Monday, September 5, 2011

Learning Stations -

Spelling -

Math -

Grammar -

History Order Plan

Preflood Biblical History Unit Studies
  1. Tree of Life
  2. Adam and his descendants
  3. Enoch
  4. Noah
Before Christ Unit Studies to the end of Genesis, Ancient History
  1. Mesopotamia
  2. Egypt
  3. Tower of Babel
  4. Jaradites
  5. Olmec
  6. Ice age- caves and underwater civilizations - Atlantis (1500 bc)
  7. Greece
  8. China

Friday, September 2, 2011

Homeschooling - Preschool on up - Animal Circle Time

Ok so first, the homeschool day starts out for us with "circle time" this is a term that is used widely in preschools and kindergarten.. I have been calling mine circle time for years and my kids are way above preschool.  I just decided a few days ago to start calling mine "mom school" which is a Thomas Jefferson Eduction term.  (TJE is the biggest homeschool philosophy among Utah LDS, it has lots of good ideas, and I use many of them).  I also mix my morning devotional in with my circle time/ mom school time.

Circle Time - Circle time is together/ learning/ fun time, with some foundational drilling (like spelling and math) mixed in.  It is called this because normally the class of kids sit in one big circle on the floor around the teacher.  Sitting on the floor is good for this because it puts you at their level and in a less formal setting.  In circle time you introduce new ideas, review old ideas and drill the foundational ideas.  So here are some ideas on how to do a animal circle time.

Step one - Do not get over whelmed at the volume of the information available.

Step two - Do what is fun and you enjoy.  Adapt all this to your interests and needs.

Step three - Let your daughters mood be a guide for how much schooling you do.  If she is board with an activity, change activities.  If she is done with school save the material for the next day.

Step four - circle time is normally something that becomes habitual.  After a while you will develop a rhythm and do the same things each day in the same order mostly.  But circle time is not rigid and it does change and adapt over time and with the daily needs.  Pick the activities you would like to repeat and have some fun.

Step five - keep things interesting by having your circle time activities mixed, do not do all the flash cards together, mix them with the singing and other things so your child does not get burnt out on them.  Changing the type of activity helps your child stay attentive
Step six - End circle time with some form of active play

Step six - pick one to two table activities to do at the table.

Step seven - show your child one of the fun games or animal activities for the day and send them off to play with it.

Step eight - smile, pat yourself on the back, you just finished today's school.  But you may say it was so short and so quick?  Hey your teacher to student ratio is 1 to 1, that is a heck of allot better then 30 to 1, everything will go faster and work better because of that.  Don't under estimate the value of it based on how quick it is... You have covered many important things in a short time.   

Step nine - your child is learning a whole world of wonderful things just by being home with you.  Things that can not be duplicated in the sterile environment of the public school.  When days go by that you don't do school, don't stress, your child learns naturally all the time.  John Holt in "How children learn can teach you all about that."

Step ten - send your child outside, the world outside teaches all by itself.  For more information on this read about Charlotte Mason and her educational ideas.  
"They must be let alone, left to themselves a great deal, to take in what they can of the beauty of earth and heavens; for of the evils of modern education few are worse than this- that the perpetual cackle of his elders leaves the poor child not a moment of time, nor an inch of space, wherein to wonder- and grow. At the same time, here is the mother's opportunity to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of the child, which shall germinate, blossom, and bear fruit, without further help or knowledge of hers. " Charlott mason

Zoo Animal Circle Time

Animal flash cards - buy a box of animal flash cards which are easily found in dollar stores or online.  Each day pick one animal, read the back of the card and talk about the animal, teaching about it.  Add this animal to your animals learned stack.  For review you can flash the stack of animals that you have learned and have your child either tell you the animal's name or something they have learned about the animal (depending of learning level).  I suggest to only use 5-6 animals in your review stack and retire the older ones so the animal review does not get too long.

Preschool nursery rhymes - nursery rhymes are wonderful for the young learning child.  I forget all the reasons but there are actually full studies done about how they help.  They help with information retention, memorization, fine motor skills, poetry and more... Not to mention that they are part of our culture, so it is cultural education.  Here you can have fun singing all the wonderful animal songs.. Old Mcdonald Had a Farm (you can theme this out, by using jungle animals when you are teaching that theme). 

Story time - With story time your child can learn a little bit more about the animal in the story.  They can gain a further appreciation of reading.  They can learn the skill of story retelling and they can do story sequencing.   It is fun while on the floor together to read or retell stories. If you have a print out of the characters you can put the card stock print out on popsicle sticks or paint sticks and use them to act out the story.
Letter and number of the day - learn a letter and number of the day.. use some of the fun printables durring table time to color or make.  make flash cards with markers and 3x5 cards and flash them to your child like you flash the animals.  Sometimes it helps a child pay attention to flash card time if you say the different words on the flash cards in different funny voices.  Talk like a lion or a mouse or a monster or a fish or an alien or something else funny.  Teach the letter sounds as you teach the letter.  You can pick one of the alphabet animal printables below and teach the animal on the letter for that days animal flash card.

