Saturday, November 19, 2011

Exploration Day: Queens County Farm Museum

Ian turned 6 last week!

We went out with the 5BoroHSing group in NYC to the Queens County Farm

Learnt about the bees, and I'm the one who's thoroughly intrigued by it
-By exclusively feeding a baby bee royal jelly and nothing else makes it a queen bee. Wow.
-The organization of the bee colony is AMAZING!!
-Bees suck up pollen and store in their pockets by their legs, go back to hive, regurgitate out to the house bees and the house bees spit back into the cells, flap their wings so it evaporates and there is honey. MAN! How much work was involved in my teaspoon of honey everyday!!!!
-Without bees, we'll be without 1/3 of the fruit supply!!!!! 

Made a candle out of beewax

Walked around the farm a little

MFW 1st Grade Days 62-66


The land, sea, air categorization game. I like it...


We did charting. Thank you Auntie Y and Uncle W for the gummy bears! We did more charting that are not in the pics and our library books didn't arrive yet, so we read some from last week

SCIENCE: Planets
The books didn't arrive too, so we'll continue on planets next week. I found A LOT of good resources on the Learning Page

However, you can see that we need some "reteaching" about the planets (they are 8 now, Pluto is out) and also the year of our universe (this number is according to Big Bang and Evolution theory). Listen to the WONDERFUL teaching here about how our universe is young (listen to the "Young Universe" talk) While  you're there listen to "Check it out" too. It's very cool

We are having a lot of fun with it. Ian really likes this part. We tried to do more medium and not just drawing

I love it that for Tower of Babel Ian wrote some "foreign language" he made up on the side...

We memorized the books of the bible up to Psalms (Ian is doing a WONDERFUL job!) and Prov 25:28 - A person without self control is like a city with broken-down walls. We also studied "self-control" for Character 1st.

Chinese has become our daily work and we use this ipad app for that
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Teach Me Toddler and Kindergarten iPad App Review

Finally get to do a review on the Toddler and Kindergarten versions of Teach Me (because today Colleen graduated to K version)!

I did a review on the 1st Grade app, loved it and Teach Me people sent me promo codes for the younger versions. Really appreciate that.

Here are my thoughts on the younger versions (with some updates to 1st) and my look at the different apps.

First, how different are they?
The toddler version has only stickers as rewards, which made sense for they would have no idea how to "purchase" things, it'll be hard. The kindergarten version has stickers and coins, which can purchase stuff for aquarium (which is what they love the most anyways) but not shapes. Also the kindergarten version has multiple choice answers, while 1st grade has the TeachTech (I LOVED this the most!) writing.

Toddler - alphabets (upper and lower), counting, shapes, colors, phonetic sounds
K - simple addition/subtraction, phonetic sounds (to complete a word), sight words
1st- addition/subtraction, spelling, sight words

My take:

TODDLER: I think this should have been named "Pre-K" for my real toddler (the one behind her sis, playing with the helmet) would not have been able to master this app...she's better off with helmets.;) Anyhows, it's just a name.

I still love the fact it's so easy to use my PreK'ler maneuver on her own.

What I didn't like was when she gets a sticker, it went to the scene that was from before, she can't choose the scene BEFORE the stickers. So she would choose the sticker, found that actually she wanted another scene, then went to that scene, found that she has no stickers, now she has to go earn more (more iPad time!!!! haha...maybe that's the rouse)
Overall, it's too simple for my PreK'ler...yet the phonetic part is hard for went to...

It all started because she REALLY wanted the fish like her bro, so we checked out K and found, YES! They have the fish! I'm not that sure if she's ready for it, but she was! that's because...

The math part has good manipulative (take away into the cup) or add, count with the pointer etc. I cannot believe she grasped the concept with this help! Wonderful!

Sight words will be the hardest, but guess what? they started with "a" or "I". haha. simple for her!

This part she needs help with me sounding it out, but she did it well when I do.

Other things I like about it (also the 1st grade)
I realize I can easily taper their level, go to the starting screen with players and with those questions that are too easy, I'll make them as "learned", or the ones that are way above my child, I can temporarily hide them. I REALLY REALLY like this function. It gives me a lot of control.

These apps are still the first apps my children go to for school, iPad time. I love them!

They are only $0.99 each on app store, very well worth the money!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Word Tracer iPad App Review

I am a full-blooded Singaporean. It means I learnt my mother-tongue along with English since a babe. In my case, it's Chinese Mandarin. I read/converse/write fluently. That is why I have a passion in teaching my children to converse/read/write in Chinese as well. 
Word Tracer is a wonderful teaching aid in this process! Thank you, Nanaimo Studio, for the promo code for review!

After trying it out myself and with my children, here are my thoughts

Love: flexibility
You can have A LOT of options: to have the word there or not, to have sound or not, to have grid or not, to even add in your custom list of words to learn.

Love: A VERY good guide
The star and numbers to lead in the writing of the words are PERFECT for little children (in my case, this is a 6 year old who has written SOME Chinese words already). The word is big, and it's rather forgiving. The last app I tried needs you to be exactly in the right spot, which is real hard for kids. My child used the guides without the word behind and he had such a kick guessing what word it was.

Love: MANY words
Yeah. It's A LOT. =) We're taking it lesson by lesson but it is good to know this will take me a long time

I then asked my child to write it on paper...guess it translates quite well. =)

Even my 4 year old, who doesn't write Chinese at all yet, uses the app really well.

What I wished it had......
Traditional Chinese. I really do want my children to learn that, even though it's harder.
Phrases. (辭彙)  and not just single words. There is a function on phrases (for conversations) but single words have more meaning when they are in phrases.
Some of the English explanations are a little bit off, in my view, like "eight" (八) one of the meaning is "all around"...I get it...四方八面...but that only make sense in the idiom...not

Still, overall, I REALLY recommend this app for learning to write Chinese. Go get it now for $2.99. and the iPhone version is free!!
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

MFW 1st Grade Days 57-61

Here are what we did this week:


We started reading from Picture That! Bible I really really like this bible

We wrote some letters

We did some Math

1st Grade MATH: Measurements

We read the Measurement books. I like Stuart Murphy (of course) and Inch by Inch

We did a lot of measuring and comparing

I used this worksheet (that was meant for preschool yet good for this exercise)

Measured with gummy and ate them

measured with paper clips

Measured with crayons

measured with feet. (this btw, is a construction of a boat, according to the architect). Homeschooling peeps need LOTS of cardboard and tape, I realize.

We did some English

We read on Volcanoes for Science

Showed him about magma pushing out of the volcano (using a tube of toothpaste from the airplane)

Did a book (I love this! a pity it cost $10.95 now, I got it for free)
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MFW 1st Grade Days 52-56

I think I forgot to document lots of happenings this week...but here are some of the things we did:
Place Values for Math

Using the 100 chart to learn about place values

We read through the whole creation account...Ian, all by himself. I really like the Bible Reader. Him too.

We did pattern blocks which sometimes we forgot.

We read books on the Sun and Moon. (I really like the Nancy Tafuri, What the Sun sees and What the moon sees)

We also played some iPad apps, with the preschooler trying out the new Teach Me. I'll be doing a review soon.
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