Friday, July 29, 2016

Fun Friday: Praying Mantis

Yesterday EK found a praying mantis on our butterfly bush
And put it in a jar to observe~
She spent the afternoon researching 
And we let her teach us all she knew this morning. 
We also watched a drawing video and added a page to our nature journals~
We also worked on our geography maps for beautiful feet study.

We were done by 10 and at the pool for MORE fun~
Look at this pic of EK reading her Kindle by the pool...she's growing up!
And Popsicles are ALWAYS a hit!
A VERY Happy Fun Friday!

Thankful Thursday

Today after bible we thought of the people in our life we needed to thank for something special~
Each child wrote a letter, addressed, and mailed. Happys on the way to special people!!! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Book House~

I saw a suggestion by Sarah @ Read Aloud Revival to get My Book House books and read them all to your children, I took her up on it and wouldn't you know the first poem in book one was by Robert Louis Stevenson~
 So we used it for copy work and drew what makes us happy!

There are lots of ways to get the Bible hid in our hearts and we love using our iPods for Bible App for Kids~
Today when the big kids grabbed their devices, Calla ran to get her iPod too.
{A little musical phone Nana let her bring home this weekend:}
It's so sweet how she wants to do whatever the big kids are doing.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Fun Friday~ {Nature Prints}

Today we read from our BF Geography Study: Tree and the Trail and moved onto Nature Study. 

Our children's book choice was The Night Gardener. 

We learned that the trees growing or should I say dying on our front stoop are topiaries. 

This was a sweet story of one man's gift to a community and how he inspires a little boy to follow in his footsteps~
We enjoyed looking through this Nature Journal book. It gave us ideas of drawing wildflowers out in our yard. 

I challenged the kids to scout out and find a flower/leaf to use for a fun activity. They came back to find big index cards and a hammer~
 We placed the nature treasures between the index cards then pounded the color out of plants to the paper. They turned out beautiful so we laminated and added to our nature journals. Nothing fancy but I'm sure they won't ever forget!!! 
A great Fun Friday!!!

Kindergarten Girls FIAR Routine~

With 5 different levels being taught in our school this year, it is important to simplify. For the K girls I am using Before Five in a Row first and will move on to FIAR. For now I have a basket of books and the girls take turns choosing a book. We read, narrate the story, talk about our favorite parts, and go to journals.

This week they have chosen The Carrot Seed: They drew a carrot plant in position to the ground and a self portrait~

The Big Green Pocketbook: I printed a green pocketbook and the items that went inside so we could retell the story~

Kittens for Keeps: We had a cat drawing lesson and they watercolored it~

Corduroy: We used my Creative Memories things to punch circles then made our own Corduroy. I had them tell me their favorite part and I wrote for them~

They have loved having a new story each day and it is easy to get a little activity together for them.
We will continue this routine until we finish all of the books then switch over to FIAR spending more time on each book. 

AND THIS is why I am so diligent to blog what we do as a family and at school~
Our 2015-16 School Blog book came today and they LOVED it!
I promise these blog books are chosen every single day and Calla even found herself in this book!
Worth every single penny!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Curriculum for Individual Levels~

Because we school year round, we don't ever finish up a book at a certain time then wait to begin the next. If they finish up a math book in February, we just order the next one and continue on.

EK: 5th grade :

and she is halfway through all these materials and will move onto the next level the first of 2017:

Spelling You See~ C: I love how this spelling program is repetitive for 5 days reinforcing the skills introduced. I also require her to completely write in cursive so she is practicing her handwriting/copywork as well.

Growing with Grammar: Level 2: I love this because it is pretty self explanatory and EK works independently. I only require her to do one side of the front and back lesson so its lasts twice as long and reduces burn out!

Math U See~ Gamma: EK is not a big math fan so I have not pushed her to go fast. Slow and easy wins the race and it paying off. MUS has been our math spine for 4 years now so it's definitely staying.

Nature Journal~ EK writes, draws, or glues photographs in her black nature journal most every day. She choose the medium for illustration and gets writing in through this independent approach.

Kindle~ My mom gave EK a Kindle for her birthday and it has been a great addition to her reading life. She LOVES to read a sample of a book to get a feel for whether she wants to read or not. It is a good strategy for choosing library books as well. It is a paperwhite and travels everywhere we go~ never without something to read!

SJ: 3rd grade:

and she uses the same resources as EK but on her level.

