Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nature Walk Wonders!!

Lookie what we's a red eared slider turtle..probably just hatched (I think)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Popsicle Planning - Again!!!

They begin in Mama Bears big, white container...

Here's a great post from the past that gets A LOT of requests:

This is an AWESOME idea from mommyx12

And they end up in all the Baby Bears' itty bitty containers!! Then back to the white container.

All of the school age children have their own jar and set of sticks with their color. (Of course Mary isn't 'school age' yet but she's still old enough to know if she's being left out!) At the beginning of the day all the sticks are in my container. In the morning I place each child's sticks in their jar. Written on each stick are their various school subjects and chores that I would have them do that day. When they have completed what is on a stick they simply place it back into my container. In this way, I can see at a glance who has finished and who hasn't. Plus, another bonus about the sticks that paper check lists don't have is the convenience of putting into the jars only subjects and chores I wish for them to accomplish for the day. For example, if I have plans of an outing later in the afternoon I may only put half of their sticks in their jars. If we plan on a long day at home it may get more!! This works especially well for our weekly subjects. Science, geography, poetry, biography, and history are not done every day of the week and are normally taught by me with all the children together. It also helps keep me to be accountable to see to the weekly core subjects because if it's in the jar then they will expect me to get the class taught so they can "check" it off!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Summer Reading From Sonlight!

It's almost that time...time for swimming pools, beaches, gardens and lots and lots of reading!!!

Sonlight has got ya covered so head over and get some good summer reading!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Relaxed Charlotte Mason or How To Get It All Done!...Again!

This is a repost from May 11, 2012 but...It bears repeatin'

If you've followed Charlotte Mason's Philosophy at all you'll eventually start trying to find a schedule and that will usually lead to burnout.  Why?  Because in most of what I've seen of the schedules available none of them take into account having more than one kid or even worse someone is sick or even worse you're sick because you're 8 weeks into being preggers with kid #5.  So now what?  Chuck it?


Here's a schedule you'll actually be able to do and be SANE at the end of the year.  Notice I didn't say week?  You can do anything for about a week it's from then on it gets bad. I am purposely not putting in time.  Time doesn't work when you have a nursing baby or you've been up all night with a sick kid.

  • Breakfast
  • Chores
  • 3R's  - Start olders while you work with littles who require more. Once Littles finish, start littles on project (cutting, pasting, coloring) and go over what middles and biggies need.  This shouldn't be much.***
  • BIG snack and fun run  - (get the wigglies out, dance to music, musical chairs, trampoline) this is probably somewhere around 10:30-11:00 ish
  • Read Aloud - Living Books (history, science, literature, Shakespeare. rotate subjects) 11-1
  • Lunch
  • Afternoons free!  This is the time kids can work on Nature Walks, Nature Notebooks, History Notebooks, Discovery Learning, quiet reading from Robinson Curriculum List, Sonlight List etc.

Sounds easy right?  It is.  No more being behind.  No more scope and sequence merry go round.  Now if for some reason you can't dedicate the huge time slot to reading then break it up through out the day.  You can read over breakfast, lunch and at bedtime. 

For Art you check out the big coffee table books from the library and have them open for display.  For Music just stream some classical or hymns.

****I am HUGE on self learning and mastery so I work towards ALL kids working independently by 2-3rd grade.  If you need more info go to Robinson Curriculum or UR the mom

Also check out my post on Popsicle Planning if you're feeling that you need something new everyday


Friday, May 2, 2014

Reading - Better Late Than Early

picture from Today's Parent

In case you're child isn't reading yet....consider this quote:

It is true that some children can learn to read remarkably early.  But the fact that they can does not mean they should.  Should is another question.  One school district set up an experiment to help decide this question.  Some kindergarteners in the district received extensive instruction in reading.  Others spent the same amount of time learning science.  They melted ice.  They observed thermometers in hot and cold places.  They played with magnets, grew plants, learned about animal life, and so on.  Books and pictures were available for these children if they wanted them, but no formal lessons in reading were held.

And what did the school district learn?  By third grade the "science" children were far ahead of the "reading" children in their reading scores.  The reason?  Their vocabularies and thinking skills were more advanced.  They could read on more topics and understand higher level materials.  The "reading" children, by starting earlier, used up a lot learning time on the skills of reading, while the "science" children spent the time learning real stuff.  And when they did begin reading, they were older and knew more and learned in a fraction of the time that the others took.

Quote by Ruth Beechick- The Three R's pg 6

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