Monday, August 31, 2015

Simple Notebook Student Planner

This is our new system for independent work, and I LOVE it! I came across this blog, amongst lovely things, and decided to try her idea of using simple spiral notebooks as student planners. Every afternoon, once school is over, I fill in the next days assignments. These are the assignments that they can do by themselves, or with minimal help from me. I even include "brush teeth" every day so I know it gets done! They get to decide what order they do things, checking off the boxes as they go. When they complete the whole day, I check to make sure it's actually done and then let them put a sticker on top. Now, I start the school day by telling them to "start their notebooks" while I clean up a bit and do some activities with the little boys. If it's time to do school with me, then they finish what's left after we're done. This is working REALLY well. Things that usually got forgotten, like their own bible reading time, now are done every day.  It's been a great thing for our homeschool, and you can't beat the price of a 19 cent notebook!

Friday, August 28, 2015

MFW Creation to the Greeks, Week 2

The second week of school and we're still going strong. Don't they all look like they're working hard? In case you think everything is always perfect, this is what Matthew was doing.  No, he is not supposed to be able to open that tote! 

For bible and history time, we learned about Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Noah and the ark. They made their own notebook pages to go with the story of Cain and Abel. Rebekah's is the first one.

After reading about Noah, we went outside to measure 300 cubits. We had a 10 cubit string, and marked the road every 10 cubits until we got to 300. I am standing at one end, and my children are standing at the other end. Can you see them? Noah's ark was BIG! We also read a lot from our Dinosaurs of Eden book, which I really like.


We are enjoying Science in the Beginning this year. The experiments are simple for me, but the kids are excited to always do one! We've been in the dark bathroom with our flashlights, mirrors, and colored paper this week as we learned about different aspects of light and energy. I printed these notebook pages from the MFW Creation to the Greeks facebook page.

A new thing this year is English from the Roots up. I wasn't sure how Caleb and Rebekah would like it, but it has gone over very well. I'm even learning new words!

The first read aloud for the year is The Tanglewoods Secret by Patricia St. John. So far, we think it's a really good book!

I forgot to show everyone our new white board area when I posted about Our Homeschool Space. I moved our wedding picture and replaced it with a whiteboard I found at a thrift store. Then I hung a little bucket from the Target dollar spot on the nail that used to hold our picture! The bucket is working out very well. It is filled with dry erase markers and kleenex's (our erasers). Next to the white board, I taped our memory verse to the wall.

Our second week of school has gone much better than I expected! Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rebekah is Hand-Sewing by Herself

Rebekah asked me for a zipper the other day so she could make something. A little while later, she said, "I sure wish I had some ribbon". And 2 days later she showed me her finished purse! I did not help her one bit! She figured out how to fold the fabric in half, sew the sides, and then put the strap and zipper in by herself. My husband did suggest she unzip the zipper so she could sew the other side, but that was the only help she had. Apparently, I passed along my love of sewing, yeah!

That same day she made a little wallet for Joshua and a little stuffed turtle for Matthew too!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Canning Plums and Plum Jam

My in-laws have a  plum tree. Unfortunately, the bugs started to get the plums, so they picked the entire tree too early. They were REALLY sour! Too sour to eat plain. So, my husband and kids decided to can some with sugar. There was a lot of juice left in the pot, so I added some pectin and made jam too. The jam is delicious! We haven't tried the canned plums yet, but based on the taste of the jam, they will be good.

We only had 1 1/2 jars of jam, so we didn't can it. The half jar is almost gone already! It tastes like tart cherry jam, yum!

If we don't like the canned plums, we will turn them into jam!

Here is a recipe: Plums in Syrup.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sabbath Celebration - MFW Creation to the Greeks

The highlight of our first week was our Sabbath feast. We have done a Sabbath feast a few times during our first grade year, but this year we added more of the traditions after reading about them in the book,Celebrating Biblical Feasts: In Your Home or Church.

To prepare for our feast, the kids made Challah bread covers. I bought a yard of muslin fabric at Walmart for $1.99 and cut it in quarters. I already had some fabric markers, which they used to draw a scene celebrating the feast or creation. They turned beautifully.

Caleb's was the seven days of creation.

