Saturday, October 13, 2012

School Days

I have a lot of random shots of the boys' work this week.  Our Homeschool coop is designed to include all the things kids love about traditional school (Physical Education, Art, Two Recesses, and Snacktime) plus one academic subject.  This year the topic is "American Presidents."  The moms leading the classes take advantage of opportunities for the kids to do things they don't get to do every day in a homeschool setting, such as public speaking.  Last week Kal-El wrote a short essay about John Adams that he read to his classmates.  He brought along his Presidents fan deck as a visual aid.

Me Too enjoys using a book my MIL gave us that practices different vowel digraphs (in the picture above, "oa").  The child creates logical sentences by filling in the blanks with small magnetic words.  I keep the magnetic words on a white board in our school room.  Usually the boys just use the words to build their own sentences.  This week Me Too liked using the book, Word Magic, Magnetic Sentence Builder.

Kal-El is working on multiplication with the stamp game.

Kal-El has repeated the "Liquids Settle According to Their Weight" experiment from the God With no Hands great lesson many times.

He has also been working with the staff board and discs in order to memorize the names of the note positions on the staff.

This is far below ability level, but Kal-El has also been enjoying making equations using loose items from our manipulatives drawers.

Me Too began working on the addition snake game this week.  Loved it!  He also likes to collect all of his stuffed animals, give them each a tray, and practice multiplication with the golden beads.

Me Too has been working on disassembling and reassembling the United States puzzle.  We use Karen Tyler's scaffolded approach.  He started by removing three pieces, then putting them back.  Then he removed four pieces and put them back.  Then five, and so on, until finally on Thursday when he disassembled the entire puzzle for the first time and put it back together. Kal-El is on the floor behind him reviewing the Asia puzzle.  Unlike Me Too, he names each piece as he removes them from the map.  Also behind Me Too you can catch a glimpse of our robin's-egg-blue, science drawers (I will post more on those at a future time.).  In fact, those of you who who are overly familiar with our school room layout have probably noticed quite a few changes lately.  Our school room is becoming more and more an elementary Montessori space every day!

Here Me Too is reporting his success to his brother, over his shoulder.

I made an interesting observation about the boys this week that might help someone else out.  Kal-El was never very interested in the puzzle maps until his last year of primary and continues to be very interested in them now.  Me Too is always very interested in what Kal-El is doing with them but rarely will pick one up on his own...until...  LAST WEEK I moved a lot of furniture around in the school room which involved taking some wheels off of the map cabinet.  Removing the wheels prompted me to remove the "police tape" from the maps that the boys hadn't used yet.  Kal-El started with the continents map, of course, and then moved on to Australia because it has the fewest pieces.  He has been working on Asia forever because his is memorizing the names of the countries and there are a lot.  I had "taped off" the remaining puzzles two years ago after coming downstairs at six a.m. more than once to find all the pieces of a particular puzzle on the floor because Kal-El had dismantled it at five a.m. but didn't scaffold and couldn't put it back together.  It turns out that although Me Too has been very uninterested in learning the puzzles that Kal-El already knows he is VERY VERY INTERESTED in learning the puzzles Kal-El doesn't know.  And taunting him :)  I just thought I'd share that little nugget in case anyone else has little boys with similar tendencies.


  1. I love your school room and I have taken a lot of ideas from you to implement at my house! I am goin to be sleepless now with curiosity thinking about your new organization! Why do you do this to me! Ahh.... The suspense is killing me!

  2. I enjoy your school days postings. I love that photo of Kal-El laughing while working with the Stamp Game. Thank you for sharing.