Showing posts with label home school curriculum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home school curriculum. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cloudy w/ A Chance of Meatballs Unit Study

We put together our own unit study last week using the theme Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. First of all we love to do theme studies; our brains naturally organize information in themes not to mention everything kids do these days seems to have a theme. Our unit study focused on weather and sustainability.

I found an excellent printable weather unit study @ The Teacher's Guide. The study was complete including vocabulary, a very simple introduction to formula calculation (4th grade), explanation of Celsius and Fahrenheit conversion, a review of the boiling point of water, an introduction to the root words of clouds in Latin, a poetry lesson and a comprehensive study of clouds. Although the lesson plans sound advanced they were quite simple to understand by my 8 year old and my 5 year old learned quite a bit about the water cycle and different types of clouds.

We began the week reading about clouds in an Abeka 3rd Grade Science book. My son is in Kindergarten/1st grade and my daughter is in 4th/5th; since we are a one room school, I sometimes give basic lessons from the 3rd grade manual to keep every one's attention. I have also found that if I give my son coloring pages to work on during the lesson he is a better listener. I used coloring pages on the water cycle @ Kid Zone. On day one we also wrote poems about clouds per the lesson plans.

In regards to sustainability, we have been working on another project @ Considering frugal. We have been previewing several grocery stores to see what kind of organic merchandise is available. After a discussion about sustainability, we set out to the local supermarket, I gave my daughter a clipboard with a chart of the foods we stock most often and asked her to locate organic versions and mark the price. I am proud to say that by the end of the week both children could identify organic labels and had a better understanding of how factory produced foods effect the sustainable food supply. If you are interested in what we found, you can read the full report @ Considering frugal.

So Monday through Thursday we continued to work through the lesson and preview grocery stores for sustainability. On Friday I gave them an art project titled "Snowy with a Chance of Meatballs." I was inspired by a snowman project posted @ Fairy Dust Teaching, she has such great ideas. Anyway, I told them the title and then provided the "ingredients" with a list of what the picture must include.

We finished the day by making spaghetti and meatballs (we chose a vegan recipe in keeping with our  sustainable living theme) and homemade pizza and a movie viewing...can you guess what movie we watched? But you can read the book if you like.

Some variations I came across were themed cupcakes and play doe spaghetti and meatballs.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A sweet day back to homeschooling

It was a sweet day back to homeschool yesterday with a giant game of Candyland. We used up leftover tissue wrap, construction paper and boxes to make a giant game of Candyland on which the kids "played" for the next activity. A recycled candy looking paperweight served as the game piece and we made our own play cards on note cards. Activities included reading and discussing the Grimm fairytale, "Hansel and Gretel," candy necklace stringing for the kindergarten crowd, a breakfast bar of homemade crepes with candy sprinkles, general workbook activities and the big project of the day which was Gingerbread Geometry.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Interactive map helps Arizona student learn states

We recently wrapped up a study of United States History by making a decoupage map of the US including Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii.  The project took about two weeks (you must allow drying time between layers), and there was a chance to learn something new everyday from state to mountain ranges to oceans.  It was also a good chance for my daughter to learn to work with a project time line and stay with it. 

We began by printing and tracing a large outline of North America and painting a base on the board.  I believe we had to blow up the image and then print it off on several pieces of paper and then patch it back together.  The next day we decoupaged the mountain ranges and painted the oceans and land details.  The day after that we filled in the state lines and the following two or three days the state labels themselves.  I allowed labeling to stretch out over a few days for better memory retention.  Once we had all the states and major attractions labeled, I had my student make fun embellishments like Northern Lights made of glitter and stars and volcano's made of fire.  We added cotton balls to the 'Smoky Mountains.'

Spelling and Phonics Made Easy in Arizona

We recently ordered some fun new workbooks to help with Spelling and Phonics skills and with a little help from Counting Coconuts (the bottle cap idea is all her's), we were able to put a Montessori spin on them and make them even more fun.  We simply saved our water bottle caps for about a week and gave them each a letter of the alphabet with a permanent black marker.  Now my kids can try out their word ideas before they write or just break out into a spontaneous game of scrabble.  The Word Ladder workbooks are available on Amazon and they come in several grade levels or you can print off your own Word Ladder worksheets for free online.

Plant biology from garden to kitchen in Arizona

We recently had a beetle attack in our garden. So, in an effort to make lemons into lemonade, we picked all of the flowers from the garden and I had my young guy (preschool) examine and sort the flower parts while my older child (4th grade) helped him paste the flower parts to a flower diagram print out.  It was a new lesson for him and a great way to quiz and refresh her fourth grade memory.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Arizona Homeschool Family Launches Smartphone Bible App

A local homeschool family has launched a new Smartphone Bible App designed specifically to teach you the books of the Bible as well as various Bible facts.  You can checkout this new app on there website, Tollege or download it directly from the AppStore for a minimal fee.  This App is a great way to learn Bible from your Smartphone or IPad and support a local business!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Teaching reading using phonics and word lists

Reading is a fundamental skill and the sooner your child learns to read the more he or she will excel.  Over the years there has been great debate in regards to using traditional phonics versus dulch or site word lists.  The beauty of homeschooling is the you have the time and freedom to use both and this will greatly increase your child's understanding as well as the speed at which they learn to read. 

Site Words (Dulch):  Site words are just as they imply, these are words that we learn by site.  Some follow the natural pattern of phonics but many do not.  There is a list of about 200 site words that have been researched and they appear frequently in the English language.  If your child memorizes these site words he or she will begin to recognize them.  When you see commercials for popular early reading videos this is what you are witnessing; the child has learned site words from flash cards. 

You can purchase these programs if you would like however site word flash cards can be purchased at any teaching store, or local target.  There is even a site where you can print lists of site words off for free.  There is a great website called The School Bell where you can print off site word flash cards for free. The flash cards are even set up in the order of the most frequency.  Books can be purchased from Scholatic and Avon that focus on site word recognition.

Phonics:  Phonics is the reading curriculum that most of us learned with in school.  Phonics is very important when it comes to advanced reading for you child cannot learn to sound out words without it.  Phonics is also an important foundation for linguistic understanding.  You child needs to learn phonics so that they can properly understand and function in the English language.

Phonics can also be taught at an early age through programs such as Hooked on Phonics or you can teach using flash cards and worksheets that focus on word families.  Free printable worksheets are available to teach word families and you can find books that focus on word families.  For young readers the Jane Belk Moncure book series of consonant and vowel sounds is very good.

Finally, a word on Leap Frog.  Leap Frog is a wonderful product that offers educational toys that teach both site word recognition and phonics.  Leap Frog toys can be started in infancy and they are appropriate up to about age 7. 

Remember the most important thing you can do to help your child learn to read is to read to them 15 minutes a day.  Reading to your child every day will not only model good reading habits it will instill in them a lifetime love of reading as well as build a great family bond.

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8