Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday January 28, 2015

Monday of this week I went to the State Capitol for citizen lobbying training. The girls played a couple games and read books with the babysitter.

Yesterday we had quite a bit of fighting disturbing our school. It was so unfortunate. But, as usual, the school part is enjoyable. Amy and I had a math lesson while the other girls were at Joy School. She taught me how to add. It was great and fun and a stretch for her. (She taught me how to do it no hands and without saying numbers and things like that. :)) Then we played Clue.

We skipped some steps because of being out of control. But we did have some reading and writing class with Sam visiting and helping the mood.

Today we had a dentist appointment. So we got a late start on school.

Noel and Eliza and I played a new game from the PERC. It was like Carcassonne but for smaller kids. It was pretty fun. Amy and I had a tiny math lesson with her giving a rough draft definitions of how to do math. We can test her hypothesis in the next lesson.

Then we had tucking story in the living room. All girls lay on a big blanket with their own pillow and blanket. I started to tell them about how I would write my own order of operations problems to solve as a kid. Then Amy told me to tell it fairy tale way. Suddenly the story was all about Princess Bonnie and her castle and other fairy tale-ish ornamentation. It was a success.

We followed that with a story of a 16th Century Italian mathematician name Cardano. Apparently he was a conceited hypochondriac mathematician and physician. We had some interesting discussion from that. Apparently Amy thinks all mathematicians should be righteous so this guy came as a bit of surprise to her.

Then I read Pinkalicious.

Then I became the book waitress. I took everyone's orders and fulfilled them, hoping I could keep their interest to read for a while. It worked.

I read Teach the Children - a very interesting chapter on Biblical and Book of Mormon systems of government and education. Then I wrote a letter to my rents.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday January 22, 2015

Yesterday was library day. Then we played Parcheesi, read picture books, had reading and writing class, and cleaned living room and kids' bedrooms for family work (not too messy.)

Today we started the day with a game we picked up from the P.E.R.C. (part of our library that lends games and puzzles and toys and all sorts of learning things). It involved adding, subtracting, and multiplying. We really hadn't discussed subtraction or multiplication yet, so I briefly explained it and didn't make the younger kids really do it yet. But Amy got it. She won as fast as is possible in that game to win (luck mostly). Fun game.

Then we had a huge break to deal with emotions and consequences and instructions.

For family reading time, we read a math picture book about measurement.

Family work was folding and putting away a load of laundry (and encouraging Amy to have a good attitude about it.)

Then we got out measuring tapes and rulers, inspired by our picture book. I taught them the basics, and we measured a few things. (We measured our feet. I kept saying, "your foot is not a foot" because none of our feet are a foot long. When I measured Eliza's foot she asked, "Do I no have a toe?" :))We also talked about which yard we were taller than, the front yard or the back. :)

Lunch. We discussed the term "units of measurement." I also told them they could have the m&ms from last night's babysitter if they could tell me how many each kid gets.

After lunch I got blankets and pillows set up in the living room. I invited the girls to join me for a tucking story event. (Tucking stories are storied told to children when they are being tucked into bed. My mom's term.) From the time my parents often told the kids the tucking stories, they most often refer to stories told about the teller's childhood. I wanted to tell them a tiny tucking story about my math experience as a child, how I loved it and made up problems to do on my own. They were excited to come to the event but then had a huge fight over who gets what pillow and what blanket. So the event was cancelled (maybe postponed.)

Reading and writing class was fun. I read a story to Eliza. Noel did a reading lesson and part of another. I finished my last Magic Tree House Fact Tracker that we had checked out for our trip. Amy read on her own. I prepared for Sunday's singing time and practiced my voice stuff. Now everyone wants a snack.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday January 20, 2015

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day so Matt had the day off. That changes things enough that we didn't have school. Pretended we had an extra Saturday (which we are always wishing for.)

Today we listened to a math story that I had checked out on audio from the library over breakfast. Then Amy and Eliza went to Joy School.

Noel and I did some move your body class (running on the sidewalk) and played Parcheesi.

When we picked the girls up we had a spontaneous game of tag and turns swinging in Quincy's swing.

