Monday, October 13, 2014

Unit 4- Apple

Great faith tie in for apple between the garden for Adam and Eve for Doodlebug and Fruit of the Spirit for Munchkin . 

Munchkin has requested an apple pie, so I'll be learning something new this week too. I've never made one before , here goes life long learning for all of us :-)

Review Intro - Unit 3

Review weeks help us prevent burn out and also to avoid the socialization pitfall that stereotypes  homeschooling . We had a play date, went and saw family, had more outside time and the boys led the activities for the week. Munchkin likes to teach so it gives him a chance to teach me what he's learned. We reviewed and read weekly books, bible words and concepts for Creation, Sun, Moon and Leaf. For Doodlebug, we played games that incorporated his bible stories, shapes, colors and numbers. 

I also designed and began working on our end of the year quilt. Here's a preview of the squares. I used the same clip art from the weekly graphics for a consistent feel. I'll print these to photo paper, colorfast and sew together. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Unit 3- Leaf


Just as a leaf will wilt and die once broken from a tree, so will our ability to bear fruit if we don't read God's word and talk with Him daily. God is our life source. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Picture AND words

Munchkin drew this today . First time he's done picture AND words all by himself . Up until the last month , he's done race car tracks (scribbles all over the page). Fav part of HS hands down , walking him through discoveries. He's been asking me to do it very time he has an idea to draw and I have been consistent in telling. him that if I draw it, it's my picture , not his.

My biggest goals for him academically for this year is handwriting and reading. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Unit 2- Moon

Here's our Intro to moon,. I really appreciate  how this program weaves science, bible knowledge, outreach, living a Godly life, character and the big picture of God's creation. 
The moon (us) does not give off any light of it's own. The moon only reflects the light off the Sun (God) , also referencing last week's unit and both are creations of God going back to the intro weeks on Creation. 

Top row: Books, letter match up
Middle: moon documentaryand chocolate sandwich cookie moon phase activity 
Bottom: flashlight and mirror concept activity & M lacing letters for fine motor



Here is attempt #1 of gluten free play doh. We are not a fan. We'll be trying one of the many other different recipes I found off Pinterest until we find one both kids will play with. 

This recipe left a very oily residue on our hands. My 3 year old wouldn't touch it after he realized that. 


They played ' Spaceship' with different size boxes including Lightning. We pretended we were going to the moon. 

Progress on our new checklist . It keeps mama on track . What ever doesn't get highlighted on that day, bumps to our review weeks. 

Weekly Routine

Here is my my new checklist for each week. I highlight as we complete each activity during the week. It's a four day week as we take Wednesday mornings  off for my Mom to Mom group. We have a review week after every 5 units and we'll cover anything missed or do fun additional activities to reinforce the bible verse and concept on those days. 


Reminders on our learning wall: 

Organization

Getting this area labeled at the end of last week REALLY helped make school much more efficient this morning. 

The top boxes are filled with the manipulatives we need for each corresponding day . 

Extras are now organized as well as my crafting supplies. 



Book basket, teachers manuals, activity box and check list for both curriculum. I also have a school supply box with crayons , scissor, glue stick , pencils etc.
I grab that week's file folder and books to add to my blue tote and I'm ready for our week

Learning wall 2014-2015

After our first real learning unit last week, our rhythm and schedule got some tweaking . All the wall visuals for both boys came upstairs. I really like how this is coming together .  I also grouped all of our daily activities in to separate boxes , but that's another post...


The top weekly calendar of daily activities is for me. I'm a visual teacher. The flannel board with the words to remember are for the boys. They like to play, point and talk about them. I made the visuals with a design software. I'm working on thwe whole year's, it's a work in progress.

Since the subtitle for Munchkins curriculum is seeing the world through God's eyes, I decided to keep the Creation numbers doodlbe bug colored in the first two intro weeks. Doodble bugs 3 year old learning poster and bible verse are hung here.

Calendar time with the days of the week. I found the creation calendar cards, printed and laminated them, backing them with velcro circles. In between the two is the start of our caterpillar that we'll continue to add to as we go through out the year.

Letter of the week reminder. 1- Munchlin's reminder of the words, the spanish word for the weekly object and the people in the words with that letter that don't have the bible in their own language. 2- is the corresponding Character trait that starts with that letter. 3- 100 day chart. We'll do something fun when we hit day 66 as that will be half way though our school year. We school 4 days a week with with 26 units and 7 review weeks for a total of 132 days of school.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sun- highlights

Hmmm not sure I need 5 daily posts for all 26 units, I can see how that would get old. Although , since I'm planning to  do MFW with our two younger boys , it would help to jog my memory with what I used . Sooo, maybe just a daily collage pic and a weekly recap with details at the end.
Day 2 of Sun: started handwriting with M. Matching letters for D

Learning g wall is slowly coming together . Need an art spot and room for the alphbet quilt we are making. Caterpillar badges are going downstairs per Ms request

Monday, September 15, 2014

Unit 1- Sun


Day 1 of Ss- Sun

Memory verse visuals I'm making for this year: 

Activities: 

Books and videos: 

This is the first actual unit, so we'll be tweaking as we find the flow that works best for us. We'll work in both MFW and ABCJLM , maybe different days, maybe incorporated .  We 'll see ;-)

