Thursday, September 30, 2010

September 30th lesson plans 2010-2011 school year

Matteo-7th grade:

Copywork assignment-The Lord's Prayer

Math assignment-5 minute Drill sheet
Worksheet from Math U See workbook

French assignment-Lesson 1-5 on Hop, skip and sing french cd. Learn and do activity for lesson 5. Go outside to practice exercise 4.

Social Studies assignment-chapters 4-6 of the book Boy of The Painted Cave, do written narration. 

Nature Journal assignment-Nature, sitting and observing fallen tree for insects and other life. 

Language Arts assignment-One lesson in Rod N Staff English.

Art: Thanks Painting for Hispanic Heritage month, 2 classroom days

Nicko 3rd grade

Copywork assignment-The Lords Prayer

Language arts assignment-one story in Mcguffey's 3rd reader.
complete lesson on page 17 of Pinneo's Primary Grammar 
Fall word and picture matching

French assignment-do lesson 1-5 in Hop, skip and sing french cd, go outside to do practice activity 4.

Math assignment-one lesson in Math U See

Nature Journal assignment-observing fallen tree for signs of insects and other life. 

Social Studies assignment-Read pages 1-7 of The Discovery of The Americas book and color worksheet 1
complete clay model of land bridge and do ice demonstration (repeat clay model-did not finish yesterday.)

Art-same as Matteo

Both kids cultural lesson-Hispanic Heritage month-read Hispanic History of The Americas

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Setp 29th lesson plans 2010-2011 school year

Matteo-7th grade:

Copywork assignment-The Lord's Prayer

Math assignment-5 minute Drill sheet
Worksheet from Math U See workbook
Prime Factorization video
complete prime trees worksheet

Note: the extra video and worksheet assignment is so that I may check this off of our course of study list.

French assignment-Lesson 1-4 on Hop, skip and sing french cd. Write words in french for lesson 4.

Social Studies assignment-First three chapters of the book Boy of The Painted Caves, do written narration on first three chapters. 

Nature Journal assignment-Nature walk on looking for sings of fall. We will look for any signs of fall and kids will record in nature journal.

Language Arts assignment-One lesson in Rod N Staff English.

Computer assignment-load Storytelling ALICE and get familiar.

Nicko 3rd grade

Copywork assignment-The Lords Prayer

Language arts assignment-one story in Mcguffey's 3rd reader.
complete lesson on page 16 of Pinneo's Primary Grammar 
complete fall words worksheet

French assignment-do lesson 1-4 in Hop, skip and sing french cd

Math assignment-one lesson in Math U See

Nature Journal assignment-do nature walk looking for signs of fall and recording findings.

Social Studies assignment-Read pages 1-7 of The Discovery of The Americas book and color worksheet 1
complete clay model of land bridge and do ice demonstration

Computer assignment-Dancemat Typing 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Adding lesson plans again.

The kids and I are so excited that our books are starting to come in. I am going to start doing our daily lesson plans and add them here starting tomorrow. If subjects are missing, it's just that we are waiting on our material. As well, I'm making more of an effort to take pictures to add here of our school time. It will be fun to look over our "year book," at the end of each grade year.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Preschool worksheets!

I love this site! Not only are they good worksheets, but they can be saved as pdf downloads.

Kids Learning Station

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Becoming a master teacher

I was watching an episode of Oprah this week, when a comment caught my attention. One of the teachers that were featured said that it took him three years to be a good teacher, and five to be a master teacher. I thought, "yes! Exactly right!" Even with my background as a preschool and transitional kindergarten teacher it has taken me till this year to be super confident in my teaching abilities. I now FEEL like a master teacher.

As a homeschool parent I am on a lot of homeschool email loops. Ive been paying more attention to the posts from new homeschoolers. I feel like one of those confident parents I used to envy. I now feel in the position to give advice. It's a good feeling, but I worry for these new parents. It is not easy being a new homeschooler, even with some teaching experience.

For a new homeschool parent it can be overwhelming. First there is the scary thought that you are directly responsible for your child(rens) education. I remember thinking that there would be no one to blame but myself if I was wrong about this being a better alternative. It did not occur to me at the time that I had been responsible already for my children's early education....something every parent should give yourself a pat on the back for!

So how do you reach this nirvana of teaching confidence?

For every parent it will be different. For me though it was a combination of things. It was the feeling of confidence in several areas. Housecleaning doesn't have a lot to do with teaching, except that feeling like I have a good routine down, and that my home does not suffer was important to me. Cooking doesn't have a lot to do with teaching, except feeling like I have dinner on the table while also juggling housekeeping, and homeschooling makes me feel like I have finally mastered the art of true multi-tasking.

As for the actual teaching part of homeschooling, it to has been a combination of experiences that have helped me to grow. I used to berate myself that I have switched our style, methods, and curriculum in our homeschooling years. I now see that all of this was just an evolution of our journey. I needed to go through these different experiences, and the kids DID NOT suffer for it. In fact, even when we went through periods where we did very little schooling, the children thrived. Parents should understand that it is okay to not "get it right-right away," when it comes to these issues.

