"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

MFW 1st Grade - Week #8

Rock'n and rollin'n is what we're doing in week #8 of MFW.

BIBLE:  Another proverb was given this week to be recited and learned.  "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."  Proverbs 12:18

We wrote "healing words" on two bandaids and gave them to someone we thought needed encouragement using kind words...  ;o)

He also had a worksheet showing the Greek Alphabet where he was to write the letters himself.  He wasn't too crazy about this assignment because some of the letters were so different.

READING:  We dove right into this new week with learning "ir" "er" and "ur" and how they all sound like "er".  He read new words and learned the sound that goes with "aw" and how a, e, i, o, u can ALL sound like "u" in 'up.'  The last word series he learned was "wor" as it is pronounced in "were."

Once you learn to read, you really don't think about it anymore, but the vowels make SO many different sounds.  That's a lot for a little mind to absorb and remember.  I'm very impressed with how Caleb is able to keep up with all those different aspects.  When he gets stumped I just tell him the rule to follow and he sounds out the words...

BOOKS:   As usual we read a lot of books this week.  And as many as we read, we come across all sorts.  Good, bad, and sometimes just plain weird books.  And every so often, we get one that is really, really good....One that reaches inside you and touches your heart in a BIG way.  The book that did that to us this time was, "The Raft" by Jim LaMarche.  Oh, if you've never read it, you really need to try to find it at your library....It tells the story about a little boy who doesn't have a choice but to spend the summer with his grandmother.  He expects to be quite bored, but during that summer, she teaches him the joy in rafting on the river.  Such a sweet and wholesome story....I even had a little tear eeking out the corner of my eye and Caleb chuckled at me for it.  ;o)  The illustrations were absolutely beautiful - - see what I mean??

Caleb's favorite would have to be "A House for Hermit Crab" by Eric Carle....He was able to show off in his memorization of the months of the year while we read this one...and who doesn't love an E. Carle book - they are always good.

Our books touched on nearly all our topics this week including math when we read "More or Less" and "Mall Mania," by Stuart J. Murphy

With our study of rivers in science this week we read several books on that subject, but I found "What is a River?" by Chris Arvetis to be the best selection to explain the concept in terms that a 1st grader could more easily understand.

MATH:  Lots of worksheets concentrating on addition were given to Caleb to complete this week.  He really seemed to enjoy figuring out the math problems.  At the beginning of the week the worksheets had him using "counters" to introduce the concept.  Then they worked into picture math - here's an example:

I'm not sure if it was just the day or if the pattern animals are no longer fun for him, but I had to encourage Caleb to do the assignment this week when normally he's pretty excited about them.  This week we had to see if we could cover any of three animals using only two colors...our answer to that problem was "No."  We were able to cover the Rabbit using three colors, but that was as close as we could get.

SCIENCE:   This week we've been studying "Rivers."  What makes a river, what sometimes happens to water in rivers, and a little bit about waterfalls.  It's fun to put myself in the shoes of a 1st grader.  He listens with his eyes wide open and soaks it all right in.

I wasn't crazy about the hands-on project this week and asked the Principal if he wanted to do it or if we could skip it.  He agreed to skip it, so we did not do the Filter Water project...In the broad scheme of things, it just didn't seem important on that day.

ART:  We opted to skip the Drawing with Children art assignment for this week and work on a couple of things we'd picked up from Michaels in the mark down section.  They seemed cute and fun at the time, but once we opened them it was sort of a fiasco.

First project was a stained glass car!  Sounds cool, right?  Well, the paint for the stain was awful.  Gloppy and gross.  We did our best, but it really wasn't very much fun for Caleb.

Then he asked to paint one of the ceramic trucks from the other painting kit we had.  Upon opening all the little paint cups - DRY.  Every last one of them was dry as a dry can be.

So, as luck would have it we had a plan B.  I pulled our Crayola finger-paints off the shelf and he used those instead.

And this was the closing on our week #8 of MFW home school.  I'm always encouraged by each day of school.  There is so much to learn and Caleb really seems to enjoy it.  We still have only had what I would call one really bad day of school.  There are some days though where Caleb is dragging his feet and I have to keep asking and encouraging.  So, to alleviate that problem I came up with this system after a discussion with my sister-in-law, Kathy, who happens to be a teacher.  

I don't know if this is exactly how her system goes, but this is what I do.  Caleb gets 3 chances to act right.  If I feel I've had to ask too many times, I pull #3.  Too much asking again and I pull #2.  When he gets to yellow, #1, he knows things aren't good and one more card pulled and he will not get his sticker for the day.

All these colorfully numbered cards are....
 Sweetly tucked inside this pocket and sit directly in front of us, leaning against the computer monitor.

