Homeschool Highlights {July}

Our first day of school was July 11th. The girls were very excited to begin a new school year. This year Little Bug is a 2nd grader and Sweet Pea is a Kindergartener. Our first 3 weeks of school in July were a big success, despite the fact our family had a huge disappointment at the end of July. (More on that at the end of this post.)

 

Bible

We are reading through The Jesus Storybook Bible. I love how every story points back to Jesus coming as the rescuer and redeemer. We read 1-2 stories each morning to begin our school day. During this time we also pray together and go over our memory verse for the month.

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Language Arts

Little Bug picked right back up with All About Reading Level 2. By the end of July she was on Lesson 19. After finishing Level 1 (back in May) Little Bug’s reading skills have really blossomed. She read 22 chapter books in June and July! When she started reading chapters books on her own and saying she had finished them, I wasn’t sure if she was really reading them because she was finishing so quickly! After questioning her about what she was reading, it became clear she was reading the books and was just becoming a book worm! She wakes early and spends time reading then. She is required to read for 30 minutes before bed and she does so willingly. We will often find her reading throughout the day as well. This has been so exciting for me to witness!! She flies through the AAR lessons but I still want to do AAR with her because it works on other reading skills besides phonics (reading comprehension) that I want to make sure she also has a solid foundation in.

Sweet Pea began Confession of a Homeschooler’s K4/5 Kindergarten Curriculum. We mainly got through the alphabet and number review lessons in July (as well as a few assessments on letters and numbers) so next month we will really get into the meat of this curriculum.

After I do AAR with Little Bug, she is responsible for playing with Sarge while I do language arts with Sweet Pea. This has worked super well! Anytime one of his sisters gives him their undivided attention, Sarge is a happy camper!

langarts

 

Math

Little Bug began Horizons 1 math. The first lessons are review and it has been good for her. She seems to have grasped place value to 10’s which is something we worked hard on last year.

I brought out Little Bug’s K5 Math book that she completed half of when we put her in the private school after Sarge was born. Sweet Pea LOVED having a math book! She wanted to do lesson after lesson after lesson. The first few days of school all we did was pages in this math book because that is all she wanted to do! We are also playing lots of games that I have printed and prepared ahead of time from various resources on the internet! She has enjoyed playing the games but she loves when it is time to work in her math book!

math

 

Handwriting

We are still working through the Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten book together. The extra practice has been helpful for Little Bug and Sweet Pea is learning to write her letters very well! By working in the math book, she is learning to write her numbers too!

PicMonkey Collage

 

Swim Lessons

The girls took swim lessons through an instructor that offers lessons in her home pool. The class was July 11-22, Monday through Friday, 1 hour each day. Both girls made excellent progress from Day 1 to Day 10! Little Bug was jumping in and swimming the length of the pool by the end of the two weeks. Sweet Pea got over her fears and was jumping in, going under the water and beginning to learn to swim by the end of lessons. I was so proud of both of them!

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Failed Adoption

We were expecting to adopt our 4th child in July but the mother chose not to place her baby for adoption. While this was a huge disappointment to our family when it happened, we are all at peace with how things turned out.  We are seeking the Lord for what is next for our family as we do not feel our family is complete. It will be exciting to see where God leads us next.

 

These 3 weeks have been a wonderful start to the school year. We have a good routine in place, which I will write about soon. We are looking forward to beginning our second year with Classical Conversations in August!

 

Posted in Homeschool Highlights, Homeschooling

How I Organize Classical Conversations

This is the Classical Conversations corner of our Homeschool Room!

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There are multiple ways people organize their Timeline Cards. I choose to go the cheap route by putting them in a basket I already had on hand and using tabs to mark each week. I thought they would be easily accessible this way and I can grab the cards for each week and then file them back in the basket.

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I think most people like to write the Memory Work on a big dry erase board. I don’t have a big dry erase board. I took the time to type the Memory Work (it didn’t take as long as you would think!) all out so I can display it each week in page protectors that are taped on the wall. Works for us! I like the Memory Work visible for Review time.

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My folder with all the Memory Work typed and printed.

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I stick all the pages for one week in one page protector! All 24 weeks are in this one folder!

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Memory Master cards are hung on the wall. Cycle 1 is the top row and Cycle 2 is the second row. There is space for Cycle 3 next year! I find these cards helpful when we are reviewing more than the current week’s Memory Work.

