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Snoopy
04-12-2010, 08:14 PM
This is going to be a gorgeous week in Central Florida... mid to high 70s every day, not much humidity...yet.

Noah and I didn't want to go back to school today. We just had our Spring Break and, while I was sick for half of it, it was nice not to have to do math or anything else than just meet our friends, read some books, and lounge around! It was even harder to go back knowing that we have a lot of events to attend this week (due to my other kids extracurricular activities) and that we might not get to enjoy the beautiful temps as much as we would like.

So we spent the morning doing school: math, getting started on cursive, discussing and drafting a blog post about his trip to the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit and I started plotting our escape. Around lunchtime, I announced that we were going to pick up lunch from Subway, then go to the local waterfront park to eat lunch and finish our schoolwork.

We did just that and were able to read our history lesson, discuss it and also discuss descriptive writing methods before the wind got to be too much and we had to retreat to the car. We then played an hour of language arts games while waiting for my daughter to get out of school. We had so much fun and got much needed fresh air.

I'm planning on taking school outdoors as much as I can this coming week!:D

hjdong
04-12-2010, 08:49 PM
I'm glad you had a good first day back. The best thing I can say about ours - it's over :p .It even rained, so rare here (so actually not a bad thing, but kind of went with my mood).

Tomorrow is another day.

JinxieFox
04-12-2010, 08:55 PM
This is something I always want to do... get outdoors with our school work and do it at a picnic table or under a tree. But my son gets so distracted. Of course he wants to run and play! There are not many outdoor areas here that are not playgrounds, so I am curious: do you put any limitations on them when you take school outside? "Finish this, and then you can play" sort of limitations/bargains/deals?

I think there is one outdoor area by the indoor pool that isn't in direct sight of a playground, but close to one. Lots of trees. I think we might be able to give outdoor-schooling a try there...

Snoopy
04-12-2010, 09:36 PM
Well, we've done school at a playground only once and that was because we were waiting for my car that was at the mechanic's just around the corner and there were no other kids around. We have done some school at the zoo in the past and that worked well. Usually Noah knows that when we're doing school, we're doing SCHOOL, not goofing around. I'm pretty strict with that. For me, work comes before play and all my kids know that so I think that sets the tone for our outings. Also Noah knows that he is expected to do school work until lunchtime (apart from a 15-30 min break in the middle of the morning) and then he has free play time for most of the afternoon. So in his own mind, if it's before lunch, he knows not to ask if he can play. Now, if his friends came along, I think I would have more trouble keeping him focused, which is why I don't think that a co-op at a playground or a park would be very productive, but who knows? I'm always surprised.

Today, while I was reading his history lesson to him (about the Reformation and Counter Reformation!), he was moving around on the bench, sliding off it, changing positions every 2 seconds, commenting on the wind and the animals at times, but it wasn't annoying because I know he was paying attention to the lesson (he loves history) and when I asked questions to make sure he had understood, his answers were perfectly on the mark. So even though he looked distracted, he was listening. I don't think I would want to explain a mathematical concept at the park though, but other lessons like science and history lend themselves pretty well to an outside setting.

I might set up a table out in our backyard tomorrow morning and try to do our regular morning work outdoors to see how that works. Soon it'll be too hot to do that so we might as well enjoy it while we can.

Snoopy
04-12-2010, 09:39 PM
I'm glad you had a good first day back. The best thing I can say about ours - it's over :p .It even rained, so rare here (so actually not a bad thing, but kind of went with my mood).

Tomorrow is another day. I'm sorry you had a bad day, hjdong. I really don't like when it rains here, even if we do need it. The gray weather puts me in a sleepy "I don't want to do anything" and also a cranky mood. This is why I know I could never survive in the Pacific Northwest, no matter how beautiful it is up there! I hope tomorrow is a better day with lots of sunshine.

