Thursday, October 11, 2012

School Days: Australia (And Update)

I would like to start this post with a thank you to the friends who have sent post cards so far:
If you would like to help out too check out this blog post for more info.

We now have a month and a half of kindergarten under our belt. Sean has been busy. I'm proud to say that he's reading! That is something that actually surprised me. Not that I didn't think he could, but he went a while with no interest at all in sounding things out and trying to read. Instead, he wanted to spell. Then one day out of the blue, he asked to read. By that night he could read one of his beginner readers by himself. Writing is getting better too. He's starting to understand placement on lines and spacing. He enjoys writing in his journal. Math is going well too. He has been introduced to what coins are and how much they are worth, has been learning addition and just recently has been introduced to subtraction. Math is something he really likes to sit down and work on by himself. I've printed off many worksheets for him to work on. While things are going well, I am going to be buying math and reading curriculum for him soon. It's becoming a little over whelming for me to put together everything from scratch. This way, I will only have to put  history, science and art together. Our around the world unit helps combine these nicely anyway. 

A little early morning reading:

The past month and a half has really been a time of finding what works for us; tweaking the schedules until we get there. I think we finally have a daily schedule that works with have a daycare in the home too. It involves doing journals while the littlest ones nap. The older babies enjoy coloring and drawing during this time. Sean has given up naps so he now does math and reading during nap time. And finally, our around the world unit is left until after daycare kids have gone home. My goal is to work on the unit 3 days a week. I think we also have our big schedule figured out now. We finished up the Australia unit a couple weeks ago. We ended up spending 2 weeks on it and I think about 2 weeks per stop will work out nicely. Once we were done with Australia, we spent some time doing basic kindergarten topics. I believe we'll continue this rotation. It gives me a chance to plan our next stop better and gives us a chance to do science, history and art that does not fit into the big unit. It's a win-win!

On to our stop in Australia:
This was a fun unit to work on. We started with coloring a map and the flag. I started thinking about how we would store everything and decided that everything Sean does for each mini unit (each country) will be going into a big notebook, similar to the Travel Log Homeschool Creations did.

We talked about one of my favorite topics when it comes to Australia; the aboriginals. We concentrated on art and music. We used sandpaper and crayons to make cave drawings one day and then later used paint and our fingers to make dot art. Youtube was a key tool when it came time to learn about their music; the didgeridoo. Then came the fun part. Side story: while in college and taking a world music class, I happened across a didgeridoo in a tourist shop, in the outer banks of all places. I bought it. So, Sean and Maddy got to see a didgeridoo and even got to try it out. Boy is it a hard instrument to play!!

Our lap book for Australia was on the animals of Australia. We stuck to marsupials (mainly kangeroos, koalas and wombats) and the platypus. Lastly, we talked about the children of Australia. I created a worksheet just for this section of each mini unit. It's a nice way to tie in all the cultural information he learned about. The kids also made boomerangs out of cardboard but they have been lost and therefor are not pictured..

There were a few more things that I would have liked to cover such as the Great Barrier Reef but we were on the verge of burn out.

Australia Resources:
Map, flag and more printouts:

Thank you Walking By The Way for these lap book resources:

A Kid Just Like Me sheet was inspired by this sheet from Homeschool Creations.

Our next stop is Germany!

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