Sunday, September 10, 2017

First Week Down, and Slowly Gaining Speed at a Cranky Pace

Homeschool's hard. I think it just gets harder. I have a BIG family, and the demands of homeschool just get more and more as they get older and older.

I thought I would be able to have Maxwell be an independent learner this year, but now that I've started to delve in, that's just a joke. His math is going to be video taught. It's a program called "Video Text."

It's like Khan academy but they were doing it when "Khan" was in diapers. It's short videos explaining a concept with worksheets and quizzes to go with the video. It's what Rightstart math suggests, but I haven't been able to get very much advice from my social media peeps about whether it's good or not. No one seems to use it. Ummm..... well, here's to trusting my gut and Rightstart!

Thankfully, they sell an internet bundle so I can actually access it out here in Vanuatu.

HOWEVER they say that this is just a supplement to an actual human instructor, helping the student through the program....uhh...I want an A.I. teacher please.

Also, I want to make sure Maxwell can type. So I've really neglected to teach typing because I've neglected writing because I've thought that dyslexic boys (or rather dyslexic mummas) need a break until they can actually read fluently. I'm finding that I shouldn't have done that.

Introducing Typewriting Without Tears (by Handwriting Without Tears. Which btw has added an overall name of Learning Without Tears.) Maxwell is in Grade One level that we skipped a bit. He should be in grade Grade 7 and be a graduated typer by now. You know, I didn't learn to type until Grade 8. Well....oh bother. Whatever. He'll zoom through the grades I'm sure.

But now ALL my kids (and I mean ALL) are doing typing.

Did I ever mention that Homeschool is just one big experiment, and you never know how you're hurting or helping REALLY?


And I'm going to figure out a good Grammar program, and Maxwell really needs P.E. You would think being in a tropical paradise with the ocean in your front yard would be enough P.E. but perhaps we've been more focused on construction than anything lately, and maybe a certain boy loves reading and only reading.

SO Maxwell and I are now going to go on hikes and adventures. Including exploring ruins:


And writing. I'm doing writing seriously this year. I love THIS POST that shares how to treat spelling. Basically, if it's creative writing, let it go. If it's during a grammar/spelling lesson, correct it.


I really needed this philosophy in a dyslexic crazy spelling family. I feel like I've taught spelling. And I mean TAUGHT SPELLING not just memorization but spelling rules and methods.  And yet.....oh boy.

You know how happiness is the difference between expectations and reality? In a dyslexic family, it's REALLY hard to have realistic expectations. When you've taught something a MILLION TIMES it's hard not to just EXPECT that what you've taught will have some sort of manifestation in REALITY. And then where's the happiness in teaching? Well...wow. I'm starting this year out grouchy.

Oh boy. you guys! I feel quite worthless sometimes. I have a secret. Here in Vanuatu I have....wait for it....a HOUSEKEEPER!  That's right! Someone who's here 8am-4pm five days a week cleaning and cooking, and yet I'm still a grouchy unproductive homeschool mum.

How can things be easier? Yet I feel like I'm failing so often.

If you ask on Facebook, (and I've seen the polls, so this is real) what moms like me would want the most in life, they would all say a housekeeper. But if they actually got one, I bet some would be like me and feel like they were more worthless than ever because they don't even have the excuse of being a housekeeper on their list.

Oh blah. I'm not THAT down in the dumps. But this thing called life: it's not for the faint at heart.

And anyways, there are SIXTEEN (16) people living in this house (which is basically a tiny house UNDER CONSTRUCTION....with construction workers everywhere...with a tinier cottage UNDER CONSTRUCTION...with construction workers everywhere.) And FOUR of them are little minions who want nothing more than to run around naked playing with Penises and POOP everywhere.


So hey, I have a right to be grouchy sometimes...Right?

And going back to writing, sometimes they just make me smile. I just love them. At this point I'm letting them write whatever they want, and they've gotten to writing me letters to tell me things. Check these cuties out:

"Hey mom can you tell the toenail fairy how I almost forgot to let you know that all my toenail fell off last night. I know that the toenail fairy could not get you one thing last night, so I want you to tell the toenail fairy that I want a Box with a code lock."

"William found a girl iguana and I know where Daniel’s iguana is, and and I got the iguana and I was wondering if they would mate and we waited and waited and waited….but they didn’t. Then they ran away. "

And I DO see improvement. So that's something. When I think of Hyrum's reading at the beginning of last year and his reading now, I know something's going right.

