Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Homeschool Room!!



 

So we just moved from an apartment to a nice townhouse with upstairs downstairs. Yeah, I am so excited!! We have a little more space and we have a garage and deck on the back which we didn't have at our last place so I really have been enjoying homeschooling in our new space. But we still don't have an extra bedroom or family room or basement to dedicate to homeschool but we have made a great use of the dinning room space. I just wanted to share some pics with you of how I set things up. This year each child has there own bookshelf with school related books and a bin for there library pics. They oldest two also have a plastic drawer tote for extra notebooks and art supplies and paper. My toddler has her own shelf as well with her board books and some montessori friendly items on her shelf so she feels included in on the schooling as well. Makes for an easier day when toddlers have something to do as well. So here they are. Tell me what you think?



My 2nd Graders Shelf



My Kindergarteners Shelf


Toddlers Shelf

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More Reason to Be Glad We Homeschool

I found this article this morining on the front page of yahoo and was shocked at the way these teachers think. I mean I can't blame them for some of the opinions. I mean they are underpaid and they do have to deal with parenting issues as well as academics. But the tone of the article just seems as if they are trying to blame the parents for there unhappiness with there career choice. I am just greatful I have been blessed with the opportunity to raise and educate my children myself and not try and co-parents with the public school system. Keep in mind this is just one mothers opinion. Take a look at the article:


13 Things Your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You.
user

by Reader's Digest Magazine, on Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:19am PDT33 CommentsPost a CommentRead More from This Author »Report Abuse..Interviews by Neena Samuel

A look inside a teacher's mind could help you understand lesson plans and maybe even guide your child to perform better.

1. If we teach small children, don’t tell us that our jobs are “so cute” and that you wish you could glue and color all day long.

2. I’m not a marriage counselor. At parent-teacher conferences, let’s stick to Dakota’s progress, not how your husband won’t help you around the house.
3. We’re sick of standardized testing and having to “teach to the test.”

4. Kids used to go out and play after school and resolve problems on their own. Now, with computers and TV, they lack the skills to communicate. They don’t know how to get past hurt feelings without telling the teacher and having her fix it.
5. When I hear a loud belch, I remember that a student’s manners are a reflection of his parents’.

6. Your child may be the center of your universe, but I have to share mine with 25 others.

7. Please help us by turning off the texting feature on your child’s phone during school hours.

8. Guys who dribble a ball for a couple of hours a game can make up to $20 million a year. We educate future leaders and make about $51,000 a year.

9. We take on the role of mother, father, psychologist, friend, and adviser every day. Plus, we’re watching for learning disabilities, issues at home, peer pressure, drug abuse, and bullying.

PLUS: 18 Questions Parents Should Ask About Campus Safety

10. Kids dish on your secrets all the time—money, religion, politics, even Dad’s vasectomy.

11. Please, no more mugs, frames, or stuffed animals. A gift card to Starbucks or Staples would be more than enough. A thank-you note: even better.

12. We love snow days and three-day weekends as much as your kid does.

13. The students we remember are happy, respectful, and good-hearted, not necessarily the ones with the highest grades.


There is more on this article HERE

Sunday, September 5, 2010

FREEBIE!!! Smithsonian Magazine Free Museum Day September 25th


Last year I came across this free pass on the Smithsonian Magazine website. It seems to always fall on a Saturday. I really had a blast visiting one of our local museums that pretty high admission. I normally wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to check it out. The passes can be used at any of the participating museums nationwide so just search your state to see whats available. Here is the Link

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FREEBIE!! LEGO Club Jr. School Edition Magazine (First Grade)

Here is another Freebie I found! Enjoy


LEGO® Education and LEGO Club are proud to offer exclusive LEGO Club Jr. School Edition Magazines and LEGO Education Teacher's Guides to first-grade educators this fall!

These special publications continue the LEGO philosophy of providing children with products that promote imagination, pique curiosity, and enhance learning. Both focus on fire safety and provide important information on what these young learners should know in case of an emergency.

The LEGO Club Jr. School Edition Magazine is designed specifically for first graders. The edition includes exciting puzzles, comics, and games with a fire safety theme. These activities focus on basic reading, math, and critical-reasoning skills.

The LEGO Club Jr. School Edition Magazine combines the thrill of LEGO building with content that will help your students learn important safety tips - and best of all, it's FREE!

In addition, a custom LEGO Education Teacher's Guide will be sent with each magazine order. The guides are filled with hands-on activities, classroom tidbits, and articles about how you can create a LEGO SmartTM classroom for your students!

To recieve complimentary copies of the LEGO Club Jr. School Edition Magazine and Teacher's Guide, simply complete our online request form located at Lego Education.

