Sunday, August 11, 2013

And Then, a Plateau of Five Weeks

Mostly, I was lazy, I think.

So, we ended with a lesson on AMPHIBIANS and proceeded to tackle the rest of the other vertebrate groups.

popsicle stick fishes... I made a boo-boo on this one because I told Yakee what he did wasn't nice, which was to draw with the marker near where the eye should be... I apologized greatly about that. Really feel bad about it to this day 'coz he was so shocked and hurt)

most of the fishes on the left are Yakee's prints... love, love this activity, and made on the back of actual posters so it's a really huge canvas!

spelling and reading activity

decided to let loose a little and let them have their way with dustless chalk on the ground... was rewarded by this:

that is his favorite thing to write nowadays... :)

New words to learn after reading a Bible passage

Proverbs 30: 24-28... Bible integration on our invertebrates topics, haha

all by himself, he thought of encircling the words he has already done... which was very important for me since it told me he is slowly building his own brand of study habits... love it!

finally introduced Yakee to the concept of vowel and consonant sounds

Yamee has to insist on having his work documented as well... so while Kuya and I were learning to count in two's and three's, here he was, building horizontally

Of course, Kuya insisted on play after 'learning'

not a great picture but drew numbers on the ground... our version of Math hopscotch where he would jump on the answer to my Math questions on addition and subtraction (he played proper hopscotch with cousins later)

and oh, he loves his abacus!!!  (not in picture but also Math-related is I bought him a 5-minute hourglass which helps him track time as well as also add... like, how many 5 minutes are in 10, 20 minutes?)

discussion of these led to talks here and there on how best to take care of our organs and what-not

Yakee's depiction of what a good thing is: not having so much lollipop and sharing it

Yamee's drawing of fishes (angler fish to be exact)

His drawing is improving too!

Yakee's initial attempts at drawing fish... he draws them better now, and even manages a gulper eel that looks like a gulper eel

Started discussing parts of trees, plants and types of plants... this is Yakee's drawing what a plant needs (sun, air and water)

when I asked him to draw a flower for me, he drew this

practicing handwriting (although I am not so strict about this yet... really need to purchase form drawing e-book already)

and when August came, we finally opened Yakee's Filipino book... he can read the words easily BUT needs pictures to have a sense of what the Tagalog words are

Thanks to Pappie, this is the only music we have... Yakee likes flicking on the marimba for background music, be it be for his brother's crying or whatever else

Yakee became obsessed with unusual fishes, the gulper eel, piranha, angler fish and dragon fish to be more specific. I let them watch videos on them, as well as watch videos of a school of fish.

No pictures to show for our discussion of MAMMALS. I did bring them along wearing posters that support breastfeeding at the Hakab Na! breastfeeding mob last week... and we watched a series of videos on marsupials (kangaroo from a newborn to a full grown joey), land predators (like the cheetah, or lionesses training cubs to hunt). No art project too!

Then, without enthusiasm on my part, we started on invertebrates. The boys got to watch a lot of videos on liife cycle of butterflies, harvesting honey, ant systems, octopus and jellyfish, unusual bugs... and the most recent, worms. I decided in the end to let them see worms being harvested out of a human's intestines just to bring home the message of washing hands and not touching dirty things. He loved flat worms in the ocean though, haha. No crafts yet on that too, but I now remember what to use the paper cups for.

Yakee has also been obsessed lately about turning every trash into treasure!

And I have asked him to memorize TREES by Joyce Kilmer... the prob with him though is because I asked him to do it, he isn't that confident about what he has retained. But he's 90% accurate already, considering I only ask him to repeat after me twice a day.

All in all, we are definitely behind on some things, and ahead on others. Good luck to us!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Third and Fourth Week

I still have not made a lesson plan nor scheduled our activities per subject. Sometimes, there would be a lot of seat work as we go through his books, punctuated only by exercise time with the sticks.

Yakee still uses the "my stomach is hurting because we didn't get to do the exercise" when he's feeling restless over seat work.

Anyway, we started our 3rd week with a short lesson differentiating wants from needs and rights. I don't think I was able to ace that discussion. Then we moved on back to a discussion of living things.

This was also a lesson on how God provides everything we need, and that He works though us parents to care for kids like Yakee.

We started with birds and I remembered to let them paint... so here are peacocks made from their hand prints. They also made an owl.

Here is another BIRDS activity of peacocks (hands and feet) for their grandma. Gave in to the use of technology and showed Yakee pictures of different bird eggs, nests and the most dangerous birds. 

Reptiles followed our discussion of birds and Yakee loved our discussions on snakes and pictures of constrictor ones. For crafts, we made snakes using paper rings. Yamee immediately cut up his orange one.

To test following instructions, shapes and directions, I used our wooden blocks to ask Yakee to put certain shapes at certain places in certain ways (e.g. triangle block on top of cylinder blocks). I love this activity because he is also familiarizing himself with shapes and fractions.

