Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wow! What a crazy few days .... sorry for my absence! Last Thursday we had Thursday Connection co-op, of course. And this was the first time that I did not stay there all day. I have a Bible study now on Thursdays, which is awesome! Luckily Lillie knows exactly where to go and what to do, plus she has Riley Grace and Garrison in her classes, so they can help her in the event she has a problem. I'm still volunteering during her first hour class, which is Hands-on Science. She brought in an experiment this week, which we did together. We should the reactivity between vinegar and baking soda. We added yellow dye to one bowl and blue dye to another, so when it bubbled over the two colors mixed and created?????? GREEN of course! The kids knew that this was a miscible mixture! Which is what they've been learning about! Fun!

Friday was a crazy day. We were late getting started, then just as we got started, I got yet another call from Michael's school .... on of his braces had popped and was sticking him in the gum! So we made an emergency run to the orthodontist! Afterward, since we were right by the grocery, we stopped there. Then of course we had to eat lunch when we got home, and most of the day was gone! So, we worked on phonics and math and called it a day :)

Yesterday (Monday) wasn't much better, but that was because I was very sick. I have an ulcer and was in a great deal of pain. Ugh. So .... we played educational games and had a great time! We made silly sentences with a fun phonics game, used our Learning Pallette from Usborne (LOVE this thing!). We were going to work on art, but she got invited to a friend's house, so phonics and math again!

Today we're just getting started, so you'll have to check in later to get the scoop!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Is There Ever a "Typical" Homeschooling Day?

Started today with Hideaways in History. We read through our "spine" which is an exclusive written by Winter Promise. We learned about Adam and Eve and the earliest civilizations. Then we read from the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History. Gosh I love that book! The pictures are so beautiful! Lillie was thrilled to see a photo of the Sphinx in Giza in the Encyclopedia .... brought up lots of discussion about her study of Ancient Egypt last year We talked about the first farmers and Jericho, one of the oldest towns to be found. We also talked about Catal Huyuk (chatal hoo-yook), which was the largest of the early towns. While discussing that, we read that many people there had a shrine room where they prayed to their gods. "Gods??? There's only ONE GOD!", she quickly informed me! Sweet!

We then worked on Saxon Math which is not nearly as entertaining as Life of Fred. Today we had to cover shapes using pattern blocks. It's not as easy as it sounds! We also ran some errands, and while doing so began listening to Tchaikovsky Discovers America. I LOVE these stories! They're so well done.....they always entertain, but are so educational and in the background they play music from that composer. She is loving it!

When we got home we were ready to start on Bible and Phonics, but the phone rang and it was Michael's school letting us know that he had hurt his thumb playing volleyball. I called the dr's office and they were able to get him in at 2:45, so off we ran to pick him up and get to the dr's office. Of course, that took forever and a day. Finally, after returning home, we had our first Bible lesson using Grapevine Bible Studies, and we're going to LOVE this class! Today we started with Gen 1:1-16 and discussed the first 3 days of creation.

Afterward we worked on phonics blends, which is going well. I think we're ready to move on to the next step on the raceway!

Now, in preparation for Thursday Connection, we're getting ready to review Spanish and work on a science project involving mixtures of some sort. (guess I'd better figure that one out quickly since it's almost 8 pm!

Oh, by the way, Michael's thumb was only sprained!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What a great day! L was so cooperative today! I found this awesome class management system on Fairy Dust Teaching
So today we made our "Kangaroo pouch" and I presented her with her very own stuffed kangaroo named "Pancakes". The joey is appropriately named "Joey the Joe". They will remain on her desk most of the time. But, basically, she has to abide by the "star rules" which are attentiveness, diligence, obedience, patience, and thankfulness. When she is not exhibiting one of these behaviors, Pancakes and Joey the Joe will come to my desk, until she can gain self-control, then they will return to hers. So far? Working like a charm!

Then we did her most favorite subject: math! Life of Fred of course! Afterward we practiced phonics blends, which is not her favorite thing, but she seems to be happier doing phonics now that we're using SSR&W.

oh, and there's the teacher, wait, how did she get in here? and someone needs to empty that trash can!

And.....what we've ALL been waiting for: ART! We discussed what an artist is, what composition is and then she was asked to compose a drawing of her own. At first she wanted to draw me, but on second thought, she chose the TV cabinet. Wise choice.
Next was reading two chapters out of the human body book. One about cells, tissues and organs and the other about bones and muscles. Can I just say? The girl blew me away! Knew that the smartest component of our body is the cell....put together they become tissues.... and put together THEY become ORGANS. This was with no prompting from me! When I told her "L I think you're going to be a doctor!", she said "NO! I WANT TO BE A CHEF!" .... ok, sweetie. So, a chef it is!

