Not Back-to-School Hop 2010: Curriculum Week

We have actually taken a summer break this year.  It just sorta happened.  I had every intention of doing lessons all summer with just a couple small breaks.  Then we took a week vacation to visit family the July 4th holiday, and we have been on break ever since.  I have been doing a lot of organizing around the house and working on my school planning for the year.  We will start back up soon.  I have some science, and review I want to cover the last few weeks of summer.  We will start our 2010-2011 year officially the first week of September. Indie is age 7, will be starting 2nd-ish grade.  Beluga is age 6, and starting 1st-ish grade.

Check out everyone’s entries over at Not Back-to-School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter

This year we are still using Sue Patrick’s Workbox System. I plan to use workboxes with our curriculum,  but this year I have decided to try it a different way, a way that doesn’t take up so much of our precious shelf space.  We have a lot of book shelves but it always seems like we need more!  It seems I’m forever organizing and reorganizing the STUFF in the schoolroom.  I’ll post on our new system soon.

Grammar – First Language Lessons 1st and 2nd grade We have been enjoying working though the poetry, and memorization especially. We do everything FLL suggest. We will be starting the 2nd half of the book this year.
History – Story of the World Volume 2 – Middle Ages
Geography Trail Guide to U.S. Geography, last year we did Galloping the Globe and covered a lot of the world.  We also continue to cover many countries using Story of the World.  I think we might rotate every other year between world and U.S. geography.
Science – I’m using a few sources.  We are using R.E.A.L. Science, mixed with Considering God’s Creation and we use Enchanted Learning as a resource as well and the Giant Science Resource Book
Art – Artistic Pursuits Book 1, I’m also looking into piano lessons for them
Home EC – We are going to be doing a lot of cooking and baking this year. We have started a food notebook that I’ve complied from many sources, one of which is this cooking lapbook from Homeschool Share.  It’s pretty neat!  Bible – We will be using Bible Study Guide

INDIE DS –  2nd-ish Grade – age 7.5
Math – Math-U-See, Gamma (book 4)
Phonics – Explode the Code 4 – last year he completed books 3 and 3-1/2
Reading – different books based on interest, science and history books from library, etc. He read an entire book 37 plus book series this past year in just a few weeks.  We also listen to a lot of audio books in the van.  Currently we are on book 6 in the Chronicles of Narnia series. I highly suggest it!
Spelling – Spelling Workout B, and Sequential Spelling 1
P.E. – we mix it out throughout the year…. Golf, and possible gymnastics, probably soccer at the Y

BELUGA DD – 1st-ish grade – age 6 (end of Aug.)
Math – Math-U-See Primer (we went ever so slow with her last year)
Phonics – Explode the Code 2
Spelling – Spelling Workout Book A
Reading lots of books together (we all hit the library 1-2x per week)
Bob Books (library)
P.E. – Beluga also tries different stuff through the year.  Gymnastics, soccer at the Y

School Update



Finished up MUS Primer! 🙂



Kindergarten School Day #63.  

Indie (6 y/o in February) is moving right a long.  He has finished both his PHONICS – Explode the Code book 1, and MATH – Math-U-See Primer (started last May) books this week.  These are the two subjects I want him to do at least 4 times a week.  I usually ask him to do two pages of each, each session. Sometimes he does more but the norm is two pages of each.  Daily, we also read lots of books. We start with bible stories.  Right now, we are working from the Veggie Tales Family Devotional. This usually starts our school day, on the couch. Then we move on to other books.  If we are not reading for a unit from KONOS or Five in a Row, most recently horses, then we read random library books we’ve picked up for the week. We are also working though the Magic Tree House Chapter Books that both kids are into. We usually read MTH at bed time.  We are currently on book 15, Viking Ships at Sunrise. We started this series at the beginning of the school year as well.  I like them because they take you to different geographic locations at historic times. You learn a little about each culture and/or a famous location or event.  They are just fun.  Yes, it’s a magic tree house but it’s a fun way for the kids to get interested in history and geography.  A lot of the books also have research guides as well. 

Indie only does Handwriting Without Tears every week or so but he gets a lot of handwriting practice from doing his math and phonics work, there is a lot of writing with both books.  He has pretty good handwriting in general, and he tries hard every time he writes.  He prides himself on making good looking letters and numbers.  At the start of the school year, I was concerned that he was holding his pencil wrong, and starting his letters in the wrong spot, but he’s gotten better over the weeks.  I have to be gentle when correcting him other wise he wants to throw in the towel, and give up.  He needs lot of praise before correction. “I love how you make that A, you are doing great!  Can you just move your finger a tad to the left?” or “Awesome letter O, next time, lets try to start that O at the top!”  🙂

Preschool Day # 63

Beluga 4, is plugging right along…. having fun. She is right there with Indie and I as we read books, and from time to time she’ll do table work but, lately she’s been more interested in crafts, drawing, painting, and Play Doe, while Indie and I are working on school work.  That’s OK.  She’s learning every day.  There is plenty of time for her to do table work when she is older.  I did buy her Get Ready for the Code Book A, and she has a Handwriting without Tears Preschool book that she insists on doing sometimes.  She also asks to do Math-U-See sometimes but she is mostly interested in playing with the blocks.  🙂

Indie is also signed up for 4-H were we are learning about birds.  We are looking forward to the birding field trips and watching birds on nature walk in our neighborhood and in local parks.  We’ll soon be starting a KONOS unit including birds that we are looking forward to.

