Pin I Completed This Week

I am loving all the great ideas I’m seeing on Pinterest. Here is what I was inspired to make this week:

I have seen this all over Pinterest typically referred to as Me on a Map. I went with “Our” instead, it just seemed like a better fit to me. Here is where I originally saw the idea.

Each Circle has a title and a picture, starting with your most localized and growing out. I ended up one circle short of what I originally wanted, and opted to leave out our continent.

Here is my Pinterest profile if you want to follow me.

K4 second week of school

Well this was a very loud week for us. They are finally done demolishing our deck, but it was a distracting mess this week. Cricket and I still managed to have a great and productive school week though.

In addition to using the You Can Read! program from 1+1+1=1 I added some sheets from The Moffat Girls. Cricket loved them. Essential I learned that to get her attention hand her a paint brush! 

I just loved her circle and connect method on the word search. She did much better this week with the stamping with my supervision.

These are the sheets I added this week. In the Moffat Girls pre-primer set there was a sheet for each word they are just in a different order than the You Can Read program. Since I didn’t see the orange paint Cricket also got a color mixing lesson for this sheet, which she thought was cool.

I also added in this great sheet from Homeschool Creations. Cricket really liked the build it part of the sheet. She also provides a large selection of the Read it cards to accompany her other learning packs.

Cricket was less enthusiastic about her math this week, so there was no working ahead. She did a great job of accomplishing what was assigned though. She really enjoyed this simple one-to-one correspondence sheet from Confessions of a Homeschooler. We are also focusing on our counting. Cricket does perfect with 1-15 and she can do 20-29, but she consistently struggles with the order for 16-19.


Cricket loved our Expedition Earth work, and learning about Brazil which was our first stop in our journey around the world. 

Since Cricket was on a major painting kick after our Moffat Girls work she also wanted to paint the flag of Brazil. It turned out really cute. Oh, and she is loving her new floor desk for stuff like this. 

I think her favorite part of the study was the animal mini unit. She didn’t want to trace the information sheets, but she loved learning about the different animals. She also drew a sloth of her own. 

We supplemented our learning with this book from the library. It had some great images in it.

Cricket and I were having a “discussion” about hand washing. She wanted a snack, but she didn’t want to wash her hands. So, I decided it was the perfect time to do this experiment that I saw here at Growing up Our Style.

I started out with germs on my hand, also known as glitter for visual effect. Then, Cricket and I shook hands and I explained that this would be the same as touching a grocery cart or door handle that someone else had touched.

Here we see Cricket trying to wipe off the “germs”. She did get some of it off, but she could see that she still needed to wash her hands.

Here are mommy and Cricket’s clean hands after washing and drying them. This lesson was super simple, effective, and it stuck with Cricket (at least through this week). 

As I said before we incorporated a lot of painting into our schoolwork this week, and Cricket couldn’t just leave paints sitting out so she also painted several pictures on her own. I didn’t do any directed or planned projects though. 

Cricket’s advanced gymnastics started back this week, and she transitioned back in well. She is still super excited about starting dance in a few weeks though.
We finally made it back to story time at the library and Cricket and I had a great time.
Thanks for visiting,

Check out what others are doing at this amazing site:

Recording our Reading again


Cricket and I did read this summer, I promise. I just did a horrible job of keeping up with it all. Here is what we read this week, that I haven’t already reviewed.

To go with Expedition Earth:

Dora’s World Adventure by Nick Jr
I used this book to kick off our geography study, and Cricket was ambivalent. The story was familiar, since she’s seen the episode it’s based on and she was to busy being excited about her new school room to focus on me reading it to her. 

How I Learned Geography by: Uri Shulevitz
This book started a little abruptly, and the content seemed a little advanced for Cricket. She really enjoyed the pictures though and I liked the underlying message of how imagination and knowledge can transport you.

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry
This was a decent book for our study of Brazil, but with the lesson I think it would actually be better for a Earth Day study or something similar. It was well written and the images were gorgeous, which is all that saved the book for Cricket. I think it was a little too long and too much of a “message” for her. I would recommend it for an older elementary child.

Pleasure Books:
What Bunny Loves by: Cyndy Szekeres
This is one of Cricket’s new favorite books, that I picked up for free at the library. It’s a cute little easy reader with the repeating words of bunny and love, since it’s all about What Bunny Loves. Like most easy readers there isn’t much content, but it’s currently a winner for us. 

