Christian Light Education Math

We made our first ever big mid-year curriculum switch. After working through Horizons K Math and the first book of Horizons 1, I made the decision to switch Little Bug over to Christian Light Education Math.

I absolutely love the systematic layout of each lesson. There is the counting and review time, then the workbook time and after that, flash cards with a speed drill followed by independent work time. At first, it might seem like these lessons are long and drawn out compared to the front and back page of a Horizons math worksheet, but each component of the CLE math lessons move quickly. The variety of daily activities makes the lessons more interesting than just working the front and back of a worksheet every day!

Here is an inside peek into Christian Light Education Level 100 Math and all the components that work together to make this math curriculum so thorough and engaging!

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Materials

This is what I purchased for Christian Light Education Level 100 Math: LightUnit Set (101-110), Math 101-105 Teacher’s Guide, Math 106-110 Teacher’s Guide, My Counting Book, Counting Chart, Addition and Subtraction Flash Cards and the Student Clock (with gears).

This post is going to walk through Lesson 38. This is the Teacher’s Guide for the first five (of 10) LightUnits:

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New Skills/Concepts

Each lesson begins with a list of New Skills/Concepts that will be taught in that lesson. For Lesson 38, you will be teaching how to read a number line with a scale of fives and how to draw a triangle by connecting points. Your child will also begin memorizing 4-4=0 and 4-0=4.

Class Preparation

Next, you will see in the Teacher’s Guide a list of things to prepare before teaching the lesson. This is an open-and-go curriculum, so the class preparation takes under five minutes. It will have you gather the coins needed for the Money Cup (more on this later), it will have you get the Fact Card ready for the day and it will tell you where to move any fact cards that need to be moved (more on this later, too!).

Meet With Students

  • Counting – The lesson begins with counting practice. Your child will count by 5’s to the number 75 and from 9-28. The Counting Chart can assist them in this task.

  • My Counting Book Activities – The My Counting Book guides children in a written counting experience from 1 to 1,000. Beginning in Lesson 48, your child will write a sequence of 10 numbers each day all the way to 1,000 by the end of Level 100!
  • Review – Because this is a spiral curriculum, there is a list of concepts and skills to quickly review. Lesson 38 has the child reviewing the value and characteristics of a nickel and what congruent means. These are all concepts and skills taught in previous lessons.

Begin LightUnit Activities

After the counting exercises and the review, it is time for your child to pull out their LightUnit! This is LightUnit 102 and includes Lessons 21-40:

  • Title Bar – The lesson begins with a Title Bar activity. The answer to the Title Bar activity always corresponds to the lesson number. For lesson 38, there were 3 groups of 10 and 8 ones which equals 38.

  • Lesson – After the Title Bar Activity it is time to introduce the new facts. The child will copy the new facts. Then, there is a story problem for you to read aloud to your child. They write the math fact that tells the story in their book. After this, the lesson continues with specific instructions on what to teach and do for each section. The Teacher’s Guide tells you exactly what to teach and what you say to your child is even in bold so it stands out in the guide.

Drill Flash Cards – After the lesson, it is time to drill flash cards with your child. Memorization of the basic addition and subtraction math facts was missing in the other math curriculum we used before finding CLE. The math flash cards are organized in a genius flash-card system with 8 dividers: Unused facts, New Facts, Once A Day and a divider for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The Teacher’s Guide tells you explicitly where to move the cards. Follow the directions completely and this system will work!

Administer Speed Drill – There is a quick 1 minute Speed Drill for each lesson. Set a timer and have your child complete as many problems as they can in 1 minute. There is a box to write how many problems were answered correctly in the 1 minute. I love the emphasize CLE puts on these basic facts. It is so important children learn these facts in the early years so that when they reach higher level math, they are not having to still use a ton of brain power just to figure out basic math. Each Speed Drill takes up only half of one sheet of paper.

Explain and assign I Can Do This – Once basic math practice is complete it is time to assign your child their independent math work. This section is called “I Can Do This”. I love that positive words are being used every day to tell the child that, yes, you can do this! Go over each section with your child and then let them complete everything on their own. After they are finished, you can check their work and then go over anything they answered incorrectly.

The first part of I Can Do This in Lesson 38:

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The second part of I Can Do This in Lesson 38:

Money Cup – This is another genius component of CLE Math! When your child comes across the cup symbol in their LightUnit, they know it is time to get their Money Cup and count the coins. There is something about being able to pour those real coins out on to the table and count them one-by-one that makes counting money like this so much better than trying to count coins that are drawn on a math worksheet.

Tests and Quizzes – There are 2 quizzes and 1 test per LightUnit.

A sample of a quiz in LightUnit 103:

Test in LightUnit 103:

I started Little Bug in LightUnit 102 (second book). It has been very easy for her but I wanted it to be easy as we transitioned from one math curriculum to another. CLE Math picks up in LightUnit 103, which we will be starting next week. I believe this change will continue to be a positive change for Little Bug.

Posted in Christian Light Education Math, Homeschool Curricula, Homeschooling

Homeschool Highlights {January}

We took 3 weeks off for Christmas and to adjust to having a new baby. The first week of January, I decided we would attempt to get back into the swing of things. My strategy was to ease back in to everything very slowly so I could see how our current routine might still work and what I would need to tweak due to the new dynamics of homeschooling a seven and five year old while managing the needs of a toddler and baby!

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Our first day back was January 4th and it was a very simple day. The girls did their handwriting/copywork, we read the Bible and then I did a joint math lesson with them on Fact Families because that was Little Bug’s new math concept coming up in her math book that week. Sarge was having his Independent Playtime and Beau was taking his morning nap. I knew I needed that day to get the momentum going again for school since we had been out of the routine for so long. Those first couple of weeks were more challenging than normal, but we pushed through. Within 2-3 weeks, we found a new rhythm that I am sure will have to be tweaked many times from here to the end of our school year in May, but I am confident our homeschool will be just fine through this transition.

A big reason for that is because Sarge is already trained to play happily in his bedroom for 60 minutes every morning! If I didn’t have that time without a toddler underfoot, homeschooling would be a daily disaster. The last 30-60 minutes of our school morning can be quite challenging once he is finished with his Independent Playtime, but putting a sister in charge of playing with and entertaining him while I am working with the other sister and giving him “table activities” (coloring, puzzles) helps us make it through the last half of our school day somewhat sane on most days.

On days when our school day is a disaster, I remind myself that this is just a season. Every year, the littles will be a little bit older and, before I know it, I won’t have the challenge of a toddler underfoot while trying to school my older children…and then I will have a new set of challenges to deal with!

These boys already have a special bond. I pray one day soon, they will decide school time is “brother time” and they will go off and play cars together and do whatever else brothers like to do together while I am schooling their sisters. Wouldn’t that be nice?!

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Classical Conversations

Like last year, I had plans to review Weeks 1-12 Memory Work during the 7-week Christmas break we had. Obviously, those plans did not happen, and that is perfectly okay. I do not feel like the girls have their Memory Work down like they did last year, but I would bet they probably know more than I am giving them credit for here because that is the beauty of CC!

We jumped right back into the routine of daily Memory Work review once we went back for Week 13 on January 10th. Grams and Gramps are attending Community Days with the girls during this time when I cannot leave Beau with anyone else as we work to form healthy attachment and bonding between us and him.

The girls received a telescope for Christmas from Grams and Gramps and they have enjoyed looking at stars and planets after studying the Solar System in CC before Christmas Break. They were also excited to see Gallon Man back for Week 13 math!

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During our “get back into the routine” weeks, the girls randomly asked if they could trace the world map from their Geography trivium table. They both did such an excellent job and they both even labeled each continent! They took these for their presentations one week this month! I was so proud of them. Little Bug’s is on the left and Sweet Pea’s is on the right:

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This Matching Matter! was a fun cut-and-paste activity we did the week we were learning about solids, liquids and gases in science.

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Bible

We gave The Big Picture Bible to the girls for Christmas. It didn’t take us very long to read through the entire thing during our Bible reading time in the morning. I’ve heard such great things about this children’s Bible but, after reading it, I was disappointed in it. Like Little Bug said, it left out a lot (which I know children’s Bible story books tend to do). I guess I am still glad we have a copy because certain parts were well told, but overall I don’t think I would recommend this children’s Bible.

We are now reading Genesis straight from The Adventure Bible! This is something I have longed to do with my girls and I felt they were both at the age where I could keep their attention reading straight from the Bible. We are also continuing to work our way through God’s Names.