Spelling You See: B
Growing with Grammar: Level 1
Math U See: Beta
Nature Journal
Kindle (borrows mine)

PC & WP: 2nd Grade:

Spelling You See: A
Math U See: Alpha
Journal Writing
Little Bear for reading right now

EC & HM: Kindergarten:

FIAR for Literature and Journal Writing
Kumon Workbooks
Math U See: Primer
Explode the Code: Level A-C


She is preschooler and will be with us when she wants to and play when she wants to. She enjoys sitting at the table cutting, glueing, coloring, scribbling~

We are pretty much in the swing of things for this school year and love all our choices so far! I didn't add links but should be pretty easy to google most any of the materials I have listed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Our Curriculum 2016-17 {Group Materials}

For our new school year we are keeping a little bit of the old and adding in some new.

We are reading through many of the books sited in Give Your Child the World
and LOVE that SCM's timeline allows us to read through The Child's Story Bible
as it plays out in HIStory~

Also from SCM we have chosen several enrichment units for 15 minutes each day:

(poetry tea time)

Wednesday: Art~ Claude Monet
(painting an art story)

Thursday: Music~ Chopin
(trying piano lessons online)

The old we will continue is Beautiful Feet: Geography Study on Fridays
since it is heavy on nature~
{they LOVE working with the big maps}

I think they are the most excited about this!
It will go well with our history study since we cover creation~

Among other things we do daily as a group are:

Journal Writing~ Brave Writer
FIAR (right before lunch)
Audible Books (during snack)
Chapter Book Read Aloud (after dinner)

There you have it... Everything is stored in a bin with days of the week folders
so it can be pulled quickly and filed away when we are done~

May seem overwhelming as seen in a post 
but all was chosen to simplify our day for a gentleness every child deserves.

(PS... I LOVE an open and go style of learning.)
(PSS... Curriculum being used with individuals coming in other posts.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Peaches and Poetry~

We were finally able to try Poetry Tea Time again since bringing Calla home~
We had a big batch of peaches so we whipped up individual peach pies using same recipe as blueberry one.
Calla loved it and ate to the last drop.
We enjoyed our new SCM Poetry Study of Robert Louis Stevenson!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Setup is Key~

Setting up the table is key for a successful learning time~
It is clear what needs to be done and the space is clutter free.
When we are finished, we clean off the table so it ready for the next thing.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Fun Friday

Today we cleaned a little, read some vintage Golden books given to us by Aunt Jan and Uncle Ray~

And we enjoyed a few nature books then drew trees~
Slow and steady summer. Not too much and not too little. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

More Blueberries for Sal

I have our books for BFIAR and FIAR organized in baskets and on occasion I sit them out for free choice reading.
Today Evie chose Blueberries for Sal again~
While I read it for the 100th time (JK), I challenged the kids to draw about our day of blueberry picking using ONLY something blue (just like the illustrator). 

Calla drew for a little while but soon needed something else so I have her blue playdough and she dropped berries in saying kuplank~

For dinner SJ turned our last batch of blueberries into her first blueberry cobbler~
It was delicious and we ate the whole thing with left over homemade ice cream. Glad Evie wanted that book read again!

Blueberry Cobbler
Cover dish bottom with fresh blueberries and sprinkle generously with sugar. Let sit. 

Melt stick of butter. Add 3/4c sugar, 3/4 milk, and 1 cup self rising flour. Mix well and pour over berries

Bake 350 for 35 min or until golden brown. 

SO yummy!!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A New School Year~

Our school year flows from July-June so we just finished up one and moved on to a new one. 

I took our school photo for the blog header and our school blog book cover. I just ordered our 2015-16 book. I print it each year to have a record of the many things we do together. Kind of like our Ankerich Academy Yearbook~

Please don't worry that my children are missing out on their summer. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We do all the things kids love about summer: play, swim, eat ice cream, enjoy the lake, enjoy tv and iPods, and a million other things. 

For our family, keeping a routine and having something predictable to do keeps us happy. I guess you could say we school year round. Because we are always learning, I don't think our kids think a thing about it. They are perfectly content to be working on something. 

Though the summer we have kept it light with bible, reading together, and math. This week we added Five in a Row for the little girls and Beatuiful Feet Geography for the big girls and boys. 

Today one of the kids asked why we shot foreworks on the 4th. It was the perfect question for a summer day. We fired up YouTube, watched a video, and pulled one of our favorite books~

Our biggest reference was this awesome book The 4th of July Story from our BF American history study~
We used gel pens, sparkle crayons, and Spirograph circles to create firework art. 

Why do we commemorate Independence Day by setting off thousands of small explosions?

Because John Adams wanted us to. Before the Declaration of Independence was even signed, he envisioned fireworks as a part of the festivities. In a letter to Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776, he wrote that the occasion should be commemorated “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” The first commemorative Independence Day fireworks were set off on July 4, 1777. (

First day of school done!