Archive for the ‘homeschool’ Category

Now that Victoria is getting older she is getting more interested in making things handmade for herself and her friends.  She loves making things for people she loves and then seeing their reaction to what she has done for them.  Its really quite adorable to me, and makes me happy that we have been able to pass on the love for handmade stuff to her.

I have tried to teach her how to crochet, but she is left handed and since I am right handed it makes it kinda hard to really show her what I am doing.  I am hoping once she is a little older it will make more sense to her when she sees me to it and she will be able to “flip” the motions in her head to suit her needs.

Over the summer we got her a kit with a few different looms in it for her to try out since crocheting was not working for her and she really wanted to do another yarn craft besides spool knitting.   I am so glad we got those for her because she loves working with them.  She made some things for her dolls and for herself to practice with and then this Christmas she worked hard to make many presents for people.

She made bracelets for family and friends, belts and headbands for family and friends as well as for her dolls {she said they needed holiday gifts as well 🙂 } and she made a wide bracelet/wristlet for me.  I love the wide one she did, she picked out one of my favorite shades out of my favorite organic yarn collection.  Its so soft!  I would love to have a whole sweater made out of that yarn. 🙂

Victoria picked out some vintage buttons out of my collection as well, she def. went all out to make this piece totally up my alley.  Its even more amazing since she made it all by herself. 🙂

If you have a little one or know a child who really wants to learn to crochet or knit and the motor skills just are not there yet, I highly recommend trying them out on a loom.  They are really easy to work with and there are some great beginner videos on youtube.  Victoria and I prefer the metal tools to pick up the yarn rather  than the plastic or wood ones, they just seem to work easier.  The easiest way I have found to end your piece is by using a crochet hook and then a yarn needle to weave in your ends.

Recently I have been finding Victoria working on her latest loom project when she has her TV time, she is making herself a pillow case.  For that project I am just going to wing it…..hopefully that will work lol  My plan is to have her do two rectangles that are the same size, and then I will just sew three sides together.  It seems simple, and hopefully its going to go as simple as I am seeing it in my head. 😉




Read Full Post »

When I think back to high school and learning the periodic table for science class it brings back bad memories of staying up way to late to study and using our teacher given cheat sheets to squeeze in as much information as possible.  I did okay on the test thanks to all my studying and good planning of the real estate on my cheat sheet 😉  But when I look back on it, it def. was not fun… all. lol

So when this unit rolled around for Victoria in Science class I was determined to make it fun for her and enjoyable.  The whole month of January is going to be focusing on Elements and Compounds in Science.  We already did a hunt around the house to find things off the periodic table that were in our every day items as an introduction to the subject, Victoria loved running around the house, looking at labels and items and trying to place them with things on the periodic table.  🙂

For this activity you will need:

The Periodic Table Elements with Style By Basher Books {Check out your local library for this one}

A good periodic table for references.  I got my printable here: {free}

A copy of the riddles we used, found here: {free}

When we started this unit, I had Victoria read the Periodic Table book first before we did anything else.  She loved the funny drawings and the way the elements were explained.  The days following her finishing this book were filled with her pointing out elements in our every day life with lots of excitement.  My plan for making the elements fun for her was def. working out! 🙂

I found the awesome periodic table printable while searching on Pinterest, I love that site! I have found some great homeschooling stuff on there.   The version I picked to use was the table with photos on it.  I thought that given her age, Victoria would be able to understand and relate better to that one.  They have two download versions, one with photos and one with words.  You can buy the poster sizes from their site as well.  I saved both to my computer for future use when she is in middle/high school science classes. Love free schooling printables!

The riddles I found on another site that has the riddle activity explained to you and offers the free riddle download.  There were a bunch more activities on that site that I want to check out.  Hoping to do a couple of those as well as the others I have planned this month.

Victoria went through and read the riddles, looked at her periodic table and then wrote in her answers.  As a review for each element that was an answer on the riddle activity, I had her re read that page in her book.   She had a blast doing this activity, I am so glad that I found it.  It was right up her alley because she loves jokes and riddles. 🙂

Victoria would read the question out loud and I would pretend like I didn’t know the answer.  The first photo in this group is of her saying “Its potassium Mom!!! Didn’t you know that?”  And then bursting into a laughing fit because she really thought I didn’t know that one.  Why yes dear daughter, I did know that.  What fun would it be and how much would you learn if I told you the answers before you figured it out? 😉

For other supplemental work we will be using:

Books from our local library

Resources I have here from my curriculum

Brainpop and Brainpop Jr.  {We love these sites!}

I hope everyone is having a good weekend….this next week dance starts back up and my weeks get busy again.  I enjoyed my two weeks off of dance/schooling but I am happy its starting back up because it brings my daughter such joy and happiness. ❤

Read Full Post »

Usually on the first day back to school in the New Year I make a worksheet or two for Victoria to do as a recap of her last year.  Things like what was her favorite part, best memory, favorite food, ect.  I keep them in her keepsake binder and I every time I look at previous years I smile because its so cute to see how she has changed and what was important to her five years ago, four years ago, ect.    This year was a busy one for us, December especially, so I ended up getting my end of the year/beginning of the new year printables off of pinterest.

Even if your little one{s} are younger and can’t write yet, doing these are still a lot of fun.  I have some that I did when Victoria was three and four and I wrote in her answers for her.  Funny thing is, strawberries have always been on her favorites list for food since she was three.  That one answer has always been there, that and books/reading.   Things like your favorite movie/TV Show has def. changed…..she went from loving Oliva and Dora to loving Good Luck Charlie and anything Harry Potter.   I love the printable with the blue because the second sheet is for the parents to fill out and the child asks the questions.  I thought that was a pretty cute/fun concept, Victoria loved being the questionnaire. 🙂


The worksheets only take a short time to fill out but for us they are priceless because when she is all grown up we will have these to look back on from each year as a yearly journal of how she has changed and grown.  I am thinking about adding in a photo to each year as well.  One taken of the three of us, most likely from her birthday.  That way we can see how we all have changed 😉


Links to these printables can be found here:

and here:


This month we are studying elements and compounds in Science, Victoria is reading 11 Birthdays for Reading Comp., and we are still going through the colonial times in History{we are staying in that general time period all year}.

After two weeks off with sleeping in we are both def. tired this morning from getting back into our school routine.  Looks like coffee and I will be best buds today 😉


Read Full Post »

We just finished up Hatching Magic last Friday and it was awesome!!!

This was the month of December’s reading comprehension book for school for Victoria.  She loved it so much that she was reading more than the assigned chapters each day.

Reading Comprehension for our schooling works like this:

{The in a nutshell version 😉 }

I pick a book for each month of the school year.

I read the book before Sierra and make my own quiz questions for each chapter and my own think it through and expand on it questions as needed/wanted.

I assign the book by chapter{s} each day.

Victoria will read her assignment for the day and then she will take a reading comp. quiz on the sections she read.

I find this to be a lot more in depth than using workbooks for reading comprehension and its also more enjoyable for us both.  I love that since I have read the book before her, we can have discussions over lunch {she does reading comp. right before lunch} over what she read and what she thought.  Its a bonding time for us and it gives me the chance to make sure she fully understands what is going on in the book and the concepts in the book.  I also love hearing her perspective on what is going on in the book and on the character.

We both loved Hatching Magic, Victoria loves fantasy type stuff with Wizards and Witches and mythical creatures.  She thought one of the main characters Theodora was funny and very brave.  Most of all, Victoria loved the little wyverns and her baby and  thought the food that they loved was super funny.  🙂  I don’t want to give away too much in case you plan on reading it yourself.  I asked Victoria to sum it up in a few describing words:

Interesting, Exciting, Adventurous, Funny, Scary

On a scale of 1 – 5

Victoria rated it a “FIVE!!!!” lol

Its safe to say that she loved the book 🙂

For a Mini wrap up project Victoria designed her own Wyvern Trump Card.

The card is a big part of the book so I thought it would be a neat wrap up project.  I wanted something small because we are doing some bigger art projects at the moment with History so I didn’t want another huge project on her plate.

I cut out a piece of cardstock for Victoria in a 4 x 6 size.

She then drew out her own Wyvern Trump Card.

She made her card a scene of her in her “wizard house” with her pet wyvern and the egg that is hatching.  Told you she was in love with the wyvern and the baby that hatched in the story. 🙂

I plan on doing another post on what we use for teaching drawing soon.  I love the book that I was introduced to last year.  It has really worked out well for us 🙂

After she made her card she wrote up a book review for the book and put both pieces into a page protector so that they can be easily and safely stored in her Reading Comp. binder.

Next up for Reading Comp.:

After Victoria reads the book we will watch the movie and compare how the two are similar and how they are different.

I have some really fun art projects planned for this book,  can’t wait!  We will probably start this book early, its supposed to be our January book but Sierra is just itching to start it so it looks like we will be doing some reading over break. 🙂

For fun Victoria is currently reading:

This book is really neat! Its more enjoyable if you watch the movie as well because they reference the book in the movie. 🙂  I think for a child, that part really brings the magic of the book alive when they saw it in a movie and now are holding something like it in their hands.

So close to finishing the very last Harry Potter book!!! 🙂

Right now I am reading a lot of different things …..reading comp. books, textbooks for teaching, reference material, and articles.  I just started:

because my eco BFF told me it was a good read.  I loved Ecoholic …that book was a real eye opener.  I love eco books …they are so interesting to me and eco friendly, organic, natural, local stuff are a passion of mine.   Another good read in case you are looking for one is:

The Omnivore’s Dilemma {I loved the young readers edition}  Victoria and I read that in Aug – Sept.

Off to have lunch with my awesome little one and hear all about some of the mythical creatures she read about during free read this morning. 🙂


Read Full Post »

I finally put in a post on our homeschooling.  I did it up in the tabs section for easy reference.  I tried to make it as short and sweet as possible without too much rambling on and on. 😉

There is a short version of our story and the basic curriculum we are using for the 2011-2012 school year.

You can click the tab marked Our Homeschooling next to the Bella tab or you can just click the link here:

to go right to the post.


Read Full Post »

Victoria loves Science BUT she only loves it when its presented in a fun hands on way.  She loves to read about it BUT only when its presented in a fun way with lots of cool photos to look at.  Our first two years of Science I used a textbook.  And I will admit that was not the best for her but I thought at that time that she needed to follow standards to a T.  Then about a year and a half ago I had a moment of ah ha! Thank goodness I did because this past year and a half with Science has been so much fun and I have seen Victoria flourish and find joy in learning Science.

 The way I teach Science still follows state standards BUT I don’t use a textbook.  I log on to my school’s website over the summer and find out what units Victoria needs to complete for the next school year.  Like for this year we are supposed to cover weather, the solar system, rocks and minerals, health and a few other topics.  The site we have is great because not only does it tell us what subjects to cover, it also tells us what vocab words need to be taught and what main points need to be covered for each topic as well.  I then search online for books I want to use for each topic and for fun experiments and projects we can do as well.  Each unit is  taught by experiments, projects, reading out of library books and using online videos and printables {we love brainpop for this}.

This year we have come across some new science books that I wanted to share because they are great.  The drawings are cute, funny, and totally kid friendly.  They have great information in them and its not too much or too little.  A good amount for young readers and learners.

You can view the books on their site here:

I am hoping the person who has the music one checked out returns it soon because Victoria has been wanted that one for a few weeks now.  🙂

So far Victoria has read through a couple of these.  She loved the Astronomy one and the Periodic Table one.   She has been so keen on them that she actually put about five or six of them on her Christmas list this year!  She loves the color, the pictures and the way the information is presented.  Not to mention they come with cool posters that she can’t wait to hang up on her wall. 😉

I have to admit, I love the drawings in this book as well, they just make science more fun.  I wish I had books like this when I was growing up….I think that periodic table one would have really helped me out when test time came around. 😉

Our local library has all of these books in stock and from what most of my friends around here have told me, their libraries carry them as well.

I am not affiliated with this company in any way, just wanted to share our love for these books and how they make learning fun. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Space, Astronomy, and Constellations were always some of my favorite subjects growing up in science class.  I love that this year we get to hit on them again with the 5th grade state standards here.   We started off by doing a unit study on the planets using lots of supplemental material from the library and the cute videos on Brainpop.  For each planet my daughter filled out a worksheet with a drawing of the planet and the key facts about it.  We used worksheets from the curriculum R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Earth and Space.

When we started our unit on Astronomy and Constellations I wanted to get away from the cookie cutter worksheets and do more journal work and projects.  We are still using some videos from Brainpop {we love that site!} as well as tons of books from the library.

I asked my daughter to pick three of her favorite books from the huge stack we brought home from the library last week.  Here are her top three picks:

She is also reading a chapter a day out of: Magic Tree House’s Research Guide Space.  She loves that book and finds all the facts and the way it is presented really fun.

Remember this journal from my previous post?  🙂 This is the journal we are using for our journal work for  this unit study.  I find that for a left handed child, composition notebooks work best for her instead of the traditional spiral ones.

To introduce this subject to her we did some reading and charting of the constellation for her zodiac sign.

The second page shows how we would see the constellation {minus the lines 🙂 } with our naked eye.  I had Victoria add some fast facts about the constellation as well.  These first two page were just and introduction so she would know what it was we would be working on over the next few weeks.

Now we are going to be working our way through Janice VanCleave’s Constellations For Every Kid Book as well as using lots of supplemental books.  I love her books because they not only provide great information but they have questions for the child to answer, diagrams, and lots of fun activities too.  I wish when I was growing up I had this book, but even as an adult I am having fun with it as well. 🙂

Chapter 1: Night Lights

This chapter included some great reading material to teach the lesson as well as some questions based on the reading material.  She put the diagrams into her journal and then I had her answer the questions that went them.

The lessons can be short and sweet but also expanded into a longer lesson with extra supplemental material.  As we make our way through this book I will post some more of the experiments and journal work that Victoria is doing.  I love making learning fun and not just textbook based.  Sometimes I feel like if a child can sit and really get their hands into what  they are doing with activities and hands on learning, they can just grasp it so much stronger.  🙂

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »