Monday, January 16, 2017

Homeschool Week 20: Words, Wigs, Winter, and Water

We start our school days with Bible class.  We begin by saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag and the Christian flag.  We then sing a patriotic song.  This week we learned The Star Spangled Banner and sang it each morning.  Another new song we learned was Tell Me The Stories of Jesus.  Our lessons covered the stories of The Boy Jesus, The Baptism of Jesus, and The Temptation of Jesus.  Our doctrinal drill was on salvation.  Cruz began learning two new memory verses Proverbs 3: 5-6 and Romans 10:9.  He will have to recite them by the end of the month.  I love our Bible class.  It is my favorite part of the day!

In Language Cruz's lessons focused on frequently used words and two vowel words.  He has a daily spelling test.  He began Storybook Reader #7 The Sailboat Book.  His grammar lessons were on compound words and subjects.  We begin our lesson by singing a few phonics songs that go with our lesson and end our time with a phonics game.  This week we played Word- O Bingo to help him read and recognize some of the most frequently used words.

working a language lesson in his workbook

Word- O Bingo

playing Bingo

studying his spelling words before a test

Ben's language lessons were on the letter J. 

learning to write letter Jj

His memory verse for letter J was John 14:6.  Here he is trying to recite it. 

playing an alphabet game

Cruz spent the week reviewing in Math.  He had his second unit test on Friday that covered lessons 11-17.    

Ben's math lessons focused on numbers 1-12 and counting to 40.  Most days he doesn't stop and goes all the way to 100.  He is also learning to count by 10's, 5's, and 2's. 

doing a math worksheet

One day I gave him a clothes hanger and some clothespins.  I would show him a number flashcard and he would have to clip that many pins to the hanger.   He really loved doing that!  Another day he had to feed coins in a piggy bank based on the number flashcard I would show him.  Both were great for motor skills as well as counting.

Our History lessons were called "We the People" and "President George Washington".  We learned about the Founding Fathers, the writing of the Constitution, and the first President of the United States. 




Our activity was to make a powdered wig using cotton balls. The instructions said to use a white paper bag but we tried that and it didn't work too well.  Instead we used a white plastic grocery bag and cut it to form a wig shape.  We put a balloon inside to make a temporary head while we decorated it with cotton.  It turned into a family effort.  One would hold the balloon, one glued, one pulled the cotton balls apart, and the other stuck them on.  At one point Cruz said, "be still and let me take your picture".  I think he has heard that just a few times in his life, ha.

David and I helping make our powdered wig.

We let it dry overnight and then tried it on the next day.   In the meantime Cruz drew a face on the balloon to look like a person.  When it was ready we popped the balloon and the wig worked perfect.

Cruz wearing our powdered wig like the Founding Fathers. 

Ben wearing our powdered wig.

We learned about the State of Florida.  Cruz now says he doesn't know which State is his favorite Florida or New Hampshire.  Those have been the two that have fascinated him so far.   He talks about wanting to visit New Hampshire all the time!

Our Science lessons were on water vapor and the water cycle.  We had a fun time learning about both of those topics. Our first experiment was called "Let's Dew It".  We put ice cubes and water in a dry jar and after a few minutes felt how the jar had become wet. 

When asked if he thought the outside would become wet he said no.

He was a little surprised when it did.

We also boiled water on the stove to look for the vapors. 

Is it boiling yet?

Once it began to boil we put a dry lid on it and watched as the water began to form on the top.  Cruz thought it was really cool.

We read these two stories about rain and clouds.  

Our last activity/ experiment was to make "clouds" aka meringue cookies.  Any time the boys get to help me cook they are happy.  Cruz especially enjoyed getting to make this snack.

He had never seen me separate an egg before and he was fascinated.


He loves getting to use the mixer.  Here he is beating the egg yolks and cream of tarter.


dropping the meringue to form cookies


ready for the oven

our "clouds" all done and ready to eat

Ben was the first to try one

In Health we began a unit called My Safety.  This week we learned about safety in our home.  We talked about some good habits to keep our homes safe and accident free (ex. picking up toys, wiping up spills).   We also talked about fire safety and they learned to stop, drop, and roll.  We watched several YouTube videos on fire safety.  It was a good study this week.

Our Art lesson was drawing a baby sea turtle.



I added something new to our second semester and that is doing journal entries.  I picked up a notebook while in the States last summer and Cruz will use it a few times a week to record in.  I googled 1st Grade Journal Writing Prompts and printed off a few pages of great ideas.  He has only done it twice so far but loves it!  This should make for a fun keepsake one day.

His first day was "I'm happy when...".  He wrote: I'm happy when I'm at the children's museum.  It is fun to spend with my family".   He drew the four of us in the ball pit room of the Guatemala Children's Museum.  That is one of his favorite places to visit.

His next entry was titled "The biggest thing I ever saw was".  He wrote:  The biggest thing I ever saw was a temple.  It was so big I could not believe my eyes.  He drew the four of us climbing a Mayan temple at Tikal, Guatemala.  We visited there last fall on a field trip.

Lastly we did a few winter crafts and coloring sheets. 

Ben making a Penny Penguin from his Abeka Art book.

some of our winter artwork displayed on our schoolroom door

Monday, January 9, 2017

Homeschool Weeks 18- 19: Here Comes the Sun

This post will cover weeks 18 and 19.  Week 18 was a full week of school before our Christmas break and week 19 was some review days after we started back.  We did school up until the 23rd of December and then took a week and a half off.  We had a great break but were glad to get back into our school routine.

A few days before starting back I did some rearranging in the school room.  I also put out some "new to us" puzzles that were hand-me-downs, new paints, craft supplies, crayons, and markers.  When the boys realized it they were begging me to start back to school.  It's amazing what a few new things will do to peak their interest and get them excited.  Just like the countdown that we did to get out for break we did a countdown to start back.  We were all ready and excited when the day came.

In Bible we finished up our readings in the Jesus Storybook Bible with the birth of Jesus story and then returned to our Abeka Bible lessons and covered the Flight into Egypt. 

In Math, Cruz's lesson covered Addition of the Extras (3+5, 4+7, and 5+7).  We have now covered all of the addition math facts and will begin learning the subtraction ones in this second semester.


Cruz doing a math worksheet

We also reviewed recognizing the words for the numbers and shapes.  Here he is having to read and then draw.

Ben's math lessons had him counting to 40 and recognizing numbers 1-12.

I would show him a number flashcard and he would have to count out that many beans. 

Here I would call out a number and he would have to write it on the board.  When done I would call out numbers again and he would have to erase them.  I have no idea why he insisted on putting a long stick on numbers 1, 9, and 4.  

Ben putting our flashcards in order.  He loves doing things like this!

 Cutting out some number cards.  On the back side there were objects for counting.

In Language Cruz continued focusing on letter cluster sounds.  Each day we would sing a letter cluster phonics song, play letter cluster bingo, a matching game, and a letter cluster "Go Fish" style card game.  He also had a few storybooks to read.  His grammar lessons covered Telling and Asking sentences, A-B-C order, rhyming words, and Subject review.  We also spent some time covering long vowels.

 matching up rhyming words 

Ben learned about Letter I.  He also learned the verse John 14:14.  He had a few more lessons on story sequence.  His topics were changing a flat tire, writing and mailing a letter, and birds building a nest/ hatching eggs.  He learned the poem 1-2 Buckle My Shoe and loved it.  He made a cute hanging poster to go with it.

 Ben with his new poster.  He proudly put it on our refrigerator.

He practices his sight words most every day.  

David reviewing Ben on his sight words.

 Playing Alphabet Bingo

 Both of my boys love playing games

In History we learned about Molly Pitcher and also the Victory at Yorktown. 




Our activity was making a war drum.  You can imagine how much my boys enjoyed that!  They also made a white flag.
putting stickers on his drum

 making a war drum

 all complete
 
They then marched all over the house taking turns carrying the drum and the flag.  It was loud and they loved it!

We learned about the State of Michigan.
 
His map showing all of the States he has learned about so far.   

Our Science topic was the Sun. Our main idea was that the energy from the Sun heats our Earth.  Our activity was called "Solar Warmer".  We made an oven using a muffin tin and cups.  We placed three foil cups in the tin and three paper cups.  Inside each we placed a marshmallow and a piece of chocolate.  We sat it out in the sun and watched it "cook".  They noticed that the foil cups cooked faster than the paper cups.  Afterwards they got to eat their experiment (the best part).   

they love Science!


our yummy experiment

In addition to this we also talked about infrared and ultraviolet light.  They learned that UV rays are the ones that burn our skin and the reason we have to wear sunscreen when outdoors.  We made a sun craft using tissue paper.  While making their sun craft I read a book to them about life in the desert. The book talked about what a desert is, people of the desert, and plants and animals in the desert.  It also discussed the Kalahari and Sahara Deserts.  That led to us looking up YouTube videos on both of these deserts.  We ended up spending about two hours watching videos on desert life including many on African tribes and customs.  The boys were very fascinated and learned a lot.  Their favorite parts were how they make homemade weapons like a bow and arrows and how they hunt for food.  We also located Africa and both deserts on our World Map that I recently hung.  Who knew a Science lesson on the sun could turn into a lesson on Africa and its culture.  I love homeschool!!!

my boys learning about life in the Kalahari Desert

In addition to our monthly name writing sample we also did our middle of the school year handwriting and art sample.

Ben's handwriting sample
They do their names each month and the alphabet in August, January, and May.  

Cruz's handwriting sample

They also do a drawing in August, January, and May for their portfolio.  They can draw whatever they want.  This time Cruz chose Bob the Tomato and Ben drew a snowman.

Lastly, here is our schoolroom door all decorated for the new month.  I found a website that had some really cute snowflake patterns and had a fun time making these.  When I get too hot I can just look over at those snowflakes and feel a little bit cooler.  
Welcome January (and 2017)!
The boys colored the numbers and Happy New Year sheets.  We'll fill the bottom half with winter color sheets as we go throughout the month.

We are off to a great start for the new semester.  I cannot believe that half of the school year has come and gone.  It will be summer break before we know it!
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