Sunday, October 30, 2011

(Week 14) Adventures Week 10 – Revolution and Declaration of Independence

This is the week Treyton has been waiting for!! He has been asking when America was going to be fighting and when we were going to learn about war. (Boys will be boys I guess).

Along with learning about the Revolutionary War we also learned about the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson and because we didn’t fit him in last week, we also touched on Paul Revere and the Boston Tea Party.

Needless to say, it was a very busy week. I had to remind myself over and over again that we are only doing a relaxed overview of American History and that we don’t have to learn everything this time around!!

IMG_0001Read Alouds:

Other Read Alouds:

What Treyton Read this Week:

American Flag:


We’ve made the American flag before, but this time we made the original stars and stripes, after we read the book “Red, White and Blue” – putting only 13 stars on the flag, we talked about why there were 13 stars and stripes on the original flag, which is the same reason why we only have 13 stripes on our flag today.  IMG_0082

Boston Tea Party:

In honor of learning about the Boston Tea Party this week, we decided to have a little “tea party” of our own.IMG_0087

We made some tea, sat down and read a few select pages out of Jean Fritz’s “Then What Happened Paul Revere” (specifically the pages referring to the Boston Tea Party). We talked about the men dressing up to look like Indians, going aboard the ships and dumping over 10,000 pounds of tea into the harbor. Of course Treyton wanted to know why, so we talked about what a tax is, and why the American’s didn’t want to pay it.


This conversation took only a few minutes, but Treyton begged to read more and to talk about it more…. I knew I didn’t want to go into any more detail than I already had, so I just re-read the pages in our book.

Several times since our “tea party” he’s asked “Mom, can we have another Boston Tea Party?”

Make Hasty Pudding

I will be honest, I saw the recipe for hasty pudding and thought “hmmm… maybe we’ll pass on this” it did not look like something that the kids or I would enjoy. But… I decided to go ahead and try it, and guess what?


The kids loved the entire thing, making it (which I knew they would), eating it and talking about it.


We added milk and agave nectar, except for Treyton, who did not add milk, but just the nectar.

IMG_0012They ate the entire pan (except for a little bit I saved for Tim to try later) and Audrey actually cried when it was gone. :)



Treyton colored two uniform pictures out of our dover coloring book:

IMG_0083one of a British soldier, one of an American soldier. We added these to his lapjournal as well as his narration. IMG_0069 

IMG_0070We also included a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

IMG_0071Overall, I felt like we had a pretty productive week, considering we were carrying so much over from week 9, and covering such a big topic.

Treyton loved the war talk, though he doesn’t understand it all and asks lots of questions, questions I can’t always answer.

Next week, we will be learning about President George Washington.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Unit: Curious George

Week 14 of school we rowed Curious George by H.A. Rey

Go-Along Books & Movies


Day 1

After reading the front title page, we discussed the authors name H.A. Rey. Treyton said “That’s a weird name.” We talked about what initials were, and went through the entire family, figuring out what each of our initials are.

We then looked up the author’s real name (which is Hans Augusto Rey) and learned that he was from Germany, which we located on the map. Treyton was then interested to know how a book from Germany got all the way to America. ;)

From there we located Africa, which is where George is from. Every day we read the book we pointed these places out on the map. IMG_0001

I printed off several monkey activities from Confessions of a Homeschoolers including the pre-writing practice sheets. I put them in sheet protectors for her to use throughout the week.

Alexa also made the DLTK paper monkey craft. Her cutting skills are truly amazing. IMG_0004 She received no help with this craft.


I also found some printable coloring pages, Alexa picked this one to color.

Day 2

Alexa played with Confession’s monkey puzzle. She is really starting to enjoy puzzles and is able to do simple ones on her own. When I gave her this one, she put a few on upside down, I tried to explain to her that puzzles have “edges”, after the first time through she seemed to get it. IMG_0033I didn’t even need to introduce the letter Mm this week. Alexa loves to watch the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD and has learned most of her letters this way. Before I even got the chance to tell her what letter we were learning she said “M says mmmm”.

