Sunday, March 28, 2010

That Time of Year

I know it's early but I have already started thinking about plans for next year. I'm thinking the summer is going to be pretty busy with a new baby, summer vacation plans, gardening, and of course just enjoying the weather and the community events. I thought it would be a good idea to start at least thinking about what we are going to do for third grade. (Wow - third grade!!) We had a tough start to second grade and I would like to avoid that again. I think we have found some curriculum that works well for phonics and grammar. Ms. Q likes it and it seems to be working.

We are still struggling to find a math program that we both like. I tried to avoid spending too much money on a prepared curriculum package but I think that I might have to break down and go for it. The question is which one?

I found a really great resource to add to our homeschool - lesson pathways. This website was once a members only site but has since become free to use with paid advertisements. The website provides web based units of study in all subject areas and the curriculum is aligned with the federal core curriculum standards. It has really helped lessen the time I need to spend searching the internet for resources, hands on project ideas, and worksheets. We are definitely going to be using it more in the fall. We are sticking with the literature based units but are going to work in some more science with the help of lesson pathways. I highly recommend the site!

I would really like to at least create a list of topics/books/ideas to cover for next year and a tentative time schedule for when we would do each one. It will just give me a little feeling of control. I don't think that's too much to ask!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dinosaurs Unit

This unit was soooo much fun - for the whole family! Ms. Q asked for this one and I found some really great minibooks for her lapbook and some great hands-on activities at Homeschool Share. We took two weeks for this unit and tried to include all the subject areas. We used the Magic Tree House #1 Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne as our literature selection, reading a chapter each day and using the non-fiction Research Guide as well.

This is Ms. Q beginning her adventure as a paleontologist. She is digging for dinosaur bones!

She found one!

After Ms. Q found all the bones inside the box she tried to put them together. She really impressed me with this. She did not know how many bones there were supposed to be or even if she had found them all. Then she put them together WITHOUT the instructions and WITHOUT even knowing what the dinosaur was supposed to look like...just like a real paleontologist!

This is it - the Spinosaurus!
Here are the photos of her completed lapbook.

Little M started his first unit study this week too! He has been sitting at the kitchen table with Ms. Q while she does her work and I usually give him a coloring sheet to scribble on, so I thought that it would be fun for him to have coloring sheets of dinosaurs. This evolved into the letter D, which he can now identify and make the phonetic sound for. He also did some counting and gluing and we read lots of books about dinosaurs.

Here are photos of Little M's school work!

And of course no study of dinosaurs would be complete without a trip to the museum. Everyone was able to go and we met the grandparents there too. Here we are at the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington with the dinosaurs.