I think that like any teacher, homeschool parents should consider themselves in training. It takes time to become a good teacher, especially a master! Give yourself time to experience, and even experiment. Read other homeschool blogs, check out teacher websites, join homeschool forums and utilize the experience of parents who have come before you. Don't be afraid to change curriculum or methods. Most of all, give yourself a break, literally and figuratively!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

FREE labbook files!

I found a PLETHORA of free lapbook files at Homeschool Launch. If you have never heard of lapbooking, Lapbooks are GREAT for hands on learners and for enrichment for a unit. Some people even use lapbooking as their curriculum. For my eight year old, who loves these-it really helps him to remember a concept or subject using these. I will be using these a lot this year as unit projects for him. I'd love to see pictures if anyone does one!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Falling Nouns

One of my favorite sites! Get this FREE!

Falling nouns: "Falling nouns"

Monday, September 13, 2010

How I plan to implement CM style using textbooks

I have been thinking a lot these past two weeks about how to bridge what I love about the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling with our use of textbooks. I think it hit me last week that most of my curriculum choices are pretty much all textbooks this year. What is great about homeschooling, is the ability to blend the styles you love, and tailor it to each individual child. So what part of CM will stay in our schooling?

A lot actually! We could never give up our nature studies. Everyone in the family loves this time outdoors-the kids love combining art with science, and the sunshine gives us a break during our school time. I love nothing better than when one of the kids documents something and then goes and researches on their own something they this HAS to stay.

We will keep our Shakespeare, Art appreciation, and Music appreciation. We can do these these through copy work (another CM suggestion) I really believe that copy work is one of the simplest but genius ways for children to grasp grammar structure, spelling, and memorization. They retain A LOT of information this way.

We will also keep our written and oral narration. Nicko my eight year old is not a proficient writer yet, so oral narration to make sure he is grasping the concepts will be great for him. Matteo, my 13 year old loves writing, and he actually likes writing summaries. Instead of doing a lot of bookwork, he will keep separate notebooks for each subject and do written narration to make sure he learned that days lesson.

We will also keep reading living books. I've found that some textbooks(like the one's I chose) are not dry and written by people passionate about their subject. We will use living books to enhance whatever unit or subject we are working on. Once I get our new books, I will add lesson plans again, along with any living books we use with each unit.

I think this year might be our best year yet!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

as if I am not busy enough-I gave birth!

I spent the week looking up homeschool blogs. I love reading any blog, but when I am sitting around at the end of the day my favorite thing to do is to read blogs by other homeschoolers. So, I got this idea....

There are all kind of avenue's to form a homeschool blog, sometimes I miss out on good blogs because of the variety of ways of getting your blog out. I also though have favorite sites not related to homeschooling that I have always admired for how they bring all these blogs together and feature bloggers, like SITS and FoodGawker. Using these as inspiration, I wanted a place similar for homeschool blogs....and thus Homeschool Blog Parade was born! I love the idea of featuring a new homeschool family every week. I intend to buy a nifty new templete and blog button to spruse up the site, and have featured topics and fun giveaways! I hope if you have a homeschool blog that you will join in the parade!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Math and my advice-selecting our art program

If there is one subject I am uncomfortable with, it is math. As an adult, I am still TERRIBLE at it. In fact, I was thrilled when I got my iphone and had several apps to figure percentages along with a calculator. I still count on my fingers in my head-math just does not compute with me!

In spite of my own deficiency, because of my experience with my own kids-I wanted to offer a little advice for beginning homeschoolers, or homeschoolers with young learners. In my opinion before you ever even look for curriculum for your child(ren), you should make sure they have memorized some things.

1) Write numbers 1-100 in standard form, expanded form, and word form.
2) know all place values from the left of the decimal up to millions, and at least place value to the right of the decimal to thousandths.
3) know all basic math facts by heart for 0-10 in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
4) have a basic understanding for simple fractions.

(edited to add)

5)Basic money skills
6)Telling time

You can do all of this without ever buying an expensive math program. There are many ways to teach this depending on what style of learner you have. With a visual you might try using flashcards or watching videos. With an auditory learners there are a lot of cd's with memorization songs-there are thousands of online worksheets you can print, or even a wipe off board with lines.

For me, this is my plan for my four little one's. I feel I have definitely learned that these skills are essential, in my opinion. I will not purchase a math program for my preschoolers until they have this down-even if it takes until 1st grade to do so.

