Sunday, December 11, 2011

New American Cursive 1 Completion

Katie finished the first book of New American Cursive and wrote a thank you letter to her teacher - me! :-)  She loved doing cursive and what it made it so fun was Mr. Meerkat! 


We are now going to be starting the 2nd book, which is review and practice on fluidity of letters and it also includes famous quotations and scripture.  However, the scripture isn't KJV, so we are making our own scripture exercises with the software.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tangrams Creation

Katie loves playing with the tangrams that came with the Saxon Math manipulative kit, even when we are not doing homeschool.  She made an awesome picture last night and I had to take a pic!  She made this up on her own and amazed us.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

SOTW 2: Chapter 9 - Japanese Food

We did chapter 9 in SOTW 2 today on Japan.  One of the projects was to make a Japanese meal but I had no clue on how to do this, so I thought going to a Japanese restaurant would be a good place to start.  We had one locally and as soon as we sat down they gave us Miso soup.  My daughter loved this soup, so I have to figure out how to make it.

I've only had Sushi once when I was in Hawaii and at the time I didn't know it was raw fish.  I ventured out tonight and had some, but I had it deep-fried, thinking that makes it cooked right?


I ordered a meal called Ichiro, which was sushi, crab and avocado deep fried and came with some green and pink stuff on the corner of the plate.  I had no clue what these were, but I took a big bite of the green stuff and almost thought I was going to die!!  It was so hot, it felt like it burned my nasal area and I was chugging down water.  Then, later on the server said "oh, no you can't do that, that is Wasabi, it very hot."  Yes, I know this now - lesson learned.  The pink stuff turns out to be ginger she said.  They gave me some dipping sauce, which I think was sweet and sour sauce and then a tiny bowl on a plate that was empty.  I'm guessing it was for soy sauce?

My husband had Chicken Yakisoba, which I think is fried noodles with chicken and vegetables:


We weren't sure what my daughter would eat, so we ordered her Chicken Teriyaki.  They said it came in Bento, which we found out means something like a box of food on a plate.  It came with the chicken teriyaki, egg rolls, sticky rice, salad and an orange dessert.



Lastly, we all shared some Oreo Tempura......can I just say OH MY!  It was a hot, soft oreo inside what tasted like a funnel cake!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

George Washington's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

I saw this on another blog and thought it worthy of sharing as a reminder to us all of what Thanksgiving Day is really all about.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3rd day of October, A.D. 1789.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rain in a Jar

We learned about the water cycle and then made rain in a jar.  You simply fill a jar with hot water, quickly cover the top with a sandwich bag and secure it with a rubber band.  Then add a few cubes of ice in the bag and wait.  After just a few seconds, it got foggy in there and then by about 15 minutes the water vapor made enough condensation and it started "raining" inside the jar. 


Monday, September 26, 2011

2nd Grade Independent Assigned Reading List

This list consists of Katie's 30 minutes of independent assigned reading time during school-time.  This is reading that is at or above 4th grade level and also called her "challenging" reading time.

  1. Beowulf - Osborne
  2. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Osborne
  3. The Sword and the Stone - Osborne
  4. Saint George and the Dragon - Hodges
  5. Hamlet for Kids - Burdett
  6. Macbeth - Burdett 
  7. The Song of Roland - Osborne
  8. A Midsummer Night's Dream - Burdett
  9. Romeo and Juliet - Burdett
  10. Finn Maccoul - Osborne
  11. Island of the Lost Children - Osborne
  12. Chanticleer and the Fox - Chaucer
  13. The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur - Hodges
  14. The Fly on the Ceiling - Glass

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Autumn Mobile

We have a Scholastic book of Autumn crafts for the classroom and one of them was this mobile.  I printed it out on cardstock and then Katie colored it and cut it out and its now hanging in the corner of our homeschool room.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ashurbanipal Paper Doll

I told in another post about Famous Figures of Ancient Times paper dolls.  We finally got around to making one and we did Ashurbanipal.  I laminated it and then Katie cut out most of it and I put it together with the paper fasteners.  Katie loved it and played with him a lot and wants to do more.  The best part about these is that if you laminate them, they can be used for review of history.  We plan on doing them all and then ordering the next set for Medieval Times.


Free Animal Classification Lapbook

We did an awesome lapbook today on Animal Classification for science:



You can download all the pages to make this lapbook here:
http://www.homeschoolshare.com/animal_classification_lapbook.php

Friday, September 23, 2011

Roman Signum Project

We did chapter 1 of Story of the World 2 this week and Friday is reserved for all our projects and crafts.  The project we chose this week to do for history was making a Roman signum or standard.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Homeschool Room - Ready for 2nd Grade

I took all the posters off the walls and added some subway art, rail with buckets for pens/scissors/markers, etc. and put a string of yarn on the wall and hung some of my favorite art that Katie has done. 

My camera didn't do well and if I turned the light on it glared off the dry erase board but here they are:


The collage shows before, after taking down the old posters and then the last one being now:


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Animals and Their Needs Lapbook

We really love Homeschool Bits lapbooks as they are quick and easy and Katie retains a lot from doing them.  This week she did "Animals and Their Needs."  She colored, cut and glued the lapbook.  She wanted to read the lesson aloud by herself and then she answered the questions and wrote them down in each booklet.  So, I think she can do these all by herself and that really helps me out!  The best part?  It was only 50 cents!



This is something new we learned today, did you know this?



Of course, Katie accidentally wrote aif instead of air - we all had a good laugh!

2nd Grade History Read-Aloud Reading List

This is a list of the books that pertain to history that we have read aloud to Katie and will be updated throughout the year.

  1. The Warlord's Puzzle - Pilegar
  2. Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China - Louie
  3. Two of Everything - Hong
  4. Little Red Riding Hood - Ziefert
  5. The Beautiful Butterfly: A Folktale from Spain - Sierra
  6. Three Golden Oranges - Ada
  7. Puss in Boots - Perrault
  8. Count Your Way Through the Arab World - Haskins
  9. Macbeth - Coville
  10. Midsummer's Night Dream - Coville
  11. Hamlet - Coville
  12. A Medieval Feast - Aliki
  13. Leif the Lucky - D'Aulaire
  14. The Inch-High Samurai - McCarthy
  15. Three Samurai Cats - A Story from Japan - Kimmel
  16. Saint Francis - Wildsmith
  17. Raisel's Riddle - Silverman
  18. Liang and the Magic Paintbrush - Demi
  19. Sir Cumference and The First Round Table: A Math Adventure - Neuschwander
  20. The Hunter: A Chinese Folktale - Casanova
  21. Adventures in the Middle Ages - Bailey
  22. Little Johnny Buttermilk - Wahl
  23. Dragon Prince: A Chinese Beauty & the Beast Tale - Yep
  24. Baboushka and the Three Kings - Robbins
  25. The Littlest Matryoshka - Bliss
  26. The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella - Hickox
  27. The Empty Pot - Demi
  28. Baba Yoga and Vasilisa the Brave - Mayer
  29. Turkey - Festivals of the World
  30. The Duchess Bakes a Cake - Kahl
  31. Blacksmith - Lilly
  32. The Toy Brother - Steig
  33. The Adventures of Tom Thumb - Mayer
  34. The Red Balloon - Lamorisse
  35. Three Sacks of Truth - Kimmel
  36. The Traveling Man - Rumford
  37. Cuckoo - Ehlert
  38.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Flash Cards

