Can’t believe a new year is starting! I had planned to begin my year with an ocean unit so that I would have an extra week to plan before starting, but Aria was ready to hit the ground running. So, inspired by a trip to the local Coca-Cola Space Science Center here in Columbus, we started our school year instead with a space unit. This is always a huge hit every year because Aria loves studying the planets, so it was a really great way to ease into a routine.
Our local space science center was the best way to start our space week, as they have a new exhibit that allows you to experience what a takeoff and landing might be like in a space shuttle (without being too loud or jerky). It really is amazing to be inside what looks like a space shuttle and to see what the astronauts see. Even Skylar enjoyed and was able to get a lot out of the activities at the space center, particularly driving around robotic space rovers. From that point forward, the girls were invested heavily in learning about space, so starting the week with a field trip really was the way to go!
This year, we are also doing a small co-op with one of my friends in the area. Not only is it fun to have friends to go on field trips with, but it was great to have someone to do activities with middle of the week to break up the monotony. With our friends, we made a huge galaxy painting that two of her kids and my two girls took part in making. We also made hole punch constellations that we looked at with flashlights in the dark, made our own constellations, and decorated constellation cookies to eat. So much constellation fun, all leading to the best activity of the week, which was…
Looking at the moon and stars after dark later that night! If you do this unit, make sure that the first thing you do is download the SkyView Lite app. It is amazing! Not only does it show what the constellations look like, but shows you where they are in the sky, identifies major star names and planets, and gives you a view of what all of these planets look like closer up. You can also see the horizon line and “see” through buildings and the Earth itself. Between this app and using her binoculars to look at the moon, Aria had a blast looking at the stars. The next day she begged me to go star gazing again!
I’m trying to set more of a routine this year, which was a bit of an adjustment, but from what I’ve seen so far, it seems like it will be really good for both of my girls. They love starting the day with a Bible story and thematic storybook, and Aria is actually very responsive to workbook work. We are almost done with a Kindergarten prep workbook that we have worked through all summer (after which, I’ve told Aria that she can officially call herself a “kindergartener”), which is actually perfect because it fills the void until our Math U See Alpha and Sing, Spell, Read and Write materials show up. Both are on backorder for being so popular. Definitely one way to make me feel like I made a good curriculum choice, even if I want to be able to get fully started right this instant!
Well, we finished the week dealing with a bit of sickness that slowed our momentum down, but Aria really powered through and finished her work despite not feeling her best. She painted a solar system that we built using a kit, completed her worksheets, practiced addition and subtraction using playdough star maps, made a mini rocket go off over and over again in our kitchen, practiced orbitting, and so much more. This was a really full and satisfying week, and Aria’s enthusiasm really commits me to making our weeks busier and full of as many learning activities as possible. So glad our year started off with such a bang and can’t wait to see where it goes from here!
Please keep comments contructive
Jessica and Ana
Our Homeschooling Mission Statement: We will strive to be patient, godly examples to our children, integrating biblical principles and morality into every subject. Learning should be fun. We will foster an attitude of lifelong curiosity and play while providing the best possible education we can through books, art, technology, food, tactile activities, and cultural experiences. Learning will not be dictated by hours on a clock but will be a way of life for our families.