Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Very cool homeschool site for Spelling

I have to thank my friend Renee for this....Thanks Renee!.....
This will work beautifully with our weekly spelling words, add fun and be part of his computer lessons.

Spelling City is a spelling and vocabulary website that uses your own spelling/vocab words. The site will teach, test and use games to help your child with their weekly spelling or vocab words. It verbally spells out the words in the learn section and then uses it in a sentence. The test section (you have to click each individual box) will say the word which your child then types into the box, they can also use the buttons to have the word said again or used in a sentence again, both are done initally upon clicking on the box. You have to do all of the spelling words before clicking on the check me as it does the whole test as a whole. It grades you, allows you to print the report or a certificate. Under the games section there are games and learning activities such as sentence writing practice, my son enjoyed almost of them. I can actually see using this more and more on a daily basis along with and instead of a couple of things we have already started that seem sort of stuffy and old fashioned. I love the idea of him taking his test this way as well.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Enjoying the last days of summer....

Well, August did not go exactly as planned with our school work but that's okay. Instead of us being full on everyday we have been doing bits and pieces while we enjoy ourselves. We have been hitting the shore (we live in NJ, USA so we call the beach the shore, unlike the rest of the world. LOL!) on DH's days off or other things locally. Its us hanging onto the last of summer I guess.
So, we have being doing weekly spelling, language arts (parts of speech actually) and math. Next week we'll be starting full on but we'll still be taking advantage of those days off to hit the shore while everyone else is back at school and work, its much less crowded that way.

Anyway this is what we have been working on the past three weeks:
Grade 2
Week 1 (8/10 - 8/14) -
* Spelling words - gas, sat, had, bad, mad, rag, bat, wag, pat, bag.
First Day - introduced the list to him, matched the list to index cards and spelling out loud from them.
2nd Day - he was able to spell half the list without looking at them again, by the end of the day he had all 10 words down. We also identified vowels and consonants and wrote words in a sentence.
3rd Day - wrote the list of words from memory 3x each, did worksheet from book for words and brainstormed other words ending in ad, ag, as and at.
4th Day - wrote a rhyme using brainstormed words from day before, took spelling test.

* Reading - studying parts of speech.
Read Q is for Duck; an Animal Guessing Game (Mary Elting/Michael Folsom).
1st Day - Explained what a noun was and he picked all of the nouns in the book. He then wrote the animal nouns adding some of his own to the list.
2nd Day - Proper nouns - created names for the list of animals from yesterday's list, wrote those names making sure each began with a capital letter. Completed 2 worksheets from book (common nouns/proper nouns).
3rd Day - Changed each singular name from book into plural nouns. 2 worksheets from book (singular nouns/plural nouns).
4th Day - Introduced what a verb is and then he picked out the verbs in storybook, writing them in alphabetical order.
5th Day - Wrote an original noun/verb book using the proper nouns from 2nd day's work.

* Math -
Along with other math work (addition/subtraction) from Learn at Home book we read the book Domino Addition (Lynette Long). Then, using real dominoes created addition and subtraction problems using the pips on each domino. Completed worksheet from LAH book.

Week 2 - (8/17 - 8/22) -
* Spelling Words - wet, pen, rest, tell, best, well, set, fell, men, met.
For the week we continued the pattern from week 1 using different worksheets from LAH book.

* Reading - Read Tacky the Penguin (Helen Lester).
For the week he learned what verbs were, identified the verbs in the book, learned past and present tense with activities, linking verbs and changing words using ed and ing, also completed related worksheets in LAH book.
* Math - Additon and subtraction using numbers 1-10, fact families and using manipulatives including dominoes, parts and whole, improved speed and accuracy of addition/subtraction with flash cards.

