There are a few things I always wonder about when I learn a family homeschools is 1. How do they homeschool? Montessori? Charlotte Mason? Waldorf? Classical? A mixture of all of it? 2. What curriculum do they use and if it is different from mine I really hope they offer to let me see it. 3. I wonder what craft/school supplies they keep on hand? LOL. The last one friends, though it is last, is my number one question. So, for the next several posts I'm going to talk about the supplies we use. First up, one of my favorites, painting.
In March, we learned all about birds. Birds has become one of my favorite subjects since we have bought our house. Since moving here we have had such a wide variety of birds visit our backyard that it is almost impossible not to become interested in birds. We have had Yellow and Red Finches, Grosbeaks, Woodpeckeres, Morning Doves, Mouse Tit, Catbird, Blue Jays, Hummingbirds & Orioles. This doesn't even touch all of them that we have. They are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. We even have an owl that occasionally visits our yard.
So it has been easy to be passionate about sharing about birds with Joe as he has grown and this year has been even more fun with him noticing more and more differences between each of the birds and even being able to identify a couple of birds by their calls without seeing them.
Joe & I had so much fun tonight creating this bird in a cage science experiment. It is so easy to make and created an environment of hands-on learning.
To do this science experiment:
1. Print the printable and cut both circles out. Grab your FREE printable in my shop. (you have to check out, but it's free) You can also use a cup to trace two circles. Cut them out. Draw a bird on one and a cage on the other.
2. Glue the two circles together. The bird should be up on one side and the cage pointing the opposite direction on the other side.3. Punch 2 holes on each side of the circle.
4. Cut two pieces of string the length of your arm.
5. Thread the string through the holes and tie a knot at the end of each string.
6. Hold the two ends of your string and flip the bird & cage using a circle motion with your arms.
7. When the circle will not flip anymore, pull the strings taut. The circle should turn on it's own and appear as if the bird is in the cage.
If you would like to do more experiments like this you can find them in 50 Science Things To Make & Do
*This link will lead you to my PaperPie site. If you purchase this book I will receive a commission at no additional charge to you*
This month we have been learning all about the Anatomy. We have been using My Little Hands Learn for the hands-on resources for this month and we also read a lot of books because books are an undervalued resource. There are so many times that Joe picks up facts that we have read from books and most of the time I'm fairly certain he isn't even listening to me lol. I did grab a few books from the library to also supplement, but I was actually disappointed in the few that they had available at our library. I normally try to use our bridge system, but I have just been so far behind and I am terrible about ordering books for pick up and then actually going to the library and picking them up.
It's almost January and that means we are going to be discussing all the things of winter this month. As well as trying to get outside as often as we can to enjoy all the changes in our yard since fall.
In our family, we love to read and so we will be intentionally reading books about winter, snow, snowmen, snowflakes, etc that we can get our hands on. Here is a list of books that we are reading in our home and a list of books that we will also be getting from the library if we can find them. If we cannot get them from the library and I can find them at an inexpensive price I will grab them on Amazon or Half Price Book Store.
November, like any other month of the year, seems to have been very busy for us. It is surprising to me that in the effort to slow down intentionally that we are still very busy. It is a good kind of busy though and we enjoy what we are doing.
In October, I finally managed to land Joe in a spot of a local(ish) nature co-op. The classes are weekly and take place at a beautiful marsh that is about 45 minutes away from us. The leaders follow the Exploring Nature With Children curriculum which I just adore and can never seem to stay on track with on my own. Joe absolutely adores the classes and loves being able to meet new people and friends.
Joe also lost his second tooth at one of the classes. Just casually turned to me and handed me the tooth and then turned back to resume listening to the teacher speak.
November brought us a mix of extreme temperatures. We had days of so cold it seemed our furnace couldn't keep up with the cold and days that were so warm you could almost consider breaking out the summer clothes again lol. We had one very beautiful day that we took a trip to the zoo. It was a spontaneous trip. Joe and I were having a rough morning so I got us together and got us out of the house. We always have so much fun when we are at the zoo. Whether we are with friends or on our own it seems there is always an adventure to be had. This time when we had gone the zoo still had some of their Halloween decorations up and we had some fun. Also, note the gorilla in the picture below. He (or she) had a whole relatable mood going on.
In the month of November, we continued with learning about Vincent Van Gogh and also learned all about Mammals with our virtual co-op group through My Little Hands Learn. (affiliate link) He is almost finished with Math and Language Arts grade level one. So we keep plugging away through them both. I have to say that going through his Language Arts and learning all about the different rules for letter sounds, blends, etc that I am glad that we took the break we did at the end of last year. He came in swinging and is reading fairly well already. I had originally started him off with The Good and The Beautiful. I love their curriculum, but it was too stringent for him so we made the move to Masterbooks for his Math and Language Arts. It was a really good move. He is thriving with it and it is good. For all the other subjects we follow a "curriculum" guideline from Ambleside Online. It is a Charlotte Mason style of learning and one I lean more too. The curriculum guide is free to use. You can support the contributors by using the links to the suggested books to make purchases. They use the money from this to maintain the site they use and their goal is to make it as affordable as possible. This means they also link free resources you can use versus buying the recommended books for reading. They also have a pretty amazing Facebook community.
Not directly related to school, but we also spent time with family for the holidays. Dan's mom has not been doing well so we are trying to be intentional about spending time with all of our parents. We want to be sure to give Joe quality time with them so that he has memories of them when he is older.
We also made the trip to the library several times this month. One of those times Joe made slime. We went a couple of times in October for a homeschooling group get together that the library hosts, but were not able to make it to any of the scheduled events in November. Fingers crossed for December.
We also went to see some Christmas lights with friends that do not live as close to us Thanksgiving weekend. The light display is in West Bend and is hands down my favorite display ever.
There was a small amount of snow one of the days and though it was not much, Joe purposed in his heart to make a snowman. I did not stop him, but let him get outside. I'm sure, soon enough it will be much colder and our time outside more limited.
That about wraps up our November. My favorite part of homeschooling is that it isn't just about the books, but about the fun memories we get to create while learning.
I am so far behind in my life right now. I even went to the extent of creating not just one, but two book trackers because I forgot that I had already created one. That is how life goes when you enter the holiday right? I have been working very hard this year in slowing down a lot. It is one of the greatest messages I have learned from this pandemic. Slow down. I do love the hustle and bustle of the season, but honestly, I enjoyed the forced slowdown that we had last Christmas and I want to repeat it. Every day!
Can you believe that November is just a few days away? I cannot. I simultaneously feel like the year has been gone by fast and will never end lol. I long for the slow days together as a family, a beautiful garden, warm sun kissed days. I am eager to be rid of this pandemic, world wide sickness, political craziness and hate. Right now I am gearing up to make plans for my business in 2022. I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head that this year I will need to make a structured plan. Do you reevaluate your current goals and set new goals for the new year in November?
I'm also excited about all the amazing events that happen during this time of the year. Family get togethers, Christmas light shows, reflecting about the goodness of Jesus and sipping hot cocoa while reading some good books.
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