Week Two and Three of Gifted Homeschooling 2014

I’m exhausted. My house looks like it was hit by a tornado. But, Madison is speeding along with her schoolwork happily. The things I have learned from week two and three of homeschooling are:

1. There’s absolutely no point in making her do multiple things to master a concept unless she actually needs it and it’s rare that she does. And when we do multiple things, they are always different. If she grasps a concept and has to do anymore with it, she feels as though she’s missing out on focusing her time on something worthwhile, whether that is playing, reading, or learning something new.

2. As an extension of number 1, there are hands on learning activities for each lesson we do. I have started letting Madison choose if it’s something ‘extra’ she wants to do for fun or if it isn’t, we skip it and move on so she can spend time doing fun activities of her choice.

3. I do have her do some worksheets that require writing. Madison hates printing. And I don’t use the word hate very lightly. She is on her way to mastering cursive and typing and when she does so she can do either instead of printing, but for right now, I do think she needs the fine motor skills and it is important. So she gets very creative with her worksheets and adds her own creativity to each one. It takes longer to complete them because of this, but it is who she is and I applaud her for making them entertaining in her own way.

4. Madison is very driven when learning new information. As long as it isn’t something she already knows, she loves to learn. For hours. It’s very hard to keep up with her. She asks questions about everything throughout the day and relates what she learns to daily life. Thank God for Google. I have no idea what I’d do with it.

5. She requested grade skipping today and described what is actually subject acceleration. She misses being in a school environment very much. I had to explain her school wasn’t receptive to that idea, but that yes, would have been the best scenario. Am I bitter about it? You bet. But at the same time I don’t agree with the methods being taught in the public school right now or the choice of technology tools. But her and I both know she would be miserable in any of the second grade classrooms right now, so she is grateful she’s not bored, but was hurt that it was discouraged and not really made an option for her. She point blank said today that she knows school would have been great if she was able to be in 3rd or 4th grade.

6. I realized Madison learns even faster than I thought she did. Which honestly scares me to death. I knew she could grasp information above her grade level quickly, but what she is learning and retaining and the pace she is doing it in is amazing and blows my mind. It makes me rethink her being in a school setting completely. That is until college. We’ll see, I plan on having her take the SCAT through John Hopkins CTY Talent Search and if she qualifies we will consider having her take courses online through their CTY Online course offerings. If she was in K or 1st she would have qualified with her prior testing, but they require the SCAT for grades 2-6, but at least I know she has a good chance at qualifying since she would have prior with no problem. So if she does qualify and enjoys it maybe it was meant to be.

Here is what she has learned and mastered in the past two weeks:

Math:
Money Unit:
Identify Money: Identify pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half-dollars and their values. Count pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters up to 50¢, Count Mixed Coins: Count mixed collection of coins, Model Money Amounts: Model the same amount in more than one way. Model an amount using the fewest coins, Add and Subtract Money: Solve addition and subtraction problems involving money, with and without regrouping, 100% mastery on each section quiz and 100% mastery on the Unit Test on Money.

Pattern Unit:
Sort Objects: Sort objects by attributes of shape, size, or color. Recognize and explain how patterns are made (e.g. repetition, transformation, or other changes to attribute), Venn Diagrams: Sort objects using Venn diagram with one intersection, Pattern Rules: Describe a given pattern and explain the pattern rule, Build Patterns: Predict, extend, and create patterns that are pictorial or symbolic. Transfer patterns from one medium to another (e.g., change red, red, blue, green, red to 1,1,2,3,1), Compare Patterns: Compare repeating and growing patterns and analyze how they are generated, Real World Patterns: Identify patterns in the real world such as repeating, tessellating, and patchwork, Patterns on a Hundreds Chart: Identify number patterns on a hundred chart, Number Patterns: Predict and extend a linear pattern and 100 % mastery on the Unit Test on Patterns.

Positions:
Position Words: Identify, locate, and move objects according to positional words such as to the left, above, and behind, Directional Words: Identify the location of objects according to two directions such as upper-right, upper-left, lower-right, and lower-left, Using a Map: Locate objects on the first quadrant of a coordinate grid, Plot Numbers on Number Line: Locate, plot, and identify known and unknown numbers on a number line from 0 to 50 by twos and from 1 to 100 by fives, and 100% mastery on the Unit Test on Positions.

