Archive for January, 2010
This is why I don’t have reading as part of school time. These are my kids (minus the toddler) during their free time.
I added two other posts today. Scroll down for more…
This fun lapbook is available for free from Dynamic2Moms. http://dynamic2moms.webs.com/danielbooneexplorer.htm
They have lots of wonderful, free lapbooks for you on great topics!
Since this lapbook required little writing, we did notebooking pages on the French and Indian War at the same time, but I forgot to take any pictures of those. I will keep my notebooking pages in one place and put up a single file when we finish with early American history this summer.
I put up two posts today. Scroll down for more.
While my daughter has always shown some talent for drawing, I haven’t really known how to help her develop. My friend who was an art teacher pre-babies recommended the book, Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes. I just handed it to my daughter and she read through it and did the drawings on her own. In 2008 (age8) she produced this:
A year later she did the same drawing (age 9):
These were made from looking at this painting in the Drawing With Children book.
Now this is the picture she just made today, 2010, still age 9 (10 in March):
She did it from this drawing:
This is in the book, The Art of Drawing. She just received it as a gift this month. That girl was only the second thing she had drawn from it.
On the first day she used the book, she made these:
This book really seemed to inspire a new level of drawing immediately. We’ll see how she progresses. Anyway, I thought I would share in case there are others who don’t know how to help your artists continue to improve their work.
The kids were missing lapbooks and were excited to have one to do for this topic. We did an Iroquois Indians lapbook by Jimmie (jimmiescollage.com). It is found at Homeschool Share. http://www.homeschoolshare.com/if_you_lived_with_the_iroquois.php
It is based on the book, If You Lived with the Iroquois Indians, but we didn’t have that book. We used the pieces and used our books and the internet to fill them out. There are more pieces available than we made.
We didn’t do our longhouse the same way as Jimmie did. At homeschool share you can see hers. We made our long house out of construction paper and attached long sides which fold in (accordion style).
Then inside the longhouse we made a little pocket by just folding up some paper and slipped inside the piece about longhouses.
One site with information about the Iroquois is http://www.bigorrin.org/iroquois_kids.htm
We read: The Courage of Sarah Nobel, The Sign of the Beaver, Alone Yet Not Alone and Indian Captive. The last two are based on true stories of girls taken captive by Indians. In the first one, the girl keeps her faith and escapes. In the second one, the girl forgets her faith and remains. The last one isn’t meant to be sad, but what could be sadder? And when I say “we”, I mean I read the books and my kids read the books. We can read so much quickly because everyone reads on their own. I don’t have reading as part of school time. All I do is put out a book. Basically as soon as they pick it up, they don’t put it down until it’s read.
A warning about The Sign of the Beaver and actually Moccasin Trail talks about the same thing…there is a ritual when males come of age where they have to go out by themselves until they receive their helper, usually in the form of an animal. This helper will remain with them for the rest of their lives to protect them and help them in battle. This is really a form of demonization. This is something to discuss with your kids if they read these books. You’ll want to make sure they don’t get fascinated by it. I let my kids read about it and have talked to them about it, but they were already very aware of the spiritual realm. We have lived among the Roma (better known as the Gypsies) for the last eight years. As a people they are very into the supernatural and we’ve learned and experienced many things we never encountered in the States. We’ve known people with “helpers” and we’ve known “helpers” to leave in Jesus’ name!
Here are some links we use for our “thinking school” time. Most of these are for any age. The first one I’ll post below is for SET online. My son finished this once in 42 seconds. I’ve never gotten below 1:20. You can play these along with your children and keep your brain tuned up.
Set Online : Comparing, contrasting, classifying
Quiddler Online : A word game (build vocab and spelling)
Logic Cube Online : starts very simple, gets really hard (has picture ads)
Printable Sudoku, Kidoku (kid version of sudoku), Kakuro, Mazes, Crosswords
Two of my personal favorites I remember from elementary school…
Logic Puzzles (online or printable) http://www.logic-puzzles.org/
Brain Teasers http://www.billsgames.com/brain-teasers/
There are plenty of others out there. These are just what we are currently using. Have fun racking your brain! I linked this post on Thirsty Thursdays at http://fivejs.com
Here are materials for The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. This file is available in the side box and at the Yahoo group, Simply Lapbooks.
You can make this into a lapbook or use it in your notebook.
There are pieces/pages for each main character.
I made pieces which you could just put in a lapbook, but I also made a page to attach them to if you want to put them in a notebook format.
There are a few just plain pages without lapbook pieces.
Other than characters this also covers: forgiveness and conformity.
This has a notebook page to attach to as do the conformity lapbook pieces.
****ATTTENTION**** I have an announcement. I have written a novel. I am hoping to send it to a publisher in February. You can read about it and even read a sample chapter at http://thekingwillmakeaway.wordpress.com
I am hoping to build up fans on a facebook page to show a publisher there is interest. If you have a facebook account, please become a fan. You can find the facebook link at the blog I’ve created for the book. And please tell others!
Please take the time to stop by the blog and read about the novel. This is a really big deal to me!