Daniel, whom I've always thought would be my ONE CHILD to read at regular pace, has his struggles, and is not a typical reader after all, but one interesting discovery was that it's just as easy to read upside-down as right side up:


Daniel and Hyrum's math has been going good. Rightstart has sworn me to secrecy about how I'm able to do math in Vanuatu without manuels being mailed to me, but let's just say Rightstart math has the BEST customer service EVER and math is up and running for Hyrum on down.

But I've found it hard to take my littles away from their tropical paradise because of the "good better best" conundrum. For instance: all week the only thing Daniel's wanted to do is garden with our gardeners (yes, I have gardeners....but since I've never gardened, they don't make me feel worthless haha.)


Of course I want him to learn how to garden!!! So I have a hard time taking him away from it, but it's not like he is constantly doing school anyway.

Especially since I have FOUR boys I've teaching this year! Yep, William is in kindergarden. Of course, I did teach him preschool, as you can see from his ability to write his name:


Oh the cuteness thereof. Soon he will see the difference between "m" and "w" my truly dyslexic boy!

He's been starting Handwriting Without Tears, which has been a lot trickier than Rightstart to figure out. There's all the supplies that I didn't bring to Vanuatu. I've had to improvise and I've also had to personally make worksheets.

But it's worth it because there's no better program on the planet, I'm convinced.


All this new school stuff has been tricky. We had a special time of getting father's blessings to help us, which was incredible. William drew a picture of us at the occasion: most of us are sitting on the bed:


And I instigated a rewards system where they got to choose their own goals. They spent HOURS choosing, and they won't get them at least until we get back to Canada any way, but whatever. Here's Hyrum's because he's been the most adamant about this whole thing:


As for geography, well, we didn't do any true activities. BUT check out the movies that I made that we are learning!



Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Brand New Year

September is rearing it's ugly head in front of me. It's that time again. WHAT?!? This summer (which is actually winter here) Hyrum and Daniel have been doing Barton reading, and Maxwell has done a little writing. Nothing compared to my good intentions for the summer. Now it's time to get serious.

But how do you get serious when you are in a developing country that DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A POSTAL CODE, no BOOK stores,  and has SLOW internet, and you JUST moved into a new house that is NOT FINISHED. And you feel like you should be painting walls instead of teaching ABCs?

AAAHHHHH!!!

Thank goodness this year's history is actually geography, because we are certainly learning that by being on the opposite side of the world in a different culture.

I've talked to Canada's Westwind school, and they've agreed that I can be part of their system, especially since we'll be back by mid October. (Or at least that's the plan!)

I need to organize my thoughts:

DEVOTIONAL:

So we've been doing Bislama (the language of Vanuatu) scripture study with our Bislama teacher, but often not very many of my kids take part because they're not interested in Bislama.

We also have been going through the Gospel Principles book each day (when we actually do it) because church is in Bislama, and I want to make sure my kids actually learn the gospel.

But now I really need to do memorizations. Memorizations of geography, memorization of articles of faith, and maybe memorization of the Family Proclamation to the World?

READING:

I don't need to read with Maxwell!!! He's a reading machine!! But I DO need to read everyday with Daniel and Hyrum, and they both need Barton program as well.

WRITING:

I need to have all the boys do daily writing, but most important Maxwell. He needs key boarding, writing and spelling every day. It's going to have to be consistent and I haven't figured out the best way to do grammar. Also I want to do Visualizing and Verbalizing with Hyrum when I'm back in Canada.

WILLIAM:

He's in kindergarten!!!! So excited and overwhelmed am I!!! When we go back to Cardston, I plan on putting him in actual public school kindergarten. I've always wondered if kindergarten would have been a magical reading experience for my boys, and it's only half day and it's only for a few months, and I plan on doing this experiment!

But for now (and I'll do this even while he's in "real school") I really want to start Handwriting without Tears, and Rightstart math, and I'm not sure exactly how/when I am supposed to do that.

MAXWELL:

He's supposed to be in "scholar" mode and be able to choose his own adventures i.e. photoshop courses and 3D design courses etc. Would work better if we had good internet!

MATHEMATICS:

Ahhh! Who what when where why and how? I don't have my curriculum here! Oh whoa is me, I need to figure this out. Maxwell is starting a whole new math program since he's graduated from Rightstart.

SCIENCE:

We're doing astronomy and earth science this year, and I'm totally bummed that we missed the total eclipse that happened in Idaho. But we WILL study the southern hemisphere constellations while we are here, but I'm not going to start my science club until Canada because....I don't have my curriculum here. Hmmmmm. Maybe there's a way....

