I got WAY into our summer with the kids and family and TRAVELING (more on that later), so blogging fell off the priority list for a couple months there. But now we are getting back into a routine with the school year, which feels good. While I loved the carefree 'fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants' flow of summer, it does feel good to be back into a schedule too.
Wednesday, September 8th we started school. This was AFTER our now annual "Hooky Day" though! (We play 'hooky' on the first day of public school in our district. Then we start our homeschool the next day). For 'Hooky Day' this year we were trying to save funds and utilize the outdoors as much as possible. However, the weather somewhat foiled our outdoor plans. It was cold, rainy and SUPER windy. So we went to an indoor park, which ended up being a ton of fun. After that we met up with Daddy and saw "Nanny McPhee Returns" which we loved. The kids loved figuring out who the old lady was from the first movie at the very end of this one (no spoilers here though!).
We are using curriculum this year! Last year was my first year homeschooling and my two oldest kiddos were all over the board in terms of what grade level they were operating at in various subjects. So I pulled together various resources and made my own curriculum. It worked last year and it helped me to find my 'homeschool style'. But it was preparation intensive and I found that I tended to bounce all over the place rather than have a good flow for the year. I began my search for a curriculum that would work for our kids and for me. I really like unit studies, hands-on learning, assimilating our faith into academic learning and I was looking for something that would be pretty well laid out, but not cost a fortune. After much research, I decided upon My Father's World, because it seemed to have all of the above traits. So I purchased the Kindergarten curriculum for Sassafrass and the Exploring Countries and Cultures curriculum for Juancho and Lala.
And so far I love it!
Here's a glimpse into our first week (and a half)...
Sassafrass was super excited about her first day of Kindergarten! Here she is standing in her Kindergarten Corner!
She really loved making her Creation Poster and Creation Book during the week. For Day 5 (birds/fish) we printed out some bird and fish coloring pages online and then colored the birds/fish and cute them out and pasted them onto the page for the day. Sassafrass has loved showing her Creation book to every one who comes over! Bonus: At Sunday School right now they are also teaching about the story of Creation...so she is getting that reinforced in multiple environments!
We did a lot of other activities too...like practicing writing letters, matching uppercase and lowercase letters, cooking together, going on a walk to find as many "1's" as possible and more. What a fun week (and a half). We also fit in our first day at our homeschool co-op (which Sassafrass was super excited about) and at the end of the week we went on a field trip to the zoo and plant conservatory to see all of God's awesome creation. The MFW curriculum has the Creation unit spanning 10 days, but we reduced it to 7 days (including co-op and the field trip). I think trying to drag it out another few days would send Sassafrass into meltdown mode. We are excited to move into the S-Sun unit next week! Our book list for the Sun unit is the last pic in this set. Click on it to make the picture bigger and see the titles and authors for your own lessons! I'll let you know next week which were our faves!
EXPLORING COUNTRIES & CULTURES:
Juancho and Lala started Exploring Countries & Cultures from MFW on Sept. 8th too. Sassafrass sits in for our Bible lesson too. For math, Lala is doing Math-U-See Gamma level and John will be starting Math-U-See Epsilon level once he finishes up his math program from last year (he's almost done...yay!). We are doing Primary & Intermediate Language Lessons, Spelling Power and Writing Strands for some of Language Arts too. We are also doing Rosetta Stone Spanish. The first two weeks for the ECC program focus on a general world overview. The kids really enjoyed the addition of a nature time and a nature notebook...much more than I thought they would. Our schedule has been running pretty smoothly so far too...I'll post that one of these days! At our homeschool co-op the older two are taking Cultural Studies (should fit in quite nicely with MFW ECC), Studio Art, PE and General Science (focusing on the days of creation). Here are some pics of the older two getting started on their year!
It was really stinky over by the primate house (go figure...) and Sassafrass couldn't stand it!
The beginning of this week, we'll finish the world overview, and then launch into North America. I'm excited to use this video for US History that I just received FREE from The History Channel. Gotta love FREE educational stuff!
HAVE A GREAT WEEK! You'll be 'seeing' more of me here!