Friday, August 3, 2018

Lots of Learning!

One of my favorite things is taking photos, and I have been printing key photos of memories the kids might choose to write about in their journals.
I lay the photos out and once they have chosen, I let them write OR I write down their thoughts for them~
This is definitely Calla's favorite activity mostly because she loves to look back on all the photos tucked sweetly away~

We have loved starting a few new things this month such as an Emily Dickenson poet study and Ancient History study~

I have also begun using The Wand from Brave Writer with the little girls and usually the others mingle in as well~
The treasures I have found in the $$ spot at Target are coming in handy!

EK is working on another display for her nature shelves~
An insect collection.

EK and SJ learned how to make pompoms from yarn and created this adorable little animals~

We have been reading this book with our ancient study~
 This chapter made for a very fun dusting day last week!

Sometimes I walk around the corner to find EC diligently working on a big project~
 Here she is copying the sight words into a tiny book she made.
After she was long done and it lie on the table forgotten, I glued it into her journal for safe keeping.

She, HM, and CA made their own version of pompom pets~
 And just like If You give a Mouse a Cookie...
If you make pompom animals, you must have a cute bag to carry them in.

We made a cute game called Letter Mamas and Babies with lids from pringles with baby letter written on it~
 And Mama letters from a puzzle.
We pretended the babies were crying for their mamas, so we had to match them up!
SO fun!

I also made up a pass the bag game where each child pulled out a three letter picture, and we all wrote it on our boards~ 
 Then we put in our Montessori Phonetic Reading Blocks~
 Three little girls are becoming BIG readers from all this fun!

One day when EK dumped the skimmer, she found this adorable toad frog~
 So she made him a terrarium, and we all observed and journaled for science~
 LOVE bringing real nature in and making it part of our learning~

Planning for homeschool looks a lot different than traditional school planning for me. When I taught school, I had every single minute planned from bell to bell because... 24 children. Every minute had to be accounted for and used to maximum potential. I even began my home school life planning like traditional school just in a home location.

Planning has changed to serve me, not me serving it. Usually on Sunday, I make a wish list of things I might want to cover sometime next week. (1st photo) and as those things are completed, I mark through them and add unfinished ones to next list.

At the end of the day or couple of days, I make a list of bullet items we completed that day (2nd photo).

I love writing a list of completed activities (3rd photo) and realizing how much we do in a day that wasn’t even on the list. Having a wish list invites rabbit trails and deep dives.

For me, planning and listing completed tasks also allows me a place to record growth moments for each individual child because GROWTH is the measure I use in evaluating our learning. Not test scores or completed curriculum or even a new skill cemented. I measure our success with Growth in character, interest, and motivation~ those are the eternal values we all need to strive for whether home schooled or traditional.

You know the old Theodore Roosevelt quote, “People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
That’s the bottom line~ Am I teaching them to care and love and serve?!? 


We enjoy a @juliebravewriter lifestyle as much as possible, and one of her tips is to encourage our children to tell their stories and then jot them down~ making writing feel natural, meaningful, and supported.

 One of the ways we have made writing a real life experience is allowing EK to write for her own IG Page.

She is practicing photography, editing photos, how to write a post, and publishing. We’re keeping it private and enjoying the time we spend together working on it!

We have three little foxes that live behind our house in the woods~
 And we love watching them play each afternoon.

Calla loves to paint and here she is at 6:30am one morning happy as a lark~


Seems like I’m on a writing kick right now and want to share another @juliebravewriter tip~

Go deep instead of wide meaning it’s perfectly okay to take all the time needed or wanted for a certain thing. As for time, it could mean a day, a week, a month, etc. on any subject.

All my children have Penpals and other than math and read aloud, it’s a Deep Dive Day. It take ALL the time and ALL my energy, so I don’t try to squeeze in all the things.
This was a little book PC made for his penpal and I couldn't help but take photos of it!!

Writing letters is SO rich in many things from thinking to speaking to organizing to communicating not to mention all the mechanics that goes into it X 7. Such a wonderful art that has sort of gone by the wayside.
 


This little baby asked Alexa how to spell cat all on her own and wrote on her paper~
 Backwards and all. :)

Fridays are Free Write days and while the big kids were writing their thoughts~
 Evie began copying these adorable new books we ordered from Target~
 And when she began copying, her two younger sisters did they same.
Just look at Calla's little drawings~
And copying the words! I am SO proud of all 7!!!

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