SOCIAL STUDIES

Doing what I did four years ago I guess, but maybe in a different order:

September:


  • begin continents song
  • maps-make topographical map out of salt dough
  • maps-paint map
  • maps- mercator maps on oranges  
  • maps-draw your own country using geography terms
  • begin mountains song
  • maps-start BIG map with longitude and latitude 
  • maps-"Temple cruise" packets started
  • government-democratic/republic Prime Minister Election
  • government-dictatorship/totalitarian Dictator game* (explained below)


October:


  • government-monarchy/theocracy one kid is king and has all kids "harvest" all the tiny candies that have been scattered on floor and give it all to king who only gives one or two pieces back.
  • begin deserts song
  • government-anarchy/revolutionary play uno for a little while and then change rules every couple of rounds.
  • culture-clothing-international fashion show
  • culture-natural resources- play settlers of Catan
  • culture-food-international taste test
  • begin seven seas song
  • culture-population-play "who sliced this pie"**(explained below)
  • religion-Eastern religions-learn yoga, fortune cookies with Confucius sayings stuffed inside.
  • religion-Islam-make model of mosque (talk about five pillars)
  • religion-Judaism-play dreidel (ICG p39), compare with mormonism, sing hebrew songs.
  • religion-Christianity-put on pageant of New Testament story


November:


  • begin americas song
  • Mexico-make little zapotec people and a saturday market setting Saturday Market
  • Cuba- tody bird
  • Jamaica-Rasta bracelets 
  • Guatemala-banderitas (NPLH p65)
  • Costa Rica-worry dolls (ICG p126)
  • Panama-Bird Molas (ICG p101) or link
  • Columbia- maracas made from hollow eggs dyed with coffee
  • Ecuador-god's eyes (ICG p108)


December:


  • Peru-arpilleras "Tonight is Carnaval"
  • Chile-rainstick (ICG p118)
  • Brazil- carnival mask
  • Argentina-Goucho gord mate mug.---humm not sure where to get a gourd
  • begin Europe and oceans song
  • Sweden-saint lucia and/or majstang (ICG p78 & 87)
  • Norway-windmill
  • United Kingdom-Christmas crackers


January:


  • Denmark-woven heart (ICG 92)
  • Ireland-crois bride (ICG p70)
  • France-bilboquet (ICG p65)
  • Germany-schorenschnitte (ICG p85)
  • Poland-stuffed cabbage (NPLH p41)
  • Austria-watch sound of music
  • Switzerland-cow bell (ICG p69)
  • Italy-homemade pasta
  • Spain-castanets 
  • Russia-russian architecture 


February


  • begin eastern Europe/Middle east song
  • Ukraine-matreshka dolls (NPLH p43)
  • Romania-dracula party
  • Greece-moussaka
  • Turkey-pistachios and turkish fez
  • Syria-Hamsa 
  • Israel-grogger (ICG p44)
  • Saudi Arabia-prayer mat (ICG p55)
  • Kuwait-machboos


March:


  • Iraq and Iran (I know they're very different, but whatever)-baaghlava
  • Afganistan-homemade kites
  • Pakistan-henna hands
  • begin Africa song
  • Egypt-Nine men's morris (ICG p20)
  • Nigeria-hammered metal picture (ICG p15)
  • Ghana-adinkra banner (ICG p6)
  • Congo-double drum (ICG p11)
  • Ivory Coast-folding fan (ICG p12)


April:


  • Zimbabwe-mancala
  • South Africa-sotho beaded doll (ICG p27)
  • Mozambique-galimoto (ICG 14)
  • Madagascar-tribal beads (ICG p29) or spoon painting
  • begin Asia song
  • Mongolia-wind chimes (ICG p63) or link
  • China-dragon boat (ICG p37)
  • North and south Korea (again, VERY different, but compare and contrast)-paper lanterns (ICG p52)
  • Japan-tanabata lanterns
  • India-jingles (ICG p47)


May:


  • Nepal-rangoli
  • Thailand-pellet drum (ICG p54)
  • Philippines-sarimanok
  • Australia-decorate boomerangs 
  • New Zealand-knitting/poi balls
  • Figi- leis (ICG p49)
  • Tonga-palm woven hat (green construction paper)
  • Vanuatu-grass skirt
  • Samoa-decorate something with shells



*Dictator Game: Each person is given the same amount of points or treats. In the game, there would be advantages and rebellions. For example, the dice 2 and 6 would be "advantages" 1 and 4 would be "rebellions" and 3 would be "cooperation." There would be around a 2 min. round time. They would sit in a circle.The teacher who is in charge of the treats would have sign saying "army" the teacher would choose the dictator, and then we would begin. The children would take turns rolling the dice. If they got an advantage, the army would give the dictator the treat (regardless of who rolled the dice) If they got a rebellion, then the one who threw the dice would get a treat taken away. It would be up to the army whether or not the dictator got the treat. A cooperation they would simply pass the dice. At the end of the round, the next child would be the dictator.

