Back to School {The First Week}

In my Back to School – Planning post I talked a little about what we were doing for the year and how we were fitting it all in. In this post I’d like to just recap our week. I’m not always good about doing this weekly but the first week is always important to me, even if I’m finally finished writing about it 3 weeks later! It is my way of scrapbooking digitally our year and there is just something indescribably special about the first week. The kids are excited for what’s to come. I’m excited for what’s to come. Everything is ripe with possibility even as we stumble through getting the daily rhythm down.

So how was our first week?

Math and Art were our biggest hits for the week.

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For math we’ve switched to Khan Academy this year for our oldest son. His dad started using it to sharpen his own Algebra skills over the summer and Gabe started sitting down beside him and helping him work out problems. He absolutely loves it. Khan is self-paced, independent, and FREE! We had already been using Khan for history, science, art, and math supplementation (they have great videos and now they’ve teamed up with the guys who do Crash Course whom my kids LOVE and we use for history and science) so this was a natural carryover for him. Since Gabe is already a year ahead in math, using Khan will give him the independence to move ahead at his own pace. He may end up doing two years in one this year and be into Algebra by year’s end. We also allowed the other kids to try it since Khan does have math all the way down to an early elementary level, but we found after a few days of trying that they still preferred their Teaching Textbooks for math.

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Although Teaching Textbooks is very pricey, I LOVE their program. It is set up tutorial-style so each kid is completely 100% taught on the computer without me. It is great for auditory and visual learners or for those that need someone to sit with them step by step through each problem. It does automatic grading and my kids love it. That is enough for me to spend the hefty price tag. Plus, we discovered that the book is actually just a repeat of what they are already doing during the lessons and a needless piece so we’ve eliminated that this year and gave each kid their own spiral notebook to use for working out math problems. That saves us $30 for each program. And you can use them with more than one child so we are only buying one year at a time and by next year won’t have to buy any. While the 2nd and 3rd grader are doing their math independently on the computer, it frees me up to work with Ivy and Eli with their Pre-K math and phonics.

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Art was also well received this week. Mainly, because we actually did it! Every year I have these great intentions for art and music and every year life gets in the way and then they get bumped for the more “important” subjects that are required. So this year I decided no more. Creativity is a must for me to flourish and it is extremely important for my ten year old girl as well. This year we bought everyone their own sketch pad and we labeled them all pretty and are keeping them organized in an inexpensive tote from Michael’s. For the two littles, I used a primary composition notebook and  covered it in pretty scrapbook paper and then laminated the covers to keep them sturdy for the whole year. This allowed them to be cheaper (twenty five cents back to school sale!) and keeps them accessible for their age range.

Our first week of art we read the Drawing Rules in Drawing in Color and talked about how their is no wrong way to draw. We read ish and Dot, which the littles especially loved and imitated immediately in their notebooks. Our first assignment was to draw whatever we liked. Each child shared their picture and everyone said one thing they really liked about each picture as well as one thing they would like to improve upon for the year. The kids did not want the afternoon to end and it has inspired Lily to check out several drawing books at the library and she has been practicing every night. This year we will be focused on learning to draw animals in pencil using a combination of youtube tutorials and Drawing Animals in Nature with Lee Hammond . This will mesh very well with our zoology science course.

Zoology, unfortunately, started off a little rocky. I was so excited to start the lesson with a great hands-on, visible way for them to understand the concept of classification through classifying legos. This ended up with mostly fighting over said legos and Norah ended up teething and crying for a huge chunk of our time. It was a bit of a letdown for me because I have such huge expectations for this year’s zoology lineup. Our second week fared way better after a trip to Fontenelle Forest to pick up our Vertebrate/Invertebrate Educator’s Trunk and the kids got to handle and feel all kinds of bones and animal skins. My favorite was the owl skull and bobcat skull. After examining everything, the older two got to dip into their first experiment and the littles played an online classification game, all was right again in our science world.

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We kicked off our first week of history by diving into Columbus and the Age of Exploration. The younger ones listened to me read from A Child’s History of the World, which I just adore, while they happily constructed ships out of our magformers. They colored and notebooked and then finished off their time playing an online game about Christopher Columbus.

