Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Day !! Tuesday AND Wednesday ?

It doesn't happen too often here on the Gulf Coast so when it does everything and I mean EVERYTHING  shuts down. Stores, roads, services, schools... you name it... it's closed. But when you home school, then that's a different story. LOL We just took a Snow Day on Friday I think it was. I let the girls have the day off. No snow though, only sleet, freezing rain and really cold temperatures. But close enough. So we spent the day in our PJ's, cuddled in our blankets, watching Netflix or playing Minecraft. 
Today, however, I have a few activities planned for the girls
  1. Cave Art Paintings on Brown paper bags - an art activity to finish chapter 1 Story of the World
  2. Read Chapter 2 Story of the World
  3. Visit Discovery Kids - Play the Mummy Maker game
  4. Wrap a Mummy Project
  5. Work on Birthday gifts and for Papa
  6. Math
  7. Science-Cells
  8. Geography
  9. Art History
So school work will continue as planned except instead of extending the History lesson out throughout the week, I am going to utilize the 2 days that the girls will be stuck inside due to it being too cold to go out and play and let them do more hands on arts/crafts activities. They love it when we do the project portion of lessons and so it will give them lots to do, and break periods as well so they can do bits and pieces here and there , at their own pace.

I can't wait to see how all of these projects turn out. But we are also really excited to see if we actually get SNOW !! and how much we get when and if we do get it. So keeping our fingers crossed, wishing for a winter wonderland, at least for a moment.

Now go learn something and stay warm !

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Our Curriculum

Aside from the #1 question of "Why did you choose to home school? many home schooling parents often are faced with the question of "What home school curriculum do you use with your children?" So today I am going to share what we are using with our 2 geniuses: Emily and Ella .

Both girls use the same materials but I do supplement other materials as I see fit according to their strengths and weaknesses.

All Subjects
  • Learning Aisle
Free Curriculum for all subjects. The girls enjoy going through the information and taking the quizzes. There are some errors with the quizzes but we manage to make it through them or skip over the issues. This website covers everything from Math, Social Studies, Science (all areas) and Language Arts. 

Math  (Supplemented with other work books and library books)
  • Math Skills Grade 3
  • Math Skills Grade 4

History : My girls LOVE Story of the World. The Stories are entertaining and easy to understand from a child's point of view. I wish History was this entertaining when I was in school. I probably would have enjoyed it more ... so it's a GREAT thing I am home schooling because I get to do it all over again, because I am enjoying it now ; with them and through them. The activities are fun and exciting and the girls can not wait to do the next lesson and hear and read the the next story.  And Yes, I do the lessons with them and Yes! I said HEAR ! We have 1 copy of the main text and I read the stories to the girls. They are old enough to read to themselves but I read the stories aloud to them, they read aloud, they read to themselves, but they love it when I read the stories to them. We all learn together. It's a super fun way to interact and we all get the History lessons , Together. Isn't that the main reason to home school in the first place? Family Education in a loving, wholesome, caring environment :) ?

  • Story of the World Volume 1 Activity Book
  • Story of the World Volume 1 Tests Booklet (I use this more not for testing purposes but for review questions).
  • Mobile Museum of History (Annual Members)

  • The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Family Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms
  • Hands on Ecology: Real-Life Activities for Kids

I had so much saved on my hard drive that I need another hard drive or need to go through and weed out what I do not need to make room for more. LOL :)

But as i mentioned in my post yesterday, I am still searching for that perfect Science curriculum and I think I found what I am looking for but affordability keeps me from being able to be able to use it. So for now, this is what we are going to start using in our home.

But this is what I would really love to use for my girls, Real Science Odyssey. It has exactly what I am looking for in a Science curriculum for both girls and covers everything from Life Science through Space through Chemistry.  I contacted the Publisher or author over a week ago in hopes that they would perhaps donate a copy but I have yet to hear anything back from them. So if you are reading this RSO or you know RSO or Pandia Press :) check your email , I'm waiting.

