Friday, August 31, 2012

Days 11-18, My Father's World 1st Grade

School has been going very well, yet has been very challenging at the same time!  We have been able to get all of our work done every day, but not without a lot of whining and complaining!  I have been very impressed with both of my children though, they have learned so much already.  Both of them have been memorizing a proverb each week.  So far we have done Proverbs 9:10, 10:5, 23:12, and started on 21:23.  For our bible time, we finished our alphabet scrolls, colored a Jewish calendar, and stacked up 66 books from our shelf to demonstrate how many books are in the bible.  Apparently, in our homeschool, the kids can use the excuse "The baby ate my homework!"  Rebekah left her's a little too close to Joshua!!!

Our bulletin board shows our Jewish calendar in the top left, as well as a few random math pages that Caleb has done.  (And other random artwork).

For math, we finished up Sorting and Classifying and then started Numbers and Counting.  Above is Caleb sorting some puff balls by color.  He's using a homemade tongs and a muffin tin.  For the tongs, I hot glued two tongue depressors to an old plastic spool of thread, works perfectly!  Below is Rebekah making groups of three with checkers and an egg carton.  This is one of Caleb's math box activities, she wanted to do fun math like Caleb. 

We read this book, 3 Little Firefighters, which is about sorting.  Then we sorted our markers and made a graph of our results.

This was one of their favorite activites!  We read the book, Grandma's button box, and then I dumped my button jar onto a cookie sheet (so they wouldn't end up on the floor) and they sorted them different ways, like by color and how many holes they had.  

For science, we learned about seasons and then about flowers.  Below are their season pictures.  Caleb wasn't in a drawing mood, so the summer square has only a "pool", and the winter one is left white, snow of course!

We collected flower blossoms on our walk and then make ink out of them.  This is a picture of black eyed susan's.  We also tried a purple flower and a red petunia.  The petunia worked the best, but none of them showed up on the coffee filter once it was dry.  Oh well.

And lastly, reading.  I have been so impressed with Caleb and how quickly he has been able to read the words, especially on Day 18, which was brand new long vowel sounds.  However, he's also been screaming and crying that it's too hard and he hates school...  (it's not really too hard for him by the way, he just doesn't want to do it.  Once he tries it's actually easy for him).  He does fairly well in the beginning of each lesson, but as we progress he gets tired of it.  While I don't want him to hate school, I also want him to realize that some things aren't fun, and they take work, and he has to practice reading and writing.  So, this has been the challenging part of our school.  I'll gladly take any advice you have!

These are just some random pictures of Caleb working.  Notice Joshua in the background eating Cheerios!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Too many pictures?

Were 549 vacation pictures too many to order???  There will be lots of scrapbooking in my future!  Starting with a fun scrap book day with my friend Melissa this weekend!  I can't wait Melissa!

Remember that I mentioned my kids had their own cameras on our trip?  Well, they each have about 100 pictures, and they'll be making their own scrapbooks!  We're going to call it art class.  I bought them each a 3 ring binder and a package of sheet protectors.  I have a pile of 8 1/2 by 11 card stock, and I found some stickers for each of them.

You'll be seeing some finished pages (mine and the kids) soon!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Daily Schedule

Daily Schedule 2012-2013

Here is my new daily schedule! Having this schedule and sticking to it has made a world of difference! Our old schedule is here.  First grade, along with preschool, takes more time than kindergarten, so I was in need of a schedule.  I'm linking up with the Not Back to School Blog Hop for the final week, Day in the Life.

The first change is that I am getting up at 6am, yikes!  Actually, this has been really good for me.  Although I specifically scheduled my time from 6-8, really, it's just a list of things I need to do before 8.  I really love having some bible reading and prayer time in the morning.  The second big change to our day is daily chores for the kids and myself (see below).  I even scheduled bigger chores for myself during the kids nap time (and exercise time, but that sometimes gets bumped...).  Having Joshua means that this is a guide, not a strict schedule.  But generally we do school from 8:30 until 11ish and nap time from 1:30 until 3:30.  I actually bought Caleb a little alarm clock for his room and told him he is not aloud to come downstairs until 3:30!  He falls asleep once or twice a week, but usually plays.  After a few days of yelling down to me that it was 2:30, 3:00, 3:03, etc., he finally understands what time 3:30 is!  You can see that I also planned in story time at the library on Tuesdays, and ladies prayer at my church followed by lunch at McDonald's.  Chore Schedule

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Days 1-10, My Father's World 1st Grade

We've finished two weeks of school and I'm happy to say it has gone very well.  Not perfectly, but we made it through!  These pictures are from our first 10 days.  You can read about our first day here.  The picture above is how I wish every day looked: Caleb smiling while doing his work, Rebekah doing a learning activity next to me, and Joshua happy in his high chair watching it all.  Yeah, this was only perfect for a moment! 