**Who Sliced this Pie: (Got this idea from public school teacher with 30 kids, but I'll use paper dolls) Divide room up into continents (Frustratingly Australia and Russia go together statistically)
Population (#of students/paper dolls)
Asia=52.18%=16
Africa=10.66%=3
Middle East=9.88=3
Europe=9.62%=3
North America=5.17%=2
South America=8.52%=2
Australia/Russia=3.14%=1 (if just Australia 1/2)

Distribution of food production (#of chocolate kisses) btw-I couldn't find new statistics for this one, so these statistics are at least 10-15 years old.
Asia=36%=9
Africa=7%=2
Middle East=oh bother, um, not sure. goes with asia statistically
Europe=31%=8
North America=16%=4
South America=9%=2
Australia (Not Russia too---problems when you take statistics from different studies urg)=1%=1/2 kiss
none for antarctica

Wealth (# of caramels)
Asia=24%=6
Africa=1.01%=1/4
Middle East=4.1%=1
Europe=27.06%=7
North America=33.67%=8
South America=6.44%=2
Australia/Russia=3.38%=1

Interestingly, I took the newest population and wealth statistics I could find, and asia has gotten richer and other nations poorer from when this lady first did this activity. Hummm.

Left Over Tid-bits

So before I start with next school year's posts, here's a post to wrap up the summer, and anything else, including repeating some stuff from the "checklist" post which I don't plan on including in my printed yearbook blogbook.

Speaking of Yearbook, here's their "yearbook" photos!!!





First, Daniel passed off his times tables! Just a few days after he turned eight.


Maxwell gave a involved presentation on reef fish in our area:


And I had a couple more science clubs. One where we talked about DNA and genetics:


And one where we dissected rotting crabs....okay so that was not a legit science club, but a last ditch effort to feel like I had taught something.



And throughout the summer we have learned a lot....by experience.....not by my awesome teaching.







And we "caught up" on anything I didn't teach throughout the school year about science and history with good ol' Youtube and Brainpop.

And Maxwell read

 and read
and read

He read the Chronicles of Narnia:

Harry Potter series:


Fablehaven series:

Swiss Family Robinson:

And he's towards the end of the Little Britches series:


Can I just tell you that to reward and punish a dyslexic child by READING privileges is pretty AWESOME!

And Daniel randomly asked to be taught cursive, so we did just a bit of that:


and when I looked through the "checklist" post, here's some things I wanted to remember:

Inquiry--Daniel's inquiry have been so amazing!!! just a few days ago he asked "Since bones make blood, what happens with animals that have no bones? Do they have blood and if so, how do they make it?

Inquiry-Hyrum is also asking excellent questions. He is always asking to research things. Like the other day he really wanted to know why our knuckles pop (it's actual bubbles!)

Inquiry-Maxwell is always asking awesome questions about science. That is what sparked the Reef fish presentation. He wanted to know if Sword fish really stab things (they don't.)


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Checklists

It's that time again. That lovely point in the year when I should be having a one on one with my Westwind teacher, but since he's not here in Vanuatu, I'm making this blog post and skyping him.

So...I guess I'll just jump into it. Let's go youngest to oldest:

DANIEL MCKAY birthday April 2009 (currently 8 yrs old) In Grade 2.

Math Program Resources & Notes:

I've been using Rightstart Math all year. I've also used Times Tales. Daniel is very good at math. In fact, he's so good at math, he's done GRADE THREE math this year. He was soooo close to having all his times tables passed off when he was still 7 years old. Because of this, I'm going to use the grade three checklist for his math (even though he's in grade two.)

Grade 3 Checklist for Math:

5s 10s 100s forward/backwards to 1000 (any start point)


3s, 4s, 25s to 1000 (starting on a multiple)



Represent numbers to 1000 (CPS) *Concrete- hands-on, Pictorial- drawing Symbolic- written number.---He got quite good at the "old" Roman Numerals. that perfectly completes this.


Compare quantities to 1000


Estimate to 1000 using *Referents (known quantity)


Meaning of Place value to 1000 (CPS)


Estimate ± problems (2 digit numbers)


± to 1000



Mental Math (Add left to right/Reference tens & doubles)


Multiplication to 5x5


Understands division & relate it to multiplication facts


Fractions < 1 (CPS) compare with like denominators-he compared unlike denominators in this, but I think that proves a higher level of fraction understanding.


