Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Am A Horrible Summer Program Teacher

First we brought a few items to my house, away from their classroom environment. The believe was that they would be here so much anyway to swim.  But the truth is that I seem to have so much to do lately.  During the usual school year K was recovering so much of the time, we switched from my home to their home, K's van was in need of some expensive repairs so I was rarely free to tend to my own home.
Did that matter to me?  NOPE!  But now the price is being paid as I have so much deep cleaning that should get done but find that I am a disorganized mess inside my own house.
K's van is repaired so I have lots more free time to tend to my own home matters. Since she is driving again we find that the girls are not here as much as we had anticipated and the pool was very very long to get stabilized that they have not been here much.
Then there is the moaning that is taking place as I introduce a lesson in math. G hates math and I am back at having to find the fun in it that she had discovered near the end of the school term.  Seems all she can recall is that she dislikes math. 
So why am I horrible?  Well, I am not fired up about any of it.  I wanna have fun now that so much of my house is getting back to order and the pool is open.  I do not want to hear the whining about getting a lesson done before swimming and the huge delay in getting to the pool because of it. 
I am normally not easily manipulated by a child but I feel this is more about me than them.

I hear in my ears that old song....girls just wanna have fun....and cannot seem to grow up right now.  So I am going to put on my big girl panties and let the holiday pass us when BAM!!!!  I will get into the groove again... I hope. 

What do you do when you get so side tracked that you need to get YOURSELF back on track.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First day of summer program

F was a typical four year old not a child that has completed the Kindergarten course work. She was fussy and pouted a lot. When I finally put the book away she cried out...but I do want to read, I do.....

Now some may turn around and say good. I said to her that she had her opportunity to do so and that class was now over for the day. The only class I am doing with her in the summer is phonics/reading.  She began to make firm demands of me to let her do the work. I reassured her that I was not angry and that her lack of participation did not effect me at all.  I did firmly let her know that I am the grandmother and teacher, and we do not take our directions from little girls. I reminded her that God tells us to honor our mothers and fathers. Being a grandmother that holds especially true. Again, more reassurance that we can try again in class on Wednesday.  I held firm and did not cave in.

I did some review w/ G but the room was a bit distracted. I hit her up right away with a test.  She has all 100% in math being fresh and new from lesson to lesson. Today she got an 81% and all due to careless attention. Her math itself was all correct but she carelessly marked the time on the clock, and lets face it---if you get the hour hand confused w/ the minute hand then the entire thing will be wrong.  She did two correctly but then was distracted and did not review what she had done.  Her skip counting was also all correct but she did not use the correct function in a word problem so of course the answer was also incorrect. It does not take long to see those points reduced.  We also began completion of spelling and went to the abeka list for her to play as well.  I am not sure it will teach much spelling but she liked the site. 

That will be all for now.  I am headed to bed, sleep has been my enemy.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gearing up for "summer school'

So the girls have had a break for a while and this week finished Vacation Bible School. It is time to begin the summer program I have set up. We are going to have set time on Mon, Wed, Fri. to do work in each girls weakest subject.  They have been participating in the summer program at the local library.

Speaking of the summer reading program: It is themed  "Midsummer's Knight Read" and now a days as they play I hear more and more castle and knight talk.  Today they HALTED me as I entered the deck.  I love imagination!!!!

They have enjoyed the VBS so much that I am pleading with K to let me enroll them in the one in my community as well.  It seems that they had begun to fuss at each other a bit during this break. I am sure it is because ultimately they are bored. Children need some structure time even if it is the unstructured home school.  They need their time to be occupied in positive ways or they find discontent as they have played with all those toys a million times before.

I will begin keeping up the blog again as the summer program begins. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Photo Friday (at least it will be Friday in one more hour here)

St. Louis Zoo momma nurses and cleans cub

Rivers Edge Elephant exhibit

She paced and paced until I called Kitty kittttttttty, then the photo op came

Weeks ago I posted the four eggs in the nest. Here they are again and since this photo was taken we saw them one more time.  They were so big the overflowed the nest and have since flown away.

This is G's favorite picture. She calls it the prayer.  She says that this animal is praying to join the giraffes in the next exhibit. It was near the end of the day and near her feeding time.

They now actively learn!!

This has been our first year of home school.  It use to be that we went to museum activities and the kiddos would bounce from exhibit to exhibit that is cool.  Sure they were a bit younger, but I recall doing the same thing as a child and my own children doing it too.

In one year time, each child has become and active learner.  We, the teachers, turn on our teaching mode I guess and they stop and each exhibit and want to read about it, want to interact with it. 

We went to the St. Louis Zoo yesterday. Our zoo is still free to attend but they do have some exhibits or activities that have a fee. This Spring I joined the zoo as a grandparent member. It permits many activity tickets and makes the $12 parking free six times during the year. By the time I use all the benefits it more than pays for itself in a year.

The St. Louis Zoo is known world wide for its exhibits and conservation activities. The last lesson we did in science class was about insects. They have a great insectarium and butterfly house. The girls seems to enjoy it so much more after learning a little about insects. We also attended a sea lion show and now G is thrilled with them. I expect her to want to learn more about them.

The zoo is upgrading the outdoor exhibit for the sea lions and we are excited to see its final opening. They are also expanding the elephant area but the trees must first mature in the area or the elephants will pull them out of the ground. The St. Louis Zoo is built on the site of the 1904 Worlds Fair and several buildings are still original to that. There is also a display about the beginning of this zoo and the fair. The girls seemed to enjoy that as well.

I hope soon the do something different with their bear area as it is very, very old and not much like their real habitat at all. This zoo has really been busy making things more habitat like for the animals.

If you ever get the opportunity to check out the St. Louis sights be sure to add this one your list. It opens at 8 a.m. and if you get there in the first hour of opening you can go to the stingray cove to pet the stingrays for free, after that there is a fee. Unless you plan to do the zoo from 8-5 you will need to do it in two days. We tend to get there about 10am and leave before the traffic is heavy at 3:30pm and we cannot do the entire zoo in that time.

Should you ever plan a trip to St. Louis let me know, I have lived just across the river all my life. I recall the building of the Arch.  BTW did you know that there is a museum under the Arch all about the Westward Expansion.  So many things local to us. Now I am a bit further out so it takes me about 40 minutes to get there. Next to the Arch is a historic Cathedral with tours as well and the entire St. Louis riverfront is an architecture dream.

BACK to my topic.  Home school has changed us. We are becoming more natural teachers and they have become active learners.
Today begins the summer reading program at the library. Funny how summer vacation is not all about play but they still feel like it is.

Ta Ta for now.