21 February 2010

Little of this and that

We've had such a busy schedule lately I never have time to blog about what we're up to. In the homeschooling department, we started a big science kick, robots, volcanoes, exploring our senses, the states of water, and bird form and function.

Here's the papier mache volcano that Savannah made from a toilet paper roll, cardboard, newspaper and the flour and water "glue". She looked at images of real volcanoes before deciding how to paint it in black, brown and red. We mixed some red food coloring and dish soap together along with the baking soda so the volcano's lava would appear red. It looked more pink than red so next time we'll definitely use more food coloring.

For homeschool we do a page of math everyday and since September have completed double-digit addition, double-digit subtraction (now with borrowing), telling time, basic multiplication, and are now working on a unit on money math. Savannah still reads as many as three chapter books a day so I've eased off the reading "for school" and am trying to get her to spend more time outdoors. She always resists but the second she's outside she's in heaven.

Let's face it - some states of water are more fun than others!

I called the elementary school in our district to talk with the administrators about their educational program and attended the open house of a private school near us. I am so disappointed in how little they offer. One school recognizes the importance of reading at different levels so they divide kids into reading groups with two classes having reading groups of just one student where the child is particularly advanced. However, the same school uses one math curriculum for all students in a grade, with no chance for movement up or down, all the kids learn math at the same speed, which is dictated by the slowest learners. The other school lets children work independently in their workbooks during "math" time and children work at their own pace. I noticed one child was on page 3 in her workbook, while another had nearly completed it, but with plenty of wrong answers. I plan to homeschool for a few years mainly because I feel I don't have a choice. I'm so disappointed in the quality of schools and education in our area, both public and private. It helps that Kevin is an engineer and I'm biochemist and writer.

 My box of secret items for our blind senses activity. Savannah correctly guessed everything except for the chopstick, which she wrote down as a pencil.

Savannah touching the secret objects to determine what they are while blind folded.

Writing down her guesses! She got 11 correct out of 12. I fooled her with the chopstick.

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