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