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Because I planned our school year all out this summer ahead of time, I have these folders ready with special activities we will do with our Memory Work. There is NOT an activity for every week and for every piece of Memory Work. Just an activity here and there to spice things up every now and then. I will place books that we are currently reading in this basket as well.

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A sample folder with a Book of Number Patterns each girl will make:

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The blue basket on the right holds our Review materials and games we enjoy playing during our Memory Work review each morning.

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Books are a big part of our Memory Work. We love reading to find out more about the facts we are memorizing! This bookcase holds all our books that correlate to CC Memory Work. The books are organized by subject.

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I really like the way everything is organized this year. I think it will make grabbing resources convenient and easy as we move through our school year!

Posted in Classical Conversations, Uncategorized

What We are Reading for Cycle 2 Science

Here is what we have on hand to dig deeper into Classical Conversation Cycle 2 Science topics!

(Most links are at the bottom of this post.)

Week 1: Biomes
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Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

First Encyclopedia of Science (Usborne)

1001 Animals to Spot Sticker Book (Usborne)

Wild Places (Usborne)

Magic School Bus In the Arctic

What’s Biology all about? (Usborne)

Week 2: Consumers
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First Encyclopedia of Science (Usborne)

What’s Biology all about? (Usborne)

Week 3: Food ChainDSC03652

Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

Let’s Read and Find Out Who Eats What?

What’s Biology all about? (Usborne)

What is a Food Chain?

Composting

Week 4: Natural CyclesDSC03655

Lets Read and Find Out Follow the Water From Brook to Ocean

Magic School Bus Wet All Over

Magic School Bus At the Waterworks

See Inside Weather and Climate (Usborne)

Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

Week 5: Adaption, Migration, HibernationDSC03657

Lets Read and Find Out Animals in Winter

Magic School Bus Hops Home

Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

Week 6: PollutionDSC03659

Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

Lets Read and Find Out Oil Spill!

Weeks 7-12: Outer Space (Stars, Sun, Planets, Moon, Space Missions and More!)DSC03662

Our Solar System

On the Space Station Shine-A-Light Book (Usborne)

First Sticker Book Space (Usborne)

Big Book of Stars and Planets (Usborne)

There’s No Place Like Space

Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System

Astronaut’s Handbook (Usborne)

Living In Space (Usborne)

Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

First Encyclopedia of Science (Usborne)

Let’s Read and Find Out The Moon Seems to Change

Week 13: States of MatterDSC03664

First Encyclopedia of Science (Usborne)

Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

Let’s Read and Find Out What is the World Made Of?

Week 14: Acids and Base

Any ideas??

Week 15: EnergyDSC03667

First Encyclopedia of Science (Usborne)

Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

Let’s Read and Find Out Energy Makes Things Happen

Energy

Weeks 16-18: Newton’s 3 Laws of MotionDSC03669

First Encyclopedia of Science (Usborne)

Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

Who Was Isaac Newton?

Let’s Read and Find Out Forces Make Things Move

Motion

Weeks 19-21: Laws of Thermodynamics

Any ideas??

Week 22: LightDSC03672

First Encyclopedia of Science (Usborne)

Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

Light

Week 23: Heat
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Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

Week 24: ElectricityDSC03676

Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary (Usborne)

Electricity

Links:

Usborne Books

Magic School Bus Books

Let’s Read and Find Out Science

Posted in Classical Conversations, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

Bible Memory Verses {2016-2017}

Here are the Bible verses we will be memorizing each month for the 2016-2017 school year:

 

July

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

 

August

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man. Colossians 3:23

 

September

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14a

 

October

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5

 

November

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

 

December

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37

 

January

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

 

February

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

 

March

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

 

April

Do not let any unwholesome talk comes out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

 

May

As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

 

June

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Homeschool Room {2016-2017}

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Our Homeschool Room has flip-flopped between the formal living room and dining room of our home over the years. This year it is in the formal living room, which is where I prefer for it to be!

I love having all of our school materials in one location of our home and, this year, I feel like the Homeschool Room is finally organized in a very proficient way!

Looking into the Homeschool Room, this is what you see:

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If you look to your left, this is what you see:

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And if you look to your right, this is what you see:

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Now I will tell you what everything is and how everything is organized!

