Saturday, May 30, 2009
Here are our final picks:
Rod and Staff Math and Grammar Grade 5
Apologia Zoology 1
History Odyssey-Ancients Level Two
The Classical Education Timeline
National Geo World Atlas for Young Explorers
The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (2004 Edition)
The Story of Mankind
Wordly Wise 3000 Book 5
Friday, May 29, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Joe is 4 years old
We finished our week on the letter "Ee" with an elephant craft and continued our study of all different sorts of eggs. We enjoyed having our baby blue jay in our back yard until yesterday. He wasn't in our yard as far as we know today, and we didn't see his mother swooping down to check on/feed him periodically, so we are assuming he learned to fly and has "spread his wings".
Joe had fun making his elephant craft. He enjoys painting and seeing what kinds of colors he can make by mixing them together. We also had some fun playing our Elefun game this week.
We both thoroughly enjoyed learning about all sorts of eggs this week and how a mother, or father in some cases cares for these eggs and their young after they have hatched. I learned so much about eggs! We ended up studying in depth and reading and re-reading two of the books we had about eggs throughout the entire week. These books are amazing as far as their information content and have beautiful illustrations--definitely worth checking out. We will be purchasing these two for keeps.
"Eggs", by Marilyn Singer, and "An Egg Is Quiet", by Diana Hutts Aston
The Abeka math program is going well for both Joe and myself. We will begin our new phonics program Monday. I am looking forward to another week!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Joe is 3 years, 11 months, 3 weeks old
Our letter of the week is "Ee", our themes are egg and elephant. We don't have a vocabulary word this week. Instead I am taking advantage of the egg part of our theme to do a little bit of science with Joe. We are doing alot of reading and watching some movies on how the chicken grows from inside the egg to the final hatching process. He has been really interested in our studies so far, asking lots of questions and paying such close attention. Our number for the week for writing practice is "4", although Joe wants to write every number we discuss! Our Get Ready for the Code books arrived late this evening, so we will begin those the end of this week, or the beginning of next week. I'll decide for sure when I see how long I need to adequately prepare to present and introduce this program. VERY excited about it, love the looks of it and feel confident about it!
Here's a look at some of the books and games we are using this week to go along with letter "Ee" and our themes.
File Folder Games and Lapbooks
We are using our Mouse/Cookie lapbook again this week for the Feed the Mouse game included. It focuses on counting skills, numbers 1-20. We are also using the Dinosaur Bones file folder game for tangible addition and Pumpkin Patch alphabet file folder game for letter recognition.
So far this week we have completed an egg craft. I had Joe choose an egg from a book we read called, An Egg Is Quiet. He chose a fossilized dinosaur egg. He made this by taking a brown paper bag and tearing a portion of it into small pieces and then glued the pieces with mod podge into the shape of an egg. After that he painted it to his satisfaction and then applied another layer of mod podge after the paint dried.
We are working on writing the number "4" this week, counting from 1-20, more/less activities and tangible addition. We are also going to do a basic "estimation" activity later in the week to go along with our letter of the week, "Ee". Besides these activities we are still using the daily lessons from the Abeka 4K Math curriculum, which is working very well for Joe.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Joe is 3 years, 11 months old
We wrapped up our week with the Letter "Dd" and dinosaurs with a few more activities and I also realized we will have a couple of new changes next week.
I had Joe continue to do math based activities such as sorting, patterning, sequencing and tangible addition using his plastic dinosaurs and the graph he made earlier this week. He did really well with all of these activities and he enjoyed them. We also worked on recognizing the number 11.
We continued with "100 Easy Lessons" for reading and this is where our change will come in next week. Hanna never enjoyed this reading program, Joe doesn't and frankly, I don't either. This is my opinion....I find the book to be boring (lacking any pictures or color, making it physically unappealing to children). I also find it to be a bit confusing because it refers to all letters as "sounds" instead of by their letter names. This is confusing when you are trying to teach letter names and sounds at the same time. I also don't like the symbols it uses in beginning reading. I can see this possibly causing problems or creating "crutches" in later reading for the child. Joe was discouraged and his words "bored" with these lessons. So....I have decided that we will abandon this reading program and move on to "Get Ready for the Code". This is also a progressive phonics/handwriting/reading program. It starts off with letter recognition and phonics with handwriting practice, moves on to blending and then progresses with reading. It is colorful, bright and there are funny stories/jokes mixed in with the lessons. I know of several people who have used this with success and I am looking forward to beginning it with Joe. I think the fact that we will be going back to simply letter recognition, phonics and handwriting practice will be much more enjoyable for Joe and myself. We will move at his pace and worry about the reading again when he is ready. I know there will be much trial and error in homeschool and ultimately just want to use what is most fun and works best for each of my children moving at their pace keeping it interesting and fun for them the whole time!
We played a really fun board game called "Dinosaurs", by Aristoplay. This is one I had for Hanna at this age. Sadly, I have discovered that this company has since gone out of business and their games are pretty hard to come by now. We also listened to some dinosaur story CD's that my kids have loved--the Little Proto Trilogy, Great Dinosaur Mystery, Dinorock and Dreamasaurus. Here is a picture of the finished Dinosaur puppet we completed this week.
Joe played the Alpha Animals file folder game to continue letter recognition and phonics.
We had a science lesson on dandelions. We went outside and looked at "wishing" dandelions and the yellow flower dandelions and talked about dandelion seeds, how they are spread and how they turn into the yellow flowers. He thought this was pretty neat. Then we made a dandelion out of construction paper and a pipe cleaner. He was really able to work on his cutting skills for this craft.
Another great week! Looking forward already to all that I have planned next week and lots more fun learning time with Joe--and pretty soon, Hanna too!!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Joe is 3 years, 11 months old
We're off to another great start this week. Our letter this week is "Dd", our theme is dinosaurs, vocabulary word-prehistoric and our number of the week is "4". I'm changing things up a bit this week. Still trying to evaluate exactly where Joe is with Math and Reading. He knows so much and I'm still finding out just how much he knows each day. I'm really surprised. We started the "100 Easy Lessons" book this week for reading. This book is a "tried and true" homeschoolers learn to read program. I am not deadset on completing the book in just "100" lessons--if we need to move a bit slower at times that's ok. I just pulled it out over the weekend to see how it would go (totally expecting Joe to be no where near ready for it) and he flew through the first lesson and loved it! So, here we go!
Dinosaurs by Robert Sabuda
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food
The Littlest Dinosaur
When Dinosaurs Came With Everything
Can I Have A Stegosaurus Mom, Please, Can I?
File Folder Games
We are using an alphabet file folder game this week, Alpha Animals for phonics. Joe really loves learning anything if I use the file folder games and lapbooks. I will post pictures of this game later in the week, I haven't taken any as of yet.
I've got alot of crafts planned for this week, some of them are two-parters or are a little time consuming. This doesn't seem to bother Joe. He is pretty patient when it comes to crafty things. So far we have made dinosaur fossils and a dinosaur puppet/mobile. Joe wants to use it as a mobile and hang it in his bedroom (which is also dinosaur themed, he LOVES dinosaurs). He painted the mobile this morning and then he cut out part of it, lots of cutting, so I helped finish the cutting. We will assemble it tomorrow and I'll post pictures of it later in the week.
I had Joe group some of his plastic dinosaurs according to color, then he counted each color and recorded it on a graph. We are going to elaborate on this idea and use the graph along with the plastic dinosaurs later in the week to do some tangible addition. Most all of our math this week is centered around activities using this graph.
We are doing the "100 Easy Lessons" book this week. The lessons start easy, so I feel we will do one lesson per day as long as we can and Joe isn't overwhelmed in the least. Reading is so important and I want him to continue to love it. He has a reward chart for his reading lessons. He gets a reward for every 10 lessons completed and then a grand prize after completing all 100 lessons.
We are doing our usual writing practice with the letter "Dd" and number "4" this week using one of our boards and worksheets.
I'm just loving this!! I am ordering Hanna's curriculum tomorrow. Can't wait to get it in the mail and look through it!! Hanna is excited about it too! I am super excited about her science curriculum, Apologia Zoology 1, you should really check out their curriculum! It is a notebooking based science which is right up her alley considering she has been in the habit of notebooking at school for several years now. I narrowed her curriculums down to a couple per subject and then let her make the final choices. I'm very happy with her choices and excited about teaching them.
Hope you all are having a great week! Look for the rest of our week soon!
Friday, May 8, 2009
Joe is 3 years, 11 months old
We did a few more things to finish off our week with the letter "Cc". We made and decorated cupcakes. I've been in a baking mood this week and the letter "Cc" presented a few opportunities to do some baking so I took advantage of them. Plus, helping in the kitchen promotes basic math skills along with a host of other teaching/learning times.
We practiced writing alot more this week, reviewing the numbers and letters Joe has learned so far. We used our lapbooks to reinforce language/math skills.
Lastly, I had Joe do pom pom counting pictured below. He enjoyed this and it was a fun way to practice the number 11. We will keep learning how to write the numbers 1-10 but are moving on to numbers 11 and up in all other math related areas for now.
We had a good week. It was fun for both of us. *Side note* I signed up for an e-course the end of last week through Homeschooling ABC's. It's very cost efficient and offers alot of freebies and a wealth of homeschool info for a beginner like myself. I really like the course so far. I will post about it in depth after I've completed a bit more of the course. So far though, so good!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Joe is 3 years, 11 months old
I've decided to do my posts for the week throughout the week instead of cramming everything into one super long post that takes me forever over the weekend:-). Here is what we've done so far this week....so far so good!
