Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010


We have recently joined a homeschool co-op group and we are really enjoying it! It has been a great way for us to meet other homeschool families and it gives the kids a feel for a school environment. For our literature class, we are doing FIAR. The first book that we are reading is Ferdinand. Ferdinand - "Ferdinand is a little bull who much prefers sitting quietly under a cork tree-- just smelling the flowers--to jumping around, snorting, and butting heads with other bulls. This cow is no coward--he simply has his pacifist priorities clear. As Ferdinand grows big and strong, his temperament remains mellow, until the day he meets with the wrong end of a bee. In a show of bovine irony, the one day Ferdinand is most definitely not sitting quietly under the cork tree (due to a frightful sting), is the same day that five men come to choose the "biggest, fastest, roughest bull" for the bullfights in Madrid". lapbook - middle back You can find all of the lapbooking components at homeschoolshare.

Friday, August 27, 2010

mr. toolbox

A few of you said that you would like to make a Mr. Toolbox game for your little one, so here ya go!


(click on the thumbnail to download the file)

- 12x12 piece of black cardstock
- silver or white pen
- pocket
- plastic binder or something to hold the verses together
- hard hat optional :)

1. cut out and laminate tools
2. trace each shape onto the black cardstock
3. glue the pocket onto the cardstock
4. cut each verse of the song into a square
5. attach the verses to the cardstock with a plastic binder
6. sing the song to the tune of Are you Sleeping

*I got this idea from a book I have (Hey! I Can Read This! by Donna Sabino and Kathy Barlow Thurman).

**Be sure to check out The Preschool Corner for more ideas to use with your preschooler!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

coin recognition

One of our math kindergarten learning goals is to learn about money. I made this game for the girls to play when we start talking about money. It is similar to the Mr. Toolbox game that I made for my little guy.


(click on the thumbnail to download the file)

- 12x12 piece of cardstock
- glue
- scissors

1. cut out title, song verses, coins and pig
2. glue the pieces on to the piece of cardstock
3. sing the song to the tune of Darlin' Clementine

*I think I'm going to add a few more coins so we can sing the song a couple of times through.

**I got this idea from a book I have (Hey! I Can Read This! by Donna Sabino and Kathy Barlow Thurman).

mission of the month

Mission of the Month

I've decided to take Mama Jenn's challenge of completing one missions a month. Since we moved to Alabama and started school for this school year, I've haven't been utilizing our workboxes. In fact, only one cart has been put together. The other cart is still in it's box! But, I have managed to make, print and laminate the number cards and I even color coded them - purple for Gracelyn and pink for Ella.

mission goals:
- put other cart together
- number the drawers
- load school work in each drawer each week

Friday, August 20, 2010

short vowel cards

Remember those short vowel cards I made to go along with our Abeka curriculum? We have used them in a few different ways so far.

in a pocket chart as I introduce each short vowel sound

matching short vowel sounds

which card?

Here are the cards:
a cards.docx
e cards.docx
i cards.docx
o cards.docx
u cards.docx

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

hard at work!

This is my little guy working on a matching game I made for him! It's not totally finished, but he REALLY wanted to play! If anyone is interested in making one for their little guy, let me know and I will put something together for you to download. You see that empty spot down there on the left? That's where the words to the song goes. It's called Mr. Toolbox and it is sung to the tune of Are you Sleeping?.

Mr. Toolbox, Mr. Toolbox,
Where are your tools?
Where are your tools?
Can you find a *wrench?
Can you find a *wrench?
In your box, in your box.

{*wrench, hammer, tape measure, saw, pliers, screwdriver}

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

an honest answer...

I hope that several of you can relate when I share my home school story with you. I was always skeptical of homeschooling and thought a more traditional approach to schooling would be the route I would send my children on. I thought this WAY before I had children of my own.

See, I loved everything about school when I was growing up. Like lots of little girls, I played school and insisted on being the teacher every time. I made friends easily and did really well in school, too. So, naturally when I graduated from high school, I went to college and got a degree in early childhood education. I was so excited to officially be a teacher that I couldn’t wait to get my first teaching job!

Right before I started my first year of teaching, my husband and I found out that we were expecting a baby! I had my baby in January and 6 short weeks later was back at school. My heart was broken! I ached to be home with my baby girl. I knew my place was at home loving and nurturing her. I finished out that school year and decided that I would take an early retirement from teaching and stay home with Gracelyn! At short 5 months later, we find out that we are expecting another baby! Ella arrived 16months after Gracelyn and still my heart’s desire was to be home with my babies. And yet again, 18 months after Ella was born, Ethan was born and joined our family, too!

We spent our days reading lots and lots of books, playing, going to the library for story time and going on adventures together. Periodically, people would ask me where Gracelyn was going to go to school or if I was going to homeschool and I would always respond “I don’t know” – short and sweet. I was so glad that I still had time to decide which route we would go.

Inevitably, Gracelyn turned 4 and I had a wakeup call. She was going to start kindergarten next year and I wasn’t so sure about that. I knew then that it was time to pray for direction and broach the subject with Matt. After lots of prayer, discussions with Matt – some that went like this… “Are they going to act and look like homeschoolers?”(I’m sorry, I’m just being honest) and battling with myself if I was qualified enough to teach our kids and do I really want to be EVERYTHING to my children, I started researching homeschool curriculums and got even more overwhelmed because I didn’t know which curriculum I should or shouldn’t use and the cost of homeschooling was a little pricey, too.

