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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Weekly Report 1

First five lessons in Explorer's Bible Study, Beginnings II Jesus, My Shepherd.
Topic: God In the Beginning
Scripture memorized: Jesus was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him. John 1:2-3

Weather Journal: July moon phases and completed About Me section.
This is from My Calendar Book by Christian Light Publications, I bought it from
It is a weather/calendar journal for 12 months and it was $2.95.

Horizons Math- first four lessons were review, completed week 1 of Daily Mental Math on Friday.

Five books Camille read independently this week: Patrick at the Krusty Krab (part of our English/french readers), The Bedtime Rhyme, Skeletons! Skeletons! All About Bones, Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas and Captain and Matey Set Sail

Our Danny. No other words.


Monday, July 30, 2007

SOTW and Tapestry of Grace

Goal: Finish the first four year history cycle ready to tackle TOG Redesign Year 1 in 5th grade.
We are making a transition from using SOTW to Tapestry of Grace Redesign curriculum in 3rd grade (SOTW 3).

SOTW 1 = TOG Year 1: Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Unit 4


SOTW 2 = TOG Year 2 : Unit 1, Unit 2


SOTW 3 = TOG Year 2: Unit 3, Unit 4 and TOG Year 3: Unit 1, Unit 2


SOTW 4 = TOG Year 3: Unit 3, Unit 4 and TOG Year 4: Units 1-4

1. Keep this year, and our tailored lessons the same. Find areas to shorten/combine within Year 2. And deal with the overflow of lessons later.
Areas to try:
- Colonial America, Unit 3 (Weeks 22-25)
- The American Revolutionary War, Unit 4 (Wks 32-34) shorten to two

2. Shorten our lessons for SOTW 2, in order to cover TOG Year 2, Units 3 & 4 and possibly keep studying through summer 2008 to start TOG Year 3 in our third year (and on schedule).
!Problem!- TOG Year 3 Redesign may not be ready when we’re ready for it which is complicated by our mid-July start date. If we wait until mid-August that “may” help but it will shift our time off in the summer as well. Something to think about.

3. Cut/combine from Year 4, possibly even allow SOTW 4 to “lead” the studies/topics.
I will have one year experience of using TOG under my belt so I should be able to utilize TOG in a manner that will make this possible.

Any advice? What would you do?

UPDATE: This is a non-issue now, we are in 3rd grade and on track with TOG Year 3. We have dropped SOTW completely which has worked out beautifully as we are enjoying TOG's books much more than SOTW. This is not to say that SOTW is not a fabulous program on its own, it just wasn't what fit for us.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Week 1 - Good things.

This past week (our first week of 2nd grade) has it's challenges which I'll share more about later with photos of Camille's work. I want to share the "good" stuff.

Explorer's Bible Study Beginnings II: Jesus, My Shepherd
I actually wondered if this was too simple for 2nd grade but using it has been perfect for us. The lesson in itself is shrt and to the point and we're able to discuss how to apply the scripture to our lives and the meaning behind the lesson. I'm so grateful I didn't complicate things further with this. Camille is able to read the lesson and answer the questions on her own but it's just so much better to do it together.

Horizons Math and Daily Mental Math (Grade 2)
Purchasing the separate worksheets for Horizons and combining them with the workbook pages is working perfectly. We're doing Horizons Monday- Thursday and Daily Mental Math on Friday (one worksheet). Daily Mental Math is exactly what I wanted for different thinking skills and a review of more than just the concepts Horizons is covering. For example, one of the problems is to figure out how many thumbs will fit across the page, hands, and the funny part came when it asked- "How many times will your nose fit across the page?" These are thinking skills that Camille has been missing from Horizons. I think Horizons is a great program on its own but I'm glad I spent an extra $3.75 for Daily Mental Math.

Camille read five books this week, which I'll share more about later.

Nobility Record
We have a few hiccups with this, I've modified it twice so far but Camille earned 47 points this week. I might change the reward system a little because I'm finding that I may have put too much on her. I'm in prayer over this.