To the left, as you walk in the room, is our carpet area where a lot of schooling takes place. We love this cozy little corner! School pictures from the beginning of the school year are hung here, as well as our World Map and monthly Bible Memory Verses. The two blue baskets hold our Bible and Handwriting materials (left) and the basket on the right has our CC Review materials. You can also see the Memory Flashcards for Cycles 1 & 2 hanging on the wall.

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The two baskets in front of the window contain Math & Language Arts materials for both girls. The first basket has all of Sweet Pea’s K4/5 Kindergarten curriculum. The beige basket holds Little Bug’s AAR and Math curriculum.

You can also see our Calendar, beach ball (used for Memory Work Review) and our workboxes in the corner.

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As we continue through the room, on the back wall, there are 3 big bookshelves which hold the majority of our homeschool supplies and materials. The best part about these shelves this year is the way that they are finally organized! The bookshelf on the far left has all of our handwriting/fine motor skills materials. Curriculum not currently being used by anyone is stored on the very bottom shelf. The middle bookshelf has all of our math materials. The bookshelf on the right has all of our reading/phonics materials.

I used to have some homeschool materials stored in closets in the hallway but I never used those materials because “out of sight, out of mind”. So I decided to put all of our homeschool materials in one location! I went through it all and gave away some things so that everything would fit on these 3 bookshelves. I absolutely LOVE it. I can clearly see ALL that I have on hand to teach my children and we are using many more of our resources now that we can actually see what we have.

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Next is a little reading corner!

All of the books from Ready Made Preschool Levels 1 & 2 are in the brown basket. In the other basket are books on audio.

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Then we also have a bookshelf for our home library. The books are categorized by topic/author.

The bottom shelf has our Read and Find Out science books, Magic School Bus books, If You… books and Dr. Suess books.

The middle shelf has a box full of stickers, Poetry books, non-fiction books about animals, Max Lucado stories and Patricia Polloco books.

The shelf with the 4 baskets has art and craft supplies and play doh.

The top shelf has Bible stories, Christmas/Winter books, Eric Carle books and Fall books.

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The corner immediately to the right when you walk in the Homeschool Room is our Classical Conversations corner! The weekly Memory Work is on the wall under a bookshelf that holds all of our books that correlate with CC Memory Work! The books are mostly Usborne books and they are organized by subject. History books are in the 2 cubes on the left. The top cube stores what we will use for Cycle 2 this year. The next 2 cubes are for science. The next 2 cubes are for geography (top) and another cube for science. The 2 cubes on the right are for materials not in use from Cycle 1 (top cube – pink basket) and Grammar and Art books (bottom) along with our 3 tin whistles.

The pink and blue baskets on top of the bookshelf is for finished work. Little Bug’s is pink and Sweet Pea’s is blue. Every month or so, I go through their baskets and choose a few samples of their work to put in their yearly portfolios. Next to those baskets you see our blow up globe ball which Sarge loves to play with. Next to the globe is another brown basket that holds more CC materials relevant to Cycle 2. I have file folders by week with activities that correlate to the Memory Work. (And, no, I don’t have something planned for every week and for every subject! There are only about 10 or so folders and most of the activities have to do with science which is usually the subject my girls like to dig deeper in!) The pink folder sticking out of the brown basket has all the Memory Work typed up by week ready to go up on the wall!

The wall space to the right of this bookshelf is a space we use to display any visuals we make to help us with our learning.

The small basket on the floor has all of the Timeline cards for CC!

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In the center of our Homeschool Room is our table where we do some of our school work that needs to be done at a table.

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And, of course, the alphabet letters that the girls made during Ready-Made Preschool are hung up around the perimeter of the room on the right side!

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This room is a highly functional room and I absolutely love the way it is organized. I think it will serve us well this school year!

Posted in Homeschool Room, Homeschooling

Curriculum Choices {2016-2017}

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This year will begin our fourth year of homeschooling! Here are our curriculum choices for the 2016-2017 school year which begins on Monday, July 11th:

~ Together ~

Bible

We always begin our day by reading a Bible story. It’s a habit I want to instill in my children from a very early age. We’ve read several stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible but we’ve not read it cover to cover yet. We will also watch The Jesus Storybook Bible DVDs. The girls have reached the age where I want to start reading to them straight from the Bible. Both girls received The Adventure Bible for kids for Christmas so we will begin reading from there this year.