Increasing & Decreasing Patterns: Describe, extend, compare, & create (Including number patterns)



Sort objects or numbers using more than one attribute


Solve 1 step ± equations with symbol (Ex 3 + x = 10)



Understanding time (Seconds to Min.) (Min. to Hrs.) (days/weeks in a month)


Measure cm & m /use referents (Ex. 1 cm=finger width)


Mass g & kg (selecting and justifying referents)



Perimeter of regular and irregular shapes


Edges, Faces, Vertices of 3D objects



Sort (regular & irregular polygons) Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Pentagons, Hexagons, Octagons


Organize 1st hand data using: (tally, line plot, chart, list)


Construct & interpret bar graphs-he made this to measure the temperature for a couple of weeks.




LANGUAGE ARTS Resources & Notes:

We used Barton Reading and Spelling System. It is my semi professional opinion (I'm a certified dyslexia tutor, and have gone through training for dyslexic consultation and screening as well as being trained in Lindamood Bell special education) that Daniel is moderately dyslexic. He has not been officially diagnosed, and I'm hoping that he will not need to since I'm hoping that it will not impede his testing and college abilities. I might ask for testing in the future.

He is at the same level as Hyrum, so I will repeat some of this for Hyrum

He is in the GRADE TWO level for language arts

Grade 2 Checklist for Language Arts:

Experience quality literature:

We've read the ENTIRE Little House on the Prairie Series,  The abridged versions of Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Tale of Two Cities, and Oliver Twist. The abridged version of Pride and Prejudice. Many historical short stories. Choose your own adventure books about actual events in different wars, Treehouse books, and others.

Vowel and consonant sounds & blends:


Recognize sight words (High frequency words):-- He's comfortable with these, and quite a few more:

Recognize word families, rhyming & repetition:


Apply phonics knowledge to read new words--this is an example of words he has to read that are real and nonsense. The nonsense words are presented to make sure he is relying on phonics.


Understand plot through story discussion



Understand and identify contractions & compound words--this was taken during an actual lesson with Daniel about contractions


Alphabetical order (Picture dictionary) --ummmmmm Susan Barton says this:


Record key ideas & words from reading experiences (Ex. reflective journal/idea catcher)


Write 3-5 complete sentences and edit--it's a grueling process, but it can happen


Contribute ideas & allow others to do the same---How could you not when you're the middle child of 5 very loud boys!?!

SOCIAL STUDIES Grade 2

Research skills--As a family, when we research things, we often go to youtube, google search, the library online and order in books, and go to "Story of the World." We are very often looking things up that happen around us. For instance today they wanted to know why we use the qwerty keyboard, and we took the time to figure it out. (Makes me wish we used the dvorak system instead!)

Use a simple map to locate communities in Canada
and
Use cardinal directions (N, E, S, W).



Determine distances using near/far--Well, he certainly knows that Fiji is close to here, while Cardston is FAR away!!

Really? that's all the requirements? THAT'S IT?!? -Okay, we did SO much more than this for social studies. We are in the process of doing our modern history year. We started out with the enlightenment, went through the reign of terror, went on through the industrial revolution and the invention boom. Continued with world wars and cold wars and civil rights.

We also MOVE HALFWAY ACROSS THE WORLD!!! We have had non stop cultural lessons in food, music, language, dress, rituals, and so much more!!!

SCIENCE Grade 2

Inquiry--Daniel's inquiry have been so amazing!!! just a few days ago he asked "Since bones make blood, what happens with animals that have no bones? Do they have blood and if so, how do they make it?

(Exploring: liquids, buoyancy & boats, hot & cold temperatures, magnetism, small crawling & flying Animals.)--well, just to toot my own horn, this is where my homeschooling thrives. We are in our biology year. We have created models of cells, models of ligaments, models of lungs, models of ears, models of bone structures, dissected hearts, brains, eyes, and owl pellets.

We have done literally hundreds of experiments to explore the systems of the body and animals.


Now for HYRUM!!!

HYRUM MCKAY birthday June 2007 (currently 9 years old) Grade 3

Math Program Resources & Notes:

I've been using Rightstart with Hyrum all year and have seen steady improvement. He took Grade 1 twice because of his learning differences and because he has a summer birthday anyway. However, he has kept on the math tradictory that he was on, and so he has done GRADE FOUR math this year.

Grade 4 Checklist for Math:

Understand & compare whole numbers to 10 000


Place value to 10 000


± to 10 000


Apply x0, x1, ÷1 to any number----uhhh those scribble loops are supposed to be lots of zeros lol!


