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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Are you smarter than a 1st grader?

I am not, I confess.
I wrote on my blog last year about what I was learning teaching the kids Kindergarten.
1st grade has been even more enlightening.
Now, before you write me off as a total moron, let me throw out a few of the kids' test questions from this year.
(You can decide I'm a moron after that.)

What is a shaduf? (hint: used in early civilization farming)
Locate and color the mesopatamia on a map.
Label all the continents, oceans, and define island and peninsula.
What are the three kinds of rocks?
Identify rocks into these three categories. (We actually did this with buckets of rocks and a Geology Professor in the A&M Geology building. I love this town!!)
What is a sun spot? solar flare?
What is the largest planet?
The hottest planet?
Which ones have rings? (hint: not just Saturn)
Who was Sir Walter Raleigh?
Who was Pocahontas, and what did she do? (hint: Don't go to Disney for accurate historical info.)
Who was Paul Revere's vitally helpful friend on the night of his famous ride?
What did he do?
How many bones are in the body?
Label atleast 10 correctly.
Explain the process of digestion.
How much saliva do we produce each day? (This grossed me out.)
Name 5 different types of animal habitats.
Map out a food chain for each kind of habitat.
What is an animal called that eats both animals and plants?

Did any of them stump you? Maybe 1 or 2?
More than a couple for me. Science was NOT of interest to me as a kid. Obviously it was to my husband, and my kids are very much like him.
But it has been my pure joy to learn everything again, or for the first time even, and teach it to my kids.
Weirdo Homeschool Legalist Disclaimer: Let me remind you, I don't think homeschooling is for everyone, or the only way, or GOD'S WAY, or whatever.
But it is a blast for us! We are having fun studying food chains this week.
I don't think I learned all this stuff!!! This is awesome!
I wish I could show you the picture Rusty drew on the board for me of a food chain. It's awesome. Having a brainy husband with good artistic skills is super helpful!
Emma and Jax are so excited to learn something new, so teaching them is a bright spot in my day every day.
Emma is what Rusty affectionately calls a "nerd", which he is as well, so he's very proud. But ask Emma any question about one of these topics, and you'll get her going. Especially if it pertains to animals. She'll talk your ear off. And you might learn something! I usually do, because the girl stores away additional animal info. from her Zoobooks magazines, library books, and anything Bindi says!
I included a few pics of our schooling lately.
Emma was working on "Solving for the Unknown" or what we called "Solving the mystery" in math. It's really like early algebra. X + 7=16
So when we started this section of her math, she immediately went and dressed up like a Sherlock Holmes type of detective. Notice the pipe in her mouth. She cracks me up!
She also made a robot one day.
And finally, my favorite, was our MLK day activity of eating the Great Divide ice cream. (1/2 vanilla and 1/2 chocolate.) This was their idea when we studied Civil Rights and desegregation before MLK day. We mixed them up some for symbolism sake. How funny are they?
I'm really not saying my kids are especially smart or are learning any more than everyone else's kids. Not at all. But they love learning, and I super love teaching them!!! I am learning so much from them, and learning to love knowledge, especially of God's creation, all from 1st grade.
Hopefully, I am getting smarter than a 1st grader.


Jennifer Bacak said...

We make 1 1/2 quarts of saliva a day!!! Sick!!!!

brickmomma said...

great post! Sounds so fun. What do your #3 and #4 do while y'all are in school?

Jennifer Bacak said...

Hey Jamie!
Excellent question! If they were left unattended, they would most definitely burn down the house.
So we have our Erin. Erin is super. She comes here to help me in the morning, with...everything! We just trade off doing what needs to be done so that the little ones are cared for, and I am free to teach school. She has a teaching degree, so that's super handy. Many women homeschool like dozens of kids all by themselves, and I will just tell you, I'm just not that awesome. I need help to do it and do it well. Erin leaves by noon, and we are done with school by noon.
How was your 5K? You did Glow right? That sounds so fun! If it wasn't during our date night, I so would have done that too!

First Ladies... said...

I'm so proud of what you are doing with your kids. It is amazing.

The Kramer Family said...

Let us know when you homeschoolers are ready for a farm day! We have plenty of animals and fun things to do out here. I think the homeschool group at LH might be planning a trip out here in March or April. How fun!!

Jennifer Bacak said...

We would LOVE to come to the Kramer farm!!! Emma keeps telling me she wants to study farming again. We did it in K, and learned a lot, did a fun field trip to a farm, but that was last year, and she thinks she forgot some of it, and that drives her crazy! She wants to know all about farming! Plus, I really want to come too!

MInTheGap said...

What do you do with that 1 1/2 quarts of saliva? Don't tell me that you drink it! Eww...

It's amazing the trivia we learn at different ages, and yet forget!

Jennifer Bacak said...

We actually use that saliva to aid in digestion. Still...gross!
How did you happen upon my blog? Just curious. The blog world is such a mysterious and wonderful thing! I saw your homepage and it's impressive!

MInTheGap said...

Hey Jennifer-- I was actually trying to be funny about drinking saliva, especially when your original comment was "We make 1 1/2 quarts of saliva a day!!! Sick!!!!"

I believe that I found you looking around technorati for different blogs from Christians. It's been a while, and I've had your blog on my feed reader for a while, just haven't stopped to comment as much as I should.

Thank you for the compliment about my site. I'm actually running one on building positive homes and relationships "Weekend Kindness" that you may want to check out.

Keep up the good work.

Marcus and Meg Asby said...

These photos are great. I'm so excited about homeschooling, Jenn, and I never would have done it if I hadn't seen it work so well in your family! I almost started to put together some lessons a few weeks ago, but then I stopped myself. WAY too premature.

LD said...

OK so now I feel dumb. I mean seriously I couldn't even answer half of those questions, even with my 18 (and counting) years of school! I blame it on the Ice Block Theory. My cousin (a very intelligent trauma surgeon claims that the more information we take in, the more we also lose, or as he puts it "you can only fit so many penguins on an ice block"

You should post the answers and enlighten us. In the meantime, I'm going to try and figure out how to get a bigger ice block.

Jennifer Bacak said...

Meg, yes it's early to write for your kids, but never too early to write for mine! Bring it on, little Meg!
And Lauren, I will try to post all the answers...which ones did you want?

LD said...

All of them! I think I need to go back to elementary school!