In addition to school work, Indie is doing soccer 2x a week, and weekly homeschool P.E. class for 3 hours.  Beluga is in ballet once a week.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something but for now, that’s it.

Our official first day of school – 2008-2009!

We officially started school today.  B is now a kindergartner.  We will be using KONOS  this year.  KONOS was the first homeschool curriculum I fell in love with about 3 years back (way to early to use for my now 4 and 5 year olds). We seem to be more of a unit study family.  


I thought of going with a curriculum that was more laid out for us with everything included but I’m sure we would get bored.  We love going to the library every week and picking up books on subjects we find interesting.  KONOS is one big unit study that just keeps going.  I also have a friend locally that i
s also doing KONOS.  This is her second year with volume 1.  We will start,  obedience, and co-op along with her family.  We live about 30 miles apart

 so we will only get together twice a month but that should be fine.  We can do some of the hands on stuff together and bounce ideas off each other to keep us motivated.  
For handwriting we are using Handwriting without Tears, K and Pre-K.  For phonics we are using Explode the Code 1, and A.   We’ll be doing a lot of nature walks and some journaling.  I hope to start each day with Bible and reading then moving into Math-U-See and phonics.  I think well do those 3 subjects daily along with KONOS.  We’ll see how it goes.  Should be fun!  

Our School Room

I’ve been organizing the school room all summer.   We went to Ikea a couple months back and picked up some shelves that fill an entire 8 foot long wall, top to bottom.  The shelves also have a desk option that we went with and it’s PERFECT!

We can hang out in the school room most of the day and get lots done and it feels like fun! 

Our thrift store table and chairs works out well t. I turn my desk chair around often when we play games or if we are building something, etc.  

Now that the kids are older I can keep stuff like Play Doe out for them and they do a pretty good job of putting it away.  I do come across an open can or two sometimes with rock hard play doe inside.

Next to the futon are the books we read daily… we also keep the library books we have checked out there in a basket on the right.  We always have lots of those around and I find if I let the library books wonder too far, some can be hard to find when they are due.

In the middle section here, we have the printer and all things paper; lapbooks, crafts, etc.

This is my little area.  I keep my ciriculium and workbooks in this area.  Easy to grab.

Books and Curriculum

We will be using Konos this year for our main curriculum.  I’m really excited to get started!  I’ve been getting ready.  My favorite Konos information I’ve found is from Sprittibee.  She is SO organized and makes it seem possible to use Konos successfully. 🙂 If you do a google search for Konos organization you’ll find links to her blog.  We’ll officially start school this year just after Labor Day. Actually, we really haven’t stopped this summer we just do less and I try to make everything more fun.  B will start Kindergarten this year and J will be doing stuff along side us.  I love lapbooks and plan to do as many as we can of different subject.  Last year, Five in a Row was big for us.  We’ll continue rowing some books this year as well.  I love Five in a Row.  The booksare awesome and we never mind reading them over and over.  Some, like Lentil, we’ve read well over 5 times.  I started off just rowing the books I could find at our local library but then ended up buying quite a few used at  You can also buy lots of Five in a Row books on e-bay.  Most of the books are so good you’ll want to have them in your home library.  
This summer we’ve been reading some good books.  B is almost 5 1/2 and is really close to reading on his own. I think he can read but lacks some confidence.  We’ve just discovered the Magic Tree House Series.  Here is a review from  B and J have liked chapter books for a while now but these seem to really hold their attention.  They usually want me to read the whole book in one setting (this only takes 30 mins. or less).

A great book we checked out from the library, and love is The American Story which is  series of 100 short stories from American History.  They are short enough to hold everyone attention.  
Another book I love is Discovering Great Artists.  Each page has an artist and their story along with a project kids can do in the style of that artist.  We plan do get into some of these projects this year.  I might co-op some. It’s always neat to do projects with other families.  Makes it more fun and exciting.

Happy about our new/used table for the school room

We are fortune enough to have and extra room in our house that we call the school room. We do lots of our activities in there. I have the room set up so the kids can find lots of hands on things to keep them busy. They have buckets of blocks, legos, coloring books, markers, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, hole punchers, and stencils. J has magnet Dolls. There are puzzles and marbles, books…. you get the idea. A couple weeks ago, I just happened to walk into a thrift store and saw a wood table and 6 chairs for $39. The table has 2 leaves and was perfect for our needs. I bought it, and love it! We have been using a large folding table but it’s just too big. Now, I just need to figure out where the kids can put their personal stuff. I keep thinking it needs to be at arms length but that might not happen. Don’t look too closely at the mess. Hehe, the kids just left the room. 🙂