Our Week of Gifted Homeschooling 1/5/15-1/10/15

I was hoping after the trying week we had last week that this week would be better. And thankfully it was. We began our activities and I think that helped a lot. This week was fun for both of us. Madison enjoyed learning and I enjoyed homeschooling. I know we’ll have our good days and our bad days, but I’m glad for the most part that this week went well.

I changed up the schedule this semester so that instead of having an activity everyday, we have 2 days of activities and 3 days of school.

One day a week is ‘specials’ day. We have Theater (1hr), Homeschool P.E. (1 1/2hrs), Art (1hr) and Basketball skills (45min). It is a full day and I was worried about over scheduling since I had booked these in advance, but Madison really enjoyed it. If I see it is becoming too much then we will drop something going forward.

Another day during the week is Lego Robotics class and when it’s warmer Park play date. She was ecstatic about her Lego Robotics class. She cannot wait to go again next week!

We started arcademic skill builders this week. Madison is able to practice Math and spelling as a morning warm up. She is really liking it so far.

I use several different curriculums for all of our subjects. Madison is doing great in Math, but I noticed we couldn’t move forward in Time4Learning until she mastered her multiplication and division facts. She was still working on a better mastery of her subtraction facts and because of this it was taking twice as long as it should for her to do her EPGY Math. So we stopped Time4Learning Math and focused on facts. I knew she could do it if she tried, but I also know Madison and she didn’t see the point. That’s her Giftedness – not wanting to do anything she finds boring. So I explained the big picture and that we were at a standstill until she stepped it up. Sure enough this week she mastered subtraction, gained mastery in many multiplication facts using Timez Attack and EPGY Math is going at the rate it should. The fact she is motivated is a huge feat in itself. She is doing practice work on her own without being asked. Yay! Madison loves EPGY Math because “It understands the way that I think and learn.” I am so blessed to have a math curriculum that is designed to teach her so that she learns quickly and doesn’t get frustrated.

Timez Attack: Grey hasn't been introduced, green is mastered, blue is semi-mastered and yellow is currently learning.
Timez Attack: Grey hasn’t been introduced, green is mastered, blue is semi-mastered and yellow is currently learning.

We started our Who Was Helen Keller? unit from Moving Beyond the Page. Madison loves, loves, loves these. They were designed for gifted students. The standards we will cover in the Who Was Helen Keller unit are:

  • Attend to spelling, mechanics, and format for final products in one’s own writing. (Language Arts)
  • Compare language and oral traditions that reflect different people and customs. (Language Arts)
  • Compose first drafts. (Language Arts)
  • Connect and compare information within and across selections (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama) to experience and knowledge. (Language Arts)
  • Create a readable document. (Language Arts)
  • Describe concepts and information in own words. (Language Arts)
  • Develop and use new vocabulary. (Language Arts)
  • Discuss similarities and differences in events, characters, and concepts within and across texts. (Language Arts)
  • Discuss the effect of an author’s choices for nouns, verbs, modifiers, and specific vocabulary, which help the reader comprehend a narrative or expository text. (Language Arts)
  • Distinguish fiction from nonfiction. (Language Arts)
  • Generate ideas for writing by listing key thoughts. (Language Arts)
  • Increase oral and written vocabulary by listening, discussing, and composing texts when responding to literature that is read and heard. (Language Arts)
  • Interpret information from diagrams, charts, and maps. (Language Arts)
  • Locate and use important areas of the library. (Language Arts)
  • Make predictions about text. (Language Arts)
  • Plan and make judgments about what to include in written and oral products. (Language Arts)
  • Pose possible how, why, and what if questions to understand and interpret text. (Language Arts)
  • Read aloud with fluency and expression any text appropriate for early independent readers. (Language Arts)
  • Read and comprehend text by locating information for specific purposes. (Language Arts)
  • Read classic and contemporary work. (Language Arts)
  • Read expository materials for answers to specific questions. (Language Arts)
  • Recall main ideas, facts, and details from a text. (Language Arts)
  • Reread drafts for meaning and revise. (Language Arts)
  • Respond to stories in ways that reflect understanding through writing, music, drama, and art. (Language Arts)
  • Use capitalization, punctuation, and paragraphs in own writing. (Language Arts)
  • Use editing to check for complete sentences and word order. (Language Arts)
  • Use legible handwriting. (Language Arts)
  • Use media and technology to enhance the presentation of information to an audience for a specific purpose. (Language Arts)
  • Use text for a variety of functions including informational. (Language Arts)
  • Use verbal and nonverbal communication. (Language Arts)
  • Write structured, informative presentations and narratives when given help with organization. (Language Arts)
  • Write to communicate with a variety of audiences. (Language Arts)