Of course, Yamee builds his own constructions beside us.

I use dominoes to discuss sets, lesser/fewer/least and more/most concepts as well as introduce counting in two's and three's.

Forgive the bad drawings on the life cycle of amphibians, haha.  know it is soooo bad that I gave in to the iPad again and let Yakee watch a 30-minute documentary on the life cycle of toads and salamanders. The back board was all abbout teaching Yakee ordinal numbers. 

We have not used this map yet but Yakee is sure looking forward to it. Thank heavens there were stocks at National Bookstore in SM Mega Mall (for only P119).

Since i'm not doing a lot of baking, I thought of using my muffin tray as a sorting tray for buttons... to practice my sons' fine motor skills as well as their sorting skills. I also asked Yakee to try and sort all from lightest shade to darkest. 

These were Divi buys (the ribbons and clothespins were for hanging up their work).


While discussing non-living things, I asked Yakee to draw non-living things that God made, per book's instructions...he drew a picked fruit, a dead leaf, a squashed flower and a dead dog.


Ending with a lesson on stampede... I showed the boys a video on the great migration, and got surprised when I teared up while trying to impress upon them the beauty and wonder of this particular phenomenon.

Sigh. I really wish that someday, we could witness it live.


Discussing reptiles with Yakee... Told him that instead of ears, they usually just have ear holes. He replied with, "oh, just like naked mole rats"

Amazing, the things he remembers... And crazy, the books we buy him PappieJojo...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

First Two Weeks of School Year 2013-2014

There were many times I wanted to update this blog but I got to a point where I wasn't updating any of my blogs. And not because I have nothing to write about, too. I was just really too scatterbrained, tired or lazy.

Anyway, I started our official school year in time for opening of classes in the mainstream schools. Then, two days into it, Yakee got sick and we had to rest for two days too.

I was able to fix some sort of homeschooling nook after the first week, and it is still looking a lot like a dump but at least Yakee knows that's where he goes when it is homeschooling time.

So far, we have tackled the Creation Story... I guess it will be easier to document using the pictures I took.

We started with the Creation Story and ended that day with things a living plant needs

this is his recreation of my plant discussion

this is our discussion of what makes animals different from plants

this is our discussion of external parts and internal parts (that's his drawing! at least it's not a stick figure)

discussion of sense of hearing (used body parts to make the sounds)

sense of taste game... that's mineral salt, table sugar, muscovado sugar, olive oil
vinegar, ketchup, fish sauce, pepper
garlic powder, coco nectar (didn't have any bitters at home)

= we utilized the blindfold by playing a game where we'd go looking (grabbing) for someone, using our sense of hearing to locate a person, and sense of touch to identify the person =

our discussion of animal families and directions (I asked him to move his body parts in certain directions, then we later used his toy cars and wooden blocks for it... like move car over the bridge)

these are our exercise sticks and Yakee loves them so much...and I am beginning to see their potential for my own health

making Yakee spell words by jumping on the letters to spell them... when he complains of tiredness, I just let him lay out the cards (I try to alternate our activities accdg to big and small movements)

we used this storybook to discuss colors and the wonderful world God gave us... not pictured are the Magic School Bus Gets Planted (discussion of what plants need) and Halo-halo Ispesyal (discussion of color and tastes and what our body needs)

last Thursday, Yakee asked if we could study about dragons instead so I researched on them that night... Friday was also watch day so I was not at all feeling guilty to let him watch a 25-minute film (Puff the Magic Dragon), a short feature on a Komodo Dragon at the San Diego Zoo... and present a powerpoint presentation on Eastern (Chinese) dragons

I am trying to multi-task (say, in discussing about our bodies, I inject the religion, Science and Math subjects) to save time and energy, as well as make sure we have enough time and energy for other activities.

It was only last week (maybe because he got sick the week before that) that Yakee seems to have realized what homeschooling really means, and for the most part liked it. There was a day when he wouldn't stop thanking me... and he is always after me to start homeschooling him.

It also took me up to the second week to remember that we have books, and Yakee, for the most part, loves answering the exercises there. He even took the initiative to go over our clutter/pile of books and look for activity books I have bought over the years so they will all be in the same place.

We have also basically adjusted to some sort of rhythm so my son knows that there are times in the morning and afternoon when we have to do homeschooling. Unfortunately though, Yakee insists on additional time with me for play, the games  while homeschooling does not count. I am starting to feel suffocated!

Yamee being clingy and trying to grab attention is also not helping but I have also gotten tips on how to address that (do something with the littlest one first so he will let you go better later). 

Something about homeschooling allows you to really see your child's strengths and weaknesses better. I have to accept that Yakee may not have any future in art, haha, but that his hearing is also phenomenal, his memory sharp and he will do Math (because he is able to fulfill the prerequisites). 

I have much to improve on and I keep praying that I will be more committed, as well as my sons.


