Saturday, August 30, 2014

August: Creation and Scrolls, Messes and Fun!

I never remember to do a weekly review so I'm thinking maybe a monthly review would work a little better for me! We started school early August at the request of my middle two kiddos and they had a lot of fun with it!

Tot School 
Well, Miss Allie still sleeps through most of the excitement during her morning naps but a few times she's had fun stepping on Hunter's workbook or trying to get the alphabet matching game cards from Natalie. One day she sat in her seat to scribble for a few minutes but she mostly just likes wandering around finding things to make a mess of!

We started out with a creation unit for her. We spent a day for each day of creation and then had fun reviewing, learning about the earth and comparing what God made vs. what people made.

After our creation unit we started with the first letter in the My Father's World Kindergarten program. S for sun! We read Bible verses and made a badge to remember that "Jesus is the light of the world."  One day we made a sundial (which daddy unknowingly removed from the yard) and saw what the sun did to a piece of black paper. Miss Natalie had a lot of fun learning about the S sound, writing the s and drawing a sun!

First Grade 
Hunter's first grade work started out with a review of the letter sounds and how to write them. After getting through the entire alphabet we made the pages into a scroll like they would have had in Bible times! Once that was finished we started reviewing the short vowel sounds and reading several words with them in the words. He also got to read sentences to match with pictures. Here in the next week or two we'll be getting into long vowel sounds.

We've learned about ants and worms and other creatures in and on the ground, the seasons and how plants grow. The rain forest at the zoo had a great big ant hill we could see inside of which went great with what we had read in the "Things Outdoors" book! We currently have a bean seed in a baggie with a wet napkin to see what happens to it!

In math we have worked with patterns, the 100 chart, place value and our coin jar. I'm always amazed at how quickly this boy picks up on math concepts!

Fifth Grade
History this year ties in with our study of the Old Testament. We've learned about creation, the first sin in the world that Adam and Eve commited., Noah's ark and the tower of Babel. It amazes me that the Bible gives an account of such important events so early in history so that we can use them today as we learn more about science and the world around us.

A few weeks ago our family celebrated the Sabbath. It was a really neat experience! We had dinner at dusk (quite by accident but that's when it was supposed to be anyway) and used the Celebrating Biblical Feasts book to guide us through. Wayne and I both had a sense of calm and the dinner was enjoyed by all of us.

This past week we used a fun story to learn how to draw a map of the Bible lands. We've gotten our timeline going and talked about the Jewish calendar..

In sciience we've talked about the first day of the creation of the Earth. Light! we've learned how light can be bent to play tricks on our eyes and made the fun discovery that you cannot see a penny under a clear glass of water unless you look straight down on it!

We are still really enjoying the Shiller math program! We've learned several songs from their Kit 2 CD and started a section on geometry this week after doing some review of telling time, reading larger numbers and multiplication and division.

We're using Learning Language Arts through literature this year and finished up reading the Boxcar Children this week. This is another change we made that I'm really enjoying! The workbook is quick and she can do it fairly independently.

Other Happenings
It's been a fun, busy, crazy month! We've had fun gathering vegetables from our garden, playing with the water hose, going to the park and lots and lots of legos! Chelsea finished her 4H projects, just in the nick of time for judging. We also celebrated Wayne's birthday this month and surprised him with a cake. I still can't believe he didn't see it! The best part of the month though is that yesterday, my sister came home from CA so we've spent most of Friday visiting with her after a fun day at the park with some homeschool friends.

How was your August? I'd love to hear about it!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. They do not effect the cost to you in any way, only blesses my family with a small portion. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why We Went Back to All About Spelling

A few years ago I found out about All About Spelling from the All About Learning Press. Since Chelsea, my oldest, does better with multisensory learning, I thought All About Spelling would be great for her. We ordered level one and started going through it.

Before we started with the program Chelsea was very discouraged with spelling. Due to her speech delay she had a very hard time with traditional spelling list style programs. She couldn't figure out how to sound out and spell the words and that caused nothing but frustration and tears. .

All About Spelling was great because in level one they teach the sounds of every letter including the extras that you don't usually teach so instead of A being taught like apple and angle, they also added the other sound a makes like in water. Once we made it through all of the letter sounds she was taught how to segment words into individual sounds and then spell the word from there.

What happened with all of this amazed me! Chelsea regained her confidence with spelling and was willing to try instead of instantly thinking she couldn't do it. We finished level one that spring but because of money issues we decided to try something a little less expensive.

What we used at first was a program I really enjoyed but to her it was frustrating. So we tried a traditional spelling program which was a complete disaster. Although she could sound things out better, a traditional workbook style spelling lesson just didn't cut it. This kiddo thrives on hands on, multisensory learning!

This year I made a few changes with our language arts and math. One of them included going back to All About Spelling. We started with level two since it includes a review of level one. We are working our way through using the tiles and then writing the words and phrases while practicing the different rules of spelling.

