Monday, February 8, 2010

Homeschool Sixth Grade


"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." ~~ Antoine de Saint Exupery

School Plans/Reviews that include sixth grade: 2016-17

Religion

  • Faith and Life 6 along with paper activity book.
  • The Mass Study
  • Baltimore Catechism #2
  • CCD

Math


Reading / Language Arts

  • Independent and read aloud using Seton's Faith and Freedom Readers (I love these books, and so do my children. Good for reading comprehension and small writing exercises.)
  • Independent Reading -- child's choice, my choice, and historical books to add to the history curriculum.
  • Book Study: King Arthur (written narrations by chapter).
  • Vocab (look up and write out in journal).
  • Beginning writing (attempted Writing with Skill but had to simplify further for my son and taking steps to outline and narrate multiple paragraphs along with other writing exercises).

Science

Apologia's elementary Exploring Creation through Anatomy and Physiology.

History

U.S. History and Modern History -- wrapping up western explorers with main focus on Civil War, Industrial Revolution, WWII, and bits from 1950s forward. Using independent reads alongside some lapbook type work from Homeschool in the Woods.

Other Stuff

Naturally, plenty of other learning goes on - dance class, karate, homeschool group activities, faith extras, cooking, drawing and painting, etc.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Homeschool Fifth Grade


"Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man's own will." ~~ St. Thomas Aquinas

School Plans/Reviews that include fifth grade: 2015-16

Religion

  • Faith and Life 5 along with paper activity book.
  • My Path to Heaven - read and reflect.
  • Increase personal prayer and Bible reading.
  • Once a month Confession.
  • CCD: Prayer, The Mass, The 7 Sacraments -- making an interactive notebook. (I am the teacher.)

Math


Reading

  • For Comprehension: Reading 5 for Young Catholics (interesting, continuous story for the entire book).
  • Audio Books.
  • Read aloud using Seton's Faith and Freedom Readers (I love these books, and so do my children.)
  • Independent Reading -- child's choice, my choice, and historical books to add to the history curriculum.

Language Arts


Science

Real Science 4 Kids: Chemistry (1 quarter), Physics (1 quarter), and Biology (2 quarters). See science page for more detail.

History

U.S. History and Modern History -- using From Sea to Shining Sea as a spine (see history page for more detail).

Other Stuff

Naturally, plenty of other learning goes on - dance class, karate, homeschool group activities, faith extras, cooking, drawing and painting, etc.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Homeschool Fourth Grade


"Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it." ~~ L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

School Reviews/Plans that include fourth grade: 2014-15, 2016-17

Religion

  • Faith and Life 4 along with paper activity book.
  • Increase personal prayer and Bible reading.
  • Once a month Confession.
  • CCD (our diocese's main focus is the New Testament)

Math

Math-U-See (The steady pace, similar problems works well with my son. He tried Teaching Textbooks, which he liked being on the computer, but I disliked as he needed more practice and after a few months was behind again as it introduced topics too fast.)

Reading

  • For Comprehension: Rare Catholic Stories and the Father Brown Readers (both from Catholic Heritage Curricula). My son didn't care for the first and tolerated the second. I think it may have had more to do with answering questions and writing the answers.
  • Independent Reading -- child's choice, my choice, and historical books to add to the history curriculum.

Language Arts


Science

Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures -- finished the insect study in the fall that we started in the spring, took a winter break from official science, and picked up a bird study in the spring. (See science page for more details.)

History

Connecting with History, volume 3: High Medieval Times to Early Explorers (see history page for more detail).

Other Stuff

Naturally, plenty of other learning goes on - dance class, karate, homeschool group activities, faith extras, cooking, drawing and painting, etc. Specific blog posts below:


Friday, February 5, 2010

Homeschool Third Grade

"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." ~~ Frederick Douglass

School Plans/Reviews that include third grade: 2015-16

Religion

  • Faith and Life 3 along with paper activity book.
  • Increase personal prayer.
  • Once a month Confession.
  • CCD

Math

  • Horizons 3 (I started this for the first time with my second son in this grade. I wish I had used it sooner! He loves math. Horizons Math is a spiral format, and it has a colorful workbook, both of which work well for most of my children.)
  • Supplement: Funny Fairy Tale Math (my math-loving son likes this).
  • Supplement: Building Real Life Math Skills.

Reading

  • For Comprehension: Reading for Comprehension B (can also count toward social studies and science).
  • Audio Books.
  • Read aloud using Seton's Faith and Freedom Readers (I love these books, and so do my children.)
  • Independent Reading -- child's choice, my choice, and historical books to add to the history curriculum.

Language Arts


Science

Real Science 4 Kids: Chemistry (1 quarter), Physics (1 quarter), and Biology (2 quarters). See science page for more detail.

History

U.S. History and Modern History -- using From Sea to Shining Sea as a spine (see history page for more detail).

Other Stuff

Naturally, plenty of other learning goes on - dance class, karate, homeschool group activities, faith extras, cooking, drawing and painting, etc. Specific blog posts below:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Homeschool Second Grade


"Without confidence and love, there can be no true education." ~~ St. John Bosco

School Reviews/Plans that include second grade: 2012-13 (plans), 2012-13 (review), 2014-15, 2016-17

Religion: First Confession and First Communion!


Math


Reading

  • Reading is definitely at level - whatever interests them, gets them going into reading (if not already a strong reader). The items below are all things I have used, but not necessarily with each kid.
  • Hooked on Phonics.
  • Devotional Stories for Little Folks and Devotional Stories for Little Folks Too (Catholic Heritage Curricula) - good for comprehension as well with questions at the end of each story.
  • Audio Books.
  • Read aloud using Seton's Faith and Freedom Readers (I love these books, and so do my children.)
  • Independent Reading -- child's choice, my choice, and historical books to add to the history curriculum.

Language Arts

  • Printing handwriting practice. (My kids all seem to do better with Handwriting without Tears, no matter their inherent talent or struggle.)
  • Spelling (Catholic Heritage Curricula) - at level. I have tried All About Spelling but I fizzled as a teacher with it. I could see it helping for a struggling child. I also wait for spelling until a child is reading more confidently.
  • Grammar (Catholic Heritage Curricula) - at level, and again, once reading more confidently.
  • Grammar Supplements: mad libs.
  • Writing: Writing with Ease - at level, if able.


Science

  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)


History

  • Connecting with History, volume 1: Ancient History (see history page for more detail).
  • Connecting with History, volume 3: High Medieval Times to Early Explorers (see history page for more detail).

Other Stuff

Naturally, plenty of other learning goes on - dance class, karate, homeschool group activities, faith extras, cooking, drawing and painting, etc. Specific blog posts below:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Homeschool First Grade

Painting by Jessie Willcox Smith

"You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves." 
~~ St. Francis of Assisi

**There are many resources listed. I have used all of these ideas, but never with just one child!**

School Plans/Reviews that include first grade: 2011-12 (change), 2011-12 (review), 2015-16

Religion:

  • Faith and Life 1 along with paper activity book (optional) or use other crafts to go along with lesson.
  • Read daily from a kid'sd Bible. Two I like are the New Catholic Picture Bible and the Catholic Book of Bible Stories.
  • The biggest aim is to share the love of God, teach children to pray, and focus on character building.
  • Attend Mass and live out the liturgical year.

Math

  • In the beginning, I used MCP Math for my kids.
  • When one struggled, I switched to Math-U-See with great success.
  • With the third child, I switched over to Horizons (except for my struggling child).

Reading

  • Reading is definitely at level - whatever interests them, gets them going into reading (if not already a strong reader). The items below are all things I have used, but not necessarily with each kid. I have had one child not reading at all until spring of his second grade year and another reading by the end of kindergarten. It is highly individual. I can't stress this enough!
  • Hooked on Phonics.
  • Little Stories for Little Folks (Catholic Heritage Curricula) - I like these better as a supplement than a stand-alone.
  • Audio Books - great for non-readers.
  • Read aloud using Seton's Faith and Freedom Readers (I love these books, and so do my children.)
  • Read to your children.
  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (I hated this book with my first but it helped my struggling reader with blending.)
  • Independent Reading -- child's choice, my choice, and historical books to add to the history curriculum.
  • Reading Comprehension: Reading for Comprehension A (I read to the child; he or she answers orally.)

