1st Grade Curriculum for 2017-2018

I thought now that we are “officially” homeschooling this coming year, meaning we are registered and under an umbrella now that Boogie is 6 and old enough to be an official homeschooler, that I would share what curriculum we have chosen for this year. Then mid year I will do a little review and then an individual review of our favorites at the end of the year!

Since this is our first year using a full curriculum I wanted to piece together things and stay within a budget. While the big box curriculums were tempting, I just couldn’t spend that much on something we might not reuse in the future. For preschool and kindergarten we use Easy Peasy – this is a FANTASTIC site with full and free curriculum for every grade! All the way through high school! Boogie learned to read with Easy Peasy and Bubby and Bird are currently learning their ABC’s with it as well. I don’t however like using the computer for everything so 1st grade is the beginning of less computer time for my big girl.

Alright! So, this is going to seem like a LOT of curriculum, but some of these things will only be done on a once a week or two/three day a week intervals. Language Arts consists of four different curriculum pieces as I have separated them into spelling, grammar, literature and handwriting.

I have included links to where I purchased our curriculum, so I wanted to note that if you purchase anything from an Amazon link that I am an affiliate and do receive a small monetary percentage of sales from these posts. This compensation goes to maintaining this blog! The rest of the links are not affiliated. 

Art – World’s Greatest Artists (Vol 1) : This curriculum was created by Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler. We have used her Preschool curriculum as a supplement as well and she truly makes some fantastic resources! We are planning to utilize this, from what I’ve scheduled so far we should cover 4 artists this year. We will rotate each year between these and her World’s Greatest Composers sets until we finish them all!

Bible – Jesus Calling for Kids and Awana : I love Jesus Calling for Kids devotional. We will be utilizing this daily as well as doing some scripture copywork to go with her handwriting practice. I’m also considering sending Boogie, Bubby and Bird back to Awana as a little extra. We’ll see how that goes, it was rough last Fall because I was pregnant and we were rushing out the door when J got home from work, but it may be easier now that I know the area we live in better now and I’m not suffering from morning sickness, ha!

History – My America and My World and History for Little Pilgrims : Boogie has had lots of questions since this past presidential election, so I thought we would cover American History for 1st grade. First semester we will be using the first half of My America and My World since for Geography we are learning about the world and it includes some history of other countries as well. Second semester we will utilize History for Little Pilgrims, it reiterates some of the things we will learn in the first book, but has some great information I think she will enjoy as well. So you will see a review of the first book at the end of first semester, and then the second book at the end of second semester.

Language Arts (Literature) – Classic Literature Unit Studies : I went ahead and purchased the entire set of volume 1 literature units from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I’m in love with this curriculum. It’s going to be so fun and I know Boogie will really enjoy this. We are going to start with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, then we will move on to Black Beauty and start Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She has several different volumes, and I will definitely be purchasing the other volumes when we finish this set. I’m excited to dive into some classics with Boogie, we might even do some read alouds with this during lunch for everyone!

Language Arts (Handwriting) – Writing with Phonics (Manuscript) Grade 1 : We will be using this workbook for daily handwriting practice as well as doing scripture copywork. We didn’t focus on this much this year because truly, Boogie isn’t into it. She’d much rather read a book (or lots of books) then write. But it’s something we need to work on, so we’re diving in! She won’t have much daily writing with this, so I’m hoping she will enjoy it just a little…

Language Arts (Spelling) – K12Reader : I did not want to pay for a curriculum for spelling… no thanks! So when I came across this I thought it would be perfect! No work on my part to write up our own spelling words for the year, I just had to print everything out! You’ll find that a lot of homeschool moms don’t bother with spelling, but I personally feel it’s important. Yes, she will gain spelling knowledge from reading books, but it will not only help with how she writes and spells words, but also help her sound out and identify trickier words when she is reading. So we will be using this awesome site, and if it works well for us, they have spelling worksheets for all the way up to high school!

Language Arts (Grammar) – Scott Foresman Reading : This is another subject I wasn’t interested in paying for, I think this free resource will do nicely and I can pair the worksheets with youtube videos and/or my own teaching. Grammar is so important… I think social media makes this very obvious. So, as we move on to higher grade levels I will definitely look more into a more in depth curriculum for this. But for now, this will work for what we need! There are printables for Grades 1-6 on this site.