Museling
04-13-2010, 09:50 AM
The weather's been gorgeous and balmy here. We have a very beautiful botanical gardens in fort worth and I know my favorite area -the wysteria lane (a long path with wysteria growing over the covering of the path) is in full bloom right now. And I'm stuck at home and Logan's stuck at school. -BOO! :( I know I could go up there, and I might, but I do have things to do around the house so I'll just go outside and stare at my geraniums and see if that perks me up. Logan had a bad day "not saying nice things, not following directions" yesterday and it seems like we're getting back into the animosity with the teacher -just grumpy because of that.

7 weeks and 3 days left......7 weeks and 3 days left..... Summer? Please be mild so we can enjoy you. :D

camaro
04-13-2010, 10:22 AM
I'd love to be able to do school outside but we're now into our April weather CrapFest. A few days ago we had a nasty windstorm (winds gusting over 60mph) and since then it's just been normal windy and cold...until today when we expect half an inch of rain and the same again tonight (weather man says "Rain, at times heavy). We are in desperate need of rain but it kinda sucks to be stuck inside. And to think just a week ago I was working in a tshirt. But summer's coming...and I'll be complaining it's too hot. :)

I'm thinking today might be a good day to make bread. The boys would love to help. I'll just have to make sure the pressure washer is ready to clean up the kitchen after. )

hjdong
04-13-2010, 10:46 AM
We do like to work outside when the weather's nice, but we have a backyard. I don't think it would work well at a park. Sometimes we go to a Starbucks too. I find that an occasional change in environment perks us both up. In fact, maybe that's called for today . . . I think I hear a trip to the library and hanging out at Starbucks for a while calling.

Snoopy
04-13-2010, 12:12 PM
The weather's been gorgeous and balmy here. We have a very beautiful botanical gardens in fort worth and I know my favorite area -the wysteria lane (a long path with wysteria growing over the covering of the path) is in full bloom right now. And I'm stuck at home and Logan's stuck at school. -BOO! :( I know I could go up there, and I might, but I do have things to do around the house so I'll just go outside and stare at my geraniums and see if that perks me up. Logan had a bad day "not saying nice things, not following directions" yesterday and it seems like we're getting back into the animosity with the teacher -just grumpy because of that.

7 weeks and 3 days left......7 weeks and 3 days left..... Summer? Please be mild so we can enjoy you. :D

Tell us again... why are you letting him finish the school year? I mean your plans are all lined up and you have all your curriculum materials and he's not having a good time and you can't wait to get started. You probably explained the rationale behind waiting but I can't remember what it was. Sorry :)

Snoopy
04-13-2010, 12:13 PM
Hmmm, bread, yum! Send us a piece, will ya? lol.

Snoopy
04-13-2010, 12:16 PM
We do like to work outside when the weather's nice, but we have a backyard. I don't think it would work well at a park. Sometimes we go to a Starbucks too. I find that an occasional change in environment perks us both up. In fact, maybe that's called for today . . . I think I hear a trip to the library and hanging out at Starbucks for a while calling.

I got the table out of the shed this morning and we spent our morning doing school in the backyard. Noah loved it! It was hard seeing the laptop screen for our Brainpop break but everything else went swimmingly.

Oh, and I got the "101 Places to See Before You're 12" book (that someone here had recommended) from the library last night so we perused that this morning. I'm going to buy our own copy so we can start taking notes on what we've already seen and start researching places around here that we can visit over the next few months. We're excited about it!

