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.

Black History ~ Calendar Connections

Black History Calendar Connections Printables

 


We have another new set of Calendar Connections cards! My wonderful friend Shannon took a break but she is back with a new set and plans for more in the near futurehas been hard at work behind the scenes! She writes the Calendar Connections cards for us, I design and host them.

We chose Black History for our next theme! Black History Month was a requested theme by many last year and Shannon has worked hard on this set. This new set tells a bit about the history of Black History Month, and features 27 different African-Americans who have contributed to our country in great ways. This set is featured for February, so you will notice there are only 29 cards, instead of the normal 31.

Black History Calendar Connections

The facts are written at a 3-6th grade level but you will be able to water them down for younger kids. It’s a great way to involve your entire family in exploring a particular theme.

NOTE: these do NOT print front to back, only the premium design does. These are the original cards, which we still offer for free. You can see an example of the bundled set here!


The cards fit my particular pocket chart calendar. I put the image cards in the pockets backwards and flip each day We either keep the information cards in a folder or behind the image card and pull it out on the correct day to read it. Calendar

You could use a poster foam board and velcro to easily create your own set up. You could also use a standard pocket chart.


I am now creating smaller sets to go along with the small pocket charts found in the Target $1 section. Be sure to visit this post for a tutorial of how to sew your $1 pocket chart into a calendar!

There is also a sheet included to be used in a Calendar Notebook if you are using those too!

Calendar Connections Small Black History

I printed my numbers on cardstock and laminated them before cutting them apart.

You can download these for FREE here!


You can use most of our Calendar Connections cards for any month! We now have 15 sets to choose from, and we will still be adding more too!

Calendar Connections Set 1

We are taking suggestions for upcoming themes.  Leave suggestions in the comments!

Story of the World 1 ~ Cuneiform

We are moving along with our The Story of the World course and Pac-Man continues to love it. We don’t do much with the extensions, given our present life circumstances, but I couldn’t pass up making clay tablets for ancient writings of the Sumerians! Pac-Man used the cuneiform chart provided in the SOTW activity book and wrote his name in the clay tablet he made. It turned out great and we both had fun doing it.

I found another mom on a blog I read who is just beginning to use SOTW in case you’re interested in seeing the great resources she is using with her 2 kids!

The Story of the World

We began using The Story of the World (volume 1) today! I am not too thrilled with Calvert’s Social Studies program so I began researching something to supplement and found that MANY moms I know online use Story of the World. I got the final endorsement from my good (real life) friend Shannon, who has used volumes 1-3 with her 2 kids and is completing volume 4 this year.

I had NO idea how much Pac-Man would enjoy history, just learning about historians and archaeologists today got him excited! He didn’t even complain about the copywork I gave him!! Here he is doing what I created for him…
We will be creating a notebook to keep all of his papers in, he is very excited about it and even helped me design the cover!

I found a few blogs online that were helpful in making my decision, specifically this post, from Smooth Stones Academy. Although I am not using History Scribe or the copywork she mentions, it inspired me to make our own. I am using our Startwrite program to make his pages.

We’re going to stick with this for awhile and see if we decide to continue on with the program. I will post again to let you know what we think after we are a bit more into it!

Do any of you use SOTW? If so share your thoughts in the comments! If you use something else please share your thoughts too if you’d like-I am not set in stone on this choice yet.