18 April 2014

Emperor Teaches Math

Here's a bag of coins, some plastic animals and a dry erase board.  Go do some fun stuff for "homeschool" today with the little people and I'll pay you a dollar.  Keep the math simple, though!  They are only just learning to add simple numbers.

Emperor begins to explain to the children that presently, each plastic pig is three cents, but due to inflation and gas price increases, they will be five cents each next year.  He's not going to get into why, but prices go up.  So how many pigs do you want to buy?  Ten?

Great.  Now all your pigs are dead because you forgot to buy food and fence them in.  Want to start again?  OK.  Yes, maybe seven pigs is a better idea.

Yes, I'll pretend you can buy food and a fence with the rest of the money.  Now the price has gone up and you can make a profit!  Want to sell your pigs at the local bacon stand?

Great.  But then you have to pay your farmhand.  And sales tax.  And now the income tax man has come around.  You just lost a lot of money.

Rose suggests they sell the plastic bears at this point.  Now Emperor gets into the various differences in price, feeding pigs vs. bears, resale value, and who are you going to hire to take care of your bears?  Plastic bunnies now enter the picture.  Easter drives the cost of the plastic bunnies up.  Is it still a good idea to buy a bunny?

The plastic horses are now unbagged and they are discussing how much a pony ride would cost.  Woodjie has all the plastic animals fighting with Ka-Pow sounds, but Rose is determined that there IS a way to make money in this game.  She will find a way.

Next time I will hand the kid a textbook.

15 April 2014

School Dress Codes... For Parents?

A Florida school district is considering a voluntary dress code for parents.  They say it's pretty hard to enforce the student dress code when Pops shows up with his pants halfway down his butt. 

Why the need to focus on how Mom is dressed?  She showed up, right???

The school board decided to host some totally lame "fashion show" next fall so everyone will know how to put their clothes on in the morning.  So. Insulting.

Would you go?  Could you imagine your child's teacher telling you what clothing is acceptable for you to wear?

14 April 2014

Reading Curriculum: ABeka Book and BJU Press

Woodjie is reading the book with the yellow marker, and Rose is reading the book with the pink marker.  It's a big deal to finish a book in our house.  Children get 50 cents and a big congrats from Mom and Dad!

Did you know that in the state of Missouri, homeschoolers must teach reading as a separate subject?  I don't know how anyone could homeschool well without teaching their child to read... but OK. 

I got many of my ABeka books used and collected them over time.  I'm glad I came across these readers early in my homeschooling years.  It teaches children to read step-by-step.  I don't think I've seen a more effective reading program for the elementary years.  The children love the stories, and what I appreciate about them is that there is a rich and varied language even in simple-to-read books in this series. 

My set is pretty old, and some are even from the 1960's and no longer listed in the reading series.  I think if I had to do things over again somehow, I think I'd just spend on a curriculum set and be done with it.  That's the thing, though, with homeschooling.  By the time you figure out what the perfect curriculum is for you, your children have graduated.

About halfway through the second grade reader set, we'll only have a few third and fifth grade ABeka readers left in my cubby.  That's when we'll pull out our BJU second and third-grade books.  They're pretty old, too.  I dig the shag carpet and station wagons in the illustrations.  So groovy.

Can you tell some of our books have been repaired with Super Mario duct tape?  Just because.

Books Woodjie has read since Thanksgiving break, when he began homeschooling.

12 April 2014

"I Hope Their Feelings Got Hurt Really Bad."

Big graduation pep rally at North High School in Bakersfield, California.  Two truant officers read the names of 34 teens who would not be graduating and instruct them to come forward, look at their fellow senior friends and "say goodbye."

FOX News interviewed a "motivational speaker" who says that the teens should have been publicly shamed because they've demonstrated they're not even smart enough to graduate from a (said sneeringly here) public school.

"I hope their feelings got hurt really bad," he said, adding that this is going to really inspire these students to go to school every day it's open and complete their studies.

Here's a link given by the school's website about how teachers can avoid bullying.  Examples:  don't give any indication of a student's grade (um, hello, telling people "these kids failed" sorta violates that?) and never display a student's weakness so that others can see it (yeah).

I hope some heads roll with this one.  I'm disgusted not only by the behaviour of the adults in this school, but by the treatment of this topic in the news.

11 April 2014

The Kansas City Zoo!

The littles went with D, Patrick and me to the zoo today!  We bought a family pass, so look forward to seeing more pics in future posts!
D took all the pictures in this post.  This is a jellyfish.  There are several in the new penguin exhibit.  The zoo is really changing and it's so much more interesting than it was even a few years ago. 
The penguin exhibit is very neat.  You can see penguins from all sorts of angles.
Of course D had to take... this picture...

The polar bears are Woodjie's favourite!   They're right near the entrance and so they're the last thing we do before piling into the van :)

09 April 2014

Are You Old, Too?

08 April 2014

Language Arts Curriculum!

Spent $10 on a used workbook older than my 20-year-old child.  Yes, I did.  It's something I never would have chosen online but after having looked at it, I thought it was perfect for our younger children.

Simple, simple "daily exercises" actually take longer than you think.  But I think Woodjie and Rose are learning quite a bit.

Rose and Woodjie were asked to write a couple of sentences.  Rose's work took about five minutes.

Woodjie took over half an hour on this and by the time he was done, he needed a lot of praise and hugs.  It is just very hard work for him.  We still remember that he didn't speak for quite some time, so every word and bit of progress is really a little miracle.  We'll be doing just a bit of writing a few times a week now.

Spelling workbook.  I just xerox and go.  I could have made my own list of 60 words, but I didn't bother.  This workbook is little, but it has plenty of activities and the printing is big and kid-friendly.

Woodjie's master list.  He gets to star the list after he passes the test.  I told him when he is finished with the whole sheet, he will get a BIG PRIZE!  Even I don't know what it is yet.  :)