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We began reading Apologia’s Who is God? this summer. Once Sarge is in bed we all gather in the living room and Dave reads a page or two. This book teaches a Biblical Worldview. The age recommendation is 6-14 years old so our girls are definitely on the young end of that age range, but we feel like they are picking up what they can at 7 and 5 years old and we’ve had some wonderful discussions with them.

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Classical Conversations ~ Cycle 2 Memory Work

We are looking forward to our first time through Classical Conversations Cycle 2! Every week the girls will have 7 pieces of Memory Work to memorize. By the end of Cycle 2 they will have memorized and/or been exposed to:

Timeline: 161 events and people in a chronological timeline from Creation to Modern America

History: 24 history sentences from Pre-Reformation to Modern history

Science: 24 science facts about Ecology, Astronomy and Physical Science

Geography: Over 100 locations and geographic features in Europe, Asia and select parts of the world

Math: Multiplication tables up to 15×15, common squares and cubes, as well as basic geometry formulas, algebraic laws and unit conversions

English: Grammar facts including pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and conjuctions

Latin: Verb endings of the first conjugation

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These are the resources we use to learn more about our Memory Work:

Usborne Books

Magic School Bus books and DVDs

Let’s Read and Find Out Science books

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I do not plan an activity for every piece of Memory Work, but I do occasionally plan a fun craft or activity. The girls look forward to special activities that are not something we normally do every day, but most of all, they love to just read books together about our Memory Work!

Blob Mapping

We do enjoy Blob Mapping and will continue perfecting those skills this year!

Classical Conversations Community Day

One day per week, we will join our Classical Conversations Community for Community Day where we meet from 9am-1pm. During this time we will be learning about/participating in the following:

  • Exposure to drawing techniques
  • Music Theory
  • Tin Whistle
  • 6 Great Artists and related projects
  • Introduction to orchestra
  • 3 classical composers
  • 12 science experiments
  • 12 science projects
  • 24 oral presentations
  • Lunch Hour with our Community!

Handwriting

We started Handwriting Without Tears K during the summer and will continue until we complete the Letters and Numbers for Me workbook together.

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Read Alouds

Read Aloud time has always been one of my favorite times of the day. We like to enjoy our Read Aloud after lunch and before rest time! It is a nice way to unwind and we have gone on some amazing adventures together via books and stories over the years!

Some of the books we plan to read this year:

Little House on the Prairie series (We started this last year!)

 The Imagination Station

The Shakespeare Stories

Who Was Issac Newton?

Who was William Shakespeare?

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Math Games

At the early elementary age, I believe math concepts should be taught through various games and activities and not just from a workbook. Over the past year or so, I have collected (from the internet) math games and activities for preschool through 2nd Grade. We will play these games along with our math curriculum! We have games for the following math concepts: Basic Addition Facts, Fractions, Geometry, Graphing, Measurement, Money, Number Sense, Patterns, Shapes and Time.

mathgames

Little Bug ~ 7 years old  ~ 2nd Grade

All About Reading Level 2

We started All about Reading Level 2 towards the end of last year and will continue where we left off as we begin this school year!

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All About Spelling Level 1

It is recommended to begin All About Spelling Level 1 with Level 2 of All About Reading. We will have to find our groove with doing both AAR and AAS. I am almost certain we won’t do them both everyday. If Little Bug’s love for AAR is any indication, I am sure she is going to love AAS just as much.

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Explode the Code Books 3 & 4

We left off on Lesson 4 of Book 3 at the end of last year, so Little Bug will pick right back up where she left off. These books are excellent in reinforcing the phonics she is learning in All About Reading. As an extra bonus, for the most part, she can complete these lessons independently. Once she completes Book 3, she will move right in to Book 4.

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A Reason for Handwriting Level K

A Reason for Handwriting K provides excellent practice for writing the uppercase and lowercase letters. Little Bug did this last year and she will work through it again this year for some extra handwriting practice.

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Horizons Math 1

Little Bug will move in to Horizons Math 1 this year. I always find myself second-guessing which math curriculum to use. At the convention this year, I probably visited half a dozen or so math curriculum booths and, at the end, I stuck with Horizons for one simple reason: If something isn’t broken, don’t fix it! Horizons is working for us, so why change?

