Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I feel that our homeschool was lacking in art. We do arts in crafts but its not the same as learning about art. So my sister and I have been trying to add it into our week. We have been meeting up once a week to do mini works of art. We are hoping to teach the girls about different forms of art and have them try and make a mini work of art. We are keeping them in a baseball card holder. Its been fun.

We recently visited the Eric Carle Museum of Storybook Art with my sister and niece. It was really fun. I have always enjoyed his type of art works. We had the girls look at all the different kinds of works and try and copy a few. Its was priceless to see them walk around the museum holding their sketch pads and color pencils trying to recreate. I loved it when Samantha took her book and pencils and sat down in front of one of the art works and created her version of it. I think they both did an amazing job. Here is a few samples of Samantha's work...

Oh and soon we will be having the girls create their own form of Eric Carle's art work. At the museum we saw the works of Tomi Ungerer, Barbara McClintock's The Heartaches of a French Cat, and many more works of art. We went to their library for story hour. Then to the arts and crafts room to do some Punctuation Play they gave the girls a sheet of punctuation and told them to create with it. It was interesting to see what they created. Samantha created a flower.

But I really want to teach her more about the artists and different types of art. I want her to learn how to blend colors and the color wheel. How it all works. I will be looking into a link a friend shared with me... so more to come on art.

History lessons,

I am loving our history curriculum. We are using a book called History for Little Pilgrims. We made a timeline and after each lesson we add that period to it. Each lesson is a brief lesson exposing her to history at her level. We started back at the creation. For creation we made a paper mache earth. We also learned about what history is and how she is a part of history. Then last week we learned about Noah's ark. For that we made an ocean in a jar with a tiny ball in it to represent the art. These are lesson that she already knows but it is showing her how things all fit into history and our past. We moved on to the Towel of Babel and we created our own tower.

Samantha is taken after me I have always loved history. She has told me many times she loves history and is upset on the days we don't do it!

Our lesson tomorrow is going to be on Moses and we will be making our own stone tablets with the 10 commandments on it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mondays are fun?!

Yes Mondays can be fun! I had a few crafts planned for today to go along with our lessons.

First we did the subjects without the crafts. She learned to write a cursive E today. She did crab a little that my cursive looks much better then hers. LOL I told her I had many many years of practice.

Her reading is getting much better. She is excited to read the stories and find out what happens next. Phonics went smoothly. Grammar was met with some resistance because it was a lot of writing. Not her favorite thing to do. Math was easy even though it was new. She is breezing through math.

Spelling was a little funny today. I had her take her pretest by writing on the window. She only misspelled 3 words. But oh those misspelled words were so funny......she misspelled Milk by writing it mlik, hook / hock and cook well I can't write how she spelled it out not so polite. :) Good thing she didn't try to go back and pronounce her mistakes like she has on the past 2 pretests.

Science she is learning about her 5 senses. She made a senses mask..Yes it looks a big creepy. She had to try and figure out what senses work better when used together. She pick sight and hearing. She found that she could identify the maker of the sound better when she looked towards the sound.

Then at last she made a autumn tree to decorate out table.

This weekend my daughter asked me to "play" school with her. I told her instead of playing it lets just get a jump on school work and do it for real. LOL She said that's not as fun. lets just pretend. Kids are funny. She did end up doing bonus math sheets. She had fun pretending she was a pirate going on a journey to find the treasure doing math word problems.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I am so excited!!!

I just got a great deal on some scholastic teaching materials. I got them all free. :) They were having a $1 days sale. Then I had a $10 off coupon code. I ordered 10 pdf files and received them free. I am so thrilled. I just was reviewing them and they all fit with our curriculum. Its an added bonus. I can't wait for science class tomorrow and Samantha see's her 5 senses mask. Or when we start learning all subjects through the story Cinderella.... her story from many cultures. WOW are there so many different versions. The grammar manipulatives will be a big help in remembering what is a noun, plural noun, common noun etc......, Or the wearable teaching materials for math. Its all so much hands on fun I can't wait! I will be posting many pictures of our hands on fun.

and this comes after my last post......

I think its funny, after I made my last post I was out with Samantha for the day. Visiting family. Well this family member that I only see maybe once a year if that. Starts asking about her schooling not realizing or

Well not to long after this conversation. I didn't notice this person leaving the room. Then talking to Samantha. Drilling her on math facts. :) Not that she minded. Her and her cousin answered his questions, playing his game. Samantha got most of them right! I almost asked him if she passed his test. But I held back. He was shocked that she was able to answer most of the questions right and before her cousin did. So I was told how smart she was.

