Grapevine Studies Timeline {Review}

1/30/2012

Grapevine Studies is one of our favorite ways to do Bible study! It's colorful, engaging and teaches in a way that is easy to remember - with stick figures! 

Grapevine Studies recently released a new "line" of products - Timelines and Wall Timelines! Timelines are created to be a supplement to Grapevine Bible studies so they use stick figures, words, symbols, and colors in the same way to teach the chronology of the Bible. 

Since we are reading through the New Testament in school, I chose to review the New Testament Timeline Teacher e-book along with the NT Student Wall Timeline. (The Wall Timelines were created to be used in conjunction with the Timeline books).

New Testament Wall Timeline

I printed the NT Wall Timeline on parchment paper because, well, I thought it would look cool! Then I taped it together to make a 10 foot long wall timeline! 


Malachi thinks it is the coolest! He did 5 lessons in one day and then asked to work on his timeline again that afternoon! 


I love that it rolls up like a scroll - makes it feels authentic. ;-) 


We'll unroll it and hang it on the wall when it is completed. 


But for now, a paper towel tube makes a good storage case for it. :-) 

 


And a spy glass. ;-)

See samples, pricing and more information here: 


Win it!  {Giveaway has ended}

Grapevine has offered my readers a chance to win a Teacher and Student Wall Timeline set - your choice of Old Testament or New Testament!  The winner can have their choice of an e-book or physical copy. Enter on the blog. If you have not visited this post directly, click here to enter! 

Books Left to Row {FI♥AR}

1/24/2012
I've been organizing the books that we have left to row. I've been referring to this list to help me plan, but I'm in a mid-winter slump! I don't feel like rowing at all!

Volume 1
  1. Grandfather's Journey, USA-San Francisco, Japan, WWII, family timeline
  2. A Pair of Red Clogs, summer, Japan, telling the truth, possessions, mother/daughter
  3. Papa Piccolo, spring, Italy- Venice, Italian customs, cats/adoption, adventure


Volume 2
  1. Wee Gillis, Scotland, bagpipes, decisions, family
  2. They Were Strong and Good, USA, genealogy, travel, Civil War
  3. Make Way for Ducklings, Spring, USA - Boston, ducks, cities, families
  4. Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car, summer, England, car ride, animal friends, cooperation
  5. All Those Secrets of the World, summer, USA, WWII, beach, family
  6. Follow the Drinking Gourd, summer, USA, South, slavery, underground RR, hidden message

We rowed Another Celebrated Dancing Bear already, but it doesn't seem blogable (that or I just don't feel like putting forth the effort to blog it!).  I've done enough - it has been a very fulfilling row (I loved this book!) but most of it has been straight from the manual and I have very few photos.  I'm afraid that I am feeling a tad bit BURNT out!  I think I need a break from Five in a Row. 

Malachi and Eliana both have winter birthdays so I usually try to wrap up the grade they are in by the end of winter and then start fresh in the spring. Right now, my focus is on Malachi finishing up 1st grade. I need him to finish his reading, spelling, Explode the Code 3, and handwriting book B. Eliana is ready for Kindergarten and I'd like to focus on her reading. So, I think we will focus on the basics for a while and just read a good chapter book for literature! (I'm hoping that if I publish this, and give myself permission to not row, that I will get a burst of energy and start rowing!) 

If you want a peek into our life on a weekly basis, I am blogging Project 52 ~ our life, one week at a time, twenty-twevle. You can check it out on my family blog!

Update: I'll probably finish volumes 1 and 2 this spring, and row volume 3 next school year. 

Very Last First Time {FI♥AR}

1/13/2012

We had a very relaxed time for our row of Very Last First Time. We explored the Inuit culture of Northern Canada, discovered the Arctic, studied mollusks, revisited warm and cool colors, had some fun with ice sculpting and made fry bread!

Social Studies: Canada, Inuit, Family Relationships, First Time Experiences

The story centers around Eva walking on the ocean floor alone for the very first time. The Inuit (Eskimos) dig a hole in the ice when the tide goes out and walk on the ocean floor to collect mussels. We watched a BBC video of natives collecting mussels under the ice and it is quite scary! You only have a short window while the tide is out and the video mentions stories of those who did not make it out in time. Throughout the story, there are shadows and pictures of people (Eva's imgaination) cast on the rock from the flame of the candle and it has a mysterious feel to it.