Week 3 - (8/24 - 8/28) - 
* Spelling Words - fix, win, hit, still, tin, will, bill, sit, fit, hill.
Same as first two weeks.
* Reading - Adjectives - picking and describing objects around the house and outside.
Read Six Sick Sheep: 101 Tongue Twisters (Joanna Cole). During the week we identified adjectives from the book, made our own twister, described his own toys and played a guessing game by describing an unseen object with adjectives switching who guesses while playing and completed related worksheets from LAH book.
* Math - Part-part-whole frames, missing addends, count on's to find missing addends, skip counting in missing addends, using subtraction to find missing addends and checking answers, completed worksheets as usual.
* Social Studies - Read the books This Is the Way We Go to School: A Book About Children Around the World (Edith Baer) and the fable The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Used both stories to compare and discuss neighborhoods.
By the way, the book This Is the Way We Go to School is great and one that we will be adding to our library at home and Six Sick Sheep may also be added since we need to use it for a few weeks in our studies.

Week 4 looks like this:
* Spelling Words - job, rock, cob, pop, got, lot, hop, box, sock, fox. With a review of phonic skills of short o vowels, the ck sound and the letter x. Also, while typing this list I'm adding the Dr. Seuss book Fox In Socks, it will be perfect with this list.
* Books for the week are Frog and Toad Are Friends (Arnold Lobel), Adventures of Taxi Dog (Debra and Sal Barracca) and if I can find it City Seen From A to Z (Rachel Isadora). The last two books are part of our social studies for the week but City Seen is hard to find in the library so I may end up using This Is the Way We Go to School from last week or something else.
* Math - Subtrahends and Minuends.
We'll also be starting our science and writing journals. More on next week...well, next week.

I am very happy that The Red Ranger's spelling, math and parts of speech lessons are going so well...far better than I thought they would. We've also continued with our geography (oceans and continents of the world) and our "Where in the USA and Where in the World is...." (daily) map work, he really enjoys map work. We were going to do a unit study branching off from oceans and continents but since we have a unit study coming up next week on Native Americans for four weeks I think it would be too much. So, we will slowly continue adding to oceans and continents by with animals that live in the seas and continue from there. It looks like it will be an ongoing study instead of a themed unit study. Also, our LAH curriculum book has an ocean study of its own coming up at week 10 with lots of books to read and our local aquarium (Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ) offers a week of study especially for homeschoolers in the fall. We didn't get to do this last year because of DH's illness but I'm hoping to fit it in this time around.
We'll also be introducing a Cleopatra study this fall because our local museum, The Franklin Institute, has a big Cleopatra exhibit going on until the end of the year and we have to take advantage of that AND I missed the King Tut exhibit and refuse to miss this one!!
Sorry....Mommy rant there......I'm better now.......as you can we are busy and it will get even busier as the weeks progress. I'm hoping to get more pictures up for the Not Back to School Hop but there just hasn't been any time. Hope you enjoy the waning days of summer!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

An Usborne Mystery Hostess Online Book Party

In case you hadn't seen yet I'm a Usborne Books Consultant, works great for our homeschooling.
For August I'm holding a Mystery Hostess Party online at my Usborne site.
You can order some of the books you need for your homeschooling and also get chances to win the free books generated by the Mystery Hostess Party. There are a few other chances and you can see them below. I've held off placing my own Usborne order so that I could include it in the sales totals for this event.

Link for the Mystery Hostess Online Party: www.ubah.com/HOS177386
Link for Facebook Page: The Usborne Kid's Book Train

Teaching Time to my son or sometimes he directs where the lesson goes...

While doing lessons the other day we had one of those moments where The Red Ranger directs where the lesson goes. We were doing a telling time worksheet and then matching the times on the worksheet with our handheld clocks and he was loving it so I pulled out our time flash cards (analog and digital) which led to one of our workstations. I put in the cards as digital, The Red Ranger then pulled out the clock face and matched it and then self-checked by flipping over the flash card.

We spent so much time on this lesson with 5 more folders to go in our workfolder system but this was one of THOSE moments, you know the ones where the learning is more of a game so they think its a break!! This of course had now led to me having to go back to the $ store (they come in packs of 4) to pick up more of the clock faces but its going to be great. My son took one of clocks for his room and I used one for our season block on our morning meeting chart so really need to get more for the workstation now. In case you are wondering the Mom really liked how this all worked out as well!
The hanging pocket chart came from the $ section at Target (the pocket charts there are actually $2.50 but still worth it, you'll be seeing lots of them in these posts). The season sheet was from one of our workbooks. 

The analog/digital time flash cards were a freebie I got from the Carson Dellosa Facebook Page last year (I got a whole package of cool free stuff from them just for being a fan on their page and posting).
My husband has said more than once that the kids (teens) working for him do not understand analog time. If it isn't a digital clock they can't tell time and heaven forbid you say "be back at quarter-after or half-past", they haven't a clue what you are talking about. These are teens GRADUATING from high school!!
AND people wonder WHY we homeschool??!! LOL!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our Curriculum for Curriculum Week - Not Back To School Blog Hop

Not Back to School Blog Hop
 Our curriculum so far.
ABC For Fitness - Several times daily - 30 minutes for the day.

Morning Meeting Work consisting of calendar, weather, letters, words, vocab. for the week.
Geography - US, World, and themed studies.
1. August - Oceans of the World and the sea life in them with workbooks, scanopedia and other materials. Twice a week.
2. US - Identifying states, flags of the states. Will expand on each states info as needed. Twice a week.
3. With the Oceans, we'll be studying the continents of the globe and some of their countries along with animals and flags. Once or twice a week.
History -  Will be tied in with the geography studies above. One day US history, one day World.
Will also be doing a unit study on Egypt and Cleopatra across subjects to be followed by a visit to the Cleopatra exhibit in Philadelphia at the Franklin Institute.
Science - Two or three times a week. SuperCharged Science program and Space, experiments (physics), dinosaurs, nature from many other sources.
* ADD-ON - Updated 8/3/2010 - The Young Scientists Club - See update below.
Art - Palette of Fun - 4H curriculum, grades K-6. Plus other Arts and Crafts from other sources and themed.
Music - Beginning guitar and piano.

For now these are our main books:
All of these are in binders and I'm using the page protector's over them to preserve them.

  • Learn at Home Series from Carson Dellosa - it gives you an entire year's worth of lesson plans to help you start off with, done week by week. Its a great starting point.
  • Flash Kids Series - Complete Curriculum from B&N.
  • And the Big Second Grade Workbook from School Zone.
Supplemental Books: Most of these tie into our centers.
  • Learning with Literature series, two books one each for a Math twist and Science Twist. For grades K-2. (Carson Dellosa)
  • Several Homework Booklets from Carson Dellosa on phonics, grammar, reading comprehension.
  • Supplemental Workbooks and flashcards for math, science, history, geography, space. Most of these have come from the $1 bins at Target and the Dollar Store. They are perfect for independent work, busy or I'm finished already work, or as compliments to other lessons. 
Another tool that I'm adapting for us is the Hot Dots system. They actually have extra dots for making your own flashcards, tests, etc. and if you have a child like mine that likes to check his own answers, they get immediate feedback on whether they are correct or not from the Hot Dots pen. I also purchased Learn Arounds from Really Good Stuff for the same reasons but with a different approach.

None of this includes my books from Usborne yet as I just can't decide what I want (or rather what I can afford!). So I'll add them later.
We also have a science program, HOP reading (2nd Grade) and I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff but its a start for this blog. I'm sure as I read the other blogs in the hop I'll realize what I forgot or find something else we might want to add. My husband is also helping with science (computers, ham radio, electricity, music). Not sure about a language just yet.
Here are some of the photo's of our books, I haven't included our science, history or geography because this post is just getting too long. Can't wait to see what everyone else has! Thanks for dropping by!

* UPDATE: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 -
As expected while reading other blogs in the hop we have found the first add-on for our curriculum this year.
It's The Young Scientist's Club and it came from the blog Fortunately For You Books.
I can't wait to order the first kit for The Red Ranger, I love the way each kit builds on what is made and learned in the previous kit for use in future kit's.