a schoolish post

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any learning/schoolish posts. We aren’t “homeschooling” anymore, but I’ve become a very firm believer that even though my children are primarily educated at school, we are still partners in their education and our house is going to be a house of learning too. We are getting ready to embark upon this science book starting in February. The Rooster is all about fish…he’s like a walking encyclopedia of fishing lures, fish types etc and is about to DIE that we are going to take a Netflix fast and he won’t be able to watch all his Discover Channel, Animal Planet and whatever else fish shows! Hopefully we will be using all the time on our science studies. The goal is to finish it by the time school starts up in mid-July (our system goes year round) and culminate our study with some sort of dissection of a fish. We have also adopted a couple of spots on a stream through Tremont and hopefully that will play nicely in with our swimming creatures study. I’m so excited about this spring!

In the meantime, I’ve started to do some kindergarten work with the Chick. She is in a preschool program, but it’s a blended program with students who are considered at-risk, learning English as a second language and typical preschoolers. That said, she is ready to start doing some Kindergarten work and while she gets some at school, I wanted more. So when the Rooster works on his homework after school, we do her “homework” together.

I’ve been struggling with how and what to teach her with and finally decided to use these three things:

Explode the Code: book 1. I love, love, love this series and it was one of our favorite things to do when we were homeschooling. She passed the pretest with flying colors, so we are starting with book 1. We’ll go slow and not push it, but I’m super excited. For someone who doesn’t have a clue about teaching phonics, this is a lifesaver for me.

I’m pulling alphabet review stuff from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Her stuff is amazing! For now, we are working on the A-Z Beginning Sounds Game.

I actually printed these at half size (I’m a stickler on making my colored ink last). Looking at the little letter dots I realized they would fit perfectly under these clear glass gems I had in my craft stash.  A little modge podge later and voila! Fun little letter gems.


We are also starting very slowly on learning our kindergarten sight words. I found this awesome group of printables from 1+1+1 (which is also a phenomenal blog) and made a special reading notebook for the chick. She has about a 5-10 minute tolerance for this, but I really didn’t expect more than that. Each list of 4 words has a great variety of activities and is easy for a momma to get together.


As we get into our science work, I’ll be sure to post some updates of the fun things we do.

learning the abcs

I’ve been way to lax on working with the chick on her letters. She knows them all and can write most all of them, but she needs to work on learning the sounds. I’ve seen tons of activities like this all over the web, but most recently saw it in Small Magazine and it finally got me motivated. I knew the little chick would get into it because she loves to have her picture taken.

Here’s the process we took:

1) I had her write down 5 letters. I was going to go through some dictated order, but decided that giving her more “control” might be spur her along a little more…it did.

2) After writing the letters, she picked one and we talked about it’s sound and words that start with that letter. Then she had to go find an object that made that sound.

3) We took pictures of her holding or doing that letter.

4) I made little cards for our first group of letters and put them in a special book for her.

After we get through all 26, I’m thinking that we’ll go back through and add the short or long vowel sounds that we were missing and maybe we’ll add sight words or something like that too.