Night Owl says, "People need to read this stuff!"
So, here I am, ready to share our first two weeks of school with you!
The past two weeks have been a lot of fun!
The added structure of having things we *have* to do every day has been
beneficial in allowing the boys to appreciate their free time even more.
Here's what we've been up to!
The boys water painted some special postcards,
and also made birthday cards for our sponsor boy.
We studied Israel during week one,
and made Israeili Fruit Salad which was just "kinda tasty."
This week we studied Haiti, and made Haitian Coconut Ice Cream
with toasted coconut topping.
It was "very tasty!"
I continue to absolutely LOVE Writing Tales.
On the left is Mr. Sunshine's rough draft.
On the right is his expanded rough draft.
He did so well adding in extra detail, using direct quotes, and really telling a full story.
I'm so excited to see how the rest of his stories come together as our school year marches on.
Busy working on their Bible pages on a rainy Thursday morning.
We've been trying to make use of our porch a little more.
It's in need of a desperate remodel, but is completely function for school on days like today.
It was nice to hear the rain falling.
We've studied 6 people from history so far.
Above are Night Owl's notebooking pages on Paul.
This is one of Mr. Sunshine's science notebook pages.
We placed all of the images in a brown paper bag, shook it up,
and then randomly picked one slip out at a time.
The purpose of this experiment was to show that creation didn't happen "by chance,"
but instead, by God's grand design.
It was neat. We all enjoyed doing this.
I am always finding fun science kits at our favorite thrift.
This week we decided to bust out the solar oven!
The kit came with a really wonderful informative book on solar energy.
We learned that countries in Africa are exhausting their tree supply,
because they've been using trees to cook.
Some organizations have started donating solar ovens (similar to our little model)
to these African countries to help conserve trees. Pretty neat!
Now, I will give myself props for actually putting the solar oven together correctly...
(with the boys help, of course!)
however, I failed at USING it correctly.
The food was supposed to be underneath the little shelf it's sitting on. Oops!
We'll definitely have to try it again in the near future!
Even if we didn't use the oven correctly,
the s'mores were still a hit!
We took a mini field trip to our local nature center too.
Below, the boys are busy working on their nature notebook pages.
And here are a few nature center photos from Mr. Sunshine's camera...
Right before this mama deer crossed our path,
her beautiful spotted babies walked by.
It was so cool!
We also saw turkeys, turtles, chipmunks, squirrels, woodpeckers, an oriole, woodchucks...
And this last picture just makes me laugh.
I am super observant (or at least I think I am!) in normal life.
Anyway, Mr. Sunshine snapped this photo of a squirrel.
I think we were probably busy spying the squirrel and turkey
(who was also in the area, but not pictured here)
When we got home, I looked through his camera and couldn't believe we missed the deer!
Ha... total photo bomb. Nicely done, deer!
Thanks for journeying along with us!
We hope you're enjoying your summer.
What fun adventures have you been up to?
Our 2016-2017 is officially underway!
Mr. Sunshine is a 4th grader and Night Owl is a 2nd grader.
We are already on our second week, and I couldn't be happier.
So far, year round school is proving to be quite complimentary to our family.
I always enjoy reading about other people's curriculum choices.
Today I'd like to share our home school space + curriculum choices with you.
Mr. Sunshine's desk is in our dining room.
Night Owl's desk is in our living room.
Yep, we've become a book crazy house!
We do the majority of our homeschooling in our living room.
It's comfy and has great natural light.
The black storage box holds all of our curriculum books.
The end table next to it has a chalkboard globe with our Scripture verse,
and also holds our Bibles.
The big white book shelf holds our notebook binders, and a mix of library / personal books.
The bookshelf to the left of the chair holds books directly related to our weekly lessons.
This is new to our homeschooling space this year.
It was a play kitchen, which has since been transformed into an art / letter writing cabinet.
It's in our dining room.
We're using a variety of materials for our daily Bible study:
Draw to Learn the Psalms by Notgrass, God's Names by Sally Michael,
365 Days of Praise and Celebration by Julie Lavender,
free pages from Peregrina (not pictured), and they each have their own "thankful" notebook.
They also copy our weekly Scripture into their Bible Notebooks.
We do math 5 days a week.
Mr. Sunshine continues to have great success with Teaching Textbooks.
Night Owl is using A Beka 2 for the first half of the year,
and will move onto Teaching Textbooks later this year.
We've tried "A Reason for Handwriting" in the past,
but definitely prefer "Handwriting Without Tears."
The layout fits our style better, and the lessons have more space,
which makes them more enjoyable.
