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School Photos 2012

Boaz ~ Play School

Eliana ~ Kindergarten

Malachi ~ 2nd grade

Dylan ~ 7th grade

Nathan ~ 8th grade

Jordan ~ 11th grade

Tomorrow is our first "official" day of school. I plan to take "first day of school" photos along with our {not} back-to-school waffles. I've been busy planning for our first week back at school. . . meal planning that is!  {because my curriculum is all planned out for me!} [I'd whoop and holler, but everyone else is asleep!]

Our Homeschool Home | August 2012

I've only made a few changes and rearranges since I shared our "school room" last year, but I needed motivation to get my house back in order before school starts. . .  and blogging does that for me!

First, a few things:
  • We do not have a dedicated school room. We school all over our home, including the dining room, living room and office (where we do most of our school), bedrooms, and kitchen (where we do cooking projects and science experiments). But, I do have a few dedicated school "spaces" in our home.
  • We do not own our home (we rent).   
  • My husband likes simple and clutter free and I like practical! We are always trying to simplify, de-clutter and make better use of our space.  This is just how our home looks right now and it is always subject to change. 
  • Cleaning the learning areas in my house turned into cleaning the whole house, but [sigh] I wish it would stay that way!
Dinning Room

We school at the dining room table {we also eat there!}

The World Map is under heavy premium clear vinyl that I buy
for $2.97/yard at W@lm@rt. 

For more info on the calendar, see my Core A post.
(I am using the journal prompts as conversation/story starters at the dinner table). 

Core F and Core H books. 

Bottom half of the China cabinet houses puzzles and games.

Bo's toys in the bottom half of the red cabinet - which he never plays with. 

All About Learning Corner.
I sit on the footstool and it moves to couch when I read. 
Living Room

Where we do lots of reading! I usually pull up the footstool to prop my feet up,
or use it to pile our Core A schedule and books on.
Jordan's Room

Jordan's desk in his bedroom (after I dusted the books, ha!) with books from Week 1 {still} all laid out for him!

The desk is where I pull books for the upcoming week and right now it is also covered with pizza boxes, books and supplies for an upcoming row. The far table is for Project Life (supplies are in the desk drawers and my albums are under the table).  For longer projects, I clear this table and use it instead of the dinner table!)

I share a bit on my facebook page of my week of cleaning, but let's just say that it was an overwhelming job and I am just so happy that is is clean! 

Computer/school table in the back on the opposite wall (I work with Mali and Elli here a lot).  

Another school desk - for Dylan {Core F}. I put him in here to {hopefully} lessen distractions.
Since I am asked so much, the rotating desk organizer is The Desk Apprentice

School supplies

This year, I am going to share two more rooms in our home. . . 

Our play room is now a bedroom, but we do quite a bit of reading at bedtime, so I am sharing Malachi and Eliana's bedroom (plus I needed the motivation to clean and organize it!). 

The beds before were not bunked and all of our baskets for organizing were missing so I snagged some clear plastic shoe boxes (left over from our workbox days) and organized! 

I had just set these up for Bo (in my room), but he was more interested in rearranging
the boxes and toys than playing, so I put them in the kids' room.
Malachi and Eliana's Room

Malachi and Eliana share a room. 

The bed is turned around and the ladder is missing for a reason - to keep Bo from climbing up!

This was first Eliana's room, hence the "girly." (Malachi was in with Nathan and Dylan.)
Those are jellyfish hanging in the window!

The Kitchen

Bo playing the "drums" with a wooden spoon. :)
Bo is constantly playing with the water from the Berkies, so I set up a water container
to not only play in, but also to catch the water! 

He's always so busy watching us and doing everything we do. 

Reading the liquid measurement? 

Well. . . ready or not, here I come. School starts next Monday, the 27th. 

Almost forgot. . .  my second annual no-makeup, no shower, haven't even combed my hair PHOTO! Cuz that is what I look like when I am in cleaning mode! oh, and well, maybe everyday until noon when my husband comes home for lunch and I can finally take a SHOWER!!! :) 

Photograph by Eliana 
{at her request!}

Reading Bottle {Relax Bottle} by Eliana

We made a Relax Bottle to use for reading.

First, we mixed warm water in a glass jar with a bottle of glitter glue. I stirred it with a whisk until the glue was melted.

