Circle the Stars

This morning we started with an alphabet rhyme from A to Z. I saw it in a movie or a show a few days ago (though I can not remember where exactly) and thought it would be a fun way to start the day.  We sat in a circle and went around alphabetically completing the phrase- goes something like this:

Allie went to Alaska with Apples-Bob went to the Bahamas with Brussel sprouts, all the way to -Zander went to Zimbabwe with Zebras!

Some letters were pretty hard! ūüôā

We then listened to an audio book about a  Dragon, a story called Dragon Rider .  Dragons must find refuge as the humans are planning to destroy their valley, on his journey he meets a boy named Ben and they become a team!

Liam then went on to finish the last two chapters in his podcast he’s been listening to. He really enjoyed it and learned a lot of science and history along the way. Luke and I worked on the “ap” family on Reading Eggs, then math in a workbook about Space, which then led to him drawing up his own constellation! -A platypus constellation named “John, the platypus.”

This morning I set out an entire table with some hands on math activities, so they did some work with the  geo-board, fractions and multiplication activities.

We have used the Waldorf style multiplication circles before and reintroduced them to Luke who was very young the last time they were out. It is a great skip counting way to practice the multiplication facts. Liam went through each one and showed him and refreshed his memory as well. For Luke’s reference I also had the facts written out in flowers and the completed stars laid out on the table.

The boys also read a short multiplication “M” poem out of our LMNOP book and watched some birds out back for a bit, then they made their lunch and listened to an American History Story¬†about the start of the revolutionary war based on how taxes currently work in our society.

And, that wraps up our morning, I’m sure there will be some Minecraft played this afternoon as it has made a big come back in this house!

Thanks for stopping by!



Winter Boost!

This weekend I worked on giving our homeschool days a boost, change, overhaul..whatever you want to call it! The past few weeks we were all dragging our feet, just not feeling it (even with our new books, they helped but, eh)

So, I put together a new outline to finish out the year, same subjects as before but more organized! I also put together a new daily routine for us.

Today went more smoothly, more fun and felt more”put together” if you will.. we really are almost to the end of our year- we tend to do “school” Aug. 1 through May, so not much longer really, and I wanted this year to flow into next and so on as my oldest hits middle school. Let’s end the year on a high note and complete what we’ve been focusing on all year!

Our Focus:


Through Easy Peasy all in one Homeschool: Learn To Read & Getting Ready 2,

Math: Picture Stories, First Grade Math Book

Music: Geography and Cultures

Art: Artist Study

Grade 5:

Math- Decimals and Fractions, Review of all concepts thus far, Getting Ready for Middle School Step 1

History: Ancients

Health: Nutrition and Swimming/Par Core Class

Language Arts 5 and Middle Grades Language Arts Book

Science: Biology

Spanish: 6th Level

Music: Geography and Cultures

Art: Artist Study

Computer: Start and Maintain Blog

Health: Nutrition/ Spin Class/Swimming

Daily School Routine:

Read Together

Luke- 1st Lesson (LTR)/ Liam -Journal Prompt

Liam 1st Lessons (L.A., M) Luke-Journal prompt

Break for 45 min- free play and snack

Lessons together- (Music, Health, Art)


Luke 2nd Lesson (G.R. 2) Liam Math

Liam 2nd Lessons (H. Sc. & Sp.) Luke-Math

Outside/Games/Swim/Free time etc.

Monday- Music and Computer

Tuesday- Health

Wednesday- Artist Study

Thursday-Workbooks and Nature

Friday- Wrap up/Field Trip/Family Day

Today Luke reviewed his new “at” family words and played a “at” family game on Starfall. He then watched and listened to 5 new words being introduced for this week.

His Journal Prompt for today was – What do you like best about being a kid? A:”I like being small and fitting into small places! Like Cabinets!”

He played an Orchestra game learning about the woodwind section and had fun controlling the pitch and seeing each instrument play!