Geography – Expedition Earth : Yes, another Confessions of a Homeschooler curriculum! I told you I loved her stuff! This is a really neat curriculum for learning the geography of the earth, I love that it includes all kinds of fun info and even some fun Christmas Around the World Activities for December! It even has a section for animals you will find in each country so there’s a little science thrown in as well! I also purchased the Road Trip USA curriculum to use next year.

Science – NONE! We are going to use the outdoors as our teacher this year. We will utilize the zoo, the aquarium, the museums, and our own outdoor adventures to learn about nature. We have our sketchbooks ready and a library waiting for us to dive into books about nature! This is going to be so fun!

Math – Math Lessons for a Living Education : So technically I haven’t ordered this yet, but I’m pretty sure this is what we are going with this year. I love how colorful everything is, I love that with these math lessons your child is learning “real life” math and that it doesn’t take all day to complete your daily work. I still need to give Boog her placement test to make sure I’m choosing the right level before I order as well… and we have a curriculum sale to go to tomorrow, so this could absolutely change (but probably not… because I think I’m pretty sold). I’ll keep you posted on this one.

That’s it! That is Boogie’s curriculum for first grade! Yikes, I can’t believe my big girl is already gearing up for first grade, does that make her officially a big kid? I’m hoping that we can get into a groove come July (yes, we are starting in July… kind of going with a year round schedule with a 4-5 week break during the summer) and that I can get her doing some independent work while I work with the littles as well.

Keep an eye out, I’m thinking about posting a video or maybe doing a live video over on my Facebook page to show you how I’m organizing and scheduling our school year. I think this will help a lot with independent work now and in the future. I’ve gathered some ideas from fellow bloggers and created my own ideas as well! Thanks for reading!

Family Update

Yes, yes, another LONG overdue family update. It feels like ever since we moved to Tennessee that we’ve been going at high speed without a break in sight. We are constantly on the move, working on projects, there’s never any rest and this momma is BEAT!

J is doing great at his job, it’s of course stressful and very busy, but he seems to have a great staff. And even though the company is selling all of their nursing homes this year, we have high hopes that whatever company takes over will be exactly what the nursing facility and staff need to continue caring for their residents. J is also doing a lot of work around the house, current project is painting the interior, and then on nice days we are working on the backyard. We have definitely decided that this is not the home for us and will be listing it in 2019 and moving closer to Justin’s facility. Until then, we are just knocking out projects to update the house!

Boogie is almost done with her first year of “official” homeschool – she is going to be a kindergarten graduate! How crazy is that? She is a phenomenal reader, she’s already reading advanced chapter books and sometimes I can’t get her to stop reading! She’s grown so much this past year, sometimes I feel like she’s grown too much. This move has aged her in a way that I didn’t know was possible. She’s such a good big sister, she adores Bear. She is trying very hard to get along with Bubby, but they really butt heads… a lot of that has to do with his sensory stuff though, and she’s not sure how to handle it. We’re working on it though! Boog also loves her sister, I love the relationship I see blossoming between the two of them now that Bird can communicate and play more as a big two year old!

Bubby has come a long way since the move. He too has grown a lot, and the move affected him in good and not so good ways. We are very thankful that this move did bring us to an amazing occupational therapist. She is such a blessing to us, she’s able to reach Asher when I can’t. He’s learned so much from her and adores her, he even looks forward to going to his therapy now. He can now write his name all by himself, he’s identifying more of his ABC’s and he’s learning to identify numbers as well. Some of his behaviors he was exhibiting this time last year are almost entirely gone, while others have popped up. He’s trying so hard though, I know he’s hurting and stressed. I know he is anxious and still feels unsettled. He constantly asks when we are going back to our old house, which of course makes us feel awful and part of me wonders if we should have rented it out instead of selling it so we could go back someday. I’m praying that the next six months shows more growth and maturity, that not only he will learn to cope with some of his sensory needs but that I will learn better ways to help him as well.