Language Arts

  • Printing handwriting practice. (My kids all seem to do better with Handwriting without Tears, no matter their inherent talent or struggle.)
  • Sometimes I have them dictate stories and odds-n-ends to dictate to me.
  • If reading ok (CVC blends going over well and a handful of helper words), I introduce spelling toward the end of the year: CHC My First Speller.
  • For second half of the year, I add story books (like these from Memoria Press) to use for reading and narration-type work.

Science

Science is definitely a fun bonus for this age. Do as little or as much as your child is interested.

  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Astronomy. (See science page for more detail.) **This is definitely my favorite!

History

I do history as a family, using Connecting with History. At this age, the child listens in on lessons, occasionally doing some kind of paperwork assignment or copywork. The best part is participating in time period activities. See history page for more detail).

Other Stuff

Naturally, plenty of other learning goes on - dance class, karate, homeschool group activities, faith extras, cooking, drawing and painting, how-to-draw books, etc. Specific blog posts below: 


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homeschool Kindergarten


"Raise [your children] with great care in the holy fear of God, because on this depends their health and blessings for your house." 
~~ St. John Bosco

Below you will find resources I have used with my children - the good and the bad - for each subject for kindergarten. Kindergarten does not have to be complicated. Your child does not need to be doing x, y, and z by the end of the year. Feel your child out. Are they excited to learn numbers, letters, letter sounds? 

Read to them. Read, read, read. Go for walks. Explore the world around you. Basically, keep on doing what you have been doing but gently introduce reading, handwriting and math. Keep progressing. Love God. Share your faith. The rest all follows. Truly.

**There are many resources listed. I have used all of these ideas, but never with just one child!**

School Reviews/Plans that include kindergarten: 2012-13 (plans), 2012-13 (review), 2014-15

Religion:


Math

  • In the beginning, I used MCP Math for my kids but will be switching to Horizons for future children.
  • Use manipulatives (anything you have around the house to help show math concepts).

The Alphabet Path

I use the name coined by Elizabeth Foss, and she certainly has a wonderful Alphabet Path to follow, but I like to go through the alphabet with each child as individuals. With some, this path is followed later, and others, earlier. In the end, I have some kind of book memorabilia to remember our time on the path. Things I like to include:
  • Reading the story of Michael and the ABC fairies from Elizabeth Foss (see link above) - this includes reading An Alphabet of Saints.
  • ABC Saints by Catholic Icing (my daughter is really enjoying these).
  • Handwriting without Tears wood pieces.
  • Letter Hunts (look around or print off a number of free pages you can find online - like these).
  • Letter handwriting practice (will vary by age/skill what you use and do).
  • Make a collage of the letter (for example, glue buttons on for the letter B).
  • Have letter food snacks.
  • Do a letter craft (for example, P is for painting.)
  • Confessions of a Homeschooler has a lot of ABC resources.
  • Make a photo book at the end to have a personal ABC book or make a book as you go along.
The beauty of an Alphabet Path is that you can tailor it to your child and your energy and time. Keep it simple, keep it consistent, and by the end you will have a wonderful keepsake.

Reading

  • Reading is definitely at level - whatever interests them, gets them going into reading (if not already a strong reader). The items below are all things I have used, but not necessarily with each kid. I have had one child not reading at all until spring of his second grade year and another reading by the end of kindergarten. It is highly individual. I can't stress this enough!
  • Hooked on Phonics.
  • Little Stories for Little Folks (Catholic Heritage Curricula) - I like these better as a supplement than a stand-alone.
  • Starfall.com
  • ABCmouse.com
  • Word ball for recognizing new words -- use an inflatable beach ball and add sight or CVC words. Toss back and forth, reading the word your right thumb lands on.
  • Audio Books - great for non-readers.
  • Read to your children.
  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (I hated this book with my first but it helped my struggling reader with blending.)
  • Read aloud using Seton's Faith and Freedom Readers (I love these books, and so do my children.) This would be for advanced readers.
  • Memoria Press has a nice First Start Reading program that puts together phonics, reading, and printing so as long as you child has no difficulties with handwriting, this could be a possibility.

