Weekly Wrap Up {homeschool update} with Baby #4 Summary

So, how goes being a mama of 4, 6 years old and under?  It is going really great!

Weekly Wrap Up {end of november}

We have fallen into our groove with routines, baby is sleeping great *most* days for her naps, which helps with our learning time as a family.  The kids are enjoying their school time; we have finally gotten pretty comfortable with Mister doing more activities while I teach Lexie.  Ila walks around with her ABC flash cards (I laminated them and put on a ring for her) during most of learning time. She likes to come sit in my lap through out the morning and “read” to me.  =)

Lexie (6 years old)

The Lady is just flying through everything I give her or introduce her to.  She enjoys reading; we are still going over the rules as we work through All About Reading, because I don’t want her to have gaps down the road.  However, she is reading on a 4-6th grade level.  Next we are going to start working to build her vocabulary, because when reading at a higher level, she is coming across many words she doesn’t know yet.

She is learning her math facts in math and really enjoys challenging herself with those.  She does her math sheets independently and we do calendar most days (sometimes I just forget ..).  Whenever we do hands on math with manipulatives Max likes to join in.  He can do math on her level, but his writing skills aren’t there yet so we don’t focus on a math curriculum at all for him- just hands on fun! (like it should be).

We have started using the CD that came with our science (Apologia’s Astronomy 2nd Edition)- that way I don’t have to read, but I can listen along and pause it to go more in depth or explain something a little better.  The kids follow along in the book, and then Lexie does the science journal.

Handwriting and math are part of her “clip board work,” that she does independently; I check over these after she has completed them to be sure she did her best, or understood everything.  She loves watching herself improve, and I enjoy the discipline she is learning in completing her work on her own.

ps-k-weekly-wrap-up3-end-of-november

Max (4 years old)

Mister is just reading like crazy.  He does not like to read formally, off a piece of paper yet. He likes me to write words on the board for him to read, and I am 100% okay with that!  He is only 4, after all.

He is working through Reading the Alphabet by ThisReadingMama.com- I used that with Lexie and she *loved* it, so he is enjoying it now.  Each week we go on to a new letter/site word.  His favorite activities are the mazes (he is constantly asking me to find mazes for him to do), and he enjoys syllable counting.  Max is also very interested in counting to 100 .. every. single. day.  Which is great so I go with it; he likes to get out his number chart for that (check our Rainbow Resources for those!).

PS, K Weekly Wrap Up {end of november}

Mister is still obsessed with puzzles and anything he can do with his hands.  We try to make sure he gets plenty of movement, hands on learning, and has lots of play time so he continues to grow a love for learning.

Ila (2 years old)

Ila is tagging along with us in everything we do.  Right now she enjoys puzzles, dolls, coloring, and practicing her letter sounds.  She doesn’t actually know the letters that correspond with the sound, but she likes to try and I like encouraging her.  She is going to follow Lexie in her eagerness to learn and read, I think.

PS, K Weekly Wrap Up {end of november}

Our Routine For Now {baby #4 is 4 months old}

  • 7am baby up, nurse
  • 7:15-7:20ish I get Max up for mama and baby time while I give baby a bottle
  • Mister gets “the sisters” up =)
  • I cook breakfast, baby hangs out in bumbo or bouncer, older 3 do morning chores/get ready for day
  • everyone eats breakfast and we do our morning basket “stuff”
  • 8:25 baby down for nap
  • all 3 bigger kids go outside or downstairs to play until 9am
  • 9am we begin school
  • 10:30- it is time to get baby up and fed.  We are usually done with school by this point, Lexie may have some clipboard work to finish on her own for the rest of the week
  • 11:15 everyone has lunch
  • 12:00 baby takes nap, then I put Ila down for nap, bigs go outside to play
  • 12:45 Mister goes down for nap, Lexie has rest time reading books, mama writes blog posts, does chores, or rests
  • 2:00 time to get baby up for feeding- Lexie usually comes in to spend time with me and baby
  • 3:00 everyone up from naps, outside or downstairs to play or we run errands
  • 3:30 baby down for last nap, I prep dinner if not yet done
  • 5:00 Baby up, nurse
  • 5:30 everyone eats dinner, baby gets solids
  • bath, wind down, sometimes we watch a show like Mister Rogers, Bob the Builder, Boxcar Children, etc
  • 6:30 baby gets bottle and goes right to bed
  • 7:00 everyone in bed, unless Mister napped good then he and Lexie get to stay up a little later (but they’re always ready for bed-that’s what happens when you spend most of your day running around a farm!)
  • Mama and Daddy time- this is my favorite part about keeping a good routine while our kids are young~I get 1:1 time with my husband and we can unwind from our days together without little people needing us non stop.  It’s nice!

