Sunday, August 31, 2014

Homemade Watercolor Day~ {Fun Friday}

I had a couple of projects lined up for the day.
First, coloring 25 lbs of rice using our watercolors and food coloring~
to make a sensory tub.
What better was to make two boring puzzles all the more fun!

Second, we drew and painted BD cards for dad~
The watercolors worked beautifully and were so vibrant!
I laughed to myself and thought this would be the closest thing
to me canning anything... liquid watercolors.
A simple and Fun Friday!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Routine, Learning Space, and Storage~

Our Routine is pretty much the same everyday.
Everyone is up with beds made and down for breakfast at 8.
{EK and SJ have been coming down early to start their work drawers... smart!}

8:45 Get Dressed, Teeth, and Straighten up Rooms
9:00 Try to get our Learning Day started with Bible and Prayer
        Calendar and Singing Time
        Five in a Row book and activity
        Chapter book reading
        {Often done outside if weather permits}
10:00 Work Drawers {Centers}
        I pull EK and SJ for one on one teaching time. I also check all         centers being completed as well as assignments completed by         older girls.
11:00 Work Drawers {Centers}
        I work with boys and bitty girls for teaching time as well.
        EK and SJ also have centers they can choose if they are                   waiting for me or finish up before the other kids~
Red: Books on cassette
Orange: Hot Dots
Green: Word Whammer and word cards
Blue: Playdoh and Sight Word lists for spelling
Purple: MUS blocks and cards for War
11:30 If work is complete, everyone is rewarded with technology             time {school apps only!}. 
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Bitties to bed and rest of us back for Science and History.
2:00 Everyone to rooms for quiet time.
3:00 Snack and Outside

Learning Space:
Most of our learning happens outside or in our sunroom~
View from all 4 corners.

Our calendar corner, math shelf, and library~
My copy center with all materials for the week~

I have a few places for materials not in use...
Hallway, basement, and cabinet~
SO I think that pretty much covers all things learning here at Ankerich Academy.
Going to be a great year and already off to a GREAT start!!!


Friday, August 29, 2014

2014-2015 Curriculum~

This year we have a third, first, two Ks, and two preschoolers.
I have prayed over our curriculum choices this last year and felt peace so we are not changing anything~
just adding handwriting {Handwriting without Tears} and writing {Brave Writer}.
I am sharing a list of choices for each child...

EK is a Third Grader!
Language Arts
     Five in a Row with Living Book and a chapter book add on
     Queen Language Lessons for grammar/lang
     Spelling Workout: Level B
     Handwriting without Tears- cursive {New}
     Writing- Brave Writer/Jot It Down {New}
     EK chooses her own reading material. She is very into some            new horse books my mom sent her plus all things non fiction! I      love having her narrate as much as she can remember.                      Sometimes I just listen and other times I record her narration.
     Math U See- Alpha
     Beautiful Feet Early American History
EK has 5 drawers that hold all her work and she completes her assignments on her own only needing me to check her work as she goes.
The purple drawer holds history and science which is done with the four older kids
so we wait and do those subjects after lunch.

SJ is a First Grader!
Language Arts:
     Five in a Row with Living Book and a chapter book add on
     Queen Language Lessons for grammar/lang
     Circle a Word
     Handwriting without Tears- cursive {New}
     Writing- Brave Writer/Jot It Down {New}
     SJ is reading quite well and I am giving her more independence      in choosing her books. We read together, work on sight words,        read phrases for fluency, and narrate too.
     Math U See- Primer
     Beautiful Feet Early American History
SJ has her assignments in her drawers and we work through them together most days.

Boys are in Kindergarten!
Language Arts:
     Five in a Row with Living Book: LA, Math, Science, Art, SS 
     Writing- Brave Writer/Jot It Down {New}
The boys work through their drawers {centers} while I work with big girls
and when they get to purple, I am reading to give them one on one.

Bitty Girls are in Preschool!
Language Arts:
     Before Five in a Row: covers all subjects
     Handwriting without Tears
     Kumon books
     Coloring Book
The bitty girls have the same routine as the boys
and truthfully sometimes they do their drawers and sometimes
they just aren't in the mood...
I am VERY okay with them making the choice to school or play.
Either way, they ARE learning and get to make the choice of HOW!

We explore music, art, and foreign language through many avenues.
There you have it...
the Curriculum we are using and next up~
Our Daily Routine, Learning Space, and my storage areas!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Boys' Kindergarten Work Drawers~ {Centers}

The boys are really doing well with their work drawers {centers}
and I chose to make their activities similar like I did the bitty girls.
I also moved their 'Mom' drawer to the bottom 
so I would be ready to work with them once done with big girls.

Red~ Patterning with Unifix Cubes
Orange~ Matching ABCs to mat
Green~ Puzzles
Blue~ Numeral Order and Counting Sets 1-10
Green~ Mom Activities: Journals, Explode the Code, Workbook, Handwriting w/out Tears

Having several children using the same books could make things a little expensive so I buy one book, cut with paper cutter, and make copies as we go.
When the next two need the same book, I will have it for them as well.
Making consumables work for multiple kids!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bitty Work Drawers~

Over the weekend I was able to get the bitties' work drawers changed out...
 Red: Sorting pom poms by color~

Orange: Name Work with clothespins and playdoh~

Green: Numeral matching and counting buttons~

Blue: Cutting paint swatches and gluing into journals

Green: Cutting, Coloring, Workbook, and Journals~
I found over the last couple of rounds the girls and boys need similar activities
so they can support and help each other.
Today this proved to be key with the girls especially since Holly
watches and mirrors everything Evie does!
They loved everything and wanted to do again this afternoon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Journals Organized~

As long as I have been teaching I have always used composition books for journals for lots of reasons.
From the beginning of our homeschool journey, this has been our choice as well.
We write everything in them, glue art in them, add little books we make,
and all subjects are in one place.
Journals work well for us just because it is a simple format...
one book for all things we want to keep or remember.
You can imagine in the future we will have a bunch so this weekend,
Scott bought me 6 different rolls of duck tape~
and I began coding the binding of the journals.
One roll for each child and all have been taped and dated.
It will be super easy for them to pull their old journals to look back
over their work.
I can tell you I LOVED looking through them today!
Sweet memories all organized and proof of all the work we do each day as we learn together!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Liquid Watercolors~

Now that I've discovered liquid watercolors I'm wondering why I
ever bothered with dry ones...
then I looked them up on Amazon and knew why~
I'm focusing on the bitty girls names right now and wanted to do THIS activity with them and needed the colors!
Pinterest to the rescue... Happy Hooligans
and I followed her directions to a T.
I gathered all our old markers, broke them open, and placed colors into jars of water~
They are curing on my kitchen window sill~
Each day they get a little darker and we can't WAIT to try them out!!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pete the Cat~ {Fun Friday}

I can pretty much guess Charlotte Mason would deem Pete the Cat twaddle literature
but I'm taking my mom's advice~
"It may be twaddle but IF they are reading, THAT is ALL that matters."
And since SJ LOVES Pete the Cat
I decided it should be the focus of our Fun Friday today!

Reading and Writing:
We began with SJ reading to us~

They all made on their own What Will I Wear Today? little song books. (wrote color words inside)
They even sang them to me!!!

EK and I read the other Pete the Cat books we own and we loved onto our Art activity for the day~
EK helped paint handprints and created Pete the Cat with them!

I made each one a reading stick and they sang Pete the Cat in twos
practicing many early literacy skills~
EK and SJ really taught lots of cool skills to the littles!

Next up was MATH!~
I found THIS post last night while on my computer and just happened to have a tray from $store in my school closet!
As we used up the milk this morning,
I had a brainstorm to make a Pete and combine it with the $tray game~
 Our Pete the Cat loves to eat unifix cubes and we followed directions on THIS post for little kids. 
EK and SJ used a die with numerals and had to add or subtract the two numbers~
 Once again during rest I set up the whole game on the table
and when everyone came down from rest, it was the chosen thing!

Each one painted a Pete with milk and blue food dye onto piece of bread~
We decorated with sprinkles, toasted, and ate with butter and cinnamon sugar.
A BIG thanks to EK for helping me make this day super special for her sibs!
Super Fun Friday and I am pooped!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Writing and Reading~

There are times when I post things on our school blog for no reason 
except I want to remember what the kids were doing at this point and time!
Today is one such day so bear with me.
Because of our Ice Bucket Challenge last evening~
{Read and watch it @ Everything Beautiful}

We had a Great idea for our journals~

 SJ has turned into a Pete the Cat lover and she is reading them so well.
I had her choose her favorite part, made a color copy so she could cut and dress Pete.
She also did a little copywork to record the lesson learned in the story~
 {Evie had to do it too!}

