Category Archives: apologia

School’s Out for Summer

We finished! I am amazed that we actually finished what we set out to do for the school year. I was all set to go through the summer, but now we don’t have to!

I was taking a look back at THIS POST from the beginning of the school year with our curriculum choices. The only thing we didn’t get to was the recorder/ music stuff. Maybe we can use our extra time this summer to focus on that!

We finished up some year long projects. I’ve gotta say, it feels good to accomplish a goal and not have things left hanging.

























In Adventures in my Father’s World, we’ve been learning American History all year. We kept a notebook in which to place all of Big Brother’s writings, pictures and state facts. He really enjoys looking back through the notebook and remembering all the interesting things we learned this year. All the work pages are included in the package from My Father’s World.

Also from Adventures in My Father’s World, we’ve been learning some of the names/ attributes given to Jesus. Every couple of weeks, Big Brother did a “verse poster” to add to his collection. He chose to put this up in his room. I think it’s great that he sees it every day! These posters were also included in the curriculum.

In our ocean science, Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day, we did a year long study of ocean animals. We kept up with all the fact sheets, crossword puzzles, and mini books in a notebook. Again, Big Brother REALLY likes looking back at all the fun stuff he did during the year.

Big Brother’s FAVORITE project was definitely the ocean box he did as part of the Apologia study. Each time we learned about a new class of animals, he got to add an example to the box. We got a little behind towards the end of the year… so on the last day of school, I gave his lots and lots of supplies and let him finish the remaining creatures. He is so proud of this box. It is on display in the middle of our living room.

We also completed Math U See Alpha and are ready for Beta. I’ve thought about getting that and starting during the summer… just to keep things fresh. However, math is Big Brother’s least favorite thing to do and he might not appreciate it too much!

We’ll be trying to keep cool this summer and do lots of hiking and playing with friends for the next eight weeks before we gear up for our next school year. In the fall, Big Sis will be doing more structured school and Little Sis will be able to do a little more with us too! I have my hopes for next year’s curriculum and supplies and am praying for God’s provision… because right now, I don’t know how we’ll be able to afford it. But I do know that God has provided in the past and I have no reason to doubt that he will continue to do so!

How is your school year looking? Are you finished for the school year or do you do school year round?

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Filed under apologia, curriculum, hip homeschool hop, homeschool, mfw

Swimming Creatures Progress Report

I mentioned in the beginning of the school year that Big Brother would be doing Apologia’s Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. He is currently obsessed with very interested in ocean animals. This science is more of a reward for him if he gets the rest of his work done.

Part of the curriculum of the book is to do a year long project… an ocean box. Confession… I can’t stand clutter. I love my kids and their lovely art projects, but I must admit that I regularly clean house when it comes to art projects. I keep a few pieces here and there, but the rest I toss. I go on the theory that much of the art process for kids is in the creating… they don’t so much care about the final project. Hey… it helps me sleep better at night.

However… with this ocean box, I cannot file it away or toss it away. This is a year long, hands on project and Big Brother couldn’t be more thrilled. He is so excited about adding to his box every couple of weeks. First we decorated the box with blue paper and coral.

Adding the Whales

Big Brother chose a Right Whale and a Sperm Whale to add to his box. We printed out pics and used pipe cleaners to attach said whales to the box.

Using Model Magic to Make a Sea Turtle

We used model magic from Crayola to add our Pinnipeds and Herps (Walrus and aquatic reptiles and amphibians).

working hard

I wasn’t sure how the model magic would turn out, but I think it worked out pretty well. We let it dry for a few days and then carefully glued the creatures to the box. The snake did break, but we were able to glue it back together. We added the google eyes when the clay was dry.

sea turtle


Sea Snake

We’ll probably get some stickers to add after this week’s lesson… Fish!

Big Brother is loving the Apologia stuff… I am too! For each chapter, we can get online and look at extra stuff, links, etc having to do with the topic at hand. The book and journal provides several activities. You can pace yourself as needed and do as much or as little of the activities as wanted. I am thinking about repeating the whole book in a few years. It would probably be an entirely different experience when Big Brother gets a little older.

Each lesson has a vocabulary crossword that goes with it. I have been using these as the test for each lesson. Big Brother likes to do crosswords and it helps me to know that he is getting the information.

If you haven’t checked out what Apologia has to offer, I highly recommend that you take the time to do so!

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Filed under apologia, hip homeschool hop, homeschool, science

Our Homeschool Week in Review

We have jumped into this year with both feet! It helps that my husband’s car broke and we are a one car family (hopefully just for the short term.. pray for us!) and the kids and I are stuck at home all day. Doing school with them helps my sanity. Big Brother especially needs something to do to focus his attention and energy. He has been waking up every morning this week asking what we’ll be doing in school that day.

Little Sis is excited about school too! Baby Girl… not so much. She wants the attention of her mother, father, brother and sister all the time and does not like when she doesn’t get it. She cried the whole time we did school on Monday… the. whole. time.

