In this post: Earth Day & Spring crafts, Lego math, and what curriculum we use.
Hello dear ones and happy Earth Day! Praise God for creating the world. He truly is an amazing artist. I’ve got a couple crafts to share with you today but first check out what we did last year at these links:
- An Elvish Door~ found this idea on Pinterest. We used Popsicle sticks, old jewelry, moss, sticks found outside, and the hot glue gun.
I glued it to the bottom of a tree. This reminds me of the moss cottages I used to make for squirrels when I was a kid.
- Yarn Butterfly~ directions found here: http://blog.gummylump.com/2011/04/yarn-butterflies-spring-craft-kids.html
Cooking ~ I taught Michael how to cook rice. I want him to master the basics of listening to directions, cleaning after himself, and cleaning his hands before cooking.
Science & Creation Studies
Michael helped Chris plant seeds in our vegetable garden.
Michael read about butterflies and we caught a caterpillar. Sadly it perished but it was going to be a moth anyways.
I’ve been trying to get the guys to eat healthier snacks. I got these great plastic trays with dividers at Family Dollar. I cleaned the fruit and veggies with vinegar water then sliced them. We’ve done this before with mason jars but these divider trays are easier. Now the good stuff is just as accessible as the junk food. Yaaa to healthy snacking!
Michael’s in second grade but we played around with Legos and easy addition. I’ll have to figure out Lego games with multiplication. I need to sort through the Legos again. I can never find what I need. You could easily switch the pieces around for subtraction.
We finished our library books. “I Wonder Why I Blink” was a neat book about the body.
Earth Day Celebrations with our Homeschool Group
Kathryn was a great host for an early Earth Day. Here’s the table decorations.
She read a couple of books to the kiddos.
They each got an Earth Day packet to color. It has ideas inside on how to be good stewards of God’s creation.
Kathryn taught the kids how to look for the “recycle” symbol on products. She also told them ways they could recycle.
We reuse bottles etc to make crafts.
Then the kids made bird feeders out of toilet paper rolls, peanut butter, and bird seed. I didn’t get a pic but we hung ours in a tree above a branch (so the birdies would have a perch while they ate).
Look at this sweet picture Olivia made for Michael. She’s always giving him gifts.
Next, the kiddos painted pots and planted flowers in them.
Now I’ve had a few people ask me about our curriculum. I did a post at the beginning of the year with our plan.
But often we start the year one way and end it another. It’s a learning process and I want to go at Michael’s pace. Sometimes that means forging ahead and other times that means slowing down.
Example: I decided not to go ahead with 3rd grade math until this coming school year. After doing a couple 2nd grade books we took a break and focused on hands on math. Then I decided to use Horizons again and since the second workbook is a grade ahead we’re just finishing Horizons 2nd grade workbook one. We will do workbook 2 for Third Grade math since it’s technically a grade ahead.
We are still using Bob Jones 2nd grade devotional and love it!
We quit using “Our Christian Heritage” for Geography and History. Instead we’re doing hands on studies. Maybe we will go back to that workbook in the future. I bought a couple books about the states and “Around the World” ideas.
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Geography & History on Pinterest
We slowed down with the language arts curriculum and only do it once a week. Now Michael does typing once a week and focuses on hand writing practice. We took a break from cursive but the new handwriting book transitions into cursive at the end (A Reason For Handwriting). I’ve decided not to focus on cursive til third grade. I want Michael’s handwriting to be a bit neater first.
We also started a series of spelling workbooks by Christian Liberty Press (they have verses in them). We began at first grade level just in case we’ve missed words. I didn’t want to wing it anymore. Michael will be able to finish the 2nd grade spelling book the first half of the year and the 3rd grade spelling the last half. We homeschool year round with breaks here and there. So the spelling books don’t stretch the whole year. I LOVE these spelling books!
We basically finished Read and Understand Science grades 2-3. I decided to buy 3 Lifepac Science work books for 2nd grade on plants, animals, and colors. They’re super simple and colorful. So I went ahead and bought the whole 3rd grade curriculum too. We do hands on Science project with the work books.
Pinterest link for Science
Michael’s reading on a 4th grade level though he can read harder books just at a slower pace. I’m trying to balance what types of books he reads. Michael breezes through fiction but I’m throwing in more nonfiction. We’ve got a big collection of books but still take a trip to the library twice a month. I usually get enough books to last two weeks.
Music and art are basically the same but we don’t do as much. I’ve limited crafts to once a week unless they go along with another subject like Science or Geography. Michael practices piano every day but we’ve been focusing more on musical theory and games. I’m not too concerned with how much he can play at this age. I just want him to understand the music and to enjoy it.
Music Pinterest Link
I mentioned in this post:
that I want to slow down and enjoy school more. I’m already eclectic but I’m leaning more towards unschooling…just a bit. Work books are definitely the bones of our day and it works. Still, I’m open to simplifying and to plenty of hands on learning. So I decided to break things up a bit and choose one day each to focus on certain subjects. It’s been so much easier than trying to do it all every day.
Mondays~ Regular schedule plus art & cooking (really basic cooking)
Tuesdays~ Regular Schedule plus Typing and Science projects
Wednesdays~ Regular Schedule plus Math and Music games/projects
Thursdays~ Regular Schedule plus geography/history/social studies or reduced schedule plus field trips/ group time
Fridays~ Regular Schedule or reduced schedule (depending if we have group Thursday) plus Creation studies and or health and or language arts projects
Creation Studies Pinterest Link
Our Regular Schedule
- Bob Jones Devotions (1-2 work book pages and Bible reading)
- Spelling lesson in workbook
- Math book (2 pages)
- Handwriting book (2 pages)
- Science book (twice a week)
- Reading – 2-5 chapters depending on the type of book
- Tests on Fridays
- No math or handwriting on Fridays (sometimes Thursdays if there’s a field trip or group time)
- Language arts books on Fridays.
We also do themes and that will determine our art and science projects. Our themes can be anything from Holidays (Christmas, Easter, Purim, Pentecost etc..) to what peeks Michael’s curiosity (Dinosaurs, reptiles, bugs, plants). We’ve did a study on the body and community helpers. Also on safety. We did a month long study in January on the 20th century and called it the time machine. Sometimes the studies are seasonal (snowflakes or falling leaves). You can see all the previous thematic studies on my blog Pinterest link. Check out the Time Machine Study. It’s unique to this blog :).
Pinterest of my Blog posts
Well, God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
PS: Lord willing, I’ll post my 3rd grade plans later this summer ;).