Tuesday, November 27, 2012


This week, in Science2, the children were learning about magnetism.  Today, all the kids were involved. 
 This "all wanting to be involved" is one thing I struggle with here with our schooling at home.  Most of the children want to do the other children's science, art, and history lessons...sometimes even literature.  So how do you level that out?  Any suggestions?  One side of me really wants to allow that.  Most off these kiddos hasn't had the "background" that some of the K12 curriculum already assumes they do.  Besides that, they learn so much from each other in group lessons (even if it's just learning patience/sharing).  The conversations that we have during the lessons and what I hear after the lessons are lovely!  But...if I let them all join in each other's lessons...then they don't get their own lessons done in timely manners.  So, we're still working on a balance.  Today I decided, "whatever...we'll catch their lessons up somewhere else" and then of course I'll start worrying about when on earth but...it'll get smoothed out somewhere along the way!  Today we did group multiplication (3rd math), group magnetism (2nd science), group volcano (2nd literature).  The 2nd grade curriculum is super!  The first grader here is one lucky boy!  He may not understand every aspect of our group lessons but boy oh boy...he's getting quite a foundation for learning! 
So back to the topic of magnetism. 
I could only find them on the World Book site and they cost $295...so we'll continue checking them out from the library.  We LOVE Bay County Library System!  :-D
Here is a series of books by World Book that I passed up umpteen times because they really didn't appeal to me all that much but broke down on the Magnetism book because it touched on every objective that our week long science2 unit covered.  The kids absolutely loved this cartoon style book!  I will be going back to check them out again at the library, this time being a little more open minded about the series. We'll be moving onto the Sound unit and look at that!  There's a "sound" book.  I'm curious if it will cover as much as the Magnetism book did!  Anyway, I tweaked our plans a bit and we did multiple "lessons" in a day and finished up the unit with them acing the unit assessment...all with using this book vs. the computer lesson and doing some hands-on explorations.  Lovely!  That frees up time during the rest of this week to do other subjects.  Other Schooling at Home and Homeschooling families will definitely understand!  :-)
Below is one of many explorations we did during the last couple days and it was so interesting to the kiddos!  Very simple...if you haven't done it yet...please do!
We were exploring this idea that the Earth is a giant magnet and how that allows a compass to work.  So we created a compass with a bowl of water, portion of a plastic cup and a magnet with N/S poles labeled.  FYI:  be sure you have your other magnets put some distance away.  :-P  No matter where they move the cup with the magnet it will ALWAYS turn back to the N, and relatively quickly also!  (Except when the 3 year old slipped the magnet wand near the bowl.  LOL)  They loved this very simple experiment and it helped them think "outside of the box".  I don't know about you all but getting the kids to express "I wonder" statements is really hard.  All of them.  Typically I don't see that among homeschooling families but I do see it among many brick and mortar schooled families.  Interesting little observation there. In our situation, there was one teacher that gained my respect immensely but after leaving that classroom...the outside the box thinking/I wonder thinking was gone within a few months of being with the next year's teacher.  Isn't that sad?  There are some lovely teachers out there but I find that those are few and far between and I don't place the blame solely on them.  I do feel a big portion of it should be placed on the higher ups who think they know what's best in the education realm...and in reality...they really don't.  The actual teachers are paying the price...which in turn is causing the students to pay a big price also.  Ah!  We're grateful for options for education!  I'll get off my soapbox now.  Just to set things straight...I'm not against brick and mortar schooling.  It definitly has it's place.  If it comes down to it, I wouldn't hesitate to put them back in one.  However, my feelings on homeschooling/schooling at home have changed immensely within the last 3 months.  There are pros and cons to both, absolutely.  Right now, though it takes a lot of work on my part and the children's part...we love what we are doing.  (And whoever said that schooling at home/online schooling is more like independent study and is not remotely similar to homeschooling...is incorrect...yes, I've heard that.  :-O  Definitely not independent study and the parent/learning coach is directly involved.)
Shout out for K12/MVCA!  Awesome curriculum/awesome staff-support! 

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