We read about the Inuit, traditions, snow houses and tent houses, modern arctic town (like Eva lived in), traveling in the Arctic, clothing, crafts, languages and games of the Inuit in First Peoples The Inuit of Canada.

We also talked about relationships and first time experiences and the kids were great at coming up with special memories that we have shared and many "firsts" in our lives.

Language Arts: Story Writing ~ Good Titles

"How can a first time be last? because there is only one first time. . ." ~ p. 83. 
We discussed the importance of writing a good title and agreed that "Very Last First Time" was a good title for this story.  I've been thinking about good titles, too, for blog posts. :)

In our regular studies, Malachi did his lessons for All About Reading Level 1 and Eliana finished up Level Pre-1.

Science: Mollusks - Bivalves - Mussels, Levers, Clean/Unclean, Tides, Frozen Seas

In the story, Eva collects mussels on the bottom of the ocean when the tide goes out.  We read in Swimming Creatures ~ Lesson 9: Mollusks that mussels use tough fibers called byssal threads to attach themselves to any suitable surface - they are like a natural super glue. In fact, "they are so powerfully attached to the surface they choose that they are nearly impossible to remove unless you use a tool." Malachi picked up right away that that must be why Eva used her knife as a lever, as she "tugged and pried and scraped to pull mussels off the rocks." During high tide, it uses these threads to pull itself along scraping miscroscopic creatures off rocks and other surfaces (cleaning them) and when the tide goes back out, it returns to its spot and closes it's shell.

We read about how bivalves (mussels are a type), are an "elaborate system created by God to clean the water for us." They take in bacteria and other unhealthy, unclean products removing them from the water.  We know that this makes them unclean. We talked about how the Bible says they are unclean and how God gave us GOOD instructions in his Word to take care of us and keep us healthy. Which led to a discussion on what we would eat if we were Inuit - caribou or musk oxen (both are cloven hoofed and chew the cud).

We read about the Arctic landscape, Arctic vegetation, animals on land and sea, in First Peoples The Inuit of Canada and watched The Blue Planet Ocean World Frozen Seas.

We also read Arctic Son, by Jean Craighead George. I think she writes wonderful living books about nature and this one paints a warm picture of Inupiat Eskimo life in the icy Arctic.

Art: Colors ~ Full Palette {Warm and Cool Colors},  Pointillism

I reminded Mali and Elli of when we studied warm colors and cool colors. Then I put out a full palette of colored paint, had them identify which were warm and cool (they remembered!), and then we used spike balls to paint with! It was fun to paint just to paint, but hard for the little ones to paint a picture.



Math: Ordinal Numbers, Counting

I think we have these down pat by now. FIAR offers plenty of review. ;-)

Malachi finished his Singapore 1A book today. He is still working in his Life of Fred Butterflies (he's on chapter 15). He also passed the 1st grade level in Mathletics and started the 2nd grade level. Eliana is working on Lesson 9: Capacity in Earlybird A and will finish the book up soon.

Lap Journal:


Memory Making Fun:

Using salt to "stick" the ice blocks together. 


Recipe: Fry Bread

This was suggested in the FIAR Cookbook and I am so glad - I had no idea what to prepare for this row!

My whole family loves fry bread, so I used my favorite recipe:

2 cups flour (I used fresh ground whole wheat)
1 T baking powder
1 ts. salt
1 cup milk (I use non-instant milk adding the powder to the flour and using 1 cup of water instead)

I put the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the milk/water to that and mix with the paddle (cuz it's quicker). If I triple the batch I use the dough hook. Yum!


Very Last First Time is a Five in a Row selection from Volume 1.

We took our winter break last week and started our row of Another Celebrated Dancing Bear this week.

Delightful Links:

Very Last First Time resources at Homeschool Share
BBC video of natives collecting mussels under the ice {found this on the FIAR forum - a helpful resource!}

Pre-Reading Snapshots {All About Reading}

1/12/2012
As I mentioned in my review of Level 1, Eliana has finished All About Reading Level Pre-1.  Since we are done, here is an update and more pics of our learning time with Level Pre-1 so you can see what it has looked like in our home school.

Some of the pics below are from when I did my week long day-in-the-life series, but I am including them here so you can see her progress all in one place. 

A hug from Ziggy. :) 

Writing her name with Ziggy. We were working on forming lower case letters correctly. 

