2nd Grade Week in Review June 25, 2011
Here is what Jedi worked on this past week.
Life Science: This week in life science, Jedi learned about cells. We talked about the difference between animal and plant cells, as well as learned the various parts of a cell. He looked at various animal and plant cells under a microscope. He also made models of animal cells and plant cells out of jello…the animal cell was jello in a round pan with a strawberry nucleus. The plant cell was jello in a square dish with a strawberry nucleus and green grape chloroplasts.
Earth Science: In earth science, he learned about weather changes. Some of the weather changes Jedi learned about were humidity, storms, and temperature changes. It seems really fitting that this week, we saw temperatures near 90, into the low 60’s, with plenty of storms and humidity!
Math: In math, Jedi did a lot of work with math equations that equal 10. He learned to create these equations three ways: using an abacus, playing cards, and a math balance. We also used a deck of cards from 1-9, 4 of each card, to play an adaptation of “Go Fish” where a match was considered to be two cards that add up 10.
Geography: We finished our unit on China this week. Jedi learned about the various animals in China. We also played with tangrams, made a Chinese fan, and made a meal of Chinese food (& ate with chopsticks!)
World History: In World History, we discussed the first modern man, and the development of villages of people. We talked about early houses and caves. Jedi made a “cave painting” out of brown paper and paint. He also learned about the fertile crescent and mapped out the fertile crescent, the surrounding seas, and the city of Jericho.
Ohio History: In Ohio History, Jedi learned about the ice age when Ohio was covered by ice. He learned about the mastodons that used to live in Ohio, as well as the difference between a mastodon and a mammoth. This coming week, we are going to take a field trip to see the mastodon skeleton that is on display in Columbus.
Writing: For his journaling this week, Jedi had to write a persuasive paper arguing why he should get a cell phone (he really wants one, but we won’t allow him to have one yet). Then we worked together to edit it for spelling and punctuation.
Art: In art, he used a pencil to draw a real life scene, including details. He chose to draw his fire bellied toads. He also used watercolor crayons to draw an experience he had, and in particular, he needed to focus on the feelings and emotions during the experience. He chose to draw a scene in the library where a young child saw a spider and was scared.
Music: We continued our work with Bach this week. I went on YouTube and found a bunch of adaptations of Bach’s music. All three kids had ribbons and playsilks and moved to the music according to how the music made them feel.
PE: Jedi did 3 hours of Tang Soo Do this week
Health: In health, we read social stories about taking showers and washing hair. We also worked on acting out various emotions.
English: In English, we discussed how to make contractions, as well as how to add the suffix ‘ing’.
Spelling: We decided to add a new spelling curriculum in order to help Jedi overcome his difficulties in this area. We began All About Spelling. This week, we went through all of the letter sounds in the alphabet to see which one he was able to make the pure sound for. Jedi had already mastered most of them, which I expected, but we did find 10 or so that he had difficulty with. This week, we will begin reviewing the ones he needs more help with.
29 hours complete out of 900 required hours
So, now we officially have 2 empty nests at our house. Yep…the little baby killdeer clan and the little baby robin clan have both left the nest and are playing in the neighborhood. And both bird families were kind enough to allow us to see their babies grow up. Now we get to watch them run all over the yard.
Here are some pictures of the last week with the 8 babies…
Toddler Tuesday June 21, 2011
Lately, it’s become very clear that Bug has her own very distinct personality. She’s not one to follow the crowd, that’s for sure! And she’s perfectly comfortable voicing her opinions, likes, dislikes, and desires. The first one that’s pretty obvious from the pictures is clothing. Bug will now only wear 2 things…what she calls “princess dresses” (long flowy dresses that twirl) or nothing. And she doesn’t want to get the princess dresses dirty, so if she thinks something will be messy, she decides she’d rather wear nothing at all. And this princess dress thing has become an obsession…she will not put anything else on. It *must* be a dress, and that dress must be able to twirl. Complete with silver sparkly shoes. And at night, it *must* be a “bedtime princess dress” (nightgown).
Now, contrast that with what you see below…she might be obsessed with looking like a princess (and her favorite line is “But mama…I a princess! I the BOSS!” said in a very matter of fact 2 year old way), but she is also one to get down in the dirt (sans the dress of course) and play with bugs. Or paint. Or food.
I love 2 year olds…they are full of personality, and full of contradictions!
Montessori Monday June 20, 2011
Monkey is 4 years 4 months old
Monkey was really excited to get back into the school room this week. She also seemed to gravitate towards the craft works (which, I suppose most kids would! 😉 ). It does seem more difficult to get her to try any of the sensorial…she loves practical life, art, and writing, but really seems to avoid sensorial. I wonder if her history of sensory processing disorder plays a roll in that?
Our killdeer babies that have taken up residence in the veggie garden have finally hatched! These little guys have been incubating for just about a month. The differences between the killdeer babies and the robin babies are amazing. The robin babies are still fairly helpless, even at a week old. They’re also still pretty naked. The killdeer babies came out fully feathered, and at a couple hours old, they were moving around the garden. Today, they are running from garden bed to garden bed! The kids got to learn the difference between precocial birds (birds that hatch fully feathered and able to hunt for food) and altricial birds (birds that hatch naked and are fairly helpless). The longer incubation period of the killdeer happens so that these little ones are born ready to go (which is probably a good thing since killdeer tend to lay their eggs in the worst places…gravel beds, gardens, lawns, even dirt roads!)
