Week 3: Aug 23-27

Great week!!  Monday was awful but the rest of the days made up for it!  I took very few pictures though.

Our morning time has expanded to include sign language and Keys for Kids devotional time.  Nathan starts out with us as we cover the two above and memory work.  Then he gets started on his workboxes while the littles and I go over the calendar. 

I made a calendar notebook for Kaleb this summer (should have made one for Gabriel too as it seems I will need to do that soon).  We also use a calendar set that I purchased at Mardels.  It covers the calendar, days of the weeks, seasons, weather etc.  We also use a 100 chart to count our school days with a BIG 100th day celebration planned and a straw counting set that I also purchased at Mardels.  All of that is mounted inside our morning board.  You can see all of that and the rest of our school space *HERE*.  Our memory work system is similar to the Charolotte Mason scripture memory approach but in a more Christie-friendly format.  I canNOT find the link now to show you how fabulous this system is though.  I will keep looking.  However basically it is a notebook form of the CM approach.  Instead of notecards, I used cardstock and put it all in a binder.  Each piece that we are working on goes in its designated area.  We include everthing we are memorizing including scripture, poems, songs, prayers, etc.  I made a notebook for each child so that when it is full, they will have a complete set of all their own personal memory work.  Soon our morning time will include some AO subject resources.

We love our workboxes still.  Can’t wait until we have more room for the little boys to have them.  We complete SO much more work when we use this system!!  It keeps the boys on track….as well as their slightly scatterbrained mom.

We added science this week.  Week one and Nathan is LOVING Apologia Gen Science!  Loves that there are two experiments a week.  I had a *lightbulb moment* two weeks ago when trying to decide where to fit in the little boys’ science.  Between the two 8 week co-ops we are participating in this fall, there just isn’t a lot of extra time.  I realized finally that both Kaleb and Gabriel are ALREADY taking a science class…with me…during our Monday morning co-op (Anatomy) and Kaleb is also taking another anatomy class (called Blood and Guts) at our Friday afternoon co-op.  Just to add a little {one day a week or two} extra, we are also doing the science suggestions in Galloping the Globe.  Science is covered!  Thank God! 🙂 

And speaking of science, you can read more about what we did this week *HERE*.

We added First Language Lessons for Kaleb this week too.  He wasn’t sure about it and started grumbling before we ever got started.  Lesson one is about…..5 minutes long.  Once he realized how easy and quick it was, he changed his attitude.  We haven’t had trouble since. 

The rest of our subjects went pretty smoothly.  My biggest problem this week (same as last) was coming up with enough schoolwork for GABRIEL!!  He just insists on doing as much as Kaleb.  I spent a good part of Thursday printing and laminating some things for him that he can just pull down himself anytime he wants.  I need to add a few more crafts projects to our week. I’m pulling out Saxon Math K too and maybe adding those things to our day will appease my eager pre-k student.  If not, I know our co-op classes will!  ….just two more weeks!!

Week 3 results:
Together we….
…completed lesson 19 in history.
…worked on fingerspelling and learning how to say “I love you” “mom” and “dad” in sign language.
Kaleb and Gabriel together completed….
….several books and worksheets (Evan Moor Beginning Geography) in GtG.  You can read more *HERE*.
Nathan completed through….
…lesson 31 in math.
…lesson 67 in English.
…lesson 3 in Wordly Wise (yes the dreaded WW is BACK! We’re approaching it a bit differently this year though).
…half of module 1 in science.
Also successfully took a spelling test on his WW vocab words.
Kaleb completed through…
…page 93 in ETC.
…lesson 3 in FLL.
…page 52 in MM 1A.
…lesson 125 in OPG.
He also memorized The Caterpillar by Christina Rosselli.
Still waiting on A Reason for Handwriting to arrive in the mail.  Hopefully we will have that for next week.  In the meantime, he has been working on writing the ABC/123’s and copying some sentences from BOB books.

We are taking most of Friday off to get some much needed grocery shopping and errands done.  I am leaving on a girls’ weekend on Saturday!!!

The boys get next Monday off too since I won’t be back until late Monday night.  They will get to hang out with Dad and do guy things for THREE WHOLE DAYS!  {Psst….they don’t know it yet though!}

You can read about Gabriel’s week *HERE* and Drake’s week *HERE*.

See you next week!! 🙂

Found these flashcards at Apples4teacher.com.

Preschool Corner: Week 3 Gabriel (4 yrs)

I really failed at taking many pictures!  We had a great week though.  We learned about butterflies, practiced some writing, played many games, and had a lot of fun.
We are learning ASL.  We started this week with learning the alphabet and how to sign I love you, mom, and dad. 
Gabriel is working on memorizing The Caterpillar by Christina Rosselli and the months of the year.  He has memorized the days of the week!!
*HERE* is a post all about butterflies including pictures of our crafts and *HERE* is a post all about our week of Galloping the Globe.
You can read about Nathan and Kaleb’s week *HERE* and Drake’s week *HERE*.
See you next week! 🙂

Galloping the Globe!!! Week 1

We started our GtG unit study this week!  Kaleb, Gabriel, and I are super excited!!  Kaleb has been wanting to do geography ever since last co-op when I taught a geography class that he didn’t take.  After seeing all the cool projects and yummy foods, he begged and begged to take geography!  Little did he know I was already planning for GtG!!  🙂

This is week one of Map Skills.

Christopher Columbus/Kensky
A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus/Adler
Hernando de Soto/Larkin
Sir Francis Drake/Larkin
Miss Rumphius/Cooney
Evan Moor Beginning Geography

This week we…..

…read Maps and Mapping by Taylor and Maps and Globes (I forgot to write down the author’s name).   We talked about the difference between a map and a globe, and then the difference between maps (political, physical, etc).

…drew maps of the neighborhood and our bedrooms.

….started the Evan Moor Beginning Geography workbook.

…read Christopher Columbus/Kensky, A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus/Adler, Hernando de Soto/Larkin, and Sir Francis Drake/Larkin.  Then we did some notebooking pages on the explorers.  (I’ll have to take pictures of those for next week!)

There is so much more I want to cover before we begin with our first continent.  We may stretch this part out over three weeks instead of two.

Next week we will do more pages from Beginning Geography before moving on to landforms and bodies of water.

Butterflies!!! …and Apologia Gen Science!


This week’s science project doubles as our stART project!!  🙂

{Nathan’s science week is below.}

Kaleb and Gabriel have spent the last few days learning about butterflies.  We read the following books:

  • A Butterfly Grows/ Swinburne
  • Let’s Draw a Butterfly with Circles
  • Butterflies in the Garden
  • Butterfly and the Bog Beast (Magic School Bus)
  • The Usborne Complete First Book of Nature (butterfly and moth section)

We memorized The Caterpillar by Christina Bottelli  in FLL.

We talked about a butterfly’s life cycle and made this fun project.  Our very own pasta butterfly life cycle! 🙂

We made these cute little crafts.

Kaleb’s reaction:  “I liked all of the projects and books, and I like making the caterpillars.  I learned that when caterpillars turn into butterflies, they become insects. “

Gabriel’s reaction:  “My favorite part was making butterflies and making butterflies.  An insect has six legs.”


Nathan started Apologia General Science this week.  He has really enjoyed it so far.  He has completed two of the three experiments from Module one. 

The first experiment is Density in Nature-
“Objects or substances with atoms packed closer together are more dense than those with atoms packed more loosely.”

The second is Atomic Motion-
“The hotter the water is the faster the atoms move which causes the dye to be distributed faster than in the cold water.”

Mama’s Mission: Sept 2010

Mission of the Month

When I saw Mama Jenn’s new Mama’s Mission post, I knew I had to join!  I have already been working on this in small ways since July so why not make it official and public to help hold me accountable? 

{I promise not all mission post will be so long but I’d like to give a little background.}

My biggest decision this summer was to get my house completely organized. I have made much progress and learned that this isn’t something that will happen overnight. I realize this is a long-term process.  It wasn’t going to happen in a month…or two.   However, I am SO pleased with what I have accomplished.  My husband notices, the boys notice, and I notice. 

My first goal was to completely organized all of our school stuff…..books, workbooks, office supplies, art supplies, games, activity bags….everything.  And I had very little space to do it.  I managed to get it done and I can’t believe how much easier our homeschool day goes just because of simple organization. 

“Mom, where’s my….?” questions get definite concrete answer instead of the usual “I don’t know…let’s look for it.”  A great achievement in our home!

So to follow, my mission for the month of September two-fold:

  • keep our school organized.  The hardest part of being organized is just simply staying organized.  This is my biggest goal for Sept.  Make it a habit for not only myself but my boys and husband (who seems to be a natural when it comes to this stuff).  The biggest part to this is simply putting things back where they belong, instead of throwing it on the bar, table, or bookcase to be put away later.

  • continue organizing the house.  Next on my list is the kitchen.  I need to not only re-organize everything, but also purge and deep clean.  I’m going to take it in sections since our schedule in Sept is so busy.  I don’t want to overwhelm myself.  First I’m tackling the pots and pans cabinets.  Then the foodstuff cabinets (which you can imagine with four kids is most of used cabinet space in the kitchen).  Next will be the baking, spices, and dry condiments cabinet.  On to the dishes, bowls, glasses, etc cabinets.  And last will be the top of the refrigerator amd under the sink.  That is five different sections and if I combine the last two, I have one mini-mission a week for September!  Actually I already started today…..there are a lot of extras, doubles, unused items sitting on my curb right now for give-away.  I love that in this neighborhood, free stuff doesn’t last long.  I’m sure everything will be gone by the evening.

So that’s my Mama Mission of the Month!!  Wish me luck!! 🙂  Click on the button above to read about more missions for the month of September.

Our *school room space*

I am SO excited that before this school year is over we will have a room completely dedicated to school!  We are going to start building our new house *hopefully* next month.  We are really looking forward to having lots of storage for our school supplies and a nice quiet place to learn.

In the meantime, we are using the dining area as school space.  It isn’t a big space and we still have to use the table for meals so I spent a good part of July getting every bit of school stuff organized and in its very own place. 

My totally awesome bookcase find from last year’s yard saling has made my life SO much easier…..even though I still need to finish painting it.  It’s actually more organized than this now too.  My current goal is to make sure whatever comes into my house has its own space……or it doesn’t get to stay!  This sits between the back wall and our dining table. 

Still the best thing in our homeschool…..workboxes.  I changed from the hanging file folder boxes to this storage over the summer.  I like this set up a lot better.  The 12 inch length allows all those notebooks to lie flat and not crease.  Each of the older two boys have 9 drawers which is all we can fit under the bar in front of the table.  When we get the new school room, they will have 12 each and I will start adding a few for the younger boys.
Our workbox grids.  The blue and red are Nathan’s and Kaleb’s grids.  I decided not to use Gabriel’s and Drake’s yet since we don’t have room for their workboxes.  Instead I printed up a simple daily chart for them.  Each day has four spaces for activities.  Basically the idea is to just make sure I do at least four educational activities with each little one every day.  They do more than this on any given day because they like to participate with the older boys but I needed this kind of OCD organization mostly to pacify myself. 
This is the front of our morning board.  I made a new one for this year.  Their grids and schedules fit perfectly on the outside.  This is mounted on the wall between the back wall window and our big closed storage.
The inside of our morning board.
The top of our closed storage.  All of the calendar stuff is in that green storage box, puzzles, fingerpaints, LF dvds….mostly stuff I don’t want the littles to reach! 🙂  I usually use the front for showcasing art projects.  You can see part of our morning board to the right.
I finally organized the inside…..and look at that room to spare!!!  {no worries…I’m sure I’ll have that filled up in no time!}  Top two shelves are for art and office supplies that we are currently using.  Bottom has a box of books for future use (deals I find on curricula). 
 This is above the washer and dryer (the w&d closet is in the dining area as well).  Photo boxes hold extra supplies.  I scored about 30 bottles of glue one day at Office Depot for NINE CENTS each!  Stamp set above that.  The file boxes used to be our workboxes.  Now I keep all kind of paperwork for school (mostly pre-school) in them….one has ABC/123 stuff; another has holiday activities, ideas and more; and honestly I can’t remember what is in the other two. lol  I really need to organize them better.  This is actually all above the dryer.  To the left, above the dryer are a TON of board games.
I realized as I started this post that I didn’t take a full picture of the area.  That would probably helped a lot in seeing where everything is.  Oh well….the next time I post homeschool room pics, you’ll get every single little detail.  {and hopefully that will be BEFORE Christmas….lol}
Go to Mama to 3 Blessings blog to see more classrooms!

