White construction paper, markers, small pieces of
cardboard (about 1 inch square)
to Make and Apple Pie and See the World
Read Aloud: The
Review: continents and oceans (names and location
Read p. 1-24 in Maps and Globes. Discuss equator, hemispheres, and map scales.
Complete Lesson 1 and 2 of the Earth lapbook
lessons from Expedition Earth.
Choose a room in your house and draw a map of it
to scale on paper. Place in notebook. (We didn’t have time to actual complete
this activity since I have four kids to teach, but I might assign it for
Chipette and Magpie to do together sometime soon.)
Complete pages 310-311 in The Complete Book of Animals and discuss food chains.
So many exciting things have happened in our
homeschool since the New Year!
The biggest change has been starting our world
geography study. We are having two students join us for our trip around the
world. One of my best friends, just happens to have two daughters the exact
same ages and grades as Chipette and Magpie. Back in the fall, we met up for a
playdate at the local park and I was sharing our plans for world geography. A
few months later she mentioned that she was really busy with her new business
venture so homeschooling her girls had become just the basics. Well, I couldn’t
let those sweet girls only study math, reading, and handwriting, so I offered
to let them come over twice a week and join us for our world geography study.
It has been a lot of fun having two extra students and, of course, my girls
have been thrilled because two of their best friends are in our house on a
Since you’ll be seeing quite a bit of our new
students in these Summary Saturday posts, I’ll be calling them Miss Jane and
Miss Elizabeth because of the mutual love their mom and I have for all things
We started out the first week learning the
continents and oceans. We learned their names and are working on learning where
they are on the map. Well, the kindergarteners are working on it. My big girls,
Chipette and Miss Jane, already know it.
We made this paper plate craft that I found on
Pinterest to show our position from the universe to our bedroom. The order
goes: Universe glued on plate, Milky Way, Solar System, Earth, North America,
United States, our state, our town, our house, bedroom.
We got a little messy…
But the end product turned out really nice.
I bought sketch pads to use as our notebooks and
gave one notebook to each set of girls to share.
Our first entries were vocabulary pages about
continents and oceans.
For our second week we learned about maps and
globes, specifically latitude, longitude, equator, hemispheres, and prime
We finished up our art project called Mission to
And on our final class of the week, we made apple
dumplings (recipe coming soon!)
And read How
to Make an Apple Pie and See the World.
Next week, we’re heading to Russia!
If you would like to see my lesson plans as I post
them just click on world geography or Globe Trotting Girls labels, or it’s also
located under the curriculum and homeschool tabs.
I tied science into our world geography study by
working animals and their habitats from each country/continent we study.
We worked on animal classification our first week
by studying the characteristics that determine if a vertebrate is a fish,
mammal, amphibian, reptile, or bird. Then we played a classification game where
I had six pictures for each of the above categories and the girls had to sort
Miss Jane doing a wonderful job!
They did a really good job, and by the end the
little girls, Magpie and Miss Elizabeth, had figured it out and were helping
out quite a bit.
The second week we learned about food chains using
my pathetic drawing skills to explain how they work. Think marker board and
very sad looking animals.
For our activity I had each set of sisters make
their own food chain using pictures from a workbook I got from the Target
Then we practiced food chains on the computer
using this game from Sheppard Software.
They really liked that!
We started a new writing program for third grade,
Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Student Writing Intensive A. Chipette
adores this program! She asks me every day if she gets to watch her writing
Here she is rewriting her very first paragraph
using key words.
I think the main thing she likes is being told she
HAS to write in pen and Mr. Pudewa’s teaching style. After watching the first
lesson, she asked me if that man taught any other subjects so she could take
them as well.
Magpie is continuing on with her schooling like a
champ! She loves doing school and begs to have school time even once she’s
finished for the day. Probably because we do things like Cheerio math:
And study really awesome kid books like Corduroy. Here she is having to tell and
draw something she has always wanted.
Her answer: I have always wanted God. That is her
picture of God with wings, very large hands, and orange shoes.
After Magpie had finished playing a math game, I
looked over and saw that Monkey had decided to try his chances at it.
He’s definitely going to win!
Looking forward to another busy, but fun week in
the tree house,
Pictures of animals from the following
classification groups: birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and fish. I had six
pictures for each group. You can use these free printables for your animal classification cards and also download the habitat game for fun while you study this year.