I love using flash cards for review as it provides an extra boost to almost anything we are learning.  Target had an awesome deal yesterday with each set being just 50 cents!  I already had a few of these from when I bought them last year but I added in some on animals, insects and space.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Goals for 2nd Grade

Overall Main Goal 
Katie to write her own narrations and increase in fluency.

Other Goals
Bible - knows accounts well from Genesis to death of Moses
Reading - increase reading level; increase fluency and speed
Math - scope and sequence for Saxon 2 accomplished
Grammar - can identify parts of speech; able to write own narrations
Writing - able to write 2-4 long sentences from dictation; learn New American cursive
Spelling - increase spelling while recalling rules in mind
History - understands general overview of Medieval/Early Renaissance history
Science - understands general overview of Animals, Earth Science and Astronomy
Music - accomplished beginner piano and violin; able to read notes/music fluently; general overview of composers and classical music and orchestra

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Animal Classification Links

Video
Classifying Animals

Games
Identify Animals
Various Animal Games
Animal Classification Questions
Birds, Insects, Mammals & Plants Classification
Animal Classification
Sorting Game
Animal Characteristics

Printables
Classification Table Cards
Classification Fan Cards
Animal Classifying Notebook page

Lapbook
Lapbook Elements
Lapbook/Notebook Pages
Lapbook 

Charts
Kingdom Chart
Invertebrates Chart
Vertebrates Chart
Bird Order Chart
Arthropod Chart

Montessori Cards
Kingdom Labels
Control Chart
Mammals
Amphibians
Arachnids
Insects
Birds
Crustaceans
Echinoderms
Fish
Myriapod
Protozoa
Reptile

Decorating with Subway Art

I had taken down most of the posters on the wall since they were geared towards K-1st leaving the walls bare.  So, I printed off some subway art with rules and encouragement and hung them above the small bookshelf in some old frames that I spray painted black.


We also put up a rail with cup holders from IKEA and I love it!  One has scissors, hole punch, etc., the next one is pens/pencils/etc. and the last one has the dry erase markers and eraser.  I love that the markers and eraser are right next to the dry erase board - it makes it really convenient for me when I'm teaching.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Easel for Teaching with Posters/Boards

I got a great deal today at Michael's!  All their art easels were 40% off and I found one to match our black furniture in the homeschool room and it ended up being about $8!  I love how it is 67 inches tall and perfect height for me for teaching from posters and other large illustrations like felt boards.  It folds up too, so I can easily tuck it in the corner of the bookshelf case if need be. 



Sunday, September 4, 2011

2nd Grade Daily Schedule

Mon-Fri
Bible - 20m
Reading - 30m morning; 40-60m evening

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
Spelling - 15m
Grammar - 15m
Writing - 10-20m
Math - 30m

Monday & Wednesday
History - 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Tuesday
Science - 1 hour

Thursday
Piano & Violin Lessons
Music - 20m

Friday
Science
Art
Projects
Home Economics

Daily (Sun-Sat)
Piano practice -10m
Violin practice - 10m

Husband
Bible on weekends
Reads classics in evening

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is how I plan to order each morning session:

Monday - Bible; Spelling; Grammar; Writing; Reading; Math; History

Tuesday - Bible; Spelling; Grammar; Writing; Reading; Math; Science

Wednesday -Bible; Spelling; Grammar; Writing; Reading; Math; History

Thursday - Bible; Music; Piano & Violin Lessons

Friday - Bible; Science; Art; Projects; Home Economics

Saturday, September 3, 2011

2011-2012 2nd Grade Yearly Schedule

We are schooling for a total of 32 weeks.  I've divided the year up into 3 trimesters, taking 3 weeks of December off and 2 weeks of March for spring break.  We plan on starting 3rd grade work in June, but may extend 2nd grade throughout the summer if we take more breaks throughout the year.

1st Trimester Start: September 19th
Trimester Ends: December 9th
Total Schooling - 12 weeks

3 weeks of December OFF

2nd Trimester Start: January 2nd
Trimester Ends: March 16th
Total Schooling - 11 weeks

Rest of March OFF

3rd Trimester Start: April 2nd
Trimester Ends/School Year Ends: June 1st
Total Schooling - 9 weeks

2nd Grade Language Arts Planning

Language arts (LA) includes spelling, grammar, reading and writing.  Katie will be spending 2 hours completing the four-fold LA, here is a breakdown per component:

Spelling - 15 minutes
Grammar - 20 minutes
Reading - 30m 4th grade and above reading level books; 40-60m books below reading level
Writing - 10 minutes

We will keep a binder for LA with a section for each of the four components.  I've outlined some things I wanted to remember for this year with each subject:

Spelling - test spelling lists weekly and keep a list of trouble words and trouble rules;  Katie copies rules she has trouble with and reads them out loud; two times a week review trouble words and trouble rules.

Grammar - write down Katie's narrations and read it back to her; towards the middle of the school year she should be writing the first sentence down by herself;  Memorize 12 pieces.

Reading - oral reading for fluency once a week with McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader;  two times per week Katie is to give me two to four sentences about the plot of the book she is reading for her challenging reading; no narrations on fun books; only filing her imaginative reading in this notebook - stories, myths, fairy tales, poems and novels; factual books and biography reading goes in history notebook.

We still review phonics from the OPGTR to make sure Katie grasped all the phonics rules and we will continue to review them occasionally.

