Sunday, February 26, 2017

Several Weeks in Review...

You may or may not have noticed that I've been absent from my blog for over two weeks. It wasn't an intentional absence; life has been happening. I have been in a blogging slump, I guess you could say. I'm not really sure which content appeals to my readers. I have such a wide range of children - preschool through high school - that I feel like my content is all over the place. Since my older two are also using Bob Jones with DVDs, I feel like there's nothing really blog-able about their schoolwork.

I do want to start blogging regularly. I'm guessing the break was what I needed. I kept asking myself if I really wanted to keep blogging or just give it up. I really have enjoyed blogging and I do want to keep it going. I've been thinking about scheduling my blog - Monday for preschool learning, Tuesday for elementary learning, Wednesday for middle school, Thursday for high school, and Friday for a whatever post.

Here's what has changed or been going on in the past two weeks.

Mikaela and Eli dropped Bob Jones math. It was way too hard and too way too long. Neither one of them was enjoying it, and I was having a difficult time teaching it to myself and them teaching them. The DVD teacher was not great, either, and I couldn't understand what he was trying to teach sometimes. In fact, my cousin (who is working on the same job my husband is) used to be an algebra teacher. I had him look at Mikaela's algebra when they came over to watch the Superbowl. He thought it was a ridiculous book for the 9th grade. He said it felt more like chemistry than algebra. That made my decision for me - I dropped it. Instead, I ordered Mikaela Key to Algebra and Eli Key to Decimals. I plan on Mikaela completing all 10 books in the Key to Algebra series this year, and Eli should complete the Key to Decimals and Key to Fractions. Since they've been using the Key to... series, math has gone much easier and honestly, Mikaela is learning so much more. She is more confident and happy when it comes to algebra.

Silas will begin My Father's World 1st grade tomorrow. I ordered the deluxe kit, and he is very excited to begin. Titus will begin My Father's World kindergarten next week (it won't be here until Tuesday). Mercie will also begin her 4th grade year next week (I blogged about her curriculum yesterday).

We have been going to a nice Baptist church here in Alabama. The kids enjoy Sunday School and Rod and I have really been blessed by the sermons. They have some different activities for kids on Sunday nights, but we haven't been yet. I do want to start going.

We have been to Auburn several times to the pediatric dentist. Silas has had some problems with his teeth, related to his teeth grinding, and had to have two molars pulled. He is going back in two weeks to have a spacer put in to hold the space open since those teeth won't come in for two or three years.
Mercie and Titus also have a few cavities we will be filling.

The weather has been nice - cool and windy one day, warm and sunny the next. We have fun playing on the playground here in the condo complex, throwing the football with Eli, and taking walks along the lake.

I miss home already, but this is a really nice area we are staying in.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

4th Grade Curriculum Choices

Mercie has finished her 3rd grade year. She will be taking next week off a break, although she is going to finish her math workbook - Math Lessons for a Living Education. She has mostly completed this book, but since we started it several months into her school year, she hasn't quite finished it. Most of what is left is review, so she is going to work in it every day until next week until she is through. She won't have any more work, except free reading.

I was very torn over what to order her for 4th grade. I dislike changing things up mid-year, and I'm doing my best to make sure we get curriculum that will work for us. I did lots of research and looked at lots of curriculum packages and reviews to find the "best" for her learning style and for my sanity. Here is what we placed the order for today. It is all coming from Christian Book Distributors and will be here next week. I will then fill in the lesson plan pages I created six weeks at a time.

Creation to the Resurrection, Volume 1, Second Edition: The Mystery of History Series  -     By: Linda Lacour Hobar
I chose Mystery of History Volume 1. Mercie hasn't had much exposure to the ancients, and I think it will be a fun year for her. I used this with my two oldest when they were in 4th and 2nd grade. I remember all of the fun activities we did, and I think this hands-on learning style will be great for Mercie. The review cards and timeline are two things that will help her visualize what she's learned.

Christian Kids Explore Creation Science--Book and CD-ROM  -     By: Robert W. Ridlon Jr., Elizabeth J. Ridlon
We will be using Christian Kids Explore Creation Science. I believe a firm foundation in Creation Science is so important. As a public school graduate, I can honestly say I knew nothing about creation science until I was a married woman. I believed in the Biblical Creation, but the science behind it was unknown to me. I really want Mercie to have a good grasp on the facts before we delve into something else.

Language Lessons for Today Grade 4   -
I have decided on two different books for Mercie. The first one we will be using is Language Lessons for Today, grade 4. I plan to use this book 3 times a week. I love the fact that this program includes lessons on grammar and punctuation as well as oral language skills.
Grammar Minutes Grade 4   -
I also decided to get Mercie Grammar Minutes for grade 4. There are 100 pages in this workbook, and she will use 3 a week. They are quick and easy worksheets that go over almost every grammar concept she will need to know.
Modern Curriculum Press Spelling Workout Grade 4 Homeschool Bundle (2002 Edition)  -
We are also doing Spelling Workout this year. We haven't used formal spelling much, and I think she could benefit from it.

Teaching Textbooks Math 4 Complete Kit   -     By: Greg Sabouri, Shawn Sabouri
After much deliberation, I have decided to use Teaching Textbooks 4 for her. I think she will do well with the computer-based lessons. She was excited to get to use the computer for math.

God & the History of Art Revised  -     By: Berry Stebbing
One of the curriculum I was looking at was My Father's World Creation to the Greeks. One of the biggest draws from this was God and the History of Art. I wasn't crazy about the other resources, so I decided to just get the art and schedule it in twice a week for Mercie. She is very excited about this.

Lessons in Responsibility for Girls: Home Economics for Home Schoolers, Level 2 (Ages 8 and Up)  -
I also bought her this Home-Ec book for young girls. It will teach her about nutrition and cooking skills which she is very interested in. She will use this twice a week.

I feel like this a great workload for her, and I am excited to begin!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Kwik Stix Thin Stix

I have posted my glowing reviews of The Pencil Grip's Kwik Stix several times before. We love the no-mess and no water needed paint sticks. We use them for a variety of arts and crafts activities as well as for school work.

Kwik Stix sent me a package of their new Thin Stix to review, and they are just as wonderful as the original Kwik Stix. These paint sticks are thinner and longer than the original ones, with smaller tips that help with control and adding detail to artwork.

My kids are always pulling out the Kwik Stix, and now the Thin Stix, to paint with. They know I don't mind them painting when they are using Kwik Stix. There is seriously no mess to clean up! If they happen to draw a little off the paper, onto our countertops or the floors, it wipes right up. It washes off their skin easily, too. They dry in 90 seconds or less, which is a big plus when you have young children who are impatient for their creations to dry!

Kwik Stix would make a great Valentine present for the sweet little kids in your life. We made a few Valentine crafts today!
Check out Kwik Stix HERE!

D: Doodling and Drawing

It's week four of Blogging Through the Alphabet, which means the letter of the week is D, and I'm going to talk about one of my hobbies - drawing and doodling.

I've always loved drawing, painting and writing scriptures. Recently, I've decided to practice more and try to get much better at it. I've fallen in love with hand-lettering. I've purchased two books to help me, and I do plan to buy a few more. I mainly use Sharpies to hand-letter, but I just bought some calligraphy markers. I've been trying to figure out how to use them - they are a little more complicated! There is some calligraphy instruction in both of the books I have, so that has been helping some. I've also been using watercolors to give my hand-lettering prints some color.

I love to draw and doodle in the margins of my Bible, but I don't have a journaling Bible (yet). Most of my journals and notebooks are full of doodles and pretty letters and words. I have been making time each day to work on it because it's important to me.

My 9 year old daughter has also picked up the hobby! I bought her her own hand-lettering book and sketchpad for her birthday on Monday, and she has been doodling and drawing! Anytime I get mine out to work on, she gets hers out, too!

Join us for Blogging Through the Alphabet!
A Net In Time Schooling

Thursday, February 2, 2017

C: Chores

It's week 3 of Blogging Through the Alphabet, and I'm going to talk about chores. When you homeschool, and you and your kids are home all day everyday, having your kids perform chores is vital to keeping your house clean and organized. Even the youngest of your children can do chores and contribute to a clean house. Here is a list of chores that I have my children do, organized by age.

Ages 2-4

Even young toddlers can do chores. Of course, I teach my kids how to do these things and supervise them while they are doing them, but this is the perfect training age!
  • Folding small rags and kitchen towels.
  • Dusting furniture with a damp rag (no chemicals).
  • Picking up toys and putting them in a toy box.
  • Using a dust-buster or other small vacuum to clean up crumbs or couch cushions.
  • Putting a new garbage bag in the garbage can.
  • Collecting dirty laundry from bedrooms and bathrooms and bringing it to laundry room.
  • Matching clean socks.

Ages 5-7

This is another great age for training your children in more difficult chores. After this age, you shouldn't have much training left to do. Some of these chores should be supervised, but most should not.
  • Folding towels and rags.
  • Dusting furniture with cleaner and a rag.
  • Cleaning (low) windows with glass cleaner.
  • Using a Clorox wipe to clean bathroom and kitchen counters.
  • Make up their own beds.
  • Folding T-shirts and socks.
  • Using a vacuum cleaner.
  • Feed and water pets.

Ages 8-12

This is a 4 year age gap, but I find that this age group can complete most of the same chores. Of course, each child is different and only you know your child's abilities.
  • Wash and dry dishes.
  • Unload and load the dishwasher.
  • Hand clothes in closets and put clothes away in dresser drawers.
  • Clean windows.
  • Sweep and mop.
  • Clean their own rooms.
  • Clear the table after a meal.
  • Take out garbage.
  • Change bed sheets.
  • Put away groceries.
Ages 13 and up

This age group can do almost any chore or household duty. Here are some that my children are responsible for.
  • Cleaning out the refrigerator.
  • Clean out the microwave.
  • Sweep and mop.
  • Cook a meal.
  • Wash dishes.
  • Put away leftovers after a meal.
  • Wash and dry clothes.
  • Fold and put away clothes.
  • Clean toilets and showers.
  • Clean the yard.
  • Vacuum the house.
  • Wash the cars.
  • Organize closets.
  • Baby sit.
What are some chores that your children are responsible for?

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