Saturday, August 30, 2014

Learning About Haiti

Many of you know that we are learning about world geography this year in our home school, using My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures. This is Jenny, she goes to our church, and she's from Haiti. She mentioned that she loved to cook, so I asked her if she'd come and cook us a traditional Haitian meal. The kids and I picked her up and headed to the grocery store for supplies: beans, rice, chicken legs, potatoes, beets, carrots, hot sauce, plantains... My kids had never tried a plantain!

I was full of questions about her country, like "What do kids play with in Haiti?"  Her answer was: "mostly the same things, but boys love playing soccer most, and girls like to play house".  Caleb wanted to know "What do you eat for breakfast?"  Her answer was: "scrambled eggs, bread, and spaghetti"  Hmm, my husband likes spaghetti for breakfast!

In Haiti, they speak french and creole. I went to Youtube and found Christian worship songs in french! I also went to Google to find pictures of Haiti. Sometimes, technology is awesome!

It took her 2 hours to cook! The kids were in and out of the kitchen, standing on chairs to see. They liked seeing her squish the plantains between two plates. We had rice with beans, chicken legs with a sauce, potato salad made with beets and carrots, and fried plantains with a spicy cabbage slaw to go on top of them. Caleb and Rebekah loved the fried plantains with the slaw. Even Matthew had a fried plantain! It was all delicious!

After she left, I read a page in our Windows on the World book abut Haiti and then we prayed for her country and her family. What a wonderful time we had. Thank you Jenny!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

MFW ECC & 1st Grade, Week 1

Well, our first week is now in the past!  Read more about our first day here.  So far, I'm VERY pleased with Exploring Countries & Cultures (ECC from now on).  We started off the week learning the bible verse, John 3:16, "For God so loved the world...".  Perfect beginning to our year of world geography.  I LOVE that My Father's World includes books (and sometimes creates their own) that have the Christian worldview.  I really like Window on the World and God Speaks Numanggong so far!  Above, is Caleb's John 3:19 poster with pictures of people from all over the world.  Below is Rebekah's.

Here is Caleb's copywork of the verse.  He is very disappointed that you have to write in school.  I'm not sure how to help him have a good attitude about it.  So far, I have been talking to him about how we can choose to have a good attitude or not.  Not sure if it's had any effect yet...

That brings us to geography.  We talked about how it's hard to make a flat map of a sphere shaped globe.  Below is our orange globe before and after we tried to flatten it.  I should have used a better marker to draw the continents on!

Our teacher's manual had a cute song to learn the continents, which they seemed to like.  Caleb did not like filling out the continents on this map.  Why?  Because it required writing!  Ugh...

We are also making a geography vocabulary box.  They will write the definition on one side and draw a picture of it on the other side.  I had Rebekah only write the word, she likes to write though!

Here they are making a map of the deck.

Lastly, we listened to "Hello to all the Children of the World" on this CD:

Our science goes with our geography as well.  We'll be learning about all the different habitats of the world as well as many animals that live in each country.  We started with our backyard!  Below, they are investigating the ecosystem of a square yard of lawn.  They were mostly excited about using magnifying glasses!

I was really excited to get my amazon order of these two field guides for our nature studies:

We went for a walk right away and picked wildflowers along the way.  They had fun trying to find the names of them in our book.  I love that it is organized by color, with the right page being a full page picture, and the left page having the information about each plant.  We'll be starting a tree project next week!

Daddy helped us dig for worms to put in a jar to observe for the next week too.  Here's the first picture, more to come next week.

I went ahead and got them both a copy of the Complete Book of Animals.  I think I could have gotten by with only one and just copied the few activity pages that Rebekah wanted to do.  But, they both do enjoy having their own book!

Caleb has not started spelling yet, instead we are doing some handwriting review.  He did start Language Arts though.  Below, he had to find three singular and three plural words in any book.  He didn't mind this writing, I think he was relieved he didn't have to write sentences!

Rebekah has been a sponge in her first week of 1st grade!  She's been so excited to learn to read!  She's been doing a lot of handwriting practice, and also reviewing her letter sounds.  We've talked about how the bible was originally written on scrolls, so she made a mini one.

We've been reading this devotional book during our "tea time", also known as snack time!  I'm impressed with it so far.  The lessons are short and involve animals/nature.  The kids have been able to understand the lessons pretty well.

Rebekah has a math basket that she uses every day to practice her "number of the day".  Below is her paper from number 3.  I have since decided she only need a half a sheet per number.  Her box includes a 100 chart, a ruler, a bean cup, a money cup, and unifix cubes.  To see more of her work, take a look at my post about our first day here.

And they all had a little home ec, how to peel a hard boiled egg!  We made egg salad sandwiches for lunch!

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?
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