The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule by: Mike Berenstain
Cricket was also familiar with this story because I have it as an app on my phone, but I found the actual book at a consignment sale and she was thrilled. She really liked the book, which was longer than the story in the app. I liked that sister worked through understanding the golden rule in a way that was understandable even by my little one. 

Mudkin by: Stephen Gammel
This book just grossed me out, heaps and gobs of mud everywhere just isn’t my cup of tea. Which made it difficult for me to look through the book with Cricket with out saying Yuck to every page. I think this was even more difficult for me due to the lack of text. By the way, this is great for building imaginations and creating stories on your own, I just personally didn’t like it.

The Little Little Girl with the Big Big Voice by: Kristen Balouch
This was a cute easy book to read with simple repeating words. Cricket really adored this book, she thought it was great that the little little girl ended up making friends with a lion that roared as loud as her.

Not All Princesses Dress In Pink by: Jane Yolen
 I loved that this book not only showed little girls wearing a variety of colors and things (such as soccer cleats and breast plates), but it had the girls doing a variety of tasks. The girls “princesses” were riding bikes, defending themselves, break dancing, and more. It was a good example of all the things that a little girl could be. Cricket enjoyed it too, and she identified with some of the independent princesses!

Click, Clack, Splish, Splash: A Counting Adventure by: Doreen Cronin
Cricket liked the counting book, and especially the countdown counting at the end. It was a good counting book, but I think I prefer the original book Click, Clack, Moo.

Junkyard Wonders by: Patricia Polacco
I simply love this book. In it, a certain classroom is referred to as the junkyard by the rest of the students. The teacher helps the Junkyard kids to become and realize themselves as Wonders. If I could change one thing about the book I would remove the word retard, I totally understand why it was included, but I just feel strongly about never using it. I highly recommend the book, but possibly to a slightly older child, it was right on the edge of being too much for Cricket.
*If you would like more info about why the “R” word should be eliminated this is a great website

Bedtime Books (That we haven’t already counted):

The Berenstain Bears’ Really Big Pet Show by Jan and Mike Berenstain
Aristocats by Disney

**We also started reading chapter books again, and we picked back up with Annie and Jack’s adventures in the Magic Treehouse. We are currently working on reading book number 5 in the series. **

That makes 173 books total so far for 2011. I highly recommend joining in at the Read to Me Picture Book Challenge.

You should also see what others are reading this week at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns.

A Day in the Life

Not Back to School Blog Hop

The theme this week for the “Not” Back-to-School Blog Hop is A Day in the Life.

I’m not sure how to tackle this since our schedule each day varies. Let me start by giving a run down of our plan of weekly activities.  

Monday: I have to go into work and Cricket has Mimi time (AM)
Tuesday: Story Time at the Library (AM) and Ballet (PM)
Wednesday: Gymnastics (PM)
Thursday: Gymnastics – Strength and Flexibility training (PM)
Friday: FREE DAY!!!

Each day I get Cricket up between 8 and 9, we are late risers! Then we do our general morning routine: breakfast;change clothes; brush teeth; etc. Then we either do our morning activity or school. Lunch break is next. Then we do our afternoon activity or school. Next up is nap time or quiet time depending on the day, also when mommy does most of her work. After nap Cricket will have ballet on Tuesday and the rest of the days we will do more school if needed or I cook dinner (insert joke here if you know me well). About that time daddy gets home and we eat together. After her bath, Cricket plays time until bedtime. Bedtime for Cricket is about 9PM.

I am posting this at the “Not” Back to School Blog Hop and I’m looking forward to comparing away!

My First Completed Pins

I have a new addiction, Pinterest, a seriously wonderful website where you can organize and save all the great ideas you find on the web. I’m sure you already know all that though. Here are a few things I have pinned since I got started and that I have actually made. Thanks for the great ideas!

I saw this idea here on Pinterest, and it was originally from this site.

Cricket loves reading the password to me each day to come into the school room.

I can’t find where I pinned this from, I wonder if that means the person has since deleted it. Anyway the original idea came from here. I thought it would be great to have a sentence chart and color review, plus Cricket loves animals. We are using an easy reader set that is animal themed, so I substituted in the animals from that set of books.

As she gets better at reading I’ll have her match the animal to the sentence.

This is my final completed project for right now. It was so easy and I love the organization so much better than the dresser drawers I was using.

I saw the idea here to use an over the door shoe holder to organize craft supplies and I jumped on the idea! I went to Target the next day, bought my shoe organizer, and enlisted a tiny helper with my project.

Cricket and I had great fun moving and organizing our art supplies. I like the accessibility and visibility, but I think I might still need to add labels for the little stuff.

Here is my Pinterest profile if you want to follow me.

First Week of K4

Cricket and I had a great first week of school this year. Our daily learning has changed some from last year, first Cricket has to tell me the password of the day to enter the room. Cricket absolutely LOVES this addition to our room. Then she goes to her bean bag chair to read with her Tag Reader or look at easy readers, this is to give me time to prep for the day. After that I read with her. Cricket’s next favorite addition to our room is our Tell Me About Today chart that Mimi got us. She is doing really well with it, and I hope it will help her with learning her teens.

Finally, we move to our table to do our other daily board, which includes weather tracking, build the day, 10 commandments, the pledge of allegiance, and two songs. As you can see Cricket wants to do this herself, as should be expected, so I might need to move it.

From here I let Cricket pick which subject she would like to work on next. Here is what we did this week.

I am using the You Can Read! program from 1+1+1=1. Cricket really enjoyed a lot of the activities, but her favorites by far were bingo and making words from play-doh. 

I had her color and trace each word then we cut them apart and taped them to each other back to back to make a flashcard. She liked these, because she made them.

As a note, when we did the funny fonts sheet and bingo I had Cricket say the word each time so in addition to matching the text she actually reviewed and read it out loud each time.

Here is my only problem with the program; I am not succeeding with it. We are doing all the activities well, but I am struggling with teaching Cricket to read. I wanted more guidance, since failing here is my biggest fear so I ordered this book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, that I have seen highly recommended.

We did manage to add five words to the Word Wall this week: Cricket’s name, cat, dog, a, and see.

Cricket has absolutely loved our math curriculum. She is breezing through it so far and did extra lessons twice this week. It seems to be her favorite subject, which might spell future trouble for mommy. She really enjoyed the counting game/activity that we did. I would write a number and she would get that many hearts (any counter could be used). This was great for written number identification, addition, and subtraction. I wrote the numbers randomly and instead of starting over with none each time Cricket choose to add or subtract from what she had. In fact she thought it was so much fun she decided I needed a turn too, so Cricket wrote a few higher numbers for me to do. When I took my turn I counted by twos to work on skip counting.

Her second favorite math activity was simple sequencing.

We are using Expedition Earth by Confessions of a Homeschooler and we are both really excited about it. This week was an introduction and overview. I began with something familiar and had Cricket look at and play with her Leap Frog Globe. With it I reviewed land forms and oceans, and introduced the continents.

From there we used the map from Expedition Earth and labeled the continents, then Cricket wanted to color it to match the continent colors on the globe. As we did this and as we reviewed the map all week Cricket kept saying that she wants to “travel ALL over the world except for Antarctica because it’s too cold there”. 

Cricket got to decorate what will be our prayer box, and we read Matthew 28:18-20 and prayed together. She really liked getting her passport to learning, and is super excited about our adventure. 

Cricket and I began working on a time capsule this week that we plan on burying in Mimi’s yard to be dug up when Cricket graduates from high school. There were many opportunities for drawing within this as well as some creative writing. I will share pictures next week as we complete this. 

Daddy’s birthday was also this week, and Cricket had to make him a card.

I began the week by completing an assessment from 1+1+1=1. Cricket did really well with it, and we only need to review a couple of things from last year. Below you will see what was supposed to be a color matching sheet, but since I messed up and printed it with black ink it was a little more challenging. Cricket was asked to fill in the circle with the color that the object should be. Due to this she ended up with a white cloud instead a blue one.

Between lessons and to burn off toddler steam Cricket likes to play a little basketball or bang on her drums. 


 Thanks for visiting,

Check out what others are doing at this amazing site:

What happened this summer?

We did have a great summer overall. We were able to go to the 50th wedding anniversary of my husband’s grandparents and spent a week with his other grandmother. Luckily most of my family is nearby, but I love being able to visit his family, and for Cricket to make those connections.

Cricket also attended, and I worked at, VBS for the first time. She loved seeing her friends each night and had a great time.