We also did Art today, due to a field trip later this week, I moved things around. We are studying John James Audubon this month.  Today we all viewed his American Robin piece and discussed how his art pieces were to educate others. I asked each of them- What would you do as an artist to educate others?

Liam said he would draw pictures of sea animals and the pollution problem- referring back to our recent trip to the aquarium and the “trash models” they had on display.

Seal made from trash found in the ocean

Seal made from trash found in the ocean

Luke said his would be about Ice Cream and how the different flavors are made, and how you don’t want the ice cream to fall off onto your foot!! ūüėČ

We have many bird reference books, so each looked through and found a bird of choice to draw!


“Snowy Owl outside the Audubon Door”


“A Turkey that is a Male”

Liam started with reading a stanza excerpt and copying it down.

His Journal prompt for today was- If you could invite someone famous over for dinner who would it be and why?

Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons, because he makes awesome music! He’s my favorite person in the band.

Math was figuring our word problems- not so much fun ūüėČ

Music he learned about the Violin and “playing it” using the mouse and keyboard! Observing the notes and sounds as well as creating his own song.

Spanish looking at Latin words and related words. He watched a short video that had Latin words throughout the story and tomorrow he will write them down and figure out what he thinks they mean, by relating them to English words that sound similar!

The life cycle of the plant- illustrated using lemniscate symbol

symbolGeometry and the Life Cycle of the Plant all came together for one big main lesson block this morning! We are now into day three of our Botany block and today’s focus was following the plant from The Seed, Root and Shoot to The Stem.

I read to the boys about each plant part in depth and read a book from the library as an introduction this morning. We also recalled info. from yesterday and the process of Photosynthesis. IMG_20141001_113419Once we headed to the table to do some more work I handed Liam the page I had printed out of the Geometry book that I had come across that I thought gave the perfect image to represent the life cycle of the plant. The lemniscate! He said “oh sure, I can see that!” Me, really? you are familiar with this? He proceeded to tell me all about it and how it was used to tell time between day and night! I had no idea he knew this! Nice!! So, we talked about how in the diagram on the print out it showed the time differences between the seasons. I explained that we could use this to show the growth in a plant above and below the ground during the seasons! ex.: Winter- empty on land, mostly underground- big circle on the bottom, smaller loop on top!

He did a fantastic job! I love how it came out!                 symbol

symb art

Fall and Winter

Spring and Summer

Spring and Summer

geo book

While Liam worked on drawing the diagrams, Luke and I worked on his letters. He practiced writing the letter B and reciting the rhyme Little Boy Blue with me. He did a couple of workbook pages and then we acted out the phonetic sound of B, by pretending to hold a Bat and shouting b b b b b and we swung to hit the ball.


He then described to me how to create and draw out the new letter B card for him. I loved his idea of the letter B coming out of the horn, and he wanted the pattern of big B then little b!

We then made salt dough and made impressions using leaves from outside. Since they take a long time to bake, we’ll paint them tomorrow!


Harvest Moon and Wheat Fields

Autumn is in the air! We are finishing up September discussing the Harvest Moon, Autumn Equinox, changing leaves and Wheat field farming! All things that say “Autumn!” Next week is celebrating Michaelmas, then on to a Botany Block and Measurement Block for Liam using Christopherus Math material, and Luke will continue on with Harvest Time¬† based on curriculum from WeeFolkArt.

This week we kicked it off with a documentary on Wheat Field Farming. We all really enjoyed it and Liam asked about the process we were watching compared with today’s technology as the film was from the 1960’s. Good question, so we researched and had a discussion and compared the amount of bushels per acre in each era that was harvested in time due to the machinery and hand work by the farmers.

Drawing in Main Math lesson book on BU/AC

Drawing in Main Math lesson book on BU/AC

Luke's Wheat Math

Luke’s Wheat Math- count and draw it out


Diagram of Wheat in Botany MLB


We are continuing to read My Side of the Mountain and using the companion book- Pocket guide to the outdoors. The boys enjoyed trying out some knot tying, hearing about the boy’s pet Falcon and lot’s of other outdoor survival tips throughout the story so far! Liam is making his own survival guide as we go along.


drawing of the mountains and survival guide cover page

drawing of the mountains and survival guide cover page

Luke and I read many books about the leaves changing this week and here are some of his activities, and one they both enjoyed!

