Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A new year

I know this is a weird time for a post entitled A New year.  But, for the past two years, we have decided to homeschool through the summer.   So, we started our new year last week.  

I love being able to read other people’s blogs about what is going on in their homeschool.  It is so much easier to get other’s peoples ideas and tweak them to fit your own needs.  So, I am going to blog about what our family is learning.  I will include everything (if I remember) we are using and that we find helpful.  I will have books, curriculum, websites, movies and anything else we find to use in our “school”.

Feel free to use everything or just a few things.  Hopefully you will be able to take something from our family’s lessons and use it to make your year easier.  

We will be studying Early American history, art, Bible, math, science, English and reading.  These are the things I will include.  Some weeks I will post everything in one post.  Other’s I will do different subjects on different days. 

We started with Leif Ericsson. 

Books we read : 

  • Eric The Red - Grant
  • Leif the Lucky – D’Aulaire
  • The Vikings (Video) – great for all ages.  Only 30 minutes long

Next we learned all about Christopher Columbus. 

For Science we made his three boats, The Nina, The Pinta, and the Santa Maria out of aluminum foil.   100_5486

The kids learned that you need to use several sheets of the foil to make them float.  They also found out (the hard way) that the sails need to be large. 

The Books we used are:

  • Christopher Columbus: the life of a Master Navigator and Explorer – by David West – this is a nonfiction graphic novel.  Very good for boys who don’t like to read
  • Land Ho – Nancy Parker
  • Christopher Columbus – Video in same series as The Vikings. 
  • Christopher Columbus – Stephen Krensky
  • Christopher Columbus – Mary Wade – this one, Bella, read.  Very easy read although she did need some help.
  • Christopher Columbus – How he did it.  Charlotte and David Yue – very detailed.  Great for the older student
  • Picture book of Christopher Columbus – David Adler
  • Christopher Columbus – Navigator to the New World
  • In 1492 – another easy book, this one rhymes.  Kids loved this one
  • Noko – this tells the story from an Indian boys who was captured by Bartholomew Columbus and was held captive.  This changed my kids perspective on the whole aspect of Columbus.  I think they just realized that we took this country from the Indians, literally.  Usually history just tells the story and it doesn’t sink in that the Indians were real families with children who were affected by all that the explorers did.

We also briefly touched on a few other explorers just be reading living books about them.  They were

  • Ponce De Leon -  Kline
  • De Soto – The World’s Great Explorers – Carson
  • Hernando De Soto - Video

We used Homeschool in the Woods for maps.  Griffin labeled a World map with countries now and in history during this time period.  Bella colored and labeled the same maps.  It was really interesting to see the difference.  Imagine early explorers surprise when they found out there was an unknown continent in their way. 

Each person in history was put in our timeline book.  Our book is a spiral bound book I got from Sonlight.  The kids either print a picture from online or draw their own.  They really enjoy this part of our history lessons.


We are learning the books of the Bible.  I say we because I am learning right along with the kids.   We have made it all the way through the Old Testament and this week learned the first 6 of the New.  It is so exciting to see the kids eyes light up when they realize we are almost through. 

We are also going to study old Hymns this year.  The first one was This is My Father’s World.  I have to admit, I had never heard this.   On Monday, the kids read over the words.  For Handwriting they copied the first verse in their best handwriting.   We are using Peterson Handwriting.  Bella is learning cursive and Griffin is perfecting his cursive (this is an ongoing battle in our family).   They listened to the song on CD.  I found a book at the library titled “Hymns for a Kids Heart” that has a lot of old hymns.  It tells the story of the hymn and then it has the music.  There is a CD included.  I played the piano, Griffin played Guitar and Bella sang this new hymn for David.  My kids love Music and this was no exception.  It is so neat hearing them sing hymns.

We also are learning a Bible Verse every week.  This week we actually are learning the 23rd Psalm.  We are about halfway through.  I got books from the library with this in it so the kids are actually reading and memorizing at the same time.  

Bible is the most important part of our school day.  I want our children to love God.  That is the main goal of David and I. 


For Math this year we are using Horizons.  Griffin did lessons 11-15.  He is continuing to learn his multiplication tables.  I have told him that when he learns them all, David and I will get him a cell phone.  He has almost mastered all of them (in about 5 days).  I should have thought of this years ago.   Bella also did lessons 11-15.  She is learning subtraction and working on place value and money.  Both of the kids are very good in Math.

Math Websites we enjoy


Both kids read extensively about the history subjects.  Griffin wrote a book report on "Noko”.  He used the dictionary to look up words he didn’t know. 

Griffin is working on Explode the Code.  This is just for practice in spelling.  Bella is using Critical Thinking.   Bella is using All About Spelling.  Griffin does better with Sequential Spelling and is doing well with this.   We use different methods to learn spelling words.  This week we played ball.  We throw the ball back and forth and each person says the next letter of the word when you catch the ball. 

We also played hangman with the spelling words.

Both kids read “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost. 


We learned about boats, how they float and made the Columbus' boats. 

We also are learning about Creation and animals. 

Books for this are

  • God Thought of You
  • Crafts to Celebrate God’s Creation
  • 7 Days of Creation
  • My Creation Bible – Ken Ham – This was our favorite.  It came with a Song CD and the kids are now singing this.  This actually covers creation to the resurrection.  Highly Recommend this.


We are using Artistic Pursuits for art for Griffin.  Bella did a lot of coloring and played online on Uncle Fred (www.unclefred.com)  This is cartoon art and she loved this. 

Until next week, Happy Homeschooling and God Bless.

1 comment:

keri said...

I love reading others "home-school" blogs too ,Yours BTW LOVE it! :)
You really went all out in History..
I recently bought Story of the world vol 1 to get some more indepth study...
I must admit thou I really am a computer girl..I love using the Internet to "teach"
We use http://www.Time4Learning.com
and http://www.spellingcity.com

and of course GOOGLE SEARCH !!! LOL :D
but always open to anything to add if possible .....
anyways looking forward to reading more of your blog this year...
BTW we school year round too ;)
mom to dd(8) & Ds (3)


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