Not everything is set to a specific time, but naps and feedings are.  Everything else works around that, and just sort of falls into place; it is simple and flows well because I don’t have to force anything.

Coralie {4 months old}

Baby #4- wow.  She is already 4 months old (19 weeks) and SO happy.  The best thing I could have ever done for this baby is getting a good sleep schedule down- without it she would still be crying, fussy, unhappy, and unpredicatable.

Because of her eating and sleep routines I am able to pinpoint what she needs, she rarely cries (and if she does it is because something is wrong), and she sleeps very well as long as I hit her wake time right (too short results in a short nap, too long results in crying).

baby-4-summary-4-months

But the BEST part of her routine-she went from HATING going to sleep in her crib, to *loving* it.  Before about 15 weeks old, she cried every time I laid her down on the changing table to put on her sleep blanket (we use THIS ONE).  Now, the girl is happy, kicking, and ready to go to bed as soon as I zip her up!  We talks and babbles while I sing Jesus Loves Me, sucks/gnaws on her hand (teething), and when I lay her down she goes to sleep within 20 minutes.  Sometimes she fusses after talking for a bit, but never cries for me to get her.  IF she is crying-crying, I will go rub some oil on her gums or try to burp her and then lay her back down.  Then she usually drifts off to sleep.

She is still a very social girl, loves talking and playing.  She got a jumper from her grandparents for Christmas, which I had to let her play in early because A) babies outgrow things fast and it seemed silly to waste a whole month of having it but not using it and B) she is all about kicking these days.  She loves it.  This way she can see everyone and know what is going on, which is right up her alley.

She is eating every 3.5 hours, her wake time is anywhere from 85-95 minutes (lengthens as we go through the day), and she is experimenting with solids.  We have done soft boiled egg yolk, green beans, squash, carrots, and peaches.  She devoured all of them, and stares at us while we eat.  I think she is ready for more in her day, but honestly I am not ready to have to tote around baby food, spoons, bibs, etc every time we leave the house.  I already have to pack formula and hot water, so Im good for now.  I am going to try to get by without daytime solids until 6+ months.  She is only having them at our dinner time (5:30) now.

That is pretty much it for our weekly wrap up and summary.  We are just trucking through everything, enjoying it as we go.

 

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Homeschool Weekly Wrap Up {October 21, 2016}

The past few weeks have been so fun in our homeschool!  Everyone is growing by leaps and bounds and I love being being part of it; the big squeeze hugs Mister gives me after each word he reads while exclaiming, “I read another word!” makes every hard homeschool moment worth it.

We are reading about Pocahontas in our Beautiful Feet study right now; Lexie has already read the book to herself, but reading it aloud to all of the kids makes it fun and she takes that opportunity to ask for clarification about vocabulary words she doesn’t understand or parts of the plot that she wants further explanation about.

In math Lexie and Max have both enjoyed using cusinaire rods to learn about how numbers work with each other, build on each other, and to help with skip counting.  Lexie is moving through her math curriculum really well, pretty much on her own.  But she is thinking about numbers so much outside of school in her play and conversations with us, I knew she needed a little more number sense to build on to better understand the math she is exploring in every day life.

