Journal: It’s hot here

Outside my window:

Warm and the birds are chirping.  It’s going to be another hot day.  I am ready for the temperatures to cool down a little and get back to spring temperatures.  We have had some summer weather the past 4 days.

Around the house:

I have some organization that I am wanting to do once we are done with school next week.  Ready to do some more decluttering before summer break.

The kiddos:

We are finishing some of our activities for the school year.  They all had their choir concert last week and did a great job.  Annika had her first Confession last week and first Communion on Sunday.  It was such a great day.  I have some really great pictures that my sister took that I will post sometime this week.  We will be done with our official school year next week and take a few weeks off before we start our summer schedule.  The kids are signed up for most of their summer activities and they are excited about them.

In the kitchen:

I have taken a couple cooking classes this past month with the executive chef of a local vegetarian restaurant.  These classes have been so much fun and I have definitely learned some cooking technique that I did not know before.  I am looking forward to one more class in this series.  It’s been fun to take a class for an activity that I enjoy!

On the menu:

Fish with oven fries and veggies, tuna noodles and veggies, pizza, golden honey chicken with rice and veggies, chicken tacos.

Crafting:

I have all my yarn pulled out right now and added some knitting patterns to my queue on Ravelry, now I just need to commit to a project and start.  Annika and I are going to start working on sewing a skirt together.

Learning:

As I think about our school year coming to an end I am really happy with our year.  No year will ever be “perfect” but it has been really good.  I have seen them all grow and learn so much.  We really do enjoy learning together and I am very grateful that homeschooling is part of our families journey.

Bringing me joy:

Watching my kids play together.  All three of them have such great relationships with one another.  Seeing my kids play in the sprinkler for the first time this year.  Jude reading like crazy, he is finishing the last Harry Potter book.  Annika receiving her first Communion.  Zane learning to swim and being so comfortable in the water now.

Thinking about:

My prayer life, it has been pretty blah for a little while.  Too many things on my mind make prayer difficult.  Blogging and making time for that again.  My laptop was not useable for a few months and now that I can use it again I am trying to get into the routine of blogging again.

Pictures to share:

Here is one of Annika’s First Communion pictures.  I will share more in another post.  She wore the same dress that I wore.  My Aunt made this dress for my oldest sister 34 years ago and Annika is the 8th girl in our family to wear this dress.

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Journal: Advent Week 1

Outside my window: 

Another beautiful day!  It is going to get cold later in the week so we took advantage of the nice sunny day.

Around the house:

Signs of Advent around the house.  We put up our Jesse Tree and Advent Wreath and a few other seasonal items.   I love the reminders that Advent is here around the house.

The kiddos:

All are doing great!  All the kids are healthy and enjoying their usual activities.  The kids are preparing for their choir concert in just two weeks.

Zane has his speech evaluation tomorrow and I am eager to hear what the plan will be.

In the kitchen:

On the menu:  Meatsauce and Spaghetti, Chicken and Noodles with homemade gluten free egg noodles, Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal, Roasted Chicken with Vegetables, Salmon Patties with Oven Fries and Veggies, and Pizza.  I made cranberry sauce muffins with leftover cranberry sauce today.  I have made these lots of time and really like them.  I will post the recipe later this week.

Crafting:

None last week.  But I do have some sewing plans this week.  Since we started our Jesse Tree yesterday I thought I would share the ornaments I made last year.  I used the idea for the no sew Jesse Tree ornaments from here.  In previous years we had paper ornaments and these are so much better.  I plan to make ornaments for the O Antiphons this year.

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Learning:

Only a few school items last week.  We worked on fire safety and watched some Libery Kids videos of the events we just studied in U.S. History.  Getting back into the swing of things with our regular schedule this week.  The kids did really well today, it is always nice to have a little break from school to recharge.

Bringing me joy:

Thanksgiving with my family.   Black Friday shopping with my sisters and nieces.

Pictures to share:

Black Friday Silliness

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School Year 2013-2014 Curriculum and Schedule

Better late than never, here is my annual curriculum post for our homeschool year.  This is the fourth year we will be using Mater Amabilis  as our spine for our curriculum. Jude is level 2 Year 1 for 4th grade and Annika will be doing level 1A Year 1 for 2nd grade.  Zane is 4 and doing preschool again this year.  His routine is pretty similar to last year.  Here is what we are using this year and our schedules.