Jessica
04-13-2010, 04:39 PM
We did school outside today and it's only about 54*F, which seemed warm to us here in NY. LOL I can't wait for 70 degree days! We started with math and then I let them go play while I weeded the garden and pulled and transplanted strawberry runners. They were curious about what I was doing, so I taught them how to gently pull the strawberry plants so they don't get damaged. Then we made a new strawberry bed, planted 9 plants, and ringed the new bed with rocks. I had to explain the differences in rocks to two curious minds, a little preview of things to come during earth science next year. I also showed them how to properly pull a dandelion. They discovered a maple seed that had sprouted, so they moved it to a better area and are going to watch it grow. They also helped me move a honeysuckle bush that sprang up from who knows where. The watched centipedes, potato bugs, worms, a large black beetle, a spider, and a snail. The asked me about the kinds of birds we heard and sometimes saw (robin, chickadee, phoebe, crow, mourning dove, and woodpecker.) Add in plenty of physical activity pushing each other around in their little fire truck, swinging, running, and sliding. Four-and-a-half hours of the best kind of school there is. :D

We're not unschoolers, but days like today make me realize how much a child learns without formal lessons. Enjoy the nice weather while you can! Get back to the formal stuff when your Florida weather is too hot and humid to stand being outside!

hjdong
04-13-2010, 06:13 PM
O.k., going to Starbucks was just what we needed. Of course, it was too cold for DS inside.:confused: So, we had to go outside, where it was freezing aka 65, so we ended up in the car, reading, aloud and silently. It was actually quite pleasant if odd.

Snoopy
04-13-2010, 06:25 PM
Hey Jessica, you are brave to go out when it's 54! Here, when it was 54 on our Park Days this winter, we'd call each other to decide whether it was too COLD or not to take the kids to the park. Well, the kids didn't care, but us moms sure did, lol. And here you are gardening and enjoying the 50s. You'll be laughing at me in a couple of months when you're outside and we're stuck inside because it's close to 100 degrees and 100% humidity here, though.

Your kids learned a ton today! I started a garden too but for now we're just observing the plants growing. We're actually amazed that they're growing at all and we're hoping to get at least 1 meal out of what we planted.

This past weekend I was relaxing on my back porch, reading a book, and this very long black racer snake just strolled casually by my chair on its way to the bushes alongside the house. It startled me so badly! It was odd because usually they stay away if we're outside, but that one must have thought he was a pet or something... I know they're good for us but I still got goosebumps as I watched him slither away.... Noah was nervous about going out in the yard because of that today but we didn't see it at all and soon enough he forgot about it.

We're looking forward to doing school outside again tomorrow morning :)

Snoopy
04-13-2010, 06:28 PM
O.k., going to Starbucks was just what we needed. Of course, it was too cold for DS inside.:confused: So, we had to go outside, where it was freezing aka 65, so we ended up in the car, reading, aloud and silently. It was actually quite pleasant if odd. Did you let him sit upfront while you were reading? Noah loves that. Actually he fessed up yesterday that his dad lets him sit up front when they take my car to go somewhere (I have an SUV, dad has a small compact car) so I let him sit upfront today as we were driving to get my daughter at school and he was sitting there like a king and chatting away... just for the chatting, I was thinking that I liked it better when he sits in the back and gets lost in his thoughts or in a book... constant chattering while I drive makes me nut!

Museling
04-13-2010, 08:52 PM
Tell us again... why are you letting him finish the school year? I mean your plans are all lined up and you have all your curriculum materials and he's not having a good time and you can't wait to get started. You probably explained the rationale behind waiting but I can't remember what it was. Sorry :)

At this point: Because the hubby wants him to. If it was up to me, he wouldn't go tomorrow. He did have a good day, however Mrs H (the ding-bat) told me that he did his reading test (WHY IS A KINDERGARTNER DOING A READING TEST?!) and he scored and "E". I gave her my best dumb blank stare -"Um, what's an E?" her reply, "Well, they want them to be reading at a D but he scored a C when we began the year, now he's at an E." me: "Is that good?" her: "Oh yeah, and he's getting in E in comprehension too."


WHAT THE FRAK IS AN E?!?!?! (I hope Battlestar Galactica cursing is okay on here!)


ETA: I will be blogging that convo tomorrow!

reversemigration
04-13-2010, 10:24 PM
Oh, and I got the "101 Places to See Before You're 12" book (that someone here had recommended) from the library last night so we perused that this morning.

