June 29, 2015

{Curriculum} 2nd Grade

Tiger will be in 2nd grade! He is starting to read fairly well and is taking off in math. He's also discovered that he enjoys history, but his favorite part of school is our read aloud time. He could listen to books for hours!

I've been busy planning a new school year for him and here's what I have so far:


Bible Study Guide for All Ages - Intermediate
He will help Curly on her intermediate pages and follow along with her.


We Choose Virtues Cards
I hope to pick a new virtue to reinforce on a monthly basis.


Right Start C
Tiger will continue in this level and if he finishes before the end of the year I might move him right into Level D. He loves math!

Math Mammoth 2
He will do some pages from this level to practice math concepts.

Beast Academy 3
Tiger will start working on Beast Academy as he gets close to finishing Right Start Level C. I think he will love this program with the colorful comics and the challenging problems. He enjoys puzzling through math problems.

Language Arts

Phonics Road 2
I'm still debating about spelling but I think we will continue with this program for another year. He will work on this level and we'll see how he progresses.


All About Spelling 1 and part of 2
We might switch to this program for the year and see how much progress we see.

All About Reading 3
I hope to finish Level 2 over the summer and move him in to Level 3. It might take more than 1 school year to complete this level but that's ok. He is slowly working on his reading skills and is making significant progress thanks to this program.

Evan Moor Daily Language Grade 2
This is easy daily review of grammar concepts and is somewhat independent.

Writing with Ease 2
Tiger did very well with the first level of this program and actually loved the short reading passages. I'm hoping that he continues to do well narrating sentences to me, and the extra copy work in the program will be an added bonus.

First Language Lessons 2
Tiger will be moving into the second level of this program as well. I love this program - short lessons and most can be done orally in this level.

{Summer} Vocabulit Grade 3
We'll use this over the summer to focus on some new vocabulary words.


Tiger will work on his cursive with a Pentime book.


A Poke in the I
Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young
Be Glad Your Nose is On Your Face


Logic Safari Book 2
Detective Club
Primarily Logic
Primarily Thinking
Mind Benders Book 3
Connections Introductory


Typing Instructor for Kids
Tiger works on this program independently while I work with his siblings.


Song School Spanish
I plan to start working on Spanish with Tiger and we'll begin by learning the songs in this program. I plan to include Bee (1st grade) as well.


Story of the World Volume 4
Tiger will listen in to history with his older sister Curly. I will have him narrate a few sentences from each section of our reading.

Veritas Press 1815-Present
I purchased this online program for Curly but I will have Tiger listening in as well. He will read the books recommended from the program with us and learn the timeline song.


Evan Moor Daily Geography Level 2
We'll continue to work on map skills with this program that he can do partially independently. I have yet to find a geography program that we enjoy.


Apologia Science - Land Animals
Tiger will listen in as I read this book to his older sister and I plan for him to narrate from each section.

Nancy Larson Science 1
This will be our main program and he will work on this level with his younger sister, Bee. I love how I won't have to do any prep work!


Artistic Pursuits K-3

Atelier Art Level 2


Piano lessons hopefully. Maybe guitar lessons instead. Depends on the teacher that we find....

And of course we will have lots of fun read alouds for our year!

June 26, 2015

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

May contain affiliate links

While I'm moving and getting settled in our new state of Indiana, I asked some of my wonderful friends to share their favorite books of the school year with me. Enjoy the lists and hopefully they will provide inspiration for summer reading or for book choices for the upcoming homeschool year.

This book list is from my friend Allison in Texas. We have a funny story about how we first met....

I knew Allison's sister-in-law who lived in our neighborhood. I actually met her at the pool - I introduced myself because I just had a feeling that she might be a homeschool mom. I was totally right!
After we met she then gave my blog to her sister-in-law, Allison because she also homeschooled.
One day while my family was enjoying a field trip to our local children's museum, another mom walked up to me and asked me if I was Lexi from Lextin Academy. She recognized me from my blog! After that we enjoyed several late night trips to get frozen yogurt and chat about all things homeschool and parenting.

Allison is a kindred spirit in that she loves to research (especially curriculum) but she's a realist who loves to continue learning herself. She's a fellow curriculum junkie! When we get together we love to share our latest research finds.

More about Allison: She's a homeschool mommy to 3 little boys ages 7, 4, and almost 2. Her family has homeschooled from the beginning because they felt it was God's calling for their family. She enjoys the opportunity to homeschool because she is able to learn alongside her children and they have the free time to explore their personal interests. She also loves to exercise, which I'll admit makes me feel guilty about my hatred of all things exercise.....but her dedication encourages me to force myself to hit the treadmill in the evening.

Here is Allison's List of Top 10 books of the year:

Journey by Aaron Becker
This wordless book was possibly our favorite this year. Each creatively illustrated scene fostered much discussion and imaginative story telling from my boys. It reminded me of a more grown up version of Harold and the Purple Crayon.

The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward
We have read this book many times this year. The boys laugh and laugh when the bear gets into much mischief and makes lots of messes (can you imagine that?!). If you are uncomfortable broaching the topics of hurting, guns, or death, you may want to skip this one. It does have a happy ending though.

Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha
This is not a type book that my boys usually love. it was on our Five in a Row book list and we ended up reading it over and over. I'm not sure if it was the bright colors and detailed pictures or the engaging, comforting story line, but the boys would always sit still while I read it. It had a soothing effect on them. The relationship between the little boy and his grandmother is very sweet.

The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo
Pirate adventures, a mischief maker, and a trusty stuffed raccoon make this book a favorite with my guys.

The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese
Another book from our Five in a Row book list, The Story about Ping, holds the boys' attention because of its detailed description of Ping the duck's adventures - oh and probably the fact that the last duck on the boat always gets a little spank on the back. They can't wait for me to get to those parts!

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
My oldest son was in first grade this year and it seemed like this book appeared on most first grade book lists, so we gave it a go. Even now, at age seven, he doesn't particularly like to sit through read alouds so it's a wind for me when we find something that holds his attention.

Welcome to the Bed and Biscuit by Joan Carris and Noah Z. Jones
This is another of my oldest son's favorites this year. I think it's because I was able to read the whole book to him while he had the flu. He had no energy for anything other than lying on the couch, so he paid attention the whole time and kept asking me to "please read one more chapter."

Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling
This book tracks the journey of a carved Indian figure in a canoe, from the Nipigon country in Canada to the Atlantic Ocean. We loved the artwork and the detailed descriptions of the Indian's journey. It was also a fantastic geography lesson.

Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel
My first grader enjoyed this series so much that he read each of the four books twice. He probably would have read them exclusively if I had not pressed him to try other readers as well. The adventures that Frog and Toad have together are a hit in our home.

I Spy Christmas: A Book of Picture Riddles by Jean Marzollo
While this is not a story book, it helped my seven year old want to read because he needed to know what to search for in the book. My boys are obsessed with all things Christmas, so for us it was a great tool to help with literacy.

June 24, 2015

{Review} Wink

We had the chance to review a new game in our house. We received a copy of the game Wink from Blue Orange Games

This game is a fun party game for up to 8 players and is suggested for ages 8 and older. 

The game comes with small playing pieces in a variety of colors, cards in matching colors, accuse cards, and two decks of colorful cards with various faces on them.

Each player chooses his or her color and then selects the matching color game piece and colored card.
One deck of the face cards is laid out in a grid.
The other deck is dealt to the players (with a certain number of cards per person based on the number of people playing the game).

To play the game, a player picks up his colored playing piece and puts it on one of the face cards on the grid and then calls out the number of that card. Sometime during that round the player who is holding the matching face card in his or her hand is supposed to secretly wink at the other player. During the round each person must carefully watch the other players to see who winks at him or her and is consequently the secret partner for that round.
If a persons suspects another player of winking at someone during the round, he or she can use the accuse card and accuse that player of winking.

The object of the game is to collect the face cards.
At the end of each round, the players announce who they think was their secret partner or partners during that round. If they are correct and name the person who was winking at them, each of those players get a face card (one player keeps the card that was in his or her hand and the other player gets to pick up the face card from the grid).
If a player wrongly names a person as a partner, the true partner gets to keep the card in his or her hand as well as pick up the face card from the grid.
If a player correctly accuses another player of winking during the round, that person collects both matching face cards.

What did we think?

Well, not all of my children are the recommended age level for this game so I knew that there would be a learning curve when we started playing. And yes, it is more fun to play with slightly older kids because they understand the concept of the game much better. So I do agree with the recommended age range.

However, we had a blast playing this game with our little people. It was absolutely hilarious to watch them try to wink at each other in secret. And of course, they giggled uncontrollably when they discovered who their secret partner was for that round.

Secretive? Sly? Stealthy? None of these words describe my children. Therefore, my husband and I spent much of the game laughing at our poor little people who were not great at winking or keeping their partner's identity secret. One day they'll have it down.

Overall, we loved the game and my kids ask to play it often. After a few rounds, my kids were understanding the concept of the game much better and were able to play more competitively.

This game is a blast to play and resulted in much laughter at our house. It's one that we will be playing for years to come!

June 22, 2015

{Curriculum} PreK

Little Ladybug will be doing a few more things this year with me.


Bible Story book for Old Testament and for the New Testament
We'll read a story each day.


Hands On Thinking Skills
We will finish this book from last year.

Right Start A
In the spring we will slowly start this level and do maybe 1/2 a lesson each day.

Language Arts

All About Reading Pre-Level
We'll continue working on letter sounds and rhyming.


We will practice forming letters on a lined whiteboard.


Dr. Dooriddles
We'll work on this book together as a fun introduction to thinking skills.


Here are the two poetry books that we'll read together during our year:

A Family of Poems
The Llama Who Had No Pajama


We'll read some simple Usborne books about different time periods as well as picture books about each holiday.


We'll read Usborne books about different animals as well as some simple encyclopedias about animals and nature.


We'll keep it simple with watercolor and tempera paints.


We'll listen to some classical music and some CD's from Classical Kids.

June 20, 2015

Homeschooling in the US

My blog has been quiet lately. Moving, unpacking, settling into a new state......that has taken up every spare second lately. I hope to soon return to more regular blogging as we find our new normal.

But for now I thought I'd share a neat graphic about the history of homeschooling in the United States.

You can find the link to the graphic here which also lists the sources for the information.

Home Schooling

Source: Early-Childhood-Education-Degrees.com

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