For additional information or to inquire about other LEGO Education promotions, contact Debra at dsmith@LEGOeducation.us.

1st Day of School(LOL!)!


I just wanted to share some pics and a little short video on how our 1st day of the new semester went. We are year round schoolers but consider the beginning of our fall quarter usually around late Aug or beginning Sept. So this is our 1st day of the 2010- 2011 school year. Yeahhhh!
Well here are the highlights.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Great 1st day with Singapore Math!!! No more Tears!

Today was our 1st day "Back to Homeschool" even though we usually go all year I have had the last month off for curriculum and lesson planning. I was trying figure out for months what to do about math cause we just couldn't find a fit that was easy for me to teach and that she loved and grasped the concepts without breaking out into a crying episode. It was not a favorite subject in this house. Math always left us fustrated. I researched all kinds of programs at the Convention from Saxon, MathUSee, Rod and Staff, and one of my favorites to look at was Right Start. I ended up not going with RightStart cause it was out of my price range but that was a blessing in disguise cause thats when i went to the rainbow resource booth and walked into the World of Singapore Math. This is our 2nd grade year but I felt like my DD was more suited for the 1b level so that is what we are doing this year the 1b and 2a. We will probally get to 2b over the summer.



The instruction guide was well layed out and easy to follow. Most of the manipulatives I already had laying around or found at the dollar store. There is also a helpful yahoo group that had some great card games and number bond cards. Here is the link for anyone interested. She loved it and I am finally feeling like she is confident in math. Yeah Singapore. Oh and we are using the US edition for those who want to know. There are two versions US and Standard Edition(goes along with California State Math Standards Schedule)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This Years Curriculum Choices!

So I went to my local homeschool conference with my list and came out victorious to the budget that I set forth before going. I can tell one of my favorite vendors this year was and usually is Rainbow Resource. They always have the best prices and whatever they don't bring with them if you order at the conference they offer free shipping. I still have some things that I am waiting to order because we have some used curriculum garage sales coming up soon but here is my list of what I plan on using for the 2010- 2011 school year.

You will notice there is no Bible subject this year. That is because my husband will be heading our Scripture study in the evenings  before bed. I think it is always a blessing and enriching experience when the dads get envolved.

2nd Grade Curriculum

Reading(Comprehension)

Pathway Readers Busy Times Grade 2-1
Literature Lapbooks
Moving Beyond the Page "Charlotte's Web"
Moving Beyond the Page "One Day in the Tropical Rainforest"
Public Library Leveled Readers

Spelling

Continue with Sequential Spelling level 1 moving into Sequential Spelling level 2
Spelling City for practice and fun review

Grammar(Writing and Grammar)

First Language Lessons level 1&2 by Susan Wise Bauer(we are on the 2nd part for this year)

Scott Foresman Grammar 2nd Grade

Math

Singapore Math 1B and 2A
Mega Fun with Card Games by Scholastic
Soroban Japanese Abacus Class

Science

Real Science Odyssey Life Science( using in COOP class)
Real Science Odyssey Earth and Sky(at home)
Nature Study

If for some reason I can't afford to order the Real Science Odyssey I can defintely go with the materials for year 1 and 2 science on Lesson Pathways.
History/ Geography

We have decided to do history by continent so this year we are starting in Africa. I hope to cover Ancient, Middle Ages, and some Early Modern.

Here is a starter list of the topics we are going to cover.

Ancient Egypt
Ancient Sudan
Ancient Kush(Ethiopia)
Kerma(Ancient Egyptian and Sudanese Kingdom)
Nok Sculpture( Nigeria)
Ife( Ancient Yourba City)
Meroe, Capitol of Kushite Empire
Axum
King Ezana
Kingdom of Ghana
Mali Kingdom
Sundiata Keita
Mansa Musa
Kente Cloth/ Mud Cloth
Kola nuts
Timbuktu
Indian Ocean Trade
Maasai(Kenya)
Dogon Tribe
Great Zimbabwe
Monomotapa Kingdom
Moors
Tariq
Leo Africanus
Queen Nzinga
Shaka Zulu
Hanibal
Songhay Empire


We plan to use library materials for text as well as these other items:

Lesson Pathways yr. 4 history
Evan- Moor Africa(geography)
Timeline Notebook Paper
Laminated Maps
Various Lapbook/ Notebook pages from the resources on the left side of the blog

Physical Education

Daily Walks
African Dance Class
Gymnastics
Possible Akido( martial arts class)
Park Day Playtime

Art
COOP Class(we might be using Discovering Great Artist by khol)

Handwriting

Handwriting Without Tears 3rd grade Cursive

Latin

Canon Press Latin Primer I with CD's and Flash Cards

Foreign Language(Spanish)

We will use all free materials from:

