Monday, August 31, 2015


One of the best strategies for fluency and reading is learning sight words~
Payne loves building them with clothespins and reading as quickly as he can.
Great practice for sure!!!
{His favorite thing is to spot them in other places! THAT is real reading!!!}

Friday, August 28, 2015

Cook-a-Book Friday: Dinosaurs~ {Science}

Everyone has loved our Dinosaur chapter in our Apologia Science Book: Land Animals on the Sixth Day.
Our Mystery of History was awesome explaining when Dinosaurs may have been on earth~
We watched Digging Up Dinosaurs Reading Rainbow 
which reminded us of a fabulous Dinosaur Museum we visited in Fuzhou
so we pulled out SJ's China videos
which was perfect because tomorrow is SJ Day (5 years!)~

Our book was one the boys love so we went through and labeled all the dinosaurs we have~
 We also did all the puzzles we own~
 For art we painted stegosauruses and decorated them~
 In the Reading Rainbow we learned all about fossils so for our Cooking project
we used sugar cookies, pressed dinosaurs into them, and painted with colored milk~
 It was a huge hit and the process was SO much better than the product~
Great thing is... doesn't matter if the cookies all baked into big blobs.
They tasted delicious and made our day SO FUN!!!
Looking forward to finishing up this chapter next week.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Making Books~ {Writing}

Brave Writer is going well for us this year
but is there any better indicator of a confident writer than this...
 I had asked SJ to write a story in her journal and she asked if she could make a book.
She worked on it for two days.
It turned out precious and she even created a book cover for it~
 The About the Author page... priceless!

SJ loves making stories~
She loved reading to us and we clapped like crazy!!!
Believing you're a writer and illustrator is more than half of what it takes to do it!
YAY SJ!!! We believe in you too!!! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Nature Walk Wednesday~

Today we took the morning for a long Nature walk around our yard~

 And found SO many treasures~

We came back to display them on our trays~
and then sketch~
 Next we searched our guide books for species names and added to our pages~

Everyone did a fantastic job~
Look forward to more days just like this one!!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

New Centers~

I am going with a new strategy this year...
Fill the drawer with more things than they could choose on a given day.
When one activity is chosen over and over for a week, 
it will be taken away so less favored ones are chosen as well.

Boys' Centers~
Listening: {Narrate story after listening}
Puzzles: {Friendly race to finish}

 Clothespins Sight Words: {Read and Spell Words}
 Uno War: {Deal cards and flip one to determine more and less}
 Spot It: {Visual Discrimination}
 Tag Readers: {Reading with Support}
 Zingo Sight Words- {Practice words learned with BOB readers}

Bitty Girls' Centers~
Puzzles: {EC helping HM learn the ropes}
 Jr Tag Readers: {Reading with support}

ABC match: {ABC order}
 TAG Readers: {Reading with Support}
 Spot It-: {Visual Discrimination}

 Flower Match: {Math- Matching Patterns}
 Listening- {Tell me the Story Girls: Retelling}
These centers are chosen as they finish up table work and our group time.
The wonderful thing is they choose to do these activities in the afternoons and weekends too!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Draw. Write, Now~

I felt it was time to give the 4 youngest a little drawing instruction.
I used this book with EK and SJ and they loved it.
I used the printable found @ 1plus1plus1equals1~
I printed two to a page and we glued them into our journals.
I drew on the whiteboard as they followed.
They did awesome and then copied the words.
I had the boys give me an extra fact about chickens as well.
This will be a daily activity for Journal time until we have finished the book.
I really like that it gives the kids confidence with drawing, reading, and writing.
A win win all the way around!!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fun Friday Turned Cook-a-Book Friday~

Do you know the Laura Numeroff books?
They are have a circular theme and are sequence oriented.

Earlier in the week I had begun thinking about a cooking activity for Friday
and came up with Cook-a-Book Friday.
Then as I was scrolling on IG I saw someone making homemade donuts for their child's birthday.
{I see my own circular story beginning!}...

