Friday, October 31, 2014

Homeschool Update #1 (First Quarter)

It's the end of our first quarter.  I figured every 45 days of school will be a quarter if we do 180 days.  So here we are!!  I am going to share what we do in a typical day and also some of the curriculum we are using that I am loving.  This has been a much better year because I feel so much more responsible teaching Kindergarten as we will be moving on to 1st grade next year.  I was so ready for this year!!  (Lots of pictures in this post!)

So we really don't have a schedule, but more of a routine.  I usually do the learning time with Shrade since I have a lot to cover with him and I want to keep up with our curriculum, but most days I do a Circle Time which includes both children.  We have been SO busy, that I hardly have time to blog, but I do post every so often on my Facebook page, so keep updated with us there!

Night Before School Starts Banana Split!

First Day of School:
My 3 year old girl

My 5 year old boy

I gave them "school" packs with rulers, $1 calculators and a pencil case with pencils, crayons, glue stick and scissors in a cute little 31 bag.  Some of this was for fun, but it's easy to move from one place to another and keep them busy.

First Day of Homeschool Co-op:

Breakfast- During breakfast I usually read from a Preschool Bible, a chapter book like Boxcar Children and sometimes our History book- History for Little Pilgrims.  We also review our Bible verses for Awana.

Circle Time- I do this almost every morning.  I bought some carpet squares at the dollar store and they sit on these during circle time.  I set up the table with all my stuff that I will be using like books to read, notebooks, CD's, flashcards, song books and anything else.  We usually start with prayer and then the kids want to snuggle.  So we all lay on the floor giggling, tickling, hugging and wiggling.  Then I usually do a combination of quiet activities like reading a book, working with letters and sounds or shared writing and reading lessons and active things like exercises, singing and running!  This is something I do with BOTH kids at the same time.  I try to do things that interest both ages, but playful enough so it doesn't feel like learning.  This lasts from a half hour to an hour on some days.

Shrade writes "heart" words (words he knows by heart) from Nellie Edge

Jessna's learning her letters and sounds

We are part of a postcard exchange where we are sending and receiving postcards from each state.

Learning Time/Box Time
This is the main portion of our day as far as moving forward academically.  While I work with one child at the table, the other child gets to have box time. 
Place Value Village with our Math curriculum

Playing memory with educational cubes (BOB book activity)

Jessna's learning her numbers by counting with cheerios

BOX Time:
Box Time is a bunch of baskets that I put together that the kids play with while I work with the other one.
See my post on BOX TIME.

Lunch- During lunch we often listen to Karen & Kids or I will read some more from our chapter book.  And after lunch we try to work in our Daily Learning Notebooks (calendar, weather, skill page). 

Other- Beyond what we do on a normal day, we try to add other things like Bible crafts, cooking, and other fun activities.
Tower of Babel Bible Craft

We read Mouse Paint and made colors and painted paper plates.

Jessna is helping to mash bananas

Shrade is stirring the mixture for baked oatmeal
Field Trips:
Recently we took a trip out to Mt. St. Helens and Spirit Lake

Picking apples on our homeschool field trip

Riding tractors at the Fair

Taking advantage of the free day at the Zoo

Bowling with the family

Recent trip to Yosemite this summer- Half Dome

A fun train ride with friends- Tacoma Rail 100 years old

Check out my list of our curriculum choices for this year.  I am very pleased with what I chose to use to teach my children this year.  Highly recommend! 
If you are looking for a fun math curriculum check out Math Lessons for a Living Education from Queen Homeschool Supplies.  This is a story about twins who visit their grandparents and learn all sorts of interesting things on the farm that can be related to math concepts. At the end of each week they write a letter to their parents which is a review of what your child learned in the lesson for the week.  The first day begins with a story and there are 5 days of short, but effective math skill lessons.  My son absolutely LOVES math time.  He begs to do it first everyday!  So far there are 5 books in the series.  Be sure to check out the samples and scope and sequence of each book.  I am glad were able to start at the beginning.
Living Math Curriculum for the Charlotte Mason Homeschooler

Next month I'll share a little bit about my report card and school memory book system.
Thanks for visiting Milk N' Honey Learn and Grow!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band Collection CD Review





"The queen of children's music."
-- People Magazine

"A kind of sippy-cup Sheryl Crow."
-- Time Magazine

"One of the hippest children's artists ... Berkner's a blast."
-- Family Fun

NEW YORK -- Beloved children's recording artist and preschool TV favorite Laurie Berkner will release a compilation of greatest hits, The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band Collection, on October 14th (Two Tomatoes Records, distributed by Razor & Tie, run time 59 minutes).  The CD is the follow-up to The Best Of The Laurie Berkner Band, which has consistently been a top-seller on the children's music chart since it was released in 2010.

Six of The Laurie Berkner Band's CDs are represented: Whaddaya Think of That? (1997); Buzz Buzz (1998); Victor Vito (1999); Under A Shady Tree (2002); Rocketship Run (2008) and the DVD CD Party Day! (2011). The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band Collection also features three bonus tracks, including the song "One Seed," which has not appeared on any previous album.

Says Laurie, "As soon as I released The Best Of The Laurie Berkner Band, I couldn't wait for my next compilation to come out -- because there were so many songs that I felt should have also been included on that album!  Now that The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band Collection is finally here, I am thrilled that it will not only include those hits, but also songs I've written since then that have become classics.  With a total of 22 favorite songs, this really is the 'Ultimate' collection!"

A former preschool music teacher by day and indie rocker by night, Laurie Berkner started selling her music over fifteen years ago out of her living room on her own label, Two Tomatoes Records.  She is now widely recognized as a pioneer in the "kindie" music genre and was dubbed "The undisputed queen of kindie rock" by USA TodayThe Wall Street Journal noted, "Her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups."

Laurie was the first artist to ever appear in music videos on Nick Jr. and was featured in nearly all of the episodes of the channel's Jack's Big Music Show.  She currently stars in the animated musical short-form series Sing It, Laurie! on the Sprout preschool channel and makes regular appearances on Sprout's Sunny Side Up Show.

The Laurie Berkner Band features Laurie Berkner, vocals/guitar; Susie Lampert, keyboards; Brady Rymer, bass; and Bobby Golden, drums/percussion.  Visit for more about the band, including tour dates and links to the band's Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages.  Media assets are also available here:
My review:
Laurie Berkner was one of the first artist CD's I picked up at the library when I was a new mom.  I absolutely fell in love with her style.  She provides unique tunes with easy lyrics that the kids can repeat and remember.  Her guitar strumming and melodic voice memorizes my young children and myself too.  Laurie's songs engage listeners to jump right in the experience she provides through the stories of her songs.  She takes you down a walk by the river, looking for a birthday cake, collecting bottle caps and other fun items, trying to call someone on the telephone that doesn't answer, the mess that kids are,  reading with a pretend book and other crazy things that interest kids.  She is family friendly and knows how to make children explore their world in intentional ways and create meaningful relationships.  I highly recommend Laurie's new CD that is a combination of some of her best songs.
*I was given a complimentary copy of this CD for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*