Growing Every Day

Posts tagged ‘printable’

Tishrei

blue-water-backgroundWater of Life project update:  donations have been slower lately, we are pushing through, however, all the way until November 1st.  We have been looking at maps and talking about areas and regions that look like they would have remote access, if any, to clean water.  A wonderful geography experience of learning about different biomes, and environments.  If you would like to contribute to our clean water project, you may click on the donate button below.  $1, $5, $15, or more can all help another person receive access to clean safe drinking water.

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Tishrei

We like to follow the Hebraic calendar.  God set up the months in the Old Testament, His monthly cycle of blessing.  Builder and Princess have started learning about each month and its key focus.  We are now in the month of Tishrei, the 7th month of the Hebraic calendar.  I have made (am making) a conversation coloring sheet for each month.  These sheets include representations of key points for each month.  As they are coloring the sheets, we discuss some of the aspects of the current month.

Happy New Year

Even though it is the 7th month, this is the beginning of the Hebraic year.  This is the time to restart, refocus, renew for the coming year.

The Month of the Strong

In the Bible, Tishrei is described as “the month of the strong”, or “the month of the ancients”.

The Fall Feasts

Tishrei contains three important times: Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles (or Feast of Booths).  The Feast of Trumpets calls in the new year by sounding the silver trumpets and/or shofars.  The Day of Atonement is when we come before God, seeking what it is that He would desire to cleanse us from.  The Feast of Tabernacles is a time of celebration remembering how God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and how they lived in temporary dwellings.  (click here for a post on the Feast of Tabernacles)

Ephraim

Each month is associated with a tribe, Tishrei is associated with Ephraim.  Ephraim means “double fruit”.  This is a month of double portion.  During this month, watch for the double portion of God.

Libra

Each tribe and month is associated with a constellation.  It makes sense that this month is connected with the Libra constellation.  This constellation pictures judgement scales, just as the month of Tishrei largely focuses on the judgement that Jesus paid for us.  Bringing ourselves before the throne of God to allow Him to refine us by the blood of the Lamb, continues to bless His heart and ours.

This has been a fun learning process for us.  We also like to look in the Bible and see different things that happened in each month.  It is fun to find the times where the Bible says “in the seventh month”, because now we have a reference for when that is!  For more information on the Hebraic months and their focus, I would recommend Dr. Robert Heidler’s book A Time to Advance.

Water and Fire

Water

We are continuing to save toward our Water of Life project to help provide clean water to individuals/villages/schools.  The kids continue to save spare change here and there and are very excited about how their donation bowl is filling up.  Our final donation will be made at the end of our campaign on November 1, 2016.  We would like to invite you to join in our campaign to help those in need of access to safe water.  By clicking on the donation button below, you are able to donate straight to our campaign…be it $1, $5, $15, or more, the money you donate will go 100% toward clean water to those who need it.

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For those of you who may be discussing this with your children, I created this color sheet to show some more concrete facts about the need for clean water.  Feel free to print and use.

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Click Here to download

Fire

In late October, the four of us will have a chance to journey to Colorado for a family wedding.  One of our planned stops on the way is to eat lunch at a volcano!  Yep, Capulin Volcano National Monument in New Mexico.  It is a fairly young, extinct volcano.  After (or maybe before) lunch, we will walk a couple of the trails and explore lava flows, etc. With this in mind, it has given the perfect opportunity for us to begin a little earth science.

capulin

Capulin Volcano National Monument

There is a wonderful volcano lapbook/unit study at Homeschool Share (click here for volcano lapbook).  We have only just started these activities, but I really like the look and detail of the lapbook.  The templates and lesson plans are free to use.  Truly, I was overwhelmed at first with all of the detail provided, but then I realized we don’t have to be done with our study before we leave.  We can study volcanoes as long as we want!  I still sometimes forget this wonderful fact of homeschooling!  If you are interested in some great lapbook or unit study resources, I encourage you to check out the Homeschool Share website.  I haven’t completely figured out the navigation of the site, but it looks like there are some wonderful resources all around.

Your Turn ~ What is a favorite lapbook/unit study topic you have done?