Weather and calander of the day.- Start the day off by asking what is the weather like outside or what day is it. Find some visual aids or printables that show days of the week or months of the year or weather symbols to help you talk about these things.

Pretend play - This is a fun time to play pretend that you are the animal of the day.  What do you run like, what do you eat, how do you sleep, do you play?  Nothing like crawling around on the floor rawrring like a lion with your child for a good start to the day.  Also this is a good end to circle time.  It helps the little ones who don't want to sit for too long get the blood pumping again and ready to move onto  something fun.  Overtime you children can develop a love for homeschool because that is the time of day that they get all that great mom attention and do all those fun things.

Table time

Reading - Animal Alphabet
Writing and Spelling - 

Math - 
Science - 
Art - When I do an animal theme I plan to make art of many of the animals we learn about,  I would use hand prints, finger prints and paperplates to do this.
Play time

Square Time - for us square time means computer time.  In this day and age there is a world of learning on the "screen."

Games - a fun way to play with your child's new knowledge.

Library Resources - 
  • Hot Hot Hot Dance Songs, Sesame Street, Cat Had a Birthday,  Doing the Penguin, Silly Squirrel Dance, The Lambaba!, Do de Rubber Duck, Do the Dog, Clucky Clucky Chicken, Macarena
  • Zack's Aligator
  • Brown bear, Brown bear
  • Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? [Board Book], Bill Martin Jr. (Author), Eric Carle (Author)
  • Barney - Alphabet Zoo [VHS] (1994)
  • Barney's Favorites Vol. 1, Barney | Format: Audio CD Sally the Camel, Six Little Ducks, Do Your Ears Hang Low?,  Down On Grandpa's Farm
  • From Head to Toe Board Book [Board Book], Eric Carle (Author, Illustrator)
  • My First Brain Quest Matching, by University Games.
Other ideas 

Field trips - take a field trip to the zoo, or my "petting zoo", or Wheeler farm, or Tracy aviary.

Foreign language

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2011 Home Education Plan

Mom School

Devotional - Devotional is done daily on the couch with all the children gathered around mother as a start to our day.
  • Sing
  • Family Prayer
  • Learn a new song
  • Scripture Memorization
  • Scripture Story Mastery
  • Positive Character Trait of Study

History - Rotate through the four main history focuses, once topic a day, four times in a week.  Each focus topic/ time frame/ place could be studied anywhere from four days to four weeks depending on the level of interest, importance, and materials.

  1. Overview of the Topic - Geography, Religion, Architecture, Trading, Allies, and Wars.
  2. Accomplishments of the Area - Technology, Science, Mathematics. Education, Laws, Daily Work.
  3. Creations of the People - Literature, Art, Music, Pottery, Jewelry, Clothing, Food.
  4. Significance of the Time - Historic Significance, Our World View.

Flashcards and Worksheets - We will use flash cards and worksheets to drill and review some of the foundational concepts of learning.  Mostly this will be done in spelling and math.  We do several things to make flash cards more fun.  When flashing them we say the words in funny sounding voices.  We sound like a lion or a mouse or an alien or something fun while we say the flash cards.  The kids like to flash the cards to each other.  For reading and spelling my younger kids read the words and the older kids spell it back to the younger kids, who makes sure it is correct. Racing through the cards to see how fast you can possibly get through them also keeps them involved.

Learning Stations - Learning Stations will be used to create Multi Sensory fun learning play that helps children master the three R's, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.  

Rotating Learning Activities
We will rotate through these learning activities, doing one a day.  In this way we can cover a wide range of learning topics a little bit at a time.

Science Webquests - The kids will be challenged to one webquest a week.  Most of the webquests will have a Natural Science focus.  The science topics will be divided into the seven days of creation, with a focus of learning to be creators, and creating things with our knowledge.  Also we will have a web questions jar that the kids can chose questions from to do their own webquests through out the week in order to inspire more learning based screen time. 

Nature/ Art/ Everything Journals - We will be making our own nature journal books, that I hope to blog about, so they can be as flexible as possible.   The nature journals will also be art journals and education journals, and writing practice.  We will use this format this year instead of the homeschool note books we have done in the past.  The kids will be encouraged to journal three to four times a week.  Nature Journaling is a great Saturday and Sunday activity because it is quite, connected to God's world, and requires low parental involvement.

Homesteading Skills - Once a week we will work on our homesteading skills and process Gods blessings into useful things like soap, bread, and yogurt.  The children will be invited into these homesteading moments inorder to pass the skills down to the next generation.

Try Its - Try its is a Girl Scouts term.  I am using it here because it seems to best title this area of learning.  During try it time we will do active applications of our learning.  This will be done through field trips, projects and ethnic food.

