Monday, February 28, 2011

School Days, School Daze! Record Keeping

Kris at My Story: Life with the Engelman Family asked me about record keeping.  I can only answer this for myself, because each state's requirements are so different, but since she lives in Colorado too, maybe this will help.  I keep two records- school days and work done.  For school days I use a calendar and mark off each day that is done.  Now, I don't DO this everyday, I just do it every couple weeks or so, basically whenever I think about it.  In Colorado we are required to have 172 4-hour school days in one school year.  I and marking off every school day and when we get to 172, our year ends.

Here are the calendars I made for my attendance records.  
Feel free to print and use them.  

For records of work done- almost all of our units include either lapbooks or notebooks.  I keep everything that we do for those. That is our record for science, geography, and history.  Our math has one test for each lesson, and I keep those.  I am not keeping any record of phonics/reading.  I think next year I will be starting a book list, but for right now I am not concerned with that.

So what do I DO with all those papers?  I have a binder with dividers for Bop and CJ, and all of their papers that I want to keep for this year go in there.  Math tests, some special handwriting, a few of their worksheets for phonics.  At the end of the year I will go through that, decide what I want to keep and put them in a big three-ring binder, one for each kid.  I will probably only keep 20- 30 pages for each child or less.

Lapbooks are a harder question.  For right now I have them stored in a file-folder drawer.  They fit nicely in there and the kids can get them out and look at them.  Last fall I decided to try putting our lapbooks into Bare Books instead of file folders.  I like how organized and neat they are.  Those can just sit on the shelf like the other books, and I love that.

What about projects, things that are too big to stuff into a binder?  The only idea I have for this is to take pictures and add them to your notebooks.  So far we haven't had too many big things, but we are planning to make a clay pyramid next week, and we will be doing a lot more things like that as they get bigger.

Do you have any ideas for keeping bulky things that your kids make for school?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Another Week

a by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
She found out she can use her
beads in a new way...
It seems like yesterday that I was writing last Friday's Weekly Wrap-up.  It makes my sad to think about how fast the days are going by... soon my kiddos will be too big to rock on mama's lap or listen to "Home for a Bunny" or "Madeline"...

But, anyway, enough of that.  Here is what we did this week!

For Bible we learned about following rules and how Adam and Eve disobeyed God.  Positive Action for Christ is still workgin great for us.  The only things taht I am having trouble with is some of the songs.  The choruses are frequently songs that I don't know, so I am using some of the more commen children's Bible songs that I learned growing up.

We got to do another Download N Go for our unit study this week.  Hoppin' Popcorn!  Wow, this one has been fun, and I can't believe how much there was to learn about popcorn!  You will have to wait until next week for my review on this, but let me just say it was great.

aa by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
Bop is still working on Lesson 15 in math, which is learning how to make 10 through adding.  She has flown through this lesson, so we will be on the some review and testing next week.  Cj was doing lesson 4 in the Math U See Primer, and he is doing two pages a day for now because he wants to and it is easy for him at this level.  He is learning to count and recognize numbers, which he pretty much already knows.

For reading, we have had a lot of reviews to work through.  We have stopped using Progressive Phonics for now, and we will get back to that after some of our review periods are over.  We are reviewing a neat program called Reading Kingdom and they are still using Read, Write and Type.  Bop has finished Read, Write and Type once and now she is going through it again.

I also used some more Kid Scoop pages for Bop to read and practice with.  She still thinks that she CAN'T read, even though she reads all the time for school.  The connection between school reading and every-day reading just hasn't clicked, I guess.  She will ask me to read things that I know she can read, and she has no trouble with it when I point it out.  I am not worried about this, I know that one day she will realize that reading is reading, no matter where, and she will take off.  I think it's kind of funny, actually.  :)

aaa by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
Watching popcorn
We have started a new online review for a program called Big IQ Kids.  It is mostly for Bop right now, and includes math, spelling, vocabulary and geography practice.  I can't say much about it right now since we haven't been using it for very long, but I do like the way it has the spelling practice.

We have several fun things that we are working on for reviews.  We have been using Kinderbach for music and loving it.  It is perfectly geared for the ages I have, and I really think learning music is important.  We are still using Speekee for Spanish, too.

I know.  Right now, our Weekly Wrap up sounds pretty much like a list of our current reviews, plus math.  And it really is pretty much that.  But this is where we are at right now, and I am very thankful for these reviews even if they do keep us hopping and change my plans.

aaaa by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
Playing games as a family.

aaaaaa by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
Our Play Dough Rainbow
aaaaa by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
CJ's Play Dough Jelly fish

On Sale- A great way to learn about American History!

Do you want you kids to know about the brave men and women who formed this country?  Do you want to skip the boring textbooks and learn in a fun, memorable way?

Amanda Bennett has a sale on five unit studies about American history, the Government and our founders.  Right now you can get all five of these unit studies for $27.90.  If bought individually, they would cost over $40. There are 11 weeks worth of learning here, for your elementary and highschool children.  This sale ends today, so if you are interested you can go over the Amanda's website, Unit Studies By Amanda Bennett, to learn more.  

I really like Amanda's studies, and I wish I could buy this but right now my school budget says I can't... so I hope that some of you will be able to enjoy this for me!

Don't forget, it ends today!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Learning Happens

Here are some of our most spontaneous moments of learning from January and February.  I am constantly reminded that sometimes children learn best when we just get completely out of the way and let them do what they do best.  Young children's brains are made to be little sponges, and they are constantly looking for information and facts.  I just love to watch this happen, and once in a while I get lucky enough to snap a picture of it!

Hailey making paper dolls
DSCN8665 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
Cutting practice.  
The grin is due to the fact that I didn't exactly want this particular piece of paper cut up.

DSCN8641 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
Playing our new favorite game, Blokus.

DSCN8592 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
Drawing a labeling a scene.  
Interesting spelling like "dofin".

DSCN8501 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
Playing outside.

DSCN8487 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

The Karate Kid

Watching the geese eat.  
We have thousands of snow geese here every winter, but getting to see Canada Geese is more of a treat, especially when they are right outside out back door.  

DSCN8390 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

DSCN8391 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
Playing with a block puzzle that Aunt Rachel made for Christmas.

Exploring Grandpa Great's old wagons...
DSCN8708 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

and other things.  :)
DSCN8713 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

"Come, children!  Look at the yuccas!"

Tee hee.  :)

But this has the be the highlight of it all. 
Visiting what they call the "cow graveyard".

DSCN8733 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

DSCN8734 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

"Ewww!  A spine!"

On the way home we stopped to see 
grandpa's newest baby calf. 
It was almost dark, so this is the best picture I got. 
It was just having it's first meal.  

DSCN8770 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Little Boy Dreams

cj by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
"Mom, the worst dream that I have been having for awhile is an elephant one.  
And I was an ant and the elephant squished me. 
And that is why I keep coming in and sleeping with you because I thought I really was the ant and I got squished. "

CJ  age 4 1/2  
Told to my while he helped make lunch today

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winter on the Plains

recently we spent a Sunday afternoon doing one of our favorite family activities.  Going shooting; which generally means that we go for a drive, look for prairie dogs and coyotes around some of our family's farmland, and just enjoy nature and being together.  The kids love the chance to get out and explore, and we love the chance to be together out of the house and, well, go shooting.  :)

I really enjoy the chance to get away from my usual haunts and snap some unusual pictures.  Isaac's Grandpa has a pasture where they have, for generations, 'parked' things.  We love to look around, and it is a great place for the kids to play.  

DSCN8702 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

DSCN8695 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

Old Wagons

DSCN8669 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

DSCN8689 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

Old fences.

DSCN8683 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

DSCN8685 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

Some people say the prairie is brown in the winter.  I think it is gold.  

DSCN8681 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

DSCN8746 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

DSCN8742 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

The End.  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Giveaway- Expedition Ireland Download N Go

Ok, I will be honest.  I was really excited to do this unit study.  I have a little Irish blood, and probably more then a little Irish temper  (Please don't ask my husband about this).  But I was blown away by the magnificent beauty of this little island.  There is more packed into this week then I can possibly cover here, but some of our favorites were learning about the Giant's Causeway, Irish animals, and St. Patrick.

Starting with amazingly picturesque aerial videos, and ending with a lapbook full of your own child's creativity, we loved this Download N Go!  You will journey through the land of Ireland, and meet all sort of interesting animals, visit amazing geographic landscapes, and have a lot of fun doing it.  A wordsearch, lapbook pieces (including a great pop-up), time-and-temperature pages, and animal worksheets are all part of the fun.  Of course, we especially love the drawing pages which have pretty borders or neat backgrounds for the kids to create their art on.

One of our favorite aspects of any of the Download N Go studies are all the great links.   There are links to all kinds of webpages, with all the information you want.  The best part?  The video clips.  Expedition Ireland includes videos for all sort of interesting subjects, from Irish music and dancing to the making of hand-blown crystal!  You will get everything you need right in the study, and if you need even more learning you can use the extensive book lists and extra links.

I really enjoy using Download N Go studies because everythign is so simple.  these studies are packed SO full of info, but the planning and organizing has all been done for you.  Each day is planned out, and all you have to do is read through the pages and click on the links when you come to them.  The only preparation I do is spent 15 minutes ahead of time, printing out the pages that I will want to do.  One of my online friends, Tristan at Our Busy Homeschool sometimes uses these studies without printing anything.  She just has her little ones read through it and visit the links.

Visit Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett to learn about all her great downloads and don't forget to pick up your free samples while you are there!  Just click on the pictures to go to each study and take a peek inside.

I received this product free of charge for review purposes. I promise to be honest and fair in my reviews, and I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. You can visit the Download-N-Go blog to read more reviews on this product.



ireland by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-SphereAmanda Bennett has generously offered to give a copy of Expedition Ireland away to one of you!  I feel like keeping things simple today, so I am only going to offer a few ways to enter.  Don't forget to leave your e-mail in your comment, or otherwise give we a way to contact you!

1.  For your first entry, just leave a comment below.  

2. For an additional entry, go to this page and let me know which of the $5 sale items you are most interested in.

3. For one last entry, visit Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett and tell me what you would like to see featured in her next $5 sale!  

I will leave this contest open until next Friday, the 25th.  I will be selecting the winner with  
Have fun and good luck!

Highlights of week #23

Ok, so it's been a really long time since I did one of these.  I know.  :)  But I really like to have them on here because it's always fun to look back and remember what we did in school.   So, while I may not get them done every week, I would sure like to do them once on a while!

At the beginning of the week we enjoyed some Valentines crafts and worksheets, in addition to our regular school.

Lots of fun with 
foam stickers

school by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

school by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

Paper crafts

school by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

We are in the process of reviewing several things online for phonics and math, so the kids have been spending a lot of time on the computer.  I finally figured out that one way to have distraction-free time with the kids is to use headphones.  They used to watch each other at the computer and everything took much longer.  Now I can 'plug' one of them in, and have some time with the other one to do math or other one-on-one stuff.

school by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

Bop working in Reading Kingdom

school by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

CJ listening to a Beatrix Potter story online.

We did Expedition Ireland this week for our unit study.  The kids both worked in Reading Kingdom (an up-coming review), and Read, Write and Type for phonics.  Bop enjoyed some fun activity sheet from Kid Scoop.  We are all enjoying Math U See.  Bop did some review this week to work on her addition for 9s, 8s and doubles.  CJ is working on lesson 3 in the Primer which has him basically counting.  He has been doing two worksheets a day because it is easy for him.

We have not been doing anything for spelling or handwriting because our days are just too full right now.  We are using Speekee for Spanish and we just started using a new (to us) program for music and piano.  It is an online program for kids 2-7 called Kinderbach.  We are still using Positive Action for Christ for Bible and enjoying it.

school by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

Drawing a town for his cars on the dry-erase board.

school by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

She can finally put them together herself!

So, what did you do this week? 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...