Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mexico - MFW ECC & 1st, Weeks 5 & 6

We studied Mexico this week!  The kids were excited to get their "passports" and some Mexican money!  They took a "train" around the driveway, and then entered Mexico!  They had to use their pesos to buy their snacks.  We tried Mexican soda, crackers, cookies, marzipan, chips and salsa, and lots of other homemade food.

The kids worked on several notebook pages. We listened to some Spanish worship songs on Youtube and tried to learn a few words in Spanish. I also found a few videos of some traditional dances. Rebekah is awe of some of the ladies dresses! The library had a few documentaries the kids enjoyed as well.

Below is a picture of us playing the Geography Game for North America. This game is part of our curriculum. It's very simple, but it really does help you remember where the countries are! The first time we played we were getting all the Central American countries wrong, but now I think we all know them, even Rebekah!

Here are a few books the kids really enjoyed:

We did a few art projects too. They really enjoyed making yarn art!

In the picture below you can see their yarn arts on the bottom. We also did some paper cut outs, and made a banner with them too. I'm really excited about the poster you see here too! It's of all the missionary kids that are part of the United Pentecostal Church. We also were able to write to one of them in Bolivia!

You can't study Mexico without a pinata! Unfortunately, it wasn't dry in time for our fiesta, so we improvised with a paper bag! It worked great though! I filled it with suckers, dollar store toys, pencils, and peanuts. One of our books mentioned that they filled them with peanuts and oranges as well as candy.

While in Mexico, our science topic was deserts! Since we don't live anywhere near a desert, we had to watch a documentary.

I've been reading a biography of Cameron Townsend during our read aloud time. We're really enjoying it, although sometimes it's a bit boring for Rebekah. Below is a sample of Caleb's bible time. We've been reading the book of Matthew, and this was one of his memory verses.  I don't make him memorize it because we'll be starting bible quizzing though our church soon, so he'll be memorizing those verses instead. The top is his copywork, and the bottom is the same verse, but I dictated it to him instead. If you're interested in learning more about copywork and dictation, here's a great blog post about it from a fellow MFW user:

Here is a poem he copied during our English time.  His handwriting is really getting better!

Caleb has started learning multiplication with the 2s and 3s. It was VERY rough going for a few days, but then it must have "clicked". He earned himself a few stickers!

Rebekah is cruising right along with her reading! She learned the sounds for sh, ch, th, ng, and now is on long vowels. It's so easy to teach her since she really wants to learn. She's such a different student than Caleb!

Here's a fun reading review game!

She loves to do her copywork of some Proverbs.

Her math has been easy with shapes and basic numbers, but we just started addition!

 That was a long post, two weeks worth!  Our next county is Canada, come back and follow us around the world!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Re-Purposed Dress into a Skirt

Rebekah is growing and all her clothes seem to be too short!  She had this dress that she just loved, but it was getting too short to wear.  I was about to pack it away when it dawned on me that I could turn it into a skirt!  I cut it off right under the armpits.  Since the top was shirred, I didn't even have to put a waistband in!  I just folded it over and stitched it once around, finished!  Now it's a long skirt for her!

Because I'm not passing her clothes down to anyone (she only has little brothers), I'm a little more willing to cut them up and try to re-purpose them!  Below are a few pictures of another skirt that I had to add length to.  The picture looks red, but it's actually pink denim.  I honestly don't care for it too much, but she liked it.  Guess it will work for now.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Stamps Teach, Amazing Free Resource

Have you ever considered using stamps in your homeschool or classroom? This is an awesome free resource! Stamps Teach is a program through the American Philatelic Society. Their goal is to get young people interested in collecting stamps. They offer free worksheets and curriculum on their websites for all grades, but have a special package for grades 3-5.  The above picture is what came in the mail!  We were SO excited!  There was a huge bag of stamps, at least 2000!  Also, a world stamp album (my favorite), a huge stack of worksheets/activities/special stamps.  You can see activity mats at the bottom of the picture, and there were also activity cards to use for math, language arts, fine arts, science, and history! This will fit in perfectly with our study of world geography this year!

This was all free!  But they do ask that you give them feedback on how you used stamps.  You can also share your curriculum ideas.

So far we've only looked through the stamps to find ones we liked.  We found a Harriet Tubman stamp, which was exciting because we had just read about her that morning!

You can sign up to receive your stamps here:  American Philatelic Society: Stamps Teach.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

MFW ECC & 1st, Week 3 & 4, United States

We've finished weeks 3 & 4, and we're finally getting used to doing school again! It always takes a couple weeks for the kids to realize that mommy is the teacher, and yes, they do have to do work. You know, like write words! I think I will be doing my updates every two weeks this year instead of every week. Our curriculum is set up so that we "visit" a new country every two weeks, and I can't always find the time to get a long blog post up!

Our Bible time has been focused on the beginning of the book of Matthew. Caleb did some copywork and dictation of Matthew 1:23 and we also make bookmarks. Sorry, no pictures...  We've also been reading this book, and I LOVE it! There are short stories about real people that did amazing things, like Harriet Tubman. There are 3 short devotionals with character traits about each character. Caleb is supposed to copy the character traits for extra handwriting practice, but I decided to let him type them instead, which he loves.  But this is a great book!

These last two weeks we've been learning about the United States! We spent all of last year learning about the United States, so this was a good review, and map practice before moving on to other countries. Here are a few of Caleb's pages in his geography notebook: 

Our science topic was forests. These pages compare coniferous and deciduous forests. We spent some time at a park looking at trees as well!  (Below is Rebekah's.)

One of the books that was included in our curriculum was Exploring World Geography. It's a more advanced book, that focuses of research skills, like using an Encyclopedia at the library. Most of the pages are too hard for Caleb and Rebekah, but I wanted them to learn how to find things at the library. Kevin watched the little boys one evening so I could take them to the library. We did two pages, and I let them just write the first initial. My goal was to teach them how to find things in an encyclopedia, and we also found the other reference books in our library. I will try to take them once every two weeks, I enjoyed time with just the big kids too! 

Vocabulary words come from Geography from A to Z. Surprisingly, the kids LOVE making these cards! The bottom card is Caleb's tiny writing!

Art projects came from this book:

We made Navajo Coup Sticks, and Sand Paintings.  Our "sand" was actually salt colored with chalk.

This game is fun for reviewing the states. We play it a bit easier for Rebekah since she can't read yet.

Caleb's other subjects have been going well. He's been learning the 2 multiplication facts. He actually did a practice page with no crying or complaining, and he got them all right! He earned a sticker on his paper!

He read and copied this poem in our Language Lessons for Today.

I bought this spelling power workbook for Caleb and I really like it! Caleb loves doing the 10-step spelling worksheet to study his words, which makes me happy. However, he's having a hard time with daily spelling tests. He does not like to get ANYTHING wrong, and usually beats the table with his pencil in anger...  working on that! We do the spelling test first, and then he studies only the words he gets wrong. 

Rebekah LOVES learning to read, and she's doing a great job! Below are a few activities that weren't in the 1st edition of 1st grade. She had a lot of fun reading and doing the silly things on the paper strips. I had to give her a sticker too!

She's been doing her number of the day pages almost all by herself. She counts out the number of unifix cubes to help her write the equations. And she love doing her math workbook too. She's much different than Caleb was!

Joshua's done a bit of unofficial preschool too.  Here he is gluing beans. The first picture at the top shows him using one of the toys in the MFW preschool package.

That was our trip around the United States.  Next stop, Mexico!

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