Friday, January 28, 2011

Week 19

Numbers of the Week:

Shape of the Week: Triangle

Color of the Week: Yellow

Memory Verse: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world.”

Bible: The Story of Josiah finding the Law.


MFW 1st Grade: We have been doing the number of the day every day, adding beans to a cup each day and recording the number on our number chart. This week we hit day 10, so we transferred our 10 beans to a stick.


Phonics & Reading: Treyton and I are love, love, loving the MFW 1st grade phonics. I also really enjoyed the ETC technique and will have those books as back up to use if need be. However, for our primary curriculum, this is definitely the approach I like. There is dictation, copy work, lots of reading of words/sounds, not too much busy work, but lots of reinforcement.


This week Treyton worked on long vowel sounds. I was happily surprised with how easily he picked them up. His reading is improving every day. IMG_0025

He also started and nearly finished his animal tales booklet – which consisted of copying a sentence and then illustrating it every day. He messed up his n (in can) and was really upset about it, which is when he realized why it was important to listen to mom and use a pencil (with an eraser).

We are still working through the sonlight readers, but I am now realizing they are actually “behind” his reading level. I plan on still using them, because Treyton enjoys them and because it’s good practice, but if any of you have good ideas as far as other readers, I would love to hear about them.

I did get a cute Phonics reader recommended by my sister-in-law that Treyton is enjoying called Phonics Stories, it’s from usborne. It’s well illustrated and fun to read (with flaps and such).


We are reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins. This week we read chapters 2-5. Our science, geography and literature activities are all stemming from this book.  IMG_0052 We are compiling a lap-journal (literally a book, not a folder) as we read through the book. So far we have added:


  • Two copywork dictations and illustrations of the book from Treyton.
    • 1st dictation: “Mr. Popper is a painter. He likes to read books about Antartica. He has a wife and 2 kids. He likes penguins.”
    • 2nd Dictation: Captain Cook had pink little feet. He ate all the goldfish. The dad put some ice down so captain cook could sleep.
  • A penguin flipbook where we are adding little facts we’re learning about penguins.


  • A penguin food chain: Seals eat penguins – penguins eat fish and crustations from the ocean.

Eventually I will have a separate post with more details and links regarding our time spent reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins, but this will be well in the future, probably towards the end of the book.

I wanted Treyton to draw a penguin, but he does better with step-by-step instructions, so I made him a little sheet to do it:


Fine Arts:

We did three Mark Kistler drawings this week. Again, I cannot emphasize how much we are enjoying these videos. Treyton is getting slightly more creative with his drawings adding his own little touches here and there which I like to see.


We also did a landscape picture this week out of Come Look With Me. We made little tubes with our hands to look at the picture through and were able to see much more fine detail.


This week for our craft the kids made cups.



We started focusing on the Antartica this week, I think it’s going to take a while for Treyton to remember the name, but he’s already learned about the climate and some of the wildlife there (primarily penguins ;))


The kids were overboard crazy for legos this week. Treyton and I finally started to put together his Lego City Police Station it took us 3 nights.


He loved it!! I loved it!! It was a great time.


Lexie wanted to get in on the action so she would either play with Treyton’s men, or get her own legos out and play.

IMG_0033  Tot School:


This week Lexie and I worked on learning about triangles. How to recognize them and draw them. She was so proud of herself and asked every day to draw triangles. One evening she even traced one in the air to show dad.


She was so absolutely adorable, one morning after tracing her triangles she said to me “Mama, I can be a triangle” she got up from the table and did this:


I printed off a bunch of new games, cut them out and laminated for her to play, now that she is really getting into playing them. Her favorite ones this week were the cupcake games I got from file folder fun. IMG_0021She picked out a size one and put 8 or so cupcakes in order by size, and she also liked the number cupcakes. I needed to work one-on-one with her to help her with this game. She would count the cherries and then I would give her the right number to match up. Hopefully this will help her learn how to identify a few of the numerals.

I also printed off and laminated Confessions of a Homeschooler’s animal matching sets which she matched up. She loves these sorts of things and will spend a lot of time just sitting at the table playing different games with them.  IMG_0046


After reading Mr. Popper’s penguins one day, I cut out some number penguins for Lexie. She colored matching penguins and egg numbers. Then she matched them up.


She also had a great time with her cutting food this week.



Tot School @ 1+1+1=1

Preschool Corner @ Homeschool Creations

Weekly Wrap-Up @ Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Elementary Round-Up @ Granola Mom for God

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bible: King Josiah and the Hidden Scrolls

The story of King Josiah was actually not in most of our Children’s Bibles I found them in two of them, so we used those two all week.