The older two are doing history with daddy again this year. He is a huge history buff and has a wonderful conversational Socratic method style of teaching that our kids just love. They are watching the Crash Course World History and US History videos in conjunction with their reading and then join me on another day of the week for fun history where we get to watch the Horrible History videos, watch fun songs and do map work. Favorite song of the week: Fifty Nifty United States. I learned this song in fifth grade and it has stayed with me to this day. I am giddy passing it on to my children. They are song nerds in the same way I am. Okay, maybe I’m a bit more of a song nerd but they really do love this song. This has been our constant car-schooling anthem for the past couple of weeks to go with our geography study for the year.

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I’ve been most impressed with Ivy this week. Being 5 and “officially” starting kindergarten, I wasn’t sure how involved she’d be for the multi-age taught subjects like history, science, and geography. We always have stuff planned for the littles but beyond their basic 3 R’s in the morning, we don’t require them to do school. They are free to play or watch an educational video. But she’s stuck with us through much more then I thought she would. She played the Columbus history game like her older siblings, she’s colored history sheets while listening to the stories and she’s even picked up on the Latin we’ve been studying. And her coloring has taken a dramatic turn for the better since school has started. I perceive that she will show the most overall growth this year.

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Latin was by far the most unexpected successful subject of the week. We discovered Classical Academic Press by accident last year through their sister site HeadAdventureland.com which is full of fun, free latin videos!!! (Check out our fave…The Three Little Pigs!) The older two have totally resonated with the DVD chants in the Latin for Children, Primer A. They love doing the activities and discussing everything with their dad over coffee. And the younger 2-4, depending on if the two littles join us, are throughougly enjoying SongSchool Latin. It is SO kid-friendly and fun that the kids can’t wait to do Latin and have told all their friends they should too. Even I have awoken in the middle of the night with a catchy Latin song stuck in my head. Makes me want to check out their SongSchool Latin Spanish.

I also enjoyed doing Bible with the littles this week. We read out of Vos’s Child’s Story Bible starting again at the beginning. And I was once again captivated by the way she conversationally draws the little ones into the story while simultaneously weaving Christ’s redemption story in from the very beginning pages of Genesis. This is by far the BEST story Bible I’ve ever read. The children sat and listened spellbound and asked for more when I was done. Can’t ask for more than that!

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Some other fun highlights of our first week…

The girls temporarily dying their hair purple and pink.

Enjoying playing golf during recess time.

Building nanoblocks during free time.

Watching caterpillars emerge as butterflies!

Taking care of pet toads.

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I’m so excited to see how the rest of our year unfolds.

How was your first week of school?

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Back to School – The Plan {2014-2015}

It’s time again. Everybody is posting first-day-of-school pictures on Facebook. Although I missed that deadline by 3 weeks (as I usually do with getting pictures up on Facebook…still have a whole summer’s worth of albums to put up), I did manage to take a first-day-of-school picture. Maybe sometime soon it will get to Facebook. Maybe…

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I’m ready and not ready to start all at the same time. I’ve spent the last month cramming to get everything done (we’ve switched doing all our lesson planning to OneNote but that is a post for another time) and still am a bit behind.

All in all though, I’m pretty happy with our schedule and our curriculum scope and sequence for the year. After running it for a few weeks it needs some minor adjustments, but overall we did good. The major goal I am setting for myself this year is to get up earlier and more consistently. Last year with having a newborn and being up most nights, I didn’t do very well at all with getting up at a consistent time. We still had a great year and accomplished a lot but I always felt like we were running behind all the time. Mainly, because we were running behind all the time. With Norah past the one year mark this school year, my nights are a bit more regular.

This year is a big adjustment for us schedule-wise in that it is MUCH more structured. I’ve always been a very relaxed homeschooler. I loved that we could start school at 10ish, be done whenever-ish and follow lots of rabbit trails, especially in history and science. But this year I have an official junior-higher going into seventh grade, a fifth grader, a third grader, a second grader, a kindergartner, a preschooler, and a toddler. To say my life is full is an understatement. Somehow I need to move my seventh grader into more challenging work to prepare for high school, which is really just around the corner, while also making the time to spend with my kindergartner who is just ripe for learning to read. But I also need to give extra time to my two middles, third and second graders, who still need more teacher-to-student time as they are transitioning into independent readers. I need to keep my preschooler busy and out of trouble and my one year old just learned this week (yeah me!) to climb chairs. I see impending disaster in my future with that one.

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So this year hubby and I sat down and brainstormed like crazy pasting and copying subject time slots until everything that we wanted to do meshed with everything that we needed to do. This was no small task. This is the most packed, structured schedule we’ve ever been on. I’m not going to lie, the day before school started I was trying not to have a mini panic attack at the thought of sticking to a schedule. Just ask my husband. I am NOT good at following schedules. I just love to make them. I adore planning for them. And they always seem so ripe with promise every year. And then I immediately deviate and forget I even made one. I like my rabbit trails and interest-led learning that takes place and I’m not sure if there is any room for that this year.

But I also know that more important than my need to have fun and go off on learning tangents, is the need my kids have for structure. The need I have for structure. There are too many of them and only one of me. They all need my time and each of them is equally important. So a structured schedule it is. And even though there is a small part of me that cringes at using a clock and a timer, the bigger part of me loved that we got to all our stuff and started on time every day.

Here is what we are learning this year.

MathTeaching Textooks (2nd, 3rd, 5th) and Khan Academy (7th)

Phonics – Bob Books, Starfall, YouTube (Pre-K)

Literature – list varies for each child (All)

GrammarFirst Language Lessons (2nd, 3rd) and Rod & Staff English (5th)

SpellingRod & Staff Spelling (2nd), Abeka Spelling 2 (3rd Grade)

WritingBasher’s Creative Writing and Writing with Skill (5th and 7th)

CursiveKumon Cursive: Letters and Kumon Cursive: Words (2nd, 3rd)

LatinSongschool Latin (2nd, 3rd) and Latin for Children, Primer A (5th, 7th)

SpanishRosetta Stone 1 & 2 (5th and 7th)

History – Age of Exploration and Early American History (All)

Geography – United States & Capitals (All)

Science – Zoology (All) and History of Science (5th & 7th)

ArtTechnique: Drawing in Color and Drawing Animals in Nature (All)

Art – Appreciation: Baroque, Romantic, NeoClassical, Pre-Raphaelite

Music – Theory: Basher’s Music: Hit the Right Note (All)

Music – Appreciation: SQUILT Technique with Baroque, Romantic, and Classical styles; Composer Studies

BibleChronological Study Bible (5th, 7th), Child’s Story Bible (K, 2nd, 3rd), Awana (All)

PhilosophyLittle History of Philosophy (5th, 7th)

LogicArgument Builder (7th)

Physical Education – Aerobics & Weights (Girls), Boxing & Weights (Boys)

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I am hoping to write a separate post for an in-depth look at each subject. That may or may not happen. I can’t promise anything. I always have way more blog posts floating around in my head than I ever get the time to sit down and write. But I can give you a glimpse into our year and our week. I’ve uploaded my Relational Subject Comparison 2014-2015 for the year to give you a small taste of what we are going to be studying for each of the 36 weeks.

History is the peg we hang our year on. It is the rudder that is driving everything else. We follow a chronological 4-year history cycle and literature, geography, art, music, and sometimes science are all, somehow, related to what we are studying for history. So this year I created the above 36 Week comparison sheet and wrote the key historical peg we’d be studying then, during my planning, I used that to determine which week we read or mapped or did what activity that correlated in a different subject. It makes the year flow better and allows me to pre-plan some rabbit trails without overburdening our schedule down. I can use this as a quick-glance guide for each week’s planning to remind me during the nitty gritty weekly planning, especially for pre-requesting library books. This style of planning also helps us to cement information in our head when it is presented in different ways throughout the week. This year we are on year three of the cycle which covers from Columbus up to the Civil War (1492-1860’s).

Here is a blank Relational Subject Comparison for anyone else who is interested in planning this way.

