Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Week in Review

Well, I am a little behind in posting things from our school week. Last Tuesday night, while making dinner, I cut off a good chunk of my left index finger. So I had to do the rest of the school week rather differently. I spent most of Wednesday on pain meds and trying to sleep off the worst of it, while my sweet hubby held down the fort.

But despite all that, here is our week from Unit 2 of HOD PHFHG. We got one day of LHTH finished.

Finishing up LHTH Unit 1-  Buddy learned about Cain and Abel. He practiced drawing capital A and lowercase a. He drew caterpillars in boxes and we counted to five. He learned how to write the number one and identify it by sight. And found the letter a in his Hide and Seek A page.

He enjoyed listening (as always) to the selection from the Singing Bible.

He cut out a tree and glued it to his Number One page to start his number book.  He is just learning to use scissors and to hold a pencil or crayon. I drew a big black square around the tree and he cut it out and pasted to his page.

While his sister worked on painting her rainbow for her History Project he enjoyed painting as well and articulated he was working on "mixing colors" too.

Here is what Squirt did in Unit 2 of HOD PHFHG.

We are continuing on with memorizing Psalm 1 using Lead Me to the Rock 

We did another Robert Lewis Stevenson poem for poetry- "Bed in Summer."
Here is Squirt's illustration of the poem.

Reading Through History and Storytime have been a pleasure. We are reading Life in the Great Ice Age and The True Story of Noah's Ark.

Squirt had a great time with her History Project. She learned about cool and warm colors and color mixing. And then painted a background for a rainbow which she then completed using only red, green and blue paints to create the colors she needed.

We are all loving reading Life in the Great Ice Age.
Squirt is learning to do more thorough Charlotte Mason style oral narrations. She struggled a little the first week but kind of got the hang of it by the end of the second week. She did a great job on her written summary this week too.

Each week she learns geography skills, researches a topic and learns new vocabulary all tied in with the books we read in our Reading Through History time and Storytime. This week she researched flood stories; made a timeline piece; learned about the words- barge, ancestor and ancient; and reviewed geography information.

Here's a page from her Independent Science Exploration using  primarily One Small Square: Arctic Tundra

For Independent History Study  Squirt is mainly using Draw and Write Through History. 

Here are her drawings from this week.

Squirt did two people. The drawing on the right was her first attempt. But she was unhappy with the product from her color blending for the skin, so she asked if she could start again. The one on the left is her second try. (I think they are both great!)

Noah's Ark

And then of course Squirt continued her work in Singapore Math, Rod and Staff English 2, dictation work, spelling, and creative writing exercises using her given poem for the week. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Little Joys

We got to do a good portion of Unit 1 in Heart of Dakota's Little Hands to Heaven (LHTH). Buddy has listened in on his sister's reading and enjoyed listening to Bible readings from The Beginners Bible and The New Bible In Pictures for Little Eyes. He has done great answering and asking questions!

Buddy is learning about the letter A, the days of Creation, Adam & Eve, and the Fall.

Buddy really loves the Singing Bible CD and so do I.

We have just done the Letter Activities, Bible Reading, & Music this week. I hope to finish the rest of Unit 1 next week.

Buddy enjoyed walking a stuffed animal around the letter A. And then his sister joined him in tiptoeing, dancing, etc around the letter A.

One of the letter activities suggested gluing pasta or beans to the letter. Well, Buddy is allergic to legumes and gluten free rice pasta is EXPENSIVE. So I was not willing to use food. I thought about colored puffballs but didn't have any. (I need to restock my preschool art supplies.) But I did have lots of cotton balls. So that is what Buddy used. Then I thought it would be fun for him to make them colorful by painting them with his watercolors. Here are pictures from what he did.

The finished work!

