Thursday, September 30, 2010

2 Free Life Science Curriculums

1.  If you want a plan that is all laid out for you day by day for learning about the Human Body (Anatomy), you will love this!  I'm using some of the book suggestions to tailor our 10 weeks of Human Body study:

Little Otters Science - preschool through 1st grade
Otters Elementary Science - 2nd through 6th grade

2.  Next, this one is a complete Elementary Life Science curriculum.  This covers general life science - humans, animals and plants.  I haven't had time to review it and I'm not sure if it covers creation or evolution - from browsing through it, it seems as though it leaves both out, so check it out yourself before using.

Teacher's Full Text
Student Pages

They also offer links for each chapter here:

He even has a blog full of fun stuff:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Science 1st Grade Schedule

For those not familiar to the Well Trained Mind way of doing science, I thought I would do a post to show you what the schedule looks like for 1st Grade.

Animals - 20 weeks
Human Body - 10 weeks
Plants - 6 weeks

The spines are simply encyclopedias for animals and human body and then a hands-on gardening book for the study of plants in the spring.  You should be doing narrations with your science learning as you do in history.  For each study, you simply pick a topic and learn about it and then do a narration page, read some library books on the topic and even do a craft, project or experiment if you want.  The goal is exposure to material not mastery or even covering every single topic in the above categories.

My daughter's interest in learning about the human body is peeked at the moment, so we are going to begin with that instead of animals.

Human Body - Anatomy Links

I will be updating this as we go and find more links - feel free to tell us about any that you know of, thanks! ;-)

Compilation of Lessons, Printables, etc.






Monday, September 27, 2010

1st Grade Science - Changing Curriculum

Last year, we did 4 chapters of Apologia's Astronomy and loved it.  I still love it because its all Biblically sound but its very tiring for me to try and explain it while we read in terms that K can't understand.  The book is written on a 1st-6th grade level, but I'm worn out trying to summarize each section in terms K can grasp. So we are saving the Apologia sciences for 3rd grade or above.

I decided to go back to the WTM's recommendations for science.  We are going to do Animals, Human Anatomy and Plants for 1st grade.  The spines are "DK's First Animal Encyclopedia", "Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopedia" and "Green Thumbs".

I'm also adding in Pandia Press' "R.E.A.L Science Odyssey; Life" because K LOVES the labs that we have done in the Earth/Space sample.  However, we are only doing the first few lessons/labs to try it out and then decide if we want to pay the $39 for the rest.  We will be buying some live bugs, experiments and doing more hands-on learning instead of intense reading for science at this age.

Today, while out shopping we purchased a human skeleton model, human body floor puzzle and lady bug farm.  We are sending for our live lady bugs tonight! K couldn't wait to put the floor puzzle together so she did it tonight.

I'm also adding in free worksheets, games, interactive activities online and library books to supplement the topics each week.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Home Economics - Week 2

In week 2 today for home economics, we learned about peeling.  What peeling is, what instrument peels and why we peel.

Then the lesson was for K to make a carrot tray but we had no big carrots, so instead, we used a potato for the lesson.  She washed/scrubbed the potato first.

Then started peeling and she was so happy when her potato was all done!

She said it was so fun, she wanted to peel another one lol.  Next week is learning to use the toaster.

Ancient China - Pictograms

We finished up chapter 10 in SOTW1 on Ancient China and the project we chose to do was making a pictogram.  K wanted to do the house pictogram in SOTW and then she made up one and had me guess - a girl pictogram:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SOTW 1 Ancient World Google Map

Found this handy tool that someone created of the Ancient world locations in Story of the World 1:

View Story of the World in a larger map

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saxon Math 1 - Store

We are on lesson 73 in Saxon Math 1 and today we started our store. We grouped everything into categories: meat, cold, freezer, drinks, baby food, cereal, condiments, canned goods, pasta, snacks and fruits & vegetables. K had fun sorting what food goes into which category.