Since I have incorporated this system, I've never had to pull a card.  I think we've only had two or three occasions were I said, "am I going to have to pull a card?"  And right away he straightens up.  Because you see, he gets a sticker every day for a good day of school.  If his sticker card for the week is full, he gets a small prize. If his sticker card for the month is full, he gets a bigger prize.

Honestly though, out-of-sight out-of-mind.  I've only bought one toy "for stickers" since we started this.  When he thinks of it, I honor it.  ;o)

Off to week #9, which we started already.  After one day into it, I can see it's going to be a fun week!!

Walking with the King,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

MFW 1st Grade - Week #7

Wow - can't believe we have SEVEN school weeks behind us already.  That is just incredible to me.  So many new things to learn and Caleb keeps taking it all in stride!

BIBLE:  Another bible verse for the week and once again, mission accomplished!  In case you can't see the photo very well here is the verse:  "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.  Proverbs 29:11"

In a cute and funny way, we learned to draw a map of Israel and the area near it, then worked on memorizing the bodies of water.  Here is the example we had to look at:

#1 - a man's boat as he is out fishing, - - Mediterranean Sea
#2 - his fishing lines getting all tangled up in the water - - Nile River 
#3 - the man's finger's after he fell overboard trying to untangle his lines - -Red Sea 
#4 - a distress signal: a balloon - - Sea of Galilee
#5 - with a string - - Jordan River
#6 - a mitten hanging on the end of it - - Dead Sea 
#7 - a water bug - - Persian Gulf
#8 - his antennae - - Tigris River
#9 - his antennae - - Euphrates River

Here's Caleb's drawing:
Here's my drawing and Caleb decided to use my drawing for the labeling...

The silly sentence used to memorize the different bodies of water is, "E.T. purrs in the red nile med."

Euphrates River, Tigris River, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Nile River, and Mediterranean Sea....So, with a little more work, maybe we'll both get all that to memory.  ;o)

READING:  Tons more new words this week and fun little projects to practicing writing some of them. Here he had to cut out some shapes and write some of his new words on the inside.

This project was a little rough.  He was learning words with "oo" in them.  Some of them sound like "spoon" and others like "book."  He had to sort about 24 words into the right pockets of his booklet.

In this dictation exercise, I said the word and Caleb had to write it.  If you look in the picture above you can see that at the top of the worksheet, (where he was to fill in the blanks,) there is already one vowel written on the line to start him off.   For example, in #1 he had to decide if hot had the "o" or the "oo".  In the worksheet below, there are no vowels written and he had to just write the word as I dictated them to him....

Here are a couple of examples of the daily word lists from his workbook...

MATH:   This week for math was what I'm referring to as a "lay-low" week.  Not sure, but the math lessons were way too easy and not much to them.  They focused on the different shapes: circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, crescent, oval, etc...We did the assignments, but they weren't very challenging for Caleb.  He nearly did them with his eyes closed and one hand tied behind his back.  But, after a quick peek at next week's math, I see why we had a light week.  Next week???  Watch out addition - - here we come!  Lots of worksheets and assignments every day....We'll take this light week and enjoy it for now.

And of course exploring day came complete with another pattern animal assignment.  Caleb continues to enjoy these...

Lots of great stories were read this week!  I think we read over 20 books....but I've already exchanged them all out for books for the next two weeks and once again didn't think to keep the list.  I did have some of them written down, but we became part of the reader's club with the Corpus Christi Area Teachers Federal Credit Union, and I turned in his list to them.  Each month Caleb can earn a "pin" to go on a lanyard.  A fun little goal to help encourage reading.  The weather "theme" packet from the library came in handy and we read every book in the packet from cover to cover...

SCIENCE:  This week we learned a little bit about thunder and lightning from our Things Outdoors book.  After reading about the topic in our science book we ventured to youtube.com and watched a few videos on thunder and lightning.  Not really a whole lot of hands-on activity for this topic so I incorporated a "lapbook" that continued our topic on rain from last week adding in concepts about thunder and lightning.

The cover!
The inside!
Fold-out of the three main types of clouds!
What makes up the weather?
Answers on the inside!  I typed them and Caleb glued them in place!

Whew - another great week in My Father's World!!  I'm continually blessed by the opportunity to home school Caleb.  He seems to really enjoy school and even though he balks when I mention it's time to start school, within a few minutes he's the one reminding me we need to get busy with our school day.  That is so encouraging to me.  

I can see differences in his reactions to assignments from week to week.  Things that used to be overwhelming and frustrating are now becoming easier.  I'm certain that MFW will put another twist in our day and produce some more complicated tasks to make up for it, but I'm equally as certain that Caleb will do quite well with each and every challenge placed before him.  

Until next week - blessings to you and as always I ask for your prayers to help carry us through our homeschool journey.

Walking with the King,