hard at work
Any science project or craft attempt done by this momma/teacher has to be brain-dead simple. This is an atom we made from fruit loops and pipe cleaners. Beautiful? nah. Fun and easy? absolutely.
We had a surprisingly fun day of school today at Ants in Our Pants Elementary School! 🙂
We introduced all of our new memory work for the week, and then we spent about half an hour on reviewing work from past weeks. I’ve been wanting to do this game that’s been floating in my head for weeks, and we finally did it today!
The Review Olympics!!
It’s more like a centers relay race, only I had the boys do it together. It’s so much less confusing that way.
We did this in multiple rounds. They started at the board. They had to answer the question and then do the assigned P.E. type task. I alternated between math and grammar questions at station #1:
Fill in the blanks. Then crab walk from the kitchen sink to the garage door.
They loved this. Then they had to go to station #2: Sing the assigned history song. That’s their favorite memory work. They love that part. I hear them singing history songs all week long, all over the place.
Then do 10 push ups.
They love this stuff.
Then to station #3: Color the listed geographical features. Shew! They struggle with the mountain ranges and lakes. I think it’s so easy, but we are all different.
endless possibilities with sentence strips
Then to station #4: Latin
The first time, they had to match the Latin to the English and put them in order.
The second time, I put them on the floor, and they had to hop across, reading them as they hopped. Don’t fall off!! The floor is lava!!! Hot lava is always popular in learning games!!!
He can’t actually read the Latin sentence strips, but he does everything they do, so he sure does enjoy the hopping.
Then to station #5: Timeline Chairs. They had to sing the time line song, switching chairs for each subsequent event.
The chair game could be used for anything. You can’t move to the next chair until you’ve said each part. For example:
Protons, hop chairs, Electrons, hop, Quarks….
I bet every single CC family does this center. Put these 8 timeline cards in order.
Station #6: Put timeline cards in order. Run up and down the stairs.
They did great today. I was so proud of Caleb’s behavior, I gave him a Twizzler and let them have at the arts and crafts box. They had a BALL.
He says there will be a puppet show at our house tonight.
Resourcefulness: If you flip him over, there’s another puppet on the back:
I did not do so great. I had a total melt down when I lost my dust pan again. I just knew someone had taken it….. Turned out it was right where it was supposed to be, but it had fallen under the extra broom, just lodged in the corner, hard to see.
Mom had to do some apologizing.
This sort of patience-losing that I do always shakes me up and makes me question if I am really fit to teach my children.
Then I remind myself that I have seen plenty of teachers in my day have melt downs too… This is something I need to work on myself. I need to commit it to prayer. No one is perfect. I remind myself of that constantly.
Sometimes I wonder WHY am I doing this??? Why am I home schooling?
1. Have I improved their academics?
Yes and no.
Here are the improvements I feel like I’ve made, academically:
the whole “classically trained” bit
I can’t begin to tell you how much information we have memorized. It’s tempting to say, “But it’s only memorized, what if they forget?” That’s the beauty of Classical Conversations. There are 3 cycles of memory work. For example, if a child starts CC in grade 2, like Caleb, and does cycle 3 in 2nd grade, then he will do cycle 1 in 3rd grade, cycle 2 in 4th grade…….and this is where it gets good: He will do cycle 3 again in 5th grade, and cycle 1 again in 6th grade. If a kid started in 1st grade, he’d get all three cycles twice. This repetition over the years really sets that info into the memory.
The boys and I made this poster of this week’s memory work.
I love that!
For example, this week we are learning:
1. “In 1889, Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders defeated the Spanish at the Battle of San Juan Hill, while trying to help the Cubans win their independence.”
2. more of our timeline song: Japan’s Isolation through The Seven Years’ War
3. Name and label the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior, and Niagara Falls
4. “omnia per ipsum facta sunt”
“All things were made through him.” John 1:3
5. Name some parts of an atom: nucleus, protons, electrons, quarks, lepton, and neutrons
6. 10 millimeters = 1 cm
100 cm = 1 meter
1,000 meters = 1 kilometer
7. Irregular Verb conjugation: to write, write, writes, wrote, writing, written
8. the art works of Georgia O’Keefe
And that’s just this week!
2. Have I helped Joshua in math, as I’d hoped?
YES!!! That boy is SO ridiculously smart. He is easy to teach, and he definitely is not ADD. He is just really good at tuning out when he’s bored, and he thinks school is:
Not just public school, ALL school, my school included. He sure wasn’t bored during my little Olympics today, though. 🙂 Pat, pat, pat my back.
I can teach Joshua anything in just 1 or 2 explanations.
3. Thankfully, Caleb was already soaring in math, so there wasn’t serious improvements to be made there, just plunging forward….
4. Is Caleb reading better? Yes. Maybe he would be anyway, though. I don’t know if I’ve helped him any more than a regular class would have helped him, honestly. Either way, I’ve enjoyed being with him and watching him learn.
But do you know what my biggest concern was?
My sanity. Am I sane? Can I handle this?
hmmmm Not the way that I’ve been doing it. I’ve been ‘stressed out’ for months. I don’t think the way I have been trying to do so much, all at once, all the time, with no help was healthy for me. The things that I don’t get to bother me too much.
If I am going to do this next year, I have to change a couple of things.
I need to separate the little ones from the big ones for a few hours a day so that I can focus better without getting so frustrated and having such a mess to clean up afterwards. I’m planning to enroll at least JD in a Mom’s Day Out type program. I did that with my little ones, and I wasn’t trying to do anywhere near as much back then as I am doing now!
I’ve also been researching new cleaning schedules. I found a mom who does a once-month deep cleaning, like we used to have Betty do, and I liked that idea.
This is the best advice I’ve seen:
“It’s amazing how clean people THINK your house is if you just keep the clutter out.” That’s not an exact quote, and I have no idea where I heard or read it, but you get the idea.
I was never a proponent of being “super mom”, “warrior woman”, or such. They don’t give out medals for never letting anyone help you. Delegating tasks is wisdom, not weakness.
I would love to hear from other moms how they get it all done without feeling so overwhelmed!!