August 30, 2012

1st Grade/Tot School~ Week 2 and 3

Here is a peak at what Week #2 and #3 (Aug 13-24) looked like for us...


We started our My Father's World-1st Grade curriculum this the first two weeks have been all about reviewing the alphabet and the sounds the letters make. This has been very helpful because I discovered a few letters that needed some help writing wise...and Little Britches STILL has problems designating between [b] and [d] so that alerted me to an area I need to address.

Our Activities have been...
*Making a Hebrew Calendar
I was looking forward to this since we keep God's Holy Days based on this calendar. I had him color it and then I laminated it to make sure it would last. Then we discussed how God's Spring and Fall Holy Day season revolve around the harvest months...and why He made them like that. Then we moved the arrow to our current month to see what month it corresponded to on the Hebrew Calendar.

*Making tiny scrolls and "clay" scroll pots for them
We LOVED making these pots! The recipe in the manual is super easy and it came out wonderfully! I think I have a knack for it though because I'm always working with bread doughs, so I get the whole consistency of the dough thing pretty well. We dyed our pots green of course...LOL!
Measuring the ingredients...

Forming the pots...

Our three little pots and lids all done and ready to dry...


Our two scriptures for memorization...

 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10
"He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame." Proverbs 10:5
Little Britches had no problems understanding the second one...but then it's probably because we just got done with harvest season here on the farm!

Science (from the MFW curriculum)
* Close to the Ground
Learning about things that live on the ground in the dirt...we made a worm jar and are documenting what it looks like in the dirt as we go.

* The Seasons
Reviewing the seasons and learning why it's winter on one side of the world when it's summer on the other...and why summer days are longer. We did some worksheets and drawings on this...
Math (from the MFW Curriculum)
*Patterns/Sequences and Sorting/Classifying
Oh man, both boys were excited about getting to play with use our new toy manipulative wood pattern blocks. These are a HUGE hit in our classroom.
Little Britches "Turtle"
And making one for Baby Britches too...
Then morphing the Turtle into a caterpillar...
And Baby Britches made something...not sure what...but I HAD to take a picture before he was happy.

We did the worksheets laid out in the manual...

Social Studies

We are continuing to work through our geography book (Beginning Geography by Evan Moor) and it continues to be very well received. He's really enjoying the activities in it and picking up the vocabulary. These week's were all about Map Symbols and the Map Keys.

Wow. He LOVES doing our Story of the World work. He kept asking to keep going which is always a sign of interest! We covered the Introduction and Little Britches enjoyed working on his Family History book and calling up his grandparents to ask them the questions on the form. We just have to print off the pictures of each of them to add to their respective pages.

In week #3 we jumped back to a Creation review so that we are prepared timeline wise for moving into Chapter 1 (the Nomads) in week #4 (since the Nomads are believed to be ancestors of Cain). This ended up being a great idea since I discovered someone was a bit lacking in remembering the days of creation. I was able to use THIS LESSON GUIDE to help review the days. 


I am soooo incredibly thankful that my mother-in-law is taking over teaching this subject! She's an art major so it's totally right up her alley and gives her a chance to have some one-on-one time with Little Britches without interruptions. They worked on the first lesson from the Drawing with Children book learning about the five element shapes of art.


We worked on some coloring by making birthday cards for relatives...
And he enjoyed playing with the wood pattern blocks too as you can see above. We read several books together and then he enjoyed me pulling back out his sensory box again. I will try to snap a picture of him playing with it next week. We also did the big plastic gems for sorting and colors like I mentioned in my previous post.

It was a good week and I really like the balance of subjects we have this year. It keeps us moving around and gives Little Britches a good chunk of time on the subjects he enjoys the most--Science and History.


August 27, 2012

A day in the homeschoolers life...

It's "Day-in-the-life Week" for the hop this time. Here is a peak at our typical day of homeschooling...

7:00-8:00 AM~ This is my morning time. I get up and get ready for the day...that includes my Bible Study, a load of clothes, and breakfast prep.

8:00-8:30 AM~ This is the Wake-Up time for the boys...I try to have them up and out of bed around 8:15 AM and we always start with boy cuddles in the big recliner. I think this is my most favoritest part of the day! Especially with Baby Britches since he always brings in his special blanket.
8:30-9:00 AM~ Breakfast for us all and Chores for Little Britches

9:00-9:15 AM~ Piano Practice for Little Britches; this is also my prep time for getting out our morning supplies and writing our daily sentence for correcting on the board.