Remember when I made this little square?  Caleb has been using it in our math box.  Here he is exploring the number 3.  He dropped the colored circles onto the square and then drew them in his notebook.

We learned that the bible was written on scrolls and stored in clay pots, so here they are making their own pots.  Unfortunately, the corn starch clay that we made didn't hold it's shape very well and it never dried.  It was fun anyway...  We are memorizing some of the Proverbs, and started with Proverbs 9:10 and 10:5.

We also learned about the Jewish calendar, and how it lines up with our seasons, which was our science topic.  Rebekah is coloring the Jewish calendar while Caleb does his phonics lesson.  Speaking of science, our first science topic was things close to the ground, which included ants, worms, snails, slugs, moles, and other creatures that live close to the ground.  We put a piece of bread with honey on the sidewalk and were amazed at how quickly the ants found it.  The next morning there were big chunks missing from the bread!

We also tried to make a worm habitat, but the worms my husband had for fishing were on their last leg and died before they did anything...

Here's a random picture of Rebekah and Joshua during school time.

Both kids are excited about learning to draw with their new markers (maybe it's just the new markers?).  I bought Crayola fine tip markers, which are more fat tip than fine.  So then I bought Bic ultra fine tip markers, but the ink actually dripped out of one of them.  The Bic ones got returned, and I finally splurged on Sharpie fine tips.  They will work for now, but if they continue to enjoy drawing, I think I'll get them some nicer artist ones for Christmas!

Well, that's the highlights from the first two weeks.  This next week we'll get into some heavier phonics stuff instead of just review, and Caleb will also start copying some proverbs!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Another Lengthened Girls Skirt (Upcycled)

Have you missed my sewing posts?  I have been so absorbed in getting school going this year, I haven't had much time to sew!  But I found a few minutes yesterday.  I did a little mending and this skirt.

Rebekah received this skirt for her birthday last year, and the waist still fit, but the length was too short.  It's made out of T-shirt material.  Doesn't the purple strip at the bottom match that big flower right in the middle of the skirt?  I think it looks like it was purchased this way!  I actually seam ripped that strip off of another too short skirt for her!  I still have the top half, which you might see at a latter date.

I am so thankful for the sewing ability God gave me!  I am able to save so much money by being able to modify clothes for her.  If you're interested in other upcycled little girl skirts, click on these pictures.

You'll find a lot more if you search around the blog a while!  Linking up with Frugally Sustainable.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Homeschool Space 2012

Welcome to the second week of the Not Back to School Blog Hop!  This week is school room week.  We don't have a room, we have the top half of a book case and the kitchen table, but it works well for us.  Not much has changed since last year.  Let me explain what everything is from top to bottom, right to left:

Above the book case:  The white tote hold extra educational toys, with our salt tray above that.  The canvas bin is full of play doh.

Top shelf:  All the books standing up are parts of our curriculum that we're not using every day, like future science books.  Next is our bucket of wood pattern shapes, with Bob books and chalk in front of it.  The next containers are for our 100 cup and our money cup.  The tote on the far left is all of my extra teaching supplies, like note cards, thumb tacks and shaving cream!

Middle shelf:  In those drawers are all our art supplies, with construction paper and coloring books on top of them.  The extra school supplies are stored in a tote in the basement.  Next to the drawers is all our curriculum that gets used every day, like my teacher's manual, the kids work books and our nature journals.

Bottom shelf:  The kids dry erase alphabet toys, followed by their calendar binders and pencil/crayon boxes.  Each kids box holds pencils, a pink eraser, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, and a glue stick.  The blue tote holds our drawing things (sketch pads, markers, scratch paper).  The red tote and long egg carton are for our math boxes (something used for MFW math).

Here are the kids working at the kitchen table.

This tote is full of educational toys to be used during my one on one time with the other sibling.  These toys will get changed out with the ones above my shelf.  

On an end table is our book basket, filled with science and math picture books, and Little Town on the Prairie, which is the next read aloud book.  On our vacation this summer, we went to the little town mentioned in the book, so we're excited to read about it.  (It takes us about 6 weeks to get through a chapter book like this). 

This is my file box, located under the desk.  It holds the worksheets and loose papers from our curriculum that aren't being used that week.  

And this is my favorite new addition!  See Simply Charlotte Mason to watch a video about how to use this type of system.  Basically, we'll put a scripture in the daily spot first, and then after it's memorized, it goes to the odd/even spot and it's reviewed every other day.  Then it can move to the days of the week, so it's reviewed once a week.  And lastly, it's moved to the number of the day to be reviewed once a month.  I bought the index card holder at Walmart, but used colored labels, cut in half and folded over, as my tabs to save a few dollars.