This one is Rebekah's.  She drew Jesus between two Sabbath candles. Rebekah also made a spice box for us, which you can see in the middle of the table in the first picture.

Joshua was very proud of his flowers, grass, and sky.

All the kids cleaned up the main part of our house and helped to make dinner. Rebekah helped braid the Challah bread. Here they are waiting for daddy to finish the venison steak. We had only two loaves of Challah bread, so Joshua's cover is covering the green beans (his choice). To make the Challah, I used the bread maker to make the dough and then baked it in the oven. I found the recipe in my bread machine manual.

Once the food was ready, I lit the candles and we prayed the prayers from our book. Daddy also blessed each child, and then me. Then Caleb passed around a bowl to wash our hands in, and Rebekah came behind him with a towel.

We prayed over the wine (grape juice) and the bread as we took the first sip and bite.

Then we ate! Our menu wasn't exactly traditional. We had venison steak, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, corn on the cob, and the Challah bread with grape juice to drink. It was delicious!

Daddy declared no media for the rest of the night, so we had fun blowing bubbles in the living room.

The next day we had a family day that started with a local parade.

Matthew was so cute! He learned really quick to wave so they would throw him candy!

Have you ever celebrated the Sabbath? I highly recommend it. It's a great way to have special time with your family while also teaching them about principles in the bible. I'd love to hear about your celebrations in the comments.

Monday, August 17, 2015

MFW Creation to the Greeks - Week 1

It's that time again! Here are the kids first day of school pictures. It was a little bright for Caleb.

Our first week went surprisingly well. Caleb and Rebekah still had swimming lessons every morning, so I wasn't expecting to get through everything, but we did! This year we are using My Father's World, Creation to the Greeks. To see everything we'll be using, click here.

Something new that I started this year was using a simple notebook to assign the kids their independent work. I came across this idea at amongst lovely things. Every day after school is done, I take a few minutes to write the next days assignments in their notebooks. This has worked REALLY well this year. When it's time for school, I just tell them to start working on their notebooks, and they usually do without whining. They get to choose what they want to do, and they know they can't play until it's done. I even add "Brush Teeth" to the top of every days list! I only assign what they can do by themselves without my help. While they are working on their notebooks, I am cleaning up, getting the rest of school ready, or doing preschool with my little ones.

A page of cursive is always included in their notebooks. Caleb's is the one on top. I tried to have them learn cursive over the summer, but it never happened...

I love this picture! Caleb is learning his memory verse for bible quizzing, Rebekah is working on cursive, and I'm helping Joshua and Matthew color.

My Father's World, Creation to the Greeks, begins with creation. We'll be using the bible as our main history text this year, so we started in Genesis.

Creation also brings a study of dinosaurs. I had the kids draw pictures for their notebooks, which they enjoyed doing. They have also enjoyed this activity book that I purchased through My Father's World as an enrichment activity. I assign these pages in their notebooks.

After creation, comes Adam and Eve. Here are their first notebooking pages.  Caleb's is above, Rebekah's is below. I will be working with Caleb to increase the amount of sentences he writes this year.

We are using Science in the Beginning this year, which takes a closer look at each day of creation. On day 1, God created light, so the first science topic is light. A fellow user of MFW created these notebooking pages to go along with Science in the Beginning, and I LOVE them! You can find them on the facebook page for Creation to Greeks. The kids like that it tells you what to draw or write, instead of me just saying "draw a picture about something you learned today". A big thank you to the creators of these sheets!


For art, we will be using God and the History of Art. The first lesson was about frustration, and we learned about a girl that was paralyzed, but created beautiful art using her mouth to hold her pencils and brushes. Of course, we had to try and draw a butterfly with our mouths. It was very hard to do!

The finished pictures don't look too much like butterflies! Rebekah's is on the left, Caleb's on the right.

Writing was the one subject that did not go well this week, notice the crinkled paper. I'm not sure how I'm going to like Writing Strands, but we will keep trying for a couple more weeks before giving up. Caleb really does not like to write!

One thing I'm excited about this year is celebrating some of the biblical feasts. This week we celebrated the Sabbath on Friday night. I will be writing a more detailed post later in the week.

The kids made covers for our Challah bread.

It was a very fun, special night!

Lastly, just a couple pictures of Joshua and Matthew doing preschool.

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