Sunday, January 29, 2012

Elementary Skill Building

It has been my desire to not only academically educate our children but to also educated them in life skills, relationships and creative pursuits.  Looking back over these pictures I feel that we are moving in the right direction.  When we began our family and decided to raise our children at home I had no idea how I was going to do it but figured that they would all know how to read by the time they left our nest.  I now see that yes, they will all know how to read, but I desire for them to have strong relationships with those around them marked by good character and well honed life skills.  It is my prayer that our Lord will direct our family's education every step of the way--so I make plans but pray for spiritual sensitivity and discernment each day as we seek to please him and walk as his children.

Practical Life

Peeling potatoes is easily overlooked for its simplicity but is really is relationship building time as they talk and share the experience, life skills as they learn to prep. dinner and contribute to the family and training in patience and kindness for mom.

Emry is learning to properly make a bed, hospital corners and all.  She does a great job but is not happy with her results because as she sleeps the bottom of the bed is untucking--practice my dear, practice.

Creating a chocolate raspberry cake and practicing her piping skills.  Sharing the kitchen with my children has been a test in patience and has taught me it is not about the outcome but the process of creating and learning as well as the accomplishment of "I made it myself."

Creative Pursuits
The boy is endlessly creative, here he is working on a Lego Technic Off Roading Set.  Ayden does these all on his own following the guide book and then he likes to modify them into his own unique creations.

A new love--scrapbooking.

Working in her doodle book. Part of the picture is already drawn for her and then she completes it with her own unique drawing and coloring.

This was a fun day.  Both children were in the library listening to Jonathan Park CD's and coloring these huge pages from a Costco Seek and Find Pad.

Another fun day.  I was baking in the kitchen and the 2 of them got out all the paints and started color mixing and creating pictures--so fun to watch them talk and share their ideas.

Drawing race cars from the Ed Emberly Draw a World book.

Being creative on one's own face--yes I said "don't do that again."

He drew sideburns to match.

Practicing multiplication with a card game called Count Your Points.  The game is from the book Games for Learning by Peggy Kaye.

Playing the Allowance game.  The game teaches great money skills and was purchased from Lakeshore Learning, it is a little bit like Monopoly.
Language Arts

Testing out our new Spelling Blaster game.  We need to use this more.

Working on suffix cards.

Reading blue level sentence strips and marking them with the grammar symbols.  I believe our set was purchased from The Montessori Outlet.

Enjoy the day!

I'm linking up with Montessori Monday

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kensley's Kindergarten

Kensley makes kindergarten so much fun due to her hands on orientation.  K is learning to read and do beginning addition and subtraction but where she really enjoys spending her time is with hands on practical life experiences.  Every time I make dinner she is right with me peeling carrots, pulling out other ingredients, stirring or setting the table.  K also loves to clean around the house, if she catches me scrubbing toilets or washing mirrors without her she is disappointed over her lost work opportunity.  Which reminds me---I want to look at all situations; fun, easy, hard or challenging as a learning opportunity for myself and the children.  I think if I look at things in this way then what may be frustrating can turn into a gift.

Practical Life

washing windows

cleaning toilets--I think this is her favorite job, we'll see if that sticks later in life.

buttering toast

She's so lucky she's the third child, I was not this free with our oldest daughter.  K was so proud of her work.

She did her fingers too.


using the teen board and dimes and pennies for the ones and tens, this was a good intro. to money

teen boards again but with our version of "the golden beads"--rods.  blue is 10, green is units
Language Arts

matching objects and word cards

matching picture cards and word cards

This was a fun day--all on her own K wrote all of her siblings names.  She knows how to spell her name but then for the others she went to their rooms and copied the spelling from their name wall hangings.  I was so excited for her.

using our Melissa & Doug Spelling Boards
Our version of the moveable alphabet.  K is spelling out the words she reads on the cards.

Just Having Fun

Playdough Ice Cream Maker

One of K's ice cream creations--she uses this set almost daily after she helps with dinner preparations.

learning tic-tac-toe with this fun little set from the Target $1 spot

card making

Happy Learning!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hands on Preschool

I never know how to start these posts because everything seems just so ordinary, yet I love to look back and see all that the children are enjoying and accomplishing.  Seeing the children engaged in activity and knowing they are enjoying themselves encourages me to press on  in our education together. 

I have been feeling frequently discouraged and frustrated with our older children's resistance but was reminded the other morning that I am called to  continue on in faith, love and holiness ( 1 Tim 2:15). I walk in faith that I am doing the right things for the academic and spiritual training of the children. I am also reminded that I am to do it with a pure heart of love.  Love is a funny thing, it encompasses so much that I am not good at.  Look at 1 Corinthians 13--Love is patient, woops.  Love is kind, not so much when things don't go my way.  Love is not self-seeking, woops, not me again.  Oh, now this one is great--love is not easily angered--FAILURE on that one.  But even in the midst of my unloving behaviors I find that love always hopes and always perseveres.  So, thank you Lord for reminding me of where I need work but also encouraging me that I always have a hope for a different day.  He also reminds me that just because something is hard or frustrating, I don't throw in the towel but  I love, I persevere.  So that is what I do, I learn, I press on with a pure heart filled with His hope and love flowing out of me to these dear sweet children.

So let's have a look at B's happenings:

Window clings from the Target $1 spot are always a fun treat.

drawing roads between his stickers

stickers--B was so attached to this page, I 'd throw it away and he would say "hey who put this in hear!"

first crack at a board game--good old fashioned Candyland.

helping with dinner prep--putting potatoes in the pot

Feel and Find game

This is a great tool from Lauri, it is called a Shape & Color Sorter.  So many wonderful learning opportunities---using the pegs to improve fine motor skills, sorting by shape and sorting by color.

B tried this one--pattern block matts-- but was quickly discouraged because the blocks moved easily on the matt.

Matching letter tiles to sandpaper letters

stringing large beads

still loves the open and close basket even though I am feeling rather uninspired.
Thanks for stopping by and may you be encouraged in your educational training and growth to press on to see all our Lord has for you and your children.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Loving Elementary Learning

Here is a look at what our big kids have been working on.

Bible-- E and A have been busy memorizing the 10 commandments and the books of the old testament.  We use games, cards, music and daily recitation to learn these biblical elements.  We are also reading Little Visits with God.  E has been keeping a personal journal and reading Light for Your Path for her daily devotions.
A file folder game to help learn the 10 Commandments

Learning the books of the Old Testament

Math--For math E has just begun basic division and Ayden is not far behind her, he asked several times how to use the division board but has only just begun multiplication.  A is also continuing to learn different tools for addition.
Multiplication slips and bead bars

Using the stamp game to learn division

Learning multiply with the multiplication board

using the division board to practice simple division
working with the addition board

using the addition table as he works with Quick Pick Operations

Geography and History--We have been studying both U.S. history and Ancient Egypt.  The children really enjoyed our Lift the Lid on Mummies kit.  The kit was recommended by Veritas Press and did not disappoint.  I only wish we had had the funds to visit the Egyptian museum in San Jose.

working on Africa and the U.S. puzzles

drawing and writing about the pilgrims using Draw Write Now and our watercolor pencils

Watercolor pencils are so much fun--color like regular colored pencils and then gently wet them with a brush and presto their work looks like beautiful watercolored art

timeline work--we use timeline figures from Homeschool in the Woods

wrapping a mummy and captonic jars from our Lift the Lid on Mummies kit

making captonic jars--These are the jars that the Egyptians would place the deceased persons organs in during the mummification process.  The jars have the heads of the various organ gods on them.
More Fun
"Look I'm a butterfly"


The boy built this all by himself.  It is a Lego Technic set that says ages 9-15, he is 7.  Ayden will be working on Lego Master Builder set 1 this winter and start a scrapbook of his creation.
Happy Learning!