Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy House Project

Each week we've been making an effort to have semi fun-schooling days.  We live in Pennsylvania so theres strict regulation on our homeschooling process. We have paperwork that needs to be pushed and requirements and deadlines to keep in mind. To make the week somewhat less boring we've started throwing in wild card days. We have 4 days a week that we do Language Arts- Reading and 10-14 worksheets, Math- 3 to 4 lessons or around 6 worksheets, Wild Card Lessons- Science, Health, History, art, music. (reading and art projects) In addition to the "work days" we have just naturally grown into the process of starting our day with educational shows and documentaries, theres additional reading for fun and computer time. As we ease into this process I'm finding more and more resources that are useful for us. Homeschooling has become an around the clock lifestyle that just happens to involve 4 days a week of a stricter schedule that includes paperwork. I've mentioned that I feel children should ALWAYS be learning about values and morals, every moment of every day a child's character is being developed, but in a big way I'm noticing that homeschooling has transformed learning into an all the time experience. When Riley was in Public school he wanted nothing to do with the things he was "learning". He was overwhelmed and being forced to try and keep pace with their strict routines. The kids were not even allowed to go to the bathroom. (I've heard so many stories of children pee-ing their pants because they were either too afraid to ask to go, or simply told no.) In the past week my son has actually asked for MORE reading. Being able to read things he finds interesting that are at his level has made every bit of change. Although we spent almost two weeks reading "Lilly can read" once he finally pressed on he was ready and able for the next lesson. He's no longer the weird kid who can't hear or talk right. His learning needs are being addressed and as a result I truly feel he's learning better than ever.

Well Last weeks Wild Card day was Health and Safety. We read seven books relating to emotions, safety and honorable characteristics. (stop, drop and roll. lets talk about keeping safe. peacefulness, respect, self-discipline. tolerance. little squarehead) We also went through the bathroom and kitchen and discussed grooming, bathroom rules and kitchen safety. For our project of the day we made our "happy houses" that included the key words we learned and developed a "happy place". What makes you happy? Who makes you Happy? It was another lesson on cause and effect, how do our actions relate to other peoples feelings. How can being compassionate make you a better or worse person? We discussed tolerance and differences in people. Why do people act negatively towards those who are different from them? Why do people feel they all have to be the same as everyone else? Is it ok to not like someone? 

The final "project for the day" was baking cookies. Cooking is chemistry too! It was a math lesson, safety lesson and a snack. We discussed wet and dry measure, irreversible change and the general rules of cooking and kitchen safety. Although I admit a good portion of the safety-day was explaining to Riley why its SO IMPORTANT to clean up after yourself and wash your hands and brush your teeth he seemed to not be annoyed by it and it worked. 

Happy House Project
Using construction paper we formed a front of the house that had windows with our happy words. On the reverse side we made lists of people and things that make us happy. You can make any sort of model, 3D or even just draw a picture.

Health (brush your teeth, wash your hands, eat well)
compassion (consider how your actions make others feel, THE GOLDEN RULE)
self-discipline (self-control, how does learning improve your character)
respect (self-respect, respecting others and animals)

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