Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Blogoversary (to me)

It's been a year since I started blogging.  How fast a year goes by...  174 posts and counting.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2010-2011 School planning

I've been a bit very crazy busy lately planning for our new school.  I think I'm finally (?) done!  I'm sooooo happy!  We'll be going for 37 weeks, ending roughly July 23rd.  Obviously this is up to change :)
Ready?  Here you go...

~Our 3rd Grade year~

Grammar: Language of God level C
     3 times per week, 2 pages per day.  On the third day we'll only do 1 page, but I also found a Mad Libs
     Junior that looks like a lot of fun.  We'll work on those the third day.

Spelling:  My Catholic Speller level C
     3 times per week, 1 lesson per week.  We've already reviewed the first 5 lessons and he passed them all.
     I think we'll fly through this book as fast as the others.
     We'll alternate spelling lessons with Vocabulary lessons.

Vocabulary: We're still working on Scholastic's 240 Vocabulary Words 3rd Grade Kids need to Know.  Great series BTW.
     3 times per week, 1 lesson per week (or so).  We'll alternate with spelling.  Since we're starting halfway
     through the book, we'll finish it this year.

Latin:  Prima Latina
     2 times a week, 1 lesson every 3 days.  We started on this our first year of homeschooling, but didn't get
     too far before it became too much.  We'll try it again now that he's a bit older.

Art:  Art with a Purpose 1 & 2.
     2 times a week, 1 lesson per day.
     We're about halfway through level 1, so we'll finish it and complete level 2 this year as well.
     I also came across a cool website with art lessons.  We'll finish off the year there with some focus on
     Architecture (a favorite).

Geography:  We'll continue working through the states with the Discover America State by State series.  Another great series!
    2 times per week, 1 state every 2 weeks (some states we'll linger longer)
   This year we'll cover: 
4 Georgia
5 Connecticut
6 Massachusettes
7 Maryland
8 South Carolina
9 New Hampshire
10 Virginia
11 New York
12 North Carolina
13 Rhode Island
14 Vermont
15 Kentucky
16 Tennessee
17 Ohio
18 Louisiana

World History: We'll finish volume 1 of the Connecting with History series.  We covered the first 3 units last year, we'll cover the other 7 this year working twice a week.  We'll cover:
The Conquest of Canaan 1280-1220 BC
The Judges 1220-1050 BC
United Kingdom 1050-930 BC
Divisions of the Kingdom of Israel 930-722 BC
The Exile of the Israelites 722-538 BC
The Return to the Promised Land 538-430 BC
The Revolt of the Maccabees 175-63 BC
We will finish about 8 weeks before the end of our year.  I haven't decided if we'll start the second book in the series or just find something else interesting.  Maybe more science... :)

Piano: Learn and Master Piano.  We picked this up a while ago, but never started.  It looks like a great program.  We'll work on a new lesson every other week or so, depending on how long it takes him to get it.  He'll also practice several times a week.

Science:  We're still working on Exploring Creation with Astronomy.  This year we'll get through the asteroid belt, covering each planet, the sun and a few other topics.  We'll alternate this with The Way Things Work.  We'll spend more time with this than we did last year and we'll cover most of the book this year.  I'll supplement it with books from the library (and home) and some experiments and projects as well.  We'll also be working on a lapbook with astronomy.  Twice a week.

Map Skills:  Map Skills level C
     once a week, 2 pages per day

Music Appreciation:  I picked up Usborne Introduction to Music at a Scholastic book sale a while back.
     we'll cover about 5 pages per day once a week.   We'll listen to music appropriate to the topic of the day.

Art Appreciation:  M is for Masterpiece, an Art Alphabet
    once a week, alternating with music appreciation.  We'll cover 2 letters a week and study some specific
    daVinci, Michelangelo, Matisse, Gaugin, Monet, Cassatt, Bierstadt, O'Keefe, Picasso, Rembrandt, Van
    Gogh, Homer.  We'll also take a trip to a local art museum, study painting techniques and photography
    with a focus on Ansel Adams.  We'll also study some architecture.