Public Library online web tutorials
Books
CD's
DVD's
Free Internet Printouts
Free online Games


Preschool Curriculum

Now I have to give a disclaimer from the beginning for those of you who are just starting out in homeschooling. Please do not feel pressured to purchase or do an entire formal curriculum for your young learner. Every young child is different and some are not ready for formal instruction till much later like between 5- 7. So these are just some of things I already had left over from my older child with a few new other things added in to give me more so than my child a sense of structure. At this age I kind of follow a Montessori/ Charlotte Mason approach. I keep the lessons short and simple and we do lots of exploration learning and independent learning. Children learn best at this age through exploring their environment not by sitting and running through workbooks. But some children see there older siblings doing "Seat Work" and it makes them want to have some also so I feel like we should give them what they ask for in that respect. This is where we are with my 3 1/2 year old. He is interested in learning how to write letters, reading, and wants to learn and participate in math. Remember to relax if they don't exactly get it they are still young you have lots of time. Make it Fun!

Reading(Phonics)

Hooked of Phonics left over from older sibling
Starfall free phonics online program and printouts
Letter Tiles
Public Library Leveled Readers

Handwriting

Dry Erase Printing Practice board left over from older sibling
Kumon Uppercase and lower case letters
Sand Tray(Montessori item that I will make myself)

Math

Mathematics with Unifix Cubes
Geometric Pattern Blocks


Science

Real Science Odyssey Life Science( COOP Class) he will participate in the hands on lab part not the notebook pages.

History/Geography

Same as my 2nd grader but modified to fit his ability
level

I might just do lots of Read Alouds of African Myths and Fables like Anansi the Spider and do coloring pages and art projects


Foreign Language(Spanish)

We will use all free materials from:

Public Library online web tutorials
Books
CD's
DVD's
Free internet Printouts
Free online Games

Art

COOP Class

Physical Education

Daily Walks
Park Days
Possible Akido(martial arts)

So here it is in a nutshell I think in all I will end up spending around $350.00 total for both children for the year. I have not added in the cost of the extra classes yet but if we take the sports and dance at the recreation center that gets things down a bit in price because we are residence. And that is also something I have asked the grandparents if they could pitch in on this years extracurriculars. Hopefully something comes through on that end. If not we can always get by on walking the trails at our parks and doing exercise OnDemand cable.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

New School Year!

Its been a while since I made any post. Although we do homeschool year round I kind of took a summer break from blogging and posting things for a few months. Sometimes we just need to unplug for a while and enjoy that family that we sacrifice to stay home with you know. lol. Well coming soon I will be having some post about this years Covention and what we have selected for curriculum this year as well as changes in the way we approach learning in our home. So be on the look out for that. Hope everyones summer has been going well. Enjoy those teacheable moments!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rainy Day Projects


Today was a dark and stormy day. I mean we tried to go on grocery run this morning and when we were in the store it was like a monsoon hit. We stayed in the Walmart for 2hrs today. But that was fine cause we like our one stop shop experiences anyway. There is something for everyone to look at. Well anyway when we got back home there was nothing to do really since we usually go to park on Saturday afternoons and play till dinner. So my daughter and I decided to make ourselves a little piece of outdoors inside and we created some Tissue Paper Flowers. I know every girl remembers doing this sort of craft when you were young. Whether it was at school or maybe even a summer camp. We had a blast. Hours had past before we even realized it. We played Florist shop, Flower Garden Party, and Wedding(All time Favorite around here). Here is a video I found that used the same method we were to make the tissue flowers in anyone is interested. For those who follow a Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling I think this could definitely be considered a Handicraft




The little ones were not very interested in the Tissue Paper Flowers. Really my one year old would just try and make a snack of it. But they pulled out a few of there "Workboxes" full of large beading and Lacing Cards. My 1yr old enjoyed taking the beads out 1 by 1 and putting them back in 1 by 1. Its amazing what they find entertaining. It is always a joy to see what children do when you turn off the TV. We are not perfect when it comes to TV watching and self control but lately we have been turnining it off more and more. I think in the few short weeks we have been trying it we have grown closer as a family. Its my hope after a while the children won't even ask about it.

Educational Video Website Freebie!

I came across this from one of the parents on a yahoo group. It looks great. It can definitely be a time saver for some parents who spend hours on Youtube looking for suitable viewing materials to go along with there studies.
Its called Watch Know

Here is the video explaining how it works

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Math Woes!!!


So its about that time of year where it seems like all the progress we made and curriculum we plugged through in math is beginning to unravel. I mean its sometimes as if nothing was retained. But I know that is not true its just like with anything else you do systematically every day burnout will eventually set in.