Writing - practices cursive daily for 5 minutes; dictation daily using WWE 2; once a month writes penpals

With writing, it is not only a skill but a content area.  We are laying the foundation that makes a good writer, that is why I don't have my daughter doing creative writing until the logic stage.  I like how Susan Wise Bauer puts it "The creative writing is a natural gift; the ability to think through information, organize it, and put it down on paper needs to be taught."  Our writing program consists of:
  1. Narration - in literature, history and science
  2. Copywork
  3. Dictation
Katie narrates twice a week from whatever book she is reading from her challenging list.  She also narrates as it comes up in the grammar book.  When we do our history chapter, she narrates to me.  Lastly, when we do science, she narrates to me after each lesson.  This year we will be concentrating on improving her narration to the point that she can identify the most important element or central thought of the passage.  She will also start dictation and she has already had some practice in dictation with small sentences out of All About Spelling.  By the end of 2nd grade, she should be able to write two long sentences from dictation after only two repetitions.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Our Homeschool P.E.

I've been taking some ideas from a homeschool P.E. book (Physical Education), and combining it with my own past experience as a personal trainer and developing a P.E. class for Katie.  Today was our first day of an actual structured homeschool P.E. class outside and here is what we did:


Jump rope - 3 minutes
American Hopscotch - 5 minutes
Kickball - 10 minutes
4 Relay runs with last lap walking - 5 minutes
Stretches - 2 minutes

Total P.E. time: 25 minutes


Katie loved it and didn't want to stop and can't wait till our next P.E. class on Monday!  We also did it right before lunch, so it was refreshing to come inside and cool down and eat.  I didn't think I was going to get a workout but I was sweating and breathing hard during kickball!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tribute to Homeschooling Parents

The son of the creators of Doorposts (from what I understand) wrote this to his parents:


Thank you, Daddy and Mama, for purposing to teach us at home, for following through, and for pouring out your lives for us. You have been faithful to the calling God put before you.

Thank you for reading the Bible to us every day.

Thank you for reading us hundreds of books.

Thank you for choosing to build a family library instead of buying new cars, expensive home decor, or big boy toys.

Thank you for staying up late correcting our schoolwork.

Thank you for helping us with math problems (even when you couldn't remember how to do them either). Benjamin turned out an engineer, so I think you did okay.

Thank you for turning off the computer and making us play outside.

Thank you for feeding our interests and fanning the flames of "delight-directed study."  We learned LOTS about history and about God's creation without knowing it was part of "school."

Thank you for investing in our music lessons.

Thank you for allowing us to make messes (and for teaching us to clean them up).

Thank you for sorting through curriculum each year to find what worked best for us.

Thank you for writing our curriculum when you couldn't find what you needed. God has used your work to serve many other families.

Thank you for pointing us to other godly men and women for more advice and training when you'd given all you could give.

Thank you, Daddy, for doing cool stuff with us like falling trees and building fences, and for teaching me how computers work.

Thank you, Mama, for teaching each of us to write well. That must have been hard.

Thank you for not giving up.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. - Galatians 6:9 KJV

HSE Magazine - Awesome Quotes

I received 2 free issues of Home School Enrichment magazine and I really have loved the articles so far.  The first issue, had an awesome article called: "Homeschooling: An Offensive Lifestyle."  It talks of what most homeschoolers have learned after their first year, that just setting a standard offends and homeschooling seems to upset a lot of people.  Some quotes from the article that I highlighted:

"Families are homeschooling because of biblical conviction, but judging by the amount of criticism they receive, one would think they have purposely set out to destroy the lives of their children!"

She also responds to a common sarcasm that homeschoolers get and which I have gotten myself that question how my child will learn how to live in the "real world?"

"The objective in Christian homeschooling is not to teach children how to "deal with the real world."  I do not want to teach my children how to merely survive this life.  As believers in Christ, we are called to be overcomers!"

Then, in another article in the same issue, I came across "Sacrifices and Homeschooling: Dispelling Myth #2: "I Could Never Do That."  Here are some quotes from that article:

"...people aren't willing to make the personal sacrifices that homeschooling requires."

"Homeschooling takes time, something many parents are not willing to give their children - not to the extent that home education requires."

She goes on to talk about how some mothers can't wait to get rid of their children when school starts up again and gives a reason for these types of mothers:

".....putting their children in school means the parents are getting their personal time back.  School is free day care so they can pursue their interests."

How true!  Since when is it the state's job to watch your kid all day and educate them?  God sure didn't give them that right, he told the parents they are responsible but anyway, I'm getting off track here lol.  =0

What would make a mother not want her child to the point that she can't wait to get the child out of her hair, so to speak?  The author points out the obvious, lack of parenting has created a disobedient child that no mother would want to be around:

"Since neither the parents nor the children are very happy, why would these parents want to have the kids at home with them during the day?  After-school hours are unpleasant enough!"

"These parents have already lost the hearts of their children.  It's sad to say, but ultimately, they don't even like their own children anymore.  They don't enjoy spending time with them, and they long for someone else to watch them so they don't have to.  Why?  Because their relationship is a battleground........the respect for the parent is no more."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tentative 2nd Grade Schedule

Here is our tentative schedule for this 2nd grade year:

8am - Me: wake up; dress; coffee; bible and prayer time

9am - Katie: wake up; we eat breakfast and Katie practices her piano and violin

10am-1pm - Homeschool for 3 hours (detailed schedule of this time in another post)

1-2pm - Lunch and Recess (play outside or inside)

2-4pm - Katie's quiet time and my free time for exercise, cleaning, etc.

4-5pm - I get ready for evening activities; Katie practices piano and violin

5pm - Prepare dinner; Katie sets the table

5:30pm - Dinner

After dinner is my time to clean house, do laundry, bake goodies, read and practice piano.  For Katie, she can also do as she pleases if her chores, evening reading and math are done.

10pm - Hubby does Bible and reading with Katie

1030-11pm - Katie: bedtime routine and sleep

12am - My bedtime routine and sleep

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Caterpillar to Butterfly

Katie got her caterpillars a few weeks ago and we watched them grow big and then form their chrysalid and then become butterflies.  Since the grandparents are visiting from NY, we thought it would be a great time to release them.  Katie was so sad as 4 of them flew away, but the one that she picked up is the one that stayed around the longest!  It eventually flew away though.....




Friday, July 8, 2011

Katie's First Piano Songs Video

Katie is beginning piano lessons in 2 weeks, along with violin lessons, so I wanted to start documenting her journey in learning to play both instruments. She loves Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" and that is also my favorite one to hear her play. I did a few short clips of her playing some of these short songs:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Revised - 1st Grade Summer Schedule

We are changing things up in preparation for completion of curriculum by August 26th.  We are taking 2 weeks off, starting next week and then Katie will be off school after Aug. 26th until Sept. 19th.  Hubby has taken over the Bible reading and we now have someone else going to do the piano lessons and also violin lessons.

