"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

Monday, November 28, 2011

MFW 1st Grade - Week #11

Another week in My Father's World............

BIBLE/READING:  It's getting a little harder to separate what is bible and what is reading.  MFW is weaving them together so closely, that they are almost considered one.  Every other day we do bible with reading combined, and the opposite days we work in the bluebook (student workbook) and he learns more on the vowels and how to read.

This week Caleb learned about the 4th & 5th days of creation, which means his sight words consisted of lights, in, put, sun, moon, stars, work, fourth, birds, fish, and fifth.  "We" added to our bible notebooks the sun, stars, moon, birds, fish, etc.  The page is really coming along.  When we get it completed, you'll see a picture here on the blog.

We also continued reciting the books of the bible, adding a new one every day.  This week we added, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth.

Our bible verse this week was, A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.  Proverbs 14:30.   I have a confession to make.  All the bible memory verses are starting to sound the same.  We did so well those first couple of months, but I just haven't pushed him to get these recent ones memorized.  It's my goal to try to do a little better with that going forward.

Caleb's dictation words this week were:  chip, chop, chin, rich, inch, much, and ship, shut, shop, fish, dish, and wish.  As you can probably tell by looking at these words he learned the 'ch' and 'sh' sounds.

He is also working on a Sentence Booklet.  He has to choose a sentence to write on the lines provided, then illustrate the picture on the inside.  Since Caleb's favorite thing is NOT to draw, we like to search for graphics on-line to glue down for our illustrations.  He has a fun time choosing his favorite graphic from the options that come up.  This booklet will be completed after 3 random days of school.  I'll post a picture when we're done.

We read lots of fun books from the library again!!

MATH:  Not a lot of excitement this week with math as we are continuing to learn addition facts.  I slipped in some subtraction facts to see how he would do and he seems to be grasping the concept as long as we use a number line.  Caleb still needs to learn to look at the sign to determine whether the problem is an addition or subtraction problem.  I remind him if he starts using the wrong one.  Our bean and money cups are definitely getting full as we add to them each time.

SCIENCE:  From our Things Outdoors book we learned about the Sun and the Moon.  We touched on these last year in K, so it was a rather fun to learn a little more about them this time around.

Our hands-on activities this week was to simulate the sun on the earth using our globe.   We went into the bathroom to be in the darkest place.  I rotated the globe and Caleb shined the flashlight on it.  I showed him where we lived and we watched as Texas started out light and got dark as the globe was rotated.  A great visual to learn how the sun comes up every day and goes down at night, leaving us with the moon during the night.

Since we learned that God created birds, we had a quick study of feathers.  It nearly caught up on me, but God placed these few feathers in my path.  I picked them up, tucked them in my purse to use for our feather study.  How cool is that??

DID YOU KNOW?   The starfish climbs on a mussel and uses its rays, "legs," to pull and tug until the mussel weakens and it can separate the two shells slightly?  And that it then drops it's stomach down into the crack, where the stomach turns the contents of the muscle into a liquid, and then it eats this liquid for it's food?  It goes about its day, from one mussel to another, filling it's tummy.   We found a book we forgot to read when we were studying the ocean, rivers, and waves...and I must admit, Caleb and I both learned something when we read this book!!

Walking with the King,

Friday, November 11, 2011

MFW 1st Grade - Week #10

Welcome to week #10 of MFW 1st Grade!!

BIBLE:  The bible verse for this week was "A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke."  Proverbs 13:1  We haven't exactly memorized this one yet.  With words like heeds, mocker and rebuke, Caleb is a little tentative to get it right.

We continued working in our bible reader and bible notebook with days 2 and 3 of Creation.  With the study of day 3, we learned that God created the plants and the trees.  With plants and trees comes seeds.  So, we gathered an armful of various fruits, cut them opened and counted their seeds.  He really gets into this sort of activity; cutting, counting...seeing which fruit had more.  He likes contests!  ;o)

This was our collection of fruit and supplies needed for the activity.  I would like to add that Caleb took this picture himself.  You never know, we might have another blogger in the family some day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

MFW 1st Grade - Week #9

A little late in getting this posted, but here it is....

