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Our 2018/2019 curriculum choices

Thursday, August 16, 2018 @ 10:08 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

PLEASE NOTE this post does not contain my usual found freebies! I don’t think I have ever shared with you our curriculum choices for a year but thought you might enjoy what we decided on for this year. Due to owning and running a new business, ABC Photo Art, my homeschooling time is not as free as it used to be. We needed a portable curriculum that the children could take with them when with me when at our booth. For the last couple years we have been using Switched on Schoolhouse but as that required being close to our network that was not going to work this year plus I was beginning to find it a little too structured for our lifestyle. We don’t like to move through subjects of interest at a fast rate but rather do more research and learn in more detail the subject matter.

Until a couple years ago we always schooled year round but once again, life changed and we found ourselves taking from the end of May to end of July off. (We still only do a 4 day week!) Changing our curriculum around completely this year took me a while to organize but I am happy with the end results. Hope as you read on, my ideas and thoughts will inspire you also. I have always loved the Critical Thinking Company products and we have used several over the years but this year we are using a LOT more. We have even switched to their Math curriculum as it is much more varied and also teaches practical, day to day skills. Some books get too bogged down in explanations and the older two, who have different learning challenges, just go blank and space out so a waste of paper. Mathematical Reasoning is colorful and attention getting. We’ll see how everyone does. I have never shied away from changing something that doesn’t work.

Richard and I have always encouraged our kids to think critically. No, that does not mean we have taught them to be critical! Rather, we want them to ask questions, examine the evidence put before them and come to a logical conclusion. Don’t just take what someone says as truth, prove it for yourself. Of course there needs to be balance. We don’t expect them to doubt everything they hear and call folks liars! I have started our 15 year old on Basics of Critical Thinking. I think as we go through this together it will really help him mature as he tends to be on the gullible side and also not always understand the first time around what folks are saying to him. He is also working part time on a farm and thus learning a wide variety of essential, practical skills.

For the last couple of years I have had the kids all doing different history. That worked great when I was home everyday. It will not work now! SO, determined to use the library more I invested in Critical Thinking’s World History Detective. This is one THICK book! Designed for Grades 6-12 I know for a fact that we will not get through this in a year nor did I ever have any intention of doing so. My aim is to use this as a guide and use the resources at the library to learn more. The three main categories in this book are:

  • Ancient Civilizations
  • Medieval Civilizations
  • Early American Civilizations

For example, the first study is on the Fertile Crescent and the Sumerians. World History Detective provides some basic information but I want to delve deeper. I am going to learn alongside the children as my history knowledge is not that good. (I had the most AWFUL, BORING history teacher at school. Know where I am coming from? I spent more time outside the classroom than in or so it seems. I can still see her now and also my time spent outside on the benches!) I want our history to be fun!

Our 8 year old asked about whales the other day so I decided to find a Unit Study on Whales (Whale Tales by Amanda Bennett) which we started yesterday. Very interactive, videos to watch, books to read, word searches to do etc. Schooling here doesn’t always get done at a set time. Last night whilst letting our dinner go down I read an EXCELLENT book, Blue Whales by Patricia Hutchison (a library find). Richard and I learned stuff we never knew. Yes, of course we knew that blue whales are the largest creatures on earth but did you know that a small child could theoretically crawl into its nostril? How about that the fact that its tongue weighs as much as an elephant? The author, describing the blue whale in such a fashion, truly allowed us to visualize how BIG this creature is.

The 12 year old LOVES to learn new words. Two of our recent ones are ‘havering’ and ‘petrichor’, both of which came out of books we were reading aloud. Yes, I read aloud a LOT to these kids. Unless we are in a rush, I read to them after every mealtime. This not only allows the slower eaters to finish their meal but also allows us all to digest our food and relax a little. I hate rushing anywhere! SO with that in mind, and admittedly a little fed up with grammar, I decided to go with Vocabulary Virtuoso this year. These books provide the kids a set of new words each week with lots of lessons using the words in different ways. We’ll see how it works….

Several other bits getting added in also. When we were at Voice of the Martyrs, we picked up The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Books – Heroes of the Faith. I haven’t had a chance to look at them in detail yet but will get there. That will be our Bible curriculum to start the year.

I have some other items planned too along with Building Thinking Skills on the computer. I don’t know about you but I LOVE logic games/puzzles. Right now our 8 year old is enjoying Rush Hour after having completed the Junior version at least a couple years back.

Depending on the state you live in depends on record keeping required. Let me encourage you, that no matter if your homeschool laws are easy, as they are for us. keep GOOD and DETAILED records. Your kids will thank you for it in later years PLUS if you ever have an issue you have the records to prove what you have done. Believe you me, you won’t remember them all in your head! I keep an Excel Spreadsheet on each child, for each year. If anyone was to ever question me, I could just print each record off. This also encourages you when you look back over the year to see what you have accomplished. I do not keep a record of every book each child reads but I do note down every book we read aloud and every book we share for school.

Hope this helps and that you have a wonderful and successful school year,

Liz

Classic Cars Coloring Pages

Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 10:04 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

Got any car enthusiasts in your house? Although classified as a coloring book for adults this newest book from Dover, CARS, is suitable for all, in my humble opinion!

Just so you know I do not receive ANY incentives for making this post. I just like to share when something good comes my way! You can find 6 FREE coloring pages here.

Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)

Happy coloring,

Liz

Impromptu science lesson

Saturday, April 14, 2018 @ 03:04 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

Don’t you just love it when a homeschooling lesson happens out of the blue and you don’t have to plan it?! That is what happened to us the other evening. Hannah and Caleb were outside playing when Caleb comes rushing in yelling, “Mum! Mum! Come and look at this! QUICK!” Of course I had NO clue what I was going to look at but got a very pleasant surprise.

On a tree close by was this beautiful Luna Moth. (These moths are LARGE!) Okay, so I admit, I didn’t know what kind of moth it was and am thankful for Wikipedia on my phone 🙂 This is the first time we had ever seen one in the wild/real life and there is a reason for that. According to Wikipedia, although Luna Moths are very common, they are rarely seen as they only live for seven days. They do not eat during this time and do not have mouths. Their one goal in that seven days is to find a mate. I’m pretty sure this one we saw was a male as its antennae were wide. Amazing creation!

Hope you enjoyed our quick but interesting science lesson.

Liz

Free Nativity Stained Glass Coloring Pages

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 @ 10:11 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

As I was searching for Nativity / Advent coloring pages this afternoon for Hannah, who always LOVES to color, I came across three FREE samples from Dover. Here is one just to whet your appetite.

nati

Enjoy and have a blessed Christmas season,

Liz

Leeper the tree frog

Monday, April 20, 2015 @ 08:04 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

We enjoy reading the stories of Pibbin the Frog by Gloria Repp. Pibbin is a very brave frog who helps those in need even when things are dangerous and he doesn’t feel all that brave. Each story is different, incorporating a variety of characters from and around Friendship Bog but his best friend is Leeper, a tree frog. These chapter books are great for ages 6-12 depending on your child.

tf1

Caleb was all excited the other night when he found a tree frog. This is the first one we have ever seen here in the wild. We looked it up and it was a Missouri Gray Tree Frog. Fascinating to see its ‘sticky’ pads. A great science lesson. Of course Caleb let him go once he had finished playing with him.

tf2

Hope your spring is going well. We are taking a lot of field trips and enjoying the weather before it gets too hot. You can read more about them here.

Liz

FREE Reading Comprehension Worksheets

Thursday, February 5, 2015 @ 11:02 AM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

k12

Check out these FREE Reading Comprehension worksheets from K12 Reader. They are wonderful! This site is a wealth of educational resources so have fun.

Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)

Blessings,

Liz

Snowy and Ginger’s Winter Wonderland from the Toymaker

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 @ 12:12 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

Candyland

The Toymaker has created a nice craft for all to do this time of year – Snowy, the snowman and Ginger, the gingerbread boy. Our kids were most impressed with the optical illusion created by the spinnerets. There are two FREE PDF’s for you to print out.

Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)

We wish you a very, very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Richard, Liz, Daniel, Hannah and Caleb

Create your own FREE Math worksheets!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 @ 09:12 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

mathaids

I don’t know about your children but sometimes our kids just don’t click with a math concept right away and need some extra practice at really “getting” it. Math-Aids.com is a website where you can create FREE worksheets on specific math topics. Not only that but each time you click on what you want, you receive a different set of questions. I tried this out for the first time this evening as Daniel has been struggling with rounding to the nearest hundred. I created 5 different worksheets for him, saved them all to PDF so that I have them for future use with the other children.

I should warn you that there are a LOT of ads on this site but sometimes you have to put up with ads to get what you need to help you in educating your children. Many so called “education” websites do not impress me but this one is very different. I can see us using this a LOT in the future. Hannah is working on time right now and so I just clicked on that section. Wow! I think I have me a new “toy” to play with!

Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)

Liz

FREE Sleeping Bear Press Teacher Guides

Friday, December 12, 2014 @ 12:12 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

sbp

Recently I asked an author if she knew of any other authors who provided FREE activity pages to go with their books and she told me about Sleeping Bear Press so yesterday I looked them up. Wow! There are some truly great resources here. Yes, you do have to purchase the books if your library does not have them but due to the nature of most of their books the kids will learn a lot from each one and the books will grace your library for many years and be great reference tools.

Let’s support the authors and publishers that go the extra mile to provide additional resources to aid in the reading of their books.

As I research and find more I will let you know!

Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)

Liz

CVC Matching Puzzle Cards

Monday, October 20, 2014 @ 09:10 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

Do you have a child who is just starting to learn to read? We do! Caleb (4) knows all his letters now and so it is time to go to the next step of learning the sounds and putting them together. Not sure about you, but it has been our experience that boys tend to be more lackadaisical when it comes to learning to read than girls. They simply do not want to make the effort it takes so when I found these CVC Puzzle Cards over at  Mama’s Learning Corner I was very excited. By printing them out on bright colored paper they immediately strike interest.

cvc

What are CVC words? They are consonant, vowel, consonant words that are spelled our phonetically. For e.g C-A-T.

Yes, they take a little time to make if you laminate them like I did but I highly recommend doing this especially if you have younger children coming along behind. These will get used over and over again and once laminated should last for a LONG time. I always put mine through the laminator two times. three if not sealed. I cut out the words and put them through as a whole sheet of laminate first. Then I cut them out around the laminate, separate them and put each half through again. This way you are ensured that the laminate has sealed and so will be harder to peel.

Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)

Liz