Reading and Writing

At the library

Book Reports

Book Reports

Working on a car trip! 
This month is going by quickly!


Geometry and Marshmallows

I got this idea from a math workshop we attended- Intent on 'buying myself some peace and quiet' I went to the dollar store and for two dollars picked up a bag of marshmallows (in this case chocolate?!) and a box of toothpicks-

The idea is to try and recreate as many two and three dimensional shapes as possible.
Then count how many sides the shape has and how many angles.
Constructing three dimensional shapes uses math manipulative's to give a clear sense of the faces, vertices's and edges of a shape. 

Try and make (2 Dimensional) 

Try and make (3 Dimensional) 
Rectangular Prism
Triangular Prism
Square Pyramid

By the end it was a free for all creative project that involved making intergalactic space ships.
One word of advice is to open the package of marshmallows prior to using them to give them the opportunity to dry out and harden a bit- 


Math Workshop

We went to a Math Workshop this week.  Again the instructor was able to cater to several age groups while explaining math number concepts to the kids.

The use of manipulative and games is a great way to make the children enjoy learning math concept

The teacher suggested several books which we subsequently checked out of our local library- 
They are all by the same author David Schwartz and the monkeys and I find them well written and informative. 



Monkey One went as a Zombie Soldier, Monkey Two went as a Harlem Globetrotter
I found a AMAZING vintage Harlem Globetrotter shirt at my local second hand shop for 4 bucks- SCORE!

My mom made these beautiful candy bags for the boys- She sewed the bags then make custom appliqué 

We got together with two other families for a Halloween Chili Pot luck- I made corn bread
and our host had these delicious cookies for the adults. 
A post trick or treat pose

One of the highlights of my night was the kids auctioning and trading their candy afterwards.

And the next day the monkeys organized their candy by type-
We then counted and graphed them- everything is a lesson!

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween! 


Happy Halloween!

Pumpkins- check

Snack with (ahem, store bought) Halloween cookies

Add two excited monkeys
Scoop out goop

carve it out

drawn on it (?!)

make assemble line to de-goop seeds

sort clean seeds

Place on tray in sun and wait for them to dry

Hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween


Home Education Workshops

I have yet to officially join any 'homeschooling groups' I'm not there yet and the whole religious aspect scares me off.  I do however believe in workshops that are offered through a distance learning campus in our town.  Last week we went to a two hour class called "Writers Block-Not" which gave us lots of creative ideas on how to continue to practice our writing.  It was hands on, engaged both me and the monkeys and we even made some friends.  


Bill Nye

Bill Nye is my monkeys primary science teacher.  He is nice, has a great sense of humor (if you are under ten) and is knowledgeable about all science related subjects.  He loves doing experiments and has an easy going natural manner when explaining why things work the way they do.
He has a huge series of videos most of which are available at your local library.
The Science Guy videos are great for five and up- especially if your monkeys are into science. 
Stuff Happens are great videos for older kids and that the whole family can enjoy. 


Culinary Art- Helper Monkeys

One of the adjustments of home education is that the time I used to have to get things done is now occupied with the monkeys being around. From the beginning I have used this opportunity to make them step up to the plate and help out.  
Cooking is something that we always enjoyed doing together.  They love to look up recipes or be given jobs- certain tasks are always deferred to them.  Like peeling carrots or potatoes, chopping mushrooms, measuring liquids,  dicing, stirring etc. 
It is a great way to combine math with culinary art and get meals made. 
Peeling carrots

Making Oatmeal Cookies

Eating Oatmeal Cookies

spraying olive oil onto the Kale Chips

Kale Chips

cracking eggs

dicing the bread cubs for meat balls


Computer Based Curriculum

The lighter is a necessity as we love to burn incense while we work

We use a computer based program.  Although I am a believer of un-schooling in the sense that children learn in everyday events and through personal interests- because my boys were in an academic private school prior to this educational journey- I felt it was important to try and encourage maintaining a competitive 'level' of learning.  I am not big on levels but they have been programed to try and 'get a score' and 'pass a level'.  I also have little interest in trying to figure out what they need to know in the mathematics department.


Calendar, Countdown, Chain Link and Mathematics

A chain link count down is a classic tool to help kids anticipate exciting events.  It can be tailored to many age groups from pre-school and up.  Today I worked on this activity with my eight year old.  Because it is the beginning of the month we did a mini study of the calendar.  We talked about the holidays in the month- Halloween, Yom Kippor- How many days are in this month, other months and then I asked leading questions to focus on a specific date- October 15th- 
The Jewish equivalent of Christmas for the monkeys- 
The day that Meme and Zadie (grandma and grandpa) come to visit us from Florida

What we used:
I opted for a tape measure because he likes using them
We figured out we needed 12 links on our chain

We chose colors- in this case primary colors-
We calculated how many strips of paper we should divide each piece into
Measured them (just for fun and practice) 

Cut them slowly and carefully

Decided on a pattern- and started glueing them and holding them for a count of 30 seconds
Counting forward, counting backwards, counting by twos to…60, counting by fives, etc.

And now we have a visual count down chain