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Little Bug

Little Bug finished All About Reading Level 2 on January 19th! She is an avid, fluent reader but we will pick up with Level 3 in the near future. We will skip over the phonics sections for the most part and focus on the other parts of All About Reading Level 3. She will continue to get phonics reinforcement with Explode the Code.

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Little Bug finished the first book of Horizons 1 on January 25th! I will talk more about where we are headed next in math below.

We have started All About Spelling Level 1 and that will be our focus for language arts for the time being. I love that AAS reinforces what we’ve learned in AAR 1&2.

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Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea continues to work through Confessions of a Homeschooler’s K4/5 Kindergarten Curriculum. I was planning to start some more formal schooling for Sweet Pea in the new semester, but with the new baby, I have postponed those plans. I am incredibly thankful for the freedom to do a very relaxed Kinder year with Sweet Pea. If we were choosing to send our children to public school, I probably would have “held back” all 4 children due to their summer birthdays. So, instead of entering Kindergarten at newly 5 years old, they would enter Kindergarten at newly 6 years old.

The sudden and unexpected adoptions of both of my boys when they each had an older sister that was in Kindergarten, has made me realize the beauty and freedom of delayed academics. Five year olds do not need formal schooling. At all. They do need plenty of time to play and explore. Sweet Pea likes to “do school” and COHS K4/5 Kinder meets those desires for her. I LOVE the Add It Game included in her curriculum. It is a game designed to teach children their basic addition and subtraction facts. We are focusing on that right now for math instruction. AAR Level 1 and Horizons Math K will come in their time and this is not the time!

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In this season, I have allowed Sweet Pea to choose how she spends her “school time” many days. Once she completes her K4/5 Kinder work, she has asked to draw! She loves to watch Art for Kids Hub and draw with the instructors step-by-step directions. She drew this My Little Pony!

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Handwriting/Copywork

Our school day still begins with Copywork and handwriting practice. This is something the girls can each do independently while I am getting the boys settled in Independent Playtime and nap so we can begin our formal morning learning time.

Both girls are working through A Reason for Handwriting K. This is Little Bug’s second time through this book as she needed some extra practice in handwriting. Little Bug is doing 1 lesson (letter) per day while Sweet Pea is working on 1 lesson (letter) per week. I put Sweet Pea’s page in a dry erase pocket so she can practice the same lesson multiple times throughout the week. On Friday she takes the page out of the pocket and writes her letters on the paper.

Little Bug’s copywork consists of tracing Bible verses that I have written. I’ve placed the page in dry erase pocket so she can trace over what I have written. She does 1 verse per week and she is currently writing the Bible verses we memorized together last year. Next month, she is going to start copying the verses on the extra line below my writing (instead of tracing). Our eventual goal is for her to copy these verses onto her own sheet of paper.

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New Curriculum

I have decided to try a different math curriculum – Christian Light Education. I have shared how every year at Convention I am always torn about what math curriculum to use. Little Bug has completed Horizons K through the first book of Horizons 1. As I looked ahead, I knew the “busyness” of Horizons was going to complicate things for Little Bug. When I looked at a sample of CLE math, I loved the simpleness that I saw. It was just straightforward math. No fluff.

Knowing Horizons is advanced in scope and sequence, I did not want to switch to another math program that was not. As I explored and researched CLE math, I quickly discovered that CLE’s scope and sequence is nearly identical to Horizon’s. That was my deciding factor to go ahead and make the switch.

Our first day with CLE math will be Monday, January 30th! I am looking forward to diving into this math curriculum with Little Bug. I think it is going to be a positive change for both of us. I will report how we like CLE math in next month’s Homeschool Highlight post!

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CLE’s prices are astoundingly affordable, which was another huge deciding factor for me in deciding to take the plunge and give CLE a try. For this reason, I also decided to go ahead and buy Sweet Pea the Kindergarten II books! She will finish K4/5 Kinder before the year is over and since I am delaying formal academics, I decided these 5 books (for under $20) filled with language arts and math activities would be a smart choice for Sweet Pea.