Here is how my tentative days are going to look in the last 5 weeks of schooling:

Everyday
Practice piano and violin
30m assigned reading
40m evening reading

Mon-Wed

Prayer

1st Hour
History or Science

2nd Hour
Grammar - 15m
Memorization - 5m
Writing - 10m
Spelling - 30m

Katie's Independent Work (without me woohoo!)
30m assigned reading
40m evening reading
Math fact cards
SWO B
Writing Copywork

Thursday
Piano & Violin Lessons

Friday
Homeschool Group
Leftover History and/or Science work
Projects
Art and Home Economics

Weekends
OFF

Nate (husband)
Reads Bible & classics to Katie
Possibly taking over science

Revised - 1st Grade Completion Planning

I've done a lot of thinking and reading lately and decided to hold off on finishing Saxon Math 2 this summer.  Even though it is Katie's best subject and she has no issues with it, I didn't want to be in Saxon 3 at the start of 2nd grade and then move her on too quickly.  I would rather cement in her the basics, to where she knows them like the back of her hand, so to speak.  Repetition is a good teacher!  So she is doing her Saxon 1 math fact cards 3 times a week along with the back of the worksheets in Saxon 2.  We never do the backs of the worksheets but I thought it was good review for her to make sure she knows the concepts before we move on.  I also plan moving on very slowly, instead of doing 2-3 lessons a day, I want to just do one lesson at a time and do both sides of the worksheet like suggested, once in the morning and then the back of it in the evening to make sure those concepts are really sticking.

With grammar, we are almost finished with the parts in Rod and Staff English 2 that are review for us and I don't plan on teaching new material from the book, such as adjectives, paragraphs, etc.  We will save those for a review after she learns them this year in FLL 2.  However, I do want her to finish the last unit that is on alphabetical order and dictionary skills because she is very interested right now in what words mean and how to use a dictionary.  R&S English 2 is great review or extra practice work for FLL.

We will finish up SOTW 1 by the end of August or possibly sooner.  I've learned that saving history or science for the end of the school day is a big mistake with Katie!  She is so tired and almost falls asleep during the lesson.  However, if we do it as one of the first subjects of the day, she is alert and remembers more and its not like pulling teeth for me lol.  So, our schedule is changing and more on that later.

Oh science, how I loathe thee!  I really have been slacking in science as we still have 2 lessons on the human body to finish and the whole animal book to complete by the end of August.  Our plant study was reading and learning about plants and doing a vegetable garden, which surprisingly is doing exceptionally well.  I think the hands-on aspect with the garden really helped her understand plants more than reading it in a book.

We will finish up writing sometime in mid-August.  She pretty much gets it and I feel like moving on and not finishing all the lessons in WWE 1 but I really like to finish things, so we are going to do so.  I'm amazed at how Katie can narrate, understand and form her own sentences now.  The program really works and I love that it uses classics and not some little passage from a book that isn't good quality.

Spelling is our big subject lately as Katie is starting to have trouble spelling words out of SWO B.  We are keeping a "trouble words" list and re-testing once a week on those words and then she is playing games with those words on Spelling City.  With AAS 2, it is going really well and she gets all the words correct usually and even gets them correct in review tests!  Looks like we will finish SWO B by the end of August and AAS 2 is behind schedule, so we will probably carry it over into the start of 2nd grade and finish it sometime in October.

Katie does a lot of crafts and artsy stuff in her free time by her own choosing, but as far as the art curriculum we are moving at a snail's pace.  It just isn't on my priority list but I hope to incorporate it more into our week this coming year.

With piano, Katie is doing well and she is going to be beginning violin lessons along with her piano lessons.  We will see how that goes and which instrument she wants to play more and will concentrate on.

If everything goes as planned, we will finish this school year on August 26th.  I don't plan on starting 2nd grade until September 19th, so Katie will have a lot of time off between there.  She gets 2 weeks off this month (July), so that is plenty of time to enjoy summer!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Educational Freedom

This is a must read for every parent!  It is so well written and the truth!  Here are some quotes:

Obviously, back in the early days of the republic, education was a family affair closely connected to religious practice. A nation built on Biblical principles had to be a highly literate one. And all of this high level of literacy was achieved without any government involvement, without any centralized bureaucracy, without any professors of education, or accrediting agencies, or teacher certification. And, most significantly, without any compulsory attendance laws.

Another:

These laws not only violate the parents' unalienable right to determine how their children are to be educated, but they violate the 13th Amendment, which prohibits involuntary servitude. No child should be forced to serve the state and the interests of the education establishment. No child should be forced to undergo brainwashing and indoctrination by a self-serving monopoly of facilitators and change agents.

Go here to read the rest - share it, pass it on:
http://www.thenewamerican.com/opinion/sam-blumenfeld/8087-the-meaning-of-educational-freedom

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Celebrating Independence Day


Every year, most Americans celebrate the 4th of July or Independence Day with family and friends and fireworks.  How many actually realize what they are celebrating?  I try and make it a point to let Katie know why we are celebrating every Independence Day.  A refresher of sorts.  This 4th, she is a bit older and better able to understand so we are doing more.  Below are some of the things we plan on doing together as a family with links:

  1. Learning the history of Independence Day
  2. Reading the Declaration of Independence 
  3. Reviewing Lapbook on the topic
  4. Worksheets on the symbols, flags, etc.
  5. Singing (learning for her) patriotic songs
  6. Celebrating - rejoicing in our freedom in the USA!

If anyone has anymore links, please share.  I'm especially looking for a Christian-view of American history for a separate study this coming year.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Independence Day / 4th of July FREE Lapbook

We did this lapbook last year and it is SO awesome, just a reminder for those who may want to do this for the celebrations this weekend, we are going to be using ours for review.

This post is from last July:





I'm happy to say we finished our very first lapbook!  I also have to say that I'm absolutely hooked and addicted to lapbooking now and can't wait to start the next one.  We chose to do a lapbook for the 4th of July/Independence Day to use this week in our study of what Independence Day is all about since Katie will not get American history till 3rd grade.  We already went over a lot while making the lapbook but will read books and listen to audiobooks on the subject this week as we study it.

I was going to use cardstock paper for the whole thing but realized you could get by with regular printer paper easily on most of the items.  I did use cardstock paper on the leader cards and revolution wheel.  For glue, we used glue sticks and a glue pen for the ones that had a paper fastener.

It was so easy to do when I understood how it all worked and Katie loved it as well but gave up on the writing so I had to finish the rest.  I printed out some 4th of July worksheets, bookmarks, sun visor and coloring pages for Katie to do this week for fun as well and they fit nicely in the lapbook section for handouts!

