Tot School Gathering Place Week 130

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-Place2_thumb_th

Happy 4th of July (a day late!). I hope all our American friends enjoyed celebrating the birth of country with friends and family and maybe some fireworks! Did you do anything special with your Tot to celebrate the 4th? Make sure to link up your post about it to the Gathering Place so we can share in the fun!

Is your Tot in the pre-writing stage? Head on over to Adventures in Tot Schooling to see the many wonderful activities that Munchkin’s Mama put together to help strengthen those fine motor skills needed for pre-writing!

Tot School Adventures

Have you been curious about the Spielgaben Educational Toys? Are you looking for a review other than mine? Check out Living Montessori Now and Grandmama Deb’s review of Spielgaben and how grandTot Zoey is enjoying the summer activities.

Living Montessori Now (4)

Were you able to see Venus and Jupiter this past week? Does your Tot enjoy looking at the stars at night? Take a look at the free printable that Mama Michelle from Research Parent put together to help your Tot understand the size of each planet. They are stunning!

Research Parent (1)


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

See the Tot School webpage here!

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Tot School Ideas on Pinterest.


Beach Fun Coloring



 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).



Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices ~ Year-End Review

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review

The homeschool curriculum choices blog posts are great, but what I really want to know is what families thought AFTER they used the curriculum they chose!  I will be sharing a series of posts with you; evaluating our choices in each grade level and our group subjects.

Next, Kindergarten! Here’s a reminder of the original Kindergarten Curriculum Choices post, and here are our literacy and math goals.

Homeschool Kindergarten Literacy Goals  Homeschool Kindergarten Math Goals

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}

Below I will go through each one separately and tell you our thoughts now that the year is complete. But before I do that I want to answer the most frequently asked question I get about our Kindergarten – always about our daily routine!

Although every day was different, and things changed throughout the year, here’s a basic outline of what we did each week…

  • Literature Units ~ almost every day we usually did 1-3 activities per day.
  • YCR Sight Words ~ more intense in the beginning, with up to 3 activities per day, more mild in the end when she was learning the words faster.  1-2 activities per day, only 2-3 days a week.
  • YCR Word Families ~ same as above, more intense and daily in the beginning, only 2 days a week near the end.
  • RLRS ~ we usually did one letter per week, doing 1 activity per day.  For most of the year she did the coloring page, the letter tracing page and the glue the verse page.  This was a small part, although we did spend lots of casual time talking about the verse and learning the verse tune.
  • Logic of English Foundations A~ we did a few lessons per week, depending on the lessons.  I would stop when she seemed done.  Some of the lessons were longer so there wasn’t an exact method to this.
  • All About Reading 1 ~ we started this in the early spring and she flew through it usually doing at least one lesson per day, sometimes more {at her request}
  • Spielgaben ~ we usually only did 1 formal lesson per week, sometimes 2.  There was free play a lot but I usually only planned 1-2 lessons per week.  I loved the simple and engaging math lessons we did with Spielgaben, which we are still doing and will do throughout 1st grade!
  • Daily Literacy & Spelling ~ she did this with Daddy, usually about 3-4 times per week. She really liked both, so it was a pretty simple add in.

Kindergarten Literature Units

I created these units on a whim and they were by far my favorite part of her homeschool year!  This was the core of her math curriculum, building in Kindergarten math skills in a simple way. She loved these units as much as I did. I am so glad I went with this plan, it was a great fit for her.

Here’s a recap of the units she completed during her Kindergarten year, in the order we did them.