Things like this makes me laugh at times, irritates me at times and other times it just makes me smile as it goes to show the person that yes we actually do school work each day Monday though Friday. Oh wait we actually do school all the time. Since there are many lessons a day that are learned just by living. That she is actually learning and most of the time above public school grade levels.

But there are times when it really does irritate me. If I put my daughter in public schools she would never be tested by family and friends. They would just leave that whole subject alone. Funny since the schools here are not doing such a great job educating our children. But yet through them questioning of my child it shows them that she is smart and is learning. That I am actually teaching my child! And I am sure much better then if she was in public school.

disclaimer....no way am I saying that if your child is in public school they wont learn. That is wrong. as I think children will learn in in situation you put them in if your there supporting them and make their education important. I just feel for my child this is her best education option out there. Also I think our teachers are great teachers who have their hands tied to what they teach and how they teach our children. I do base my feelings that the schools and politics of the system is what is preventing our children from learning where they don't have the support of family due to what those test scores show, those wonderful scores they put so much time teaching to the test, those scores show that these schools here are doing very poorly.

Well this little rant is over I hope you all have a wonderful night! And really I do know most of it is harmless. They are just concerned with her education. Funny I am her mom and that to me is one of the most important jobs out there is to teach her and help her grow! Yet my job is always questioned.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Everyone has their own opinion of homeschooling. Its funny really, I love hearing what others think it is, or how we do it or should do it. Or what they think the kids wont learn. I love the ones from the people who actually have no real knowledge of what homeschooling is. Here are a few funny comments....

Shouldn't she have to look forward to tests?
what about the prom?
What about looking forward to seeing her friends at school?
So what is she doing already grade 4? Since homeschoolers are usually way ahead of the public school :) giggle giggle giggle (that was me giggling to myself)
What about her having a boyfriend?
What about all the fun field trips she will miss out on?

Ok so those are funny... here are some not so funny...

Homeschooling shouldn't be allowed or at least be heavy regulated because if not this generation of kids are going to be stupid.
How are you going to teach a subject like algebra? Ok so assume I am dumb.
If she doesn't have recess how will she know how to get along with kids?

So my question to you
Since you started following our journey or meeting other homeschoolers has your opinion of homeschoolers changed? Has it changed for the better or worse? Has seeing our days and what she is learning answered any of the questions you have asked about homeschooling?

So the fun continues....

Today we went back to my sisters house to paint our earths. This time we were smart about it we painted outside. It was funny to see what their idea of the earth was. Julie has discovered many new continents. LOL Samantha was worried about where Texas goes. That she also had to add lots of brown for Texas, Mexico and Australia. She said its hot there so it must be a lot of dirt. LOL The girls did a good job. They got very messy I hope the paint comes out of her cloths. Again I forgot to take my camera with me. I did get a few with my phone. Here they are:

This is them doing the paper mache the other day.

the girls cleaning up,we had them wash up in soapy water outside, they loved it ... sorry no pictures of our beautiful globes.

Next we plan on having the girls make a sun, moon and the rest of the planets.

Today while doing school work Samantha started learning how to write in cursive. She has been asking me for a while now. But I couldn't find a program I liked. A friend gave me the BIG flash cards for Abeka cursive. I love them. So was started out with her tracing the letter a with her finger. Then we moved onto making the letter with her bend a roo's. Then she was excited to write it. She did an awesome job on it. At first she didn't want to believe me that both upper and lower case are the same just different size. It was funny. I really hope she does a good job with cursive. Her printing is a little messy. But with much more practice she will get better. This year there is so much more writing. :)

We did a lot of hands on stuff today....
science we learned how we measure using many different tools, so we measured the living room, dinning room and them together
math we used our manipulatives to work out place value I think she got it today
math we made a ocean in a jar to represent how God made the ocean and this will also go with next weeks history when we learn about Noah's Ark and the flood.
cursive using her finger to trace the letter then using the bend a roo to make the a in upper and lower case

She took her first phonics test and got a 96! Way to go Samantha. She has had 2 spelling test so far with a bonus list and passed both spelling test with 100's and the bonus list had 10 words and without even studying them she got 8 correct!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How we ended our perfect day...

As I said today was a perfect day.
So we took a little break to run out and register Samantha for baton class at the rec center. Once home we moved onto science. We are using a few different sources for science and today was using our estudies. We learned to ask questions, to make guesses about the outcome to our experiment, test it out and get our answer.