Mental Math up to 9x9 (doubles, skip counting, halving, repeated addition…)


Multiplication (2 or 3 digit x 1 digit)


Division (2 digit ÷ 1 digit)


Compare and order Fractions < 1 (CPS)*Concrete- hands on, Pictorial- drawing Symbolic- written number


± Decimals (Tenths, hundredths) (CPS)


Relate decimals and fractions


Read & compare surveys, schedules, tables & graphs


Explain mathematical relationships in charts & diagrams (biggest and smallest)




Write & solve a problem as an equation with a symbol as the unknown 36 ÷ # = 6


Read & record time (digital, analog & 24 hr.)


Read & record dates in different formats


Area of regular & irregular shapes (cm2 , m 2 )



Right rectangular & right triangular prisms (describe & construct)



Congruency (CP) (same size & shape)


Symmetry


Understand & Construct bar & pictographs


Many-to-one correspondence (Ex. 1 stickman =100 people)


Compare likelihood of events (more, less, equally likely)



SEE?!? He did it! He's done a grade 4 level math!!! I'm so proud of him!


LANGUAGE ARTS Resources & Notes:

We used Barton Reading and Spelling System. If you look at the district's notes on Hyrum, I hope you will find Dr. Conrad Boehme's account of his testing Hyrum. You will find that he is severely dyslexic, and has ADHD, anxiety and processing delay. But also you will find that he's truly gifted as well. Hyrum has also met with his local physician (Dr. Lloyd Clark) who recognized ADHD, and we went to Psychiatrist Dr. Foluso Ademola who also diagnosed ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He also went to Lindamood Bell for diagnosing and was found to have major learning differences in the language arts area.

Soooo I'm not sure what to say. He IS PROGRESSING for sure. I will use the Grade 3 reading checklist and the Grade 2 writing checklist.

Grade 2-3 Checklist for Language Arts:

Grade 3 Reading-

Experience quality literature:

We've read the ENTIRE Little House on the Prairie Series,  The abridged versions of Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Tale of Two Cities, and Oliver Twist. The abridged version of Pride and Prejudice. Many historical short stories. Choose your own adventure books about actual events in different wars, Treehouse books, and others.

Read easy chapter books silently and aloud-this is the chapter book he is reading right now.


Apply phonics knowledge to read and understand


Summarize main idea, character, setting, & plot



Alphabetical order using 1st and 2nd letter Use dictionary---ummm Susan Barton:


Grade 2 Writing-

Record key ideas & words from reading experiences (Ex. reflective journal/idea catcher)-


Write 3-5 complete sentences and edit


Contribute ideas & allow others to do the same-again=he has five brothers.

Social Studies Grade 3

Research (Ex. Global Citizenship, Communities in the Research--As a family, when we research things, we often go to youtube, google search, the library online and order in books, and go to "Story of the World." We are very often looking things up that happen around us.

Locates places in the world Use cardinal (N, E, S, W) and intermediate (NE, NW, SE, SW) directions Apply the terms hemisphere, poles, & equator:

Oh bother, my movie for this is corrupted or something and didn't work, but I promise he can.

(Global citizenship & communities in the world)-We are in the process of doing our modern history year. We started out with the enlightenment, went through the reign of terror, went on through the industrial revolution and the invention boom. Continued with world wars and cold wars and civil rights.

We also MOVE HALFWAY ACROSS THE WORLD!!! We have had non stop cultural lessons in food, music, language, dress, rituals, and so much more!!!

Science Grade 3

Inquiry-Hyrum is also asking excellent questions. He is always asking to research things. Like the other day he really wanted to know why our knuckles pop (it's actual bubbles!)

Building (Ex. Animal Life Cycles, Rocks & Minerals, Build with Materials, Hearing & Sound, Testing Materials & Designs)--well, just to toot my own horn, this is where my homeschooling thrives. We are in our biology year. We have created models of cells, models of ligaments, models of lungs, models of ears, models of bone structures, dissected hearts, brains, eyes, and owl pellets.

We have done literally hundreds of experiments to explore the systems of the body and animals.



MAXWELL MCKAY birthday Jan. 2005 (currently 12 years old) Grade 6

Math Program Resources & Notes:

I've been using Rightstart Math all year. This is the last year of Rightstart for Maxwell since it's just an Elementary program. This was a special Geometry year. I'm not sure if I liked it. It went very advanced some days, and was just drafting shapes other days. It used a lot of real life examples, which I liked, but I felt like there were holes. I think Maxwell needs a lot of more time on least common denominators, Multiplying and dividing fractions and decimals, balancing equations, and order of operations. YET he was doing the fibonacci sequence, the pythagorean theorem, and even simple TRIGONOMETRY!!!

Math Grade 6

Understand place value (> one million) (< one thousandth.)


