Monthly Homeschool Wrap-Up January 2015

January 2015 Homeschool Wrap Up

Now that we are mostly settled into our new house, I wanted to get back on the monthly homeschool wrap-up wagon! This post will share our learning that happened during January.  We are in the middle of my son’s competitive gymnastics season so we take some days off here and there and then make them up when the season is over.  We didn’t have a full four weeks of school, but close!

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

All-Together-Subjects-Homeschool-Cur 7th-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi[1] 3rd-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi[1] Kindergarten-Homeschool-Curriculum-C

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}


All Together School

This is our group shot from the beginning of the year, they’ve already changed SO much! Especially my biggest boy!

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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! 

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

 

Mystery of History

Our Mystery of History time together continues to be a favorite of mine.  We do lessons 3 days a week, and then work on our timeline and review on the 4th day.

At the end of January we had completed through week 13, lesson 39.  We obviously got behind this year and will get as far as we can and continue on with volume 1 next year if needed and then move on to volume 2.

One of the highlights of the month was watching corresponding What’s in the Bible DVDs as we went through certain lessons! The kids LOVED this and it helped so much!

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Specific lessons we matched with videos recently ~

Volume 5 ~ Israel Gets a King went nicely with MOH Week 11 {David, Solomon, Saul}

Volume 6 ~ A Nation Divided matched up with MOH lesson 35 {The Kingdom of Israel Divides}

As I went to get links for this post I noticed they have an incredible sale going on for the DVDs right now {ends 2/15/15}!

 

 

U.S. History ~ William Penn

We use YWAM’s Heroes of History as our U.S. History foundation. It is novel based and a perfect fit for us.  We finished John Smith and are in the middle of William Penn now.  We are all loving this particular book since we lived in Pennsylvania for the past 10 years before moving!  This is a GREAT book.

We read together 3 times per week at least, and the kids all get to play with something quietly while we read.

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Even the dog often joins us for reading time.

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World Geography

We continue to use the book Passport to the World to go through countries and languages from around the world.  Such a simple thing we do twice a week but we are all learning and remembering so much!  The book is a launch for many discussions. We are almost done with the entire book and will move onto Children’s Atlas of God’s World next to do the same thing ~ just read and learn together!

 


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.

Daddy continues to be in charge of overseeing Pac’s science {Apologia General Science}! This is so great for me {the mom who dislikes teaching science}. Pac continues to set up, and clean up his experiments on his own, it is wonderful!  He even invites his sister to sit in when he can!

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We continue to slowly creep along with writing {Write Shop 1} in the afternoon together, and it continues to be a struggle.  I just don’t like teaching writing.  Love the curriculum, it’s just me.

He is doing really well with Teaching Textbooks Pre Algebra. Daddy oversees this too and helps when needed.

We have been bad with reading lately and he just picked up his first novel since we moved, he is currently reading The Hiding Place.


3rd Grade

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Krash spends a lot of time in the gym, and his gymnastics team has many homeschooled kids.  There are homeschool gym hours 3 days per week so we get a majority of his schooling done on his two non-gym days each week.  He also schools with us on the other three days, but his most intense days are Tuesday and Thursday here at home.

Daddy has taken over a few subjects with Krash since our move ~ Life of Fred Math {they are working on book C right now}, Vocabulary, Science, and math. He is doing well with Teaching Textbooks Math 4, but we have made one change for him.  Daddy now goes over the lesson in the textbook with K each morning before he goes to the computer.  He needs this extra walk through most morning just to clear his brain and help him focus.

We continue with Write Shop D for writing and it is going well.  Still not my favorite thing to teach but we are moving along.

We are almost through 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. I like to do both with him since one is auditory and one is a written workbook style.

All About Spelling continues to work really well for him.  We are well into level 3, and he is really absorbing the rules. A recent change we made was putting the board on our table instead of propped up.  he likes this SO much better!

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Krash has been joining in with Ladybug for calendar time for some review. He is a good helper to her.  He has a modified Calendar Notebook again, and is working on a few simple things each day.  I plan to write a post soon sharing exactly what he and Ladybug are doing with calendar these days!

