Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Are we learning anything???

I wasn't quite sure how I'd homeschool my kids.  Shoot, all of them have different abilities and different learning disabilities.  We are taking things slowly because I'm trying to get a feel for where they are.  Nik can not count as high as they told me he could last year.  We are doing tons of phonics with him as well.  He's trying to speak more.  Speech therapist comes 3 times a week now.  We're all on the same page which is awesome.  Alyona is even way further behind than I thought she was.  I had her doing a preschool book just for review to give her confidence b/c I felt she's fly through it.   Nope.  It is clearly evident they have just pushed her through the system and it hurts.  See, she was already slated for a life skills class once she hit middle school.  That was not our intentions for sure.  So, I'm working with her on the basics and going from there.  My hope is to get her on a second grade level by year's end.  She is 12 years old & in 5th grade.  But, is indeed capable of learning.  Alex is diligently working on his multiplication.  He is doing money too and is doing fairly well with that.  So, what do we do with all of them together?

Alex, Alyona and Nik are looking at a poster we have of the solar systems.  We study science, history, p.e., art, and lifeskills together.  I do their english and math separately.  

 This was a solar oven we made last week.  This is a great project to teach about solar energy and the sun.  We are studying the sun this week.  Even one of the "littles" knows it's in the Milky Way now.  LOL.  I asked her what galaxy we lived in & this 3yo shouted Milky Way!  So, I guess they're all learning. 

 My kids were very into this project.  They thoroughly enjoyed making the oven, following steps, and answering questions about the sun.  CAn you tell Nik is excited?  

We opted for smores versus a pizza.  You can see the chocolate starting to melt.  

 Alex enjoying his science project for the day. 

 Alyona showing off her smores.  I made them even feel the heat from the bottom of the plate.  Wanted them to see the way the sun works and heats.  Have to keep it simple and visual for FAS kids to really grasp the concepts. 

Nik, really and truly enjoying the science experiment.  Look at the chocolate on that marshmellow.  We are doing lapbooks to go along with our studies.  It's a great visual tool and I really like it.  

Tomorrow, no "littles."  So, we are thinking of making a pinhole camera and also talking about Native Americans.  May be making an Apache shield as well or save that for another day when we have more time.  Just lots of hands on stuff for them to remember things.  I will add spelling but not for another week.  I'm no longer afraid of getting it all in.  That's what the schools did and that was the grave mistake for my kids.  Now, they learn what they can, when we can and how we can.  I am stunned at just how many workbooks my kids have completed thus far.  They're soaking it up but I'm not pressuring them to do it.  They want to do it and ask me what experiments we're doing next.  Alex told me tonight that "mom, I didn't finish reading all about the sun.  But, I'll do it first thing tomorrow."  That's huge for him.  He wants to do it.  Just nice to see them learning and remembering. 

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