Family Reading Time was finishing a book we've been reading for a long time, The Fairy's Mistake. Big library due date/ check out/ story time day planned for tomorrow. I've been trying to finish stuff up to not have to check it out again.

Lunch and more story listening.

Family work was in the kitchen today.

Reading and Writing Class - prepared for library day - everyone telling me what they wanted to pick up. There will be some spontaneous grabs too; there always are. I like to be organized when we get there so we walk around as little as possible.

Voice Lesson - This was my Christmas present - Yay! First one. I loved it. Now I get to add singing homework to my life.

More reading/ listening. Math homework.

I'm making dinner now - didn't get school wrapped up efficiently today. Lots of little things I wanted to do. I still have a couple books to finish (easy, short ones, nearly done) or finish skimming. Excited for next batch of library books.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday January 14, 2015

Yesterday was a Joy School day, but we didn't make it all the way through. Eliza had a huge melt-down, and I was pretty frustrated. So we ended early and finished today. After the attempt yesterday  we read quite a bit and did some dancing. I did math homework. I tried to not get too bugged. Not the best day.

Today was better. We read a math story and played a math game (roll the die. If it's even you gain points, odd you lose points. First to 20 wins. Noel won.) Then Quincy and Gavin came over for Joy School. It went better. Amy did a page of addition. She gets it all right by counting on her fingers. It's cool to wait a while on some subjects til they totally get it. I read to Noel and Eliza for reading time; Amy needed space at that point. Then we cleaned the living room for family work.

Let's Play Music listening homework at lunch.

Reading and writing class. I wrote to my parents. Amy read fact trackers and a picture book I think. Amy and Noel did Let's Play Music homework. I read a chapter of All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience and A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe. Sometimes I wish the only thing I did in the world was school because I love all the learning. Sometimes I feel like the only thing I do in the world is school. :) Sometimes it's the thing I least want to do. Today was good.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday January 12, 2015

Today we:
played Book of Mormon card game (like Authors)
did addition story problems
had a math lesson/ interview with Noel and Eliza
read a story about Euclid
ate lunch
colored and glued Let's Play Music puppets
practiced singing the states of the United States while pointing to them on the map
listened to Let's Play Music CD
read some of The Fairy's Mistake
passed off a whole set of Bob books
worked on spelling/ vocab from Jesus the Christ
read from Resolved
practiced tracing and writing numbers

(It looks like a lot when I say what we all did. Not everyone did every one of those things.)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday January 9, 2015

This morning was a Joy School day at our house. We worked on our goal charts and stories and songs about goals. After Joy School my girls were obsessed with working on goals. Noel's was to whistle. She makes one whistle noise and colors in a part of her chart. She's on her second one.

Amy is to drink 5 cups of water a day so she can only get so far in a day of working on it. I did ask Amy to trace and write some numbers as she tends to write them backwards. She traced each number 10 times and wrote it 10 times. At least. I was only going to ask her to do 1s and 2s, but she kept going and thought it was fun. Awesome.

Eliza decided for her goal to learn to write her name. I was blown away at her diligent effort. Filling in the sections of her goal chart is very motivating for her. She can write each letter. Then I asked her to write her whole name together. She showed a little perfectionism, changing pages over and over in her little book. I didn't see that coming. The z is hard for her. Once she writes her whole name all together, she'll be done with her goal.

The girls also kept wanting to play puppet shows. They were cute and fun.

One thing I was proud of Amy for this morning was how she encouraged and worked with others. She helped Quincy and Eliza work on an activity without intervening and telling them what to do. I was so impressed. Later she was ok with Noel going first at leading a puppet show. Amy did her part just as Noel said without trying to be in charge. This is a huge improvement for her. Yay for a good day!