Monday I'll post pictures and explain more.
: ) Jessica


Friday, July 27, 2007

A Curriculum Fair

I went to my very first Curriculum Fair last night, it was with a friend's homeschool group and it was fabulous. It was small but we had Sonlight, Usborne, Math-U-See, a Doorposts representative and a good mix of local vendors. My friend wanted me there to share our "classical" homeschool, so I had a table too. Five times during the three hours I was asked if I was selling our homeschool products, one woman thought I was a representative from Peace Hill Press (creators/publishers of The Well-Trained Mind, The Story of the World, etc.)

I took all of the books that help me for homeschool, and what we're using right now. The major hits of the night were US Geography notebooking pages and Themes to Remember from I was so overwhelmed that when a fellow homeschooler asked me what the trivium was, I drew a blank. A complete blank. A complete blank about something that I could probably say in my sleep.

I brought Tapestry of Grace's Year 2 Redesign Unit 1 and I expected that to be a hit but it wasn't. I realized I need to become more familiar with TOG before I can truly share it. Click here to download the Free 3 week sample of TOG Yr 1 Redesign, print it out and live with it for a while, it really is the best way to decide for yourself. I also recommend getting the Teaching With Tapestry seminar and Multi-Pack which has a brochure, DVD and more information

I took my camera but forgot to take any pictures. Sigh.

It was a lot of fun, I didn't get to meet half the people I wish I had to time to talk to- but I did see a lot of products! I forgot to give one woman contact information about French programs and I forgot to purchase French For Children from her...oh well. Do you believe I didn't buy a SINGLE thing? I walked and saw all that was for sale and just knew I would be in trouble. I left without spending a dime. I don't know if I'm ready to attend a HUGE curriculum fair but this one was a lot of fun. Kudos to the homeschool group for organizing it!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Homeschooling with 3 Year Old

This is really just a sampling of what Danny has to keep occupied with at his tender age of 3 years. We have magnetic letters and numbers, dry erase boards, wooden blocks, big block legos, Zoob building thingys, coloring books, bubbles, puzzles, etc. Does he like to use them? Not unless Camille or I are right there with him. Play-Doh is fairly independent but he doesn't really know what to do with it unless someone is right there.

He plays with his cars, trucks and trains but it's never at the time I need it to be, know what I mean? Last year I worked around his nap schedule but this year I want our lessons to be done by lunch. He naps after lunch. I don't want our lessons to last all day like they did last year. So I need to keep Danny busy while we are doing our lessons and he's not at the point he can do any time of seatwork other than scribble drawing and playing with Play-doh.

These are items we are considering for ds3 that will be "lesson" toys only or at least that's the plan. I'm going to create Preschool Baggies which are very cost-effective, but it takes time so this will be a work in progress. At first I'll use Dolly M's Preschool Baggie ideas, and then branch off from there once I get the hang of it. I've been told there are numerous ideas online, I hope so because I just don't know if I have enough brain cells left to create one on my own!

I've also gone shopping for items I feel will be a great addition to the "keep Danny busy having fun & learning" arsenal, here's what we're considering.

The Leap Frong Learning DVDs: Letter Factory, Talking Words Factory, Talking Words Factory II and Math Circus. These DVDs have been highly recommended for preschool by so many homeschoolers they are hard to ignore!

A View-Master! Remember these? The View master is $5.00 and the inserts are $4.00 each at Amazon, it's worth a try! I like that I can use these as a learning tool as well as keep him clicking away.

Sequencing Puzzles, Galt's What's Next Puzzles, there are 10 puzzles in this and the puzzle pieces are self-correcting. Danny already has a similar puzzle experience like this with the Foreign Word Match puzzle in the main picture above. We will probably use a lot of Galt products for preschool and kindergarten.

Perfect for table-top play, this airport will be for learning time only. The combination of airplane, cargo truck, fuel truck and passenger car are just too hard to resist for my transportation obsessed preschooler! I also want to get a play farm set, maybe for Christmas.

I LOVE these bean bags, there are also alphabet bean bags available. I love the bag they come in, and the millions of uses I can dream up! We have an indoor basketball hoop for Danny which can be used with this and in combination of buckets we can play word, number, color, shape and even french games with these!

Ring Toss, this can be played inside or out and even mom can throw a ring or two while reading aloud. Gee, I wonder why moms are the super heroes of multi-tasking? Lol. The rings can serve dual purpose and be goals for a bean bag toss. The points on this one can be tallied by Camille to see who wins the game.

