Centers for our Homeschool
We just completed our second week of Classical Conversations, and man oh man, is it a lot to memorize for some little ‘fellas. Now most people as “computer oriented” as myself would go to the CC website or to halfahundredacrewood.com and grab some ideas. I really don’t know why I haven’t gotten around to that yet. I’m a little embarrassed to admit, I’ve never even visited the CC Connected web page. How can this be? I know. I know. I need to get with it. I tend to waste away my computer time playing with my blog and reading other people’s blogs….not doing a whole lot of other productive things. You know what? I don’t even really apologize for that. I believe all people should engage in sanity time at the end of their day. I’ll put acquainting myself with the CC website on next week’s to do list. I know for sure these learning centers have already been thought of by people much more experienced than me, but when my back’s up against a wall I just let whatever creative juices I have go and see what comes of it. I had a good time putting this stuff together. Last night I had one of those moments of, “Hey! Wait a minute! I KNOW how to make this more fun.” I remember from my very short teaching experience in Texas, many many moons ago, that elementary kiddos love learning centers–the more hands-on “Kinesthetic” learning the better! It really didn’t take me long to get it all set up. None of it was super fancy, required special craft tools, Martha Stewart engineering, or anything like that. It was so easy, and just as I figured, they really loved it. I think it was the best day of school we’ve had yet. Messy though. Very messy…..but that was really because Daniel pulled one of my craft supply boxes out of the storage closet and decided to make that his center. There are google-y eyes, jingle bells, and pipe cleaners everywhere. See what I mean? He and Caleb ended up stringing jingle bells on pipe cleaners to make bracelets that jingle. Caleb also made a really awesome jingle bell flower. Such artsy boys I have. I’ll have to remember to take a pic of Caleb creations to share with ya’ll. The boy is both an artist and a scientist. So here’s a little of what we did. A little of it was really just marker board activity, as usual, but since it was broken up between other activities, it still passed as a “center.” 🙂 This served as the road map. Of course, no one actually went in order. The centers also helped the boys to move at their own pace. Joshua flew through them all and was done in no time. Caleb kept taking pit stops at Daniel’s self-created Pre-school centers…….so his took a lot longer. Center 1: Sing the timeline song. Then sort the timeline cards that we’ve memorized into the proper order. They really enjoyed this. it’s been so fun to be to get acquainted with these ancient civilizations. It’s awful interesting how there is no difference at all in the Bible timeline versus the secular timeline when it comes to civilization. Hmmm..so no record of civilized people before the Bible claims there to be PLUS so many ocean creature fossils found in the middle of the USA…..almost as though there was once a flood that covered the whole continent…..how very interesting…… I had actually set the tangram center up for Daniel, to keep him out of the big boys’ way, but Daniel snubbed it. However, Caleb had a great time with it. Sigh. WE are learning the 4 major bones of the axial skeleton this week: cranium, sternum, ribs, and the vertebrae. I simply went to Google image search and found a skeleton printable. The big boys had to label our four bones that we’ve learned. Daniel was supposed to color it. Instead, he found googly eyes in the craft box and started glueing. Pretty cute idea. Kids do the most adorable things. their completed works: Joshua’s says, “I come in peace.” Haaaahahahaha
This is the one I’m probably going to use the most often. My boys feel very intimidated by counting by 4s and did not learn this well last week. The thing is that I’M also learning what they need to spend more time on! This worked great. I took this photo after they were done with the center. Hopefully, the 20 was a recent casualty…. I just used sentence strips and made a bag for counting by 2s, one for counting by 3s, and one for counting by 4s. I gave the boys the numbers (for example this set above), all jumbled up, and they had to put them in order and then say them to me. We do some sort of map drawing/labeling every day, and we usually use the CC Trivium Tables. My sister-in-law found me a whole tablet of these, so I put them to use. All they had to do was label the 10 states that we’ve learned so far. I gave them a “word bank” at the top, with the correct state abbreviations. After all, when you are 7 or 8 years old, these concepts are all very, very new. my boys hard at work In the background, in the floor, you can see the “state capital” center. They just had to match the correct state to the correct capital. Yes, at our school, sometimes we get to have popcorn while we work. Pacific Christian Academy rocks. 🙂 Last, but not least, on our easel, I had written the 7 Latin words we’ve learned, and they just had to write the definitions. I forgot to take a pic of that.
This was really fun! Even more fun: Alan took his last final exam today, and he has this whole upcoming week off to hang out with us! Wahoo! Big Sur pictures will be coming soon!!! I suppose we should also finally unpack the garage….o quit your judgin’. It’s really only been 5 weeks since move in day, and garage unpacking is just no fun at all.