Thursday, January 31, 2013

Last Chance: Tablet For The Teacher Contest

Teachers Notebook is hosting a “Tablet For The Teacher” contest right now!
Today is the LAST DAY to enter!

The winner may choose an iPad Mini, a Kindle Fire HD, or a Nook HD!
Click on the image below to enter the contest – Good luck!

Angry Birds Tot School

I was browsing Google Reader early Monday morning when Alex crawled in bed to snuggle with me.  He immediately noticed that there was an Angry Bird printables set on my Kindle screen, and he instantly said, “Mom, are WE doing that for Tot School today?”

Well, we are now, buddy! Open-mouthed smile

I downloaded the pages from Homeschool Creations and printed them while the kids ate breakfast.  As soon as they finished breakfast – before I’d even cleaned the table, as you’ll see – they were ready to get going.  Do you think they were excited?!


Max did the prewriting and the maze all by himself.  I was surprised by how quickly he made his way through the maze!



Alex had fun doing the beginning sound page.


Mr. Max proved he knows all his numbers!  I was VERY impressed with his counting and circling.  I guess he’s ready to learn his written numbers now.  (All in his OWN time frame – pushing it would be foolish – just follow the child’s lead!)


Max glued the birds and pigs in the correct places in the mini book.  This was harder for him than I thought it would be.  (Glue the bird UNDER the structure, glue the pig ABOVE the bird, etc.)


Alex took his turn counting & circling the correct number.


Alex did beginning sounds and found the A and a letters.


Jensyn colored on a Spiderman maze (leftover from Alex’s party) while we worked.


Alex wanted to try the More, Less, or Equal page.  I thought it might be a little hard for him, as some of my second grade students used to struggle with learning signs > and <.  Alex surprised me, though, and did it (with dry erase) immediately!  It’s hard to see because of the reflection of the camera flash, but he got them all correct!


I didn’t get pictures of everything, but the boys were sure excited about these pages!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

All About Reading

As my regular readers may know, we are about halfway through our year with My Father’s World Kindergarten curriculum.  We should finish sometime in May.  While I have some ideas in mind, we are still not 100% sure of our school plans after completing this program.

One thing is for sure, though: I definitely want to experience All About Reading!  It’s a program that caught my eye a few years back, and I have been anxiously waiting for the right time to get my hands on this program.  We have it now, and as both a former elementary school teacher and as a mom, I am very impressed with what I see!

We’ve just received the AMAZING opportunity to review All About Reading Level 1.  I had originally planned to purchase the program this spring to begin using it when Alex completed MFW K. Since All About Learning Press generously offered to send us Level 1 to use and review, we will begin in February and use it along with My Father’s World kindergarten.

I’m so grateful to All About Learning Press for this generous offer, and I look forward to sharing our learning adventures with all of our readers through regular blog posts!


I have heard and read so many good things about All About Learning press, and I have followed a few homeschool friends and bloggers as they share positive reviews of All About Reading’s pre-reading and Level 1 programs.

All About Reading is designed to be hands-on, using sight, sound, and touch to teach a child to read.  All About Reading is also based on the Orton-Gillingham method, which is successful for teaching struggling readers and children with learning disabilities.

The website states the All About Reading is designed to be “open and go”, easy for a busy mom to just sit down and work with her child.   Everything is organized and ‘lightly scripted’.  As I’ve read through the manual and gotten things ready to go, I’ve found that to be quite true.

There are three levels available at this time: Pre-reading, Level 1, and Level 2.  There are two more levels currently in the works: Level 3 is scheduled to be available in late 2013, and Level 4 will be published in 2014.

We will begin using Level 1 next week, replacing some of our MFW K phonics work.  (There are a few MFW pages that I will leave out, but Alex really enjoys some of those, so we won’t exclude them entirely.)  I think we’ll begin by aiming for 3 days a week, but we’ll see what works best for us as we get started!

Of course, I will be blogging our way through All About Reading so that you can see for yourself what this program is all about! 

Disclosure: We received a free copy of All About Reading Level 1 and the Interactive Kit in exchange for blogging our experience with the program.  The links in this post are affiliate links, and I will receive a commission for each purchase made through these links.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

MFW K, Ii Insect

{CLICK HERE} to view the rest of our MFW K unit posts.
{CLICK HERE} to view our post explaining WHY we chose MFW K for our family.

Alex is 5 years, 1 month
Max is 3 years, 5 months
We are using My Father’s World Kindergarten as our base,
adding in some of my own printables.

This week, we are learning the letter Ii for insect.
Our Bible words are: I am a wise child, so I work hard!

We read a lot, but these were our favorites.
We’ve watched the ants working HARD, and we’ve been reminded that “I am a wise child, so I work hard.”
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”  Colossians 3:23 – 24, NIV
(and more, but I never post it all…)
reading words, matching to pictures
{I had the amazing privilege of teaching Spiderman this week!}
reading words and following directions while reading
making words on the blend ladder
Sometimes, handwriting is great.
Sometimes, we’re both ready to pull our hair out before we finish a page.
We split this page into two days.
We always begin the week with my larger print handwriting page,
but I didn’t have the camera handy on the first day that we did this unit…so no pictures!
We sang The Ants Go Marching, and we re-enacted it with raisins, counting after each verse.
We stopped after six because we were both tired of lining up raisins, ha! Open-mouthed smile
Counting & Writing 11
Counting & Writing Numbers
I ordered our ants in November because I was worried about them shipping in the cold winter months, so our hands-on science for this unit was covered long ago.  Next time, I’ll know better – they will ship in winter, and ships them with a chemical warming packet!
Our original ANT FARM post is HERE.

We also learned about bees, honey, etc.  I didn’t put as much into this as we should have…
but it’s cold…there’s nothing outside to SEE…we just read about it.  There was a honeycomb paper project, but I opted not to do it.  We may ask about going to see Joe & Renee’s bees this summer.
I was planning a birthday party, and we didn’t take time to do art.  This is the closest we got:
Alex’s weekly word drawing page.  He drew words that begin with I.
A family at our church keeps bees, and we got a jar of fresh-from-the-bee honey!
We made homemade biscuits like they do in The Bee Tree book,
but the boys were more excited to try a spoonful fresh from the jar!
The boys played the insect memory game from my Going Buggy mini pack.
(See the preschool printables tab at the top of this page.)
tot school 
(Max is 37 months)
Just for the record, I *offer* these activities to my little ones.  I  *NEVER NEVER* force a 3 year old to sit down and do “worksheets”.  Max is free to play or do his own thing.  I encourage puzzles, hands-on activities, etc…and he can do whatever paperwork interests him.
Max got his own post this week…CLICK HERE to read what he worked on.

We may be linking up with the following blogs:
Tot School