Thursday, August 21, 2014

BOX TIME for our Homeschool Days

I taught Kindergarten for 12 years and I prepared so well for the first week/month and had great ideas and activities to transition my students to their first year at all day school.  I worked long and hard and as the first day approached I felt almost prepared.  Now, that I'm at home, I can see that homeschooling is completely different.  Although it is still full of planning, I can't seem to just concentrate on just that.  However, I thought long and hard about how I was going to teach my 3 and 5 year old at the same time.  I plan to do Kindergarten with my son, but how do I teach him with the very needy 3 year old at my side constantly?

Ta-da!  It's called Box Time!  I cleaned my attic a few weeks ago and hit a jackpot of tons of manipulatives like plastic frogs, dominoes, dinosaurs, plastic colored fish, colored blocks and many other items.  I was SO excited!!  I started to think about how to use these to keep my "other" kid occupied while I worked with one.  The items that I have are good for both ages. 

So what I will do is make 3-5 baskets with 3 games and 3 books per basket.  So each day after our circle time together, I will do one on one learning time.  One child will play with the box while I work at the table with the other one.  I did a "pretend" school this week to see how it will work.  The trial run proved to me that it will work well. 

I have read that you should work with the younger child first, but when I did, all she wanted to do was play with the box toys.  So I decided since I really want to do Kindergarten with my son, is that I will work with him first and then with my daughter.  I will do this for 30 minutes (15 and 15).  Then we will have a break and do another 30 minutes (maybe). 

So that is my bright idea for the new year.  We will be starting school the first week of September!  Be looking for our first day pictures soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School Sale from Aug 20-27 at Intoxicated on Life

I love promoting awesome products.  I agree with the Gilkerson's on all that they publish.  They have solid Biblical teaching as well as practical ways to teach kids about God and combine it with handwriting practice and memorization.  Check out all the great products that are 25% off right now at their store.

Some of the products I have reviewed are:

*The Talk
The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality

*Laying the Foundation

I also have several of their other products that I will be using in my homeschool.   I'm looking forward to memorizing God's Word with my kids and teaching them some very foundational truths from the Bible.

Click on Intoxicated on Life for all these great products.
*Affiliate link*

Thursday, July 17, 2014

FREEBIE! Laying the Foundation from Intoxicated on Life

Recently I reviewed Laying the Foundation from Luke Gilkerson at Intoxicated on Life.  Guess what??  It's free for the next three days.  This offer only lasts until midnight on Saturday, July 19, so pick up your copy today and get the companion copywork books to go with the study.

Just subscribe to the free Homeschool and Family newsletter and you will get this study, Laying the Foundation for FREE!!

Visit Intoxicated on Life, click on the button to subscribe and check Homeschool and Family newsletter.  I guarantee that you will love the products that this blog offers. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Laying the Foundation (A family study of the Apostle's Creed) by Luke Gilkerson of Intoxicated on Life Review
Laying the Foundation  (A family study of the Apostle's Creed) by Luke Gilkerson is a phrase by phrase look at a very old creed Christians used to recite at the beginning of the third century.  The Apostle's Creed is one of the three main catechisms for Christians as endorsed by Martin Luther.  This creed has value for Christian families to give essentials of the faith, a confessional, valuing tradition, a personal faith and connects to the Christian heritage.

The Bible study can be 30 days or 30 weeks (one lesson a week) and is suggested to be done as both and to memorize this creed as a family.  Each lesson has an opening thought, a Scripture reading, explanation of the passage as well as the part of the creed being unpacked, questions for discussion and a prayer.  Each lesson is very simple, yet really engages the kids to think deeply and make a lasting impression on them as they learn about God.

There are many part of the creed that might be confusing or hard to understand, but Luke does an excellent job of explaining and interpreting what might cause some unrest. 

I really enjoyed the layout of the study and thought that it was a great way to make a very intimidating passage very manageable for young minds.  There is no doubt that memorizing a text like this can be hard if not understood in the proper context.  With 30 lessons, there is definitely a way for a child to understand know exactly what is being said and why.  I was very impressed with the amount of research and how it was presented.  This would be a great Bible study to do together as a family as you grow closer to God and to each other.
Be sure to check out Laying the Foundation ($8.99) as well as the Write the Bible copywork books that can be paired with this study.  See Intoxicated on Life for more information.  
*I was given a copy of the ebook for my review.  All opinions are my own.*

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Fit Learning Book Review and Giveaway!!


Summer Fit First to Second Grade: Math, Reading, Writing, Language Arts + Fitness, Nutrition and Values is the perfect answer to keeping kids busy, active and current as they go throughout their summer.  Summer Fit helps to "prepare children mentally, physically and socially for the grade ahead."  This resource is based on national standards and is teacher recommended.

BE SURE to head over to my other blog to enter this giveaway!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mind Organization for Moms (Part 4)

I am SO pleased with this program, Mind Organization for Moms!  I'm very proud of how I've set up my new system and how smoothly it is working and delighted I am to actually enjoy my life now.