Some people look at the above list of subjects and can’t imagine how we get it all done in a week. Here is a small taste of what our Sample Week looks like so you can see how we make this a doable reality. Remember, we don’t do every subject every day and this is fitting in essentially 5 different grades into one week. Not every grade is doing every subject on the above list. And it is especially important for new homeschoolers of younger children to remember that our schedule was not always this full. We started out with years of 2-3 hour school days and lots of extra time for library and field trips, lots of nature walks and outside play and, most importantly, LOTS of interest-led learning. Enjoy your little ones. Enjoy the slower pace. There is a time and season for a busier, more challenged schedule but the early elementary years is not that season!

So, how did our first week go you ask?

Find out here.

PAYSON ACADEMY

2014 – 2015

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Back to School {Weekly Wrap Up}

Back to school already?

Yes, we are doing school already. And, I admit, I wasn’t quite ready to get started this year. Norah Belle just showed up in our lives two months ago. I’m just starting to get my house back in order. But starting early does make sense for us. This will allow us the flexibility to take 2 weeks off in the fall, 3 weeks off at Christmas, and two weeks off in the spring while still getting in a full summer break next year as well as taking everyone’s birthday off and getting a few partial field trip weeks in the mix.

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Our Week

Getting back into routine is always hard. This year will be my biggest year teaching. I’m officially teaching four: sixth grade, fourth grade, second grade, and first grade. That said, technically I’m teaching six. Ivy, preschool, is already asking to read and is the most excited about doing school. She wants to be involved and she wants my undivided attention. This will prove tricky since I’m more apt to multi-task between students needing instruction and those needing help or clarification. And Eli is in full-on potty training mode. Then there’s the normal challenges of life like nursing Norah and dealing with Eli’s toddler energy and other learning challenges like attention spans and reading delays.

I knew the only way I could accomplish my homeschooling goals this year was to make a few changes.

One, get up early.

Two, meet with the Lord daily.

I can’t even begin to tell you how hard this has been. I am a night owl. I LOVE staying up late and talking with the hubby over coffee or getting lost in a new Netflix series together. But it was very clear to me that this year I needed to get up by 6:30 and have some quiet time before my other early birds arose. It has been very hard but very worth it. Just meeting with God first thing on the quiet of my front porch swing has allowed me to face each day’s chaotic challenges in much healthier ways. The bonus is savoring a cup of coffee and some first of the morning conversation with my oldest boy. He is just entering junior high and I am enjoying getting to know him as a friend, not just a son. He’s funny, quirky and we’ve had some good heart to hearts just swinging together or enjoying the flowers in the morning sun.

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Our week officially started with ART. Every year our schedule is so full and when unexpected life happens it always seems like the fun stuff gets pushed aside for the essentials. Well, this year I am determined to change that. I decided to make the fun stuff a priority for us. We are living life at home and while we do need to cover the essentials, I want the love of learning to stay passionately ignited in all of us. I want our home to ebb and flow with productivity and rest, creativity and logic.

We are starting with the basics of pencil drawing technique. This week we focused on seeing basic shapes in the world around us and translating that onto paper. We emphasized 3D shapes and practiced drawing cubes, spheres, cylinders, and cones. This wonderful youtube tutuorial helped us. I was amazed at my 7 year old’s drawings. He was the only one to listen about how to hold the pencil and how to do the short, light sketching strokes. Maybe we have an artist in our midst! We used our geometric blocks as models which Eli thought was great fun to play with while the others worked.

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Reading, reading, and more reading. Reading has been both rewarding and frustrating this year. My oldest two are reading every chance they get including sneaking books to the lunch table. (Brings back memories for me!) And my oldest daughter, nine, has finally discovered Harry Potter.  She has read 3 of the books in the past two weeks and watched the first two movies.