God also decided to bless us with a new deck, eventually. In mid June we had a massive tree fall on our deck.

By the way that deck is right outside Cricket’s school room, so I was really hoping it would be completed before school started. No such luck, but last week they finally started doing the demo. Here is what our deck looks like now.

I’m hoping to have our fabulous new deck soon…

So, how was your summer?

“Not” Back to School and Not a Photo

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I have loved participating in the “Not” Back to School Blog Hop, but this week’s theme is Student Photo. If you are a follower of my blog you have problem noticed that I don’t post pictures of Cricket’s face. It’s a choice my husband and I made in regards to her privacy and security. So, I don’t get to link up and share an adorable photo of Cricket.

I have seen several other bloggers describing what their little ones are like to go along with their photos and I can do that. Part of what we did getting ready for school was list Cricket’s favorite things, so I’ll start there. I will note that part of Cricket’s personality is liking a lot of things, and she really had a hard time choosing a favorite. By the way, I love that about her.

Cricket’s Favorite Things:
Movie – Beauty and the Beast (or Belle as she calls it)
TV Show – Dora
Book – Disney Princess Stories (this is a collection she has)
Game – Dominoes
Food – Cheese Sticks
Sport – Football  (Auburn Football, War Eagle)
Color – Pink
Animal – Elephant

She also said she wants to be a dancer when she grows up, maybe I should actually sign her up for dance class. Cricket is also going through a princess phase, and always wants to wear dresses. She is imaginative and creative, and full of love. Cricket is also a care-taker, which amazes me at the age of 4.

I really can’t wait to see what the school year holds for us, and what we will learn together.


K4 Schoolroom Set Up

Not Back to School Blog Hop

We are very blessed to have a room in our dedicated to school. I created the room at the LAST minute before we started school last year. You can see my post about it here.

I have only modified it slightly since last year, but I’m really excited about the changes. We now have one table and our daily work above it has been modified.

Based on the geography studies we are embarking on this year I added a world map and these great kids from around the world that my mom found for me. You will also see the boards to go with Expedition Earth Studies.

I also added a geography learning area with our globe, puzzles, curriculum, and books from around the world.

My favorite addition is Cricket’s new reading area. I got her a bean bag, which we love already, and a book basket. (In this picture you will also see her new lap desk that I got to give her another workspace option).

On the closet doors I put up what will be our Word Wall.

Our supplies have also grown considerably so I have taken over the entire dresser, half of the closet in the room, a new shelf, and re-purposed a cradle into a book bin.

After seeing other people’s planning and organization I decided to try a crate folder organization system. I have a folder for each week everything that’s planned out is in the folder.

Sadly, we were supposed to start homeschool this week, but I injured my back and haven’t been able to do much of anything. I would appreciate any prayers to help us with getting started on our journey, we are both so ready for school!

I am posting this at the “Not” Back to School Blog Hop and I’ve already really enjoyed looking at everyone else’s school spaces. 

2011-2012 Curriculum

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I can’t believe that I am about to start my second year of homeschooling. Cricket and I had a wonderful year last year and we both learned SO much! We are still technically in the preschool phase since Cricket is only 4. However, Cricket is ready to progress from where we were last year and she does better when challenged. I do realize that I have a lot planned for my little four year old, but I’m willing to drop back and punt if things don’t go as planned (can you tell we’re ready for football season).

Without further ado here is our K4  2011-2012 Curriculum Plan:

Expedition Earth by Confessions of a Homeschooler 

You Can Read by 1+1+1=1

Horizon Math, Grade K

Towards the end of the school year once we have completed all the You Can Read Sets we will be doing a theme or unit study each week. Here is what I currently have planned:
Outer Space
5 Senses
Community Helpers
Forest and Camping

I planned all this out using the Weekly Homeschool Planner by Homeschool Creations. Let me preface this by saying I’ve learned I don’t like planning! However I did really like the layout of this planner. If you haven’t already planned out your school year I suggest you go pick up this gem. Also, it’s a PDF file so you can use it over and over again every year! (I even joined the affiliate program I like it so much)

I also want to include art and science, but these aren’t planned yet and will be flexible based on schedule and interest. Most of my art ideas are coming from this amazing site Pineapple Paint Brush.

I am posting this at the “Not” Back to School Blog Hop and I can’t wait to go check out what everyone else is doing.