Our Week of Gifted Homeschooling – The First Week in February 2015

I had decided to blog by unit versus week and of course as soon as decide that, I realize this unit is really long and with all of the activities we have in the month of February it would be a really, really, really long post. So here is another week post.

When I began homeschooling it was with the intention of it only being temporary. We had found a private school we fell in love with and Madison was on the waiting list. Madison loved this school when she went to visit last year, but by October she expressed that she wanted to continue homeschooling even if a spot opened up. I received a call last week letting me know a spot had become available for the next school year. So we prayed and talked to Madison about it and decided the homeschool setting was the best fit for her. She is very happy and does not want to change a thing. So now we are in this journey for the long haul. That also changes my perspective on how we will do things going forward and after sharing this with Madison, she is delighted. (More on that later.)

We have started our Moving Beyond the Page Communities and Cultures Language Arts Unit. The books we are using for this unit are Adventures in Ancient Egypt and Adventures in the Middle Ages.
This week we discussed historical time periods and reviewed proper nouns, collective nouns and had a proper noun scavenger hunt. Madison colored and cut out paper dolls with clothing and accessories from Ancient Egypt and The Middle Ages. She drew homes from each time period and cut them out. We reviewed the settings in each book and Madison drew a setting for each time period. Then she glued the houses on and placed the paper dolls on each paper. She didn’t actually glue the house onto the setting for The Middle Ages because it wouldn’t fit. I am learning to let things like that go. 🙂 She grasped the concepts. We are good.

She read to page 31 in Adventures in Ancient Egypt and answered comprehension questions as well as recorded new facts. She is really fascinated with Egypt and has learned quite a bit over the past couple of years, but she was surprised to learn that the bread had sand in it due to the process of making the wheat into a grain and that the beer had clumps.

We discussed fact or fantasy regarding the book and learned a lot about the life in Egypt and the differences culturally as well as historically including basic needs and resources.

We also started our Moving Beyond the Page Communities Change Over Time Social Studies Unit. We discussed what a community is and identified the different needs and jobs of Native American Communities, a Roman and Greek Empire, and a Modern City. We compared similarities and differences from a community from a different time and place and our community. Then we learned how our community is always changing.

Madison really loves both of these units so we are taking our time with them. This is the beauty of homeschooling. We are not doing a LA unit and a Social Studies unit everyday, but just one a day and alternating between the two. This is working out very well.

Madison received her parts for the play she is learning in her homeschool acting class and has been practicing her lines everyday. She continues to practice piano and I think she enjoys doing the theory book more than actually playing the piano which is humorous to me. Madison was ecstatic to learn how to play kickball in her Homeschool PE class this week. She looks forward to being able to play it with the other kids at the park now that she knows how to play. Madison has made such wonderful friendships along this new journey. It is such a blessing. She also played in ‘teams’ during her Basketball Skills class and had a blast. While she was waiting for her team’s turn to play she and a close friend played rock, paper, scissors. They were smiling and laughing. Watching those childhood moments melts my heart.

In Lego Robotics class this week they had free build day. Madison’s Lego Robotics teacher, Mr. Michael is amazing. He is so positive, upbeat and patient. Mr. Michael always encourages the class to use their creativity while learning how to build with the different aspects of Lego Robotics. Madison always enjoys going to this class and looks forward to going to more at our local community center as well.

Here is Madison with her awesome teacher:

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And here is the cool motorized car she built for free build day:

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Madison finished reading The Indian in the Cupboard and several other books (we are working our way through the Newbery Award list.) She also watched the Boxcar Children on Netflicks and highly recommends it. She thought it was a great movie.

Madison continues to practice keyboarding and cursive. She knows all of the upper and lowercase letters so she is practicing writing sentences and I am encouraging her to write only in cursive. For some reason cursive is not as much fun now and she is not as excited about it….. 🙂

Groundhog Day was a huge hit. Madison loved learning about groundhogs and the history of Groundhog Day through books and a videos. She is not happy about the 6 weeks of winter, but she was somewhat relived when she learned that statistically Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions are not very accurate. 🙂

I did some assessment testing on Madison this week with mobymax.com to see if there were any gaps since she does do a lot of learning online. I am very pleased with the results. I told myself when she is two grade levels above her chronological grade we would do things very differently. And now that we are homeschooling long term we have the flexibility to do just that. We will continue Moving Beyond the Page, Wordly Wise, Handwriting Without Tears Cursive and Keyboarding, and reading up a storm. We are in the current process of evaluating our Math curriculum and will continue reading The Life of Fred. Jeff will also continue to read The Story of the World each evening. I am grateful for all of the choices in homeschooling curriculum that are created specifically for gifted children. It makes learning so much fun for Madison and by being able to use these specific curriculums she LOVES learning.

We will begin focusing more on interest led learning and project based learning. In other words Madison is going to let me know what she is interested in learning or doing and we will do it. We will still do the other subjects, but at a much slower pace. She will continue with all of her activities, extra classes and field trips. Another goal will be to incorporate more time for games, puzzles and building of Legos, K’NEX, etc.

Madison is really excited about this and has asked if we could start with Pompeii. We have a Kids Discover magazine on it, but I will begin researching fun ways for her to learn more and I am sure she will come up with her own project ideas. She was already trying to create one with her sweet potato with marshmallows on top when we ate out tonight for dinner. There is never a dull moment with her and her creative mind. I wish I had taken a video of it. That’s my next goal..take videos.

I am excited as our journey evolves and changes to fit Madison’s needs. That is the best part of homeschooling. I am fully embracing the needs and wants of my gifted child as I learn from others. This is what my child needs and I believe she needs to have more time to do them.

I am looking forward to the fun trip to the zoo we have planned this weekend, more learning fun and field trips and activities that are on the schedule for next week!

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