9:15-10:15 AM~ Calendar Time/Daily Math Problems/Bible/Language Arts

10:15-10:30 AM~ Read Aloud--Little Britches reads out loud two books from his book basket

10:30-10:45 AM~ Recess/Snack Time

10:45 AM-Noon~  Depending on the day this will be time for Math, Geography or Science

Noon-1 PM~ Lunchtime and recess

1:00-1:30 PM~ Quiet time...this is when I get Baby Britches down for a nap and have time to just sit and relax for a bit. Little Britches has to play with quiet toys during this time. Usually that is Legos.

1:30-2:15~ Afternoon Session---this could be Five-in-a-Row, or more science, or more Geography or more History...I save afternoons for a larger project or for whatever extra subject we need to do. I never get any complaints now that afternoon session is reserved for these subjects. He loves them all.

2:15-3:00 PM~ My time for finishing up my own chores before my piano lessons usually start. I also use this time to prepare for the next day or upcoming week's lessons.

3:00-5:00 PM~ Most days this time period is full of the piano lessons that I teach. Little Britches typically calls his grandpa and they spend the afternoon together. Sometimes Baby Britches goes with them but if not, then he and I will play together or he'll play vehicles quietly during piano lessons.

So that is the bulk of my day...the last part of the day is for dinner prep, more chores, more prep for the week and work on my projects for the magazine.

This is a typical Monday-Wednesday day...I say that because my husband is home on Thursday and Friday so that tweaks up my schedule. For right now this works for us...naturally we don't live by the stroke of the hands on the clock. If we get off track then fine. If we need to spend more time on something then we do. And some days we throw our hands in the air and call it quits! LOL!


August 22, 2012


It's been a cucumber jungle here, but thankfully my mother-in-law can eat about 5 every day...and she's been taking some to her sister. We've also been taking some to church. But now our jungle is reaching it's end so we decided to make pickles! Now I grew up helping my mom with canning. She canned EVERYTHING and still does for the most part. I loved going out to our pantry and seeing row upon row of yummy things! And I grew up loving the sound of {pop} that a sealing jar makes. So I eagerly tackled trying out canning on my own.

My husband's grandma also canned everything...but her stash made my mom's look miniscule! And man, talk about a jar cemetery! The barn loft is full of every shape and size of jar! But they are also absolutely FILTHY! My husband was super sweet and told me to go buy us some brand new jars to start our own collection. There is something rather appealing about sparkling new jars!

I decided that for this first venture I would go with a pickling mix so that I would have everything I needed this time around. And to reduce the chance of user error! LOL!

 As you can see we have cucumbers that were wayyyyy too big for pickling whole, so we decided to go with making pickle chips this time around. Some of these big mamas I had to slice in half or quarters to get them to fit in the jars.
 Baby Britches LOVED helping me fill the jars. We went with wide-mouth pint jars this time around. Mostly because I couldn't find any quart jars at our local store. But these are awfully cute and just right for pickles. We crammed these puppies with as many slices as we could. Meanwhile I had the pickle juice concoction boiling on the stove. Whew. Do NOT put your face right over cooking pickle juice--ESPECIALLY if you are wearing contacts! That vinegar burns!!!!! LOL! But boy, it sure smelled good! I did two batches--1st batch was Bread & Butter and the second batch was Sweet.
Here are my jars just out of the boiling water bath--waiting to seal. {Pop} {Pop} that sound! If Baby Britches heard it he'd coming running and point at the jars! LOL!

My husband was so sweet. While we were in the middle of canning, he offered to buy us pizza for dinner. And then he took my place so I could pick it up and started cutting cucumbers and manning the boiling water bath. We didn't have the right utensils so had to make do with tongs--and he figured out how to finagle them just so and took care of removing all the hot jars for me.

By the end of the night we had 14 jars of Bread & Butter and 14 jars of Sweet...and only one jar couldn't be shelved! The boys are dying to bust into it this evening. I sure hope they taste good, but I'm confident it will since I used a mix this time around.

