Thursday, June 16, 2016

Kindergarten Plans

I've made our plans for kindergarten and ordered curriculum. So excited for the next step on our homeschooling journey! Our basic education philosophy/framework text is The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home. It goes from K-12th grade. They suggest a soft start to kindergarten and then schoolwork really picks up in first grade. Annie and Jacob want to "do school" so we are using some of the WTM kindergarten suggestions and then adding a first-generation homeschool curriculum called Learning at Home. Learning at Home gives us the lesson plans for "fun kindergarten"--little books to make, art projects, Bible, motor skill activities, read-aloud suggestions, etc. We are going to use Right Start math. It has lots of hands-on games and activities that Jacob will love. Annie has picked math up intuitively (she does not think like her mama!) and already knows most kindergarten math. But I think she will enjoy this program as well and I will pick topics to challenge her in. For reading, we are going to continue on with Phonics Pathways. It is a simple program to teach and is working well for us. Jacob is ahead of Annie in reading, so it all balances out. ;) We are going to implement a great idea I borrowed from a fellow homeschooling mom who has four children about the same ages as my kids--"Rotation Station." This way each child will get 15 minutes of my undivided (for the most part, anyway) attention, while the other munchkins work on an independent activity. For handwriting we are using Zaner-Bloser. Annie and Jacob know how to make most of their letters and numbers, but we can use the review and practice for sure! For science we are using a fun preschool text called Rainbows, Bubbles, and Worms. Sophie will enjoy these experiments, too. I am going to begin teaching the older two piano later this summer. They want to learn so we are going to give it a try. We are in a homeschool support group that plans great field trips, and each child has picked one independent activity to do: the girls picked ballet, Jacob wants to do soccer and tball again, and Nora goes to toddler storytime at the library. Then we all go to Bible Study Fellowship--I love it for me and their preschool program is fantastic. So there's our plan for kindergarten...we will see how it goes when we start in September!

Daily Lesson Plan
Prayer and calendar
Right Start math lesson (4x week)
Rotation Stations:
With Mama:
Annie and Jacob: Phonics Pathways, beginning reader
Sophie: concept awareness
Nora: Slow and Steady Get Me Ready activity
Art project or worksheet
Free play
Puzzle or manipulative
Art or music exposure
Recess/outside play
Learning at Home activities
Read aloud
1-2 weekly activities

Weekly Activities
Science experiment
Art project
Field trip or play date
Piano lesson and practice

Independent Activities
Annie ballet
Jacob soccer (fall), baseball (spring)
Sophie ballet
Nora library story time
All Bible Study Fellowship

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Picture Books

Here are 20 authors and illustrators I think every child should know. Pick up a few of their books from the library and dig in!

In no particular order:
Marjorie Flack (especially the Angus books)
Charlotte Zolotow (her older ones are better)
Nancy Tafuri
Dr. Seuss
Eloise Wilkin
Tasha Tudor
Russell Hoban (especially the Frances books)
Margaret Wise Brown
Eri Carle
Brian Wildsmith
Jan Brett
Peggy Parish
Kate Greenaway
Jane O'Connor
Virginia Lee Burton
Tomi dePaola
Beatrix Potter
Jim Arnosky
Uri Shulevitz
Marie Hall Ets

Friday, June 10, 2016

BSF Recap

I have so enjoyed studying God's Word through Bible Study Fellowship these past three years. This year we studied Revelation. I think everyone in my group was intimidated at first, but once we got into it we all really enjoyed learning together. My main take-aways from the year:

- judgment is coming and it will be truly terrible
- but God's abounding forgiveness, compassion, and mercy is available to any person who repents and seeks after Jesus
- Jesus will return
- for believers, His return brings full restoration of ourselves and our world: He is making all things new and perfect!
- for those who have refused Christ's truth, the second death is permanent and real
- who in my life needs to know these truths today?

Excited to study the Gospel of John next year!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Nora: 16 months + surgery

16 months already! Nora has perfected her walking, increased her talking (I can't keep track of all her words anymore), still loves Freight Train, wants her baby doll and dog-dog at bedtime, and has now thrown two full-out tantrums when she doesn't get her way. She is nursing 3x a day and loves to eat everything except vegetables. She has just moved up to 18-24 month pajamas; her other clothes are a mix of 12-18 and 18-24 month.

16 months
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Hi, Mama
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there are bubbles over there
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headed for the bubbles
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Nora had surgery a couple of weeks ago to remove a benign cyst near her eye. It has been there since birth but it was time to take care of it and get the procedure over with. I was apprehensive but she did great. The surgeon said they had to wait in the OR for about 15 minutes for the anesthesiologist so Nora got a tour and enjoyed entertaining everyone while they waited. And the recovery room nurse said Nora woke up smiling. By the afternoon she was running around with her siblings so she definitely bounced back fast. Glad it is over and done!

trying out the hospital bed
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home a couple of hours after her surgery and all smiles. also very attached to what we refer to as the $750 sippy cup, brought home as a souvenir from the hospital.
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Friday, June 3, 2016

Pirates and Mermaids Party!

Jacob and Sophie celebrated their birthdays together with a pirates and mermaids party. It was really cute and they loved having their family and friends come to celebrate with them!

our family, worn out from a fun party!
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Jacob's table
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Jacob's cake
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Jacob's banner (thanks, Honey!)
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Sea Water with Salt and Scurvy Removed (Honey)
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Bebe and Papa Rick
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Sophie's table
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Sophie's cake
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Sophie's banner
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Under the Sea water (compliments of Honey, again. what would our parties be without her?)
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Honey and Poppa
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Mama Rita and Papa Gene
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Annie decorating a crown (there were pirate hats for the boys)
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faces with Papa Gene
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Granny sends a present for everyone :)
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birthday boy!
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Sophie having so much fun on the swing
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littlest mermaid
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Honey, Nana, Mama Rita, and Poppa
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little friends waiting their turn for the pinata
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here we go!
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party time!
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sweet friends
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singing Happy Birthday to Jacob very enthusiastically
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blow out those candles!
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Annie takes this singing seriously
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Sophie's cake was fun to make. I made the candies first and they made the decorating easy.
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birthday girl
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presents for Jacob
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YaYa, Fred, Danielle, and Dillon
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presents for Sophie
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