Show and Tell- Child's book of character building

Homeschool Show & Tell

I have to share with you one of my favorite teaching resources. We were first introduced to these books when Meg was in a preschool co-op, oh so many years ago.
A Child's Book of Character Building by R. Coriell presents 13 different character traits such as "attentive", "obedience", and "contentment". My girls can still, years later give you the definitions of many of these traits.

Each trait is introduced with an easy to remember definition and a Bible verse, then you are given 4 stories-
for example: "Attentive" - "listening with my ears, eyes, and heart" the stories that follow are; "Attentive in the Bible", "Attentive at home", "Attentive at school" and "Attentive at play".

We always started with "obedience" - it's just flat out needed if you are going to homeschool... then followed with "Attentive", also really needed for homeschooling- if for example, I have a student goofing off during read aloud, we can talk about what part of attentive they are missing...are they using their ears?, are their eyes somewhere else? Can you just imagine all the teachable moments for these traits?

I wrote earlier about adding a new student to our homeschool, we fairly early hit on some behavior problems- and I immediately reached for these books and introduced them as a subject we tackle first thing with the 3 youngest students. Because of the dynamics we were facing with our new student, I jumped to Book 2 of this series and started our first week with the word "responsible", which means "doing what I know I ought to do".

We start each day repeating the word and definition together several times, and we try to point out how they are demonstrating the word in our day to day life or when we see it in others. When we were in co-op, the lesson was stretched into two weeks and we were given a chart with the word, places to put stars for the child saying the definition daily, and a place for stars when caught demonstrating the word. I am skipping with the chart this time around, and just chanting it a lot with the kids.

I really cannot praise this series enough, it is really time well spent- and wonderful, needed attributes to hide in your children's hearts.

Homeschool Open House- Daily Math Practice

Again, I am opening up my homeschool closet to share my curricula-abundance with my fellow curricula-junkies, and with any new home-school moms treading the waters for the first time.

This gem of a find is published by Evan-Moor and part of a series covering several different subjects. I picked up
Daily Math Practice for Meg and Josie. We are currently using Math U See, and we are pleased with it...and yet I was a little worried the girls would forget facts learned in previous years and perhaps not learn any new facts that might show up on our yearly standardized testing.

Daily Math Practice is a painless way to add a little bit of review into your student's day. Each week you get 5 problems for each day and a little progress chart to track work done. I think the 5 problems is just enough, considering the girls have already tackled their Math U See work for the day.

It's a good thing, and- I picked it up at Barnes & Nobles with my educator's discount...very cool.

Math U See- Homeschool show and tell

Maybe someone can benefit from my ever-growing stash of homeschool curriculum....

I love good stuff, and there is an abundance of good stuff out there in homeschool-land; I thought I'd share a peek into the things in my closet and describe a little about what they are and how they work.

We just started with Math U See this school year, after using a traditional, spiral, textbook curriculum (Abeka) which was very good and thorough...but frankly, it is designed for classroom use- and the price for all the different books needed for each grade, and the time needed for teaching each grade was overwhelming me.

Math U See is not "traditional" in the er... traditional textbook way- it reminds me very much of a Montessori approach, very hands on- using manipulatives to "build" your problem and then "teaching" it back to prove mastery. Math U See is also not "traditional" in the sequence and bundling of math skills covered in each book. For example, one of the books we are using this year is Gamma- and it covers multiplication...and pretty much only multiplication. A parent might get uneasy that division is not being covered in the same time as would be traditional. However, once the student moves on to the next level and subject, I think the subject will be very thoroughly mastered. We do yearly testing in our charter school, I am a little worried about long division skills being forgotten, so I am using a daily exercise book for the student's grade level for practice.

I switched to Math U See mainly to use the Dvd's that come with each level. I watch the dvd with the child each day (sometimes not, if I am familiar with the concept and teaching style) the lesson is maybe 10 minutes long and then the child works on the practice pages which include the "building and saying" part of the program. Also included in the practice page are word problems and review problems using a few skills taught in an earlier book or lesson. After the student has completed enough pages to show understanding, they complete a test page to show mastery and then you move on to the next lesson.

I really love not teaching the main lesson anymore. And it is a huge time saver for me, I can ideally watch my 2 older girl's lesson the night before- they are not long, and then let them run the lessons by themselves the next day as I work with the youngers. I do make a point to watch the younger kid's lessons because it is a new way of teaching for me.

The Math U see webpage does a very good job of describing the program and subjects covered in each level, and they offer placement tests to help place the student in the right level. I thought the books affordable, and I loved that the teacher book had the answer key incorporated into the book...I did not have to spend more money for the key. All the separate books I had to purchase for our other program made my head swim.

My kids don't grumble about math anymore (wow!) and I can see that Meg understands fractions now in a way she didn't before using the other program.

Nile River Delta model, homeschool history

Wednesday we worked on our Nile River Delta model, a project found in the Story of the World vol. 1 activity book. This project is for chapter 2; Egyptians lived on the Nile River.

Photo #1 is of the supplies needed. Photo #2 shows the soil with the foil placed as the river. Photo #3 shows the blue rocks added to the river area. Photo #4 shows the kids adding the grass seeds to the soil.
We then had the fun of "flooding' the Nile. We will continue to flood the Nile once a day, as an example of the yearly flooding the Egyptian farmers needed for their crops.

To round out this chapter, we also worked on a map of the delta, identifying the river, delta, lower and upper Egypt and unified kingdom areas. I also read and explored The Usborne Book of World History and the Usborne Internet-linked Encyclopedia sections on Egypt with Demi-Sky. I assigned the same reading to the older girls independently.

It was a fun, simple project. The roasting pans I found at Big lots very inexpensively. Not a sophisticated project for the older girls, but I know that Demi will always remember the Nile Delta and it's importance to that kingdom. -The girls took off with the extra roasting pans and planted mini container gardens inspired by The Dk Gardening book by Jane Bull.