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.

Continent Box ~ Australia

Continent Box Australia

We enjoyed our recent North America Continent Box and the kids really got into it with the addition of the Continent Box Challenge. I was excited to get another box done quickly and they chose Australia!

{disclaimer~there are affiliate links in this post, also a giveaway!}

I have Australia set up like this…Australia Continent Box -8316

 

I pulled out some Australian animals, we had from our collection, and also got a new Safari Toob.Australia Continent Box -8310

 

I bought my boxes from Walmart, in 2 different sizes {small 6.7qt, large 12.7qt} knowing I would need bigger ones for continents with more stuff! I made simple labels that color-coordinate with Montessori geography colors {free download here}. This box is the smaller of the 2 sizes I bought. Australia Continent Box -8319

 

In the folder on top of the box, is each child’s Continent Box Challenge paper.  You can create your own using our editable pdf file, but here’s a glimpse at ours…

Continent Box Challenge Australia

 

I currently have a few of the extras in these little blue bins from Ikea, hooked to the photo ledge from Ikea also. The one in the middle holds a couple of mini sticker books sent to us by a sweet Aussie blog reader years ago! The one on the right has the Australian  Landmarks ~ Rand McNally.

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I made a trip to the library to pick up some books for our study.  I couldn’t find all that I wanted but love the ones I was able to get. See the books we got and the ones I wish we had gotten here.

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Printables

We have a few materials from Montessori Print Shop! Thankfully I was given their bundle to review awhile back. We are focusing on the Australian Animals

AustraliaAnimals

You can see in the very top photo, I hang our 3 part cards up on metal rings and hooks. The shelf they are hanging on is a photo ledge from Ikea. Be sure to read to the end for a giveaway from Montessori Print Shop!

I also created a few printables for the box which you can download for free on my Continent Boxes webpage in the North America section. I also used some printables from other sources. I will list out everything shown below with links.

Follow Directions to Color Australia

 

There’s also the Continent Kids Coloring for Australia {free download on the Continent Boxes webpage}…Australia Continent Kid Printable


Here you can see us exploring together, there’s no real plan. The kids can explore the box on their own, and I also am taking time to explore together. It’s amazing what they absorb just from exploring and us talking about what they are doing!

The books and Australian animals have been a BIG hit.  Many of the animals are totally new to my kids, as we haven’t studied Australia before! She’s in love with wombats now thanks to some of the great books!

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Pac dove right into his challenge and loved the creative options and chose to make Australia out of Play Dough!

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You can download printables and see more on our Continent Boxes webpage!

Continent Boxes


Visit my Pinterest boards for even more ideas!

image image


Enter to Win!

One of you has the chance to win the Australia Printables from Montessori Print Shop! Winner will receive PDF files of all printables listed here, your choice of either the color coded set or the blank set!

Use Rafflecopter below to enter to win! Open worldwide, ends September 24, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continent Box Challenge {with Printables}

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We have created and used 2 continent boxes {Europe and North America} in one year, and I still hope to create the remaining 5 and use them along with these in our homeschooling years to come! My kids have been very into the box on the first few days, but then the newness wore off.  If I engaged them, they would explore with me, but I wanted a way to encourage them to explore on their own {and learn something}.

Enter….the Continent Box Challenge!

I made a chart reflecting our North America Continent Boxes, coming up with tasks that the children could complete. Here is a copy of the sheet my kids used…

Continent Box Challenge North America

 

I set individual goals with each child to earn prizes as they marked off tasks. North America Continent Box -3880First we brainstormed prizes that did not involve money {or shopping}. They came up with ~

  • Peanut Butter Pass ~ the option to choose a PB sandwich for dinner on a night when they hated what was offered {the little 2 in our family are VERY picky and we don’t make alternate meals so they often go hungry at dinner time}
  • Juice Ticket ~ our kids drink water all day long except for the occasional cup of 100% juice with dinner or milk.  They never have soda or other sweetened drinks. The Juice Pass is a ticket to have freedom to drink 100% juice whenever desired for one day.
  • Chore Pass ~ Mom and Dad complete ALL of your daily chores for one day.
  • Stay Up Late ~ this one is obvious, right?
  • Candy Baggie ~ freedom to nibble from a pre-created candy baggie {by me} throughout the day. Candy intake around here is VERY low, and most of our candy is dye-free and organic if possible, but either way this is a BIG deal to them!

