Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Selected Beginning Curriculum

Phonics and Reading Curriculum
Math Curriculum

Yesterday, we purchased our curriculum for the beginning of kindergarten. I looked at several choices from Lifepac, Saxon Math, Our Father's World, Horizons and Son Light. These are the conclusions I came to based on Micah's needs. (Your child will have different needs)

Lifepac and Saxon: moderately expensive with limited hands on lessons
Son Light: great reviews, very expensive with all materials included
Our Father's World: Themed curriculum, hands-on, reasonably priced, geared toward kinders that need to learn letters, numbers, colors... (Micah was past this point or I would have enjoyed this)
Horizons: moderately expensive, but can purchase the work books separately :)

I finally decided on the Horizons workbooks separately ($16.00 at Mardel) and Math K5 worktext by BJU press ($19.99 at Mardel) because I could always add the hands-on activity with the work page. We didn't really want to pay $400+ for Son Light. We may choose this option when we get into the higher grades, but for now I don't need the books and materials because I already have most of them.

Please note that these two curriculum books that I purchased are only the workbooks because it is cheaper. I'm adding the hands-on activities and manipulatives to go with them. For example, today we are doing comparing weight. Micah and I will go get on our digital scale and compare our weights. We will also use the balance scale I already have and put items of differing weight in to watch the scale and see which item "weighs more". It isn't hard think up some "activity" to go along with your work page.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dollar Store Fall Bulletin Board

A new season is coming up. A great way to introduce a new season is through a festive bulletin board to lovingly display your child's work. The Dollar Tree has fall bulletin board decorations. This cost $3. The banner, boarder and cut outs are sold for a dollar a piece. The extra cut outs that come in the packages can me used for art projects later when your child is doing fall art work. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cypress Home School Association-Preschool Too!


We went to the Cypress Home School Association Open House last night. It was awesome!! Membership is $30 dollars for the year which is very cheap in my opinion. They have a free co-op that we signed up for on Mondays. Micah will be taking Science, Galloping the Globe and Performing Arts from 9-12 every Monday with other children. They had many other different kinds of classes to choose from but they fill up quick. They also do 2 field trips a month to really interesting places. There were tons of booths of various different groups that offer activities for homeschool children: Spanish, Piano, Karate, Gymnastics, Etiquette, PE and Girl Scouts. There were also booths about their Preschool program and festivals/events. Check it out!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

School Bus Art


Today Micah made a yellow school bus and we talked about different kinds of transportation people use to get around. I used the picture above and cut out the bus and windows. Then I let Micah trace around the bus and windows on yellow construction paper. He then cut out the bus (I helped with the windows). Good fine motor work with cutting and tracing. Later he colored the wheels with a black marker and we glued cut sandwich baggie plastic for the window glass. I let him sound out bus to write on it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Science-Peep and the Big Wide World

I used Peep to help teach science to my kindergartners and they loved it. Micah loves watching them too. Peep and his friends are always learning about some kind of science or math skill. The shows are specifically written with this purpose in mind. In the video section, they have rotating videos streaming for free with corresponding activities related to the videos in the activity section. Tomorrow we are going to learn about measuring time. We will watch "Finding Time" in the video section, do the recommended activity and then play the free online measurement game at the bottom! Free science/ math curriculum :)


Blank Weather Graph

We graph the weather everyday. This is one of the quickest ways you can teach your child about graphing and comparing amounts. Think words like most, least and same.


Back to School Page

Today Micah water colored a school picture since we are talking about going to school this week.


Kindergarten Day 2

Micah wrote in his journal. It says "Me and mommy had a bad dream." He wrote "Me ad my had bad ceme" This is phonetic writing. He picks out sounds in the words and writing them as he hears them in a long sequence. There are 5 stages of writing: Pictures/Scribbling, Random Letters, Phonetic Writing, Transitional Writing and Standard Writing. Kindergarten is mostly comprised on Random Letters, Phonetic Writing and possibly Transitional.
To learn number recognition and order (Micah is a little further along because he can count to 50 and recognize numbers past 20), I printed out 2 hundreds charts. One hundreds chart I cut the numbers out of and he had to find the matching numbers and glue them into the right spot with a glue stick. This helps him to notice the differences in the numbers and start to visually place in his brain the order that they go in. The activity will take us several days during math.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Phonetic Reading Mixed with Whole Language

I teach Micah reading with BOB books. http://www.bobbooks.com They are phonetic books (all words that can be sounded out) that gradually introduce whole language words (words that do not follow the phonics rules). I mix this with Dolch sight words (they are grouped in age appropriate groups). Sight words are words that have been determined to be used at very high frequency during standard reading. Your children will encounter these words a lot during early reading and later on. These words may or may not follow the phonetic rules and therefore it helps to flash card them for memorization.

Hands-On Addition

Today I printed out flashcards from this site: http://www.apples4theteacher.com/math/addition/flashcards/ We are currently working on addition. I purchased unifix cubes from discount teacher supply online. He would place the unifix cube by the corresponding number in the addition fact. Then he would "put the all together" and count them. This is the beginning of addition.

Bible Story Book

This is the book we are using for the Bible story and corresponding color sheet. It is great because it has the picture on one side and the bible story on the other. I got it at Mardel but it is also available through Amazon.

1st Day of Kindergarten: Our Classroom and Schedule

Our classroom

Our homeschool day is scheduled following the sample schedule on this website:

Blank Schedule (from oklahomahomeschool.com)

I'm printing a blank schedule for each day and writing out the plan in red in the first column and the actual in blue in the second column.

7-8 am Wake, Dress, Breakfast, Disney Show
8-8:30 am Chores (he picks up his own room)
8:30-8:45 am Prayer, Bible Story & Color Sheet (Bible Story Color n' Learn from Mardel)
8:45-9:00 am Calendar Time
Put new date on the calendar
Sings days of the week
Sing months of the year
Talk about season and change on chart if time
Talk about weather and graph
9-9:30 am Math Facts, Activity or Workpage
9:30-10 am Free Play
10-10:15 am Independent Reading (at this point they will just look at books and pretend to read)
10:15-10:30 am Snack
10:30-11 am Phonics Activity & Reading with Mom (we use BOB books)
11-11:15 am Handwriting (we do first and last name tracing on lined paper mymoondrops.com)
11:15-12 pm Free Play
12-12:30 pm Lunch
12:30-1 pm Social Studies or Science
1-1:30 pm Free Play
1:30-2 pm Art or Music
2-3 pm Quiet Rest in Bed

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Free Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore on Saturdays


Lakeshore provides free crafts for kids every Saturday. Just to let you know.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Where do I find what the state of Texas teaches?

Ok, so I went to Disney and it has been a crazy long time since I've posted. Oops...but I'm back. So if you are thinking of homeschooling, you are wondering "Ummmm, what am I supposed to teach?" Well, for a limited time you too can see what the state of Texas teaches every child in each subject by grade. Just kidding! It isn't for a limited time. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is mandated to let you know. It's called the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.) This is what 3rd grade and above take the TAKS test on every year (yikes...run screaming small children!)

TEKS by Grade for K-5th (scroll to the bottom)

Preschool Guidelines (click under documents & skills start around page 37)

And that gives you the same learning guidelines for skills as the Texas public teachers!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Is my child on track developmentally?

This is the #1 question I always received from parents in my classes and at the day school. I thought it was funny until I had my own son. Then I too started to worry and wonder if he was doing the things that all the other children were doing. My advantage was that I had also worked at a private therapy group with speech-language, occupational and physical therapists for children. Haha! So I whipped out the HELP scale (Hawaii Early Learning Profile). Aloha!! It made me feel better to see that skills can develop over a time span (ex. walking 8-14 months) instead of something is wrong with your child if they aren't walking by 12 months. That being said...I am currently working to bring you these charts.

Preschool Chart 2-5 Years (Not HELP)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Activites to Compliment Animal Cams

Animal Coloring Pages:




Online Animal Puzzles:




Live Animal Cams

Animal Cam Websites:

Amazon River Fish Cam -http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/WebCams/default.cfm
Andean Bear Cub Cam
Asian Small-clawed Otter Cam
Black-footed Ferret Cam
Cheetah Cams
Clouded Leopard Cam (DC)
Clouded Leopard Cam (VA)
Fishing Cat Cam
Flamingo Cam
Gharial Cam
Golden Lion Tamarin Cam
Gorilla Cam
Kiwi Cam
Lion Cam
Micronesian Kingfisher Cam
MicroTheatre Cam
Naked Mole-Rat Cam
Octopus Cam
Orangutan Cam
Panda Cams
Sloth Bear Cam
Tiger Cam

Owl Cam- http://www.sportsmansparadiseonline.com/Live_Owl_Nest_Box_Cam.html

Africam- http://www.africam.com/wildlife/index.php

San Diego Zoo Cam - http://www.sandiegozoo.org/videos/

Monterey Bay Aquarium Cam - http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/efc/cam_menu.aspx

Tiger Homes Cam - http://www.tigerhomes.org/animal/cams.cfm

National Geographic Cam - http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/wildcamafrica/

Extensive Page of Animal Cams - http://www.trmichels.com/AnimalCams.htm