Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kindergarten, Week 33

     Three more weeks!  Just three more weeks and our first year of homeschooling will be done.  Well, actually 4 more weeks because we're taking one week off for Spring Break.  I tried to convince my daughter to just push through but my Little Toughie wanted to take the same week off as her big brother and so it will be.

     This week we finished The Story of Dr. Doolittle.  It was such a wonderful read, even with the editing done by the publisher.  My daughter and I enjoyed this one very much.  The next book will have to be really interesting to top this one.

     We also took a field trip this week.  Our Classical Conversations group headed out to a local museum.  It was a perfect day for this outing.  At one point we stopped and looked at Renaissance furniture.  We happened upon a huge Baroque style bed.  The kids were given a picture and crayons to color their own bed.

     Below is her finished piece:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Curriculum Review: Time4Learning

     I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening.

     Time4Learning is on online educational curriculum and I'm excited to try it out, as I'm in the process of learning the best teaching methods for my kids, but especially my son, who has special needs.

     I'll share my thoughts at the end of the month!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kindergarten, Weeks 31 and 32

     I'm seeing a pattern in these last few weeks of school.  Do you see it?  I have so many things going on at once (not intentionally) that I haven't had the time to sit and write every week.  I'm having to catch up and summarize two weeks instead of one!

     Let's start with Week 31, shall we?  We continued our reading of Dr. Doolittle (LOVE it) and can't wait to finish it.  My husband just told me that there's a movie as well (not the Eddie Murphy one).  I didn't know that.  So, I'm going to see if I can get a hold of a copy and watch it with my Little Toughie.

     Our Bible studies continued into the life of Jesus.  This week we read a lot of the parables that Jesus shared with his disciples and the people, in hopes that they would gain understanding.  My daughter and I had a lot of deep discussions about the parables.  It is during this time that I wish my son were with us instead of at public school.  He's missing out on a more in depth, daily study of the Bible, but that may change!

     Week 31 was also the week of my Little Toughie's birthday.  One of her gifts was a Lego Friends toy which since insisted on putting together by herself.  I have to admit, that I usually don't like the Legos that are put together to create something specific, but I do like the idea of her being able to follow the directions in sequence and the sense of accomplishment she feels when she's done.  I opened it up and laid everything on the floor for her and let her be.  I only had to help her twice and it took her 45 minutes to get it done.

Her finished pieces!

     Week 32 coincided with our break from Classical Conversations, so we took one day "off".  Basically, I used that day to catch up on chores and just play with my daughter.  I completed some tasks from my to-do list, but didn't get to read as much as I had planned.  As you can see, writing up my weekly post was not done either!

     This week also brought us the to the Crucifixion of Jesus.  Now, this lead to even lengthier and deeper conversations with my daughter.  I even shed tears during our discussions (it was hard not too).  I mean, how could I read about what our Savior did for us and not be overwhelmed with the mixed feelings of sadness, gratefulness and love?  My daughter felt compelled to draw a pictures (one with a verse both kids have memorized):

     With that, I bid you a wonderful and blessed week.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Kindergarten, Weeks 29 and 30

     Once again, I find myself having to summarize two weeks of our homeschool experience in one post.  With planning my Little Toughie's birthday party, attending weekly play dates (there is ZERO socialization issues with homeschooling, despite what you may hear) and researching Bible and Language Arts curriculum for both kids for Fall, plus getting our summer plans in order, it's been hectic to say the least.  On top of that, my daughter is going to be in a stage performance of The Wizard of Oz, which requires acting and dance class.  They meet on different days of the week, but take up a chunk of time in our schedule.  Whew!

     In Week 29 we began reading The Story of Dr. Dolittle.  Originally written in 1920 by Hugh Lofting, apparently this particular version is abridged and some parts are cut out.  Nonetheless, we are enjoying this classic and are happy that it's in our curriculum.  I don't think I would have remembered to reach for this book had it not been included.  It's a delightful read and my daughter thinks the personification of the animals is quite amusing.  She told me that she didn't think animals could do a good job of cleaning a house!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Kindergarten, Weeks 27 and 28

     Oh, yes I did indeed miss posting last week.  I've been busy reviewing different curriculum lessons as well as planning my daughter's (and possibly son's) curriculum.  My days are filled with homeschooling, homework and after school activities, housework and dinner, and my evenings have been filled with pouring over books and resources for curriculum planning.  I want to have it done before the homeschool conventions season begins so that when we go I know exactly what to look for.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kindergarten, Week 26

     In a previous post I mentioned that I was taking a look at curriculum for the Fall and that I would likely go with Sonlight again.  I was wrong.  After taking a look at the Classical Conversations Cycle 3 schedule, I decided to create my own curriculum.  Next year's CC cycle will cover subjects and facts that my daughter could learn with hands on projects, art, notebooking, reading and copywork, thus I'm coming up with my own curriculum, purchasing just a few items.  I have most of it selected and am now just waiting to attend at least one homeschool convention to see if there's anything else I'd like to add or change.  I was very happy with Sonlight (as was my daughter) and I'm sure we'll go back to it when she gets older.  It's just that it can be quite expensive, and I just can't justify spending hundreds of dollars on a curriculum in these early years, especially if it does not tie in with our CC studies.

     This week we studied energy, electricity and Newton's third law of motion.  We also finished yet another wonderful book, The Light at Tern Rock.  My Little Toughie liked to hear that someone could live in the lighthouse.

     Or Bible studies continued into the life of Jesus and with Valentine's Day wrapping up our week we could not help but end it with this:

Free printable Courtesy of Whole Family Strong
     What else can I say?  May God bless and keep you.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Kindergarten, Week 25

     I just realized that our Classical Conversations co-op is in its final weeks.  We've just completed week 17 and there's 24 total.  Our homeschooling should wrap up very close to the end of CC.  I have a feeling the next couple of months are going to pass very quickly.

     Back in November our CC co-op participated in a community outreach project.  The families put together 1 gallon bags for the homeless which contained basic essentials, some snacks, a list of local shelters and organizations for assistance, Bible verses and a note or drawing from each child.  My daughter wanted to continue to hand out bags so it is our goal to pass out 2 bags a month.  Below is a picture of the bag we created together.  As we were shopping I let her pick out most of the things to place in there.

     The bags remain in my car within her reach so that if we happen to be driving past someone in need she can easily hand it out.  Isn't that a wonderful way to share God's love?  It also ties in with a side study of the Fruits of the Spirit that we're doing as a family.  We pick one fruit, focusing on it for two weeks and asking God for guidance as we put in into practice.  This week (and next) is kindness.