Treyton really liked the story because King Josiah became king when he was 8 years old!! I mean what 5 year old doesn’t like the idea of that?

Doing Bible this week was really special, because Dad' changed his schedule at work and is now here in the morning when the kids and I wake up. He is now doing Bible with us in the morning before we leave.

Dad read the story and then I would facilitate an activity.

I decided that our focus was going to be on the importance of the Bible, and I implemented several of the ideas that My Father’s World recommended for the week.

Day 1: The Bible  66 Books

I actually got this idea from My Father’s World. I gathered 66 small books and explained to the kids how there were 66 books inside of our 1 Bible book. It was a really awesome illustration.

IMG_0001 Day 2: The Bible Written by God

I wrote the name of five Bible author’s on 3 * 5 cards and then wrote “God” on the back of them. We talked about how different men wrote the Bible but that God was actually the author, which is what made the Bible so special.


Day 3: Find the Bible

I hid the Bible and we played “hot” or “cold” to find it, just like Josiah. Treyton LOVED this game and we had to play it several times (and actually did it for more than 1 day).


Day 4: Written on a Scroll

Originally I was going to have the kids write a verse on a piece of paper, roll it up and put a sticker on it (like a scroll), but then instead of doing that Treyton wanted to get his scroll out for Dad and read him his letter scroll that he made for school the week before. It was a proud moment.


Like we do every week, we read the story to Treyton for the first three days and then had him retell the story the following 2 days. On day 2, Dad decided to have Treyton help him read the story with his children’s Bible. He did so good, we will definitely be doing that from now on.


TOS Review: Holman Bible Dictionary

HSCrew468x60AnimatedHolman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids

Product Description: The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids helps children ages 5 to 10 better understand more than 750 Bible terms through vivid design and clear, concise definitions. More than 500 of the featured words are paired with full-color photographs, illustrations, maps, or reconstructions to enhance comprehension.

imageProduct Review: When I saw this book was up for review, my heart nearly pounded out of my chance, I was EXTACTIC when I saw I was actually going to have the opportunity to review it, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed at all.

A beautiful book, Treyton and I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing it!! It was full of great, colorful illustrations and simple explanations for Bible terms, places and people. On any given day Treyton asks a variety of Bible questions, and this book was very helpful in answering them in an easy, visual way.

One of my favorite aspects of the book were it’s “real-life” pictures. Whenever I can find actual pictures, I try to use them to show Treyton the reality of what we are talking about. He prefers them as well.

I also enjoyed many of the charts found within the book, particularly the chart of Jesus’ Parables, which shows the occasion in which he spoke it, the lesson taught and the Biblical references. Or the chart of the Jewish feasts, which shows the Biblical reference, a description of the feast and the season in which it is celebrated.

Along with these aspects there are also:

  • Pronunciation guides
  • Reconstructions of places (rome, temple, tabernacle, etc.)
  • Illustrated Charts
  • Charts
  • Entries (with King James Words)
  • Definitions

As far as I’m concerned this is a beneficial resource for any family or library whether homeschooling or not.

If you would like to view a sample of this book, click here.

Purchase: On for $14.99 or on Amazon for $10.19

**Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, in exchange for my honest opinion/review. To see more reviews from other homeschoolers, visit the TOS Crew website.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Taking a Little Time to Shop

I took a little time this afternoon to browse a few of CSNs excellent stores – I started with the swing sets but certainly didn’t stop there!! image I also headed over to check out their bed canopies for Lexie, I’ve been wanting to get her one forever, and I may just have my chance in the next few weeks.


I have shopped with CSN several times and been satisfied each time, I’m looking forward to working with them once again.

I look forward to showing all of you what I finally decide on: a swing set accessory or bed canopy…. I’ll say it, it’s tough being me.

And if you’d like your own chance at a shopping spree to any of CSNs 200 stores head on over to Journey of Grace and sign up for my current giveaway.

Pledge Allegiance to the Flag

This morning, I was actually able to capture the kids saying the Pledge of Allegiance on camera… I’m so proud!!


Friday, January 21, 2011

TOS Review: Spekee


Product Description:

Speekee TV is designed so that children can learn Spanish in their own time and at their own pace.

  • 10 episodes, over 150 minutes of pure Spanish learning
  • Learn Spanish from real Spanish children in real Spanish locations
  • Features songs, animation and puppets
  • Optional subtitles in Spanish and English
  • Free activity sheet downloads
  • Great fun and extremely effective
  • Created by specialist language teachers

image Product Review:

In the videos exclusively Spanish is spoken. When I first turned on the videos I thought “The kids are never going to pay attention to these, they can’t understand them.” However, they watched the first videos with no problem at all.

