Monday, November 25, 2013

Writing with the Really Littles

I've been doing most of our writing with Chloe - 8, but today I wanted to try out some group writing with the 6 and 4 year olds.  { They have been pretty much restricted to copywork and workbook stuff, so it made a nice change for them. }

We started with me reading this book:

Then I did a little MIND MAP with them.

From that I asked each girl to give me a sentence for our writing.

Phebe's { 6 } writing:

Hannah's { 4 } writing:

I really like how the worksheets walk the children through one step at a time, one fact at a time.  It makes the writing process a bit more easier.  These are draft pages, so once the information is there they could copy it over to another page without all the prompts.

I'll be offering these worksheets in a new 365 Days pack on Ants tomorrow.

Additionally I'll be re-opening up a new tab to house the links to all the other { older } 365 Days packs too.  I really like these for quick writing when the children are really little, and with that in mind I want to add quite a number of new ones { in the updated and expanded format } as well.

One last thought, I am also wondering if it would be beneficial in making an Ant Day Pack { a different type of pack series that I have }.

Just thoughts......

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Wildlife Year

{ Nature Studies }

There are just sooooooo many great books out there to use; what to use?

The only place to really start is with one book, and just keep going.

So, I'm going to pick this book up, and make a start:

The book chapters are set up under MONTHLY headings.

With continent SUB-HEADINGS.

So each month you'll visit 6 different continents.

I'll start our reading in December.

When you come to a new continent in the month there's a nice little pink marking indicating a change of continent. Beautiful pictures abound.

One of the great things about this book is that they DO spend quite a bit of time looking at Australasia.

Really looking forward to reading this book.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Character Studies 2014

Yep, we're going to give Character Studies another go in 2014.

In amongst the books I've got these printed out to be put onto index cards for their little card boxes.  A set each for Chloe, Phebe, and Hannah.

I figure that if we look at one a week we'll be doing AWESOME~!!

If not, one a month will also be pretty good too.  :o)

Week 37

Another awesome and productive week here~!!  Yep, even though we are down to only 3 subjects:  Math, Reading, and Writing.

Well, to begin, we totally detoured with Chloe's writing and ended up doing this instead:

She had copywork early in the week though.

This morning Chloe was the first to finish her mental maths { 2x and 3x tables practice - so she gets hers put here on the blog. }

Skip Counting by 3

{ there was also a skip by 2's as well the page before }.

{ 2 x }

{ 3 x }

* * * * *

Hannah plowed on through with her Singapore Maths 2A Part 2 this week and finished the book { it took 8 sittings }.  This has been a great hands on start with her 2x and 3x tables.  I've really been enjoying seeing her do several lessons in a sitting. She never ceases to amaze me with how quickly she picks it all up.  I can tell her something and then she just pops it in her mind and pulls it out later on.  An example to that is previously I had told her that a division sign means "share," so when I started a lesson with her and I mentioned that we had to use the division / share sign she immediately told me what it was.  She described it as a takeaway sign with 2 dots.  As a side note, I initially teach the multiplication sign as "groups".

Here's some of her division work:

How does she do it?

First she reads the information given.  Then she locates the information that she'll need to do the question with. Next, she writes out the equation.  Then she usually skip counts until she has the answer { skip counting with her fingers }.  Then she puts it down on the page, and then that's it finished.

Sometimes she'll use manipulatives like counters or an abacus, but in all seriousness this just SLOWS her down. Since there's no need to slow her down, she doesn't really use them much these days.  Don't get me wrong, they should be used to explain concepts and for practice, but she's done quite a bit of that already. Additionally, I sometimes like to stop her to discuss how the division sum works as a multiplication question as well.  This is so she can see that there's a pattern thing happening, and that way she'll be able to connect the dots with multiplication and division.

In the reading department this week Hannah finished this book:

Then started this book:

* * * * *

Phebe just can't wait for the holidays to arrive.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


This week I had some more fun with canning.

In particular I canned up some awesome home made apricot jam.  I actually cooked it in the crock pot for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

I added 2 quarts blended apricot and 4 cups of sugar.

I water bathed them for 15 mins afterwards.

I also decided to try out a whole meal in a jar type of thing.  Chicken and vege soup.

