Friday, August 26, 2016

Materials and Supplies

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. 

Third cork board too for checklists and larger visuals. 

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: 

I consulted with a dear friend who has a post graduate music degree for aquality beginning piano books and upon her suggestion, bought this:

Last item on its way are the consumable student sheets for the kinder curriculum since this is my second child going through those lessons. 

How We End Our Week

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. 

Munchkin's work

Doodlebug's efforts:

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

Moments in the Life

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

Learning Videos

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. 

Weekly Checklists

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

First Field trip

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

Moments in the life

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. 

Favorites, Routine and Focus

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: 


Having a great attitude while working with excellence and perseverance sometimes gets you additional rewards . Silly string war and bubbles today burned off some energy while squealing to make 'spider webs'. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lesson Planning

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 😜

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Early Explorers

This year in Social Studies we are covering early American History. We are starting out with Explorets like Erikson, Columbus and Smith. 

Viking adventures, ship building and pilgrim projects, stories and videos abound. We can't go wrong with boys on this! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Boymom homeschool life

The first few weeks of the school year start the pace and flow. Week 1, ideas are coming together as is the search for materials and supplies to make those ideas a reality.  Finding ideas that appeal to kinesthetic learners is fun when it appeals and clicks with the boys.

A big focus for me is how to streamline 3 different ages while still respecting the different places they are learning. 

The boys are all in different phases with their letters . The two year old is recognizing them, 5 year old is starting to sound out words and read while the 6 year old is learning spelling rules. We've had Montessori letters for years and so I started making mats. I filled in some and some I left blank depending on which boy is using them for their current scope and sequence. 

We are starting with their names this week since the bible focus is on learning the Names of Jesus. 

Munchkin asked for more school after quiet time. That's a homeschool win . 

This week a significant amount of time is being soent on getting back in the routine for table time. Remembering to listen quietly while others are speaking or reading and waiting turns while mommy helps brothers.

 Munchkin is frazzled when others don't follow the rules. Change in general is a challenge for Doodlebug and  Lionheart is wanting immediate attention and to do exactly what big brothers do.  Prayers appreciated ! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

2nd day

Love doing celebrations the whole first week of school. We are introducing the material we are going to cover for the year. There are so many fun ways to get excited about learning . 

Made signs with the kid's information : 

We worked on the pledge, talked about maps, and introduced Science for M. We found a couple videos about the what Science is . 

App time appropriate for each child . M worked on geography :  

D music: 

L counting: 

D and L are both covering days of creation this week in their separate curriculum. (So great when they line up) We'll do water and sky activities today : 

Creation video:

D's free time choice: