Saturday, August 27, 2011

Homeschool Week 2

This week we began learning about our eyes. Amelia used an interactive website to identify the parts of the eye. We also read some great information in our human body encyclopedia.
She learned about pupil dialation and decided to bring a small mirror into the car with her so she could watch her pupils change in different light.
In math we began learning about place value. At first she didn't quite understand the concept, but with some practice with the place value manipulatives it all began to make sense.
Amelia finished her first Reading workbook and got a 98% on her first test of the year. She was really proud of herself and showed it off to dad as well!
It was our 10th day of school so we celebrated with ZERO THE HERO! Zero the Hero brought them a zero shaped treat and they colored a zero and placed 10 zero stickers on it. Lots of fun!

Story of the World Chapter 1:The Earliest People

We learned how the Nomads travelled from place to place looking for food. They lived in caves or tents as they travelled. When the Nomads reached the Fertile Crescent, many decided to stay. They established villages and began farming. This is the map Amelia colored of the Fertile Crescent area.
Here Amelia is listening to the SOTW audio and coloring the corresponding student page from the activity guide. We refer to the encyclopedia as we read to add visual reinforcement.
We finished off the week with a Cave Painting Activity!
So far, I LOVE Story of the World!
Amelia was playing outside and she found an "ancient artifact" in the yard. She was VERY excited!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

First Week of School Photos!

Here we are posing for our FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL photo!
Amelia hard at work on her Math workbook
Ella working with Color Tiles

Story of The World 1: What is History?

This week we began our year-long study of Ancient History! After reading a great book about Archaeology,
 we discovered some internet sites that allowed Amelia to manipulate real tools used by Archaeologists and we discovered the 2,000 year old city of Petra through an interactive map!
Next, Amelia interviewed her Great Grandma Sally to learn more about her family history and recorded the information she heard.
We learned that historians often find bits of clay pottery in their digs that were left behind many years ago. To illustrate this, the girls painted clay pots and then "accidently" broke them.
 We later used them in our Archaeology dig outside in the sandbox. They glued the pieces together to see what they could learn about the "ancient civilization" they had discovered.
Here they uncovered the corner of a clay pot!
Amelia carefully brushed the sand off of the broken pieces.
Finally we glued the artifact back together!
We had a lot of fun during our first week of Ancient History!
I look forward to many more discoveries throughout the year.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oceans of Fun Trip!

We took a little trip to Kansas City to get away before the new school year started. We had a blast!
Here we are at Oceans of Fun!
We also visited Paradise Park! The kids had so much fun.
Here is the Blocks and Construction area.
House Play
Pizza Parlor
Grocery Store
Water Play
Before we left we were able to go see my brother, sister-in-law, and our two nieces. The girls all played and we had a great time visiting and seeing their new home. And, as you can see, I forgot to take pictures!
I love you family!
I am so glad we had this time away together!

Homeschool Work Space and How I plan

Homeschooling planning can be an overwhelming task in itself, but this year I would not only be homeschooling my 1st grader but also teaching Preschool to 8 other children 5 days a week in my home. I knew I had to get really organized or I would not be able to stay on top of things. So, this summer I worked on getting every week of school planned out in detail. I labeled the file folders by week.
After all my folders are labeled by week, I sit down with all of my materials and my lesson plans and sort everything into the appropriate folders. All workbooks (CLE for Math, Reading, and Lang. Arts), worksheets, activity pages, books, etc...go in each week's folder so they are ready to go. (No thinking on my part after the initial planning/organizing.)
Here is a close-up of my lesson plan sheets. I keep them all in a 1/2 inch binder at the front of my file crate.At the end of the week, I move the week's lesson plan to the back of the binder so the top plan is always for the current week. 
Then I place the current week's folder in the binder along with my Well Planned Day Planner.
As the week progresses, I keep ongoing papers and completed work in the weekly folder. I may come up with a new system for this, but for now this works.
In the Well Planned Day planner I write what we actually accomplish each day. This gives me a sense of accomplishment and also gives me a place to write things down that were not in the lesson plan such as a cool internet site or an additional book.
I store my crate, lesson plans, current library books, teacher manuals etc... in the dining room.
Here is a picture of the dining room where we do our homeschooling. The space you see beyond the dining room is my preschool/home childcare room off of the Kitchen. We also use that space throughout the day. I need to take some new pictures of that room as well because I recently rearranged some things.
The corner cabinet on the left side is where I store a lot of supplies we need throughout the week.
I hope you enjoyed the tour of my planning and work space and materials.

Sprinkler System Repairs

Well, after the fencing company installed the new fence they informed us that they hit the underground water line for the sprinkler system. They had also burried the broken spots under 2 feet of concrete. How thoughtful of them. So with no rain, no sprinklers, and record high temperatures...the green grass turned a solid straw color in a matter of two weeks! The lawn practically matched our house color!
So, Stan knew a guy who is a handyman and came over to repair it before our hideous lawn brought down the whole neighborhood. HEHEHE!
This is a picture of one of the 4 broken spots in the line. As you can see, the water just poured out as soon as you turned it on.
Running a new section of PVC pipe.
After 8 hours of work, he repaired all of the leaks and the sprinkler system was up and running. It only took about 2 weeks for the grass to green up again! It looks so much better.

Monday, August 1, 2011

2011-2012 Homeschool Curriculum Plans

This year I am participating in the "Not" Back to School Blog Hop  hosted by Heart of the Matter. This week is Curriculum week so I am sharing all of my plans for the upcoming year!
I have completed all of the lesson plans for Amelia's 1st Grade homeschool curriculum for the entire year. I have organized it by week in a file crate so that I will have everything we need (workbooks, worksheets, books etc...) at my fingertips. I don't have a picture yet, but I will post one when I get it done. I also have my library book lists completed and saved on the library website so I can just request all the books I need for the month without any hunting.

Language Arts and Math
For Language Arts and Math we will be using Christian Light Education. I have high hopes for this curriculum choice and hope it will be one we can use for years to come. It is very well laid out and each subject contains 10 workbooks. I have read many reviews and have heard that this curriculum is very organized, thorough, and requires the child to use critical thinking skills. It is also a "back-to-basics" curriculum, so it puts a strong emphasis on memorization of math facts and grammar usage. Beginning in 2nd grade, the workbooks teach directly to the child so they can begin to take responsibility for their own learning with mom close by whenever needed.
In science, we will be doing a year-long study of the human body. I got the plans for this study for free here, and I think it will be a great introduction to the human body for Amelia and Ella and includes weekly topics such as the five senses, cells, lungs, skeletal system, the brain, and many others. The topic will be explored through the following resources along with lots of library books that correlate with the topics:

We will be studying Ancient Times following the Story of the World (SOTW) resources pictured below. This volume begins with the earliest nomads and continues to the fall of Rome. This curriculum was written for 1st-4th graders in mind. Each week we will listen to the audio recording of a chapter in the book and participate in various activities throughout the week that go along with it such as coloring sheets, map work, hands-on crafts and activities, and additional picture books.

We will be going through the Evan Moore 1st grade Geography workbook which includes lots of different mapping experiences including:
  • Globes
  • Directions
  • Map keys
  • Physical maps
  • Street maps
  • Farm, town, city, and state maps
  • Park and zoo maps
  • Product maps
  • Tourist and weather maps
  • Political maps of the United States and the world
Have a great school year everyone!