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Next week we are going to use base ten blocks to explore place value, skip counting, and changing numbers.

Max is following along with us, but mostly enjoys using the manipulatives to build hammers and trucks.

Mister is reading!  He is so proud of himself; he has known his letter sounds for ages now.  A few months back he began sounding out words, but couldn’t quite blend the sounds together, even with modeling.  And about 2 weeks ago, it just clicked!  It was SO wonderful and fun; he asks to read new words every school day.  We are using This Reading Mama’s Reading the Alphabet curriculum in conjunction with AAR Level 1.  He loves the little books that TRM’s curriculum includes, as well as the activities.  Next week I told him we could start reading Bob Books if he wanted.

I think his favorite part about learning to read isn’t just that he can read, which is huge for his confidence, but that he gets 1:1 time with mama just for reading. =)  He is reading to his sisters, and to me whenever he can.  Hopefully he enjoys growing and learning more; we probably won’t move as quickly as Lexie did, but who knows?  I didn’t think he would want to read this early, but we enjoyed playing with letters and words until he did.  Surprise!

In science we are covering the sun; we are moving really slowly through our science curriculum, but we are enjoying it.  Lexie enjoys working through the journal and *loves* the crossword puzzles.  Mister is tagging along.  We made our first KWL chart so they could visualize and learn about organizing their thoughts. One thing I really loved using in college for my methods courses were graphic organizers.

Lexie and Max are both working through their handwriting programs.  Lexie’s handwriting has improved so much, but only shows when she really tries to write neatly (which she likes to do and surprise me).  At the end of each week she is excited to show me her final copywork which is a Bible verse.  She uses A Reason for Handwriting’s B program.  Max has been working on pre-writing skills with Handwriting Without Tears and loves it.  He sits in my lap while we practice the different strokes while he colors.  Soon he gets to begin writing letters in his book.

We have been spending lots of time outside in this beautiful fall weather!  The kids all went through an obsession with caterpillars a few weeks back when they were everywhere.  Now, we are covered in beetles that look like lady bugs!  So we are about to start learning a bit about them.

We are also doing some FIAR activities with our FIAR books as we want.  Mostly we are discussing parts of the stories for now, like character traits and social awareness.  I *love* *love* *love* FIAR and the books that it covers- it is just great literature!  And because I don’t feel like we have to do every. single. thing. in the guide, we can just enjoy and savor quality books.  (and I don’t have to go on a hunt and make lists of books .. less work for me!)

And of course we like to follow other interest led learning trails, so whenever we come across something they want to know more about we just dive in!

We love homeschooling because we can be eclectic.  We can use curricula we love, and do our own thing without any boundaries to hold us back.  It’s a beautiful way to structure their education and build that love for learning!

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Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2016/2017

Aaaah Every homeschool mama’s dream- getting the new school year’s supplies and curriculum all planned out and organized.

homeschool choices 20162017

As you all may know, we *love* Sonlight’s curriculum as our core- Bible, history, and read alouds. We also love their readers (books children learn to read on their own).

This past school year (2015/2016) we used Sonlight Core A with the intention of stretching it out over two years- I planned to do that by reading sequels to books, adding in lapbooks and other units, while alternating weeks of SL and these other things, etc.

Yea … so we still flew through it! The kids asked all the time to read our “learning time books,” and did not like me alternating some weeks of all the great read alouds and history books from SL in an attempt to stretch it out.

Because we didn’t stretch Core A over 2 years as planned, this left me with an extra year to fill- a year known in the homeschool world as a “gap year.”

As it turns out, SL revamped their cores for 2016, which means Core A has some new books added and some old ones removed! They also separated their language arts from the core itself. This helped me create a new plan for our next few school years.