Trinity Academy

   For school transcript purposes, we chose a name for our homeschool going forward. In our state, a homeschool is treated like a private school. We'll be known as Trinity Academy. So many threes and that includes the number of reasons we chose it ;-)
1. All of the boys' education is based on the  Holy Trinity- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2. God has put in our heart that three is the number of children He has in store for us.
3. Our scripture verse we chose is from Micah 6:8 where God has three instructions for us. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

   We chose My Father's World kinder curriculum this year for our oldest guy.  The following reasons played in to our decision: 
1. The subtitle 'Seeing the world through God's eyes' pulled me in
2. It's a play based faith learning curriculum which is great for 3 hands-on, body moving boys
3. With three kids this year, I was ready for a full on box curriculum where I'm not pulling from multiple sources
4. Living book based with fiction and non fiction 
5. Integrated unit studies that include science, literature, bible, math,  writing , history, critical thinking etc etc
6. Light for kinder and 1st. Umm he's not quite 5, learning is not a race for us, but a journey . We may repeat next year or stretch it out over the next two years.
7. It's very missions focused through 12th grade. 
8. Seeing every day objects that will remind our kids of God, who He is, what He's done for us and what we can do for Him and others to say thank you
9. MFW Has a GREAT format for families with multiple kids

   We have loved ABC Jesus Loves Me for help with direction in preschool books, activities, crafts and play ideas for the last three years . We'll incorporate that still for our 3 year old, in addition to any MFW ideas I can tweak to be age appropriate .  It's also God centered play based learning .We actually heard about MFW through that group since they are  so similar . 

   We aren't ruled by the curriculum but use it for structure, schedule and inspiration . We supplement, skip or rearrange as what suits my teaching style, the boys learning styles and our family needs . 

   In case you're new to the blog and are curious as to why we homeschool at all and plan to do so for the foreseeable future; it really comes down to one reason:
1. My husband's fluctuating work schedule . If we did the traditional preschool then either public or private school , our boys would go days with out seeing their dad and we are just not ok with that. This happens several days a week, which fluctuate and he can't dictate which days. He starts work from home in his office around 11 and ends at 7. Our boys have a 7:30 bed time , that quality time math is just dismal.  When our oldest first reached preschool age, my husband was at a different job and we just couldn't afford the tuition. Once I started researching all the options, I started doing learning for a quarter of the cost at home. Once his job changed, the money issue was solved, but then it became a time issue. Sure, we miss out on being part of our church's preschool crowd, but it just wasn't a fit for us. Now, I love what we do and what it adds to our family.

   We don't judge what is best for others as we don't want what's best for our family judged either . We can't control comments from others either , but are confident in our decision after much prayer, discussion and research. We aren't supposed to be carbon copies of each other. Every family has different challenges, gifts and circumstances. Differences aren't a threat, living life at any one else, or about judgement. It's not a rejection or about excluding others. It's a healthy normal part of living life on planet earth. Talking about someone else's education decisions with respect and love is always welcome. Our educational decision is one part of our lives. We don't gain our worth, identity or salvation from it, it's just what works for our family . 

   Homeschooling has been a blessing to us (yes, these benefits can be present no matter your choice , but I can't speak to the others since we've never done them) in the following ways:
1. More family time. 
2. Watching my boys play, learn and work things out during the day.
3. Being the main influence for character, manners, faith and discipline.
4. Different age groups and how that reflects real world. Most of my friends are 5-10 years in age difference from me and I love them dearly.
5. I have grown nieces and nephews as I'm an older mom with little ones. I've seen how fast they grow. I want to see these little faces the most. The longer I do this I admit, I'm selfish and don't want someone else getting to be with them all day as the influence that spends most of the day with them.
6. We have multiple food issues, one that is still new and this gives me time to figure out what works best for our family . 
7. Slower, more organic natural pace to our lives and schedules . 

Challenges this year: 
1. Being in the minority, we aren't close with anyone else who does this. It can be a bit lonely. Thankfully, we do have several friends who do our church's preschool and are available for play dates during the week on their home days. We are looking forward to joining a coop next year when we qualify with having at least a 5 year old in September. Also, in the next couple years sports teams, instrument lessons etc will come in to play as well.
2. This curriculum has 6 day learning units and goes in phonetic order. Both of those were new for us this year. We decided to do 5 units, 5 days a piece and roll that 6th day of each proceeding unit in to a review week. We'll still have the same amount of learning days that way with out having a new unit start on a different rolling day each time.

   With only having two kids of preschool learning age, we are able to do our learning when #3 has his morning  nap. He's a great sleeper and this gives us 1-2 hours which is plenty of time to cover the 5 or 6 items on our daily agenda. The two big guys are used to this schedule and flow smoothly for the most part because this is their norm. We have our challenges sharing , taking turns, waiting. We have interruptions, and consequences that take precedent. As I tell the boys , all kids have their main job as learning . Some kids go to a building during the day and some don't. Simple as that. 

   Nope not getting paid for this post or doing what we do, well monetarily anyway. No mom does ;-) In case you are wondering, both my husband and I were public school educated and enjoyed our experience.  I am working out some issues not that I'm blogging via phone, please bear with me.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Visuals

As I am a visual learner, I enjoyed the reminder of having the bible verse on coordinating pictures that I found on will you rise's blog for Creation.



Today was rainy and our daddy had to work, so during quiet time I started making ones for the rest of our curriculum this year.  When they came out, the boys liked picking out the clip art for for a few of the next 10 bible verse units
Rough draft of unit 1. I matted and enlarged after I took this pic. 


You know you're a teacher when you spend a Saturday afternoon on visuals ;-)