Now I must ask myself what do we do to bring these numbers back to life. At first I was drawing blanks. Then I thought to myself why not just x out the textbook for a while and do some creative stuff. I was thinking maybe we could do some file folder games, card games, computer games, grocery store trips, straight manipulative play, and whatever else I come across. I have been doing some searches for resources and I have even came across a set of living books that are for math. And I found that my local library carries them. I have been on the forums and message boards for homeschoolers lately and it seems that I am not alone in my year end math madness. There have been even dozens of blog post popping up about this same subject. Here are some links to ones I found helpful:

Epi Kardia
Homeschooling in a Bilingual Home
Homeschool Articles
One of the other reasons I feel like we are having difficulty with math is because I don't think our curriculum is a great match for my learner. My daughter is a young first grader and this year we have been using Horizons k from Alpha Omega Publishing. She started mid summer on the 1st book and is now finishing the 2nd book and should be done some time this week. I mean Horizons is a wonderful program and I highly recommend it for early elementary grades but it might not have been as conceptually strong as I needed it to be for my child.

We have been looking into using MathUSee from Steve Demi this next go round. I went on the website and watched the Demistration as they call it and I think its exactly what we need. It uses a See, Say, Do method. Meaning you see the problem with the manipulative's, you verbally express the the problem, then you write the expression. They use lots of word problems as well. I have read tons of reviews this far. Most all who have used it are great fans of the program. I have also read it is a great program for those who follow a Classical style or Charlotte Mason approach which makes it another plus for me. So now lets pray we receive the funds to get the ball rolling.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Curriculum Freebie!


So I was on one of the many networks I frequent and someone posted a link for this free curriculum resource for early elementary grades. I figured I would pass it along to you.
Its called Head of the Class

With the economy effecting most of us these days I know as homeschoolers especially it is causing us to become very creative with curriculum. I mean this past year I think we initially spent $300.00 for 2 students. I mean that is all we had in the budget. I thought that wasn't much till I found out there are some parents who go on less than that and manage just fine. So I am really started to look at things in a different light now. I look at the situation as a character building opportunity for me and for the children. I mean I am so proud of what I was able to accomplish this year. I essential made my own curriculum and lesson plans. It was time consuming and tedious but you know what I am proud of myself for rising to the challenge. It was truly a confidence builder that I could do anything I set my mind to. And you know what it is making this coming year not look so stressful as far as planning. Its also one of the many reasons I have grown to love the Classical Education Method. All you need to do is teach a child how to learn and they will find the knowledge. Its good to have prepackaged curriculum with nice shinny teachers editions but its just as good if not better than to have a bible, library card, Math text, basic school supplies and the great outdoors.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring is in the Air!


We took a trip to our local organic farm for a class on Spring Gardening recently. It was not only a great learning experience for the children but one for my husband and I also.
You know with everything in full bloom there are lots of opportunities to do Nature Study activities. If you are looking for a listing of farms in your area here is a favorite resource of mine

Pick Your Own

Local Harvest


Also I found some wonderful links to help assit your child in creating there own Nature Journals.

Nature Journal Resources

Donna Young Nature Journal



Friday, March 26, 2010

Our 1st Homeschool Science Fair 2010!


This Friday my daughter got to participate in her 1st ever science fair. We had a blast. It was organized by one of our local homeschool groups. I must say that I was quite impressed by some of the creativity of the other students. Well if you have a science fair coming up in your area or you are thinking about hosting one for your homeschool group here are some wonderful resources I found along the way.

Science Fair Central

Janice VanCleave's Guide to the Best Science Fair Projects
Basically anything by Janice VanCleave is great for science fair type projects. Her books can be found at any local library.

All Science Fair Projects

SCIENCE FAIR
CREATION SCIENCE TOPICS


Science Fair Adventure

Homeschool Science Tools
This site is a one stop shop for all homeschool science tools, kits, and supplies.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest!!


Hey guys here is another FREEBIE I found for next school year. check it out.




Now through July 2010, LEGO Education is searching for 10,000 new contestants for its 2010 LEGO® Smart™ Creativity Contest, challenging classrooms across the United States to become LEGO Smart!

The 2010 contest, including prize information and contest rules, will be emailed to all pre-registered contestants on Monday, August 2, 2010, starting at 8am CST.


Would you like to be part of the fun?
The 2010 LEGO® Smart™ Creativity Contest requires the use of a LEGO® Smart™ kit (pictured above). Kits are available, free of charge, to the first 10,000 new, registered, and qualified contestants.

To register for the 2010 Contest, CLICK HERE.

If you are a teacher, home educator, after-school program director, or otherwise working with students within the education field, you are eligible to compete in this year’s contest. Previous year’s contestants are also eligible and must use their current kit for the contest challenge, due to launch August 2, 2010!

