Child, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend

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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another Reason or Two to Love TOG

After using TOG for 3 years, I believe it has made me a better teacher. Using TOG taught me how to dig deeper, go farther, and set the bar high for my family. I didn't know where to set the bar sometimes, and TOG paved the way. It has also encouraged me to be a more active learner. Finally, using TOG has given me the courage to make science more like TOG, even if I have to do it myself.

That's all May your TOG journey help your grow where you're planted too!

TOG Year 3, Units 3 & 4 memorization pieces

I have coordinated some memorization to go along with TOG3, Units 3&4. Many of you may have completed some of this in your units 1&2 studies. If you would like a MSWord document with each weeks work already formatted for your student to learn from, email me and I'd be happy to send it your way.

Week 19
I'm Nobody! Who are you? by Emily Dickinson
Review The Declaration of Independence from previous unit
The Difference Between Despair by Emily Dickinson

Week 20
Family Memorization – Each member gets a portion of the poem and we will recite it at our Unit Celebration

The Nightingale's Song to the Sick Soldier

LG Stanza 1 (two students will share, but one student could do this, too)

UG Stanza 2

D Stanza 3

R Stanza 4 & 5

Week 21 - 23
LG Abraham Lincoln is My Name
By Abraham Lincoln, a grade school boy
Spend any time reviewing the variety of memorization (bible, poetry, history)

UG/D/R The Gettysburg Address

Week 24 - 28
All: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Week 29
LG partial memorization of The Thirteenth Amendment – frees all slaves
UG/D/R complete memorization of The Thirteenth Amendment – frees all slaves

Week 30
LG complete The Thirteenth Amendment – frees all slaves
UG Bill of Rights Simplified (see selections) (will continue through week 36)
Weeks 30-36
D/R Bill of Rights

LG We Conquer or Die by James Pierpont
UG Bill of Rights Simplified (see selections)

Memorizing Presidents, coordinate with TOG 3 if you'd like ;)

Using this song posted on another thread (thanks op) and the accompanying lyrics page, I have compiled the "when" to use each verse of the song to go along with Y3 studies. For the most part, the list is true to the TOG weeks, but for balance, there are a few that are a tiny bit different. I will include Y4 when I get there :)

THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTS by Genevieve Madeline Ryan


Numbers in ( ) indicate the actual week of TOG

2. America’s president number one,

Founding Father Washington. (Y2:35 or Y3:1 )

3. John Adams, second president,

The very first White House resident. (Y2:36 or Y3:1)

4. Thomas Jefferson, number three,

Doubled the size of our country.

6. Then James Madison, number four,

Led us through the English war.

9. James Monroe is number five,

His Monroe Doctrine still survives.

11. Another Adams, John Quincy,

Rose to the sixth presidency.

12. Seven, Andrew Jackson,

Was a frontier common man.

13. Number eight, Van Buren,

First president born an “American.”

14. Harrison, nine, passed away,

One month after Inaugural Day. (Y3:15)

15. President Tyler, number ten,

Ended the war with the Indians.

16. James K. Polk, eleven,

Looked to western expansion.

17. Taylor, twelve, of the army,

Nicknamed “Rough and Ready.”

19. Thirteen, Fillmore, in his eyes,

Best for all was a compromise.

20.Fourteen, Franklin Pierce is here,

The Civil War is drawing near.

21. James Buchanan, fifteen,

The one bach’lor we’ve ever seen.

22. Sixteen, Lincoln, “Honest Abe,”

Signed the law that freed the slaves. (Y3:21)

25 Seventeen, Andrew Johnson,

Started Reconstruction.

26. Eighteen, Union General Grant,

Had led his troops with good judgment.

28. Nineteen, President R.B. Hayes,

Pursued the South in many ways. (29)

29. Garfield, number twenty,

Killed while in his presidency.

30. Chester Arthur, twenty one,

Sought reform and got it done.

31. Grover Cleveland, twenty two,

Remember him ‘cause he’s not through.

32. Twenty three, Harrison, comes again,

It’s William’s grandson, Benjamin.

33. Grover Cleveland, twenty four,

Ran for the White House, elected once more.

