Friday, August 30, 2013

August 26-30 : Our 1st week back to school

We took pictures early Monday
 morning to start off our school year.

 This is year has 2 new "firsts" for me: 

  1.     my 1st time not using a "boxed" curriculum
  2. my 1st time homeschooling a preschooler

#1. The first year I homeschooled {Thomas only} we used all Abeka. It was kindergarten, and simple to follow and keep up with lessons. The next two years, I used Heart of Dakota, {both boys did 1 guide together} and I loved it because I could open my teacher manual and there was my whole day planned out for me in 9 square boxes.

#2. I sent both of my boys to preschool from the time they were 3 until it was time for kindergarten, and last year when Sarah was 3, she went to preschool. This year I decided to preschool her at home. 

So far this week I've learned that:

1. I think I have put a lot on us this year {click here to see what we are using}


2. I thought I had everything planned out as far as a lesson plan, and quickly learned by day 2 of this week that I need a better system {after forgetting to do a few things on the 1st day}.


This week was a little slow with us trying to figure out a new routine and understand our new books and how they each work.

I'm not sure how I want to go about the weekly reviews so I'll try a few different ways until I find one that I like best. This week I'll go by  each child. And, I'll just post highlights, and try not to go into too much detail.


{I didn't take a lot of pictures since the days flew by and we were trying to get the hang of things again. I will try to get more next week!}.

All together:
     We started out each morning with prayer followed by reading our Bible. We read 1 chapter of Proverbs per day, and we also read Psalms 91 every day. I read in our devotional book, and a Bible story. They also worked in their daily notebooking journals everyday together.

The boys:
   We started the book Little House in the Big Woods and read the first 4 chapters {1 chapter per day}.  After each chapter, we did activities that corresponded with our reading from The Prairie Primer, and also from the Binder Builder that I bought to go along with it.


*I mixed Epsom salt and water, boiled it, then let it cool. Once it was cooled the boys painted designs onto colored cardstock. Once the paintings were dry it look like Jack Frost had left a pretty picture on the window.

*We watched a YouTube video on someone whittling. Of course, Thomas LOVED this and was amazed at the things that can be made.

*The boys wanted to watch someone make butter, so we pulled up a YouTube video of that, and now the kids want to make butter. {I have to get the "stuff" at the store, but we will be making butter in the near future!}.

*We looked up what a Brindle Bulldog looks like and also talked about bears, owls, and panthers.

 Thomas started his cursive writing and he is really enjoying practicing everyday. So far, he's learned lowercase i, u, and t.

My only form of planning this week has been these sticky tabs. Thomas wanted to keep them after each lesson.

    I am happy so far with my phonics choice for Nathaniel. I put him back in Kindergarten phonics {for the 3rd time}. He keeps telling me how easy it is, and how much he is enjoying the games and simplicity of the work. {He didn't actually say it that way, but you know what I mean}.

He also started lesson 1 in Math U See Alpha and will be ready for lesson 2 next week. He loves the blocks, and I am amazed at how fast he picked up the place value and the meaning of it. 

 Nathaniel saying his numbers and their nicknames. 

Sarah enjoys this part too. She tells everyone about the numbers "one-ty, one-ty one, one-ty two etc."

    Sarah has worked on the letter A this week. She has had so much fun with "school" and always asked for more "work". Some of the things she has done are:

  • sticker art
  • coloring
  • cutting/pasting
  • dot art 
  • find the letter A in a paragraph
  • making an A with the geoboard
I ordered her the Leap Frog movie Letter Factory and in 2 days she has probably watched it 6 times. I have also found her in her room making the shape of an A with different objects. She is so sweet and so eager to learn.

Okay so this is the only picture I have of Sarah from this week. She is watching her new movie.

   Hattie has really surprised me this week. She wants to be right in the middle of  everything. She wants to color, make "dots", and build with blocks just like the rest of the kids. I dont remember the boys ever doing this, and Sarah always entertained herself at that age, so this was new to me. She was even watching the Leap Frog Letter Factory movie and saying the letter sounds along with the rest of us. 

 Hattie playing with one her new babies she got for her birthday.

Thank you for stopping by to see some of the things we did this week. I'm happy to be back in the blogging world once again.


  1. Sounds great! I wondered how you'd fit all your stuff in when you told me what you'd be using! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with Prairie Primer. What cursive program is that?

    1. The first 2 days took 6+ hours, and I thought I was gonna go crazy. The last 2 days were more like our "normal" 3-4 hours. Some of the things we use {Abeka, Rod & Staff} are me reading to them with no work having to be done.
      We've enjoyed the Prairie Primer so far, and all the conversations it sparks. Sarah enjoys listening and asking questions.
      He is doing Cheerful Cursive. Its simple and quick and he loves it.


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