A Breath of Fresh Air

So I have heard more than one family who is using Heart of Dakota (HOD) say what a "breath of fresh air" it was in there homeschool. I thought they were just saying that. But HOD this week HAS been truly a breath of fresh air in our homeschool!!!! Here are the highlights from this week. We completed all of Unit 1 in Preparing Hearts for His Glory (PHFHG), but only did some of Unit 1 in Little Hands to Heaven (LHTH). I will post separately about Buddy's LHTH. We did take five days to complete the Unit (which is designed as a 4 day week). But I intend to continue keeping our weeks as 5 day weeks with a lighter work load on Fridays.

We have read from Grandpa's Box which teaches about so many bible truths, bible stories & is very sweetly written. Today at lunch I decided to try Carrie's scheduling idea and read during lunch from our Reading About History section (Grandpa's Box) and our Storytime reading (the Bible for today). It worked so well!!! The kids happily ate quietly while I read and then quickly chimed in when it was time to answer questions. The only issue for me is that I don't eat and read at the same time. So that would be an interesting question for those who do read during lunch- When does Mom eat?! 

Squirt's History project has gone along with the readings from Grandpa's Box. She has learned about coats of arms. She got to see some samples of our family coats of arms and learned how to use our printed set of Encyclopedias. We went on Wikipedia and looked at a whole library of country coat of arms. Here is her completed Coat of Arms/ Shield of Faith. She chose not to add backing to it or a handle but to leave it so that it would still fit in her Notebook in a page protector.

Vocabulary words were also taken from the readings from Grandpa's Box and Squirt has been learning new words from the list, while continuing to strengthen her dictionary and research skills.

Bible memory work has been such a blessing! Squirt is memorizing Psalm 1. This week she worked on the first two verses using one of the best things HOD recommends- this CD by Kelly Crawford called Lead Me to the Rock. It was such a blessing to hear my daughter singing Psalm 1 Monday night as she got ready for dinner. (The only thing I wish is that the lyrics were in the NKJV or NIV. The music is sung in the KJV and it is usually not our family's choice of translations. That being said, God's Word is still His Word and is powerful in any translation!)

Science has been out of One Small Square: ArcticTundra.
I love how all her science is Independent. She gets the Teaching Guide and reads the instructions and completes her work. She has read a number of pages from this book, orally narrated to me about them and drawn a map and labeled it.

Then she followed instructions for a science experiment to discover "How Layers Help to Keep Animals Warm." She was so proud of herself that she did everything without my help and she had a great science lab sheet completed when she was done. 

In Poetry we have been studying Robert Lewis Stevenson's The Swing. Squirt already knew this by heart but still really enjoyed the poetry writing exercise and then the opportunity to do something special with her poem at the end of the Unit. She chose to have me print it out and she illustrated it. Here is her work-

For this Unit Squirt has been using Draw and Write Through History (Creation through Jonah) for her Independent History Study. She reads the instructions and does all of the work by herself.  Here are some samples of her drawings using this book.

Finally, we have continued on in Singapore 3B books and are working on chopping away at a condensed trip through Rod and Staff English 2. We hope to start English 3 in January, as well as Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR). 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Hour of Isolation

I just had to share this timely word from David Wilkerson's email devotionals.
This so describes much of what I have been battling and I believe that it may encourage others too. I especially like what he says when he says "Isn’t it possible he lifts his hand for a short while to teach us trust and dependence?". May it encourage you as it has me this day that you are still in His will and are still His and your time of turmoil is part of His plan.

From David Wilkerson Today


"I know what it is like to face divine silence, not to hear God’s voice for a season. I have walked through periods of total confusion with no apparent guidance, the still small voice behind me completely silent. There were times when I had no friend nearby to satisfy my heart with a word of advice. All my patterns of guidance from before had gone awry, and I was left in total darkness. I could not see my way, and I made mistake after mistake. I wanted to say, “O God, what has happened? I don’t know which way to go!”

Does God really hide his face from those he loves? Isn’t it possible he lifts his hand for a short while to teach us trust and dependence? The Bible answers
clearly: “God left him [Hezekiah], to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart” (2 Chronicles 32:31).