This week's letter is "Cc", our theme is cats, vocabulary word claws, and our number of the week is "3". We are still doing circle as our shape of the week since it starts with the letter "Cc". *Side note* I've noticed this week when we are out and about Joe is looking for and pointing out letters on his own in stores, road signs and so forth, makes me smile:-).
Kitten's First Full Moon
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Click, Clack, Moo-Cows That Type
Feathers For Lunch
If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
We are using our Bird/Cat lapbook again this week that we made last week. This lapbook is great! We are also using a lapbook that goes along with "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie". Below are pictures of the lapbook.
This lapbook contains games and activities that focus on math, language and reading comprehension/story telling skills. It isn't crammed full of things, but what is in it is well worth it. Joe has enjoyed it so far.
Joe made a clock with a clock face, hands attached with a brad and a pendulum made out of a pipe cleaner and construction paper. He wanted to learn to tell time after making the clock. I'll go with this....I'm looking for telling time lessons/games now. Look for them soon:-).
We also baked cookies to go along with the letter "Cc" and the Mouse/Cookie book.
We played a game of "C"andyland to go along with our letter of the week too.
I've been trying to evaluate where Joe is as far as math goes this week. It's very obvious to know where he is with language/reading skills, but it's not as easy to determine where he is mathematically. He is really surprising me with his math skills. Yesterday I scattered a bunch of flashcards around on the floor and all I said to Joe was, "Now, I'd like you to go pick the cards up and lay them out on the floor in the right order." I figured he'd ask a few questions about it or have a little difficulty with the task. He did it quickly and so easily. I had him work with flashcards 0-15. Of course, writing numbers is difficult for him, but as far as recognition, counting skills, sequencing and so forth he is doing very well. As of this week, I have definitley decided we will be doing the Abeka 5K Math curriculum instead of the 4K fMath. So far this week we used the Cupcake File Folder game and the Abeka numbers flashcards and games for 5K.
So far we have had a great week. We've done lots of fun things and Joe has enjoyed them all. I am looking forward to the rest of the things I have planned for Thursday and Friday and already looking forward to what I have planned for Letter "Dd" week next week:-)! I am just loving this. Only 17 more days left of public school for Hanna and then she'll be with us too!! Yes, we are definitely counting down!
Friday, May 1, 2009
We noticed today that four of them had hatched. We never know if our caterpillars will hatch into butterflies or moths. We usually end up with some of each every year. So far these have been moths and I assume since all the caterpillars looked the same the rest will be moths too.
I noticed earlier this evening that there are already a few more starting to hatch out of their cocoons!
As we looked at the birds we talked about their homes, habitats and what he liked about each one. We also used this time at the zoo to make sure we looked at all of the "Bb" animals.
When we got home Joe counted the tally marks on his bird color sheet to see which color bird he saw the most. He also did an activity from his Bird/Cat lapbook about "camouflage". We took turns hiding birds around the room trying to camouflage them as we hid them and then pretended to be cats looking for them. The whole "bird/cat predator scenario" that we will learn more about next week.) All of this can be found in the lesson that accompanies the Bird/Cat lapbook.
Joe is 3 years, 10 months old
Another great week! This week was even more fun than last week. I am still so surprised at how eager Joe is to learn, how much he remembers and how much he already knows that I wasn't even aware of.
This week's letter was "Bb". Our theme was jungle, vocabulary word vines, number "2", shape circle and our science was centered around birds.
Our books this week used with our lessons were, Are You My Mother, Runaway Bunny, Slowly Slowly Slowly Said the Sloth, Piece of Jungle, Berloiz the Bear, The Bird The Monkey and The Snake in the Jungle, The Lamb and The Butterfly and The Baby Beebee Bird. We also acted out the nursery rhymes listed in Brightly Beaming's Prep Curriculum. (We will do this each week, Joe really enjoys acting them out!)
We made two "Bb" crafts. Our first was a bird nest, which also tied into our science. We talked about bird homes and collected a few things from outside to glue onto our nest that Joe thought a bird might actually use when building a nest.
We made a bee out of construction paper, googly eyes and waxed paper. Joe did all the cutting which involved cutting lots of circles (our shape of the week).
Math and "Bb" Activities
We didn't do too many math centered activities this week, just the ones included in the lapbooks we used. My Abeka "teacher" manual came yesterday so we will be doing a daily math lesson from that beginning next week. We did a few balance activities--balancing a book on our heads while walking and I put a long piece of electrical tape on the floor to create a "balance beam" and Joe had fun "balancing" on that.
Joe did some more writing practice worksheets, used his dry erase board and our chalkboard (his favorite writing choice) to practice writing letters and numbers this week.
Lapbooks We Used
I made a couple lapbooks that we used this week. We used our Are You My Mother? lapbook pictured last week. We also used a Bird/Cat lapbook and a lapbook that goes along with the book The Runaway Bunny. We used all three of these for language, math, science and just plain fun. The books complete with their links for making are pictured below.