Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MFW 1st Grade- Week #2

DSC00986 This week was fun, but a bit challenging.  Daddy had just finished his first round of shoulder surgery, so we were adjusting to him being home, as Big Ladybug and I were still getting into a routine.  This week we mainly did school while the little ones were napping.


Bible:  Our memory verse this week :

                      He who gather’s crops in summer is a wise son,  but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.  ~Proverbs 10:5

We discussed how it was important to be helpful and use your time wisely, instead of wasting it being lazy.  Big Ladybug was so into it she told me she was going to help me clean the whole house! 


Science:   This week we studied the four seasons and had fun making a seasons book.  Big Ladybug made 4 copies of her handprint out of brown construction paper for the tree.  Then she colored, glued, and painted each tree to fit into a season.  I got the narration for the book from Mama Jenn's Blog, and it fit right into our little book.


Did you know???  Some birds can sleep while they are flying south, they use the sun and stars to find their way.

Wonderful Wordless Wednesday: Schooling with a Toddler!











Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MFW 1st Grade- Week #1

This is a picture of Big Ladybug’s first day of 1st grade.  She was so excited to be starting school! Here are the highlights of our first week of school.DSC01173  

Bible:  This weeks memory verse:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  ~Proverbs 9:10

We talked about how the books of the Bible were originally written on scrolls and that they were often stored in clay jars.  When the scrolls got old you couldn’t just buy a new one, someone had to recopy it.  They had to be careful to not make any mistakes!  Big ladybug started writing her scroll sheets, which were the letters of the alphabet.  We also made some miniature clay jars (which I forgot to get a picture of).

Science:  We began our book Things Outdoors and we studied some things ‘close to the ground.’ First, we soaked some bread in honey and set it outside to attract some ants.  Then we collected about 12 and put them in our ant farm.  We did our best to make sure they were from the same colony, they don’t make friends well.  It was fun watching the ants get to work and begin to make tunnels.


Did you know???   An apple the size of a pinhead can feed an ant for 1 week.


We also made a worm jar.  We spent a lot of time hunting for some worms in our yard, but is was too hot and humid for them to be near the surface.  So we had to go buy some big night crawlers to experiment with and of course play with!  Big Ladybug filled an empty applesauce jar with alternating sand and dirt sprayed with water.  The girls added about 6 worms and then covered them with dried leaves. (Of course, they would have crammed them all in there if they could have.)  We covered the jar with a dark cloth and set it in the basement.  A couple days later we checked it and saw the tunnels that they made.  Then, we checked it again about 1 week later, and noticed that they also began to pull the leaves down into the soil.


Did you know??? Worms eat pointy leaves and not round leaves, no one really knows why.


Overall we had a great first week, give or take some unexpected, or should I say, expected 2-year-old interruptions!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Where and What We Are Learning

Our schooling mainly happens at the kitchen table.  I would love to have a room dedicated just to schooling, but for now, the kitchen it is!  Big ladybug loves the morning board I put together.  Here she is able to post the color and shape of the day, weather for the day, review her calendar, post what day of the week it is, write the date, write the time, review her memory verse, and the books of the bible she is learning.  She also has a coin cup that she adds a penny to every day of school, and is responsible for exchanging the coins as needed.  She thinks the sparkle rainbow boarder is a nice touch!


We do not have much extra space in our home, but I found this great 4 drawer cabinet at Hobby Lobby.  We put most of our school supplies in here.  One drawer is for all the pencils, markers, scissors, etc.; another has our math manipulatives, morning board tags, etc.; the third stores the readers; and the fourth has all of the science books for the week.  The kids also love drawing on the dry erase board!


Big ladybug loves knowing what we are doing for the day, so the grid sheet schedule works great.  My sister was great and made tags for me of all of the curriculum and activities big ladybug is involved in.  They are attached with Velcro tabs so they are easily added and removed as needed.  I store all of the tags for the morning board and for the schedule in this little container.

Our version of workboxes is a binder.  Big ladybug has her own binder with her daily school activities in there.  Each subjects has its own folder and Velcro tab.

We chose My Father’s World First Grade this year.   It is a bible-based curriculum and a phonics-based reading program.  Science includes Things Outdoors, Science with Water, and Science with Plants.  Overall, I am pleased with it for bible and science, however, I am supplementing it for math and reading.  It moves pretty fast with the reading and I felt as though big ladybug needed a little more.   

Basic Package Items

We are using Horizons Math 1, Christian Light Education’s Learning to Read and Language Arts, Writing with Ease, All About Spelling, and I Can Do All Things for art.

                   Horizons Math, Grade 1, Student Workbook 2   -     <br />        By: Alpha Omega<br />    <br />Learning_to_read_lu_setLanguage_arts_1_lu_set  

                     The Complete Writer: Level One Workbook for Writing with Ease [Book]spellingbookL1.jpgI Can Do All Things, Text and Paint Cards   -     <br />        By: Berry Stebbing<br />    <br />

Overall we are enjoying most of our selections, however, I wished we would have picked something else for our math.  I am not to crazy about the Horizon’s teacher’s manual, but we are making it work.

Stay tuned for what we have learned so far.  I am new at blogging and have some catch-up to do!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The BIG Decision


DSC00609Where is Big Ladybug going to go for 1st grade?  Well, last February I went “school shopping” to explore all of the options we had in our home town.   I fell in love with a little Christian school that was very small and had about 4 to 10 kids per grade.  Big ladybug seemed pretty excited about it too. 

About 4 weeks before school was to start we received a letter in the mail stating that they had to close the school due to “lack of enrollment.”  I was crushed.

Immediately I began to look into our other options.  

1) The Catholic Elementary:  She attended kindergarten here and enjoyed it, however, we are not a Catholic family and preferred a Christian school for her spiritual needs. 

