Friday, August 23, 2013

Our First Week

I participated in the Hip Homeschool Hop!

We did it!  We successfully completed our first week of homeschooling!  While it was a lighter load academically (we are slowly adding subjects), it was still full of SUCCESS and LEARNING CURVES.

  • We had fun learning together!
  • Everyone had a great attitude for most of the time!
  • We learned something!
  • We got better at it!
  • Izzy was able to communicate without getting emotional or shutting down her need for quiet space in order to complete the math assignment I gave her!
  • Our home is still organized and peaceful!
  • Our new chore system is working wonders! (I'll do a post about that someday soon)
  • Intentionality in everything we say and do has increased!

LEARNING CURVES (aka challenges we need to work through):
  • Utilizing baby's nap for the most hands-on teaching that needs to happen
  • Keeping 3 year old occupied and happy through the times I need to focus on big sister's learning.
  • Strategic breaks
  • Lunch- seriously have lack of desire to make lunches.  Strongly dislike having to 'plan' this extra meal.  How do I make this easier?

Here is a little picture tour of our first week!

Two digit adding and regrouping

Handwriting with Scripture
Letter A
Silent Reading
Reading Comprehension

Days 1-3 of Creation Mobile

Monday, August 19, 2013

First Day of Homeschool- EVER!

I desired to ease into our first year of homeschooling and provide a couple weeks of review/catch up to get Izzy to needed skill level for curriculum so we started school today! (By law, public schools in Michigan don't start until after Labor Day).  We are only adding a couple subjects at a time so no one is overwhelmed.  Our first day included:
Izzy is 7 years old starting 2nd grade!
Liliana is 3 and doing PreK work!

Baby was napping :) But here was a pic from her first day of 'school'...because she's part of the family and adorable after all!
Lucy is 8 months and SO BIG!
We prayed, read aloud, went over new chore chart, and did Calendar time.
Then we filled out first day of school fun sheets (From the Life in Bloom chic and savvy homeschool planner- free download!!!).

Lili's loves the color green and mac & cheese.
Izzy loves pizza and playing uno.

While Izzy worked on some basic addition facts to get the cobwebs out, Lili worked on coloring the letter A, learned about the color red, and identified/drew circles.

Izzy and I then reviewed place value for math using legos as manipulatives.  Then she independently did the first two days worth of handwriting lessons in A Reason For Handwriting.

Our subjects for our first week are calendar, handwriting, and math.  We were done in less than an hour.  I'm pleased with our first day and the excitement the girls had.  Liliana was sad her first day was 'done'.  Perhaps if the next couple of days go well I will bravely add more subjects at a faster pace.

My heart is happy and full!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

School Room

School Room is (mostly) Complete!  We remodeled the old playroom (which was a dark forest green office when we moved in) into the new school room.  Most of the toys are in new places to make room for the table and supplies.  We have quite the collection of books, so keeping the bookshelves was a must.  They have also come in handy for other storage.  We used our old dining room table which has a great formica top that will resist any paint, scratch, project, etc.  I bought a bench to match (amazon) and a small office chair (ReStore).  We purchased metal strips for magnetic hanging (Menards) and a large whiteboard (ReStore).  We already had the bulletin board.  Covering an old sales model arm chair with a slip cover helped warm the room.  The walls are 8513 Still Creek on the Graham Paint chart.  I'm happy with how it all turned out.  Hoping it will be a fun place for us to learn from this year!
Check out the other school rooms at ihomeschool blog hop!

Monday, August 5, 2013

First Time Homeschooler- 2nd Grade

With our first year of homeschooling fast approaching, I have finally decided on the curriculum we are going to use this year.  I'm hoping these materials will be great tools in helping us be successful in our transition from public school to homeschool, but know that it may require more trial and error to find what works for us.

Izzy just turned 7 and is going into 2nd grade.  She has been at public school for kindergarten and 1st grade.  Her school was a very good one but in a few areas I'm finding her 'behind' for many homeschool curriculums.  She was taught to read with whole word approach so she has very little phonetical understanding.  Her math was 'reformed math' based on common core standards.  Her writing skills were not mastery based so she has become overwhelmed with all the detail of creative writing (ideas, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, powerful words, etc).  However, she is reading fluently at a 3rd grade level.  That being said, here is what we are starting with for the coming school year.

Math-  We will be doing 2-3 weeks of review and basic introduction to concepts such as money identification and counting, fractions, standard measurement, and reading a clock to the 5 minute intervals with online resources and the alternative tests from Christian Light Math 100.  After that we will be working through Christian Light Education Math 200 with a more comprehensive 'calendar' time to review numbers, tally marks, fractions, weather, graphs, etc.  This will also allow Liliana (age 3.5) to interact with us.  I have created my own calendar pages for this.

Reading-  I will be working a combination of Christian Light Education's 2nd Grade Reading and Progeny Press- A New Coat For Anna.  I want to build her comprehension skills with living books that are slightly lower in reading level but also begin to build some of the phonetical skills she had missed earlier.  I hope the pairing on an alternating schedule will work well.  If we like Progeny Press I will chose another book after we complete this one.

Writing- I think I'm the most excited about this curriculum, so I hope I'm not disappointed!  We will be using WriteShop Primary B.  My goal is to take steps back with Izzy's writing, focusing on one area at a time to hopefully get her to enjoy writing again.  Our public school homework writing assignments were filled with tears on both of our parts.  We will also be reading more living books and having real life experiences that will give her more to find inspiration from instead of topics such as bullying she kept getting in 1st grade.

Science and Social Studies- I will not be emphasizing these subjects the first couple of months as we make our transition into homeschooling, but when we can, will will use Abeka's basic science and social study readers Enjoying God's World and Our America.  Once we gain traction and confidence, I hope to do more of a unit study or lapbook approach with these subjects.

Bible- I desire to involve all of our kids in the same Bible curriculum at some point.  Right now their ages are 7, 3, and 7 months so for now we are just going to be highlighting stories through the bible and putting them on a timeline.  I will be using Jesus Storybook Bible and online resources for inspiration for crafts and activities.  This subject will be relaxed, but important to the environment of our homeschool.  I will also be using Have You Filled a Bucket Today? as part of our character education and home management.  I want to build encouragement in my kids and the importance of 'building each other up'.

Handwriting- I want to build Izzy's consistency and confidence in her handwriting in order to help with fluidity in her writing assignments.  I'm going to use A Reason For Handwriting B.  I feel it will give her adequate practice without bogging her down with too many dictations or copywork at this stage.

Art- My girls love crafts and projects but I want to build a foundation in art appreciation and understanding.  So, we will be going through this book to start with.  I hope it will be fun and low key.

We will also be doing ballet or tap and the occasional open gym at the local gymnastics company.  Let me know if you found success (or problems) with any of my choices.  Each child is a unique person made by God and will learn and find success in different ways.  I just hope this is a good starting point.

*I'm participating in the blog hop at*