Outside Play

When our formal learning time is finished, it is outside time until lunch time in our house every day! We recently fenced in our backyard so that I can safely send the older three children out to play while I feed Beau his bottle and get lunch prepped and on the table for the other three! Little Bug has taken to capturing lizards…and holding them hostage in my tupperware! I ended up giving her a few containers for her lizards that are not to come back in the house!

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We’ve had a warm “winter” and have enjoyed many lunches out on our deck!

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I love this picture Little Bug drew of our family of 6! IMG_5123.JPG

I look to the future with great expectation. This has always been my dream…to be a mother to four and homeschool them. There are certainly challenges and days when I wonder why in the world this is what I wanted! I am quickly reminded why when I stop in the middle of the chaos and think….

Mothers have the most important job in the universe.

Daily, we are training, molding and teaching our little ones in the way that they should go…so that when they are old, they will not depart from it.

I don’t take this role lightly in the least bit. It may not look glamorous to be up to your eyeballs in spit up and dirty diapers from a toddler and infant all while trying to educate and referee your big kids, but it is not lost on me that I am doing the most important work I could possibly be doing right now in this season of my life.

Posted in Homeschool Highlights, Homeschooling

Homeschool Highlights {December}

As I said in our November Homeschool Highlights, I wasn’t sure if we would need more time off in December or not. Turns out, we needed time off for a reason I wasn’t expecting in the least bit.

If you read this, you know why!

On December 7th we got a call from our adoption agency about a baby boy and he came home to us just 10 days later!

This Homeschool Highlights will be different from all the rest, but here was our December:

It started like any December! One of our traditions is to have a movie night where the children get to eat dinner while watching a Christmas movie. This year the feature presentation was Frosty the Snowman!

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The first week of December was spent on a business trip with Dave. We were actually on that trip when we got the phone call about the baby. Nine days after that phone call, we went to court where the Judge ruled the baby to be placed for adoption with us! That was a joyous day!

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The next day, December 17th, we welcomed Beau (that is his blog name) to the family! We took one last picture in front of our Christmas Tree as a family of five moments before Beau arrived home!

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The kids were all anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new baby brother! We did not tell our family anything about any of this until Beau was in our arms. Later that day, we surprised both sets of grandparents by showing up with a new baby! It was an epic Christmas surprise!

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The next morning, the children did this on their very own. Beau was siting in the rock n play and all 3 of the other children pulled up a chair and sat there admiring him. It was love at first sight for all of them.

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Because of the craziness of this month, we didn’t get to most of our Christmas traditions this year, but this was a tradition I wasn’t going to let go by because we could never go back and do it next year. It is my tradition to take a Santa picture on Baby’s 1st Christmas. Six days after Beau came home we went to visit Santa! He did great however Sarge did not want to sit up! Dave and I ended up each holding a boy and the girls sat on Santa’s lap and we got an adorable picture of our family of six with Santa on Beau’s first Christmas!

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The first week Beau was home we worked on completing his nursery! We were actually in the process of this and just sped everything up. We were planning to start the adoption process in the New Year and were moving the kids around to make room for a nursery for a new baby! All we had to do was move Little Bug out and to her new room and paint Beau’s walls gray and navy blue. I love how it all turned out! We just need to purchase the crib for the long-term as I have no plans to take Sarge out of his crib anytime soon.

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We were simply amazed at how quickly Beau bonded and attached to us and us to him. It was a beautiful thing to watch. Sarge absolutely loves him.

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We did manage to walk the neighborhood looking at Christmas Lights on Christmas Eve! This is one of our favorite traditions!

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Fortunately, I was already pretty prepared for Christmas when we got the call, so I just had to do a little more shopping one day and I wrapped all the gifts 2 nights before Beau came home! This year we got a trampoline for everyone and then each child had 2 more gifts under the tree.

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It thrills my heart that my children are satisfied with a simple Christmas. No junk toys they are going to forget about in 3 days. All meaningful, purposeful, useful gifts they will enjoy on their own or with their siblings.

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This girl right here mostly got books for Christmas. As you can see, she was completely satisfied and wasted no time in starting her first book. She has read 10 chapter books this December!

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Our family of 6 on Christmas Day!

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We have enjoyed several family walks in the afternoon or evening. The boys love to ride in this double stroller that was gifted to me this past summer. It is going to come in very handy for many more months to come with these boys. In fact, one afternoon we set out on a walk and I had put Beau in the single stroller and was going to let Sarge walk. Sarge was not happy until we figured out he wanted to ride in the double stroller with his brother.

