I Need a Little Help

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Last year I worked through Writing With Ease level 1 with Silas. It was the first time he had ever been asked to narrate anything back to me that I had read to him. There were a few tears of frustration because he often felt terrible that he couldn't remember more. Heart of Dakota BHFHG has great Storytime lessons written into each day's plan. One of the first suggestions made was to write "I need a little help" on an index card. You were told to give the card to your student, and they could hand it to you if they needed some help with their narrations. I had completely forgotten about it until the other day. We hit some story in A First Book of American History that had him stumped. I thought.... Why didn't I make that card way back when it was suggested? This is Aedan's "I'm too cool to ask for help" look, or maybe it's his Daniel Craig impression. Mostly he looks like he needs a little haircut :)

The kids have loved having these, especially Silas. I wouldn't have thought something so simple would have made such a difference. Silas will often run downstairs to get his little card. He uses it for about everything. It helps them not to interrupt with their voices, and has been a great help.

 The other day I had a friend over for coffee. Silas didn't want to interrupt, so he brought me his "I need a little help" card. It was pretty cute. He thought that I should make an "Excuse me" card as well. OH.MY.GOODNESS! Why haven't I thought of this before!? My kids have always had a hard time remembering that if I'm on the phone that it is inconsiderate to interrupt. Both of the kids have been using this one if they have something to say if I'm on the phone. Hello, life. You have greatly improved :)

Anyway, I know these are nothing special, but maybe you could get some use out of them too? Click HERE to find the file. Oh, and sorry for all the ink. I have a major love of color and laminating paper. Have you noticed?

Heart of Dakota - BHFHG - Week 19 in Review

Friday, January 25, 2013

Have you missed us? Wow, am I behind! We weren't skipping school I promise. We moved from our house, to my inlaws for 6 weeks, and then to house-sit for my folks for another 6 weeks. We finally moved into our new place Christmas week. You heard that right, that was 3 moves in 3 months. All of that was exhausting by the way! I'm so thrilled to be in our new home. We have a whole basement to dedicate to homeschool with plenty of room to store all of our books and supplies. It's been such a great change from our old home. Our home is on a dead end street surrounded by a beautiful wooded area. I am so excited to begin nature study. All we have to do is walk right outside our back door. We are all so thankful!

Since I last updated we have learned about Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and about the Revolutionary War. We studied the lives of Father James Marquette, and Anthony Benezet. We read about Daniel Boone, and Robert Fulton who invented the steamboat. I wish I had it together enough to have kept these posts coming, but life happens right?

 This week much of our studies focused on Thomas Jefferson sending out Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition of the west. For art we made 3-D Stars. BTW, Aedan saw his picture and promised he wouldn't be silly for the camera anymore :) Thank you budding self-awareness.

I'm so happy to have our timeline up again. It was a great way to review what we had learned. This week we added Lewis & Clark's Expedition.

This week's History Notebooking page centered on facts about Lewis and Clark.

We started reading our new science book, A Pioneer Sampler. So far the boys have enjoyed it. I had read that some people had complaints that the children in the book are misbehaved in the story. I have to agree a bit, but it does give us opportunity to talk about how we should treat one another. One of our science experiments was to learn why sap helps trees not to freeze.

 One glass had water mixed with sugar, and one was without.

 We put both glasses in the freezer for an hour. The glass with sugar water didn't freeze, but the other did. 

We learned how the pioneers had difficulty controlling fire. Sometimes chimneys would start a fire on the roof, and the fireplace would often be a place of trouble. Our other experiment was to learn what a flame needed to keep burning. The kids had a few different guesses. All I did was light a candle, put the lid on and the flame went out. Sometimes these little experiments seem so simple. They never fail to amaze and delight my little guys though. I forget just how much they have yet to learn. It's such a joy to see their surprise :)

These show the experiment above.

 
We learned about early egg production, and how the pioneers had to wait until spring to have eggs again. It was eye opening to my boys how difficult things were for the pioneers, and just how much we take for granted. 

Vocabulary words of the week.

I bought a bulletin board to display our Godly Character Cards. We review all of them at the end of each week. The character study has been so great. I love that we have added all of these words to our vocabulary. This week Aedan went down and started his school work without being told. What initiative! We went to a new library program, and both boys did such a great job introducing themselves to the kids there. I was proud of their friendliness. I am thinking about making character reward certificates. Edit: My husband pointed out that my character cards had a typo. Woooops! I corrected the files. You can see from this picture that I had misspelled perseverance.

I always love seeing their interpretations of what the scripture means to them. Silas's is showing a friend "sticking" closer than a brother. Aedan's shows that "a man of many companions may come to ruin." Ha!

 We are still plugging through with math. We are back in Singapore with Aedan. I've learned that no matter how much I believe in mastery math, some kids do so much better with a spiral approach. Aedan is still catching up, and hit a snag in subtracting larger numbers in Singapore. We worked through Rod & Staff until he was getting it. We're switched to Singapore to cement all of his multiplication and division facts before we get into long division and fractions.

 Speed! is an awesome game to learn how to skip count. Another huge help for multiplication is Schoolhouse Rock! I just found out that the first two seasons are on Amazon Prime videos. The boys LOVE those videos. It's so funny to me. I loved them too when I was a kid. The tunes are so catchy, and really help with memory. One of their favorites is the one about the Preamble. You can watch all of them on YouTube as well.

We did Singapore 1a and 1b last year with Silas with no difficulty.  He would officially be in 1st grade this year. When we started 2a this year, I realized it would have been too difficult. I think I got ahead of myself. Instead of doing Singapore 2a and 2b this year, we are doing R&S 2 and Miquon. We will go through 2a and 2b on schedule rather than working ahead. R&S is great for addition and subtraction. We love Miquon as well. It's great to add for some conceptual math practice.

Elemental Science at The Monarch Room

We got a few weeks behind in Physics during all the moves. I was having a hard time gathering supplies, but we're almost caught up. Aedan worked through week 16 on gravity. We finished earth science with Silas, and started week 19 Space this week.  

Silas's experiment this week was to find out how the distance from the sun affects atmospheric temperature.

 One of Aedan's projects this week was to make an egg drop carrier. Serendipitously our library program was doing just that! I was so thrilled. There would be no eggs splattered here :) They boys tried many different designs. The first was made of styrophome bowls filled with pasta. Splat! The next design was filled with rubber bands. This time the egg was safe. They had so much fun, and made a few other succesful designs. I'm so thankful for our library homeschool programs. Well that about wraps it up! I hope to keep these posts coming!
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