Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Apologia Science

We are LOVING Apologia Science. This is our first year using it. Anastasia is doing Physical Science. I bought her the audio CD that goes along with her book and that really helps a lot. She really likes the way the book is written in conversation form. I have also signed her up for a co-op with this curriculum. It meets every other Wednesday and they will do all the labs together. Yeah for me!! ;) I think she will be involved in a co-op for the rest of her sciences.

Joshua, Savannah and Alexa are doing Astronomy. I am already amazed at how much they are learning and retaining! They talk about the sun and planets all the time and I can see them applying what they have learned It is awesome! After some juggling of our schedule we finally found a good time to do science, right around 11:15. This gives them time to work on workboxes in the morning and then have a quick snack before we get started. We usually work for about 45 min then it is time for job cards and lunch.
We are doing Astronomy "notebooking" style and it is working very well. I think that is what is helping their retention. I will have to take a picture of their notebooks to post later, but here are some pictures of our activities completed so far:

Creating our Solar System

Practicing the difference between rotating and revolving

Seeing just how hot the sun is....melting and catching things on fire with a magnifying glass

Exploring color

Making Mercury from salt dough

Friday, August 12, 2011

Our First Week Back To School

It is time to start back to school and we had a GREAT 1st week back! This is our 9th year homeschooling! The Saturday before we started school we had to spend some time getting our school room back in order. This is what it looked like:


The kids cleaned up the floor and their desks and I re-did all my cubbie shelves. I haven't taken an after picture yet. :(

I let them use shaving cream to clean their desks and they had SOOO much fun with this!

Once everything was cleaned back up I made the girls new tags for their workboxes:

Savannah's are princess's (I found these on a workbox yahoo group that I belong to.)

Alexa's are Tinkerbell. I made these myself. Since Alexa is in Kindergarten now she gets her own full set of 12 boxes. She was so excited!

Now that Alexa has her own set, Natasha and Jadon share with 6 each. Natasha still loves Dora so she has the same ones and Jadon absolutely loves Diego so I made him some Diego tags. But just so you know I don't do anything with his boxes yet. He just walks around holding the Diego card! LOL

Joshua still has his Star Wars ones and Anastasia still has her Twlight ones as well.

Here they are on the first day:

The Preschooler

The Kindergartner (this was my kindergarten dress and I take a picture of each girl in it on their first day of kindergarten)

Her actual outfit.

And she insisted on posing on her desk.

The 1st grader

Ok I need to take another picture of her. My kids can't stand it when it is bright outside. LOL

The 3rd grader

And you will notice no picture of Anastasia yet as she wouldn't let me take her picture. Really??!

The next pictures are from our traditional first week of school hand prints and foot prints. We do these each year and they go in the kids All About Me lapbooks.

The 3 little girls were all excited to get right to work!

I feel so very blessed to be starting another year of homeschooling!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Curriculum Plans for 2011-2012

It's that time of year again, summer is almost over (at least by the calendar, certainly not by the weather) and it's time to start finalizing the curriculum plans because it is.....

I make most of my curriculum choices before the homeschool convention and then do most of my shopping there. This year by the way it was an excellent convention, as usual and Ken Ham was the keynote speaker. He is incredible!

We are starting our 9th year of homeschooling! Each year has of course been different with challenges, successes and even some failures along the way but I wouldn't change it for anything. Every year I am asked if I am going to keep homeschooling and I answer with a resounding YES! I could write a whole blog entry on why and maybe I will but that is for another post.

If I were to sum it up (because I could expound oh so much more) Luke 6:40 comes to mind, "A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is full trained will be like his teacher." HMMM makes you think, which teacher do I want them to be like? Also it helps keep our family intact and we can focus not only on academic training but also spiritual, academic and social training as well.
I could go on an on but I think I started this as a post about curriculum..... :)
I am a picture person so I made a collage for you to see some of the curriculum we will be using this year...

I use a variety of curriculum and keep it all together and organized by using workboxes, which I LOVE!
So here are the plans for this year....

  • The whole family will do Character Building for Families each morning for our devotions

Anastaisa: 8th Grade

  • Bible: Alpha Omega Lifepacs

  • Math: Horizons Pre Algebra

  • Language: Alpha Omega Lifepacs

  • History: Hands of a Child --American History Notepacks

  • Science: Apologia Physical Science (She will be attending a co-op for the labs for this)

  • Vocabulary: Classical Roots by EPS

  • Extra: Typing, Microsoft Office, Piano/guitar all from free lessons on the Internet

Joshua: 3rd Grade

  • Bible: Alpha Omega Lifepacs

  • Math: Horizons Math

  • Language: Alpha Omega Lifepacs and Daily Grams

  • History: Expedition Earth

  • Science: Apologia Astronomy

  • Extra: Piano free lessons on the internet

Savannah: 1st Grade

  • Bible: Leading Little One's to God

  • Math: Horizons Math

  • Language: Alpha Omega Lifepacs

  • Reading: Hooked on Phonics

  • History: Expedition Earth

  • Science: Apologia Astronomy

Alexa: Kindergarten

  • Bible: Leading Little Ones to God

  • Math: Horizons Math

  • Reading: Hooked on Phonics

  • History: Expedition Earth

  • Science: Apologia Astronomy

  • Extra: K4 curriculum by Erica

Natasha: Preschool

  • Letter of the Week curriculum by Erica

  • Lots of fun hands on activities in her workboxes.

Jadon: Busy Toddler

  • Nap time He still takes a morning nap from about 9:00-11:30 Whoo Hoo!

So that is the plan for the year. My goal this year is to type up a weekly or bi-monthly review of our weeks. ;)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jadon's First Hair Cut

The day finally was way past time (at least according to me, not Jay). Time for Jadon's first hair cut!

Here is a side profile of his lovely locks before.

After cut. He is cute no matter what! :)

Alexa's Birthday

In her own words: "This was the best birthday ever!" Alexa got to celebrate her birthday twice this year, once in San Diego and once when we got back home. We were in San Diego on her actual birthday. So Aunt Jutem made a cake and decorated all for her special day. That afternoon we also got to go to the beach and all the youth sang Happy Birthday to Alexa and she thought that was just the best ever!! ;)

My dear sweet Alexa is growing up before my very eyes! I can't believe she is 5! (I think I say that about each kid on their birthday but it is so true.) Alexa is our child who is so full of energy, life and excitement all the time. She lets you know right what she is thinking even if she repeats herself a hundred times just to make sure you understand! LOL My favorite time with Alexa is having our nightly snack of popcorn and then snuggling with her in bed. She loves to cuddle.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!