Plugging away

Submitted by Homeschool on Sat, 03/31/2012 - 1:19pm

It's been a while since I updated about our homeschooling adventures. William has mentioned a few things he's been excited about in his blog. Here are a few highlights from our last couple months of schooling:

Community activities:
*I have been teaching a show and tell/group games class for 6-9 year-olds at our co-op this semester.
*We started another, much smaller co-op twice a month that does Spanish, PE, music, art and show and tell.
*We went bowling with the area homeschoolers.
*We have gone to two plays: Winnie the Pooh and a puppet theater version of Peter Rabbit.
*The Annual Maple Syrup Festival at St. John's Arboretum was a fun and educational trip despite the slow sap flow due to warm temperatures.
*William has been doing swimming lessons through community education. We are thinking he'll pass level one this time!
*He will also start another youth enrichment league Lego group in a few weeks.

Metro activities:
*MN Historical Society in St. Paul - We got a family membership through Groupon. It was a great deal. We were surprised by how much there was for the kids to do at the museum. We learned a lot, had a great time, and with our membership we will get free admission to 26 historical sites around the state! Fun for this summer!
*Works Museum - What a great place for science exploration. Between our GPS and traffic difficulties, we ended up having only an hour to spend here. We will definitely have to go back. William made it through about half of the museum and could've spent hours just playing and exploring with ramps, pulleys, light, lasers, opitical illusions, and countless other exhibits not to mention the hands-on experiments that we could've done upstairs.

Online activities:
*Clever Dragons is a fun website for boys to do learning activities, watch funny videos, and interact socially in a moderated environment.
*Codecademy is an online tool that teaches you to program. It taught William some valuable concepts, but quickly became too difficult.
*Scratch is an exciting program developed by the smart people at MIT. It teaches computer programming in an exciting way. It uses sounds and animation to get kids interacting and creating. William has been really motivated and has created many mini games, learning a lot about computer programming in the meantime.
*KAHN academy has been on our radar since the fall, but we only just recently delved into it and discovered the power of it. It is a math program that takes students through exercises, tracks their progress, and offers helpful teaching videos to help them when they get stuck. The videos branch out into many other topics as well.

Home activities:
*William continues to love practicing piano. He let me know the other day that he prefers playing piano over video games!
*The rainbow sticky notes have continued to be an important part of our daily routine.When I realized they weren't going to last much longer, I was pretty disappointed. Then, about a week before they ran out, I found one lonely, identically colored, crayon-shaped tablet of sticky notes in the dollar spot. Divine intervention!
*My ECFE classes are wrapping up for the year. I'm looking forward to being on hand more often to help William with learning new skills.
*We will be doing Iowa Basics testing in a few weeks. I am excited to be doing a test that most schools use. If and when we decide to go back to traditional schooling, we will have his test scores to show his progress.

It doesn't feel like we're doing all that much on a daily basis because, when William stays focused and gets his stuff done, he really has a lot of free time. That's been wonderful! He has time to play Legos, read for fun, play outside in this crazy, warm spring weather, and use his imagination. His sister really enjoys spending time with him, too. We're loving homeschooling!