Category: Space

Fun @ 4: Toilet Paper and the Solar System

We just about finished our study of the solar system (we will finish up tomorrow since Daddy Cameron will be gone most of the day).  Today, we put all the different parts solar system that we have studied together.  I borrowed yet another idea from my friend who writes at Crunchy and Green.  We took toilet paper and used it to create kind of a scale model of the solar system.  Thing 1 was super excited about our project.  Thing 3 just wanted to play with the balls planets.  Here is how our product turned out. 

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I really wanted to use the salt dough planets that we had created over the past two weeks, but Saturn had a tragic accident and we were missing Mercury, Venus and Mars.  So I had to create planets on the fly.

Here is the link to the paper with the scale we used to do this project.  However, we used the toilet paper with the smaller scale model, because I wasn’t going to use 20,721 sheets of toilet paper. 

Fun @ 4: Constellations


Today Thing 1 and I talked about constellations as apart of our outer space study.  The big hit of the day was making a few constellations using cheerios and string.  I found the printable constellation lacing cards, but instead of using them as lacing cards I wanted to use them as patterns for our cheerios and string.  My original plan was to transfer the patterns to black cardstock, but lightning strikes and life got in the way, so we just did this on the printout instead. 

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In our math studies today we continued with measurement.  I had Thing 1 use two different size paperclips as a way to demonstrate why we need things like rulers.  I gave Thing 1 an assortment of items to measure using the small paperclips and the large paperclips. 

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I would first have Thing 1 estimate how many of each size paperclips he would need.  Then we would measure the object using both the small paperclips and the large paperclips.  We recorded all the answers on a small whiteboard. 

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Once we had recorded all the answers, I asked Thing 1 a series of questions concerning our results.  Which lead to a discussion about why we have rulers and how important it is to have a standard tool of measurement.  I even pulled several rulers and tape measures out so that he could physically see that even though all of the rulers were different, he could pick up any of them and get measure the same number every time. 

Fun @ 4 Today!


Back to “Normal”

Things are finally returning back to “normal” around here since the lightning strike last week.  Today the boys and I had a much more typical day although our school day was cut a little short.

Totally 3:

Thing 2 and I continued his review of all the letters we have been through before.  Today was the letter T (for Turtles).  Like we did on Monday, I am using different pieces parts of the Letter of the Week curriculum.  Thing 2 started with some prewriting practice.  Then we moved on to a letter Tt poking sheet.  Thing 2 really enjoys using the push pin to poke the letters. 

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We then moved onto the turtle graphing exercise provided.  However, we never got to the graphing part of the activity, but Thing 2 did get some great one to one counting practice done.

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He then finished the day cutting out and putting together the cut and paste turtle in the Letter of the Week curriculum.  Shortly after he finished with his turtle, he drew a couple of hearts in his journal, then he was done.

Fun @ 4:

Thing 1 had a rough start to his school day.  He is fine with the sight words, but he does not seem to want to practice reading.  I just have not found the right approach with him.  However, we did get it done and I think he surprised himself with how much he really knew.

Next we continued our measurement study.  Today I traced Thing 1, Thing 2 and my foot and hand.  Then I introduced Thing 1 to a ruler and we measured the distance of each foot or hand.  A couple of times the numbers didn’t fall really close to a full inch, so I was able to introduce the idea of rounding up.  After only a couple of examples, Thing 1 was able to finish up all the measurements. 

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Learning about the sun was next up on the agenda.  First we talked about how the earth orbits the sun.  I stole this idea from a friend at Crunchy and Green.  However, could not find a small blue marble, so I found a bouncy ball.  It just gave us another reason to talk about the size of the sun and earth.

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He then colored his salt dough sun, a wonderful shade of green (I don’t know)  completing our solar system.  We will be working on putting it together in the next couple of days. 

We didn’t get to our journal for the day since Thing 3 was awake and we wanted to get to the park to meet some other homeschooling families. 

We had a great day, and I am really loving homeschooling and so are the boys.

Anyone have any reading programs they love or that have worked for them? 

Fun @ 4: Space Continued

I finally figured out our plan for the week.  Thing 1 is going to continue on with my original plans for the week, which is to continue with the second half of our solar system study. 

With that, today, Thing 1 and I started into You Can Read Unit 6.  He has really responded well to the You Can Read program.  Of course we had our sight word train out and in use.  After moving through our You Can Read activities for the day, we headed into our math activities for the day.

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This week we are going to get into some basic measurements.  Today, I had Thing 1 pick out one object to measure.  He chose a marker.  We then used several different “things” to measure the length of the marker.  First was 3 large paper clips.  Next up was our letter tiles.  Then I asked him why it took more letter tiles to measure the length.  I think we next used push pins.  Before Thing 1 laid out the push pins, I had him estimate how many push pins it would take.  I was really impressed how close his guess was.  He was only off by one pin.  Lastly, we used small binder clips.  His estimate was right on. 

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I was not sure how the math activity would go, but I am really impressed with how easily he seems to get math.  Some days I wish reading would come as easily. 

We finished up our day with the outer planets of the solar system.  I gave Thing 1 a choice between The Magic Schoolbus Lost in the Solar System and Dr. Seuss There’s No Place Like Space.  He immediately chose There’s No Place Like Space.  So while I read the book, Thing 1 colored the salt dough ornaments for the outer planets.  While I was reading about each planet, he would color the planet. 

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Once we finished the book and while he finished coloring I sat and asked him about each planet.  It was remarkable how much he was able to remember, even about the inner planets, which we studied last week. 

Lastly, he finished with his journal.  Each day I have had Thing 1 finish the day by drawing a picture in his journal about something we had done in school.  Then I have him recite a sentence to me, which I write down, so that he can copy it into his journal. 