And in the robin’s nest…
Jedi's first week of homeschooling June 18, 2011
I decided that while Jedi’s homeschooling isn’t so interesting to look at visually, I was still going to keep a blog record of what we did. This might become helpful at the end of the year when I have to pull together a portfolio for his yearly evaluation for the school district (and it also might be helpful when I have to work with the district to create his IEP for the year). I will throw in a few pictures for good measure though. 😉
We learned about the difference between living & nonliving, as well as the characteristics all living things share. Jedi also did a plot study, where he went out to study a 4’x4′ square of land. Jedi decided to study an area of land with a recently planted evergreen tree in it, just thinking it was a tree and a small bit of grass. However, following a little trail of fluff in the tree, he discovered a hidden empty bird’s nest! The coolest part about the bird’s nest? The bird who made it recycled some bubble wrap, string, landscaping fabric, and other odd pieces of trash it somehow got ahold of. Very very creative!
In Chemistry, Jedi learned that everything is made of chemicals. He then looked at the ingredient list on a bag of marshmellows and a bottle of dish detergent and listed the chemicals in each that he had heard of before, and those he had not. Finally, he named chemicals that were usually safe, some that are dangerous, and some that we use on a daily basis.
Math was one of the two subjects Jedi really seemed to struggle with after leaving his Montessori school. At the end of kindergarten, he was one of the top of his class in math. However, at the end of 1st grade, his standardized testing done as part of his autism treatments showed that he never progressed at all in math, nor spelling…he was testing at almost the same level a year later. So, we are really trying to figure out what might help him here. We started Rightstart Math, which uses the Asian way of counting (10, 10-1, 10-2, etc. (10, 11, 12), 2-10, 2-10-1, 2-10-2 (20, 21, 22). He seemed to catch on to that way of counting. We also discussed parallel lines, recognizing how many are in small groups of objects (1-10) without having to count, and using an abacus.
In Geography, we started a 2 week study of China. Jedi, along with the girls, learned how to say hello & goodbye in Chinese, listened to children’s music in Mandarin, and colored the Chinese flag. Jedi created math problems using Chinese symbols. Finally, he created a replica of the Great Wall using mini foam building blocks.
This week was just an intro week, where Jedi learned about the study of ancient history, and in particular the study of archaeology. He learned how historians can figure out about ancient civilizations even though ways of recording history were not readily available.
This week, he learned about the Ohio flag, and how it is differs from other state flags in the fact that it’s not a rectangle or square!
This week, Jedi journaled about what he’d do if he woke up and found out that he was president of the United States. Because spelling is very difficult, we also worked a bit on editing his work.
We decided to use McRuffy Press for Phonics, Reading, Language, and Spelling. Jedi learned about prefixes, suffixes, and contractions. He really seemed to like contractions, as well as finding the root word of words that had prefixes & suffixes. He did seem to have a very hard time with the spelling aspect though, and we’re currently trying to do a bit more research into the most appropriate way to help him with spelling. He was taught to spell phonetically, which would be great, except he had auditory processing & speech issues. So, his spelling is exactly how he hears it, which sometimes is quite a ways away from the actual spelling. While Jedi’s reading level is over the 3rd grade level, his spelling is at the early 1st grade level, which is quite frustrating for him. Hopefully we figure something out in the next couple weeks that can help him.
This, by far, was one of Jedi’s favorite subjects. The first day, he had to sketch something that happened the day before using a graphite pencil & sketch pad. The second art day, he created a work using watercolor crayons. He was supposed to remember an event that he felt joyful at, and then use his imagination to find a way to color that scene so that it portrayed his excitement without words.
Day 1 of music each week involves listening to and learning about a famous composer. This week, it was Bach. Jedi learned about Bach’s life, and listened to Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.
Day 2 of music each week involves learning some beginner piano. This week, he learned the proper hand positioning, where middle C was on the piano, and learned a simple exercise using all of the black keys of the piano.
Jedi’s health curriculum is twofold. First, we use a social stories book for children with autism on personal hygiene. Second, we use Horizon’s health curriculum. This week, we learned about how each person is unique, and begun work on feelings. Because feelings, and especially recognizing the feelings of oneself and others, can be difficult for a child with autism, we are taking an extra lesson to work on this.
Not bad for the first week! It was a lot of work, but Jedi was so willing to do it (honeymoon period!). He was anxious to get to work each day, and for the most part, it was difficult to get him to quit. We certainly are going to take advantage of this honeymoon period willingness! 😉
So far, mama bird has been letting the kids and I look at her babies every day this week. She doesn’t seem at all stressed, and just sits on a nearby post and watches us or goes off and catches a few worms and then comes back to feed her babies after we’ve taken a quick peek. It’s amazing how big the babies are getting and how much they are changing!
Two brand new babies! June 13, 2011
No, not those babies. 😉
A couple weeks ago, I posted pictures of the killdeer nest in our garden. Well, about 5 feet away from the killdeer nest, a robin built a nest on a fence post! So, we’ve been able to watch both bird families tend to their eggs. This morning, I went out to the garden and got quite the surprise…2 brand new baby robins! They had just been born a couple hours before! (And by the end of the day, baby #3 was starting to poke through the shell!)
Right now, mama bird is used to the kids and I around the gardens, so she doesn’t freak out. She actually just sits by and quietly watches us, even as I lift the kids up to see the nest…we can get within inches of the birds and she doesn’t seem to mind right now. So, as long as mama bird doesn’t mind, I can continue to get pictures. The second she starts feeling threatened or bothered, we’ll stop…we saw daddy bird attack 2 other birds who flew into the airspace above the nest, so we don’t want to mess with them. 😉
Here are pictures of our newest little hatchlings!