We do handwriting 5 days a week, with Monday being a special letter writing day.
I am probably most excited about Writing Tales by Amy Hastings Olsen.
Last year we tried using First Language Lessons,
which went completely against our preferred learning style.
Memorization, clapping, and singing were causing Mr. Sunshine to fall over in boredom.
(And, for those of you who know Mr. Sunshine, he is a completely eager and obedient student, so this made it clear to me that a curriculum switch was needed!)
Because he wasn't enjoying that type of teaching,
he really wasn't retaining as much as he could have.
I am so thankful I discovered Writing Tales!
In the beginning, the author explained how children learn through creativity,
which is exactly how we believe learning should be done.
The lessons are perfect in length, and thorough in content.
I want my boys to experience JOY in learning,
and I feel this is best achieved through experiences and creativity.
We do language arts 5 days a week.
Night Owl is using Just Write, which seems to be an okay fit for this year.
(I wish Writing Tales had a 2nd grade option. I'd totally use it!)
We are using Considering God's Creation by Mortimer and Smith for science this year.
The entire curriculum is based on the days of creation-
a completely clever and fun lay out.
The lessons are well written, and there are a lot of experiments and notebooking pages.
I wish there was a student book with colorful pictures, however, we have been able to supplement for this with library books.
We do science 3 days a week.
We continue to enjoy Sequential Spelling.
Mr. Sunshine will move onto book 2 soon.
This book has definitely given him a strong foundation for spelling.
Night Owl is using a list of 2nd grade words I found online.
We do spelling 4 days a week.
We are using Mystery of History Vol. 2 for history.
Mr. Sunshine really enjoyed Vol. 1 last year, so it was right to stick with it.
We are still doing coloring pages and activities.
I added notebooking pages in this year, too.
We do history 3 days a week.
The boys were very excited to add world geography to our curriculum this year.
After being disappointed with the original curriculum I ordered,
I decided to create my own geography program.
Our geography is based mainly off of the amazing book Window on the World.
If you do not have this book in your homeschool (or even just your home),
I highly recommend it.
We also enjoy using Children's Atlas of God's World, Passport to the World,
DK Geography of the World, and Our World by Millie Miller.
(Millie Miller is a wonderful author- my boys have loved Our World to pieces, and enjoy her USA book just as much. I highly recommend her books as well.
All of the books pictured above are great resources to any home/school!)
We do geography 3 times a week, with a specific country focus each week.
On Monday, I read parts of Window on the World,
Based upon suggestions in the book,
each boy picks a specific prayer focus for that country.
He writes his prayer focus on his notebook page,
and commits to praying for that for the entire week.
We also do a mapping activity on this day.
On Tuesday, we do a scavenger hunt with books to find answers to common questions, like, "What is the country's currency?" "What language do they speak?" "How do you say 'Hello,'"
On Wednesdays, we make food relevant to the country we studied.
Thanks for stopping by and taking time to peek into our little school.
In my next post, I hope to share our first two weeks of school with you-
we saw many lovely creatures during a field trip to the nature center,
tried baking s'mores in a solar oven, and even made coconut Haitian ice cream!
"Oh Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures."
This past week, we were able to visit the Butterfly Gardens for the first time.
It was a lot of fun.
The owner took time to share some interesting facts and information with us.
Did you know butterflies taste with their feet?
Did you know that they are deaf?
I didn't know either of these things, but I know them now.
She also gave us q-tips dipped in Gatorade, which allowed for us to get up close
with the butterflies.
We were the only ones in the garden for about 45 minutes,
which allowed us to quietly explore and snap some photos.
I made each of the boys a notebook page, so they enjoyed working on those too.
If you live near me, I'd definitely recommend visiting the gardens.
It comes with a price tag, so this will probably only be a yearly field trip for us.
((*$5.25 for adults and $2.00 for children 3-18.*))
Busy working on their notebook pages...
The boys made use of the little butterfly pamphlet while they worked.
(see image below, left- a butterfly hung out on that q-tip the entire time!)
While Mr. Sunshine was working on his page,
a beautiful monarch flew up and landed on a flower he had drawn.
(see image below, right)
The following photos were taken from a little "maze" that is located on the property-
separate from the actual butterfly garden.
When we got home, I made each of the boys a notebook page
with images of the photos they took.
I think they did a great job capturing the beauty of butterflies.
The blue collage is Night Owl's and the green collage is Mr. Sunshine's.
Thanks for adventuring along with us!
Our school year is set to begin on Monday.
In an upcoming post, I hope to share our homeschool space + curriculum choices.