Friday, August 30, 2013

2013-2014 Curriculum


We are fortunate enough to be able to swap out things that don't work, for things that do. For our 2012-2013 school year, there were many thing we did not like. Even though our plan was thorough, it just wasn't a good fit for our family. As I said in that post last year, nothing was set in stone. Fortunately we learned a lot about what works and what does not. Our plan for the next school year is much more solid.

Because we homeschool year round, our school years blend together.

So far this is our plan from now until Jayden completes second grade. It is not final, nor is it complete.

*All subjects contain a link that breaks down what he will be learning.

Math: Math in Focus 2A & 2B

LA Spelling: Soaring with Spelling Level 2 

LA Grammar: Growing with Grammar Level 2

LA Writing: Winning with Writing Level 2
*Both kids participate in a monthly writing club as well. 

Science: R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey- Life

History: Story of the World Volume 1

Geography:  Map work from our history lessons

Art: Art classes through the library

Spanish: R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish

Sports: Apart from swimming, this has not been decided yet. We are letting Jayden decide once the fall sports sign ups begin.
Jayden & Caitlin are both in karate and gymnastics. In the fall Jayden did flag football. He did a winter baseball clinic as well. Caitlin is in soccer.

We also have a book list that we will get through this year. This book list is compiled of books that I will be reading to both children.

Apart from LA and math, all other subjects will take place on an alternating schedule.

Caitlin will continue to learn basic addition, subtraction, and practicing her reading and writing. We will also use various workbooks I have for her if/when she is interested.

Caitlin will join us for science, spanish, music, and art (all at an appropriate level). Because she is not required to do anything for another 2 years (kindergarten is not mandatory here), we will go at whatever pace she sets.


Caitlin is suddenly very interested in writing. She wants to practice her writing so that she can be a faster writer. She sees how quickly Juan, Jayden, and I are able to write and she gets frustrated that she can't do it too. So now she insists on practicing in her new pink notebook. I write three sentences and she copies them. Her handwriting is so freakin adorable!!!!!!!!!!

She loves using the "addicus"  (what she calls the abacus).

In history we read about the earliest writing (Egyptian-hieroglyphs and Sumerians-cuneiform). Caitlin & Jayden colored a picture showing an ancient Egyptian carving hieroglyphs into stone.
 Jayden also worked  on map skills, identifying the Nile River and Egypt.
  The latest artwork hanging on our line!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Last week in Science the kids learned about cells. We started by reading a little bit about them, learning the difference between plant cells (usually rectangular in shape) and animal cells (usually circular in shape).

 Then the kids started their lab sheet.
We had to examine an unfertilized chicken egg (which is considered a single cell) with a magnifying glass. The kids learned that an egg shell has tiny holes to allow air and water to enter and leave.
We cracked open the egg and compared it to the egg diagram, finding the parts listed and labeling them.
 Both children colored in their diagrams according to the color chart on the lab sheet.

Jayden labeled the parts of his egg.

While working on the lab sheet we discussed the importance of the yolk; how it provides nutrients to the developing chick and would no longer be there once a fertilized egg hatched.

The handy dandy iPad proved to be very useful again today. (I have to keep writing about how we use it for school so that Juan doesn't realize that this iPad is really all for me, me, me!). I downloaded an app called iCell. iCell gave us 3D views of three different types of cells: animal, bacteria, and plant.

We were able to zoom in on specific parts of the cell, as well as rotate it to give us a full view of it from all angles.
We were also able to tap on each organelle and read a description about it. Each organelle came with a basic, intermediate, and advanced description.
It is a very basic app, pretty straightforward.
I think it's safe to say Jayden really liked it.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Last Monday marked the beginning of week 3 of school for us. On the previous Friday Jayden scored 100% on his spelling test. These are the words we worked on last week.
 In grammar and writing, Jayden worked on fixing run on sentences.

Caitlin is currently working on adding numbers 1-10.

She is also the proud owner of the second set of Bob Books.  She is doing very well with reading. She is constantly asking me how to spell words and sounding out signs.

One of the reasons I purchased the iPad was for the educational apps. Lately I have been devouring books on it and have been totally hogging it! I have finally decided to share it again. Last week May sent me a link to called Smart Apps for Kids, which is an amazing website that links to free or discounted iPad/iPod apps. I signed up and am now receiving daily emails for new apps! Below Caitlin is working on a puzzle.
In history we read about the Egyptians and the Nile River. We learned about the Egyptian myth explaining why the Nile flooded every year. Using our Usborne Encyclopedia of World History, we read about what Egyptians did during harvest time.

After answering questions together about the chapter we read, both kids colored a page depicting the Egyptian myth.  

  The newest artwork is now being displayed on our art line.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Family Fun Day!

Last weekend the Mr. had the day off. We all had a magnificent day together!

First we went to Liquid Planet, a small family operated water park. The kids went up and down these giant slides. Jayden chose the red slide, Haley's Comet, which is a 246 foot long enclosed slide. Even though it was super dark the whole way down, he went on it multiple times!

Due to height restrictions, Caitlin was only allowed on the green slide and had to be in her dad's lap. The green slide, Trevor's Time Warp, is an open slide and is 272 feet long.
Jayden continued going on the slides several times while this little lady swam in the pool. Without floats! This summer she has worked hard to build up her strength to swim without them!

Cait enjoying the lake
Jayden got on a zip line, 35 feet in the air and 1,000 feet long!!

Afterward we headed off for a couple of games of cosmic bowling. 

We signed Jayden up for football and he has insisted on exercising to prepare himself for the work he has coming up ahead. Here he is after his little workout, reading a book that May bought him.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

World History

In the first chapter of our history book, we read about nomads and how they became farmers.

The kids colored a picture of an early farmer using a "shaduf" (an irrigation device).

Caitlin's work

Jayden's work

Hanging on our art line

They also painted their very own "cave art." We started with a brown paper bag and crumpled it up to represent the bumpy surface of a cave. They each painted a picture of what they would be doing if they had lived as a nomad back then.

 They used their fingers, in true nomad fashion.

"Eww mom, the brown paint looks like poop!"
As a female, Caitlin's job would be gathering berries, roots, etc. Cait's painting shows her picking blueberries.

As a male, Jayden would be expected to hunt for meat. Jayden's painting shows him hunting deer in the forest.

Of course, the art work went up on our art line!

Monday, August 19, 2013


This year for science we are using R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey: Life. We spent last week gathering the materials for the first half of the book. I am super excited about this book! It is very well laid out, simple enough for the kids to get the gist of, and fun!

For our first unit in science we discussed living vs. nonliving, the characteristics of living things, and the difference between nonliving and dead.

For our first lab the kids had to think about the characteristics that would prove whether a bike, a human, a plant, and a rock were living or nonliving.

Our second lab of the week had us outdoors. We were supposed to find a "wild" area to study. I'm not the outdoorsy type so we chose the huge puddle in our yard. It's drying up but the whole area is muddy and full of creepy wild life. This was as good as it was going to get!
 The kids recorded their findings on their lab sheet.

We came back inside for them to finish off the last couple of questions. Jayden (aka the litter patrol) was disgusted by the amount of trash in the fields.

Jayden told me "Mom, this may not look like much fun to other people, but for me, this is REALLY cool!"