Well, that's our homeschool space.  Now it's time to go drool over all the other home school rooms on the blog hop.  Someday I'd like to have a dedicated space, but I'll cheerfully make do with whatever God blesses us with!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wedding Cards Using the Cricut

August is such a busy wedding month!  We have two weddings this month, so I set out to make two cards.  I ended up making them the same, with only a different color scheme depending on the colors of the wedding.  The first one is black and orange, can you guess what their hobby is?  Yep, Harley Davidson motorcycles!  I used my Cricut, the breast cancer edition cartridge, to cut out the word Love and the scalloped ovals.  I also glued scalloped ovals inside to write on.  The second one is in different shades of purple, and I think it turned out nice.

August is also my anniversary month!  Kevin and I have been married 8 years, wow!  I am so thankful for the husband God gave to me, I couldn't ask for better.

Just for fun, what month did you get married in?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

First Day of First Grade (and Preschool)

Wow, they are growing too fast!  We started first grade and preschool this past Monday, and are enjoying it.  I was expecting much more resistance to our new schedule, but I have been pleasantly surprised.  Even our new chore time is going fairly well (although not perfect).  We started our day with listening to a Hymn.  We watched a YouTube video of the hymn, This is my Father's World.  This hymn was familiar to them from last year, so I thought it would be a good starting point.  Below is them watching and singing to it.

And of course, as soon as it was time to start school, Mr. Joshua thought it was time to eat, so he had carrots and then watched us from his high chair.

Here is Caleb doing his calendar book.  I found most of the pages for it on Mama Jenn's blog, I highly recommend checking her site out. 

Playing with the pattern blocks for math time.


I must have forgotten to take pictures of them actually doing their main parts of school.  My mother in law decided to visit us the first day too, so she took Rebekah and Joshua for a walk while I worked with Caleb, which was nice.  Below is a picture of Caleb playing with our educational, school only toys, and Joshua eying up Caleb's foot!  That tote gets stored under the coffee table, and only comes out during school time.  It's meant to keep one child busy while I work with the other one.  I also have a smaller tote of other educational toys so that I can rotate a few of them to prevent boredom. 

I'll try my best to post once a week with our highlights from the week, and I'm still following the Not back to school blog hop.  Next week's topic is our home school area, so come back Monday to see how all our stuff is organized.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curriculum Choices for 2012-2013

Another school year is upon us.  Did I just write 2013???  Yikes!  I can't believe I'm going to have a 1st grader!  I'm linking up with the Not Back to School Blog Hop this month, this weeks topic is curriculum.  Here's my plan:

Caleb will be doing My Father's World First Grade.  I'm really happy that he'll be using a bible reader to practice reading, and copying proverbs to practice handwriting.  I bought the deluxe package, which includes Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes.  I'm excited to learn to draw right along with my children!

Rebekah will be using Rod and Staff Preschool workbooks.  She'll also be doing bible, art, music, and fun science stuff with Caleb. 

For some added fun, I bought a DVD set called Character Builders.  These are short cartoons that talk about good character traits, I think they will love them.  And we're going to add to our proverbs study in 1st grade by reading some stories from Wisdom and the Millers by Mildred A. Martin. 

Lastly, I have a box of educational toys from around our house that have become special "only during school" toys.  I'm hoping that this box will keep Rebekah entertained while I teach Caleb (and then vice versa).  I will be rotating the toys/activities in this box periodically so they don't get bored.  I've been explaining to them how they will each have their own special school time with mommy, and when it's not their turn, they can play with the special toys or play with Joshua (the 6 month old baby).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Car Trip with 3 Kids - We Survived!

We survived our 3366 mile road trip with three kids, without a DVD player too!  Here's what we did:

1.  Dry erase activity books for each, with their own markers.  Both kids loved using these books, their favorite part was the map of the United States to color.

2.  Wrapped presents from the dollar store to give them periodically throughout the trip.  The above picture is of them unwrapping their first one, stuffed dolphin for Rebekah, a whale for Caleb.  Rebekah is telling me she doesn't like it and is about to chuck it across the van... so the presents didn't work out quite so well (I think she threw three of them, but then picked them up and played with them later).  Caleb spent a lot of time begging for another one, which was annoying. 

3.  Plastic baskets to hold their markers, toys, books, paper and stickers.  These were perfect for holding all their stuff.  I didn't get a before picture when they were neat, but below are a couple after pictures.  Caleb's is much fuller since Rebekah threw most of her stuff (she was a little challenging when she didn't get her own way).  The m & m box was actually stuffed in a cup holder type thing to prevent the basket from moving around.  Rebekah's was tied to a cardboard box to make it higher so she could reach it. 

4.  Adventures in Odyssey Audiobooks to listen too.

5.  By the Shores of Silver Lake book to be read to them by me.

6.  Kids CD of Sunday school songs, which was the biggest hit.

7.  Looking for animals out the window, we saw buffalo, elk, a coyote, big horn sheep, deer, prairie dogs, and lots of birds. 

8.  The promise of a hotel with a pool.  (Only used on the first and last days since those were the only ones we knew for sure would have a pool.)

That's how we survived.  I'd love to hear about your road trip!  Leave me a comment or join the facebook page.
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