But all chefs should know Spanish ... and the way things are going, we may all need to know Chinese too (right, Dad?). But for now, Spanish it is! We studied Los Lugares (places). This was homework from her co-op class.

History will be this evening because her friend called begging for her to come over. And you know what they say about all work and no play!

All in all ..... a 9 out of 10 kind of day! Hope yours was equally awesome!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Homeschool 2011-2012 1st Grade (long post!)

Warning: If you're not interested in our homeschool, you'll probably not be interested in this post :)

It's been so long since I posted anything on here! What good is a blog if you never blog? None, I guess.

Well, I've decided to be much more intentional about my daily use of time and to help keep me accountable, I'm going to use this space as a living scrapbook, so-to-speak, of our homeschooling days (and other happenings). My plan is to post daily with what we've accomplished during homeschool and a few pictures just for fun.

Surely, knowing that my husband and parents will be "looking over my shoulder" each evening will make my intentionality even more purposeful!

So to start, I'll share the curriculum that we're using this year ....

Bible: Grapevine Bible Studies. So excited about this Bible curriculum! We're starting with creation and are just going to work our way through the Bible. This curriculum uses drawing stick figures about the story as a memorization tool. It sounds simplistic, but it's very neat and I think L is going to love it! We're also going to be doing character training, with a different character trait each week. And, at some point, we'll be reading The Princess and the Kiss, which is about the sacredness of the first kiss a girl receives: the one from her daddy. It's a sweet little picture book with a sweet little study guide to go with it.

Language Arts: Sing, Spell, Read & Write. I've tried other programs, and frankly none are as good. I've had this box of gold sitting here for 8 years. I bought it when Michael was 5 and he turned 13 today, so if my addition/subtraction is correct .... yep, 8 years :) Anyway, Michael has always been an amazing reader and to this day reads 3 to 4 years above grade level. I attribute it to amazing genes, of course, but I think SSR&W may have played a small part in his success ;) We'll see how L does with it.

Math: Saxon (2nd grade) and Life of Fred. Strange combination, I know. Life of Fred finally came out with an elementary series and L is in LOVE with it. For those of you who do not know about that of which I speak .... I'll tell you this: it is simply the most entertaining math program around and it's incredibly thorough. It tells a story about a 5 year old named Fred who is a math genius and goes to teach at a university. And somehow seamlessly, math gets incorporated into the story, and L remembers it! ALL of it! Granted, she's a math whiz by nature, but this Fred thing is really working. So why Saxon? Well, because it's Saxon of course! And isn't that what diligent homeschoolers use? We've also started flash cards for addition facts, but she memorizes them so fast we hardly need them!

History: Winter Promise, Hideaways in History. So excited about this too! We'll be studying history from creation thru modern times all in 36 weeks. Each week we'll be constructing a "hideaway" out of cardboard boxes that corresponds with what we're studying (caves, pyramids, submarines, you name it we'll be making it!)

Spanish: Thursday Connection . So far L is loving her Spanish class at co-op! Which is surprising since it's primarily conversational. But her teacher is sooo sweet and patient, L just can't help but love her and learn from her. So far she's learned los colores (colors), el tiempo (the weather), and los lugares (places).

Science: Thursday Connection. When I signed L up for co-op, I didn't think about the fact that 3 of her 4 classes would be science related .... I was just trying to get her in the door with a cohesive schedule. So.....she's taking 1) Hands-on Science, a general science class learning about everything from mixtures to weather to electricity. 2) Critters, Critters, a class all about, well, critters of course. And already L was the star of the show as she got to bring in our sweet little dog, Booboo, for "show and tell". They'll also be having a K9 dog come in, animals from the zoo, and who knows what else! 3) Hands-on Human Body, a class about, yep, you guessed it! The Human Body. I know, she seems young for an A&P class, but really she's loving it! They constructed a human cell out of candy ... how bad could it be? When she got in the car Thursday she wanted to hurry home and get her human body book out so she could look at the difference between white and red blood cells. How many 6 year olds do that?

Art: Artistic Pursuits. I've heard this is the best art program around. We haven't started yet, but we'll see. We'll be doing that along with studying some Impressionist's paintings. And general arts and crafts for various seasons, holidays, celebrations, etc.

Music: Haven't nailed it down yet. We're going to listen to some of the Kid's Classics CD's which are stories about famous composers, interspersed with their music. We'll start with Beethoven Lives Upstairs and then probably Tchaikovsky Discovers America. We'll also be listening to Wee Sing USA which is all patriotic songs.

Did I leave anything out? Oh yes, P.E. She'll hopefully be restarting gymnastics in the fall. This is the thing she really wants to do most.

Yep, a full schedule it is! See why I need to be intentional?

Thanking God today for the privilege of homeschooling!