Thankfully, Tuesday, my husband was home and we got to take a trip to the library and the park… yay!

Here’s what the rest of the week looked like…

 This week, week 2 in Adventures in My Father’s World, we read about Christopher Columbus and his voyage to the new world. We made our own Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria and reenacted the voyage. Unfortunately… in our version, only the Santa Maria made it. The Nina was blown over and the Pinta sank.

 We made play dough… because.. some days, you just have to play with play dough. You can find the recipe for homemade play dough here.

 We’ve really been enjoying the Apologia Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. This week, we finished up lesson one about aquatic animals and the ocean. Big Brother and Little Sis both started their ocean boxes… a project that will be on-going throughout the year.

 Big Brother lined his box with blue paper and added some sea weed and coral. Next week, we’ll begin lesson 2… WHALES!

 Little Sis has been working on her beginning reading books. She is not quite as gung ho about reading as Big Brother was at this age. This week, her book focused on numbers and number words. As a side activity, I gave her a paper with the numbers 1- 10. I gave her stickers and asked her to put the right amount of stickers with the correct number. This helps with following directions, one to one correspondence and number recognition. And… who doesn’t love stickers!

Again, with the Apologia Science, we were very hands on this week. We did an experiment suggested in lesson 1 to determine differences between hot and cold water. Big brother was a little overwhelmed with all the writing required for the Scientific Speculation sheet, so we worked together to complete it.

In addition to all this, we had spelling words and tests, began exploring our Math U See blocks and Big Brother started typing with this fun, FREE online program from BBC.

One thing I realized this week as the kids and I were engaged in school was the lack of focus when it came to reading the Bible, memorizing verses, etc. As soon as I pulled the Bible out, they were distracted, playing around, misbehaving. They would do so well with everything else. It really broke my heart and made me realize that perhaps my lack of passion over the last couple of years has worn off on them. So… now I know how more specifically to pray for them. I do so want them to love the Lord and love His Word. I don’t want it to be just one more thing… or to be that one thing they can’t stand. I want it to be what they look forward to more than anything else.

So.. that’s our week in review… over all, a good week. How was yours?

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Filed under apologia, homeschool, mfw, preschool

Our 2011- 2012 Homeschool Curriculum

 Okay… so I know that most homeschool bloggers have already written a similar post about their curriculum. I am a little behind on things… but hey… my husband just graduated from seminary, we just moved to a new state and I’m pregnant… I think I’m doing just fine!

This year I’ll be homeschooling Big Brother (6 years old) and Little Sis (4 1/2).

I’ll start with Big Brother:

 – Adventures in My Father’s World. With a Little help from Grandma, we were able to get the basic package for Adventures. Now.. I do hold a (expired) teaching certificate. I am beyond qualified and capable of writing my own unit studies and lesson plans. However, with all the craziness that defines our lives right now, I think a laid out, step by step curriculum is just what we need. Adventures in My Father’s World is look into American History from a Biblical point of view.

 – Science- Apologia: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. Although Adventures in My Father’s World does come with some science materials, Big Brother has been completely obsessed with Ocean Animals lately. I showed him the books from Apologia about Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. He was so excited. In fact, he was so bummed to have the stomach bug yesterday because he had wanted to get started with his “special ocean animal science.” This is my first experience with Apologia. I am excited to see how it will go.

– Spelling- we will be using Super Teacher Worksheets- First Grade Printable Spelling Sheets

– Math- We will be using Math U See– Alpha

And now onto Little Sis:

 Reading- We will be using simple reader books like the ones pictured above. I also picked up a handful of leveled reading books from the Target Dollar section for when she’s ready.

 Bible and Alphabet- I love this book. You can find it here on Amazon. There is a verse for every letter of the alphabet. Not only will Little Sis be memorizing scripture, she will also be working on her letters and character education. Each letter/ verse has a little story that goes with it.

Math- We will also be using Math U See– Primer

And for them both:

 I am not sure what possessed me, but at the Southeast Homeschool Expo, we picked up a couple of recorders and a book. I will be attempting to teach the kiddos basic music reading and how to play a recorder this year. Pray for me. Big brother might also begin piano lessons.

These are our “journal boxes” where the kids keep their supplies.. pencils, crayons, scissors, etc. as well as a journal. This journal is really for their personal use. If we have a science day and they want to write about the experiment… or if we go on a field trip and they want to draw/ write about it… or if they just want to write about their day… the journals are here for them. You can read more about how we do journal time here.

We are excited to take advantage of our local library as well as all the fun field trips the mountains of Western North Carolina have to offer. We have been planning a trip to the Educational Forest near by as well as looking into a nature center in the next town over. It should be a fun and interesting year.

I know I’m a little late with this and that others have already shared their curriculum with the Hip Homeschool Hop… but hey… better late than never!

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Filed under apologia, curriculum, homeschool, math u see, mfw