Wednesday, August 31, 2011

KB Teacher Has Upgraded Their Site

 Last year one of the products I was privileged to review as past of the TOS Homeschool Crew was a website entitled KBTeacher.  I liked what they had to offer and used it during the review period and afterwards, but hadn't gone there much last spring or during the summer.

 So the other day I was perusing my computer bookmarks for sites with math printables and saw the KBTeachers notation. I  decided I needed to check them out as I hadn't been there for quite a while. WOW!  I was blown away.  They have added tons of material to their site.

Here is some of what I found:

resources covering every time period in American and World history
comprehensive studies of the solar system and astronomy
weather and biomes
biology and botony
oodles of math 
season specific activities
grammar resources

And the ability to make my own worksheets for just about any subject.

They have also added a search feature which is right handy! 

There are resources available on KBTeacher for preschool through Junior high.

I will definitely be going to KBTeacher more frequently to find supplementary materials for my students. I will definitely be using some of their Ancient History resources along with my curriculum this year.

Try this website with worksheets and activities

Monday, August 29, 2011

Homeschool Mothers Journal Weekly Review 8/28

In my life this week…

I don't think I had a life.  I spent most of my free time working on school stuff.

This weekend I ended up with Strep throat.

On a more positive note, I won a Starbucks gift card from the library in a drawing for all their adult summer reading program participants.  I won a grammar book in a fellow bloggers giveaway.  This will be great for us this year.  I needed a grammar resource without a lot of cost.  I plan to have my daughter review it periodically in place of a formal grammar program.

In our homeschool this week…

We spent the week reviewing grammar.  We used several review products also, but focused on grammar.  By doing this I will not focus as much on grammar with my 10 year old this year and the concepts won't be totally new to my 7 year old.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

Both of the children had piano lessons and we went to the library.

My favorite thing this week was…

Watching my 7 year old son learn how to jump rope.  He really didn't do much jumping at the beginning of the week and by the end he was able to do 6-8 jumps before loosing rhythm.

What’s working/not working for us…

It was kind of fun to focus on one topic this week.  I did some teaching, they showed me what they knew via worksheets and then they/we played some games.
Focusing on specific topics seems to be an easier way to get back into the swing of things after a break. 

Questions/thoughts I have…

I am still trying to figure out how to incorporate some writing lessons into my plans.  I am looking for something that is fairly interesting and free.

Things I’m working on…

Finishing up my curriculum plans for this year after having to make some major changes. This is mainly history and science resources. 

I’m reading…

Still reading things from my basement.

Thanks to Sue at the Homeschool Chick for hosting HSMJ! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

T is for Table

I know this may not sound very homeschoolish, but my item for T is our dining table.  Most of our educational time is spent at the table.  That's where art projects are done, science experiments conducted, games are played, and things are written.  Of all school related tasks; reading, computer use and field trips are about the only things not done at the table.  Without the table the task of home educating would be a lot harder.

We try to eat our evening meals together as a family at the same table.  This is not related to homeschooling, but general family life. So many "experts" on families and children encourage eating together to allow families to become closer to each other.  Maybe due to my children's ages and the layout of our home we have just never struggled with sharing meals together as so many families do. Maybe some of it is also a different mindset which so many homeschooling families have.

I will admit that using the same horizontal space for so many activities can be challenging. There are many days when I would just love to leave the school books and projects out on the table in the evening so I can finish what I need to do or over night if we aren't quite done.  But in the larger scheme of life it is nice we have a table which we can gather around together.

The ABC's of Home Schooling is hosted by 5kids and a dog.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Homeschool Mothers Journal Weekly Review 8/20

In my life this week…

I completed my online exam for the Bringing Baby Home training course I attended last week.  Now I just have to wait to hear if I have passed all the tests and earned the certification.

In our homeschool this week…

We focused on and finished up our study of Missouri and Missouri lapbooks. Also did a couple lessons in an art Instruction course as well as using several review items.  

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

Tuesday we went to a local Children's museum called The Magic House as they were having a free evening for children who had completed the summer reading program sponsored by the library.  We had a great time and I have pics to write about, just have to download them.
We went to the library this week. 

      My favorite thing this week was…

      The TOS Crew webinar.  It was just a fun time with "computer friends".

What’s working/not working for us…

Writing.  I have been reminded again how much my children do not like the physical act of writing.  I don't know what to do to change this.  I WILL NOT let them type everything even if it could be typed.

Things I’m working on…

Preparing for our intense grammar week next week. 

Planning for our "regular" year starting in September.

I’m reading…

Reading various books and magazines from my basement. 

I’m cooking…

Beef fajitas
Chicken Cesaer Salad
 I honestly can't remember what else we had.

      A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

 This is a quote from my Hubby when we were in the car the other day. I was talking about which way to go and our 7 year old was trying to give me directions by naming landmarks.  My husband replied 
"He, (referring to son) doesn't navigate, he McDonaldgates."  
Because the directions son was giving all had to do with McDonalds.

Homeschool Mothers Journal is hosted by Sue at The Homeschool Chick

Friday, August 19, 2011

Homeschool Crew First Ever Blog Hop

Crew Blog Hop

This year I was selected to be a  returning member of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Homeschool Crew.  Members of this wonderful group of homeschooling Moms and Dads have the privilege of using and reviewing curriculum and educational products during the course of a school year. 

Last year we were incredibly blessed by the items we were chosen to review.  I am sure this year will be the same.

Being a member of the TOS Crew was the reason I originally began blogging.  Over the past year I have come to enjoy blogging, although sometimes I am still not sure what to write.  Most of my writing has to do with homeschooling and our activities, projects, and field trips.  Occasionally I write about books I have read as well.  

Please take a look around and leave a comment if you wish. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

S is for Stickers

How do we use stickers?

  • Completed work
  • In lapbooks
  • On lapbook covers as titles
  • Individual mini books about specific topics
  • Letters
  • Illustrate diagrams and pictures
  • Illustrate stories
  • To fill in various types of charts  
  • On place cards and other decorations
  • Making cards (Mom especially uses them this way)

My children also have large photo albums, with lift off pages, that they use to house their sticker collections. These stickers range from the mundane ones such as those given at the grocery store check out to the cherished stickers from relatives.  In between this extreme you will find stickers from their favorite stuffed toy making retailer and stickers on a favorite theme.

When my children were younger I might also give them a sheet of stickers and blank paper and tell them to put the stickers on the paper.  Some how this activity has lost its charm as my children have grown older.   We also used to have sticker behavior charts, but haven't done so in the last few years. 

I don't count them as stickers as such, but let it be noted I could not homeschool and maybe not even run a household without Post It notes and all of the other ingenious scraps of paper with stickiness on the back produced by 3M!

ABC's of homeschooling is hosted by 5Kids and a Dog

ABCs of Homeschooling

Friday, August 12, 2011

Homeschool Mothers Journal Summer Edition Weekly Review 8/12

In my life this week…
Well, I am going to write about the last two weeks as I just wasn't up to writing last week due to many things.

I spent most of this week in Milwaukee attending a training class for a program my church would like me to present.  It was a very intense class, running for over eight hours each of three days.  I came home with a three inch binder full of information as well as many other papers.  Over the weekend I need to take the final exam online. 

In our homeschool this week…
Not so much this week.

Each of the weeks in August we have a theme we are studying so last week we  studied the state of  Missouri.  We read some books and started a Missouri lapbook from "In the Hands of a Child".  We also did some notebooking to record information.  We will be finishing up our state study this next week.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
This week I was away from home for several days and my children spent time at my husbands parents house.

Last week I had the opportunity to meet Brenda from the TOS Homeschool crew and her family as they traveled through my area on their vacation. 

Otherwise we haven't done much out and about these last couple weeks.

Questions/thoughts I have…
I am looking for free homeschooling resources, particularly at the 2/3rd and 5/6th grade levels.  I already get Homeschool Freebie of the Day and Currclick. Any suggestions?

Things I’m working on…
Redoing some of my plans for this year.

I am also planning for next week.  We are going to finish our state study and then do some art work and maybe study book genres.  I know, all these plans are probably too ambitious.  We will see what we can actually do.

I’m reading…
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine 

I’m cooking…

I can't remember what last week was!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
This is what I was doing this week.

Thanks to Sue at The Homeschool Chick for hosting this fun weekly wrap up.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Q is for QWERTY

As in the arrangement of a keyboard.
Keyboard or typing skills have become quite valuable for anyone to possess. So much is done today on a computer or even a phone that knowing how to type will make a person that much more efficient and employable.  There are even some who would suggest  typing skills are more important than practicing handwriting.

Last year, as part of the TOS Crew my son had the opportunity to try out an online phonics/typing instruction program.  He benefited from the phonics component, but of greater benefit to him was the typing aspect.  After completing the program he could type quickly and accurately with fingers on the proper keys...sort of - when he wanted to.  

This was great for him, but I am not sure how much he has retained as he hasn't used the keyboard consistently for typing.  He much prefers to play games on the computer.

I am not questioning the need to learn how to type as much as struggling with how much time to devote to this pursuit. I weigh it against all of the other more academic subjects I want my children to learn and know as well as the other "nice to know" things and somehow typing always ends up towards the bottom of the list.

What do you do in your homeschool?  In the whole scheme of things where does typing/ keyboard practice fall?

ABCs of Homeschooling

The ABC's of Homeschooling is hosted by Dawn at 5Kids and a Dog.