Monday, November 3, 2014

Back to the Daily Grind

Last week we decided to take the week off. The kids were just too excited about Halloween coming and they just wouldn't concentrate. We were all starting to get a big cranky and weren't getting much accomplished so we said the heck with it and took a weeks vacay to wind down.. Part of me thinks this was a good idea, the other part of me, not so much.  Instead of lessons, the kids helped me decorate for
The kids dressed up for Halloween.
Halloween and get things ready for trick or treaters (mom passed out candy while Alyssa brought the kids out door to door this year).

Today we got back to work. The week off seemed to help Garrett as far as being able to reign back in and concentrate and he had a great day. Ashleigh, however, was just as obstinate as she was before we took the days off.  The child seems to have an adversity to mathematics and I have now learned that we can not begin with mathematics or the rest of the day's lessons will be completely shot.

We started something new today which the kids seemed really excited about.  Friday I was outside decorating for Halloween when a FedEx truck pulled up in front of my house. I wasn't expecting anything and was surprised when the delivery man walked up with two heavy boxes and then informed me there were 2 more boxes in the truck. This of course peaked my interest quickly and so I had to rip into them to find out what it was. A while back I had requested material from the USDA in regards to the MyPlate campaign. They were offering curriculum to help teach children about proper nutrition and since it was also
Playing around with the MyPlate lessons
available to homeschoolers, I went ahead and ordered the curriculum they had available for Kindergarten, 1st-2nd and 3rd grade (in case these programs weren't still available next year). They sent alot of stuff and much of it I will be donating to the library on base in hopes they can use all the extras as everything was set up for a classroom of 25 students and I only have 2..

I decided we would start with the Kindergarten curriculum as it has some emergent readers that would be fun for the kids. So today we started with Lesson 1 which is basically becoming familiar with the 5 food groups. In the kid was a stack of food cards so we looked at each card, identified the food shown and stacked it in accordance the the corresponding food group.  We also decided we needed a 6th group for Junk Food.. LOL  The kids enjoyed this alot, especially when the learned that popcorn was part of the grains food group and so we decided to have popcorn and a glass of milk for a snack while we finished up.

We followed this by doing our math.. groan!!!  I don't know why just the idea of math is such a issue with Ashleigh.. Today we started doing basic subtraction, which is something we're actually worked on alot already but haven't formally introduced in our math book. Today's assignment was actual drawings showing
This should not have taken 30 minutes
how many to begin with, how many were taken away and how many were left. Should have been simple, especially since these kids are already following basic algebraic rules such as switching the sign from plus or minus when crossing the equal sign (yes, they are actually doing that type of stuff on a regular basis with no problems).. Maybe she's bored with the simple stuff.. or maybe just the sight of numbers shuts her off completely, but getting her to do 5 simple problems (one which was the example and all she had to do was trace the answers) took close to 30 minutes (Garrett was done in less than a minute).  I'm starting to wonder if our math lessons will have to be done separately as Garrett gets restless while waiting on her and he also gets stressed when I have to raise my voice to get her attention back on the paper. 

We finally got through the math lesson and moved on to our spelling assignment. This did not go well either, as Ash had already zoned out from doing math and was completely useless after. Somehow we managed to get through it but it was a struggle.. From now on, I will stick to doing other subjects before I do our math lesson in the hopes that Ash will continue to participate in those lessons before zoning out.

We're getting to the point now where we are ready to start introducing grammar to our lessons, so today I ordered Spectrum's 1st Grade Grammar. It should be here by the end of the week and I will probably start incorporating it next week.  I think Grammar is the only thing we really haven't focused on at all this school year so once we start doing it, we should be up to par. We will also probably be starting up a unit study of one state a week from here on out for our history/geography. The kids already know locations of all the states on our map so now we will start actually working on some trivial facts about each one.

Here's hoping today wasn't a sign of what the rest of the week will entail.

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