I raw packed the diced chicken and added carrots, celery, beans, and onion.  To flavour I cheated and opened  up a few jars of Kantong to put in there.  I added a tiny amount of water to help swish it all in nicely.  Then I pressure cooked it for 1 hour 30 mins.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Science - Grade 4

I did think about having Chloe do Christian Light Education Science 4 { I have it sitting in my cupboard ready to go } but then I thought that it might be better to go with something like this instead.  We can always toggle between the two if it works better that way.  We'll just have to see how it goes next year.  Better to be over prepared, than under.

I really like a lot of stuff from RIC Publications.  They just make things a heap easier for me.

{ Year 4 }

They have a FULL curriculum line for Grades 1 - 7.

As always, a contents page gives you a quick outline at what can be found within the book.

Inquiry Science Overview.  These are also included in the individual teacher notes pages.

And because I'm a paper girl, I've already got our full year photocopied and stapled up ready to go.

Each lesson comes with 4 pages.  A Teachers Notes page - which covers content focus, inquiry skills focus, background information, preparation, lessons, and answers to the worksheets.  A Students Reading Passage.  Then two worksheets.

A sample reading page for the student.

The first worksheet that goes with the above reading passage.

The second worksheet that goes with the reading passage.

So easy to follow.  So easy to set up.  So easy to do.  No stress~!!

Additionally the book also includes blank FORMS for reports and experiments.

Twenty main lessons, and twenty other activities including experiments under 4 main strands:  biological sciences, chemical sciences, earth and space sciences, and physical sciences.

What do you have planned for Science next year?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Awesome Second Hand Book Find

Last week I decided to pop into a local second hand store for a quick perusal of their book shelves to see if there was anything worth getting to build my library back up.

It was just a case of being at the right place, at the right time when I found these:

In MINT condition,

For $ 1.00 a piece.

Amazing, right?

I was pretty impressed~!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Personalizing Diaries

Here's how our personalized school diaries came out:

They have a plastic cover which will protect their decorative piece underneath.

The girls can't wait for me to let them have them.  I've just been waiting till we get closer to the new year.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Final Tick List

Ha ha ha, guess what chickees?  I think my illness has found it's medication.  I am so confident with my latest tick list that I've actually printed up 20 weeks worth and BOUND it into a book. Now that's confidence~!!

I've been using the draft version recently and it is really working. So here's how next years tick list book looks like:

Please also notice how I added 'Character' and 'Nature' studies in there too.  :o)

Am I the only one with this illness?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Australian History

I was starting to feel a little unsure about how I wanted our Australian History program to run next year.  I have a heap of awesome books to use as read alouds, but not so much in the way of worksheets.  So I decided that I'd like a little pre-made help and went and bought an awesome black line master for Grade 4 from RIC Publications here in Australia.  I chose to get a black line master so I can use it again and again with the other girls at a later date.

{ Feel free to click the cover to have a peek
at it online over at the RIC Publications website. }

They have a FULL curriculum program available for Grades 1 - 7.  I choose to purchase Book D since Chloe will be in Grade 4 and our Australian focus will be in our 4th year History cycle.  Additionally I felt that Phebe would also be able to benefit from it as well.

The book itself covers quite a lot.  There are 25 lessons within.

And comes with Teacher Notes as well.

There are also timeline resources included.

In the back of the book are some Quiz cards to use for revision or quick assessment.

Each lesson is divided up into a reading page followed by two worksheet pages.  Each lesson also includes notes for the teacher in the form of a timeline, indicators, worksheet information, answers, and further exploration.  So I don't think I'm going to be lost anymore.  Yay~!!  I DO like to leave a paper trail wherever we work.

I really like this format.  Here's a lesson from the book:  The Teacher Notes.

The reading passage.  Every passage includes a nice picture of the topic at hand.  There are also a variety of ways that the passages and worksheets are presented.

A worksheet that accompanies the page above.

A second worksheet that goes with the previous two pages.

So, between the teacher notes and 3 pages a lesson for the student, I'm sure that we'll get a good feel for quite a lot of Australian History next year.

I'm really looking forward to squishing in these worksheets amongst all the Australian themed books that I want to read next year.  The book selections will be something to share about just in themselves.