We have started a new program for our Math facts. I had tried flashcards and worksheets and nothing seemed to be working. So when I heard such wonderful things about Times Attack, I went and purchased the download for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Madison has already mastered her addition facts and is now working on mastering her subtraction facts. She loves the game and begs to play it. It has a free demo download that you can find HERE.

Here is the certificate we printed out:

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And then we went to Chuck E Cheese to celebrate!

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She’s getting better at subtraction. There are 13 levels for subtraction versus 7 for addition.

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And she has started multiplication and LOVES it! The game is a bit different and much more exciting. It won’t be long and she will have mastered subtraction and multiplication (without ever using flashcards) and move on to division.

Language:
• Plurals s, es; Summarizing: Plurals s and es; high frequency words; fluency with commas; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; summarizing; and writing.
• Double Consonants; Authors Purpose: The double consonants tt, pp, and ll; high frequency words; fluency focusing on reading with a sense of anticipation; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; Author’s Purpose; and writing.
• Vowel exception le; Root Words; Context Clues; Inferences: The vowel exception le; the root word “graph”; high frequency words; fluency focusing on phrasing; vocabulary and context clues; reading a leveled text; making inferences; and writing.
• Silent Consonants kn, wr; Authors Viewpoint: Silent consonants kn and wr; high frequency words; fluency with rhythm of poetry; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; author’s point of view; and writing.

Language Arts Extensions: Directions, Maps and Globes and Symbols and Keys

• Background/Story: Madison learned thematic content through discovery and achieve comprehension by reading literature with emphasis on vocabulary. Stories use controlled vocabulary to enhance phonemic awareness.
• Sounds, Letters & Words: Through a series of learning activities focused on discovery, recognition, and application, she practiced phonetic skills focusing on re-, un-, -eat, aw, au, dr and gh. She experienced words in a variety of modes, including rhyme and story.

We also watched educational videos on maps and globes as well as how to make a map and Madison is planning on drawing her map tomorrow.

Science:
Scientific Investigation:
Use of Instruments: Identify various instruments used to collect and analyze data.

Nature of Matter:
Physical Properties: Determine the physical properties of matter using customary and metric measurements that incorporate tools such as rulers, thermometers, and balances, Physical Changes: Identify matter as liquids, solids, and gases. Identify and describe examples of physical changes in the states of matter produced by heating and cooling, Weight: Investigate and realize that the weight of an object is equal to the sum of the weights of its parts, Observation: Use hand lenses to observe and document minute physical properties of objects, 100% mastery on lesson quizzes and 100% mastery on the Unit Test on Nature of Matter.

We also had fun doing several experiments!

Social Studies:
The World in Spatial Terms:
Geographic tools: Use geographic tools, such as maps, globes, and atlases, to gather data about the Earth’s surface. Locate and name your community, state, country, and continent. Identify the major oceans: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic and Antarctic. Identify the seven continents: Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, and Australia. Identify the hemispheres: Northern, Southern, Western, and Eastern. She also learned about the Equator, Prime Meridian, Longitude and Latitude. She passed the lesson quiz with 100%.

Spelling:
I have the 2nd grade word list from time4learning.com that includes 375 words. So I have her spell the words as I read them off from the sheet. So far we have averaged 40-50 words before I can find 10 she gets wrong. I’m chalking it up to handwriting practice. 😉 Then I will have her write each word three times at the beginning of the week. She can play a game online with the spelling list words. Then she takes the test. Here are the words in her wordbank that she has been tested on and knows for a 3 week period:

across
after
ago
alarm
always
angry
animal
around
aunt
away
bait
ball
balloon
band
bang
barn
bath
bead
beam
bean
because
bedroom
been
before
bend
best
better
blast
buy
call
camp
cannot
carry
cash
center
dash
dear
deep
deer
desk
die
duck
every
everyone
everywhere
eye
family
fast
father
fed
feed
fish
flap
glass
globe
gloss
goat
goes
goose
happy
heard
hook
horse
house
hush
jail
jam
jump
kick
kind
kiss
kitten
lean
leave
light
limp
lion
list
live
made
many
maybe
meal
mess
night
nobody
notes
our
our
out
pack
pail
rabbit
raise
sack
said
said
sail
sand
sea
shark
silly
sister
sleep
soon
state
straw
teach
tell
tiger
tip
truth
uncle
under
vase
wait
warm
was
week
what
why
yard
yellow
zebra

So I am going to move up to a harder spelling list and at the same time keep track of which words she misspells while she is writing and those will be our spelling words.

