This week was full of hands on learning and fun activities. Madison attended a robotics homeschool class at our local Science museum. It is a part classroom learning environment with hands on activities and learning out in the museum. She always learns a lot and enjoys every minute of it. We also attended a very fun and enriching homeschool day at the Dallas Children’s Aquarium. Madison really enjoyed our local co-op Valentine’s Day Party. She actually went through and read her Valentine’s Day cards. This has been the first year she has shown interest in going through them.
Madison enjoyed learning about tilt sensors in Lego Robotics and personally programmed her creation.
In our Moving Beyond the Page Language Arts Unit, Communities Change Over Time, we learned about the elements of culture. Madison compared our culture to cultures in other countries. We compared elements such as food, clothing, homes, transportation, religion, jobs, holidays and entertainment from America today to America in the past. We also learned that different religions influence different cultures and compared different religions. Then we learned that the elements of culture are a part of a civilization. Madison read the book Weslandia by Paul Fleischman and answered comprehension questions. She identified how the character in the book utilized his natural resources. Madison had a lot of fun creating a way to solve a problem utilizing her own natural resources. She loved this creative problem-solving challenge. Next, Madison created her own civilization by creating and identifying all of the elements and then drawing them on a poster board. This has been her most favorite activity so far. Then we discussed how and why cultures are always changing.
In our Moving Beyond the Page Social Studies Unit, Communities and Culture, Madison read more in her Adventures in Ancient Egypt book and answered comprehension questions and recorded new information that she learned. Madison compared our government to the kings and queens of Egypt and learned their order of hierarchy. She made some very good observations about the differences and similarities between a President and a King. She also learned new vocabulary words such as plaster, pomegranate, linen, noble (noun), craftsmen, temple and chamber.
Madison is continuing to work on ‘Comparing and Academic Vocabulary’ Chapter 7 in Time4Learning Language Arts. She is introduced to scientific vocabulary and high utility academic words. Main idea and details are reviewed before she compares and contrasts these elements in two nonfiction texts about natural disasters. Vocabulary is revisited to create a depth of knowledge.
I realized the project-based learning I wanted to start doing with Madison is more complicated than I thought, so I need to learn more about it before doing it, so that it is an effective way of learning for her. I need to learn how to properly mentor her, so I ordered the Project-Based Homeschooling book. I belong to a Facebook page that was created by the author of the book so that homeschoolers could ask questions and share ideas, but it is necessary to read the book first. In the meantime, I bought a pyramid kit for Madison to work on. It has many hands on activities. It will be easier to implement self directed project-based learning after some off our activities drop off for the season.
A sweet friend of mine sent me information on a LEGOLAND Master Builder Contest. Madison had fun creating her favorite animal and taking a picture of her creation to send in for the contest. I keep reminding her that the focus is not on winning, but having fun creating. However, that is not her focus. 🙂 I am not sure it ever will be. I was happy to see her beginning to spend more time creating lego creations by following the directions provided. I think it may help give her ideas on how to create more detailed creations of her own. She does a great job, but when it comes to ‘create an animal’ she was somewhat lacking the knowledge of how to do what she wanted.
It was very fun to see Madison working on her challenging art homework. The goal was to replicate the picture box by box. She did pretty good in the bottom half, but the top half she didn’t do it box by box, so we’ll be redoing it. This was a sequential task which Madison is not a fan of anything sequential. Never the less, it is an important technique she needs to learn.
This week Madison is practicing a song for piano that she didn’t play perfectly the first time she practiced. I wish I would have recorded a sound clip. It was GREAT. She played it and each time I could hear her make a mistake and get frustrated about it. I explained this is why we practice. To learn how to play it perfectly and that with practice she will. She’s done a great job practicing on her own everyday because it is a challenge this time. She has her own drive to practice until it is perfect. I’m excited to see what the future brings. 🙂 She decided she wants to play the violin as well, but I told her my rule is she must learn piano first and learn how to read music fluently. She’s well on her way.
Madison is continuing to enjoy her homeschool PE class and basketball skills class. Both are great for eye-hand coordination and gross motor skills, but what really matters is that she enjoys them. We also added a kid fit class to the mix this week from our local Yoga Studio. Madison had a great time, so we will be doing more of those in the future.
Jeff continues to read Story of the World (Middle Ages) to Madison and she loves to tell me the history she is learning. She also continues to learn about American History by watching Liberty Kids. The weather here has been beautiful so Madison has had the opportunity to go on several nature walks. This week we also played a very long, ongoing game of Monopoly. She loves Monopoly and doesn’t realize the amount of Math she is practicing while playing it. 🙂
Madison is attending her religion classes to learn and deepen her faith while we work on preparing her for her First Communion at home in conjunction with classes and workshops at church.
Can’t wait for another fun and exciting week ahead!