Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year falls on 31st January in 2014, when it will become the year of the horse.  We've been learning all about the festival, and we've been doing some Chinese New Year themed activities and crafts.

First we read all about it using two books I got from the library, then we did some Chinese New Year dictation to help with literacy and spelling.

This book goes into quite a bit of detail and is ideal for older children.

Ideal for kinders and emergent readers
After we'd read our books, we did some Chinese New Year dictation sentences.  Just simple ones, but using knowledge we'd gained from reading the books.  Both the books are available from Amazon.

Finally, we made a Chinese dragon, using a free template from Red Ted Art.  Here's the finished dragon!

Tomorrow we'll make our Chinese paper lanterns and perhaps some red and gold paper chains if we have time.

Until next time. x

Thursday, 23 January 2014

More books

As a book-aholic, especially when it comes to books for Small's education, who am I to resist a bargain!  I also trawl the library extensively for books to use in his education, and have ordered a couple of books from the "Magic Tree House" series to see what they're like.  Don't tell anyone, but I'm actually quite looking forward to reading them myself!

The Works have a big sale on at their retail stores at the moment, but a lot of the books they sell never actually make it to the shops and are sold exclusively via their website.  And before you ask, this is NOT a sponsored post, I just happen to like their store.

Anyway, they had some writing skills books on the website, and while they're probably somewhat out of date as far as the National Curriculum goes, this doesn't matter a jot to us as homeschoolers.  I bought a few!

for various age-groups from 6-11

Small has also been getting on well with his reading, and is way above the level a 4 year-old would be expected to have reached were he at school.  Unfortunately when he saw the camera, he decided to pull silly faces!
This book, Percy and the Pirates is a level 4 book, but he's done amazingly well and read it fluently.

I also won a little competition today for a cute polar bears and penguins lapbook unit, which we'll have great fun working through.  This, and the lovely parcel of books, cheered me up no end as I had a tooth pulled on Monday and although I felt ok yesterday, today my face felt like I'd been used as a punch bag.

Until next time. x

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Magic elixir or sheer coincidence?

I'm probably going to regret writing this post, sod's law being what it is and all that, but here goes.

Back in September 2013, I posted about homemade elderberry cough syrup.  We all got colds a week or so after housemate's son went back to school, and as a result, all took liberal doses of syrup.

Since then, none of us have had a cold.  I do wonder if this is coincidental, but also wonder if elderberry syrup really is the magic elixir as while housemate's son hasn't had a cold since, his mother and grandmother (who didn't get any syrup) with whom he spends most of his time, have.

Either way, I'm not taking any chances and at the first sign of a sniffle, I'll take some.  You watch - now I've written these thoughts down, I'll probably get a horrible cold!

Until next time. x

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Shapes and silly people

A most annoying morning.  Housemate had a clinic appointment to attend, and not being early birds we rushed to get ready and get to the doctors' surgery on time.  The appointment was for 11am, and the self check-in screen said he was the next patient.  By 11.20 he was still waiting so I went to find out what was going on.  "Oh, the nurse has had to go out to an emergency," I was informed.  Right.

While there's absolutely nothing wrong with that statement per-se, it would have been nice if someone had told us when we checked in that the nurse wasn't there and that the appointment couldn't take place.  I'm darned sure if it had been housemate who hadn't turned up without explanation, the surgery wouldn't have been happy at all.

So that was most of the morning gone, Small hadn't done his quota of learning for the day so it ate into the afternoon which is normally my housework time and his free to pursue his own interests time.  We did end up having a productive day though.

One of the tasks today was the number of vertices and sides various shapes have.  We discussed this, drew examples on the whiteboard and made a booklet, then we made shapes with some of those wooden stirrers fast-food restaurants give out.

To reinforce the concept, we did a scarecrow craftivity with shapes.  This was from a free download I found on the web.  If you want your own copy, you can get one here.

Scarecrow shapes, vertices and sides craftivity
Until next time. x

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Things to gladden the heart

Several things made me smile today, the first of them being the three beautiful geese that flew overhead as I sat outside with my first cuppa of the day.

After breakfast, Small did some literacy exercises, in the form of cut-n-paste CVC spellings.  Following these we did some math, then he went outside to play.  It wasn't long before he came back, asking for the pavement chalk - which I thought was a little odd as the back yard was quite damp and I knew the chalk wouldn't work very well.

I have to give my son ten out of ten for ingenuity, as he soon discovered (after trying to write on the concrete, the wooden fence and some pallets I've got stacked up in the yard) that Mummy was right and it was too wet for the chalk.  He must have thought to himself, "Hmm, what can I write on that's dry?   Ah!  I know, the house."

So he did.

The wall outside my back door is now covered in math equations, although I do blame housemate for the very top sum as it's not my son's writing.  Small adores math, so I couldn't really be cross with him for defacing the house, and besides, the chalk is designed to wash off.

Later on, I answered a question posed by someone I follow on Facebook, and won a product from her teacherpayteachers store.  Turns out she's a fellow home schooler and her products take a refreshing approach.  My lucky day :)

Equally as good was the feedback left by someone who downloaded one of my products.  OK, it's only a freebie, but what did make me smile was the fact that the teacher who'd left the feedback was from Argentina.  It gave me a good feeling to think that something I created might end up being used to help teach kids in a classroom in another hemisphere that's half a world away.

Hope your day was a good one.

Until next time. x

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Belated Happy New Year!

A very belated Happy New Year to you all.  I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas, that Santa brought you all you wanted, and that 2014 is a happy and prosperous one for you all.

After a fairly relaxing holiday, it was back to the learning zone for us, and it was amazing how woolly brained Small had become after just 8 days off.  Housemate's son even more so after a fortnight of doing nothing.  For my part, I've been busy designing some new work for Small.

He was given a Disney School Skills book for Christmas, the theme of which was addition.  Needless to say he completed it in just two days.  Talk about Speedy Gonzalez!!  One of his favourite activities from the book was the timed maths tests, both of which he managed to complete (all 18 questions) in just over a minute, and all correct.  "Can you make me some of these please, Mummy," he asked.  So I did!

The sheets are differentiated by colour code, and get progressively harder.  Suitable for K-2, or years 1-3.  No Prep Addition Sheets are available through my TPT store, which is having a 20% off sale until 7th January.

In other news, the allotment has become a waterlogged bog so there's nothing happening there at the moment.  I will be putting a few early seeds into propagators and crossing my fingers that they come up.  I was a little late last year with pepper plants and tomatoes, so am hoping to get my act together a little sooner this year!

Until next time, keep warm and keep safe.  x