ivey league academy: week in review!

After 3 weeks off for Christmas, we jumped back into the second half of first grade!

Reading:  We continued in his language arts workbook and his King on a Swing reader.

Spelling:  We did Week 21 of his spelling curriculum and also added a custom word search for practice!  Caleb struggled with a few of the words and seems to have trouble sounding out words so I'm currently researching other curricula to use next year.

Vocabulary:  Our words for this week were "skill," "nimble," "zip," and "mighty."

Math:  We continued in our Horizons Math workbook.

Bible:  We began Leading Little Ones to God and so far Caleb seems very engaged and asks more questions than he did with other devotionals.  I read the lesson, pausing for questions or for expanding upon an idea, then we read the suggested passage out of Caleb's study Bible and talk more. 

Read-Aloud:  I chose Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl as our read-aloud because the chapters are very short and I knew Caleb would stay interested even if we read 3 or 4 chapters in each sitting.  We would have finished the book on Friday but with homeschool group we didn't get to it!  We'll finish it next Monday and then choose something else.

Science:  We learned about ants and spiders this week.  We watched Magic School Bus for each topic and then did some activities.  For ants, I sketched out a simple life cycle for Caleb and then he used pom-poms and pipe cleaners to create the different life stages.  We did something similar for spiders, as well as a fun, quick demonstration that answers the question, "Why don't spiders stick to their own webs?"  I attached a long piece of scotch tape to a paper plate, sticky-side up, and had Caleb "walk" his fingers across.  His fingers of course stuck to the tape.  Then, I had him put a little olive oil on his fingertips and then "walk across" again.  His fingers didn't stick to the tape that time!  So we learned that spiders' legs secrete an oily substance that keeps them from sticking to their webs like their prey.  Caleb was then inspired to make his own scotch-tape web, and stuck more pom-poms on it to represent bugs!

U.S. Geography:  This week we learned about Missouri.  Caleb colored his Missouri page and we learned about the Gateway Arch!

Homeschool Group:  This week was our first time back at homeschool group since late November.  We met at the center and learned about how our body works!  The students colored body-system books, watched videos about how the lungs and heart work together and also why we need bones, and constructed a "hand" out of a rubber glove and drinking straws.

Free Word Search Generator (Super Teacher Worksheets)
Ant Life Cycle Inspiration (dead link, just picture)
Spider Life Cycle Inspiration (Schroeder Page)
Spider Tape Web Experiment (Science Matters)


ivey league academy: weeks in review!

Here's what we did for our last two weeks of school in 2016!

Reading:  We made great progress in Caleb's language arts workbook; he's learning that every sentence should begin with a capital letter, end with a period/question mark, etc.  We also learned about the "naming" and "telling" parts of a sentence.  He is also doing well with his King on a Swing reader.  We only have a couple of sections left in there, so once we finish I have Story Time Treasures by Memoria Press to carry us through till the end of first grade.  I'm interested to see how Caleb will do with a literature-based program so if it's a good fit I might consider more of it for second grade!

Spelling:  Caleb continues to do well in spelling now that we have hands-on activities for practice.  He enjoys using our Scrabble tiles and a salt tray!  He still practices writing each word too.

Handwriting:  Caleb continued in his joke workbook.  We weren't consistent with it, but on the days we left it out, it was usually because Caleb had lots of handwriting in another area, like with language arts.

Vocabulary:  Our words over the last two weeks were "hobby," "rustle," "appreciate," "nutritious," "sample," "dazzle," "flutter," and "sensible."

Math:  We continued in our Horizons Math workbook and ended our fall semester with Test 10.  Caleb got everything right and is excited that we made it to Lesson 100.

Bible:  We switched gears once we hit December 1st in order to do something more advent-related.  I downloaded the ebook The Truth in the Tinsel with the intention that we'd do each day's ornament and read the Scripture/lesson that accompanies it.  Caleb likes crafts and enjoys it.  We haven't been consistent but he's liked what we've done so far.  If we don't finish every day this year (it was doubtful since we'll be out of town a few days before Christmas anyway), we could always do it next year and maybe by then Micah will want to participate too.

Days 1 and 2:  Jesus is the Light of the World (candle) and He will rule forever (crown).

Days 3 and 4:  Zechariah and Gabriel.

Read-Aloud:  We finished The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  Caleb really enjoyed it.  We'll read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever within the next week as a special Christmas read-aloud!

Science:  Last week we learned about eggs using The Magic School Bus and library books.  We also did MSB's suggested experiment where Caleb cracked an egg and we tried to identify all of the parts.

This past week we studied reptiles.  We mostly read about them, truthfully.  Caleb knows a lot of reptile facts (and animal facts in general!) from shows like "Wild Kratts" so he found it a lot of fun.  I did print out a reptile fact sheet and told Caleb he could draw in the reptiles at his own pace.

U.S. Geography:  Last week we studied Wisconsin and made fun paper "cheesehead" hats!

This week we studied Illinois.  We read a few library books about Illinois (I found one or two more ebooks using my Epic app), and also specifically about Chicago.  We also looked up pictures of some of Chicago's famous buildings.

We'll take the rest of December off, but will continue our read-aloud for the next week at least.  We will also try to make more ornaments, but again, if it doesn't happen this year we can always do it next year.  I also told Caleb to keep reading on his own...he claims he hates reading but I think what he really hates is making mistakes.  I "caught" him reading a book to Micah this morning and he did great.  He tried to sound out words he didn't know, and if he still couldn't figure it out he'd shrug and tell Micah he didn't know what that word was, and then just move on.  So I think he's just being dramatic when it comes time to read for school!  :)

The Truth in the Tinsel ebook information (Not Consumed)
Magic School Bus Egg Printable (Scholastic)
Reptiles Fact Sheet Printable (Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten)
States Coloring Pages (USA Printables)


ivey league academy: week in review!

Here's what we did last week!

Reading:  We continued in our language arts workbook and A King on a Swing reader.  Caleb is just about halfway through the reader!

Spelling:  Caleb did Week 18 of our spelling curriculum and got 7 out of 8 correct on his test!

Handwriting:  We started a fun workbook this week since Caleb was getting a bit bored with the other one.  This new one has the student copy a joke or riddle every day as a way to practice better penmanship.  It definitely holds his attention better!

Vocabulary:  Our words for this week were "sniff," "collection," "wander," and "flabbergasted."  I tracked down an old Sesame Street clip on YouTube that has a song about the word "flabbergasted"....I remembered watching it as a child so it was fun to find it and show my own child!

Math:  We continued in his math workbook.  Caleb had a test this week and only missed one point!

Bible:  We continued in our His Mighty Warrior devotional.  We're a little more than halfway through this one, and I think when we finish we'll move on to Leading Little Ones to God.  Several moms have recommended this classic and I found a copy at Goodwill awhile back.  :)

Read-Aloud:  We continued reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  The chapters are short, so we usually get through two a day.

Science:  We mixed things up this week by not using our "Magic School Bus" curriculum.  Caleb had asked if we could learn about birds, and since there wasn't an episode that dealt specifically with birds, we made up our own stuff.  I found several books about birds at the library (including a fun one about bird-watching with kids!), a cool BBC documentary about birds on Netflix, and a fun activity comparing and contrasting bird beaks.  Caleb loved the last activity; we used pom-poms to represent bugs, small fish, and nuts/seeds, and twist ties to represent worms.  He used chopsticks, needlenose pliers, regular pliers, and a big spoon as his different "beaks" to try to pick up the "food" (the big spoon is similar to what a pelican has).  We also turned his Halloween pumpkin into a bird feeder; he saw something similar on the PBS cartoon "Nature Cat," and I found lots of tutorials online.  We haven't had any visitors yet, but hopefully soon!  If not we'll put out a different bird feeder in the spring.

U.S. Geography:  This week we learned about Michigan.  We learned that the main part of the state is shaped like a mitten, as well as about the Great Lakes and Detroit, where many of the earlier cars were manufactured.

Homeschool Group:  This week was at the center.  The kids did a turkey activity where they discussed what they were thankful for, as well as a nature scavenger hunt outside.  Everyone brought in their favorite snack to share, so we had our own little "feast" just like the Pilgrims and Native Americans.

Bird Beak Activity (Pink Stripey Socks)
Pumpkin Bird Feeder Instructions (Kitchen Counter Chronicles)


ivey league academy: week in review

This week's chalkboard had a Jungle Book theme!

Reading:  Caleb continued in his workbook and learned more about adjectives.  We also kept reading through his A King on a Swing reader.

Spelling:  We did Week 17 of our spelling curriculum and Caleb got a perfect score on his test for the first time ever!  The words were a little easier than last week's words, plus we did some hands-on activities for practice, like spelling each word with Scrabble tiles and writing it in salt.

Handwriting:  We continued in his handwriting workbook.  Caleb admitted he was a little bored with it, so on Thursday I let him write in his journal instead.  I recently ordered a different handwriting practice book that has the student copy down a riddle or joke each day; it came in the mail this weekend so we'll start that on Monday to see if it helps motivate him.

Vocabulary:  This week's words were "panic," "interest," "final," and "direct" (the verb).

Math:  We continued in Caleb's math workbook.  

Bible:  We continued in our His Mighty Warrior devotional.

Read-Aloud:  We finished Peter Pan this week!  Caleb liked it overall but we both were disappointed that there were such big words in there; it made it hard for Caleb to understand what was going on at times.  He requested The Wizard of Oz next; we don't have that in our homeschool library and our public library's copies were all checked out, but I found the ebook version for free so I'm reading it off my tablet.  The ebook actually contains the first five books so we have the option of continuing the series if he wants!

Science:  This week we learned about food chains.  We watched the food chain episode of "The Magic School Bus" and read a few books about food chains, including a funny one with poems about how animals eat (butterflies tasting with their feet, "cowgirl" spiders swinging their web strands like lassos to catch prey, etc.).  I've been seeing fun art projects about food chains where each animal is placed inside the next animal's open mouth; they were pretty detailed for first grade but then I found a freebie online that had a simple version for this age!  I made a prototype the night before, and also traced the shapes onto construction paper so Caleb could cut, paste, etc.  He was also inspired to draw a sea food chain that he saw in one of our library books!

U.S. Geography:  This week we studied Indiana.  Caleb colored his state page and we read books about Abraham Lincoln (who spend some of his childhood in Indiana) and popcorn (Indiana is part of the "corn belt" and Orville Redenbacher, a citizen of Indiana, helped boost its production of popcorn).  We also discussed the race track at Indianapolis and Caleb colored his own race cars!

Homeschool Group:  This week we had our monthly park day and met at a local playground.  It also happened to be Veteran's Day so Daddy was able to tag along!

Food Chain Craftivity (Teachers Pay Teachers)
Race Car Coloring Page (Color Kiddo)


ivey league academy: weeks in review!

Here's what we did during the past two weeks!

Reading:  We continued with our current reading/language arts curriculum.  Caleb learned about verbs, when to use past tense, and other things.

Spelling:  We did Weeks 15 and 16 in our spelling curriculum.  Caleb had difficulty with Week 16; to be fair, it had more challenging words on it (including "would" and "make"), but Caleb also messed up one or two of the easier words.  He got frustrated with his test, but when I looked ahead to next week, I saw that the words were a little easier.  I also decided to incorporate more hands-on ways to practice the spelling words, since I've noticed that just written activities (fill-in-the-blank, write three times, etc.) aren't helping Caleb retain the correct spelling.

Handwriting:  We continued in his workbook.  I'm glad more sentences have been appearing in his daily handwriting practice; he's great at putting spaces between words, but right now his letters are still on the large side and it's difficult for him to fit a sentence on the line, even if it's one he's copying from the line above.

Vocabulary:  Our words over the past two weeks were "jumbo," "dodge," "odd," "deed," "dangle," "equipment," "peppy," and "stroll."

Math:  Caleb completed Workbook 1 of his math curriculum last week!  So we are halfway through first grade math now.  He's doing well with the majority of it.

Bible:  We continued in the His Mighty Warrior devotional.

Read-Aloud:  We continued Peter Pan.  Caleb likes the story but I think he gets lost in all of the big words!  Our next read-aloud will be easier to follow, I hope!

Science:  Over the past couple of weeks, we learned about germs, the properties of sound, and the properties of smell.  I had forgotten to reserve library books about germs (oops!) but did get a couple of books in time for sound and smell the next week.  We watched The Magic School Bus and did a few experiments.  For germs, we sprinkled ground black pepper into a shallow pan of water and then coated Caleb's index finger with soap.  The pepper represented germs, and when he stuck his soapy finger into the water, the germs scattered away! 

We learned that sound results from vibrations moving through the air, so that experiment involved pounding a metal pan with a spoon very close to a bowl with some uncooked rice resting on it.  The rice jumped a little, so we were able to "see" the sound.

Then for smell, we did an "odor detectives" activity.  I set up four ramekins with "mystery smells" in them, and covered them with foil with a hole poked in the top (the activity suggested using film canisters with lids, but we haven't used film in at least ten years!).  I had Caleb smell each one, then write down what he thought it was (I helped him with spelling).  He also drew a line to a sign indicating how the smell made him feel ("yucky," "yum," "danger," etc.).  His smells were cinnamon, dried minced onions, mint extract, and orange juice.  He got everything but the onions right, but he did recognize that it was a yucky smell!

U.S. Geography:  We studied Kentucky and Ohio.  For Kentucky, we learned about Daniel Boone and The Kentucky Derby.  We watched the 2016 Derby on YouTube, then both boys made their own horse, including brown yarn for the mane.

For Ohio, we learned about the Hippoquarium at the Toledo Zoo, Thomas Edison, and buckeyes.  It turns out the Thomas Edison library book was a bust; too much text and it didn't really talk much about his role as an inventor.  Really I should have found a book about astronauts, since more astronauts have come from Ohio than any other state!  It had been awhile since we made any state recipes, so we made buckeyes (peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate so they resemble the nuts that gave Ohio its nickname).  They're so good!  We keep them in the freezer so they don't get soft.

Homeschool Group:  Last week we had a field trip to an apple orchard up in Elijay.  Even though we couldn't pick apples there were still lots of activities, plus we bought apple cider doughnuts and cold apple cider on our way out!

The next Friday, we were at the center and learned about volcanoes.  Each mom brought a different activity; I found a library book on Krakatoa and printed out volcano coloring pages, but I have to say the other activities were better.  The kids painted volcanoes by blowing through a straw to make the paint splatter like lava, made "lava lamps" with a water bottle (using water, oil, food coloring, and antacid tablets), watched a video explaining how volcanoes form, and went outside to watch a crafted volcano "erupt" with a baking soda and vinegar chemical reaction.  Both boys enjoyed it!

Germ/Soap Experiment (Deceptively Educational)
Seeing Sound Experiment (Cool Science Experiments Headquarters)
Odor Detectives Experiment (Scholastic)
Horse Printable (Learn Create Love)
Buckeyes Recipe (Chocolate With Grace)
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