Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Our First Day of School

Yesterday was our first day of homeschool using My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures and 1st grade.  Let me introduce you to my students.  Above is Caleb, in 3rd grade this year.  Yes, he has a broken wrist, that's a red cast you can see.  Thankfully, it's his left one!  He still loves vehicles and trucks of all kinds, and Legos!  He's finally reading for pleasure on his own and devouring books about the Titanic right now.  His favorite subject is History, while his least favorite is math.

Rebekah is excited to start 1st grade because she wants to be able to read by herself!  She loves doing workbook pages.  Her interests are horses and baby dolls.

Joshua is our 2 1/2 year old pre-schooler.  He won't just "go play", he must be at the table using his own supplies.  (Yesterday, he was stabbing pencils into his glue stick.)  He loves cooking and can often be found standing on a chair in the kitchen, usually getting in to stuff he's not supposed to get in to!  He also loves trains, tractors, and animals.  He did not want to get dressed, or hold a sign for our picture, he's 2!

And lastly, here's our sweet Matthew!  8 months and crawling and pulling up on everything already.  His interests are eating books and Cheerios.

This picture makes me smile.  All three working at the table.  Caleb is doing addition Fast Facts, Rebekah is doing her 1st grade workbook, and Joshua is gluing circles to a paper.

Matthew was doing school too, under the table!  Joshua dropped a pencil.

I was tired of hearing "can I have a snack?" ALL day long.  So, I decided we will have tea time at 9am, and 1:15 every day.  Now, when I hear that question, I just ask him what time it is?  I put our snack on a tray.  When we're done, all the dirty cups/napkins/etc. go back on the tray and we just carry it the kitchen and continue on with school.  I plan on showing them a picture of a famous painting or we'll listen to classical music during this time.

Fun with our pattern blocks.

Coloring maps!  Caleb did a geography pre-test.  He got 11 countries correct, which was more than I expected.  But he called the United States North America!  Oops.

They also filled out passport applications with a pretend check and put them in an envelop to be mailed to the government (aka mommy).  I had some stickers that looked like stamps too.

English was a story about a lion and a mouse.  I had Caleb narrate the story back to me and then draw a picture.

We also read the about horses and dogs from our Complete Book of Animals.

Rebekah filled out a calendar and did some math activities for her number of the day, 1.  And that was our first day of school!  I'll be posting weekly about our journey though ECC and 1st grade, come back and visit!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Homeschool Space 2014-2015

This is where homeschool happens. It hasn't changed a whole lot from last year, which you can see here. We still live in the same duplex, so school is done on our kitchen table. Almost everything we use is on these two bookshelves. I really like having everything right next to us. I don't mind my house looking like we have kids and homeschool, because we have kids and we homeschool!

Here's a closer look at just the book shelves. On the top and bottom are Joshua's "school time boxes". I have a lot of the My Father's World preschool toys, and several home made boxes for him to use. Matthew will be allowed to play with some of them too. The bottom two shelves are for the little boys, anything important must be kept higher!

The middle shelf holds their binders and books for the year.  Rebekah has way more than Caleb because she is doing 1st grade, and then also tagging along for Exploring Countries & Cultures.  Each kid, including Joshua, has a school box full of supplies.

The top shelf holds all our curriculum that we don't need every day. Those manila folders that you see full of paper are our student sheets that come with MFW. On the next shelf down, I have two more labeled manila folders where I put the student sheets for the current week. Next to them I have my teacher manuals, grid sheets, and the books that we use every day, or are going to use that week (like math and spelling). I made copies of the grids and put them in a file folder. I paper clip the current weeks grid to the outside of the folder and store the rest inside.

I am mostly excited about this wall! In our hallway, I hung our world map as well as a poster with all the foreign missionaries from the United Pentecostal Church International. I sent them an email asking if I could purchase one of these posters and they sent me 3 for free!

Here is my desk in the corner of our living room. Some homeschool stuff is stored under my desk in totes, and a few extra books are lined up behind my computer. (Sorry, I didn't clean for the picture!)

Lastly, our hall closet is FULL of games, puzzles and miscellaneous school stuff! That's all for now, hope you enjoyed your tour.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Beets! Roasted root vegetables


I never thought I'd actually like beets! My in-laws grew A LOT of beets this year, so we thought we'd try some. My husband and I have had them pickled before, but don't like it. He found this recipe for Roasted Root Vegetables, so we gave it a try. I was surprised by how good it was! Now, it's not my favorite dish ever, but I did really like it. We also grew some turnips, so we had to put some in. (That was a new vegetable for us this year too, which we like roasted, grilled, or sauteed with sausage.) The picture above is the finished dish, the one below is the before picture.  It sure is pretty!

You can see some canned beets in the background of this picture. My husband canned several jars for his mother, isn't he a nice son? We tried some of the canned ones too, they were NOT good. Funny how the cooking method makes such a difference! Do you like beets?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Our Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

Guess what time it is? SCHOOL TIME! I can't believe the summer is almost over. The above picture is from Box Day. It's always so exciting getting the new curriculum in the mail. Today's blog post is all about our curriculum for the 2014-2015 school year. Caleb will be in 3rd grade and will be using My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures. Rebekah will be doing all the geography, science, bible, art and music with him as well (with a few adjustments for her age). I am so excited to be doing this year of world geography with an emphasis on missions!