This is a sequencing game as well by Melissa & Doug. It may require help until he's ready to do it on his own. These beads can also be used with shoestrings to create even more activities or be used on their own for a sorting activity, shape identification and color identification.

This is all I want to purchase in the next six months to help me with Danny. I will be creating our own little preschool baggies and working on getting Danny into his own little schedule. Other than learning DVDs, there will be no tv- this is a pitfall for us.

When Camille was Danny's age she was in daycare because I worked, so Danny is a little learning experience for me in all areas which I have to constantly be aware of my own failings and be consistent with him. Everyday is filled with so many overwhelming challenges and blessings in addition to LIFE! Lol, I believe being a stay-at-home mom/homeschooler is one of the most demanding, challenging and sometimes draining jobs a person can undertake but the blessings of "being there" and seeing firsthand the small and large victories just fills my heart with joy.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Year at a Glance

I contemplated doing this because I don't necessarily want to make our year so rigid that we have to stick to this schedule but Jennefer showed hers at her blog and I saw how this can be a tool instead of a noose.

I didn't include memory work or french because our lessons are incremental. The ideal is to be done at 40 weeks, which means I'll have to combine history weeks and be vigilant about our math lessons. This will help us keep the end in mind. Thank you Jennefer!


Monday, July 23, 2007

He Makes My Heart Sing

Our Danny rode his bike without help today! Camille has been giving him a little push while he's been learning to pedal and tonight he just took OFF! He was zooming around our deck, smiling proudly as he passed. He just makes my heart sing. He just turned 3 years old in May and he's riding a bike. Someone tell me whether this is normal or not, I've been struggling lately with others insecurities whether or not he's on track developmentally. I'd really like to hear that this above-average developmentally, that way I can stop absorbing others' fears about it.

He is such a fun, adventurous little boy. Sweet, sweet, sweet too. I'm so proud of him and so blessed to be able to care for him!


First Day of 2nd Grade

July 23, 2007

It has been a good day with Camille today. We discussed our house rules again and the scriptures they are based on. We read True Nobility by Edgar Guest (poem) and spent time discussing what the poem means, including looking up the words noble, nobility, task, toil and debt. This took some time, around 30 minutes but that's okay we weren't concerned with a schedule today.

We discussed in-depth her Nobility Record, her responsibilities and rewards for a job well done. We then talked about her Daily Folder and how that works. She loves it! I spent time showing her how it works and answering her questions. Danny on the other hand was very temperamental this morning, he didn't like that Mama and sissy were sitting together talking, he wanted me to go somewhere with him or he wanted something every 2 minutes. We have some new behavior issues with Danny that are being worked on, getting into our new routine will help.

Bible: We reviewed the scriptures we memorized in first grade and did our first lesson of Beginnings II: Jesus, My Shepherd. This was so easy!

Math: Camille recited her addition math facts without a problem and go to work on her worksheets. The work is review so this was completed quickly and painlessly.

Independent Reading: We discussed what constitutes as an easy book, our goals for moving towards reading longer chapter books and how we're going to accomplish that. We also talked about her Reading Log and how she's to move it in her Daily Folder each day after she reads 1-2 books.

First Language Lessons: I decided to start back at Lesson 80 and review up to Lesson 100 before moving on to Level 2, Mr. Nobody was our longest poem to memorize last year and the last two stanzas need work.

Read-Aloud: This week I'm re-reading SOTW 1 from Jesus' birth as a recap, I feel this will help us when we start our history lessons and church history. We are still reading Burgess' Bird Book for Children at night, we haven't been consistent with reading every night which is why we're not done with it yet.

Piano: Practice for 15 minutes, check over the book work from the week. Lesson at 3:30 pm.

I've requested Before Five In A Row from the library, so I will be looking to see if it will be a good fit for us for Danny. I'm working on mini-activities for Danny to keep him busy while Camille does her work. The most stressful time is when I need to read to Camille or teach from the dry erase board. Figuring out how to balance Danny is going to be a task this year, I'll be grateful when he's ready to start his own work instead of creating more work for me in the house, lol.

All the things I've mentioned in this post are linked to on the righthand column under Trivium Academy.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

I'm Rerun from Peanuts

Which Peanuts Character are You?