Solve problems using whole & decimal numbers


Factors & Multiples (prime and composite numbers) LCM (least common multiple) GCF (greatest common factor)


Improper & mixed fractions


Ratio (3:5, 3/5, 3 to 5) & Percent (% is a ratio out of 100) Express % as a fraction & decimal (34% = 34/100 = 0.34)





Integers (CPS) compare & order (Ex. -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3…)


x & ÷ decimals (1 digit whole # multiplier/divisor Ex. $8.20 ÷ 4)--look above

Order of operations (BEDMAS) no exponents-


Represent & find relationships & patterns using graphs & tables (Missing elements, errors, pattern rules) Solve problems using variables


Preservation of equality (balance equations) use + - x ÷ Ex. (5a= 10) divide both sides by 5 to solve for a


Measure, construct, label, & classify angles (acute, right, obtuse, straight, reflex)




Interior angles of triangles (=180º) quadrilaterals (=360º)


Develop & apply formula (perimeter, area, & volume)
perimeter:

area and volume:




Triangles (scalene, isosceles, equilateral, right, obtuse, acute)



Compare regular & irregular polygons (sides & angles)


Translation (slide) reflection (flip) rotation (CW or CCW)


Plot points in 1st quadrant (whole number ordered pairs)


Transformation of 2D shapes on Cartesian Plane


Interpret & label graphs discrete (points) & continuous (line)



Gather & graph data from (questionnaires, experiments, etc.)



Probability (theoretical vs. experimental data)-our study of the Pick's Theorem fits perfectly in this.


 LANGUAGE ARTS Resources & Notes:

We used Barton Reading and Spelling System. If you look at the district's notes on Maxwell, I hope you will find Dr. Conrad Boehme's account of his testing Maxwell. Maxwell is your classic case of dyslexia. With the common strengths and weaknesses. He has made HUGE strides this year, but if you don't know his struggles, you might not realize it. He is confidently reading large fiction books, and reading out loud to large groups seamlessly. His writing is still largely dictated, because when it's not, it does not show his intellectual level. I plan to really tackle this problem this summer and start to ween him off writing help.

Reading Grade 6

Experience quality literature from a variety of genres

He read BY HIMSELF (oh hallelujah chorus in the background while I write that) "All of a Kind," many "Magic Treehouse," entire series of "The Littles," a few "Canadian Flyer" books, "Babe," the entire "Chronicles of Narnia," and he is in the second book of the "Harry Potter" series!!! Actually, he read at least a dozen more books than what I've listed, but I've forgotten them.

Identify main idea and supporting details
Discuss writers intention and purpose
Distinguish between facts, inferences, & opinions

oh boy...is it getting late? Is this post long enough? Yes I do talk with Maxwell about all of this, but I don't have a record of it. He would tell me how he knew Aslan was Jesus and how the Witch was Satan and why. We talked about how Animal Farm (a book we read together) went along with communism and was written to warn against it. We talked about how Little House is full of facts because it's true to life.

Identify & discuss 1st and 3rd person narration-we have actually talked about 2nd person too. We were reading these "Choose your own ending" books as a family and it was written in 2nd person, so I took the time to teach all of them the differences in 1st 2nd and 3rd.

Imagery, theme, mood, & figurative language (metaphor, personification, alliteration, hyperbole, synecdoche)-nope. haven't done it. I'm sure he's gotten some of this by osmosis of life, but yeah....

Writing Grade 6-note- most of the typing was dictated

Organize ideas (outline, thought web, venn diagram, etc.)


Research a topic using a variety of sources

Cyclones

Cook is a cyclone that I was in. It doesn’t matter if you use the word “cyclone,” “hurricane,” or “typhoon,” it’s the same thing:  a bad storm. I was excited and scared at the same time. 

I was excited when it was over that we had extra coconuts that had blown out of the trees. I was scared because we kept on hearing booms on our roof. In the end, we were safe and no damage was done.

We were lucky, unlike other people on the island. A village near by was flooded up to their waists. A bridge totally washed out. Some people who work for us had their kitchen (which was an outside lean to) blown away.

Cyclone Pam passed over Vanuatu in 2015, killing 16 people. It was the second most severe tropical storm in the South Pacific ever. Over 3,300 people lost their homes. The winds got to 280 km an hour. I was glad that Cook was not that bad.

There are different classes of cyclones depending on the speed of their winds. The categories range from 1-5. Category one is the one to not be likely to do damage and have winds less than 125 km/h. While a category five is extremely dangerous with widespread destruction and winds more than 280 km/h.

Cyclones start over warm ocean water. It heats the air right above it and that hot air rises up and cold air comes to fill the gap. It keeps on going and going until it’s a low pressure zone that acts sort of like a vacuum. 

The rotation of the earth is what makes it circle. The air condenses in the centre and turns into clouds that rain. The circle rotation when it gets big causes an eye to appear. It is calm and cam even be sunny there. 