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Beau has been home now for 2 weeks. It has been 2 weeks of adjustment for all. I have not attempted formal schooling at all and, really, this has been the perfect time anyway for another break right at Christmas time!

I am giving myself grace when it comes to learning how to manage the four children and homeschool the girls. We will fall into our rhythm soon enough. That I know. For now, we will simplify our already simple homeschool while we continue to adjust as a family of six and bond and attach more and more each day to the precious little life God has added to our family.

Beau was born on the very day the adoption from this past summer failed.

God is a Redeeming God, wouldn’t you say?

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

Posted in Adoption, Homeschool Highlights

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

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December 7th we got a phone call from our adoption agency about this little guy. The next 9 days saw his mother signing her consent to terminate her parental rights, us meeting this woman, a court hearing to put a motion to intervene in his case (he was in the state’s care) and then another hearing where the Judge ruled that it is in the best interest of this baby to be placed in our family. He came home on December 17th, eight days before Christmas!

Once again, our lives have been uprooted with the sudden and quick addition of another child into our family, but we are confident that God orchestrated everything to bring this child to our family and He will give us what we need to meet his needs. He was born the day the adoption from this past summer officially failed. God is a Redeeming God and we trust Him to redeem the brokenness he has already experienced in his short life and we give God all the glory for what He has done and will continue to do!

Posted in Adoption

Favorites {Classical Conversation Materials/Organization}

The final post in my Favorites series is all about our favorite Classical Conversations Materials and how I organize it all.

Let’s start with materials.
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The Foundation Guide is the only thing that is required for Classical Conversations. It includes all the Memory Work. We also have the Cycle CDs which are very nice to have for Memory Work review, especially in the car! Each student also needs a tin whistle.

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Trivium at the Table Placemats are perfect for Geography Memory Work review. The maps are big and in color which make it easier for my little ones to find locations on the map. We are also big fans of reading Usborne books that correspond with our Memory Work.

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The Timeline Cards are an excellent resource to have on hand for learning the Timeline and History. We also love reading the If You Were… series.

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The Magic School Bus series and Let’s Read and Find Out science books are fun ways to read more about our Science Memory Work.

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Here is how I have organized our CC materials!

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This is what you could call the “CC corner” of our dining/homeschool room! Most of the resources we have for CC are stored here on this 8-cube bookshelf. Our Usborne books are organized by subject.

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There are 3 baskets along the top of the bookcase and each serves a purpose!

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The biggest basket is where I gather all of the books and activities we will be using over the next six weeks of CC. Since I plan for CC every 6 weeks, this keeps everything in one place and I can easily find books and activities when it is time for learning!

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The two smaller baskets hold our Timeline Cards and the Memory Flashcards. I find the Memory Flashcards very useful when we are reviewing more than one week’s worth of Memory Work (like now during Christmas break).

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This is our Morning Basket and I put materials for daily Memory Work review in this basket. You can see our Geography placemats, games for review and supplies for Blob Mapping.

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I like to display the Memory Work each week. I have the Memory Work typed up and stored in this folder so I can pull out the week’s Memory Work to put on display. In our old homeschool room, I had it displayed on the wall. I am not sure I am going to do that in our new dining/homeschool room. I will probably have a 3-ring binder that I will use as a flip chart as we review the Memory Work daily. That way the girls can still see the Memory Work as we review. It just won’t be on display all the time. We will see if this works for us.

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I have a file folder for each week. In the file folders I keep activities and printables that we will do that week.
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This is the bookshelf (that my dad made!) which is in our living room. I keep books that correspond to our current Memory Work on the shelves for the children to read at any time! The lowest shelf has books specifically for Sarge and the top shelf is for Read Alouds.

Posted in Favorite Homeschool Resources, Homeschooling

Homeschool Highlights {November}

Bible

Through the end of November, we continued to read God’s Names and recite our Monthly Memory Verses.

