Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
|I have recently been inspired by my friend, Tara and the pictures she posted on her blog about her school room. I've had an official school room for almost 2 years now, and have never gotten around to putting my maps on the wall. My mom got them for me years ago! I suppose that my days are so full that I never really had the energy to do any more than just get the books on the shelf and do school each day. So, thank you, Tara for lighting a fire of inspiration under me to get my stuff on the walls!|
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
|Hannah's Mommy has 2 boys and her youngest is a girl ... and I am so happy that these two little girls have each other since they are both growing up with lots of boys!|
Thursday, August 16, 2012
|I recently signed Martin up for a year of band. When we were in Virginia, I took Martin to a local band director so that I could see him on each instrument and especially check to see if he had any natural abilities on a specific instrument. (and to get the professional opinion of the band director) The band director was my student way back in the day when I was a high school choral director. (Before the days of babies, diapers, lack of sleep, exhaustion, joy like I've never known it, and gray hair)|
When I was teaching high school chorus, I got the bright idea to try and recruit some boys from the band to join the choir. How much better could it get than to find some instrumentalists who could also sing? I found quite a few ... put them in my advanced a capella chamber choir ... and it was one of the best things I ever did!
Steven is one of the ones that I recruited. He went on to get a college degree in Music Education. He is now a band director in Virginia. He sat down with Martin and put several instruments to his lips and we figured out that trumpet would probably be the best choice. (trumpet was Martin's first choice ... so it worked out really well!)
I started playing flute in the band when I was 10 years old, and I'm so glad Martin will have the chance as well!
I have signed him up with the Capital Christian Homeschool Band that meets not too far down the road. He will go twice a week and also be required to practice using the digital practice software, Smart Music. (wow, things are so much different today!)
I am so excited that Martin has this opportunity. Aaron is disappointed that he has to wait another couple years to join!
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
I scheduled several books using a 4 day a week lesson plan. These plans are not sophisticated by any means - they are just a straight forward scheduling of books to use and what pages to do or read. I don't have super fun hands-on projects for them to do like the HOD guides always provide. My plan is to have the two younger tag on with Aaron any time I have the paints, clay, or other type of activities out for him to do. And since I have been steeped in the Charlotte Mason method for the past 4 years, I am able to employ her methods without notes on how to do it and what to say. So, if you need those special notes and fun hands on projects ... my lesson plans won't help you! I use the Little Hearts for His Glory curriculum guide for the Kindergarten Math plans and the Rhymes in Motion plans as well as the handwriting, Do it Carefully, and Finding the Answers. I will use Little Hearts for His Glory in it's entirety with 1st grade options next year with Jonathan.
|I am using The Reading Lesson to teach Jonathan how to read. I love the ease that this curriculum brings to teaching a child to read. I have used a couple of other methods for teaching reading ... but this one tops them all. I will definitely use this again for Rosalie!|
|In the lesson plans that I provided above, it states that I am using A Reason for Handwriting K. I was definitely planning on using that curriculum with Jonathan and did use it last year (during our first attempt at K) for about 6 weeks. It is the curriculum I used for both Martin and Aaron - and loved! However, it was not working at all for Jonathan. Jonathan almost always shed tears over his handwriting, so I thought I would try Handwriting Without Tears (HWT)for Jonathan this year. We are doing about 1 page per day. This curriculum definitely is true to it's name for Jonathan. No More Tears! I am convinced that Jonathan had difficulty with visual processing with the other curriculum. Those issues have been resolved with the HWT curriculum.|
|This is the Little Hearts For His Glory(LHFHG) curriculum guide that I am using for the Math plans, Do it Carefully, Finding the Answers, and Rhymes in Motion. It is an excellent complete curriculum that I plan on using as written for 1st grade.|
|I have scheduled Bible Stories to Read, Bible Pictures to Color, and Family-Time Bible for the history and Bible portion of our lessons.|
|I am using Our Father's World for Science. I also found free printables that go with many of the science lessons to supplement the readings. The reason I chose not to go through the selected Kindergarten Science text from Little Hearts is because I prefer the way the K Science book is scheduled in a way that makes each of the units more cohesive. So, even though Jonathan will be 1st grade next year, I plan on taking him through the K Science text next year.|
|We will use Do it Carefully and Finding the Answers to work on matching, cutting, pasting, following directions, tracing, neatness, circling, underlining, crossing out, rhyming, and basic grammar.|
|In the lesson plans provided above, I have the Earlybird Kindergarten Math 2A and 2B scheduled. (I use the math plans from the LHFHG curriculum guide.) This particular math curriculum is no longer available to purchase, however. Since I did about 6 weeks of these books last year, I am using Rod and Staff beginning arithmetic with Jonathan right now. I will switch back to Singapore once we get 6 weeks into our lesson plans - but I will continue using the Rod and Staff to supplement. It seems to be a really good match for Jonathan. He's doing really well with it!|
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
|Martin is doing 5th grade this year. It is so hard to believe that I have a 5th grader on my hands! He will be doing Creation to Christ from Heart of Dakota. (HOD) The picture above is Martin's curriculum guide. I was very blessed to receive the curriculum including almost every single book that I needed for Martin's 5th grade year from my sister. (my sister used it with her daughter a few years ago and saved it for me) The curriculum guide was in very used condition ... and some of the pages were falling out, so I took the book completely apart, put each page in a plastic page protector, and put all of the pages in a large binder. I LOVE having the guide in this format. It's super big and bulky - but it is really nice having each page protected by plastic!|
|For English this year, Martin will be using Rod and Staff English 5 and Write with the Best, Vol. 1. I always order the English sets directly from Rod and Staff because I enjoy the worksheet and tests that are provided in the sets. The worksheets contain similar activities to what you would see in the textbook. I use the tests on the days that are scheduled for chapter review in the guide. |
This is my first year using Write with the Best, so I have no reviews for it yet. Rod and Staff does teach writing, so Martin has had some exposure to writing, but he's not had it in great detail as this curriculum will provide. Interestingly enough, even though Martin hasn't had much instruction in writing, he tested on an early 8th grade level for writing this past March. I am convinced that a steady flow of exposure to excellent literature as well as the practice of oral and written narration has helped his writing skills tremendously!