 

School Starts

We as humans never stop learning, however, with that said, we do take a break in our formal training in knowledge.  Yep, we have come to the close of our six weeks off during the summer.

We are currently in the third week of our 2016-2017 school year.  Princess is now in Kindergarten and Builder is in 2nd grade.  Though grades get a little in the gray area when speaking of learning, knowledge, skills in the homeschool arena.  I like to have them in “grades” according to how many years we have been “officially doing school”, or where they would be roughly according to age in public school.  It just seems to help them answer those inevitable questions from friends, acquaintances, relatives…”What grade are you in?”  I have also found that it has helped Builder feel a sense of accomplishment to achieve a new “grade”.

The primary reason for this post is to share with you, and record as memory for myself, our first day of school this year.  Last year was actually our second year to do a first day of school celebration and I saw it solidify some and morph a little this year.

Here’s how it went:

Donuts

Yep, those wonderfully scrumptious (low cost) goodies.  My kids love to go to the donut shop.  This year, my hubby took the day off to join in our first day celebration and I hope that will be a new tradition for the long haul.Photo Jul 11, 9 58 46 AM

 

School Supplies

These two must truly be my kids because I think they could have shopped for supplies for hours.  They LOVE new school/organizational supplies as much as I do!  We controlled ourselves and bought only that which was essential to start the year.  That way we can come back after public school starts and grab some other items at the really great bargains.

Photo Jul 20, 9 10 32 AM

They each get to choose a special binder for the year.

School Year Shirt

For the past two years, the kids have been able to pick one “special school shirt” for the new school year.  This is the shirt they take a picture in at the beginning of the school year.

Lunch and All About Me

After our treasure hunt for supplies and a shirt, the next stop was home for a break and some lunch.  After lunch, I had the kids fill out an All About Me sheet that I found over at Yellow Bliss Road.  Then Daddy took their beginning of the year school pics.All-About-Me-Free-Printables

Playground and Sno-Cones

After pics, we talked about what special thing we wanted to go and do.  The kids had been dying to go to one of their favorite playgrounds, which we hadn’t had a chance to visit for a long while.  So the rest of the afternoon was spent at one of their favorite playgrounds and then a trip for sno-cones afterward.

Success

It was a great day.  Our goal this year was to celebrate our new beginning to the year, but we also had a very real need to keep it a low cost day.  Though the clothing part got a little more expensive than I had wanted (something to take note and remedy next year).  Overall, a very fun-filled celebration of our first day of school.  Looking forward to the next ten or eleven of them!

Adding to 10

In the beginning of our homeschooling endeavor, the Lord told me to really focus in on Science and Social Studies and that Math and Language Arts would naturally happen.  I didn’t truly understand what that meant, but I have learned to trust the Lord when I have heard Him so clearly.

For our social studies focus, I put together a unit on US Symbols (click here).  Science was a four week study of Force and Motion, which I purchased from teacherspayteachers.comwith a two week focus at the end on gravity and magnets (click here).

Math was a little more interesting.

I have ended up simply teaching to the standards.  Mason has always been very good at addition and so we have been focusing on making the “adding to 10” facts second nature.  Instead of thinking about them and having to “add them up”, I want him to be able to see them and know them immediately.

The following are the steps we used to explore these combinations of 10.  I left them as steps so that you can combine them in whatever timing works best for you.  Steps typed in the same color are what we did on the same day.

Step 1:

  • Using a ten frame chart and double-sided counters, I asked Mason to find all the different combinations that added to 10.  I showed him one example (1 red, 9 yellow) so that he understood how to use the two colors to show the equation.
  • As he found the different combinations, we used our washable Dry Erase Markers to write them on our “white board” (a page protector with a piece of white cardstock).
    • I labeled the “white board” at the top with an R + Y = 10, just to throw some algebra connections in there.
    • As we got to the end, he really started using the recorded combinations to see what he might have missed.
20140814_134424

Ten Frame

Step 2:

  • Do a short mini-lesson on combinations that add to 10.  I used this fabulous “Rainbow to 10 lesson” found at A Cupcake for the Teacher.  It is a wonderful visual to help students remember all of the combinations that will add to 10.  We don’t have a large whiteboard or easel paper, so we used our Window Markers and back door!  We left the information on the door all week so he could refer back to it as needed.

Step 3:

  • Continuing with the “Rainbow to 10 lesson” materials, Mason colored and filled out the blank Rainbow to 10 worksheet.  This was great to begin to solidify these math facts, moving from concrete manipulatives to number representation.
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Rainbow to 10

Step 4:

  • Using the Combinations of 10 worksheet I created, Mason used dot markers to show all the facts that add to 10 (as well as a bonus question to begin thinking of the number 20).
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Combinations of 10

Step 5:

  • We played a fun Ten Frame game over at Mrs. Ricca’s Kindergarten blog.  Again we used the dot markers, but crayons/markers/colored pencils work just as well.  I printed two or three sheets and he had a blast.
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Ten Frame Toss

Step 6:

Step 7:

  • We ended with a set of flashcards.  I developed this set specifically to be both a practice tool as well as an informal assessment.  I wanted to see how familiar and second nature these facts of 10 had become, so I created the flashcards with half “add to 10” facts and half other simple addition facts.
  • As an assessment tool, I held up the cards so that I could monitor the speed and fluency at which he knew the “add to 10” facts.

I listed steps that can all be done separately or combined to create longer lessons.  Every learner is different and will be able to accomplish a different amount of learning in one setting.  Feel free to use each step as needed.

Questions?  Feel free to comment below or email at thelearningleaf.mail@gmail.com

 

Freezing Fun

Thanksgiving was a wonderful time of family and fun.  We took a break from “formal” activities and focused more on preparing to be with family.

A few days before Thanksgiving, we had a bout of cold weather.  Since seasons are a hot topic with us right now, I thought it would be fun to add to our weather knowledge.  So, we did a science experiment.

Icicles

One morning I checked the outside temperature and it read 31 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mason loves to check the temperature outside so he knew this was on the cold side.  I then asked the baiting question…

Do you know what happens to water below 32 degrees Fahrenheit?

This, as planned, sparked his curiosity.  I put roughly an inch of water in a plastic bowl and set it outside on our porch.  I told Mason that water turns to ice when the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  (In hindsight I would have let him discover this on his own rather than telling him.)  His eyes grew wide and a huge smile crossed his face.  He wanted me to put the bowl where he could see it and keep an eye on it.  After two hours I brought the bowl inside and the top had frozen, but there was still liquid underneath.  He thought that was neat.  We put it outside for another hour and brought it in to observe it once again.  This time all of the water was frozen.

This brought on more curiosities, and he asked if he could take it out.  He spent a good deal of time feeling it, turning it over, and yes, even licking it!  We talked about why it was beginning to melt since we brought it inside and he was touching it.  He decided he wanted to wrap it in some towels to see what would happen.  Once we did, it took a longer time to melt since it was now insulated.

All in all, this was a great teachable science moment

– both for seasonal changes and for a liquid turning to a solid.  I had such fun watching him observe and experiment and investigate.  He was soaking up knowledge and I was soaking in the moment.  (of course I was so into this, I didn’t even think to take pictures)

Here are a few activities we did over the last two weeks…

Week-in-Review

Handwriting:

Assess Writing Uppercase Letters

  • I was curious to know where Mason was in free writing his uppercase letters A-Z.  I knew he was improving on tracing dashed letters, but I wanted to know if he could produce them correctly without the aid of tracing.  To assess this, I had him write the letters on a chalkboard as I named them.  I was looking for if he knew how to form the letters as opposed to neatness, so the chalkboard and large chalk did just fine for us.  > He did great. =)

Reading:

Sight Word Sundaes

  • This is a cute printable that gives another fun way to practice sight words.  This week, Madison (2 yrs) would build the sundae and Mason would read the words as we put the pieces away.

Word Sundae pic

(click here for Sight Word Sundae download)

Geography:

Identify Oklahoma

  • I found a very nice printable map of the United States at mrprintables.com (click here).  I had been looking for a map that I could print on cardstock to keep around as a reference, and/or cut apart as a puzzle – though we haven’t gotten to that stage yet.
  • I wanted to assess if Mason could recognize the state of Oklahoma (our home state).  He did and was also able to identify two other states.  A+ for that assessment!

map image

Science:

Season Recognition

  • We did the water experiment as described above.
  • We also found an activity that consisted of 12 pictures representing all four seasons and Mason had to sort the pictures into the correct season.  (I would give recognition of where I found this activity, but I cannot remember where I found it!)

Season sorting

Icicle image courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Too Much Help

With the start of public school, I have been seeing many Facebook posts and emails regarding going back to school, supplies on sale, curriculum discounts.  I have had two reactions to this:

1)  A complete joy because of the freedom we have in not being tied to that schedule – AND –

2)  An extreme pressure toward finding a whole or partial curriculum.

I will preface this with saying, there is absolutely nothing wrong with pre-made curriculums.  Coming from a background of ten years teaching in the public schools, I am a fan of certain curriculums and not others.  I can see where specific curriculums work better in a private or home setting vs a public school setting, or for one student personality vs another student personality.  I get all of this.  What I have realized this week is the venture to find a curriculum when the Lord has told you not to is a bit futile!

I also discovered that walking this homeschooling journey is akin to parenting in general.  When I had my first child, I thought the internet would be my best friend.

Google to the rescue!!!  

Um…no.  With all the wealth of information out there, I quickly discovered that there was too much information out there.  Breastfeed vs formula, cry-it-out vs never cry, spanking vs not, cloth diaper vs disposable…you name it, the arguments are there.  All sides are right, all sides are wrong.  I quickly found my head swirling and my eyes shedding many-a-tear because I was worse off after my two hour search!

4 years into parenting and another child later, I finally came to understand.  When searching the internet all those times, I would end up searching for an opinion that already matched mine and it made me feel better about what it was that I already had a leading to do anyway!  Parenting is being me, with the Lord, training my children up as we go.  If I’m really not sure, I’m going to ask the Lord, or another person who is walking this journey with me and slightly ahead of me.

This same thing goes with homeschooling.  There are as many ways to homeschool as there are unique and individual families.  What is right for one is not automatically right for the next.  Some may be and look similar, some may look completely different, but they will all have their own flavor…as they should.  So I walk on, being my own flavor with the Lord.  I know the Lord has told me it is not time to purchase any curriculum, but to follow the leading of Mason and his interests.

My encouragement to you in your journey, be it life or homeschooling or fill-in-the-blank:  If you are following the true desire of your heart, don’t give up.  Stand on what you know is right, and walk on.  Today you may feel overwhelmed, tired, and stretched, but joy comes in the morning.  Each day is His and therefore, each day is yours.

Live it, Love it, Joy in it, Learn.

Week-in-Review

Math:  

Measuring in centimeters

  • My children love to empty my center desk drawer of all its pens, pencils, erasers, binder clips etc.  This time Mason had placed most everything from the drawer on the kitchen table.  This included a ruler that had cm on one side.  My husband explained how to line an object on the zero and find its length.  Mason spent the next 15-20 minutes measuring items from the drawer.

Lego Block Addition and Subtraction, Lego pack

  • Several months ago, I came across a free Lego pack by www.walkingbytheway.com.  Two of the pages included were addition and subtraction of blocks.  We spent most of our time doing the subtraction.  You place an amount of Lego bricks on the card, let them count, and then take some away while their eyes are closed.  The student then has to tell you how many you took away.  We made sure to restate the problem after each time “Six take away two equals four.”  This will really help when we are ready to move to writing these type of problems using symbolic form.

lego math

Reading:  

Matching Partner Letters (Uppercase to Lowercase), Alphabet Cards by The Learning Leaf

  • This was a fun review game.  It is the age old game of concentration using Uppercase and Lowercase letters.  I made a set of alphabet cards and we placed a 4 x 4 block of cards on the table (8 letters of the alphabet at a time).  Mason would turn over two, trying to match the uppercase letter with its partner lowercase letter.

alpha cards

(Click the pic for a free set of printable cards.)

  • Madison (age 2) was very interested in the alphabet cards, so I made a tot-pack for her.  I made templates with the Upper and Lowercase matches on them.  I placed two templates in front of her (4 letters at a time), and she had to match the alphabet card to the correct letter on the templates.  An example of Madison’s templates:

alpha tot

(Click the pic for a free download of the tot-pack templates.)

Word Family Practice, Starfall.com

  • We did 15-20 minutes on starfall.com working on word family reading, recognition, and spelling.  I saw him work on the -an, -at, -en, -it word families, but there may have been more!  If you have never used starfall.com, jump over and take a look, it is a wonderful free online tool.

Starfall screen

Never Underestimate

My lesson this week:  never underestimate.

I am seeing a beautiful blend of basic planning and inherent motivation budding forth.  It will help to explain using examples.  We have several educational workbooks that have been given to us and have thus far been mostly out of sight, out of mind.  In hopes to decrease the pile, we started working through these to use them up.  Sitting down to work on letter tracing:  my basic planning – complete two pages.  Mason’s inherent motivation – complete 5!

Another time I noticed this blend of basic planning and inherent motivation:  throughout the last couple of weeks, Mason has been more consistently sounding out words.  Out of interest, I asked if he could spell ‘and’ the other day.  He could.  This makes it a great time to move into the realm of spelling basic word families and sight words.  It came to me to write several letters on the ground and have Mason spell words by jumping on the letters in order.  I made sure to include the letters of his name so that there was a word with which I knew he was familiar.

Spelling Jump

(Madison enjoyed jumping on letters as well!)

Long story short…

Not only did he spell the words I thought up, he then started making words out of the letters on the ground.  Words I hadn’t even thought to ask him.   Then he said a word, realized one of the letters wasn’t there, and wrote the letter with the chalk himself.  Wow!  My basic planning – have Mason spell his name and a few other words.  Mason’s inherent motivation – spell given words, make my own words, include new letters.

I must pause and say, there is definitely a timing to this whole process.  There were a few times this week that I presented the idea of tracing letters and either it just didn’t fly, or only what I asked was done (and that with little enthusiasm).  In these instances, I didn’t push and we didn’t move on to other areas.  Most of our learning activities this week happened on Wednesday and then Saturday and Sunday.  There just seemed to be a “no go” on the other days of the week.  This, however, is the beauty of “doing school” from June to June on a 12 month cycle…plenty of time to flow.

Week-in-Review

Math:  

Collecting Data, Calendar Activity from RoyalBaloo

  • The only math we did this week was graphing the weather each morning with our calendar activity.  The activity is set up to do daily.  This is not something I’m willing to make happen everyday.  It seems to work better for us to do it once, maybe twice, a week – doing a few days work at one time.

weather graph data

Reading:  

Introduction to Beginning Consonant Blends, Blend Wall Cards by 3 Dinosaurs

  • Since sounding out words and attempting to read books is occurring more and more, we began to look at and attribute sounds to specific blends of consonants.  These wall cards helped with the sounding out of each particular blend and then I had Mason think of another word that started with the same blend.

Blend Wallcards

Sight Word Practice, Lego Pack by walkingbytheway.com

  • Reinforcement is always good, and we have a large supply of foam letters.  Thank you Grandma S for the foam letters!  I also found this great Lego pack at walkingbytheway.com.  So, we practiced color sight words, by finding and placing the correct foam letters on the words.  Since spelling is becoming a forefront concept as well, I made sure that once the word was completed, I would ask the question, “How do you spell blue.”  Since the word was in front of him, it simply gave him a chance to practice responding to that question.

MM foam spelling

(Madison’s version is on the right.)

Handwriting:  

Tracing and Free writing Letters

  • As stated above, we have several educational workbooks that I am ready to work through and lessen the pile!  The pages with letters A-D were completed this week.

tracing work

Tracing Numbers

  • Calendar Activity – writing in dates on the August calendar printable found at RoyalBaloo.com

Spelling

  • What we are now calling Spelling Jump.  It is the activity described in the blog above.  Writing letters on the driveway and giving Mason a word to spell by jumping on the correct letters in order.

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