Moving right along…my daughter has been working on this model of Jamestown while my son assembled the mini-lapbook about Jamestown.
Here’s mini-Jamestown, not quite complete yet, but I wasn’t patient enough to wait another day to take a picture
You can download this at http://homeschoolinthewoods.com/HTTA/TTS/AmericanRevolution.htm It’s part of a sampler of their materials.
Thanks to my friend Marie for emailing me about this free offer and for mailing me three sheets of card stock to print it out on. Everyone needs a friend like Marie!
This mini lapbook fits on a single sheet of paper. It requires no writing. I bought it for $1 at Currclick. http://www.currclick.com/product_info.php?products_id=29132&it=1
I bought one expensive lapbook once, like $14. I was so disappointed that I had spent the money on it. I just thought, “I could do this myself.” So I did. And I sort of made a pledge with myself to never spend more than $1 on a lapbook.
We started on the Mayflower while we were waiting for the card stock package to arrive so we ended up simultaneously doing Jamestown and the Mayflower. I gave my daughter a notebook page each day and she wrote a pretend diary entry each day. One of books she read was The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple. My son did a few Mayflower worksheets.
So it turns out I have more than 70 books for our six months of early American history. Many are picture books from when we did this topic four years ago and my daughter was 5 (but reading at a 3rd grade level).
Anyway, I got all the books typed up in chronological order and realized we have almost nothing about the Civil War. We have lots about the Revolution. Why don’t we have books about the Civil War? I don’t know. The only novel I have is Behind Rebel Lines. I can get some more online for free, but I don’t prefer printing out books. What do you read for the Civil War? We do have many books about slavery, just not the war itself.
So, sometimes my mishmashhash curriculum is spotty in places. That’s one reason I love lapbooks. It’s given us a way to harness all the info we get here and there, especially the ton of stuff online, and organize it into our own book that we can keep and read and learn from.
I mentioned we did early American history four years ago. I decided on our plan of homeschooling when my daughter was a toddler. I tend to be a planner I decided it on my own without having read anything about that way of doing school, but I did choose it because I wanted everyone to be studying the same topic no matter their age.
We don’t do 4 years going through all history. For instance next year we will be doing geography and cultures. The other years are ancient history and 20th century.
For science we do physics, biology, earth science and we have done animals, but next time around it will be chemistry.
I’ve mentioned about how we school 6 days a week and 52 weeks a year. I can do that because we school easy. Our school days only have to be 3 hours a day because we have so many days. Part of our school time is going on a family walk. We also have noisy school time which is when “the littles” are awake. The big kids can do their thinking games and books, piano, art and things on the computer.
Then we have quiet school time for two hours when “the littles” take their nap. They do math from textbooks and then whatever “writing” school I give them which includes their history or science. Sometimes it doesn’t get done in two hours, but usually they can finish or at least within half an hour.
My kids work independently. We are all together so I’m right there if someone has a question and the kids can interact with each other and me when they’re doing their history since they are doing the same or similar things, but I don’t ever sit there and “teach” them anything. And again, lapbooks are a great way to direct them so they can do something with the information they are reading. (I do read aloud to my kids–except the oldest, she doesn’t like that anymore–but that’s just for fun in the evenings and they get to pick the books.)
So, that’s how we do it here. Most of the materials I make up are done after the kids are in bed and I’m waiting for my husband to get home. It’s easy and fun for me and helps me stay awake!
We’re finishing up two weeks of exploring the New World. Here are some pictures of what’s available for your use at Simply Lapbooks. There are 9 explorers. These each have a notebook page and two of them have lapbook pieces on their pages.
About the essay: I put this in the notebooking pages file. I wrote the introduction, conclusion and the topic sentences for the body. My daughter typed in the detail sentences for the middle paragraphs. I put this in without the picture so that there would be enough room to write in the sentences by hand.
We used the books we had on hand (no English library here) and the internet A LOT.
Enchanted learning has pages on the explorers:
There’s an interactive map of the explorers’ routes here:
You can print out a world map of any size here:
I printed us out a map of the world on 4 sheets of paper and attached it to the wall as one big map. The kids drew on the routes with colored pencils and with the same color wrote the explorer’s name on a list in the corner of the map to make the key for the map.
This is from a lesson from another unit study I haven’t put out yet. It’s a lesson on anthropomorphism–when something inanimate becomes human-like in form and/or behavior. The easiest example is all the books and movies where animals act like people.
The unit study is more middle school/high school so I eased my daughter into the lesson like this. (There’s an example for high school at the end.)
I had my daughter write a story about a pencil. She gave me a short, cute, funny story about Henry, the pencil. I then typed her story into a stapleless book and added on each page things like:
Henry thought, “
Henry said, “
Henry cried out, “
She then added in Henry’s comments and words, anthropomorphizing him.
Here’s the link for making a stapleless book. You type it in and it puts it together for you. http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/stapleless/index.html
If you want to try and go for it all at once. Here’s a great example of an umbrella taking on a personality. This was written by a high school student. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_KuwXZBz6TS4/SeuCsSIALMI/AAAAAAAAAlA/HiL_M-NSfcM/s1600-h/umbrella.jpg