Thursday January 8, 2015

Yesterday we had a slow, rough start to school (as we so often do.) Amy and I finally got to work and had a little writing/ interview time about math. I asked her questions about definitions like what is adding and how to draw pictures of 3 plus 4. Then we played a math game that Amy made up. It was similar to a couple games we had played the day before only it made far less sense. It still worked though. I was glad Amy was creating ideas. We wrapped up the math lesson with a math story. It was about a Greek philosopher named Thales who lived in the 600-500'0s BC. He was interesting. He figured out how to determine the height of a pyramid using proportions and lengths of shadows. We used that as inspiration and measured ourselves and our shadows. It didn't work too well since there was a lot of natural light. We started a book called Mathematicians are People Too. It was a hit.

Then we read from Little Britches. We learned yesterday that he called piggy back rides pick-a-back rides. We thought that was interesting.

Then clean up the school room and fold a load of laundry for family work.


Reading and Writing and Drawing Class found us working on Let's Play Music stuff, read some Pinkalicious, and I started a new book called The Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe. That's for my own personal math study.

I may or may not be out of control. I started those two books at school, and we read the first chapter of The Phantom Tollbooth last night with Daddy for family reading time. That's a good one to read with Daddy cause he loves it. Starting three books in a day! Oh wait, I read a Magic Tree House fact tracker last night while trying to convince Eliza to sleep. Then I started another one. So I started 5 books yesterday! I am already reading a bunch. I'm out of control.

Despite the pretty little picture that this explanation of our school day paints, it was rather rough much of the day. Kids ignoring instructions and fighting and talking back. I don't know how we got that much done and still had the learning a good experience because the interactions between us were rather unpleasant in my opinion. I finally sent them all outside to play and took a break. I was so ready for bed by the time I finally got to go last night.

Wednesday January 7, 2015

We went to my sister, Laurel's house this day. I brought a few books for family reading and our math games for school. My 5-year-old nephew, Sam, loved playing math games. He wanted to play more and more. We did checkers style games and dice rolling/ adding games. Some timed, some taking turns. His attitude helped the other kids stay interested in having a good attitude and still playing. After a while of free playing, Noel came to me and asked what 8 plus 8 was. I asked her how she could know. Same jumped in and suggested using her fingers which she immediately did. With very little prodding, Sam and Noel combined came up with three different ways to add and one way to write an equation (Sam already learned at kindergarten). It was totally awesome.

We also read from our book The Fairy's Mistake and listened to Laurel read Lillianne's book. She's been writing it herself (dictating to Laurel.) It is SO AWESOME. We all loved it. It's spontaneous, creative, and engaging. Also, hilarious. That was a great reading class. Later Amy rewrote a book she already wrote.

It was nice to take a break from home because I still would love to be on vacation.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

And... We're Back. January 6, 2015

I notice I just sort of disappear when it's time for a school break. I don't always see them coming. Even when I do, I don't always say - that's it for now.

Anyway, Christmas break started as many breaks do, when I simply don't manage to fit school into the day's plans anymore. December was spent with all the hulaballoo of Christmas programs, concerts, and recitals, as well as a long doctor's appointment. (That was the first two weeks.) The next week and a half was spent cleaning and packing and planning and shopping. I was more organized and neat on a vacation than I have ever been before, and it made vacation all the more lovely.

Then we spent 2 1/2 weeks including Christmas and New Year's in California and Arizona. Ahhhhh. It was lovely. We're back refreshed (mostly.)

We got home Saturday night, had a normal busy Sunday and spent yesterday trying to get things cleaned back up and organized.

Today we are back in the saddle.

I taught Joy School this morning. Then I couldn't resist having some school. Due to some personal things we have going on right now which will take from school time every day, I think I will only be able to have school go well if we simplify it still further. My hope for this month is to have a math class and reading and writing class and family reading time every school day. And if that's it, that's it. If I fit one additional thing in, I'd like it to be family work. Something like math in the morning when we get to it. Reading/ Writing in the afternoon when we get to it and for as long as it works.

Today I did my math homework and read up on the math curriculum we are about to start to prepare to teach Amy lessons. We also played a math game over lunch.

For reading and writing the girls colored and read a little.

If, like on vacation, my life was full only of reading and writing and drawing and math and games with my kids and others, I think it would be lovely. I guess I want a few more activites and responsibilities, but I do enjoy things simpler than my usual.