Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wisconsin CHEA Conference

For those of you living in Wisconsin - I wanted to pass on the information for the Wisconsin Chiristan Home Educators Association Spring Conference.

The conference is held at the Olympia Resort & Conference Center in Oconomowoc.

The dates of the conference is May 20-22.

I am planning on going this year with Tim and my mom. I went last year with my mom and absolutely LOVED the conference!! I learned so much through both the sessions and the curriculum fair - to be able to not only look but to be able to touch all the curriculum's I was trying to decide between... priceless!!

I highly recommend this conference. It made a huge difference for me last year in my schooling (for the better!)

For more information about the conference, the cost, the sessions and speakers, you can download this PDF form of the brochure.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weekly/Bi-Weekly Wrap Up


It seems as though Treyton and I have possibly grown out of our "weekly" update posts (at least temporarily). Because of how school has been going and how we are doing school it is much harder to write it out every week. However, I thought I would put a post together of SOME of our school in the past two-three weeks.

Math & Phonics
We are using his ETC workbook for Phonics and the Kumon 1-30 book for math (this past week he finished up his book C from Rod & Staff) but are actually doing is more hands on stuff. I wrote before what we have been using for phonics here. I plan on writing a more in-depth post on what we are doing for math. Numbers are actually a really big deal around here right now and is our primary focus. We are really pounding number recognition for numbers 1-20. As well as working on skip-counting by two's.
To be honest, the real problem we are facing right now seems to be in his speech more than anything else.
Treyton knows his numbers and has successfully counted up to 30 a couple times and even 40 once. But the problem comes in with the "teens" - once Treyton gets to 13, how he says it sounds like 14, which confuses him, so he will skip over 14. Fifteen he says "five-teen" alot of times, but if he does try to say it right (and he is trying more and more) it sounds like 16 which makes him skip 16, because the numbers are so close together (13 and 15) it's confusing when he is counting once he is corrected on the 13/14 miss, to be corrected-again on the 15/16 miss.... does that make any sense? He doesn't get mad or frustrated by it, but it does cause him to not try as hard... I think he just figures he can't do it, he'll let mom help him and once we are done, he is done... problem is, he's not correcting it.
I have taken the time to sit and work on how to say "13" when he is deliberate and slow he does an okay job of saying it - though it takes a lot of work - but when he is in the pattern of counting he rarely says it correctly. This is something that is just going to take time, and that is slowly improving, which I'm grateful for.

Number Card Game - This week Treyton had a lot of fun playing a number game with the cards I printed from homeschool creations. I put the dot cards out in a circle - had Treyton put the numeric cards in order - then he would pick a number card in the circle, count out the numbers, find and place the numeric card on top. He completed the task, by the time he did 16 of them he was a little "done" but he finished without too much complaining.
Skip Counting Snake - I printed this skip counting snake off at Sparkle Box which Treyton just LOVES - this has helped him tremendously in learning to count by 2s. I KNOW that I took a picture of this, but I can't find it anywhere!

We are still going through our state pages - we were making 2-3 a week to catch up, this week I actually introduced North Carolina which was a new state (our first new state in a while) and Treyton was very excited. So we will start to slow down for Geography as we are now covering new states.

I will be honest, I have really let it slack in the Bible department. We are still in the process of church shopping and due to two-weeks of a crazy schedule Treyton didn't go to his KidsQuest class so we are behind on that as well. We are continuing to do our Memory Verses, but that's really it. This weekend my goal has been to write out some Bible lessons for us to do - I'm looking forward to next week when we will start them.

I talked about our art here - since that post Treyton has continued to improve his chicken and cow skills as well as working on his people. I think, maybe, just maybe, that he has finally learned to draw bodies on people besides just a head, legs and arms!! His houses have also improved drastically and now include windows and grass around them. It's so fun to watch as he is learning to add detail to his drawings.
Also I try to add some craft/art projects into our units as we do them (for example Treyton painting with ocean water).

Right now our focus is on learning our home phone number. 

School is going well for us right now, considering how laid back and slowly we are going. It shows me once again why I love homeschooling and how I can do this even when I'm not the most organized and prepared (though much of the organizing I did before has helped get us through this time).

Sight Word Activities

Treyton is just beginning to work with sight words and I haven't done much in helping him learn his sight words so this week I started researching - here is what I have found (so far)

Alot of my the following ideas and sites I found through ABC & 123 but also a few other places, I'm putting the list of ideas that I think our family will benefit the most from here - mostly so that I can go back and use it, but also for all of you too ;)

Games and Activities: 
Alot of these games I found on multiple sites, I can take none of the credit myself for any of the ideas. 

