Thursday, July 30, 2015

EK and Cursive~

I just want to remember the day EK used cursive just because she wanted to~
and not because I made her!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Kindergarten Girls~ {Cont. with Centers}

I start school with the other 4 kids about 9am
and there are areas other than the K girls' room where they can play/learn.
{Remember I am getting their Table Work done before breakfast!}

The first is in our Sunroom with a shelf full of activities~
 Playdough, Kinetic Sand, Dot Painters, Art Supplies, Legos~
 Math Manipulatives, Games, Puzzles, and Magformers~
 I moved their kitchen downstairs and it has become the new favorite for everyone~
 They can sit in the rocker and read library books as well as create art @ the table.

In the school room their shelf is full of pegs, ABC puzzles, Retelling Brown Bear~
 ABC fishing, Hot Dots, Fishing Puzzle, Geoboards~
 Little People, Calendar, and a couple of resources for ideas~
They have plenty of K choices to keep them engaged while I'm working with the older kids.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Kindergarten Girls~ {Curriculum}

The bitty girls are beginning their first year of Kindergarten
and as I chatted with a friend from Texas about homeschooling our kids,
I mentioned maybe schooling the K girls when they came down for the morning.
They are up about 7am and willing to engage so why not?
Amber agreed and I jumped right in Thursday morning!

I NEED my morning time so I got up @ 5:30, had my quiet time and yoga,
then I heard the bitties heading down the stairs right after 7.
I had already set up the table in the sunroom for them
and as soon as we hugged and filled love tanks,
we headed to the table~
 I had their Journals opened with name written and line underneath.
They traced over and copied on the line.
Today we practiced drawing a house and wrote the word.
I love Kumon books and the girls worked on the cut and paste one.

I am using Before Five in a Row with the girls this year and this week it has been The Blue Boat.
I read the book each day and by mid week the girls are reading along with me.

They also practiced letter formation with Handwriting Without Tears~

To make letter sounds a little more fun and 'hands on', we are making alphabet handprint art each day~
 Evie LOVES painting her own hand!
For math, we used unifix cubes to practice counting sets and making patterns~

 I am also using some little Scholastic readers to teach the girls Nursery Rhymes
and they are learning many emergent readers skills.
Some of the others are joining right in when they get up each morning too~
The best part of this whole thing is having the Ks done before breakfast
and the rest of their day free for their choosing.

{They do come and go into the school room especially if I am reading a story
or working on a project and we are happy to have them!!!}

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fun Friday~ {Venice, Gondolas, & Monet}

Today was one of those rabbit trail days.
and we learned the people travel by gondolas via canals of water.
We tried our hand at making our own but turned out more like canoes. :)
As we were researching gondolas and watching videos of them,
we discovered that a VERY famous artist Claude Monet had painted a gondola.

Thus the rabbit trail... we took some time to learn all about Monet's life
and lingered through many of his beautiful masterpieces.
We kept coming back to the Water Lilies and The Water Lily Pond~
 We found a wonderful art activity and I just happened to have all the supplies we needed:
paper, watercolors, green paper, and coffee filters.
We began with the background and built our masterpieces from there~
It was a beautiful Fun Friday full of Venice, Gondolas, & Monet!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Angleo~ FIAR Vol 4 {Rome, Italy}

The next selection we will be rowing about Italy is Angelo 
and it takes place in Rome which is where Mill is studying.

Here are a few photos she has shared with us~

Here are two of her watercolor projects completed~
Just breathtaking!!!
We know she is having the trip of a lifetime but we are so ready to have her home!

Today we learned that the numbers on our kitchen clock are ROMAN~
 And made our own charts with everyone working at their own level.
We also decided to take school outside for a Nature Hunt~
It was just what the crew needed!!!

Today for our lunch audio book we began~
and we LOVE it!!!
We may need to pull out watercolors tomorrow too!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Bitties Learn their ABCs~

I have started a wonderful project with the bitty girls to help them learn the alphabet...
It has been a BIG hit~
 They both have their own ABC journal we are making this in~
Evie is even copying the words of the song underneath.
I think it will be a very cute keepsake when it is all done!!!
I think we will even continue with numerals as well.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Exploring Italian Architecture~ {Fun Friday}

Today for Fun Friday we decided to research famous architectural structures in Italy~
 After learning and watching videos about each building,
we printed them and glued into our journal discussing various architectural characteristics...
Columns, Spires, Domes, Arches, Statues, etc~
 While working we also listened to beautiful Italian music... felt like we were at Olive Garden :)~
 Once we had a little knowledge of the buildings, we chose a place to build
and name them~
 Oh and I made them an 'authentic' Italian lunch... haha!
It was a very FUN Friday!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Writing Workshop~

