Sunday, 22 March 2020

ॐ Forced to Return to Homeschooling thanks to COVID-19 Pandemic ॐ

And we starting by go back to the future.....

As strange as this global pandemic is, I feel quite at home with this forced isolation period to help to "flatten the curve" for the spread of coronavirus 2019, or COVID-19.  We chose last Thursday to voluntarily keep the kids home for 2-4 weeks. On the weekend, Alberta Education Minister (under dear Dr. Hinshaw's advisement!) closed the public schools. The University of Alberta was closed first ~ I didn't have classes on Thursday.

We decided school will take place Monday to Thursday with a 'freedom Friday' and normal weekend.

ॐ So we dusted off the 'ol Ellingson Academy of Mindful Education Facebook page, teaching websites, materials, tricks, tips, and aaaaaaall the curriculum I kept! 

First thing I did was ask the kids what they were learning in their school subjects as best as they could tell me.  

Then.....we came up with a plan!

Each of their teachers will be adding assignments and work to their Google Classroom ~ but for some of my learners, this doesn't quite do it for them. For example, one teacher isn't putting any Social Studies or Science online for them for over a month.  Just Math and English.  And as each learner has different needs and different teachers with different styles, our homeschool is the ॐ one common structure ॐ for them all.

Pi Day - Our 1st day of COVID-19 Homeschool

I had volunteered with the Victoria School Council to help bake 750 pies for Pi Day on March 8th!! We used the Food Lab at NAIT and some culinary students volunteered too! The Victoria School kids had pie for Pi Day on March 13th...but my kids didn't benefit! I had already decided we were isolating them Mar. 12th before schools were mandated closed.

Reader's Workshop

We all started new books to read.  Ellar & Astrid, grades 4 & 3 respectively, are reading Hatchet.  Mostly because I have 2 copies, Ellar can relate to the protagonist, and I taught it to Connor & Greta when they homeschooled at their age!  Greta is reading a non-fiction book, the 2nd in a Christmas trilogy. And Connor is reading Red Wolf about residential schools.
We reviewed plot mountains

St. Patrick's Day story Comprehension for the 3rd & 4th graders along with identifying in one sentence the main idea for each of the 5 paragraphs. Brilliant find on #teacherspayteachers because I'm a theme based teacher!!!

Connor's Math!

Connor, grade 7, asked if I would teach him algebra.  It's my favourite too!  I'll get into basic calculus with him before grade 8....but only because I know he's super interested in science.  I taught him about Distributive Property and we review some vocabulary.  

Connor's St. Paddy's Day Distributive Property worksheets :) 

Greta's Math!

Greta is working through reducing fractions using prime factorization and fractions to decimals.  Every day she does a Daily Math Worksheet. She had a fun week!

She enjoyed a St. Patrick's Day exercise using perimeter, area, fractions. 

Both Connor & Greta independently planned a trip to IRELAND with an imaginary $3500 pot of gold find! They had a lot of fun planning this trip!

Ellar & Astrid's Math!

Astrid and Ellar are both working on Base 10 to help them with multiplication facts 0-12. Next week we'll focus on Power of Ten. 
Most of their math has been flash cards and games like "Spiral math"!


We started the week with Chinese Vase Painting!  Symetrical vases :) and attempted various textures uses brush strokes.
Connor's flowers
Astrid's flowers
My flowers <3 
Ellar has lots of patience
Greta's flowers

Ellar's flowers

Then we explored Celtic Knots in celebration of our Irish heritage.  The kids are mostly Irish (they still have plenty of Viking blood in them though! Just not as much as their fighting' Irish roots haha!) Celtic knots symbolize unity and protect from evil.

Greta's teacher, Ms. MacQuarrie, gave her 6th grade class a challenge #doorchallenge2020 to make a door out of material from the recycle bin. Greta made a fairy themed door using a mushroom container, some tetra juice boxes, wine corks, and old chair leg pads!  We also painted our window with hearts to show solidarity around the world for COVID-19


This week I decided to review vocabulary around animals. We will be taking the next couple of weeks to explore:

  1. Local Animals = understand animal routines & calls of vertebrate animals
  2. External Anatomy and Classification = vocabulary, anatomy of 4 invertebrate groups, learning to groups and distinguish invertebrates, distinction between arthropods & classifying them on the animal classification chart
  3. Identification = Honing Animal Observation Skills, Learning to use a field guide to identify animals, going out activities
  4. Internal Anatomy and Physiology = organ systems, Reproduction including sexual reproduction & asexual reproduction
  5. Adapting to different habitats = Adaptations of hot & cold desert animals, African grassland animals, coral reef animals, cave animals
  6. Relationships of humans with animals = uses of animals, caring for animals

Writing Poetry ~ Limericks 
When we homeschooled, I would include various styles of poetry, talk about, alliteration, assonance, ballads, cinquain, end rhymes, epic, figurative language (simile vs metaphors etc), form, free verse, haikus, imagery, internal rhymes, lyric, narrative, ode, onomatopoeia (I love saying that!), quatrain, rhyme scheme, rhyme, rhythm, sonnet, sound devices, speaker, stanza.

I don't mind including a weekly poem :) Helps them to remember new things, be creative, and have fun with writing expression!

Physical Fitness & Yoga 

We are enjoying holding space with one another every morning like we used to! We have also gone on many hikes from 30-90 minutes, including a 5k around Elk Island Park! Campbell is REALLY appreciating all the exercise! I took a stretch class with the kids that Shelley Tookey recommended from Michele Assaf. As an RYT500, I look for instructors that really connect with body movement, posture, and anatomy. I appreciated the subtle movements that focus on the joints and flexibility. Authentically stretching without injuring. I'm looking forward to putting my kids through a couple of rigorous workouts this week. We've also committed to running Mon, Wed, and Fri. I'm going to be doing a Vinyasa Power Flow as well as a Restorative Yoga class with the kids this week, in addition to their regular morning sun salutations, meditation, and pranayama. 

We're looking VERY forward to Week Two of our Homeschooling! Much more yoga & fitness this week including fitness & nutrition theory, yoga philosophy, ॐ Ayurveda (yoga's sister science).

Our Family Chore Chart 
6 areas that rotate so that you're only cleaning bathrooms once every 6 weeks, the kitchen is your responsibility once every 6 weeks, etc. and it looks like this:

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog! I'll leave you with a few funnies & some valuable self-care checks during these super tough upcoming weeks of isolation.