Wednesday, April 1, 2015

We are HERE!!

Well, it has been a LONG, LONG time since I have updated anything on this page. Life has been busy, wonderful and full with homeschooling my fourth grader and kindergartener. We are loving life and enjoying learning, exploring, and experiencing things together!

I will be returning here though as I will be online more often. My kiddo has requested setting up her own little corner in the blogging world to share on -- and in my mind I see creativity, computer skills, writing, editing, planning, etc. She is currently working through her 'plan' and presenting her ideas to us soon and then with that I will be monitoring her work and guiding her through some basic skills to publish. We'll see how it goes!! In the mean time, here are these two little people enjoying something they both love -- science!

Hudson, Kindergarten

Holly, 4th Grade

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week In Review

The first week of school here was fantastic!! Both kids worked really hard this week, explored a ton, enjoyed many hours of more free flowing learning and had fun!
Hudson had a great time learning with his preschool week. This week his theme was centered on apples. He practiced colors, letters, numbers, counting and creating in sets of ten, reading short vowel a words, learned the life cycle of an apple, taste tested eight varieties, looked at an apple tree through a magnifying lens and observation, baked apple hand pies, did a load of art, mastered some fun puzzles, watched a video on apple orchards and the harvest, spent some time on and read a lot of books with me!! An excellent week that he loved with full rich days of learning and playing... he could not get enough of!!
Holly also enjoyed an amazing week of third grade! She started the week off with brand new curriculum and a mix of some familiar curriculum too. The week starts off in review for math as she masters some skills learned last year, a book study was kicked off with Little House In The Big Woods, she finished up her chemistry unit with a final project in baking bread from a cold yeast start and a warm yeast start and a review test which she rocked, loads of art, many great books, a look at ancient civilization, learning about history and how we learn from it as she created a history pocket and notebook project, learned about becoming an archaeologist, watched a video on archaeology, jumped into the country of France as we start year two of Expedition Earth, she started a poster from her new health program and did some reflection writing. It has been a full week with so much more than listed... a wonderful week!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

New Year

We kicked off our new school year this week. Our home is now enjoying a third grader and a preschooler. Both kiddos are very busy, loving their lessons and growing up all to quickly! We have some fun projects planned for the year, outings and field trips, extra curricular activities, experiments and challenges for the year ahead.... we are all excited!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hudson's Preschool Year

This year Hudson is moving up to preschool. I am not sure if being in a homeschool setting has moved him forward or if he is just naturally interested in learning...either way, he is now a preschooler and more than ready for it. We only plan to do preschool for one year at this point which means next year Hudson will be a kindergartner. He will track younger than many peers however a benefit with homeschooling is that I can track with him and nurture his learning path and if the need ever arises to slow down a bit later for more focus or maturity, we can gently do that too. For now, this is our path and he is well on his way!

I have chosen to do his preschool year based on books. We will take a book for each week and I will create and gather his school work based on that book or theme. All reading (extra themed books and augmenting books story lines that intertwine), writing, letters, number, social studies, art, science, sensory, motor skills, field trips, cooking, music and movement will be based on the book of the week. I will create some of this myself, refer to the handy dandy internet and those who have gone before me, some various preschool packs, the library, field trips, what we already own as well as my previous education and experience. It will be a fun, full year!!

To kick off this is how his first few weeks will play out (book/theme):

Week 1   ~ Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson / Apples
Week 2   ~ Owl Babies by Martin Waddell / Owls
Week 3   ~ Corn by Gail Gibbons / Corn
Week 4   ~ Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone / Harvest
Week 5   ~ Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic by Leslie Evans / Fall
Week 6   ~ All Around the Farm: DK book, John Deere/ Farming
Week 7   ~ Farm by Elisha Cooper / Farming
Week 8   ~ Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington / Pumpkins
Week 9   ~ The Boy Who Drew Birds by Davies & Sweet / Wintering Birds
Week 10 ~ Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky / Wintering Animals
Week 11 ~ Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault / Letters
Week 12 ~ Thanksgiving Day by Anne Rockwell / Thanksgiving
Week 13 ~ Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes / Thanksgiving
Week 14 ~ The Mitten by Jan Brett / Winter
Week 15 ~ Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry / Christmas

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Curriculum 2013-2014, Holly

I have finally wrapped up planning and began prepping for our 2013-2014 school year, third grade and preschool. Along with that I have decided to ramp up blogging once again to share our journey. I enjoy hosting it, some family and friends enjoy reading it and I especially love having a small history of our days with photos that I can easily pull to print for years end.

