Categories
Giveaway Review Writing

CursiveLogic Workbook Giveaway

cursivelogic

I wrote a post a few months back asking Should we teach cursive handwriting to our kids?   (Spoiler alert – I think the answer is yes!) I knew all along that I would want to incorporate cursive handwriting lessons into our homeschool but I was afraid it would be met with resistance.  So I put it off for our first year.  I said 2nd grade would be better.  Well, towards the end of our 1st grade year BigG spotted a cursive book I had bought and his eyes lit up.  He said, “When am I going to learn THAT?”  I told him 2nd grade.  But he begged, and pleaded and begged some more so on the last day of first grade I taught him how to write his name in cursive.  I realize that’s probably not the way you’re supposed to but it made him happy.  He wrote his name in cursive all summer long.  And then when it was time to go “back to school” learning cursive was a huge motivator!  In fact for the first few weeks we started our day with cursive because it put him in a good, cooperative mood.  I know…this has been the weirdest experience.  LOL.

So we were using (to not name names) a “traditional” cursive handwriting program.  The same one I used in private school to learn cursive when I was his age.  But I realized that I just didn’t write like that anymore.  It’s not that I don’t write in cursive anymore, I do.  But this way….it was so….flourished.  With a lot of unnecessary loops that I just didn’t do anymore.  I was having to re-teach myself so I could teach him!

Categories
Curriculum Planning Spelling

SpellingCity Changed Our Homeschool Day

spellingcity

Let me start out by saying that I haven’t received anything for writing this post (although, if you’re out there, powers-that-be-at-SpellingCity, I’m totally okay if you hook me up with a subscription to the paid portion of the site!)  I’m just sharing this with you because, WOW, what a difference finding this site has made.

So BigG did a Kindergarten/First Grade combo last year.  It was a hodge-podge of curricula and resources.  I have a feeling every homeschool mom has been there at least once.  You just mash stuff together to get you through the year.

If you haven’t been there then you either haven’t been homeschooling long or you’re lying. 🙂  For us, our hodge-podge year was also our first one.  It was a great year and we had fun with the material and we made it through.  But I’m thankful this year for Sonlight where so much is combined and already laid out for us.

But back to my point.  I bought a book called Spelling Connections for spelling.  It started with writing the alphabet (which we skipped because Bug had been doing that for years).  I have no idea if the book was K or 1st.  It didn’t say.  Starting with the alphabet led me to believe it’s K.  But by the end of the book he had spelling words like doing, saying and being.  Are words really that advanced by the end of K?  He did great with it.  So this year with Sonlight’s 2nd grade Language Arts I decided to just jump right in with their spelling words.  I had considered All About Spelling but I didn’t want to spend money on another program and have another set of books.  So I decided to just give it a try and see where it took us.

Spelling wasn’t BigG’s favorite thing last year.  But the simple sheets each day practicing the spelling words were bearable.  We got through it.  He never missed more than one on his 8 word tests and his final grade was a 96.

Well, while I like Sonlight’s spelling words and method of teaching spelling rules, the day-to-day activities with the words were lacking.  I tried to pick up the slack with other activities but that wasn’t working.  And just making him write his words every day?  Ummm…no.  And test days were awful because he knows the words, he just doesn’t know that he knows the words.  And taking a test was like pulling teeth.

That’s when I turned to Spelling City!  I plug our spelling words in each week and he spends 15-20 minutes a day playing games with the spelling words.  He enjoys the games and he gets a sense of pride and accomplishment when he gets them right.  Test day rolls around and I start calling out words and he’s EXCITED because he knows that word!  (Seriously, I can say, “teacher” and he says, “YES!  I know that word!  I can spell that word!”)  And he’s making connections with other words with how they are spelled by thinking of one of his spelling words first.

And you know what else I like about it?  It’s 20 minutes of my day that I don’t have to be right beside him.  I can go start lunch, or sort a load of laundry or something for 20 minutes while he works on his spelling words.  That’s so great for this age when you’re already having to be so hands on with everything else to catch a small break!

Check out SpellingCity!  I’d love to hear what you think about it!

Do you have any other spelling ideas?

 

Categories
Milestones

Happy 7th Birthday and Taking a Week Off

7

BigG celebrated his SEVENTH birthday yesterday.  Y’all, I’m having a hard time with this one.  Seven is so…BIG.  He still looks like my sweet 6 year old boy.  He still acts and talks like my sweet 6 year old boy.  But he insists he’s 7.  I’m still not sure about this 7 business though….

Anyway, BigG gets the week of school because it’s his birthday.  He thinks he’s just that awesome but really it’s because, this was one of our scheduled weeks off anyway.  (You can see how we schedule our semi-year round schooling here.)

But, regardless if it’s a day or a whole week, isn’t that all on our list of reason why we homeschool?  So birthdays can be school holidays?

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsSo we went to see Pan yesterday for his birthday.  It was a cute movie.  He enjoyed it very much.  And so far, it’s the quietest he’s EVER been in a movie theater, ever.  Maybe it was because the movie was just that thrilling to him…or because he’s 7.  Because apparently he is  (his words) “going to do a lot of things better now that he’s 7.”

 

Categories
Field Trips Recaps

LEGO Tour, Art Museum, Co-Op Trains and more | September Recap

I can’t believe I haven’t updated in a MONTH!  It’s been so BUSY around here.  I barely know where to begin.  We did a lot of field trippin’ because that’s what we do.  I love field trips.  We also took our scheduled week off.  That was nice, but starting back was HARD.

So here’s a portion of what our last month has been all about.

fieldtrip

We made another trip to our local art museum.  We love it!  The picture in the top right corner is of BigG with his favorite painting at the museum – a Monet.  I love that he has such an appreciation for art for such a young boy.

We got to see the LEGO Americana Tour.  I found out about it almost too late but we made it.  It was fun, awesome, amazing, and some other great adjectives.  I mean, look at this.  This is the Capitol Building built out of (an insane amount) of LEGOs!  BigG is in front of it for scale (he’s 4 feet tall).

legocapital

Co-op started back.  We love our co-op!  It’s moved into a bigger space this year too because enrollment has really exploded.  BigG is taking some great classes.  He’s in building projects for the second time.  (Think like woodshop but for little kids).  This has been a fantastic class for him.  He LOVES building.  He’s also in Geography and a Magic Tree House Book Club class.  In the spring I plan on us staying after lunch for more classes.  We did four classes last fall and it was just too long of a day for him.  So spring we cut down to 3.  So when fall came around again I chose 3.  He hasn’t taken afternoon naps since he was 3 but busy days tend to put him in a slump in the afternoons.  But he’s grown out of that afternoon slump he used to get in so I think 4 classes will be fine in the spring.