Sunday, May 24, 2009

~ Nature Journals~

We finished our covers for our Nature Journals the other day. The boys enjoyed learning a bit more about watercolor methods, although we quickly switched to acrylics because our covers did not work well with all the water from the water color.
The boys found the acrylics much easier to work with and learned a bit more about foregrounds and how to help create trees that might look more real.
These will be their first nature journals they have ever done. I think it will be quite exciting for them. They love exploring and we are planning to work on this journal not only through out the summer months but all year round, so the boys can see first hand, the marvels of nature.

We plan to use the Handbook Of Nature
and also a blog called Handbook of Nature Study
other books I was planning on using are located in the book carousel below. We love to pull different kinds of resources for learning and books of all different kinds are a big part of this.
I also found some Nature Journal pages we can use for our books~ these pages I really loved because they were for all year round~ something I had not found until only recently.
was very helpful. Along with this link about Nature Study, Charlotte Mason Style
There are also yahoo group available who are using HON (Handbook of Nature) You can find these groups here.
This group has e-text versions in PDF of the Handbook. This link is the other group that contains the storage of e-texts for the book as well. This group is available for users of HON.
I found this Nature Book List for reading aloud to the boys from the Charlotte Mason Tripod.
There are many resources out there when studying nature.. we also plan on doing some bird watching and a bird study this summer, I will be sure to post resources for those later on.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Learning about Honey Bees ~

I sat on my front porch the other day and saw some really huge bumble bees buzzing around some plants that were just starting to bud. I suppose they too, were in anticipation of what was to pop out any day now~ I sat for a long time watching the bee, my youngest, a bit timid to come too close. I thought about perhaps grabbing a picture but knew the moment I came back it would probably be gone.
My youngest began asking questions about the bee and was quite curious. ~
Spring has sprung up at our home, here in New Hampshire and I thought it would be a perfect time to learn about Bees and do a mini-unit to learn more about them.
We heard of our local group who is going to see a Bee Presentation by a Bee Keeper and also with the Yearly Spelling Bee Championship coming up, I thought it would be a perfect time to dive into "Bees" of all kinds ~
The Spelling Bee Championship is fun to watch at our house~ it begins May 27th with the preliminaries and then finishes Thursday, May 28th.

We were planning to read some books on bees ( see carousel below ) and then also creating a mini book and lapbook to go along with the information.
Here are some lapbooks I recently found to help us: Homeschool Share Bee Lapbook and also
Squido Bee Lapbook and a Honey Bee free PDF download there are others you can purchase by Hands of a Child and also some videos of honey bees I suppose there is a great deal of information out there. ~

I found some great information from currclick as well for honey bees and copywork. Here is a link with some neat pictures for notebook: You could create your own notebooking or narration pages from theses pictures..

There is so much information out there to learn about Bees and Honey Bees. Even watching a favorite move like the Bee Movie or Akela and the Bee is fun ~ well, we are off to find our Bee Books~ :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Organizing your Home Library~

I have been busy organizing all my books for our library. Our new books and new programs will be arriving and I have been busy trying to organize each according to subject and unit study.

Currently, I have been creating an online catalog of our library, here at home. I looked into various free online versions to help me do this and chose The Library Thing.

I was not sure exactly which to use where I already had a Shelfari account and heard Gurulib was very good but needed to know how they compared to The Library Thing. Here is a review
a good friend forwarded to me. I thought this was very helpful in making my decision.

I really like it and found that since I am moving toward working on unit studies with the boys, I would need a place on line where I could put this information.
The tags on Library Thing make organizing information very easy. I have been adding my resources I have purchased for our unit studies and tag them with the subject title so I can easily go back and check what I need and what I already might have.

Adding books to your library is quick and easy. I am not the most technical person so when I mention easy, it most certainly is.

Happy organizing~

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Learning Math, Naturally~ through our Reading

Today we had an interesting day for Math and Reading. Our schedules have been quite busy so I needed to consolidate our "teaching time". For some reason, whenever I do this things seem to flow for us so naturally, it can be really quite surprising~

Teaching about even and odd numbers can teach division here is how we did it:

I pulled out a book I had on our shelf called Even Steven and Odd Todd my youngest, a bit reluctant to read it..but after glancing at the pictures seemed intrigued with all the gerbils so decided to give it a try.
As we read the book, he immediately noticed the pattern of all even numbers and began skip counting by 2's as he read the book.
We read on and then I decided to try something.. {in the book Even Steven decides to make pancakes for breakfast. In doing so he begins to explain how he wishes to make 8 pancakes, so he could have four, for breakfast and then four, for lunch~ } I thought about this as Peyton read, I decided to introduce division, in the most simplest of ways~ through even and odd numbers. :)

After reading about the pancakes I asked Peyton if the number "8" was even or odd, he knew immediately it was even, I then asked him if the number "4" was even or odd and he again knew immediately.

I showed him on my fingers "eight" and asked him, "what is Even Steven doing" with the eight pancakes..?" He took my fingers and moved four together and then the other four together in a bunch to show the pancakes for breakfast and for lunch~

I explained this was right!~ AND that he just learned that we can divide 8 by the number 4. His eyes were all big... and yelled out " NO WAY" that is like 4x2! ... we were laughing I said yes we use multiplication to divide things... this is the way to divide things and do division. :)

He was all excited. So today, was reading and math and introducing division in a way I had not thought of..perhaps I should have.. either way... he loves division .... so now I think we will learn more hand in hand about multiplication and division facts to show how they can compliment eachother. Why only practice 2x4= when we can show that it can also be 4 dvided by 2?

Other links I found on this: Even Steven and Odd Todd Math Song
Teaching Even and Odd Numbers to Second Graders: Math Cats
A power point to teach even and odd numbers using math journals: Even Odd Powerpoint

Reading comprehension, and math all in one.. it was a very productive day.

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