Monday, October 13, 2008

Overdue Update

Since our broken printer has turned into new laser printer which has lead us to networking problems, we're still without a printer, which means our curriculum is temporarily on hold. In the meantime, Elsie and I have been working on a few other things...she's learned to spell her name. She likes to say, "Listen to me write my name: E-L-S-I-E!" It's pretty darn cute if I do say so myself. We're also working on some very basic math...simple addition. It's something that keeps coming up and is easy to work into whatever we're playing or talking about. If we're cleaning up toys and I ask Elsie to pick up all of the blocks, she'll bring me some and say, "I have two blocks." I'll say, "I found one. How many is 2 blocks plus 1 block?" She's really caught on very easily. Of course, we're working with small numbers, but I'm still proud of her. I've been praying for a long time that she'd be a quick learner and able to pick up on concepts easily. I've definitely seen fruit from that already.
I've also been reading this book, and this little break has been the perfect opportunity to see how mine and Elsie's relationship works when I'm teaching her I like to teach as well as how she likes to learn.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Free Calendar Templates

Visit Lakeshore Learning to download a FREE printable calendar !

I've been wanting to add days of the week and months of the year to our schoolwork. Last week, I found a wipe off board that only has one week of Monday through Friday on it. I think I'm going to print the calendars, and I'll let Elsie color the calendar page for the beginning of each month. Then, we can talk about special days that month and write down any plans we have together. On our weekly board, we're going to write what we'll be learning about each day.

I'll post pictures the first week of October when we get started on this.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Week 5: Monday

I've got drafts that I need to finish up for last week, but I want to try and get back on track with posting as well so I'm starting with today. Elsie woke up this morning acting like a kangaroo so I impulsively decided to make them our theme for the week. Since our printer has gone from printing blotchy to light to not at all, we're still improvising. Jason has been kind enough to print me out a few pages at work ahead of time but since the kangaroo thing is spur of the moment, we're getting creative.

I made her a kangaroo pouch out of a receiving blanket, and she dubbed her baby doll Riley Roo. She's been hopping around for a couple of hours now, and I've had to readjust her kangaroo pouch countless times, but she's having a ton of fun. Here's Elsie the Kangaroo.

I made our vocabulary word joey, a baby kangaroo. I also found some coloring pages I'll ask Jason to print out and bring home so we'll have to share those another day.

Our scripture for the week is 1John 1:5-God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I know I NEED to update, and I'm determined to get that done today, but I wanted to take a few moments to post some links here that I'm finding value in.

First, I've posted this before, but Brightly Beaming Resources is the current plan we're using in homeschooling our 3 year old. So far, it's going great. When I pictured myself beginning to teach our daughter, the things in this plan are what I pictured...simple ideas, shapes, colors, letters, and numbers. This curriculum has simply given me ideas and ways to achieve what I'd already figured I'd be doing.

Here's a site, A Magical Childhood, that I bookmarked awhile ago and recently stumbled across again. It's full of fun crafts to do with children. I'm sure we'll be exploring some of these soon.

When I first started researching curriculums, I came across this list of grades and what the standards are for each of them. It's something I read over from time to time just to refresh myself on what things to stress when talking with Elsie. We don't necessarily focus on many of these things in our lessons, but we're learning and discovering them together while we play.

Another great learning resource is Starfall. The focus is on learning to read, but there are other activities there as well that you could easily incorporate into whatever you're studying. I'll probably be looking into this site more as I start thinking more about teaching Elsie to read. Am I brave or what?

In my neverending search for coloring book pages, I use the site, Enchanted Learning, often so I thought I'd share it with you. I've also used Preschool Express and the blog, No Time For Flashcards, to glean ideas from.

Two other sites I've spent some time on are homeschooling advocate sites, the HSLDA as well as NHEN. Both sites have a wealth of information and can probably answer a lot of questions for anyone.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Week 3: Wednesday

Today, our letter for the day is the letter C. We colored a letter, and then we practiced drawing some. The C is a lot easier to draw than A or B so Elsie did a great job, and we've got a whole wipe-off board full of the letter C to show Daddy when he gets home. In the last couple of weeks, she's really taken an interest in writing letters...practicing on her Doodle Pro during playtime...she's drawn the letters B, C, D, J, L, O, P, T, U, and V all on her own.

After that, we walked around the house and found things that start with the letter C like her Cat picture from Monday, Claira, a Care Bear, a Cup, and a Candle. Now, Elsie's having Cookies for a snack while she watches the Letter Factory.

Week 3: Tuesday

Our shape of the day--Diamond!

We colored and drew diamonds and made some out of playdough...we did not find anything in our house that is shaped like a diamond...if you can think of something we might have, post it here and we'll find it for our Friday review!

Week 3: Monday

Our theme for the week: CATS!

We had a lot of fun pretending to be kittens...meowing, purring, and snuggling together.

