Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Afternoons Pour into Mornings~

Afternoons after snack, the kids head outside to play outside and swim.
Today Evie was out in the backyard catching tiny frogs and happened up on a snake skin taller than her~

She also saved a butterfly from the pool so everyone wanted to measure the snake skin and butterfly wingspan~

 The next morning we chose a nature book to draw from~

and drew all the wonderful things we have found in our yard~

 Nature Journals~
It will be so wonderful to look through these beautiful journals one day when they are big!!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Morning Trays~

I have been putting out new activities about twice a week on the white trays~
 This week it was ABC building, matching beginning sounds, and puzzles~
The little girls go right to them when they wake up each morning.
It gives them something productive to do when breakfast is not quite ready!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Playing to Learn~

How do children learn the alphabet, sounds, and to read the easiest?
Playing to Learn.
I wrote all the letters on a dry erase board and told the girls all the baby letters needed their mommy
so they matched them all quick as could be.
Setting up invitations for them is all it takes!!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Nature Friends~

These are a few of the nature friends EK has enjoyed over the last week~
 Moth, Turtle, and lizard~

Lots of conversation spurred by these friends!!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Art Monday~

Monday we love using our Picture Study Portfolios from Simply Charlotte Mason
and this week we studied a painting by Vermeer which lead to a discussion about treasure.
The kids remembered a song we have sang from Hide 'em in your Heart CD~
So we sang the song, copied the scripture in our journals, then drew a treasure~
we love with all our hearts... home, family, and Jesus. :)
We hang each print as we go along and they can name every one from Vermeer, Van Gogh, Monet, and Millet.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Activity Trays~

Activity Tray today was stamping farm words into play dough... 

Which spilled into many other words and everyone coming over to stamp.

Offering invitations is the key to interest. 

Placing it on a tray and not saying a word, 

is almost like a dare or bribe~ they always take the bait!!!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Exactly Why I DON'T Plan~

Yesterday after breakfast we read our Story Bible about David and the Giant.
We are also memorizing Psalm 23 and sang some worship songs~
When Evie suggested we measure how tall Goliath was~
Using a tape measure we marked his height then all the children, me, Scott, and Josh!
Then they drew him with all the things he carried to fight.
We converted his height into yards and inches as well as how much taller he was than all the people we measured.
It was a GREAT bible, math, and art experience all rolled into one!

We went back in to explore the Bible App for Kids~ Stones, Slings, and Giant Things.
They hear the story read to them, answer questions, and able to play games after that~
Even the baby can play!

We moved on to our sunroom for math and clipboard work then
an Activity Tray for the little girls.
I printed farm animal pictures for them to build words, play memory, and make little books~

Everyone came back together for Charlotte's Web read aloud, copy work, and Wilber painting~


I sat watching this baby water coloring a pig while listening to Charlotte's Web and could scarcely take in the miracle I've witnessed over the last year.

The 23rd is Calla Day. The day she crawled into our arms a little caterpillar and through a year of cocooning, we have watched a baby butterfly emerge.

It's beautiful! She's worth it. And there are millions more just like her waiting for their forever too~

We read lots of other read alouds as well as independent reading.
Exactly why I don't plan...
I couldn't plan this much beauty!
Thankful God helps make it happen.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Our Poetry Time Routine~

1. Pick a poetry book out of our Poetry basket. 
2. Find a poem to read or have me read then place it on the stack.
3. Help yourself to the snack. 
4. Enjoy the delicious feast set before you with food and words. 
5. And then I hear~ Just one more Mom!!! 

That's it! Simple and Sweet!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Addition Tray~

Holly needed a very hands on way to practice her sums so I grabbed a tray,
glass jar rings, and pom poms for her to use.


I think she's got it now!
Now we have to count by 2s!!!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Free Write Friday~

This sweet baby takes it just as serious as the rest of the crew~

In Georgia kids have to test every 3 years and this is SJ's year.
She started it today! I know she is going to do amazingly well!!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

When Things Get a Little Crazy~

We had a very full and productive morning but right about 11, I could tell a couple of people needed a release~
So I had SJ bake a tray of cookies, we grabbed poetry books, and sat under a tree for some downtime.
It totally turned the day around and in no time, they were all suited up and out to the pool!
THAT'S another perk of schooling at home!!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Life and Times with the Bitties~

Early mornings are sometimes a little busy and messy but they do it together and it's beautiful~

 I found these really cool trays at Target and have set up 'Invitations' for them
to discover when they come into the sunroom.
This week I made one for Calla to practice writing her name with playdough~

 While the big kids are having their own quiet time in their rooms,
I spend time with the bitties watching The Jesus Storybook Bible DVD and we narrate~
 They always ask for an activity so this week I pulled out stencils
and they made 'Wilber' with them.
Even Calla was able to trace and kind of cut on the line. :)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Charlotte's Web~

We started our Quiver of Arrows study from Brave Writer this week.
We are listening the audible version, copying beautiful passages, and reading Some Writer too~
 Once we copied the passage, each one chose an illustration to copy and glue in~
 You can also see a few activities I found at the School Box for them to play with while we are reading aloud!
(Mostly for the little girls!)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Saturday Morning TV~

My ultimate goal in schooling our children at home is a learning lifestyle. 

We don't watch much tv but during the week EK DVRs a few shows they love. 

Saturday mornings they binge watch at their leisure. 

Wanna know how I know it's working? Narration! 

They call me in, track me down, and tell me every single thing that happened. 

They're learning all the time. 

Even on the weekends. 

Even watching tv. 

It's a learning lifestyle. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Math U See and Free Write Friday~

Math U See is the only spine we have continued to use since we started schooling at home.
We have four different levels going this year, and it's really not that overwhelming.

Ek and SJ are in their own levels, the boys are both Alpha, and little girls are in Primer (Calla won't start for a while).

Have you heard the saying~ 'Eat the Frog First'? Well Math is our Frog. Not because they don't like it but because it most resembles busy work. Math U See has been our one spine we haven't wavered from ~ it works, they're independent and learning. So straight from breakfast we come to desks and 'Eat the frog'. If it works, stay the course. 

When a new lesson is started, the children watch their video and work on a page per day throughout the week.
Sometimes they even do two sections a day.

Math had been tricky for Holly but with time and patience, she is catching on.
I have found using items around the house for counting and addition makes all the difference for her~


I have purposefully not rushed them to at a certain level by a particular age and
I believe when they say math is SO easy...
It means~ I am right where I need to be and I am learning at my own pace.

Speaking of their own pace~

Every week we set the timer for five minutes and they always write more.
Why? Because they have a goal. 
A self chosen goal. 
Not something I imposed on them.
Then they count their words, compare to last week, hoping its more.
The point I'm making is~ When our children OWN their goals, they have OWNership of their learning.
Today SJ was short on words SO she reread and decided what to add. We even wrote a list of short words to edit.
Successful in their eyes so it certainly was in mine!

Here are our writings today~

Good job kiddos!!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Tree Frogs~

Every night we are amazed at how loud the tree frogs sing around our house
and just yesterday EK wished she could see them.
This morning when she went to the skimmer, she was able to rescue a common tree frog~

She created a terrarium for him so she could bring him in for observation~

 Everyone scattered to find the magnifying glass~
 And lots of our favorite nature books~
 Found specific pages to gather information and read~
 Then we watched a frog drawing YouTube video~
 and drew in our Nature Journals~
Seriously! Rabbit trails are just what keeps the spark alive when schooling.
Tree Frogs today!!!