I just reserved that one from the library! Hopefully it'll cheer up the young'un, who came home complaining that all his friends/fellow travellers went to various places in the Carribean for spring break, and all we did was visit the grandparents. However, he did admit that there's little better than being in a creek up to your knees in mud while chasing a salamander.


At this point: Because the hubby wants him to. If it was up to me, he wouldn't go tomorrow. He did have a good day, however Mrs H (the ding-bat) told me that he did his reading test (WHY IS A KINDERGARTNER DOING A READING TEST?!) and he scored and "E". I gave her my best dumb blank stare -"Um, what's an E?" her reply, "Well, they want them to be reading at a D but he scored a C when we began the year, now he's at an E." me: "Is that good?" her: "Oh yeah, and he's getting in E in comprehension too."


WHAT THE FRAK IS AN E?!?!?! (I hope Battlestar Galactica cursing is okay on here!)

*snort, laughs, nearly spills my drink*

You needed to arch an eyebrow and calmly reply, "I expected him to be at least at the Q level by now."

Snoopy
04-13-2010, 10:30 PM
Denise, I think she's referring to the Leveled Readers levels... They go from AA (lowest, preK) to Z (5th grade) "E" is one of the reading levels for 1st grade, typically. Reading A-Z.com (while a subscription-based site), has lots of good info on this. Here is the link to their section on Level E: http://www.readinga-z.com/book/guided-reading.php?level=e&context=guided-reading They show the correlation with DRA, grade levels, etc.

HTH!

Snoopy
04-13-2010, 11:02 PM
I just reserved that one from the library! Hopefully it'll cheer up the young'un, who came home complaining that all his friends/fellow travellers went to various places in the Carribean for spring break, and all we did was visit the grandparents.

Warning, Ben, one of the 101 places is "A Faraway Island" so you might still be on the hook for that Carribean cruise :)

My other 2 favorites (not really) were:
"A place of workship other than yours". Since I'm atheist and there are 3 churches on my street alone, I guess going to such a place other than mine is going to be exceedingly easy
and "A school that's different from yours" - hmm, I might ask one of my homeschooling friends to take him for the day in "their" homeschool.

It's actually interesting that we've already been to a lot of the 101 types of places. I created a form for each "place" today and in the next few days we will reminisce about our vacations and field trips and see about logging them under the appropriate categories. One that seems like it'll be easy for you apparently is "An archaeological dig". I need to find one of those around here, somewhere... I made a mock-up archaeological dig for Noah last year when we started talking about History and we were discussing what archeologists do, but I don't think that will count :)

Museling
04-14-2010, 02:17 AM
*snort, laughs, nearly spills my drink*

You needed to arch an eyebrow and calmly reply, "I expected him to be at least at the Q level by now."


Lol! If only I could learn how to arch my eyebrow. :) I wish I had been that quick with my wit!

Museling
04-14-2010, 02:20 AM
Denise, I think she's referring to the Leveled Readers levels... They go from AA (lowest, preK) to Z (5th grade) "E" is one of the reading levels for 1st grade, typically. Reading A-Z.com (while a subscription-based site), has lots of good info on this. Here is the link to their section on Level E: http://www.readinga-z.com/book/guided-reading.php?level=e&context=guided-reading They show the correlation with DRA, grade levels, etc.

HTH!