BIBLE:  We started our timeline this week.  I'm sure there are many variations out there of how MFW users incorporate this.   We really didn't have 6-8 ft of wall space in the school room and I hesitated to put this down our hall-way for the only reason that when ever we wanted to look at it we'd have to get up and leave the school room.

So, I decided to use the edge the beautiful shelves Johnny made us.  I bought a roll of twine and used those cute little clothes pins I posted about some weeks back along with a few push pins.  This way it is right over our heads and we can look at it at any moment and keep on going without the interruption of having to leave the room.

Our timeline goes the full length of the shelves, which is 8 ft.  So, here are three photo's to show that.  From left to right the signs placed on our timeline are:

*Written in Hebrew - "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  We colored grass along the bottom, a blue sky, flowers, and a tree.  Very hard to see in this picture...but it's there.
* 2000
* 1000

* B.C. - A.D.
* 1000
* 2000
* Photo of Caleb put on his birth year, 2005
* A "?" to show that Christ is returning for us some day, we just do not know when.

The memory verse this week was, "The Lord detest lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful."  Proverbs 12:22

I've decided that MFW is really focusing on our attitudes and how they are connected to the words we use and how we talk and treat people.  I wish they were a bit more varying, but memorizing and learning scripture is a great thing.

My laminator came in recently and I can't wait til I have a moment to laminate all those little labels.  That will keep them safe for the entire school year!

READING:  This week MFW introduced the bible reader to Caleb and so started our stack of index cards with our words to remember/sight words on them.  This weeks words are:  God, the, world, was, made, dark, life, water, only, no, it, had, but, there, said, let, be, and, saw, good, first, light, that, day.  I've showed you pictures of lists of words that Caleb has had to read and sound out each day.  These specific words correlate specifically with his Bible Reader.  For example, the bible story he read using half these words I listed was as follows:

God Made the World

The world was dark.
It had no life.
It only had water.
But God was there.

And the other half of the words were used in this story:

God said, "Let there be light."
And there was light.
God saw the light.
It was good.
That was the first day.

Also this week we began to use our Bible Notebook.  On certain days of our bible time, he will do some writing and illustrating of the bible story that is told that day.  As I looked through to get an idea on how this is supposed to go, I am told in more than one place to acquire and keep up with my own bible notebook.  The idea here is that my notebook will be a guide for Caleb as he is encouraged to draw, color, and create his own pictures.  I expect this to be somewhat of a challenge as those are some of Caleb's least favorite things to do.  But maybe, if I have a notebook too, and he can look at mine, it will go ok.  I'll have to look ahead and see if I can stock up on stickers and stuff, too, so that it's not ALL drawing for him.

He also finished up another student sheet activity called "More Animal Tales."  Caleb has two sentences he reads every day at the bottom of his reading workbook.  They usually have a few of the words that he was learning how to sound out that day.  Over the course of the last two weeks he's been writing the sentence that talks about an animal into a hand made booklet.  He then illustrates something to go along with that sentence.  This is always something we do together because he is not going to color or draw unless I'm right there beside him, doing it with him.

Caleb has learned that the internet is a fabulous tool.  When there is something we need to draw and need an idea of how it looks he'll tell me to look it up on the internet for a pattern.  ;o)   This idea works really well as long as I'm careful with my word choices on what we "search for."  For example, when we were studying rivers and our little book mentioned a brooke, Caleb wanted to know what a brooke was.  Well, don't just google brooke....You get ALL SORTS of Brookes, with a capital B....I had to quickly cover Caleb's eyes.  He giggled and I entered a new search, "brookes with water."  Then we found what we needed.

Nearly every day Caleb has words of dictation.  I call out the word and he has to write it.  It was rather cute when the other day his word was "we."  I said, "we."  He said, "I know that!" and hustled to write "Wii" on his worksheet!   Too funny....I had to explain that I didn't mean his video game system.... ;o)

BOOKS:  As always, we read lots of books...I took a few moments this week to make a list before sending them back to the library.  This isn't all of them, but most of them.

Fun Books:
*Pirates Go To School
*Pickles, Please!

Math Books:
*Ready, Set, Hop had two frogs competing on who could jump the furthest - - including addition problems along the way
*Twenty is too Many - a fun story about guinea pigs counting backwards from 20-1

Science Books: 
*At the Beach by Anne & Harlow Rockwell
*A Day at Seagull Beach
*Eyewitness Explorers Seashore
*Lottie's New Beach Towel
*The Seashore Book
*At the Beach by Melanie Hope Greenberg
*Star of the Sea, A Day in the Life of a Starfish
*Is this a house for hermit crab?
*When the Tide is Low
*What Makes an Ocean Wave?

MATH:  We're hitting addition pretty hard.  What I've noticed with Caleb is that he sorta toodles along, learning something new, and then suddenly when he "gets" it - we both know it and he starts breezing through.  We're still in the toodling stage of addition, but I don't expect it to take long before he's breezing through.  ;o)

He's counting by 5's and 10's completely by himself, is recognizing odd and even numbers in the single digits (I haven't tried any doubles yet), and does pretty well with counting by 2's.  He seems to be getting the "place value" concept - - I think our daily bean jar, money jar, and other place value tasks are starting to make sense.

SCIENCE:  This week we studied "The Beach" and "Waves" from our Things Outdoors book.  Our hands-on activity was to use a rope and a stationary object and simulate waves.  Not very complicated, but fun for a 6 year old!!

I have to admit I was a bit excited to find in my garage last week a small box.  This is a box that came with a photo album inside it from one of the Hallmark stores.  A very OLD box from a very long time ago.  ;o)   Inside I have kept a collection of shells from the beach.  I have carted this box around, never quite sure why I couldn't part with the shells.  They are just shells after all.  But, they are so unique that I would tuck them away every time I came across the box.  I was certain some day I would need them for something.  I'm please that the reason may be so that I could share them with Caleb for our study this week...

These shells were found right there in the sand, along the shore of Mustang Island, Access Road #3.  ;-)  I'm convinced that someone must have gone snorkeling or scuba diving to find them because in all my days at the beach I've never found any this unique before.  I don't know the names of them, but you can see in the picture there was quite a variety - even coral.

This is the old box, filled with shells.

The last few weeks of science have been somewhat light.  I don't know if it's good or not to wish for something a little more involved for Caleb as that would definitely add more to our school week.  We'll see how it goes and what comes next.  I'm trying to decide if he's getting enough science with the curriculum we're using or if a supplement needs to be incorporated some how.  My sweet sister-in-law, Kathy, told me to check out the TEA website and see what recommendations are there and use that as a guide.  I'm going to do just that!

Week #9 took longer to finish.  All last week Caleb was ill.  His doctor appointment came complete with blood work, strep test, and flu test.  All were negative except the blood test showed he had a bacterial injection.  So, he had to have an antibiotic injection and was put on antibiotics and med's for congestion. Rough day for my little guy.

On to week #10 - unbelievable that we are already this far into the school year!!

Walking with the King,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

MFW 1st Grade - Week #8

Rock'n and rollin'n is what we're doing in week #8 of MFW.

BIBLE:  Another proverb was given this week to be recited and learned.  "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."  Proverbs 12:18

We wrote "healing words" on two bandaids and gave them to someone we thought needed encouragement using kind words...  ;o)

He also had a worksheet showing the Greek Alphabet where he was to write the letters himself.  He wasn't too crazy about this assignment because some of the letters were so different.

READING:  We dove right into this new week with learning "ir" "er" and "ur" and how they all sound like "er".  He read new words and learned the sound that goes with "aw" and how a, e, i, o, u can ALL sound like "u" in 'up.'  The last word series he learned was "wor" as it is pronounced in "were."

Once you learn to read, you really don't think about it anymore, but the vowels make SO many different sounds.  That's a lot for a little mind to absorb and remember.  I'm very impressed with how Caleb is able to keep up with all those different aspects.  When he gets stumped I just tell him the rule to follow and he sounds out the words...