Madison also LOVES to read. We took a little break from the harder books and she’s had fun reading easy books she can get through in an hour. In the past two weeks, she’s read the Magic Tree House High Times for Heroes, Perfect Time for Pandas and Stallion by Starlight. She also read Freckle Juice, The Twits and Geronimo Stilton: The Mysterious Cheese Thief and Surf’s Up, Geronimo!

She has been reading Ramona and Beezus out loud to me every day and my husband Jeff has been reading Wind in the Willows to her each evening.
My next post will include pictures from extra activities from the past couple of weeks that we had fun doing. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to strike a balance between homeschooling and the life I used to know where I had time to clean and fix dinner. LOL. I am sure each upcoming week will be a learning experience for both of us. 🙂

A Different Approach to Learning for Highly Gifted Homeschoolers

After the first week of homeschooling I fully realized why I decided to listen to my daughter and grant her request to learn at home versus a public school classroom setting. It was because she learns differently. Completely differently. I have learned that is my job to help her learn. The first week I had a schedule of learning activities and was going ‘by the book’. By Friday I realized that I can’t go by the book. I have to go by Madison. It’s a very different approach that requires faith, trust and outside the box thinking. I can provide her with knowledge, but she lets me know exactly what how and the amount she needs. And when I tried to go by the book, I was putting her in the same position she would have been if I sent her to public school and it completely defeated the purpose. Highly gifted children learn differently and need a different approach to learning.

I went into this thinking I have to make her do everything I think she should do to ensure she is learning, comprehending and retaining. And I was dead wrong. She knows what Science instruments are and what they are used for and therefore does not need to draw them or write a sentence describing how a scientist uses them. We read about it and she aced the test without in her mind, ‘wasting her time’. So I learned to put 100% trust in her. She wants to learn, she craves it and loves it. She isn’t trying to ‘get out’ of having to do anything that hinders her learning any new information, she just knows what she needs to do to learn and I have to follow that.

Once I did and gave her a choice on what activities she would like to do to expand her learning on the subjects and concepts she needed to learn she flourished and at light speed. I can’t keep up. It’s honestly exhausting, but totally worth it. Today she was so excited to put the thermometer in the refrigerator and then the freezer and record the temps in both Fahrenheit and Celsius in her Science journal. She’s determined to master anything she can learn, but not at the expense of wasting her time when she already knows she understands it or if it’s not relevant in her mind or serves a valuable purpose. She loved coloring the Continents and Oceans on her map worksheet today and writing them out. She loved making her own compass with a piece of cork, a needle she rubbed with a magnet and placed in a bowl of water. She is a natural driven learner.

So now our homeschooling adventure is a team effort with me providing her with an enriching and valuable education and with her communicating to me how to teach her in a manner that benefits her the most.

I realized after week one, that I am so lucky to have a child that knows what she needs and can communicate that to me. So now I will learn to teach her in a ‘outside of the box’ manner and promised her I will not make her do repetitive work for the sake of doing it. I will not hold her back. From now on she will take tests first and learn what she doesn’t know. This road has not been an easy one, because it goes against the ‘normal’ way of educating and thinking. As a parent and the sole educator for your child, this is a very hard concept to come to terms with. But I see the results in the tests she takes and the difference in her motivation to learn and so I have to go with my gut. So far, it has always been right.

I will never, ever forget the smile on her face and the light in her eyes when I explained this to her. Her spirit for learning will not be crushed. We are a team. Team Madison. Team Madison who for now, is still learning on her terms, meeting all the objectives that she is required to learn, and most importantly with more free time for her to enjoy learning what she is interested in and on her own by expressing her own creativity.

Soon I will be replacing the cover photo for my blog. She is no longer fighting Darth Vader. She is a really good place and as soon as I find the picture that I feel represents that, it will be changed. 🙂

Adventures at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

I am a bit behind on my posts. 🙂 I am currently trying to figure out how to have time to homeschool, clean the house, fix dinner and blog. I will post, but they just might be a little backdated.

