Friday, August 31, 2012

School Pictures

We have been back in school for over a month now.  I have been wanting to get out and get some pictures of the kids for the beginning of the school year.  That has not happened.  So yesterday, I grabbed the camera and snapped a few pics.  I hope to still go out and get some better shots but for now this will do. 

Mickey is in 1st Grade and 6 years old



Nate is not “officially” in school so we are
calling it “Tot” school and is 2 years old





I am linking up with the Not back to school blog hop for picture week.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


When I decided to homeschool my daughter, I can tell you that Chemistry was not one of the things that I thought I would be teaching my daughter in first grade.  Did I tell you that I was not that into science when I was in school??  So when I saw the Chemistry book for elementary students, I thought they were out of their mind.  But I decided to trust those that went before me and try it out.  We are using Real Kids 4 Science, Chemistry

Last week we decided to venture into Chemistry and study atoms.  I even understood it.  This week we went further and studied molecules.  Today was the hands on experiment with molecules.  We used toothpicks and marshmallows. Nate even enjoyed the experiment, or maybe he just enjoyed the marshmallows.  I loved that as we were doing the experiment, Mickey kept saying how much she was enjoying science.  I knew she would but it is nice to have confirmation.  She even said it was a very tasty experiment. 


Busy building her molecules


Here is her “Heart Molecule”


Those are some tasty molecules


Nate finished his marshmallows so he decided to sneak some of sisters.  I don’t think that is going to work.  But look how serious this kid is.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Where we do school

Not Back to School Blog HopI am linking up with the NOT back to school blog hop.  This week the theme is where we do school.  In our family, where we do school is an ever changing experience for us.  Last year we started off in our office.  It was nice to go in there and have a contained room where Nate could play and we could do school.  And most importantly, the mess from school was contained.  However, sometime during the later months of the school year we moved out of there back to the dining room table.  Nate was feeling stuck in there, so we moved.

Although I feel like the room is still a better fit for my girl it is not for my boy.  Right now, the room is a wreck.  I need to do some major decluttering.  When we moved out of there we kept putting boxes that I was packing up and that room was the easiest place to put it all. Have you ever had that happen to you??  Yes, I need to clean out that room.  But until then our table is where school happens.  At least where the work that needs a table to write on. 


Mickey has her workspace.  I can sit besides her and help her.  I have a plastic box on a chair that keeps most of the mess in while we are not officially in school.  Nate gets to come and join as he pleases.  Play in an area that he is fully comfortable with.  If I need to I can put on a show for him to watch and dance to.  Because let’s face it his sole purpose right now is to watch a show that has music so he can rock out with his toy guitar. 



I have seen homeschooling families do school in a dedicated room, at the table, on the couch, outside, in the van, in the kitchen.  Learning can be done anywhere and is usually done everywhere.  There is no right place to do school.  Just because you do school one way and I do it a different way that just makes us different not right.  I suspect that we will eventually back to the office with some adjustments.  But whatever we choose it will be the right decision for my family. 


So where does learning occur in your family??

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Biggest Challenge

What is your biggest challenge in your homeschooling day?  Math?  Science?  A reluctant learner?  Today, my biggest challenge was this little guy. 


My little guy Nate is my baby.  He is a curious little guy that loves to be involved.  As you can tell from the picture above that he takes his work seriously. 

He had a great night of sleep.  Which means that I did too.  Sleep is not always something we get a lot of.  Some reason today, this little guy woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  He has been grumpy since he woke up this morning.  Nothing was making him happy today. 

Thankfully he liked an app on my tablet which made him content for a little bit.  Peekaboo Safari deluxe helped save the day, today. The animals are behind the jungle and Nate gets to tap the animal and the animal makes the sound and comes out of hiding.   He was able to sit on my lap and find the animals.  This kept him entertained long enough so we could finish Math. 

Science time came around and he was able to be involved.  We are doing our Chemistry book.  Today’s experiment was observing the differences of different things such as a cracker, cotton ball, pencil, and a chocolate chip.  Nate was able to have his own items.  His favorite was the chocolate chips.  Mickey wrote and drew her observations down.  Nate just ate his stuff. But he was happy for the moment. 