By the way, I enrolled Yakee under TMA Homeschool. He is in Kinder now at 5.5 years old. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Homeschooling Halted

When my relatives came (Mom, cousin, sister and another cousin) from abroad, all routine and rhythm went out the window... add to that the fact that our helper eloped.

I got preoccupied by chores and then all the holiday merrymaking, and then illness, a trip to Bohol, illness again and now... the backlash of all that partying. Needless to say, homeschooling has taken a backseat.

It wasn't all bad though. I did teach Yakee about camouflage (which led to his desire for a chameleon pet) and let him loose on pens and notebooks so he's been writing more words. He's also counting better now, adding and subtracting numbers (10 and less). We also finished the Ball-Stick-Bird book last December.

Yakee's also more intent on reading signs emblazoned all over the city now.

So... it wasn't that bad even if it wasn't good. And this week, I should add more intentional activities again to our days.

Heaven help me.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Reading Concern? So Far, Nope

I keep telling myself that Yakee is a physical learner... and though he'd sit still longer now when we do read (and I really try to keep it to 15 min sessions) and try harder, he'd still tend to move around.

Last Thursday, he chose to read our book while in front of me (and I was holding the book right) and it was the wrong edge up for him. But he was reading (sounding off the sounds, putting them together, and answering my comprehension questions) so I just let him be, and kept telling myself that I really have to come up with ways to make him move a lot while reading. And more opportunities for him to hang upside down so he'd have a better sense of orientation for his P's and G's.

But dyslexia came to mind... what if?

It was serendipitous that he got a storybook on dyslexia (Xilef by Adarna House) and as the boy in the story told of how letters jumped and danced about on the page, I was able to ask my son if letters do the same for him, without sounding worried or making a big deal out of nothing. He told me they don't because he can point to them and didn't need to hold onto them (just like what Xilef's tutor told him to do).

What's more, the practice of going from right to left and pointing at the letters (then putting the sounds together) were mentioned in the storybook as tools to help a child read... and it's something we do, and something Yakee liked knowing was a good way to master reading.

So, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief that as of the moment, there seems to be no special needs that have to be addressed where reading is concerned. Yakee's writing has improved too. Before, he would just right BAT but now, he felt self-assured enough to write BAG (the G is harder for him, it usually appears like a mirror image). He has written other words... and just made me smile when he wrote "I (heart shape) U" and "We (heart shape) U" :)

He's still writing more near the edge of the paper though... but that's okay. I'm just noting so I can check later when he transitions.

We are on this page now!
Extra, extra challenge... no disrupted routine, earlier waking, more rhythm in our activities, more outdoors!  Real hard though with the holidays!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Our First Week Or So

Truthfully, I did not aim high for our first week. I wanted to start on more rhythmic days so I made sure there are alternating qualities to their days. So, after waking up, we prepare breakfast and I usually give them free time to just spray water outside (sometimes to create rainbows, sometimes to just shower themselves). And then we read (Ball-Stick-Bird) or do Maths (counting marbles). And then free play.

We also garden by watering the plants every other day (since they spray on them all the time anyway). We have also painted twice last week (and that was very stressful for me, and made me realize I should just really invest in the right, more expensive materials to get the results I want). The boys have been playing with the wooden toys and assisting more in chores.

The biggest struggle though is keeping Yamee preoccupied so he won't bother Kuya and I while we read.

Other things I realized yet again about my Kinder-grade child include:
1) he really likes painting more than coloring or drawing
2) he doesn't have a problem with sizes and shapes, but still confuses T and S, V and Y, M and N
3) he still has to count with his fingers the marbles, instead of doing them in his head... but he can add and subtract that way (so, physical/tactile learner really)
4) he gets restless from sitting down after 10 minutes or so, so even if he doesn't want to stop, I suggest we do since he's already hanging and jumping around... a challenge for me to provide reading activities that include movement

We are already on this page (and yes, I am proud he's really the one doing the reading). I will also admit that I sweat more as I will with my mind for the sounds and connections to come out of Yakee. Haha.

I like that before, he gets stressed and disheartened by the long words but has now adopted the technique of covering a letter to make double letters more 'manageable' for him.

At first, he thought my suggestion we stop when he is becoming restless was punitive... and he hit me with a book because of that last week. Good thing though, he's more cooperative now when I suggest it, having explained that when he starts feeling restless, it's his body telling him he has to start moving.

And because my eczema was acting up and I was struggling... this was the only thing I could come up with by way of lanterns for Martinmas. I just used old ice cream containers and asked Yakee to put glue in the holes I cut so we could paste the colored cellophane. He preferred lighting the candles though.

I couldn't not celebrate Martinmas because it falls on Yame's birthday... and I wasn't brave enough to let them carry the lanterns :D

And I know, I have got to overcome my crafts funk... BUT the thing is, I said the lanterns are our TRASH TO TREASURE thing and Yakee bought it. He likes the idea of reusing and recycling anyway.