Then my mom poured the mixture into the water bottle [Smart Water bottle] and I poured sparkles into the water to sparkle it up. 

Here it is all done!

It takes 50 hours for the glitter to settle down. [About 15 minutes] :) 

[What do you like about it?]

I like to talk to it.  [LOL] 

I like to look at it and play with it. [Make sure to use super glue on the cap!]

I look at it while my mom reads to me.

My mom reads me Sonlight

["What is your favorite book so far?]

All the books are my favorite. ♥

[See the link above for more detailed instructions on how to make one!]

Correlating All About Reading 1 with All About Spelling 1 {Updated}

"Spell on Paper" from All About Spelling Step 15. 

In my review of All About Reading 1, I recommend that you use both All About Reading (AAR) and All About Spelling (AAS) concurrently. I share a partial list of how I would do that in my review, but I have been asked to share the rest, so here it is.

Please note that Marie recommends that you complete AAR1 before beginning AAS1 and I agree with this for a preschooler or young kindergartener. If you are using All About Reading 1 with an advanced kindergartener or first grader, you can easily use both together.

You will learn all the sounds of the first 26 phonograms in AAS step 1, but only the first sounds in AAR, initially. You pick up the additional sounds toward the end of the program, so you could just teach the first sounds initially in AAS and follow the scope and sequence in AAR to introduce the additional sounds. 

Here is what I recommend: (Updated 8-6-13 with a suggested weekly schedule.)

(Week 1)  Suggested scheduling for a 1st grader, but please work at your child's pace.

Teach Step 1 in AAS -The First 26 Phonograms. Use this lesson to introduce the phonogram sounds. (OR use it to review the sounds after completing AAR Lessons 1-4).

Teach Step 2 in AAS - Segmenting Words. If your child has completed All About Reading Level Pre-1, he or she will be familiar with the exercises!

(Week 2)

Teach Step 3 in AAS - The Letter Tiles. Your child will be introduced to the letter tiles as well as the key concepts of vowels and consonants.

Teach Step 4 in AAS - The Sound Cards. You dictate the sounds and have your child point to the letter tile that makes that sound. Once they can do that, they write the letters from dictation. Now you are ready to add in AAR and continue on with AAS!

Here's how:

(Week 3)

  • Teach Lesson 1 in AAR.  Letters m, s, p, and a.
  • Teach Lesson 2 in AAR. Letters n, t, b, and j.

(Week 4)

  • Teach Lesson 3 in AAR. Letters g, d, c, and y.
  • Teach Lesson 4 in AAR. Letters h, k, and r.

(Week 5)

  • Teach Step 5 in AAS as an introduction to the short vowel sounds.
  • Teach Step 6 in AAS. Short a
  • Teach Lesson 5 in AAR. Read "Jam" and "The Tan Hat" 

(Week 6)

  • Teach Lesson 6 in AAR. Letters i, v, f, and z.
  • Teach Step 7 in AAS. Short i.
  • Teach Lesson 7 in AAR.  Read "Hit the Gas" and "The Bad Rat"

(Week 7)

  • Teach Lesson 8 in AAR. Letters o, l, and w.
  • Teach Step 8 in AAS. Short o.
  • Teach Lesson 9 in AAR.  Read "The Hot Rod" and "Jan Did It"

(Week 8)

  • Teach Lesson 10 in AAR. Letter u and the Second Sound of s.
  • Teach Step 9 in AAS. Short u.
  • Teach Lesson 11 in AAR. Read "Kip the Pup" and "Run, Bug, Run!"

(Week 9) 

  • Teach Lesson 12 in AAR. Letter e.
  • Teach Step 10 in AAS. Short e.
  • Teach Lesson 13 in AAR. Read "The Gum" and "The Sad Hog"

(Week 10)

  • Teach Lesson 14 in AAR. Letters qu and x.
  • Teach Step 11 in AAS - s, x, and qu.
  • Teach Lesson 15 in AAR. Read "Fox in a Box"

(Week 11)

  • Teach Lesson 16 in AAR. Consonant Team th.
  • Teach Lesson 17 in AAR. Read "The Red Pen"

  • Teach Lesson 18 in AAR. Consonant Team sh.
  • Teach Lesson 19 in AAR. Read "Six Fish"

(Week 12)

  • Teach Lesson 20 in AAR. Consonant Team ch.
  • Teach Lesson 21 in AAR. Read "Get the Moth, Meg!"
  • Teach Step 12 in AAS. th, sh and ch.