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Copywork

Every morning while I am reading to Sarge before he has his Independent Playtime in his bedroom, the girls do their Copywork. Right now, this basically looks like handwriting. They work on one letter per week from A Reason for Handwriting K. I put the page in a reusable dry erase pocket so they can practice writing the letter every morning. Then on Friday they take the lesson out of the dry erase pocket and write their very best on the paper. Little Bug also writes 1 Bible verse per day. She is tracing over my writing by writing on a dry erase pocket. If they are finished with their Copywork before I am finished reading with Sarge, they are to get a book and read while they wait for me. (No pictures but I will try and write a post about this including pictures because it is working very well for us!)

Language Arts

We are enjoying All About Spelling Level 1! Sweet Pea likes to join in on the lessons and since the words are basically CVC words, it is perfect for where she is right now in learning to read. Little Bug is also continuing to work through AAR. We do 2 days of AAR and 2 days of AAS weekly. It won’t be long before Little Bug completes AAR Level 2. Sweet Pea continues to work through Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Kinder curriculum and Little Bug continues to have her nose in a book very often most days!

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Math

Little Bug is already over halfway finished with the first book of Horizons 1. We just continue to plug along with lots of review and practice of the basic math facts so she has a solid foundation of basic math concepts. We do the Saxon 1 Timed Tests over and over again. Sweet Pea finished BJU K5 and we are now working in Hands On Thinking Skills! Confessions of a Homeschooler curriculum includes fun math games and activities too. We’ve been working on counting to 100 and skip counting.

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Classical Conversations

Mid-November we completed Week 12 of Cycle 2! We are now on Christmas break and will go back to CC in January. I love this break. It is nice to have time to review the first 12 weeks before moving on to the next 12 weeks. The last 6 weeks of science we learned about the Solar System! I couldn’t wait to teach the phases of the moon with Oreos! That was lots of fun! The girls also kept a “Moon Journal” where they recorded what phase the moon was in each night. Sarge still asks to go outside and see the moon nearly every night!

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Thanksgiving

I have mentioned before that I love the flexibility year round schooling affords us. We hit a lull right before Thanksgiving and I knew we all needed a break so…we took a week long break at Thanksgiving! It was so refreshing and just what we all needed. That week we did fun, effortless-on-my-part Thanksgiving activities and read lots of our favorite Thanksgiving books while talking about the first Thanksgiving long ago.

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Another reason I decided to take a week off at Thanksgiving was because I needed time to organize the dining/homeschool room! The last week of November we put this new set up to the test and it was absolutely marvelous!

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Field Trips and Special Outings

We enjoyed a couple field trips during the month of November: the zoo with our CC community and a family bowling night!

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We also went to a Gingerbread House Workshop with our CC community!

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The Saturday after Thanksgiving we went to pick out our Christmas Tree!

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Now it is December and Christmas is fast approaching! We will continue on with school and I will evaluate closer to Christmas whether we will need some more time off or if we can keep going through December!

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This was a VERY fast 1st semester to the 2016-2017 school year!

Posted in Homeschool Highlights, Homeschooling

Homeschool Room {2016-2017 Update}

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Our Homeschool Room has moved yet again!

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This room is suppose to be the formal dining room of our home and it now functions as a dining/homeschool room!

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My goal was to move away from the “school room” look and make a space that is both functional for eating and schooling. Bright colors and school posters were removed and two new pieces of furniture were purchased to give this room more of a dining room feel but yet still be able to function as a place where I can organize and store curriculum and schooling materials.

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I love the way this all came together!!

Our school materials are organized in baskets by the time of day that they are used.

The bottom shelf has our Morning Basket which includes everything we need for Bible and CC Review. (Beside the Morning Basket are the trays for turning in completed work. This makes keeping up with yearly portfolios a breeze.) Moving on up to the middle shelf, you will see two more baskets. The basket on the left has our Morning Work (Language Arts) and the basket on the right has our Afternoon Work (Math). The top shelf has Bibles and small manipulatives used frequently.

It is so simple and so organized!

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The cabinets store all of our Language Arts and handwriting materials! Language Arts materials are on the top shelf and handwriting materials are on the bottom shelf. I was even able to keep the alphabet poster without hanging it on the wall in the dining room by putting it on the inside of the cabinet door.

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I did keep our workbox system because I find that the workbox system is extremely useful for the preschool and kindergarten years. Most of Sweet Pea’s work is put into these boxes weekly. Each color box represents one day of the week. The work she does with me goes in the top box and the work she does independently – while I am teaching Little Bug – goes in the bottom box. The small white board for All About Reading and All About Spelling is beside the workboxes.

