Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Spring Card

The temptation to resume school a week earlier has certainly been high in my mind this week, but since I really do want to give the girls a good rest from their academics I decided to relax a little myself and made a card for some fun.

I know, it's been like forever since I made a card~!

To my surprise, I even found a stamp that still had it's shop backing on { Australian Tilda }, meaning that I have never used it before.  Crazy.  How long has it been sitting there - never used?  So that's what I used today.

Everything was kept super simple - just so that I could complete it.  What was even more astonishing is that I managed to get it done without an entourage of little girls in tow.

I also used some little flowers.  I'm always a bit scared to use a lot of flowers, but I think that when one uses that type of thing, it probably is best to use a LOT of them.  I think perhaps that I could of gotten away with adding quite a few more even - giving it a much more fuller look.

I found some nice paper to add as well.  Always a bonus.

My only real regrets were not making the ribbon a little longer and in a little more on the page.  The coloring of her hands as if they were wearing a mitten, I should of left it as a skin color instead.  Lastly, perhaps I could of put a little blue sky / clouds on the white - maybe.

Overall, I still think that it came out ok.  Something nice to pop up on display until I make another one.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What We're Doing On Break

What do little girls do when they are on a school break?

Well, I found these two under the table in the school room reading.

The 4 year old did some colouring in her own spare time.

Mummy attempted to do a little video about Grade 2 math, but I got interrupted by 3 different children, so I gave up.

Mummy also worked on her spelling rule cards.  Today I got to number 44 - and there are still quite a few more that I want to add.  I am currently building it with an Indian theme, but will probably do a couple of versions when it's done, you know, with different themes.  Another thought is: should I number the cards or not?  I am currently numbering them.  When I finally get around to sharing them, they'll be free.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Memorising Ephesians 1

The ladies over at Do Not Depart have a new memory link up.

Ephesians 1

Today I'd like to encourage you to come and spend some time meditating on and placing the scriptures in your souls.

Do Not Depart supply FREE { ESV } memorizing resources such as a schedule, bookmark, text cards, text on one page, and first letters to help make your memorization journey easier and successful.

Additionally, there is also a facebook page for daily encouragement as well.  Do Not Depart.

Here's a KJV copy of the cards / passage that I'll be using.  Please feel free to grab a copy if you'd like.

I hope you will join us.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week 30

We are now 3/4 of the way through the school year.  Only another 10 weeks to go.  Yay~!!  Another year almost come and gone.  I never thought that I'd get this far, in all honesty.  So happy to have been able to experience these years with the girls.  

It's been a little while since I did one of my weekly updates, so I thought it would be nice to get an overall view of where we are these days.  :o)

English:  Well, I decided to start driving all over the country side with a few other things.  Namely the McGuffey readers for copy work, and McGuffey Spelling for penmanship { cursive }.  We still occasionally dropped back in with the Christian Light Education light units.  I think we even had the odd Rod and Staff moment or two 
as well.

Spelling:  The two older girls continued on with Rod and Staff spelling.  Finishing up with lesson 26 this week.

Phonics:  We've managed to get quite a few worksheets done from the last book on phonics that I did a show and tell on recently.

Reading:  Chloe has been reading a heap of books.  I'm not overly confident in her comprehension skills, but at least she's giving it all a thorough try.  

Phebe is also doing pretty good with her reading.

Hannah, although reading, seems to derive much more pleasure from the maths department.

Maths:  This was the year that poor Chloe got multiplication and division.  Wow, is there a LOT of that~!  She has her days.  Some days go particularly well, whereas other days we see a struggle.   She's just about to officially hit her 8x tables - she was working on lesson 120 today.  The end is in sight though, so that is nice.  Each day when she opens her book she can see how far she is into the text - and how little is left to finish.  As a side note - that Australian Maths BLM that I also threw in - well, she loves it.  So that is a nice little bonus.  :o)

Phebe is doing great with her grade 2 maths.  Her last lesson was 77.  She's recently learnt to carry. Clocks are now to the 15 mins. She's also looking forward to jumping to grade 3 in the coming year.

Hannah is hot on Phebe's heels in the maths department.  She's up to lesson 60.  So there's only a handful of lessons separating them. A funny thing Hannah asked me a couple of weeks ago was { paraphrased because I can't remember the exact words }:  Can I just skip Grade 3 and start Grade 4 maths with Chloe next year? Ummm, nooo.  You have to do Grade 3, sorry.   I just asked Hannah what was the best thing in school this week, her reply: Maths.  ha ha ha ha.  I think we are on a winner there.

History:  Well, I started reading from MOH III, but have somehow ended up doing most of our reading from George Washington's World instead.  Both books are excellent.  I'm just running out of time though.

Science:  Chloe is currently working from Primary Science { BLM }. I've set them up as little packets / projects for her to work from. We did try her out with doing Rod and Staff science 3 on her own, but it didn't work out as well as I had hoped.  There is a bit of reading to do with questions to answer, and I figure that she's just not that ready - just yet.   So I've gone back to reading it as a family read aloud on Tuesdays and Thursdays.   We are now up to Unit 6, and there's only 7 units in the book, so the end is in sight with that as well.