We had a wonderful time exploring hands on activities at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden on August 31st. The garden offers awesome daily hands on activities available for the kids at the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden! We will plan on visiting again very soon, especially when it isn’t 100 degrees out. We chose to only visit a few of the galleries and will visit different ones on each trip.

We started out in the Exploration Center and Plaza.

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There are several displays that are also hands on. Madison enjoyed looking at the plants, feeling the textures of different types of dirt and using a mobile camera to see the bugs up close!

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She also learned about pollination at an instructor led biology lab activity.

The Exploration Center and Plaza has so much more! These were the activities we chose for the day, but it also includes:

Interactive technology and special programs inside the Exploration Center, including teacher-led chemistry and biology labs. This innovative indoor space features a plant lab, smart tables, soil specimen workstations, CSI-style mysteries, and the signature OmniGlobe.

Located in the Globe Theatre, the five-foot-tall OmniGlobe is one of five in Texas and is the largest in the state. A touch-screen transforms the sphere into a high-tech model of the planets. View everything from weather events to population density on this striking machine.

Next we moved on to the T. Boone Pickens Pure Energy gallery. This is Madison’s favorite. The Arboretum’s site sums up this gallery quite nicely:

Here you will witness the transformation of water, solar and wind energy into electricity. Use interactive wind models and a variety of turbines to determine which machines are the most effective. Test wind speed using fun anemometers and step inside our wind machine to feel its power. Archimedes’ screw and other machines will teach about harnessing the power of water.

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iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 086There’s even a machine you can feel what it’s like to be in a tornado!

The next stop was for a hands on learning activity at the Texas Native Wetlands gallery.

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Madison was able to see a lot of native Texas insects and wildlife up close! She was able to scoop out baby fish and look at them through a magnifying glass as well as plants and insects taken right out of the wetlands gallery area! She saw frogs and dragonflies. She learned a lot from the volunteers and had a ton of fun!

As the temperature rose, we opted to head home, but not before passing through the the Amazing Secret Garden gallery.

 

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The Week of August 25th: The First Official Week of Homeschool

Madison’s desk was all set for her first day of school:

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Madison was excited for her first week and it went very well until Friday. The beauty of homeschooling is that it is flexible. The one thing I have learned from other homeschoolers is to be flexible and adjust what isn’t working. I have also read a lot and learned a lot about gifted learners. They do need things to be different and that is one of the reasons I decided to homeschool. The important thing is we made it through the week. I learned what worked and what didn’t for both of us and changed accordingly for the next week. I will explain more in next week’s post and hopefully some of my new tactics worked. 🙂 As for the first week of school, here is what we worked on:

In Math we finished up our Operations Unit with:
• Multiplication: Identify multiplication as repeated addition. Multiply two one-digit numbers by 2, 3, and 5 using an array.
• Division: Explain division as equal parts of a set. Divide a number up to 30 by 2, 3, or 5 using pictorial representations.
• Estimate Sums & Differences: Estimate reasonable answers to addition and subtraction problems with sums to 100.
• And a test over the entire Operations Unit.

We also completed Lessons 38 – 42 in Saxon Math. And took a variety of one minute timed addition tests everyday with 25 problems each.

In Language, we learned the following:

• ow, ou, oi, oy; Context Clues: Demonstrated knowledge in the following areas: vowel diphthongs ow, ou, oi, and oy; high frequency words; fluency reviewing question marks and quotation marks; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; context clues; and writing.
• str, spr; Sequence Events: Demonstrated knowledge in the following areas: the consonant clusters str and spr; high frequency words; fluency focusing on inflection; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; sequencing events in a narrative; and writing.
• R-Controlled –ear Irregular Plural Nouns; Story Structure: Demonstrated knowledge in the following areas; r-controlled vowels spelled –ear; irregular plural nouns; and story structure.
• Inflectional Endings ing, ed; Story Elements: Demonstrate knowledge in the following areas: the inflectional endings ing and ed; high frequency words; fluency focusing on phrasing; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; story elements identifying characters, setting, and plot; and writing.

We read a fictional story and learned about the elements of fiction by relating, discussing, using a story map and a web.

