Monday, January 18, 2010

Brain Hats

I love to cut and paste.  In college, I would sometimes even proclaim  "Cut and Paste" as my major, instead of Elementary Education.  It was the best part of college, other than reading children's literature.

True to the contrary nature between children and parents, my kids don't always enjoy cutting and pasting.  They want to do their worksheets and get school done.

When I found these brain hats made by Chris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers,  who got them from Erin,  who got them from Ellen, I knew this would be a manditory cut and paste project.  I can always use more brains.  It seems I haven't had a rational, complete thought for years.  It seems when you start having babies and start talking baby talk, the brain cells just....uh....uh....umm.....what was I saying?

I showed the rabbit trail I took so you could see the blessings just one blog can lead you to.

There were two options, labeled or self-labeling.
Yep, I chose labeled.
We had to finish quickly or the unfinished projects would be
 shoved under couch cushions,
slipped behind a dresser,
 get kicked under the stove or fridge,
(well, how DOES stuff get under there?)
or eaten by the dog, and we don't even have a dog.

If I only had a brain!
Oh, I guess I do now.
So does Jon.

So does Rebekah.
She's doing math wearing her hat,
so I can see what portion of her brain she is currently using.
See that little yellow area? 
Yea, it's churning out math facts -
if I taped it together correctly and if Beka is wearing it correctly.

The post brain project construction area.

Not too bad.

No paper cuts, no unfinished projects.

Another win for the Cut and Past Momma!

Princess E from the Silent Kingdom

There are times in homeschooling when a  little more instruction and activity than what the curriculum provides is necesary to cement a new concept. I have always made up little games, projects, worksheets, manipulatives and activities, but never kept track of my ideas.  Blogging has provided that storage house for me.

Please let me introduce Princess E from the Silent Kingdom.  She doesn't speak, but she has the ability to change a short vowel sound in a single syllable word into its long vowel sound. 

I bought the clothespins and stands at Michaels and my son, Jon, drilled small arm holes in them for me so they would be ready to create. Rebekah did the painting, the face creating and most of the gluing.  She used chenille stems (we used to call them pipe cleaners) for arms, yarn for hair, a remnant with princess fluff on the bottom for the royal robe.  Princess had a crown, but it fell off and the vacuum ate it.

We made our own flashcards to show how hat turns to hate, fat to fate, tap to tape, win to wine.  I purchase these great plastic index card boxes at the beginning of the year when they are very cheap and keep them in a supply box until I need them for an activity.  Rebekah decorated the box with princess stickers.

Princess E regalty presides over the desk when we are going through the flashcards so we remember her special ability.

The original idea came from these vintage cards I found years ago.  Of course, I couldn't find them at the time, so I made  my own set.

I added and "ed" and "ing" card for later suffix lessons.  You can see more clearly how the root word is written on the card and the  "e" is written on the folded end.

You may feel you don't have time to do anything above and beyond your core curriculum, but sometimes it may take a day or two of worksheets for a new concept to kick in, so a project can relieve the pressure your child may feel while trying to master the skill.  The project doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't even have to be something you keep for all the kids.   Creating releases the frustration your child may feel.   By the time we were done creating and were reviewing, it made sense to Rebekah. Now, a casual glance at  Princess E reigning from the bookshelf is all it takes to review this phonics skill in her mind.