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.

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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…

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A Peek Into Our Homeschool ~ October 2013

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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.

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See our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for this year!


 

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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,

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A dry erase marked on large lines…

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Here he was matching the 3 part animal cards

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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.

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

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

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He learned to identify the seed coat and the embryo.

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Ladybug joins in when she thinks it looks fun!

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Best part of homeschool, the cat gets to come!

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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! 

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!

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

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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…

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A Peek Into Our Homeschool ~ 2nd & 6th Grade

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It’s a new school year and once again I will attempt to keep up regularly with a Weekly Wrap-up post.  I will probably fall off of the wagon again, but it’s worth a shot!  This year we have a 6th graders, 2nd grader, and preschooler. I hope to share every couple of weeks or so.

{disclaimer: affiliate links are used below}

A common view these days…

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I am using the Picture Smart Bible lessons with both of my boys. 

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My younger son colors.  They both LOVE it and so do I!Picture Smart Bible -7311

The Picture Smart Bible will take us through each book of the Bible, I love the teaching manual {it tells me what to say}, Bible passages we read together, and of course the fun element of artwork!  Krash actually begs to do it, I was surprised!

I am not combining many subjects as I did last year, It just doesn’t work well for my personality and teaching style.  This year I am mostly separating individual subjects.  Below I will share a peek into the older boys’ school!

See our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for this year!


 

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Krash is in second grade and is moving along at a very typical pace.  I am so grateful that God led us to homeschool, I think he would be falling behind in traditional school.  Thankfully I am able to adjust and teach in a way that helps him.

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This year Calvert switched to using Singapore’s Math in Focus {they also have their own math program}. We are in LOVE so far, it is a great fit for Krash and for my teaching style!

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It is filled with hands on work, and we even increase the amount since it benefits Krash’s learning style.  Here’s he’s using pieces from our Spielgaben set in a tens frame.

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There is a large written, and oral part too, which I like.  These are more challenging for K, but he is doing well.  Math is taking about double the time I had scheduled but I  am finding he just needs more time with me to grasp things. I am adjusting as needed for this.

Below you can see his math mini-office, which actually was Pac’s when he was in lower grades!

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We bring hands on into other worksheets too. He isn’t fond of writing, and instead of pushing I let him use materials like this to mark answers sometimes.

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We are using Calvert’s science and have done 2 experiments so far, which he loves. First was about how a frog balances on a lily pad…

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The second was mixing oil and water…

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My oldest son is a joy to teach and is really transitioning well into more independent learning.  Homeschooling this young man in the early years was anything BUT easy, so I am very grateful that we found our groove back in about 4th grade.  We have our moments, but overall he is a great student.

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He is currently reading Theras and His Town, and learning a lot about ancient Greece. I am learning a lot too!  This is a simple read {I read it over the summer to prepare}, but very engaging and educational!

 

He loves science and his first experiment was about dissolving hard colored candy…

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I had him explain the results and experiment to his captive audience…

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We were shocked to see making Oobleck and experimenting with it was his second experiment!  We had just made Oobleck a few weeks prior!

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He had to invent his own experiment and process, he chose to add vinegar to see how it would change.6th grade Homeschool -6681

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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…

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Weekly Wrap-Up for a Few Weeks

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Our Christmas homeschool schedule is in full swing.  For us that means I am doing a LOT with Pac to get ahead before the break, nothing planned with Krash {he’s already ahead on his curriculum}, and nothing planned with Ladybug.  I have Christmas school for the little 2 and the big guy joins in periodically.

Lately I have been asked quite a few times about the un-chaotic look of our schoolroom, people wondering if it is always so neat and orderly.  I literally laugh every time I get asked this, as the framing of a photo does a lot of cover up!  I put on my wider angle lens and snapped a typical view for those of you wondering.  This was about 2 hours into a school day.  You can see the Christmas sensory bin everywhere, Christmas stickers galore {the little guys were making cards for their gymnastics coaches}, and various other messes-I think I spy a train track in the background.