Our question today... If we make a square bubble wand would our bubbles be square?
Samantha thought no they wouldn't be but it would be so cool if it could. So we tested it out and just as we guessed it was still a circle. Hands on activities helps reinforce our learning...

We then came in and Samantha helped me cook supper of homemade pie crust to cover our chicken pie. She made 2 mini crusts to make 2 mini chicken pies for herself.

She told me today was the best day ever!

fun lesson on chocolate on the national chocolate day...

Did you know that today was the national chocolate day? So what do homeschoolers do on this day? We have a fun lesson all about chocolate with taste testing.

First we had a very nice relaxing morning with a some computer time learning. Then we went outside to do school work. yes we had a very productive day homeschooling outside. With the promise of chocolate I think Samantha would have done her work happily in the bathroom! We got all our work done all the while she dreamed of chocolate bliss.
learning place value...

reading...she read today's assignment, then tomorrows and Thursday she was so into the story...

Now on to the most important lesson of the day... yes I made her learn all about chocolate, how the cocoa beans grow, how they harvest them, we even learned that at one time only the rich could afford it. She even did a word search.

Interesting fact in 1764 the first chocolate company to sell chocolate in the United States was the Baker Chocolate Company located in Massachusetts!

So onto the important part we taste tested a few kinds of chocolate...
#1 dark chocolate
#2 Hershey's milk chocolate
#3 European dark chocolate with whole macadamia nuts

The winner hands down #3. I preferred next #1 but Samantha preferred #2

What a yummy afternoon. Today was one of the best days yet. Today came close to perfect. Seriously not because of the chocolate I had the day off and Samantha and I just had a great flow to our day.

paper mache .... fun or not so fun???

What do you do with a child who has sensory issues? Who doesn't like weird smells? Who can actually pick out my pillow with her eyes closed just by smell. Who doesn't like to touch weird things? Thankfully her sensory issues are more in the smell category as we went to Aunt Michelle's house to make a paper mache' earth. Part of Samantha's history lesson was to make a map or globe. Part of cousin Julie's geography lesson was to make a earth. Funny enough it happened in the same week. Cousin Corrina joined us. She is making a sun, just for the fun of it.(she was a perfectionist and took longer then the 2 little kids)

I have to admit it was fun. Much more fun than I thought it would be. LOL. Samantha actually liked the feel of the glue on her hands, so did Julie. Me not so much it felt icky! It didn't take long for Samantha and Julie to put their hands in the glue without the strips of paper. Or it didn't take long for them to be covered in glue. Julie more so than Sam. Samantha had some on her dress, hands and in her hair. Julie had it all over her pants, hands and arms. I think both had some on their faces too.

Oh and telling a 6 year old and 9 year old to rip newspaper in strips, not clear enough. Next time I need to show and example. We ended up with strange shapes and the only ones in nice strips were the ones I did. But in the end we all had lots of fun. We now wait for the paper mache balls to dry so we can paint them. That should be fun and just maybe and activity for outside! Michelle's floor have lots of glue on it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Today was our first day of First Grade!

Today was our first day of school! What fun it was. Our day started with us taking a first day of school picture outside on this rainy day. After this we hurried inside to change into warmer cloths it was cold outside and in.

Then a nice hot breakfast of pancakes, sausages and hash browns from McDonald's. This was a special treat as most of you know how much I hate that place... but not too bad for pancakes. Sam loves them so once in a great while we will get them as a treat.

Then we did phonics and reading.Its fun to sit there together reading and seeing her face light up when she reads a word she was struggling with.

After this we moved onto Science. In science we learned how God made us wonderful and unique. She learned about our fingerprints and how no one has any like her. We put our prints on paper and compared them. She said my prints are more beautiful then hers. :O)

After science we did health and learned a little about her growing. For this we sat cuddling on the couch.

We then had fun doing Math. She is so interested in learning about negative numbers. So after we did the work which is review at this point. We made our own number line to see where the negative numbers go. Then I showed her how and why there is negative numbers. She said our number line looked like the yard stick we bought and laid down for me to "measure" her, negative numbers and all.

Then at last we worked on our spelling. Samantha took a pretest and passed it 100%. We did our work book exercises. After that she had fun making sentences with our spelling words.

Over all it was a fun day. I love teaching Samantha and seeing her learn. After we were done with school work she took out her recorder from last year and asked if she can continue learning. So for today she just practiced what she remembered. While I searched for ear plugs. LOL.

One last picture. Samantha posing with all her work.