The skills in this week’s Language Arts unit were:

*Read and comprehend text by locating information for specific purposes.
*Pose possible how, why, and what if questions to understand and interpret text.
*Interpret information from diagrams, charts, and maps.
*Read classic and contemporary work.
*Distinguish fiction from nonfiction.
*Locate and use important areas of the library.
*Make predictions about text.
*Compare language and oral traditions that reflect different people and customs.
*Use verbal and nonverbal communication.
*Develop and use new vocabulary.
*Respond to stories in ways that reflect understanding through writing, music, drama, and art.
*Write to communicate with a variety of audiences.
*Generate ideas for writing by listing key thoughts.
*Plan and make judgements about what to use in a written product.
*Use editing to check for complete sentences and word order.
*Use text for a variety of functions including informational.
*Read expository materials for answers to specific questions.
*Recall main idea, facts and details from a text.

She loves the Who Was Helen Keller? book for this unit and had lots of fun learning. Her favorite activities out of the lessons this week included learning the difference between a biography and an autobiography, decoding a message with sign language, and drawing and writing about a gift for Helen. She is also marking events in Helen’s life on a timeline as she reads each chapter. We learned about Alexander Graham Bell, his inventions and how he helped Helen Keller. Madison also learned about the the inventions from Thomas Edison, Alexander Fleming, The Wright Brothers, and Johannes Gutenburg.

We are speeding right along in Hand Writing Without Tears 3rd grade and Madison learned enough of the alphabet this week to write her name in cursive. She actually squealed high pitch noises in delight. Being able to do this has been a long time goal for her and she was very, very excited to achieve it. Below is her first attempt at the bottom of her handwriting book.

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We completed Lesson 3 in Wordly Wise vocabulary. She didn’t know all of the multiple definitions for the words this time, so that made it fun. Her words this week were: ambition, auction, coast, current, frail, intelligent, novel, resident, starve, and volunteer.

Madison worked on the shades of meaning, point of view, and context clues. She applied these skills when reading authentic nonfiction texts “Homesick” and “Wall of Wonder” in Time4Learning this week.

She worked on sentence structure, sentence composition, narrative paragraphs and parts of speech in EPGY English. It moves at a good pace and she likes that. It really nails down the fundamentals which is very important.

We decided to start keeping a book list this week. (Novel idea huh? ;)) She just finished up a junior novel of Anne of Green Gables and didn’t write it on the list yet and she started How to Train Your Dragon. Our goal is to start reading a lot more.

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I am reading The One and Only Ivan to her and it is a great book. Madison giggles and laughs a lot and we enjoy it. I also read Gloria and Mr. Buckle and One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey. Jeff reads The Story of the World Volume One to Madison every night per her request. Then we place timeline cards on her wall. Our goal is to spend a lot more time reading to her as well.

In Science we started the Moving Beyond the Page Sound unit that coincides with the Who Was Helen Keller? Language Art unit.

The standards will we cover in this unit are:

  • Compare results of investigations with what students know about the world. (Science)
  • Construct reasonable explanations and draw conclusions. (Science)
  • Demonstrate how sound is produced by vibrating objects and vibrating columns of air. (Science)
  • Describe how sounds travel through different materials. (Science)
  • Identify, predict, replicate, and create patterns. (Science)
  • Observe and describe how sounds are made by using a variety of instruments and other sound-makers, including human vocal cords. (Science)
  • Observe and record functions of animal parts. (Science)
  • Plan and conduct simple investigations. (Science)
  • Sequence organisms, objects, and events. (Science)
  • Show how altering the size and shape of a variety of instruments can change frequency. (Science)
  • Show how frequency can be changed by altering the rate of the vibration. (Science)
  • Show how the human ear detects sound with a membrane that vibrates when sound reaches it. (Science)

The skills in the Science unit this week were:
*Demonstrate how sound is produced by vibrating objects and vibrating columns of air.
*Show how frequency can be changed by altering the rate of vibration.
*Observe and describe how sounds are made by using a variety of instruments and other sound-makers, including human vocal cords.
*Show how the human ear detects sound with a membrane that vibrates when sound reaches it.
*Observe and record functions of animal parts.
*Identify, predict, replicate, and create patterns.
*Sequence organisms, objects, and events.
*Describe how sounds travel through different materials.
*Compare results of investigations with what students know about the world.
*Plan and conduct simple investigations.
*Construct reasonable explanations and draw conclusions.

