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A Peek at My Week: The First Week

Whew! It has surely been a busy week. I won’t bore you with every tiny detail. I’ll just bore you with some of them. šŸ˜›Ā Last weekend was spent with my family hanging at the lake for my birthday. After having an insanely crappy week, with insanely crappy weather, my birthday weekend really made up for it. The weather was gorgeous, and there is much to be said about drinking lime-a-ritas, playing board games, messy BBQ ribs, and flying at high speed across beautiful water for an adrenaline rush. Even if my whole body did hurt the next day. Hurt like I’d fallen down a flight of stairs kind of hurtin’. I’m just hardcore that way. This week marked our official start for First Grade! I tried my best to make it feel special for the kids. Ā I do fondly remember first day of school excitement from my youth. We took the kids not-back-to-school shopping, so that they could pick out a first day outfit. They were uber excited to dress up nice for the first day, as opposed to their usual pajamas, or just running around in their underwear fashion they normally sport. šŸ˜› I cooked them sausage pancake muffins for breakfast, which is something I rarely do. Have I mentioned that I am not a morning person? Plus, I surprised them with an awesome cake, which I very heavily relied on Michael’s assistance to actually make look good! I wish I could say that our school week went off without a hitch, but that would just be a complete lie. We ran into a couple of problems with new curriculum this week, mostly easily rectified problems. One of them, however, has me a bit stressed out. That would be our math. My choice for math was a super easy decision for me, because we are just continuing on with our Time4Learning. We liked it for Kindergarten, so I saw no reason to switch it up, and I assumed it would be a smooth transition from Kindergarten to First Grade math. That isn’t exactly the case though. I won’t get into a long winded explanation on why we are having problems, but it looks like I am either going to have to pick something new or do some supplementation to start with and then use throughout the program. I’m leaning more towards the second choice. I’m hoping it will work itself out in the end. Highlights from our homeschool!... read more

Our Human Body Unit

Here is a peek at our unit on the Human Body! Our Book List: The Big Beginner Books About Me, by Dr. Seuss My Five Senses, by Aliki From Head to Toe, by Eric Carle How Many Teeth?, by Paul Showers My Hands, by Aliki Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body, by Joanna Cole We worked on it over the course of 4 weeks, and Haden really enjoyed it. šŸ™‚Ā We used the Me & My Body book from our Explore and Learn Series as our spine for the unit.Ā Our lapbookĀ from HomeschoolShare turned out to be our largest one yet! We had to use 3 file folders to put it together, and we didn’t even do all of the mini-books in the pdf. Along with our reading & working on our lapbook, Haden worked on making a model of the human body, labeling major organs, body parts, creating some bones and blood vessels, and of course a happy face. Somewhere along the way we made Apple Smiles as a snack, and watched this human body rap video. I thought about making this cake, but never got around to it. I might just make it for our Not-Back-to-School party next week!... read more

Our Next School Year: The Plan

This past weekend was our local Homeschool Expo; I wrapped up the majority of my shopping for the upcoming school year while I was there! I still have a few miscellaneous books that I need to buy off of Amazon, but we are otherwise set for the year. I am pretty pleased with the way everything has come together, although there was a few moments there when I was planning and researching that my head was seriously hurting. šŸ˜› We are doing year-round homeschooling, so although we have Ā taken a couple of short breaks this summer, we have not had an extended one that would clearly mark when we “go back to school.” I am going to consider the beginning of September as our new year, since Haden is two weeks away from being finished with this year’s Math, although he won’t finish his Language Arts until around October. But whatever. So here it is! A summary of everything we will be using this year. šŸ™‚ Language Arts & Math We will still be using Time4Learning, because we love it so much! I really feel like it is the best fit for Haden (& me!), especially because he is a pre-reader, and the online lessons are a great way to introduce new concepts to him without me having to walk him through everything. Then, using the Teacher’s Guide for each unit, I plan activities to enforce the things he has been learning and to make sure that he isn’t confused about anything. Ā We use the recommended books list for each unit, and we have especially been enjoying some of the living math books. Plus, I’ll be using theĀ Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book: Problem Solving A to ZĀ that I bought last year, since we never got around to really using it. Literature I’m moving AWAY from so much classical literature this year. This past year I used a book list of classical literature for his grade level and many of the ones we read, we just didn’t like all that much.We are going to continue pulling books from our Time4Learning lists, as well as other lists. Probably some of the ones I have pinned on Pintrest. We did enjoy our Mr. Popper’s Penguins Literature UnitĀ from Confessions of a Homeschooler, so I am planning to work in her units on Little House in the Big Woods, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Stuart Little. Handwriting We are picking up where... read more

Mini-Office Lapbook

As of late, I have spent entirely too much time surfing homeschool blogs, which has ultimately ended in my taking on too many projects. I’m happy to say that I am only ONE more project away from counting myself as DONE!, and it should be just in the knick of time for my next college class to start. So, I found this idea originally on the the Homeschool Creations Blog, which basically amounts to a fun reference lapbook for Haden to use. I just taped together 3 file folders and folded them accordion style. Haden’s includes: Alphabet Chart Months of the Year and Days of the Week Number Grid 1-100 Money Charts Shapes Continents and Oceans Cloud Identification Chart Seasons And some other stuff. I’m not gonna list it ALL! Sheesh. šŸ˜› Wanna make your own? Here are some of the places that I found useful printables… Teaching Heart Lapbook Lessons Jimmie’s Squidoo... read more

Mr. Popper’s Penguins: Our Unit Study

Those of you that read the Peek at My Week: Community post, know that I am officially not a huge fan of the book Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Such a Ā strange ending… However, we did have a lot of fun working on our unit study. I found this Literature UnitĀ for the book on the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog. $2. You can’t beat that! Unless you wanna design your own for free… and I don’t. šŸ˜› Haden is really LOVINGĀ lapbooking and notebooking, which is funny, because a few months ago I didn’t even really know what those were. In the next couple weeks, we will be starting a unit on the human body, which will include doing a new lapbook, among other things. Some of the highlights from out lapbook include: The life cycle, body parts & food chain of a penguin, mapping out the route the Popper’s took around the United States and writing a poem about penguins. (At this point, I am doing most of the writing for everything, and just letting Haden dictate to me. The spaces allowed aren’t really conducive to early writers.) Our flubber experiment, to simulate how flubber works to keep penguins warm in cold water! Plus, we watched the movie, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, for comparison. It really is almost nothing like the book. Guess which one I liked the best…... read more

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