THIS WEEK IN HOMESCHOOLING

Nutrition: We will be watching a replay of a webinar offered by GNOWFGLINS.com. This webinar “Easy Steps to Real Food in 2012” was originally broadcast on Friday afternoon. Scheduling conflicts have distracted us from actually watching any of Wardeh’s webinars live. I enjoy Wardeh’s webinars because I can closely relate to her personality. Because the webinars can be a little lengthy for the littles, I allow them to come and go as long as they are being respectful. We review it when them later in a fast-paced kid version. We will also be continuing our studies in our book “Real Food Nutrition & Health” (you can get FREE sample chapters HERE).

PE: We have been keeping things old school this week. No Wii Fit or likewise. This week we have been running stairs, jogging, jumping rope, working with resistance bands and phasing in new core exercises. One new exercise that we have been working on this week is plank walk ups. Using our balance board from the Wii, you assume the plank position with the balance board directly in front of your hands. Then you step up with your right hand, then left, then step back down with your left then right. You will do 3 sets of 10 reps, pausing for a 10 count in between. Stretching and yoga are included everyday.

Reading: For family reading we just finished the book “Darth Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Yoda Book” by Tom Angleberger and have moved onto “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda” by Tom Angleberger. Our oldest has been reading “Dicey’s Song” by Cynthia Voight. Our middle three have been reading several level books at night and working on site word drills. All the children love working with several iPod apps that drill sight words, spelling, WPM and comprehension. I will do a post on those apps later on in the week.

History: We will finish our current chapter in “Life in the North During the Civil War” by Timothy Levi Beil and will be working on our Civil War journal and time line. We will also be doing a play from “Read Aloud Plays: Civil War” by Timothy Nolan.

French: We have been reviewing everything we have learned thus far. I am currently looking for a few new ways for them to incorporate their French lessons through the day.

ASL: We have started a new unit in ASL and continue daily review on signs learned thus far. The children enjoy trying to stump each other, including me. We also have an iPod app for review/learning on the go and our oldest has workbooks to reinforce learning.

Art: We have started in with Oil paints, caulk and crayons and will be experimenting with them for the next few weeks.

Spelling: Everyone has new units every week. The kids love their spelling app on the iPod. I love it because I control the content.

Math: We are working on division, averaging and polygons. This unit will continue until the end of the month. Our children enjoy playing Math Blasters as a reward for exhibiting responsiblity in the daily work. We also use several math apps on the iPod for review/on the go learning.

Science: We are working on Plant Life Cycles this month. We have been working mainly with Switched on Schoolhouse for Science but our 5th Grader just doesn’t mesh with it very well. We will be switching to LIFEPACS which have very similar unit studies and will be focusing on real life application. Everyone enjoys spending time in the kitchen and we will also be doing more self exploration units this month. Our 3rd grader REALLY enjoyed his Gem Dig kit by Smithsonian that he received for Christmas. We have a volcano kit by Smithsonian that we will be doing over the weekend.

Geography/Social Studies: I’m happy to report that we are near the end of our Learning About Maps study that was an unplanned part of our curriculum this year. After we originally began our World Geography I quickly realized that our 5th grader lacked any basic knowledge of map skills. Therefore we stopped and started from the ground up. We have been learning all about different types of maps and how to properly read them. Each unit has a review section in the form of a crossword puzzle that has been a huge hit with our 5th grader. For our littles we have been pulling down the maps and discussing where different family and friends live, then we discuss what is different about each state, country and practice identification drills.

Language Arts: This week we are wrapping up several book reports. Our 5-year-old has been working on penmanship with his Letter Stories. We also sent out our penpal letters.

Home Economics: We have been working on phasing in more REAL food into our menu planning and discussing the importance of organization for your pantry, freezer, shopping and coupons.

Finance: This week we continue with our Dave Ramsey books and CDs. We have also updated everyone’s banking spread sheets and discussed some possible charity donations for the year. Our 11-year-old is only a few chores away from her goal of $250 saved to purchase a new Kindle Fire, to say she is excited is a massive understatement. It has been an exciting time to watch them become such diligent stewards of their financial wellbeing. Our almost 2-year-old’s favorite pastime is depositing coins into our family piggy banks which we took into the bank earlier this week. The children had guessed that they had depositing around $30 into the banks. Boy were they surprised when we left the bank with $65 and change. We will be using a portion of the saving for a family bowling trip!

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