Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal: Week of October 31

The Homeschool Mother's Journal
In Our Home This Week:  We bought a subscription to Brain Pop.  To say we are enjoying it would be an understatement.  We began by learning about the origins of Halloween.  Since we were doing a Dia de Los Muertos-inspired skull art project in our writing class, I felt it would be a good time to introduce Mexican artist Frida Khalo.  We Brain Popped a video on her and took the quiz.  I pulled out the coffee table art book I have about her life and art when I realized just how disturbing some of her photos can be to younger children.  Lilah handled it gracefully and we both agreed our favorites are her portraits.  
Grace used BP to watch a video about hurricanes but felt it did not offer her any new material.  I challenged her.  I told her it is comforting to feel like you are an expert on a topic, however, there is much information regarding weather that is waiting to be learned.  She bought a fantastic book, Weather 101, at the Smithsonian when we were visiting in September.  I suggested that she read it and make a notebook to show her NEW learning!  She accepted the challenge. She is reading it aloud to me (one chapter is complete), highlighting the information that is new to her, writing in the margins everything she wants to research further and has completed one page of her notebook!
After watching a BP video about deep sea eco-systems, Lilah said she was reminded of a video we watched (also at the Smithsonian) about deep sea exploration.  She is so fascinated by animals and their environments that she wants to learn more.  I explained that I have many videos queued on Netflix about the oceans and sea life.  I am also going to start our Apologia book: Flying Creatures as soon as co-op is on break in two weeks.  Like her sister, Lilah has been learning about insects and animals on her own for about 2 years now.  I think it is time to give her learning a focus and help her go deeper with her quest for knowledge.  
Who would have thought one online program would have inspired so much learning!  Well worth the one year subscription fee!
In Our Homeschool This Week: Grace finished the month of March with a net loss for her sports store business.  She is moving into April and Lilah is finishing up the ledger work for the month of February.   I know Lilah does not love math.  She never has and I keep waiting for something to click that makes her love it.  But, I love that this program has given her solid skills in adding and subtracting large numbers, most with decimals. She has been introduced to long division although she does not quite grasp the concept of it yet.  Money in, money out, debit, credit, profit, loss, tax, check, these have all become working parts of her vocabulary.
We finished chapter 5 of Story of the World.  My girls loved the story of St. Nicholas.  We are adding the following people to our Book of Centuries: Frida Khalo, Justinian, Theodora, Georgia O’Keeffe and St. Nicholas.  
We finally got thank you cards out for family birthday only took us a month!  Lilah has been frantically writing letters to her friends.  Letter after letter after letter.  She was also inspired by the audio book we listened to: Absolutely Normal Chaos.  She told me she wants to be like Mary Lou and keep a real journal.  Just about every day she can be found tucked away writing.  
We began our next Girl Scout badge project: Being My Best!.  Their neighborhood clean up will be part of it, as will planting bulbs at the Community Center.  I would like the girls to each do a blog post about it, which will be included in their project.  
We also began our family gratitude journal, which I will post about separately next week.  
What We Are Reading:




We have not found another audio book yet.  I tried Edgar Allen Poe for Halloween but realized it was much to hard to listen to in the car.  We have been singing along with our Spanish instruction cds and hopefully we will find something at our next library trip.
What I am Pondering This Week:   

I received my blog/book! It is just fabulous!  I love that each blog post is giving a page number in the Table of Contents.  I love that comments are included.  I love that here are my words, printed out as a keepsake that I can treasure always.  My next edition will be done in 6 month increments.  300 pages is a bit bulky.  Half that would be much better (and less pricey!)

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