Monday, May 13, 2013

Exploring Space: Day 1

Earth is part of a solar system in the Milky Way galaxy. 

On our first day of working though Exploring Space I wanted to be prepared to offer the whole of activities for the first concept, but I knew that there was quite a bit of coloring and writing and for boys who haven't done formal schoolwork for a while. They did pretty good, but I didn't push finishing the concept. The workbook starts with taking the kids outside and having kids identify things they see in the sky and thinking about what they see in the sky at night. (Things like clouds, airplanes, the sun, etc.) Once you have a list you're supposed to go over it and cross off things that "are part of the Earth." I changed that and we separated the list into two categories: Things in our Atmosphere and Things in Space. I used a small globe and talked about the basics of the atmosphere before we went over the list and categorized each item. Later, when Early Bird was taking a nap, Builder Boy and I watched the Bill Nye episode about Atmosphere on YouTube.

Thanks to the books we've already read, the "Gather More Information" section "Objects in Space" page I showed them was all review, and Builder Boy and Early Bird got to show that they could read the big words. Next was a "What Is It?" worksheet that had pictures and a box of words that the kids needed to match up. I took Early Bird to one corner of the room to do it with him and had Builder Boy attempt it on his own. They both did well (this was review for them) and I made sure we defined the terms more specifically and had Builder Boy tell me what comets and asteroids are made up of.

We finished up with coloring and writing in the "Our Solar System" mini books and the Logbook page. That might not sound like much , but by the end of it the kids were done with anything that had to do with coloring or writing (remember, we haven't done much of this lately. That's one reason for doing this: getting us back in the swing of more formal learning.) There really isn't that much writing; the difference between this book which is for grades 1-3 and the other books that we did that were for K-1 is the space for writing what they want to you write. They're expecting older kids to be able to write in smaller spaces, and Builder Boy isn't quite there yet.

So I put off writing our address in the galaxy and coloring planets to put in order on the wall for tomorrow. We should have no problem doing that and then moving on to the next concept.

We've decided that the "wall" against the stairs is the perfect "Learning Wall" so we're putting what we do up there before we put it together as a logbook. I didn't realize it until the pages were up, but this house didn't feel like home until I saw my kids' schoolwork up there.

We finished the day's "work" with our first playing of the TO THE MOON game I got from Before we started playing when I was cutting out the trivia cards I sorted out the cards with questions that my kids hadn't learned the answers to yet. I'll add them back in, plus more of my own, as we go along. I plan to play with game with them at the end of each day's lesson.

I forgot to look at a clock, so I have no idea how long all of this took. (And we took extra time outside, too, going on tangents as Builder Boy talked about photosysthsis and air, weather, compass directions, and other outdoor nature related things.)


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