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This is the second piece of furniture we purchased. I had the chalkboard hanging and had not put it up anywhere in the house yet. It is the perfect place for me to write our Monthly Memory Verse. The basket on the top of this cabinet is for educational activities for Sarge.

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Inside the cabinet is all of our math materials and the numbers chart that I really didn’t want to hang on the dining room wall either.

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I finally found an accurate world globe that didn’t cost a fortune at Target.

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This is a silverware organizer for entertaining, but it works great to house all of our school supplies and it blends in well with the dining room decor.

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This corner has the 8-cube shelf with all of our Usborne books organized by subject.

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The baskets on top have the Timeline Cards, Memory Flashcards and Usborne books that we will be using over the next six weeks as well as the file folders with any activities we will be doing with CC Memory Work.

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I guess this corner looks a little school room-ish with the white board, but it passes in my book because it is functional and it serves a purpose. The three baskets of books are our Magic School Bus books, If You Lived books and Let’s Read and Find Out science books, which we read all the time in our history and science studies.

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 I did have to move some of our homeschool materials to other places in the house. Curriculum not in use went to a bookshelf in the master closet. Preschool materials went to a closet in the hallway and all games went to the kitchen island cabinets. 

I love the serene, clean, organized feel this room now has!

Posted in Homeschool Organization, Homeschool Room, Homeschooling

Favorite {Geography}

One of my favorite things about Classical Conversations is the Geography! Between the 3 cycles we will cover the whole world!

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Rand McNally Signature Map of the World is a self adhesive map that you can stick on your wall and it will not harm the paint! You can peel it off and relocate it.

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Trivium at the Table Placemats are extremely helpful in reviewing our Geography Memory Work. There are several great Usborne books for Geography too!

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Posted in Favorite Homeschool Resources

Favorite {Science}

We approach Science in the same way that we approach History so the backbone of our science is Classical Conversations Memory Work!

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My girls enjoy science as it is natural for little ones to be curious about their world! We read Let’s Read and Find Out science books, Magic School Bus books and, of course, Usborne books to dig deeper each week about our science topic. We also have the complete series of Magic School Bus DVDs which has been an excellent resource as just about every CC science topic is covered in the Magic School Bus series! We also enjoy reading The Berenstain Bear’s Big Book of Science and Nature.

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This was also a first year Homeschool Convention purchase that became one of our favorite resources! The World God Made and Our Father’s World are fun to read with the preschooler-1st grader as an introduction to fun science topics.

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Posted in Favorite Homeschool Resources

Favorites {History}

The core of our History studies are the Classical Conversations History Memory Work sentences! The CDs for each cycle have a catchy song for each sentence and we enjoy listening to the songs in the car.

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If we want to learn more about the people, places and events in our Memory Work, we read books about the topics! Usborne books are our favorites but we also enjoy the If You Were history series. CC’s Timeline cards are fun too and provide more information to read.

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I bought History for Little Pilgrims at my first ever Homeschool Convention. It is for Preschool to K-1st grade and is a excellent overview of the main history events from a Biblical perspective. We read through this last summer and both girls really enjoyed it. There is a coloring book as well.
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This is something I added in for our history studies just this year. Little Bug LOVES history. She loves stories so she naturally loves history. While Story of the World is not biblically based, the storyteller is Jim Weiss who we absolutely adore. We have many of his story CDs and he is an incredible story teller. When I saw that he narrates Story of the World I had to buy Volume 2 of SOTW to see if Little Bug would enjoy listening to the stories.

Just about every day at lunch, I turn on SOTW and the girls listen to 1-2 stories while they each their lunch. I love that the stories are just about 5-7ish minutes long, which is perfect for the ages of my children.

I LOVE watching them eat their lunch and enjoying their story and lighting up when they hear familiar words from their History Memory Work! Almost every single day they will say, “Mommy! That was in our history sentence!” and then they will sing the sentence!

At the ages of my girls’ now (7 & 5) I am doing nothing more than History Sentences and SOTW, but when they get a little older and we really start to study and learn history, I feel like it will be easier for them because they will have already heard these stories through their Memory Work and these CDs…and then hopefully the history timeline and how all the events relate to each other will just come together for them.

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Posted in Favorite Homeschool Resources