Saturday, June 29, 2013

much better!

Sonlight Core D books. Wow, there are a bunch of them! This is our first year in Sonlight. We switched to them for history because they are literature based and I have a book-lovin' daughter (which makes me smile, because I am one myself). However, after spending about 8 weeks collecting the books from a variety of places, I realized that we needed a better system of shelving them than we had available. A local Facebook "for sale" page turned up a $5 find!

The organization of our Sonlight books went from this: this!

Hooray! Much easier. This has kind of become "command central" for our summer studies. In the fall, when we pick up all the additional subjects, I will go back to using my kitchen cabinet for the non-Sonlight curriculum, but for the summer this houses it all.

Friday, June 28, 2013

cardboard creativity...

What's better than the arrival of the hammock you've been waiting for? Well, if you're a kid (and the hammock's not for you), the box is the best!

The kids had some fun with a cardboard box today. According to the sign they hung out front, this is "Z's hut."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

mary, mary, quite contrary... does your garden grow?

Well, ours grows like this:

Just a fun little collage to show how our plants are taking off this year. We have already had quite a few fresh lettuce salads. Now if only our tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers were ready to go on top of them!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

and it all starts with A...

A couple of photos from our preschool time today. Again, we are using Little Hands to Heaven for the bulk of the learning time. One of today's instruction was to tape out a giant "A" on the floor. On that, we drove cars to reinforce the shape of the uppercase A (vs. walked stuffed animals, as per the instructions). I have a "car guy" (actually I have two - father and son!), so cars are always close by to drive. 

Next, I created a set of miniature "flashcards" of sorts. Big sister and little bro flipped through the letters, with little bro naming off each one and practicing letter sounds as well. He's doing really well (thanks to Leap Frog and their terrific Letter Factory videos!) with the sounds. We have even begun to use the letters to put together words and practice sounding them out (i.e. "cat," "dog"). Just some basic phonetic stuff sprinkled in. 

It was a fun day today. Big sis wasn't excited about the idea of starting her schoolwork, but sure loves teaching her brother. She's a natural. On a daily basis, she already sprinkles in so many learning opportunities into their playtime. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

year 2 begins...

Welcome! Thought I'd start off by posting what materials we are using this year - our second year of homeschooling! We have begun a "reduced load" school year, after taking a 4 week break for our "summer break." The plan is to get back into a routine, which will also include me working from home for three hours per day for a local health system's human resource department. This is a temporary assignment and should mesh well with this shorter school schedule for the summer.

For my preschooler boy, I am using Little Hands to Heaven by Heart of Dakota as well as many supplemental ideas/printables from Confessions of a Homeschooler, Homeschool Creations, and 1plus1plusequals1

For my fifth grader girl, we are taking the eclectic approach again and using a variety of materials from a variety of publishers. Here's what we are doing, listed by subject:
History & Bible - Sonlight (American History, part 1/Core D)
Grammar - Excellence in Writing (Fix-It)
Spelling - Excellence in Writing (Phonetic Zoo)
Science - Apologia (Zoology 3, Land Animals of the Sixth Day)
Math - Math U See (Zeta/decimals)
Foreign Language - Spanish (Rosetta Stone)
Listing this last, because as Andrew P says, writing isn't it's own subject, but one that's woven within all others... Excellence in Writing (Student Writing Intensive).
(For the summer, we are simply doing Sonlight's History/Bible and a Math review workbook, sharpening multiplication and division skills.)

Happy new school year!