Only pre-registered and pre-qualified contestants are eligible for the 2010 LEGO Smart Creativity Contest. If you have questions or would like additional information, contact Debra at dsmith@LEGOeducatio n.us.

Are You LEGO® Smart™?
Being LEGO® Smart™ is more than building with LEGO bricks. It’s having the ability to work in teams, solve problems, and create solutions. It means understanding key science, technology, engineering, and math concepts – not just on paper, but through demonstration.

LEGO® Smart™ students don’t just know it, they do it!

http://www.legoeduc ation.us/ about/item. aspx?art= 3465&bhcp=1

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fire Station Field Trip!


With the good weather rolling back around I know us homeschoolers can't wait to get back into our hands on in the field learning opportunities. The thing is in this economy affording for everyone to head out to the aquarium or museum is just not within the budget for some. But one thing that I have started doing lately is looking for opportunities in our own neighborhood that can be an educational experience for Free or little money. One of those things we did today was go to our local Fire Department for a tour around the station.




I just called my local fire department and asked if they did tours of the stations. And they told me sure. They asked how many children were going to be coming with me and I told them just my family and they said it was fine. They could also accommodate your homeschool group as well if you guys wanted to attend as a large group. We got to see were they eat, sleep, and they took us all around the trucks.Just call around and find out what your local servicemen can offer you and your family to find out more about how they serve the community. They gave the kids a plastic fireman hat and one of those sticker badges. That was the highlight for them.

When we got home I had a few extension exercises to go with the field trip. We read some books aloud about Fire Stations. Here is the list:

Curious George at the Fire Station by Margret and H.A. Rey's
The Fire Cat by Esther Averill
Corduroy goes to the Fire Station by Don Freeman

I also had my 1st grader fill out a field trip report sheet I printed from Here.

My 1st grader and my preschooler both colored a printout of a fire truck I got from HERE


I took some heavy card stock and let them paste there report, fire truck, and sticker badge onto it and make a Fire safety booklet. They are going to add a few more pages after learning some other fire safety tips. I am going to have them check a few more books from the library to finish up on it.

And after talking to the firemen about safety in the home and preparing your children in case of an emergency we decided to create an emergency exit plan and a meet up location and do a fire drill. This should be interesting.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Homeschoolers at the Capitol Day!!!





Yesterday my family and I went to visit the Georgia State Capitol. It was our first time going. Our local state homeschool organization GHEA has a Homeschoolers at the Capitol Day annually. It is a time when we as tax paying voters get to make our voice and presence known to those who propose and make laws for our states. Laws that can possibly effect our Right to Homeschool. Its also an opportunity for our children to see how our local branches of government conduct themselves. You might be lucky enough to attend during a session in which case you can sit in with your child and have them observe the process. You can even make an appointment to speak with your Governor or Congressman and thank then them for continuing to support homeschoolers just so they see your face and know you are a voice. It can make the difference when legislature that is not favorable to homeschoolers comes along.

One of our local Homeschool Bands Joyful Noise from Marrietta, Ga performed on the Capitol steps. It was great. They had a Jazz Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Recorder band(younger children), and Chorus. We flooded the capitol it was so many of us but as always with the homeschool crowd everyone was polite and orderly.

Visits to the State Capitol are free and depending on what time of the year it is they have different specialty guided tours to sign up for. It is a good field trip idea for homeschoolers on a tight budget.

There was a Capitol Museum on the upper level of the building which was great. We got to see exhibits on our local wildlife, waterways, and industries. We also were able to see exhibits depicting the history of voting in our state as well as some background on some of our most famous people. This being Georgia and all I guess I should not have been surprised to see a painting of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 1st floor of the capitol building in the same hall as all the past Governors. After all he was from Atlanta, Ga. We also saw some things on Jimmy Carter our 39th president who is from Plains, Ga. Ironically he grew up on a peanut farm and that happens to be a our state Crop. lol!

Well just look for opportunities like this in your local area to band together with the homeschool community for Capitol Day. A way to find out what's going on in your local area is to visit the HSLDA website and look for your states homeschool association. They should be able to tell you when your states Capitol Day is.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Language Arts and Reading in Our home

Language Arts is such a broad spectrum of subjects. When I hear language arts I think of Grammar, Spelling, Phonics, Handwriting, Reading Comprehension, and Vocabulary. Now at this phase of learning I don't think it is necessary to cover all these things but to add in one at a time when they show signs of readiness for that. Also some of these that fall under the umbrella of Language arts might not even be necessary in a home learning environment. Like for instance Reading comprehension can be replaced with narration. And I have known quite a bit of homeschoolers who never use a formal vocabulary curriculum simply because they are constantly being expose to vocab that can be explained by there parent all day through there read alouds and classic childrens literature. But here is the run down on what we use.

