Week One

The blog is up and running. Woo-hoo!

Independent outdoor study is how we’d best like to describe the week. That mostly involved meeting friends at play parks, reading, various worksheets, riding bikes, and family swim at Dowling School. Now don’t get us wrong, the printer was on overdrive a couple days printing free math worksheets off the Internet, and the newly glowing toner light is to prove it.

I am still gathering curriculum, books, workbooks, and field trip ideas.  We continue to look for other homeschool families in our neighborhood to learn and play with during the day.  My homeschool approach is eclectic, but is based on the learning theories of Charlotte Mason, Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, and Psychologist Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences to name a few.

Science

One of the boy’s favorite science activity this week was growing a Frankenstein hand.  It involves a cup, baking soda, a rubber glove, vinegar, and you can imagine the rest.  It is just the first of many fun experiments we will try from the Totally Irresponsible Science book by Sean Connolly.

On one of our bike rides, we picked up some seeds at our favorite garden store for our study of plants.  The boys were at first amused at this dispenser, but then may have felt slightly disappointed after depositing their quarters.  These machines are just like the M&M dispensers that we hit after lessons at MacPhail, with the exception that today’s quarters yield small, seed encrusted compost balls.

Math and Logic

Until I settle on a good problem solving workbook, we will continue to use the endless supply of free first grade math worksheets available online.  Miles has his own creative way to bring math into conversation and use every day.  One afternoon he  made a huge hopscotch on the driveway from 0 to 73 (we ran out of chalk – he intended to go to 100).

Reading and Writing

We have been reading indoors and outdoors together, both out loud and silently this week.  One afternoon the boys created a backyard obstacle course, and would take a gym break in between books.  Some favorite readings were from the Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne.  We all have enjoyed many lively rounds of Sight Word Bingo, a game we printed from a educational website.

Miles has begun a pen pal project with relatives.  We are still exploring the different topics to write about…oh where to begin!

Music

This week we were at MacPhail twice (usually it is only once).  One night was Miles’ performance group class, and he chose to play Persian Market, a song from his Bastien Piano Basics book.  We celebrated with an icecream in Minnehaha Falls Park and were also treated to the live bluegrass band playing by the eatery. During his weekly lesson, he worked on Persian Market, F scale, a Hanon Virtuoso, and Ecossaise (from Suzuki book 2).  He practiced for next week’s Extravaganza Concert.

Miles has been singing along with some vocal exercises from software entitled Building Beautiful Voices (a MakeMusic! product), and gets endless laughter from our family ensemble’s attempt to sing the tongue twisters (especially the one: Who washed Washington’s white woolen underwear when Washington’s washer woman went west).

Keep checking our blog, as I plan to improve features such as adding  links and resources as I figure all this out.

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