Tag Archives: notebooking

3-2-1 Blastoff!

DSC_0756Summer is coming to an end. It’s hot and we’re burnt out. We school throughout the year but have been pushing to finish a few areas before moving on in August. Curriculum boxes are arriving. We are anxious to start the new and the boys are tired of the (same) old.

Sometimes, you just need an escape day. A day when you mix it up and do something different. Luckily, Mr. Man is flexible enough now to handle this without too many issues. Provided I give him a list of what we are doing.

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Blasting off!

Today’s destination: Outer Space. With the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing, the boys have been asking a lot of questions about the moon and stars. Of course, discussing the sun and temperature is also a daily topic around here. Over 110 degrees and Monkey declares, “We are toast!”

On a recent trip out of town, I picked up several books on the topic and planned a special day to remember why we enjoy homeschooling. The boys were extremely excited to begin our adventure.

The Plan:

  • Read our new space books, together
  • Create notebooking pages for each story
  • Create our own planet
  • Create an alien
  • Watch a space-themed movie (including Planetary Popcorn)

DSC_0739Space day was a hit! The books we read (Moon! Earth’s Best Friend, Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years, Sun! One in a Billion and A Place for Plutowere beyond cute and full of great facts. The humor was enough to keep Mama (and later Dad) enjoying them, as well. Of course, Peppa Pig HAD to be included, too.

I love notebooking and was very excited to see the DSC_0748boys having fun with it, as well. We had tried it in the past and I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t work for us. However, the next day Mr. Man specifically asked to do school that way, again. Success! Mr. Man completed his notebooking page on his own. Monkey is still learning to write, so he dictates to me and I write it down using a highlighter, which he goes back over and traces with his pencil. Then, he adds his own artwork.

 

I had to laugh at the boys’ planets. Mr. Man created a lava planet (so like him!) and Monkey made an ice planet. Typical, that even in their creations they are completely different. I was also excited to see how well Monkey completed this project because he typically balks at any activity that requires him to color.

 

I gave the boys outlines of aliens, so they could design their own creature. I was thoroughly impressed with the muscles on Mr. Man’s alien. Does anyone else see the Thanos resemblance? Monkey was very creative here giving his alien a lot of eyes, polka dots, and spikes.

 

I let the boys choose any space-themed movie that happened to be on Netflix for our afternoon calm down on this day. They chose Planet 51, though they didn’t make it through the entire movie. They did, however, finish off the Planetary Popcorn.

I love seeing my boys be creative. Sadly, this is an area Mama has struggled with this past year. But it is definitely something that we will be focusing more on as we start our new year. We will be doing more science topics this year and will definitely plan on scheduling more themed days, like this, into our routine.

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Interactive Notebooking

Notebooking is an activity I have discovered this year and have fallen in love with. It’s easy, it’s meaningful, and the boys love it. In our homeschool, we use two different styles of notebooking. There is traditional notebooking (which I will blog and link to at a later date) and there are interactive notebooks 65569073_406008366680192_8918714222544683008_nwhich I came across more recently and love! These are hands-on activities put out by Carson Dellosa Education and come in a variety of subjects including math, science, words study, language arts and seasonal. The idea is to have the children complete an interactive activity on one notebook page and then use the next page to show their learning and skill mastery. I have included a few examples of the pages my boys have completed. Why do interactive notebooks work for us? First, my boys love it! When I tell them we are notebooking I get “yays!” instead of the typical moaning about school time (we are still working on this). The activities are fairly quick and easily show me if they have mastered a skill or need more practice. Monkey loves “cutting” and it’s an excellent way to sneak in some extra fine motor practice for Mr. Man. I also love that, after an activity is completed, there is an opportunity for the kids to tap into their own understanding, personalize their work, and become active participants in their own learning. This is also a great way to engage them and get them ready for a more traditional style of notebooking. One of my favorite things about the interactive notebooks is that I can use them with both boys and differentiate the activity to fit their individual needs.

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On this particular day, we were learning about the five senses. I was easily able to alter the activity so one child could focus on labeling the picture and the other on simply identifying the parts.

 

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I would not use these books as my sole curriculum for a given topic for the year, as I do not think the subjects are complete enough to cover an entire course of study, but they are definitely a wonderful add on to other curriculums you may be using. I find them wonderful for the days when plans get changed, mom hasn’t prepared as well as she needed to, or the boys are just extra squirrely and sitting still isn’t an option.

 

65287722_2599907006694184_7786422102990520320_nThis page I loved because I didn’t even know he could read number words! I wrote the numbers, gave him the words and was shocked when he did this independently. What a great skill assessment!

 

 

(This post contains affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, I never recommend an item unless we use it and love it!)

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