Week in Review: April 1-5

Rose and I had a week off from our homeschool classes for spring break. I teach junior high literature and writing and Rose takes a science/humanities class. We both enjoy them, but also thoroughly enjoyed the week off! We had a more relaxed schedule even though we kept on with our regular at-home school schedule. Don’t worry, I’m not refusing my girls a break! My in-laws are coming up for a visit in another week and we chose to take our at-home break then. Many of my piano students are also out of town this week so it sill feels like break!
Thankfully the south decided to finally thaw a bit from the cold and dry out from the rain! The girls have enjoyed a lot of time outside. Unfortunately a fever/cold also made it’s round and we haven’t enjoyed as much time with our neighborhood friends as we would have liked! Now that they’re all better, it’s sleeting outside. What a crazy spring!
Grace-Filled Homeschooling is also now on Twitter and Tumbler! I was so intimidated by these two, but now enjoying the benefits of both! I don’t have many followers yet, so look forward to these new options for giveaway entries. 

Before I got on with our week-in-review…
There is still a chance to enter two giveaways from two fabulous companies! 
Click the images above to see my reviews and enter the giveaway!
Little Hands to Heaven: Unit 17
Grace was very insistent this Monday that she do her lessons first. After her week off I can understand! She loves lessons. Her sisters do as well, but Grace nearly cries when they are over each day! Our letter for the week was N and her finger-play rhyme for this was N-N-Naughty. She thought this was incredibly funny. We also studied about the kings of Israel who were often n-n-naughty! 
One of her favorite things to do now is handwriting. I have used the pages from The Learning Page with all three of my girls and I adore them. They have sets of traditional handwriting pages with just a few examples, but they also have full sheets of dotted letters for tracing for both print and cursive. It is free to sign up and there are lots of other freebies as well.  Although they do link to sites where you have to pay for resources, all of the handwriting sheets can be downloaded free.
Our printer decided to be finicky right when I was ready to print Grace’s N to glue on, so we went old-school with a sharpie and piece of blank paper! I could have just used the glue, but her favorite color is blue, so I thought this would be more fun. My girl could do this for hours. I’m not sure what it is she loves about it, but gluing things onto paper makes her day! 
We’re just about finished with the B Book in the About Three series by Rod and Staff. She has progressed so much as a result of these simple black-line workbooks. She loves coloring the pages after she is finished so I’m glad they are black and white! I highly recommend this series and you can read my full review of them by clicking on the picture. 

Grace enjoyed playing a new game this week. Back when Rose was about two, I made a bunch of file-folder type games for her for matching colors, shapes, etc. I didn’t know of all the resources to be found online at the time and I had several made and laminated. I also made a few games like this which I never ended up printing. I came across them a few weeks ago and I printed and laminated them. The point is to match the numbers on the fish with the correct number of bubbles in the fish bowl. It isn’t fancy, but she had a lot of fun with it!
Little Hearts for His Glory: Unit 25
Our cat can’t get enough of sitting with Beth during lessons. You’ll often see her little ears peaking out of Beth’s lap in our pictures! One reason is because she loves the girls, but it also helps that our schoolroom is the warmest spot in the house on cold mornings! This is partly because of the large window facing west, but in no small part due to the space-heater I keep at my cold-natured feet!

Beth’s word-wall letter was P. Her words included panda (her favorite animal), pig, pogo-stick, pumpkin, pen, pin, and Penny (the name). She has fun coming up with words and it has been a great starter for journal writing now. I really like the e-book journal I purchased at the dollar days sale for her which lets her draw pictures and fill in just a small portion of the entries. It has been an excellent tool for her and we’ll continue this on into 1st grade.

I’m hoping to do a write-up of our reading/language arts program soon because I’ve been asked a lot about it. I will go into more detail at a later date, but for now here is what we do in the order they are added:

Heart of Dakota’s Dictation

I start teaching my girls to read when they ask which has been 4 and 3 and a half so far! This is also the route Rose took via private school (k) and homeschool (1st). It left her with a very solid reading foundation which we’re building on continually with All About Spelling. It seems a bit eclectic for my style, but our choices came from what we owned and what I saw working. I plan to stick to this path with Grace.

Our study of George Washington was a lot of fun this week! We learned about the cherry tree story including that it may or may not be true as well as another story of his disobedience to his mother concerning a colt! I had never heard this one before and Beth really enjoyed it. One of the activities was pretending to be a colt and George Washington riding it. Grace filled in for GW since the purpose was to follow directions (right, left, etc.) Beth did a fabulous job and I even through in some north, south, east, west directions. The only trouble she had was being able to follow the directions through the giggling!

We are almost through with the the Inside Outside book from the ABC Rod and Staff series. We’ll be starting this series again with Grace next year and I will be a little sad to see them pass. My girls have all loved them and they have taught so very much. This last book focuses on wildlife in North America.

Bigger Hearts for His Glory: Unit 27
I have been informed this is my portrait! I’m glad she drew me happy and waving. She also asked me to take her picture with it, so I suppose she is very proud of how nice it looks. Nothing like a portrait of you to make the say just a little sweeter!

Arithmetic has become just a little sweeter for both girls thanks to this wonderful program we are reviewing for the TOS Review Crew! I’ll be posting on this in another couple of weeks, but I an tell you now that we use it daily and the girls beg to practice math facts now! Rose particularly likes that she is beginning to learn multiplication now. Her regular math curriculum starts that in 3rd grade and she’s been regularly asking to go ahead and learn multiplication. Now she can!

We’re on unit 8 of All About Spelling book 3. This is one of the best phonics follow-ups I’ve ever heard of or seen. Rose continues to easily recall all the spelling and phonics rules she has learned with ease. This rule we focused on this week was doubling letters to protect the short vowel and using y as a vowel at the end of words. Oh yeah…and my portrait is now saying, “I am a robot!” Hmmm….

For history we studied about the naturalist, John Muir, and touched lightly on the Spanish-American War. I appreciate that Rose is being introduced to the wars now lightly. She is young, but hears about them all the time. She also learned about some of the animals in North America that have gone extinct just in the last century. She drew a Florida Black Wolf as part of her notebooking page.

For literature Rose is reading a biography about Sacajawea from Knowledge Quest. It’s also a review we’re doing from the TOS Review Crew. I like that it is written from her perspective and Rose is thoroughly enjoying it. Since my background is teaching literature I make up my own literature units using a variety of pages and ideas. She just finished up her mystery unit and after the biography we’ll move on to historical fiction.

I’m excited to announce I’ll be hosting a giveaway from Safari, Ltd! If you’ve never seen their amazing animal and historical figures you’ll really need to check them out. It starts Monday, so don’t forget to stop by next week to enter!

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