IMG_0034Next she put monkey numbers 1-10 in order. 9 still slows her down a bit, but once she figures out the other letters she can figure it out. IMG_0036Day 3

We had our co-op on Wednesday of this week, so we didn’t do any activities other than the kids watched 2 old episodes of Curious George. (I’m not referring to the PBS Curious George ones) I mean they’re “old”, I can’t find the DVD right now, but they are re-readings of the original books put to play-doh style choreography (yes, I am very technical :)). They are really good, a classic, a style I want my children to be able to appreciate as they get older.

Day 4

Fire Safety – In the story George inadvertently calls the fire department. I decided to talk to the kids about fire safety in honor of George’s mishap with the fire department. IMG_0003We talked about (& practiced) what we should do if we were on fire: Stop, Drop and ROLL!!


We also talked about what we should do if we were in a building that is on fire and there is smoke around us, we don’t run, we don’t walk – we CRAWL through the house to get to the door.


I also reminded Treyton, and instructed Lexie for the first time, where our designated meeting place is outside of our house, in case of a fire, which is out by our garden on the corner of our lot. We talked about how we should NEVER go back into a house/building that is on fire – no matter what! 

I’m glad we had this great opportunity to review some of the important fire safety rules. Sometimes, you just don’t think about these types of things…

Curious George Printables

I found several cute printables from the PBS Curious George website. Lexie enjoyed these printables, although, like most worksheets, she blows right through them in seconds with no problem.





IMG_0077Day 5

Of course before we could end our unit we had to watch the Curious George Movie the kids have seen it many times, before, but never after becoming so acquainted with the original book. After watching the movie we talked about the differences and how many movies are based off of books, but that they are rarely the exact same.

Although we had already completed most of our lapjournal pages, on our final day I also had Alexa do some size activities which we added in. If Alexa had a weakness it would be with sizes and location vocabulary (i.e. large, small, medium, top, bottom, middle), so this was a good activity for her, meaning it took more than 2 minutes.

IMG_0035I also had her match monkey shapes (from Confessions), she really liked this.  IMG_0022 


Lastly, we did a few monkey bingo games, one with our numbers, and one with letters.

IMG_0034 Alexa really enjoyed school this week, I think because we had a lot of fun activities, and she kept busy. She likes to know that she is a part of school. I enjoyed this week too, I’ve enjoyed Curious George since I was a little girl, so this was a particularly fun week for all of us.


Curious George Printables from PBS

Curious George PBS – games, printables, clips and more 

Confessions of a Homeschooler – Letter M

1+1+1=1 Monkey Tot Pack

TOS Review: Wits and Wagers Family

HSCrew468x60AnimatedMy family recently reviewed the game Wits and Wagers Family from Northstar Games. 

Product Description:

Now families and kids can get into the Wits & Wagers action! First, every player writes down a guess to a fun question. Then players try to score points by choosing which guess is closest to the right answer without going over.

imageProduct Review:

This game was a hit for the entire family!! From Alexa, our 3 year old, to Mom and Dad, we all loved it. We’ve played this game ALOT since we’ve gotten it, even bringing it out to play with our house guests.

Not only was this game fun, it was also educational. Both of the kids were stretched in their own way. For Alexa, while playing this game she practices writing/tracing her numbers. For Treyton, he practices estimating skills, “guestimating” skills, and strategic game play with his wagers. Along with that, keeping score is a new responsibility he’s loving!!

This game is recommended for ages 8 and older, but our 6 year old has done just fine with it, and our 3 year old has done well for her age, her guesses aren’t great but she writes, wages and has a good time with it.

This game has made a GREAT addition to our game closet! I would highly recommend it.

You can purchase this game for $15 on amazon.

To see what my fellow crew members had to see visit the TOS Crew Blog

Disclosure: I received this game from Northstar Games for the purpose of my review, the opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

TOS Review: Educating the Wholehearted Child


When I received Apologia’s “Educating the Wholehearted Child” written by Clay and Sally Clarkson, my first thought was “wow… that’s a lot of reading, I’ll never be able to read the whole thing.”

I was wrong.

I can’t hardly put it down.

On top of that, I didn’t get through the first page before I heard myself say “amen” and start reading excerpts out loud for my husband to hear as well.

A week or so after I started reading this book Tim said “I really like this book your reading, I can tell it’s making a big difference.”

imageProduct Description (from Apologia’s Website):

“God did not forget to include "school" in his biblical design for raising children&mdash:home education is a natural expression of all that God intended for parents and their children. Clay and Sally Clarkson's Educating the WholeHearted Child is about rediscovering God's original design for the family. What you'll find in this book is a homeschooling model that makes sense. It's an approach that is based on sound biblical principles of nurture, discipleship, instruction, and learning. Newly revised and significantly expanded, Educating the WholeHearted Child is about much more than homeschooling; it is about life. Effective Christian homeschooling must begin with the sure foundation of a Christian home, and the Clarksons' uncomplicated, common-sense approach to life and learning will provide you with the tools you need to experience God's abundant blessings for your family.”

Product Review

This book has reminded me of all the reasons why I homeschool, and even given me a few more, and as if that weren’t enough it’s a great resource book.

I have read a few of Sally Clarkson’s books (namely The Mission of Motherhood and most recently I started the Ministry of Motherhood), and they are, life changing. This book is just as amazing.

The Clarkson’s teach a method of homeschooling that they call “WholeHearted Learning” (which is very similar the the Charlotte Mason approach). They include recommended resources, helpful tips and what their approach has looked like in their own home.

This book is well-written, easy to read and so full of encouraging, practical tips that any homeschooling family can benefit from it. I’ve read several great homeschooling books, but if I could recommend only one book to homeschooling parents, whether starting out or mature homeschoolers, it would be this one.

To See What Others are Saying visit the TOS Crew blog.

You can see the complete Table of Contents and a Sample Chapter here.

You can purchase a copy of this book for $22 from apologia.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Apologia as part of the TOS Crew, the opinions expressed are my own, I received no other compensation for my review.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

MFW Co-op: Human Body

We had a great co-op this month studying the human body.


I taught the first graders this time, and I was a little unsure of how to fit “The Human Body” into and hour and half. So… instead of trying to fit in a bunch of information in a little amount of time, I decided to do the best I could with an overview that the kids and mom’s could use later when they studied the Human Body. IMG_0041I got the basic idea of making a life like human body from pink and green mama but of course tweeked it a little bit. I downloaded the Scholastic Easy Make & Learn Projects: Human Body for our personal studies, and found a gold mind of awesome life-like printables that I was able to use with our co-op. IMG_0042I cut out all the pieces before hand and used Alexa’s body traces (because our skeleton pieces fit her size the best). IMG_0008So it was all set and ready to go before the kids got there.


We started with attaching the brain, then did the skeleton, heart, lungs, stomach, liver, esophagus, and intestines. For each part of the body I read a short section out of Usborne’s First Encyclopedia of the Human Body

After attaching the skeleton, we taped the other organs and parts on where they would flip out so that the students could go back and look at any of the parts they wanted to.

Here is Treyton’s finished body:


This month, Kelly, one of the mom’s that teach the preschool group e-mailed me and told me what they did in their group. So I get to share it with you all!

They read 2 books: My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss (talking about feelings) and Eyes, Nose, Fingers, Toes by Judy Hindley (to talk about body/senses). They discussed things that they hear, smell, taste, how things feel, what they see, etc.

They also did ABC exercise activity cards.

And played musical instruments and sang a song to highlight how they can make music to 'hear'. IMG_0045Lastly, they traced and colored their bodies.   IMG_0046


Having this type of co-op is truly a blessing, this was our third month and you can tell that the kids are really starting to get to know one another and build strong relationships. IMG_0047We meet at 10:00, have lunch at 12:00 and usually the kids play after that for a couple of house before people start heading home. It’s a really fun time.  IMG_0050 Here is a picture of the kids in the co-op minus two of the little ones. They were building a fort in the backyard here.


Here’s them, being a little goofy (LOVE IT!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

(Week 13) Adventures Week 9 – George Washington

IMG_0072 Read Alouds:

Other Read-Alouds:


Books Treyton Read Aloud this Week:

  • George Washington and the General’s Dog by Frank Murphy
    • I loved that Treyton actually read a book that went along with our history this week. It was a level 3, which I wasn’t sure he would be able to get through, but he did awesome!

He read some other books as well (two others) but I cannot remember which ones…

There are weeks that I am not as “on top of” Treyton’s reading as I should be, and I don’t require what I should of him. I’m trying to do better. I have recently added to his reward reading chart that he must spend 50 minutes a week (in at least 10 minute increments) reading to himself. We separated his readers into two piles ones that now count as his read-alouds to mom, and his “easier” (some even memorized) books into a read-alone pile. I told him that he can try to read ANY book during his read-alone time, but that to read with mom and for the book to count, he needed to be reading at least a level 2 or a tough level 1.

This has slowed him down a little bit on receiving a reward, but it’s really good for him, and he actually seems to enjoy it. I bought him a fun little timer, that makes his reading time even more fun!


We spent the first day of this week finishing our Benjamin Franklin lap journal, so we really only studied Washington for 3 days this week, and actually left out most of the Paul Revere reading, planning to push it to next week.

We started our studies this week by looking at the dollar bill and pointing out that George Washington was on the front of it. We talked about how important he must have been for our country to put him on the dollar bill. This peaked Treyton’s interest to learn more about him.

imageWe actually visited Mount Vernon a year or so ago, while visiting my sister in Virginia. We talked about our time there, and looked at a few of our pictures.

I didn’t have any time to do very many “extra” activities other than our reading, no worries though, the kids managed to come up with an awesome one on their own!! 

IMG_0023 They built a fort together on the back patio, like the one Washington built when fighting the French and Indians who were trying to take the English land.


I had Treyton make a Tricorn Hat, like Washinton’s. He wore this thing for over an hour the first day… I think it made him feel tough. IMG_0002

Nature Walk & Journaling

 IMG_0010We had absolutely beautiful weather this week, so we spent a little time outside on a nature walk, drawing in our nature journals.

IMG_0012 Treyton found lots of interesting things.

IMG_0007 Audrey, however, was not having any of it!! :(

Bible Memorization – AWANA


Treyton continues with his AWANA verses and weekly AWANA meetings. I have actually slowed him down a little bit as we go back and review all of the verses we haven’t been reviewing. I just stumbled across the Scripture Memory Box System from Simply Charlotte Mason, which I am thinking about making for our family to use, I want to make sure that Treyton is really understanding the verses he is (and has) learned. The past few weeks he has been focusing on John 3:14-16:

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of man must be lifted up that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”


Treyton is in his 6th week of Piano class. He is learning solfege (which basically means, he’s learning do, re, mi, fa, so instead of note names to start) through the yamaha music class. So far he has learned (well) 5 songs, and is currently practicing 3 others. IMG_0004

We are so proud of all of his hard work. He practices 5 times a week for about 15-20 minutes. He has memorized most of the songs thus far, but is slowly learning how to read the music as well. He also recognizes quarter notes, quarter rests, half notes and whole notes. He has worked with staccato notes and slur notes and has learned the difference between the G clef and F clef.

I’m actually happy to be on this ride with him, I’ve learned more about music in the past 6 weeks than I ever have in my life. It’s been a lot of fun, as a family to bring the gift of musical talent into our home. I can’t wait to see what His plan is through it all.


IMG_0012Treyton is about halfway through the Singapore 1B book. This week we introduced the concept of dividing, half and fourths.

To illustrate this, Treyton cut up a piece of paper, into halves first and then fourths.


We are on step 20 in All About Spelling which is the consonant blend ‘ng’. Treyton mastered the rule and words within in the first couple of days.

Extra Thoughts

Though it was a very busy week, and I didn’t add in as many things as I had wanted too, the kids still had fun, and actually learned a thing or two along the way, too. I’m grateful that God allows these weeks to come every now and again, to remind me that our schooling is based on His plan and not mine (and praise Him for that)!!

It’s easy to forget our goal by focusing on the methods. It isn’t about what I’m teaching or how I’m teaching it – it’s about WHO I’m teaching them about. Any education they get along the way is truly just a bonus!!

I am in the process of reading “Educating the Whole-hearted Child” by Clay and Sally Clarkson (amazing book by the way), and I wanted to close this post with a quote that I have been pondering much of this week:

home education is not our primary goal – home nurture and discipleship are, and home education is simply the natural extension of those biblical priorities.” 


Weekly Wrap-Up