Sunday, June 26, 2011

Having a baby!! FINALLY 40 weeks 6 days...

Birth Story Part 2

I went to bed tonight at about midnight. At about 1:00 I felt my water break and jumped out of bed as fast as I could. Tim was still awake. I told him my water broke and we just kind of stood there as if we weren't expecting this while I am making a water mess. He called his mom who wanted to come over immediately but I figured it will be awhile so we told her to get some rest. I called my midwives and let them know. We then made our bed up with the two sheet sets and the shower curtain. I started a load of laundry. Tim and I picked up the house a little bit together. Now here I sit waiting for the contractions. :) I have had a few but nothing to major. I am going to make sure my camera is charged and then straighten my hair. I might try to get some sleep after that. I am so very excited. It seems unlikely but I would love to have this baby before my kids wake up. Wouldn't that be a fun surprise for them. Please keep us in your prayers. I will try to keep this updated. 

Oh,one last thing... I am so thankful for my friend who came over on Friday and cleaned both of my bathrooms for me. What a huge help. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Choosing our Language Arts Curriculum...

I always have the hardest time picking our curriculum items. Language Arts is an especially tough one for me because there is SO much to choose from in each area of study. This last year our primary focus in Language Arts was learning how to read. Next year is a little scarier for me. I have narrowed it down to this list which is still extensive. Obviously I not going to purchase all of this. It was actually a much longer list a month ago, so I am making progress. :)

A little background: Rylee will be turning 7 at the beginning of this next school year and Nathan is 4. We follow a child guided routine. We study when the kids ask for lessons which has worked really well for us this year. It is astonishing how much children desire to learn all on their own. I suspect Nathan will be requesting reading lessons regularly by this Fall. He wants to keep up with his big sister.

Please let me know if you have any feedback on any of these products.

2011/2012 Choices...

Family Read Alouds:
We will continue to read chapter books aloud. I really like to read book series as our family read aloud. We did "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" series this year. We are now working on "The Little House on the Prairie" Series. We will probably start "The Boxcar Children" next.

We try to fit in as many stories as we can throughout the day. We are building a pretty nice library. Used books from Amazon have helped my budget a lot.

Rylee wants so badly to be able to read chapter books. Until then I will continue to borrow books on CD from the library for her. I cannot check them out fast enough. She listens to them about thirty times each. By the time we return them to the library she can recite major parts of the story.

News Flash!: This book teaches how to use the daily newspaper to teach Grammar. I haven't seen anything like it before and it would double as a good way to keep up on current events. It is designed for 1st- 3rd graders.

New Generation Write Source: This seems to be a very comprehensive program, however the teacher's addition is very expensive. I have a copy of Writer's Inc. which I may use in place of the teacher's addition and just purchase the Student Books. These are consumable which is not ideal for our needs.

Queen Homeschool Language Lessons: This is based on Charlotte Mason Principles- Copywork, Dictation, Narration.

Writing Strands: Teaches Grammar through Writing.

Classic Curriculum Writing Workbooks: Designed to work with McGuffey Readers, Harvey's Elementary Grammar and The Spenserian Penmanship Series.

Language Fundamentals
Language Fundamentals, Grade 1

Write about me, Write about my world and Just Write

Learn to write: Readers designed to give children fun examples of different styles of writing.

Any child can write: A great parent resource

If your trying to teach kids how to write you've got to have this book
If You're Trying to Teach Kids How to Write: You've Gotta Have This Book! (Kids' Stuff)

Draw then Write
Draw...Then Write, Grades 1-3

My Journals About Me: Journal prompts for young children

730 Journal Prompts

Get Ready for the Code workbooksExplode the code workbooks, Beyond the Code Workbooks: These workbooks are recommended by several curriculum's that I have looked at. They seem to cover a lot and offer a lot of practice. The negative is that they are consumable. I typically try to stay away from consumable products as much as possible.