You are Rerun!
Take this quiz!


How We Memorize

Our scripture verses
We use Explorer's Bible Study which I like because it is on grade level and utlizes all the features I want in a Bible study. Here's a model of what we do.

1 John 4:19 We love Him, because He first loved us.

I write this on our dry erase board because Camille is a visual learner, it stays written on the board until the end of the week. She is to say the verse 3 times daily like this.

1 John 4:19 We love Him, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

If she makes a mistake, she keeps saying it until she can speak clearly and without stumbling. She often corrects herself and says that she has to say it again since she stumbled over a word.

Now for the longer pieces, copywork has proven beneficial. When she learned The Lord's Prayer, I wrote it on big on a flipchart pad and we read it outloud every day and she did copywork two lines at a time.

  1. Our Father, which art in Heaven,
  2. Hallowed be thy Name.
  1. Thy Kingdom come.
  2. Thy will be done,
  1. in earth as it is in Heaven.
  2. Give us this day our daily bread.
  1. And forgive us our trespasses,
  2. As we forgive them that trespass against us.
  1. And lead us not into temptation;
  2. But deliver us from evil.
  1. For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory,
  2. For ever and ever. Amen.

Say the entire selection, then focus on the new material two lines at a time, repeat the new material 3x without stumbling and then repeat the entire selection. Each day, daily- no fuss, no muss. Use copywork, allow your child to illustrate the selection, act it out, anything that will help them.

Copywork worked best for us, we also tackled the Apostles' Creed, the hymns Gloria Patri and Praise God From All Blessings Flow in this manner. I used the cd My First Hymnal to help with the hymns. We sing these songs every Sunday in church, so we had that as reinforcement too. I have her say The Lord's Prayer at mealtimes instead of the short sing-song prayers most elementary students say as well. The only difficulty we have is that she tends to rush through it, I tell her she's talking to God and needs to slow down.

I will say this about scripture memorization, I don't believe just memorizing the scriptures really helps the child. Talking about what the scripture means, allowing it to become an active part of a child's life, that is what solidifies God's word in a child's life. Memorizing for memorization sake is empty without meaning, quality over quantity in this case. I have a goal of 34 scriptures a year to memorize but if we only internalize 5-10 scriptures a year- I'm THRILLED! Our goal is to internalize the scriptures the amount each child can successfully do that ranges from child to child.

Poetry memorization
For first grade, A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson is really all you need for age-appropriate poems to memorize. We used First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise and A Child's Garden of Verses.

We have taken a few different approaches with poetry.
  • Poetry copybook where the poem is typed and then divided by two lines with handwriting lines.
  • Required the poem to be copywork in its' entirety then use the poem as copywork two lines at a time.
  • Read the poem typed and illustrate what it means, learning the poem two lines at a time.
  • Listen to the poem 3x and recite back what is remembered.
What has worked best for us is that I type the poem out in its' entirety, reading the poem aloud and sometimes acting it out then have Camille recite the first two lines 3x, then repeating the entire poem to end. If I have the poem in audio, I will play it before I recite it fully and then use the audio in our review of memorized poems.

Again, internalizing the poem is what solidifies it, even with a kindergartner you can do a quick study of the poem.

  • What is the poem about?
  • What is happening in the poem?
  • What is the poet trying to tell the person reading the poem?
  • Is there any change that happens in the poem?
  • How does the poem make you feel?
  • What are the rhyming words in the poem?
  • How would you describe this poem?
  • What do you like about the poem?
  • What do you dislike about the poem?
  • Why are we memorizing this poem?
  • Are there any new words in the poem? What do they mean?
Again, I believe quality is better than quantity. A child has opinions, feelings, thoughts and even though they may not be on the same level or of the same experience as an adult, they want to be heard. I believe this is key to reaching your child's heart and maximizing the learning experience which will make an impact on a child.

In The Well-Trained Mind it is suggested to memorize history, math and science facts. I believe this a great tool for building pegs but again it has to built from a source of knowledge. In each grade, it is the teacher's decision what is important to memorize, I don't agree that memorizing a list of kings and rulers is vital. I see more value in memorizing key events and persons in the timeline of history. For this we use Veritas Press' History Cards and cds. The cards display a work of art (sculpture, painting, etc) of the time period and the cds "sing" through history verbalizing in song (rhyme and rhythm) the key points of a time period. It is quick and painless to do each day you study history and is portable! Of course, this is just our approach, you may find one that fits best for you.