I decided to challenge Madison with this unit. I gave her a 4D human ear model that was 22 pieces, a picture on the box, the instructions, and asked her to put it together by herself and walked away. To my surprise she put the whole thing together without any assistance in 45 minutes. Usually Madison gets frustrated and quits. She was SO proud of herself and I was so proud of her too. She says she didn’t use the instructions because using the picture on the box was much easier. Go figure. We also made a homemade ear drum, learned how the sound goes through the ear with a homemade activity and she also filled out a diagram of the parts of the ear. We did activities on matter and molecules, traveling sound, sound and surface, a states of matter and sound demonstration, a sound and materials experiment, and learned sound vocabulary. Science is her favorite subject by far!

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Figuring out how to put the Human Ear Model together
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Completed it all by herself!
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Having fun testing her homemade ear drum!
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Filling out her ear diagram.

Madison practiced key boarding with Dance Mat typing at the beginning of the week, but then I purchased the Handwriting Without Tears keyboarding program because the goats in the Dance Mat Typing drive her nuts. She finds the goats extremely annoying. She loved the HWT keyboard program and I am glad I decided to try it. She did a lesson in Spanish with Rosetta Stone homeschool Spanish. We learned about different ‘wonders’ each day on Wonderopolis. Madison willingly takes the quiz at the end. She cracks me up. We had ‘real world’ learning when we went to the mall so she could use her gift card for Bath and Body Works she received in her stocking from Santa. They had a 75% sale so I showed her how to figure out the price of each item and she made sure she didn’t use the entire amount and saved part of it to go back when they have a summer sale on summer scents. 🙂

Madison is a hoot. Either she really, really likes something or she really doesn’t like something at all. Well, for music I had bought a Music Theory book, but it’s still on the list to do, so in the meantime I checked out videos from the series Meet The Musicians. They are an hour long and not really super entertaining in my opinion, but Madison LOVES them. She begs to watch them. She tells me about how the actor that does the series is SO talented. LOL. Whatever works. Now she can tell you anything about 4 different composers. This week was Gershwin. I need to see if the library has Joplin. He’s the only one left in the series that we haven’t seen.

Madison enjoyed creating and playing in her forts this week. She made one for herself and one for the cat/American girl dolls. She also enjoyed playing Minecraft. She had taken a break from it, but this week expressed interest in playing it again. One of her friends from her Lego robotics class plays it, so I think that sparked her interest since they were discussing it before class. 🙂 This weekend Madison’s religion class resumes and we are looking forward to her First Communion this April. She also loves playing board games so we played plenty of those this week!

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Jeff and Madison went to the Perot Science Museum and met Sean Casey! They enjoyed watching his movie Tornado Alley 3D and Madison even got to sit in the TIV. She had a blast doing all the fun hands on experiments they have during their Discovery Day.

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Meeting Sean Casey!
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Sitting in the TIV! So cool!
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Getting ready to watch the premiere of Tornado Alley 3D!
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Making a tornado!
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An experiment on acid rain.
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More Discovery Days fun!
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Robots!!

Trying to figure out what works best for Madison is a challenge and one that is always changing. I am getting much better at listening to her when she expresses what she needs or wants. This week she told me she wanted to go to the mall and she wanted time to daydream while listening to music. I am very happy that she is learning to become in tune with what she wants and needs and can tell me. After this week I truly feel like we are a team and can accomplish anything. I want to give a huge shout out and kudos to those that homeschool with more than one child. I think it is a ton of work and quite an investment financially with one….I couldn’t imagine more than one!

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3 thoughts on “Our Week of Gifted Homeschooling 1/5/15-1/10/15

  1. That’s a full week! I’ve always said that homeschooling is one of the toughest jobs in the world if you’re doing it right and it sounds like you are! I don’t homeschool but we did use EPGY as enrichment and loved it. It was the old program and I hear the new format is even better. Thanks for sharing info on the Helen Keller book, we’re always on the lookout for good non-fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tania

    I love your blog! I am exactly where you where last year. I’ve just finished my second week of homeschool with my gifted daughter (grade 2). It was almost an exact copy of your first & second weeks: the first week was full of curriculum & drove her crazy & I’ve spent the second week finding out how she learns & resources for her. You have been so much help to me, it’s made my day & I feel less alone. It’s exhausting but worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

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