Monday, September 10, 2012


Luke has a strong desire for control.  He really thrives in decision making and any way that he can do it (whatever "it" is)for himself, or be in charge of his own life in any way.
Obviously this creates some great struggles between he and I!  While we do battle over the big things I've found that giving him as much of the small things as I can (while still keeping us in our proper roles) really goes a long way here at home.

We were finding that me giving Luke his assignments day-to-day or as we go along was actually a frustration for him.  Solution: Daily Schedules.

At the table
Luke's schedule
By putting the tasks in little boxes across the page I have also given him the ability to choose what order he does his school in as well.  He has really liked this aspect of the planner and I love the way it fosters time management skills.
He gets great satisfaction by crossing off his boxes.  And I so appreciated the way this keeps us on task and keeps our context for our Monthly Focuses and Weekly Themes that I went ahead and made schedules for Joel too!
Joel's schedule
Joel always likes to be like his big brother!

Another home school lesson here is that you can be constantly evolving, finding out what works and what doesn't work best for you and your individual child (-ren). The challenge to really know them! Isn't that exciting!?


I love LOVE this product! You match up the truck with the Capital letter to the corresponding Lowercase letter.

Joel working it out.
Works really well with Joel who, unlike his older brother, is really more of a do-er than a read-er.  Luke would color his letters and be really happy with that but Joel really needs some kind of action involved!
Really recommend this! So cool!
I also really love the idea of learning Capital and Lowercase letters at the same time.

LeapFrog: Letter Factory
We watch this video as well. They too, pair the learning of Capital and Lowercase at the same time and add to that learning the letter Sounds!
Great idea! One of my big recommendations.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig

A book review.  We recently borrowed this book from the library and really loved it!
Gets many stars from the whole family.  Luke says it is "Awesome." and "Cool." Lots of reading but had Joel's attention the entire time-he laughed out loud some too.

"We shall build an even stronger house," they said, because they were very determined. Just then they saw a truck coming along the road carrying barbed wire, iron bars, armor plates, and heavy metal padlocks.
"Please, will you give us some of your barbed wire, a few iron bars and armor plates, and some heavy metal padlocks?" they said to the rhinoceros who was driving the truck.
"Sure," said the rhinoceros, and he gave them plenty of barbed wire, iron bars, armor plates, and heavy metal padlocks. He also gave them some Plexiglas and some reinforced steel chains, because he was a generous and kindhearted rhinoceros.
So the three little wolves built themselves an extremely strong house. it was the strongest, securest house one could possibly imagine. They felt absolutely safe.

So funny! And I have lately been so interested in looking at familiar stories from a different perspective, this is worth the checkout!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Joel boy

 This kid has a great sense of humor!
Silly faces in the car
"Hey Mom, look! I'm Daddy."


Luke is a reader, big time! Of course I love that! He is constantly learning by reading.  This year in school I've also been encouraging his writing.  In his school book he is learning about Parts of Speech and Sentence Structure but one of the gaps I'm seeing in his writing is that conversion from singular to plural.  Found this online and quickly noted its simplicity and effectiveness. Tested it out and found out its kind of fun too... Winning combination! 

 Sometimes he just fiddles with them, and sometimes I have him sort them.  Sort them by content category or by ending (-y to -ies, etc).  I'm not really "teaching" this so much as allowing him to see it and take note,  he is already noticing patterns and that is so exciting!
This is one of those great areas of flexibility that I love about homeschooling! This level is considered a bit above a 6 year old, but we get to move along with each individual child to their level in each individual area.

Pick up the Worms

Fine Motor Skills for PreKinder Joel (credit to )

The Birdie (a.k.a. the clothespin) needs to pick up the Worms (read Pipe Cleaners cut up and made to look all worm-y). Thats the game, simple and fun.

He's having fun, he's just concentrating.
see the tongue action there? Concentration.

Building those little muscles in his fingers and hand to be able to tackle bigger jobs later is so important!
not as easy as it looks
Right now we are watching Joel because he hasn't really chosen a dominant hand, do we have an ambidextrous kid on our hands? I'll let you know!
Good job Joel!

Math: Greator Than/Less Than Game

 First Grade Math! So much fun. Here is one of our reinforcement activities that come alongside what we learn in the school book.  Its a card game that very much resembles War.

Get the printable here. (By the way, all the credit goes to The Inspired Apple.)

Remove all non-numbered cards from your deck, shuffle and divide. Then flip over the top card.  Each player writes in their number and whoever has the desired higher or lower number (depends on which sheet you are filling out) circles their side.  Tally at the end of ten rounds to see who wins!
competition at it's finest!
writing in his scores
Get it?
It won't help you remember which way to face your symbols (< or >) but it reinforces the concept, helps practice and it is super fun!