Leaf rubbings, and counting the points on each leaf

Leaf rubbings, and counting the points on each leaf


Luke has been working on paper crafts and building a 500 piece bird puzzle with me this week as well as learning the letter R and counting to 25. We made an R alphabet card and hung it with the others.IMG_20140919_125916_502

Monster paper crafts

Monster paper crafts

Today they did¬† a drawing of one activity or time they enjoyed this week. Luke chose to trace a chameleon he found at the beach combined with a rocket. He narrated a short story about it and I wrote it down for him. Liam chose to create a drawing about saving the jellyfish this week- both boys ran up and down the beach throwing jelly’s back into the ocean!


Then we finished up the day with math. Liam worked on Fractions- adding, subtracting, multiplying and reciprocals & dividing as well as adding and subtracting on a number line in his workbook and Luke created robots with base ten counters, ten rods and geometric shapes and we read a counting rhyme together. Liam also did a leaf form drawing this week for geometry, keeping a steady but changing shape as a leaf falling into water would.



Plans are finally, Finalized! Next years Curriculum….

For Luke: Preschool-image

Preschool Montessori Yr 1 Plan

This year ‚Äď 2013/2014

Following the Montessori approach! Specifically this site:




lots of literature and hands-on life learning!

Letters: Recognition, Sounds and Copy work in My First School Book from Handwriting Without Tears


Art and Music– Lots of exploration/ all hands on!!

Math: Numbers 1-10 then 1-20

Counting , Recognizing numbers in and out of order, Patterns and Puzzles, Shapes and Board Games

Literature Topics: Nursery Rhymes, Friendship, and Self- Help/Character builders

Pre-K 1Book List

They are categorized by topic, but like all good literature many contain multiple subject areas.

Self- Help/ Character Builders:

I can be anything!    Jerry Spinilli

I can be a real boy    Guido van Genechten

I can count    Bobbie Kalman

I can do it! A first look at not giving up    Peg Thomas

I can do it myself!    Stephen Krensky

I can fly super high!    Zuma Ayriyan

I can help    David Hyde

I can help    Liz Lennon

I’m 3! Look what I can do    Maria Carluccio


Family and Friends    Honor Head

Friends    Meg Greve

Frog and Friend: Outdoor Surprises     Eve Bunting

Very Special Friends    John Seven

Nursery Rhymes:

28 Best Nursery Rhymes Ever –Sound Recording

100 Best-loved Nursery Rhymes ‚Äď no author

Clare Beaton’s Nursery rhymes read-along book and CD- no author

Favorite nursery rhymes from Mother Goose    Scott Gustafson

Three Little Kittens and other favorite nursery rhymes    Tony Ross

Wee Sing nursery rhymes and lullabies    Pamela Beall


Colors and Shapes     Ruth Owen

Dear Dragon’s fun with Shapes     Margaret Hillert

Dinosaur Shapes    Ava Saviola

I see shapes    No Author

Play with Shapes!    Joyce Markovics

Shapes Around Us     Daniel Nunn

Shapes in Animals    Sebastiano Ranchetti

Shapes in Art      Rebecca Ressman

Shapes that Roll     Karen Nagel

Three dimensional shapes: Cones    Luana k. Mitten

123   Anne Gedes

123 Chicago   Puck

123 favorite kids songs

123 I can make prints!     Irene Luxbacher

Animals 123: one to ten and back again   Kate Sheppard

Thomas’ 123 book     Richard Courtney

ABCs in Nature   Daniel Nunn

Biscuit’s ABCs    Alyssa Satin

Dinosaur ABC’s    Ava Saviola

Little Critter ABC’s     Mercer Mayer

For Liam, Year 4:

Year 4

Lessons for this year; 2013/2014

Modern Time period: History, Arts and Music. Zoology, Language arts and Math.

An Eclectic Combination with use of:

Easy Peasy all in one Homeschool yr.5-8

Math Lessons: Easy Peasy and My Business Math: Pet Store- Simply Charlotte Mason

Language Arts : 6 genres of literature, The Grammar Ace and School House Rocks DVD

Music: Pop Music, Iconic Stage, Movie Compositions

Art: Imitating the Classics, Study edges, outlines, repetition and perspective. Natural and Arbitrary Colors

Year 4/5 Book List

Modern History: Post Civil War to Current Day         E.P. yr 5-8


A picture book of John Washington Carver     David A. Alder

The Transcontinental Railroad   John Perritano

Born to Fly     Michael Ferrari

Ground Attack Planes    David Baker

Animal Farm   George Orwall

Captured off guard; the attack on Perl Harbor   Donald Lemke

Women in the Civil Rights Movement   Judy L. Hasday

John F. Kennedy   Wil Mara

Science: Zoology      E.P.   yr. 5-8

Main branches in the animal kingdom, habitats, behaviors, diets and adaptations. Endangered species and classification. Food webs, ecosystems. Nature walks and hikes.


Amazing Fish   Honor Head

Shark Wars   E.J Altbacker

Sharks, the super fish   Helen Sattler

Bees   Debbie and Brendan Gallagher

These Bees Count!   Alison Fermento

What if there were no bees?: a look at the grassland ecosystem   Suzanne Slade

Animal and plant mimicry   Dorothy Patent

Hide and Seek: creatures in camouflage   Phyllis Perry

Jungle bugs: masters of camouflage and mimicry   Bruce Percer

About Birds; A guide for children   Cathryn Sill

Whistling Wings   Laura Goering

A bird’s life   Ellen Lawrence

Amphibians: water to land    Laura Perdie

The complete guide to reptiles and  amphibians    JinnyJohnson

The life cycle of amphibians    Darlene Stille

City Food Chains   Julia Vogal

Deciduous forest food chain   Julia Vogal

Desert Food chains    Julia Vogal

Art and Music:  E.P 

Music: Pop Music, Iconic Stage, Movie Compositions

Art: Imitating the Classics, Study edges, outlines, repetition and perspective. Natural and Arbitrary Colors

Read Aloud Book List Covering 6 Genres:

Fairy Tales: Random House Book of Fairy Tales

Animals: James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

Tall Tales and Fantasy: The Swiss Family Robinson

Fiction: Follow My Leader

Science Fiction: A Wrinkle in Time

Mystery: Encylopedia Brown: Boy Detective

First Day of Summer Break

Love of Great Books

A rainy day that cancelled our weekly happy homeschooler’s hike.¬† So instead we went and did errands then watched a movie together as I worked on a book list containing our favorite books from this past year. Then started my new daily journal here!

We started this past year doing mostly eclectic homeschooling and as I researched and observed my sons learning style and what I found I liked most about was a no brain-er! We slowly transitioned into the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling! Sitting a reading books aloud is and has always been one of my favorite things to do!

Growing up my mother always took us for trips to the library and then read our favorites to us each night. I believe this is where my love of great stories comes from. It was my favorite time of the day, just sitting together on my bed and hearing the stories and sharing laughs. My all time favorite as a child was Muffin, Brown bear and Me (as you see in the photo) My mother found the book and gave it to me as a gift not so long ago. A true treasure from my childhood!

I see why the Charlotte Mason method spoke volumes to me. I have always treasured the time spent reading books and love to hear a great story and retained information much better through a story as well as hands-on. It didn’t take to long to see these were two learning styles my oldest son enjoys as well. As for my youngest, he’s two, so we’re still exploring everything!!

So, as we move forward into the next “school year” we will share all the great stories we read and all the great hands-on activities we get our hands into!

So, please I encourage you to follow along with us on our journey!