Saturday, June 25, 2011

School Year 2011-2012, Week 3

Just going to post a few highlights of the's been really hectic around here the past few days. Our dog got into ant poisoning, but praise God she's going to be okay. Also, Baby Girl has her third throat infection in the past month, so it looks like she'll be having her tonsils removed soon. We managed to get some schooling done, and we're still loving Sonlight & learning so much from it. The Witch of Blackbird Pond is sparking lots of interesting discussion about the Puritans, and "Bug" begs to read more of The Apple and the Arrow every day. "Baby Girl" really enjoyed singing a song about dinosaurs this week as she learned about the letter "D." And of course "Bug" is enjoying  his science experiment. We'll continue to watch it "sprout" as the weeks go by!
Lima bean sprout experiment
Baby Girl's Activity Sheet

Monday, June 20, 2011

Letter of the Week (Baby Girl)

 This is our main book for Baby Girl's program this year. Next year I'm thinking of extending our alphabet study using the following websites: Letter of the Week and Mrs. Jones-Letter and Sound of the Week. Also, for a great hands-on approach to the alphabet, I recommend the Alpha dough language kit.

School Year 2011-2012, Week 2

"Baby Girl's" Alpha Dough letter C

"Bug" shows some of the things we found for his Sonlight Science
"Doodles" is currently studying the human body using Sonlight Science 5. She is really enjoying it. Most of her work is done through reading and activity sheets. I am very pleased with how much she has learned so far. In addition to daily Bible reading and memory verses, we are also reading The American Indian Prayer Guide. It is very interesting. We have completed the following books for history/geography and read-alouds so far: Walk the Worlds Rim and Pedro's Journal (Apple Paperbacks). "Doodles" has completed her independent reader Om-Kas-Toe: Blackfoot Twin Captures Elkdog and "Bug" has completed his independent reading book The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children, No. 1) (Boxcar Children Mysteries). We are still reading through Story of the U.S.A.: Book 1 Student Explorers And Settlers. This week we started our new read-aloud The Witch of Blackbird Pond. "Doodles" is independently reading Pocahontas and the Strangers (Scholastic Biography) and "Bug's" independent reading book is The Apple and the Arrow. Baby Girl worked on letter C last week and we read The Cat in the Hat. She is working on letter D this week. As you can tell, we are very busy, but we're enjoying all the learning that we get to do...well, most of the time!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Tweaking" Schedules

There is something that every homeschooler needs to know: the curriculum is your tool, not your master. While we follow the Sonlight Instructor Guide schedule, we also do some of our Sonlight reading outside of "school" time. I read a chapter from our read-aloud to the children after supper on some nights. Often the children choose to read their independent reading books in bed at night. Also, as I've previously posted, we have added hands-on activities to our studies. Just remember: don't be afraid to change things up a bit, think outside the box, and do what works best for your family!

Friday, June 10, 2011

School Year 2011-2012, Week 1

Wow, wow, wow!!! I love Sonlight! I'm gushing, I know, but it's true. This week has been wonderful. If you've ever seen a Sonlight catalog, you know how fabulous their marketing department is. You might have wondered, as I did, if Sonlight could really be as terrific as they make it sound. Well, for my family, it is! We have had wonderful discussions this week as we read great history books & historical fiction, and this is just the beginning. We've also studied Scripture, memorized Bible verses, conducted scientific experiments, learned to sing "The Stars and Stripes Forever," and written a persuasive argument paragraph--by the way, how many of you think "Doodles" should get an Ipod touch for Christmas? Also, Baby Girl learned about the letter "B."
Doodles' Native American project: hut
Bugs is shucking corn for his project
Bugs' Native American project: corn chowder

Baby Girl eats a "bear" (Teddy Graham) for the letter "B"

Letter "b" made with Baby Girl's Alpha Dough
Science experiment: demonstrating that hot air takes up more space than cold air

Monday, June 6, 2011

New School Year...Started Today!

Yes, that's right. We didn't wait for August! Once I made a schedule it was almost impossible for me to resist starting school now. The kids didn't mind. They were actually excited about all the wonderful books we get to read. Thank you, Sonlight! Even "Dad" got interested in one of our read-alouds as we read a chapter after supper tonight. (I've linked the book in this post.) We had a great first day!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Homeschool Schedule

This is my planned schedule for this year. There are no exact time frames, other than I wake my children at 8:30.

Wake up, get dressed, make beds, feed & water dog

Breakfast, Bible, brush teeth

History/Geography, Read-alouds





Readers, Language Arts, Handwriting, Latin


*"Tea Time" on Monday afternoons
*This is our weekly study of artists and composers .  I have tea or coffee and the children have lemonade and a "special" snack during this time. This is an idea I got here .  It's so nice and relaxing, and the children and I look forward to it each week.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

C. S. Lewis

I am enjoying these books tremendously this week. I love C.S. Lewis. He was such a brilliant and creative writer, and his Narnia series is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Books for Baby Girl

In addition to Letter of the Week, we are also using Dr. Suess's ABC and The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes. Both offer short readings, which is what we need at this age.

Self-Care That's Not So Fun

As promised in my previous post, I am now going to talk about self-care that's not so much fun. This kind of self-care involves thin...