Religion

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Annika and Zane will both be participating in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program through the Catholic home school group we are members of.  This is Annika’s third year and Zane’s second year.

57 Stories of Saints for Jude

Saints for Young Readers for Every Day, Vol 1 and 2 for Annika

The First Christians:  The Acts of the Apostles for Children for both Jude and Annika

Jude is also reading a saint biography each term this year.  Jude choose Saint Pio of Petrelcina: Rich in Love for his first book this term.

The past 2 years we have used P.A.C.E. Program for Achieving Character Education which we enjoyed, but this year we decided to use Laying Down the Rails for Children: A Habit-Training Companion for our character training and we are loving it!

Faith and Life Grades 2 and 4

Celebrating the Mass Lesson Plans from Catholic Toolbox

Annika will be preparing for his first Confession and Communion this year, these are the resources we are using.

First Communion Days

Sacrament of Holy Eucharist Lapbook

Sacrament of Confession Lapbook

St. Joseph Picture Books:  Going to Confession, The Holy Eucharist, and Receiving Holy Communion

We will also continue to use the following resources to plan our liturgical year activities.

The Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions

Catholic Icing

Catholic Culture

Math

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Math in Focus Grades 1,2, and 3.

I am also use Math Mammoth when the kids need extra practice in a particular area.  For math fact drills we are using  Xtramath and Math Fact Cafe.  We also enjoy the games in the Righstart Math Games Book.

Language Arts

Phonics

Annika is using MCP Plaid Phonics Level B

Spelling

After using All About Spelling for the past 2 years I did not feel like it was good fit for us.  We are using Spelling Wisdom this year for Jude.

Grammar

Intermediate Language Lessons for Jude

Primary Language Lessons for Annika

Handwriting

Handwriting Without Tears Annika is working in the Second Grade book and Jude Fourth grade.  This is our fourth year with this handwriting program and it works really well for us.

Jude and Annika also have copywork selections for handwriting practice.

Composition

Jude will be completing written narrations daily for history, religion, geography, literature, and science.

Literature

Classic Literature

Jude and Annika will read one book per term.

Shakespeare

Jude will start studying Shakespeare and will listen to retellings of The Tempest, Macbeth, and As You Like it.

Myths

Jude is reading The Adventures of Odysseus and Tales of Troy

Annika is listening to Classic Myths to Read Aloud

Tales

Annika is listening to stories from English Fairy Tales

Poetry

Once weekly we are having Poetry Tea Time. Jude and Annika pick a poem at the beginning of the week from books either from the library or The Harp and Laurel Wreath.  They then practice recitation of the poem during the week and recite their poems during a mid morning tea on Friday.

Science

Jude is doing science following the lesson plan on Mater Amabilis for Science in Ancient Greece

Annika is completing Noeo Science Biology 1

Earth Studies/Geography

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For Annika:  Studies on Mountains and Volcanoes and Weather and Climate from The Earth: The Geography of our World and other books and resources.

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State Scrapbooks inspired by ideas found at Shower of Roses  Our second year for our state scrapbooks.  The kids really enjoyed working on these last year.

For Jude: American Geography Paddle-to-the-sea and Seabird.

Term Books for Jude: The CaySecret of the Andes, and Chucaro: Wild Pony of the Pampa.

History

American History

Jude and Annika are completing their second year of American History using books from Shower of Roses American History Plans .

Ancient History

Book selections for Jude and Annika from Connecting with History Volume 2

Jude is reading Famous Men of Ancient Greece

Annika is listening to the Old Testatment stories from the New Catholic Picture Bible

Nature Study

Weekly nature walks and nature notebook

Music

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Music Masters We will be studying Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven this year.  We will continue to use picture books to learn about the composers as well as listening to their music and completing notebooking pages.

Making Music Praying Twice

Choir once a week through our homeschool group

Picture Study

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Picture Study along with Artist Notebooks and Picture Books

Paul Cezanne

Vincent Van Gogh

Henri Rousseau and Georges Seurat

Art

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Art projects twice weekly.  I have several art project books to choose projects from.  Jude and Annika also have access to the art supplies to work with when they are inspired.  We will continue participating in the Family Artventure at the Wichita Art Museum.

Drawing with Children– We will continue to use the Lesson Plans from Donna Young’s Website.

