Fall is Here

We spent the week enjoying fall, beginning to “row” How To Make an Apple Pie and See The World, and socializing!

Here’s what we did and what we learned, including a few more lessons for mom.

What We Did…

We discovered the original unschooler:  Pippi Longstocking. Specifically, Firefly checked out 3 Pippi movies from the library.  Seemed like a lot of screen time for the week, but, hey, we got rid of our cable t.v. so I figured it was fine.  The movies are from the 1970’s in Swedish dubbed over in English and they are hilarious and entertaining.  Pippi in the South Seas is totally about pirates, so what boy wouldn’t love that?

Do you remember that Pippi does not go to school? I didn’t. In fact, I had forgotten a lot about Pippi from when I read the books oh so many years ago.  Lots of fun.

We took a walk in the rain through the woods and noticed how the leaves were changing and how many acorns had fallen to the ground. We also identified poison ivy that had changed into reddish-orange foliage for fall (very important if you go into the woods as frequently as we do).

Orange slice "nucleus", grape "chloroplasts" of our Jello plant cell.

We made models of cells using Jello for our R.E.A.L. Science lesson. We made an animal cell (round) and a plant cell (square).

We discovered www.BrainPopJr.com. We did a free trial this week. Firefly seemed to enjoy it.  I certainly enjoyed it. It has lots of great activities for kids and wonderful suggestions for parents/educators on a huge variety of subjects.  We tried the “Fall” and “Fossils” segments.  Currently, I am debating on whether or not to proceed with purchasing the program ($125 for one year) as Firefly often gets gung ho about a computer program or website but his interest quickly wanes.  If you’ve used this program, tell me about how your child feels about it and how would you describe their learning style.  This will help me decide if it is money well spent for Firefly.

Making the flags of Sri Lanka (on tray), Jamaica and the U.S. for our FIAR book.

We began rowing How To Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman.

We are going to take two weeks to row this book because (a) We have tons of apple activities we can do, and (b) we were busy with a field trip and some much needed play dates this week.

I’ll put all of our “Apple Pie” activities in next week’s blog post when we finish rowing.

What Mom Learned This Week

If I do five minutes per day of teaching reading and Firefly sits upside down in the rocking chair while I write consonant blends, words and silly words on the white board, he will mostly focus and not complain.  This seems to be a much better fit for him than doing a 15 or 20 minute lesson two or three times per week (or what would turn into a 45 minute lesson because he was complaining and fussing about it).   I’ve tried using various things such as using magnetic tiles on a cookie sheet while laying on the couch, but this new 5-minute method seems much more effective.  We will stick with 5 minutes for a while, then increase the time to 6 minutes in another week or two, then 7 minutes and so on. And we learned that he can read upside down.  Who knew?

Quick and to the point. This is what does it for Firefly.  If he gets a smidge bored, I’ve lost him.  He either physically leaves, mentally leaves, changes the subject or all three!  This is probably why the above reading lesson approach is working.  It also made me relax about our very scripted math program.

Do you think Mom is learning to be   f l e x i b l e and pay attention to Firefly’s cues?  You bet your math manipulatives I am.

We also had two playdates catching up with old friends as well as a field trip with a group of other homeschoolers.

Next week: Apples, apples and more apples. We’ll be getting some apples from the orchard, making pie, counting apples, learning fractions (you have to cut the pie before you eat it, why not make that a fractions lesson?) and doing apple crafts.

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3 Responses to Fall is Here

  1. Don’t you love it when you find something that works? I always wonder why we didn’t try ‘that’ sooner… The old adage about ‘learning something new every day’ doesn’t just apply to kids, it would seem 🙂 I love reading about your methods! Sounds like the year is going along swimmingly – not without some hiccups, but overall, it looks a like a rousing success.
    ~h

  2. Oh how I wish our leaves turned down here in the swamp. *sigh* It’s kind of difficult to read Fall books and explain that leaves change colors in the Fall when they DON’T REALLY DO THAT HERE. Humph.

    We’ll be joining you in the apple fest next week. I’m actually planning it all out right now….lots of apple goodness. We may not have pretty leaves but the store does sell apples. Ahem.

  3. JavaMom says:

    I loved Pippi Longstocking as a girl!

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