34. Here’s McKinley, twenty five,

The Twentieth Century had arrived. (36)

35. Teddy Roosevelt, twenty six,

“Speak softly and carry a big stick!”

36. Twenty seven, Taft we see,

Biggest man in the presidency.

Woodrow Wilson, twenty eight,

Thought a League of Nations was great.

Twenty nine, Harding, Post-World War One,

“Normalcy” promised to everyone.

Calvin Coolidge, thirty,

Taught one and all frugality.

Herbert Hoover, thirty one,

Oh no! The Depression had begun.

Franklin Roosevelt, thirty two,

With his “New Deal” the country grew.

Harry Truman, thirty three,

Won with atomic energy.

Eisenhower, thirty four,

Commanded in the Second World War.

Thirty five, John Kennedy,

Assassinated in sixty three.

Thirty six, Johnson, Lyndon B.,

He declared a “War on Poverty.”

Thirty seven, Nixon went far,

Opening China and the U.S.S.R.

Gerald R. Ford, thirty eight,

Moved the nation forward past Watergate.

Thirty nine, with all his might,

Carter fought for human rights.

Reagan, forty, from the West,

Taught the world that freedom’s best.

Bush, forty one, showed solid form,

Freed a nation in “Desert Storm.”

Forty two, Bill Clinton,

President through the Millennium.

George W. Bush, number forty three,

Strengthened Homeland Security.

First to be elected of African descent,

Obama our Forty-Fourth President.

Memory Work for Grammar Stage a free downloadable ebook What a beautiful gift to share. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to Hannah, for putting this together and sharing so generously.

Ways We Use TOG Dialectic

I have really enjoyed the first 2 units of year 3. Nicely presented, and the lit. has been great. A wonderful introduction for my eldest 2, who will start TOG R lit next Feb. We have learned a great deal and were just identifying an archetype while watching a movie last night! The spines were great and the discussions, well, that's the icing on the cake. Amazing. Truly. We've grown so much in our Socratic Discussions. I started D when my boys were in grades 5/6 and now that we're entering 8/9 they are wonderful at picking up the pieces, making connections, answering the questions, and actively participating in discussion. It's been grand.

Something I have enjoyed with multiple dc in D was assigning different questions to each of them, so they can each play a part in discussion with pride and confidence. It turns out, that most of the time they can answer all of the questions, anyways, but when they get the chance to articulate a particular point, it has been magical. I heart TOG!

We, at least half of us, have enjoyed TOG more thoroughly by spacing out the schedule. We complete 2-TOG weeks in 3-calendar weeks. That means we only finish 3 units per year, but it gives 2 of my students, who are just a little slower, the chance to get deep and enjoy, instead of rush and burn through a week at a time. I have also found their retention is greater.

I expect a D student to outline and summarize either a spine or in-depth, ala WTM guidelines, in addition to the writing we complete.

I have thusfar been able to give them explanations for lit terms, give them a vocab list, and with their reading, they are understanding without too much depth of study. That will surely change in R lit.

I do use the Evaluations and love them. If they can answer the questions, they do fine on the exam. The Evaluations stretch them to really look at a big picture of say, a presidency and require a student to know about the president personally, his term, accomplishments, political history, family life, and then the discussion takes it a step further by having the dc decide their opinion on a matter. For example, Andrew Jackson and his life, presidency and their thoughts on Indian Removal. We had an amazing discussion on slavery, human rights, and of course, were able to connect our faith in the process. It was amazing how something so wretched was used to teach us the goodness of God and the not-so-goodness of man. Good stuff!

They are required to write up a paragraph for each famous person listed in TOG, which is no biggie. There is actually a People Glossary (on the Loom?) and a Vocab. glossary (also on the Loom?). That makes my life easier.

I started letting them see my outline last semester. I tend to outline what I want to lecture about, then discuss and fill in blanks from my understanding. I wanted them to practice taking lecture notes, so using my outline gave them a nice start, then they wrote in extra information. To my joy, most of what I wanted to touch on, they already knew b/c of the reading. I'm encouraged about high school and college as a result!

