Category

curriculum

Grade One Favorites [A Homeschool Post]

Our little guy is turning six this week, so I thought I would focus this post on his age/grade. Today I am going to share a few of our favorite curriculums that have been a huge hit (and success I might add) with our little wiggler.

Now to say our little guy has a hard time sitting still is a gross understatement. He has to move, period. Even though I don’t have my own full size gym in our house, I try to make sure we are moving from station to station, rather than sitting at one place for all of his lesson plans. We start the day off in the family room with the other kids and begin our bible reading and devotion time (5-1o min). I then go downstairs to our school room/toy room to do his letters on the wall. I have the full alphabet set up on the wall, so we go over the letters, the sounds they make and do it again- backwards. This is also a bonus math lesson. You see, I have a secret weapon- each and every letter he gets correct (whatever we are doing that day such as long or short vowels etc.) he receives a mini M&M. When we are finished his lesson on letters he counts out his mini M&M’s in victory (honestly choc. chips and mini marshmallows from the pantry work in a pinch too, ha!)

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If there is one thing that this kiddo needs, it is motivation and a reason why he needs to know this stuff. Logic at its finest. I am grateful rewards work in my favor…

When we are finished with that we move upstairs to the kitchen table, and begin his all-time favorite subject- Math. He is wired for numbers so I rarely need to help and am able to clean up the kitchen as he is working on his lesson. He completes 2-3 pages every day of Math-U-See’s ‘Primer’. He is halfway through so I imagine we will begin ‘Alpha’ mid-winter. You can find Math-U-See curriculum HERE for more information.

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Ok, I know this is supposed to be “Favorites” but I didn’t say they would all be the little guy’s fav’s! The next subject we move onto is his writing. We use ‘Handwriting Without Tears’ and have been quite happy with it.

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Now here comes his favorite part of the day… READING EGGS.

This is done online and covers phonics and reading lessons. We both LOVE it. The more lessons you complete, the more “eggs” you crack and unlock new games and rewards. win-win. Bonus- I can keep track of his progress and stats on the parent/teacher page.

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These sum up a few of the favorites we enjoy. I have not mentioned our  weekly science, geography and history lessons we do because there is only so much time I have to sneak away and complete one post. If you are curious about these other subjects shoot me a message or comment.

Thanks for checking in!

Amber

 

Relationship Vs. Academics {In a homeschooling environment}

One thing I love about connecting with other homeschooling parents is the reminder it brings to us on why we are choosing to educate our kids in the first place.

I have to admit, it is easy to lose sight of the end goal. When I am consumed with the day-to-day busyness of making sure I am not “failing” my kids by the public Board of Education standards, I can forget the masterpiece picture at hand.

As the new math lesson is being introduced and we go through it again and again all week- from various angles and the one child is still not grasping it and the others are…

When the child continues to struggle with reading and you have poured out hour upon hour of teaching, and trying again, which then creates a strong dislike for reading by the student…

The seemingly endless poor attitudes and whining at every subject and school assignment…

Constant bickering, fighting and horsing-around that never ceases when we all are living under the same roof and schooling under that same roof…

It is tiring. It is easy to crawl back under the covers in the morning instead of facing the day, or to just give in again because the fight has gone out of you. As homeschooling parents we also face the challenges of the inevitable “burnout” feelings. Then among the midst of these feelings a ray of sunlight creeps in-

Our oldest son graciously drops everything he is doing to teach a younger sibling a new technique…

Our oldest daughter hears of someone in need and immediately leaves to lend a helping hand. For the whole day, foregoing a previously arranged play date and her own workload. Without compliant and on her own accord with a joyful serving attitude.

Our middle son wanting to please and serve starts folding load after load of linen, and then proceeds to teach his younger sisters how to fold so they too can help.

Our youngest two selflessly (and maybe a bit miraculously ha!) share their portions and continue scooping cookie after cookie onto the pan.

Our son shares Christ’s love with another little boy who does not know God. He then reads his favorite bible story to him and gifts this little boy who so looks up to him, his very own bible.

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It is times like these as parents we need to remember and dearly hold onto. Those glimpses and beautiful rays of light shining into the dark places sheds light on the picture as a whole. Not the here and now, but the very purpose we are put onto this earth. For this is what we were made for.

John 1:5 ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’

Psalm 138:8 ‘The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.’

God is incapable of lying. He is Holy. Therefore we can be assured of His promises. Nothing we come across in our days can snuff out Gods light.

Lets thank God for those people in our lives he has placed there to lift us up and point us towards Him. Let us also be willing vessels to lift others up.

School work will always be there.

Housework will always be there.

Life’s demands will always be there.