You may be going through a flood of trials right now. You know what I’m talking about when I say the heavens are as brass. You know all about repeated failures. You’ve waited and waited for answers to prayer. You’ve been served a cup of affliction. Nothing and nobody can touch that need in your heart!

That’s the time to take your stand! You don’t have to be able to laugh or rejoice, because you may not have any happiness at the moment. In fact, you may have nothing but turmoil in your soul. But you can know God is still with you, because Scripture says, “The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever” (Psalm 29:10).

Soon you will hear His voice: Don’t get excited, don’t panic. Just keep your eyes on me. Commit all things to me. And you will know that you remain the object of his incredible love."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

All Time Favorite Children's Books (First Post)

I want to share with you one of my favorite children's books. It is called Good Morning Sweetie Pie: and Other Poems for Little Children by Cynthia Rylant. This book is a lovely collection of poems all written to the child and illustrated with beautiful watercolor pictures. My middle guy used to call it "Oatie O's" because the very first poem talks about a little guy being woken up from his dreams by his "dear-one" and eating "Oatie-O's". Cynthia is more well known for her  Henry and Mudge series or Poppelton series. I have enjoyed so many of Cynthia Rylant's books over the years with my children,  but this has to be my all time favorite. Lovely meter and sweet personal wording with sweet and gentle watercolors makes this book a joy to share over and over again.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The New Plan- Part 2 (Curriculum)

So here are the new books we will be using in January. These should take our study all the way through to next December with our usual breaks (we school year round). It is a full year's program. This is just the rough overview of everything. I hope to post further about individual elements or books in the program.

For Squirt we will be using Heart of Dakota's Preparing Hearts for His Glory.
This is a program designed for students ages 8-10 with other added books which can extend that up to 11 or 12 (we are doing the expected 8-10 age group books). This year's study will give a broad overview of world history starting with Creation and ending in the late 1900's.

Preparing Hearts for His Glory Guide (PHFHG)  is not just a Teacher's Manual. It is designed to be shared between the student and the teacher. It has Independent Work instructions written directly to the student.

PHFHG Guide-

This guide includes History, Poetry, Dictation, Spelling, Literature, Bible Study, & Science. It also has schedules for recommended Language and Math which are Rod & Staff English, HOD DITHOR & Singapore Math.

For Literature Squirt will use Heart of Dakota's Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR) along with accompanying literature books

For Math we will continue with Singapore Math US Edition. She is currently in 3B and will move on to Level 4 after that.

For Grammar and Language we will use Intermediate Language Lessons and be transitioning into Rod & Staff's English 3. 

Bible Study: The Bible along with Lead Me to the Rock CD (memory work will be from the Book of Psalms)

For Poetry, Squirt will be learning Robert Louis Stevenson Poems (which I just love!)

Science, History & Literature will include these books-

A Child's History of the World

Grandpa's Box

Life in the Great Ice Age

Hero Tales Vol. 1

One Small Square-Arctic Tundra

One Small Square- Cactus Desert

The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible

Find the Constellations

One Small Square-Coral Reef

Columbus by D'Aulaire

Who Was Leonardo da Vinci?

Pasteur's Fight Against Microbes

Albert Einstein-Young Thinker

Read Alouds for Storytime include-

The True Story of Noah's Ark


Classic Treasury of Aesop's Fables

Triumph for Flavius

Fountain of Life

Raiders of the Sea

Door in the Wall

The Wonderful Winter

The Family Under the Bridge

Twenty and Ten

Finally for Squirt's Independent History Study, she will use:
Noah's Ark, Noah's Flood

The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient Egypt

Draw and Write Through History- Creation through Jonah

The Young Christian's Introduction to the Bible by Charles Ryrie

Little Miriam of Galilee

Leif the Lucky by D'Aulaire

Pedro's Journal

William Shakespeare and the Globe

Mozart the Wonder Boy with Companion CD

The Little Riders

The Minstrel in the Tower