I like to have the Book Basket, ala Sonlight, in the house too. That way, should they desire to dig deeper, they can. Two of five are avid readers and typically enter the basket. Of the other 3, I'm still training one in reading and the other two would rather read non-school books for pleasure :)

Let's see...projects. I like to complete family projects sometimes, so when TOG leans toward such, I give each student a part and they complete it together. I have used this to teach them to plan as a group, meet group expectations, and have meetings to wrap up. It's been a nice cooperative experience. There are also plenty of projects they can work on throughout a unit (display boards, sewing, cooking), so we generally do those too and save them for a Unit Study with Friends. If you can, do the Unit Study. It seems to give some encouragement to my dc, a way to share joyfully, and a great reason to have friends and food...just for fun!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nature Study Anyone? and A Review of Andreola's Pocketful of Pinescones

Interested in a nature study with your children? Karen Andreola's Pocketful of Pinecones is a delightful narrative about a semi-fictional home schooling family and their implementation of Charlotte Mason educational practices in daily life. An easy read, this book gently expounds upon a Charlotte Mason Nature Study and how one may naturally flourish while you and your family enjoy the out-of-doors together and learn about Creation.

Yes, I said Creation. This family is a 1930's Christian family. If you're not Christian, don't let this sway you. The book is a sweet tale about the wonders of nature. One could easily dismiss the religious content and purely glean a wonderful portrait of Charlotte Mason Nature Journaling.

The additions of poetry and verse round out this lovely work and bring a lovely tale to life. Enjoy the book, but most importantly, enjoy nature!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Week in Review June 14-18, 2010

This week we're on summer break, sorta. We're finishing one math worksheet, one hour of reading (reading aloud where applicable), and playing educational games. We're also moving through our Letter of the Week study and potty training. Sounds like a lot for summer break, but it really is fun and easy. Every spare moment, I'm lesson planning. It's nice that I also just joined the gym, so the Elders and I are up at the crack of dawn to workout! When I get home, I can usually get in an hour of planning before school starts at 10am. It's a nice break from the much busier schedule we generally follow. I'll add pictures when my batteries charge!

Letter a Week: O (week 2)

This week we'll be focusing on the Letter O, /o/ /O/.

1. Start by presenting your new sound.

As you hold up the card written with a RED letter O say, "We have a new letter with two sounds this week. The Letter O says, /o/ /O/. Do you notice what color this letter O is? That's right, it's red. Red letters have a special job, they're vowels. Vowels are sounds that make your mouth open when you say them."  Hold your hand flat against your chin and say /k/ /s/; then say /o/ /O/.  This should model well for her that vowel sounds open the mouth. You'll give this example each day this week and with subsequent vowel introduction and your student will imitate your action. Darling, yet Diva has modeled this for us, first saying /k/ /s/, then /o/ /O/. What a nice, quick review of the sounds of C!

Have the child repeat /o/ /O/ three times, while looking at the red lettered card.

2. Tracing time. Prepare or have her create a red letter O as a screen letter. If you're unsure what that means, shoot over to the first Letter of the Week post.

Place the card on the working surface (table/desk/lap mat/floor) and place your finger at O's starting point, which will vary based on your handwriting program. We use the clock method from the Phonics Road, so I would say, "Remember this letter has two sounds. Here is how we write  /o/, the first sound. Start at 2 o'clock on the clock."  Using your finger, trace the letter and show the child how to "write" the letter. At the same time, say aloud, " /o/" first as you trace and second as you underline from left to right. Underlining is preparing the child for the direction in which she'll read words.

"Here is how to write the second sound, /O/." Example as above, but add, "We write it the same way, only to show the vowel says it's name, we make a line over the letter. We call this, overline. /O/, /O/, Overline." 

"So here are the two sounds of the letter O" Now "write" O and say the /o/ sound, immediately followed by overlining and saying, /O/

Now it is the child's turn to trace and underline O. She will feel the bumps and be stimulated kinesthetically. Make sure she's in the correct starting place. As she traces, she should repeat, " /o/ ", then underline the letter from left to write and repeat the process with /O/.
Repeat this pairing action 3 times, so she'll say //o/ /O/ a total of 6 times in step 2.