We also completed our Language Arts Extension Unit on Hygiene. In that unit Madison learned:
• Background/Story: Thematic content through discovery and achieve comprehension by reading literature with emphasis on vocabulary. Stories use controlled vocabulary to enhance phonemic awareness.
• Sounds, Letters & Words: Through a series of learning activities focused on discovery, recognition, and application, she practiced phonetic skills. She experienced words in a variety of modes, including rhyme and story. –Keywords: hygiene, phonics, consonant blends nd & sl, word families, blending, segmenting, phonological awareness, decodable reader, pre-writing, authentic writing, story.

Madison also worked on brainstorming, writing a rough draft and a final draft of her letter to her penpal. This was a super fun project for her this week.

On the days she didn’t work on her letter, she did a page in her Second Grade Handwriting Without Tears book.

As for reading, Madison read to self for 30 minutes everyday. She finished The Sorcerer’s Stone which she read one page and my husband read 2 pages throughout the book.

We started Lesson 6 in Wordly Wise Vocabulary and did an Analogies worksheet page.

We learned more about the Vikings and Instruments used in Science.

This week the only activity she had was gymnastics class, so we sent her to a gymnastics open gym session that her friends were attending and she had a BLAST! Next week she will have art, basketball, kidfit, and gymnastics.

Hands on Learning – The Science Museum

One of Madison’s favorite places is the local Science Museum. We make several visits throughout the year. The weekend before our school started we visited to make sure we were able to catch the traveling Dinosaur exhibit before it moved on.

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Madison also enjoyed learning about crystals and building her own electronic bird.

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Racing a T Rex is always fun!

And a Tylosaures with your dad!

 

Watching yourself kick a soccer ball in slow motion.

 

 

Experiencing what an extreme Earthquake would feel like.

 

 

And flying like a bird.

 

 

We love all the amazing opportunities for hands on learning at our local Science Museum and all it has to offer. We will be posting more visits in the future as we have more fun learning and discovering!

Homeschooling Update – The End of Summer and Begining of Our New Adventure!

We have begun our first week of home schooling and it is awesome! I love seeing Madison so happy. I wanted to share what we have worked on and mastered up to this point so that I can continue with updates from this point on. We did home school over the summer to work out the ‘quirks’.

Madison enjoyed several fun summer activities. We went to Disney World and Kansas City. She really enjoyed spending time with my parents. Madison spent a week at Camp Inventions, enjoyed a variety of camps, art class, music class, and gymnastics. She also really enjoyed going to the pool. As far as homeschooling goes, here is what we have mastered so far by subject for Second Grade:

Math

Number Sense:
• Hundreds, Tens, & Ones: Count and group objects into hundreds, tens, and ones. Identify a given number in expanded form. Identify the value of a given digit within a number up to the hundreds place.
• Write Numbers: Read and write number words up to ninety-nine and match them to numerals.
• Compare Numbers: Compare and order numbers using symbols such as <, =, and >. When given any number up to 1,000, identify one more than, one less than, 10 more than, 10 less than, 100 more than, and 100 less than.
• Ordinal Numbers: Read and understand ordinal numbers 1st – 100th. Identify ordinal number words first – tenth by name.
• Equivalent Forms of Numbers: Using diagrams, pictorial representations, and numerical expressions, represent equivalent forms of various numbers up to 1000.
• Skip Counting: Count up to 1000 by fives, tens, twenty-fives, fifties, and hundreds using mental math and pictorial representations.
• Zero as a Placeholder: Use zero as a placeholder and identify 10 tens as 100, 10 hundreds as 1000.
• Number Line and Rounding: Locate numbers up to 1000 on a number line. Use a number line to round numbers to the nearest 10.
• Odd and Even Numbers: Identify odd and even numbers.
• Sums and Differences: Even or Odd?: Determine if a sum or difference is odd or even.

Operations:
• Fact Families: Solve addition and subtraction facts up to 18 by using inverse operations. Describe the related facts that make up a fact family.
• Grouping Property: Use the Associative Property of Addition to solve addition problems involving three addends.
• Two-digit Addition: Solve addition problems involving two-digit numbers with regrouping.
• Adding Whole Numbers: Add single- and two-digit whole numbers.
• Two-digit Subtraction: Solve subtraction problems involving two-digit numbers with regrouping.
• Subtracting Whole Numbers: Subtract single-digit numbers from single- and two-digit numbers and two-digit numbers from two-digit numbers.

