Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Bucket List

We school year round so we can take a lot of time off from school during the fall and spring when the weather is much more tolerable. Now that it's hotter outside, we have a few subjects remaining, but should be done by noon every day. We'll have plenty of time to scratch some things off of our summer bucket list. Here's what we came up with.

  1. Go swimming a couple of times a week
  2. Sleepovers with the cousins
  3. Try out every board game we have at least once. We started with Ticked to Ride and they loved it!
  4. Family movie night using this list.
  5. Watch some nature documentaries
  6. Build something giant out of Lego
  7. Build a fairy garden
  8. Use up some of our kits I'be sitting on forever. We have a crystal growing kit, a robotic arm, Snap Circuits, and a bunch of Magic School Bus science kits they always enjoy.
  9. Make some no-bake pies
  10. Make ice cream in a baggie
  11. Read.
  12. Bowling

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sequential Spelling....I Finally Settled on a Spelling Curriculum!!

Sequential Spelling (SS) - I have been shopping around for a spelling curriculum that works for both of my soon-to-be 3rd graders. I wanted to love All About Spelling after hearing so many good reviews, but it just wasn't for us. Sequential Spelling is a super efficient program that has helped both of my kids with spelling, handwriting and decoding larger words all without taking a ton of time. We are on Day 31 and so far, it's a keeper!

JJ needs to work on spelling as well as reading larger words. This looks like it will help him practice seeing where he needs to break words into parts. It's also good handwriting practice for him.

Sequential Spelling is also a good fit for my terrified-of-making-mistakes girl. She definitely had a period of adjustment where she would melt down because of a mistake. The part of the program that I love is that the kids get to correct their own spelling immediately which takes a ton of pressure off. She's finally able to relax and focus not just on spelling, but on making her handwriting pretty.

I bought the original AVKO versions (Homeschool Edition) through Rainbow Resource. The only thing you need is the book. The student response books are optional. I just Pro-Clicked some writing paper for them.  

As you can see, the Homeschool (AVKO original) version is just lists. Each section works on a few word families. As you progress through the week, additional words are given that build on the root words. The Day focuses on one suffix with homophones and even includes a few contractions. Having just finished Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and adding in Explode the Code 4.5 and up, we are familiar enough with the phonics rules to understand and explain the rules...or at least be reminded of them. ;) 

Note: If you see the Revised Version, the Teacher's Book has the same lists along with activities such as word searches, making them more like a workbook. I'm perfectly happy just using the lists. 

For more reviews, check out Pioneer Woman's homeschool blog and this one from Modern Homeschool.  Here's the full 8 lesson sample where they start with spelling in and be and by day 5 they are spelling beginning

Thursday, April 17, 2014


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