Thursday, 30 June 2011

Early Math

DD4 has been working on addition for a while now - she grasps that you put the two piles together to create the answer but really struggled with the concept of adding on and would start from one each time (i.e for 5+4=9 you would start at 5 and add on as 6, 7, 8, 9) but today she finally got it

I found some great downloads from Lisa Morrow (free) where you have a picture of a bowl and some sums down the side. DD4 started by placing the 2 piles of counters above the bowl
then moving the whole starting pile into the bowl
then adding the remaining pile one at a time

Don't you just love it when they get it : )

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Phonics and Reading

DD4 has finished her pre-reading work and we have progressed onto the real deal.
Her pre-reading work consisted of playing the sound box game (you can read about it here) for all the letters combined with various letter activities from confessions of a homeschooler and 1+1+1=1.

I use a combination of a phonics system and the Montessori pink, blue and green reading. I chose Jolly Phonics as it uses signs/actions to encourage where they forget.
Not sure if you can see the action on the bottom of the left page but I still use them if DD6 forgets a sound when we are reading.
DD4 started her first Jolly Phonics book this week and worked on the letters s, a and t learning the sounds/names and reviewing the correct formation.

Today I used some wooden alphabet letters to revise what we have covered - she started  by matching the lower and upper case and once done made a rubbing of them.
next we used the wooden letters for a 3 period lesson (this is a ..., show me a ..., where is the...) and finally I asked if she wanted to know a secret - once I had her attention I whispered in her ear that she could read these letters and she watched with rapt attention as I moved them into the formation s a t and asked her to sound them out - it was so cute to see her working and sounding it out slowly until she got the word and the joy on her face when she realised she could read : )
She then decided to rub the word and drew a picture of her sitting at her desk.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Post Holiday Blues

Today was our first day back to school after our trip. (we spent Friday recovering/unpacking and the girls had gymnastics yesterday)

We did manage to get everything done but it seemed soooo much harder to concentrate and settle down.
We started with a group science lesson - we worked on elements (including a quick review of the periodic table) and discussed common elements and their uses as well as some common compounds and their names/formula (salt, sugar, chalk, water, baking powder etc)

 DD2 did shapes and coloured them in (on her chalk desk)

 cutting, folding

and chopstick work

DD4 did some phonics work and games (s and a)
and worked on her Egyptian project

DD6 did a review on the exclamation mark

made some 3 part cards for wind (breeze, gale, hurricane and tornado)
worked on number bonds and continued her desert project.

DD8 worked on her 'Famous people in History' book,
double digit multipliers (with the large bead frame), Life in Deserts, editing sentence's and made some fruit kebabs for FIG tonight.

I'm just glad the day is over and I will be even gladder (if that's a word??) when I can go to bed.
night, night  : )

Missing In Action

I apologise for disappearing over the last couple of weeks  - nothing is wrong our end, we just managed to sneak in a quick holiday due to some kind friends who had some spare rooms in their villa in Spain.
We have all enjoyed some much needed sun and rest (and swimming and food)
The girls did do a small amount of work over the holiday but mostly it was play time.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Think! Bridges

Our Think! challenge this week was to create a bridge, at least 9in long, from the following equipment
  • 6 pieces of spaghetti
  • 2 plastic cups (to be used as the ends of the bridge)
  • 2 spoons
  • 2 pieces of paper (A4 cut in half  - portrait)
  • sticky tape
The task was to create the bridge, measure it and test it load bearing abilities using coins. I thought I was being really clever by providing 150 coins but it wasn't enough - so we opted to try a hardback book then ended up using a 1kg bag of flour to test its strength

The girls all managed to come up with their own ways of doing this
DD2 & DD4 used spaghetti to create the base and laid paper over it with the spoon providing weights. I loved how DD4 thought to use the spoon's bowl to hold extra coins :) 
DD6 again used the spaghetti as a base but wrapped her paper around it and found a great way of supporting it with her spoons.

DD8 again used spaghetti as her base and rested her concertina folded paper on top to give it more strength.

