Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Weekly Middle

It is October and our unit studies have turned from Ocean Life to All things fall!
I love this season so the change was not a difficult one for me to adapt to.

Our display table that show our unit study

We have developed a nice routine for the morning and it seems to flow really well one into another.
We've introduced a President study into the mix. We are going through the presidents starting with number one, Mr George Washington.
Each week we will introduce a new one.

The subject that I am most surprised by is, math. I heard good things about Singapore and boy were they right on. We are loving it! Right now we are on number bonds and showing how there are different components to numbers. For example 2 +3 =5 but also 3+2 =5
It is the same number story just the players are reversed. Putting it this way, she is grasping it quickly. Today we got to play it out with groups of Disney dolls vs Strawberry shortcake

3 and 4 make 7

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Fantastic Field Trips

We were able to go to the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. This was the highlight of our month long study on ocean life. It was a blast! Words don't do it justice, so of course I will share a few photos.
Tsunami debris.

The touch pool, and we had an excellent guide!

Sea lions in Newport!

Yummy Mo's chowder

Finally, the all important splash and sun!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Weekly Middle

So this morning dawned crisp and cold, feeling rather like fall is around the corner! My kind of day for homeschooling.

We've been keeping on keeping on with sea life. Last week our animal was dolphins, and this week staying with the same family we have the killer whale, also known as an orca!

Here is where I got the first craft Printable Killer Whale

Here are some other links where I found out information about Killer Whales/Orcas
Usually I tell the kids these facts while they are painting, coloring and pasting.



We've been REALLY (may I stress the word REALLY) enjoying our new math-book. Singapore is just the right fit for us. Also, using flash cards to drill addition has been great as well. Many thanks to fellow homeschooling moms, Bridgette and Cati for their suggestion!

Free play has been a source of enjoyment around here. New sand for our sandbox sent up a cry of rejoicing from the troops. It also lead to the kiddos rolling around in it for 10 minutes. A pretty fun sight if I do say so myself.
Then, we are having a pantry built in our kitchen. This leads imaginations to run wild with what it can be turned into.
"Welcome to the library" she says
Another activity that took place was a super simple lesson on erosion that was tied in with our sea life study. I took and cut a water bottle in half. Then, filled it with sand and rocks. Water was applied and eroded our mix. I was much more into this than the kiddos were. They did it, and were engaged but, they were not over the moon about it. They understood the concept though for sure!

Then. let's end with the reason I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING! 
Outdoor reading under a tree! Plus, this sweet little face peering up at me! 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Weekly Middle

So, it's the middle of the week and after a few days being unsure, Bella is officially enjoying school!
We've found ourselves spending time outdoors.
The nature collection is ever growing, so we found a new place for it and added a sign.
Pretzels in a nature collection?

Our Inside Out Ocean Diorama was finished today!

We've been sampling a little bit of the BBC's Earth DVD. It is a wonderful series with amazing animal shots! My husband recommended it to me, and I scoffed a bit at us purchasing this but, now I am so thankful we have it! It is simply stunning. Here is a link to check it out on Amazon.
Planet Earth DVD on Amazon

Today was a beautiful day, so we took advantage of the sun and made sun tea, then went for an decidedly long nature walk.

Our "walk zone"

We also made great progress in Language Arts today. I have found it to be wonderful to lay out a blanket under an oak, and use our materials out there. Word Builders Mats are working really well for this.
I cut up foam letters I found at the dollar store and am using a little lap mat for Bella. I gather up a few letters, and using the "Word Builders" book I call out words for her to spell. I say them both normally and phonetically. So she can hear the sounds. We have just started blending so we are doing BA, AB, TA and so on.  We are also focusing on 30 sight words, and using primary readers and are on #4.
I can honestly say I too am loving school!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Our First Day Of School!

Well, it began! We are officially a homeschooling family and it is both the most overwhelming and exciting thing I have undertaken as a mom. I am so excited to share with my children the joy of discovery! I also love the freedom to educate in the style that works best for them. Lots of outdoor time and even studying outside! It is pretty awesome.
So here is how our first day went down.