Phonics Pathways
Phonics Pathways: Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling

All about Reading: I am considering using this with Nathan for reading lessons before we Start...
Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy lessons
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Letter of the Week: We will continue our Letter of the Week program next year. This is mostly for Nathan. Rylee is a little old for the games that we used this year. She may still choose to do the younger games but I will be adding older activities for her as well. I am going to incorporate Science into our letter of the week this year. We will be studying all things nature so it should be easy to mix the two together.

I have a weakness for Readers. I am really not sure why. :) 

We will continue the Alphabetti readers- Nathan has been asking to do these as well.

Rylee will start on readers that are a little more difficult. We own several "I Can Read Books" for her to start on. I will buy more throughout the year.

We also have all of the phonics readers
LeapFrog Tag Learn to Read Phonics Book Series Short Vowels 
LeapFrog TAG Reading System - Green 
which Rylee will be begin reading on her own this fall.

Nathan may or may not start
Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers 
Basic Reading Instruction , Course 1 
It depends on how far he makes it in reading lessons.

I will definitely will be buying the set of McGuffey Readers.
McGuffey's Eclectic Readers/Boxed                                                                                           I wish I had bought them this year.

I will also be buying the Fun with Dick and Jane Readers
Dick and Jane Fun with Our Family

Some others that I am looking at but I am not sure that I will buy are:
Itty Bitty Phonics Readers
Itty Bitty Phonics Readers, Set 1: Consonants

Elson Readers (these are from the same author as Fun with Dick and Jane)
The Elson Readers, Book 4

Comprehension Crosswords: After reading a short passage, there is a fun crossword to fill out.

Progeny Press Study Guides

Veritas Press Literature Guides: First Favorites Comprehension Guides: The two guides cover several different Children's books-many of which we already own.

Before five in a row
Before Five in a Row 
and Five in a Row:
Five in a Row (Five in a Row): Volume 1 
These have a lot of questions and activities that go along with some of our favorite stories. I wish I had bought these a couple of years ago.

Fairy Tale Cookbooks: Cookbook for Young Readers

Literature Pockets: Hands on paper crafts to go along with Stories by Evan-Moore... Caldecott Winners, Folktales & Fairytales, Nursery Rhymes

First Word Search Series
Rylee really likes Word searches. Seems like a great way to help with Spelling!

Words I use when I write
Words I Use When I Write

Sequential Spelling
Sequential Spelling 1

All about Spelling

All about Homophones: Your complete tool kit

Melissa Forney's Picture Speller for Young Writers: this one I actually want for right now. Rylee loves to write letters to people and this would help her so much.
Melissa Forney's Picture Speller for Young Writers

Wordly Wise 3000

Roots and Fruits- Greek and Latin Root words

PairsinPears Game

Bananagrams Game

Appletters Game

Handwriting Without Tears

Draw Write Now
Draw Write Now, Book 1-8

Start Write 5.0 Software
StartWrite Handwriting Software 5.0
 I want this right away. This software lets you print your own worksheets with a lot of choices.

Booklist Resources:
What to Read When
What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child--and All the Best Times to Read Them

Read for the Heart: Whole Books for the Wholehearted Family
Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families

Honey for a Child's Heart
Honey for a Child's Heart

Books for Boys

Great Reading For Girls

Complete Library Skills

Dictionary Skills

Speech and Debate:
Jeub's Complete Guide to Speech and Debate- Part of this book focuses on very young children

Drama School

Readers' Theater

Fun Stories:
Dear Deer: a book of Homophones
Dear Deer: A Book of Homophones

Crazy like a fox: A simile Story
Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story

Punctuation takes a vacation
Punctuation Takes a Vacation [PUNCTUATION TAKES A VACA]

Greedy Apostrophe: A Cautionary Tale
Greedy Apostrophe: A Cautionary Tale

Alfie the Apostrophe
Alfie the Apostrophe

Penny and the Punctuation Bee
Penny and the Punctuation Bee

Clearly I still have a lot to think about. I will do a follow up post of my choices before Fall...

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