We have Holly's year all planned out now. I am still working on Hudson's school year however we have determined this will be his last preschool year, next school year he will start kindergarten as all of those benchmarks have easily been met now, so we will refine them this school year, mature a bit and move forward next. It is earlier than we had originally thought, but he is ready. Now to adjust that college financial plan, ha!!

Here is a rundown of Holly's school year:

Reading: Selection of works and a book study with Latin Road/Phonics binder 2

Writing: Bravewriter/Partnership Writing, poetry binder and ZanerBloser Cursive

Spelling: Latin Road/Phonics binder 2

Language: Latin Road/Phonic binder 2, pre-latin 

Math: Horizons, online games/practice

Science: finishing up geology through fall, RS4K Astronomy, Nature Club and Nature Studies, fun projects intertwined, (still determining full path beyond this, next curriculum)

Social Studies: Expedition Earth second half (world study) and World Religions (Usborne)

History: History Odyssey Ancients (modified)

Health: ‘Be Fit, Be Strong, Be You’, body study, swimming, group games with our homeschool group

Occupational Education: continue weekly cooking, field trips to various businesses, sewing, learn about professions in science, inventors/inventions

Art and Music Appreciation: Atellier, Usborne and self created. Artist study. Tacoma Youth Chorus, begin intro to piano and attend arts performances.

Special Units: Geology, Gallapagos Islands & Darwin, Food Chains, Coral Reefs

Activities: Camp Fire (4th year), Swimming (working on level 9 of 10 - if completed move to a swim team), Tacoma Youth Chorus (2nd year)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Inspired Art

We have been looking at various artists from children's books this past few weeks. This week we enjoyed some time with Eric Carl, Leo Leoni and Lois Ehlert. While they are different, they are pretty similar. It was great to pull out books and really take a look and compare the styles, uses of materials and design.

To finish up we read The Tiny Seed (which also ties into some planting we have recently done) and the kids both created flowers. Hudson's was modified as he isn't cutting in round form yet, so he created a rather square flower but a flower none the less. Their art is colorful, full of texture, creative and perfect to have up this time of year! Holly even created a another small project where she made a hummingbird. So pretty!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tissue Paper Garden

A beautiful spring art project Holly created a week or two ago has been a wonderful addition to our art wall. This project was so much fun and produced such great results that she wants to create a much larger version that will include more nature to put in her bedroom as art. This child loves art!

The project was simple and with easy, around the house supplies. We took a piece of thick cardboard and she painted it a light yellow and then watering down a white Elmers glue and using a paint brush she decoupaged a whole sheet of lime green tissue paper over the whole board, this was her canvas to work on. The cardboard was not a lighter color surface to create on, however if you have a white canvas or white cardboard I do believe the tissue colors would be a lot more vibrant.

Next Holly used an array of tissue colors I keep on hand for art to cut out grass shapes, leaves and various styles of flowers. She then layered her grasses (in different greens) and added a few leaves. When you add a piece of tissue you use a paint brush and paint a light layer of watered glue and place the tissue, then paint over the tissue gently with another light layer of watered glue, ensuring it is fully covered in glue. After she had her greenery completed she then added her different styles of flowers repeating the same process with gluing, tissue, gluing. Careful with the glue as if that hand is not gentle or rushed you can smudge the tissue up or break it, creating frustration. Once the final design is completed she used a larger brush and painted one more layer of watered glue over the entire artwork. Allow to dry and display.