3. Take out your hands on fun for writing! This week we're using shaving cream and aquarium rocks (aka roooocks from the Ocean). Place a little bit of shaving cream on your working tray. Keep some paper towels handy! This ones messy and fun!

"Show me how to write /o/ /O/ in the shaving cream. Be sure to tell me the sound as you write it and to underline the letter when you're finished writing. Just like you did with the screen letter. Let's do this three times."

4. Hand's on activities that are simple and craftlike work well with learning at this age. Have prepared anything you'd like to represent the sounds of C. I chose the following. Keep in mind, Steps 1-3 are repeated daily and followed up with something new for Step 4. Here's what our step 4 looked like for the week. Notice how I have written the words with the projects. This manner of writing and marking is well represented in The Phonics Road.

4:1 (Step 4: Day 1) Take out two sheets of paper and write large Red letter Os on them. The first O is covered in the proper handwriting direction (starting at 2 o'clock and heading counterclockwise) with octopus pictures. Each time the child glues on an octopus, she says, /o/ /o/ octopus.

The second paper follows the same technique using a person diving in the ocean. Make sure the picture you use is clearly a picture of the Ocean, so she'll make the /O/ connection. /O/ /O/ Ocean. Coloring these black and white pictures makes for a nice review in coming weeks.

4:2 Today we used "rocks from the Ocean" (really the fish tank supply!) for writing and our craft! Follow the same procedure for day 4, i.e. Red letter O on paper, glue, speak the sound for each placement of the rock repeatedly, until the Red letter O is covered.

4:3 Back to the shaving cream for writing today! Shaving cream is soooft. Our craft was about soft, too! We followed our gluing trend and placed soft pom poms all around the Red letter O and AtG repeated, "/o/ soft pom pom" as he placed the pom poms around his Red letter O.

For the second sound of O, /O/, we used the word Overline. As we wrote on the white board, we said /o/ as ee wrote the O, and /O/ Overline as we formed the second sound of O. (I'll post pictures of the finished product when my batteries charge ;) )

5. We ended each day with black and red dry erase markers and a white board, simply making Cs and Os. Big ones, small ones, even middle-sized ones!

Thanks for all the encouragement everyone! I really appreciate it!

Apologia Honors Biology Lesson Plans w/ Movies, Living Books and a Nature Study

Initially, I was just gonna follow Apologia along with lesson plans, but then I came across this blog. Knowing the Bard and Book Devourer is really more of Charlotte Mason kid than a classical one, I decided to add in living books to our study too, along with a nature study. We've never really done a CM style nature study, so I thought now would be a good time. So, I ask the Forums for living book suggestions. Yeah...try over 80 suggestions! I, of course, being an overachiever had to alphabetize and review each of the books so I could decide what direction we'd turn. Then, as per Tina-style, I had to tweak the whole darn thing and add movies for Rockin' Guitar dude, my visual learner. All that turned into the Honors program I have piece-mealed. It's kinda like Tapestry for Science, a theme I'm developing as I am also designing a multi-level physics program for the rest of the Gilbert Gang. I posted the plans here. If you'd like to have them, but can't download for any reason, email me and I'd be happy to share. I'm really not sure if the link is working, so if not, you may search Gilbert Academy Goodies, johnandtinagilbert or Apologia Honors Biology; otherwise, just email and I'll send them your way. computer skills are lacking!

Monday, June 14, 2010

LotW 1, C and How to Introduce a New Letter

Hello. Welcome to my Letter of the Week, brought to you by the wisdom and products of Nina Traub's Recipe for Reading, Sensational Strategies, and The Phonics Road. All of these programs incorporate the Orton-Gillingham method, a multi-sensory approach to teaching phonics, spelling and reading. I will combine my favorite things about each of these programs as we work through learning phonics. I'll interchange "he" and "she" between weeks so as to please all my readers.

A few reminders that sometimes get lost in the effort to teach reading. This should be enjoyable. If tears flow, stop and try again tomorrow. Offer simple praise for hard work and encourage mistakes lovingly. Slow and steady wins the race of phonics.

We begin with a "screen" letter, using an index card, a cross-stitch mat, and a green crayon. Place the card on the screen and write a large letter C, using the green crayon. This will be our introduction to the Letter C, /k/ /s/. {you many have this ready or do it in front of the child} Nice and bright, I chose green simply because the screen is green and because I find green lively.

 1. "Please repeat after me, in other words, say what I say." Hold up the card and say, "/k/ /s/"The student says, " /k/ /s/"
Repeat this procedure 3 times.

2. Place the card on the working surface (table/desk/lap mat/floor) and place your at C's starting point, which will vary based on your handwriting program. We use the clock method from the Phonics Road, so I would say, "Here is how we write /k/ /s/. Start at 2'o'clock on the clock."  Using your finger, trace the letter and show the child how to "write" the letter. At the same time, say aloud, "/k/ /s/" first as you trace and second as you underline from left to right. Underlining is preparing the child for the direction in which he'll read words.

Now it is the child's turn to trace/write C. He will feel the bumps and be stimulated kinesthetically. Make sure he's in the correct starting place. As he traces, he should repeat, "/k/ /s/", then underline the letter from left to write and repeat, /k/ /s/.
Repeat this action 3 times, so he'll say /k/ /s/ a total of 6 times in step 2.

3. Take out your hands on fun. This week we're using rice, next week shaving cream, maybe whip cream, beans, water colors, sand or anything you can think of that will give texture to each letter formed. Follow the same procedure as step 2, only this time, the child is actually "writing" instead of tracing.

"Show me how to write /k/ /s/ in the rice. Be sure to tell me the sound as you write it and to underline the letter when you're finished writing. Just like you did with the screen letter. Let's do this three times."

 4. Hand's on activities that are simple and craftlike work well with learning at this age. Have prepared anything you'd like to represent the sounds of C. I chose the following. Keep in mind, Steps 1-3 are repeated daily and followed up with something new for Step 4. Here's what our step 4 looked like for the week. Notice how I have written the words under the project. This manner is well represented in The Phonics Road.

4:1 (Step 4: Day 1)
Take a piece of paper and write a large C on it in black marker.
Take a cat stamp and ink pad. Have the child stamp the letter C. Each time he stamps, he says /k/.

We colored the C-word page from  I have enjoyed the many wonderful worksheets for a huge variety of topics over the year at enchantedlearning. As a courtesy, I will mention many of the science materials contain evolution based content, so if you're a family this might offend, make sure you read before you use materials there. Since we'll be using this site as a resource for letter families, there will be no conflict during our Letter of the Week study.

Take 2 pieces of paper and write a large C on it in black marker. 
Have the student trace the letter with school glue (one at a time).
Have the child say the sound, /k/ and glue the cottonball on the letter you've written. Do the same for the circle  (stickers) for day one. He should say, /s/ for circle, not /s/ for sticker.

Notice the number 2 over the C. This marking and others you will see can be learned through The Phonics Road. In this case the 2 is there to identify the 2nd sound of letter C, ir is underlined because it's a vowel team, the e is crossed off and marked as the fourth reason for silent final e.

4:3 Prepare in advance a free picture of Carson City, Nevada. You may copy and paste the free pictures to a word processing program. I did this 9 times, printed and cut out the small squares. You want the the right size to be glued onto the letter C in the same way the cotton balls were. The picture below will simplify this. If you need help on copy, cut and past to a MS Word program, email me and I can help you out.

Pull out a globe, map or atlas of the United States, in addition to preparing one letter C
on a paper, writing in black marker, just as above.  Show your student where Nevada is and tell him,  "The /k/ /k/ capital /s/ /s/ city of Nevada is /k/ Carson /s/ City."

Have the student trace the letter with school glue, then glue on (and say the sounds for) Carson City onto the written letter. That's 9 times of saying /k/ /s/ as he applies the mini-pictures to the letter C.

 5. Step five is up to you. If your child is comfortable with a pencil, then end your time writing the letter c on the paper you prefer. If he is not quite ready, then use a white board. We will start with a white board next week, as I've decided we need a bit more practice there before we hit the paper and pencil. Fine motor skills take time and my lil' guy just turned 5.

Well, that's it. It took us about 15-20 minutes each day to complete our lessons. We also read, My "c" Sound Box by Jane Belk Moncure every day this week and reviewed words with the /k/ /s/ sounds from memory after reading the book. Moncure is my favorite author for phonic awareness in literature. The reliability of her series is fantastic and readily available at libraries and

That's it for our week. I hope it all makes sense. Please let me know if you find typos, gross errors, or I simply am not making sense. Hope you keep reading!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

TOG and Its Heavy Planning Rap

I just wanted to say that TOG gets what I consider a "bad rap" sometimes b/c some people find it's a giant planning monster. I wanted to offer some encouragement and simplify that process a bit. I'll make this sound easy, b/c I honestly think it is.

1. Choose books from list. Since there are so many subject areas in TOG, go to that area and choose the book. I spent about 1 hour choosing books in 4-levels for 2 Units.  I follow the SL "book basket" by often getting the other books (I didn't choose as spines) and having them lying around for personal enrichment.

2. Decide your daily schedule. I.e. Monday - vocab, reading; Tuesday - mapwork, reading; Wednesday questions, start get the point. You have to design what days to do what, and you may try a few things before you find your comfy groove, but since we all handle when we teach a variety of subjects M-F, we are totally capable of this step too.

3. Plug in materials, all provided by TOG, into your daily schedule (#2) This takes as much time as counting book pages and dividing them up, printing your copies, and having them ready for your dc in whatever way ya'll school. The's all there for you.

The most time consuming, extensive portion of the program is Teacher's Notes, which does take time to read. Whether or not you study them, take notes, etc. is up to you, but if you have dc in Grammar Stage, this will just be for your own education. If you have older dc, then you'll need to do this for teaching. It takes less time than reading all of their materials, though, and the benefit is growth as a person and as an instructor.  The thing here is that you're not planning anything b/c everything is laid out for you. You're preparing by reading.

Many people don't realize that TOG promotes self-planning for D and R you're kinda skipping step 3 before you know it b/c the dc are doing that part!

All that to say, when you first look at the girth of's intimidating...but once you pass the TOG Fog, it's a breeze, and I've never felt saddled down by daily plans that don't match my family, nor crazy b/c I have to figure out every little details. The little details are provided, I just decide how I want to use them, or not

I hope this helps or encourages someone who might have been intimidated to give it a try. It is a fabulous program and has brought the joys of history to my family in ways I didn't even find possible.

Monday, June 7, 2010

K beginnings...again

Well, although the house at large is on summer session, I have begun grade K with Alexander the Great (AtG). Charming and adorable, this freshly five year old is thrilled to finally start school. In his house, education is praised and little boys who attend school are truly receiving a gift. His mother has done a great job of instilling the importance of education in her children already and reinforces this message by attending school herself. All errors aside, she should start officially on August 23. So, while AtG begins a new chapter, his mommy will too!

His K year is really pretty easy -- no pressure. He doesn't need to start K until next year, so my plan is to ease into reading and math; the other subjects will be the proverbial, gravy.  I'm using Nina Traub's methods, essentially, combined with some teacher training from Sensational Strategies, which basically uses Traub's method's; and then combining the two with a smidge of The Phonics Road, which we'll continue on next year and eventually throughout all of elementary school. All in all, AtG will get a very nice introduction to Orton-Gillingham methods of teaching reading. We'll cover audio, visual, and kinesthetic learning, as does any good OG program, and hopefully, come next summer, he'll have 31 phonemes all settled in nicely :) It's nice to do the "Letter a Week" with a little structure from the OG programs. It makes my life easier, while providing quality, not busy work, for AtG.

For math, I'm using Family Math with him. Basically, this is an introduction to comparing, a great plan for beginning math. We'll also include lots of card games. You'd be surprised at the ability of a child to learn number recognition, counting, skip counting, and addition by playing cards. Whenever we get through Family Math, we'll head to Singapore Math.

The gravy is joining the rest of us in our history and science studies. Every day AtG ask, "Miss Tina, are we doin' an 'speriment today?" He loves science! So far, I'm letting he and his big brother enjoy some Charlotte Mason style nature study. Our butterfly garden is in full bloom; a beautiful display of Monarch beauty. He is mesmerized.

I admit I'm not thrilled about K anymore, but I sure am blessed at his excitement for school. It's so nice and refreshing to have a student begging for school, instead of groaning about essays, summaries, and unit exams. He works hard and smiles at every victory. I think I'll have to add him to my list of favorites :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Crossing Over Subject Lines with The Phonics Road Vol. 2

We're in frozen mode with PR2, Week 24. It's time to work toward application a bit more, as I see the boys' minds have come to a halt in their ability to take anymore in! So, here's an example of how I can use the PR Principles and Lessons in history.

We're studying American expansion right now, so after reading, Wagon Train by Sydelle Kramer and Gold Fever: Tales from the California Gold Rush by Rosalyn Schanzer I had the boys tell me some facts about how people from all over the world traveled to California to find GOLD! (meant to "sound" just like Mr. Liddy --- my entire household cracks up every time and shouts, "GOLD!")

Anyways, here's the outline I wrote as they gave me facts. I made sure to point out the importance of lining up an outline, drew a colored line down the lines for them to really get a good view of the format, then they copied it; so we got reading comp., outlining practice, and copy work all done for the day...WOOT!
(centered on writing paper) Gold Fever -- Race to California!
I.  Boat Travel
    A. Around Cape Horn
    B. To Panama
        1. Mules through the rainforest
        2. Steamer to San Francisco
    C. Nicaraqua
        1. Mules through the rainforest
        2. Steamer to San Francisco

II. Wagon Trains in America
    A. Horses
    B. Covered wagons
    C. Walking
    D. Crossing lands
       1. Desert
       2. Prairie
       3. Rocky Mountains

Here are some ways to expand from here, if at all. We'll just leave this be b/c it's our LAST DAY OF SCHOOL (YIPPEE!), but if it wasn't we might:
  • Turn the outline into sentences and then paragraphs.
  • Use the outline as an oral review and have them dictate complete sentences with me.
  • Use the outline and have them identify parts of speech with each word.
  • Go back and make errors in the outline and have them correct form.
  • Print this largely on computer paper, cut out and re-arrange in strange order. Then they will sit down and put the pieces in the right spot. This will help with formation and so they get "topics" together correctly (directly related to paragraph writing)
So, for those who are wondering about whether or not you need extra writing materials with PR, keep your eyes on my blog. I hope to convince you that you don't :) Once I've introduced a skill in our Language Arts program, I make sure they know the tool s for all areas of life and learning....kinda the point of using an all-in-one language arts program, least my point :) YMMV.

Schoooooooool's Out for Summer! Buuuuuuuut not 4-ever!

Last day of school...last day of school...last day of school!!!

For those of you w/ toddlers, We did it! We did it! We did it, yeah!

Year 10.5 of home schooling has been brought to you by The Well Trained Mind, Schola Publications, Tapestry of Grace, Write Shop and a variety of amazing resources as listed on my blog!

Special thanks to my first student, Christopher, and to, Axel, for blossoming in reading this year.

Best wishes to John and Jeremy who head into high school next year.

And yeah for me, whose gracious Lord gave me strength, will and clarity of mind (most of the time ) to accomplish this amazing school year.

Summer session starts, games, and more games along with a head start on reading for Alexander the Great!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

~singing~ Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime

I am looking forward to a light summer schedule with lots and lots of games! We'll do one math lesson, family read aloud, science or history oral presentation (reading from their notebooks) and quiet reading each day. Then, we'll enjoy games, games, games! Here is our list of games. Maybe it will get you gamin' this summer too!

rising K: Go Fish, Crazy 8 Memory, Dominos, Sorry, Word Madness

Grammar bingo, Beall's phonics, Elemento (practice chemistry we learned), a States activity WB, Spelling City (any week they choose), Geosafari, Math (Holey Cards, Yahtzee, Speed Drills, Board races (dice game) An Australia game we created in history.

Coodju, Latin Rummy, True Science & Elemento (both chemistry), Set, Quidler, Scrabble (English and Latin), Word Madness, Presidents Memory, Yahtzee, States Activity Book and Geosafari!

We'll combine where we can and have some fun! I can't wait.

They'll play after lunch and I'll lesson plan while the baby naps :) We'll hit the beach as often as possible with one car and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Oh happy summer days!


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