Active Play
Active Play happens everyday.  The majority of the child's lives should be in active play mode.  With a focus on Charlotte Mason approach of, the child left alone will naturally grow and learn.  At the end of structured learning I will many times introduce an active play game or idea.  Then I will let the kids go off to play and see what comes of it.  The kids will be left to play until Family Evening Time.

Family Evening Time
Evenings are for families.  This is when strong family bonds are created, and wonderful together time is available.  In our evenings we will cook together, eat together, clean together, read together, pray together, and then head off to sleep.

Homemaking - The kids will each take turns helping get dinner ready.  During this time they will learn valuable homemaking skills in a one on one setting.

Family Reading Time - Family reading will begin with family scripture reading, what a wonderful way to use this great book to teach our world view to our children and raise up children unto the Lord.  Afterwards we will read in the family classic of choice.

Family Prayer - Family prayer is a bonding opportunity to come together in love for each other, to be close, to think of others needs, and to count our blessings.  What a great end to a wonderful day, a gift from the Lord.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cute Motivational Thoughts

My sister in law sent me these photos after visiting a school in the area.  They are cute quotes or motivations.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Draft of History Plan

* What is History:  SW p 1
* What is Archaeology:  SW p 3

Premortal life week:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4
Day 5
* FHE/ Flannel Board: Creation Story flannel-board figures
Creation Coloring Page

* Scripture Memorization: Article of Faith #1
* Scripture Reading: Genesis 1

* Scripture Reading: Gen 5: 3-4,
* Story: Story about Adam and Eve
* Scripture Memorization: Article of Faith #2
*Song: Follow The Prophet Music, Follow the Prophet Youtube
Prophets of the Old Testament
Like Adam and Eve

Cain, Able and Seth:

Gen 4:1-2, 8-10, 17-22, 5:9-11,
Scripture story about Adam and His Family
Adam Teaches his Children


Gen 5:9-11

Gen 5:12-14

Gen 5:15-17


Gen 5: 21-24,
Scripture Story about Enoch,
Enoch Story flannel-board figures#1, Enoch Flanel-board figures #2


Gen 5: 22, 25-27


Gen 5:26, 28-31
Cain and his descendants:

Gen 4

Gen 5:32, 9:18, 19, 28, 29,
Scripture story about Noah,
Noah Flannel-Board Figures
Noah Coloring Page


Gen 11:10-11,

Gen 5:32, 9:18-24

Gen 5:32, 10:2

Creation Week

Day 1
Day 1

* Scripture Reading: Genesis 1

How did the Earth flood in Noah's time?

Genesis 7
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

From this short verse we learn the the flood waters came from three sources.

  • fountains of the great deep were broken up (or burst open, see cross reference)
  • windows of heaven were opened
  • rain upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.
What are the fountains of the great deep?

1828 dictionary - Fountain : A spring, or source of water; properly, a spring or issuing of water from the earth.

What are the Windows of Heaven?

1828 dictionary - Window: An aperture; or rather the clouds or water-spouts. - The windows of heaven were opened. Genesis 7.

How much clouds and moisture in the sky would it take to rain for 40 days and nights?

What does the scriptures say about the Dinosaur?


Job 40

15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.

Bible Dictionary
Apparently the intensive plural of behemah, meaning “beast.” A large river animal (possibly the hippopotamus), described in Job 40: 15-24.

1828 Dictionary

BE'HEMOTH, n.]Heb. a beast or brute; from an Arabic vert, which signifies, to shut, to lie hid, to be dumb. In Eth.dumb.]
Authors are divided in opinion as to the animal intended in scripture by this anme; some supposing it to be an ox, others, an elephant; and Bochart labors to prove it the hippopotamus, or river horse. The latter opinion is most probably. [See Hippopotamus.] The original word in Arabic signifies a brute of beast in general, especially a quadruped.


Deuteronomy 32: 33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.

Psalms 74: 13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.

Psalms 91: 13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Bible Dictionary
Dragon - Two Hebrew words are thus rendered though they are sometimes translated whale, serpent, jackal, or sea-monster. Probably a large snake or snakelike animal in Deut. 32: 33; Ps. 74: 13; Ps. 91: 13. A jackal in Job 30: 29; Isa. 13: 22; Isa. 27: 1; Isa. 34: 13; Isa. 35: 7; Isa. 43: 20; Isa. 51: 9; Jer. 9: 11; Jer. 10: 22; Jer. 51: 34; Mal. 1: 3. Used figuratively in Ezek. 29: 3. In the New Testament it is always used figuratively, as in Rev. 12: 3, 7, 9, 13, 16; Rev. 13: 2, 4, 11; Rev. 16: 13; Rev. 20: 2. Cf. Mosiah 20: 11; Alma 43: 44.

1828 Dictionary
DRAGON, n. A genus of animals, the Draco. They have four legs, a cylindrical tail, and membranaceous wings, radiated like the fins of a flying-fish.

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