Treyton’s only questions the first time watching a video was “What does Spekee mean?” Spekee is the main character.

After the video, I reminded him how to say “My name is ____” (mi llamo ____) and “I love you.” (te quiero).

Speekee uses a spiral learning approach, where a concept is presented and then revised as you progress through the lessons. It is the hope that the child will retain what they have learned from earlier lessons. The learning is meant to be both structured and gradual. It is suggested that the episodes be  viewed in order. 

One of the biggest pros of the videos are their songs, I thought that they were really catchy, and the kids would sing them too, though not properly :) They added sounds that fit for them rather than the sounds that were actually in the song. My kids loved the character, Spekee, Treyton brought him up several times in random conversations.

The kids would sit and watch the videos without any problems, and in between sessions I would remind them of the words we were working on (colors, numbers, “my name is”, hello and goodbye). However, after 4 weeks (watching 2 sessions a week, with some review), they’ve barely retained any of what we’ve covered. In fact, the only word I’ve heard Treyton actually recall on his own was “Spekee”. Treyton can count to 5 in Spanish, but he was able to do that before from watching Diego.

I could see how this could be a great program for certain student types, my kids, who were unable to read the subtitle words of the videos, and I’ll admit, don’t always listen to a show while they are watching it, did not retain what I would have wanted them to.


How to Buy

The cost is $7.50 for a month subscription, with the first two weeks free. You can sign up here.

To See what Others are Saying visit the TOS Crew.

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary membership to view Spekee online for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 18

Letters of the Week: V, W, X, Y and Z

Numbers of the Week: 6, 7, 8, 9

Shape of the Week: Square

Color of the Week: Red

Memory Verse: We actually did two verses this week. Matthew 22:37-38 “Jesus Replied ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”

and started John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”


I printed off the copy work pages and a memory book pages from Hubbard’s Cupboard for each of our verses. I decided not to continue on with memorizing the proverbs that go along with My Father’s World because Treyton had a hard time understanding them. IMG_0044Our first verse I chose from our family devotion, Matthew 22:37-38. But then, on Wednesday night we actually had the opportunity to bring Treyton to an AWANA program. (Side Note: I have been wanting to put Treyton’s in AWANA’s for forever, but the only church in the area that I knew and really trusted that has an AWANA was only open to church attendees. So when I found an AWANA at a church we really like, I was sold.) The first verse he needs to learn is John 3:16, for the remainder of the year we will be pulling our memory verses from our AWANA book.

For our Bible story we studied the story of Elisha, the Widow and oil this week.


We kept working on and completed Unit 2 in our Singapore Math 1st grade which was on number bonds. This week we started trying to find the missing numbers in our number bonds.

I am so excited to see how well Treyton is doing with Singapore. He’s always done well with math, but he seems to especially like the approach we’re using and how thoroughly we are covering each unit. He also had the opportunity to do his first review test and he did really well on it.

Now that Treyton is able to count by 5s I briefly introduced telling time more specifically than just on the hour. It’s still a little bit over his head, but it was a good intro.  IMG_0039

MFW 1st Grade:

I combined two weeks worth of work this week to get us past the review section. I took out their science, which was on the seasons, because we’ve done seasons (twice) already.

We finished letter V-Z as well as covered the short sounds of the vowels. We have now completed up to Day 18, and are past all of the stuff we covered in Kindergarten, so next week starts new material for Treyton.

Our activity this week was to make a scroll out of our handwriting sheets that we have been working on as we’ve gone through the letter review. To be honest, I did most of the detail work on this (taping the sheets together and to the dowels), Treyton helped roll and then spent 30 minutes playing with it, which I think was the point more than assembling the scroll. He thinks it’s pretty cool and he keeps it on the bookshelf so he can take it out whenever he wants. IMG_0014


Extra Phonics & Reading:

We played Sight Word Bingo twice this week, I printed off blank Bingo sheets here and filled in the sight words that we’re currently working on. We add new sight words almost every day, but if we don’t review our old ones everyday as well Treyton forgets them very easily. We started a sight word book, so as Treyton is learning new words, he is able to write them in his book once we feel like he has it learned well. This is a good motivation tool for Treyton, he wants to write the words in his book so badly ;).


