Tot School Gathering Place ~ Week 91

Welcome to Tot School™ Gathering Place! Gather together here, gather ideas from other blogs, share your own ideas on your own blog. Browse around at the other posts linked up, leave a few comments if you have time, and be sure to check back to see if your blog was featured!

Each week we will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Remember, provide a link back to Tot School Gathering Place within your post that you link up, so you can be considered for the feature!

Tot School Gathering Place Week 91

October is HERE! Wow – the months just seem to be flying! Before we know it Christmas will be here! (80 days to be exact!) Try to savor every moment with your Tot – this season doesn’t last long. And be sure to share with us all the fun activities that you and your Tot enjoy together!

Sometimes we Mama’s can get caught up in the purchasing of manipulatives, when making them would be much cheaper and more fun for our Tot’s! Head on over to Mama of 5 Blessings and see how she created an inexpensive math manipulative for her Tot.Mama to 5 Blessings (1)

 

Do your Tot’s enjoy science? Check out You Are the Roots for some wonderful ideas to help your child learn about classification of animals!

You Are the Roots

 

Sometimes our Tots just enjoy doing one thing! So we follow their lead and let them learn their way! Take a look at what Tot Sam is doing with Mama Debbie at West Word Blog.Westward Blog

 


Remember to visit our Pinterest board hosting our featured blogs each week! Be sure to follow the board and re-pin ideas you like, it’s a great way to support each other!

Love Tot Trays™? Check out our Tot Trays for Tot School Pinterest Board!

Using Tot School Printables?  Visit ourTot School Printables Pinterest Board. If you are using Tot School Printables and blogging about it, email me with a link to one of your posts and your Pinterest link so you can pin to this group board!

Our Tot School Ideas Board is filled with ideas from all around the web, maybe even some of yours!

Be sure to visit our new Tot Tray Ideas linky!

Transfer-Tot-Trays-Idea-Collection5

 


Were you featured?

You are welcome to a button but you certainly don’t have to use it! Totally optional!

Tot School Feature

<center><a href="http://bit.ly/W32RDO" target="_blank"><img alt="I was featured for Tot School!" src="http://bit.ly/13tsB2r"/ ></a></center>


Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?

Tot-School-eBook-332

See the Tot School webpage here!


Are you NEW or have never been featured? Read this!

Basics: write a specific post about what you did with your tot, link up the permalink from your post, link back to Tot School within that post, put your tot’s age in months in ( ) like this: (43 months).

Free Positive Parenting Webinar Coming Soon

I am excited to welcome back my friend Amy from Positive Parenting Solutions!  You may remember I have hosted several free webinars in the past. I continue to host because the response is overwhelmingly positive.  Many ask me to host more, so I do!

Positive Parenting Solutions Webinar 10.15.14 9PM EST



I love hosting these webinars both for YOU and for ME. I struggle daily with my positive parenting skills and I need a refresher, often! I have watched the same webinar every time I have hosted and I promise I walk away every time refreshed and reminded.  Staying on my game as a positive yet firm parent is not easy for me.

If you are looking for help with your positive parenting skills,  I hope you will join me on Wednesday October 15, 2014 at 9pm EST.

{disclosure ~ The webinar is totally free and you will learn a lot from Amy in the hour, I always do!  She does share her program, Positive Parenting Solutions, and will share how to participate in the full course online, which does cost $. I am paid an affiliate fee for any sales made, which supports my family ~ thank you!}

Here are the official details about our upcoming webinar…

Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling

Tired of the yelling?  Tired of the whining?  Tired of being tired?

You’re not alone.  From toddler temper-tantrums to teenage talking back, parents wonder what it takes to get kids to cooperate.  If you’re tired of nagging, reminding and yelling to get kids to listen – this session is for you!  1+1+1=1 is excited to partner with Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions & TODAY Show contributor to offer a FREE LIVE training webinar on

Wednesday, October 15, at 9 – 10 PM EST.

Discover proven tools for your most frustrating discipline dilemmas including the 5 R’s of Fair & Effective Consequences. This hour-long investment will lead to a lifetime of peace in your home.

All you need is your computer. (No webcam required.)  You’ll see and hear Amy on your screen and you can even ask questions and she’ll make them part of the presentation. Parents RAVE about this session.

Webinar seating will be limited so RSVP today and then kick back and learn from the comfort of your home.

About Amy McCready

Parenting expert and “recovering yeller” Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Amy McCready-HiRes3x3Parenting Solutions and the author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. Amy is a regular parenting contributor on The TODAY Show and has also appeared on Rachael Ray, CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Steve Harvey and elsewhere. In her most important role, she plays mom to two teenage boys.

I hope to “see” many of you at the webinar, I will be logged in for it also! There is always awesome live conversation in the chat area below the webinar, it is a great time for us to virtually connect and share our parenting struggles!