We are also using the Saxon Math Curriculum and have mastered up to lesson 37. Saxon Math 2 I love that it comes with manipulatives.

Saxon Math Manipulative

Language Arts

Here is what we have mastered so far in our year round home schooling that we began in July using Time4Learning.com that incorporates online learning and worksheets.

• Long vowels with silent e; Story Elements: long vowels ending with silent e; high frequency words; fluency with modeled reading; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; story elements identifying main characters; and writing.
• Long a with ai, ay; Sequence Events: the vowel digraphs ai and ay with the long a sound; high frequency words; fluency with reading rate; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; sequencing; and writing.
• Long e with ea, ee, y; Story Elements: the vowel digraphs ea and ee with the long e sound, the vowel y with the long e sound; high frequency words; fluency focusing on periods; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; story elements identifying setting; and writing.
• Long i with igh, y, ie; Prefixes; Details: the long vowel i as spelled with the letters igh, y, and ie; the prefix pre-; high frequency words; fluency focusing on question marks; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; details; and writing.
• Long o with oa, ow; Shades of Meaning; Main Idea: he vowel digraphs oa and ow with the long o sound; high frequency words; fluency focusing on speed and accuracy; vocabulary words and nuances in meaning; reading a leveled text; main idea; and writing.
• er, ir, ur; Prefixes & Root Words; Supporting Details: r-controlled vowels er, ir, and ur; the prefixes un-, re-, and the root word “tele”; high frequency words; fluency with quotation marks; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; supporting details; and writing.
• ar, or, ore; Story Elements: the r-controlled vowels ar, or, and ore; high frequency words; fluency focusing on exclamation marks; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; story elements identifying conflict; and writing.
• R-Controlled -ear Irregular Plural Nouns Story Structure: r-controlled vowels spelled -ear; irregular plural nouns; and story structure.
• sh, ch, th, wh; Predict Outcomes: the consonant digraphs sh, ch, th, wh; high frequency words; fluency reviewing periods and exclamation marks; vocabulary; reading a leveled text; predicting outcomes; and writing.
• Use of Periods: Review and correctly use a period in simple and compound sentences.

Madison is also doing Wordly Wise 3000 Vocabulary and just finished Lesson 5. We are doing spelling words as well. Madison loves to read and the books she read in August include Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan and she is currently reading Wind in the Willows. She reads a minimum of 30 minutes every day.

We are also doing Language Arts Extensions. Each topic incorporates a background/story where Madison learns thematic content through discovery and achieve comprehension by reading literature with emphasis on vocabulary. Stories use controlled vocabulary to enhance phonemic awareness and sounds, letters & words through a series of learning activities, focused on discovery, recognition, and application, and Madison practices phonetic skills. She experiences words in a variety of modes, including rhyme and story.

We have covered the topics of Spiders, Bees and Worms.

We will master the following topics this year:

Nutrition
Hygiene
Fitness
Rain Forests
Arctic
Deserts
Directions
Maps and Globes
Symbols and Keys
Sound
Heat
Light
Hurricanes
Tornadoes
Volcanoes
Conflict Resolution
Following the Law
Goods and Services
Consumers and Producers

Science

Patterns in Nature:
• Steps in Life Cycle: Identify a cycle as a process with no beginning or end. Briefly explain the steps in the life cycle: birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
• Food Chain: Identify and describe a food chain. Label a chart that illustrates a simple food chain.
• Basic Needs of Animals: Identify the basic needs of animals, including shelter and living space.
• Pond Habitat: Identify plants and animals found in a pond habitat. Describe the food chain of a pond.
• Wetland Habitat: Identify characteristics of a wetland habitat, plants and animals found in a wetland habitat, and examples of adaptations.
• Ocean Habitat: Identify characteristics of an ocean habitat, plants and animals found in an ocean habitat, and examples of adaptations.

Force and Motion:
• Magnetism: Describe magnetism as a force you cannot see that acts upon objects. Know that most magnets contain iron. Describe the law of magnetic attraction, and know that like poles repel and unlike poles attract. Know that magnets can be used to push and pull objects.

