Saturday, February 4, 2012

Typical February week...

The older kids are reading the book "Red Badge of Courage".  You can download it free here on  We are studying the Civil War for the Spring and its a great book to start with.The Red Badge of Courage

I know I am procrastinating on a project of reorganization today but I promise this will only take a minute....or ten!  I am a distraction waiting to happen and then I wonder where my son gets it from? Hmmm!

I have learned through the week that my children do not know how to write.  A simple essay is too hard for them.  I say, make sure you type your cover sheet and they looked at me with a bewildered look.  I know I was writing simple essays in elementary school...I know I was!  I do have a good vocabulary to add to the amount of pages I could write as well!  Facebook and blogging doesn't count.  It would be unfair for me to talk about this subject while you are looking at my excessive usage of happens! I like them and I am not changing.  But in the real world (I am already there so I don't have to impress), the kids need to know how to write!  Was I thinking too high when I expected them to do an essay each week on a variety of topics...I mean, I have the schedule written out until May 4th!  We can't change this now!  I am thinking we need to take 2 weeks on our first topic.  For whatever reason they thought that typing 3 pages for the body of the essay was the same as handwriting three pages.  Should I let them think that and then go ahead and show them Microsoft Word?  And watch their expression crush to their stomachs as they see that will probably get them "maybe" 1 page.  I did show them how to make a thesis statement.  Jacob was up and down the stairs about 7 times before he got it right.  A thesis statement is not a sentence that regurgitates facts I could have looked up in the encyclopedia.  I drop them off at the library to get references and do some reading and they had no idea where an encyclopedia was located!  They sat on their phones looking stuff up on the internet.  And NO!!! Wikipedia is not counted as a reference.  I remember a college professor once told us that in order for the website to be with credible information it better not have any ads on it!  The essay is 5 pages long.  This includes a cover sheet, a thesis statement with at least 3 major points in the body of the essay, a conclusion and then a reference sheet.  Lots of learning ahead...

Jesse and Elizabeth have been reading a lot lately.  We are doing baby steps leading up to book reports.  I found a great reference on pinterest this afternoon and had to take a closer look.  I was only going to use this with Jesse but I think Elizabeth can handle the information with some help.  Sandwich Reading Comp
Print it and a few copies...its free!

I am hoping this sheet will work better than our standard form.  I bet I could trace these on colored construction paper to make it really look like a burger.  I have also seen the same types of forms but with ice cream cones and different scoop layers.  Get creative! It's worth it to see your child's lightbulb turn on!
We have printed and laminated several sheets for Valentine's day bingo.  The kids love it and even the older kids will play if candy is involved as prizes.  You can buy some hershey kisses for rewards and some pink/red M&Ms for bingo covers.  Play regular bingo and then play card blackout.

The Red Badge of CourageThese are very colorful and we have enjoyed it numerous times.  We enjoy Bingo...all kinds.  We did some math bingo one day this week with Jesse.  Adding the rows, columns and 4 corners.  You can do greater than, less than exercises too.  We have chapter questions that go along with the reading.  Vocabulary words and a study guide too.  I wonder if there is an audio book too? Hmmm...that would be good for the younger two kids.  I will have to check that out.  I think this sums up the type of week we have experienced.  Hoping to get lesson plans started tonight and tomorrow.  Superbowl is tomorrow and that means a day of family, cooking and football.