June 07, 2011

“Summer School”

We don’t actually “do school” in the summer.  Honestly, though, do you ever stop learning?  My cousin (Hi, Cally!) graduated with her teaching degree last month; is her head filled with all the knowledge she’ll ever need?  Of course not.
We all learn continuously throughout our lives.  So when my kids have teachable moments, I grab that opportunity and utilize it.  Even if it’s summer time.  (And even if they don’t actually realize that they’re learning.) 
Also—I document the undercover lesson to add to next year’s portfolios.  *grin*
So, thanks to the public library’s summer reading program, they spent some time planning and constructing castles.  (This year’s theme is “A Midsummer Knight’s Read,” and they have many Middle Ages themed activities planned.  Coincidentally, guess what my little boys are studying in history this fall?  Sweet!)
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Here’s my 4-year-old’s vision of Bowser’s Castle, from a video game. (With some LOTS of help from his 14-year-old brother!)
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This one is titled “Mozzarella” (a take-off from Cinderella) by my 10-year-old.  The blue mouse is fleeing the Mouse Ball and has lost a slipper; the red mouse is in pursuit of his rodent fair.
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This one is Castle Grayskull, by my 8-year-old.  He was going to include an action-hero He-Man toy, but three-dimensional He-Man was twice as tall as our drawbridge opening.  So he used two-dimensional He-Man instead.  (Many thanks to Dad for printing that up!)
But we’ve been up to more than just medieval architecture.
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I put these place-mats charts of the Presidents and the states and capitals on the cork board next to the kitchen table.  You would not believe the memorization that’s been going on, just because they see it so frequently!  The older boys have even taught the 4yo the first few presidents.  Since I have 4 boys, everything they do becomes a contest, and it’s not unusual to hear, “Quiz me!” while waiting for dinner to be served.
And now we pause for one of those moments that make me so thankful that we homeschool.
My 4yo was drawing this morning.  Here’s his picture of Grandma’s barn.
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He wanted to know how to spell barn, so I told him.  The he looked at the word for a minute, and I could see the wheels turning in his head.  He sounded out the letters, and his face lit up as he connected the sounds with the letters, and the letters with the word, and the word with his picture and the actual building at Grandma’s house.
And he wanted to know more.
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Silly me couldn’t think of anything else that rhymed with “barn” off the top of my head, so we did “farm” and “warm" before switching to the much easier “dog.”  (And of course, he had to write his name multiple times for good measure.)
Ahhhh, I love an impromptu phonics lesson masquerading as fun on the dry erase board before lunch!  But I have to run—we’re building bald pirate mother potato head people this afternoon!  When is naptime, again?

linking up to Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1 comment:

  1. Looks like the kids had an awesome time. I'm planning on homeschooling my 2 year old and you mom's who already do are am inspiration :)


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