Monthly Wrap-Up ~ The First 6 Weeks of Homeschool

Monthly Homeschool Wrap Up K, 3rd and 7th Grade



Instead of holding myself to a weekly wrap-up, I thought I might give a monthly wrap-up a try.  This is a big homeschool year for us, as we ditched our cyber-school and are enjoying a new way of learning!  I am wrapping up 6 weeks of learning in this post.  During those 6 weeks, we had two short weeks, so all together it’s about 5 weeks of learning.

Yes, this will be a long post.

You can see our detailed curriculum posts by clicking on the graphics below.

All Together Subjects Homeschool Curriculum Choices 7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices

 


All Together School

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We have a wide grade and age range between our three kids, but I am thrilled to say that we have found quite a few subjects to learn all together!  I wasn’t sure how it would work, but a month later I can say…so far, so good!

We do the following subjects all together, and I will share mini updates below!

 

Mystery of History

Our Mystery of History time together has been simple and fun.  I must be honest, we aren’t doing much in the way of extra activities.  We are in a season of life which requires a bit less and I am finding peace in less.  We are enjoying the reading, the coloring pages, the timeline, a few extra books to go along, and some great discussion. My oldest is doing the notebooking pages also.

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Everyone’s favorite seems to be the coloring pages. Thankfully they all three enjoy coloring.

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As I write this we have completed the 5th week.  We enjoyed a documentary on Netflix about the Pyramids, a LOT.  We also have been enjoying The Read and Share Bible {shown below} to watch some of the Bible stories. This really helps the younger two.

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I struggled with a decision over our timeline and finally decided to use the free printables from Contented at Home.  I am SO pleased with our choice, perfect for this season of life

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We are all learning a lot, I am very pleased with our choice for world history.

US History ~ Christopher Columbus

I LOVE this!  I know my kids are learning so much but I am so excited about all that I am learning!  It’s amazing the very basic knowledge I had of Christopher Columbus, until now!  It took us about 6 weeks to read the entire book, we usually read 2-4 times per week.  See all we did here!

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World Geography

I chose a very simple world geography curriculum and made some printables {sharing soon} to go along. We are following along with the book Passport to the World currently. So far we have made it through G is for Germany.  Our goal is twice a week, but some weeks we only did one. We are all enjoying this simple way to touch on new countries consistently.

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Bible

We are using What’s in the Bible DVDs and coloring book for our main focus, with Picture Smart Bible as a once a week focus for the boys only.

What's in the Bible Homeschool

Music Appreciation

We are using A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers, with just the boys.  L is invited but not required to participate.  I waited to begin this subject until near the end of the month, as it is a once a week extra. I have done the first two lessons with the boys.  They like the music samples {which are linked on YouTube in the curriculum}.  We all enjoyed the first lesson, but the second was a bit slow for us {the first two lessons are about the early history of music and not actual composers}. The third lesson bring us to our first composer and we are looking forward to that!

 

D.E.A.R.

Drop Everything And Read is happening in our house during the thirty minutes right before lunch. It is usually enjoyed by all kids.  During this time, Pac reads whatever chapter book he is reading, and L and K choose their books.  All of these photos were shared on Instagram!

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7th Grade

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PacMan is almost entirely independent this year.  I teach him writing and Who is God? and the rest he does independently.

One big change for our family is having Daddy FULLY in charge of overseeing Pac’s science {Apologia General Science}! I caught them in action below {love their faces}.

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Pac is not only reading and doing the work himself, he is also setting up, completing, and cleaning up his own experiments!  This curriculum has a LOT of experiments and he loves it.  I love that he is able to handle the time consuming part.

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He invites us in to see the end result, I am usually pretty impressed!  These are some neat experiments.

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We do writing {Write Shop 1} in the afternoon together, can’t say it’s a favorite for either of us {writing in general}. This is the one subject I would pay someone to teach my kids. The curriculum is great, I just don’t like teaching writing.

He is doing really well with Teaching Textbooks Pre Algebra, you can see him in action below. it is a GREAT fit for our family so far.

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He chose The Bronze Bow as his first novel and he LOVED it.  He is now reading The Hittite Warrior, also his choice {from a stack of books I preselected for him, shown below.}

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We are pleased with our curriculum choices so far.  He is learning, it is flowing, and we are getting through school in a reasonable amount of time!


3rd Grade

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Krash is blessed to be going to his best friends’ house for science every morning.  One of my dear friends {the author of Calendar Connections} is teaching her son and mine using Apologia’s Botany.

I do the rest of his school with him in the afternoon. Each day I grab his stack shortly after lunch and we dig in!

His favorites are Life of Fred Math and reading. We continue to use and love Lessontrek {see his on top of the stack} for lesson plans.