Sight word BINGO
Fun Writing Make sight words out of letter stickers, alphabet stamps, play-doh and letter cookie cutters, stencils, letter magnets, etc. 
Race Writing how many times can you write the word in 1 minute?  
Word Find - make your own word find including your sight words.  I used this site
Snowball fight --the words are written on crumbled up peices of paper, have a snow ball fight with your crumbled up paper, at the end, everyone gathers up a specified number of snowballs, opens them up and reads the words.
Basketball--played with the same papers as above, if you can read the word you get to attempt a basket.
Hide and Find--- place the words throughout your home/school room - if you find one, and can read it you get a prize/treat.
Letter/Word Puzzles- Write the letters for the sight words on index card/card stock (using different colors for different words - putting one letter per card) Then have your child make their words with the cards.
Hopscotch- instead of numbers write in sight words. Take turns tossing a rock to a word and reading it.
Rainbow Writing- This can be done with paint, markers, crayons, chalk, etc. Just have your child write the word and then copy it using different colors.
Word Hunt - Copy a page or two of a simple Children's book or write up your own short paragraph, then have your child find and highlight her words. For added fun you can have your child act-out what she read. 
Go Fish/Memory - make two sets of your sight words (you can print these off, or make them on index cards/cardstock) and play go-fish or memory with them
Hang Man- with sight words. 
Word Search and Cut- Have the student cut out their words as they go through an old magazine, or newspaper. You can then have them glue them on a different piece of paper.
Bean Bag Toss – throw a bean bag on different flash/word cards – once you throw the bag on a word, you have to read it – if you read it right you get to keep the card. 
Printable Sight Word Games using common characters our kids know and love (cinderella, cars, etc). Just print and play. 
I printed off the Cars Uno set, the really awesome thing about these were that I was able to edit in the specific sight words that Treyton is working on and print them, so they were catered specifically to our list of sight words.
Little Giraffes offers several fun games to play to learn sight-words along with this is Little Giraffes "Crash" game PDF Template File

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ocean Unit Study: General

Yes, for those of you wondering if I'm still here - I am! And no, I haven't had the baby yet!!

School has been sporadic (at best) for us, we have had a very busy couple of weeks and my energy is still not great, but we have been able to get some school done!

We started our Ocean Unit, at Treyton's request, and we have been having a lot of fun with it.

I have basically divided the unit into 4 sections. Ocean: General, Whales, Sharks and Jellyfish but now that we've started it seems as though I may need to add a section on Sea Turtles (we'll see). I was thinking this was going to be a longer unit than what it is turning out to be, but that's okay. Longer units don't work that well for us anyway :)

This post is going to cover what we have done for the general part of our ocean study.

To Begin
To start our unit we took our globe and talked about how the earth was covered with more water than land. We pointed out the four major oceans and talked about how the pacific ocean was the biggest ocean.
 We talked about how the ocean was salty and what made it salty. We read a few books on the ocean (I didn't have many on just the ocean), and watched a few videos (including our Planet Earth DVD on Oceans).

We labeled on a map of the world where the four largest oceans were - at this point I didn't worry about the names - I told Treyton their names but I know that he didn't retain them - instead I said put an X where the biggest ocean, the pacific ocean is. Put a triangle where ____ is, etc. We used both the globe and our map so that he could see what it really looked like.
To illustrate the pacific ocean Treyton took his map and made it into a cylinder so that we could see how it connected on both sides.

Paint with "Ocean Water" (I cannot for the life of me remember where I found this... my apologies)
Mix 1/4 C. of water with 6 Tbl. of salt and 3 drops of food coloring.
Paint with your water mixture (be sure to pull up the extra salt from the bottom) once the paint dries the salt remains - they turn out pretty neat!!
Treyton Painting
Alexa painting
 Treyton told me what this was but I forget - I know he said something about water and sand but I can't tell you the specifics... sorry.
 This is Lexie's work of art
This is a picture of a volcano (yes, I realize his volcano is upside down, he does not however) and a surf boarder. 

Ocean in a Bottle:

Floating Egg Experiment
We saw this experiment over at Susana's blog first, but since then I found it a couple other places (including homeschool share).
First we talked about how the ocean was salty - we made one bowl of "ocean water" and one "fresh water" - I had the kids taste both... Treyton actually enjoyed this part so I had to quickly tell him he couldn't eat it once we added the egg.
Next, Treyton added an egg to both bowls.
It floated in the ocean water and not in the fresh water. This was because ocean water is more dense (I explained it as "thick") than fresh water because of the salt that is in it so things float easier. 
(And this is just a picture of Lexie mad because she couldn't eat the raw egg - purely for your enjoyment)

I printed off the fish bingo sheets from Prekinders and filled in 1-20 and had Treyton mark off the numbers as I called them out randomly. Treyton is still struggling a little bit to recognize 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. All the other numbers he has down pretty well. This exercise he really enjoyed and it seemed to help him - I may do this again before we are finished with our unit.

We did several fun worksheet printables that I got from different places:
1-10 Dot-to-dot from Kidzone
Ocean Animals - circle the animals that live in the ocean
Counting Fish from Lessonsense
Under the Sea Maze from Kaboose 
I had assembled the lapbook back when I put the unit together (I don't like it this way but this is the last unit we have that I did this), so I had Treyton fill in a few of the things he already knew. To be honest, the lapbook is not flowing real well with how we are doing our unit like it did with the snake unit so this is just a small part of our unit that I may or may not continue as we go on.
I am currently still working on what I am going to add to the lapbook to just put the simple facts that we have learned about the ocean....
I picked up a little crayola ocean book in the $1.00 section at Michael's that I also had the kids use and color - it was a nice addition to our studies in one of mom's not so energetic moments. Treyton is actually really enjoying this book and is really motivated to finish an entire coloring book! 

Some of Treyton's Favorite things he learned about the ocean: 
~ The Earth is covered with more water than land
~ The ocean is salty, it is made salty by rocks
~ You float in the ocean easier than other water 
~ The ocean is full of LOTS of different kinds of fish, animals and plants
~ Volcanoes in the ocean make islands (like Hawaii)

Books We've Used: