It's THAT Time of Year...

by Dani

The time of year when my homeschool cabinet vomits all over the school table. In coming books stacked here. Out going books and papers over there. It looks something like this.

I do love it once everything is all neat and orderly again. :)

This coming year we will continue to use My Father's World as our main base curriculum. Ladybug with be doing  Learning God's Story (the 1st grade curriculum).

Butterfly and Cricket will be in Creation to The Greeks (CTG). These are the books we will be using for history and the read-a-louds. Butterfly will get an additional dose of history at our homeschool co-op where she will be taking a class on our state history.

For science this year we will use the MFW recommendation for CTG, Science in the Beginning. I plan to use it with all three older kids and not bother with the science included in the 1st grade kit. In addition, Cricket and Ladybug will be doing a nature study each week at co-op.

For art and music we will use the MFW recommendations for CTG. Plus Cricket and Ladybug will have an art class at co-op and Butterfly will take a music class.

For math we are going to shake things up a bit. Up to this year we have used the MFW recommendations of Singapore Math. While this "works" for Butterfly, she doesn't enjoy math and often takes a very long time to complete her lessons. And it just isn't working for Cricket. Math = tears and that must change. I was also interested in something that would free me up a bit as the teacher so this is what I have settled on as The Plan. We will continue to use Xtramath for our math drill and will use CTC Math, an online program, for everything else. I may also have Butterfly do a bit of work in the Singapore book I already have to see if I can get her ahead a bit.

In language arts we will also be deviating from the MFW recommendations a little bit. We will used English from the Roots Up for vocabulary. And Intermediate Language Lessons (Butterfly) or Language Lessons for Today (Cricket) for grammar. Cricket will learn cursive with Cursive Connections. But for spelling we will be going a different route for both kids. Cricket did so well with my switch to All About Spelling last year (went from getting 50% on spelling tests to 100%) that I have decided to switch Butterfly as well. I'll need to get her caught up to grade level so I plan to run her through Level 1 at light speed while using it as a review for Cricket since he completed just over half the book. By the end of the year I hope to have Cricket through levels 1 & 2 and Butterfly through level 3. I will also not be using the writing program recommended for Butterfly. Instead she will be taking an IEW writing class at co-op.

All in all I think this will be a fun year for us. Hopefully I will blog more about homeschooling this year then I was able to last year!

It Is Finished...

by Dani

We're done. Stick a fork in us. Close the book. Our school year is OVER!!! I am so very glad to be done. I've been suffering from a bit of burn out the last month and am ready for the break.

I did not do a good job of taking pictures the last half of this year but here are a few highlights.

While visiting France, we did our own version of Monet's lilies. I think they turned out very nice.

We also did shadow portraits. I think Cricket's makes him look like Mr. Incredible! LOL

And to finish off France, we made paper models of the Eiffel Tower.

While we were in Kenya, we learned to play mancala. It was a huge hit in the fun department.

And here is our volcano from our study of mountains.

Here are a few pictures from Ladybug's K work early in the semester. (I've been REALLY bad about not taking pictures of her things!)

In other year highlights, it's been a reading year. This one finished his first chapter book.

This one read her first Bob book.

And this one learned to love books in general!

And in case anyone wonders what Lil' Bug was up to during school... well, here he is!

Homeschooling With Littles

by Dani

Last post I shared some of our activities and learning over the fall semester for Butterfly and Cricket but they are not my only students. Ladybug is in Kindergarten and Lil' Bug is underfoot, er, always learning as well!

Ladybug is doing My Father's World - God's World A-Z. This is a unit study of the alphabet while teaching phonics. Here are a few pictures of the things she's been doing.


Lil' Bug plays while we work most of the time. One of his favorite things to do is play with his marble maze. Sometimes he does educational games on the computer or puzzles. But I do have some pre-school activities for him as well. The first few pictures show you what happens when you turn your back on a 3.5 year old for a few minutes!

And last of all a few random pictures of the older kids doing other, non-MFW activities.

2013 Field Trips

by Dani

I'm working on a long but abbreviated post about our 2013-14 school year so far. As much as I wanted to blog about every week or at least every country we studies in ECC, it just did not happen. As part of recording at least some of it, I'm posting the picture from our three field trips so far. 

We visited a cave which we will actually learn about in just a few weeks when we study France.

One of the neatest things about this cave was the river that runs through it.

We also had the chance to visit the aquarium and also see the penguins. It will be a bit before we study the ocean but we did see some animals and fish from Central and South America that we had studies.

One of the weeks when we were studying Brazil and the rain forest, we were able to visit the children's museum to see the traveling exhibit on rain forest! The kids really enjoyed out morning there playing scientist. :)  Cricket had fun being silly!

Summer School: Adventures weeks 30-34

by Dani

We finished up our 5 weeks of summer school a few weeks ago in the first part of Aug. And in the process finished up the last 5 weeks of Adventures in My Father's World. Because it was summer school (after all) it was a bit lighter then our normal school year. We did Bible and the three "R"s along with a condensed version of the history and hit the high points in science. That was it. Still it was fun (mostly). Some of the favorites from these last weeks of Adventures were the Transcontinental railway, all the inventors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the read aloud "Stories from Grandma's Attic". I also added a touch more modern history which Adventures skips by letting the kids watch the three American Girl movies from this era. We watched Samantha, Kit, and Molly during the last two weeks and enjoyed them greatly.

I didn't take many pictures but here is our state wall after we had finished all 50 states (sorry for the glare). 



And here are our Jesus name posters...  

I also wanted to share our timeline. I did it was a fold-able one this year and had both Adventures and the First Grade timeline on it.

Adventures was a really great year for us. And while I'm a little sad to move on, I'm sure we will have a blast this coming year as well!  

Adventures in My Father's World: Weeks 28 & 29

by Dani

In Bible we learned about Jesus as the Good Shepherd. We spent sometime learning about Christians as sheep and Jesus as our shepherd. We learned about King David being a shepherd and how he wrote song/psalms to God. And we spent some time reading different Psalms. We also begin a new read-aloud, Mountain Born about a young boy growing up on a sheep farm.

In music, we finished up our study of Sleeping Beauty. In science, we learned about force, energy, gravity, and magnets.

In history, we learned about Abraham Lincoln's later life and his presidency. We touched briefly on the Civil War and some major characters such as Robert E. Lee. We studied/learned a new song, The Battle Hymn of the Republic. We continued our state study with Kansas, West Virgina, Nevada, and Nebraska.

I'm afraid I didn't get any pictures from these two weeks because, like the kids, I'm ready for summer break which we begin when we finished this up. So I'll leave you with a picture of what Lil' Bug and Ladybug do sometimes while I teach the others.