Morning with co-op included picture day for the yearbook. After quiet time, we finished up our curriculum. Daddy worked super late and the boys rode bikes up and down the street with neighbors . Winning all around.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Weeksheet organization for this year included everyone getting a clipboard. I fill them up at the beginning of the week and they go through them. It's also where we put the art we are working on for that week.
D kinder- phonics worksheet
L 2s- Day 5 creation craft
Monday, September 12, 2016
Prep for the week is minimal due to lesson plans built in to the curricula. I hang visuals and set out worksheets .
For 2nd grade, I research videos and pull out the perspective read along and do a quick Pinterest search on the corresponding science or history material. M enjoys daily math
Science topic this week is constellations so we played a couple of educational YouTube videos, downloaded flash cards from Pinterest, pulled out our constellation globe and he made constellations out of stars and white crayon on black paper.
For kinder, I gather books and file folders for the letter of the week. I'm so thankful for the advice to buy several different supplements for M, knowing what didn't work for older brother may work for his two younger siblings. I have ideas and additional crafts/ projects as Ds interest and our time allows.
D enjoys the worksheets and the outdoor exploring that's encouraged. We don't do quite as much book reading for him at this point in the year due to lack of interest on his part.
For our 2 year old, the older brothers help gather toys with the weekly color, also used for counting, shapes, textures, pattern and sorting . L piggy backs identifying the letter that D is learning for handwriting and phonics. We sing, do nursery rhymes, bible story, play and color.
Friday, September 9, 2016
In the Fall of 2014, I began researching and visiting Homeschool coops. We belong to a causal field trip group and craft/ book group, but I was looking for a large group with more options for each kid and on their individual ages. Down the road they off credit/ dual credit, athletics, drama, prom, etc. They put organize a yearbook, field trips etc. This coop has over 100 local families with plenty of opportunities for our kids to know they are not alone in this home school journey. We chose one closest to our home that neighbors recommended.
We went on the wait list over Spring Break in 2015. Our first class session was today.
M offered to talk about his morning, which is rare, at lunch in the gym. He was excited and ready to go to his last class after he was done eating. I caught sight of him while I was teaching a different class during first hour and he was engaged.
D loved his Jack project and talked of beans and seeds . I was so glad I made the choice for PreK classes so he'd have the stability of staying in the same classroom and teacher . I spotted him during third hour and he was going along with his class.
L charmed his teachers and I spotted him on the playground during second hour having fun. I'm also across the hall from him fourth hour.
I listed my teaching history, interests, talents and abilities on the questionnaire during registration . I was assigned American Girl history for two hours. First hour was a tween group of 9-11 year old girls , second hour a 2nd/ 3rd grade range. Third hour I grade for a Christian world view class and the 4th hour I'm in the nursery with one year olds.
We talked with so many people, co teachers, parents and kids. Our precious neighbor Ann checked on us and ate lunch with our friend Elisabeth and her kiddos. I laughed with other 'red dot' new families on how many times we got turned around or lost in the building.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Built in to our monthly budget is a homeschool line. This month's order included:
Good quality pencil sharpener and clips boards for all the boys.
A table top pocket chart . I already had two, so now all the boys have one for reviews of their weekly school material through out the week.
They are visual learners, so I really think this set up is going to keep us motivated and on track with all three this year:
One of the things I'm doing these first few weeks to promote motivation and progress in completing work on time is to ask the boys what they would like to do at the end of the week. This week they had the choice of the mall, a football game or a video. Their choice based on the fact that there is a dragon in the video:
Our end of the week fun bible craft for Ms bible focus covering the names of Jesus this year was window art. We spelled out Jesus' name and the boys decorated how they chose with paper punches I have from my scrapbooking days.