1st grade

Grammar
1st Language Lessons by Susan Wise Bauer
supplimented with SF Reading Grammar Online

Spelling
Sequential Spelling level 1

Handwriting
Copywork
A Reason For Handwriting

Phonics
We done with it but we completed the entire
Hooked On Phonics- It was a great sucess for our family. Another great program I heard about but haven't used is Phonics Pathways and you can use Bob Books and Pathway Readers for the books part.

Literature and Reading
We have our own list that I have compiled but we also read from the
Ambleside Online List level 1
and Classical Christian Homeschool booklist also


Preschool


Phonics
Starfall
and we just started the Hooked On Phonics(no pushing just introducing it)- most children start phonics and dont get the blend part until they hit a certain level of development when they stop seeing a word like Cat as C- at instead of Cat. Usually this happens around 4 or 5 for some it could be as late as 6. So if you are starting phonics don't worry if they dont seem to be able to put it all together right away. Just stay consistant with lessons and keep them SHORT.

Handwriting
Tracing letter WS- we bought a few workbooks from Walmart. We might do a couple of week whenever he wants to do school.

Literature and Reading
We do lots of read alouds. For him we use our own list and the list at
Simply Charlotte Mason

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pizza Hut: Book It! Reading Program 2010- 2011 Enrollment


This school year my oldest got to participate in the Book It! Reading Program sponsored by Pizza Hut. Now the enrollment is open for next school year. The program is open for all public, private, and homeschoolers. You get a packet in the mail in the fall around Sept. that will come with a Progress Chart, Awards, and Pizza coupons that can be redeemed at any Pizza Hut location. Its for grades K- 6th. You set the reading goals so if for you its 6 chapter books in a month than thats what it is. Here is the link Here

Thought I would pass along this freebie

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some Of Life Best Moments




One of the best ways to get your children to love reading is for them to see you reading. Here I caught a candid moment of my husband having readind time with our two oldest. How cute is this!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Online Homeschool Conferences!




In my last post about Homeschool Conference I mentioned how to locate your local state conventions but I neglected to mention for those who cannot make those conference there are other options. There are two different annual online homeschooler conferences that are coming up. The best part about attending a conference online is that you can replay parts you missed you can usually download the audio to your computer. Also you don't have to worry about what to do with your little ones, or transportation, or any of the other things I mentioned in my previous post. Now although I do prefer to go in person to my local state convention and curriculum fair to browse the vendors booths I do know it can be very difficult to attend the seminars and hear the speakers with little ones in tow. So if you are unable to make a conference in person this year consider these two options.

The Ultimate Homeschool Expo

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My 1st Blog Award!!!

Thanks so much to Hannah at Preparing For Our Childrens Future.

This is such a blessing. Its the 1st but hopefully not the last Blog Award for me.







The rules for accepting this award:

1.Thank the person that gave you the award

2.Pass this award on to 15 bloggers you've recently discovered
and whom you think are fantastic!


3.Contact the Bloggers you pick to let them know they've won

4.State 7 Things about yourself!


So Here goes a little about myself:

1. I am a wife and mother of 3 wonderful children ages 1, 3, and soon to be 6.

2. I am the Prodical Daughter. What I mean is that I was raised in the church and left out the back door as soon as I got to college and had my beliefs challenged for the 1st time only to find myself 1o years later crying out for the Lord to wrap his loving arms around me and show me the way back to him.

3. I am the oldest child. I still have a sibling at home in highschool.

4. I have a serious passion for education and learning new things.

5. I enjoy reading and surfing youtube! Youtube is replacing baseball as an "All American Passtime".

6. My husband and I are a Quiverfull Family. The Lord will decided if and when children come through my womb.

7. I am a Midwest Girl at Heart with a Country Girl Syle.

As Promised Here are the 15 Blogs I pick to recieve this Award also.



Catholic Christian Homeschooling
Four Bad Apples
Home Grown Families
Joyfully at Home
Learning for His Glory Homeschooling
Mama to 3 Blessings
Marmee's Pantry
Outside the Sandbox
Preparing Our Children 4 Life
Strong Quiver
Team Gray
Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
The Way We Homeschool
The Mahogany Way
The Bridled Tongue

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tot Books: Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Tot Books & Packs







I printed the activity booklets to go with the new childrens Classic book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin and Eric Carle. We love how this story is a good reinforcement for learning colors and common animals. Here are some pics of what we did with it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What I Like About Classical Education!




