Homeschool Me!
Homeschool articles, resources and real-world advice.

(October 26 – October 30, 2009)
Our school week will see the heavier loads on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as those are the days that ds is at Mother’s Day Out so that dd and I have less interruptions. Each activity is designed to take only 10-15 minutes at the most as this is one of the defining characteristics of a Charlotte Mason approach to education.

*Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below. I always love learning from other people!*

Planning Day

  • Literature – Free Reading:
    Swimmy, by Leo Leonni.
    We love Leonni books, and this is no exception. Kate was really intrigued by the illustration style – he used sponges cut in different shapes to paint with. Would be great to do a craft with sponge painting along with this book!

School Day

  • Here’s where I tell you one of the things that I love about homeschooling…

    FLEXIBILITY.

    It turns out that we had company coming over this week and we REALLY needed a solid day of cleaning to make the house presentable again. So, instead of stressing about school today and trying to figure out how to fit in the ‘normal’ schoolwork with a full day of cleaning, I decided to put off until Thursday all of our ‘formal’ schoolwork and just allow today to be a day of learning about how to clean a house. Kate was a real trooper and really did help most of the day, doing dishes, picking up toys, and putting away laundry. The way I see it, she will be living on her own someday and need to have her own cleaning skills honed by then. 🙂 So, today, was one of those days…
  • Literature – Free Reading: Nobody Laughs at a Lion, by Paul Bright and Matt Buckingham. (Really cute book about a lion trying to find what he’s best at. Great way to teach that we all have unique strengths and differences and that just because someone might be better than us in one area, doesn’t mean we don’t have our own unique thing, too.)
  • Science: Watch Sid the Science Kid: The Bug Club DVD during nap time.

Library Day

  • Literature – Free Reading:
    Mars Needs Moms, by Berkeley Breathed.
    Do any little children truly appreciate their mothers? This book reminds us all what moms are really good at and why we should appreciate what we have. Because on Mars, they don’t have Moms, they grow like potatoes from the ground… So sweet.

School Day

  • To Start: Pledge/Calendar/Weather
  • Reading Log: We’ve started a reading program called Book It!, where Kate sets a monthly goal of how much she wants to read (either pages, time, or number of books). At the end of the month, if she’s reached her goal, she gets a coupon to Pizza Hut for a free personal sized pizza. She’s set a goal for November of 20 non-school books.
  • Memory Work: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”Phillipians 4:8 (NLT)
  • Bible: Adam and Eve’s First Sunset, by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso.
  • Literature: “The Farmer and the Stork”, from Aesop’s Fables (Milo Winter Edition).
  • Geography:
    • Chapter 8 of Paddle to the Sea, by Holling C. Holling.
    • Fill in another square of our Paddle to the Sea Story Board with a picture depicting this chapter and a one sentence summary on the back.
  • Natural History: A Tree is Nice, by Janice May Udry.
    • Complete “How We Use Trees” mini-book.
    • Discuss and diagram the Oxygen–>Carbon Dioxide Cycle between plants and animals.
  • Literature: “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin” from Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling.
  • Foreign Language: Watch Signing Time!: My Favorite Things DVD during nap time.

Field Trips/Nature Study

  • Literature – Free Reading:
    Tortoise and the Hare Race Again, by Dan Bernstein.
    “Ever since the lazy hare lost The Great Race, he has had trouble getting any kind of respect… Meanwhile, the champion tortoise is sorry he ever beat the hare. He can’t stand all the attention, and wants to go back to his quiet life at the shell station… This hilarious send-up of Aesop’s fable is filled with high jinks and pun fun.”

(October 19 – October 23, 2009)
Our school week will see the heavier loads on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as those are the days that ds is at Mother’s Day Out so that dd and I have less interruptions. Each activity is designed to take only 10-15 minutes at the most as this is one of the defining characteristics of a Charlotte Mason approach to education.

*Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below. I always love learning from other people!*

Planning Day

  • Literature – Free Reading: Old Macdonald Had An Apartment House, by Judi Barrett. (Cute story about Old MacDonald as the Super of an apartment building. As his tenants move out, he uses their old apartments to plant vegetables. Great use of imagination as the carrots grow down through the ceiling of the apartment below, etc…)

School Day

  • To Start: Pledge/Calendar/Weather
  • Natural History: Record our observations of the Monarch caterpillars we’re rearing.
  • Memory Work: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Phillipians 4:8 (NLT)
  • Nature Study: We are starting a tree lapbook and will work on it a little bit at a time over the next 2-4 weeks. If you’d like to know more, check out my post about lapbooking.
  • Go to a local park with lots of different kinds of trees.
  • Copywork: I found this beautiful poem about trees and thought it fitting for our lapbook on trees.
    • Breath by: J. Daniel Beaudry
      Tree, gather up my thoughts
      like the clouds in your branches.
      Draw up my soul
      like the waters in your root.

      In the arteries of your trunk
      bring me together.
      Through your leaves
      breathe out the sky.

  • Library Day

    • Phonics – Additional Reading: NASCAR ABCs, by Paul Dubois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender. (Most ABC books aren’t all that great, but this one was perfect for my 4yo ds who loves race cars! It didn’t try to dumb all the words down, but used real terms (with a glossary at the back for those of us who didn’t know them all). Fun book!)

    School Day

    Field Trips/Nature Study

    • Literature – Free Reading: Elmer and the Lost Teddy, by David McKee. While we love Elmer stories – Elmer is a special multi-colored elephant that stands out amongst all his other elephant friends – this one wasn’t really our favorite.

    (October 12 – October 16, 2009)
    Our school week will see the heavier loads on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as those are the days that ds is at Mother’s Day Out so that dd and I have less interruptions. Each activity is designed to take only 10-15 minutes at the most as this is one of the defining characteristics of a Charlotte Mason approach to education.

    *Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below. I always love learning from other people!*

    Planning Day

    • Music Appreciation – Free Reading: Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin, by Lloyd Moss. (Another Caldecott Winner – we seem to be on a kick with those lately. This one is about the different instruments of the orchestra – beautifully descriptive phrases about each highlighted instrument makes you almost hear the instrument. Great introduction to the different sections of the orchestra.)

    School Day

    • To Start: Pledge/Calendar/Weather
    • Natural History: Record our observations of the Monarch caterpillars we’re rearing.
    • Memory Work: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Phillipians 4:8 (NLT)
    • Bible: “The Young Hero and the Horrible Giant” (David and Goliath), from The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones, pgs 122-129.
    • Phonics: Review Short Vowel Sounds, idea from Better Phonics and Beyond in 5 Minutes a Day, by Lisa Deters, pg 9.
      • Fill in the vowel sound for each of the following words: “a” words: b_t, t_p, p_n; “e” words: h_n, n_t, b_lt; “i” words: w_n, p_g, sw_m; “o” words: d_g, kn_ck, p_t; “u” words: c_b, r_n, t_b
      • Read the words aloud being to sure to correctly pronounce the short vowel.
      • Place each complete word in a chart under the correct category of “things you can do”, “kinds of animals”, and “things you can use”. Can any words be used in more than one column?
    • World History:
    • Literature: “The Lion and the Mouse”, Aesop’s Fables (Milo Winter Edition).(Also found online here.)
    • Math: Place Value – watch this video, then do pg 184 in Brain Quest Grade 1 Workbook, by Lisa Trumbauer.

    • Geography:
      • Chapter 6 of Paddle to the Sea, by Holling C. Holling.
      • Fill in another square of our Paddle to the Sea Story Board with a picture depicting this chapter and a one sentence summary on the back.
    • Poetry: “Looking Forward” and “A Good Play”, from A Child’s Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson. (during Tea Time)

    Library Day

    • History – Additional Reading: Pocahontas, by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire. (One of the “Additional Readings” suggested by AmblesideOnline.org for Year 1.)

    School Day

    • To Start: Pledge/Calendar/Weather
    • Natural History: Record our observations of the Monarch caterpillars we’re rearing.
    • Memory Work: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”Phillipians 4:8 (NLT)
    • Literature: “Shepherd Boy and the Wolf”, from Aesop’s Fables (Milo Winter Edition).
    • Literature:
      • Read “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, from Tales from Shakespeare, by Charles and Mary Lamb.
      • Use barbie dolls, puppets, and stuffed animals to ‘act out’ the story as we read along. There are too many characters with unfamiliar names in this story to be able to read it off the page alone. Following along with the puppets and barbies, Kate was actually able to understand the story and then retell the major points after we were finished reading.
    • Math: Place Value, from Brain Quest Workbook: Grade 1, by Lisa Trumbauer, pgs 185-188.
    • Phonics: Digraph ‘ch’, from Brain Quest Workbook: Grade 1, by Lisa Trumbauer, pgs 23.
    • History:
    • Natural History: Dot & Jabber and the Great Acorn Mystery, by Ellen Stoll Walsh. (during Tea Time)
    • Composer Study – Free Reading: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mozart Finds a Melody, by Stephen Costanza. (during nap time.)

