Before I get into our week I just wanted to thank everyone who voted in the Homeschool Posts Blog Awards. The winners are up so take the time to go see who this year’s winners are!
There is also plenty of time to enter the Homeschool Helper App Giveaway! I’ve really enjoyed this app and have found it to be very compatible with Heart of Dakota. Click here to find out more.
And now onto our week…
Nothing really spectacular about this week, but that is a good thing. We had some bumps, a few successes, but mostly it was just a regular week and blissfully uneventful!
Little Hands to Heaven: Unit 29
Grace learned about the letter X this week. Her older sisters both have a class on Wednesdays and she has really enjoyed the time we get to spend together one-on-one. It is also nice to have this time in case things don’t go as planned earlier in the week.
I particularly like how the devotional book, My ABC Bible Verses, is preparing her little heart for discipleship. After a brief story involving children and written in a beautifully simple way, short questions are presented to help the children recall and think deeper about the Scripture. I know I write a lot about how much I appreciate the Biblical training and instruction, but it really is my favorite part about this curriculum. Even in the preschool guide children are led to the throne of God in a very gentle way.
Little Hearts for His Glory: Unit 11
Beth read the chapter book Tornado this week and spent more time learning about the Pilgrims. I find it particularly excellent timing with Thanksgiving next week. She has very much enjoyed this even though we’ve been studying the Pilgrims for several weeks now. She does not find this at all boring and is even enjoying reading some on her own. She really enjoyed Tornado as well and Rose mentioned remembering reading that book and how much she liked it.
This is Beth’s 1st grade math with which she is almost finished. You may notice her writing on the left-hand page while the right-hand page is already finished. It may seem as if I was posing her for this picture, but I wasn’t! While I don’t have my girls “pose” for these shots I do sometimes say, “Freeze!” and they know they keep still so the picture isn’t blurry since I’m really not that great of a photographer! Anyway, while she is “freezing” this is how she has been doing math recently. She may start on the left side, do a few on the right, move back to the left, and so forth. It may be a little unorthodox, but as long as she knows what she is doing I’m fine with it! She did have a little trouble with one section where she was supposed to write the number preceding and following the given number. The reason for this was that she did the jumping around thing. It was this lesson when I realized what she was doing and hadn’t given her directions for that part yet. She was only mildly frustrated when I erased the one section and made her redo it.
I only add in two items to our week which are not included in the early Heart of Dakota guides. The first is paragraph writing. As an English teacher it is very important for my girls to have a solid writing background. While I do feel the path for writing in Heart of Dakota is very well planned out, I wish it were started slightly earlier. There are very good reasons given by the author about why it is structured the way in which it is, but I just decided to add in my own writing. We’re using a Scholastic book which I purchased during a $1 sale and I’m really enjoying it, as is Beth! This week she wrote about what she would put in a mystery bag and had to include clues about what it was. She wrote: I have something special in my bag. They build nests. They eat bugs and worms. We like to hear them sing. She came up with these sentences, but we spent time throughout the week brain storming before she actually wrote them into a paragraph form.
Preparing Hearts for His Glory: Unit 7
Rose is checking out our beautiful map of the United States for math…that’s right! Math! I cannot emphasize how much we adore Life of Fred. I’m so glad I borrowed the first book from a friend to see what we thought. If you lean towards a Charlotte Mason style of schooling you should really check this out. I use it alongside our traditional math curriculum. I love how it takes math and crosses it into other subjects like geography, science, and history.
We both love love love Vocabu-Lit! This is our second unit with the book and I prefer it far and away over Wordly Wise. Rose said it is also more fun and actually asks to do this first!
Grandpa’s Box continues to be a highlight during the week. We are alternating between this and a Child’s History of the World, which I’m not as excited about reading to be completely honest. Rose does though so that is good. She is reading at a very high level and sometimes like to read on her own. I do like to read with her, but she is very good about reading passages if I get interrupted by her little sister.
Grammar is going well…extremely well actually. I remember groaning with my classmates in grade-school whenever my teachers pulled out the grammar book. I didn’t really feel that way inside, but you know, peer pressure and all that jazz. Rose seems to like the logic and order grammar provides. I have also seen a bit more order and structure to her writing aside from grammar. She is providing beautiful written narrations each week (scheduled in Preparing Hearts for His Glory) and wonderful 3-paragraph non-fiction pieces (another Scholastic resource).
And here is my favorite shot of the week. Yes, gum is allowed at Lighthouse Christian Academy, as long as it doesn’t interfere with learning or speaking. Rose recently learned to blow bubbles and I snapped this just in time! Gum chewing also seems to help the girls focus sometimes and curbs the urge to snack. I’m curious, do you allow gum chewing?
I have my own space at our school table. We’re learning in my MOPs group this year about how life is a beautiful mess and our homeschool is no exception. I am fairly well organized, but the actual process of teaching three little girls often looks quite messy. I’m beginning to think the bigger the mess, the more learning occurs. My struggle is getting things cleaned up afterwards, but I’m getting much better at it!