The Sacred Sprouts Schoolhouse

Archive for the 'Supplements' Category

Spontaneous Hands-On

Yet another of the many reasons I love homeschooling.  Zander and I were reading in his Peoples Around The World book today and came to the section on food and cooking.  He was really fascinated by the different foods eaten- and how they are prepared.  In particular he was really taken aback by the woman from Africa who’s “kitchen” was simply outside of the home.   We read about how they would take millet and pound it to make flour, and then turn that into a porridge for meals.  After we read about the millet, we read about couscous, and it occurred to me that I had both millet and couscous in the house, I should show Zander what they look like.

So we looked and touched, and then I saw my mortar and pestle, and we just had to try making our own millet flour with it.  I dumped about a tablespoon of millet into the mortar, and the kids took turns trying to pound it into flour (because, of course, Abigail was not going to sit aside and watch us have fun with this experiment).

It took more work than they expected.  Honestly, it took more than I expected, and in the process we ended up with millet all over the carpet too.   We finally had something that resembled flour and decided to add water and cook it up into a little cake to sample.  We had to add a little whole wheat flour because Zander dumped in too much water at first, but it worked, and it fried up quickly.

It was not tasty, though the millet definitely added a sweetness to the cake, as well as a nice texture.  I, of course, couldn’t help but begin thinking of a million ways to improve upon the flavor of this cake.  Abigail thought it reminded her of a soft cracker- but it was bland and needed seasoning.  Zander didn’t even finish his small bite, and declared that he couldn’t believe people in the world ate such bland food.

That led into a delightful discussion about what we would actually eat if our choice was to eat something we didn’t care for, or die of starvation.  It was a great life lesson, and I am very happy that we found something fun to wrap up our first school week with.  It’s been a long week for me, and I hope next week will go much better.

posted by Erika in Just For Fun,Supplements and have Comment (1)

Summer School

Do you hear that cartoon villain music in the background?  Yup, that’s me, getting ready for a 13 day summer school session.

We’ve decided not to rush the coming school year and start early- instead, we’re going to do a two-and-a-half week summer school session.  This will just give our brains a little exercise, and it will also give us the perfect time to do some bird observation.

There will be four areas of concentration for summer school.  One will be to resume our daily readings of the New Testament together.  Two will be to work on a bit of math- Abigail will be working fractions, Zander will wrap up a few more units from his Singapore that we never got to last year.  Three will be reading, and Four will be a Science study.  When I was going through their Biology materials, I was delighted to discover that both kids had a bird unit.  What better time to observe birds than right now when they are active and abundant?

These may look vaguely familiar:

I dug out our workboxes from our very first summer school session, and am putting them back to use.  In addition to our school studies, we will continue with our swimming lessons and dance classes, so our days will be full and rich.

I haven’t picked an official new back-to-school date yet.  It will be after I’ve assembled our materials, and I’m really not worried- we have plenty of time.  :)

posted by Erika in Supplements and have Comments Off on Summer School

Sonlight Core 3 Younger Readers

I want to get this down for future reference.  These are the readers I’ve been having Zander read to accompany his older sister through the core.

Week 1            Rain Player by David Wisniewski

Week 2            Mario’s Mayan Journey by Michelle McCunney

Week 3            Christopher Columbus by Stephen Krensky

Week 4            If You Lived With The Iroquois by Ellen Levine

Week 5            Small Wolf by Nathaniel Benchley

Week 6            The True Story of Pocahontas by Lucille Recht Penner

Week 7            A Mare For Young Wolf by Janice Shefelman

Week 8            The First Thanksgiving by  Linda Hayward

Week 9            Squanto And The First Thanksgiving by  Joyce K. Kessel

Week 10          Finding Providence   by    Avi

Week 11          If You Lived In Colonial Times by Ann McGovern & June Otani

Week 12          Ben Franklin’s Big Shock  by Judith Jango-Cohen

Week 13          Ben Franklin And The Magic Squares  by Frank Murphy

Week 14          Sam The Minuteman by  Nathaniel Benchley

Week 15          George The Drummer Boy by Nathaniel Benchley

Week 16          Paul Revere’s Ride  by Shana Corey

Week 17          John Adams Speaks For Freedom by Deborah Hopkinson

Week 18          Abigail Adams: First Lady of The Revolution by Patricia Lakin

Week 19          George Washington and The General’s Dog by Frank Murphy

Week 20          Revolutionary War Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne

Week 21          Revolutionary War Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne

Week 22          The 18 Penny Goose by Sally M. Walker

Week 23          Betsy Ross: The Story of Our Flag by Pamela Chanko

Week 24          Davy Crockett: A Life On The Frontier by Stephen Kransky

Week 25          Johnny Appleseed: An American Who Made A Difference  by     Alyse Sweeney

Week 26          Lewis & Clark: A Prairie Dog For The President  by Shirley Rae Redmond

Week 27          Thomas Jefferson’s Feast by Frank Murphy

Week 28          Thomas Jefferson And The Louisiana Purchase  by  Emily Raabe

Week 29          The Golly Sisters Go West by Betsy Byars

Week 30          The Trail of Tears  by Joseph Bruchac

Week 31          Chang’s Paper Pony by Eleanor Coerr

Week 32          Ten Mile Day: Building of Transcontinental Railroad by Mary Ann Fraser

Week 33          The Josephina Story Quilt by Eleanorr Coerr

Week 34          Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express by Eleanorr Coerr

Week 35          The Long Way To A New Land by Joan Sandin**

Week 36          The Amazing, Impossible Erie Canal by  Cheryl Harness

** Book scheduled in Core 2: Readers 2 Intermediate.  Since this is our first core, I didn’t know that.   Zander will have no problems reading a book twice- but maybe someone else might.  In that case, just replace it with a fun book about discoveries of that era- maybe something about a steamboat would be good.

posted by Erika in Supplements,Uncategorized and have Comments Off on Sonlight Core 3 Younger Readers

Ah, Yes… Forgot About That

Today Zander finished up his math work in record time.  He’s started multiplication- and he gets it big time. He gets it, but I still want to take our time doing it.

One of the reasons is that I don’t want to get into multiplication and division to far before those basic addition and subtraction facts are mastered.  We’re definitely on our way there- we work flashcards every so often, and he gets quicker at them every time.   Last week I changed up his flashcard routine by having him do jumping jacks to tell me the answer.  That was a riot!

But today, as he was doing his subtraction flashcard with me, my mind was wandering, and I was thinking that I really needed to stop by The Learning Shop the next time I was in Appleton and pick up a basic addition and subtraction workbook for him.  My very next thought was – oh, yeah.  I could check online first.

Then I remembered The Learning Page.  I used this way back when Abigail was in kindergarten- our purpose then was to improve her handwriting.   I’ve used in on and off for both kids since then, but hooray- it’s exactly what I was looking for- and then some.

I can use it to print off basic math facts worksheets in fun themes.  By having Zander doing his math facts on paper instead of orally every day, he is also working on his handwriting- so I get a double accomplishment from one sheet.

As I was printing off some of the math sheets, I wandered over to the language section and struck gold.  See, Zander hasn’t been doing much actual language arts.  No one makes curriculum for a kindergartner that doesn’t include phonics.  He doesn’t need phonics- he reads at a 3.7 grade level he doesn’t need to learn about blending letters together and the sounds they make.  Since we do reading together and handwriting, that really has been adequate to meet our LA needs for him since he finished up his workbooks several months ago.  But I’ve been wishing that I could find something a little more for him- without having to pick up formal first grade material.

The Learning Page to the rescue!   I printed off a handful of sheets about vowels and consonants, and some comprehension worksheets, and in the days ahead he’ll be doing some language arts.  He may very well exhaust everything the Learning Page has to offer- but I’m more than okay with that.  All it costs me is the price of ink and paper- which I have in abundance right now.