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Sweet Pea ~ 5 years old ~ Kindergarten

My baby girl is in Kindergarten! I am taking a different approach with Sweet Pea’s Kindergarten year compared to Little Bug’s Kindergarten year. I am not beginning any formal curriculum with her at the start of the year. We will take a gentle approach to Kindergarten. I will follow Sweet Pea’s interests. After Christmas (or even before!), if she is begging me to teach her to read, I will pull out All About Reading Level 1 and get started! However, if she seems to enjoy my relaxed approach to her Kindergarten year, we will save the formal curriculum (AAR & Horizons math) for when she is closer to 6 years old.

K4/5 Kindergarten from Confessions of a Homeschooler

K4/5 Kindergarten from Confessions of a Homeschooler will be Sweet Pea’s core Kindergarten curriculum! It includes: basic phonics & math and handwriting practice as well as much, much more. You could use it as a full K curriculum, but I just printed and organized into file folders what I want to use with Sweet Pea, which is less than half of the complete curriculum.

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Explode the Code Primers ABC

She won’t start these right away, but once those fine motor skills develop a little more and we complete Handwriting Without Tears K, Sweet Pea will begin the Explode the Code Primer books that teach and reinforce letter sounds.

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A Reason for Handwriting K

After we finish Handwriting Without Tears K, Sweet Pea will begin A Reason for Handwriting K.

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Saxon Math K

Sweet Pea’s math will be a hodgepodge of math resources I already had on hand. We probably won’t complete anything cover to cover, but we will dapple in everything here and there throughout the course of the year! Here is what I’ve got on the shelf to use with Sweet Pea for Kindergarten Math:

Saxon Math K is perfect for preschool or gentle Kindergarten. There are lessons that we will skip and lessons that we will do because they look fun. I like Saxon’s playful approach to math and believe it will be a great way to introduce and reinforce some basic math concepts with Sweet Pea. However, with a new baby coming soon, I am not planning to pull this out until after Christmas.

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In the meantime, I have several other resources that we will use:

Life of Fred Apples – Both girls will enjoy reading this. I’ve had it a couple years now. I need to make time to read it to them!

Usborne’s Wipe Clean First Math and Usborne’s Wipe Clean Telling the Time – This is a fun way to learn math!

BJU Math K5 – This was Little Bug’s math book the half-year she went to private school during her K year when life was so crazy after Sarge’s birth. If Sweet Pea wants to be a big girl with a math book, I will pull this book out and give her a page to do.

Various workbooks I have picked up over the years – These can also be used if Sweet Pea wants a “math book” like her big sister!

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In summary:

Together

  • Bible
  • Classical Conversations Cycle 2
  • Blob Mapping
  • Classical Conversations Community Day
  • Handwriting Without Tears K
  • Read Alouds
  • Math Games

Little Bug

  • All About Reading Level 2
  • All About Spelling Level 1
  • Explode the Code Books 3 & 4
  • A Reason for Handwriting K
  • Horizons Math 1

Sweet Pea

  • K4/5 Kindergarten from Confessions of a Homeschooler
  • Explode the Code Primers ABC
  • A Reason for Handwriting K
  • Saxon Math K + supplemental material
Posted in Homeschool Curricula, Homeschool Resources, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

Homeschool Highlights {June}

{Bible}

We’ve been spending time reviewing our monthly memory verses for this past year during our Bible time each morning.

{Handwriting Without Tears K}

We’ve done the first part of Handwriting Without Tears (Frog Jump Capitals) and I love the way HWOT teaches letter formation! It is put so simply for the kids using just 4 strokes that are easy for little ones to remember: big line, little line, big curve, little curve.

Little Bug, of course, still insists on making certain letters “her way”, which is fine. I tell her if I can read the letter I don’t care how she makes it. Sweet Pea, on the other hand, is learning to form her letters correctly through this program!

It is wonderful practice for Little Bug and wonderful instruction for Sweet Pea. It takes just about 10-15 minutes to complete a lesson, which has been perfect for our summer schedule. We begin by me showing them how to write the letter correctly on the little chalkboard. Then, they get a turn to write the letter on the little chalkboard which both girls really enjoy doing. From there, we move to the table where they each complete the worksheet for the day which takes them 5 minutes tops.

handwriting

{History for Little Pilgrims}

We all enjoyed reading this book. It was a perfect overview of World History and American history for little ones!

