These only take the kids 15 minutes to complete. The way I write their student learning plan, these chores count as school under life skills.

Once I was finally able to shower, give Madelynn a much needed bath, and get us both dressed, we were out the door. I wanted to get Madelynn to the chiropractor because she has been fussy every night at about 8:30pm. Nothing really calms her so I wanted to rule out neck and/or back alignment issues. This is my first stop for a fussy/cholichy baby because our chiropractor cured Mika's 3-4 hour nightly bouts of cholic in one visit. Driving there, getting adjusted, and driving home took a while. We arrived home about noon; I immediately sat down to nurse Madelynn.

After getting Madelynn calmed down and fed, I made a quick lunch. Then we were finally ready to start school. I put Madelynn in the swing where she fell asleep. Scott took Josh upstairs for his nap (we are trying to get him back on a scheduled nap).

Being free of the two younger kids, I was free to get down to the business of school with Mika and Sam. Here's what we did:

Family Reading: We listened to more of Harry Potter and the Golden Goblet in the car on the way to the chiropractor. We'll also listen to more this evening.

Math Olympiad: We are working through the introduction. It illustrates the different non-algebra problem solving techniques that can be used to solve math problems. We talked about the technique of making an organized list. The problem we solved with it read like this:

Five students hold a checkers tournament. In the first round, each of the students plays each of the other students just once. How many different games are played?
Fortunately for me, these introductory problems are fairly easy (compared the the problems in the main part of the book) AND I have the solutions.

Math: Sam worked on the test for lesson 3 in Math-U-See Epsilon which covered adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators. Because he's already learned most of the skills in this level, he's working through just the test pages. We'll stop and learn the few concepts in the level that he doesn't already know. Meanwhile, Mika did page D for lesson 1 in Math-U-See Epsilon which covered finding a faction of a number and review of previously learned concepts. She hasn't learned the concepts taught in this level so she is going through the workbook like normal.

Logic: This week we are doing four Venn diagram perplexors. The kids were lost the first couple of days but today's puzzle was easier for them.

Science: We read a few pages in our chapter on Dinosaurs. The sections we covered were an introduction to sauropods and talked about how gastroliths were found in the stomachs of some of them. We then did a mini-experiment where the kids collected leaves inside two plastic baggies. In one baggie, they also added a few rocks to act as gastroliths. Then they similated the action of the stomach digesting the food in each "stomach" to see which digested the food better.

History: We orally answered narration questions for this week's history chapter. Then we completed the map exercise for the chapter. We'll be adding in a simple activity to go with the chapter later in the week.

Grammar: Sam and I read through a few pages in his grammar book. It was simple introduction material and only took a couple of minutes.

Video Making: Mika worked on adding to and editing her script for her first video, which is going to be a newscast about the first day of Kinz Academy, her imaginary Webkinz school. The newscast will feature an anchor person and a reporter on location interviewing students, parents, and teachers about the first day of school. All characters will be played by Webkinz with voiceovers provided by Mika and Sam. This course is partially Mika's language arts and partially an elective. It will also include science, history, and literature as the year continues.

Independent Reading: Because our school day ended way too quickly, I sent the kids off to complete some independent reading. They are both working their way through the Warriors series.

PE: Sam will be participating in an hour of taekwondo as usual. Eventually, we'll get him back to going two hours a day.

So, that was our school day today. Eventually, we'll be adding additional subjects as we are able.

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