For anyone who is past this point-and like me with math. Don't worry. There are scripted programs like Saxon math that will tell you exactly what to say while giving a lesson. I never had an issue with teaching a concept with a scripted lesson plan. Or, you can use a program like
Math U See, where you can use the CD with a math instructor who gives the lesson through the video. This is all my opinion of course, and different homeschool parents might have different advice. :)

On a side note-I'm excited to have found an art program for Matteo that I like. I'm surprised at my choice but it is a Mcgraw Hill pick called Understanding Art. This was recommended on a Charlotte Mason email loop, and I and Matteo both think he will really enjoy it. It is art through History in a chronological time line. I really like books that go in chronological order for history, but this combines art and history both. I think it will be a great addition to his schooling.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September lesson plans

We are sort of in limbo for the month of September until we get our books shipped to us. We do however have a lot of stuff to do. For instance the kids will be getting ready for a few contests for the local Renaissance festival so I have decided to list those. Don't you just LOVE the Internet? Even when our books come in I will supplement with the great lessons plans, videos, and information you can find online. I love that with homeschooling we can use all forms of media to enhance learning.

Both kids will continue their regular grammar and math lessons. We will add the lessons below as well.

Language Arts:

Combined for Matteo 7th grade and Nicko 3rd grade in order to get ready for poetry contest

What is a simile

writing poetry like pro's

all together now

Expository lesson plan

expository lesson

examples of expository essays


How to draw a midevil knight

How to draw a castle

I will add more links if I find anything interesting!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Preschool site

I really like this site and wanted to share. Fishing For Preschool Ideas has a lot of file folder games, and my littles love these!

Friday, September 3, 2010

On my end of September wish list

I'm so excited, it is getting close that I will be able to order the books I want for the kids. I have SO many plans that I just had to share. :_)


Unit- Heridity and genetics

Text book I hear really good things about this series Science Explorer by Prentice Hall, I will be using these mostly this year.

DVD Wow, this is cool! I'm not sure I can get this too, but it would be a great additions. It's on my wish list!

Very excited about this unit. We will be extracting DNA from fruit for the labs, and the unit project will be to build a double Helix.

Social Studies:
Unit-Prehistoric People's

The Boy of the Painted Cave will use for enrichment and Dar and the Spear Thrower

EyeWitness: Prehistoric Life

EyeWitness: Early Humans


Unit Project-Take part in the Genographic study! this will tie into our genetics unit in Science too.

Language Arts:

This year I have decided to switch to Lightning Literature I love that they are reading whole books and not snippets.

We will stick to Rod N Staff for our grammar portion of Language Arts


Sticking to Math U See


Building The Total Athlete

Teen Health

Teen Health workbook

Ethics/Good citizenship:

What Do You Stand For?

The Teen Guide To Global Action



Social Studies:
Discovery of the Americas unit-

The Discovery of the Americas

I plan on using this whole series for Nicko in Social Studies this year!

Animal classification

Animal classification lapbook

National Geographic, Animal Encyclopedia

Language Arts:

McGuffey Readers
old right? But for some reason Nicko just loves these. I'm really not sure what the appeal is for him, he just says he likes them. You can get these online for free, but I would really like to have the hard copy version.

Pinneo's Primmary Grammar again, and old one. We are using the online version because it is free of mistakes. I think possibly Nicko likes these because the style is sort of Charlottle Mason like in their approach.

McGuffey's Spelling

A Reason for Handwriting cursive


Continue to use Math U See

Note: I will add to this list as I find things.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

1st week lesson plans

September 1st-September 3rd

Matteo 7th grade:
Math: one lesson in Math U see Wed, Thurs, and Fri

Language Arts:

Spelling-wed-fri is to list any words missed during regular lessons. 10 random words will be chosen to test the following Monday. Get your free spelling here

one lesson in Rod N Staff grammar book
Choose and read biography of one poet of the Renaissance era, write a summary

one lesson in Rod N Staff grammar book
Research chosen poet from Wed at Encyclopedia Britannica then research and find one poetry
piece by the poet. Answer questions 1-18 on Analyzing Poetry. Follow directions for 'Writing Your Paper." Complete paper is to be typed, edited and submitted to me by Monday Sept 4th.

Work on poetry paper.


Wed, Thurs, Fri

Complete all worksheets, labs, and activities on Scientific Method & More

Wed-do Bikini bottom experiments (link above)



Social Studies:

Begin unit on Passport to Easter Hemisphere
( I plan to break this down and will report back what we did wed, thurs, and fri.


Complete the discovery education activity on high performance sports

write or orally narrate over what he learned.


Listen to Hop, Skip, and Sing French lesson 1-4
Write all new words

Listen to CD lesson 1-5
Write all new words

Say and write all words lesson 1-5

Copy work-

Wed, Thurs, Fri
Shakespeare Free

Wed, Thurs, Fri
Complete activity


Social Studies:


unit 1 lesson on community helpers
Read profiles on Community club followed by oral narration.


lesson plan Community Helpers are at your Service complete picture of community helper
with three sentences and oral narration.


choose one community helper, write a song, and create poster about them.


Watch video on scientific method


Complete worksheet on scientific method.

watch brainpop video and orally answer questions on scientific method to demonstrate mastery.

Language Arts:

Complete lesson 2 in online textbook

Complete lesson 3 in online textbook

Complete lesson 4 in online textbook

Spelling test on number words...


Wed, Thurs, Fri- one lesson from Math U See book

Copy work:

See above for link/same as Matteo's

Same as Matteo's above

Same as Matteo's above