{The World God Made}

We also enjoyed reading through this little science book about the 7 days of creation. It was just right for summer reading.

{Blob Mapping}

We haven’t done blob mapping as much as I thought we would this summer, but we have done it some and Little Bug has made progress from the first time she drew a blob map at the end of the school year. Both girls enjoy drawing blob maps, I am sure we will continue to perfect our skills in the coming school year!

{CC Review}

We’ve done some CC Review (of Cycle 1) by playing some of our Review games. I’d say the girls’ favorite game right now is “Beach Ball Review”. I wrote the 7 subjects on a big beach ball. I throw them the ball and they catch it. They look where their thumbs landed on the ball and they can choose either subject their thumbs are on.

{Little Bug’s Reading & Math Skills}

We haven’t done much with AAR Level 2 this summer, which is totally fine by me because Little Bug has turned herself into quite the little bookworm. She has had plenty of reading practice every day this summer so I am fine with not continuing on with her reading curriculum through the summer. We will pick right back up next month.

She has done some pages from the Dollar Store math books I picked up to keep her working on those math skills through the summer.

{Read Alouds}

We finished Farmer Boy and we are now reading the 3rd book in the series, On the Banks of Plum Creek.

 

June is coming to a close and then we will start the new school year on July 11th!

 

Posted in Homeschool Highlights, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

Homeschool Goals 2016

Here are my Homeschool Goals for the 2016-2017 school year:

1. Teach Bible Literacy first and foremost.

This will forever be the first goal of every single year. No matter how we choose to educate our children, we want Bible Literacy to be a top priority in our home. We talk about the Scriptures as we move through our day. Over the last year, I got in the habit of using Scripture while disciplining my children and I want to do even more of that this year. The Bible is a clear guide on how God desires for us to live, but we have to open it up and read it daily and then apply it to our lives and teach it to our children! I want my children growing up knowing Truths found in the Word of God. It is my responsibility as their mother to plant these seeds in their hearts so when they are older it is second-nature to them to turn to the Word for guidance and answers in this life.

2. Keep it simple.

This year will be interesting to say the least with a 2nd grader, Kindergartener, toddler and…..NEWBORN! Yes, we are adopting again soon! I spent the month of June preparing any and everything I could ahead of time for homeschooling so that the year can go as smoothly as possible with a toddler and newborn in the mix this year!  I will have very minimal planning to do throughout the year to hopefully lessen my homeschool planning load, but overall I kept one thing in mind during all of my planning this summer….keep it simple. Fortunately, my girls are still at the age where school can, and should, be very simple. Scripture Memory, CC Memory Work & Community Day, Language Arts and Math and that it is it! It is more than enough. It is going to be a fabulous year as we begin our second year of Classical Conversations. After all, it is CC that introduced me to the truth that school in the early foundational years can be both simple and rich all at the same time.

3. Teach more life skills.

The girls are master dishwasher unloaders! Every morning they unload the dishwasher for me which is a HUGE help. This year I intend to teach them about laundry. I am thinking I will teach them first how to put away their own clothes, because I think that will help me the most in the new season to come.

4. Academic goals

Little Bug

I want to continue to see Little Bug’s reading skills blossom and I am confident they will as we continue to work through the second level of All About Reading. I also want to see her math skills to continue to progress as she builds on foundational concepts that she learned this past year. We will continue to drill the basic math facts. At some point in this school year, I would like to see Little Bug ready to do some simple copywork (1 sentence per day).

Sweet Pea

There is no pressure on Sweet Pea to learn to read this year just because she is five years old! However, we will continue to work on the pre-reading skills and when I know the time is right, I will pull out All About Reading Level 1 to teach her! Our relaxed approach to Kindergarten will continue with Math as I am not going to rush into a formal Kinder math curriculum with her. We will be working on foundational math skills through fun games and activities. We will continue to work on those fine motor skills as Sweet Pea learns to write letters and numbers this year.

Sarge

I do not have any formal “school” plans for Sarge as he will just be 2 years old this year, but I do plan to read to him every day! He will also continue to develop his concentration and focus skills by having about 1 hour of independent playtime in his bedroom daily while we are having our morning school time.