BOOKS:   As usual we read a lot of books this week.  And as many as we read, we come across all sorts.  Good, bad, and sometimes just plain weird books.  And every so often, we get one that is really, really good....One that reaches inside you and touches your heart in a BIG way.  The book that did that to us this time was, "The Raft" by Jim LaMarche.  Oh, if you've never read it, you really need to try to find it at your library....It tells the story about a little boy who doesn't have a choice but to spend the summer with his grandmother.  He expects to be quite bored, but during that summer, she teaches him the joy in rafting on the river.  Such a sweet and wholesome story....I even had a little tear eeking out the corner of my eye and Caleb chuckled at me for it.  ;o)  The illustrations were absolutely beautiful - - see what I mean??

Caleb's favorite would have to be "A House for Hermit Crab" by Eric Carle....He was able to show off in his memorization of the months of the year while we read this one...and who doesn't love an E. Carle book - they are always good.

Our books touched on nearly all our topics this week including math when we read "More or Less" and "Mall Mania," by Stuart J. Murphy

With our study of rivers in science this week we read several books on that subject, but I found "What is a River?" by Chris Arvetis to be the best selection to explain the concept in terms that a 1st grader could more easily understand.

MATH:  Lots of worksheets concentrating on addition were given to Caleb to complete this week.  He really seemed to enjoy figuring out the math problems.  At the beginning of the week the worksheets had him using "counters" to introduce the concept.  Then they worked into picture math - here's an example:

I'm not sure if it was just the day or if the pattern animals are no longer fun for him, but I had to encourage Caleb to do the assignment this week when normally he's pretty excited about them.  This week we had to see if we could cover any of three animals using only two colors...our answer to that problem was "No."  We were able to cover the Rabbit using three colors, but that was as close as we could get.

SCIENCE:   This week we've been studying "Rivers."  What makes a river, what sometimes happens to water in rivers, and a little bit about waterfalls.  It's fun to put myself in the shoes of a 1st grader.  He listens with his eyes wide open and soaks it all right in.

I wasn't crazy about the hands-on project this week and asked the Principal if he wanted to do it or if we could skip it.  He agreed to skip it, so we did not do the Filter Water project...In the broad scheme of things, it just didn't seem important on that day.

ART:  We opted to skip the Drawing with Children art assignment for this week and work on a couple of things we'd picked up from Michaels in the mark down section.  They seemed cute and fun at the time, but once we opened them it was sort of a fiasco.

First project was a stained glass car!  Sounds cool, right?  Well, the paint for the stain was awful.  Gloppy and gross.  We did our best, but it really wasn't very much fun for Caleb.

Then he asked to paint one of the ceramic trucks from the other painting kit we had.  Upon opening all the little paint cups - DRY.  Every last one of them was dry as a dry can be.

So, as luck would have it we had a plan B.  I pulled our Crayola finger-paints off the shelf and he used those instead.

And this was the closing on our week #8 of MFW home school.  I'm always encouraged by each day of school.  There is so much to learn and Caleb really seems to enjoy it.  We still have only had what I would call one really bad day of school.  There are some days though where Caleb is dragging his feet and I have to keep asking and encouraging.  So, to alleviate that problem I came up with this system after a discussion with my sister-in-law, Kathy, who happens to be a teacher.  

I don't know if this is exactly how her system goes, but this is what I do.  Caleb gets 3 chances to act right.  If I feel I've had to ask too many times, I pull #3.  Too much asking again and I pull #2.  When he gets to yellow, #1, he knows things aren't good and one more card pulled and he will not get his sticker for the day.

All these colorfully numbered cards are....
 Sweetly tucked inside this pocket and sit directly in front of us, leaning against the computer monitor.

Since I have incorporated this system, I've never had to pull a card.  I think we've only had two or three occasions were I said, "am I going to have to pull a card?"  And right away he straightens up.  Because you see, he gets a sticker every day for a good day of school.  If his sticker card for the week is full, he gets a small prize. If his sticker card for the month is full, he gets a bigger prize.

Honestly though, out-of-sight out-of-mind.  I've only bought one toy "for stickers" since we started this.  When he thinks of it, I honor it.  ;o)

Off to week #9, which we started already.  After one day into it, I can see it's going to be a fun week!!

Walking with the King,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

MFW 1st Grade - Week #7

Wow - can't believe we have SEVEN school weeks behind us already.  That is just incredible to me.  So many new things to learn and Caleb keeps taking it all in stride!

BIBLE:  Another bible verse for the week and once again, mission accomplished!  In case you can't see the photo very well here is the verse:  "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.  Proverbs 29:11"

In a cute and funny way, we learned to draw a map of Israel and the area near it, then worked on memorizing the bodies of water.  Here is the example we had to look at:

#1 - a man's boat as he is out fishing, - - Mediterranean Sea
#2 - his fishing lines getting all tangled up in the water - - Nile River 
#3 - the man's finger's after he fell overboard trying to untangle his lines - -Red Sea 
#4 - a distress signal: a balloon - - Sea of Galilee
#5 - with a string - - Jordan River
#6 - a mitten hanging on the end of it - - Dead Sea 
#7 - a water bug - - Persian Gulf
#8 - his antennae - - Tigris River
#9 - his antennae - - Euphrates River

Here's Caleb's drawing:
Here's my drawing and Caleb decided to use my drawing for the labeling...

The silly sentence used to memorize the different bodies of water is, "E.T. purrs in the red nile med."

Euphrates River, Tigris River, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Nile River, and Mediterranean Sea....So, with a little more work, maybe we'll both get all that to memory.  ;o)

READING:  Tons more new words this week and fun little projects to practicing writing some of them. Here he had to cut out some shapes and write some of his new words on the inside.

This project was a little rough.  He was learning words with "oo" in them.  Some of them sound like "spoon" and others like "book."  He had to sort about 24 words into the right pockets of his booklet.

In this dictation exercise, I said the word and Caleb had to write it.  If you look in the picture above you can see that at the top of the worksheet, (where he was to fill in the blanks,) there is already one vowel written on the line to start him off.   For example, in #1 he had to decide if hot had the "o" or the "oo".  In the worksheet below, there are no vowels written and he had to just write the word as I dictated them to him....

Here are a couple of examples of the daily word lists from his workbook...

MATH:   This week for math was what I'm referring to as a "lay-low" week.  Not sure, but the math lessons were way too easy and not much to them.  They focused on the different shapes: circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, crescent, oval, etc...We did the assignments, but they weren't very challenging for Caleb.  He nearly did them with his eyes closed and one hand tied behind his back.  But, after a quick peek at next week's math, I see why we had a light week.  Next week???  Watch out addition - - here we come!  Lots of worksheets and assignments every day....We'll take this light week and enjoy it for now.

And of course exploring day came complete with another pattern animal assignment.  Caleb continues to enjoy these...

Lots of great stories were read this week!  I think we read over 20 books....but I've already exchanged them all out for books for the next two weeks and once again didn't think to keep the list.  I did have some of them written down, but we became part of the reader's club with the Corpus Christi Area Teachers Federal Credit Union, and I turned in his list to them.  Each month Caleb can earn a "pin" to go on a lanyard.  A fun little goal to help encourage reading.  The weather "theme" packet from the library came in handy and we read every book in the packet from cover to cover...

SCIENCE:  This week we learned a little bit about thunder and lightning from our Things Outdoors book.  After reading about the topic in our science book we ventured to youtube.com and watched a few videos on thunder and lightning.  Not really a whole lot of hands-on activity for this topic so I incorporated a "lapbook" that continued our topic on rain from last week adding in concepts about thunder and lightning.

The cover!
The inside!
Fold-out of the three main types of clouds!
What makes up the weather?
Answers on the inside!  I typed them and Caleb glued them in place!

Whew - another great week in My Father's World!!  I'm continually blessed by the opportunity to home school Caleb.  He seems to really enjoy school and even though he balks when I mention it's time to start school, within a few minutes he's the one reminding me we need to get busy with our school day.  That is so encouraging to me.  

I can see differences in his reactions to assignments from week to week.  Things that used to be overwhelming and frustrating are now becoming easier.  I'm certain that MFW will put another twist in our day and produce some more complicated tasks to make up for it, but I'm equally as certain that Caleb will do quite well with each and every challenge placed before him.  

Until next week - blessings to you and as always I ask for your prayers to help carry us through our homeschool journey.

Walking with the King,