This week EK received a surprise in the mail from Memommy!
Being the horse lover she is made these new books all the sweeter~
She is reading up a storm and both girls love the activity books!
Thank you Memommy...
Our reading time for EK just got super fun!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Plans are for Changing~

Yesterday while we were out on our dr and Rosie adventure
 we happened upon this Beautiful USA print @ Hobby Lobby~
 Scott sat it on the floor in the school room last night and was discovered with excitement this morning!
These three sat down and SJ began reading all the ones she could and made up silly songs for the boys to sing.
{sorry for the potty word at the end...}
It renewed a spark for all things geography and we got out our Dr. Jean cd's to Sing to Learn!
 I put out a couple of map books and they were there for an hour~

Here we go with Plans are for Changing...
When I taught school every day, I had such explicit lesson plans it took longer to write them than execute them.
As a homeschool mom, I have to admit most of what we do is thought of about 10 min before we do it
{not including things in their work drawers}.
So when I mention Plans... I'm referring to our standard activities for one given day and it is not recorded any where
(we just know we do each day).

This morning SJ remembered her Reading activity drawer had a story about The Three Little Pigs so she asked me to read this book to her~
You can imagine all 6 wanted to hear so we piled on the sofa and I read to them.
They loved the voices and repetition as well as discussion of the story.
They were talking about how they could act it out.
I suggested they pretend the story this afternoon when they went outside and each began planning who they wanted to be.
{In my mind I'm thinking Scott can be the big bad wolf and get his blower out to blow down their houses... the boys will LOVE it!}
Get ready honey!!!
Evie wandered over to unifix cubes and called me to show the house she built~
 And since we were on a roll I just couldn't send them to their drawers for the Planned Work!
I folded a big piece of paper and numbered it so we could retell orally one more time.
Each took a paper and made a story map on their own level.
Just look at the bitties' maps above
and the more mature ones below~
We finished the morning with ipod/ipad school and called it a day.
As they came to the kitchen for lunch, 
I heard them saying... mom forgot to make us do our WORK!
Oh no little students of mine...
You WORKED, you just didn't know it. (Haha)
I'd say that was the perfect PLAN for this Wednesday!!!
And our walls say just that~

Monday, August 18, 2014

More Story of Ping~ {FIAR}

We missed a whole week of school due to sickness 
{although learning truly never stops}
but so far no one else has gone down! 
SO... this week we are continuing our row of The Story of Ping
and today we watched it on the computer~
The least fav subject for the big girls is math so I chose that as our focus for today.
Really want to show them math is fun!
We read the pages in the story with family information and discussed how we could 'show' the information.
Above you see a chart we made on our white board then pulled out math manipulatives...
First was unifix cubes that we placed on signs made with family members listed~
 Everyone worked on a number they could manage from bitties to boys to girls.
Once one to one was matched I had them snap so we could compare using lots of math vocabulary.
The cubes were an easy way to create a bar graph and talk about it.
Our next manipulative was links and followed same procedure...
matched to our sign then linked them to compare~
 Then our very favorite thing was using the balance scale.
I had EK&SJ place all their cubes on one side then each of the others added their's to other side...
lots of observations were made without my input at all~
Sometimes the best learning occurs when a foundation has been laid and free exploration is given~
Placed all the learning materials at their table today during rest
and look forward to watching/hearing what they discover!
Math might just be fun after all. :)


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Chalk Boards~

We want to thank Mr. Troy {our next door neighbor}
for two really cool chalk boards donated to our school room.
We've had them a couple of weeks and have kept them outside
mainly due to chalk dust and OCD mom doesn't go together but...
I overcame when I found an awesome post {can't find now} and copied!~
I made lines and circles on the board and the bitty girls used big paint brushes
to follow the strokes to wash off the lines.

The next day it was the boys' turn~
I had a gift bag with letter sponges and all the ABCs on the board.
They had to pull out a letter, name it, stamp in on top of the letter, then use a paint brush to trace/wash.
We named all the letters and sang the letter sounds.

Today it was the big girls turn.
I took their fry list of sight words and they wrote a few on the board~
They had to stamp the letters too then trace/clean the words off as they practiced reading as well as spelling.

LOVE that this very preschool activity was able to be extended
and meet the needs of all grade levels and abilities.