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Kindergarten

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I do specific posts for much of Ladybug’s Kindergarten.  Here’s direct links to the posts showing her in action during January {click on the graphic to see the posts}.

AT Word Family Fun _et Word Family Printables2 

You Can Read Sight Words Unit 9 You Can Read Sight Words Unit 10 Playful learning with Spielgaben January 2015

 

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

We continue to use and enjoy Logic of English Foundations A. Her progress is just where I want it to be.  She calls it “dragon school” because of the dragon on the front of the book.  She enjoys the lessons and does really well. It has been a fabulous foundation in phonics for her.

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She loves using our Perler Bead letters on the worksheets now!

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A new aspect of our homeschool is read aloud time with Daddy each afternoon.  Since my husband is now home more, he reads her a stack of books each day after lunch.  They both love this time and I feel so blessed to have him home able to do this!

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You can also see much of our everyday homeschool life on Instagram!

1plus1plus1 on Instagram

 

Old Wrap Up posts from this year are below!

Monthly-Homeschool-Wrap-Up-K-3rd-and[1]  Monthly Homeschool Kindergarten Wrap Up

Linking to ~ Weekly Wrap-Up

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

littleBLAST ~ Review and Giveaway

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{disclaimer ~ we received our BLAST free for this review and littleBLAST is a blog sponsor}

We are excited to share something new with you, littleBLAST!

littleBLAST science for young children

littleBLAST offers monthly themed science BLASTs for little scientists! These are created for your preschool aged child or can supplement early education (suggested ages 3-7).  I have a 5 year old and an 8 year old and they both enjoyed our projects immensely!

We were sent the Air Pressure BLAST to review and it came neatly in a package with EVERYTHING we needed.  This is a huge bonus for me, as I am not a science-y person and don’t like gathering tiny materials. The all-in-one feature was very appealing to me.

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Each activity in the BLAST includes all the materials needed to complete 3-4 experiments. This includes instruction guides for the adult, all supplies, an adventure map, super achievement badge chart, and badge.  Read more about the BLASTs here.

Ours had what you see below, which was basically all resources for 3 experiments revolving around the theme of Air Pressure.  When I say it was all included, I mean ALL.  I didn’t need to go hunting for a thing.

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Here’s a detailed shot of all included for the first experiment, Air Cannon.

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The guides are very simple and easy to follow step by step.  We were able to clear a table and jump right in quickly.  The kids were blowing the pom pom across the table in no time!

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See the holes in the bottom for the experiment?  They were pre cut like that which made me oh-SO-happy!

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There’s even a recording sheet included to keep track of our results.

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We also completed the Rocket Balloon experiment and this too was a big hit with both kids. Everything we needed was included as you can see, even tiny pieces of tape.

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Ladybug was my coloring and cutting helper to get the rocket ready.

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This one was more hands on for me so I wasn’t able to take as many action shots.

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The only thing not included for this one was our chairs!  We tied the rocket balloon between two of our dining room chairs.

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After the experiment was complete, she continued to experiment and play on her own with the rocket.  It was really fun.

We have one experiment left to complete, which is entitled Barometer.  We will complete this one soon, once we officially begin school!

 

Overall Thoughts…

I absolutely love the idea of littleBLAST and it is perfect for moms like me who dislike gathering all of the materials.  They also have a digital download option for those of you who don’t mind gathering materials but just want the instructions for the experiments.  You can save money and use your own stuff, or spend more and get the all in one kit sent straight to you!  I love that there are choices.

My kids loved the experiments but honestly I think they loved the attention the most.  They loved that we had something special to do together.  They know I don’t like science much {sadly} and were thrilled to know this was a box of “experiments.”  Ladybug calls them “experiences” and I think that sums it up for me.  It is about the experience of doing this together, it’s special.

I do recommend littleBLAST and think it would be a great fit for many families. You can see all of the purchasing options here. You can purchase a monthly subscription or buy individual BLASTS {digital or the all in one box}.  They are adding new BLASTs and currently have the following available…

  • Air Pressure
  • Float-Sink
  • Ice
  • Construction
  • Bubbles
  • Magnet
  • Lubricant
  • Seed
  • Ramp

GIVEAWAY!