We use a cookie sheet at the moment to store our letter tiles but we'll soon need to get something bigger. It helps to keep them organized and saves a lot of time when we go to do our spelling lesson each day.

How a lesson works: 
The books are organized into levels and then steps. We are using level two and are on step three. So tomorrow we'll grab the board of letters, my book and the box of cards. 
1.We will go over the cards that need reviewed and practice some of the ones she already knows.
2.After those are finished we'll start working on new skills. Today we worked on two syllable words and tomorrow we'll continue that with more practice. 
3. To finish the lesson she will get out her notebook and I will give her a few phrases and sentences to write down from dictation. 
4. Put the cards, board and book away and there we go! 

How much time we spend depends on her and how things are going. If she's not in a good mood about it and struggling we'll stop early and pick back up the next day. This program is mastery based which means we move on when she understands and is ready to move on. Until then we can review and practice the new skills and move on when she feels confident with them. 

Have you used All About Spelling? What did you think? 

Note: This post includes affiliate links, This does not effect the cost to you in any way, only blesses my family with a small portion. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Educents Month of Giveaways

Have you heard? Educents has had giveaways going on for the entire month of August! SO many different things you could win. . I wanted to share them with you because I had no idea until this week that these were going on. There's a bunch of others but here's a few of my favorites. Be sure to go here to enter one or all of them.

Home Science Tools. If you haven't heard of them they have science curriculum, tools, equipment and fun kits for kids to use to explore science.
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Ink or toner for a year which would be awesome. Who doesn't constantly seem to run out of this stuff?
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1 Semester of Foreign Language Classes from Middlebury
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iPad Mini: You could download all kinds of apps on this thing (believe me we do with our tablets!)
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Which one would you like to win?  Remember to click here to enter. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back to Homeschool: Here We Go!

Are you ready or have you already started? by request of the kiddos we started last week! I thought I'd share with you what we'll be using this year for our curriculum This year things get even more interesting because I have three grades going on. My little Natalie wouldn't be old enough for public school kindergarten but she is ready and willing to learn so we're doing kindergarten with her anyway. Then we have Hunter in first and somehow Chelsea is all the way to fifth grade already. So, here's what we're doing with them all.

5th Grade
My Father's World Creation to the Greeks: History, scieence, Bible, music and art
Shiller Math
Learning Language Arts Through Literature: orange book
All About Spelling Level 2
IEW classes with our homeschool group

1st Grade 
My Father's World: Learning God's Story
possibly adding in Singapore Math

My Father's World Kindergarten Exploring Creation from A-Z

Check out the My Father's World Blogroll 2014-2015  to find more blogs from families who use this curriculum.

When will you start? 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Back to Homeschool Giveaway! Brought to You by A+ Interactive Math

 photo bandicam2014-08-0517-51-44-119_zps03b84309.png It's an exciting time of the year! It's that time when homeschool moms and families everywhere are gathering curriculum, making plans, and stocking up on Back to HOMEschool  supplies. With that in mind - we've put together a Facebook party to celebrate with FREEBIES, books, and curriculum you are sure to love. Welcome!  You will have the chance to enter to win a Laptop Computer with lots of curriculum. You'll also have the chance to enter many individual giveaways all together worth thousands of dollars. We are so glad you are here. The giveaways will stay open through Monday. Check the A+ Facebook page and your email for winners.
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One family will win products from all of the following companies as well as a laptop from A+ Interactive Math  . . . AND math curriculum for the entire family with access to ALL grade levels.
Fantastic homeschool companies participating in the Back to HOMEschool MEGA Giveaway:
Enter the MEGA Giveaway with 1 entry - or use them all for more chances to win BIG!! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Take advantage of our Back to HOMEschool Special - The only math program your family needs with access to ALL grade levels. Get 1 - 10 student packages for $67.50 - $135 with the link below.
A+ Discount Banner!
Head back to the A+ Interactive Math Facebook Page to join the party and enter MORE giveaways! We have tons of individual giveaways - each with a different winner. GO HERE

A Giant Leap of Faith

We've all been there, making life decisions that seemed scary at the time but you truly felt God leading you in that direction. Find out about a story of mine today over at Fruitful Families. 

What have you done that required a giant leap of faith? 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How We use Character Badges

Character BadgesI've mentioned Character Badges a few weeks ago when they were a part of the bundle sale but today I wanted to let you know that we've started implementing them and I'm loving it! My kids are excited when they get marks for their obedience charts (although they sometimes ask for them but it doesn't work that way lol). My son seems to have the hardest time with things and was feeling discouraged yesterday because he had gotten a few disobedience chart marks the day before. I made sure to notice some of the good things he did and give him a high five for them when he got his check marks! They are all excited and really wanting to earn those badges!
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