Friday, May 30, 2014

Little Hearts For His Glory, Unit 24

Yes, we are still homeschooling…don’t worry! SmileIt’s been a while since I posted a completed unit.  We took some time away from Little Hearts due to two weeks of influenza in our home & also a long break to review another history curriculum.  I couldn’t do both LHFHG *and* our history review, so we just set aside LHFHG for a time.

While we enjoyed the review period for our history curriculum, I can say without a doubt that I *know* HOD is the right program for us!  Our review program was very enjoyable, but both Alex and I missed the way that HOD weaves our subjects together so nicely.  I missed having all subjects together in one guide; the ease of HOD is so helpful for me!  It just feels ‘right’ to be back with our HOD guide!

I’ve been missing our unit posts, and I’m glad to record our latest units – 24 (and 25, coming soon).  I am skipping over Units 22 & 23 unit posts.  I just don’t remember them well enough at this point to dig up the correct photos!  I may come back and post some pictures at some point, but this is not that point! :)

Alex is learning right now that history is HIS story – the story of God’s world!

This week, we made New Amsterdam (now New York) on paper, used blocks to build the wall (where Wall Street is now!), and used a toy boat to act out the story of the English capturing the city from the Dutch.


We also learned about the 13 colonies that were ruled mainly by Engliand, and about how the colonists had begun to relax and rely more on themselves than on God.  We read about the “Great Awakening” when Jonathan Edwards encouraged the people to see their need for Jesus Christ.

The picture below was part of a ‘thinking game’ in which Alex had to use ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ clues to find where I’d hidden his picture Bible.  This was to remind us of the important of following God’s Word.

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This  week was a review of 5 Bible verses from previous units.
Each day, the Bible verse that we review is tied into the history lesson for the day.
I love the way it makes the Bible relevant to what we are studying!

We also had two devotional readings from our devotion book.

We are working through All About Reading Level 2
This program really does work well for Alex!

Here, Alex is working on ‘silent e’.  He seemed to catch on very quickly!
All About Reading, Level 2

(Please keep in mind that I have the older version of LHFHG, and if you purchase a new guide, your math will follow a different sequence than what we are doing.  I created my own spreadsheet to match the math activities in the older version of LHFHG to the lessons in Singapore Essentials.  It’s not perfect, but it will work for us!)

working on subtraction
(This is really too easy for him at this point,
but I’d really like to finish it out and then pick up the pace next school year.)

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I’m not sure if I would categorize this as science or art,
but the Little Hearts guide categorizes it as science…so here it is!

We read about Alexander Spotswood (governor of Virginia), who bravely crossed over the Blue Ridge Mountains with a team of men.  They learned that there was beautiful land on the other side of the mountains.

Alex made a textured map of their journey, with wheat flour ‘sand’, chocolate chip ‘mountains’, and parsley ‘grass’ along the sides of a blue crayon river.  We drew a compass at the top of the map.  (The river was supposed to be made of blue yarn, but we didn’t have any.)


We are using Spelling You See (for spelling AND handwriting) and Rod & Staff ABC series.


Alex always enjoys “Finding The Answers”.  On this page, he had to color each picture with the color that rhymed with the object.  (For example, color the crown BROWN and color the bean GREEN.

DSCN1552 DSCN1553

We are no longer using Happy Handwriting, but are using Alex’s “Spelling You See” book as handwriting practice while writes the words that I dictate.

On this week, we finished the story of Chatterer The Red Squirrel.
Alex and I both really enjoyed this story!

Uh…we skipped that project because we were in a hurry that day. 
I meant to come back to it, and I didn’t. 

Just Because…

This is one of those heart-melting moments in parenting.  When you find your 6 year old snuggled up with your 3 year old, reading books to her in a sweet, gentle voice, how can your heart not just turn to mush? I miss having babies in the house, but I love the sweet moments that my getting-too-big kiddos share together!

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{Disclosure: This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links.  When you make a purchase after clicking through this link, our family will receive a small percentage of your purchase price.  Thank you!}

Name Through The Year page (updated for 2015 - 2016)

These pages have been a fairly popular download from my site over the past few years.  I just had a request to update it for the 2015-2016 school year, so I made a quick date change.

It’s fun to watch your child’s handwriting improve and change throughout the school year, and these sheets provide you with a great spot to record that sweet handwriting for your scrapbooks!
CLICK HERE or on the image below to download the 2015-2016 file. 
It should be a simple, automatic download.

(Image is not updated, but file is updated for 2015-2016)

namethroughtheyear1 copynamethroughtheyear2 copy

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

At The Zoo

We took a family ‘field trip’ on Memorial Day, heading to Chicago for a fun-filled day at the zoo!  The weather forecast was in the 80s with scattered thunderstorms, but we decided to go anyway.  We’re grateful that the rain didn’t start until almost 5 pm, so we were able to enjoy a full day at the zoo!

