Thursday, May 28, 2009


K (age 6) was playing cars with D (age 2) and T (age 4).

She turned to me and said, "Mom, I am so glad I don't go to public school."


"Because it is so so so long and it is so not with my family."

Rock on girlfriend! I am so with ya!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wrap Up: History

This year we focused mainly on US History. Each month we skipped FIAR for a week and studied a topic in history through literature.

Our studies included Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims, Women's History, Martin Luther King Jr., and various presidents. Many of K's level 2 readers covered topics about immigration and westward expansion.

K was very interested in Thanksgiving this year. We talked about the history of this holiday at Thanksgiving time and also during our study of Abraham Lincoln. During Women's History Month, we read more about Sarah J. Hale, the woman who petitioned the presidents for years until Lincoln finally made Thanksgiving a national holiday.

In addition, the girls memorized 24 history sentences at Classical Conversations which all had to do with US History. I think the knowledge of these important dates will serve them well in the future.

Finally, we memorized the order of the presidents. I hope to add to that knowledge next year with some basic information about specific presidents.

So what is in store for next year?

Our main History/Geography curriculum will come from, Galloping the Globe. We will study Asia, Antarctica, and Europe. The girls will receive a great overview of the continents, explorers, and general mapping skills. We will look more in depth at particular countries and learn about important historical events and people related to that country. For example, while studying China, I have no doubt that we will study the Great Wall of China.

I am really looking forward to our year. My main goal is for the girls to develop a deeper understanding of and passion for God's world and His people.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wrap Up: Art

Our year was spent doing a lot of crafts and art projects.

During a 6 week period at Classical Conversations, we studied six American Artists using the book, Discovering Great Artists. I loved this book and will continue to use it.

This year we studied Grandma Moses, Norman Rockwell, Georgia O'Keeffe, Andrew Wyeth, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jim Davis. After learning about the artist and looking at his/her work, Kayleigh imitated that artists work through an assignment.

Her Grandma Moses Folk Art:

A Norman Rockwell type drawing of people roller skating together:

Flowers the way Georgia O'Keeffe painted them, up-close:

Her imitation Andrew Wythe:

Finally, a painting with dots and a narrow color palette like Roy Lichtenstein:

(I left out the long Jim Davis 4 page comic)

So what is the plan for next year?

The new co-op we are joining does an art project and/or craft each week!

We will continue to use, Discovering Great Artists, at home next year. Our focus will be on artists from the various countries and continents we are studying in Galloping the Globe.

Of course, art projects and crafts seem to continually arise in this house so we'll have a variety from our literature studies and everyday life as well!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wrap Up: Phonics

K did a great job making progress through her Explode the Code Books for phonics.

She took the Post Test for Book three and only spelled one word wrong in the dictation: "sail" (I had her correct it)

Her original spelling was "sael". Those darn ea and ai words were tough in this book. She reads them just fine, but spelling is much more difficult.

She second guessed her spelling of "road" and her second try was correct!

What is in store for phonics next year?

We will continue in the Ordinary Parents Guide for Teaching Reading. This has been a great daily exercise to make sure we hit all of our phonics rules. We are just about halfway through right now, so we should finish next year.

K will continue working through the Explode the Code books as well, beginning in the fall with book 4.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wrap up: Science

We had a fun year in science, though I think it was my "weakest link".

The Classical Conversations experiments were way over my girls heads, although they were cool.

Since I hadn't bought a science curriculum of sorts, we kinda of put together our own little chats and studies from FIAR. Looking back, we did more than I thought but it felt haphazard.

One of my favorite times with the girls was doing our study of animal classifications. We had a great time reading books on each category of animal and then drawing our own representations of animals in those categories. We did this over a three week period and it sure was fun!

We had a great time coloring together. (yes, mommy made a page for each animal too) It was one of those activities that makes you glad you are homeschooling. Laughing and chatting, we colored and named our animals.

The results were worth saving. Here are a few of K's:





So what is the plan for next year?

We have joined a co-op with an amazing science program. Both of the girls will have a science notebook/journal appropriate to their grade level. They will do science every week at co-op and then have homework and reports to prepare at home.

It'll be nice having a more formal curriculum for science! I have seen this program in action and it looks like a ton of fun!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wrap Up: Literature

We finished FIAR Book One this year and had fun with it. By the end, we were ready for something else and did a few comprehension activities from Veritas Press' First Favorites.

We focused on setting and main characters this year when discussing the elements of a story. Occasionally, the story lent itself well to a discussion of climax.

While reading, Clown of God, we were able to discuss the climax:

Other stories such as, The Rag Coat, were easier to focus on main characters and setting:

With other books like Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, K dictated a summary (with help) and drew a picture:

Using First Favorites, we did activities like sequencing:

And of course, we did a ton of fun activities through FIAR that weren't "recorded" in a worksheet! It was a great year!

The plan for literature next year?

Most of our literature will come from our tour of the world using, "Galloping the Globe". The site, Homeschool Share, has some great resources and activities for many of the book titles.

We'll continue with First Favorites by Veritas, using both Volume One and Volume Two.

Read-alouds are continually going on in this house, so we'll keep referring to that Sonlight and Veritas catalog for some good titles!

My goal is to focus on some more elements of a story as well as narration next year. We will have tons of venues in which to do that! Literature is constant around here!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wrap-Up: Handwriting

We've come a long way in terms of handwriting. There are only a few letters that K (age 6) still forms the "wrong" way at times. There are a few left that she tends to do capital instead of lowercase as well when left on her own.

But all of that seems quite normal for kindergarten. So we have ended our handwriting "instruction" for the year!

Here are some of our end of the year samples:

The plan for next year?

We'll be using Draw to Learn: Psalms by the Notgrass company. This was a find at the convention I attended. We'll do this once a week and K will use the phrase from each Psalm to copy for handwriting that day.

We'll continue to finish Handwriting Without Tears Level One. We'll probably indulge in this more formal instruction once or twice a week.

Finally, I ordered, "Copywork for little girls" by Queens Home School (another convention find) to reinforce good handwriting as well as proper use of the English language and grammar.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just for a laugh

While I don't personally have any issues with our local public schools, I do get sick of that infamous, "What about socialization question?"

Here's a unique solution a friend sent me:

"Homeschooling Family Finds Ways to Adapt to a Public School 'Socialization' Program."

"When my wife and I mention we are strongly considering homeschooling our children, we are without fail asked, 'But what about socialization? ' Fortunately, we found a way our kids can receive the same socialization that government schools provide. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I will personally corner my son in the bathroom, give him a wedgie and take his lunch money. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my wife will make sure to tease our children for not being in the 'in' crowd, taking special care to poke fun at any physical abnormalities. Fridays will be 'Fad and Peer Pressure Day.' We will all compete to see who has the coolest toys, the most expensive clothes, and the loudest, fastest, and most dangerous car. Every day, my wife and I will adhere to a routine of cursing and swearing in the hall and mentioning our weekend exploits with alcohol and immorality.. .. And we have asked them to report us to the authorities in the event we mention faith, religion, or try to bring up morals and values."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I think K (age 6) likes our little homeschool table as well. She drew a lovely picture of her and I sitting at it.

No, our desk doesn't have bird feet. And K and I do have bodies.

You get the picture though. *wink