This momma is tired.  I think that I need a nap.  Maybe while Nate takes one?  Maybe.

What is your biggest challenge during your homeschooling day?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Glimpse Into Our Day

I snapped a couple of pictures today. 


Mickey looks happy to be doing reading work.  She actually did really well today.  We are taking it slow and I think that is helping her feel like she accomplishing and is really able to read. 



Nate has his Thomas the Train magazine.  He feels like a big boy and working on his school work also.  I don’t know exactly what he is doing but he is very serious about it.  I am in great need to come up with some school assignments for this little guy.  He is much happier when he is involved. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

1st Grade 2012-2013


We have been in school for a few weeks already.  I have seen where we need to make some adjustments but so far things are running smoothly. 


We will continue on with reading and phonics through McRuffy.  This is what we used in kindergarten and it worked well for us.  We use a different reader every week. The readers are very silly and enjoyable for my silly girl.  There are workbooks that we use during the lessons. I think the part that Mickey enjoys the most is puppets that she gets to cut out and act out the stories. 

Road Trip USA

I am really looking forward to this study.  This study I bought from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  This is a study that will combine geography and history about the United States.  Last year I attempted to teach the different states but I just needed some help.  I think that through this study we will have the help we need.  There is also the lapbook that we will be using.  We are going to be using incorporating literature finding different books to read that go along with the state we are studying. 


We are trying out different science studies this year.  I am not sure which one will work better for us.  Mostly because they are different styles of teaching and levels.  We are going to state off with Chemistry.  Yes, Chemistry but it is an introduction for  the elementary level.  This one is great for Mickey because there is a lot of hands on opportunities for her to learn.

The other option for science this year is Apologia, zoology which focuses on Flying Creatures.  Mickey is in love with animals which is why I have this book.  However, I am thinking it might be a little old for her.  So I think that with a little of creativity we are going to use the book as our guide and find a way to make this more hands on. We were going to start with this book but since I needed a little extra preparation we will use this one later on in the year. 

 Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the 5th Day (Apologia Science Young Explorers)

We will be using McRuffy for Math this year also.  We used McRuffy for Math last year and Mickey loved it.  There are a lot of hands on activities.  My girl loves math.  She looks forward to doing math everyday.  She loves the math games that are included with the curriculum.  I have to say this will probably be Mickey’s favorite part of the day. 


We are going to use an art program by Atelier.  We are just trying this out to see how it is for us.  It is a dvd art based program.  Each lesson is on a dvd and she has her own materials to follow along.  I am looking forward to this since I don’t have a great art background.  Atelier – Homeschool Art Lesson Plans & Projects for Kids by Homeschool Art



One of the resources we are using is What’s in the Bible.   It is a series that starts with Genesis and will take you all through the Bible.  They just released the dvd with Psalms and Proverbs in it.  I really like this series.  It gives a good foundation and it is fun and silly and my kids love it.  We have only watched the first 2.  On the What’s in the Bible website there are coloring pages that go along with the dvds.  It also have some helpful resources for the parents.  If you would like a 20% coupon click on this link and you will take you to a 20% coupon.  Phil Vasser is the one behind the scenes of this video series.   He is also the same guy behind the scenes of Veggie Tales. We are going to watch the first 2 videos again and dig deeper this coming year. 

Sparks Curriculum Sample

Awana is something else that we are going to continue doing.  This year will be Mickey’s second year in Sparks.  She loved it last year.  I think that this year she will be a Wing Runner.  One thing that we did last year that helped her with her verses is download the music to the verses for this year’s book.  It is amazing how this really helps her remember her verses. I get to learn them too. 

WingRunner Handbook Music CD

So this is what we are planning on using for Bible this year.

So that is the plan.  I know that it will change over the year.  We will make adjustments where we need to.  We will take things out when we need to, we will add things in when we need to.  I think that is part of the flexibility of being a homeschooling family is all about.  I look forward to see where we will end up.  We have a plan, now it is on to the journey. 

What is on your plan??

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I am linking up with the Not Back to School Blog Hop.  So hop on over there and find what other homeschooling families are doing in their school year.