Monday, August 31, 2015

School Time Week-in-Review: Week 1- August 17-21, 2015


Week 1

Another school year has started. Well, it started a couple of weeks ago, but I completely forgot to post my week-in-review post last weekend. I realize it has been an awfully long time since I posted a week-in-review post. Last year's posts were almost non-existent. Frankly, I missed recording what we were doing, but I also struggled with finding time to get it typed up into a post. This year, I am going to try to stay more organized, so I can share with you what we have been up to. 

I do share my Littles Learning Link Up post every Tuesday. However, that does not always focus on what we have been doing. I also include round-ups and guest posts during the month. And of course, I only share one craft or activity on the alternate weeks. So, I want to share a bit more in an end-of-the-week post, gathering together what we have been up to. 

This year the two older girls are doing My Father's World Adventures. Tabitha is in 3rd grade, and Amelia is in 2nd grade. The younger children are tagging along a bit with some of the lessons; however, they also have their special time. Hannah is now in Kindergarten and Harold is tagging along with her lessons. We will be starting our letter units this week, and he will be doing letter of the week activities alongside her K activities. 

Here is what our first week of school looked like:

My Father's World Adventures:

We were learning about Vikings, The Pledge of Allegiance, that their names were special, and what science is. They also started lessons in the art book titled, I Can Do All Things


My Father's World Adventures comes with a book called The Story of the U.S.. I read the story "Leif Ericsson and the Vikings" to the children, and then I read it to the older girls again while the younger children were busy elsewhere. These stories are used to help the girls learn to narrate back to the parent, to retell what they remember of the story. So, I read a paragraph at a time, and had the girls alternate with their narrations. Then we worked on a summary together, which I wrote down, and they each copied onto their papers. 

While reading the story, we found the different countries on the map that were important to the story. We discovered where the Vikings were originally from (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark), then we found Greenland, and Iceland (which Eric the Red ruled). We also discovered that Eric's son, Leif Ericsson, took a voyage in the year 1000 to what is now Newfoundland, Canada, and that he was the one who first discovered North America, not Christopher Columbus as some used to think.  

We also made playdough, which I shared about in this week's Littles Learning Link Up post. The playdough was used to make Viking ships.

There were several books about Vikings that were recommended in the Teacher Manual. The one I found the most helpful and informative was:

Life and Times in The Viking World which is a Kingfisher book written and edited by Sheila Clewley, Julie Ferris, and Conrad Mason. We have found some great information about the Viking world in this book, such as transportation, clothing, food and drink, homes, a Viking feast, and much more. Each page has great illustrations with little snippets of information.

In addition, as a part of our social studies lessons, we reviewed the United States map and the World map.

The Pledge of Allegiance:

We have been reciting the Pledge of Allegiance since the older girls were in Kindergarten. It has been a part of our morning routine, along with saying the Pledge to the Bible and singing The B-I-B-L-E. This year we have been able to look into what the words mean, so they can understand better why we recite it. We had a patriotic lunch the second day of school, in honor of learning about the pledge. Later on in the year we will be learning about the U.S. flag. 

Here is our muffin tin lunch:

The flag is buttered bread cut into the shape of a flag with a flag cookie cutter. I then spread strawberry jam for the stripes and placed a blueberry in the corner. The spaghetti and shredded mozzarella represent stripes, while the beets are cut into stars. Then they had red strawberries, white cool whip, and blue blueberries.

Our favorite books were:

I Pledge Allegiance by Pat Mora and Libby Martinez tells the story of the authors' aunt who came to America in the early 1900's and became a citizen later in life. In the story we actually see Libby learning about the pledge while at the same time her great aunt (Lobo) is getting ready to recite it as a part of her citizenship ceremony. 

I pledge allegiance by Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson focuses on a couple of words or a phrase of the pledge on each page, and then goes on to explain each to help it come alive for the children. 

Our Names Are Special:

We did a couple of different projects using the children's names and I made them a Name Lunch. I never did write the letter that I was supposed to write telling them about their name. I plan to get to that soon. 

Here are their name posters.

Here are their special Name Lunches.

(Yes, it took a while to spell out their names with mini chocolate chips.)


We will be using the book I Can Do All Things this year for our art lessons. We are beginning with simple drawing lessons, such as drawing straight lines, both horizontal and vertical. The children's favorite lesson was drawing Wally the Worm. Tabitha even drew a "Step Book" for Hannah to follow so she could draw some too. In addition to the worm, she gave her steps for drawing a mouse, a cat, and a spider. 

Tabitha's Step Book, page 1:


One of our books for science is the First Encyclopedia of Science from Usborne. We read about what science is. Then we used the internet links in the book to watch an animated video about the scientific method, after which the girls completed a quick quiz. Then we watched two short videos about two different scientists. There were a whole lot to choose from, and we plan to watch more in the future. 

As you can see, Hannah and Harold joined in with a lot of what we were doing with Adventures. In the morning, we have our Bible time together, and then we head to the table to say the Pledge of Allegiance. We then do calendar and weather. While the children eat a small snack, I read the science or the history passage. Then we do the experiment or craft if there is one for that day. As we don't start school til around 10 or 10:30, this brings us to noon, which means it is time for a show while I make lunch. After lunch the older girls have dishes or computer time, while I work with the younger two on MFW K.

My Father's World Kindergarten

When I did Kindergarten with the older girls, Tabitha was reading very well, and Amelia was already starting to read. So, we didn't quite follow the teacher manual completely. This time around, neither Hannah nor Harold are reading, though Hannah is getting there, having picked up some words here and there. I have decided to follow the teacher manual a lot more closely this time around to make sure she gets everything out of it she should. Harold is just along for the ride. 

The first 2 weeks of Kindergarten focus on the 7 days of creation. They each made a Numbers of Creation Poster, and a Days of Creation Book. We were supposed to make a poster showing things God had made, compared to what man made. However, seeing as we reviewed Bible curriculum back at the beginning of the year, called Sound Words Theology 4 Kids written by Tauna Meyer of Proverbial Homemaker, in which we made a "God Made..." poster, I decided not to do one at this time. 

Here is a look at their work:

Numbers of Creation Poster

We actually finished it during week 2, but I am going to share the finished product here, because we are moving on to our first letter unit this week.

And here they are working on their Days of Creation Books:

We read a few books about creation. The first two used the Biblical text and added illustrations. I enjoyed both versions, though the one by Jane Ray does have pictures of Eve without anything covering her breasts, and Tabitha did pick up on that as we are very strict about modesty around here. The name of that book is The Story of Creation.

I actually enjoyed the illustrations in the second book more. They weren't as "busy" as the illustrations in the book above. This one is titled The First Seven Days: The Story of the Creation from Genesis, and is illustrated by Paul Galdone.

The third book we read about God's creation didn't focus on the days of creation themselves, but on God's creation praising Him. This book is called Let the Whole Earth Sing Praise by Tomie DePaola.

Another book that I would recommend, even though we didn't get to read it, is called The Seven Days of Creation by Leonard Everett Fisher. The text is adapted from the Bible, but isn't the exact wording. The reason I didn't read it is because we had already read the Bible text itself in our lesson time, but I read the first two books above, and I figured they might be getting tired of hearing it over and over. I do plan on reading this other book before I return it to the library though, now that we have had a break from reading it, plus it is a bit shorter as the words are just an adaptation.

The first 2 weeks of Kindergarten are also devoted to reviewing the letters of the alphabet. We used the alphabet chart for a game. I cut out yellow circles to use as markers/tokens. As I called the letter, they covered the corresponding letter on the chart.

We also used their ABC cards to play a matching game. They had to match upper case to lower case. I set all the cards of one case out on the table, and we took turns drawing a card to match. Later, in week two, we played with them in the traditional memory match game way. Harold and Hannah both did a great job, and have shown that they know both the upper case and lower case letters. I also had them tell me the sound the letter made, as they made their match. They both did wonderfully with that as well.

In addition to our My Father's World curriculum, we are supplementing with some review products. 

I am using Memoria Press's First Start Reading with Hannah. We reviewed this back in April and I put it away for the summer. It was her idea to pull it off the shelf the other day, and she did a great job reviewing the pages we had done back then. You can read my review is you would like to read more about it.

For spelling, I am using Horizons 2nd Grade Spelling and Vocabulary with Amelia. My review for this went live a couple of weeks ago. It is another product we are very happy with, and I plan to continuing through the school year.

Tabitha will be using the Institute for Excellence in Writing's Phonetic Zoo for spelling, as soon as it arrives in the mail. My review for this will go live the first week in October. 

Tabitha is learning French with Middlebury Interactive Languages. Sometimes Amelia listens in, but the program can only be used for one student so it is Tabitha's work that is being kept track of. I will be sharing my review at the end of the month (or the first couple of days in October). 

And that is a quick look at our first week of school. Next week I will be sharing our second and third week of Adventures, as I decided to stretch week 2 out for 2 weeks. We are reviewing a great book about Christopher Columbus from YWAM Publishing, and I wanted to make sure we got a chance to really dig into the lessons. Hannah and Harold will be starting their first letter unit: Ss Sun. I can still remember doing this unit a few years ago, and I can't wait to do it again.

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