Monday, November 21, 2011

Advent plans

Every year I post about this. I've posted pics of the stuff before, so I don't know if I will this year.

We use an Advent wreath, calendar, and a nativity. We use this book: Celebrate Jesus! At Christmas.

We also read a lot of books on St. Nicolas and on Dec 6th the children leave a shoe out.

On top of this, we'll continue regular school. We'll also have all the Advent activities at church as well as preparation for the girls who will be in the children's Christmas program.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two small brags

If I can't brag on here, where can I?

First, I had a lady approach me and tell me she's really amazed by how well we homeschool- that she can tell we're doing a great job and Sweet Pea is an incredible little girl.

She has grandkids Sweet Pea's age and older that she spends a lot of time with, so I take this as a massive compliment.

Brag number two- Little Bird is almost through her kindergarten reading book. She's four. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wherein preplanning comes in handy

Sweet Pea finished one math book and I had another one ready right away to give her, much to her joy. Strike when the iron is hot, and all.

Well done, Sweet Pea!

Monday, November 7, 2011

How a day looks

For quick reference, I have a 7.5 year old girl, a 4.5 year old girl, and a 20 month old son.

My oldest is doing a sweep through American history this year. She's also studying Norse mythology. We're doing this with a lot of living books and reading time together.

My middle child is diligently working on reading and developing patience and listening skills.

My toddler is working on how many things he can possibly destroy in each moment.

Morning begins with breakfast and then free play time for the kids. I drink coffee and relax for a little while, then everyone gets dressed/teeth brushed, ect.

Then we sit together and I read to them. Sweet Pea needs to listen closely, the toddler doesn't listen at all unless it's a picture book, and Little Bird wavers between the two. Right now we are reading the Witch of Blackbird Pond. This book is about Puritans and has been a good look at the different way of life the Puritans followed. We've marked the time in Sweet Pea's timeline book. Today the places in the book that came up were Boston, and the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island. We brought out the map and found and marked the places.

After we did our reading together I made a snack for the kids. My kids love to snack. Sweet Pea took her snack and her reader- the Matchlock Gun- and went and read it by herself. Well, not totally alone- she snuggled with the cat who is always happy to keep her company.

While she was doing that the two littles and I read picture books while they ate. Once their food was gone Moose played with playdoh, then colored with crayons. Little Bird read me a short book. She colored me a picture then, too.

By the time they were done with that Sweet Pea was ready to come down and tell me about what she read. This is called narration when done a specific way and is part of our language arts approach. We alternate this with dictation. The dictation and copywork we do comes straight from the books Sweet Pea is reading. After she does her writing we dissect the sentences for their parts of speech and how they are put together. This is how we are doing grammar right now.

After that today Sweet Pea pulled out her math workbook and did four lessons.

I think she would have done more, but her father came home for lunch then and math can't compete with that!

After we have lunch together as a family, the girls went upstairs to play. They are making a play together and enjoy putting on costumes and coming up with songs.

The toddler practiced throwing a ball with my husband and I cleaned up lunch. We chatted about our mornings, and enjoyed coffee. Then he had to go back to work.

After lunch every day we have quiet time. The toddler usually sleeps for two hours. I will make a confession here- he often sleeps in my arms as I rock him. My 4 year old usually sleeps for 30 minutes or so and then she plays with her baby dolls or builds with her legos. I expect her to be quiet for 2 hours but I am pretty open to how she spends that time at this point. My 7 year old reads during this time. Sometimes she also works on a puzzle, does legos, or draws. She also uses this time sometimes to knit or make pot holders with a small loom.

When nap time is done I am planning on science. We are reading books about our planet and our solar system. We are also making a scale model of the solar system out of clay. So far we have made Mercury and Venus, so this afternoon we will be making Earth.

After that, it's more snack. During afternoon snack we do Bible and Catechism. The girls have piano practice to do, too, and then the rest of the afternoon is theirs to do whatever they want. At this time, too, we work on Latin and French.

And that's how our days go.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Speeding along

I can't tell you how shocked I was yesterday when my sweet 4 year old brought me a drawing. It was a lizard. And next to it she wrote, "LIZARD".

Guess it's time to start being more intentional with handwriting practice! Yikes!

Also, Sweet Pea has been cruising along rapidly in math. I think we may level up soon.

Always exciting.

And so he's not left out my darling toddler now yells, "BOOM!" constantly. He loves to knock things over or fall on purpose so he can yell it.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Goals for the year

As they stand right now.

For a change, I'll go youngest first.

Moose. My sweet no-longer-a-baby boy. He'll be 2 by the time the school year ends. TWO! How is that possible? It shouldn't be. He's doing really well with gross and fine motor and right on track, so I hope he continues on there. I'd like to see him start talking a little more- he's a man of few words. I think a lot of that is personality, though- he likes to think things through and form an opinion before trying them.

Little Bird. She'll be a brand new five year old at the end of the school year! Hard to believe that I'm staring that down. I'd like her to be through basic phonics by then and able to read books with some fluidity. I'd also like her to begin properly forming some letters and numbers. I also have high hopes that she'll be able to tie her shoes by then, too.

Sweet Pea. She'll be eight at the end of this school year. We're spending this year working through American History, earth space science, Norse mythology, math, French, and Latin. I'd like her to be able to put together a well constructed paragraph by the end of the year. I'd also like her to be able to prepare a few more meals. I also hope that she has the whole catechism memorized. We'll see!

These goals aren't really fancy or hard or intense. I think they are realistic, though, and hope we achieve them!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


We're working on mapping in three ways this year. First, we locate things involving multiple countries or sea voyages on the globe. We find the places, trace where people went, and talk about it.

We also have a laminated map that we locate things in the US on. This works well for finding reference points like cities, mountains, or rivers.

We're also learning to draw maps.

Above is Sweet Pea's first attempt at drawing the continental US. She did a really good outline of the country, keeping the shape pretty true. She added a few states. Next time, I'll have her add a few more and maybe a river. By the end of the year (and the end of our study of US history) I'd love it if she could dry a map of the US with some major points by heart.

Just for fun- this is Little Bird's map. Little Bird at 4 very much wants to follow in her sister's footsteps and can almost always be found with us during school time, trying her hand at whatever we are doing.

I'm so proud of them!


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