Fun @ 4 with Thing 1!

Lightning, Monsters, Letter I and the Moon

So it is official that lightning hit our house Monday night, completely killing both AC units, the cable, internet, garage door, irrigation system, and putting a fist size hole in our roof.  Also, since that time, the mouse on my laptop doesn’t work and my blog has had a few issues.  That is all that I have found so far.

Thus our school week has been interrupted, a lot. 

Tuesday, the only thing we managed to do was a very short story and art project.  We read a short counting and monster book and then I had the boys make monsters, however they were soon distracted by one set of repair guys that were in our house.  Thing 1 did come back later in the day to finish his monster.

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Today was a little better.  One, because I was determined to get back on track, but also because we only had one repair visit scheduled.  So this afternoon during Thing 3’s nap, Thing 2 and I continued to with our letter of the week, the letter I.  Today was letter I is for igloo.  After he finished his beginning letter I pre write, we made a lower case I out of sugar cubes.  He was then soon distracted and done for the day.  I will be glad when the repair guys do not have to come around any longer.

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I then started with Thing 1.  We went through our site words and reviewed the –an word family.  Next we discussed and sorted pennies and nickels.  He quickly learned the difference between the two.  Thing 2 even joined in on the fun. 

Next we got to the exciting part of the day.  Today we continued our study of the solar system, by learning more about the moon.  First, we read a book about the moon.  Then we talked about more in depth about the craters on the moon and did an experiment that illustrated how the craters were formed.  I filled a pie pan with flour and then we collected different sized “rocks” (ok, there were acorns and other things because we were having a hard time finding rocks today).  I then had Thing 1 dropped the “rocks” into the pan.  We discussed the difference between the different sized “rocks.”  Both Thing 1 and Thing 2 got into this.  The cable/internet repair guy was impressed.

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Eventually I was able to bribe convince the boys to come back inside so that we could talk about the phases of the moon.  We did the ever popular Oreo cookie phases of the moon project.  This was a huge hit with the boys.  Once we were finished, Thing 1 asked if he could put craters on the moon, thus the reason there are holes in the cream of the Oreos.  I had not thought of that.

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By the time we were wrapping up the Oreo project, the cable/internet repair guy had to come inside and work, thus ending school for the day. 

I know the rest of the week is not going to be much better since this evening we discovered the irrigation and garage door is no longer working and thus will have to be looked at also.  However, my goal is to try and get through most of our plans for the week.  We will see how it goes.

How is your week going?

Letter I and Gravity

So I had planned to write this post 4.5 hours ago, but that was before some lightening decided to strike near my house causing some electrical current to run through my legs, killing my AC and my TV/internet.  However, since I can’t sleep because of all the “fun” I have had over the last 5 hours, I figured I would write this post anyway.  Therefore, if it makes no sense it is because I have had a looong day.

Fun @ 4:

This week is the first week where we are studying a topic that interest Thing 1 rather than reviewing a letter of the day.  Much more exciting stuff. 

We started our day with our new sight words (go, up, down, here) and reviewing the –at word family.  Pretty standard stuff around here.

We then moved into math, where this week we are going to be learning a little bit about money.  So today, I gave Thing 1 some change, and had him sort the money.  It was interesting for me to watch him, because for some reason he would get the pennies and the dimes mixed up.  Which to me, I think those are the easiest to differentiate.  Instead of comparing the color, when I questioned one of his decisions, he compared size. 

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Next we read the book I Fall Down by Vicki Cobb as a transition into our study of the solar system.  When did an experiment where we dropped items of different sizes and shapes to see which one would land first.  I let Thing 1 pick out the pair of items and had him hypothesize which item would land first and why.  Then we dropped the items and recorded the results.  It did not take long for Thing 1 to realize that no matter which items he dropped and how different they were that they would always land at the same time. 

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I then had him record/write about our experiment in his journal.  He drew a picture of him and I in the dining room.  He was dropping the items and I was standing there looking awesome!  I had him dictate one sentence about the experiment, which I wrote onto a small white board for him to copy into his journal.  His journal is how we are now working on handwriting and it goes over so much better than the handwriting sheets we were doing before. 

Totally 3:

This week Thing 2’s letter is the letter I.  We started off this week with I is for insects, although the more insect related ideas, didn’t get done. 

Handwriting/Letter of the Week:
I first had Thing 2 work on his name pre-write that I made a long time ago.  For the first time today, he was able to spell his whole name.

Next we moved onto a new exercise for Thing 2.  I had him us a push pin to poke holes in the letter I and i.  He definitely thought it was cool that he was able to use the push pin. 

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This week our focus is on the numbers 1-3.  We used the butterflies counting cards from Confessions of a Homeschoolers Letter of the Week program to work on counting.  I was really impressed that Thing 2 was able to identify the numbers, 1, 2, and 4, because identifying the numeral is not something that I am stressing right now.  We were able to do the number 1-6 before Thing 2 decided he needed some milk.

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This week’s shape is a square.  So as a simple way to introduce him to the shape, I cut several different color and sized squares for him to glue onto a sheet of paper.  It wasn’t the highlight of his day, but anything that uses glue is a hit around here.

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Cutting Practice:
Thing 2 likes to cut, so each day I have decided to put a different cutting sheet into his workbox.  Cutting these papers can amuse him for a while and he is starting to do a great job.  However, one thing I have noticed lately is that he will use both his left hand and his right hand to cut.  I find it intringuing to watch.

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Letter Craft:
Lastly, to reinforce the letter I, I wanted him to make a butterfly using the letter I as the body and make some wings.  However, since he was fresh off cutting practice, he decided that he wanted to practice cutting more and there for decided to cut the papers we were using instead of cutting out the parts to make the whole.

What did you do today?