Read Aloud: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (I love the version illustrated by Inga Moore.)
Do I Live? or Me on the Map.
Make paper plate with construction paper circles
from universe to bedroom to show relation between you and the world. Put in
Begin "Mission to Mars" project on Home Art Studio
First Grade. Stop DVD after completing the background.
Science Day One: Geography Day
Seven Continents by Wil Mara.
Begin learning this song for the continents or search YouTube for some you prefer to learn. Sing this song twice and
point to the continents on a labeled world map.
Fill out a geography vocabulary sheet for continent. Let younger students draw a picture to represent it and have older
students copy the definition on the lines below. Put in notebook. I also used the blank world map linked above and had the kids color each continent a different color and glue it on the page opposite the definition. You will use these maps next week.
Geography Day Three: Read The Four Oceans by Wil Mara Begin learning this song for oceansor search YouTube for some you prefer to learn. Sing this song twice and point to the oceans on a labeled world map.
Fill out a geography vocabulary sheet for ocean. Let younger students draw a picture to represent it and have older students copy the definition on the lines below. Put in notebook. I also used the blank world map linked above and had the kids color each ocean a different shade of blue and glue it on the page opposite the definition. You will use these maps next week.
Talk quickly about classification (sorting things into groups by common traits). Have older students tell younger students the traits of each of these groups: birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and fish.
Using the animals pictures have students sort the pictures into the five groups above. Let younger students help too.
Rumphius and talk about how we will be learning about lots of places and
traveling to them through books, videos, art, and stories.
Read chapters 1-6 of The Secret Garden this week. Up next is Week 2.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy here. I’ve had some people interested in what we are
doing for our World Geography and Animals and Their Habitats study for this
year, so I decided to share my lesson plans for each continent as we finish.
Here are the resources I used. The starred ones are
what you would need to buy if you wanted to do this in your home:
Children Just Like Me*: I bought a copy of this since I will
be using quite a bit this year. I bought mine used from Amazon for around $5
including shipping. A really neat book which my girls were looking through well
ahead of time to begin our geography study.
Home Art Studio Grade 1*: I actually won a copy of this during
a blog giveaway, but it ties in perfectly with world geography so I’m using it
for some of the art projects.
Geography Through Art*: I bought the pdf version of this
book at half price in the fall. I will be using it for the other art projects
not found on Home Art Studio.
Sassafras Science Adventures Zoology*: This product came on the market
right as I was finalizing our plans and it looked too awesome to pass up and it
is! The one thing that my girls beg for me to do with them. Chipette has
already asked if we can do volume two next year. This program is meant to be
used for only half a year, but I’m stretching it out for an entire year to
stick with geography. This book is where I got the order to travel the world.
Various picture books set in or about the country we are studying. Definitely used our local libraries for these.
Various fairy tales and fables from each country
using library books. I will list these under each week’s plans since there are
quite a few. We especially focuses on Cinderella stories from various countries and compared them to the French version of the story that with which most people are familiar.
Read Alouds scheduled for each country. I’m
getting these books through the library and inter-library loan:
to Jo’Burg (South Africa)
Long Walk to Water (Sudan)
Incredible Journey (Canada)
the World’s Rim (Mexico)
of the Andes (Peru)
Wild Pony of the Pampa (Argentina)
of the Mountains (India)
Master Puppeteer (Japan)
Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade (China)
of the Wolves (Arctic)
The Secret Garden (England)
The Family Under the Bridge (France)
Wheel on the School (The Netherlands)
I added in various movies and documentaries to round out our geography and science studies. I will list those under each continent as appropriate. I also discovered these cute paperdoll printables that the girls loved using to decorate their notebooks.
As with anything, you do NOT have to do everything
I chose to do with my kids. We do this study five days a week. Two days we focus on the science part of our study and the other three days we focus on the country study. Read alouds are done all week long. I do not force my Kindergartener to listen to the read
aloud books. I chose those based on my third grader. The picture books are more
for my Kindy kid. Go to Week One and get started!
So this week I’ve been working on establishing a
morning routine. Things are actually going pretty well. I’ve been getting to
bed on time which means that I can get up when the alarm goes off without
hitting snooze until my iPod finally gives up on me a few times.