We also introduced our new Bible scripture today, which I had meant to be doing on Friday's, but since I wanted one to practice the first week, I introduced it on Monday, and it seems to be stuck there. Oh well. Do what works for you, I say. Anyway, Elsie did not do nearly as well with her second scripture as she did the first. She still knows the first very well, but everytime I've wanted to practice Colossians 4:2, she reverts back to Genesis 1:1...which is okay with me for right now. Part of starting this so early is wanting to get a good grip on everything and figuring out what our strengths and weaknesses are without any pressure to just get it done and do it right (now).

On the other side of things, I had picked the scripture in Colossians specifically because I wanted to focus more on thankfulness. Elsie can often be found throwing a fit over having to leave...Chuck E. Cheese or some other fun outing we've done. I realize that those are times that she's probably tired so I don't want to place too much weight on them, but I'd like for it to be a short-lived phase anyway. I want our children to be thankful for what they've been given. When they've been blessed with a fun afternoon, I want to hear, "Thank you! I had so much fun" rather than their screams and the sound of their shoes hitting the pavement as we drag them to the car. Hopefully, someone out their can relate. Anyway, we talked a lot about thankfulness this week, and I was able to make Elsie aware of how blessed she is by explaining that not all children live in a home like we do. We were watching Sesame Street earlier this week, and there was a little segment with a little boy from another country...his house had dirt floors. Elsie told me that it was gross so we talked more about how blessed we are to live in a country where it's normal for us and all of our friends to have nice, soft, clean carpet on the floor. Last night, as we talked about getting ready for bathtime, she said, "Not all kids have towels? right Mommy." She was shocked when I told her that not all kids have bathtubs and some of them have to bathe outside in a lake or river. This is turning into a longer post than I intended, but my point is that she may not have memorized a scripture this week but she did seem to gain a bit of an understanding about thankfulness, which I'm grateful for.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Week 2: Thursday

Today, we took our lesson on the number 2 on the road. We joined Mya and Lydia at Blackberry Farm for some afternoon fun. On the way, we counted how many people were in the backseat, how many sippy cups, and how many pony tails were in the car. Once we arrived, we found lots of things to count: how many big sisters were in our group, how many little sisters, how many strollers, how many ponies, etc. We had a really fun day.

Two Big Sisters:

Two Ponies:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Week 2: Wednesday

I got this really great wipe off board at WalMart. It was only about $3, but it has lines printed on it like the kindergarten writing notebooks. I got it so we could practice writing letters on it, and today we got our first chance to try it out. Elsie protested the letter B while I drew some to show her how...she wanted to do A's instead. I did manage to get one B out of her...hers is on the second's quite possibly the cutest letter B I've ever seen.

Week 2: Tuesday

Can you guess which color we learned about?

I promise the girl has shorts on as well!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Week 2: Monday

My printer is dead...or, at least it's dying...perhaps it has a deadly disease? Anyway, it won't print! It has selective printing capabilities. I've tried changing the ink cartridge, but it still prints if/when/what it wants to. So, we're not printing coloring pages. Actually, I need to have Jason print some off at work and bring them home. THAT'S a good idea.

Anyway, yesterday we started our second weekly theme: the JUNGLE! Fun, right? Sure! Since the printer was being fun, instead of coloring a picture of the jungle, we looked at the coloring page online, and I let Elsie do some freestyle coloring. While she colored, we talked about the vocabulary word of the week: vines. We also talked about animals you can find in the jungle, and decided to take a cue from last week's lesson. In true jungle fashion, we acted like parrots. We flew through the house squawking and flapping our arms. We perched on the couch, the chair, and the edge of the bathtub. Then, we ate lunch.

Our afternoon was much more calm. We snuggled up in the recliner and read Elsie's Bible. We attempted to practice her new scripture, but everytime I initiate practicing it, Elsie reverts to "Genesis 1:1..." so, we'll keep trying.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Week 1: Friday

Yes, I realize this is actually Monday. I'm just making up for lost time!

Anyway, when I was gearing up for the weekly themes, I peeked ahead at the daily lessons and discovered that Friday's lesson is on nursery rhymes. I haven't even heard all of the nursery rhymes that they include so I decided that we'd read the nursery rhyme as part of Friday's lesson, but we won't be spending time out of our week to memorize them. Instead, we're going to work on memorizing scriptures. Elsie did a great job with her first weekly scripture, and we introduced her second one, which is Colossians 4:2 "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."

I don't have all of the scriptures picked out ahead of time, but it seems like I've spent a lot of time talking to Elsie about thankfulness lately so I chose a scripture that included that. Now, she can spend the week reminding herself!

We also did our daily Bible reading and workbook pages. Then, we made a cow out of squares, which doesn't really look all that much like a cow, if you ask me. But, Elsie is quite proud of it. She even named, here she is making her very first online appearance-Bessie the Cow!

For review, we took time to draw and trace squares, the letter A, and the number 1.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Week 1: Thursday

Our schoolwork today started with reading the Bible and practicing our scripture. She's still mixing up the Earth and the Heaven's, but that's pretty minor so I'm not worried about it. It's sweet to hear her speaking in scripture as she plays.