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He is doing well with Teaching Textbooks Math 4, I am pleased with this choice so far.

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In addition to this we also do timed multiplication fact tests at least once a week.  He LOVES these and begs to do them.

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We are using Write Shop D for writing and it is going well.  He enjoys the many activities and the final writing but does not like the brainstorming part  He just likes to write freely so this is cramping his style a bit. The curriculum is great, I just dislike teaching writing.

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I am using First Language Lessons {starting with book 1 and moving quickly} to work on oral comprehension and solid grammar skills.  In addition to this he is using Growing with Grammar 2 which I am loving.  Can’t say he loves it, but it is working and simple.

I am using P’s old Calvert 3rd grade reading books {shown on right below} to have him read passages aloud to me to work on fluency. Ladybug likes to listen.

We are also using the book list from Sonlight 3rd grade to read through.  He reads the books on his own and then answers questions and discusses with me. I also have a stack of books ready for him to choose freely from.

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We are using Vocabulary Connections D and again, he doesn’t love it, but I know it’s good for him.  Calvert used this and I like it for some simple vocab review and growth. The cat likes it more than he does. It’s one of those traditional choices that just makes me feel better.  Touching on vocab, grammar, and comprehension.

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All About Spelling continues to work for him.  We are almost done with Level 2 {didn’t finish it last year} and will move onto level 3 soon.

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Kindergarten

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Ladybug goes first with me in the morning for her school with Mommy time.  We usually get started around 9am and finish up by around 10:15.  Sometimes she wants to go longer and we will do more in the afternoon, sometimes we will stop before 10:15.  I am super flexible with the Kindergarten year.

I do specific posts for much of Ladybug’s Kindergarten {Kindergarten Literature Units, You Can Read, Spielgaben, RLRS and Theme Units}.  Here’s direct links to the posts showing her in action during this first six weeks of homeschool {click on the graphic to see the posts}.

 You Can Read Sight Words Unit 4 You Can Read Sight Word Review You Can Read Sight Words unit 5 Apple Theme Homeschool Kindergarten Fun

My Cats Nick and Nora Kindergarten Literature Unit In Action The Selfish Crocodile Kindergarten Literature Unit in Action Playful Learning with Spielgaben August 2014 Playful Learning with Spielgaben September 2014

I have been asked how the timing of our units works out.  Here’s a brief outline to show how I fit things in during the first 6 weeks so you can see what overlaps with what.  Basically I create a plan like this with loose goals and then adjust as needed each week. This image shows what we actually did for the past 6 weeks.

{LOE=Logic of English Foundations A, YCR=You Can Read, RLRS=Raising Lil’ Rock Stars}Kindergarten Plans the First 6 Weeks

 

She also has other Kindergarten fun that we don’t blog specifically about, and I will include in the wrap up posts here!

We are using and enjoying Logic of English Foundations A. I specifically chose the cursive as I believe in their method of teaching cursive first, BUT my daughter did not agree.  So, I am following her lead and we are instead working on identifying cursive letters, but using print for handwriting. So, although we are bypassing the handwriting portion presented in LOE Foundations A, we are loving the phonogram teaching.  We are up to lesson 11 and her favorite is the oral sound work with the worksheets for her to circle on.  She has improved SO much with her oral skills.  In the beginning she couldn’t listen to me segment sounds and figure out a word at ALL.  Now, weeks later she is truly grasping this.

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We do lots of active games to work with the phonograms. You can see her in action below in photos and video!

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For handwriting, I am using my Letter Tracing Printables & flashcards, LetterSchool app, and the Alphabet Tracing Pages from This Reading Mama. I have a post coming soon sharing how we are using these.

We are using Speekee for Spanish, she does this with Krash and they both LOVE it!

We are doing our Integrity Time Bible lessons a bit slower right now as we iron out our other subjects.  My goal is once a week. Below you can see her with the characters from Letter F.

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On days when we have extra time we play games together.  A favorite is POP Rhyming which is simple and effective.

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Lots of work on rhyming words, which she still needs!

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It has been a great first 6 weeks, I am loving the shift from cyber school to traditional homeschool.  It is working for us.  I am still ironing out a few daily routine things even 6 weeks later.  It is an ongoing process, it seems we are always adjusting! But that’s the beauty of homeschooling, we can!

Linking to ~ Weekly Wrap-Up

Christopher Columbus Homeschool Unit

We began a new U.S. History program this year, using YWAM’s Heroes of History series. The first book is Christopher Columbus and we all LOVED it!  It took us about 6 weeks to read the entire book aloud together, reading 2-4 days per week. During that time we also did some fun activities, which became more and more engaging as we got further in the book.