Week 2: A lot of little fun things for the past few weeks.

All things fun over the past few weeks called week 2! 

We have been taking it slowly and one day at a time.  Sometimes getting in a full school day and other times just a little here and there.  We kept up with the three R’s this past week and now I’m looking forward to adding science, art, Spanish, morning circle, and the rest to our schedule in the next few weeks.  Next week we will add science, art, and morning circle.  Spanish will be added once co-op starts and the rest (mostly AO extras) as time goes on.

The last few weeks have been filled with one more VBS, a Justin Bieber concert, play dates, pool parties, and just a lot of end-of-the-summer fun!!  We have been SO busy but have had so much fun.  I haven’t taken many pictures of our adventures.  Most were very mommy hands-on (like swimming) so the camera stayed at home.  It’s been great but we are all ready to settle down to a regular daily schedule.

We focused on getting those three R’s done every day this week and we did great!  We took off Thursday to attend our homeschool group’s Not Back To School pool party….fun!  Nathan and Kaleb are working hard and doing great.  Gabriel and Drake want to do *school work* more and more.  Thank goodness I took the time this summer to organize all of their preschool activity bags and other little games.  They have been having fun with their own schoolwork.  Gabriel surprised me this week by tracing {very well} numbers 1-15 and the letter Aa.  He did a GREAT job!  We definitely will keep working on that since he shows a HUGE interest and is doing so well!

Week 2 is all about the pictures so………Enjoy!

{You can read about Gabriel’s Preschool Corner week *HERE* and Drake’s Tot School week *HERE*.}

This is a special pencil!!  Besides being Star Wars, Daddy used this pencil when he was in school.  It was put in a box of art supplies that we found in Grandma’s attic a few weeks ago.  So Kaleb used a pencil for schoolwork that his daddy used for schoolwork too!
Justin Bieber concert with friends!

See you next week! 🙂

Preschool Corner: Week 2 Gabriel (4 yrs)

Gabriel is BEGGING me for more and more *real* schoolwork so here we go:

He shocked me with how well he can write….for the first time! He even held the pencil correctly!  He would pinch it and say “like this mom?”

We played some fun educational games.  Some with Kaleb and some with Drake.

We talked about math and then he wrote his numbers and traced shapes.

He did this puzzle mostly by himself.

Kaleb and Gabriel both working on a little math

We had a NOT back to school party with our homeschool group on Thursday.  We had a picninc in the park, the boys rode the train with Daddy, and then we all went swimming for a couple hours!

He is having so much fun! 

Can’t wait until we start morning time next week! 

You can read more about Nathan and Kaleb’s week *HERE* and Drake’s tot school week *HERE*.

Tot School: Week 2 Drake (29 months)

Tot School

My Draker boy LOVES these simple little activities!  He has played with them every day since I made them!

I brought out this color matching game and he had a blast!  He doesn’t know all of the colors yet (actually he only really knows pink….and I”m not sure why) but we had fun!  He picked one up, showed me, I told him the color and then he matched the clothespin with the paper plate!

He had to do a little pre-writing practice with his big brother, Gabriel! 🙂

We played with the lacing beads some this week too! 

Thursday was spent at the park for a NOT back to school pool party with our homeschool group!  We had a picnic and then walked over to the pool area for a couple hours of waterfun!

He really enjoyed this week!

You can read about Nathan and Kaleb’s week *HERE* and Gabriel’s week *HERE*.