Today, we started our lesson on the number 1. I introduced the subject at snack time where Elsie had 1 m&m, 1 cheez-it, 1 cookie, 1 chip, 1 graham cracker, 1 wheat thin, and 1 marshmallow. We counted how many of each item we had...ONE, of course. Then, she ate all the sweet stuff first as any daughter of mine would do!

After snacktime, we took turns drawing the number 1 on the need for tracing! We also drew 1 square since that's our shape of the week. Then, I sent Elsie on a number 1 scavenger hunt while I nursed Claira. She found 1 Barbie doll, 1 hairbow, 1 ball, 1 green block, and I had her find 1 thing shaped like a square so she brought me 1 book. Then, we drew the number 1 in our Number Book and picked out 1 sticker for the page.

To finish, we read 1 book and colored 1 page in a coloring book with only 1 crayon.

Week 1: Wednesday

I'm determined to stick with the daily posts during the week, but this entire week has been quite a large adjustment for us with starting the schoolwork and potty training. Elsie is doing excellent with the potty training. She had two half accidents on Tuesday where she didn't make it in time so she had half in her pants and half in her potty, but yesterday she did great. She even went all the way through church last night without an accident and went potty when she got home so I'm THRILLED with her progress. No accidents yet today either.

Yesterday was rather hectic as Claira was incredibly clingy. We took some time early in the morning to read Elsie's Bible, and then we practiced her scripture again. She had most of it learned on Tuesday, but she says, "the Earth and the Heavens." She gets those two mixed up.

Our lesson for the day was on the letter A. So, we sang the alphabet and then colored the letter A. I drew the uppercase and lowercase letter A several times on Elsie's light sketcher, and she traced over them. She actually surprised me with how well she was able to trace them. While we did that, we talked about the sounds that the letter A makes and words that start with A. Then, I let her watch the Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD, which I highly recommend. I plan to let her watch it every Wednesday after our letter lesson.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Week 1: Tuesday

Today, we started by talking about squares...they're made up of 4 straight lines that are all the same size...Then, we found some things around the house that are shaped like a square:

Claira woke up fussy so we traded the other part of our square lesson for storytime. We read Elsie's Bible together and went over Genesis 1:1 again. Then we did a couple of pages in Elsie's workbook.

After lunch, we tried our hand at making playdoh squares, and we took some time to draw some too.

Week 1: Monday

I should've posted this yesterday, but our house is busy with potty-training.

Anyway, Monday we started Week 1 of the Preparatory Curriculum. Our first weekly theme is COWS! So, we started our school work by coloring a picture of some cows. Then, we went over many words with the -OW sound like wow, chow, bow, etc. We went over our vocabulary word for the week, which is calf. "A calf is a baby cow," Elsie says to anyone who will listen. Then, we sang "Old McDonald Had a Farm" and read some poems listed on the BBR site. We read a book about a cow from our own personal collection, and we ended our cow portion of the day by getting down on all fours and letting out loud "MOOOOOS." Even Claira joined in on our fun, though her "moo" was in baby talk.

We had gotten a later start than I had planned on, so we took a break for lunch and did a few more things afterwards. We did a couple of pages in Elsie's workbook. We're working on a book that's all about colors. I'm really focusing on the following directions part of the experience so I chose to start with something she already knew. She's great at circling objects and coloring of course, but we're still working on drawing X's over objects or drawing a line from one object to another to match them up. To finish, we read Elsie's Day by Day Bible that my friend A.J. recommended. Then, we went over our scripture for the week, which is Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth."

When I've written it all down, it makes it seem like such a time consuming thing, but it doesn't take much time at all.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Brightly Beaming Resources

Brightly Beaming Resources is a FREE online resource for preschool and kindergarten homeschooling curriculums. We're gearing up to start the Brightly Beaming Steps to Reading Program. We're beginning the Preparatory Curriculum, which teaches children to recognize letters, numbers, colors, and shapes. I love the simplicity of this curriculum. It doesn't take a lot of devoted time to pull it off, and it can easily be added to. Our plans are to add daily Bible reading and a weekly scripture to the program. Check out Brightly Beaming for your child.

Starting today, I plan to update our progress daily during the week so stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Beginning

In the beginning...there was a stay at home Mom and a working Dad with two little girls they wanted to homeschool. That's us. We really are just in the beginning. Our oldest daughter, Elsie, is not quite 3 1/2 years old, and our younger daughter, Claira, is 8 months old. Our plan is to homeschool, but that's about all we've got so far. I've barely dipped my big toe into the pool of curriculums so I'm far from deciding on one. I've already found myself wishing for a tutorial on how to choose. So, I'm starting this little spin-off blog. I've been blogging about our daily ongoings for family members for months now, and I'm hoping that some of them will join us on our journey to and through homeschooling. I'm not quite sure what this blog will look like because I haven't found one on the subject that has really inspired me, but I have big hopes for it. I hope that it'll be a resourceful place to answer questions for those just starting out, and I hope to post a lot of fun, neat kid's projects, crafts, and experiments.