Sunday, October 4, 2015

First Grade Daily Learning Notebook

First Grade Daily Learning Notebook
click HERE if you are reading this by email for the video
Here is what I include in the first grade daily learning notebook with links:
*Confessions of a Homeschooler - Elementary Daily Learning Notebook (pdf)
*Assignment sheet- Multitaskin Mom
*I Can Teach My Child- Goal Setting
*Character Traits actually from The Measured Mom, but I can't find the link (must have been a freebie)
*Math Activities from 3 Dinosaurs
*Fall Reading from 3 Dinosaurs
*Life Skills Checklist from Thriving Family (pdf)
*Age Appropriate Chore Chart from Happy Housewife
*Manners from Thirty Handmade Days
*Read, Build, Write mats from Homeschool Creations
*Gospel in the Bible- When You Rise
*Maps- Enchanted Learning
So, I put all of the daily papers on a clipboard and I utilize the sheet protectors for papers we do daily that change like the date page that comes in the daily learning notebook set from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I also add in printable worksheets with dot to dot, soduku, word search, mazes and other ideas from
These have been a great way to start our school day and help to set up some good skill work.  I also have him copy the Bible verse for the week and a few other things like writing our address and phone number.  I really like the clipboard which keeps everything organized.  I just put all the papers in there so they are ready to go for the next day.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

PreK Daily Learning Notebook

PreK Daily Learning Notebook
click HERE for video if you received this through email
Here is a list with links to what is in my PreK Daily Learning Notebook.  
*Confessions of a Homeschooler- PreK Daily Learning Notebook (FREE!)
*Handwriting Worksheets- Make your own for tracing name
*The Measured Mom- Letter of the Week Book List
*This Reading Mama- Letter Tracing (part of the subscriber freebie page)
*Little Learning Lovies- Letter Hunt (Probably a free download somewhere)
*I Can Teach My Child- Goal Setting
*Character Traits from The Measured Mom (can't find link)
*Life Skills from Thriving (pdf link)
*Manners from Thirty Handmade Days (lots of other great printables on this site)
*Guidelines for Practical Life Skills for kids- Thirty Handmade Days
Every morning we start with Morning Time and then we go to the table and go through our Daily Learning Notebook clipboard.  I use sheet protectors and dry erase markers for some of the papers.  This is a great way to start the school work time and skills are learned.   I have seen real success and good development toward independent learning using these notebooks/clipboards. 
Hope you can get started with Daily Learning Notebooks for your children.  Have a great day learning!  Blessings, Shonda

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

First Day of School 2015

The night before our first day of school we do Back to School Banana Split Night!

The next day we dress up and take our first day pictures.
My daughter is PreK and my son is 1st grade.
I'm pretty excited to do a new grade that I have never taught before.

 I bought all of my supplies at Walmart and I bought quality products, I think.  I made a big schoolbox for each of my kids and one for myself so we will have plenty of supplies which I constantly ran out of last year. 

This is what our school room looks like.  Yes, it's the dining room.  I put the whiteboard in the middle to separate and it works great.  It has cut down on distraction immensely and I can bounce back and forth between the two.  I tried a more relaxed approach on the couch, but it did not work AT ALL!

 And after our school morning we went out for our First Day Donuts.  That's our tradition and the kids love it!

I found that writing out a routine/schedule for the day along with what chores are expected has really helped especially with my son.  I don't include times exactly, but I try to start school between 9-10.  We do about an hour of chores (good exercise too!).  That way I can relax during the homeschool time and not think about all the stuff that I need to do.  We have been in school for 6 days and I can tell a BIG difference between this year and last year.  Both kids can work at the table and it much less chaotic than last year when my little girl wanted my attention while I worked with my son.  I just couldn't get it to work out well.  But this year looks promising.
I have a few more things to share this month:
*Our daily routine
*Daily Learning Notebook videos
*Homeschool organization in a small space
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the new school year whether you homeschool or send them off!
Blessings, Shonda

Monday, August 10, 2015

PreK Curriculum Choices

This year I am moving on to PreK with my daughter.  I cannot believe how much she has learned last year.  She knows almost all of her letters and sounds.  She can color and count.  She loves books and can retell stories.  And she can memorize well.  We will be off to a great start in the fall.  We will be concentrating on her fine motor skills like cutting, writing and coloring.  She just loves school time.

Daily Learning Notebook for PreK- FREE from Confessions of a Homeschooler

Rod and Staff Books A-F
Preschool - Set of 7 ABC Series

Language Lessons for Little Ones Volume 1 from Queen Homeschool

Come and See Science from Queen Homeschool (with brother)

Bible Coloring Book from Rod and Staff with brother

Character Concepts Review

Raising Rock Stars Preschool Bible Verses

Other activities:
*Homeschool Co-op

For Pre-reading this semester we will be using All About Reading Pre-Reading Course.

Starting in January we will start Reading the Alphabet
Reading the Alphabet

Listen to her retell Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems!  She's got it!

