August 12, 2015

{Guest Post} Favorite Books of the School Year ~ Laci

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Laci is one of my homeschool mom friends from Texas. She homeschools her 3 little girls and is relatively new to homeschooling. She is part of an amazing co-op that puts on amazing dramas and has awesome projects. I'm a little jealous of her co-op and her wonderful co-op friends. I so wish we lived closer!

Here is her booklist of favorite books!

At this stage in our homeschool journey, I am working hard to instill a love of reading in our girls. Our current favorites are not literary genius or classics, but they are fun! 

1. Giraffes Cant Dance, By Giles Andreae - This book has been a favorite for quite some time. Its a super fun story about Gerald the Giraffe and his dancing struggles. I love this book because it gives us an opportunity to talk about how we treat those around us. It also teaches the importance of not giving up and of self-confidence. 

2. Quaky Cat, By Diana Noonan and Gavin Bishop - My oldest daughter came home with this book from a book fair several years ago, and we are still reading it! I love that this book is based on an actual event. It describes the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand from a cats perspective. This book handles a horrible physical disaster in such a gentle way. We also used this book as a supplement to our science lesson on earthquakes this year. 

3. The Book with No Pictures, By BJ Novak - This book is quite ridiculous, and my girls simply love it! They read it over and over again. The giggles are endless!

4. Press Here, By Herve Tullet - The girls love this interactive book that gets them moving and shaking. Warning: The book NEVER ends!

5. “Stand Back,” SaidThe Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!”, By Patricia Thomas - This book is hilarious. The girls love the anticipation in waiting for the big sneeze.

6. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, By Betty McDonald - Does this count as a classic?

7. The Secret Garden, By Frances Hodgson Burnett - I loved this book as a child and am thrilled that the girls enjoyed it as well.

8. This book just ate my dog!, By Richard Byrne - Yet another interactive book that keeps them interested and laughing.

9. The Rip Squeak Series, By Susan Yost-Filgate - The many adventures of Rip Squeak and his friends keep my girls engaged. We also enjoy the beautiful illustrations.

10. The Magic Tree HouseSeries, By Mary Pope-Osborne - Who doesnt love these books? I always enjoy sneaking in a history or science lesson whenever I have a chance. My first grader, in particular, cant wait to see where Jack and Annie are off to next!

August 10, 2015

{Back to Homeschool} Our First Day of Homeschool

We decided to start our homeschool a little early this summer so that we can have some extra time off this fall. Our first day was July 27th and overall we had a great day!

We did not add in science, history, or Latin that first week. However, we worked on language arts, math, Spanish, read alouds, and Bible.

Enjoy a photo tour of our first day!

Here are a few things that I learned on this first day of school. 

  • Warm chocolate milk is necessary for my kids early in the morning. 
  • Foam blocks are the perfect (and quiet) preschool toy.
  • Chocolate cake is a wonderful breakfast food. 
  • Mandatory treadmill time is amazing! Truly amazing! My kids had such increased focus after their exercise time.
  • All children must have their own personal notebook to feel like part of our "school."
  • It is amazing that Curly is a great reader and can listen to both Bee and Tiger sound out words while I work with someone else. 
  • We can now all do work at the same time around our homeschool table. This saves so much time!
  • Homeschooling in pj's is the absolute best!

Linked up with Hip Homeschool Moms

August 5, 2015

{Book List} Story of the World Volume 4 - Chapter Books

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I made a picture book list to correspond to Volume 4 of Story of the World for my 1st and 2nd graders who will be joining us for history time. However, I also have a 4th grader to think about. She will love all the wonderful picture books but she will want some reading of her own. I created a much shorter book list of chapter books and more advanced readers for her. There is not a book for every chapter because I know that some books might take her more than 1 week to read. So this is not a comprehensive list by any means but these few chapter books will be a great addition to our history year. 

Story of the World Volume 4 Chapter Book List

Calico Bush (chapter 7)

Secret of the Andes (chapter 10)

The Irish Dresser (chapter 12)

A Single Shard (chapter 15)

Rachel’s Journal (chapter 16)

Water Buffalo Days (chapter 19)

Who Was Gandhi? (chapter 22)

Twenty and Ten (chapter 29)

Candy Bomber (chapter 31)

The Apothecary (chapter 35)

Shooting Kabul (chapter 38)

Red Land Yellow River (chapter 41)

Linked up with Hip Homeschool Moms

August 3, 2015

Tour Our Homeschool Room {2015-2016}

We've moved to a new state and we have been getting settled into our new home. Things have been crazy but good. I've enjoyed a summer full of swimming and golf lessons, but I've been ready to get back into our school routine. Actually, I've been most excited about using our new homeschool room.

This is the room that I've been wanting for years. It's big and bright and open and perfect. It has a huge closet that's just right for storing extra books and curriculum. There is room for my bookshelves and our large table. And even though it's in the basement it has two big windows for lots of light.

Our homeschool room is one of the rooms in our basement. We also have a nearby family room with large chairs for reading or TV watching, a playroom full of the kids' toys, and a small kitchen for snacks and all of our art and science projects. I could not have asked for a better homeschool space!

For the past two months I've been unpacking and putting together our new school room with lots of help from my hubby. I'm so excited about how it turned out!

So, enjoy the photo tour and be sure and watch the video tour at the bottom of this post.

You can see our large homeschool table on the left with our computer desk in the far corner. Straight in front is our tot school sensory table. 

Here's a shot from the door. I love my new chair!

Here is my comfy reading chair and our two bookshelves - one for notebooks and one for our books. You can also see my new door that the kids painted for me (with lots of help from my hubby). 

This is our computer desk with some floating shelves above. The shelf holds flash cards and some art supplies. 

This is our homeschool table with the 4 drawers. I put the curriculum for each child in their own set of drawers by their chair.  

This is the opposite wall with our whiteboard and our magnetic wall organizer. You can also see our giant closet in the corner.  

Love these magnetic organizers from the Container Store. They hold all of our extra paper, pencils, pends, scissors, rulers, and post it notes. 

I'm so excited about my new barn-style door. Love the teal!

Our table near the windows. Love the natural light! 

Welcome to Lextin Academy!

And here's a quick video tour of the new room! 

Thanks for visiting our new school room!

Linked up with Hip Homeschool Moms

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