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For comparison, this shot was taken just minutes after a school day began, major difference, huh?Christmas Sensory Bin-5022

Our schoolroom is messy and energetic for most of the day and we clean it up together in the end.  Usually once after school, or before lunch if I am on top of my game.  Then the kids often play in here in the evenings and they clean it up before bed.  I have things organized for self-clean up, they all know where things go and how to clean it up.  Labels and bins save the day!

On another note, to let you know that I am indeed a typical mom and not some supermom, we are officially Truth in the Tinsel drop-outs this year. We made it strong until about day 10 and then sickness and busy-ness set in and we just fell too far behind. I should have known to just pick one thing this year, but I loved Truth in the Tinsel so much I wanted to do it again.  Oh well, live and learn.Christmas Homeschool-5017

We have kept up with our Jesse Tree Calendar Connections, these are simple and the kids have enjoyed using the eBook even on their own.  The best thing that we have kept up with is The Sparkle Box, the kids have been browsing the catalogs and talking about the money in the box almost daily.  They are all 3 super excited to open it on Christmas Day.

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Krash is really moving along with his spelling and reading. He is mastering all of his weekly Calvert spelling tests. We always practice his words on the iPad with the Word Wizard app before his test.

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He is a very typical early reader.  He struggles just enough that I wouldn’t say it comes easy for him, nor would I say he is a struggling reader.  He does enjoy reading, but does get frustrated sometimes when he can’t read it with the ease he desires!  We talk about building up his brain muscle with practice the same way he works on his ab muscles with his V-ups!

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My favorite is that Ladybug LOVES to come over when he is reading and listen to him.

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He is struggling a bit with digraphs, remembering which is which.  I printed out this helpful digraph chart, and also this penguin digraph sorting game.  I let him earn Sparkle Box coins for every word he got right!Christmas Homeschool -5147

Which also turned into a math lesson as he counted his money as we went along!

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This is where I pin all of my reading finds, in case you want to peek or follow!image

He about fell out of his chair when I announced that we were playing this game for school time AND eating the M&Ms on the tree when complete!Christmas HomeSchool-5203


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My oldest guy is moving right along with 5th grade, honestly he is a joy to teach most of the time. I am so thankful for him and the way he has matured over the last year or so.

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He is such a servant hearted boy, makes my momma-heart melt.  He was absolutely THRILLED about the Sparkle Box idea and has been browsing and thinking about what we will do with the money the most. He is such a good example to the younger two.Homeschool -5047


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

Weekly Wrap-Up

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It’s been a week of sitting back and really taking notice of the season of life we are in.  We are growing out of the toddler phase and more into the preschooler phase with Ladybug, and the boys are way more used to this “school thing” nowadays. I used to find myself isolating 2 kids to focus on 1, but the need for that is slowly disappearing.  It still helps a lot, mostly when I need to sit and read science or history with Pac, but the need for separation is less.  My view these days often looks like this…

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Ladybug loves to be right in the action, and will often ask to sit with me at my desk while I work with the boys.  We often spend her Tot School time on the floor playing with her in the morning, but she will request to join in throughout the day too.  I always have something ready for her to do.

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Thankfully the boys are used to her drama, and her many potty breaks, they have learned to go with the flow of homeschooling. If she has a fit, or screams because she has to go POTTY,  we just pause for a break, and get right back to our work.  I am the one struggling with the frustration of the interruptions these days, but I too am getting better.


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Krash is really moving along with his spelling and reading.  He is mastering all of his weekly Calvert spelling tests.  We always practice his words on the iPad with the Word Wizard app before his test.Homeschool-4266

The sight word printables I made for his Calvert sight words are really helping him.  After working with them in 3 different ways, seeing them throughout the Calvert stories he reads during the week, plus on his reading work pages, he has mastered almost all of the new words with ease!Homeschool -4112

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He is flying through math also, and plays several of our favorite math apps to keep his math facts sharp in his mind.  Our favorite math facts apps are Math BINGO {below}, Math Drills, and Operation Math.Homeschool -4265


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We are moving along in 5th grade, and I even snapped a picture of the biggest boy this week!  This is a great one because I caught his desk CLEAN, something he struggles with! Every now and then I have to get him to do a clean sweep of the desk and get it back in order.  He always loves it after he does this {so do I}. 

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