Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Home School Theme: Butterflies

Well, it's that time of year! Spring is JUST starting to make herself known..more so down here than in you snowy states...sorry! I've got seeds sprouting in the window greenhouse, birds in trees and blossoms on the Bradford Pear outside! Spring IS coming and I will enjoy it immensely as it quickly shifts to 100 degree temps, hurricane warnings and 100% humidity!

Here is a smidge of what we are doing this month:

Unit Study: Butterflies. All Month Long. Read "Butterfly Battle" a Magic Schoolhouse Book.

Make a sensory box with Butterflies from TOOBS. We downsized the sensory box and will be adding fake flowers, grass, and maybe some plastic bugs as well. :)

I've got some really fun ideas pinned here: http://www.pinterest.com/mamaslilmonkeys/homeschool-unit-butterflies/

We made some coffee filter butterfly art of course. Mark on a flattened coffee filter with washable markers. Cover as much of the filter as you can. Squirt with a water bottle, let dry (put paper towels underneath as it does bleed.) Once dry, secure with a clothespin (color it too if you wish!) and pipe cleaner antenna!

I found these blank "books" somewhere, I forget where but likely Target or a craft store. I added the graphic on the front and the boys added the scrapbooking butterflies I found at Dollar Tree. Inside they are free to do what they wish, they've drawn butterflies, added butterfly stickers, written a bit. I challenge them a bit on each page but it's their book to create how they wish.

Of course I couldn't help crocheting a bunch of butterflies to hang on the ceiling! Okay, so that was more for me than them....I also found the big purple metal butterfly on clearance at Hobby Lobby for 7 bucks!

I made this one up this morning. Eli was drawing a caterpillar after we read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and finished reading comprehension worksheets on it, so while he drew his caterpillar I created this simple math game. He doesn't like doing math but it pretty good at his math facts. I figure the more ways we can get those 0-20 math facts memorized, the better we can proceed when it's time to bump up in math. I want those facts CEMENTED before we move on, because that's the mistake I think happens in public schools a lot. They teach so many different methods but don't assure children KNOW the facts inside and out. I've discovered my third grader can't spout some of these off the top of his head! What were they teaching him?? That's for another day...

Anyway, I used a hole punch because there is NO way I'd cut those circles so pretty! Trace the circles, write problems in the circle laid out like a caterpillar and as he answers them with the correct caterpillar piece, glue them on. Or have him write the answer for a more advanced lesson where the answers aren't multiple choice.

And of course we ordered a refill for our Butterfly Hatching Kit! We raised them back in August and it was such fun! The caterpillars are on their way!

That's just a bit of what we've done so far. Lots more fun things are planned! Of course lots of butterfly books checked out from the library!

Outside of our Unit Study, we are continuing in Story of the World Volume One. We're roughly half way done. I anticipate having it done by late summer.

In science we skipped ahead to Lesson 14 I think it is in Apologia Flying Creatures for the Butterfly chapter. I admit he doesn't love Apologia, I think he finds it kind of dry as I do, but we are learning from it. It's well written, I just personally loathe science and find it boring. I wish I didn't. I try not to let my opinion show. We're definitely learning, I'm certainly learning things I never knew about God's flying creatures!

Eli works on Saxon Phonics K as well as Life of Fred: Butterflies for math(which spurned this whole theme this month.) Harrison works on Teaching Textbooks for math and First Language Lessons for Grammar. Technically FLL-1 is for Grade 1 (first grade) but since I feel the grammar education Harrison received in public school was hugely lacking, I decided to start him on the first level. We could blow through it in weeks but I want him to really understand it. I'm honestly surprised he got the memorization parts so fast. There really is something to this Classical Education gig!! Eli will start FLL-1 next year for First Grade.

They do plenty of other things, if it interests you, here they are:

Geography: Various websites and apps for geography like Map Snap, Stack the States/Countries, National Geographic Kids, my children just eat up geography. I am actually willing to bet my 8 year old knows more about geography than the average adult.

Language: Right now Harrison takes American Sign Language with me at the homeschool co-op and Eli picks it up as well. I'd like to start Latin but was waiting until I get a bit more homeschool experience under the belt!

Reading: Seriously, just read all the time to your kids. That will teach reading. I honestly think you could throw it all away except a books and a good math curriculum and you'd be all set. Classics, picture books, read alouds, non fiction, just let them read! And read TO them.

PE: We take a PE class with our local gym, but will soon take a break in April to enjoy the two months before school lets out where we get the pool to ourselves.

Music: Daddy's department. He plays guitar. All on him. PHEW.

Home Ec/Life Skills: It's called chores, baby.

Scripture: Very important. I like to use the Bible Writer from Kristen Joy Awake. as well as Confessions of a Homeschoolers' Character Studies. We're on Patience this week. I collect them in a binder and we will go over them again and again. Love, love, love her blog. If not for her blog and Homegrown Learners, I don't know where I'd be! Such great resources.

I hope this gives you some ideas on doing a Butterfly Theme!!

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