Hi Pizza Man Kindergarten Literature Unit Study in Action My Cats Nick and Nora Kindergarten Literature Unit In Action The Selfish Crocodile Kindergarten Literature Unit in Action Goose Kindergarten Literature Unit in Action A Color of His Own Unit Study in ActionThe Dog Who Had Kittens Kindergarten Literature Unit Study In Action Mr. Cookie Baker Kindergarten Literature Unit in Action Counting is for the Birds Unit Study in Action Five Little Chicks Kindergarten Literature Unit in Action

You Can Read Sight Words

This was a great fit for Ladybug, as it was for Krash when he used it. She picked up on sight words quickly and enjoyed the units.  Near the end we actually stopped before the units were complete because I “pretested” her before preparing the next unit and she already knew the words!  Her reading skills really took off in the spring and there was no need to work on words she already knew!  So, we stopped YCR Sight Words after Unit 13 {skipping units 14-18}.  We did very little with the color/number word units also, since she knew those words too.

Here’s a recap of the units she completed this year.

You Can Read Sight Words Kindergarten Year End Review

You Can Read Word Families

I only wish I had created these earlier in the year.  I added them in a bit too late in the year but she still loved them.  After 7 units she had mastered CVC words so I didn’t even use the remaining units I had created with her.  Had we begun earlier we would have been able to use them all I bet. 

Here’s a recap of the units she completed, click to see the post!

AT Word Family Fun  _et Word Family Printables2

ig word family fun 2  Word Family Fun op

ug word family fun  an word family  YCR en Word Family -7429

We now have the bundle available for purchase, with a launch sale through July 15, 2015.You Can Read Word Families Bundle Launch Sale

Raising Lil’ Rock Stars Through the Bible A-Z

She enjoyed learning verses with me, but this wasn’t her favorite part of homeschooling Kindergarten.  She didn’t dislike it, she just preferred other subjects. It was a very simple way to do a few things ~ memorize and learn verses, work on handwriting, reinforce new words within the verses and practice sight words. We didn’t make it through the entire alphabet, mostly due to life circumstances slowing us down.  We are currently still finishing!

See all of the units we have done here

Raising Lil' Rock Stars Graphic Draft 2

Logic of English Foundations A

We both LOVED LOE Foundations A!  I explained how we used this curriculum along with All About Reading in this post.  We were given LOE to review and I wanted to give it a try.  It ended up being the perfect thing to use right before All About Reading Level 1.

I tried to write out my review of this but just couldn’t so I made a video instead.  It’s about 6 minutes, walking you through the parts I really liked about this curriculum.

All About Reading Level 1

We began AAR 1 after we hit lesson 30 in LOE A, around February. It was the perfect transition and she has breezed through the All About Reading lessons.

She LOVED the books and so do I.  We will be moving on with AAR and beginning level 2 soon! Here’s a post I shared about organizing All About Reading.

Kindergarten -6930

Spielgaben

This was such a fun part of our homeschool and a part that I am really glad we added in.  Much of her math knowledge has come from working with our Spielgaben set. We will be continuing on with Spielgaben for 1st grade, mainly for math.

Spielgaben in Homeschool Kindergarten  Spielgaben ~ Is it Worth it

Playful Learning with Spielgaben August 2014 Playful Learning with Spielgaben September 2014 Playful Learning with Spielgaben October 2014 Playful Learning with Spielgaben November 2014 Playful Learning with Spielgaben December 2014Playful learning with Spielgaben January 2015 Playful Learning with Spielgaben February 2015 Playful Learning with Spielgaben March 2015 Math Play with Spielgaben - ideas for learning addition to 10 Exploring Symmetry with Spielgaben

Integrity Time Bible

I truly love this program, but sadly I had to let it go when we were going through our move, and my husband’s injury recovery.  It was the extra that just had to give. She really, really liked the lessons, I just didn’t make time to add them back in once we moved. Integrity Time Bible -1175

Daily Literacy

We loved our Daily Literacy work and I made a little video to give you a better look…

Spelling

I ordered a simple spelling book using Zulily credit and I am so glad I did.  It ended up being a great fit for my daughter, here’s a peek in a video I made

Kindergarten Apps

We used some great apps this year and I share them in this post.  I love everything listed and we will continue to use our iPad for homeschool learning in 1st grade too!