Extra Curricula Activities

Learn Spanish with Grace

Dance Mat Typing

Working on basic sewing school for both Jude and Annika using the lessons at Kids Sewing Projects

Annika is working on knitting a scarf.

Jude is learning is learning about photography.  He will take pictures through the school year learn some editing skills, and put together a photo book at the end of our school year.

Physical Fitness:  Swimming Weekly, Gymnastics Weekly for Annika and Zane, Wall Climbing, Outside Time, and Exercise Videos.

Our Daily Schedule School Schedule and Afternoon Schedule

Journal (Third Edition)

Outside my window:  A chilly morning, but will be in the mid 50’s today.

Clothing myself in: 
Still in my jammies.

Around the house:
I finally steam cleaned the kitchen carpet.  It looked better for a few days.  We add to our Christmas decorations each week in Advent. This Sunday our Christmas tree will go up.  The kids look forward to the new decorations each week.
 
The kiddos:  
All are doing well.  Jude will finish up with TaeKwonDo Monday until next month.  It is always nice when he has a break.  We have enjoyed taking the kids to some holiday events.  We have enjoyed a fireworks show and lights at the local botanical gardens the past few weeks.

In the kitchen: 
On the menu: Tuna Noodles, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chicken Parmesan, Tacos, breakfast. Baking this sweet bread today for St. Lucy’s feast day.  Also making some mini cheesecakes for a recipe exchange tonight.

Crafting:
 Annika’s Christmas dress is done and I have started sewing a skirt for myself.  Annika picked out the purple sparkly fabric.
Annika's Dress

Learning: 
We are having a good school week.  Jude is doing much better with a positive attitude after Jason and I both talked with him.  Annika’s reading is improving all the time and she really is enjoying the books I have picked out for her at the library.  Working on Jude reading books other than Star Wars, he seems to be enjoying the couple of books I have picked out for him.  I have been using the booklists on this blog to choose the kids books.

Bringing me joy:
looking at Christmas lights with the kids, our daily Advent activities, seasonal baking, seeing the children open their books that St. Nicholas brought them last week.  I love how excited they get to see one another open their gifts.

Thinking about:
The new year ahead and starting my new business.  I finally feel ready to launch and I am excited.   I celebrated my 37th birthday and have been thinking about enjoying the blessings before me everyday.

Pictures to share: 
JudeFaces Painted
Kids with Santa St. Nicholas Day

Journal (Second Edition)

Outside my window:  A beautiful fall day!  Mostly sunny and in the mid 60’s, love this weather.

Clothing myself in: 
Dark jeans, red long sleeve t-shirt, a cream colored cardigan, and of course tennis shoes.

Around the house:  
I still need to steam clean the kitchen carpet.  I am glad that I put it off since we had a big yogurt spill the other day.  Kitchen carpet, grrrr!  I have been cleaning the house and starting to take down our fall decor and prepare for Advent decorations this weekend.
 
The kiddos:  
They are enjoying the beautiful weather and playing outside a lot today.   Annika came to me one morning this week telling me about the jet pack she just invented and all it’s features.  We did of a recording of her invention.

In the kitchen: 
On the menu: golden honey chicken with rice, salmon patties and oven fries, goulash, and chicken & noodles, breakfast.  I baked a couple of loaves of gluten free bread today.  Some for lunch and some for the freezer.

Crafting:
 I purchased fabric for Annika’s Christmas dress, Annika picked it out and she is finally getting a purple dress!  I purchased the Olivia Peasant Dress Pattern on Etsy, it is a super simple pattern and I will be able to use it lots of times.  I have had some fabric for awhile for a skirt for myself and I think I might sew it up now.

Learning: 
We are having a good school week.  Still working with Jude on the whole attitude thing.  He wants all free time and no school work.  The grumps and groans are so much fun, I joined in one day.  He has no actual complaints about our curriculum, he actually enjoys it once he gets started.

Bringing me joy: 
the kids playing for hours together, Annika and the songs she makes up, lego creations by Jude, Zane’s smile, and my awesome hubby.

Thinking about:
Advent, I ordered this for the Kindle.  I enjoy reading on the Kindle while I am on the exercise bike in the morning.  Zane was waking up really early again so I have not been able to exercise lately, but he seems to have settled down and has slept later this past week.

