Monday, March 24, 2014

Adventures In Sea & Sky

This year Jayden chose to do Adventures in Sea & Sky. Nearly our entire theme is inside that big old notebook, all though many things are also on the Kindle{s} and/or iPad as well. We're all most done with term one with our this study & I thought I'd share a bit more about it & how we're enjoying it as I get lots of questions about our Winter Promise studies.

First off, I'm going to start by stating that I generally buy digitally from Winter Promise. Remember, we live "overseas" compared to most of the world & thus purchasing digitally allows our homeschool budget to go farther. I appreciate that!

When I get our digital products I generally try to print out the Guide first & foremost so I can read through the introductory materials. You don't have to, you can easily read through it on e-devices or directly on your computer. I've done, & do, that too. While many times the introductory material can be the same from Theme to Theme I always love the refresher & reminders inside. I've shared before about my favourite quotes from the WP Themes being the Aunt Lucy Quote. I need that reminder, often.

I really like to print out the Overview Of Studies. This is like a Table of Contents in regards to what you'll be studying each week for the next 36 weeks. As you can see, we're only 7 weeks into our 10 week term & mine is marked up all ready. By the end of a year it could be marked up to the point where I often need to print out a new one! The basic scribble on it you can see above is me breaking down what we'll study in each term, but if life happens & we spend time reading the books from Aunt Lucy then I need to change things up a bit, & that works too. This is probably my biggest Go-To page in the entire Guide, & I often have one in the notebook, one on each of our e-devices, & often another one in my planner. Seriously!

Another set of pages I like to print out are the craft pages. Winter Promise themes are really loaded with hands on projects. I select ones, highlighted, that I know my child{ten} would enjoy, but it's never written in stone that any of the projects have to be done. I like to print out these pages though so that my children can be the ones to collect the supplies needed. They put away dishes, & collect up recycling so it's easier for them to see what items they might need to put away for use with a craft later. One year Morgan was on a war path for a cereal box as we don't buy a lot of it. Every morning when Mr S had his Weet-Bix we heard how desperately he needed that cereal box only to discover one morning not only did it get thrown away but ripped up! Next thing we knew the box for the cornflakes was missing but the pouch of cereal was happily sitting on the shelf, which now causes us an awful lot of laughter whenever we have a box of cornflakes in the house. Needless to say, some of us take our crafting supplies more seriously then others! Having these papers really helps though.

Next up I like to print the field trip suggestion page out as well. It can be easy to get stuck in the mind trap that we live in a small town & there won't be anything we can do in those regards, but seeing a list in front of me can change my attitude entirely. It also causes me to stop & read the boards at the library about upcoming events, & carefully watch the advertisements the local council releases about upcoming events. Basically, it gets those creative juices flowing for ideas of places to go! We have a few ideas flagged, & a couple of outings planned for this year that have our boy quite excited. Of course, he's thought up a few ideas of his own, which weren't too hard considering we live in a costal town.

One of the things I really appreciate each time we use a Winter Promise theme are the notebooking pages. Last year when we used the World Travels Diary my kids had a blast with the pages & ended up with an Atlas of sorts that they had created all on their own. This year's pages are a different as they are historically bent & perfect for slipping into our timeline notebooks. The only downer is that Jayden doesn't like glue. He refers to it as his mortal enemy, but he was really excited about the notebooking pages again this year. Which is when I came up with a plan to conquer his mortal enemy.

My solution was sticker paper. I ended up printing out all the "cut & glue" pieces on sticker paper so that he can just stick them down without messing with glue. He's been delighted each week when we pull a set out, all though I'm pretty sure the fact that he's been learning about Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, & Vikings has also had a lot to do with it. He was so excited to get to use some of the really "big" stickers! I'll tell you something else too, not only does he enjoy tackling the notebook pages now there are no more laments & groans from his corner of the table or a billion cries of, "Help it's stuck to me!!" Seriously, this child & glue don't mix well!

Each week we have a lovely introduction page. I love them! At a glance i know what we'll be studying & I tend to read it out to Jayde or just give him a paraphrasing of what we'll be learning for the week. Each time I read something out to him he's given a little fist pump & a, "Yes!! I've been waiting to learn about..." Seriously, a lot of the cultures we've read about this year are ones he's checked the same books out of the library about for a long time now. He knew a good deal of the information about the Roman & Greek ships, but was delighted to learn the why behind it & see the photos.