Earth and Space:
• Moon and Earth: Know that the Moon moves around the Earth, the Earth moves around the Sun, and the Moon is only visible when it reflects the Sun’s light. Describe the relationship of the Earth’s rotation to a 24-hour day.
• Objects in the Sky: Identify objects seen in the sky, including clouds, the Sun, stars, the Moon, etc. Know that stars and planets are always in the sky, even in the daytime.

This year we will master:
Scientific Investigation
Nature of Matter
Energy, Force and Motion
Effects on the Shape of Earth
Ecology
Life/Environment Interact
Light & Sound
Astronomy
Eras on Earth

I am also incorporating many Science Experiments and Madison is signed up for Science classes at the local Science Museum and Nature Center.

We are also using Time4Learning  for Social Studies as long as supplementing books and videos and Little Passports to expand our learning.

Wants & Needs:
• Human Needs: Identify basic human needs.
• How Basic Needs Are Met: Explain how basic needs of food, clothing and shelter can be met.

Compare/Contrast Locations
• Map Skills: Use maps to locate states, the United States, continents and oceans.
• Maps & Globes: Recognize that maps are utilized to provide directions as well as location.
• Recognizing Map Symbols: The learner will recognize symbols on a simple map.
• Cardinal Directions: Locate places using cardinal and intermediate directions.

Our National Identity
• Historic Places: Identifies selected important buildings, statues and monuments associated with national history, for example, Capitol building, White House, Statue of Liberty, the United States flag and the Liberty Bell.
• National Holidays: The learner will explain the purpose of , and the people and events honored in commemorative, patriotic holidays such as President’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, Columbus”” Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Thanksgiving.
• Cultural Holidays: The learner will explain the purpose of various holidays celebrated by different cultures within the United States, such as, Cinco de Mayo and Kwanza.
• Patriotic Expressions: The learner will know the Pledge of Allegiance and songs that express American ideas (e.g., My Country ””Tis of Thee and The Star Spangled Banner.

Work In Society
• Types of Jobs: Identify jobs in the home, school and community, describe the requirements of various jobs and cite examples of characteristics of doing a job well performed.

I am very excited for the upcoming curriculum as we continue. We will be learning about the following this year:
• Vikings: The characteristics, culture, and influences of the Vikings.
• Alaskan Inuits: Understanding of the way of life of the Alaskan Inuits.
• The World in Spatial Terms: An overview of the world in spatial terms by describing geographical patterns, location, and interrelationships of the major physical features of Earths surface.
• Exploration of the Americas: Examine the history of the United States during the early years of exploration and discovery.
• North American Colonization: Examine the history of the United States during the early years of colonization.
• Rural, Suburban, Urban Region: Describe the people, events, and characteristics of rural, urban, and suburban regions in the United States.
• Economics: Understand the concepts and characteristics of economics.
• Citizenship & Government: Understand the characteristics of citizenship and the role of government at the local and state levels.
• Chronology: Understand the concept of time and chronology by reading and constructing timelines.

She also is working on Rosetta Home School Spanish and French. As well as handwriting and typing. We have a lot of different types of things we will be working on week by week. Madison also has a good amount of time to be creative and work on projects. 🙂 I can’t wait to share our upcoming fun, week by week! And it will be much easier to remember what we did week by week verses over the past couple of months! 🙂

Wading Through the Tide – Advice Needed

Madison has been ‘off’ this week. All of her quirks and sensitivities are in full throttle mode. I have been wracking my brain to figure out why. Life is much harder for everyone when she is like this, so figuring out the triggers is important to me. Not enough sleep? Lack of exercise? And then it hit me…control. Madison has to feel like she has some choices in her day. She has to feel empowered. See most gifted kids are introverts. Mine is a 100% extrovert who wants to be in control of her own destiny. She is in a camp this week from 9am-3:30. A cool camp. But apparently one that she doesn’t have the opportunity to make choices in. We had the same problem when she was in school. The same behaviors. Everything is heightened. Even down to the sensitivity to her socks. Socks are a HUGE issue for her. I am hoping by targeting her issues I can help her. I’m just not sure how. Does anyone have any advice? I need to figure out how to help her when she is in controlled environments where she doesn’t have choices and feels powerless. It is a huge problem for her. One I don’t think she’ll overcome with a ‘talk.’ 

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