Category Archives: writing

Reproducibles

Something else I’ve added to my repertoire this year is reproducible worksheets for extra practice. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big fan of worksheet after worksheet when it comes to schooling and I wholeheartedly believe hands-on activities are much more effective, but as my oldest advances in age, I think it benefits him to get extra practice in the areas that I see are lacking in our curriculum. With math in particular, I am finding this very necessary. I love Math-U-See, but because it’s a mastery program and focuses mainly on one skill at a time, I am wanting to supplement it with practice on the things that are not the current focus right now. Elliot absolutely loves learning new math skills and so it excites him to get a variety of concepts to practice. He is also very much a workbook/worksheet kind of kid. The the more I add, the more thrilled he is. He feels accomplished completing this kind of stuff. For kids who are intimidated by too much of this thing or find it to be a drag, this probably wouldn’t enhance their experience.
I’ve found several great resources, both online and in stores. I find them to be much easier than hunting down several printable worksheets online. With one of these books I can get around 40 activities quickly and simply. I make copies of the pages, so that I can reuse all of these over again with Caroline (or again with Elliot if he wants to do them again), and store them away in an expandable file folder. On days when our workload looks light, I can grab one on the subject I think he could use practice on and add it to one of his drawers of work for the day. He’s has really enjoyed having some new things to work on.

20120924-135149.jpg

20120924-135201.jpg

Comments Off

Our Summer Writing Project

We’ve been enjoying our summer break and have just two weeks left until we start our next school year! One project Elliot and I have worked on this summer was making a “real” book. He has been dreaming of the idea for a while. He’s been inspired by his love for reading, particularly mysteries and has been planning on writing his own but he wanted more than just a stack of paper stapled together and handwritten pages. I came across Bare Books and decided it would be a great affordable way to make the finished project into a real bound book. They’re completely blank hard covered books in a variety of sizes with different numbers of page numbers. I purchased several (just had a hunch this would not be his last book) with twenty pages which worked out to be just right for this project. For about two weeks, Elliot worked feverishly on his book, writing pages and pages in his creative writing journal. The finished product was a complete story with an intro and ten chapters. He even included a moral at the end. My job was taking his written work and typing it out for him, as it would’ve surely taken him more than the entire summer to type it and he would have burned out before completing it. I wanted to make the process and fun and stress-free as possible. We pasted what I typed into the bare book, leaving blank pages for his illustrations. He’s quite proud his first book and is excited about getting to work on his next mystery.

20120716-142602.jpg

20120716-142621.jpg

20120716-142637.jpg

20120716-142656.jpg

20120716-142644.jpg

This is his list of book titles he intends on completing someday. There are about 200 in all (these pages are covered front and back).
20120716-142705.jpg

2 Comments

Elliot’s First “Report”

A little over a week ago Elliot and I found ourselves on the topic of researching and writing reports and how he’ll do those things when he’s older and he insisted he wanted to give it a try now. We decided he would “research” the differences between homeschool and public school and that since each of his parents have experience with one of those, he could interview us to get his information. He recorded each of our interviews on camera so he could play it back when he was putting together his report. At the end of last week, he wrote a rough draft of his report. I will say, this was not as easy of a task as he thought it would be. He had some trouble getting started and knowing what to say. He developed some attitude issues and I struggled with some frustration over that. I discovered he is extremely self conscious and sensitive to criticism which was contributing to his reluctance to just write what came to mind. It was a learning experience for both of us. In the end, we pushed through together, made revisions, and today he completed his final copy, which he is extremely proud of! All the hard work, frustration, and misunderstanding was worth it for the confidence he gained!

He planned ahead by writing down the questions he would ask in his interviews.

20120116-023650.jpg

Here he is interviewing Daddy.

20120116-024532.jpg

Rough Draft
20120116-023721.jpg

Revisions
20120116-023735.jpg

Final Copy!
20120116-023753.jpg

Comments Off

Copywork for Five in a Row

I recently came across this great blog of a lady who put together some copywork sheets for ALL four volumes of Five in a Row and offers them for downloading (for free!). They are a fabulous addition to our handwriting practice. I use them in my clear plastic pockets with dry-erase markers for a couple times and then at the end of our time with a book, we’ll do it in pencil and put it in our notebook.

20110831-030711.jpg

20110831-030718.jpg

Comments Off

Handwriting….and Workbags

Handwriting and workbags have nothing to do with one another, but I’m combining the two topics for this blog entry to update how we’re liking some of the things we’ve been using this year.

For handwriting we’re still using A Reason For Handwriting and we really like it. He has four lessons in his book each week that have him practice writing words from the verse for that week. Then at the end of the week he picks a special border sheet from the back of the book to write his verse on in his very best handwriting and he is supposed to send it to a friend or family member. (That is supposed to be done Friday, but we do it Thursday after the final lesson so that we can take a break on Friday.) Elliot has enjoyed all aspects of this…he loves picking the border sheet, writing in his best handwriting, coloring it, and running it out to the mailbox to his recipient of choice when he’s all done. I love that he’s learning more scripture and the importance of good penmanship for the purpose of glorifying God (the REASON for handwriting)!

20110825-034703.jpg

20110825-034713.jpg

20110825-033414.jpg

Caroline has really been enjoying her workbags and she gets very excited when I tell her I’ve got something new for her to try. It’s been really handy for me to have something easy to grab for those moments when I’m doing something with Elliot and need to occupy her (which happens SO often). When I pulled out her clothespin counting bag today, Elliot was green with envy that she had something so fun to do. I was really happy to remember that I made him a similar game for practicing math facts so I pulled it out too and they both had a blast doing their workbags. It’s made me realize I’d like to invest some more time in making even more activities like these to have on hand.

20110825-033446.jpg

20110825-033501.jpg

20110825-033515.jpg

20110825-033529.jpg

Comments Off

Creative Writing Friday

We’re doing creative writing on Fridays again this year, only this time I’m going to keep them all together in a composition book. Elliot is very excited about making his own book of stories. I told him he can write anything he’d like, as long as he uses up at least a page each time. For his first page, he thought it would be a good idea to make an “about the author” introduction so whoever reads this would know who wrote all the great stories in it.

20110822-013034.jpg

Comments Off

Mount Vesuvius

Comments Off

Journal

This morning Elliot wrote what is likely his last journal entry for Kindergarten year. Between “A Reason for Handwriting” and his journal, he has gotten a lot of practice and is very skilled in the area of writing, which is impressive for kindergartener who is on the younger side. He enjoys writing (which is why I give him plenty to write about. Otherwise, being that he is so young, I wouldn’t push it) and he takes a lot of pride in his work. He’ll often tell me, “Mom, you want to come over here and see how great my writing is looking so far?” I love to look back at what his work looked like at the beginning of the year and compare it to what it’s like now. It really is amazing how much he’s improved this year!

Comments Off

Creative Writing Friday

We did something a little different on Friday for writing. Instead of the usual story, since we have been talking a little about inventions, I had Elliot write a description of the invention of his that he’s been talking about for at least the last month, long before we ever started this unit. He’s very serious about this invention and he believes he will build it with his Daddy when he is eight years old!

Here’s the picture to go along with it. In case you’re wondering, all those little pink squares are the buttons that change the hot air balloon to various things like a car, plane, boat, motor bike, or rolling castle.

Comments Off

Creative Writing Friday

Comments Off