Phebe and Hannah LOVE their current science work.  It's so easy. They've just finished another module.  It has a slow learning process { as in pretty much one concept at a time }, or rather a lack of depth, but they love it, so I don't mind. At least they are still doing science, and it isn't taxing me one single iota.

Latin:  How many false starts do you think we need?  ha ha ha ha. We've managed to get to lesson 2 in our new books.  It's just not a priority with us. Well, at this point in time at least.  To help combat the relaxed view I decided to give the girls their own workbooks { Latina Christiana I }.  So we've jumped from Prima Latina to that now.

Perhaps I also over program things as well.  I like to keep a lot of resources available.  

The girls still do a little Art, but ummm, not really share worthy.  I guess it's all about experimentation.  :o)

Yep, Chloe has taken to adding planes in all her pictures lately.

We'll be taking the next two weeks off school.  A nice little break with our 6 weeks on, 2 weeks off thing.

I was thinking to myself - WHAT - am I going to do for the next two weeks?  Then I remembered that I had a spelling rule project that I started and well, I may very well end up finally getting around to finishing it.  :o)

I also had a little second guess of myself this week, that may or may not have involved a little panic attack about my History selection for next year.  So, long story short, I spent a little time perusing some of my books in the line up - and decided that we'll probably use SOTW IV as the main spine { OR a Grade 4 Social Studies text by Christian Light Education that looks awesome all by itself }, but heavily accented with a LOT of Australian History thrown in.  I really want to spend a fair bit of time on Australian History - and I have a number of good books to do that, so we're actually all good to go.  My panic was that I didn't have enough main core books, but I can relax now, as it turns out I've got plenty.  Probably too much. Which leads me to my next problem, what to whittle out.  I've already whittled out the high school text that looks pretty inviting.   

I also have to confess that I went and bought some school stuff. Yep, just after I told you all how awesome I was at not spending.  I managed to get 6 weeks of spend free bliss, and then I fell.  Oh the shame of it all.  In all good defense, I only did it because it was a good deal.  

I got a brand NEW Dead Famous on Boudica for $3.00.  How could I pass that up?

I also scored 2 Doodle Design for $1.97 each.  Another handy bargain.  Perhaps our Art lessons might get some better focus and direction with those.  Chloe can't wait to actually start them.  :o)

Total spending spree - less than $ 7.00

And finally - if you have a kindergartner in your home { and other children that ooooh and ahhh over the littles projects, feel free to add them in }.

{ A Calendar Activity }

Take an A3 coloured piece of cardstock as the base, add a slightly cut down A4 - landscape blank numbers calendar page.  Have the children freestyle a cut out apple, and fill in all those missing numbers for the month of September.

I actually picked up this FREE printable { monthly calendars number practice } HERE.

Yeah, so there you go.  A quick little update.  Am I the only one to second guess, and have little panic attacks over curriculum choices?

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ain't Got No Time For That

One day you wake up and you realise how quickly our lives become overly straightened and terribly congested.  It's not like it's a crazy dump out of nowhere either.  It's a slow creeping snake that takes it's time to sneak up and swallow us whole - if we're not too careful.

Well, my life this year has been a little like that.  A little.

So lately I've been finding things that need to be dumped. Things that take away my peace or waste my time.  I seriously have to re-write the fundamentals of my life.

Facebook was one of them.  I can hear some of you laughing { some of you will be realising that I didn't delete you, that I just closed my account } - especially my daughter, "you'll be back, mum". Some of you will know that it's not the first time I've quit facebook only to have me return at a later date.  At the moment I don't have any desire to return, but that might change next month, next year.  Who knows?

My place on the review crew another.  Can I just say how relieved and set free I am to not have any more anxiety attacks and conscience checks? I'm simply not cut out for that line of work.  

My blog, another place, but instead of completely abandoning her to the rubbish pile catapulting her into the next millennium, I'm just going to stamp on her a little and reduce her by some serious quantity - ha ha ha, perhaps it may lead to some better quality posts instead?  Who knows? Doubtful, but who knows. 

I threw out 3 books yesterday.  There's something VERY freeing in being able to do that.

Today I ate a fresh picked orange from out the backyard. Basic, simple, and delicious. That is how life should be.

Another area that I've been cutting back is spending money on school items.  It has now been over 17 days straight { just checked my last invoice and it says 5th August - so that actually makes it more than a month } that I haven't bought a single thing for school.  :o)  The temptation is still pretty high to go window shopping, but I am resisting.  God has already provided over, above, and beyond.  I'm not saying I'll never buy another thing, buy my spending habits will be severely constrained. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Home Church Update

Yep, we're still doing Home Church each morning before school starts. This is when we have our family time, where we gather for some reading and prayer.

For a while there we were also adding in singing, but it started looking more like a Charismatic Church gathering, you know, with catchy upbeat songs with no depth that went on, and on, and on, and on, and on.