(Week 13)

  • Teach Lesson 22 in AAR. Words with Final Blends.
  • Teach Step 13 in AAS. Segmenting Words with Blends.

(Week 14)

  • Teach Step 14 in AAS. Final Blends.
  • Teach Lesson 23 in AAR. Read "Lost in the Bog"

  • Teach Lesson 24 in AAR. Words with Initial Blends.
  • Teach Step 15 in AAS. Initial Blends.
  • Teach Lesson 25 in AAR. Read "The Big Top"

(Week 15)

  • Teach Lesson 26 in AAR. FF, LL, SS.
  • AAS Step 18 FF, LL, and SS.

(Week 16)

  • Teach Lesson 27 in AAR. Read "Slim Went West" and "Mud Milk"
  • Teach Lesson 28 in AAR. Read "The Wind on the Hill" and "The Ant Hill"

(Week 17)

  • Teach Lesson 29 in AAR. Two Sight Words.
  • AAS Step 17 Sound of /k/ at the beginning.
  • Teach Lesson 30 in AAR. Read "The Hit" and "Fish Class"

(Week 18)

  • Teach Lesson 31 in AAR. Read "The Big Mess" and "The Plan"
  • Teach Lesson 32 in AAR. Read "The Runt Pig"

(Week 19)

  • Teach Lesson 33 in AAR. Consonant Team ck.
  • AAS Step 19 Sound of /k/ at the end.
  • Teach Lesson 34 in AAR. Read "Fun at the Pond" and "The Nap"
  • Teach Lesson 35 in AAR. Read "At Camp" and "The Pet Duck"

(Week 20)

  • Teach Lesson 36 in AAR. Consonant Team ng.
  • AAS Step 20 Consonant Team NG.
  • Teach Lesson 37 in AAR. Read a "The Bat" and "King Sam"

(Week 21)

  • Teach Lesson 38 in AAR. Consonant Team nk.
  • AAS Step 21 Consonant Team NK.
  • Teach Lesson 39 in AAR. Read "Frank Shrank"

(Week 22)

  • Teach Lesson 40 in AAR. Compound Words.
  • AAS Step 22 Compound Words.
  • Teach Lesson 41 AAR. Read "Cobweb the Cat"

(Week 23)

  • Teach Lesson 42 AAR. Plural Words.
  • AAS Step 23 Plural Words.
  • Teach Lesson 43 AAR. Read "Ten Wishes" and "Fast Fun"

(Week 24)

  • Teach Lesson 44 AAR. Additional sounds for a, i and c.
  • AAS Step 16 Letters C and K.

(Week 25)

  • Teach Lesson 45 AAR. Additional sounds for o and g.
  • Teach Lesson 46 AAR. Additional sounds for e, u, y and ch
  • Teach Lesson 47 AAR.  Short vowels and counting syllables.

(Week 26)

  • Teach Lesson 47 AAR. Open and closed syllables.
  • AAS Step 24 Open Syllables.
  • Teach Lesson 49 in AAR. Read "Off We Go!" 

All done!

(To get a visual of how I combine AAR and AAS, see A Day in the Life (and Review!) of All About Reading Level 2.)

I put the original (not the updated version) in Google document so that it can be printed, but it is just as easy to write the spelling lesson at the top of the page in the reading manual!

As you can see, all of the reading lessons are in order and the spelling lessons are plugged in where they seem to fit best!

It makes sense to do both programs together, since so much of All About Spelling is phonics based, but I did not start Eliana (who is 5) out this way. I didn't think she was ready, but now that we are half way through All About Reading (lesson 25) and have covered all of the short sounds of the phonograms, as well as initial and final blends, I may pause our reading lessons, teach the first 15 lessons in AAS as a review, and then pick up the last half of the program combining both AAS and AAR.

Eliana is still developing her pencil grip and fine motor skills for writing, so I will have her  spell words orally, with tiles, with a board marker on the white board, with a salt tray like we did for AAR Pre-1 or some other creative way! She loves chocolate pudding, so that might be first on my list to get her excited about spelling!