I was almost done and working on the pledge of allegiance and before I glued the cover to the booklet, I realized that the words "under God" were not in the provided pledge!  I was a bit upset but I just went ahead and cut it out and wrote it myself including UNDER GOD! 





You can download the lapbook for free here

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tailoring Curriculum to Your Child

Katie is actually not really any grade, I just say 1st grade for everyone else's understanding.  She is doing 2nd grade work, 3rd grade work and reading 4th-5th grade work and then she has some 1st grade work she is finishing up, so whatever "grade" that is, throw her in there.  I love using Classical Education because it is tailored to go at the child's pace and generally uses levels.

This is why boxed curriculum can cause a child to either fret or be bored.  Here is an example:  You buy the boxed 2nd grade curriculum set from somewhere like Bob Jones.  Your child isn't yet ready for 2nd grade writing and then 2nd grade math is way too easy for her.  So she is crying over the writing and then becoming bored with the math!  Enter any other scenarios here.  Boxed curriculum is just so unrealistic because I've yet to meet a child that is truly on level in ALL subjects at the same time!  Most children have strengths and weaknesses and boxed curriculum is not tailored to that.  You are in a hurry to finish up the whole grade of the boxed curriculum within that year, but what if your child isn't ready?  You are just going to push them on through for what benefit?  Yours or others?  Couldn't possibly be the child because if you really cared for them above all, you would not let them go on if they weren't ready in a particular subject and you would go on in subjects they are ready to move on in. 

Tailoring your curriculum to your child is what is so great about homeschooling!  You teach to your child's learning style, go at their pace in each subject and you don't have anyone over you telling you they must finish all subjects at a certain time and move on.  That is what is so wrong with public schools - children are either left behind or they are bored because its too easy for them.  If it isn't working in the public schools for most children, then why would you bring home their methods in homeschooling?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

2nd Grade "Fun" Book List

Katie finished up her 1st grade fun book list here.  This starts her 2nd grade fun book list, which is her time in the evening that she reads 40 minutes.  She is reading below her reading level thus the "fun" book title.

We will update as we go throughout the list through this year.
  1. My Father's Dragon
  2. The Courage of Sarah Noble
  3. James and the Giant Peach
  4. Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth
  5. Lion to Guard Us
  6. The Reluctant Dragon
  7. Magic Tree House - Knights & Castles
  8. A Bear Called Paddington
  9. The Apple and the Arrow
  10. Meet Christopher Columbus
  11. The Story of Chocolate
  12. Good Queen Bess
  13. Starry Messenger

Sunday, June 19, 2011

2nd Grade Bible - Christian Studies 1

I thought I was decided on getting "Bible Study Guide for All Ages" but after looking back over Memoria Press' Christian Studies that we have, I've decided to go with that for 2nd grade.  It starts at a 3rd grade level but Katie is advanced in Bible than most and I believe she will do fine using it.  It also saves us a lot of money, as we already have the first Christian Studies.

I'm also incorporating Adam's huge historical/Biblical timeline into our study, which is something I've wanted for a while now for myself!  I'm going to make my own drills for Katie from some of the lists that are already in the Christian Studies 1 book.  I also like how they already include ancient maps in there and I plan to go more slowly through the book than when we used it orally in K and kind of flew through it because I didn't expect Katie to know half of the stuff in there then.

As I plan it all out this summer, I may also include the making of the tabernacle project, incorporating songs into each week's lessons that go along with the topic, and I'm also considering putting together a Bible lapbook for this coming year.  I'm sure there are many other ideas out there and I'm excited to learn and memorize more Bible facts right along with Katie!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Coolest Girl's Computer/Desk Chair!

I've seen a lot of awesome chairs for girls but this one took my breath away and Katie's when we saw it at Staples yesterday!  She had been patiently awaiting a hot pink desk chair for a while now.  We were going to go with one from IKEA but it gives you static when you sit in it and she wanted something that wasn't plastic like that.  This chair is big - it fits a big bottom, not that she has one but I'm talking about momma here LOL! =0  It spins, moves easily on the carpet, sturdy with lots of padding and good quality.  Had to share - its retro-modern, my fav!

Desk Apprentice for Homeschool

I had seen others using this "Desk Apprentice" and it has been something I've been looking for!  I'm so amazed how much it holds and so far we have all my daughter's school books, teaching manuals and even scissors, pencils, dry erase markers and eraser, pens, math fact cards and more and there is STILL room in there for more!  The coolest part?  It spins or rotates!  They are available at Staples for $25 and well worth the money.  The only downside so far - its huge!





Saturday, June 11, 2011

Our Homeschool Room Updated

It's been a while since I updated pics of our homeschool room, a.k.a. the dining room.  Last winter, we were able to buy the rest of our chairs to complete our table setup and then I added in the orange curtains, which I love!  We also got some orange organizer trays and all this is from IKEA.  We have 11 bookshelves throughout the house, so yes we are some bookcase addicts.  We use the long black IKEA desk for the piano and then as an additional workspace.  We have a craft closet in the spare bedroom that I hope to move one day when we get a large cabinet-style shelf unit.




Here is our homeschool shelf and then the small one.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Spelling Workout Completion Plan

In order for Katie to start Vocabulary from Classical Roots in 7th grade, she needs to finish all of the Spelling Workout books by the end of 6th grade, the last one being H.  Others have said that the later books are more difficult as they include some word study, so we are planning on giving a year for each of those last few books.  Here is our plan for completion of Spelling Workout, which I will abbreviate SWO:

2nd grade - SWO C and D
3rd grade - SWO D and E
4th grade - SWO F
5th grade - SWO G
6th grade - SWO H
7th grade - Vocabulary from Classical Roots A and B

Katie is finishing up SWO B by the end of summer and we will do reviews and then she will begin C at the start of 2nd grade in September.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Day in the Homeschool............

We seem to have guests at our homeschool table a lot these days and today was no exception, we had 3!  Mr. Care Bear didn't much care for the history lesson on Roman Gladiators, so he read Dake's Annotated Bible.  Skittles decided to wave for the camera and No-name-yet doggy paid close attention......

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Artistic Pursuits - Lesson 4; Artists Communicate

We finally did an Art lesson - amazing I know! :-)  Katie learned that artists communicate in their drawings and then she was to communicate something in a drawing and then color it with watercolor crayons.  She told me she was communicating that this was her outside, happy, about to go into her play-ship (notice she drew the red door open) that is next to her slide and then don't forget the cherry on the tree!