Luc is seven. He is my struggling reader. I pray daily for how to work with Luc. He is completely apathetic about reading and bucks against learning. My gut is to keep pushing but there is a fine line between challenging your child and killing their joy of learning. Luc does love to play. He plays everything he learns. And he would much rather be playing then in “school”. So this year we’ve decided to go with Batman phonics books. He still struggles. He still resists. But after he wades through a page and then practices rereading it a few times, his whole demeanor changes. A smile lights up his face. He can read about one of his favorite super heros and is so proud of himself. I wish I could say that changes his attitude and inspires him to keep practicing. It doesn’t. The next day it is right back to the start of this push and pull reading relationship.

But I’m confident that with enough perseverance we will make some major breakthroughs this year. Just look at that smiling boy reading with his mamma on the porch swing. Beats sitting at a desk, right?

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Math for the older two is simple and easy. Teaching Textbooks have been our best friend. The kids LOVE doing their math on the computer. I love not having to teach it. I love that they love doing it and beg to do extra lessons in their free time. I love that it tutors them and grades them and tracks everything for me. The only drawback? It doesn’t start until third grade. That means Pre-K through second grade is still on me.

This year I will be doing all three. Ivy in Pre-K, Lilah in first grade, Luc in 2nd grade. We will be using a multi-level teaching style. I will focus on introducing a concept through a living book. All three will practice the concept through manipulatives at their own level. Each has a dry erase binder with practice sheets of concepts they need to practice. We will also be doing some fun picture mystery math pages. Emphasis will be on playing math to truly understand concepts and LOTS of living books that bring math to life without a textbook.

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I’m super excited about science this year and so are the kids. We are using the Max Axiom graphic novel science series as our jumping off point. This is no ordinary science book. Don’t let the comic book style fool you. Each book covers a specific science concept…electricity, magnestism, states of matter, etc…in an in-depth way.  We will follow that up with watching a Bill Nye the Science Guy video and supplement with a hands-on experiment and Magic School Bus books and videos. My kids fell in love with Bill Nye last year and most all of them can be found free on you tube. 

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This week we started off learning about the scientific method. We practiced using it with these wonderful printables from Crafty Classroom and used the same experiment they did in the Max Axiom book. In Bill Nye’s Do It Yourself Science we learned that science is repeatable and can be tested again even if you know the outcome. So we retested the experiment in the book of finding out what type of levee keeps more water from flooding a town: rocks, soil, or clay. We recorded our hypothesis and data. This upcoming week the older two will be learning how to share their findings through a science board display.

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This year for history we are covering the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Reformation. Adam, who has a passion for history, will be teaching the older two as well as covering philosophy, logic, and the Bible with them. I will be supplementing through a healthy diet of living books, notebooking/lapbooking, and map work. 

This week we started off the year recapping the Roman period and overviewing how the Roman Empire fell and how Christianity spread through Europe. We focused on Constantine and we rounded it out with the story of St. George and the Dragon. Even I learned something new this week. I had heard stories of St. George but, fantastical as they are, they don’t beat the real story of him being a follower of Christ and refusing to bow down to the Roman Gods. He was tortured and martyred by decapitation under Emperor Diocletian for standing up in his faith.

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And the best highlight of our week? 

This wonderful pencil sharpener that I bought used for $5 at a homeschool curriculum sale this summer. No more blisters. No more wasting time searching for a sharpened pencil when we should be working. No more pushing off art because the task of resharpening all those colored pencils just seems too daunting. I’m in love with this machine. It is not just an electrical pencil sharpener (had one of those…worked not at all) but an industrial pencil sharpener. My son laughed at me when I took a picture of this. But, to me, it is one of the most beautiful pictures of our week.

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Joining up with…

~ Taking a Breather ~

Chrrp chrrp chrrp…

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of the crickets chirping in this lonely cyber space.

In the midst of getting ready to close on our new house (Don’tcha love the sold sign?), I’ve been a busy busy beaver around here and haven’t had much time to post.

We are packing, packing, packing.

Still homeschooling among the boxes. (Hope to backtrack when I get some time and post all the great living World War I books we used!)

It looks so empty with all our books packed up. Sniff sniff…

And painting…can’t forget the painting. It’s easy lunches in the living room so that parts of bunk beds can get painted white  on our dining room table (way too cold to do outside!) to be all ready for this wonderful princess space. Can’t wait to show off the final product!