2) The other local Christian school:  It was much larger, and big ladybug made it very clear that she had NO interest in attending there. 

3) The public elementary school:  Her Daddy and I ruled that out immediately, it had never really been an option for our family. 

4) Homeschooling:  What did you say??? Why would we even consider that? 

When big ladybug was asked what she preferred, she jumped up and down and said she wanted to be schooled at home.  What?  My very social daughter who loved going to school wanted to stay at home My sister Monica and her girls.and be schooled?  Is that even a real possibility for our family?  I have two younger children, would I be able to give her the attention that she needs?   (I should state that she knows what homeschooling is.  Her cousins, her two best friends, are schooled at home.  She has been to their  house many times in the last two years and joined their classroom activities.) –This is a photo of them.

So after asking her many, many, many times what she would like, and after many hours of constant thought and prayer, I felt that homeschooling would be our best option for this school year.  BUT…..what would Daddy think??  In the past I knew that my husband was NOT impressed with the idea of homeschooling.  But after seeing that his nieces were not becoming backwards hillbillies, other than what they genetically inherited of course, his view had changed.  When I asked him what he thought, he told me the choice was mine.  WHAT!!??!!??  I was SHOCKED!!!   I was sure that he was going to say “no” I mean, “#!@# NO!”  Wow, God gets the credit for softening his heart on this! 

So homeschooling it was for us!  I was relieved that a decision has been made, but now I had a whole new list of worries and concerns.  Would I be able to teach her? What would I teach her? Would we drive each other crazy? Would she be an “unsocialized” homeschooler? Would I have the time and be able to get out when we needed to, with two little babies? Wasn’t I suppose to send her to school so I would have the babies nap times to myself, for my “me time”? 

Well the first call I made was to my “seasoned” sister, who was very excited about our decision.  She was like a pig- in-poo setting up my school stuff.   She was the perfect resource!  If you know my sister, you know that she is extremely thorough, or you could say, extremely anal….she does her research.   So she helped me to pick out a curriculum, set up our school area, and we were well on our way!

When people ask big ladybug about school she answers with such enthusiasm, that she is homeschooled and darn proud of it!  I on the other hand initially would try to avoid mentioning it, because of the look on their faces that seemed to say, “oh great, another unsocialized kid that’s not going to learn anything!”  I even had one lady tell big ladybug if she didn’t go to school, she wouldn’t have any friends…..isn’t that nice?  Well, I just tell them that when I was uneducated about the whole process and the endless possibilities, I felt that way too.  (Like when my sister first told me she was going to school her girls at home.  I thought “great, surely your girls aren’t going to turn out quite right!” Boy was I wrong! And I don’t like admitting to her that I am wrong!)  I have also had a lot of encouraging remarks, too.  But to tell you the truth, now I don’t really care what other people think.  I really feel now that this is something God wanted for my family and as long as I am pleasing him, then no one else's opinion should really matter.

We have been in school now for 5 weeks and loving it!  We are learning so much!  I say “we” because I have learned new things, and relearned stuff that I have forgotten throughout the years.  Daddy has also been home from work recovering from two shoulder surgeries, 4 out of our 5 weeks, and has been joining in our class as well!  I really think he is enjoying himself, even though he keeps reminding me that he is not the substitute teacher!  Now don’t misunderstand me, we definitely have our moments where things go a little bonkers, when you have a 2 year old life doesn’t usually go as planned. Overall, it has been really good for us as a family.  I really feel as though we have grown closer through this.   

Oh, and as for the “unsocialized homeschooler”, it is quite the contrary.  Big ladybug loves people and has had no problem making friends!  She is involved in the home school outings such as roller skating, bowling, girl scouts, and is taking a Little House in the Big Woods (Little House on the Prairie) class with her peers.  She also attends the children’s ministry at our local church once a week.  So between all of that and beginning dance, gymnastics, or synchronized swim team (she is trying to decide), I think she will be just fine!

So stay tuned for the upcoming posts of where our schooling takes place, what our curriculum is, and weekly wrap-ups of what we have learned so far!

My sister has a great blog.  If you would like to check out her posts on our Little House in the Big Woods adventure,  click here

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Crawfish Craze!

The weather had been so hot, so when mother nature decided to give us a break we took advantage of it!  We decided to give crawfish hunting a try.  Big ladybug was sooo excited to be able to use her new net, and little ladybug as was just happy to be wearing her rain boots.  (She was already wearing her swimsuit with her pj top over it before we even decided to traipse through a creek.)


Daddy was such a trooper!  He got right in there and once they got the hang of it, they had caught a bunch!  Both girls got their little fingers pinched, but there were no tears!


Big ladybug was so excited that she found a large dead crawfish on the creek bank.  And at lunch she gave them some french fries to see if they would eat them…..they did not seem to be interested.   Little lizard and I just hung around, took pictures, and inventory of the catch.   That is until it was time to go and get some lunch.  We had a wonderful picnic.


After lunch we returned our crustacean friends to their home, and one of us decided to have a melt down.  Can you guess who?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Irresistible Ice!!

This was a day moment in one beautiful day when my kids were getting along very well.  There was still the occasional arguing over who was going to get what cup or kitchen utensil, but overall they played very well. 

And they played with what, you ask?? seemed to captivate them all and put them in a trance.  They all played together in the same spot without fighting for almost ONE WHOLE HOUR!!!  You may not think that is very long, but if you have a know that is FOREVER!!

Here are my lovely children making ice soup.  It was very yummy, too!   When the ice began to melt my little ladybug took care of that by drinking it, or spilling it on her siblings! Which they loved of course!

big ladybug leading the crew

little ladybug making her soup
my little lizard taste testing