Monthly Archives: September 2012

Week 8

We’re excited to have reached our 8th week of school already! This week we’re finishing up our studies on Van Gogh and Mozart, closing our our time with “The Solid Rock” and finally finishing our read-aloud, Farmer Boy. We’re looking forward to starting a bunch of new things soon.

Memory Verse: Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. -Psalm 55:22 (9/17-9/28)

Hymn: The Solid Rock (8/27-9/28)

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh (7/30-9/28)

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (7/30-9/28)

Five in a Row: Little Nino’s Pizzeria (studying food groups, origin of pizza, and family businesses) (9/17-9/28)

Pre-K Literature: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (studying seasons and rocks) (9/17-9/28)

Read Aloud: Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

A Few Photos From Last Week

She was so anxious to begin her work that she brought it into my room as I was getting myself ready for the day (before I made the bed, apparently).

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Elliot loves following along in our hymnal as we practice our hymns.

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We’re still loving Math Lessons for a Living Education. It’s a great introduction to math concepts for 4-5 year-olds.

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I love that even though it’s a math book, throughout it Christian values are emphasized. It’s a huge blessing to be able to weave our faith into all areas of our education.

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Caroline and I started a book to read together in the evenings. She was so thrilled about reading a chapter book that would take several nights that she insisted she needed to make a special bookmark for it.

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That’s a picture of the two of us reading together.

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Last week we also went on a field trip with our homeschool group to the apple orchard. The timing was perfect, as we just finished up our bee and apple units the week prior.

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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.

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Week 7

Memory Verse: Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. -Psalm 55:22 (9/17-9/28)

Hymn: The Solid Rock (8/27-9/28)

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh (7/30-9/28)

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (7/30-9/28)

Five in a Row: Little Nino’s Pizzeria (studying food groups, origin of pizza, and family businesses) (9/17-9/28)

Pre-K Literature: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (studying seasons and rocks) (9/17-9/28)

Read Aloud: Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

A Few Photos From Last Week

The kids love changing around the current dates and weather on our calendar each day.

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This is something new we’ve been doing this year. We use our Math-U-See blocks to build the date each day. It’s really helping Caroline’s understanding of the value of the blocks and how it changes each time you go from nine ones to adding a new ten.
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Elliot excitedly started reading The Chronicles of Narnia last week.
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We have enjoyed our homeschool enrichment classes so much! Elliot’s favorite is his cooking class and Caroline really enjoys the activities and games she does in her Pre-K class. Here they are during the opening chapel meeting before classes begin.
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Week 6

Memory Verse: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (8/27-9/14)

Hymn: The Solid Rock (8/27-9/28)

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh (7/30-9/28)

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (7/30-9/28)

Five in a Row: The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco (studying beekeeping) (8/27-9/14)

Pre-K Literature: Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson (studying pioneers and apples) (8/27-9/14)

Read Aloud: Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

We had last week off, but we did start our homeschool enrichment classes on Friday, which went great. The kids loved it!

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Break Week: Enjoying the Freedom of Setting Your Own Schedule

This week’s update is different because we’re already enjoying a break week. After the last two years of trying to cram 5 days of school work into 3-4 days (if we’ve had family visiting, which is pretty common) on the week of labor day and memorial day, I decided I’d rather plan on taking the entire week off on those weeks from now on. Several of our subjects really need to be done Monday-Thursday, and Monday is usually the most critical, being that it’s when the lessons are introduced, so missing Monday really just doesn’t work for me. This is part of the reason why we started school at the end of July this year. It allows us to take several breaks throughout the year and still complete about 36 weeks of school with no problem. I’ve determined that a short 8-week summer allows us to take 8 full weeks off anytime we’d like within the school year. It’s so great to be able to customize our school schedule to fit our family.

I remember the summer before our first year of homeschooling, I met with a friend of mine who is a seasoned homeschooling mom. She told me that I could start anytime I wanted and encouraged me not to worry about the public school’s schedule. Despite her advice, that year I was way too insecure to do anything “out of the norm” so I stuck closely to the schedule of our local school district. We started on the exact day school in our area started and took most of the same holidays (aside from teacher in-service days). I was nervous about what people would think if we weren’t “doing school” the way the public school does school. Last year, I was a bit more relaxed, but still didn’t want to be “too different”. This year, I feel like I’m finally really comfortable with doing things my way. It doesn’t bother me a bit to be on a different schedule than the schools. I’m confident that my kids are learning everything they need to know and I don’t feel the need to try to make it look like we’re doing exactly what they do in school because we’re not! The homeschool environment is so different than the school environment that it would be silly for me to compare and try to mirror them. One example of this is the independence that I’m already seeing in Elliot, my second grader. He does a great deal of his work all on his own in the morning before we even officially begin our school day, so it’s not at all uncommon for him to be done by 11:30. Having such a short day would really freak me out on our first year and I’d wonder what we were forgetting, because after all, the local school would still be in session for 4 more hours! Now, on the days we finish unbelievably early, we just enjoy it because it’s just one of the many perks of homeschooling!

A Few Photos From Last Week

Caroline is very proud of herself. She’s finished reading the first 12-book set of Bob Books and will be moving on to set 2! We have all 5 sets, which we will likely complete this year.

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It turns out that our new divider is good for more than just keeping the kids from seeing each other…
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Who needs a desk when there is a cozy spot in the closet to work and play.
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On labor day we visited the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History while my parents were in town. We decided to go all out and see an IMAX movie about the arctic, visit the planetarium, and enjoy several of the child-friendly exhibits. It was a fun-filled day.
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Week 5

Memory Verse: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (8/27-9/14)

Hymn: The Solid Rock (8/27-8/28)

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh (7/30-9/28)

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (7/30-9/28)

Five in a Row: The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco (studying beekeeping) (8/27-9/14) (

Pre-K Literature: Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson (studying pioneers and apples) (8/27-9/14)

Read Aloud: Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

A Few Photos From Last Week

Caroline has really been enjoying Math Lessons for a Living Education.

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We came across the word “heir” in our Bible reading and decided to make it our word of the week.
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