Still to do:

  • Pack coat closet.
  • Pack bathroom closet.
  • Pack kitchen.
  • Finish packing scrapbook supplies.
  • Clean desk (a.k.a. file the HUGE stack of papers and find homes for random stuff that’s been dropped off here) and finish packing office supplies.
  • Finish painting.

And the littles? 

They are merrily jumping on beds…with permission this time! We broke down bunk beds (i.e. see painting) and piled all mattresses in one room. They are “camping out” for the next 2 weeks. This makes a great space for daddy, his guitar and our nightly devos!

All the dressers have been moved into the other bedroom along with the toys. So we now have a designated toy space so I have room to pack. At least, that is how it works in theory! I must say I do like having all their clothes in one room. We paired them down quite a bit so all 6 children’s hanging clothes fit in one double closet. It is nice doing laundry and then putting everything away in one space. It makes me think that Michelle Duggar was on to something!

But today?

Well, today is no chores day. We had pop tarts for breakfast (Did I mention how we are on the easy convenience meal plan right now? My kiddos love it.) on paper napkins. No dishes. Laundry caught up yesterday. Most packing done. So this morning I will enjoy a cup of coffee and have a guilt-free morning blogging around and pinning stuff to my boards. Oh how I have house love right now!

Where I am visiting this morning:

 

An Impromptu Art Lesson

My son has been taming a cat. Well, more an adorable fuzzy little ball of black fur kitten. He’s the runt of the country kittens living under our porch. And he’s not doing well. He’s being pushed out by the others and not allowed to feed. He’s learned to trust us, especially Luc, as we’ve tried to supplement him a bit food-wise. But he’s not gaining weight and he’s sick. It’s quickly turning into winter weather and I fear he isn’t going to make it.

Luc has become quite attached. He plays with him daily (don’t worry, we bought him a flea collar). The cat has come to trust him. His name is now Hershey. How could I possible stand by and let him die in front of him? And trust me, if I could I’d run this little bundle of fuzzy joy to the nearest vet, get him his shots and meds and take him inside to become part of the family in an instant. All Luc is asking for is this kitten for Christmas as his pet. He offered to take his portion of Christmas money for presents and give it to little Hershey to pay for vet bills. But there’s this little thing of allergies and a rental agreement standing in our way.

So we did the best thing we could in this situation. We took him to the Humane Society. It was daddy’s idea and I was so thankful that we could take him to a place where he would be cared for and adopted out while giving my kids a chance to see all the other little kitties and animals up for adoption. The kids loved seeing all the little critters. They were making their lists and pleas as to what they wanted when we buy our house.

I’ll admit, Luc held up like a champ. But he lost his friend. He was a sad mess most of the night. He held on to Lily’s little stuffed black cat trying to soothe his heart loss and he cuddled next to mommy a lot and we talked, for the millionth time, about why we couldn’t keep little Hershey and why Santa still can’t bring a real cat for Christmas.

And I’m not sure what inspired the request but suddenly I found myself at the learning table drawing a kitten for Luc. Luc and Lily were amazed at my drawing ability (not stellar, but not bad) and were suddenly inspired to draw something in a realistic way too. Suddenly everyone was drawing and I was reminiscing about drawing when I was little and Lily was oohing and aahhing trying at my old stuff and trying her hand at different techniques. And before we knew it, Drawing in Color (the most amazing kids art book ever) was pulled out and kids were flipping and experimenting.

I was amazed at the results. Here is this 5 year old boy and 8 year old girl just producing these images that blow their usual drawings out of the water. These are the homeschooling moments that I live for! And they never happen when planned! Lily asked if tomorrow she could draw some more. She said she wants to do it for school and even in her free time. I’m looking forward to what their free time will be filled with over the winter. Audio books here we come!

Lily's Cat - 8 years old

Luc's Cat - 5 years old

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Playing Doctor: Germs and Our Immune System

The kids have had great fun this week studying about germs. I figured, mainly since everyone had a cold, that this was a good place to start. We did a mini overall introduction to the human body last week with a few fun worksheets and watching Osmosis Jones. Of course, as you can see above, we dug out the doctor kit and the littles have been playing all week. They were even fighting over the outfit so their solution was that Lilah got the shirt and Luc the scrub pants. He made up for it by donning a mint green oxford button up. He actually did look like a doctor then! It made me smile.

