Monday, June 23, 2014

Adventures in Summer Learning!

   This summer I created a "Summer Learning Basket" for Chickadee. I wanted to give her things to keep her mind active, but also let her dictate what and when she did these activities. I wanted it to be pretty laid back and fun for her (and not too stressful for me as it is my summer break too!) :)  

  I really enjoy doing thematic unit studies throughout the year so I decided to stick with that to create her summer basket. The first week of summer I kept it really light and just put in some books about summer, a few art projects, look and find books, a puzzle, etc., and her Summer Bridges K-1 Activity Book.  I told her I would like for her to do a page a day in this workbook (very easy, but keeps her mind active).

  Starting with the second week of our summer break, I included 3 Dinosaurs' Jump In To Summer Learning  activity sheets and she completes one set of these a day for the week. The first week was space themed worksheets so I included books about space, art/science projects about space, space themed games, toys, a leapfrog math DVD, and a sensory play box. 

I gather all the materials I need for the week on Sunday night then place them all in a big blue crate I found at wal-mart last summer. The crate sits in our living/family room so its close enough to find an activity and do and theres no need to go find supplies or other things. Chickadee loves this set up and likes looking through the crate each day to pick out something new she didn't see before! My favorite activities from space week were the games (from Mailbox) and the 2 projects. 

We made our own paper mache' moon lantern from a trial Babba Co. (no longer available) box I had gotten 2 summers ago and just saved the projects until Chickadee could truly participate and enjoy them. 

(I love her face in the first picture!)

We also made rockets from a trial Kiwi Crate that we got in the mail just a week before! The timing couldn't have been more perfect! 

This is just a peek into what our summer learning adventures look like. Other weekly themes will include Ocean/Beach, Dinosaurs, Pond, Robots, etc. We look forward to sharing those summer adventures with you as well! 

Until Life's Next Adventure...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The end of an adventure...

 Our first official school year (Kindergarten) has come to a close! It has been a crazy fun adventure this year as Chickadee and I (and my husband) waded through the waters of homeschooling! We had many ups, a few downs, and lots of fun memories! Here are a few highlights from our year:

August: First Day of Kindergarten! 
September: Trip to Disney World!
October: Charlotte's Web Unit Study
November: Learning to Read!
December: Truth in the Tinsel Christmas Study!
January: 100th Day!
February: Animal Secret's Homeschool class at the Children's Museum!
March: Fairy Tales Unit Study!
April: Road Trip USA study (begin)


I can't believe that I have a first grader now, but I know that beyond a doubt, homeschooling her this year was the right choice! We have all learned so much from this experience and are excited to see what the next year holds!  Overall I was pleased with our curriculum and only had to make a few tweaks. Along with literature studies, a social studies magazine, and resources from our library, our Core Curriculum we used this year included:
Horizons Math K
All About Reading Level 1
Starfall Learn to Read
Elemental Science- Exploring Science
Home Art Studio
Writeshop Primary Book A
A Reason For Handwriting K
What's In the Bible with Buck Denver? (complete series)

We have now wrapped up our school year, are in the process of reorganizing and cleaning our school room to get ready for next year, and we are enjoying the summer!  We have already made a trip out of state (for my sisters wedding!), gone swimming at our local pool, played in the sprinkler numerous times, read many many books, joined our library's summer reading program, and done some cool science/art projects! Summer is in full swing and we are living it up!

Until life's next adventure,

*If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask. I would be more than happy to answer them!

**Disclosure: All links are only for your benefit. I do not receive any type of endorsement or reward for my opinions/links above. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Adventures in the Northeast Region part 1

 The next several lessons of our Road Trip USA start by introducing you to the states of the Northeast region. We were able to complete four states before the end of our school year and will be taking a break until next fall. We were able to learn about Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, and Maryland. Chickadee is really loving this study and I am amazed at how well she has been able to learn each of the state capitols, learn some of the state animals/insects/etc., learn where the state is located, and other information about each state. With the Road Trip USA curriculum, there is a coloring page included for each state as well as postcard to make. The postcards are my favorite activity! Below are some of Chickadee's coloring pages and postcards:

After this was finished, I cut it out and glued the picture to the message side and laminate them to keep better! I was really excited that just before we started our study, Highlights Which Way USA sent us an advertising envelope and inside were stickers (one for each state) so that is what we use for our stamps on our postcards!

Here is Chickadee eating a poptart one morning when she looked at me and proclaimed "It looks like Delaware!" Love that girl's creativity!

Also, during the study of Delaware we learned about the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the Road Trip USA has instructions on how to build a replica of the bridge. We had a lot of fun working on it together as a family. Here are a few pictures! (And this bridge is still in our school room... I can't throw it out yet, we worked hard on it!) Chickadee had a lot of fun testing some of her small cars on the roadway too! I had her test it before the "string supports" were added and after to see WHY the supports were so important!

Proud Engineer!
Lastly, during our study of Maryland, we learned that they have a state boat: a Skipjack. Chickadee and her Dad made some of these boats and tested them in the water. 

Again, I can't say how much we love this curriculum, the hands on approach, and the fun we have while learning about our 50 states! Looking forward to the fall when we can pick back up into our study! 
For more info on this wonderful Road Trip USA curriculum by Confessions of a Homeschooler click here!

Until Life's Next Adventure,