Are you ready to change your routine to better accommodate all that is swirling around in your brain?  It took me a long time to actually take this course.  I really wondered if it would be helpful to me and if I could actually make it work.  I love it!

*Note: I sent this ebook off to FedEx to be printed for my convenience.

I hope that you will take some time to think about your current situation.  Believe me, I have tried all kinds of organizing systems, but this one was so different and very much exactly how I want things to be.  I am free from constantly thinking about ALL the stuff I have floating around in my brain.  It's all neatly tucked away and I can review it at certain times.  My daily schedule is getting better and I'm also checking lots of things off my list.  But I think my favorite part was cleaning out my email inbox.  What a relief to see NO NEW EMAIL there as I go to bed each night.  That alone was frustrating me.

So, what are you waiting for? 

Check out Mind Organization for Moms today!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Curriculum Choices for Kindergarten and 3 Year old Preschool for 2014-2015

I am so excited to finally announce what I am using for this upcoming school year!  I have been perusing and researching material for over a year.  You would think that since I taught K, I would have it down, but being at home and knowing my son's level of learning, I don't.  In fact, I felt like I was flying on the seat of my pants all this year during PreK.  We had many ups and downs. Suffice to say, it was a great year, but I can see that homeschooling is going to be challenging with two very different children and the dynamics of sibling interaction.

I tried to design this coming year with a lot of things we can do together since my daughter is more able to sit and do things at the table as well as listen during our morning circle time.  I will be combining Bible, Science, History, Writing, Reading Aloud, Crafts, Field Trips, Sign Language, Cooking and various other things.  Both kids will be in Awana and we also joined a Homeschool Co-op so I think we will be quite busy! 

So here is what I have chosen.

Kindergarten: For my son

Reading- BOB Books Set 3 and 4The Reading Lesson, books from the Reading List for Kindergarten (Kirstin Joy Awake) and Hooked on Phonics for 1st Grade (we finished K).  We'll start working with BOB books and The Reading Lesson.

Set 3 Word Families - Screenshot 0

Language Arts- Language Lessons for Little Ones Volume 2

Math- Math Lessons for a Living Education Volume 1

Handwriting- Printing with Pictures A and B

Social Studies- Berenstain Bears Year Long Lessons
 BB Part 1 Free Printable Year of Learning Our Lessons with The Berenstain Bears Curriculum Part 1 and Part 2
Geography- Usborne Children's Picture Atlas

Extra Work-
RRSK- from 1+1+1=1
Rod and Staff GHIJK series
Daily Learning Notebook from Confessions of a Homeschooler

Preschool 3's: For my daughter

Character Concepts for Preschoolers which includes Character Qualities, Bible Memory and Character Drill, Bible Doctrine, Personal Application, ABC's, Writing practice, Craft Projects, Preschool Projects, Field Trips, Recipes, Skills, Science/Nature and History for Preschoolers from the Boyers (at Character Concepts)

 Level 1 - Character Concepts for Preschoolers Complete Curriculum

Bible- Jesus Storybook Bible and Crafts from Blessings Overflowing

Character Concepts Lessons- See above

Science- Magic School Bus Series and various topics of our choice

History for Preschoolers- Character Concepts (see above)

Writing- Nellie Edge (Kindergarten- Sing, Sign, Spell and Read) and Preschool/Kindergarten Writing from This Reading Mama and The Measured Mom

Sing, Sign, Spell and Read Program!  Nellie Edge
Preschool and Kindergarten Writing Lessons ~ a 10 part series | This Reading Mama and The Measured Mom

Cooking- Teaching Your Kids to Cook and Kids Cooking Activities

Read Alouds- We are reading The Boxcar Children, but I hope to add a few more in there.  Wow, I think if I had to get through a list that I found I would be reading all day every day. 

As always, this is probably way more than I can chew, but I do have a plan in mind that involves lots of cuddles on the couch, playing outside when weather permits, sharing what we learn with daddy and having a daily quiet time so we all take a break from each other. And most of these lessons are 10-15 min max so we have lots of breaks and stuff to do in between that will keep us from sitting still for any length of time (if that is at all possible...NOT!).

I am very excited to get started, but I'm glad I have the summer to plan.

Starting in the Fall, I hope to give quarterly updates.  I don't feel I can possibly share all that we do, but I do post some things on Facebook as often as I can even if I don't write a blog post.  Life is SO busy with little ones and mine have a lot of energy!

There are SO many options out there.  It was really hard for me to narrow it down.  But I feel that these resources will help me give my children a great start to their schooling.

And remember that each homeschooling family is unique.  What works for one family might not be for another family.  That is what I feel is the true beauty of homeschooling is to do what is right for your family!  Don't copy me, but if you find some good ideas from what I share, try them.

I'm pretty happy with what I picked for this year, but I'm constantly looking for what will work best for each of my kids.  They both learn differently, but I want to do as much as I can to work with their learning style.  Glad I'm down to 2 kids in my "classroom."  I can truly tailor the day and teaching to meet their exact needs.  Can't you tell I'm really looking forward to homeschooling?

Have a great day, Shonda