Pictures to share:
Annika was super excited that she finished book 2 of Explode The Code (our phonics program) this week.  She requested I take a picture of her with the new book, book 3.

School Year 2012-2013 Curriculum

Like last year I thought I would share what curriculum we are using for our homeschool year.  This is the third year we will be using Mater Amabilis  as our spine for our curriculum. Jude is level 1A year 2, 3rd grade and Annika will be doing level 1B for 1st grade.  Zane is starting preschool this year as a 3 year old.  Here is the rundown of what we are using this year.  I will post about my preschool plans in another post.

Religion

Annika and Zane will both be participating in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program through the Catholic home school group we are members of.  This is Annika’s second year and Zane’s first year.

Saints for Young Readers for Every Day, Vol 1 and 2

P.A.C.E. Program for Achieving Character Education

Faith and Life Grade 1 and 3

We will also continue to use the following resources to plan our liturgical year activities.

The Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions

Catholic Icing

Catholic Culture

Math

Math in Focus Grades 1 and 2

We made a change mid year last year from using Righstart Math to using Math Mammoth Blue Series Package for grades 1-3.  Righstart just was not a good fit for Jude and we enjoyed finishing out the year with Math Mammoth.  At the beginning of the summer I found Math in Focus and we did a trial of this curriculum over the summer and Jude is really moving along well with the math concepts.

Language Arts

Phonics

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lesssons Annika will continue working in this book

Explode the Code Workbooks

Spelling

All About Spelling This is Jude’s second year and he is in book 2.  Annika will be starting in book 1.

Grammar

Primary Language Lessons

Language of God Level B

Handwriting

Handwriting Without Tears Annika is working in the First Grade book and Jude Third grade.  This is our third year with this handwriting program and it works really well for us.

Literature

I will post on this later

Science

We enjoyed using Noeo Science Biology 1 but I decided this year I would create my own curriculum for Chemistry 1 and utilize resources from the library.  I know the kids are really going to enjoy science again this year.

Earth Studies

The Earth: The Geography of our World:  We are doing a unit on Mountains and Volcanoes  this year using the plans for Mater Amabilis as a guide and adding in some of our books and activities.

Geography

State Scrapbooks inspired by ideas found at Shower of Roses  Jude is super excited about this.

Maps, Charts, Graphs Level A and C

Nature Study

Weekly nature walks and nature notebook

History

American History

After focusing on Ancient History last year I decided to use ideas from Shower of Roses American History Plans to make our own plans for the year.  We will be mostly be using  library books for our studies.

Ancient History

Connecting with History Volume 2

Music

Music Masters We will be studying Vivaldi & Corelli, Bach, and Handel.  I made composer notebooks for us to use this year in our studies.

Making Music Praying Twice

Picture Study

We are making notebooks to go along with our artist studies.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Edgar Degas

Claude Monet

Art

Art projects twice weekly.  I have several art project books to choose projects from.  Jude and Annika also have access to the art supplies to work with when they are inspired.  We will continue participating in the Family Artventure and the Art Start (Zane) programs at the Wichita Art Museum.

Drawing with Children– We will continue to use the Lesson Plans from Donna Young’s Website.

Life and Social Skills

Will post plans on this later

Moments from Our Week 19

This week we focused on settling into our school schedule and enjoyed some fun activities for our first week of school.  Our first week of school went really well and it was so nice to back into a routine after being off a routine the past few weeks.

A few years ago we baked an apple pie decorated with a letter “A” crust and we did something similar this year with a few embellished A’s on our pie crust.  The crust is gluten free and I used the pie crust from this recipe.

We visited a nature center that we don’t visit frequently and invited along Grandpa to join us.

Jude and Annika enjoyed the activities in the nature center.

Zane did not like the animal noises in the nature center and could not wait to get out of the building.


We enjoyed a walk on the trails outside and although the water was very low we got to see a bunch of turtles and some fish swimming.  The fish inspired the pictures of Zane, Annika, and Jude pretending to be fish.

We had a backyard picnic for lunch at the end of the week. Zane is pouty in these pictures because he was demanding I make him another sandwich.  Three year olds can be so much fun!

On Saturday we baked and decorated a cake for the Nativity of Mary. And celebrated this day as we have done the past 2 years.  Annika made the Mary drawing for the cake.

It was a great start to our school year this week and I am excited to see how much the kids will learn and grow this year.