Here are my jars after I labeled them (with my label maker!!) and stored them in the cellar. 

I love seeing them there!

So that is my first adventure with up--SALSA! And I won't be using a mix because I have some DELICIOUS recipes for making my own salsa that I'm dying to try.

Canning is oh so satisfying because you get to see immediate rewards for all your labor--and then continue to reap the rewards long after the process is complete! I am happy that I can provide for my family this way...


August 20, 2012

{Not} Back to School Blog Hop--Student Photos

Not Back to School Blog Hop
Here are our first day of school photos marking the start of 1st Grade and Tot School...
Little Britches--age 6 1/2 and Baby Britches--age 24 months


August 17, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal ~ 8/17

In my life this week…
I am very thankful that a lot of my stress is gone. I finished my commitments for the magazine and am mailing them out this afternoon! I enjoyed cooler weather this week--but it gave me a hankering for fall!!

In our homeschool this week…
We started our first FULL schedule and it went very very well! Thankfully last week's emotions were gone and we got into a routine. So far, Little Britches really loves what we are doing--especially the new History portion. And he's not complaining about the extra Science. He loves that subject!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
Sunday is our annual big church picnic event. We are headed to a place called Butler Springs Camp where we will spend the day in fellowship and fun. There is a zipline, a rock wall, swimming pool and a host of other activities that can be enjoyed. We are having a bit potluck for the meal--and we are having potluck at church tomorrow--so I have to plan out my food for the next two days today. I'm thinking casserole for tomorrow and crockpot shredded chicken tacos for Sunday! Easy to fix in advance and easy to take!

My favorite thing this week was…
When we were reading our first portion of Story of the World Vol. 1, I stopped reading to finish and Little Britches begged me to keep going. I love it when that happens....but you know that wasn't my most FAVORITE thing. My most favorite thing was looking through a USBORNE book on outer space and then sneaking out with Little Britches after Baby Britches went to bed to go star gazing. THAT was the best part of the week!

What’s working/not working for us…
So far our new schedule is working for us. We'll see how it goes over the upcoming weeks. 

Things I’m working on…
Trying to stick with the mantra--if you put it down, pick it up. If you take it out, put it back. If you make a mess, clean it up. If I can work on just this basic philosophy I'll probably enjoy cleaning the house a lot more! LOL!

I’m reading…
I'm reading book #3 To Know Her By Name of the Rocky Mountain Memories series by Lori Wick...and reading book #2 of the Lighthouse series by Colleen Coble, The Lightkeeper's Bride...AND reading a book by Debra Clopton called Meeting Her Match. Yes. Three books simultaneously. I do it all the time! LOL!

I’m cooking…
As you read above, I've got a lot to cook up today! And don't forget Sabbath dinner tonight! I've already got that planned out though. Grilled Chicken, Garden Fresh Salad, Garden Fresh Corn on the Cob, Red and Baby Yellow Potatoes, Apple Crumble and a bottle of Sparkling Cider!

I’m grateful for…

I’m praying for…

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! Psalm 148:1

August 15, 2012

1st Grade/Tot School~ Week 1

I have decided that this year I will post one to two weeks of homeschool at a time. Sometimes I will post about what's going on in general and sometimes it will be geared toward either 1st grade or Tot School. Today I am sharing what we are did in both for the first two week of school...

*Week 1 (August 7-10)
Little Britches
We started off with school pictures to celebrate the beginning of 1st Grade and Tot School. You can check out those pictures next week during the {Not} Back to School Blog Hop--since it's all about student photos..

This week was all about review. I wanted to go over basic math and spellings and phonics to see how much had been retained since our last week of school back in May. Yes, I know it's a long break, but that was my husband's decision not mine and so that's what we did...

We did our review with reading out loud...
Here Little Britches is working out a new Biscuit book--he likes to read on the floor or on the bean bag and Baby Britches demands a book to "read" too. His reading consists of "boof boof!" every time he sees a picture of Biscuit the dog. (giggle)

I decided to go ahead and start Beginning Geography this week...we have done two of the lessons and we BOTH love this book very much! Now I see why everyone who has used it tends to give it rave reviews! After just the first two units our direction vocabulary has seriously increased--and he's become fascinated with my compass on my car's rearview mirror and shouts out the directions we are going whenever it changes.
 We did some worksheets for math review.
He enjoys math worksheets where you do the problems then use the answers to find the colors for coloring the picture. He did very well on this during the week with very limited errors.

We started his Daily Math Word Problem book--choosing to put the sheets inside our new Dry Erase easy and I'm so glad I bought three of these! They were just $1 a piece at Target...along with the mini dry erase pens and a mini erasers.

He enjoys these daily problems...week #1 was all about seals. I love how they use real facts to create these math problems--so it's like mini science lessons too!

Baby Britches
Baby Britches and I started working with colors and sorting. I use these fabulous big gems I bought at our Dollar Tree. They are all different sizes and had 3 colors in a bag. I found a bag of green ones stashed away and added them to the mix. We sorted them by color together. I have him repeat the colors to me...of course he doesn't talk yet, but I always get a response! LOL! Then after we have our time of sorting, I let him play with them. I found some plastic shot glasses at W@lm@rt and he likes to use those to pour, cover, fill, and scoop these gems.

After about 10 minutes of this, he decides to throw which point we call it done! LOL! I was happy to note that after 3 days he was finding the colors I asked for much quicker and was starting to sort! Woot! He and I also read some books together and Little Britches read some Biscuit books to him.

It was an easy first week, but a good way to get back into the swing of sitting still and getting up earlier!


August 13, 2012

Our School Space~ (Not) Back to School Blog Hop 2012

Homeschool Classrooms
I've been very blessed to have a nice school space for our work. It's not exactly what I want since we have to share the space with our office and my craft desk, but it works great for now!
 We have a great bulletin board for our daily calendar work. My husband snagged it out of a school that his work was demolishing. The calendar and days of the week came from the $1 bins at Target. I printed off the calendar numbers--have a different set for each month. I have sets for every month of the year. There is a clock for our daily time and the blue folder like thing at the bottom is one of the Dry Erase pockets I found in the $1 bin at Target the last time I went. It has any daily worksheets in it.
 This is on the back of the closet door in the room. I used an old over the door rack I wasn't using anymore. I have all our flash cards and laminated printed pages hanging from it. It so so much easier to keep track of all our flashcards since I hole punched them and put them on rings! The rings I used here were my "brilliant" idea I mentioned in this post. LOL!
 My pride and joy of the classroom is this full size white board! Yes, it IS FULL SIZED! My husband snagged this too from the school they were demolishing and was quite proud of this find! You can see it even has the World and US maps to go on it too! Talk about fantastic for world events and geography! I love that these boards are magnetic too, so I laminate and then add magnets to the back of things like posters and put them on the board.
 Our desks for the boys...another find from that school! We have a third desk out in the barn...just in case. (wink). These face the white board...the boys love their desks. Baby Britches has much better behavior since we moved in his desk.
(ETA: Now that we are heading into our first year of "official" pre-school he is eager to have "real school" at his desk!)
 Inside the closet I have a plastic drawer set with my craft supplies, and other supplies. Not necessarily neat and tidy, but hey, that's why I keep the door shut! LOL!

(ETA: Since I took this picture I HAVE rearranged some things so it's not as messy...notice I said "not AS"...LOL. I still keep the door closed!)
 My nice big cabinet. Love this thing. I keep our curriculum paperwork, art supplies, files, soooooo much in this! And then I use the side of it for sight words. I laminated 3 x 5 cards and added magnets to the back. So when we have new words we can write them and keep them in sight...then once it's been learned, wipe it off and add a new one.
 Here is our music room! LOL! We have piano lessons for Little Britches on Monday's...
And here is our other classroom...110 acres of a God created school for exploration!

At some point we are going to build onto our house and the new room will be bigger then this one and will be almost entirely used for our classroom. Sigh. I can't wait! I will actually have bookshelves in my classroom then! Now I have to keep all our reading books either in the cabinet or out in the living room on the beautiful bookshelves my husband made me.

But I'm very very grateful for the space we have now and the blessings of the school furniture we have. Having a school like setting really works for our family, but we do regularly move to the big kitchen table AND like to go outside for class too!

Feel free to check out what our 2012-2013 Curriculum will be HERE.
You can see our 2013-2014 curriculum HERE.
I will be sharing our 2014-2015 this week (Aug 18-22)!