I am excited to be able to give one of my readers the Air Pressure BLAST we reviewed!littleBLAST AirPressure

Use Rafflecopter to enter to win below {come to the blog if you are reading in RSS or email}

Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends 8/8/14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Peek into our Homeschool ~ End of 2013

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I am not giving up on sharing Weekly Wrap-up post, however, mine are more like couple-of-monthly wrap ups. Below will give you a peek at what I captured from about late October – December 2013.

{disclaimer: affiliate links are used below}

We wrapped up our Australia Continent Box and each child plowed through their Continent Box Challenge.  We took an afternoon all together one day to do lots of Australia work and finish up the challenges.  Ladybug colored about every Australian animal we had, and then some!  See all of our Australia ideas here on our Pinterest board!

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One of the favorites during a continent study is opening any Little Passports packages we have from that continent.  I save them all to open when we study the continent.  We had one package saved for Australia!

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We are still using our Picture Smart Bible, although we have gone way too slowly in my opinion.  The boys both LOVE this and so do I, I just always seem to forget about it since it is an extra for us. I only use this with the boys, not Ladybug.

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See our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for this year!


 

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Krash finished up all of the lowercase letters and most of the uppercase from Logic of English’s Cursive Handwriting program. We both love the program and would definitely recommend it!

We are continuing to use All About Spelling 2 and three All About Reading 2 in place of Calvert’s spelling and phonics components.

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When reading either from the All About Reading book or the fluency sheets, he is usually moving somehow!  Here he was doing mushroom work {pommel horse trainer} while reading.  He would read a page and do some circles, then read more and circle more.

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We continue to love Singapore’s Math in Focus that Calvert offers now. He recently learned multiplication and we enjoyed many hands on activities to help him.  Below he was using our cookies to work…

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Many of our Spielgaben pieces came into action during this unit. They were VERY helpful to him.

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Math in Focus has lots of word problems, which I normally hate but LOVE now.  He is forced to THINK, deeply. He can solve much higher level problems than P could at this age.

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We have other supplemental math items too, he enjoyed the Multiplication Wrap Up as he was learning to multiply.

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Playing with the Base Ten Blocks has become a favorite too.

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We are using Calvert’s science and finished up learning about seeds and plants. This experiment was about how roots always grow down.

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He has also been learning about landforms and the earth.  Below he was making a model of how an island forms in water.

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A mini model of the Earth…

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Krash is a builder, and loves to follow directions and complete big projects.  Ladybug wanted me to make her this huge dinosaur in the manual for Zoobs, I kindly said, “not right now.”  K chimed in and offered to make it for her!

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Pac was upstairs, and K decided to be funny and leave the dino working at P’s desk.

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I don’t get many photos of PacMan, since 6th grade isn’t always a photo-worthy as the younger grades! 

He made it through his poetry book {not very enthusiastically}, One Hundred Years of Poetry for Children.  He is now enjoying a fiction novel again, Esperanza Rising.  He GREATLY prefers novels.

 One Hundred Years of Poetry for Kids Esperanza Rising

 

We have been referring to our Big Book of History Timeline during our history lessons recently.  It is a neat resource to have and get out to compare.

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6th grade science overwhelms me.  I honestly just don’t enjoy it, but he does. I love history and could read it all day long with him, he prefers the science. Below he was completing one of his experiments involving baking soda, vinegar and a flame. I found this online that explains what we did.

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That’s certainly not everything we did, but a glimpse of what my camera captured over the final months of 2013! To see more weekly wrap-ups, visit…

kris_weekly-wrap-up11

Calendar Connections ~ Pond and River Life

It has been a long time since we have had a 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 future! She writes the Calendar Connections cards for us, I design and host them. We have a new Pond and River Theme Calendar Set for you!

Pond Theme 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! We do not have a pond premium set yet.


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.

image

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!

Calendar Connections Small Pond and River Life

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

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 14 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!