The girls were getting carried away with wanting to sing, and sing, and sing, and sing, and less time was being spent on actual reading and prayer.

So, I chucked a little fit, ok, I don't think that I really chucked a fit, but I did certainly get it stopped.

So now we're just down to the readings and the prayer.

As a general rule Chloe 
will do a reading from here { and occasionally I'll have a boy do the reading from here instead just to keep things moving and have everyone participate a bit more } :

And Phebe will do a reading from here:

Dad is doing his reading on Proverbs from a book put out by Kevin Swanson.

And mum will sometimes read from random places like:  Martyrs Mirror, Pilgrims Progress, and other christian orientated books.

The highlight for us though, is that ever since I read Matthew 
Henry's book on Family Worship we've actually been doing some very regularly ( as in pretty much every day with only a few exceptions ).

Slow and Steady wins the race.  :o)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Teaching Times Tables

I just wanted to share a little more about how I'm teaching times tables in our home these days.

There's a lot to be said, and praised, for flash cards and all that, but what should you do to START the process?

Well, they'll need modelling, they'll need the ANSWERS up front. Yep, surprise.  They'll need to know what they're supposed to be learning.

Then they can tuck them away into their little memory train.

I took a plain piece of paper and measured up 3 lines to separate the page into 4's.  Then I use it as a photocopy master to run off as many as I need.

I just write in whatever work they need to memorise.  In our case this weeks work involved the 7x tables.

In like manner I'll be able to add fractions and the other form of division in due time.


after all that, you can flash them with cards that don't have the answer.


Monday, September 9, 2013

George Washington's World

Well, time never stands still.  Here we are in September already and there are less than 4 months left to look at Renaissance History before we make the jump to Australian Studies next year.  Unlike the usual 4 year cycle, where they do Modern History - which is usually very American, we'll be mostly focusing on Australian History.

To date this year we've done SOTW III, started MOH III, and read The World of Captain John Smith.  We've also had a couple of other stories that fit the timeline nicely like Sacagawea, and the wonderful odd sets of book and movie like A Tale of Two Cities and Pride and Prejudice.

Today I'm going to start reading George Washington's World to the girls.

I really love Geneviere Forster's style of horizontal history.  In this particular book she picks up from 1732 and finishes with 1799.

In each section we are introduced to key players within the book.

Beautiful black line illustrations glitter the text throughout.

What is your family currently doing in the History department?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Phonics chit chat

As you know I'm a big fan of PHONICS.  I have a reasonable collection of photocopy masters, and of course a bunch of stuff that I've put together as well.  I find it essential to teaching reading and spelling.  Yep, essential.

Today I just wanted to pop in and do a little show and tell with another Black Line Master from RIC Publications that we've been using over the last few weeks.  We're using it because it's easy, and it saves me a lot of time preparing for phonics lessons.  Right now my energy is focused on other areas.

The acitivities include:

identifying digraphs in words
matching words to pictures
covering and writing words
adding suffixes
unjumbling words
read and draw
word searches

Each worksheet is easy enough to be left with a child to do on their own, once they get the hang of the basic structure in the worksheets, and KNOW each digraph/sound/phonogram, of course.  We are using it as a way to practice the sounds that should already be known.

I currently have Chloe, Phebe, and Hannah each working through the book.

The ONLY activity that I do not like or agree with is the unjumbling, but we can easily SKIP those, and we do skip those.

Because it is a teacher Black Line Master it also comes with curriculum links for each State;

an activity overview for each individual digraph;

a class record sheet;

lists of phonic words found in the book; and

test sheets featuring the digraphs covered.

There are also 3 other books in the same series.

38 pages.

This is NOT a review.  This is a show and tell.  :o)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Canning My Own Food

I've been eyeing off some canning ideas for a little while now, so the other day when we were out we just happened to notice that BigW was selling canning jars with bits and pieces, so hubby got me some to play with.

Today I did these:

Can't wait to do more.  I'm particularly interested in canning MEAT.  But I think I'll have to get a bigger pressure cooker for that, so that I can do more jars than just three at a time. :o)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tot School Update

Well, my little cutie patootie Charlotte dolly has been super busy with life this week, oh and with a little school too.  Today I showed her / a / and gave her a little worksheet just for her.

I just happen to snap this photo at an odd time.  Ha ha ha ha.

I don't think for one second she'll remember the letter sound at this point, but she did a pretty good job at naming a couple of things on the worksheet.  :o)

I figure if she can get the basic alphabet down by the time she is 3 - we'll be in good running speed.  No rush, and if it doesn't happen, doesn't really matter.  We'll get to it one day.  I just figure that it's doable if I compare her to the other children in the family.  Don't worry, I'm not going to do a competitive comparing journey.  I'm just using it to gauge what could be possible for her.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life of Fred Update

We've just recently finished Life of Fred - Cats.  He sure covers some serious academic mathematical concepts in these books.  We are really enjoying his style.  Chloe and Phebe have even gone off to read some again, just for fun.  When children do that you know you are on a winner.

We'll be starting Life of Fred - Dogs super soon.  :o)

I do recommend these books.