Treyton also read in his I Can Read it reader every day this week – most days he read two stories. I’m not sure what the issue was really but it was pretty rough this week, towards the end of the week it got a little smoother. IMG_0009

Treyton is starting to read everywhere. We’ll be out and he’ll say “I know what that word says, mom, it says _____” Today at church during the praise and worship he tugged on my arm and said “Does that say I free?” The words of the song were up on the screen and about halfway down it said “I am free” – I was really proud of him. We haven’t even covered long e sounds!

We continue to use the talking fingers program called Read, Write & Type Learning System, which is a typing, phonics and reading program that Treyton just LOVES. Treyton completed another certificate this week, learning 4 more sounds/letters k, th, d and ? (I can’t remember). Treyton LOVES this part of his day, so we save it for the days that he works hard in school. IMG_0060


Treyton specifically asked this week to start reading chapter books again, which I had stopped doing because he seemed bored, but since he asked (wink, wink) I got several from the library.

We decided to start with “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”. We read chapter 1. Treyton was able to narrate back to me, pretty accurately what we had read together. It brought up discussion on the north and south poles, because Treyton didn’t know what/where they were. So we got out our globe and took a closer look. He asked if the South Pole was cold and the North Pole was hot. So we also talked about the temperatures and what it might be like at each place.

We also talked about summer jobs, and what it might be like to not make money for part of the year – how you would have to save while you were working to pay for the things you needed when you weren’t working. I was surprised that Treyton initiated such a conversation and that he understood what we were talking about.


(This is a picture of the kids, cuddling during story time, this is one of our favorite times of the day)

In addition to Mr. Popper’s Penguins we also read

Fine Arts:

We learned about Martin Luther and his hymn “A Mighty Fortress is our God” out of Hymn’s for a Kid's Heart.

We also looked at the next picture in Come Look with Me, this week Treyton showed even more interest than usual in the portraits, and described the picture and what might be happening with more imagination and detail.  He’s certainly improving every week with how well he will look at a picture and his interest in it.

Next week, we might switch it up a bit and look at some portrait ones.

Drawing & Crafts:

We did another Mark Kistler’s video this week, drawing a ‘Jillion Jellyfish’. Personally, this was one of my favorite lessons. I usually do the lessons with Treyton (because my drawing is so terrible), Treyton’s shading showed great improvement this week.


The kids colored flags this week. Lexie decided to make her own unique flag while Treyton did a great job at coloring the flag as accurately as he could.




The continents continued to be our focus this week for geography. Treyton finally started to remember North America, which was our goal for the week, and South America, which was a bonus!


Treyton has been doing some spanish lessons from speekee, which we are reviewing for the TOS Crew, my review will come later this week. The videos range between 10-20 minutes, and are entirely Spanish speaking. Treyton really wants to learn spanish, and so far can count to 4, and say adios. He sometimes remembers “te llamo Treyton” which means my name is Treyton. But not much beyond that yet. I will be looking into a spanish curriculum for next year.

Tot School:

For Tot School this week, Lexie did color bingo. This was an important lesson in listening and patience for her, because I was doing sight-word Bingo with Treyton at the same time.

IMG_0002For extra color review, I had her sort some beads. She LOVED doing this and asked for it every day.

IMG_0023As she would sort she would say the names of the colors (even if we weren’t standing there with her). IMG_0028

We read lots of books this week. Lexie likes to read, but sometimes her ability to sit and pay attention comes and goes. This week it was definitely a “go”. We read several fancy nancy books, Just like mom, her Princess Bible,  10 little Lady Bugs, and her personalized Jesus Loves Me storybook.

She also continued to enjoy using her play-doh shape mats from confessions of a homeschooler this week. This is a nice activity because she does it on her own while Treyton and I work on some imageof his tougher subjects. 

For Christmas got a game called Zimbbos, its a stacking game. It reminds me of a simple game of Bandu. IMG_0035Treyton, Lexie and I played it several times this week. It was fun and also worked on her fine motor skills. Lexie was really good at it, she won about half of the times we played it.        IMG_0037It’s such a joy to teach Lexa, she loves learning and she loves doing school. She doesn’t want to have my attention at all times, and learns most things just by paying attention to what Treyton is doing. She loves singing songs, so I now let the kids each pick a song to sing during our Daily Board time. This week her favorite was “He’s got the Whole World in His Hands”.

She is able to say along with Treyton and I the pledge of allegiance and the days of the week. She can’t quite do them on her own, and if you ask her what day of the week it is she always says “Tuesday” but she’s catching on, which is more than I ever expected at 2.

Here is some of her art this week. IMG_0045


Preschool Link-Up @ Homeschool Creations

Tot School @ 1+1+1=1

Weekly Wrap Up @ Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Elementary Round-up @ Granola Mom 4 God