In math, daily recitation of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts help but there also needs to be practice of these math facts, possibly even with manipulatives to solidify the knowledge. Why does 2 + 3= 5? Showing a child ∆∆ + ∆∆∆ = ∆∆∆∆∆ may help! I don't have an opinion about putting math facts to song or even learning them through a poem, whatever helps is good.

In science, use the very basis of what you're studying for memorization (again with explanation about the whys). In kindergarten memorize the colors of the rainbow, the seasons of the year, etc. but draw from what you are teaching by interacting with your child.

Facts are cold, lifeless words. It is up to the teacher to bring them to life, show your child their importance and their value. Keep the challenge of memorization growing as your child gains ground, increase the length of poems, the depth of basic facts (for example: Seasons of the year, then memorize which months traditionally fall into which seasons) and all the while share the beauty of the world and the knowledge of it.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Handwriting & Copywork

The subject of handwriting is a little tricky for us, because we are studying french. We have been using Classically Cursive from Veritas Press but french script is found in french children's books frequently. In fact we have a few books that are like this. French script has a little more curve than D'Nealian Script (aka Modern Cursive). Camille has been doing well with Classically Cursive and just needs more practice to move away from using a cursive practice book and just writing cursive within her copywork (which First Language Lessons contains), which is the goal for her cursive handwriting.

Spelling Workout C has cursive and print until lesson 19 where it becomes completely cursive. My goal is to help her become cursively fluent by lesson 19. Three goals for handwriting: be able to read french script, become cursively fluent, and move cursive writing into our copywork without the need of a separate handwriting book. (whew!)

I just cannot decide if we should wait on the french script until she does well with the D'Nealian script or do them simultaneously. I guess we'll try it together at first and separate them if there is a problem. I like the french instruction books better anyways! I think the grid (in the other book, inside pages not pictured) and the step by step instruction will definitely help! UPDATE: I'm saving the French script books for when she wants to experiment later on her own with her handwriting.

We will have copywork 3x a week: in grammar with First Language Lessons or from our independent reading, in our history studies and in our science studies. Handwriting and copywork will be done until cursive handwriting can be done in our copywork, and will serve as a motivation to do well in handwriting in order to lighten the load. UPDATE: In our 6th week of 2nd grade, Camille transitioned to doing cursive copywork which has eliminated the need for handwriting being separate. It is going well.

Yes, I am a mean mommy at times.


Almost Back to Normal...

If I ever was normal!

I did not expect to be under construction but since Danny (3yo) decided he wanted to type on my open blog template, the blog has to be reconstructed. Oh fun. I can't find my backup file either.

Update: 99% has been fixed/replaced whatever you call it. Now I need to SAVE my template in a folder marked: Blog Backup!


Friday, July 20, 2007

Helpful Q&A

Dear Jessica,

I was just looking over your blog this morning. I’m so glad you posted the t-shirt link for personalized t-shirts. And they are not much more than the regular homeschool t-shirts you buy.

I was wondering… post a 2nd grade nobility record……is 1st grade any different?

The Nobility Record is a new brain-child, this can be used for any grade though. Just put what skills/behaviors you want your child to work on. In fact, for use we could have used the same form with the exception of the music area.

Also, after their work is done each day do you file it or put it in a 3 ring binder?
Once a week I'll put the week's work in the daily folders and once a week I'll take them out and put them back in the 3-ring binders. This way I can see the whole week and address anything that needs my attention. I will be looking at the work daily too but I really want to identify any problems before they get away from me. I just want to be more aware this year.

Copywork……do you do it every day in both history and science? I’m the one with the little 1st grade guy.

We have copywork 3x times a week on different days, in first grade it was daily and I used it as handwriting practice but this year it will be more directed towards character, history and science. It really depends on your child's handwriting skills and needs.

Narration……..For 1st grade did you have him tell you and then draw a picture? How often did you do narration?

