Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wild Explorer Club~

We have jumped on the Wild Explorers Club bandwagon~
 I am at a point of homeschooling where I need some things to be easy and planned for me~
 Wild Explorers is an online program that allows families to complete fun assignments and earn nature badges.
We get a video and assignment dropped into our inbox each week~
 Our first week we were to pack an explorer backpack (Done)
and this week explore nature around you~
 We of course slipped into our rain boots and headed down the path to the lake
where we found a receding shoreline, arrowheads, and caterpillars!
When our snacks were gone and everyone was hot,
we headed inside to watercolor our outing~
 I printed our welcome letter, assignments, and a photo of our fun then created a notebook~
It will take us two years to make it through the whole thing.
Wonder if we will make it that long?
The kids LOVE it for now and so do I!

Monday, August 29, 2016

New Math Game~

With the beginning of a new year, I am reading all my favorite school books
and watching video series.
My favorites are by Carole Joy Seid and happened to watch the math and science one.
She said if there was ONE thing above everything else to buy it would be Pre Math-It and Math-It~
SO I immediately ordered Pre Math-It (even though EK&SJ are past this level)
and we began playing it today.
They loved it even though we were only matching numbers today.
This is one way the older ones help teach the younger ones while creating a team spirit within our family.

Want your kids to be friends and play together?
Pick a game and just sit it out on the coffee table and walk away.
They will come, they will play, and they will have fun!

(Except when they lose and then we have another character building moment!)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Reading~

We were SO happy to have daddy join us for Bible @ Breakfast this week~

One morning while I worked with the boys, SJ helped the little girls do their book work.
She decided they needed an emergent reader so she wrote two identical ones
and taught them to read them~
 She decided they should be published and earned the Caldecott Medal as well~

Here's a little video of the teacher in action~

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Maps~

School is pretty much back in full swing around here
and Calla is right in the middle of it doing her own amazing thing~

I saw these cool Map Pops on a friend's wall and ordered them for our room~
 It was fun to hang them then stand back and hear the conversation of what they knew.

We are actually trying out a new learning tool this week~
Bigger Heart for His Glory {Heart of Dakota}
and I LOVE how music/singing is incorporated into the plans~
I pulled out a favorite Sing to Learn & our Steve Green scripture CDs
and loaded them into my Itunes account.
It was awesome to see Evie and Calla's face light especially when I turned on the music.
It is definitely their love language/learning style!!!
The others loved it too and all know their memory verse even better because of it!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Block Love~

Every child should have a set of blocks in their home!
I don't care if they seem babyish or old fashioned.
Our kids LOVE them and build amazing things every day.
Up until today they have been thrown in a big box.
I asked Evie is she would like to help me organize them and she said YES!~
 We traced the blocks in the colors of the rainbow and taped them to the shelf~
 The structures they have built since organizing are amazing.
EK used all of them to create this wall around Calla~
 And Payne created this cathedral~
There is much learning going on with this cabinet of blocks~ maybe even raising a few engineers.
A little effort can go a long way in building greatness!
{Mama, tell Ms. Gay we are still using a shelf Mr. Glen made you long ago!}

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fun Friday: {Beautiful Feet Geography & Nature Study}~

Friday's enrichment is nature and we throw in a little Beautiful Feet Geography too.
Today we pulled out our maps and colored while listening to Tree in the Trail~
 Even Calla has her own map and does her own thing.

Because Tree in the Trail is very nature oriented, we headed outside to find something God made~
 I'm amazed daily how much Calla understands and gets what we are doing.
She walked behind everyone else and picked up what they chose.
We taped our treasures to an index card then headed in to label and add to nature journals~
 One last thing we have loved doing on Fridays for about three weeks now is
Brave Writer's Free Write Frenzy where I time them for 5 min
and they must write the whole time without picking up their pencils~
The first time Payne and Will just wrote their names over and over and over
but this time they actually wrote words!
It has become a contest with themselves... they want to write more words each time~
Calla is very good at scribbling which is a step in the writing process too~
A Fun Friday for sure!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Why I Love FIAR!~

On Wednesdays our enrichment is SCM Art Study and we are enjoying Monet.
As we read about him and looked at one of his paintings,
they learned he lived in Paris and this sparked their interest to read Madeline again.