Our day started off with the creation story. We talked about what God created on day 1 and then made the first page of our creation book. We also sang our song of the month and opened in prayer.
We went over spelling our names, school rules, animal of the day, sea animal flash cards, and went over what school will be like as well.

Our creation books day 1 God separates light and dark

We did a little review in the math arena. We also did some sorting like items. We discussed how some items have two ways of sorting (color and shape)

Here is Miss B sorting silverware

After Math it was time for recess and boy did we enjoy our bike ride/walk!

Miss B spent time creating an obstacle course

For art each kiddo made a hand-print octopus, because they  were also our animal of the day. I set out books for both kiddos to look at, so they could paint in their own ocean world around the dried hand-print. We also had to put on googly eyes!

Yes, he has an extra leg! Mr C's thumb just popped in.

Adding in a crab

For Language Arts we practiced our sight words, worked in Explode The Code and read our first Primary Phonics book. You have to love those stories about Mac the cat who sat on the mat. OH joy! :)

Last but not least, we watched a couple of youtube movies on the octopus and felt very informed
Here are some of the videos we watched.

All in all a happy day indeed!

The Great Undertaking or, how I started homeschooling

Well, we began on Wed and it went fairly well. In the usual way of things, I learned about myself, my children and what worked for us.

I will tell of our first day in another post.

This is the post in which I explain what in the world I am doing!

Our math textbook for right now is Houghton Math. I am not huge fan of it but, am making do till I receive another one from Singapore Math.
We are also using manipulatives such as cubes, coins and blocks to keep it fun. I like a middle of the road spot in regards to education. I like to play with the ideas, but also enjoy the foundation of a textbook.  I have done some research into fun projects for Bella to enjoy while also learning and look forward to implementing those.

For Langauge Arts we are using a selection of materials. We are using  Primary Phonics books to practice reading. Bella already is familar with all of the phonetic sounds from her amazing preschool teacher, so we are building on where that left off. We also are doing some sight words. I believe that children learn both from memorized information, and tools to interpret. We are using Explode The Code as a workbook. I am also giving her words to practice her handwriting during the week. They will go with our theme, which right now is oceans.

Our theme for the month is Ocean. This means our art projects, handwriting, exploration and field trips will all be centered around this for September. We are working on getting to know the creatures of the sea using flash cards, having an animal of the day, watching youtube videos and utilizing the BBC's Earth.
 The highlight for me is when we will visit the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport!

About our science, that will have to come later because we joined a Co-op! I am so excited to take that next step in a few days!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Summer School Day 1 - Feet Feet Feet

Using a simple book titled "Circle Time Science" we are prepping for school to start the end of August.
So, in order to do so I am using a transitional schedule set up for us to get used to the idea of having a schedule again :)
Here was our lesson for today-

*Opening Talk
Chat about your feet. Are they big or small? Rough or smooth? Do all feet look the same?
Take photos of your feet. Do the photos look different? Can you guess your foot from your siblings? 
Trace all of your feet.

*Changing Feet-
Get adult sized shoes for the kids to try on. Ask questions about what they will do when their feet are big. Have them predict what size their feet might be when they get older.

Using "When I have big feet I will" to have the kids tell what they will do when their feet are bigger.

*Animal Feet-
Animals have different kinds of feet too!
We sang this oh so lovely song. It is annoying but the kids enjoy it! 

Be kind to your web-footed friends
For a duck may be somebody's mother,
Be kind to your friends in the swamp (
Alternate line: She lives on the edge of a swamp)
Where the weather is always damp.
You may think that this is the end,
Well it is!

Label a piece of paper on one side write web-footed and on the other write non-web footed. 
Color and cut out pictures to past to the appropriate side. 

* Action 
Take the kids on a nature walk to look for tracks. Get mud wet, and have the kids make imprints of their own  tracks using shoes, sticks or rocks to start a conversation about prints made in the dirt.