I’ve been following the Taking Control of Your Time series over at Look at What You Are Seeing! to help me make things a
little more manageable around the tree house. I like how she puts things in
very teeny, tiny bite size chunks. Some of these home organization blogs I’ve
read will say, “This week we’re going to organize your closet.” I want to say, “You
haven’t seen my closet if you think it can be finished in a week!”
This week I made a crockpot tortellini and sausage dish that was DIVINE! So good! Chipette and I chowed down because tortellini is
our favorite kind of pasta. We also made apple dumplings as part of our
geography study and I will share that recipe in a couple of weeks on the blog.
It’s too good not to share!
We wrapped up the introduction stuff to world
geography this week, so next week we will begin our “travels,” so I’m getting
passports prepped for all the girls to hand out on Monday.
I’m also working on changing up Chipette’s extra
subjects to a loop schedule. I think we’ll try it out for a couple of weeks and
see how it goes. We also dropped one of her math programs which makes me sad,
but we needed the time in our day back.
On the Blog
My first Summary Saturday post of 2013 should be
up sometime tomorrow and along with it I will be sharing my geography lesson
plans for the first two weeks. Also, I’m doing one more post this next week for
the Virtual Curriculum Fair about our new art program, Home Art Studio. I might
squeeze in a post about what looping is and different ways you can use it in
your homeschool. We’ll see how much of this actually makes it to completion
So the “S” diet is going really well. I don’t feel
deprived, and I’m noticing some eating habits that I didn’t realize I had. For
example, the no snacks rule is more difficult than I thought it would be. I’ve
never considered myself a snacker, but now that I’m thinking about it I’ve
realized that there are quite a few times during the day when I would absentmindedly
grab something off the kids plate or a bite of something out of the fridge or
pantry. But the diet is working…looser jeans are happening around here!
I’m still working on Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit
Disorder. It’s definitely inspiring me to get the kids outside more! I
remember all the fun I had growing up in the country with forests, hills, and
creeks to explore. My poor children have a small backyard, so we’ll definitely
have to make some time to get out in the country soon!
Feel free to follow me on Pinterest using the
button in the sidebar. I wanted to share some of my favorite finds this past
Homeschool: I stumbled across this awesome Lego board game which goes right along with the girls’ new found love of Legos. Plus I can
work in a little math practice with Magpie!
Home: I’m loving these diaper boxes turned storage boxes I found. I’m only using fabric on the biggest boxes and scrapbook paper
on some smaller boxes. It’s a LOT cheaper than buying those cute storage bins
plus diaper boxes can hold quite a bit more too!
Cooking: I’m looking forward to making this dessert for our small group Bible study Sunday night. Two of my favorite things
in the world: pineapple and cream cheese. Yummo!
Well, Chipette and Mapgie are out the dance studio
sleepover tonight so I will have some sugar coma exhausted kids tomorrow. This
is Magpie’s first year to participate so I hope she has a good time.
Chipette got asked to come to another dance class
on Tuesdays because her ballet teacher has “plans” for her, aka sees a lot of potential.
I left the decision up to her and she wanted to do it, so we will be adding
another night away from home. Preacher Man and I still have to figure out the
logistics since that is my Ladies’ Bible Class night, but we’ll make it work.
Next Friday, the girls are going on a field trip
with our homeschool group to see a play. The group is studying drama this quarter
and putting on their own play about a pirate, so this will give them to chance
to see how it’s really done! Monkey and I will find something else to do
because a two year old in a theatre will not last long.
I love when my kids help me shuck corn. It reminds
me of many a hot summer afternoon sitting under the tree at my grandmother’s
house. It was always a gamble when you grabbed an ear of corn because you just
might have a nice, big, juicy worm chewing on the cob. *shiver* With store
bought corn, you don’t run that much of a risk!
Looking forward to a new week of routines, loving,
learning, laughing and cooking in the tree house,
I’ve wanted to write this post for a while now,
mainly to show our family’s journey to the homeschooling lifestyle, because
homeschooling definitely becomes a way of life.
The first time homeschooling even entered my radar
was when I was a 10th grader in my local high school. A girl
appeared in our grade (there were less
than 90 of us so a new person kind of stuck out!) and the rumor quickly
spread that she had been homeschooled. She was in my Spanish class, and when
the teacher called on her, she burst into tears and put her head on her desk.
