Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Welcome to 4th Grade

Yesterday and today, August 26 and 27, 2014, we did our first back to school activities, although today was deemed the "first day of 4th grade".  Yesterday my son made his back to school bulletin board, creating a Minecraft creeper and a cool saying.  I love letting him design his own board because it reflects who he is at this time in his life.  We also had already finished Who Is Roald Dahl? and he had started working on High Time for Heroes, a Magic Tree House book.  Both of these books are way too easy for him to read, but he enjoys reading them, so they were a nice starting point.  We also made up the agar for his Bacteria and Fungus chemistry unit.  He is really looking forward to doing lots of experiments.

Today, after our traditional chocolate chip muffins hot from the oven tradition, he started off with his morning work, which encompasses a lot of language arts.  There is reading comprehension, writing and grammar included.  He is starting a new year long project about following directions, hoping to improve his skills in that area.  We moved outside to our deck and read a Magic School Bus book on Kitchen Chemistry and then he decided that he couldn't have a first day without a MSB video.  He invited the preschoolers in to watch with him and they had popcorn (of course!) and watched the video quietly.  Back outside, Dakota read his High Time for Heroes book while I made pirate treasure boxes with the girls.  The loved decorating their boxes and then looking inside to find a treasure map, a mini beach ball, lots of beads and bracelets, a pirate eye patch and a rubber pirate duckie, along with some gold coins!

We came back inside and got out the Bacteria and Fungi kit we have and his Science Journal.  He's much better and the scientific formula this year and we did two experiments and got both of them into the journal.  He collected bacteria and fungi from his tongue, arm, hair and between his toes (ewww) and also made samples for a dirty finger and a clean, freshly soaped and rinsed finger.  We are to make observations and notations over the next twelve days.  He followed that up with two timed math drills, put together his USA puzzle and we called it a half day around 12:30.  His attitude was fantastic.  We kept things calm and low key and I really enjoyed his morning.  Here's to another one just like it tomorrow!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Winds Down

Today is the beginning of the end of summer around here.  Two more weeks of summer camp left  here at our house and then back to school for the bigger kids and daycare routine for the younger kids.  I have been getting Dakota's 4th grade work ready to go for the past few months, but I have made serious progress in the last week as the pressure to get it all organized sets in.  He is doing A History of Us this year and I am very excited about it.  I have gone through book one and there is an activity there for every day that I think he will enjoy.  He will start health with recognizing behavior patterns and how to control his behavior, something he desperately needs.  Claude Monet will be our artist to study.  Math is all set with the Abeka curriculum and there is the latest Magic Tree House book to read, although it's too easy for him at this point.  He loves those stories and there is a fact book with this one that we can use to build on it.

Today he and his friend that is here did some cartooning, played three games of Elimination, a dice game, and spent the better part of an hour making minecraft faces with perler beads.  They joined the little ones outside for awhile and laid on the blanket reading.  He's started reading Who Is Roald Dahl and I am hoping it catches his attention, since he has really enjoyed all the Roald Dahl books he has read.

This afternoon all is quiet as the kids either nap or watch a movie.  Marmaduke has them all engaged and 5 of the 6 little ones are napping while the last one valiantly fights with his eyelids to try and stay awake.