Math:  We switched from MCP math to Math-U-See this year.  I think it'll be a better fit for both boys.  Our speed through this depends on how fast he grasps the topics.  Hopefully we'll get through it this year.  4 times per week.

American History:   We made our may through the 1700's last year.  This year we'll cover the 1800's.  We'll work our way through:
Pioneer Days
Westward Expansion, we'll also cover Lewis and Clark
The Wild West and Explorers, the California gold rush and the Oregon Trail
Inventors (not isolated to this time frame, he's just showing interest)
Slavery and the Underground Railroad
Civil War
Transcontinental Railroad.
We'll do several projects as well as a lapbook on the 1800's.  Probably one on the Civil War too...

We'll be working 2 times per week

Religion:  Last year we used the Image of God series, the second grade book, and had fair success.  Some interest was expressed in doing something different...so I found different.  I stumbled over some resources here and there and found others...following the "rabbit trail", this is what I came up with.

4 days per week, extra for feast days that fall on non-school days

Baltimore Catechism level 1 tied together with stories from Angel Food for Boys and Girls, along with an activity from 100 Activities based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church once a week.  The other 3 days will consist of readings from the following books:
Devotional Stories for Little Folks
More Devotional Stories for Little Folks
Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls
More Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls
Rare Catholic Stories
St. Patrick's Summer Adventure Catechism
A Life of Our Lord for Children
The First Christians
Little Apostle on Crutches
Little Catechism on the Eucharist
Take it to the Queen
The Weight of a Mass.

These will be supplemented with various books about the saints, feast day activities, our Jesse tree and Jesus tree, Lenten activities, and Garden of the Good Shepherd (we might do weekly parties rather than an activity each day- it got to be too much toward the end).

I've mapped out the specific generalities of what we're going to do, but I'll write the specific daily lesson plans approximately 3-4 weeks at a time.  This worked really well last year, since things change and people get sick, etc.  We'll school for about 3-4 weeks, then take a week off.

It's been a lot of work, but I'm really excited about this coming year!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trains, trains and more trains....

It's been requested that I post some of the train tracks that the kids have come up with lately (hubby had some help in some of them too)...

Monday, August 16, 2010

More of The Professor's creations

yes, it's a plane (a 747 to be exact....)

as if his real glasses weren't enough :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

American History ~ Revolutionary War lapbook

I found this great lapbook  based on the book If You Lived During the American Revolution.  This book is a curriculum about the War in itself!  Especially if you combine it with the lapbook too!  Interested...

the whole book...

book #1

left flap


right flap

book #2

left flap


right flap

book #3

left flap


left flap

This is the most extensive lapbook we've done so far.  It was fun and very informative, but I did learn a few things.  

1.  There was a lot of writing, so I did most/all of the writing, while the Professor dictated.
2.  We did it in lumps, several books each day.  I would have spread it out more.
3.  We did the books, saving the cutting and gluing until the end.  In the future, I will cut and glue as we go.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

5 Years Old

and a few days :(  darn computers :)

My little UPS man :)...  Happy Birthday, Big Boy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

World History ~ Ancient Egypt

We finished up the out of Egypt unit in World History and we made a few projects!  Old Testament Days is really a fun book!

We made a shofar (a trumpet that the high priests used to use to call the Israelites to worship.  Also used to call them to battle)

Of course Velcro Boy just had to get in on it too :)

A turban (also worn by the high priests)

a breast plate (worn by the high priests)

For good measure he also made a windmill :)
complete with motor

I'm waiting for him to try to take apart some small appliance.

7 years old!

I can't believe he's 7 already.  Where does the time go?!?  Happy Birthday Professor!

State by State Scrapbook ~ New Jersey

We finished our New Jersey scrapbook pages just a few days ago.  Unfortunately that's as far as we'll get this school year.  I had hoped to get further.  Oh well...

~ First page ~

State Bird

State Map

~ Second Page ~

State Flower

State Facts

State Flag

We found a cute little book that has stickers for each of the states.
Their attractions, license plate, flags, etc.  Great for using on it's own or for decorating 
a scrapbook ;)