Reading Tree Motivation

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I wasn’t planning on starting the reading tree until we started our official new year, but the kids had different ideas and so we already have a few new leaves up and I’m pleasantly surprised at my daughters reading level…might ditch the BOB books as she appears to be farther along.

Listening to my son read skippyjon jones with a Spanish accent made me realize he might get the Spanish language better than French…but lucky for him he’s stuck learning both haha!

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It is such a treat to take a break from laundry, house chores and other misc not as important tasks to sit down and listen to a story read out loud by your child. Hearing their voices tackle challenging words, see the pride when they conquer that word, hug them and encourage them when they are frustrated. It is so special to get to be a part of the process. I love it!

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Adventures in Science

We had some great friends over for a play date. My idea was to hand this box of experiments over to the kids and just expect chaos, mess and see what they came up with…while mamas relaxed and chatted the afternoon away…

…It proved to not be the day for self exploration, think the full moon was effecting our day…haha! The kids needed more assistance then I was expecting. I probably should have had four kits, my bad! We did experience some chaos…haha!

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However we did (thanks to the help of super mom…not me…my fellow homeschooling mama friend!) accomplish a few successful experiments. A glow in the dark rubber bouncy ball and some oozing glow in the dark growing balls.

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It’s a fun kit with a great experiment book and some recipes for experiments to do with household items. I will attempt self exploration again on a day the kids seem more up for it. I THINK it’s something I could strew on a different day…we shall see…I’ll keep you posted.

Questions & Answers

My son has this tid bit of infoΒ he has been clearly mentally processing, he then announced it to his sister in a very authoritative tone of voice. (Missing the point that she didn’t ask for his lesson haha!)

At school you don’t learn anything because you only remember questions that are asked, the teacher just says stuff without letting you ask many question, like at my old school there was a rule of only three questions per day per person.

I’m not sure of that said rule at his old school, but I have heard other parents state similar rules in their children’s schools, so I know they exist and it is possible he had a similar rule….

Anyhow, its great info! Important info really…we all retain far more of what we are interested in than random trivia we are not interested in.

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On that thought I have been observing the questions asked and giving them special consideration before blindly dismissing or giving a less than answer.

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This morning the kids decided to dump out their piggy banks and look at their money. My son can count his money, but my daughter is still learning how to count money. I watch as she lays out all the coins. She asks me how much a quarter is again? I tell her twenty-five cents. She asks how much a pence is (clearly harboring some left over coins from our last visit to the UK) I answer her. Then she asks my son to teach her how to count her money. He leaps at the chance to play teacher. She is thrilled to be taught. I might just get out of teaching money this year! πŸ˜‰

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He explains that here the pence doesn’t really count, which then brings loads of questions about money from different countries and why they count there but not here. I love hearing him explain it to her. I only jumped in where things got somewhat tricky to explain, but for the most part my son was fairly impressive of his foreign money knowledge. I didn’t know he had that knowledge! Another blessing of homeschooling, really truly getting to know the ins and outs of what goes on inside your kiddo’s mind!

Strewing, I’m a Strewer, Are You???

I love to strew activities around for my kids to find and explore. Today I caught a few photos of strewing in action!

My daughter was painting earlier while my son was totally engrossed in history channels documentary Ancient Aliens series. Painting was the last thing on his mind.

After a while I noticed my daughter had moved on to building circuit boards with our snap circuit kits. (Which were conveniently set out)

(Side note: awesome toy alert!)

I hated to waste the paint she didn’t use up, so I took it outside and put it on a table near the sand box. (I knew they would be our near the sand box this afternoon)

One of the kids chores today was to remove old sand box toys for goodwill. As they started removing toys, they decided they didn’t want any of the toys, just the sand, some rocks, shells and the water hose. (Another moment that supports more natural simply play over plastic crap toys!)

And I digress a lot! Such is life as a masterful multitasker haha! πŸ˜‰

Point is, there was that paint, just sitting there while the kids cleaned out/played in the sand box. Not noticed at first.

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Then after a little while…my son discovered it and decided he wanted to paint some rocks….

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My daughter was engrossed in flooding the sand box and making her own sand creations.

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But it wasn’t too long before she discovered her pet rocks needed some eyeballs! And the paint happen to be right there.

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I love how activities lead into others so smoothly. My son was clearly still processing the earlier documentary’s information when he decided to build ancient alien inspired cities, walls, artifacts, etc in the sand box.

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A quick toy tidy chore with cleverly places supplies turned into nearly two hours of fantastic creative personally inspired educational play.

Strewing is such a fantabulous way to give mama a quiet moment to sip some tea and the kids a chance to love learning. All I did was set the paints outside and assign a tidy up chore. Win win for all!!!

As I type I overheard the kids making plans to become paleontologists and the adventure of finding a freshly painted dinosaur tooth (aka stick) in the sand box, who will hide it, who will find it, the outfits they need to change into first, who will wear what, etc…the plans are almost as much fun as the adventures….oh to be a kid again! πŸ™‚

Quick & Healthy Snack

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With all the tomatoes this year, here is a great QUICK refreshing salad to whip up in minutes that will use up some of those toms.

Handful of cherry toms (you can use cut up larger ones too, I just like the little guys)
A cucumber chopped up (chunky chops)
A little feta cheese chunks, or whatever you like, blue cheese, etc…
Cut up spinach, or basil, or any leafy green
Splash of oil based dressing
Salt n pepper to taste
Devour!
Yum!

Our Reading Tree

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We have this years reading tree up and ready to go. This year we are using a paper tree from amazon. We are hoping my very talented sister will one day paint a beautiful tree with a child swinging in a swing sweeping over the wall. But for now the paper tree is perfect. πŸ™‚

This particular tree comes with leaves, acorns and animals. We have decided to designate the acorns for level readers the kids read out loud to me, leaves for books the kids read on their own and animals to chapter books we read as a family together. (At least that is the plan as of today) πŸ™‚

We are looking forward to seeing how full our tree gets over this next year. I hope to blog about our full reading tree next summer around this time.

Back to mental planning and getting things ready for our next year ahead. πŸ™‚

Planning Season

Even though we are mostly relaxed in our educational ways, I still love the planning season. And I am realizing I haven’t blogged in a week due to the mental organization going on in my head. I do have several drafts of this and that pending, so watch out. Once I finish my mental planning for school, I will finish up some of those drafts and blast you with lots of lovely reading material. Haha! Please bare with me…(no need for naked patience, but I’m not sure if it is bear with me which indicates grizzly patience…and well naked patience might be more peaceful than grizzly patience so I’ll go with please bare with me.) haha! πŸ˜‰