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Friday, May 31, 2013

Our Preschool Curriculum Choices

For Preschool we do a really light, hands on fun load!  If you’ve been following my blog you know we do a lot of theme based Montessori inspired activities, and I’m working on my own curriculum.  These items will also carry over into Kindergarten.

There are a few items I have started to implement that I will continue to use next year with my 4yo  (my 2yo likes to play along as well)

The 3 R’s – Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

Touch Math

PreK photo 429809_10151403646419867_522359968_n_zps28782958.jpg

When we finish Pre-K we may continue with the K program or switch to Math U See.  We love Touch Math, but it is pricey….  We already have all the Math U See levels. 

Happy Phonics 

Happy Phonics

Great game based phonics program!  There are a few other recommended products besides what comes with the actual program, but MOST of it is right here! 

Handwriting without Tears

My First School Book

The important components of this program are the wood pieces and the music CD.  The chalk board is great, but now there is an app that can replace it.  The play dough and magnet pieces are nice, but not necessity.  I also got the flip crayons this time around (I did not use them with my oldest), and the pencils are great!  The SIZE is key. 

The most important factors for me when choosing products for this age group is HANDS ON and FUN!  These items fit the bill! 

360283_ABCMouse.com-Online Preschool Games-First Month Free-Click Here!
You can read my review of ABCMouse.com HERE
The hardest part about this program is REMEMBERING to have my kids do it, we are not big media folks, and so I forget to have them log in.  They really enjoy it when I do though!

Stay tuned for my curriculum….I am planning several posts the end of July, and the final product shortly thereafter!  See the preview by clicking on the icon in the top left sidebar.

Field Trip #85 Friday Blog Hop

Field Trip Friday!
A Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts

(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)
We had a blast the beginning of the week camping at the beach with our Church Family! 

ward beach camp 003ward beach camp 015ward beach camp 018ward beach camp 061 - Copyward beach camp 084 - Copyward beach camp 035

The Portuguese Man of War were out something fierce, C got his first sting, but took it well.  You can see one in the bucket above.  We go to this beach frequently (it’s our favorite for boogie boarding) and have never really encountered them, but I’ve been told we have just been lucky because they are common.  We were at Bellow’s Beach on the Air Force Base side. 


**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE



    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    2nd Grade Curriculum Choices

    Math-U-See Gamma
    Elemental Science – Earth Science and Astronomy
    Earth Science and Astronomy for the Grammar Stage (ebook)
    Beautiful Feet Early American History

    Handwriting Without Tears Printing Power - Grade 2

    First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 1 with Audio Companion for Levels 1 & 2


    Explode the Code/Book Four

    Chinese – continue with Chinese tutor until we move, then restart Better Chinese program
    Religion – Hands On Church History
    LDS Church History
    Geography – Little Passports US States Edition

    Reading – The history curriculum is very reading heavy, we will be using those books (obviously) and adding in some of our own selections based on topics we cover in History and Science, as well as just for fun choices.  We like to take suggestions from Sonlight’s reading lists (Core D is Early American History) and also Usborne books.

    Co-op – will consist of Art and Music Appreciation, Geography Presentations and Science Experiments.  We will meet every other week.  When planning out co-op this year, I took a look at the things I wanted to cover in the past, but yet always get put on the back burner….this is how I came up with the subjects we will cover.  We will be losing some of our members from the last two years due to military moves.

    HISTORY NOTE:  We follow the classical model for History and Science, which means that technically we should be studying Middle Ages this year.  I was all set to do so, even purchased Pandia Press History Odyssey Middle Ages I, but after careful consideration we decided to do US History for a variety of reasons.  The main reason is that we are scheduled to leave Hawaii March 2014, we are planning a cross country RV tour from California to Maryland.  The second reason is we have hopes of getting an overseas tour, so we don’t plan to be in Maryland very long 4mos – 1.5yrs is all, so why not study the US while we are still in the US.  It will also be great to work in the US States study during this time…we never quite finished it when we started previously, I’m always a bit over zealous when we start out the year!  I chose not to use Pandia Press because I wanted to focus primarily on US History, Early Modern History includes World History.  Also, I have heard mixed reviews on SOTW 3 & 4, that it’s geared more towards older kids (my son is 7) and that they are sort of dreary (lots of war) and not nearly as interesting as 1 & 2. I love the idea of REAL LIFE BOOKS, so Beautiful Books really appealed to me.  I have also been eyeing the company for consideration in Middle School and High School, so this is a great opportunity for me to try them out. We will plan to cover MIddle Ages afterwards, and then Early Modern and Modern….then start the yr rotation again with Ancients. 