Apparently this was her reaction in all of her classes and by the end of the week
her parents had pulled her out to homeschool her again. Of course, in all of
our sophomoric wisdom, we concluded that she had so much trouble because she
Next, when I was student teaching (yes, I have a secondary education degree)
I taught a boy who had been homeschooled until his senior year and wanted to be
put in public school so he could graduate with all of his friends from church.
He was a great student, delightful person, and had lots of friends, so within a
decade I’d witnessed two very different examples of homeschoolers both within
the public school system.
So far, though, the idea of ever homeschooling my
own children wasn’t even an option, but that was about to change. The first
time I considered the idea was while Preacher Man was in preaching school. I
met and fell in love with two families who homeschooled while we were there.
They had the most wonderful children, kind, respectful, godly, and mature. There
was such a notable difference between these families and their children than
what I’d seen during my years in the public school. A really great difference.
I remarked to Preacher Man that if our children turned out half as well as
these children I would be the most proud of mothers. So he says, “Well, let’s
homeschool our children.” Hmmmm…
After preaching school, we moved back to a small
town in the South where I fully expected to put Chipette in our local school
when she turned five. However, while I was pregnant with Magpie, I did some
substitute teaching in our area schools. After a few weeks, I went to Preacher
Man and said, “I can’t put her in our local school.” Things had changed so much
from the last time I was in classroom from the academics, to the students, to
government requirements. It wasn’t where I wanted MY children to be if I could
help it, so I started homeschooling Chipette for preschool before it “counted”
to kind of get my feet wet. Then I continued homeschooling her for Kindergarten
since students aren’t required to begin school until first grade in our state.
By the end of Kindergarten I really felt that I could do this, so we kept at it
and it has become part of who we are as a family. We are homeschoolers.
I can provide academic personalization for each
child. Every time I plan our school year I take into account my child’s
strengths and weaknesses. I work into that what type of learner they are and
what I want them to learn. Whether they are “ahead” or “behind”, I can meet
them where they are, one on one, every day. They also get to learn and study
things that they are interested in from a unit study on ballet or mythological
creatures to a trip around the world. Instead of trying to fit my children into
a curriculum, I have the freedom to fit the curriculum to my children.
I can infuse our learning with our Christian
faith. While not every subject I use comes from religious publishers quite a
few do because I feel since God has given me these gifts He expects and
commands me to teach them about Him, through history, science, art, music,
literature, and, of course, Bible study. If I send my children out into the
world without a thorough knowledge of God and the Bible, then I will feel like
a failure. This would be true whether I homeschooled them or not. Homeschooling
just gives me more hours in the day to achieve it since I can see their
spiritual strengths to encourage and their spiritual weaknesses to help
I can enjoy the flexibility. My children don’t have
to wake up by a certain time. We start school once breakfast is eaten and
morning chores are finished. Whatever we don’t complete we pick up the next
day. If the weather is really nice, we might spend the day in the backyard. If
Preacher Man wants to go to a minister’s convention, then we can pack up and go
with him. If family wants to come and visit, we can drop everything to spend
time with them. I love the fact that we aren’t rushed during our day with
plenty of time to play and imagine!
I can shelter their hearts and minds. The connotation
of sheltering children gets a bad rap a lot of times, but I adore the fact that
my kids are sheltered. The concept of sheltering in the Bible is a good thing,
a precious thing, something to be strived for. I have no problem that my
children don’t know about mean girls or cliques. They don’t know about bad
language or bullies. They still have their childhood innocence and feel no need
to fit in. They are who they are without being made fun of for their interests,
what they wear, or anything else. None of this means that my children will
never learn about the “real world”, but it does mean that I get to control
their introduction to it and how it is introduced.
I can instill them with a love of learning.
Whether my children love every subject is not necessary, but I do want them to
love the process of figuring things out on their own. The joy of getting lost
in great literature. The fun of learning something new. The magic of putting
your words on paper and creating something wonderful. The beauty that is found
in science, math, and language.
While I don’t know how long our homeschool life
will last, I do know that for the foreseeable future it is here to stay. And I’m
happy about that. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for us, but I
do know that I am enjoying the memories I’m making with my children. I’m
blessed to be here with them.
A long, wonderful journey has led me to homeschool
in the tree house,
P. S. And in case you are curious, because I get
asked this a lot when people find out I was a teacher, my teaching degree has
helped very little, if any, in homeschooling. It’s like comparing apples and