I want to try recipes from each country we'll be traveling too, so I bought this book:

Caleb will be using Singapore for math.  Last year he finished half of 2A, so he'll be finishing 2A and then I purchased 2B and 3A.  (I don't expect him to finish 3A this year.)

For Language Arts, I decided to go with a new curriculum that My Father's World created, Language Lessons for Today, 3rd Grade.  It is very similar to Primary Language Lessons, which we used last year, but it is more modern and, I hope, easier to teach.  If Caleb was my only child, I would have just stuck with PLL, but I know I'll use this updated version at least 4 times!  I also bought a Kid's Dictionary.

Did you notice that we are using all of My Father's World's suggestions? I believe that they have spent much more time and money researching curriculum than I ever could. I trust their opinion and have decided to use their recommendations until they no longer work. So far, I have been pleased with everything. So, for spelling, we're switching to Spelling Power. I'm a bit apprehensive about this switch (from Rod & Staff), but I'm going to give it a shot. I love that I can use it until high school!  I also bought the Activity Task Cards to make it more fun.

I also decided to have them start learning how to type. They both will be using this game. We've already tried it and like it a lot. Caleb does very well with it. Rebekah has great accuracy, but goes too slow, so the game doesn't advance her to the next level, which upsets her. I think I will have Caleb do it at least once a week when I need to work with Rebekah. Rebekah can play as she wants to.

Speaking of Rebekah, she'll be using My Father's World First Grade! Because she'll be following along with Caleb in Exploring Countries & Cultures, we'll be skipping the science and art from 1st grade. I did buy the art cards though to do all together during snack time.

We've also found a few fun things at the Dollar Tree and our favorite thrift store as extras. At Dollar Tree, I found word search books with phonics. On the "long e" page, there are words that use the long e sound in the word search. I plan on having Rebekah do these while she's waiting for me to finish with her brother.  I also bought a regular word search book for Caleb, and a coloring book for Joshua. The Shuffle stories cards were a fun find! There are three different colored cards. They can pick one from each color and put them together to start a story. I'm hoping these help with creative writing.

Here is a big workbook for 1st grade that Kevin found for Rebekah. This is purely for fun for her. I will not assign pages from this book, but she'll be free to do it while I work with Caleb.

I found this drawing book at the thrift store for 50 cents! It will just be extra fun for us. Maybe I will use it to help Caleb start a story.

My mom gave the kids a subscription to National Geographic Kids (Thanks mom!). This will fit in perfectly with our study of animals in science. I plan on including this magazine in our book basket every week.

Now for Joshua. He'll be using the toys from My Father's World's Toddler Package (I also have a few of the Preschool toys). I won't be doing anything formal with him this year, but he has several plastic boxes with these toys (and others) that he can pick from during school time. I also have a pencil box ready for him with crayons, colored pencils, glue, scissors, and regular pencils. My goal is to just keep him busy and feeling like he's part of school. (And hopefully out of trouble!)

Well, that is all our curriculum for this year. Next, I'll post pictures of how our space looks this year and how I've organized everything. Thanks for stopping by. Happy Homeschooling!

Linking with: A Mama's Story

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Green Ombre Rose Cake (Wedding Shower)

I made this cake for my soon to be sister-in-law! Her wedding color is clover green. I think the cake was a bit brighter than that, but it went beautiful with the flower arrangement my aunt made! I followed directions for making this rose cake on i am baker. I also looked on Pinterest for ideas and found this Aqua Ombre Rose Cake as well as many others like it.

The day I made this cake, I just happened to be going to dinner for my friend's birthday. So, I used left over cake and frosting and made her a little birthday cupcake!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Conversation Jar

Have you ever heard of a conversation jar?  It's a jar filled with questions to ask each other during dinner. Questions like "If you could be any animal, what would it be?" Or "What is something that makes you happy?" I found the idea, and the list of questions to print on the Kids Activities Blog. My kids colored the back of the paper to make it colorful. Then we just folded the strips in half and stuffed them in the jar. It's a fun way to get to know things about your kids, and to share stories with them about you that you wouldn't have thought to share.

Have fun sharing with each other!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Up-cycled Girls Dress - Bed Sheet & Ladies Skirt

Love this dress! In it's former life, it was a bed sheet and a ladies skirt, total cost: $2. Love up-cycling! I used one of Rebekah's dresses as a pattern for the top (an old blue knit bed sheet). It was a jumper, so I had to wing the sleeves. I made them much bigger than I should have. I thought it would be a complete flop until she put it on. I call them butterfly sleeves! I joined the bodice and the skirt together, no hemming necessary. It needed a tie, so I pulled out some wide pink ribbon from my stash. I think this dress will grow with her and hopefully she'll get two summers out of it!

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