SOTW 1: Chapter 12 - Egyptian Chariot

We FINALLY got around to making this chariot lol.  Katie loved doing it and we used the top of an egg carton lid to build the cart and it worked really well!  Katie wanted to use her baby pony - so cute and she now has a new toy too that she played with for an hour or so! ;-)


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Independent Work - Second-Half of 1st Grade

I'm so overjoyed how much independent work Katie has been able to take on since finishing up the OPGTR.  Not only has she read almost the entire easy book list for 1st-3rd grade in 3 months and this year's "assigned" list, she is reading so well that she doesn't need me reading what I used to from different subjects.  Here is what she is now able to do independently:
  1. Reading - this is an obvious one, but wanted to include it as well.  She does her "assigned" 4th grade reading level for 30 minutes and then does her evening "fun" below-reading level book for 30-40 minutes.  She also is able to do her once-a-week fluency reading on her own.
  2. Saxon 2 Math - she can do all the work on her own, she no longer needs me to read the directions or the problems!  All I do is teach the lesson and then give her the work.
  3. Rod & Staff English 2 - she reads the lesson (I don't have to even teach this anymore!) and does the activity orally on her own!  Another subject I don't have to teach anymore, woohoo!
  4. Spelling Workout B - she studies the tip and does the lesson on her own now and I don't need to read anything for her!  I also don't have to administer the spelling test, because we have been using Spelling City for that!
With writing, I read the excerpt from the story and then ask questions and then she does the worksheet herself.  With history and science, it is still very involved for me.  I have had her listen to the history lesson on cd but she doesn't seem to remember as much - she does better when I read the lesson.  Science is reading books and doing projects basically, so that is very parent-involved as well.

Overall, I'm very excited that my teacher-load is lessening!  I thought it wouldn't be until 3rd grade for her to be able to do this much without me but getting her on that 4th-grade reading level was the key that unlocked time for me!  The English 2 didn't happen till this week, she wanted to start reading the lesson, so I would let her and she read almost as fast as me, so I figured why not?  Then today, I was very busy, so I had her just do what she could - in just a minute or so she had already read the lesson and did the work!  I was floored and so came to write up this post! :-) 

It is so exciting to see your child learn to teach themselves - that is what we are trying to do as homeschool moms - training them to LEARN independently!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Katie's Fluency Reading Practice

Katie reads out of McGuffey's Third Eclectic Reader once a week for fluency practice.  Today, she read a dialogue between a daughter, Rose, and her father:


Friday, May 6, 2011

Week 6 - Skin, Hair & Nails

Read
Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopedia - pgs. 14-19

Miscellaneous
Videos
Games
Books
"Your Skin Holds You In" by Rebecca Baines
"The Tooth Book" by Edward Miller

Week 5 - Digestive & Urinary Systems

Read
Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopedia - pgs.70-77

RSO Labs
Unit 7 - Digestive System

Miscellaneous
Videos
Games
Books
"What Happens to a Hamburger?" by Paul Showers
"Your Skin and Mine" by Paul Showers
"Gee Whiz! It's All About Pee" by Susan Goodman

Summer Schooling Schedule

We have 12 weeks of school that we are doing from May till the end of August and here is our tentative daily schedule - notice I said "tentative" because although this is my goal - life happens LOL! =0 

Mon-Wed

In Bed
Prayer
Bible - 10m

1st Hour
Reading - 30m
Grammar - 15m
Memorization - 5m
Writing - 10m

40m
Math - 20m
Spelling - 20m

2nd Hour
History or Science - full hour

Thursday
OFF

Friday
Prayer
Bible - 10m
Homeschool Group
Reading -30m
Leftover History and/or Science work
Projects
Art, Music and Home Economics

Evening Work
30m evening reading Mon-Fri

Weekends
OFF

Nate (husband)
Reads classics to Katie
Family prayer & Bible teaching
Teaching Katie piano

Planning - Completion Dates for End of 1st Grade

We are schooling year-round seeing how we took so many months off and had a family emergency trip, so we are just going with it and schooling through summer.  We will start 2nd grade around the second week of September.  We are taking off this coming week because its my 3-month freezer cooking week.  So we have 14 weeks to work with and we may have a vacation in there too and time off, so I'm only scheduling for 12 weeks of school to be safe.

Here are our plans to finish 1st grade:

Bible - we will finish the entire Golden Children's Bible by the end of summer and start our new Bible curriculum in Sept.

Reading - Katie has almost finished her entire 1st grade "assigned" 4th grade level book list!  She still reads in the evenings "easy" below-level books and we will continue this all through summer - we don't take off from reading.  We will start her 2nd grade assigned book list in Sept.

Grammar & Vocabulary - we already finished 1st grade grammar but I wanted to continually review so Katie doesn't forget anything, and I've found that Rod and Staff's English 2 is awesome review and extra practice!  We are also using the last unit in the book, Unit 6, as a separate course - Vocabulary.  It is teaching Katie alphabetical order and how to use a dictionary.

Spelling - Katie will finish Spelling Workout B by the end of summer and we also plan to start All About Spelling 2 soon and finish that by the end of summer.  So we will start SWO C and AAS 3 in Sept.

Writing - we have 10 weeks of writing left, so we will finish WWE 1 by the middle of July and Katie will continue to do copywork from the Bible until we start WWE 2 in Sept.

History - We have 14 chapters left in history and doing 1-2 chapters a week will have us finishing on time and going right into SOTW 2.  We really enjoy history and like taking our time through it reading library books and doing activities and watching related videos.

Science - We have some of the Human Body left to finish but we are already into Plants right now and will finish that soon and study animals.  We will finish all these by the end of Summer.

Math - We will finish 2nd grade math by the end of Summer and continue on with 3rd grade math in Sept.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Katie's 1st Grade Reading Speed

I'm so proud of how Katie's reading speed has increased!  She was very good at reading BUT very slow.  She has really sped up and here is a video of her reading a selection from a third grade level book at a good speed for a 1st grader! ;-)


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bible Curriculum - Bible Study Guide for All Ages

I've been on a search for a good Bible curriculum to use for 2nd grade.  Most of the curriculums had statements of faith that didn't align with ours.  I came across "Bible Study Guide for All Ages" and from what they share it seems to align with our beliefs for the basics.  They are one of the few that don't just say you get saved and that's it, they go on to say we must live holy lives.  I'm amazed that this curriculum hasn't been talked about more because it seems really awesome!  It can be used for children in grade level K-6, and it's multi-level for those with more than one child in those levels and it is very thorough, including maps, timeline and drills/memorization.  Seems like its been around since 1991 but they updated it a few years ago.

The "classic" student pages contain KJV, but the updated ones do not.  However, from what I understand, you can easily use KJV for the scripture references - which is what I do for some of the books I read myself, I just keep my KJV handy.