    Field Trips/Nature Study

    • Nature Study: Nature walk at the park across the street from Mercer Arboretum.
    • Math – Free Reading: Bean Thirteen, by Matthew McElligott. This cute little book about 2 bugs and their quandry over what to do with the ‘unlucky’ bean thirteen is quite cute and has some great math concepts incorporated, too.

    Kate the "Shape Shooter"I got this idea from 100 Best Ideas for Primary Math, by Holly Sar Dye, M.A., to take Kate for a walk around the neighborhood. During our walk I encouraged her to look for different shapes and to take pictures of those objects for us to look at later. We would be “Shape Shooters” – shooting pictures of shapes on our walk. (Clever, I know…) I asked her to look for at least one circle, rectangle, square, triangle, diamond, oval, and octagon.

    I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun this activity was and how easy it was to find all sorts of shapes just on our cul-de-sac. I even brought along my husband’s fancy camera so I could shoot a few with her and really enjoyed shooting completely different subjects than I normally do.

    We took quite a few of the shots during our 15 minute walk. It would have been a MUCH longer walk if we hadn’t needed to get back quickly to eat lunch! Kate didn’t want to come back!
    Read more →

    (October 5 – October 9, 2009)
    Our school week will see the heavier loads on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as those are the days that ds is at Mother’s Day Out so that dd and I have less interruptions. Each activity is designed to take only 10-15 minutes at the most as this is one of the defining characteristics of a Charlotte Mason approach to education.

    *Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below. I always love learning from other people!*

    Planning Day

    • Literature – Free Reading: The Twelve Dancing Princesses, by Marianna Mayer. (Beautifully illustrated version of this old story. Different from the ‘Barbie’ telling, this one has a little more depth of the characters and plot differences. Beautiful language used also. Definitely for kids with a little longer attention span.)

    School Day

    • To Start: Pledge/Calendar/Weather
    • Natural History: Record our observations of the Monarch caterpillars we’re rearing.
    • Memory Work: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Phillipians 4:8 (NLT)
    • Copywork: “There is no woman in Rome so much like a queen as our own dear mother.” (from Cornelia’s Jewels in the History lesson below.)
    • Bible:
    • History:
    • Literature: “The Boy and the Filberts”, Aesop’s Fables (Milo Winter Edition).(Also found online here.)
    • Math: Shapes – Go for a ‘shape walk’ around the neighborhood. Take a camera on the walk and have Kate take pictures of the different shapes that she finds on our walk. Look for at least one circle, rectangle, square, triangle, diamond, oval, and octagon. (Read my post about being “Shape Shooters” for more details.) **This idea is from 100 Best Ideas for Primary Math, by Holly Sar Dye, M.A.
    • Phonics: Ending consonant sounds (l or ll and s or ss), from Brain Quest Grade 1 Workbook, by Lisa Trumbauer, pg 21.
    • Science: Can air help things float?, from How Does a Ship Float, by Jim Pipe.
    • Poetry: “The Average Hippopotamus”, from Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face, by Jack Prelutsky. (during Tea Time)

    Library Day

    • Natural History – Free Reading: A Mama for Owen, by Marion Dane Bauer. (Another book about Owen and Mzee and their incredible friendship. Beautiful drawings lend a soft tone to this book and the telling of the story is very sweet.)

    School Day

    Field Trips/Nature Study

    • Literature – Free Reading: There, by Mary-Louise Fitzpatrick.

    (September 28 – October 2, 2009)
    Our school week will see the heavier loads on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as those are the days that ds is at Mother’s Day Out so that dd and I have less interruptions. Each activity is designed to take only 10-15 minutes at the most as this is one of the defining characteristics of a Charlotte Mason approach to education.

    *Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below. I always love learning from other people!*

    Planning Day

    • Literature – Free Reading: The Three Little Pigs, by David Wiesner. (Caldecott Winner that starts off with the traditional story. Then, as each little pig gets “huffed and puffed” right off the page of the story, the explore other stories. In the end they return to their own story, with a few new friends, and a different happy ending. Great book for teaching kids that they can change their own “story” in life by having a different perspective.)

    School Day

    Library Day

    • Poetry – Free Reading: Please Bury Me in the Library, by J. Patrick Lewis. (Book of poems about language, books, and libraries. Fun way to introduce all sorts of different types of poetry. Very cleverly written and illustrated,too.)

    School Day

    Field Trips/Nature Study

    • Nature Study: Go for a nature walk through our neighborhood. Collect pine cones, acorns, etc…
    • Handiwork: Make a pinecone votive.