Friday, 10 June 2011


Kayla at The Arrowood Zoo kindly awarded me this

So big thanks to Kayla :)

The rules for this award are simple.
1. Thank and link back to the person/people who passed this award to you.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 other recently discovered great bloggers and inform them.

7 things about me
1) I am at my happiest when out in the greenhouse.
2) Or reading a good book (or truthfully any book).
3) I defiantly think 4 kids is enough for me :)
4) I am passionate about healthy food - wholegrain, fresh, organic and homemade are the best.
5) I'm blessed with a wonderful and supportive husband who believes that education is more important than housework (or ironing)
6) I do not like ironing.
7) I do like hugs.

The blogs I would like to pass this award onto are below - they are all great people who have inspired me. Pop over and see what you think - I can promise you won't be disappointed.

Living montessori now
Lifes Adventures
The homeschool den
Elle Belles Bows
Discovery days and Montessori moments
The chocolate muffin tree
Moffatt girls
Royal Little Lambs
All about (my) Boys
Daily thoughts on my tots
Candy Experiments
One Hook Wonder
Hwees Homeschool

Thursday, 9 June 2011

DEWA Roman Experience

We went to Chester with our local Home Ed group to visit the Dewa Museum.
The day started with a tour and training session from our own Roman Centurion - he armed each child and talked through life in the army, rules and trained them.
He even demonstrated how to chop of a head?!?
Following this we went for lunch in the amphitheater and then had our museum tour including looking at some excavations.
Finally they played in the hands on room - building a keystone arch

trying on armour

sorting archaeological discoveries
learning about the toilets (including the old sponge on a stick)
building a hypocaust (underfloor heating), playing games and using a catapult.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Concept of Zero

As we've spent this week out and about I thought it might be a good time to share a little game that DD4 did a while ago that I haven't had time to share.
The concept of zero presentation is a fun little game. I started with a basket of numbers/items and she had to select a number and find the correct items -  'get 3 frogs', 'give me 7 stones', 'can you find 8 marbles' etc until she turned up 'find me 0 gloves' which flummoxed her for a while and gave us a good chance to discuss the importance of zero and read a great book I picked up at the library zero is the leaves on the tree.

Next we moved onto an activity game - asking her to 'clap four times', 'jump six times', 'spin 8 times' etc. then 'roll over 0 times'. She loved this one so much she decided everybody had to play while she called out the activities.

Just on an aside, I noticed DD4 has developd an unusual way of rug rolling - she stands on the rug and rolls it up whilst she walking backwards on it :)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Odd and Even

DD4 had a great little presentation today for odd and even numbers.
She started with putting the numbers in the correct order from 1 -10 and then placed the correct number of marbles under each (in two columns like yesterday - COE only 55 marbles)

Then I used a marker to separate each set of marbles into two and asked her if each side of the marker had the same number of marbles or a different number of marbles - when she said different I told her this was called an odd number (and gently moved the tile above the line). We repeated the process for number two and when she said the same I told her it was an even number (and moved it below the line). I labeled both new lines odd and even.
she repeated the process for all the numbers and moved the number to the correct line.

We followed with a three period lesson and a couple of fun games just to make sure she had it mastered. In the first game she had to take a random number from the pile and place it under the correct heading.
For the second game she had to turn over a number and then pick the correct card (odd or even) and hold them both up.
Just a tip for anyone wanting to do this a home - marbles roll so try counters instead  - I only had 50 counters :(
(bad planning on my part)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Elementary Geometry and Think!

DD6 & DD8 have spent the last 2 days focused on geometry (DD8 did squeeze in some elements/compounds work as well)
We've used 5 part cards to refresh all the parts of angles
and then moved onto adding angles and using the 360 protractor.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered a blog called Think! where she sets hands on challenges to get children thinking creatively.
Today I picked a food challenge - the girls were presented with 5/6 marshmallows and some cocktail sticks and they were asked to build an arch that would be be able to stand up on its own.

I love how they both came up with completely different solutions even though they were working side by side.
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