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links used}Christopher Columbus Homeschool Unit



I had no set plan when we began.  Honestly I wanted the reading to be the main focus of our learning time and I knew if I over planned I would lose that focus. So, when we began I had nothing besides the book and the chapter review questions {which come with the Heroes of History Unit}. As we went on I brought in some additional activities, but not too much.

My kids are 5, 8, and 12.  A wide age range and yet they ALL learned so much from this unit together.  I am just thrilled that I invested in this entire series so we can keep learning U.S. History this way. Our plan is to just go through the books in order, I am in no rush, we may take years to finish them all!

YWAM Heroes of History U.S. History Curriculum

Christopher Columbus Activities

We used Draw, Write, Now Book 2 and my printables to go along.  As the certain events popped up in the story, we worked on these drawings together. Below you can see me reading as the kids colored their drawings.  We did the drawing together and then they colored it while I read aloud. My boys used the blank versions of my printables to practice cursive, and Ladybug used the traceable printables.

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Another thing we enjoyed was some simple coloring.  My kids love to color, all of them. I found some free coloring pages online for the kids to color as we read. Below they are coloring this one.

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When we finished our book, we watched the Christopher Columbus video from Nest.  Thankfully our library had it {and my great friend surprised me and got it for me without me knowing since she knew I wanted it}.I am glad I didn’t purchase this, after reading for 6 weeks, watching the 30 minute version left my kids feeling cheated!  They said, “That’s all??”Christopher Columbus DVD

 

Our final activity was to create maps documenting the key places we learned about: Italy, Spain, Portugal, The Azores, The Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Bahamas {San Salvador, Hispaniola {Santo Domingo}, Jamaica, and Cuba. I seriously can’t say enough about the geography these kids absorbed through this unit. While doing the maps I was amazed with how much I didn’t have to tell them.  Even Ladybug took in and remembered some facts. We went through each location and gave it a color code and discussed why that place was significant in the book.

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I love how Ladybug drew the ships with BIG men on them. Smile

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I am so thankful to be able to do this all together with all of my kids! My knowledge deepened so greatly, I love feeling smarter as I learn alongside of my children.

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Christopher Columbus Theme on Pinterest.

You Can Read Sight Words ~ Unit 5

You Can Read continues to be a fun part of our homeschool Kindergarten.  Along with adding these new words, we also reviewed the previous words from unit one, unit two, unit 3, and unit 4.

You Can Read Sight Words unit 5

Here’s a post sharing You Can Read Unit Five with Krash when he did it!  See all of Krash’s Kindergarten posts here.

 

Unit Organization

You can see how we store ALL of our You Can Read stuff here.  For current units I use thisYou-Can-Read--7714_thumb1112 metal file container {Target} and hanging folders.  The pink ones are You Can Read units, the yellow are her Kindergarten Literature Unit Study Printables. I have a daily lesson plan for both in a sheet protector in the front.  The You Can Read printable lesson plan is here.

I have been asked a lot how we do things so I am trying to outline it for you as much as possible!  I am not sure if I will blog all the way through You Can Read like this, but if it is helpful, I might, let me know! Below you will see exactly what we did on each day and how I spread it out.

 

Day One

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Making her words using the little ledge on her shelf.

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Enjoying an easy reader…

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Color by number sight word, with some help {not} from the cat.

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Connecting the words to make shapes.

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Day Two

 

Tracing to connect words…

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She really liked taping together her word puzzles…

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She is not always thrilled to pose for pictures. Winking smile

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Easy reader…

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Bitsboard app fun…

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Day Three

Our third day of lessons with these words…

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We got out our Personal Word Wall and added our words from the last two units {we forgot with unit 4!

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She enjoys stamping words!

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We tried something new and instead of dot paint used tiny colored stickers to do the funny font worksheet.

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She also used these for her Color by number sight word!

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Day Four

Play dough words!

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We played BINGO, with Spielgaben pieces.

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Finding her words in the word search…

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Day Five

We began with finding words in sentences.  I had her use two different colors of markers.

She used pink to circle words from this week, and orange to circle any other words she remembered from previous weeks!  Then we read them together, she reads circled words, I read un-circled words.

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Color by word…

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Here’s all of the work she completed this week!

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Download the FREE printables for You Can Read Unit 5 here

Purchase the You Can Read Bundle here {get access to the bonus items}

See our You Can Read YouTube playlist here

See our post featuring Unit 1, unit 2, unit 3, unit 4, and 1-4 review!

You-Can-Read-Sight-Words--Unit-1_thu  You-Can-Read-Sight-Words-Unit-2_thum[1]  You-Can-Read-Sight-Words-Unit-338You Can Read Sight Words Unit 4  You Can Read Sight Word Review

Be sure to see our Word Play ~ Learning to Read is FUN! post for more fun reading ideas.

Word-Play----Learning-to-read-is-fun

 

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Teach Me to Read on Pinterest.