    (September 21-25, 2009)
    Our school week will see the heavier loads on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as those are the days that ds is at Mother’s Day Out so that dd and I have less interruptions. Each activity is designed to take only 10-15 minutes at the most as this is one of the defining characteristics of a Charlotte Mason approach to education.

    *Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below. I always love learning from other people!*

    Planning Day

    School Day

    Library Day

    • Nature Study – Free Reading: Actual Size, by Steve Jenkins (Fun book that illustrates lots of different animals in real size. One page is nothing but a giant eyeball – the eye of a giant squid! Great for learning bigger/smaller than me/Daddy/refrigerator.)

    School Day

    Field Trips/Nature Study

    • Science – Free Reading: One Giant Leap, by Robert Burleigh. (Beautiful book that tells the story of the Apollo astronauts first landing on the moon.)

    (September 14-18, 2009)
    Our school week will see the heavier loads on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as those are the days that ds is at Mother’s Day Out so that dd and I have less interruptions. Each activity is designed to take only 10-15 minutes at the most as this is one of the defining characteristics of a Charlotte Mason approach to education.

    *Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below. I always love learning from other people!*

    Planning Day

    • Literature – Free Reading: Kate and the Giant Beanstalk by Mary Pope Osborne (A cute retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk where the heroine outwits the giant.)
    • Science – Free Reading: A Drop of Water, by Walter Wick (A beautiful book with close-up photography and explanantions of the different phenomena of how water works. We mainly looked at the pictures and then I would paraphrase the science behind what we were looking at. Probably best suited for mid to upper elementary students.)

    School Day

    • To Start: Pledge/Calendar/Weather
    • Natural History: Record our observations of the Monarch caterpillars we’re rearing.
    • Memory Work: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Phillipians 4:8 (NLT)
    • Science: Do experiment “Evaporating Water”, from Science Projects About Rain, by Robert Gardner. Observe a saucer of plain water and a saucer of salt water over the next few hours and days to see what happens to the water and what’s left behind.
    • Literature: “The Donkey (Ass) and His Driver”, Aesop’s Fables (Milo Winter Edition), (also here online)
    • Bible: “The Girl No One Wanted” (Leah and Rachel), The Jesus Storybook Bible, pgs 70-75.
    • History:
    • Phonics:
      • Hard or Soft “G” and “C”, from Barbie Phonics Workbook, pg 28
      • “Soft or Hard, Let’s Find Them All” activity, from Better Phonics and Beyond in 5 Minutes a Day, by Lisa Deters. (Finding and cutting out words in a newspaper with g’s and c’s and placing them on a chart that shows soft vs hard.)
    • Nature Study: Start Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship, by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu. (A true story about the friendship that developed between a baby hippo named Owen and a 130-year-old giant tortoise named Mzee.)
    • Copywork: Finish writing out the second sentence of our Memory Work passage.
    • Math: ABC Math Riddles, by Janelle Martin
    • Poetry: “Foreign Lands”, A Child’s Garden of Verses (during Tea Time)
    • Geography: Chapter 1, Paddle to the Sea, Chapter 2 (listen to audio during nap time)

    Library Day

    • History – Free Reading: Helen Keller: The World in Her Heart , by Lesa Cline-ransome. (A biography of the incredible deaf and blind woman, Helen Keller, and her impressive teacher, Annie Sullivan, as they learned how to communicate through a system of sign language done in Helen’s hands.)

    School Day

    Field Trips/Nature Study

    (September 7-11, 2009)
    Our school week will see the heavier loads on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as those are the days that ds is at Mother’s Day Out so that dd and I have less interruptions. Each activity is designed to take only 10-15 minutes at the most as this is one of the defining characteristics of a Charlotte Mason approach to education.

    *Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below. I always love learning from other people!*

    Planning Day

    School Day

    Library Day

    • Math – Free Reading: Museum 123 by The (NY) Metropolitan Museum of Art (A book of artwork from the museum that asks students to find the number of objects in each picture. Some pictures are more difficult to figure out which object to count, which makes it great for reading to a group that’s mixed in age.)
    • History – Free Reading: Mermaid Queen: The Spectacular True Story Of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way To Fame, Fortune & Swimsuit History! by Shana Corey (A really inspiring story of the lady who invented water ballet and the modern swimsuit. My dd really loved the great illustrations and the encouraging story of this book.)

    School Day

    • To Start: Pledge/Calendar/Weather
    • Natural History: Record our observations of the Monarch caterpillars we’re rearing.
    • Memory Work: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”Phillipians 4:8 (NLT)
    • Copywork: Write out the second sentence of our Memory Work passage.
    • History:
    • Natural History: “Safety First” pgs 14-15, from Follow the Trail, by Jessica Loy
    • Phonics: Rhyme Collage Activity, from Phonemic Awareness Activities for Early Reading Success, by Wiley Blevins. Have student cut out magazine pictures of objects whose names rhyme and then make a rhyme collage with the pictures.
    • Literature: “The Eagle and the Jackdaw”, Aesop’s Fables (Milo Winter Edition)
    • Math: Card Game – War. Use “greater than”, “less than”, or “equal to” skills to play the card game War. (Click here for how to play)
    • History:
    • Artist Study:Raphael Sanzio’s “The Knight’s Dream”
    • Poetry: “Foreign Lands”, A Child’s Garden of Verses (during Tea Time)
    • Foreign Language: Watch Signing Time!: ABC Signs DVD during nap time.

    Field Trips/Nature Study

    • Poetry – Free Reading: Scranimals by Jack Prelutsky (A cute collection of poems about imaginary animal mash ups like the HippopotaMushrooms, RadiShark, RhinoceRose, etc. Great book for inspiring imaginative playing with words.)
    • History – Free Reading: What Charlie Heard by Mordicai Gerstein (A biography of Charles Ives – the Modern American composer who wrote music made to sound like every sounds of life. Great artwork to accompany the storyline helps the reader to better understand the way that Charles wrote and ‘heard’ the music in his head.

    (August 31 – September 4, 2009)

    Our school week will see the heavier loads on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as those are the days that ds is at Mother’s Day Out so that dd and I have less interruptions. Each activity is designed to take only 10-15 minutes at the most as this is one of the defining characteristics of a Charlotte Mason approach to education.

    *Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below. I always love learning from other people!*

    Planning Day

    School Day

    • To Start: Pledge/Calendar/Weather
    • Bible: “A New Beginning” (Noah’s Ark), The Jesus Storybook Bible, pgs 38-47
    • Memory Work: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Phillipians 4:8 (NLT)
    • Phonics: Review Long and Short Vowels, Phonics Grade 1 Workbook, pgs 17-19
    • History:
    • Copywork: Start writing all ABCs, upper and lower case, in journal to get a baseline of handwriting for this school year.
    • Poetry: “Bed in Summer”, A Child’s Garden of Verses
    • Math: Addition using a number line, Disney Addition and Subtraction Workbook, pg 9
    • Literature: “The Wolf and the Kid”, Aesop’s Fables (Dover Edition), pg 22-23 (also here online)
    • Poetry: “A Thought”, “At the Seaside”, A Child’s Garden of Verses (read during Tea Time after picking up ds from Mother’s Day Out. Click here to read the post where I got this fun idea.)
    • Literature – Free Reading: Today is the Birthday of the World, by Linda Heller and Alison Jay
    • Geography: Chapter 1, Paddle to the Sea (listen to audio during nap time, then draw a picture narration)

    Library Day

    School Day

    • To Start: Pledge/Calendar/Weather
    • Natural History: Record our observations of the Monarch caterpillars we’re rearing. We released our second Monarch butterfly today! So exciting!
    • Memory Work: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”Phillipians 4:8 (NLT)
    • Copywork: Finish writing all ABCs, upper and lower case, and numbers in journal to get a baseline of handwriting for this school year.
    • Literature: “A Lesson of Faith”, Parables from Nature, by Mrs. Alfred Gatty
    • Math: Single Digit Addition – drawing marks (x’s) to count, Disney Addition and Subtraction Workbook, pg 10
    • Literature: “The Tortoise and the Ducks”, Aesop’s Fables (Milo Winter Edition), pg 8 (also here online)
    • Phonics: Matching game – match beginning, middle, and ending sounds on matching cards with drawings of words, from Phonemic Awareness Activities for Early Reading Success, by Wiley Blevins
    • World History:
      • “The Stories of Albion and Brutus”, Chapter 1 of Our Island Story
      • Find “Albion” (Britain) on the globe.
    • Artist Study: Term 1 for this year we will be studying Raphael Sanzio (1483 – 1520) of the Italian Renaissance period.
      • Add Raphael Sanzio to our Book of Centuries.
      • Read portions of his biography online here.
    • Poetry: “Young Night-Thought”, A Child’s Garden of Verses (during Tea Time)

    Field Trips/Nature Study

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