One fun thing is that Lincoln Park Zoo is FREE!  We did have to pay gas, tolls, and parking…but the zoo itself has no charge.  We packed a picnic lunch, so we didn’t have that expense either.

Before our trip, each child chose a favorite animal that they hoped to see at the zoo.  Alex chose giraffes (his long-time favorite), Max chose elephants, and Jensyn chose “those pink things” (AKA flamingos). 

Alex and his giraffesDSCN1729DSCN1731DSCN1732

Jensyn and her “pink things”

Sadly, only two out of three children got to see their chosen animal, as there are no elephants at Lincoln Park Zoo.  (I just googled it, and neither Brookfield Zoo nor Lincoln Park Zoo have elephants anymore.  It seems as if they weren’t thriving, and the zoos made the hard decision to send the remaining elephants to warmer climates.)

On the bright side, Max wasn’t too disappointed.  He said the gorillas were so much fun that he didn’t even miss seeing the elephants! (We don’t have pictures of Max and the gorillas, as he was mostly watching from inside a ‘log’.)  The gorillas were fun to watch, so I understand why he was so fascinated!


One of the neatest things we saw on this day was the black bear using its natural instincts.  A robin flew down and landed in front of the bear.  The bear lunged.  The bird flew.  The bird wasn’t fast enough.

The bear carried the bird RIGHT UP TO THE GLASS and ate it right in front of us.   While that’s a little gross, I suppose, it was also really neat to witness this moment!

Alex and Jensyn casually watching the bearDSCN1608
bear suddenly lunges for bird


bear brings bird right up to the glass and eats it RIGHT THERE
(that’s Max, with his face to the glass)


We saw a bald eagle, which has a wingspan of up to 6 or 7 feet,
so I had the kids show me their own ‘wingspan’ for comparison.


lion, back view and front view

baby rhino

Treetop Canopy Climbing Adventure
…the boys did this, but Jensyn wasn’t interested

Alex loved the Scavenger Hunt at the Voyageur Rendezvous, so I printed a zoo scavenger hunt for him to complete.  He really loved this, and he had a lot of fun checking off animals as he found them.  At the end of the day, he was very proud of his completed hunt!


kids exploring the termite exhibit

DSCN1710  DSCN1715

Why yes, that IS my four year old LICKING the plexiglass.
No, we do not encourage this.
ICK!  Why son, WHY!?!
(I immediately stopped him when I realized what was going on. 
How does a mother sanitize her child’s TONGUE?!)

reptile house…all 3 kids liked it, but Max got a little fascinated with a few creatures
and had to be pulled away from the exhibits to move along Smile

Max loved this monitor!  It was really playful, and it kept climbing the glass right in front of Max!

Alex touching snake skin and a tortoise shell

moles – they were active and fun to watch!

caiman – with a big ‘grin’ on his face





The kids really enjoyed ‘all things monkey-ish’.
Alex discovered a gorilla named “Kathy”. 
Our neighbor’s name is Kathie, so Alex found this hilarious and asked me to take a picture!
DSCN1677  DSCN1678


Max didn’t want to come over at first, so I took a picture of him on the stroller seat.
By the time he DID decide to come over, Jensyn was no longer interested in pictures.

Daddy splurged and bought us a funnel cake to share.  Yum!
(the empty spot on the bench is where I saw sitting…)



We got to see the hippo feeding.  That was really neat!


playful meerkats




checking out a bear claw (at least I think that’s what it is!)



We ended our day with a visit to the Farm At The Zoo.  We only spent a short time here, but the boys did enjoy climbing in the tractor and pretending to drive.  (We could have stayed longer, but we are going to Fair Oaks Farm with our homeschool group in a few weeks, and I didn’t want seeing the farm ‘stuff’ today to ruin some of the joy of our upcoming field trip.)


We were sure we’d have some tuckered out kids on the way home, but surprisingly, Jensyn was the only one who slept!  She “read” the Bible for a while, and then she conked out.  Max watched out the window and sang along with a kids praise CD.  Alex danced (well, as much as you can dance while buckled in…) to the music.  But all three kids went RIGHT to bed without complaint at bedtime!


Keith and I both observed that this was our easiest family outing with three children EVER.  We made it out the door on time, there were no potty accidents the WHOLE day, no temper tantrums, no one got lost, no one gave us a moment of trouble…it was impressive!  (Okay…so Max DID lick the plexiglass, but if that’s our only ‘issue’, we’re doin’ all right!)

While there are things that make me very sad about our kids getting bigger, it’s also nice to have the EASE of doing things with kids who are getting bigger, more responsible, and more mature!  It was a terrific day, and we’re so glad we didn’t let the threat of rain keep us away!