Each child chose prizes they wanted and ranked them.  Then we set the goals. Pac had to complete his entire chart {21} to get a chore pass, 19 to get a candy baggie, and 17 to get a juice pass.  Krash was 15, 13, 10 for his leveled prizes.  Ladybug was 12, 10, 8.  I marked out on their sheets what I thought was above their level with a few optionals.  You can see K’s below with an X on “name 50 states” and a ? on “name at least 25 states” showing how we modified the activities to their levels.

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Yes they can earn all 3 prizes, when they reach each goal. I wanted to make it fun to keep going!

This really got them going and we are still using the challenge now! Here are some action shots of the kids…

Matching up the North American Landmark 3-part cards…North America Continent Box -3883

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Working on puzzles…

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We will definitely be using the Continent Box Challenge in the future and I thought it might work for some of you too!  BUT, I knew your boxes would be different and you would need to be able to create your own tasks based on your boxes!  So, I asked my friend Jolanthe {who has the correct software} if she would make an editable PDF form for my readers to create your own challenges! She said yes!!!

The colors correspond with the colors used with Montessori geography, but you can just print in gray scale if you don’t need the colors!  Each box is editable and you can save the PDF file to use again too!

Click on graphic to download your printables!

Continent Box Challenge Editable Printables

 

Looking for more World Geography ResourcesContinent Boxes

Continent Box ~ North America

Continent Box North America

 

We enjoyed our Europe Continent Box and then I fell off the wagon.  I had grand plans for the year, but just got behind in prep time.  But finally, I added another box to our year, right at the end! 

{disclaimer~there are affiliate links in this post, also a giveaway!}

I have North America set up like this {see photo below}. I have a large puzzle of North America, and the board of North America from Where in the World {I added the cards into the box}. Our Little Passports goodies from Mexico are in the box too!

I pulled out some North American animals we had from our collection, our US Presidents and USA books {from Target}, and our big World Map Puzzle {similar to this one, couldn’t find mine online}.

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I bought my boxes from Walmart, in 2 different sizes {small 6.7qt, large 12.7qt} knowing I would need bigger ones for continents with more stuff! I made simple labels that color-coordinate with Montessori geography colors {free download here}. This box is the bigger of the 2 sizes I bought.

 

What’s Inside?

US Presidents {Target}, North American Landmarks ~ Rand McNally, North American Animals {Target}, States & Capitals Wrap Up.

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I currently have a few of the extras in these little blue bins from Ikea, hooked to the photo ledge from Ikea also.Continent Box North America -3489

 

We have a few materials from Montessori Print Shop! Thankfully I was given their bundle to review over a year ago year. Specifically I am using the North America Geography Folder {I made ours as a book in sheet protectors}, North American Animals,  & North American Landmarks. You can see I hung our 3 part cards up on metal rings and hooks. The shelf they are hanging on is a photo ledge from Ikea. Be sure to read to the end for a giveaway!

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I created a few printables for the box which you can download for free on my Continent Boxes webpage in the North America section. I also used some printables from other sources. I will list out everything shown below with links, it is all laminated and in our box.

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There’s also the Continent Kids Coloring for North America {free download on the Continent Boxes webpage}…Continent Kids: North America


Here you can see us exploring together, there’s no real plan. The kids can explore the box on their own, and I also am taking time to explore together. It’s amazing what they absorb just from exploring and us talking about what they are doing!

Puzzles are a BIG favorite with all 3 kids!  Ladybug loves them the most!Continent Box North America -3529

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Krash is a builder, so I challenged him to build one of the North American Landmarks, he chose the Washington Monument!Continent Box North America -3534

You can download printables and see more on our Continent Boxes webpage!

Continent Boxes


Products…

Target Dollar Spot Geography Supplies {get ‘em when you can!}Geography Resources from Target

World Facts & Landmarks Flashcards {Rand McNally}World Landmark Cards

Where in the WorldWhere in the World

Geography Units North America {Evan Moor eBook}

North America Evan Moor ebook

 

Geo Puzzle ~ USA & CanadaGeo Puzzle North America

GeoDiceGeoDice Game


Books…

NA Rookie  NA True Books  NA Explore


Visit my Pinterest boards for even more ideas!

image image


Guess What?

One of you has the chance to win the North America Printables from Montessori Print Shop! Winner will receive PDF files of all printables listed here, your choice of either the color coded set or the blank set!

Use Rafflecopter below to enter to win! Open worldwide, ends 7/9/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway