Summary Saturday: Moving on Up

We started a new school year this week with Chipette moving up to 2nd grade and Magpie joining our school as a Pre-K student. Our late start (we usually start a new school year on Labor Day) was due to being stranded at my parent's house for almost a month thanks to a deer who thought that he would like to go home for Christmas as well.

Here is Chipette with most of her school books for the year:

Our core curriculum is Heart of Dakota's Bigger Hearts for His Glory which includes history, science, Bible, poetry study, hymn study, and storytime. For grammar and writing instruction, we are using First Language Lessons Level 2, Writing With Ease Level 2, and Bob Jones English 2. For math we are using Horizons Math Grade 2, Math in Focus:The Singapore Approach, Challenging Word Problems 1, and Singapore Intensive Practice. For spelling we are using Spelling Plus and Dictation combined with How To Teach Spelling. We are adding in extra science using Apologia's Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. Our electives are art (Scott Foresman Art Grade 2), logic (Mindbenders Warm-Up) and Spanish (Salsa Spanish Videos and Lessons Plans). And of course, like children always do, her favorite thing is our Spanish lessons which are totally free and a last minute decision!

Here is Magpie with her school books:

Her core curriculum is Heart of Dakota's Little Hands to Heaven. It includes Bible, beginning phonics/alphabet recognition, beginning math, and pre-writing skills. We are adding in Hooked on Phonics Pre-K and Explode the Code's Get Ready, Get Set, and Go for the Code Series for extra phonics practice. We are also adding in Rod and Staff's ABC Series for extra fine motor skills work. We are doing more math with Math Practice for Beginners. And of course Magpie wanted her own science to do as well, so I got her Singapore Child's Play Science just for fun.

It looks like a lot, but we don't do all of that every day. On average Chipette is done in about 2 and a half hours, and Magpie takes about 30-45 minutes.

Our first week went really well.

We set up our two bird feeders for an experiment seeing which type of bird food the birds in our area would prefer.

So far we have only seen one bird at one of the birds feeders. I'm thinking that they are too close to the house.

Chipette was really excited because her very first week with the new curriculum she got to paint an ocean scene. She LOVES art so we spent quite a while on this project.

Magpie worked on visual discrimination and sorting by putting different colored beads into sections of an egg carton.

Then she worked on fine motor skills by doing one of her sewing cards that she got for Christmas last year. Isn't it amazing how Santa plans ahead?!?!?

And finally Chipette turned into Atlas for a little while, as we used a large purple ball as our earth and labeled all of the continents and oceans.

Monkey was none too happy with what we did to his ball!

Hope you all had a great week as well.

Typing with paint-stained fingers in the treehouse (why do I always get the messiest when it's their project!),



  1. They look so happy surrounded by all their books! It looks like your studies are going very well.


  2. My son really enjoyed Bigger. I hope you have a great year.

    You're the second person to mention that Salsa Spanish program this week. I'm going to have to go check it out.

  3. @DaisyIt's really teacher intensive! I've noticed that after only one week of lessons, both Magpie and Chipette have retained more Spanish vocabulary and phrases than with anything else we've tried. We only do it two days a week and I always make it the last thing in the day. When they see the Spanish tab on their workbox charts they get soooo excited!

  4. We didn't start our new year until the last week of Sept. this year--usually the day after Labor Day is our first day. Nice to see someone else willing to go with an offbeat schedule that works better for their family!