Truman's Aunt Farm {FI♥AR}

Truman sends in a coupon (a gift from his Aunt Fran) for an ant farm, but instead of ants, he gets aunts! He feeds and cares for them, watches them work and play, and finally finds homes for them. In the end, he and his very own Aunt Fran share a special day. 

Truman's Aunt Farm is such a cute book! And it seemed like a good choice after rowing The Salamander Room wherein we jumped to Sonlight Science A, Week 13 to cover amphibians, butterflies. . . and, you guessed it, insects! 

Along with our study of ants, we learned about aunts and other fun homophones (the FIAR manual incorrectly calls them homonyms), wrote a friendly letter to my sister, made ant hill cupcakes and had an Ant Picnic Party!

We harvested ants for our ant farm. It was a hair raising experience (literally!). Still gives me goose bumps, thinking about it. We even harvested the queen from the colony we found (in a bag of compost!). I was going to order ants, decided to go plant some zucchini and found the colony!

We were disappointed, however. The sole job of the ants was to protect the queen. It really was amazing! They formed a circle around her whenever they felt threatened. Once in the ant farm, they dug a hole, once again, solely for the purpose of protecting her! But, they would not dig any tunnels. 

So, we let them go after a couple weeks and ordered ants so that we could get ants in the mail, except that instead of aunts like Truman, we got ants. 

Harvester Ants.

After reading the warning that harvester ants BITE and seeing how fast they move, I didn't attempt to clean out the dead ants as suggested, but once most of them were dead, I cleaned them out and we have a special new nightlight to remember Truman's Aunt Farm. 

AntWorks Ant Farm

Ant Life Cycle Stages

Flying Creatures of the 5th Day Lesson 11: Social Insects ~ Ants


She wrote back a neat letter telling Malachi and Eliana what "aunt life" is like. :)
"First of all, being an Aunt is special because your mom is my sister . . ."
And we found out that Aunt Liz is going to be a grandma! Which led to writing another letter answering how that is so. Eliana said, "Because she is going to have babies. It's like having a baby sister or brother, and they are so cute." Then Malachi added, "Her KIDS are going to have babies!" Love that we got that down now. :)

Malachi addressed the envelope and wrote the first letter, signing it, "Love your ant loving nephew and niece.  But I let them narrate the second letter, signing the second one, "Love your aunt loving nephew and niece." Just like in the book. ;-)

We pronounce ant and aunt the same, but for the purpose of this book, I said /änt/ for aunt at the all the kids' insistence!

"Ant Hill" Cupcakes and Ant Picnic Party

I so wanted red gingham cupcake liners for our "picnic" and I found then on clearance! 

"Oooh, there are ants crawling up the spoon!"

She laughs and stirs some more. :) 

I had several "helpers" in the kitchen at once. . .

so after we got the sand on the cupcakes, 

I sent one boy to add mini chocolate chip ants, since I could not find the chocolate "ant" sprinkles ANYwhere!!!
(well, until the next day, of course! )

And I sent two kids to make an ant trail on the table.
(If I was really on top of it, I would have had them COUNT how many ants were in the package,
but I didn't think of it at the time!)

Ant Picnic Party
We had some traditional picnic foods (watermelon and chips) and of course. . . 

Little hot dogs, jelly sandwiches. . . 

a cute little girl who wants to be in the picture. . . :) 

and rice pudding. (What Truman feeds his aunts!)
but, no one would eat the rice pudding, not even me. :-/

Ant Picnic Napkins
(The pyramid fold is the perfect fold to hide unfinished seams!) 

Ant Hill Cupcakes 

They marched the ants "one by one."

The big ants are from an Insect Toob, (that I bought for our Salamander Room row)
 and the little ants I found on Amazon, thanks to Tamara

{chocolate covered raisins, of course!}

Red gingham pennant banner

Right after this shot, he gave me a thumbs up. :) 

Malachi reaching across the table to put the ketchup and mustard back "where they go!"
(He might get that from me.)

Truman's Aunt Farm is a Five in a Row selection from Volume 3.

Delightful Links:

ARKive Images of Ants {awesome images that we looked at!}
Spell Out Loud {Ant Observation Nature Journal}
All of a Kind Family's Row {Inspiration!}
Our Homeschool Fun's Row {Inspiration!}
Aussie Pumpkin Patch {lapbook and ideas}
Homophone Baseball {I had Malachi do this}