    SCIENCE NOTE:  We loved Pandia Press for Science in First Grade, and I went back and forth in regards to using them for Second Grade.  I still think that their Earth Science and Astronomy Program is a great one (from what I have looked over with the try before you buy program)…BUT…after comparing the outlines of Pandia Press and Elemental Science, I liked that Elemental Science spent some time on Natural Disasters, a topic that I know my son will be fascinated by.  I prefer the lab sheets from Pandia Press; Elemental Science requires a lot more writing, which I will have to adapt because my son does NOT LIKE TO WRITE!  Right now I plan to do this by just having him keep a science notebook, and draw pictures or make notes as he sees fit.   
    I think one thing I’ve learned over the last two years of ‘officially’ homeschooling is to make more reasonable expectations for the school year.  I’m sure there will be things that don’t work out and/or change for various reasons, but I’ve decided to start out the year lighter….which makes me feel (as I look over this list) that I’m forgetting something!  Haha
    We will start our ‘offical’ new school year in September

    Our Preschool choices can be found HERE
    Our Extra Curricular choices can be found HERE

    Linking up at Teach Them Diligently for Curriculum Choice Share 2013-2014
    and Weekly Wrap Up - Curriculum Edition

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    First Grade–Week 26 & 27 (Ancient China)

    We are finally back in motion (at least for my oldest)…we had been doing a really light load for a few weeks, and have now dived back into Science and History!
    These last two weeks we finished up our Animal Kingdoms unit for science, talking about Mammals, and then reviewing the vertebrate kingdoms.
    We also played the game Quick Pix Animals

    We watched The Magic School Bus Bats episode, and Brain Pop Jr Classifying Animals (It’s FREE!)

    For History we talked about Ancient China
    C read

    We watched
    China's Terracotta Warriors (on netflix)
    We also watched an Ancient China episode on Brain Pop Jr (you need a subscription to view this)
    Then C practiced some of his Chinese words for the week by painting them (I printed them extra large). The one he is showing below he did on his own from memory, after seeing it on Big Bird in China.
    They also got out the play dough and tried to make their own Terracotta Warriors (no pictures). 
    It was a good two weeks even though we didn’t get any field trips in b/c of colds!  Boo! 
    We will be taking a few weeks off of our regular science curriculum to do a review…but will pick up next week with History.  This week we are off to the beach! 
    *Check out Brain Pop Jr, they have a few free videos and then a featured FREE video each week.  Brain Pop has one FREE video a day.  Recently they have had videos about Tornados, Land Changes, Bridges (they seem to go along with current events, like the OK tornado and the WA bridge collapse).  We just bought a subscription through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op at 25% off.  But you can get the FREE stuff online or by downloading the FREE APP!

    Monday, May 27, 2013

    Review–Eggy Nursery Rhymes–Reading Eggs App

    Another great App from Reading EggsEggy Nursery Rhymes brings to life 10 all time favorite nursery rhymes.

    The variety of activities for each appeals to children both younger (ages 2-3) and older (4-7) depending on their abilities.  Activities include sing along, make your own, find the word, starts with and make the word. 

    Rewards consist of golden eggs and critters to hatch.

    This app is great for teaching word recognition, spelling and beginning letter sounds. (I did email the company in regards to them using words with blends in their starts with game.  I feel it is confusing for children.  For instance the word SHEEP, they would have _heep…. it is difficult for a child to know that the correct answer is S, since the sound is Sh and not Sss).

    The quality is consistent with their website and other available apps. 

    I have no hesitation in recommending any Reading Eggs products I have viewed, including this one!

    Note:  Be sure to visit the settings page to adjust the accent, this makes a difference in letter names and pronunciations! 

    Sunday, May 26, 2013

    Poppins Book Nook–Dinosaurs


    Dinosaurs are quite popular in our house, we have a wide variety of favorite dinosaur books and we have done a lot of different dinosaur activities that I’ll be resharing with all of you!

    Usborne Books has a wide variety of Dinosaur themed books for all ages.

    Here are some of our favorites:

    Picture of Dinosaur, ThePicture of How Big Was a Dinosaur?

    Picture of Dino Kit029

    The possibilities for dinosaur activities is endless!

    Comparing Weight with Dinosaur Eggs


    Dinosaur Graphing


    Dinosaur Matching and more


    Dinosaur Pattern Blocks


    Making Fossil Prints in playdough


    Open and Close Dinosaur Eggs


    Measuring Dinosaurs with nonstandard measurement


    How big IS a dinosaur?


    Dinosaur spelling


    You can find even more dino activities at each link! 

    We also watched Bus-a-saurus Episode and my kids had a blast with this Magic School Bus Dinosaur App (You can try the LITE version for FREE)

    Check out my DINOSAUR PINTEREST Board, and we’ll have a DINOSAUR ADVENTURE coming soon at Field Trip Friday (probably next week!)

    Continue to follow us and the other participating bloggers on the last Monday of each month!

    Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - Royal Baloo - 3 Dinosaurs - Monsters Ed -Chestnut Grove Academy - Growing in God's Grace - Royal Little Lambs - Life with Moore Babies - Teach Beside Me - The Usual Mayhem - Mum Central - Fantastic Fun and Learning - Kathys Cluttered Mind - Play Create Explore - Toddler Approved - Growing Book by Book - Adventures in Mommydom - B-Inspired Mama- The Fairy and The Frog - Edventures with Kids - Learning & Growing the Piwi way - A Gluten Free Journey - Mom to Crazy Monkeys - No Doubt Learning -Preschool Powol Packets - To The Moon and Back - Our Craft ~N~ Things - Farm Fresh Adventures - Proverbial Homemaker

    Have a Dinosaur related post?  Link it up here!


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