Sunday, August 21, 2011

2 Weeks Down!

Tomorrow we begin our third week of first grade! Thought is was a good time for an evaluation of where we are, what is going well, what not so well . . . 

Most things are going really well. It is hard not to smile when I get out Writing with Ease or First Language Lessons, remind E to answer in complete sentences and a huge smile appears on her face as she says, "I LOVE this!" She is so my child! ;) 

Bible Study Guide for all Ages. Amazing! one of our favorite parts of the day. There is great built in review, and I like how there is little to no prep, and just enough hands on to keep them involved but not overwhelmed. We try to do Bible before C goes to VPK 3 days a week so he doesn't miss out. I am excited for all we will learn this year! Ron calls it seminary for children :)

All About Spelling is going pretty well. I really love it, and E is doing really well with it. My only issue with it at this point is since it asks you to divide the phonogram cards into those "mastered" and those needing "review," I am having a hard time getting E not to call them "the ones she is good at" and the ones she is not good at."  :( She is so amazing and doing so well, it is hard to see her so hard on herself.  No matter how much I explain, it is to no avail. Thankfully I think we are down to two or three in her "not so good" pile. ;) 

Math Mammoth.  Math continues to be E's least favorite subject. The only thing that draws complaints and even some tears. I outsource it to Ron as often as possible, but that is not often enough! :) So far I think our switch to Math Mammoth from Saxon has been a good one. I do hope there is enough review built in for my non "mathy" child, but we shall see! 

Abeka Phonics. This is old hat since we started it last April. We are almost half-way through first grade and certainly in a groove with it. E especially likes any kind of game utilized, and she is pretty easy to please. A simple erase the word written in a tree on the board as you read it works! Our question at this point with the curriculum is whether or not to continue formal phonics instruction after this or to simply continue with All About Spelling and possibly Explode the Code for review. We will re-evaluate when we get closer to finishing.  

Elemental Science Biology. A science curriculum that actually gets done! It has been the perfect amount, light and not hard to get done. So far the experiments are easy to do and fun. So far so good!

Story of the World. We are enjoying it thus far. Shocking, but I am actually utilizing the library. Crazy, I know! We have read several supplemental books each week, done the maps and coloring pages, the review questions and narrations. So far it seem the perfect amount for first grade. 
Here are some of our history projects:

Week One: Introduction
Our family tree (Just my side, --my parents, siblings and their kids, which by itself was a challenge!) :)
Archaeological Dig (in the garage since it had just rained!) 

Ummm, what is this stuff??? (should have known better than to ask Ron to prep the dig!)

Week 2: Cave Paintings!

First Grade seems to be going well, add in field trips to Chuckie Cheese, the pool, Sun and Fun Lagoon, and we have been very busy! I do love that my children get an opportunity to learn like this. Although there are tough moments and tears may come (and at times I find myself looking for the yellow bus) I feel privileged and amazingly blessed to homeschool. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ready for School!

For the last week or two every time I walk past our memory circles (where we write our current memory work) in the kitchen, I have been slightly bummed that they have been empty. I feel like we are wasting precious time to learn. Needless to say I was thrilled to fill in some of those circles tonight! :) The curricula is set, the school room is organized, candy is laid out :) and we are ready! Looking forward to tomorrow! May I be faithful to the task given me, and may God be glorified!

Here are some pics of our school room. I will post another when our new chairs get here later this week.

***Wanted to edit this post to add a pic of our new chairs!

A Family Project

Summer has been full of craziness, research, chaos, more research, and swimming. I had great plans on schooling this summer, not much of which was accomplished. My main goal for summer schooling was to not have to do major catch up this fall. I think we have at least succeeded there. E has made major strides in reading this summer, and I am so proud of her. Her favorite books are Amelia Bedelia (even though she says she doesn't like to read!).
I started buying curricula last winter, so when summer came around almost everything was already here. The school room was organized a few weeks ago, and how glad I am about that since I got sick this week. :(  I have spent the last few weeks playing with my new toy, Homeschool Tracker Plus, and I love it! Most of the school year is planned, and we are ready to go.
One of the last pieces of our preparation puzzle was a new school table since we have outgrown our small one. My dad graciously agreed to build us one, and made it a project with Ron and the kids this weekend. It was super hot, but the end project was awesome!

Getting Ready to Work!

 Something we don't see very much anymore! ;)

After 40 minutes or so, Papa and the kids disappeared for some root beer, air conditioning, and Dora!

The finished project! Nice job guys!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First Grade History

I spent a ridiculous amount of time this year researching curricula, especially history and literature. There are SO MANY great options. Some of my favorites were Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace, Veritas Press, and Story of the World. I loved aspects of all of them, and in true "me" fashion, was not willing to settle. I decided on using Story of the World as my spine, along with the activity guide, and then adding in literature choices from Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace, and Veritas Press. I never can do anything simply! I found a great site that already had the Sonlight books in order of the 4 year history cycle, and that lined up the Egermeier's Children's Bible to SOTW chapters. Many have asked for our plans, and I thought I would share them here.

Lower Grammar Ancients Schedule (revised)

Our year of history at a glance!
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