Kindergarten and 1st Grade Learning Apps

Want to see more of Kindergarten in action? Browse through our wrap-up posts, they are listed in order here and there’s a section for each of my kids in each post.


Stay tuned, I will be sharing our year-end review for our All Together subjects.  I will also be sharing our curriculum choices for 8th grade, 4th grade, 1st grade and All Together subjects.

We already shared our 7th Grade Year-End Review and our 3rd Grade Year-End Review.

3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review  7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review



USA Geography Homeschool Plan ~ Elementary

United States Geography Homeschool Plan for Elementary

I didn’t focus on USA geography for the past couple of years, but we did intensely when PacMan was younger.  It’s time to bring it back as Ladybug goes into 1st grade and Krash into 4th.  It’s a great time to combine them together and I developed a plan that I think they both will enjoy!

USA Geography-8341

 

I combined a few different resources together to create my plan and I will share those with you in this post, there’s a video below too!  Here’s the short list of what we are using…

USA PowerPoint  StatePack

 

I liked the printable pages from USA State by State and we already owned StickerUSA which came with a disk of downloads {I am not sure if the book still comes with the disk, I don’t see it listed on the info page}.  On the disk was a printable set of state birds and state flowers, so we are using those.  We are also using the flashcards from the StickerUSA book. Rounding out our plan will be my USA Geography PowerPoint Show, which has been redone recently.

Here’s a video I made sharing all of our resources with you and how we plan to use them.

 

Books

These are the books we will be using to reference during our learning time together.

NG Kids United States Atlas   Student Atlas

 

Goals

  • Locate state on a map
  • Know the capital
  • Know the abbreviation
  • Be familiar with – bird, flower, resources, special facts

Weekly Plan

My goal is to learn 2 new states per week, but I say that loosely!  I know we probably won’t do more than that, but we may only get to 1 per week.  I will do this with Krash and Ladybug at the same time.  We will go through the PowerPoint together, read from the books I chose, and fill out the notebooking page together!

Games & More

We have a few other great USA resources and will fit them is as time allows!

Want access to our USA Geography PowerPoint? 

It’s a one time joining fee of $15 right now, but the price is increasing to $20 very soon when the makeover is launched.  I have been BUSY behind the scenes updating the Members Only PowerPoint site, so now is the time to join why the price is still $15!  Already a member? Stay tuned the makeover will be launching soon!

Members Only PowerPoint Shows from 1 1 1=1



Home Art Studio ~ Impressionistic Painting

We have been using Home Art Studio for a long time now.  You can see all of the projects I have blogged about here! Home Art Studio sent us curriculum to review years ago and has been a blog sponsor ever since.  We love working with them and sharing Home Art Studio with you!

Did you know Home Art Studio is on Homeschool Buyers Co-op right now? 

Get a great deal on the DVDs here!

Home Art Studio on Homeschool Buyres Co-op

I truly love the program, I just have a very difficult time fitting art into our daily routine. This past year has been especially hard with all of our life changes.

Recently I got our DVDs back out and let Ladybug choose a project from the 1st grade DVD.  She chose Impressionistic Painting.

First, we watched the DVD lesson together, which she loved.

Home Art Studio -8230

 

She drew about 5 scenes in pencil before choosing the one she liked and wanted to paint.  I stayed out of it completely and let her interpret the lesson as she wanted.

Home Art Studio -8248

 

She LOVED the end result and honestly the entire process was a joy with her.  I stressed myself out in the past by doing a project with all three of my kids at once.  This was so much more fun.  It seems my personality is better doing art one kid at a time!

Home Art Studio -8264

 


Home Art Studio Information

Home Art Studio is an award winning DVD/ROM based art education program, taught by Lindsey Volin,  designed for homeschooling families. Every fun art project teaches students experience, but who want to ensure that their children receive a well-rounded arts education.

Here are some helpful direct links:

Be sure to check out Home Art Studio on Homeschool Buyers Co-op!

