Saturday, December 22, 2007

December 23, 2007

I can't believe it's the end of tthe year and only 2 months since I've been officially homeschooling.

We've been doing so much it's hard to keep up.

We visited the Museum of Natural History today. Nala won tickets from a contest with the library last month. We got free admission into the museum and admission to a special exhibit. We chose the Space show. It was great. The whole museum is just amazing. The creations are so real and life like. It's just too big to do in one day. All the kids seemed to enjoy it. In the African exhibit Nala recognized the Nile River and knew it ran through Egypt. We've been learning about Ancient Civilizations in Egypt so I was glad to know that she remembered the river.

I'm making more connections with groups and such and therefore adding more activities to our calendar. I'm trying to keep trips at 2 days a week and now with swimming and recorder weekly, some monthly geography (2 country presenations clubs and 1 state clubs), monthly science group and possible a weekly history class it's just getting really busy. I may need to pick and choose some activities so it won't be too hectic. I just want Nala to be around the same kids weekly in some group so that she will make some friends. I know this will take time and just hopefully through joining different things she'll meet people.

Our homeschooling experience is really very good. Homeschooling has really brought out the best in my daughter. She carries her notebooks around with her to write and draw. While we are reading (currently Charlotte's Web) she's noticing the language being used and most importantly the spelling words I'm giving her she notices in the book. It really helps with ehr learning the words faster and learning new words that come up often. She liked school, she has her days where she still wants to go back but when we talk about all of the wonderful experiences we've had so far homeschooling, the freedom she has in what she learns and all the creative ways she can express her learning, she has told me how much she loves homeschooling and does not want to go back to school.

Although we still do "school" how she has learned and feels comfortable with, (She still calls her spelling list word study like school) she has more control over what she does each day and how she does it. She doesn't have to do math sheets how she did in school because she doesn't like sheets. Instead we play scrabble or dice games to learn math. I found a grammar book that she loves where she corrects the sentences and does a bar graph at the end to show her progress. I read with her or to her sometimes and we discuss what we read. Her vocabulary is growing and she is doing alot of hands on learning, because I know this is how she learns best.

I'm looking forward to another year of continued success and more learning for both of us.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

What I'm learning about Nala and Math....

She doesn't like Math but she seems to do better when it's in a game form, anything other than worksheets/book form. We haven't done math worksheets since our 3rd week and we're in 6th week now.

We have played Scrabble, Candyland, some games from Family math, store, where she has counted through keeping score or something like that. She did well for the most part however she has her moments where I believe she's being difficult due to boredom or maybe ready to go to bed. She will call out the wrong answer on something I deem easy and totally make me feel like I'm failing as her parent and teacher. I try not to push her but I want to make sure she either really knows the answer or really doesn't know the answer so I know what to do. I'm ready to move on to some other sort of math and I think she is too.

I just need to know that I'm doing my job and helping her with her weaknessess.

Trips and other things

Fri November 30 I met up with the group that I met with at the Native American Museum. It was so nice. Nala and I did a presentation on our culture and brought homemade cranberry sauce. There were alot of vegan, vegetarian and desserts. It was a really nice group of women and I'm looking forward to seeing them later this month. Nala enjoyed seeing other homeschoolers like herself and that's what I loved.

Saturday December 1, I took the girls to the Scandanavia House in Manhattan. I was really excited about going for some reason. It was nice but the lunch was not kid friendly and expensive although the soup did seem like real Scandanavian soup (real chicken breast, quinoa, some sea vegetables and pretty bland) The kids got to play in this beautiful room painted with caves, volcanos and Iceland. The had a ball dressing up and in another room it was a big play room, blocks, books and a train set. We spent 2 hrs there just playing, talking with other parents and caregivers. I bought a couple of beautiful traditional Scandanavian ornaments (anywhere I go it has to be traditional and true from the place I visit). The express bus was and comfortable.

Tues December 4 we met up with some families from a group I belong to at the Hall of Science. I loved meeting new homeschoolers as well as show Nala that homeschoolers are all over the place and no need for her to feel different. It was extremly crowded at the Hall of Science which was new to me and I was disappointed. Before becoming members we would go on Fridays from 2-5 for free hrs and it was empty. I'm still ok with spending the money on the membership. We can get into some other free places throughout the city, long island and nj so it was a good investment.

I registered the family at the YMCA. Now Nala can take swimming classes and I can work out.

Other good news is I was on the waiting list for a class and was called to participate: Nala will be doing a really cool hands on science class monthly along with learning the recorder. Although we started and do it from time to time, its not regular when we started off.

I think we're done planning winter activities. I have a couple of trips planned for January but between swimming and science and music she'll be plenty busy.