Monday, August 3, 2015

First Grade Curriculum Choices

I can't believe we are heading into First Grade next year!  It seemed like it took forever to get to Kindergarten (remember I taught K for 12 years before I had kids) and so this is NEW territory for me.  I thought and researched a lot and found what I think will work best for this coming year.  We are using the next volume in a few areas and trying a few new books.  I'm very excited.  I got my new planner and I'm starting to fill it out with important dates. 
The Well-Planned Day Homeschool Planner, July 2015-June 2016  -     By: Rebecca Scarlata Keliher

I will be sharing two curriculum posts- one for my son and one for my daughter.  So be looking out for my PreK choices coming up soon.

Daily Learning Notebook- FREE from Confessions of a Homeschooler
I usually add things like word search, some math printables and writing

Reading-  We had to change our reading curriculum because what were using was not working well enough for my son to grasp some key reading foundation skills.  So we switched to All About Reading starting in Level 1. 

We will also keep working in The Reading Lesson
 We are no longer using Learning Language Arts Through Literature.

*Language Lessons for Little Ones Volume 3 from Queen Homeschool
*Learning to Spell Through Copywork A from Queen Homeschool
*Printing with Pictures Book C and D from Queen Homeschool
*Lessons in Manners for Copywork from Queen Homeschool

Creative Writing- Write Shop Primary Book A (we love this program!)

*We will use Math Lessons for a Living Education Volume 2 from JellyBean Jar Publications

*We will read from the following books from Queen Homeschool:
Log Cabin Days
American History for Little Folks
American History Storybook
Boys and Girls in American History
Short Stories in American History

*Rod and Staff Bible Pictures to Color (with sister)
*God is.... A to Z (copywork verses) (no longer available)
*Review Character Concepts from last year

 * Come and See from Queen Homeschool (with sister)

*Hoffman Academy piano lessons online (FREE!)

*Typing Club
*Uncle Rick Audio Book Club
*Which Way USA from Highlight Magazine
*The Talk from Intoxicated on Life
*Mailbox Club
*LOTS of read alouds (see Read Aloud Revival)

*Volunteer at the Food Bank
*Homeschool Co-op

For PE we will try to go outside and do some running, play at parks, climbing, jumping, games with balls, riding bike and anything active.  We also do exercises in the house, run the stairs and some fun kids yoga videos. 

We also will be writing in our journals several times a week using ideas from This Reading Mama and The Measured Mom

This year I'm going to try a block schedule.  So basically I'm going to do split the year into 6 terms.  During each term I will do Language Arts, Math, Morning Time and 2 extra subjects.  If I don't get the extra subjects done, that's OK. 

So for my son the first term we will do Language Arts (Language Lessons, Handwriting, Reading), Math, Morning Time, Science and Music. 

I was trying to come up with something simple so I can fit the many things in, but not all at the same time.  I watched this webinar by Pam Barnhill and Sarah Mackenzie that inspired me greatly. 

I do a lot of learning things at meals like verbal math, Bible stories, read-alouds, questions and answers, memorizing.  I also do some of these things during Morning Time. 

First grade- here we come!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer Fun: 4th of July, camping, VBS, Day Camp and more! (picture post)

We are trying to read one Bible verse a day starting in 1 John, but it's tough to keep up with.

Kids went camping with daddy overnight up at Mt. Rainier.

My dad came all the boys went camping.

4th of July at Lake Tapps- Mt. Rainier in the background.  They were really having fun!!

My son lost another tooth- front one!

My daughter still can claim the nickname Messi Jessi.

My son's "store."

A trip to the ER with high fever and not feeling good.

Blueberry picking at the free park just around the corner from our home.

Lots of yummy blueberries to pick and freeze.

Another year of VBS!

Found a bike for $5 at a yard sale.

My son's junk yard.

My daughter went to her first preschool day camp and loved it!

Mommy/son date at Panera Bread.

The last 5 weeks we have been getting up and leaving by 8 or 8:30 every morning.  This is not normal for us as we homeschool and don't usually go out until 12-1 in the afternoon for errands or library trips.  But that schedule is done and the kids had lots of fun, but now we will stay home a little bit more, go to parks, bowling, concerts and movies.  It's been a hot summer so we'll hit the spraygrounds too.  I have a lot to do here at home, but my homeschool is pretty much planned.  I bought all the school supplies and I have all the curriculum.  I found a great new way to schedule and I'm ready to go.  I will share what I have planned this month in two separate posts for First Grade and PreK. 
What fun things have you been doing this summer?
Hope you are enjoying the fun times you can have with your family.  Don't forget to take time for yourself as well.  Blessings, Shonda


Friday, July 3, 2015

Food Fun: Koolaid Playdough Recipe

Well, playdough is not technically a food, but it's a recipe so I'm sharing.  Last Fall we joined a homeschool co-op.  One of my jobs was to be a teacher assistant in one of the kids' classes.  The teacher and I clicked!  She had a lot of great ideas, and I really liked the playdough she made.  I asked her to share it with me. 

 RECIPE for Koolaid Playdough:
3.5 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
3 small packages unsweetened koolaid
3 T baby oil
2 c. HOT water

Mix first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. 
Add baby oil and hot water.
Mix well and knead when cool.
Add flour and oil as you need to acquire desired consistency.
Store in an airtight container.

I'm not sure how long it lasts, but it seemed like we used this for quite a few weeks (maybe a few months) because the teacher kept it airtight.

The kids played for about an hour and half!!
Jessna made grape.

Shrade made strawberry.