5. Laugh. A lot.

I know that I can intricately plan everything out (like I did this summer!) but a toddler and infant in the mix are bound to throw a monkey wrench in there! It is going to take flexibility, patience and a lot of grace for us all to accomplish this school year. I will need to just laugh on many days when the littles are not letting me accomplish the academic goals I had for that day. I will need to relax and laugh and know the babies won’t be babies for long and before I know it I will be schooling four children….a dream come true for me that I know will have it’s own challenges! I want my children to remember their mother laughing when things got too crazy to continue school in that moment. I know those moments will come this year!

Posted in Homeschool Goals, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

Homeschool Routine 2015-2016 (Update from the Update!)

It took me until March to find a good homeschool groove with 3 children that lasted more than a couple weeks! From the beginning of the school year until around March, it felt like things were constantly changing. I had to preserve and many days I questioned my ability to be able to manage my 3 children and homeschool which is funny considering I used to manage a classroom of 20+ fourth graders with ease. Many days I shook my head in wonder at how a 6, 4 and 1 year old could be harder to manage than a classroom of 4th graders.

I pressed on, and when the calendar went from February to March, I realized one day that we had finally found our groove and I could tell this groove was here to stay…at least for this season of our homeschooling journey.

Here is how most typical Homeschool Days went once we found our rhythm:

{I am just writing about school time because the surrounding activities stayed virtually the same from my last schedule update.}

8:00am: Everyone was up by 7:45am. The girls picked their clothes the night before which is a life-savor for getting reading in the morning. They were to be dressed by the time I came to get them at 8am. A little after 8am, everyone would be busy on Morning Chores. The girls were emptying the dishwasher while I was getting breakfast on the table, handing out pills and vitamins, brushing hair and getting essential oils on everyone. Sarge was sitting in his high chair watching all the action!

8:30am: Usually by 8:30am, everyone was finished eating. The girls cleared the table, brushed their teeth and then all 3 kids would go play together while I got the kitchen cleaned up from breakfast and started a load of laundry.

9:00am: At 9am, I would take Sarge to his bedroom for his Independent Playtime. Then, the girls and I would begin our day by reading a Bible story and reviewing our CC Memory Work.

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9:40am: Time to get Sarge out of IP. I would go and get him and bring him to the kitchen for water. Then he always liked to look out the front window and see his sisters in the school room before going to take his morning nap! By 9:45am he was down for his morning nap.

From here on out, the times are approximate. Everything flowed in the same order each day but times varied.  The time didn’t vary by much more than about 15 minutes.

9:3oish: Preschool with Sweet Pea. We would read books first and Little Bug would join us for that. Then Little Bug would have 15 minutes of iPad time where she would play educational games.

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10ish: Phonics with Little Bug. Sweet Pea would work on her Independent Work (handwriting, educational activity) and then she would have 15 minutes on the iPad to play educational games.

10:30ish: Math with Little Bug. Sarge would get up at 10:30am from his nap, so we would all go to the kitchen table for math time. Sarge did not like being locked out of the homeschool room when we were in there. Moving to the kitchen table gave everyone more options. Sweet Pea and Sarge would either sit with us at the table or they would go play. Many days I taught math with Sarge on my hip and Sweet Pea sitting at the table quietly observing! It worked for everyone even though there were some days that I had to call it a day before math was finished because Sarge wasn’t cooperating. On those days, we just finished math once he was taking his afternoon nap!

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11ish: We would all head outside!

12ish: Lunch

12:30ish: The kids all played after lunch and I did chores. Like put that load in the dryer!

1:15pm: Clean up time! The girls were responsible for cleaning up the toys in the living room and playroom while I went to read to Sarge and put him down for his afternoon nap.

1:30pm: Sarge was down for nap. Anything not cleaned up would be thrown away or go to the donate pile! (This system for getting the girls to clean up worked like a charm!) After things were cleaned up, I would read aloud to the girls.

2:00pm: Naptime for Sweet Pea and Little Bug would work on her Independent Work (Explode the Code & Math fact practice).

2:30pm-4pm: Everyone was napping or resting!

That routine worked well for us from March through the end of the school year in May! Next up is figuring out a schedule that will work for homeschooling the girls while managing and balancing the needs of a 2 year old and new baby!

Stay tuned… it is bound to be interesting. :)

Posted in Homeschool Routine, Homeschooling

#4

Lord willing, next school year we will be adding another student!

Adopting3

We appreciate your prayers as we walk through the next several weeks.

Posted in Adoption