Monday, August 31, 2015

Homeschool Academy, Changes in Science and New Readers

 Well, Wednesday was Sweetie Girl’s first day of Homeschool Academy and she LOVED it! She’s can’t wait to go back. I had a quiet relaxing day at home with the boys. Baby Boy is really just starting to want to play with the other kids more, but it was good for Little Man and Sweetie Girl to be away from each other. They missed each other and had a great evening. Tomorrow we have a back to school night.

We had a great week of school except Sweetie Girl has been fighting me on doing science. We’ve been using Apologia’s Exploring Creation Through Astronomy. From what we’ve done so far, it seems like a great curriculum, but she just isn’t getting into it. I’ve been trying to make it work since we started but it hasn’t been fun, so I started research for a different approach to science. I came across a blog of a mom who was having a similar problem with her son. The Homeschool Belle created a science curriculum using The Magic School Bus. We’re giving it a try and using some parts of the schedule. We did day 1 today and she really seemed to enjoy it. She definitely enjoying it more than astronomy, so we’ll keep using it for the time being.

Honestly, I thought I would struggle with having to make adjustments, but I’m really enjoying customizing things to make it more enjoyable for Sweetie Girl. It is so much more enjoyable for me when she’s having fun and enjoying herself. It’s honestly become one of my favorite parts of homeschooling!

For reading we’ve been using BOB Books and she really seems to like them, but we’re almost finished reading the Kindergarten & First Grade Sight Words and I was looking for ideas for what to use next. I asked on our local Facebook page for ideas and someone offered to give me a free set of 1st grade readers from BJU Press. I don’t think they are the most recent ones, but Sweetie Girl seems to bee enjoying them. There are six books and they get progressively more difficult and the stories get longer as we go. She probably read the first 5 or 6 stories when we got them on Saturday and spend quite a bit longer browsing through them.

This week The Hubs and I have training for helping with Awana at our church and next week it starts. Sweetie Girl and Little Man will be participating and Little Man is SUPER excited to get to go and Sweetie Girl has been asking when it starts since it ended in May! Baby Boy will be going as well, but he’ll just be in childcare since The Hubs and I will both be helping out. This year it’s quite the family affair. We’ll see how the boys do staying up after bedtime and how Sweetie Girl does after all day at HSA.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Going into Week 3

So yesterday we began our 3rd week of school. Sweetie Girl hasn’t been asking quite so much to do more school. One thing that I honestly thought I wouldn’t like was my lesson plans being messed up, but honestly I’ve really enjoyed adjusting things to make them more fun for her. Take spelling for example, I had printed off worksheets from for Sweetie Girl to work on throughout the week and she didn’t seem to like it at all, so last week I took the spelling words and wrote them on index cards and had her read each word and then spell them. We did this twice and she loved it. Just a little change, we’re using the same list of words for each week, but it’s working and she actually said that was her favorite part.

I am having a hard time getting her interested in science, but I’m brainstorming how to peak her interest. This year we were planning on doing Astronomy, but I’m thinking we may save it until a little later and see if there is something that she may be more interested in.

Last week we read the story: Three Billy Goats Gruff. Oddly enough, I have very fond memories of this story. I can remember acting it out for my grandparents with my sister and cousins and having TONS of fun! I found little puppets she could color, then she cut them out and glued them to popsicle sticks and she spent quite a while playing with them and one of our bridges from our train set! She really liked the puppets and asked for more the next time we read a story.

Today we went to an Ice Cream Social at her Homeschool group. She starts next Wednesday. She was able to meet her teacher and the art and music teachers. She got to tour the whole area and they got ice cream. It was during Little Man and Baby Boys nap time, so we weren’t able to stay and meet other families. They did amazing until the sugar from the ice cream hit and then I knew it was time to head out! We’re excited for her to start. I know she’s going to have loads of fun! I’m also excited to have a little bit of time with just the boys. I’ve been spending so much time focused on Sweetie Girl’s school, that I’m really looking forward to some time dedicated to the boys!

Someone on our local homeschool page asked how moms with Littles entertained them while they had to focus their attention on doing school. I remembered doing a busy bag swap with some ladies when we still lived in TX and I decided to see if there was any interest. I asked on the page and had so many moms interested that I ended up having to organize 2 groups. We’ve got most of the details set for the 1st group and working things out with the second. I’m really excited it’s all working out!

Last week we made Connecticut Clam Chowder to go with our geography lesson and I’ll just say, we are not clam people, but we had fun making it! This week we are making a popsicle stick suspension bridge. Sweetie Girl is SO excited to work on it! I’ve recruited the Hubs to help out! He is an amazing dad and husband!

I forgot to post this picture of our first day of school! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Lesson Plans May Be Out the Window & Potty Training

So, we’re 4 days and well, I think my lesson plans will be going out the window. As much as I’m saddened by the fact that I spent all that time making the lesson plans, I’m also proud proud of the reason why. The reason they are going out the window is because Sweetie Girl is asking to do more work! I mean seriously, this girl LOVES school! There are aspect she’s not a fan of, handwriting and science at the moment, but for the most part she’s loving it! She’s really enjoying History, she gets that from The Hubs!

We are loving how Story of the World tells history in the form of stories! I mean, this girl was listening to me read The Boxcar Children books when she was 3! She is also really enjoying Apologia’s Who is God? series for Bible. For both of these subjects, we have been having wonderful conversations about what we are reading and it’s only the 1st week!

She seems to be enjoying math and she’s starting to remember how to spell a few words! She was decorating some cards yesterday and I wrote out how to spell I Love You Daddy. Then the next thing I know she brings me a card that says: I Love You Mom! She also has and & the almost down. We need to work a little more with our spelling words before we can take our quiz. I need to plan some more activities with them.

I’m thinking I may try doing a monthly unit study to add some fun stuff the kids can all do together! This will also give Sweetie Girl some school to do without getting way ahead, which of course, I’m not opposed to getting ahead, but the sanity of this plan ahead Mommy! I’m scouring Pinterest for ideas and hope to have something planned for the rest of this month by Monday! We have an amazing library that puts together little homeschool bundles on different subjects! The homeschool community here is amazing! One of our local used bookstores is having a homeschool fair this Saturday where people can sell their used curriculum! I’m excited to check it out!

Today, we met some friends at the zoo after doing some school and we had fun. We didn’t see everything, but that’s why I love having a membership! We can go see a few animals and get on with our day. I may incorporate some zoo visits with our Unit Studies!

Little Man has been doing amazing with potty training! I will admit, I envisioned this kid going for the next few years wanting to wear diapers! I was at the end of my rope trying to get this kid to go on the potty! I fully expected Baby Boy to potty train before Little Man. I’m SO ready to be done with diapers! You would be too if you had been changing diapers non-stop for over 6 years! Six years, people!!! That’s a whole lot of diapers and a whole lot of money! I don’t think it will be too much longer before Baby Boy is ready! At this point, I am fully intending to throw a NO MORE DIAPERS PARTY and all my mom friends will be invited! I mean seriously, why aren’t their more parties like that?

Baby Boy is just soaking everything in. He LOVES rolling around in the dirt in our back yard and playing with his trains! He occasionally runs in the homeschool room to see what we are doing and snatching the occasional un-sharpened pencil! He doesn’t seem interested in doing any bookwork. I’m thinking my boys will enjoy more learning through exploring! They’re all boy!