Tuesday, May 28, 2013

If We Can't Be in Hawaii~

with the bigs, then we will bring Hawaii to us! :)

The summer school schedule I shared here began today along with a new idea I thought of yesterday. Since the bigs are in Hawaii and the littles have so many questions... why not take a couple of weeks before vacation to learn more about one of our 50 states!

SO today we did just that and where to start than a couple of videos to jumpstart our curiosity then on to geography~

 We located on the globe, a flat map, and then printed our own. We learned about reading map keys and what info we could gather. We glued our map to a blue ocean and got painted it. The kids all dressed in swimsuits as if they were at the beach and we made up a song of our own~
Hawaii, Hawaii, a group of islands in the big blue sea.
Hawaii, Hawaii, a group of islands in the big blue sea.
SJ danced the hula... sort of. :)

Here are a few photos the Bigs have shared via Instagram~

 I'd say they are pretty much in paradise having the time of their lives! 
We may not be there in person but we are in Heart and Mind!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Curriculum Review and Update for next year~

I really think our school year went very well considering it was our first official one and we brought home two new littles with no language and experiences... very successful actually.

When I began this home school journey, I really didn't know where we were going or how we would get there.
I just knew God gave me a calling to pull my children into our home and allow them time to become a family of learners.
I knew each one needed time to love each other, learn how to be friends, and be each other's greatest advocate/helper.
I had to make a concious effort to make home our school... not bring school into our home {big difference} and huge for a public teacher of 18 years.
I had the priviledge of teaching to my indiviual children's learning style and not the middle of the group.
I chose if we hit the curricululm hard or maybe needed a slow free day of art/music/nature. 
I gave myself time to grow and learn from my own children... boy have they taught and taught and taught.

I do not take this time lightly~ I am savoring every moment {even the ones when the girls are trying to read, the boys are too loud, and little bit is in a crying fit on the floor}
    {First day of school}

Our curriculum choices were pretty strong:
Bible~ read through 3 different ones and wrote in notebooks
BFIAR & FIAR~ Loved the book/activity format
Writing~ wrote in journals all year
Grammar/Language~ First Language Lessons 1    
Spelling~ All About Spelling 
Explode the Code ~ Level 1, 1a, 2
Math~ Math U See: Primer and Alpha

{Last day of school!}

Next Year:
EK~ 2nd and SJ~ K
Switching to Beautiful Feet {History through Literature} (Both)~ Early American History ... EK and SJ have LOVED learning the states and presidents so much I think they will LOVE this curriculum!
Grammar/Language (EK)~ First Language Lessons Level 2
Writing (EK)~ Writing with Ease Level 2 
(SJ)~ Writing in journal again
Reading (EK)~ continue reading level with various books
(SJ)~ BOB books
Explode the Code (EK) 2 and 2 1/2, 3
(SJ) 1 and 1 1/2
Math~ Math U See (EK) Alpha
(SJ) Primer


Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer School~

Today was the LAST day of regular school for this year... how can it be? I have declared Fridays this summer as Free Fridays. Choose whatever you love and do it: make books, read books, sticker stories, centers, puzzles, playdough, any art project, chores around the house, computer time, IPad time, etc...
I had the girls get their clip boards and make a list of what they chose to do~
  To begin, SJ chose IPad {school apps} and EK chose computer {Starfall and Reading Eggs}... boys and Evie pretty much did what they usually do on a school day.
 Favorite computer programs~ Reading Eggs, Mathseeds, Starfall
Favorite Apps~  Best Apps For Kids {great place to start}
They also chose reading, writing, and helping me with chores!
With them occupied and happy, I was able to get my house cleaned and laundry finished! That is huge. Since coming home from China I have tried to do one cleaning chore a day and it takes me all week to get my house clean... don't like that. Want to get it done in one sweep and be done for a week.  
SO my week goes like this:
Monday~ mine and Scott's laundry, sheets, and towels
Wednesday~ boys' laundry, sheets, and towels
Friday~ girls' laundry, sheets, and towels {Cleaned today!}
Saturday~ iron
NOW for Summer School~
I set up one shelf to house all our materials as we will concentrate solely on Bible, reading, writing, and math.
Top basket~ the books we will read and an art activity for each day.
Middle shelf basket~ EK's reading and math materials.  
Middle shelf drawers~ book making materials.
Bottom shelf basket~ SJ's reading and math materials.
Bottom shelf drawers~ center activites.

Schedule: Mon~Thurs
Storytime with Art
Reading and Book Making
Math {book work and technology}
Fri~ Free Friday

Maybe you're wondering WHY summer school... my kids just do SO much better when we stay on a somewhat schedule. Mornings will be spent taking a leisurely start to school with afternoons spent resting and swimming/playing. 
Happy summer to all~ May it be the best ever!!!