The things we love best about using a Classical Approach to homeschooling is you are taught from an early age how to recite. When you are a little older you learn Logic. Finally towards High school you should know how to research a topic, write a complete argument, and present it. It’s called the Trivium or 3 stages of learning. They are Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric stages. Which if you break down into terms we are accustomed is 1- 4th grade, 5-8th grade, and 9th- 12th grade. You expose children to the Great Books and Living books at an early age. Also during the Grammar stage you introduce them to recitation on a weekly basis. This is also when you do the most memorization of facts, tables, and timelines. This will create memory pegs to tap into in latter learning. That is how we are training our children to be lifelong learners. Another thing that is cool about Classical is that we study history and geography from a chronological view from Creation to Modern Day. Which means we start with Ancient World (Egypt, Nubia, Kush, Greece, Rome, China, Japan, and India), then Early Renaissance, next Late Renaissance, and finally Modern day.

In early America before the formation of the NEA (National Education Association) and the beginning of Compulsory attendance laws, most schools were taught this way. They were usually called Latin Schools or Grammar Schools. The reason why some of the Classical Schools of early America where referred to as Latin Schools is, “You Guessed it!”, they taught Latin starting at the Grammar stage of learning. The philosophy of Classical Education is to train children to become thinkers and processors of information by equipping them with the tools necessary to break down any and all subjects at the root. Latin is one of the root languages our Language is based upon. So with a good firm grasp on Language it will help train our children to always go to the original source 1st. And don’t be intimidated by the Latin either. With all the resources and curriculum available to homeschoolers today it’s a matter of how do you want to teach it. You can choose from books, DVD’s, CD’s, CD Rom, and even taking a class with a local COOP group.

I must say out of all the things to love about Classical Education it has to be the rich emphasis on Great Works of Literature. Time has been the biggest test for some authors as to there relevance in modern day education. A great writer never goes out of style. And for those parents on tight budgets like us you can always find Great Books at your local Public Library. There are even websites dedicated to putting out Suggested Reading List for all levels of learning. Check out some of my favorites under my Classic Home Education Resources Links to the left sidebar. My favorites right now for suggested reading for my Preschool and 1st grader are the Ambleside list and also the Classical Christian Homeschooling site under 1000 Good Books List.

I truly feel that with these bare essentials:

Bible
Library Card
Internet Access
Math Text
Latin Curriculum
Basic School Supplies

You can succeed in producing a Well Educated Child from Preschool thru High School.

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

-Proverbs 22:6-

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homeschool Convention and Curriculum Fair Season !



I don't know if you guys are thinking about it yet but I am already mapping out my plans for this years state homeschoolers convention and curriculum fair. Last year was my 1st year of attending and I didn’t have any particular game plan. But this year I will have my list of curriculum that I need and a list of the workshops I want to see and there time slots already in place.
I think it is best to navigate these conferences with a through plan of attack or else you can end up doing one of two things: Getting this you really didn’t need or not getting things at all due to being overwhelmed. Here are some of my tips to successfully attending a Homeschool Convention and Curriculum Fair

1. Order Catalogs- It’s best to order all the curriculum catalogs before attending. Have a general idea of what you are looking to purchase so that you can spend your time on the exhibitors hall looking for the best price for your selected items and then check out the new and exciting things.



2. Meal Plan- Plan out your food for the family and making sure to have a change of clothes and shoes for each member of your family in the car. Most convention centers don’t want you to bring in outside food but you can still bring your food and take a designated lunch break at the car. They don’t mind you going in and out.



3. Baby Carriers- If you have small babies bring a carrier or wrap of some sort and a stroller. The stroller can be used as a storage device for all your handouts and curriculum and supplies.



4. Buddy System- Also if you have a large family pair a younger child with an older as a walking buddy. Train your child on what to do if they get separated like looking for information desk or security officer. Try to point those things out on the way in. For a very shy or non speaking child try putting on ID bracelets.



5. Little Ones- If you have all little ones I would try to get a baby sitter and go alone or only go to the exhibit hall and not the workshops cause you might not get much from the seminars if they get fussy.

I find that attending the Conferences can be a great encourage for a child who doesn’t have much contact with other homeschoolers on a regular basis. They get to see that there are many others in there state that get there education at home also. It’s also very reassuring and inspirational for the parents to be around other parents who take on the task of home education. A word about diversity at Curriculum Conferences is that I have found here in my state of Georgia (The South) it didn’t make me feel uncomfortable at all. And I actually found a few African American vendors as well as other ethnic groups in attendance.
Here is a link to how to find a Conference in your Area!

http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com/conventions/index.html


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Classic Music Study


One aspect of a Classical Education is to incorporate the study of Classical Music. So far this school year we have studied Mozart, Beethoven, and now we have started on Tchaikovsky.

We use the following format for our Classic Music Studies:


Music Study Format
1. Listening Study
2. Comparison
3. Biographical information( Picture books, children biographies, movies, etc..)
4. Project (making craft instruments, etc...)


