Sunday, 29 November 2015

You gotta smile when...

... November comes and your kids only want to do Christmas math :)

Seriously though - I wanted to pick your brains and ask what your favourite Christmas lesson resources were, any new ideas would be great.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

When will I ever use this???

I usually cringe when the girls ask me a question like that but thankfully when they asked it about working out cubic volumes I was able to point them in hubby's direction as just one example.

He works testing buildings and he has to work out the cubic volume when doing a building sound test or an air tightness test (see air tightness testing for more info) cue playing with his laser measure and having fun working out cubic volumes - love it when math comes to life :)

Friday, 13 November 2015

Grapevine Studies - The Birth of Jesus TOS Review

I love this time of year because TOS always manage to find a great Christmas product to review which brings the spirit of Christ into our home. And Grapevine Studies doesn't disappoint - we received the Birth of Jesus: Multi Level (7+)

Grapevine Studies have created a unique multi sensory way (hear - draw - review) for your family to study scriptures, by drawing stick figures as the lesson is presented to them and then answering questions about what they have learnt the scriptures become more engaging and really memorable. Its a great way to improve your understanding the Bible.

I received three digital downloads. 
The Birth of Jesus multi level teacher book

This contains the goals, methodology and lesson narratives w
hich really simplifies planning as its all outlined for you (all you have to do is print and provide coloured pencils/pens). It also contains the completed (drawn) lessons - Each lesson consists of reading a scripture verse, stick figuring (drawing) and discussion questions to review. They suggest a weekly memory verse and timeline review, there are also maps and vocabulary to look up in the Bible Dictionary. Their suggested lesson outline is;

Day 1 - Timeline Review Page
Day 2: Lesson page 1
Day 3: Lesson page 2
Day 4: Student Drawing Page


The Birth of Jesus multi level Student book

This contains the printable outlines for the timelines and student pages. the lessons are broken down into timeline, the announcement, birth of Jesus, the proclamation, the Wise Men and Herod and a final review.

The Birth of Jesus multi level Student book traceable

The same as the student book but with traceable outlines

I love how flexible this product is - you can use exactly as outlined without any hassle and little prep or you can tweak to suit how your family works. We used it as outlined mostly but did make two small changes - first they suggested the teacher draws the stick figures on a whiteboard for the kids to copy but I choose to show them it from my laptop, second we printed a space copy of the timeline and cut it up to make timeline cards which we used in our weekly review.

I loved that it covered many topics - bible study, history, geography, dictionary usage, spelling, art etc.

The girls really, really enjoyed this - they loved the drawing and the timeline (and the timeline cards) and its a perfect way to study over Christmas. They even memorised bible verses with no complaints :)

The Teacher book is $12.50 and the Student book and Traceable book are $8 each

You can see what my crew mated thought of this and other Grapevine Studies products over at the TOS Blog.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Question time

One of my favourite aspects of educating the girls at home is being bombarded with their wonderful questions all the time. Sometimes they want to know why clouds don't float off into space? or why grass grows in winter when the rest of the plants die?

That said, there are times and places where these questions prove difficult (like in the middle of the night) so we decided to give them a place to record the questions so we could approach them at a more sensible time.  I drew a thought bubble on a small whiteboard and stuck it at the bottom of the stairs with a pen, they can write down any questions or draw a picture to prompt them, then during reading time we can have a 'question session' where we can look up the answers.

So far it seems to be working nicely and is a great way to sneak in some extra writing practice.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

How do you record your kids work?

I was recently asked this question by a reader and thought I'd share what I do and quiz you guys about how you do it.

For the last 3 years I've kept each child's work in a file folder (prior to that we tried notebooks but they were never big enough).

Each girl is given a folder with a few tabs in which are then labelled by subject.

At the end of each day any notes taken, posters drawn, notebook pages, stories/poems written, experiments recorded, artwork, worksheets etc are placed in a file tray. At the end of the week (or sometimes every couple of weeks if we are feeling lazy) they get the hole punch out and file them away. 

For any of the bigger stuff (model of the pyramids, large art pieces, historical feasts, educational games, lapbooks, trips) I just take photos that I can print and place in their folders.

I also do this for any Montessori materials they use - for example, when they were doing the adverb presentation I took photos and popped them in her folder.

With their 'internet learning' there are often print outs of the lessons available, otherwise I print out a report from the parents page to include.

With 'video learning/youtube learning' they take notes while watching which get included in their files.

So how do you record your child's work?

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