There are 4 units that cover the entire curriculum and normally one unit is equal to one year if you do 2 lessons a week.  However, we plan on doing Bible daily, so I'm sure we will get through more than the average.  The student pages are very nice, simple and really help the visual learner (including me!) to grasp the stories and events as they happened.  You can get the timeline and map wall charts but you don't have to have those as you get the timeline in the teacher's manual I believe.  But if you prefer if a larger one for the wall for reference you can get it but you also have to buy the labels, of which can be used over and over again.

We have a curriculum we really like for 3rd up until 6th grade, Memoria Press' Christian Studies, but we wanted something for 2nd grade and we found it!  We may even hold off on the Memoria Press till we finish "Bible Study Guide for All Ages".  I would think it would take us 2 years to do all 4 units doing it daily year-round.  Then we would do the Memoria Press Christian Studies starting in 4th grade on up.

I've read a lot of reviews on those that have used this curriculum for years and they all seem to say the same thing about how great it is and how their children are very knowledgeable in the Bible and get compliments in their youth groups.  After looking at the drills that are done daily - I can see why!  I'm going to participate right along with my daughter with the drills and I can't wait to know all these facts lol. ;-)

They also have a great 2-cd children's songs that help with memory and I'm probably going to get that as well as I've liked the samples I've heard so far on Christianbook.com.  I also like the Bible Summary cards for review.  You can view samples of all the products on their website and Christianbook.com has samples as well.

Just thought I would let you all know about this great resource, it seems like it could also be used in Children's Church/Sunday School as well.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Katie's 2nd Grade Curriculum 2011-2012

Second grade starts around the first of September and here is what we will be using for Katie's 2011-2012 school year.



  • Reading - Katie's 2nd grade book list coming later...
  • First Language Lessons 2
  • New American Cursive 2
  • Writing with Ease 2
  • Spelling Workout C & D
  • All About Spelling 3 & 4
  • Saxon Math 3
  • Story of the World 2
  • Earth Science & Astronomy - Usborne Internet-Linked First Encyclopedia of Our World; First Encyclopedia of Space; More Mudpies to Magnets; Night Sky Spotter's Guide; Glow-In-The-Dark Constellations: A Field Guide for Young Stargazers; The Stargazer's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Artistic Pursuits 2
  • John Thompson's 1st Grade Piano; Composers/Classical Music
  • Home Economics 2

    Famous Figures of Ancient Times

    I came across these Famous Figures of Ancient Times on Peace Hill Press' website and knew my daughter would love them!  We ordered them and she can't wait to put them together.  They are very good quality and well worth the money. You can purchase them on Amazon right now for $13.57.  You get a colored version of the figure and then a black & white version as well.


    Figures in Motion is currently working on more of these figures/dolls for Mediavel Times and American History. 

    Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Jr.


    We followed the Dave Ramsey plan for several years and became debt-free following his program.  I highly recommend his methods and I also love how he uses the Bible, as the Bible itself teaches against covetousness, debt, etc.  We wanted to start teaching our daughter these things as well early on, so she will not make the same mistakes as us!  So we ordered Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Jr., which is for kids ages 3-12. 



    It will teach them to work to get paid and then pay tithes to God or give to charity, save for something, and have some for spending.  You can read more on his website on what it includes and teaches here: http://www.daveramsey.com/store/kids-teens/Kids-3-12/financial-peace-jr-for-kids-ages-3-12-/prod112.html

    He also offers a free fun website for kids called "Junior's Clubhouse" here: http://kids.daveramsey.com/  There are lots of fun games, paint, etc on there and my daughter loves it!

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    History is the Core

    History is very important and including the Bible, it is the core of our homeschool.  We use Susan Wise Bauer's "Story of the World" as our history spine and then we also read books on the time periods we are studying in history in reading.  Then with Bible - hello, the OT is history! ;-)  History is so vital and so important and it has always been my favorite subject.

    It has given Katie an understanding of how our world started, how cultures have progressed and even explained how we got our writing and other ideas, such as the calendar, etc.  I'm so glad that we started history from the beginning following the chronological format instead of having her learn bits and pieces of different time periods of history and having a jumbled mess in her brain!

    I came across a wonderful article by Susan Wise Bauer and here is a quote:

    In The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, we recommend making history the backbone of classical studies. The study of history occupies the center of the curriculum. Reading assignments, writing, research, and even history are organized around the time period under study in history.

    Read the rest here.

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading Review

    This is my personal review for "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading" by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington.  We started this phonics reading curriculum in October 2009 and finished it in early February 2011.  When we started it, my daughter didn't know how to read and was 6 years old.  We made sure we mastered each lesson before going on to the next and reviewed previous lessons occasionally.  We didn't use the tiles, just the book.  We normally spent 30-40 minutes a day.  The book has 231 total lessons.

    You can view a sample lesson in this video

    I had my daughter read all of Modern Curriculum Press' 120 phonics readers (although we did omit one that was about magic or something like that), Bob books and Abeka readers in the evenings once she was able to.  I have a PDF list of when the child will be ready to read a certain reader alongside the OPGTR.  I took that list and put sticky notes throughout the OPGTR so I would know when Katie was ready to read what.  I also have a PDF list that tells you when to incorporate penmanship/writing, grammar and spelling at what lesson in OPGTR.  You can email me for either PDF or both.

    What I loved most about OPGTR, is that it had no pictures and my daughter concentrated more on the words and read faster in this book than the readers that had pictures.  You will find when its just text, that the child will read quicker because they aren't distracted.  Every phonics curriculum SHOULD leave the pictures out so the child can concentrate on the text.  You can let them read pictures/text in their evening reading but phonics instruction is all about instruction not comprehension of a story.

    I was completely amazed that in just 1 year and 3 months, my daughter went from not reading at all to a 4th grade reading level!  This is without sight words lists too!  This is pure phonics instruction, with only the occasional sight word such as the, have, etc.  I've found and read research that most public schools today have the children memorize these big lists of sight words each week, so they can "look" like they are teaching so great.  What happens is, come along a few years later, they have what is called the "4th grade slump" because these kids didn't really learn pure phonics, they just got good at memorizing.  So when they encounter a lot of new words on a 4th grade level such as supplementary, they can't read it because they don't know how to decipher new words because they didn't have the proper phonics instruction.  For example, in my daughter's 4th grade level book she read this past week, "Pegasus", she encountered words such as Bellerophon and she was able to decipher it with her phonics abilities.  What would a child who learned to read from memorizing sight words do when they come to this word?  Thus, the 4th grade slump in reading - it will cause them to lose interest in reading, fall behind and the public school system wonders WHY kids today can't read.  It isn't more money the schools need - its more competence!

