Our life in books

This is our eigth year of homeschooling and I finally got around to blogging about our adventures a few years ago.
I love the path that God has us on.
We get to enjoy the lightbulb moments in educating our children and have quite a few of them ourselves.

We are starting Exploration to 1850's this school year, 2012-2013 using My Father's World curriculum.
Rome to the Reformation,
Exploration to the 1850's and NOW.........

Below is the week by week of lessons for this year if you'd like to start at the beginning.
There is also a handy LABELS area that you can peek through to find a specific lesson.

Week by Week - MFW: Creation to the Greeks

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Revisiting CandyLand

Some new ideas for learning how to read. 
I don't know who needs it more, me as the teacher or my 1st grader!
I have to spice things up or I lose the discovery and the excitement in my voice that makes learning together so much more fun.

It's not just CANDYLAND - it's sight word CandyLand!
That's right folks, I have replaced all the cards (except the character cards, of course) in our game with word cards (see above) to help my emerging reader get more exposure.

I also had an idea using Pairs in Pears /Scrabble/ Bananagram tiles. Lay out letter tiles in a tall row- you need all the vowels and most of the consonants (except q,z,j,k) Sight word cards (what, why, how, be, me, see, go, have) are drawn, read out loud and the player spells out the letters in the word until you have landed on the last tile in your row. We use lego people to move along the row of tiles. When you land on the last letter in your row, you win that round. We move three tiles to the bottom of the row after each round. 
If you play best of 5 rounds, it usually gets through about 40 cards. 
 This game has already been played many times at our homeschool. 

I am also working on making this right now for some outdoor learning.
 I am going to use cardboard and sticker letters. My girls are helping me with this one. 

Happy back to school friends!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer chore charts

I had to brainstorm a bit to come up with a plan for the fabulous foursome this summer. We have plenty of travel visiting family, beach days, a few camps and overnights to keep us busy. However, for some reason, my four are particularly susceptible to down time ( read screen time) when we are home relaxing for a few hours in between all the going, going, going. I have a problem with this when there are four of them to play with each other, we have countless toys, games and books, a pool in the backyard, bikes in the garage, and a basketball court across the street. I know!!!

So, back to my plan. I just couldn't battle the question, " Mom, can I play on the computer? " for the whole summer.

I made these instead:

My thoughts were that if the children had these minimal items performed each day, it would create healthy habits, get them to be conscience of how long chores actually take, have control over their earnings and give them choices on how to spend their tickets.
I got a roll of carnival tickets are Party City!

A total of 3 tickets ( one per colored section on the chart) can be earned daily 
unless you choose to offer one of the BONUS chores for an additional ticket or $$. 

3 tickets are worth 30 minutes of screen time.
15 tickets and you get to choose a special date with mom or dad
20 tickets and you can choose an activity of your choice for fun (movies, bowling, sleepover)
40 tickets and you can cash in for a $20 gift card!

Tickets are labeled and given out the day after the chore is complete.
Tickets can also be taken away for poor behavior, fighting, disobedience, disrespectful attitudes and the like. There is a list for this too! I haven't had to take away many tickets this summer thus far. 
It's been freeing for me to not have to monitor the free screens and they are responding beautifully to the lesson of time management and choices.  It's a real dilemma to them to have to choose to pay for the screen time ( a temporary fix) or save for the bigger reward. 

My sweet Everett has already cashed in a precious 15 tickets for a reward:
 a date with mom and dad to Shogun! Kibru is saving for the gift card - go figure!

We compromise too- they are all seeing a movie tomorrow for 5 tickets each.

This is a keeper for us.