THAT is Why I love FIAR {Five in a Row}...
there is always a connection to a beloved book that the kids want to read.
We of course chose Madeline's Rescue and even found 'Monet' painting by the bridge~

Everyone grabbed paint and brushes to create their own masterpiece.
This was the first time Calla had shown an interest in painting so watching Evie, she learned to watercolor~

EK & SJ~

PC & WP~

EC, HM, & CA~

We found the movie on YouTube and watched it as well~
We chose one activity to do with Madeline for three days and everyone loved it!

Odds and Ends~

Calla is learning SO much by watching her siblings especially Evie~
 Our Magformers are by FAR one of the favorite toys around our house!
Our wooden blocks are super popular too and after Evie made this amazing castle~
She asked me to take photos so she could make a book.
It turned out cute especially since SJ let her borrow these awesome Gel Pens!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Nature Friday~

The kids are forever finding a Nature Treasure in our yard
so when EK found this little egg, everyone was excited to see WHAT would hatch!
EK made the softest, safest nest for it and waited for almost two weeks.
Today the tiniest little lizard stared at us through the glass jar~
 Everyone ran to find our nature books and field guides.
I decided it was time to have a nature shelf and it has been a popular place to be~
Natural and organic learning happens even with no planning and just trusting our children to choose their learning!!!
We LOVE little Momo, our baby lizard!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Something Old, Something New~

I am bringing back FIAR Vol 1 with the 5 youngest
 (and the 2 older listened too even though they were working on book work!).
We listened to Ping via Youtube and drew ducks in our journals using Draw Write Now~
 Added in a little tissue paper to make it an 'ativty' from Evie and they copied a fact~
We will add more each day while we read again.
I was concerned they might not like that we had already read this story
but I don't think they really remembered it and definitely understood it better this time
(knew this from their narrations).
Just a testament to not counting out an old faithful like FIAR!!!

Something New is Quiver of Arrows from Bravewriter.
I LOVE Bravewriter and use many facets of it.
I have had Quiver of Arrows in a file for a long time
and yesterday it dawned on me as we listened to The Cricket in Times Square,
I should pull it out~
 Everyone is listening to the story but I did Quiver with just EK and SJ~
They copied part of a passage (in their most beautiful cursive).
We discussed the literary element and grammar terms.
It was delightful, simple, and meaningful.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Snails~

Monday night Evie and Holly found a teeny tiny snail on the step in the pool.
Evie pleaded that we study about it the next day for school.
{That's what I want our learning to look like~ organic and natural!}

We placed it on an observation dish and took it inside~
 Looking through a magnifying glass was cool but makes me want to order a microscope as well!

I pulled out our Handbook of Nature Study, read a passage, and we watched a few videos~
 We found a book on Epic with a labeled snail so we decided to create on of our own~
 Everyone free cut parts for their snail and labeled~
They are hung in our schoolroom with pride all because Evie recognized nature learning in our everyday life.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thankful Thursday~

Just like the big craze right now is Poetry Teatime on Tuesdays,
We have loved celebrating thankfulness on Thursdays with letters to special people~
These were the ones created today.
It was the first time we had pulled out watercolors in a long time.
Made it just that more special!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Schooling Areas~

We have been kind of sporadic with official school this week but
That's the beautiful thing about learning at home...
It's always happening~
We made playdough one morning for the three bitties but everyone loved it!
I set up some activities for them too and everyone has loved them too!
Set it up and they will come.

I did have an idea to separate learning areas for the bigger four and the younger three.
The older are still in the school room, and the younger have their table in the sunroom.
I like this setup because different things can be going on simultaneously even when I'm in the other room.
It has helped with the bitties distracting the olders.