Thank you for explaining that...I'm just frustrated because that whole conversation personifies my experience with her. There have been so many instances where she really is speaking another language and, admittedly, we both look at each other like we've lost our marbles. But thank you for sharing that with me -it's good to know my little reader is doing well! :D

reversemigration
04-14-2010, 11:20 AM
Warning, Ben, one of the 101 places is "A Faraway Island" so you might still be on the hook for that Carribean cruise :)

It's actually interesting that we've already been to a lot of the 101 types of places. I created a form for each "place" today and in the next few days we will reminisce about our vacations and field trips and see about logging them under the appropriate categories. One that seems like it'll be easy for you apparently is "An archaeological dig". I need to find one of those around here, somewhere... I made a mock-up archaeological dig for Noah last year when we started talking about History and we were discussing what archeologists do, but I don't think that will count :)

Mock digs, or "sandbox archaeology" are great fun! The National Park Service often does this sort of thing during summer kids programs...a friend of mine ran one out in Colorado. Florida is a great place for archaeological resources...lots of neat prehistory (shell mounds!), Spanish missions and settlements (Saint Augustine!), and many other opportunities. If you're interested, I'll see if I can pull up some of the resources available. For a history/archaeology resource, Dig magazine is pretty neat. It's done by the Cricket magazine group, and your library may carry it (ours does, but we have our own subscription.) My son really enjoys it.

I worry that if Max sees "a faraway island," he'd go even further than the Carribean and say something like, "Crete!" D'oh!

Snoopy
04-14-2010, 11:35 AM
Mock digs, or "sandbox archaeology" are great fun! The National Park Service often does this sort of thing during summer kids programs...a friend of mine ran one out in Colorado. Florida is a great place for archaeological resources...lots of neat prehistory (shell mounds!), Spanish missions and settlements (Saint Augustine!), and many other opportunities. If you're interested, I'll see if I can pull up some of the resources available. For a history/archaeology resource, Dig magazine is pretty neat. It's done by the Cricket magazine group, and your library may carry it (ours does, but we have our own subscription.) My son really enjoys it.

I worry that if Max sees "a faraway island," he'd go even further than the Carribean and say something like, "Crete!" D'oh!


I'd love to hear about any archaeological dig suggestions you may have regarding Florida, TIA! I ordered a DIG subscription last week (someone had mentioned it to me here) and I can't wait until we get the first issue. I've always wanted to be an archaeologist ,myself...

Also, if I were you, I would celebrate that Max even knows that Crete is a remote island, lol I should ask Noah what island he can think about and see what he comes up with...

Noah just sighted a bald eagle flying above our house! I saw it too but it was too quick for me to take a picture! We would have totally missed it if we had been schooling indoors. We are loving being outside!

reversemigration
04-14-2010, 02:11 PM
I'd love to hear about any archaeological dig suggestions you may have regarding Florida, TIA! I ordered a DIG subscription last week (someone had mentioned it to me here) and I can't wait until we get the first issue. I've always wanted to be an archaeologist ,myself...

It looks like you just missed Florida Archaeology Month (http://www.flheritage.com/archaeology/month/about.cfm) but I'm guessing there are still a number of things going on. Summer is prime dig time, so there ought to be plenty of opportunities at that point. Some resources to use:

The Society for American Archaeology has a general list of things that are good for slightly older kids, and are conducted in various places around the U.S.:

http://www.saa.org/publicftp/PUBLIC/resources/TeacherTrainingFieldworkOpportunities.html

The Florida Anthropological Society has a number of subchapters...whichever one is closest to you would be a good one to contact to find out if there are opportunities for the public!

http://www.fasweb.org/

The National Park Service has online info for kids; I think they may also link to opportunities:

http://www.nps.gov/archeology/public/kids/index.htm

Dig has a section on their website for kids in various states...here's Florida:

http://www.digonsite.com/guide/florida.html

Florida's Bureau for Archaeological Research also has some info that might be useful:

http://www.flheritage.com/archaeology/

I'm not sure which region you're in, but the Florida Public Archaeology Network, Northwest Regional Center has a newsletter which looks as if they help coordinate youth involvement:

http://www.flpublicarchaeology.org/nwrc/news/FPAN_Winter_Newsletter%5B1%5D.pdf

I hope that these might be useful!

Snoopy
04-14-2010, 03:06 PM
That's awesome, Ben, thanks so much! I'll definitely be checking those resources :)