Then we pulled out a shelf from storage that I was going to throw away (luckily I had saved it!) and we are using it for our store shelves.  Next, K had to come up with a name and it took us a while, but she said her favorite animals were the elephant and penguin.  So we brainstormed and came up with the name "Waddle Store" because penguins waddle and she said everyone that comes in Waddle Store will have to waddle lol.  Too funny - we had a blast!  Tomorrow we do price tags and start purchasing items from the store.

2-Hour Quiet Time

We started implementing "quiet time" in June and are now resuming it with the start of homeschool this year.  Quiet time for us is simply 2 hours where my daughter stays in her room doing whatever she chooses but no computer or leapster gaming is allowed.  She usually plays, does crafts, or puzzles sometimes while listening to audiobooks.  We do the quiet time after homeschool ends.  I usually bring her a snack and she has a water tower in her room so she doesn't have to keep asking for water lol.

This works really well for us and in the future when I have more children, it will serve as their naptime.  I like to do internet things, read, and all the other many things I have to do after homeschool.  It really helps me to have those 2 hours of no interruptions.  I started this after watching the 2 videos below of what quiet time is like in Susan Wise Bauer's house with her 3 children at home.

Monday, September 13, 2010

1st Grade Memorization - 12 Sons of Jacob

K's first memorization assignment due in 2 weeks is to memorize the 12 sons of Jacob:


First Day of Homeschool - Review

We started homeschool today and are on break right now and I just had to tell you all how amazed I am right now.  We are doing review the first few days and we did our Bible review for about 20 minutes.  I sat and listened as K told me, in detail, all the stories of the Bible all the way up until Moses.  My eyes welled up with tears as I realized that truly, God has blessed her learning!

Her account of Abraham and the "almost" sacrifice of Isaac blew me away.  She ended her story with "God was just testing his faith."  I almost fell on the ground lol - here is a 6 year old understanding the moral of the story and some adults can't even grasp that simple lesson!

I wanted to say all this to encourage others - you may think your children aren't listening and you may think it isn't sticking up there in the brain but just is!  One day you will be in the car on the way to the store, and all of the sudden your child will begin to tell you about something you taught and then you realize that they were really paying attention - but sometimes it takes a bit longer for it to make itself evident.

Put God FIRST in your homeschool and keep thanking Him for all your and your child's accomplishments and you will keep the blessings flowing and your cup will surely run over!!

Homeschool Prayer

We start our homeschool day with a prayer and inviting God into our classroom.  I have yet to not feel the presence of the Holy Spirit when we pray.  His blessing is upon His people that choose to count him RELEVANT and IMPORTANT to education for their children.  Our prayer usually goes something like this:


We thank you for the opportunity to be able to homeschool K.  We invite you today to come into this room and be a part of our learning.  We count you the most important to K's learning.  I ask you Lord, to fill this place right now with your presence and touch K's mind to learn and absorb.  Help me Lord, to teach her to were she can understand.  Bless our homeschool today and we thank you God.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back 2 Homeschool Celebration Day Video

We celebrated Back 2 Homeschool by taking a family trip to Ocean Shores.  It was wonderful to have a day set aside to rejoice in the freedom we have in this country to homeschool our children!  We did a lot throughout the day - ocean fun, flying the kite, family fun center (bumper boats, mini golf & arcade), shopping and eating some fresh fish that was oh soo good! ;-)

 *Video no longer available.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Goals for 1st Grade

Here are my goals for 1st Grade for K.  This helps me realize what the overall goals are and aim to meet them by the end of the school year.

Overall Main Goal 
K to be reading very well.  She is almost on a 4th grade reading level but still struggles with speed.  We hope to finish the phonics and increase her speed but not to the point she loses comprehension.