Writing/Reading/Language Arts

  • A Child's Geography: Explore the Classical World Volume 3 (I actually won this book from Knowledge Quest, so glad I did, it's amazing)
  • Workbooks, Maps, Encyclopedias, Currclick, Unit Studies, Puzzles, Games, Note booking
  • World Geography
  • USA Geography
  • Winter Olympics Unit Study (Beginning Feb. 7, 2014)

Arts and Crafts/Music-Composers
  • Craft-a-Day:365 Simple Handmade Projects by Sarah Goldschadt (Library book we absolutely LOVE this book. We check this book out regularly and have this on our Wishlist at Amazon.com to purchase soon)
  • Mobile Museum of Art (Free Thursdays-Admission is Free on Thursday. We frequent our local Art museum regularly)
  • Mobile Public Library and Centre for Living Arts (Monthly Art Project) - Art and artist study/book.
  • Cave Paintings to Picasso: The Inside Scoop on 50 Art Masterpieces
  • Pinterest, Currclick, Unit Studies, Library, Encyclopedia

Extracurricular/Health/Physical Education
  • Family Time Fitness (curriculum/program)
  • Leslie Sansone (walking in home)
  • Minecraft Club
  • Tween/Teen Girls Club
  • American Girls Book Club
  • Mother/Daughter Book Club
  • 4H Junior Gardeners Club
  • YMCA Home school Swimming

So there you have it. It may seem a bit disorganized. But This is what we use for the most part and the girls are happy with it. We visit our local History and Art museum on a regular basis. And take advantage of other educational programs around town that are Free and affordable.

This year we hope to be able to sign the girls up for more extracurricular activities and get them more involved in clubs.

This is only our 2nd year home schooling and as time goes by you learn what fits and what doesn't, who likes what, and so you just go with the flow. The excellent thing about home schooling though, is you can pick and choose what ever "flavor" of curriculum you like. Not everyone has to use the same old boring text book. But so far, we are using the same books with both girls and it is working out. Last year, our first year, we had different books for both girls.

Make your home school your home school . And make it a Happy one and a Happy Home.
Now go Learn something !


Memory and Passwords ....

I can never remember my password to login once I can actually get in on this website. I have such a hard time finding my blog in the first place. I mean, I do have the link tucked away on my facebook page so I can easily access it and come back to it to update it ... but once I get back here I either can not access it for loss of password due to memorization of issues with this google + thing. Ugh ! It's so confusing.

 BUT !!!! I am here now... and that is what counts . :)

So lets see.... what have we been up to lately . The weather has been quite amazing. We go from one extreme to the next. Recently we literally had a 70 degree day and then the next day we were barely out of the 30s for the highs. Crazy huh?

The girls are doing great. I found these awesome Math Skills workbooks on Amazon.com that are easier than what we had been attempting to use. We had been stuck in our math work for a while and so we put it on the back burner for some time (too long I think) and now with these new work books that I found, we are moving right along. They are perfect. They are not filled with all the fluff and jumbled up with too much artwork and colorful graphics as some workbooks are. Nor are they overly written to the point that you become exhausted and confused . They are straight forward, to the point and basic. Just the way math should be taught. And the girls finally got it ! The lessons we were stuck on in the other texts and work books I had struggled with in teaching them , They Got ! It was one of those A Ha ! moments for both of the girls once we started using these work books. So I am completely satisfied. So far.

 We ordered both the 3rd and the 4th grade work books and both of the girls are working out of the 3rd grade work books for now but at different sections for now.
This company also carries other subjects such as Language Arts and Reading Comprehension and a Complete Comprehensive Curriculum workbook up to the 6th grade level. I plan on picking up the single subject workbooks as well as the comprehensive work books for next school year.

I have still been searching for a Science curriculum for the girls. Yes, still. (if you are reading this and you can recommend one or are a publisher and would like to send yours for a review, email me ) . I some how came across a blog post regarding a book by Colleen Kessler titled

Hands-On Ecology: Real-Life Activities for Kids


So I picked this book up from Amazon.com and in 2 days time it arrived. I just received it last night so today I plan to start reading through it and building a few unit studies and lesson plans for the girls around this book. The girls love hands on activities and so this will be right up their alley and combined with the 4H Junior Gardeners Club that they will start going to next week (meeting was cancelled this week, today due to the cold weather), I figure I have enough material to build a nice little Science curriculum.  So I will report back once we get started. 

I hope that your New Years holiday and Christmas were both filled with lots of love and happiness. I know ours here were just that. Aside from catching a cold and spending New Year's in bed for the most part, I did win a 1 Night's stay to a local Hotel (the Holiday Inn down town) for the Moon Pie drop and festivities ... which I will tell you more about that in an upcoming post and share photos. :) So until next time.... 

Happy Home Schooling !
Now Go Learn Something,