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Monday, August 18, 2008

Back To It!

Today, I officially started Lillie's Kindergarten (As far as she would be considered in the school system) Fact is, it's so hard for me to peg down what would be my "first" day of school. Since Lillie was old enough to begin showing an interest (which was about 2 1/2 to 3 years) we've done "school work" Shapes, numbers, letters, sounds the usual stuff. We've worked as she is comfortable, read ALOT, lots of nature study, basically taking what Charlotte Mason called "Education as a Life." We've used our everyday, mundane lives as opportunities to learn. But, for planning sakes, today was our first day of 'kindergarten'.
Chloe had quite the fever yesterday and her nose was nasty , so we missed out on church. I was up most of last night with her, as she was very restless. That being said,we started lessons about 10 am and were done by 11:30! Can't beat that Charlotte Mason when it comes to short lessons. I believe this to be so key in education. If you push a child too much and they become disinterested, you can MAKE them complete the lesson, but it is unlikely they will 'learn' anything from it.
We began with a lesson from our McGuffey's Primer. I love the McGuffey readers. Trusted for years in the public (one room) schoolhouse, you just can't beat tradition of excellence. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we will be using McGuffeys. On Tuesday and Thursday, we will be working through the Dolch lists using activities found here.
Math was our first page in Math Mammoth Addition 1. Me and my big sis were just talking last night how surprising that when we tell people about the Math Mammoth series, they have NEVER heard of it. Well, you can order them for about $4 bucks a piece most of the time off of Currclick. Currclick, if you haven't checked it out yet is great. You pay and then you immediately download whatever product or curriculum you just ordered. NO shipping and No waiting! Okay, product placement over with. Just check into it and Math Mammoth because it is nifty beyond words! Lillie really liked the workbook pages and she usually fakes a need to go to the bathroom when you bust out a math workbook. Today's lesson focused on grouping items. There are 5 balls and Lillie had to group them (for example, 2 (balls) and 3(balls). She had to circle two balls, then the three balls and read it like a sentence "2 and 3 is 5" Next, she was given a set of 4 or 5 balls and the problem read "2 and _" Lillie had to circle two and then count and circle the remaining balls to fill in the blank. I made up another similar worksheet using a printshop program and some more numbers and also we will be using manipulatives as well until I'm sure she's mastered this concept.
I am using Studying Gods Word Book A from Chrisitan Liberty Press and todays lesson was Cain and Abel. I printed off a little activity book off this great bible lesson site to go along with the story and then we talked about Acceptable and Unacceptable worship and why it is important to follow God's guidelines for worship.
On Mondays, we will be reading from our Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader. Today was about Giraffes, we did a story page and added a giraffe to our animal chart. We also made paper bag puppets. I just love to watch how Jack just haphazardly glues things on with no regard for what is right and proper! His puppets always look like odd mutations.

I'll take this time to share how we notebook and document things. Since my children don't read or write fluently, notebooking is virtually impossible. But we do have our ways around the traditional notebooking process and it accomplishes the same thing. When we study an animal, I print out a story page from this site. Lillie glues a picture of the animal on and then uses the writing lines to "write" a brief tidbit of knowledge she gained. By writing, I mean I hold her hand steady but let her move the pencil to see if she truly understands how each letter is formed. If she has no idea, I kick in to guide her. Then, we put them in a 3 prong folder called "Some Animals I Know".

To also aid in our animal study, I have a posterboard divided into columns labeled Mammal, fish, Amphibian, etc. Then a smaller picture of the current animal being studied is glued in the correct column.

We are using living books to study people from the American Revolution. When we get through with a person, I print out a coloring page (if I can find it, if not just a regular picture) and a short biography and we add it to this notebook...

The state that the person is from or lived goes in this notebook...

These are what the pages look like. I print out a black line map of the US and then Lillie colors in the state and then glues (in leau of writing) pictures of the state bird, flag, and flower and we write and mark the capital.This is our weather log, which we don't do everyday but every week or so. I made the sheet using clipart of different weather conditions and then Lillie circles the current weather and we look up the temperature on

I secured from Currclick, this knifty little writing curriculum. It's called the "Visual, Kinesthetic , Auditory Alphabet" It teaches writing using a mixture of fun activities and stories that relate the form of all the letters. I can't begin to explain it in detail, but click here and check out a sample of it. Here are two videos, the first is Lillie doing the "thin man" which teaches the straight line up and down, top to bottom that is needed in such letters as lowercase 'b'. The second is the kiddos writing the stroke on paper. We will go through all the basic strokes before moving onto the actual letters. This way, Jack may be able to learn some writing as well, putting us all that more ahead on him. Thus making momma's life so much easier!

All went pretty smoothly and I was hoping to take the kids out to the lake and walk around a little, but it looks like rain. I sure hope so, we need it!


  1. Very cool! Notebooks for the little ones are so adorable! We're starting a 50 states notebook as well. As each state enters the union (American history), we'll add a page to our notebook.

  2. Hello, I just stumbled upon your blog through my sisters blog, Little cowpokes in the country, and I would like to say that I really enjoyed it. This is myfirst year homesschooling my daughter who is in the 3rd grade. I really like the lap books that you have in the pics and wouldlove to know how you made them, they look like something tha twould be very helpful to me and mine. NIce to meet you Brandie

  3. Hello Della!
    How do you have time to blog some much and such good pictures! We haven't "officially" started school just yet. I am trying to get everything in order(if there is such a thing)! I really like your lap books too! I was wandering where you got the idea and how you do them. You can email me sometime so we can talk further(I really don't like talking about too many things like kids names and things on the internet you know)my email is My oldest is 6 1/2 son is 4 and youngest is 18 months. I would really like to talk to you about home school and Charlotte Mason and yes ppl look at me like an alien too when we say we home school! But who cares this is I know what the Lord wants me to do so that is all that matters right! Can't wait to discuss more about Charlotte Mason(I love her ideas!)