Other Goals
Bible - Know Old Testament main characters and stories; Understands character qualities and displays them
Reading - main goal above; narrations revealing great listening and comprehension skills with challenging books
Math - Scope and Sequence for Saxon Math 1 accomplished
Grammar - Understands sentence and parts
Writing - Writing neatly with correct strokes
Spelling - Able to spell correctly the words with concepts she has learned
History - Understands general overview of Ancient History/Geography/Cultures
Science - Understands general overview of Animals, Human Body and Plants
Music - accomplished beginner piano; able to read notes/music as a beginner; general overview of composers and classical music and orchestra

Cambridgeshire Academy School Year Calendar Schedule

*This schedule has changed as we are schooling year-round now.

Here is our school year calendar schedule of dates below for our 32-week school year. 

School starts
September 13th

School Closed
November 22 -26 (Thanksgiving)
December (we took the whole month off for vacation trip)
February 7-11 (3-month freezer cooking week)
April 4-8 (Spring Break)

Last Day of School
June 3

1st Grade Completion Planning

*Updated Planning for 1st Grade here:

This is my first planning draft and it will be adjusted as the school year carries on to accomadate sick days, days off, etc.  As Susan Bauer says, a schedule is a servant not a master!


We have 97 lessons left in the OPGTR.  We can easily do 2-3 lessons a day, so I'm planning for 9 lessons a week and we may even do some on other days to just get it over with.  I plan on definitely having OPGTR finished by Christmas break but would rather have it finished earlier than that.  It is a 2-year program but we will have finished it in one year, since we didn't start it till late October last year. 

If we take it really slow and easy doing one lesson a day, we will finish up Saxon 1 by the end of February because we only have 58 lessons left.  Then we plan on starting Saxon 2 on February 28th.  Some days we may do 2 lessons because K loves math so much.  I am giving her homework this year - the back of her math worksheet, of which she didn't do last year.

I think we are going to finish up FLL1 and then do R&S English 2 instead of combining them.  We have 55 lessons of FLL1 to do and should finish it by the end of the year or at least by the end of January if we take our time.  Then we will start R&S English 2 in February. 

We will pick back up where we left off at week 8 and will finish WWE1 by the end of April.  I'm not too concerned that we would finish it so early though because R&S English 2 offers so much writing, so K will not be without practice till the following fall when she starts WWE2.

We plan on finishing AAS1 by Christmas break since we only have 13 steps left.  We will then continue on with AAS2 when we resume from our break in January.  We plan on going back to Spelling Workout after we finish up OPGTR.

20 weeks studying Animals; 10 weeks studying the Human Body and 6 weeks studying Plants

see history schedule here


Music - Composers Study
We have 12 lessons in the composer book and will finish it most likely by Christmas break and then I will choose another music-related curriculum.

We have 30 lessons in Artistic Pursuits and plan to finish by the end of the school year doing one lesson a week. 

Home Economics
30 lessons here as well and doing one lesson a week and finishing by the end of the school year.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2nd Homeschool Shelf

Here is our other small homeschool shelf:

We say the pledge of allegiance each morning after our opening prayer.  K has already memorized the pledge but I still leave it up in case she needs it.  The top of the shelf is our globe, cd/tape player, pencil sharpener and Rory the Lion - who plays many patriotic songs such as America the Beautiful.  K insists that Rory stay there lol.

The first shelf right now just has our bucket of audios - Story of the World, Considering God's Creation songs, Grammar and Reading cds, etc.  The second shelf is a storage tray with notebook paper and the bottom is lapbooks and file folder games we have made and some we are working on.  Then there are K's stickers for her AAS chart and books chart.  Then I have some dollar store trays that contain things we use a lot - tape, tacks, clips, etc.  The rest of our crafty stuff is in the craft closet.  The bottom shelf has file folders, cardstock paper, magazines for cutouts and some other miscellaneous stuff.

I've decided that instead of having the craft closet in the spare bedroom, I want to purchase some bookshelves with doors and bring the craft supplies out into the homeschool room instead of having to go back and forth.  I may venture to do that this month and will blog about it if I do!!