Friday, February 17, 2012

My Father's World

I decided I needed some curriculum and I went on a hunt for one with lots of science included. I found My Father's World and I really like it. Providence is also really enjoying it, too. This is an added plus. It is a biblically based program, if you

For Kinder and 1st it is an all-in-one curriculum. This is great, because I don't have to get anything else. It is also a family-cycle based program. As move into the older curriculum, they will be working on the same science/social studies unit topics. The activities are leveled, up to 6th grade. This will be much more convenient when I have a 2nd, 4th and 5th grader.

Like any curriculum, it isn't going to be perfect for every child. We are doing the Kinder curriculum with Providence. I debated getting the first grade curriculum for her, but decided against it. I wanted her to have something she could feel confident with, and I knew this would be a lot of review. I also decided I would use it with Fynn, so it was worth the investment. Plus, it was the cheapest option. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't have been out as much money as a lot of other things cost.

I think a lot of people would be disappointed with the math in the Kinder curriculum. There isn't a lot of sit down and work on addition. In Kinder, it is expected that you include math in everything you do. The authors want math at this age to be a part of every day life. The 1st grade curriculum is where most of the math is introduced, and that's fine with me. When a child is more than ready to do something, it's a piece of cake. I have also heard amongst some homeschooling groups that they feel it is better to hold off a little to introduce formal math. Either way, it works for us. In the upper grades, you do have to purchase a separate math curriculum. They have one suggestion, but there are several out there. I already have Jackson's for next year.

I was sold by the units. For Kinder, each letter that is learned goes with a unit. I know the letter a week thing is falling out of style, but I am okay with it. Letter sounds are a thing we review all the time. Providence enjoys learning about science topics and will gladly work on them, when she is grumpy about working with anything else. You spend 6 days on each unit topic, but we are currently overlapping our sun and moon units and including planets.

The teacher manual is set up with activities for each day and there is an on-line board full of ideas for each unit of study. There are activities that you cycle through with each letter. As the year progresses, more and more phonics are included and the difficulty level is raised. There is lots of phonological awareness activities, which I love. Providence is still lagging in her articulation. Although, I think a lot of it is more habit and she is getting to the point where she can do it when she takes the time. It is just hard when you are 6 to think about where you put your tongue and how long you stretch out your sounds. There is lots of opportunities that I can turn into speech practice, which I love!

The manual also has a wonderful and extensive book list for each unit in the back! It would be awesome if our library were actually open. Sigh.

I am currently supplementing with Explode the Code. She is further ahead in her phonics than the Kinder curriculum and I didn't want to take backwards steps. We spend a little extra time working through that, but it can a little challenging. We are taking it slowly, because it's a lost cause when she shuts down.

I would say it's a combination of Charlotte Mason and Unit topics. The authors aren't real big on school taking up your whole day and encourage real world learning. I like that. I looked at Abeka, but it was just so much work. Jeremy also doesn't have super fond memories of using Abeka at private school. Something about having to do 100 math problems for homework.

I went ahead and purchased the 1st grade and 1st unit cycle (exploring countries and cultures) and I like what I have flipped through. I love the music and art focus that it includes, too. I don't always know how

I think like everything else in life, curriculum is all about expectation management. You probably aren't going to love everything about it. You will probably have to tweak here and there to fit your family and your style. This one works for us! I have no idea if we will use it long term, but for now, it's a great choice.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Making the moon!

We are learning about the moon and I decided nothing can be more motivating than staring at a plate of oreos! We have been reading the Faces of the Moon. I wish I had known about this book when teaching 5th and 8th graders science.

Look at that smile. It's shocking!

We talked about why we aren't able to see the moon during the new moon phase and why we see the full moon. I know the pictures aren't in proportion, but we talked about that, too.

We drew the phases in her science journal when we were finished. It was a fun lesson!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cuisenaire Rods

These are so much fun and awesome for building number sense and spatial awareness.

I got the little alphabet activity book that you can use with it. It has lots of fun ideas and questions to help gain understanding of fractions. Providence was very excited about getting to build a rattlesnake.

They were suggested in the new curriculum we are using that I really like. I will blog more about that later!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Are you ready to learn how to read?

We finally got a yes! We have been working through Ready, Set, Go for the Code and just started Explode the Code. She said she was ready and she has been working very hard.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

To share a little Providence with you

In case you were wondering what challenging Providence looks like...

And the grand finale...all over saying pants.

We stopped shortly after that. We weren't getting anywhere and I had to throw the towel in her poke my eye out.

In her defense, when Wild Kratts was on the line, she hopped to and finished in record time. That's what happens when we expect kids to work after a fun night Halloweening!

Friday, October 21, 2011

And when I'm ready to poke a pencil through my eye, she gives me a ray of sunshine.

First, she cut and sorted these words all by herself. I only had to ask her once.

And clouds parted and angels started singing!

Then we went through the words. Usually she just stares blankly at me when we do this. Or she asks repeatedly when she will be done. But, this time...

Me: These words have the og sound at the end. O-G says og. The first one is..
P: Dog!
Me: Great! Yea! High five! You read the word dog. What about the next one? The first letter says?
P: fffff (This is a hard sound for her to make, so we practiced it a few times. She actually practiced. Usually, she gets grumpy.)
Me: Now put the og sound on it
P (whispering, because she doesn't like messing up): ffog.
Me: Yea!!!! High Five. How about the next one? That says hhh
P: hhog

And that's how it went folks. I was about to pass out from shock.

You know, when she wants to, it can be a piece of cake.

I am sure the rest of our week won't be like this. This little ray of sunshine will hopefully get me through the next month or two.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shaving Cream Prints

We made shaving cream prints today. The kids had fun. More importantly, my outside table is now clean.

Put some food coloring and shaving cream down.


Ask for your hands to be cleaned frequently.

When you are finished, you just press a pieces of white paper down and let it dry. If you want to to make a print of your drawings in the shaving cream, start with a very thin layer and don't press very hard.

I think neon food coloring would work better. I bet gel paste is even better, but it isn't as forgiving as the liquid stuff.