So I just thought I’d share this valuable resource for anyone with littles to homeschool.  I love the themed worksheets that The Learning Page puts out.  And since it’s free to join- it’s a win-win situation.

posted by Erika in Supplements and have Comments Off on Ah, Yes… Forgot About That

Enjoying Evan-Moor Supplementals

One of the things that I am so glad that Sonlight is not is an artsy-crafty kind of curriculum.  Oh, I am sooooo glad it’s not that.  I am not an artsy-crafty kind of person myself, and to have to assemble all these projects and activities- it makes me shudder just to think of it.   I wouldn’t mind a little bit of craft stuff, but a whole bunch is not my cup of tea.  Nor is it my kids cup of tea.  They always seem excited to start a craft project, but then about 1/3 of the way in, they’re tired of doing it.  I can’t tell you how many craft projects we’ve never finished, or how many unopened packages of craft projects we have…

Anyway, one of the things that I found highly recommend by other Sonlighters was using History Pockets to go with our core.  When I looked up what these History Pockets were, and saw that they were some kind of craft book, I quickly discarded the idea, thinking it was simply crafts.  While I was at our favorite school supply store though, I found these History Pockets and gave them a flip through, and decided they might not be so bad after all.

evan moor

There are many themes of History Pockets- we have three, and our current one is on Native Americas.  How they work is this:  Basically, one book is used to make your own little book of pockets.  Each pocket is devoted to one particular subject, and then things pertaining to that subject are tucked in the pocket.  For example, our Native American History Pockets are just under way.  Our first main pocket holds our master map and our picture dictionaries for the rest of our book.  Our second pocket, which we’re working on right now is for the Inuit of Alaska. This pocket holds a small booklet on the Inuit, a little fishing craft project, and a short story about Inuit -written on igloo-shaped paper.  Once we’re finished with the whole book we will have a total of nine pockets- each one devoted to a different region and tribe of Native Americans.

The kids are really enjoying assembling their first book.  There is a little more coloring than Zander would like, but he seems to be managing okay so far.  The History Pockets come in age ranges, and the Native American one is a grade 1-3 age range- so it’s a little beyond Zander, and a little below Abigail.  Still, they both seem to be enjoying working on it, and I like how it’s helping reinforce what we are learning about Native Americans.  I also have the Colonial American and Life in Plymouth Colony books to work through this year, and I’ll be picking up the North American Explorers for Abigail to do on her own the second half of the school year.  The 4-6 grade books have much more detail to the work, and is definitely for the more patient- I think Abigail is going to love the ones I’ll have her do.

As it turns out, there is more to Evan Moor than these History Pockets!  I also picked up a book called Exploring Space: Scienceworks for Kids Series which is for grades 1-3 and is tying in perfectly with our Astronomy.  The paper crafts in the Evan Moor books are lining up perfectly with our Astronomy study and are really reinforcing what we’re learning.   This coming week we will be learning more about the sun, and what do you know? There are activities and a mini book about the sun in this book.

Looking on the Evan Moor website, there are dozens of their supplementals that I would love to give a whirl.  I am really happy with the quality that they have shown in the two types of products that I have- and would also love to see them expand further.

I should mention one thing about all of these products- a photocopier is an absolute necessity for using them.  In fact, everything needs to be photocopied in order to use it- there are pages that you need multiples of, so you couldn’t simply purchase a book for each child and have them cut out of it.  If you don’t have a copier, I would think twice about them, as purchasing copies could get pricey.  If you’re interested in any of these things that I mentioned today- thus far, the best price I’ve found on them is with Amazon- and they’re usually in stock.

Once we’ve finished a set of History Pockets, I’ll be sure and have the kids model them for you so you can see how cool they are- but it may take a while, as we’re not progressing on them very quickly.

posted by Erika in Supplements and have Comments Off on Enjoying Evan-Moor Supplementals