Our children may not always be here, nor will we always be here to teach them. Lets not let a Godly learning moment pass us by…

I pray we never let academics and what’s important to society -that passes away in the end anyway- get in the way of Gods work and purpose.

As fellow believers in Christ we are ultimately reaching for the same goal, we are fallen and reaching for His grace. Let’s extend that grace to ourselves as He has already done for us.

I am cheering for you!

Amber

“Your God… will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:14-17

Science Fair Fun


This particular blog today is all about homeschooling/education. I think I am more excited about the upcoming science fair than the kids!

Beginning of March marks the first “fair” we will be a part of as a family of homeschoolers.How amazing it is that I can include our Kinder, Gr. 3 and Gr.4 kids all in one project! The topic? Our Solar System.

All about our Solar System- galaxies, sun, stars, moons and planets. May the force be with us!

Ahem, we may or may not have had the pleasure recently of watching the newest ‘Star Wars- The Force Awakens’ movie 🙂

Continue Reading…

Homeschool Favorites

With summer in full swing I can not help myself thinking of the upcoming homeschool year that’s right around the corner.

You may not follow the same schedule as traditional public school perhaps, but with September approaching (sorry to burst your summer bubble, but only 5 short weeks remain!) fall always is refreshing and feels like a new start to the academic year ,whether or not you take summer holidays 🙂 . Don’t worry I am not wishing away our summer days, in fact I am taking it nice and slow and enjoying each day as it comes. Keeping with that also comes thought and planning for the days ahead, which leads me to the point- my favorite-can’t-live-without homeschools items.

1.) Quality pencils

This is a must. How many times have we tried sharpening the same pencil, just to get to the end of it to find out the lead is broken into bits and pieces. For early elementary I have been happy with the #2 HB pencil.

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2.) Quality pencil sharpener

Along with those cheap pencils, in my opinion a cheap sharpener is even worse. Every time you sharpen the pencil it breaks the lead, leaving you frustrated. We are going to invest in a good electric pencil sharpener this year, such as the X-Acto SchoolPro electric sharpener from Staples.

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 3.) A Planner

A good planner to keep your school year, activities and schedules on track are key to a smooth sailing, less forgetting, more productive school year.  Bonus if they include progress/attendance/report cards, or even a meal plan area! Here are a couple I have been checking out-

a plannerThe well-planned day homeschool planner

a planner 2Class Lesson Planner

4.) A laminator

With small children in the home, especially working with preschoolers, I highly recommend investing in a laminating machine. I had the opportunity last year to purchase a laminating machine with bonus laminating pouches for a whopping $15 online through Staples. Watch for deals! Received free shipping on that as well, regularly priced around $100 by itself without the extra laminating pouches. I find amazon has the best deals for future purchases on laminating pouches. Unfortunately they do not make the exact model I have anymore but here is a similar one that can do up to 13″ wide, 3-7ml thick (same as the one I use) –

a laminatorEs1315 13″ 2-Roller Laminator from Staples.

5.) A good cup of coffee

Had to throw this one in here. Whatever beverage you prefer that is relaxing and aroma-filled, its the little things isn’t it?

Simple but effective. These are my favorite fives that keep our homeschool life flowing.

What are yours?

Till next time,

Amber

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,

Ecclesiastes 2:24

 

 

Fun with Eric Carle

 I have not come across one person as of yet who is not familiar with ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle.

As a kid I remember the magic I felt as my imagination soared while looking at those bright colorful pictures in Eric Carle’s books and the tales they spun. Our children are now experiencing the same thing. I would like to keep that magic alive!

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So, if you are looking for some fun crafts and activities to go with The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, here are a few to get you started- I know my kids are going to love these!

Necklace craft by Buggy and Buddy

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The-Very-Hungry-Caterpillar-Sight-Word-Game from Playdough to Plato

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Caterpillar to butterfly craft by Mama Smiles

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There are many, many more activities out there on the web, in fact I found this fabulous blog that already has an immense amount of Eric Carle’s ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ activities on it and would love to share it with you- The ultimate list of Eric Carle activities by Teaching Mama. Check it out for yourself!

Another book of Eric Carle’s I would like to get my hands on is ‘The very grouchy ladybug’. With summer pretty much here we see these guys frequently!

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In fact I have a great activity and learning games complete package in one easy download if your interested from Homeschool Share – grouchy_ladybug_complete package. Included in that package are learning activities, counting games, matching and science fun.

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I have a feeling you will be seeing more posts on Eric Carle’s collection over the summer time, as we have yet to read ‘The Tiny Seed’ a great book to go along with our gardening!

Enjoy the sunshine everyone, it is a beautiful day 🙂

(I thought this scripture in 2 Corinthians most fitting to go along with the theme of metamorphosis!)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17