Each of these pages is followed by a weekly schedule. One for the parent & one for the student. They differ slightly in that the student's schedule has blank spaces for adding in other lessons like math & their schedule doesn't have items on it that the parent reads with the child. Each schedule is for a 4 day week which is really nice for us at this stage. While I do have these schedules on our electronic devices I print them out each week & staple them right into my planner ticking off each thing as we go along or making simply noting which things we aren't doing. I also date each day so I know which day we did what on should I need to remember for some reason. This means I can use the lovely schedule & have no need to copy all that into my planner since all the work was all ready done for me!

There's generally 6-8 notebooking pages a week as well, most of which are based on his reading, but some expand a little beyond it giving us more details on the smaller things we read about. He loves using his notebooking pages & then showing them off each weekend to Daddy. I love that many times the details he's learned are spoken of again on the pages because that way if he forgets or wants to refresh himself I can tell him to check his notebooking pages. I don't know about in your home, but in our home notebooking pages & lap books come out often, not just for sharing with family members who may be visiting but also because a child remembers some acute fact they learned & knows they've recorded it.

Something I like to do with all our notebooking pages over the summer is number them. You'll find on your schedule that it will give a topic for each notebooking page & what day of the week to do it on. They generally coincide with your reading which is great. So when I'm setting up our notebooks at the start of the year I jot down the week & day on the bottom of each notebooking page. So if we're on week 7 you may find a notebooking page labeled: Wk7-D1 to indicate when to do it. This works for us, but isn't necessary.

The new S&S theme has more pages in the Under The Sea book, & notebooking pages in the Make Your Own Captain Log based on the readings. These can be filed in a science notebook or in his timeline notebook & I often leave that choice up to him. Which means they are generally still hanging in a page protector on our schoolroom wall. Does that sound odd? Let me explain. Each week there are a set of notebooking pages filed behind that introductory page in his massive notebook. We pull them out & as we complete them we put them in a page protector that is hanging on the wall above his notebook & book basket. That way we file all our page at one time & he can show them to Daddy before he files them. So, for pages he might be undecided on which notebook to file them in, they often remain in the page protector!

The books, oh the books! Now, you probably know we're all ready a big book family with several read alouds going, a few audio books, plus each person's individual reading as well. I like to keep each child's books for the year in a large basket somewhere in our learning area. Most of Jayden's books for this theme are in this basket, all though some are still coming, & many are on a Kindle which is in that basket, all though perhaps no visible. I also obtained a few of his readers/read aloud as audio books as well because I enjoy curling up with the kids & listening the afternoon away. It's not abnormal for us to pop up a bowl of popcorn, grab our quilts & lose track of time as we listen.

All the books this year have been lovely. Our first book, The Strange Intruder, kept everyone captivated & we had to delay our reading at times because Morgan was busy doing his own things & didn't want to be left out. We ended up listening to Treasure Island when it arose on our schedule & oh my did the boys love that book. I found a website with colouring pages & even the 2 paper dolls above which Jayden insisted on printing out & putting together. He was desperate for characters from the rest of the book & was a little disappointed when I said there were no more.

Which reminds me, all though I don't have a photo of it here to share, there's another page that I always print out as well & it's the 2 pages with the books listed on it. 1 page has the books you really need to complete this study & the other page has books dubbed as Adventure Reading. They aren't needed to complete the study, but they give you that much richer of an experience. Books like Treasure IslandStowaway, Carry On Mr Bowditch, & Around The World In 80 Days. I also print out the readers suggested for each theme, & you can obtain a schedule for them as well. Again, they aren't needed to complete the study, but they sure do make the experience that much more fun!

In fact Jayden's current reader, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle is one the whole family is enjoying listening to. Jayden was a little put off by it at first because he thought it might be a girlie story, but I suggested he give it a chance & could make a choice after we listened to some. I say listened, because we chose to do this one as an audio as well. When I went to turn it off he was quite dismayed! In fact as I'm writing this I'm torn on finishing this blog post & suggesting we put the book on, it's just that lovely of a story.

Needless to say we're thoroughly enjoying our studies this year with our Adventures In The Sea & Sky. We'll check in later this year with it again to let you know how we're going then & share a few of his completed projects as well.  He has grand plans of making a cardboard figurehead to go with a cardboard longboat. I'm actually interested to see how it turns out!

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