I remembered making donuts with my kids when I was a teacher so I looked it up online.
Once I found the recipe, I looked for a book to go with it and found
If You Give a Dog a Donut...
(which we don't have)
and that took me to YouTube.
All this starting coming together since we had spent tons of time acclimating Macy into our school day~
She needed a celebration and we did wonder if she liked donuts so~
 We watched the book and gathered all the others we have.
I pulled up the recipe and EK read us the directions while SJ gathered the ingredients~
We used a playdough cone to make the holes and dropped them into the canola oil.
Once they were golden brown
we put one in Macy's bowl and she gobbled it down in a sec~
 For our donuts we drizzled chocolate icing and heaped on the sprinkles~
 I had everyone do one math sheet from their caddy
then we watched the story again and sequenced it on a circle.
This was super easy for EK and SJ but they helped the bitty girls keep up~
With reading, writing, and math done as well as cooking, we called it a FUN Friday
and decided Cook-a-Book is here to stay!!!
Can't wait to think up something for next Friday!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A New Chapter Book Reader~

SJ has finished her first Magic Treehouse and started on her second~
LOVE seeing EK set the example for SJ and then the rest follow as well.
They get a big stack of books and take them wherever they go. :)
The Reading Life!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


We have given Macy very little of our house since a few of the kids are fearful
but today we allowed her in the schoolroom~
 And she did pretty well~
Kids are learning the more rubs they give, the calmer Macy becomes.
Good girl, Macy!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Big Mystery Box~

UPS dropped off a package that I DID NOT order. :)
I was curious and opened it but kept from the kids.

I took it into the school room and introduced A Big Mystery Box game.
I had them first guess who they thought sent it
and then what they thought was in there~
The suspense was so exciting!
We opened to find a collection of 28 Magic Treehouse books from Memommy~
It was like Christmas morning.
Everyone was SO excited and grabbed ones they liked.
EK has already plowed through about 3 of them and SJ is reading her very first chapter book!
What a wonderful surprise from the best Memommy in the world!
Thank you mama... we love you SO much!!!

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Tree Frog~ {Nature Study}

Of course just when I get our routine nailed down on paper
I realize it doesn't exactly gel with my kiddos so I made some changes again.

EK always takes care of the pets after breakfast and loves to check the skimmer.
Today she found a tiny little tree frog, named him Tubby, and created him a home~
 She immediately went into research mode and decided Tubby was a Gray Treefrog.
Her spelling assignment was writing a story so I had her record some of the things she had learned~
 The research continued into her reading time and then~
 EK really wanted to go back to our previous Science curriculum so we did~
and our place left off was frogs... I think it was meant to be!!!
Nature study and Science curriculum colliding perfectly!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Record Keeping~ {Notebooking and Journals}

Over the years of public schooling I had children keep journals
as a keepsake of the growth made throughout school year.

Now as a homeschool mom I have found this practice just as positive!

We put everything in them from stories we write to art projects we make
to maps we label to photos/letters we want to keep.
There are times when we have a geography or science lesson we create a notebooking page with
so we glue it in our journals as well.

Some journals last half a year, a whole year or more...
it just depends on how often it is used.

The best thing about them is seeing the kids pick them up and look back at their own growth.
EC finished up her journal this week and as I was filing it away I decided it would be a Fun Friday activity to pull them out for a Journal Party~
I was right!
They laughed their heads off as they read old stories and looked at young photos of themselves.
It was neat for them to notice how many more EK had than them
and say... oh she's been home longer. :)

I am convinced journals are the best record keeper because the kids love them
and they are also super easy to store!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Reading with Mom Baskets~

I have time in our morning routine where I read with each couple of kids or one on one with EK/SJ.
I organized little baskets with books needed for each group.
I am doing Before Five in a Row with the K girls as well as teaching all the nursery rhymes~
 The boys are learning to read with BOB books and they love me to read Winnie the Pooh to them~
 SJ is hooked on Little Bear as well as a few books from her birthday.
I am reading All of a Kind Family to her~
 EK's basket stays pretty empty except for the chapter book One & Only Ivan I am reading her~
Since the big book party on Tuesday she has read five chapter books all on her own.
Reading is a favorite time of the day around here!!!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday~ {Mystery of History}

We are listening to Mystery of History on Friday mornings and coloring a page~
I had them copy scripture today with varying levels of skill.
EK and SJ in cursive, Boys copying underneath, and Bitty girls tracing.
All that matters is that it is written on their hearts.

The New Addition~

Since my first experience with Chalk Painting I have wished for another project.
Sweet friends from way back gifted us an adorable chest
and because of its size, we thought it would be the perfect New Addition to the schoolroom~
 We decided on a beautiful red, took off the knobs, and got to painting.
I needed to move it from the breezeway to the house so my rickshaw driver helped me with his John Deere~
 Mimi chose new knobs from Hobby Lobby and I adjusted the things above it~
It already holds all the teacher things I need for each day and we LOVE it!
Thank you Mr. Terry and Ms. Vi!!!
You are loved everyday when we school!!!