Although we’ve read several good books and watched several good videos, I think the kids favorite activity was learning how to wash hands properly. Ivy has been in the bathroom every chance she gets now to put soap on her hands (and whatever else she can). Our house mess level has been high but overall the kids have been enjoying themselves. It has been harder sticking to the other schedule of maintaining math and language arts. The first week back is always hardest. My weekend plans, other than Eli’s birthday, is to tweak this part to make sure we stay on schedule. I think what will help the most will be me being even more prepared. I thought I was this time with everything all printed out but I’ve found it’s the little things that will make the biggest difference to us…already-sharpened pencils, papers already on clipboards the night before for each child, as much chores as possible already done the night before to make a smooth morning transition.

We studied how our body works to keep germs out, combat germs once they invade, and how our body naturally heals itself. We also read about the doctor and immunizations. Most of our technical stuff (for the older two) had to do with the job of white and red blood cells. Here is a sampling of what we used.

Free Resources:

Living Books:

(There are many other great books to go along with this one.)

Other books we used:

  • About Me (Childcraft) – great overall resource for a human body study with children. Worded as a living book and keeps the kids interest the entire time. Great for older or smaller children. Use the parts that go with what you are studying. We will use this book each week and just read bits and pieces as we go.
  • The Giant Germ – a Magic School Bus chapter book that Gabe read independently this week.
  • Judy Moody: The Doctor Is In – a chapter book that Lily read indepdendtly this week.
  • Daisy The Doctor (Usborne) – a great read-aloud for the littles
  • Bernstein Bears Go to the Doctor – another great picture book for the littles

Free Videos:

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Free Lessons ~ Health, Nutrition, and the Human Body for Healthy Kids

Discovered a great new site for homeschooling moms…

Nutrition for Healthy Kids is a blog dedicated to teaching our children about proper nutrition. This homeschooling momma steps out of the box and teaches young children to think critically about their food. Her lessons go way beyond the public school’s general 4 Food Groups philosophy. What’s the difference between organic and non-organic? Can you taste the difference? See the difference? She explores using the scientific theory to go through lessons on everything from basic food nutrition to grocery store plu codes and knowing what a GMO is. Each lesson comes with a downloadable worksheet for the kids to use in their science investigations. And there is lots of hands-on (with little prep work) and opportunities for field trips.

I was planning on doing a Nutrition, Health and Hygiene, and Anatomy and Physiology unit this upcoming winter anyway. A good can’t-go-outside science unit to work on.  This site will tuck in neatly to what we will already be doing. Besides, flu season is the perfect opportunity for a field trip to our doctor for a seasonal shot! And our kids have all been under-the-weather this week so it will be the perfect time to start studying about germs and how nutrition can heal your body. My goal is for the kids to take an active role in their own health and understand why mommy and daddy make some of the decisions we do. I want them to decide what foods will build their immune systems and I want them to begin the process of learning the basics of cooking. We will also be spending the winter planning our spring garden so that will also tie in nicely. We will also be focusing on two very important key biblical elements…the fruit of self-control paired with the freedom we have under Christ. I will be curious to see how their knowledge plays out over the season of over-indulgence!

Here are some other resources we will be using:

If you’ve done any clicking, you can see we are going to have loads of fun with this study! We will use the books we have on our shelf first and then, if needed, supplement with the library. What do we have on our shelf? Take a peek!
I hope to add each week what we’ve done specifically for the week and what resources we used. This will allow for a more detailed list then I can provide here as well as lots of fun, free video links to specific units.
Our schedule:
  • Week 1Germs, How the body heals, Doctors, Teeth and Dentists
  • Week 2 – Nutrition, Vitamins and Minerals, Supermarket
  • Week 3 – Anatomy: 5 Senses
  • Week 4 – Anatomy: Cells, Bones, Muscles
  • Week 5 – Anatomy: Heart, Lungs, Stomach

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