A great resource for Children's Classic Music projects, printouts and audio is: http://www.classicsforkids.com/
Today during our Music hour we read the Picture Book "Swan Lake" illustrated by Shigeru Hatsuyama while listening to a few selections from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Sometime we turn the lights off and listen to a piece while laying still. At elementary age don't expect to get more than a "I like the way it sounds." or "This music is pretty." With an other child you can ask more probing questions.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr. Unit Study

Martin Luther King Jr.
Unit Study

Suggested Grades: K- 2nd

Library Resource List

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzolla
Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rapppaort
My Dream of Martin Luther King by Faith Ringgold
My Brother Martin by Christine King Farris
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr by David Alder
Martin Luther King Jr. by Mary Winget

Printouts and Lesson Plans

MLK Mini book
http://www.bry-backmanor.org/mlk.html

MLK Worksheets
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/history/us/MLK/

FREE Lesson Plans and Teachers Guide from
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Site
http://www.nps.gov/malu/forteachers/lessonplansandteacherguides.htm

Other MLK Lesson Plans and links

http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson248.shtml

Arts and Crafts

MLK Toliet Paper Puppet
http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/mmlk.html
MLK Coloring Sheets
http://www.primarygames.com/holidays/mlk/color.htm
http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/mposters-mlk.htm
MLK Crafts
http://www.theholidayzone.com/mlk/mlkart.html



Audio and Video Clips

I have a Dream Speech
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

I’ve Been to the MountainTop

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkivebeentothemountaintop.htm

Friday, January 15, 2010

Scripps Homeschool Spelling Bee



Today my Daughter had the privilege of participating in a Scripps Homeschool Spelling Bee. Even though at the Jr. level they don't go on to state competitions I felt it was a wonderful learning experience. The Jr. competitors all received a certificate of participation. I thought that was nice too.Who knows I could have a future Akeelah and The Bee on my hands.

For homeschoolers to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition a local homeschool organization must sponsor the local challenge. If you are interested in having your homeschooler participate in the Scripps Spelling Bee next year or your local homeschool organization hosting the event check out http://www.spellingbee.com/




Here is a handy list of study websites to help your child in preparation for the Bee.








Thursday, January 14, 2010

Praying For Haiti






Ways to Give


http://www.yele.org/


http://www.care.org/


http://www.redcross.org/

Ancient Egypt Unit Study


As I posted previously. In History/ Georgrapy we are doing a large 12 week Unit Study on Ancient Egypt. Right now we are just 2 weeks into the unit and I wanted to share with you some of the FREE resources I have found here online.


Here is a link for printout and suggested readings at my favorite resource Homeschool share



Suggested Library List

Who Was King Tut? by Roberta EdwardsUsborne

Who Built the Pyramids? by Jane Chisholm & Struan Reid

Pyramids! by Avery Hart & Paul Mantell

Projects About Ancient Egypt by David C. King

Adventures in Ancient Egypt by Linda Bailey

Pyramid by David Macaulay

Tutankhamen's Gift by Robert Sabuda

Tut's Mummy Lost and Found by Judy Donnelly

The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Cleopatra by Diane Stanley

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses by Henry Barker

Egyptian Treasures (CD) by Jim Weiss

The Magic Tree House Research Book – Mummies and Pyramids by Mary Pope Osborne


Also I for older children I found this resource to be of great assistance at Homeschool Helper Online: http://www.homeschoolhelperonline.com/lapbooks/ancient_egypt.htm



Suggest Library List

The Best Book of Mummies by Philip Steele 1st-3rd

Voices of Ancient Egypt by Kay Winters, Barry Moser 3rd-6th

Egypt: A to Z by Jeff Reynolds (non-fiction) 4th-6th

The Story of the Nile by Anne Millard 4th-6th

Daily Life in Ancient and Modern Cairo by Joan Barghusen (culture) 4th-8th

Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt by Usborne (non-fiction) 4th-9th

Glorious Past: Ancient Egypt, Ethiopia, and Nubia by Earnestine Jenkins (events) 7th-9th

Egyptian Princess by George Ebers (historical fiction) 10th-12th


Here is the breakdown in which we are going to study this Ancient Civilization.


Ancient Egypt


Units

People (Kings, Queens, Other important people) 6 lessons 3 weeks
Places (Capitol city, land forms, bodies of water, landmarks)
6 lessons 3 weeks
Culture (Religion, government, food, clothing, art, music)
6 lessons 3 weeks
Events (Wars, Death, Pivotal turning points) 6 lessons 3 weeks

Total= 24 lessons, 12 weeks


Other Completed Lapbook Photos from the web:

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