Saturday, May 24, 2014

When my Husbands Away...

When I moved to Dubai my creativity was stifled a bit because I had no clue where to get supplies. 

With Firas out of town, I have had the car and been tearin' up the town visiting teacher supply stores and craft supply places. I've got an itch up my sleeve for a DIY project. 

I had these tins sitting around that were begging to be turned into something. Plus I needed something to keep my mind off of the fact that The Mayor would be gone all week.

Spray painting in 105 degree weather with a 4 year old and a 4 month old? 

Yeah, I have had better ideas! 

I redirected her while I finished up the hard and dangerous work....

The tins turned out nice! I just used some of that fancy duct tape for the ribbon around the middle and top.

We need some fun organization for our 'classroom'. I think these pencil, marker, scissor cups will keep things slightly more organized than a huge mixed up bin.

This guy..
We are focusing on math and reading this summer. You heard it. I am not going to stop learning over the summer, however, I am not going all out organized school days and curriculum. I'll save that for September. 

This was a starter lesson in reading dice and a continuation of tallies. Tallying seems like such an easy concept but it is hard to switch the way that you count.

She rolled the di and tallied what numbers she got. Then when she was sick of it we counted up the tallies.

Most of his pictures are of him in this jumper. I swear he isn't in it all day.

The Pirate kept himself busy in his little activity jumper. Which he loves.

We had a chat with The Mayor. It is very hard on Little Narch when he is away and chatting takes off the edge. 

Firas will be home not a moment too soon.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Little History...

School was annoying to me.

I missed a lot between sickness, lack of structure/motivation, a divorce and some misinterpreted family issues. You've heard the story before.

Looking back...

I loved Drama/English with Mrs. H-T (although she would most likely be appalled with my grammar - I'm working on it), Science with Mr. Klicka, and Algebra with my bulky should've been PE teacher. I was usually in the lead of the class, if I showed up for it and finished my work.

Not to knock on my parents, but something went seriously awry with my high school education. It was a mixture of being so tied up with my brothers, crazy work schedules and a free spirit parenting style.

To boot, I made a terrible decision to go to an even more lenient high school for the arts my senior year and ended up dropping out.

ME!? A high school drop out?

That's me on the top right.

I was savvy, creative, articulate and intelligent. (Not to toot my own horn but you have to be smart to pass classes you never show up to.)

(If you are wondering I took the GED and ended up going to college to be a Paralegal.)

Which brings me to my daughter and her education.

Originally we chose her school for the rigorous curriculum, old school learning style and language aspect. It has helped her interest in French and Arabic however, I'm not going that far out on a limb when I say there are other programs out there that will do a better job.

Little Narch is not your typical kindergartener. She doesn't need an entire week to learn a new fact. She memorizes books almost word for word after reading them to her once. She listens to adult conversations and then roleplays them with you the next morning.

She needs special attention. Attention she is not/will not get in a room full of sick, noisy, misbehaved kids stacking legos together.

Can I just mention she has missed more school than she has attended due to illness.

This is why we are choosing to try homeschool. 

I know there are different philosophies regarding how to school children.  What's right for some isn't right for others. This just feels right.

Little Narch is intrigued by the world around her. Learning is something we are doing constantly on our own terms. We are already reading chapter books and learning to classify money together.

She may not look like me but I see a lot of myself in her. Together with my ability to find information and her ability to soak it up, we will rock her education and we will both be better because of it.

It won't be lollipops and roses all the time but she will never fall through the cracks.

Her Baba and I just. won't. let her.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fun Math Games

It's getting to be that time of year when it is too hot to go play outside.

Additionally, Joelle has been sick and not in school so I decided to start doing some home school type exercises.

I have been on the prowl for the academic standards for kindergarteners. Skip counting by 2, 5 and 10, number lines, knowledge of even and odd numbers, and tally marks are all on the long list of skills kindergarteners should possess.

We have been working on number lines (fill in the missing number) for the last two weeks. So I took hopscotch to another level.

We created this game organically. As it unfolded I realized what geniuses we are! It is a great game that could be taken outside.

We used our old ikea painting paper roll, turned it on it's unused side and taped it to the floor (using our tiles as a guide). We counted up one side to ten and back the other to twenty. We alternated colors, odd numbers one color and even numbers another.

We started out stepping on each number and naming them. We counted forward and backward making sure to spend extra time on the numbers we have a hard time recognizing.

Then I told her the odd numbers were green and the red numbers were even. I explained, that an even number can be broken into pieces of two and the odd numbers couldn't, there would always be one left over.

We jumped on only the evens, then only the odds, counted up, counted backwards, started counting on specific numbers and counted from them up and down. We have spent hours on this project without getting bored of counting - you think I'm joking.

Then we made a score board. Even vs. Odd.

We picked an odd number to be our number of turns, threw an old deflated balloon on the board (like I said this happened organically) and then made tallies for each time our deflated balloon hit even or odd.

Why not start them early on statistics......right? We had fun guessing which side would win and taking turns switching sides and roles.

I have been doing a lot of research and prep for the next year of homeschool and it has seemed a bit overwhelming at times. After this day, I realize this is going to be awesome! Teaching Little Narch things is probably what I am best at in life!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

First Day May 2014

Merry May Day! Our day was filled with Joy and unexpected fun! 

We met up with our American friends in front of Ballet class and had some fun!

Are all boys sweaty? He is always dripping!

We were not planning to swim. They put in this new splash park and we were HOT.
So we took off our tights and got soaking wet in her ballet costume! It was awesome!

We stopped and got some swim diapers for The Pirate. He was mostly unamused. 

If you love First Day posts and want some more visit Nicole at Journey to Josie. You can link up your own first day posts as well. When you are there, send her some healing light for her babe who is unexpectedly in ICU.