Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Crafting ~ Painting Day

This past week I pulled out all of the wooden “things” we’ve been collecting {for gift-giving} and a box full of paints and the kiddos had a painting day.

IMG_0527 My kids love to paint…and they had a blast!  I covered our “art table” with newspaper, got each kiddo set up with a paper plate full of paint blobs and water cups with clean brushes…and I let them loose.

IMG_0532They love giving gifts to their family and friends, and they were especially proud of their creations.


And my ds4 also discovered that he likes the color you get when you combine all of the paint colors on your plate :)

IMG_0531 I need to remember to plan more painting days around here…

Christmas Cookies

This past weekend was our annual Christmas Cookie decorating day…

IMG_0485 IMG_0489 IMG_0491

I’ve learned over the years that this is about the decorating…not the cookie dough ~ so I make it easy on myself and buy the refrigerated kind :)

IMG_0498 IMG_0488

And I always roll out the dough and get a pile of  baked up cookie shapes ready to go BEFORE giving the kiddos {and the grandparents} the decorating supplies.

IMG_0513 IMG_0515  

We always end up with some very creatively decorated cookies {the younger the kiddo, the more densely the cookie is decorated} and big smiles on the kiddos’ faces :)


Friday, December 10, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up ~ December Edition {with snow}

We’ve skipped a couple of weeks ~we’ve been “doing school”, I just haven’t “wrapped it up” here on my blog :)

We did take a short break in honor of Thanksgiving.  Since then we’ve been keeping up with the three “r”s but science and history have been put on hold until next year.  Instead we’ve been doing some fun advent and Christmas stuff.

Ds8 {3rd grade} ~

IMG_0466Reading ~ Ds8 has completed three more books from his reading list.  He finally finished More Stories from Grandma’s Attic {this took him two weeks}, Children from the Noisy Village, and The Toothpaste Millionaire.

Ds8 loves to read, give him a book about baseball and he’d read it until he finished it…even if it had 200 pages!  But assign him a book to read {even one from Sonlight’s reading list} and his face drops.  But he does his daily assigned reading without complaining, and he usually rates his “school” books pretty highly {I have him rate each book from 1 – 5 stars} :).

Grammar & Writing ~ He’s working steadily through First Language Lessons Level 3, he just finished a review of proper nouns and helping verbs and he’s working on memorizing “A Tragic Story” {which is a very funny poem, btw}.  He just finished week 15 in his Writing With Ease program.  I love that this program is so easy to implement.

Math ~ He is almost finished with another light unit in his CLE Math curriculum.  I think we can finish this light unit up before our Christmas break {we have one week left!}. 

Dd6 {1st grade} ~


Reading ~ My dd6 is flying though her All About Spelling lessons.  She just completed lesson #16, and she is almost finished with her first AAS reader, Runt Pig.  I have the next AAS reader sitting on the shelf waiting for her.

IMG_0459I recently wrote about why I love AAS so much…check it out if you’re interested in reading more about our experience with this spelling {and reading} program.

Grammar & Writing ~ Dd6 is almost halfway though FLL1 {which is pretty much review for her since she listened in when dd8 did FLL1&2 last year}.  Since she is still a beginning reader, she hasn’t started WWE1 just yet.  I am debating easing her into it after our Christmas break.

I have been copying some pages from our Explode the Code workbooks for dd6 to complete.  These worksheets are a great way to give dd6 some independent work to do while I work with ds8.

Math ~ She just took quiz #1 in her current CLE Math light unit book, so that means she is almost halfway through this light unit.  She’s been working on skip counting by 5s and counting nickels.  Next up is skip counting by 2s.

Family Subjects

History & Science ~ As I said at the beginning of this post, we are taking a break from history and science for the month of December.  We’ll resume both subjects in January. 

Advent & Christmas Fun ~ For the month of December, we’ve replaced history and science with some Advent and Christmas fun.  We are reading Ann Voskamp’s Jesse Tree Devotional along with Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Jesse Tree.  Ann Voskamp provides scripture passages in her Jesse Tree Devotional and McCaughrean’s Jesse Tree book provides a wonderful narrative story. 

There are times when these two resources do not match up perfectly, but it has been pretty easy to accommodate this.  The other day I read one of the devotional passages and two of McCaughrean’s chapters so that we would end up on “the same page”.  The divisions in both of these resources are short enough that sometimes doubling up is not difficult.

We are also reading Bartholomew’s Passage in the evening when dh is home.  We are loving this book just as much as we loved Jotham’s Journey {our advent storybook from last year}.

I have also been finding a ton of fun Christmas printables on the internet to keep my kiddos’ fingers busy.  If you are looking for some Christmas fun for your preschooler, be sure to check out the printables at 1+1+1=1, Confessions of a Homeschooler, and Totally Tots

In between all of the school stuff going on around here, we have also found time to put up and decorate our tree {it took us three days to get it all done}, watch some fun Christmas movies, sing a bunch of Christmas songs, and enjoy a couple mugs of hot chocolate. 

IMG_0470 IMG_0462 IMG_0464

And just today we got our first snow of the season.  We’ve been having flurries almost every day for the past week, but today the snow actually laid on the ground.  It is not measurable at all, but the white stuff is all over the ground and the kiddos worked very hard shoveling a bunch of it into a bucket this morning :)

One more week until our Christmas break…yeah! 

This post is being linked to Weekly Wrap-Up hosted by Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Good Morning, God {Apologia Press} ~ A Review

I absolutely love Apologia products.  We are currently using one of their Elementary Science books in our homeschool and we are having a blast!  I also have one of their Worldview resources sitting on our shelf…waiting to be used.  So I was very excited when I learned we were receiving a picture book from Apologia Press to review.  

Good Morning GodGood Morning, God is an adorable hardcover book that was written by Davis Carman. I love the illustrations…each two-page spread includes a simple black and white drawing and a full color illustration {illustrator is Alice Ratterree}.  You can view a sample of this book here

This sweet book follows a little boy through his week, from Sunday to Sunday.  Each day the little guy learns about the many different ways the he can worship God with his heart, mind, body, soul and strength.

I really like the repetitive text in the book.  Each day begins the same ~ “Good morning, God.  Today is Sunday” {or Monday, etc}.  And each day ends with a prayer and a good night to the day and to God. 

The little boy does many of the same things that my own little four-year old guy does ~ he colors pictures, he helps in the kitchen, he reads books, he climbs {even to places he’s not supposed to}.  And all of these things are ways that he can worship God.

Good Morning, God was designed especially for one to eight year olds, with the intent that they would be inspired to “enjoy the Lord with their entire being all through the day.” 

In the back of the book are suggested questions and activities that can be used as devotional tools.   These are organized by the day of the week and they correspond to the theme of the day.  For instance, on Tuesday the text says:

“Mom and Dad teach me when I’m sitting, when I’m standing, and especially when I’m jumping.”

Some of the suggestions in the back of the book for Tuesday include asking your child to name some animals God created that jump.

My own four-year old loves having a book whose main character is very similar to himself.  My little guy is also a cute, towheaded preschooler who spends his days with his family…reading, climbing, listening, playing.  He likes to help me read books, so the repetitive nature of the text is very appealing to him.  Even though he can’t read yet, he can help me say some parts because they are repeated throughout the book.

This book would be a welcome addition to any bookshelf.  It is a wonderful read-aloud and it can also be used during family devotions.

More Information

Good Morning, God is available for purchase on the Apologia Press website for $14.00.  There is also a 32-page companion coloring book for $4.00 that you can purchase to use along with this sweet book.

Good Morning God coloring

Apologia Press is a division of Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.  Apologia Press offers homeschool curriculum {other than science} and products intended to help parents.  In addition to Apologia Press, there is also Apologia Science {science curriculum, lab equipment}, Apologia Live {conferences for homeschool moms}, Apologia Academy {online academy} and more.

post banner

Click on the above banner to check out what my fellow crewmates think of Good Morning, God.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to provide an honest review of my thoughts about the book.  I received no other compensation for my review.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How All About Spelling Saved My Sanity

When it came time to teach my oldest child {ds8} to read, I didn’t…he basically taught himself.  Don’t get me wrong, I tried to teach him,  but I just got in the way.  When he was ready to learn {around age 5}, I taught him the sounds that the letters made and he was off.  My little guy read everything…and those easy phonetic readers just frustrated him.

100_0744 Enter dd6…my extremely phonetic child.  Bless her little heart, she has been working so hard on learning to read for the past year…and she has finally gotten to the point where she can read four letter words with blends.  She sounds out every.single.word…even if she just read the word one sentence before :)

We began last year with a gentle phonics program {she was 5 1/2}, we’d sit together on the couch and work on reading every morning ~ but eventually this program began to frustrate both her and me.

Since she already knew all of the letter sounds, I decided that maybe we would just spend time practicing reading…so we moved on to reading through the Bob Books…one at a time.  This approach worked for a while, but we needed something more…

Enter All About Spelling…ahhh, finally something that clicks with my little girl.  Yes, this is technically a spelling program, but it covers phonics so completely that I thought it could serve as a phonics/reading instruction program for my extremely phonetic little girl. 

100_7041In the first step of Level One we worked on letter sounds.  After quickly covering all 26 phonograms {she already knew them}, we moved on to segmenting words {listening for and saying every sound in a word}.  We began with words with one sound, then moved on to words with two sounds, and finally words with three sounds.  I think it was this process of learning how to segment a word into its individual sounds that finally made the reading process click for her.

Since August, she has progressed all the way to Step 15…she has conquered the digraphs sh, ch, and th and final blends {blends at the end of a word}.  We are now working on initial blends.

She does an amazing job at the magnet board, she can quickly and easily spell most of the words in her lesson…this then gives her the confidence to read these words in her readers.

runt pigAnd now she has her very own hardback reader…one that corresponds with what she’s learning in her daily lessons ~ The Runt Pig.  She is so excited about this reader that she wants to read a chapter every day.  Each day when we sit down to read after her AAS lesson she calls her brothers over so they can listen in too :)

I am so thankful that dd6’s hard work is paying off…to be honest there were times when I feared that I would never be able to teach my free-spirited red-head to read…and she wanted to read so badly.

Thank you All About Spelling…you helped me teach my daughter to read!


Blog Design by: Relevant Designs