Narrations were a struggle for us until I realized dd was a visual learner. I read from SOTW while she colors a coloring page or a narration page from History Scribe. She retains the reading better this way. We did narrations every time we read in history but only SOTW, the supplement readings we just talked about it. At the beginning I just had her tell me about the picture she drew, and for a while I modeled a narration for her. It's still a struggle but it is working. I think part of the problem is that she didn't know how to think about what we were reading, or how to form her thoughts into complete sentences. It improves with age.

I followed your suggestion on Leading Little Ones to God, Right Choices etc. and I love these books. Oh, also the Beginners 1 Explorers book. They are awesome.

Good Luck on the start of your new school year!


That's wonderful Amber, not about my suggestions but that you found something that works for your family. I think that is what matters most, what will work for you! : ) Have a fun, enriching year!


What is Copywork?

Links and Resources for Copywork

What Is Copywork?
Copywork Products
Free Copywork Resources
Of course, I have copywork linked on the righthand column for SOTW 2 and Earth/Space science. You can also click the "copywork" label and see more posts about copywork.


Mary Poppins Does Not Sing!

In an effort to regain my pleasure for reading, I picked up Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers from my children's bookshelves. I adore this movie and it have been mesmerized by it since childhood. "A spoonful of sugar..." and the other songs of the movie/play/musical do not exist in the books. Mary Poppins herself does not sing! She isn't even a very delightful person, the Mary Poppins in the book is not Julie Andrews. However, there is delight to be had in reading Mary Poppins and the other Mary Poppins books, there is just not one single, solitary literature study guide for the books. Why!?! Some things are just frustrating, aggravating...and senseless! Okay, back to the regular scheduled programming.


Sharing Blessings & Making Lists

Life sure does get busy quickly! We start our lessons on Monday (7/23), I have a dentist appointment on (7/26) and a 3 hour Curriculum Fair/Share thing with a friend's homeschool group. I'm taking all of my stuff to show others, newbies and veterans. It's a little overwhelming all that I'm going to take but it'll give other homeschoolers a chance to see things that they have never seen before and may not have the opportunity to research things because they don't have internet.

Other than ALL of our 2nd grade curriculum and Tapestry of Grace Redesign Year 1 I'm taking:

  • 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum
  • Educating the WholeHearted Child
  • All Through the Ages
  • The Well-Trained Mind
  • Charlotte Mason Companion
  • Teaching the Trivium
  • The Book of Virtues
  • The Harp and Laurel Wreath
  • MrsCleanJeans' Housekeeping with Kids
  • Composition in the Classical Tradition
  • The History Lives Chronicles series (Peace and Peril, Monks and Mystics, etc.)
  • Trial and Triumph
  • Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student
All of our notebooks, our housecleaning schedule, our homeschool schedule, our house rules, etc. I didn't realize how complicated we are until I tried to gather up "Trivium Academy" to share. Here on the blog, it's developed incrementally so I don't notice how intricately complicated we are. My dh doesn't think we're complicated at all but he doesn't have to explain what classical education is and talk about what we do in the same night either. Lol! I just pray that it blesses others, someone sharing like what I'm about to do- it would have blessed me so much in the beginning! I take that back, I might not have been ready for it at that time and I did/still do have wonderful influences!

Oh, and I have to start a list of what to take for our Road Trip to Maine via Ohio. (Ahhh!) I think I'll get through next week first and then starting focusing on Maine.

Have a blessed day!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Journey Through the States

We are going to study the U.S. states, learn their capitals, geography and have fun from now (the beginning of 2nd grade) until we're done which I hope is 4th grade. We have everything we need at home to accomplish this, which is a key factor in being able to make it informal.

Pictured: 35 Best Books for Teaching U.S. Regions (will be used more in 3rd/4th grade); Dover Publications' State Bird and Flowers Coloring Book; ABeka's My State Notebook; The Story of America The First 500 Years (poems); Scott Foresman Student Atlas; States Activities Book and Our Fifty States by Miers

Our Fifty States by Miers is an old book with gorgeous old maps and a narrative stories about each state's history. We will read this (editing where necessary) and then proceed to study about each state using's US Geography pages.

Our Fifty States by National Geographic is another gorgeous and well-done book.

These are the HoldThatThought US Geography pages, there are six to be completed for each state. It is the most comprehensive US Geography notebooking pages I could find for the best price.