They start to slowdown when they hit cold water or earth. They die away in a big old rain storm.

When Cook hit, we were able to look at the storm tracker that the meteorologists provided, and we knew how bad the storm was and how close to us it was getting, and we even knew when it would move and where. It was quite the experience to be part of a cyclone.


Bibliography

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, (2017). About Tropical Cyclones. Retrieved from http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/about/

Brainpop, (1999-2017). Hurricanes. Retrieved from https://www.brainpop.com/science/weather/hurricanes/

National Ocean Service, (2016, October 10). What is the difference between a hurricane, a cyclone, and a typhoon? Retrieved from  http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/cyclone.html

Wikipedia (2017, April 12) Cyclone Pam. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Pam




Write multiple paragraphs (vary sentence types & openers)


Use punctuation (capitals, parenthesis, colons, ellipses, etc.)-well, above you can see some of that but below you can see how he's studying how words are made as well.



Choose form, venue, audience (publish edited work)-publish? um well, I hope you can get what you need for this question from what I've given already.

Create bibliography (use variety of reference material)-see cyclone story above

Word processing (spacing, graphics, headings, & fonts)---He's really good at photoshop. Does that count?-yeah, plan on working on this in summer.

Articulate own ideas (communicate with stories, reports, talks, posters, media presentation, news cast, etc.)-He was supposed to make a poster to advertise something fun for the Order of Good Cheer for the men of Samuel De Champlain to do.



Oral Presentations (gestures, pacing, projection, eye contact)--Maxwell did an oral presentation on reef fish of Vanuatu to about 20 people. He included varied facts of many different fish, and the presentation lasted about a half hour.



Write news article (headline, byline, etc.)

Time Travel Is Possible

By Maxwell McKay

I am a time traveler. I went into the future by one whole day. March 1, 2017 never happen for me. I got on a jet, and although only 11 hours had passed for me, when I landed, over 31 hours had passed on the earth below.

You may be wondering how I did this. I crossed the international date line.

The international date line splits the world’s days. The world is split up into 24 wedges. One wedge is one hour in time and is 15* degrees apart from each other. There are 24 wedges because the earth takes 24 hours to spin around once.

The middle of the 24 wedges runs right through England who made most of the early maps. But 12 wedges later (which is half of the wedges) is the international date line. This line runs through the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

On one side of the international date line is one day, while on the other side, it’s the next day. For example, in American Samoa, it could be 7:30 am on Monday, but in Samoa it’s 7:30 am on Tuesday. Those two counties are only a few miles apart, but they are split by the International date line.

For both American Samoa and Samoa, the sun is in the same spot. But it would be confusing for travellers to not know where to start or end a day. We needed to decide on  where on earth the hours would change, and where the day would start and end.


I flew from Los Angeles to Fiji which took 11 hours. I left on Feb 28th and arrived on March 2nd. Crossing the international Date line made me a time traveller!



SOCIAL STUDIES Grade 6

Research-as you can tell from his English, we are researching things that are pertinent to our life ALL THE TIME. As a family, when we research things, we often go to youtube, google search, the library online and order in books, and go to "Story of the World." We are very often looking things up that happen around us.

Mapping (physical characteristics on map)- he's certainly got cyclone meteorologist mapping down! And he stared at a map for HOURS while we were on planes. He studied the map of this island and found the estimated square kilometers. We are going to study geography extensively next year as part of my social studies cycle.

Historical Models of Democracy: Ancient Athens & Iroquois Confederacy, Citizens Participating in Decision Making---He had a short unit on the government of early Canada. Also We are in the process of doing our modern history year. We started out with the enlightenment, went through the reign of terror, went on through the industrial revolution and the invention boom. Continued with world wars and cold wars and civil rights.

We also MOVE HALFWAY ACROSS THE WORLD!!! We have had non stop cultural lessons in food, music, language, dress, rituals, and so much more!!!

Science Grade 3

Inquiry-Maxwell is always asking awesome questions about science. That is what sparked the Reef fish presentation. He wanted to know if Sword fish really stab things (they don't.)

Building Trees & Forests, Air & Aerodynamics, Evidence & Investigation, Flight & Sky Science--well, just to toot my own horn, this is where my homeschooling thrives. We are in our biology year. We have created models of cells, models of ligaments, models of lungs, models of ears, models of bone structures, dissected hearts, brains, eyes, and owl pellets.

We have done literally hundreds of experiments to explore the systems of the body and animals

OKAY!!!! so there you have it! My Checklist! I bet you're pretty happy I organized it all like that eh? Love you guys and all you do!!!