Homeschool Buyers CoOp



3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review

3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review

The homeschool curriculum choices blog posts are great, but what I really want to know is what families thought AFTER they used the curriculum they chose!  I will be sharing a series of posts with you; evaluating our choices in each grade level and our group subjects.

Next, 3rd grade!  Here’s a reminder of the original 3rd Grade Curriculum Choices post.

3rd grade is the year when school gets a little more intense, and it was also the year K’s gymnastics training schedule got more intense.  Thankfully we were able to find a new groove after we moved and he did most of his individual schoolwork on 2 days each week!  He did some subjects every day {math was an everyday subject} but the intense individual schooling happened on Tuesday and Thursday when he was home most of the day from the gym.

Below I will give a small review of each subject, if you have more specific questions about anything, just leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer!


Spelling ~ All About Spelling

This curriculum works well for him.  We finished level 2 {left over from the previous year} and 3 this year. One big change we made this year was doing his lessons with the board on the table like this, instead of upright.  For some reason, this really helped him and he was much easier to work with after this change.  We will be continuing on with All About Spelling Level 4 next year.

3rd Grade -5116 3rd Grade -5610 3rd Grade -4675


Grammar ~ Growing with Grammar 2 and First Language Lessons 1

Both were great fits for him, I am really pleased with the choices I made.  We will be continuing on with both programs for 4th grade.  I chose to use FLL level 1 with him because he has some auditory processing delays and I wanted a solid oral program.  I was really slack with grammar in the early grades with him, so I needed to back up a bit.

He completed Growing with Grammar level 2 which was a good level for him. This is more of a workbook format, which he greatly prefers.  I loved both.

3rd Grade -4681


Vocabulary ~ Vocabulary Connections C

The animals made it bearable.  This wasn’t his favorite subject, but he didn’t dislike it as much as his brother did. He worked with Daddy on this one after we moved, and it was a good fit for him.  He needs some extra work with comprehension and thinking skills, which this provides along with vocabulary development.  I haven’t decided if I will order the next level for him yet, I am researching other options right now {looking at Wordly Wise 3000 Online, & Spectrum Vocabulary 4 so far}.

3rd Grade -6010 3rd Grade -1096


Writing ~ Write Shop D

Again, I was a slacker with writing.  We did 4 lessons, and he enjoyed all but the actual writing part – ha ha!  I like the curriculum and we plan to complete it this coming school year.

3rd Grade -0753 3rd Grade -0828


Science ~ Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany

My best friend taught him with her son for the first half of the year before we moved.  He loved it! I have no interest in teaching science at all and although I love Apologia, the elementary series looks overwhelming to me.  Thankfully my friend loved teaching it to our boys!

Once we moved, I wanted him to continue with basic science reading, so we got out Pac’s old 3rd grade science book and Daddy read to him a few times per week.  This worked well. 


Math ~ Teaching Textbooks 4 & Life of Fred

Both of these were great fits for Krash.  Teaching Textbooks was a great fit BUT we realized mid-year that he really benefitted from Daddy teaching him the lesson from the manual prior to going to the computer.  So, that’s what we do.  He needs the interaction prior to the computer teaching. 

3rd Grade -0867

Life of Fred was a nice solid oral review, which he needs.  He completed books A-D with us reading to him. We will continue if we decide to purchase more, it’s a cost issue.


Reading

At the beginning of the year I had him read aloud to me daily to practice fluency.  We used PacMan’s old Calvert readers from 3rd grade.  He also read chapter books on his own, and I let him choose them.

3rd Grade -1168 3rd grade -6376

We enjoyed reading Smiling Hill Farm together.

3rd Grade -5535


Want to see more of 3rd grade in action? Browse through our wrap-up posts, they are listed in order here and there’s a section for each of my kids in each post.

 


Stay tuned, I will be sharing our year-end review for Kindergarten and our All Together subjects.  I will also be sharing our curriculum choices for 8th grade, 4th grade, 1st grade and All Together subjects.

We already shared our 7th Grade Year-End Review here.

7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review