Here is what we will do for the next few years:

  • 2016/2017- Gap Year using Beautiful Feet Early American History as core (ages 4 and 6)
  • 2017/2018- Revisit Sonlight Core A (ages 5 and 7)
  • 2018/2017- Begin Sonlight Core B (ages 6 and 8)

Why is this helpful? Because it means I can keep my two oldest in a Core together, and my two youngest (who are toddlers and a soon to be born baby) will core together when they are ready to begin. Inserting a gap year here puts my two oldest at the best possible ages for the Cores; with Sonlight it is generally better to be in the top of the age range than the bottom because book content is heavier as you get to Core D and the farther in cores you go the more chapter books you encounter.

Break Down of What We Will Use for 2016/2017

Last year my 3 year old tagged along for Core A, as I have mentioned, and learned to count to 100, ID all his letters and their sounds, and just found a love for learning (slooowly but surely). My oldest, 5 years old, loved every minute of Core A, and began reading anything she could get her hands on, including books on 3rd-4th grade level. She seriously just picks up any book and read it.

They both LOVED the pioneer era, so I thought for our gap year doing an Early American History study would work out well! We chose Beautiful Feet Books Early American Primary Jumbo Literature Pack for our curriculum this year. I am truly 100% excited!

We have done 2 years of other cultures/world history so I thought this year we could take a break from that (though I think I may have a couple of future ap world history students!) while we enjoy a little bit of studying closer to home, before we jump back into world cultures/world history with Core A again.

2017 Curriculum Choices (Kindergarten age 6, Preschool age 4)

Together we will all enjoy:

  • History/Core– Beautiful Feet E.A. History- this also incorporates copywork and writing
  • Bible- Reading from Egermeier’s Bible Story Book
  • Memory work (Bible verses, poems, etc that I have chosen)
  • Science- Apologia Science Astronomy second edition (oh my goodness we are LOVING this-review to come in September) used with the Jr. Notebooking Journal for Kindergartener, the preschooler will tag along/color pictures as we read
  • Art– Artistic Pursuits- we love this program, hands down

Kindergarten (age 6)

  • Reading– AAR Level 2/3- we are about half way through Level 2 now, so we will continue on to Level 3 once we are done
  • Readers– we will continue using Sonlight’s readers, as well as other first and second grade readers from the library
  • Spelling– AAS Level 1- we did not being AAS last year as I had planned (mama was just too sick/exhausted with pregnancy to add in anything else at the time) so we will begin it this year. Lexie is very concerned about how to spell her words and because her reading level is so advanced I figured this is a good time to gently introduce spelling.
  • Math– Saxon 1/2- we will finish Saxon 1 and move on to Saxon 2 this year. Max, the preschooler, will tag along using manipulatives to understand concepts instead of writing
  • Handwriting– we will use our faithful copywork, as well as A Reason for Handwriting book B
  • Writing– copywork, journal, and modeling (I plan to introduce more formal grammar/writing at 2nd grade level)

Preschool (age 4)

  • Reading- All About Reading Level 1 (mixed with some games from the Pre Reading level because he loves them)
  • Math- tag along using manipulatives to understand concepts instead of writing, learn to write numbers
  • Handwriting- Handwriting Without Tears Preschool or K book (I haven’t decided yet… he is still very much at the pre writing level, but I know Lexie flew through that stage once she got started, so we may just go to the K book first)
  • I plan to use lots of hands on and games with him; he loves puzzles and mazes, building things, and sports right now so there isn’t a ton of interest in paper and pencil learning just yet. I don’t want to burn him out or push him too young. He is excited about learning to read and write letters, but short of that it will be a lot of play.

Miss Tot (2)

Ila will tag along, get some one on one time with mama, and enjoy independent play during our school time. She is learning her shapes, colors, ABCs, and how to do puzzles right now. Really, she has mastered her puzzles and counting to 10, so we will just continue with songs, finger plays, and other tot-time learning for her. =)

In addition to our curriculum, we will do LOTS of play outside, work on the farm, and learn through nature.

So, as for now, these are our plans for homeschool this year! If things change or I add something (haven’t yet placed my last order..) I will do a part II and let you know.

What will your school year look like for 2016/2017?

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

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