Language Arts

  • Printing handwriting practice. (My kids all seem to do better with Handwriting without Tears, no matter their inherent talent or struggle.)
  • Sit by your child and correct immediately.


Science

Science is definitely a fun bonus for this age. Do as little or as much as your child is interested.

  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Astronomy. (See science page for more detail.) **This is definitely my favorite!

History

I do history as a family, using Connecting with History. At this age, the child listens in on lessons, occasionally doing some kind of paperwork assignment or copywork. The best part is participating in time period activities. See history page for more detail).

Other Stuff

Naturally, plenty of other learning goes on - dance class, karate, homeschool group activities, faith extras, cooking, drawing and painting, how-to-draw books, etc. Specific blog posts below: 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Homeschool Preschool

Painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1895)

"Loving God and knowing our faith is the core curriculum; all the rest is supplemental." 
~~ a wise homeschooling mom I know


Below you will find resources I have used with my children - the good and the bad - for each subject for kindergarten. Kindergarten does not have to be complicated. Your child does not need to be doing x, y, and z by the end of the year. Feel your child out. Are they excited to learn numbers, letters, letter sounds? Or do they want to get messy, explore outside, build with blocks or play with dolls?

Read to them. Read, read, read. Go for walks. Explore the world around you. Basically, keep on doing what you have been doing but gently introduce reading, handwriting and math. Keep progressing. Love God. Share your faith. The rest all follows. Truly.

**There are many resources listed. I have used all of these ideas, but never with just one child!**


(I also have a variety of "School for Littles" pinterest boards if you are interested in following me.)

School Reviews/Plans that include preschool: 2011-12 (change), 2011-12 (review), 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17


Religion:


Math

  • Use manipulatives (anything you have around the house to help show math concepts).
  • Memoria Press Number Books
  • Number Books from Catholic Heritage Curricula
  • Various store workbooks

The Alphabet Path

I use the name coined by Elizabeth Foss, and she certainly has a wonderful Alphabet Path to follow, but I like to go through the alphabet with each child as individuals. With some, this path is followed later, and others, earlier. In the end, I have some kind of book memorabilia to remember our time on the path. Things I like to include:
  • Reading the story of Michael and the ABC fairies from Elizabeth Foss (see link above) - this includes reading An Alphabet of Saints.
  • ABC Saints by Catholic Icing (my daughter is really enjoying these).
  • Handwriting without Tears wood pieces.
  • Letter Hunts (look around or print off a number of free pages you can find online - like these).
  • Letter handwriting practice (will vary by age/skill what you use and do).
  • Make a collage of the letter (for example, glue buttons on for the letter B).
  • Have letter food snacks.
  • Do a letter craft (for example, P is for painting.)
  • Letter do-a-dot pages
  • Letter trace pages
  • Letter mini books
  • Moncure letter books (a favorite of all my kids)
  • Confessions of a Homeschooler has a lot of ABC resources.
  • Make a photo book at the end to have a personal ABC book or make a book as you go along.
The beauty of an Alphabet Path is that you can tailor it to your child and your energy and time. Keep it simple, keep it consistent, and by the end you will have a wonderful keepsake.

Other ABC ideas


Themed Books & Activities

I like doing this once a child wants to do more than just sit in your lap to read or play with you. Find a favorite book and use it to do a few activities off of. Pinterest is a great resource. If you find Before Five in a Row books, there are a ton of ideas out there.


Science

Science is definitely a fun bonus for this age. Do as little or as much as your child is interested.

  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Astronomy. (See science page for more detail.) **This is definitely my favorite!

History

I do history as a family, using Connecting with History. At this age, the child listens in on lessons, occasionally doing some kind of paperwork assignment or copywork. The best part is participating in time period activities. See history page for more detail).

Patriotic Alphabet Parade:


Art Projects for Preschoolers

See the art page for all resources blogged about.


Other Stuff

Naturally, plenty of other learning goes on - dance class, karate, homeschool group activities, faith extras, cooking, drawing and painting, how-to-draw books, etc. Specific blog posts below: