Sunday, March 25, 2012

Science, Language Arts, Math and Individual Pursuits

It has been many weeks since posting what our older children have been working on, so it is time to catch up.  Jay asked me the other day how I thought everyone was doing with their lessons and my response was a stumbling "good."  I have reflected a bit more since our discussion and I think both E and A are doing very well.  E is working independently on her spelling, grammar, math and writing.  A is a much better reader than he lets on and I look forward to picking up books with him this summer.  For now A does many things for reading practices.  He reads word lists from Frisky Phonics Fun, uses our Take It To Your Seat Centers and participates in Learn To Read Treasure Hunts.  A also works well independently on his math and other assignments when isolated in his room away from the distractions of his siblings. Here is a look at what we have been doing at the Middle of Somewhere:

Science--We studied food chains by reading about them, drawing them and playing the games Into The Forest and Chomp.  Below E and A are both pictured making food chains from the Into The Forest game cards and then they drew their chains in their notebooks.

Language Arts--we are currently working on reviewing grammar together each morning in preparation for future independent and advanced work.
I have started assigning E independent reading focusing on History.  E reads her assigned book daily and then records a written narration in her reading log.  I ask her to do at least 3 sentences per chapter but sometimes she does more.  I found that I had to back off on my desires to correct her spelling as it was crushing her heart each time we sat and went over the log.  I don't read the log everyday and sometimes I have E read it to me so that she can catch her own mistakes.  E's reading log has been a wonderful addition to our lessons and I look forward to all the books and topics we can cover in this manner.

A working on beginning consonant blends from Take It To Your Seat Phonics

Another beginning consonant blend activity from Take It To Your Seat Phonics

A is in second grade but he asked to work on cursive this year.  We are not very consistent with his practice but when we are we use Pictures in Cursive Primer A from Queen Homeschool.

Math--I feel like we have been standing still in math for sometime.  I just completed writing scope and sequences for addition, multiplication and division to be put into place in April.  When I first started homeschooling I was amazed at the quantity of materials that many families had and low and behold after 6 years I am amongst the homeschooling pack-rats.  So I wrote the sequences in order to have an outline to follow and put all of our materials in circulation.  Sequence writing has been a huge job but I hope to continue the process in all subject areas by the fall.

E using the stamp game for division practice. 

A using the short bead stair materials for multiplication practice.

E's Individual Pursuits
Jay has taught E how to play backgammon.

Scrapbooking!  Michael's is a great place to buy mini scrap kits, they are so cute and include paper, stickers and die cuts.  Many kits were even on clearance when E went to purchase a few with her own money, now I just need to print her some more pictures.

Oh, there is never enough cake baking going on around here.

Practicing the Keyboard with Bastien Primer A.
A's Individual Pursuits

Making a Hot Wheels, Lego and Darda town.

Lego Master Builder

More Lego Master Builder.

A little self-made Lego Game.

Sewing a mouse from our Sewing School book. I don't know what spurred this activity on but his mouse turned out so cute.  I want to do more sewing with all of the children but first I need to get more hours in my day.

 Enjoy your week!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kindergarten Reading

Sitting down to write a post is always a delightful surprise.  Yes, I know that sounds weird but I love going through the pictures and watching as a pattern to our work unrolls.  This week I am seeing an emphasis in reading and language.

Working on ending sounds from the Montessori Print Shop.  These cards are a free download.

Matching cards and labels, free from Montessori Materials.

Reading a sentence from our You Can Read  printables.  Free from 1+1+1=1

Coloring in a You Can Read card.

Computer time on Starfall.

We have also been continuing our work with the geometric solids, I think K almost has the names down, a few more lessons and then she'll have it. I think next week we will work on drawing and coloring the shapes.

I also see another pattern unrolling as I look at our pictures and recall past posts, K is always in the kitchen.  Here she is baking muffins with her brother.  I think I showed this in a previous post of B's but K needs her fair share as well.  I cannot say enough about giving them each a mini muffin tray, it was totally hassle free and fun.  I don't know what brand of trays these are but they are wonderful, I dug them out of a friend's give-away pile and really like them.  We had had some mini pans before and they were terrible, so if you have terrible pans don't give up, good pans can be found.

Also on the practical life side of things, we did a bit of bead stringing and bracelet making which I now realize I don't have a photo of.

Thank-you to my new subscribers and lurking readers, I appreciate your kind words and enjoy reading your comments.  Please say hello if you are visiting because I would like to follow your adventures in homeschooling as well.  Enjoy and Blessings to you and your families!

What to Eat?

So here is a great follow-up video to my post What Does The Bible Say About Food?  The video is from one of my favorite Beach Body Trainers, Tony Horton and directed at P90X users but I think it is applicable to anyone seeking good health.

Video streaming by Ustream

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Our Language Shelves

I recently got a chance to freshen up our language shelves. Our shelves include beginning, middle and advanced reading work as well as spelling and a bit of word study. I still need to do some refreshing of our grammar section so I will not show those shelves at this time but I hope you enjoy the peek. Now our shelves sit in a tight space under a window so the pictures were tough to take with a glaring background but it's really about the material anyway, right?

So here is our shelf--I laugh because I have already added a few new things for writing to the top section and a basket of cd roms for spelling, typing and reading practice.

This is our beginning reading shelf.

Here is the pink series work. In the back are cards for identifying end sounds and middle sound. In the middle is pink series picture cards to use with the moveable alphabet and in the front row are pink series cards and labels for reading and matching. To the right is a container of word books 1-4.

Also on the bottom shelf is a basket of mystery balls for word building. The balls are from Lakeshore Learning and contain an object and the letters to spell the object. And finally to the right is a Rhyming Word puzzle.

This is our intermediate reading shelf otherwise know as blue series work.

In the back is card sets for ending blends, the basket in the front contains blend cards for general practice and in the container on the right is objects and blank writing paper for spelling practice with you guessed it, blends. Also on the shelf, from right to left, is Scrabble Junior, Bob Books and a special gem given to me by a friend, Learn To Read Treasure Hunts.

This is also blue series work--in the back are cards to fill in either beginning, middle or ending blends, the blue bucket contains sentence strips for reading and the other material is blue series cards and labels.

Finally, our top shelf. On the top shelf from left to right--Bananagrams game, the Spelling Power Activity Box, spelling activity cards, letter and stamps for spelling activities and our activity envelopes from Take it to Your Seat Phonics Centers.

It is not necessary to feel like you have to spend a lot of money to create centers like ours, shop garage sales, thrift stores and children's consignment stores. There are also a lot of great sites to print free materials or purchase them inexpensively. Great free sites:

Other sites that I have purchased printable materials from:

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sorting, Puzzles and More

February was a mellow month here in the Middle of Somewhere.  Lessons happened daily but our focus was light on new learning and big on review.  Brady's lessons were diminished because he was so busy playing house and school with his sister, play is the work of childhood!


Sorting winter and non-winter items
Sorting green from blue flat marbles.  I heard someone else call them flat marbles but they are really vase fillers from the Dollar Tree
Doing the Alphabet Train Floor Puzzle with Daddy.  This puzzle has been a staple in our home for learning ABC's, since our first daughter was one.  I am sad to say B has done it very few times but this is a great reminder to get it out and spend time together working and learning.  I would like to also look around the house for objects to make this into a matching activity.
Another fun, beginning puzzle by Lauri.  This is a puzzle and stringing activity.

In The Kitchen
My kitchen helpers are baking muffins.  Making mini muffins allows B and K to both scoop and fill a tray.
More Fun
Fine  motor practice with "flat marbles."

Stringing beads and buttons.

Matching sandpaper letters and letter tiles.  I was surprised how easy this was for B, I need to add more to this tray.

Thanks for visiting!