While we learn about each state we will memorize the states capitals, we are also studying states by region. We have games like Great States Junior and others to help make this fun. We will check out books from the library as we'd like to read more, I would particularly like to read the folktales from each state as we study them.
The goal is to be familiar with our own country when we approach our U.S. studies in our world history studies.
I collected all of these books through Goodwill, library sales and BookMooch. I think the total amount of money invested is between $8-$12.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm Ready for Second Grade!

Psst. Let me tell you a secret, the t-shirt with the house on it? There's 3 of them that will be delivered by Friday! On Monday, I'm going to give Camille her shirt when I tell her to get dressed. I can't wait! She thinks we aren't able to get the shirts yet, so it'll be a wonderful surprise for her.

I have her weekly folder set up, all ready to go. I have my weekly schedule ready. I'm ready!!!
Our Phase into 2nd grade plan is ready and being implemented. Operation 2nd Grade is a GO!

Monday's folder contents: House Rules/Scriptures, Nobility Record (update: laminated), Reading Log, Bible work, Math

lundi, mardi, mercredi, jeudi, vendredi
She'll have no choice but to learn the french words of the week!
Update: I added an Everyday folder to hold our Weather Journal and Reading Log.

What I have to do each week to be ready:
c Create/print weekly lesson plan (excel)
c Print Nobility Record for the week I laminated it!
c Copy 5 lessons from Jesus, My Shepherd
c Pull Weekly Reading Log from Language Arts binder
c Fill daily folders
c Pre-read history and supplement books
c Find poetry to fit our studies
c Prepare materials for projects
c Pray, because no matter how well prepared I am, if God isn't involved, it's just not worth doing.

I'm ready, I'm ready! Exhale!

UPDATE 2/2008: This system has worked wonderfully for us, eliminating huge notebooks on a daily basis has kept both Camille and I on task and focused. I am considering making Quarterly bound notebooks but my only concern is that if it is bound already, we won't be able to add any rabbit trails.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Our School T-Shirt?

How fun! Camille has decided she wants a school t-shirt and I don't see any harm in it whatsoever. So we went to to create our own and this is what we came up with. I'm not 100% sure this will be the final shirt though. I want "Rising to Nobility" and "Trivium Academy" on it but the artwork isn't my favorite. I love a compass, this one is just too ornate, especially if I got Danny a t-shirt. I need to play with this some more I think. If you decide to create one (just for fun or to buy), let me know so I can come see it!

Here's our FINAL DESIGN! I love it, Dh loves it and I know the kids will too.

Just another day...


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Preschool Thoughts

Danny just turned 3 in May and there's been some concern in our household whether he needs to start preschool. Personally, I feel one more year of freedom and being able to naturally develop would be the best thing for him and if he expresses interest in doing something, we'll do it.

We will be posting our Weekly Report based on what Camille is working on, this really encouraged her to do her best in her work so that we could take pictures of it. Danny will be included in this from now on, even it's a picture of a scribble drawing because he does a lot.

I do plan to start a structured type of preschool when he turns 4 and I will be spending this next year figuring out what to use. My ideas right now are to use picture books like Five in A Row and preschool workbooks that crowd my shelf while I am keeping them for him. Until then I see days filled with playdoh, paint, singing songs, and play. I will write a post about all that is available for him next, I need time to take pictures and read a few preschool activity books I have. I will be more intentional with him this year but without pressure. If it's not fun for him, I prefer not to do anything until he's ready.

I can't wait until he tells me, "Mommy, I want to do sckool too".


Friday, July 13, 2007

She is 7!

Happy Birthday Camille!
It is such a honor and pleasure to be your mother to wipe your tears, share your laughter, celebrate your victories and comfort the hurts. I am so proud of you and I cherish every moment we have.
Love, Mama


Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Wednesday in July

This is a beautiful vase Camille drew for me and it is sitting on the railing of our deck, the vase not the picture. She drew this with watercolor crayons.

Danny and Camille are matching up english and french words with their corresponding picture. I wish I could add sound so you could hear Danny say "le train" and "la pomme"! He's a little mimic right now, which is perfect for learning new words, especially with pictures to identify them with.

This kept them busy for about 20 minutes but Camille was very proud when she matched them all up!