    My daughter seemed "behind" in the beginning from her peers that use public education as they could read books with words they memorized.  However, now my daughter is reading at a 4th grade level and advancing while they are still back there at a 2nd grade level.  Do you see what I'm trying to say here?  You are teaching your child to read - sound out words, learn phonics instruction - not memorize.  And really, those 100 sight word lists that teachers make the 1st graders learn - are merely for looks, because we know that the average public-schooler today can't read in high school!

    I HIGHLY recommend "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading" if you want your child to be a great reader and not have issues with reading later on.  It may seem silly to start at the beginning but let me tell you, you will be glad you did to ensure your child doesn't miss anything!  In the back of the OPGTR, you will find an article on remedial reading for older children and how they can use the OPGTR and become great readers.  There is no shame in a 9-year old doing this curriculum because they are proficient readers today because of it.

    Have I convinced you yet that this is THE BEST, and easiest for parents to teach their children how to read?  If you teach them how to read properly, you will have given them one of the greatest tools for their learning and that is something that you can bask in the success of.

    1st Grade "Fun" Book List

    I've been using a few sources to determine what to choose for Katie's "fun" book list, which is her 30-60 minute evening reading time.  Lately, she has been wanting to finish the whole book in one sitting, so she reads 40 minutes each evening.  These books are far below her reading level and are very easy for her - this creates a LOVE for reading for children!  If all they read is hard books, well no wonder they would hate reading!  Wouldn't you if all you read was Plato or some of the other challenging classics?  Exactly.

    She reads at her level, which is currently 4th grade reading level, in the mornings for 30 minutes and you can see that list of books here.  She read more before these, things like readers, Bob books, etc.  Below are her below-reading-level books.  These are 1st-3rd grade level books.

    Here are the books she read in the evenings from the end of Feb. until the end of August 2011.
    1. Little Bear's Visit
    2. Little Bear's Friend
    3. A Kiss for Little Bear
    4. Father Bear Comes Home
    5. Little Bear
    6. Little Bear and the Marco Polo
    7. Frog and Toad Together
    8. Frog and Toad Are Friends
    9. Frog and Toad All Year
    10. Days with Frog and Toad
    11. Amelia Bedelia
    12. Thank you, Amelia Bedelia
    13. Teach us, Amelia Bedalia
    14. Owl at Home
    15. Amelia Bedelia Helps Out
    16. Mouse Tales
    17. Merry Christmas Amelia Bedelia
    18. Come Back Amelia Bedelia
    19. Amelia Bedelia's Family Album
    20. Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower
    21. Amelia Bedelia and the Baby
    22. Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping
    23. Good Work Amelia Bedelia
    24. Play Ball Amelia Bedelia
    25. Mouse Soup
    26. Grasshopper on the Road
    27. Olivia Plants a Garden
    28. George the Drummer Boy
    29. George and Martha
    30. The Long Way to a New Land
    31. The Horse in Harry's Room
    32. Daniel's Duck
    33. A Bargain for Frances
    34. Best Friends for Frances
    35. Bread and Jam for Frances
    36. A Baby Sister for Frances
    37. The Carrot Seed
    38. Balto
    39. Bedtime for Frances
    40. A Birthday for Frances
    41. Sammy the Seal
    42. The Pig War
    43. Chester
    44. The Littlest Leaguer
    45. Sam the Minuteman
    46. The Josefina Story Quilt
    47. Julius
    48. Mrs. Brice's Mice
    49. A New Coat for Anna
    50. Nate the Great
    51. Nate the Great Goes Undercover
    52. Nate the Great and the Phony Clue
    53. Nate the Great and the Missing Key
    54. Nate the Great and the Sticky Case
    55. Keep the Lights Burning Abbie 
    56. Nate the Great Saves the King of Sweden
    57. Nate the Great and the Tardy Tortoise
    58. Nate the Great Stalks Stupidweed
    59. Nate the Great and the Musical Note
    60. Nate the Great and Hungry Book Club
    61. Nate the Great and the Monster Mess
    62. Nate the Great and the Stolen Base
    63. Nate the Great and the Pillowcase
    64. Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine
    65. Nate the Great and the Fishy Prize
    66. Nate the Great Goes Down in the Dumps
    67. Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas
    68. Nate the Great and the Big Sniff
    69. Nate the Great San Francisco Detective
    70. Nate the Great Talks Turkey
    71. Nate the Great on the Owl Express
    72. Nate the Great and Me
    This concludes Katie's fun book list for 1st grade.

      Tuesday, February 15, 2011

      All About Spelling Level 2

      We absolutely LOVE All About Spelling!  Katie loves using the magnetic board and I love that she is getting very thorough in her spelling and not going too fast.  We finished Level 1 and are now moving onto Level 2, which looks fun.  There is a "jail" for rule-breakers, along with the word cards, key cards, etc.


      If you purchase All About Spelling, please go through my links as I will be compensated for referring you!  You can see what the magnetic tiles look like and find out more detail about how All About Spelling works in my post on Level 1 here: http://www.cambridgeshireacademy.com/2010/02/arrival-of-all-about-spelling.html

      Mid-1st Grade New Curriculum

      We just had an awesome week off of school and the week before that, we finished the following curriculums:
      1. Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading
      2. First Language Lessons 1
      3. Saxon Math 1
      4. Spelling Workout A
      5. All About Spelling Level 1
      Now we are beginning some new curriculum:
      1. Rod and Staff English 2
      2. Saxon Math 2
      3. Spelling Workout B
      4. All About Spelling Level 2

      Katie is so excited to start, she couldn't wait till tomorow and is already working in her Spelling Workout book.  I'm excited just because I love the new and fresh feeling when you start something brand new!  We may skip a lot of lessons in Saxon Math 2, simply because the first part of the book is review of Math 1 - they expect you are starting it after having 3 months of summer off.  So I will need to go through it this week and see where we will start.  There is a new meeting book as well but it begins with August, so we will have to work around that as well.

      Homeschoolopoly Game Night

      We played Homeschoolopoly for 2 hours tonight and it was a blast!  Our daughter is just a 1st grader and can play this, and it helps her learn math and counting money.  Instead of buying houses and hotels, you buy books and keys to knowledge.  Instead of buying properties, you buy curriculum.  Free parking is Field Trip and instead of going to jail, you go to court escorted by the truant officer lol!  Then instead of chance and community chest it is grace and mercy with fun homeschool things to read on each card.  You also don't buy railroads, you buy vehicles - hubby loves the "cool as can be suv" most of all. ;-)