I made one for Lionheart:
Note when we cover this with D and L, The suggested activity in the curriculum involved ironing wax paper between paper towels and we laminated instead.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
This week it really hit me, we are in this homeschooling journey. Yes, I'm aware we've been doing this in one form or another for 5 years this fall. Maybe it's doing big kid subjects like covering the pioneers in history, talking about what makes a sentence in grammar and weekly spelling word lists. I love watching them learn and work. I keep taking pictures because I don't want to forget this experience and these moments.
Munchkin reading about the sun for D and L's science lesson, then summarizing the story of Jamestown for History.
Doodlebug gluing, cutting and coloring.
Lionheart's attempt at one to one correspondence while he counts and watching a little Brainy Baby
All the boys getting old enough to play a game together feels like such a milestone.
We finished our school work in plenty of time today to accept a lunch invitation with two sweet friends and their kiddos. They love playing at CFA.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Yes, we do incorporate screen time in to our learning. My boys are visual and get excited about videos , so I chose to capitalize on their interest to support and reinforce material when appropriate. Netflix, RightNow Media, YouTube, our private library and a bit of PBS documentaries are our frequently used resources.
There's something for every subject and age level. Here's a sampling so far this year :
Social studies (states intro) and History (Jamestown and John Smith) for M
Colors and letters for L
Bible (creation) and Science (sun with dwarf planets) for D
Screen time is in moderation and comes in to play especially those morning when daddy doesn't start work until 11. The rule during the school year is the only videos allowed before table work is done are educational ones. They each have their favorites they request.
Here's how our spreadsheets have progressed for the year. I forsee a bit more tweaking will happen when my fall ladies bible study starts up in a few weeks. We'll either do that day's work in the afternoon or reasses workload for that day . Friday is our enrichment class day with our co-op which starts up in a couple weeks as well.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Our first field trip of the year today after school work was done was to 'the beach'. Our coop had a back to school kick off. We ate a snack and played in the sand before they closed it down due to lightning and thunder . #notprettyhavingtoleave #verydisappointedboys #shortlivedfun
I enjoy capturing the every day focus, projects, team work, fun and adventure of homeschooling. Moments in the life gives me a broad umbrella to share the little moments that touch my heart.
M doing his air science experiment
L plowing through yellow
D completed his handwriting and wanted to build a word.
We are starting to fall in a good rhythm with our routine. We start school when daddy leaves for work . That time varies daily, which gives them more play and wake up before we start some days than others. The earlier start days, we build in P.E. and more body breaks.
Munchkin basics. His favorites are math, science and art. (6 years, 9 months) Electives include Spanish and piano. Our names of Jesus study is just starting for bible. He's finding his motivation and focus. When he sets his mind to learning, he's very impressive to watch.
Doodlebug's (5 years, 2 months) kinder unit study is so fun. His interest in sitting and doing activities is really taking shape. He really enjoys writing and with his high function spectrum issues, we are working on critical thinking, flexibility and adaptability to change. He's really enjoying the simplicity of this approach. The letter and object of creation provides the central point for bible, science, history, math, handwriting, phonics and literature.
Lionheart (2 years, 4 months) blows me away with how quickly he picks up and wants to join in on big brother's work ( modified for his age). He can name 90% of the letters, numbers 1-10, basic 5 shapes and 3 colors. He likes to color, loves anything set to music and sings along and we are working on listening while mommy reads. L and brothers gather that week's color from their toys around the house. I'll have to get a video of it next week, they are super cute working together.
Rough draft #2 of organizing our week so we cover everything:
Thursday, August 18, 2016
This year, I've had to start writing the lessons down. Referring to 3 sets of teaching manuals isn't cutting it. There are also supplements we've added like Spanish that have their own text books. Keeping on track and not having any subject left behind requires intentionality and planning.
I started writing and dividing out each child's subjects so no one day was overwhelming . I color coded in crayon for now with blue for M, green for D and purple for L. Once it's set in stone, I plan to make it a dry erase sheet we check off as we go through the week.
Yes, the two year old got a hold of the open lesson plan book already. Looks about right 😜