|Martin also loves Science. He will be reading Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day, Birds of the Air, Plant Life in Field and Garden, The History of Medicine, An Illustrated Adventure of Human Anatomy, and Galen and the Gateway to Medicine. I was able to download a set of fantastic Science notebooking pages from the HOD yahoo group! They have fun graphics on them and should make his notebooking assignments a little more exciting for him.|
|Martin has been doing Singapore Math since 2nd grade. It is a good fit for him. He has established excellent mental math skills. (however, sometimes he doesn't write problems down that he should and that can get him into trouble!) He is still finishing up 4B right now, but in a few weeks he'll be headed into Singapore Primary Mathematics 5A and 5B.|
|We are using Drawn into the Heart of Reading for our reading/literature curriculum. The books above are the books that Martin will be reading. I am so thankful that both of my older boys love to read. Martin has always been a strong reader and enjoys it. He doesn't enjoy the analysis part. It has always made DITHOR frustrating for me and for him. Last year, I actually put the curriculum away mid-year and only had him do oral narration with his reading books. I am so thankful and happy to report that we have really turned a corner this year with this program. I don't know if something developmental has occurred or if the years of oral and written narration are finally paying off, but I am thrilled that the literature analysis is going very well for him this year!|
|DITHOR provides pre-reading activities, vocabulary lessons, guided literature discussions as well as a focus the godly character traits of faith, fear of the Lord, responsibility, brotherly love, loyalty, virtue, obedience, joy, and integrity.|
If you managed to get through this entire post, thanks for sticking with me! I use Heart of Dakota not only for the rigorous academic Charlotte Mason style curriculum that it is, but also because of how it so carefully weaves Christ through each and every aspect of study. It provides a means for intentional heart to heart conversations about important life situations in a way that isn't artificial! I will post about what I am using for Jonathan's Kindergarten next! I am so excited about the 2012-2013 school year!
Monday, August 13, 2012
|I am using Bigger Hearts For His Glory from Heart of Dakota (HOD) for Aaron this year. Aaron is in 3rd grade. I started using HOD when Martin started 2nd grade. This is my 4th year using a Charlotte Mason approach to learning and it is a wonderful fit for our family.|
I don't have a picture to share but Aaron will be using Cheerful Cursive to learn how to write cursive. He is so excited to finally be learning how to write cursive. I love Cheerful Cursive and found that when Martin went through it he rarely needed any assistance at all. Aaron is on the same track and rarely needs any help with it. (which allows me to get some work done with Jonathan while Aaron works independently!)
|We will be using Rod and Staff English 3. I thoroughly enjoy Rod and Staff English. It is no secret that I am just not a math kind of a girl ... however, English is very enjoyable to me. I love teaching it ... and surprisingly enough both of my boys like it as well. They even enjoy diagramming sentences. I love the no nonsense methodical approach that Rod and Staff provides. We do about 2/3 of it orally and about 1/3 of it written.|
|I made 3 notebooks for Aaron to use this year. He will be starting History and Science notebooking, so I put together a separate notebook for each of those. I was able to download notebooking pages that other moms have made as they had children going through Bigger. They graciously uploaded the files they created to the HOD yahoo group. The 3rd notebook has a section for English worksheets, Vocabulary, and daily checklists. I got the daily checklists and vocabulary sheets from the HOD yahoo group as well. I am so thankful for other moms who have taken the time to share their hard work with the rest of us.|
|We will be using Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR) for reading this year. DITHOR is a very thorough study of the different genres of literature. It includes pre-reading activities, guided literature discussions, vocabulary lessons, and creative projects. Godly character lessons are weaved throughout all of the lessons. This curriculum can be used with any books. The books that I chose for Aaron are pictured below. Aaron is a very analytical kind of a child as well as being very perceptive. DITHOR is one of his favorite things about school.|
Friday, August 10, 2012
|The one thing that Rosalie wanted to do while we were in VA was go to the park near Papaw and Mamaw's house.|
|She was so happy when we finally took her there on our last day of the visit.|
|We did lots more while we were in VA - I just didn't very many pictures. It was a great week !|
Thursday, August 9, 2012
|Rosalie didn't want to have much to do with the water, but she did enjoy playing in the sand!|
|I was able to get Jonathan in the water a little bit, but he spent most of his time playing in the sand.|
|Martin and Aaron spent the entire time in the water ... jumping the waves. It was so much fun for them!|
|I found this dead crab along the shore line ... and spent quite some time just trying to catch it, but I finally did ... and we were able to turn every which way and study it! (It was dead and smelly!)|
|After a day at the beach ... it wasn't long before I looked in my mirror and saw 3 sleeping children! Martin didn't fall asleep ... but the others did!|