The Milly Molly Mandy Story Book was by far her favorite chapter book during Level Pre-1.  I read this
 in addition to our Five in a Row books. Here she had fallen asleep waiting for me to come read to her. :'-)

Capital E with fingerprint peanuts ~ so cute! 

Cutting a's out of a magazine to encourage type-font recognition. 

A nuzzle from Ziggy. :) 

The teacher's manual and lesson ready to go. 

Find a sounds. 

Animal Cracker Merry-Go-Round for our Tasty Alphabet Time. 


Brother joining us for animal crackers and cocoa to drink. :) 

We sang the alphabet song each day and she found the letter of the day on the poster. 

Then we colored a letter activity sheet. 

And did some hands on activities to reinforce the letter. We fell into a routine of doing sand paper letters,
salt tray writing, and using the quilted letters. Later, I added crayon rubbings. 

Salt Tracing.

Reading the Zig Zag Zebra. 


When we started lowercase, I combined the lessons for lowercase letters with the lessons for the sounds. It proved to work wonderfully for Eliana ~ she was ready for both and we did both lessons in one sitting. 

I had to pull her away from her playtime to do reading (while baby Bo napped),
 so I had her bring toys that had the /k/ sound. 

Feeding the cow "grass." 

Finger tracing the letter c. 

Finding objects that start with the /k/ sound. 

Asking for the salt box again. :) 


Frozen g-g-grapes for our "Tasty Alphabet Time."

Brother wanted to sit in for our lesson this day. 


So, I let him be Ziggy and play too. :) 

Ziggy says, "Hello." 



Finding g's to cut out. 

Packing for a trip and we can only take things that start with the sound of /l/. 


Blasting off to reading when Malachi started Level 1. 

Letter k. That may be my coffee or her "coffee" - a little decaf with milk. :) 

Crayon rubbings are an easy activity to do along with the sandpaper letters. 

Ha ha, looks like it was her coffee (that or she is having some of mine). :) 

We did it! 

As you can see, we were pretty routine with our reinforcement activities, but we fell into such a nice pattern that our lessons were easy and SIMPLE! With baby Bo in our lives this year, I needed that. I originally wanted to do extra fun letter crafts and activities, but this is all we needed and it felt very fulfilling - especially with all my creative efforts going into our Five in a Row

I have some news. . . 

I mentioned in my review that I was going to wait until Malachi finished Level 1 before we start, but I changed my mind! We started today! 

I decided to start her when I pulled out the phonogram cards for review and gasp! she could only remember half of them! 


I had her tell me the ones she knew, and make a pile of the ones she didn't know. Then I reviewed all the sounds with her. It was then and there that I decided that I did not want to lose all the precious learning we accomplished! 

So, I started her on All About Reading Level 1. This first lesson covers 4 letters/sounds ~ m, s, p, and a, introduces the terms consonants and vowels, and has her reading her first word! I taught her how to blend and she read Sam, map, Pam, am, and sap and completed the whole lesson, including the activity page. 


So, then I took her to Step 2 in All About Spelling Level 1. Now, this was familiar territory and she listened for the first sounds in words and then the last sounds in words and repeated them to me. We worked up to the part on segmenting. Segmenting is the opposite of blending - it is taking the word and breaking it into sounds and this is how they learn to start spelling. Tomorrow, she will segment words with 2 and 3 sounds and finish step 2. Then we will review Lesson 1 in AAR and move on to Lesson 2. 

With Malachi, I used the plan to correlate AAR and AAS that I listed in my review, but we started with AAS first and he had all the phonogram sounds for the first 26 phonograms down pat and AAR lessons 1-4 were a review. I will do just the opposite with Eliana - I will do the first lessons in AAR as a review, and proceed with AAS while we review the phonogram sounds daily.  So, if you have a young learner like Eliana, go ahead and start with AAR Lesson 1, teach/review the short sounds in Step 1 AAS, then jump to lesson 2 in AAS. 

Eliana's only struggle so far is reading the word backwards. I've modeled left to right reading with her lots of times so I reminded her that we start at the left in English. Level 1 has tips to help a child remember this as Malachi had the same problem at first, too. 

While Malachi didn't need the daily review of the phonogram cards, Eliana will - so we will be taking Level 1 at a much slower pace. But, I am excited to have started. :) 

UPDATE: It was too confusing to try to be in two different spots with the cards, so we are waiting until Malachi finishes and will probably start in the fall. 
 
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