One of the foundations we hold fast to each school day is writing in our journals.
EK & SJ have gotten to a place where they need a starter every once in a while
so this week I gave them a couple~
SJ is in love with Little Bear books right now and after a retelling I had her
choose her favorite page which I coped.
We glued into her journal and she completed copywork~

The boys are drawing and writing their own words with lines for support
as well as a little help sounding out~

This week was the first time ever EC had written her name
and we were SO proud of her~
They both drew a picture and wrote words.
I love seeing how each individual is progressing and growing.
Payne is the only one that LOVES writing stories but everyone loves looking
back at all the ones they have written...
The best keepsake of all!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Meet the Students~

EK is in Fourth and SJ in Second this year~

PC and WP are in First Grade~

EC and HM are big Kindergarteners and will remain so for probably two years~

I've got the cutest class ever if I do say so myself~
Cheers to a New Year~ 2015/2016!!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Setting Up the Day~

Setting up for the day before the kids come down in the mornings is proving to be time well spent on my part.

The kids have their suppies in a caddy on the shelf~

I go in each morning and put their work on their clipboard~
 They are able to choose the order of what they do when as long as it gets done~

We usually begin with Bible time~

Followed by Clipboard Time which includes Journals and workbooks
as well reading FIAR or a book of their choice and then centers
for the boys and bitty girls~
These are done while the older girls finish all their work.
We are finding our new groove after some time off over the last two months.
I will share more of our room, schedule, and curriculum throughout July.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Yes, I Let my Kids Text~ {3 Benefits to Texting}

I have a love/hate relationship with my kids on screens.
One side says 'a little is a lot' and the other side says 'it's the future'
so I work hard to find a happy medium.
That being said we have an Ipod or Ipad for each child
and they are mainly used for 'school apps'.
{I have some Pinterest pages with my favs listed}

On Mon-Friday they get 30-45 minutes a day for school apps only
and on Sat-Sun 1 hour for MINDCRAFT don't you know!

The only exceptions are doctor waiting rooms or long trips in the car
and they have free choice although no wifi sure limits them. :)

The other exceptions are listening to audio stories anytime they want
{LOVE Boxcar Children the most}
or following youtube video to create something fabulous like bandaloom thingys.

Because the kids have three older siblings that live out of our house,
we have allowed EK to text them from a free app Viber.
She has loved having the freedom to talk to them when she wants.

All of the screens are connected to MY Itunes account so I am notified when texts are sent and received.
There are no worries it will be abused or dangerous.
We only have numbers for immediate family members and the kids must be careful
of how often and what time they are choosing to text.

Just this week I added another texting app for SJ~
She is SO excited to be in the BIG world like EK!

There are SO many things positive things gleaned from this new technology...
But here are just 3 Main Ones~

1. Reading: The whole thing is about reading from finding the contact, to reading the texts, to xing out the ads because I choose the free apps.

2. Writing: The whole thing is about writing too. I have watched them sounding the words and seeing that three words pop up for them to choose from. That is multiple choice if I've ever seen it. :) They are learning about punctuation and grammar as well.

3. Communication: The whole thing is about communication... getting their message across without excess of words. It has been a great learning experience for us all.

We are still finding a good rhythm for this new privilege as far as time goes.
Right now I am letting them check their mail about twice a day with one to two responses.
It is strengthening relationships and filling in gaps with everyone traveling this summer.
I tell you right now I am THANKFUL for texting with my two girls in 
Italy and Arizona!!!

Would LOVE to know how you manage screentime in a simple manner!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A New School Year~

Our New School Year begins on July 1 and this year it was the day Mimi left for Italy~
 We said a very sad see you soon and decided it would be great if we 'went' to Italy too.
She is sending us photos as she's out and about all over Rome~
She attending class two days a week and field tripping on two days.
In order to feel like we are there with her,
we chose Papa Piccolo for our FIAR book~
Our first thing was to locate in our Maps book and on the globe.
We made a map and coded it as well the flag.
SJ also allowed us to hear the national anthem. 
A video was sent to Mimi before traveling giving her a glimpse of the trip
so we watched as well and grew excited of what she would do~
 We have also learned about Marco Polo~
as well as some of the sights she is seeing like the Colosseum~
We have loved reading Papa Piccolo over and over and have noticed a parallel
theme between it and The Family Under the Bridge~
Some families don't exactly match the traditional mold (like our family)
and that difference is what makes the world so wonderful.
It's okay to be different... All that matters is the Love we build it on!!!
We miss you Mimi but feel close to you as we learn
as much as we can about Italy!!!
{We plan to carry this theme through the month of July}