Friday, August 6, 2010

Mama Inspiration

I've been reading (and re-reading) educational philosophy again as we start our first official year of home education. Not a lot has changed for me this year. I find myself nodding in all the same places but I'm leaning even more decidedly toward Charlotte Mason's methods for my boys.

On my Mama Home Education Inspiration reading list right now:

Laying Down the Rails

Jen's Considering Language Arts series

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Handmade Hopes

Mama-made things are important around here. My boys love wearing their mama-made clothes and using other mama-made things. They're so used to me sewing and knitting for them that they've started to put in special orders.

Sometimes special orders that are impossible to fill (Ender: "Can you make me an elephant that fills my whole room?), but I do what I can.

It's especially important to me that they receive handmade gifts from us at Christmas. I love to make things for them, I love that it is something special and unique just for them. I love that they know and appreciate the time and work that goes into their gifts. And most of all, I feel like it's putting forward to them the very idea behind this holiday: it's not about the gift, it's about the heart and the love behind it.

This year I'm getting to work on Christmas things early so that I have a chance of finishing 75% of what I want to finish.

Ender and Ezra: (the boys like to match, so they're receiving a few handmade things that are the same item but in their own favorite colors or styles)

1. A sweater or vest (at their request- they've put in very specific requests! probably going to use Elizabeth Zimmermann's EPS to build these, but I'm still thinking that through.)
2. knitted slippers
3. new pajamas for Christmas Eve
4. Drawstring bag (for treasures)

Brother-in-law T
A Transformers Hat [rav link]

Summit (scarf size) [rav link]

Also, a super-secret project for the husband that I can't mention here. You'll see pics after Christmas I'm sure!

I still have the annual mittens/scarves/hats to make for our family too, so I have to fit that in around the Christmas knitting and sewing. This is why that 75% mentioned above is a very lofty goal.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Space Unit

Our first Kindergarten unit has been a little introduction to astronomy and also an introduction to a little more formal work. It's very important to me to keep learning simple and age-appropriate, but I wanted to add in a little more focused time this year in addition to Ender's individual project work. My husband and I made a list of things we thought Ender would be interested in but also some things he should learn this year as a 5-year-old.

Below you'll find our objects, booklist and projects planned for this unit. I do not at all feel tied to doing every part of this plan and I will re-evaluate each evening to be ready for the next day since this is our first unit. He may surprise me and really love the crafting part or the notebook pages (or really dislike it all!) and I'm ready to make changes if necessary. What will not change is the reading. I already know he loves to be read to, (especially about science!) and I already have a good feel for how long his attention span is for a book.



Learn a few facts about the sun, stars, and Earth's moon
Learn the names of the planets
Learn about Neil Armstrong and his trip to the moon.


Books were chosen from the selections our library has to offer. Our library is amazing so we take full advantage.

Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House, No. 8)

Space: A Nonfiction Companion to Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House Research Guide)

Neil Armstrong (Explore Space)

One Giant Leap

The Stars: Revised Edition (Out in Space)

The Sun: Revised Edition (Out in Space)

Stars Above Us

See Inside Space (See Inside Board Books)

Living in Space, Level 2 (Beginners Nature - New Format)

The Moon Book

Galaxies, Galaxies!

The Planets

Other Resources:

Home School Share: Space lapbook (HSS). We are only using small portions of this and using the pieces as notebooking page elements rather than putting it all together in a lapbook.

The Magic School Bus: Space Adventures

Melissa & Doug Solar System 48 pcs Floor Puzzle

Day 1:
** Read Midnight on the Moon ch. 1
** Read Space ch. 1
** Illustrate: What does space look like?

Day 2:
** Read Midnight on the Moon ch. 2
** Read The Sun by Rustad
** Complete "Sun Facts" from HSS.

Day 3:
** Read Midnight on the Moon ch. 3
** Read Space Ch. 4 p. 45-53. Talk about comets, meteors and the other "things" in space mentioned in this section.
** Read The Stars.
** Complete Star Facts Fan from HSS
** Use the "Shining Stars" (HSS) template and color the stars the 5 colors mentioned in The Stars.
** Read The Stars Above Us.

Day 4:

** Read Midnight on the Moon ch. 4
** Read Space ch. 4 p. 54-63;
** Read The Planets (up through Mars)
** Complete Planets- Special Facts from HSS for Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. (I'm looking for him to remember 1 defining fact for each planet)

Day 5:

** Read Midnight on the Moon ch. 5
** Read Space ch. 4 p. 64-71
** Read the Planets (Jupiter through Neptune)
** Complete Planets- Special Facts from HSS for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (1 defining fact for each planet)
** Complete Planets- Distance from HSS.

Day 6:

** Read Midnight on the Moon ch. 6
** Read Space ch. 6
** Read The Moon Book and talk about phases.
** Complete Moon Phases Cards from HSS.
** Complete Moon Surface from HSS.

Day 7:

** Read Midnight on the Moon ch. 7
** Read Neil Armstrong, Narrate (verbally) and illustrate.
** Make a Neil Armstrong page for his notebook.

Day 8:

** Read Midnight on the Moon ch. 8
** Read One Giant Leap
** Read Owl Moon
** Finish any undone HSS work.

Day 9:

** Read Midnight on the Moon ch. 9
** Read Living in Space. Narrate (verbally) and illustrate.
** Complete Living in Space from HSS.

Day 10:

** Put Space Notebook pages together and add to science/social studies notebook.
** Read again any of the books the boys would like to hear again.

Pictures to come once we complete the unit!
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