And then one day, I changed my perspective. I “looked” at the end result of schooling. I asked myself these questions:

1. What do I want my children to know when they leave our house?
2. What kind of people do I want to send out into the world?

After answering those 2 questions, I asked myself if going to a public school would provide my children with what I thought was best for them or if homeschooling would provide that. And without a shadow of a doubt, I knew that homeschooling would be the best route for my children.
And now, 7 months after making that decision, I’m still not sure which curriculum I should or shouldn’t use, the cost is still a little frightening, and some days I still ask myself do I really want to be EVERYTHING to my children, I’m relying on the fact that God’s grace is sufficient and I am determined to give homeschooling my all and realize that I may not choose “the best” curriculum, but I know that the end result will be totally worth it!

*Please know that I am only sharing my heart and my story with you and not intending to offend or imply which route you should send your child/children on.

Monday, August 16, 2010

write, wipe, repeat!

One way that we are green in our schoolroom is by using a dry erase board to practice handwriting. For a few months, I printed off handwriting sheets from the internet (expensive) or would use handwriting paper (felt guilty for not keeping it). So, when I saw this lined dry erase board, I snatched it up very quickly! My only complaint is that I wish I would have gotten one more! I found this one at K-Mart while still living in Georgia.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

shout it out!


Great song to load into your ipod and shout it out that God is good!

Friday, August 13, 2010

abeka curriculum

This year for reading and phonics, I decided to go with Abeka K5. I am using it with Gracelyn and Ella. In an attempt to save money on curriculum and supplemental materials, I am making up visuals to go along with their lesson plans. If you are not familiar with Abeka, they start out teaching/reviewing short vowel sounds. I plan to share my visuals with anyone who is using the Abeka curriculum, too.

short i cards

i cards.docx

Indian Child poem

Indian Child poem.docx

short u cards

u cards.docx

umbrella chant

Umbrella Chant.docx

Thursday, August 12, 2010

homeschool village - learning styles & love languages!

This week at The HomeSchool Village, we are talking about our kids' learning styles and love languages.

This is Gracelyn, my oldest. Strongwilled, loves to help and funny!
learning style - visual, auditory and tactile/kinesthetic
love language - touch and gifts

This is Ella, my middle child. Sweet, quiet and content!
learning style - visual, auditory and tactile/kinesthetic
love language - words of affirmation and quality time

This is Ethan, my baby boy. Always happy, silly and full of energy!
learning style - visual, auditory and tactile/kinesthetic
love language - touch, qualtiy time and words of affirmation

My philosophy for preschoolers is that they learn best by offering lots of different learning experiences that include seeing, hearing, doing and moving. If you don't know your child's/childrens' learning styles, you can check out a post I wrote a few months ago that gives a description and some examples for each learning style.

learning to draw

A few years ago, I came across a book that had step-by-step drawing instructions. Each little picture had about 6 or 8 simple steps to follow. I made copies of them, cut them out and laminated them and put them all on a loose leaf ring. I had forgotten about them until I came across them last Saturday. I put them out and the girls LOVED them! They were so proud of themselves for drawing pictures on their own! Gracelyn (5 years old) is able to draw most of the pictures on her own. Ella (4 years old) and I draw the pictures together. I model how to draw the steps one at a time and then she draws the step on her board.

birthday cake (isn't it a sweet little cake!)

Gracelyn showing off her drawing

a few more examples

I can't find the book where I got mine, but I did find a couple of other options:

*I found all of these books on-line at The School Box.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

our school room

I worked all day Saturday getting things ready in our school room and planning out the first week of school. Our room is still a work in progress as I'm sure we will move and/or add things as we go along. But for now, I like it! Well, actually, this is only one half of our school room. The other half still has a few boxes left to unpack :) Like I said, "it's a work in progress!".

instruction wall

close up of our instructional wall


kid supplies

my supplies

teaching materials

extra supplies


*I'm thinking I might should paint the "nice" brown paneling. Any color ideas?

To see more schoolroom ideas, be sure to visit:
Not Back to School Blog Hop

Monday, August 9, 2010

kindergarten learning goals

Abeka phonics
recognize all 26 letter names and their sounds (review)
recognize ending sounds
distinguish between short and long vowel sounds
sounding of blends, one and two vowel words and special sounds
introduce special sounds and beginning phonics rules
recognize 100 Sight Words

recognize sentences by capital letters and periods

first and last name
capital and lowercase manuscript letter formation (review)
spacing words correctly (2 fingers rule)

sound out and spell CVC words

*I’m considering ordering the All About Spelling curriculum.

math (beginning of the year)writing numerals 0-9 (review)
orally counting 1-100
number concepts 1-20 (review)
missing numbers 1-20
counting by 10’s to 100 (review)
more and less than (review)
patterns (review)
matching (review)
calendar: days of the week, months of the year, today is____, tomorrow is_____, yesterday was____
recognition of and drawing shapes (review)
recognize number words : zero – ten
telling time to the hour
value of coins and dollar bill

Math U See Alpha
place value
skip counting by 2’s and 5’s

social studies
community helpers: firefighters, police officers, teachers, doctors, veterinarians, etc
holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Ground Hog’s Day, 4th of July

earth and space

*I think we are going to use the Raising Rock Stars curriculum from 1+1+1=1
memorization of scripture
applying scripture daily
old and new testament lessons
music and crafts

life skills-
memorization of address, phone number and birthdate
tie shoes
daily chores