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

Homeschool Portraits -9892

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.

MOH -0725 MOH -1192

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

Mystery of History -9942

Mystery of History -9943

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.

MOH -1510

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

MOH -1089

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!

Christopher Columbus -0755 Christopher Columbus -1197

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.

Geography -0815 Geography -0955

 

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!

DEAR -0824 DEAR -0969DEAR -1161 DEAR -1716

 


7th Grade

Homeschool Portraits -9936

 

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}.

7th Grade -1171

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.

7th Grade -0022

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

7th Grade -0026

7th Grade -0966

7th Grade -1076

7th Grade -1496

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.

7th Grade -0832 7th Grade -0942

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.}

Homeschool Room -9828

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

Homeschool Portraits -9904

 

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.

3rd Grade -0749

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

3rd Grade -0867

 

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

3rd Grade -0784

 

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.

3rd Grade -0753 3rd Grade -0828

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.

3rd Grade -0940 3rd Grade -1168

 

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.

3rd Grade -1096

 

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.

3rd Grade -1828


Kindergarten

Homeschool Portraits -9924

 

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.

Kindergarten -0880

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

Kindergarten -1321 Kindergarten -1322Kindergarten -1326

 

 

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.

Integrity Time Bible -1175

 

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

Kindergarten -1338

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

Kindergarten -1340

 


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

Basic RGB

{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.

Little Blast Air Pressure -9308

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.

Little Blast Air Pressure -9313

 

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

Little Blast Air Pressure -9317

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!

Little Blast Air Pressure -9479

Little Blast Air Pressure -9485

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

Little Blast Air Pressure -9500

Little Blast Air Pressure -9490

 

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

Little Blast Air Pressure -9509

 

 

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.

Little Blast Air Pressure -9514

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

Little Blast Air Pressure -9518

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

Little Blast Air Pressure -9529

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

Little Blast Air Pressure -9534

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

Homeschool-Life_thumb1_thumb

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!

Australia Continent Box -0233

Australia Continent Box -0238  Australia Continent Box -0241

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!

Australia Continent Box -0226

Australia Continent Box -0229

 

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.

2nd Grade Homeschool -0995

 

See our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for this year!


 

Krash--2nd-Grade_thumb1_thumb

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.

2nd Grade -0258

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.

2nd Grade Homeschool -0769 2nd Grade Homeschool -0775

 

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…

2nd Grade -0251

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

2nd Grade -0573

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.

2nd Grade -0579

2nd Grade -0582

2nd Grade -0583

2nd Grade -0585

 

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

2nd Grade Homeschool -0720

 

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

2nd Grade -0500

 

 

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

2nd grade -9577

2nd grade -9572 2nd grade -9774

 

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

2nd Grade Homeschool -1763

 

A mini model of the Earth…

2nd Grade Homeschool -1785

2nd Grade Homeschool -1788

 

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!

2nd Grade Homeschool -1440

2nd Grade Homeschool -1454

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

2nd Grade Homeschool -1461

 


 

PacMan-6th-Grade_thumb1_thumb

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.

6th Grade -0588

6th Grade -0592

 

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.

6th Grade Homeschool -0859

6th Grade Homeschool -0867

6th Grade Homeschool -0873 6th Grade Homeschool -0884


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!

A Peek Into Our Homeschool ~ October 2013

Homeschool-Life_thumb1

Woo-Hoo!  My goal is to keep up regularly with a Weekly Wrap-up post, this is my 2nd this year, I am off to a good start!

{disclaimer: affiliate links are used below}

This year we don’t do much as a whole group, it just wasn’t working.  The boys have been participating in some of Ladybug’s Integrity Time lessons, I “make” Krash sit in and I invite Pac when I think he might like it.  Recently we did the letter D for Determination lesson and explored magnets together {they stick with it}, as an object lesson.

Integrity Time -9311

Integrity Time -9305

 

See our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for this year!


 

Krash--2nd-Grade_thumb1

I decided to make a few changes to K’s curriculum.  Although we use Calvert through a cyber school, I have a lot of freedom and basically use what I want and change if needed.  I am very blessed with my situation.  One thing I have always disliked about Calvert is their Calvert Script, so with Pac I used a basic cursive and with Krash I have decided to use Logic of English’s Cursive Handwriting program. I wanted a plan and this gives it to me.  I did TONS of reading prior to choosing this one and purchasing it.  I am really happy so far and he loves it.

We are learning 2 letters per day, going through the sequence of using the salt tray,

2nd grade -9390

A dry erase marked on large lines…

2nd grade -9382

Finally the pencil and paper practice.  We each circle the letter we think he wrote the best each time.

2nd grade -9388

 

I have decided to let go of the phonics and spelling program that comes with Calvert.  It’s not bad, I just like All About Spelling and All About Reading better. I was having him do both, but realized that at this point it’s not necessary.  We are now doing two AAS 2 lessons per week and three AAR 2 lessons per week.

Below he was using the AAR/AAR word cards to work on alphabetizing to the second letter.

2nd Grade -9266

I am keeping the literature portion of Calvert, which brings in sight words, vocabulary words and awesome stories and themes. I really like this aspect of Calvert.

One thing I love about Calvert this year is the option of using Singapore’s Math in Focus. We are in LOVE so far, it is a great fit for Krash and for my teaching style! This is an aspect of Calvert I am definitely keeping and love.  The hands on aspect is a big win for both of us.  I won’t say it’s always easy, he does struggle with some of the intense methods that are teaching the WHY behind the problem.  However, I am glad he is being taught this way, I think it will benefit him in the long run.

Below was an activity he did, to find the missing number in the addition problem.

2nd Grade -8747

 

Our Continent Box is a fun extension to our homeschool, Krash likes working towards his goals on his Continent Box Challenge.  Below he completed the one of the challenges from our Australia Continent Box to create the continent out of a material of his choice, he chose rainbow blocks!

2nd Grade -9315

2nd Grade -9317

Here he was matching the 3 part animal cards

2nd Grade -9320

 

Recently Krash had to write a story, to work on writing structure {we use Calvert’s writing portion}. He uses a Try-It notebook for words he has difficulty spelling.  It’s a technique I used when I was a classroom teacher.  He tries a word on the left side and then brings it to me and I write it correctly on the right side. This enables him to use his phonics and spelling skills while also having the correct end result to reinforce correct spelling.

2nd Grade -8511

He had to read his final story aloud, and since it was about Minecraft, PacMan was an eager listener!

2nd Grade -9006

2nd Grade -9011

 

We are using Calvert’s science and have been learning about seeds and plants. We soaked bean seeds and investigated them the next day.

2nd Grade -9177

He learned to identify the seed coat and the embryo.

2nd Grade -9183

2nd Grade -9190

2nd Grade -9212

Ladybug joins in when she thinks it looks fun!

2nd Grade -9192

Best part of homeschool, the cat gets to come!

2nd Grade -9001

 


 

PacMan-6th-Grade_thumb1

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

Below you can see his study notebook.  Calvert uses assessments every 20 lessons and they can sometimes be a bit overwhelming in my opinion.  In order to stay prepared throughout the entire 20 lessons, he utilizes printed flashcards I prepare in advance.  I use the free flashcard creator software here, and print them out and file them in a study notebook. As we read he looks for key terms and writes the page number and definition on the paper.  In the end, before the tests, we cut them out and work through the flashcards to prepare!

6th Grade -8749

 

He is currently reading City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction, and learning a lot.

City

This book as amazing drawings, I learned SO much when I read it this past summer to prepare to teach him!  He is enjoying it, but he much prefers novels with more of a story line.


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

kris_weekly-wrap-up1