Bird… oh Bird. She is a sassy pants. Welcoming Bear into the world completely disrupted her “baby” life and I think it threw her for a loop. My sweet girl has picked up on some of her older siblings less desirable behaviors, so we are trying to nip that in the bud real quick. Her red hair has definitely been showing, but let me tell you… she’s also the sweetest two year old and she has her daddy wrapped so tight, he cannot tell that girl no! She seems to be a lot like Boogie when it comes to learning, she has been following along with Bubby’s school work and picking up on her ABC’s. She really is precious and I hate that she’s growing up on me so quick! She loves picking out her clothes and she HAS to have a bow for her hair every day. She’s also rotten and sassy sassy sassy like I said and a whole lot of mess, but we all adore her!

Bear, oh sweet sweet Baby Bear. This boy is a delight. He is literally my sunshine when the rest of the world seems gloomy. On my hardest days parenting the older three, he makes everything seem better. He sleeps y’all. Like REALLY sleeps. He doesn’t stay attached to me wanting to nurse 24/7 like the big kids, he is content being worn and sucking on a pacifier and only wants to eat when he’s hungry or super tired. He’s always happy, he’s always smiling, he is so incredibly precious. He’s got these big beautiful blue eyes and they just melt me. I can’t even describe to you how much he has blessed us, he is literally the PERFECT last addition to our family. He IS our mic drop. I can’t wait to see his personality blossom and get to know the little man he is becoming.

As for me, I’m tired. Very, very tired. This move has exhausted me mentally, physically, spiritually… emotionally. I’ve been feeling a little lost amongst the chaos of everything, a little lonely, a little regretful and maybe a little overwhelmed. Okay… a lot overwhelmed. I’m not really sure where I fit into our world these days, I’m always busy doing something. I’ve had to step away from things I really love so that I don’t just go insane. You’ll probably see less giveaways and reviews on my blog, I have a few up right now but two of those are actually made by a sweet blogging friend from Mama Banana Adventures. We just have so much going on getting the house updated, parenting away from our families (i.e. less date nights and breaks for mommy), homeschooling, etc etc. It’s just a lot on my plate! Pray for me? Hoping that as we get closer to our one year anniversary of moving that I will feel more settled and relaxed about everything.

I’ve got some ideas to implement on Mustard Seed Mommy, I would love to start sharing more of our homeschooling journey with you. If you have any prayer requests just post a comment below, I would be happy to lift you up while you do the same for me! God bless!

Those Last Firsts

When J and I got married we knew we wanted to start trying for a baby right away. We wanted a family but we weren’t sure how many children we wanted yet. I was pretty set on having a large family while J was set on just two or three. I think it’s evident who won that battle!

I was excited about first seeing those red lines pop up on that first positive pregnancy test. And hear our baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. Feel the soft kicks and nudges in the second trimester, and the harder more pronounced movements in the third. Holding that sweet baby for the first time and taking in every smell, yawn and adorable face she made…. so on and so forth. What I didn’t anticipate was how I would feel experiencing our last firsts.

Baby Bear will be our last baby, with that comes a lot of last firsts. The last time I would tear up seeing those red lines pop up on the first test I took. The last time I would hear his heartbeat for the first time. The last time I would feel his first kicks and nudges. The last time I would have a pronounced bump for the first time. I didn’t realize how excited and how devastated all of those things would make me feel. Bear is going to be the last baby I hold for the first time, the last baby I smell and touch and kiss for the first time. He will be the last baby I see smile for the first time, hear giggle for the first time, crawl and walk and talk for the first time.

There will continue to be firsts, some that I have yet to experience. But in this period of my life, I’ll be saying goodbye to the pregnancy first, and soon after the new baby firsts, then the toddler firsts. I’m not sure where life is going to lead us, or what crazy adventures we’ll have as these babies grow and mature… all I know is that I will always look back and treasure all of the firsts from these stages.

Something I’ve learned after having several babies is that you become so busy with the mundane day to day, the cooking and the cleaning, the kissing boo-boos and reading board books that you don’t realize how fast the time goes by. You don’t realize how quickly those firsts will fly by and you learn to appreciate them just a bit more. So mommas, take a moment to treasure those moments, even if you have to take a trip down memory lane to reminisce those magical moments.

A Little Bit of Crazy

I thought we might be past due for a classic family update, I haven’t been doing many of those lately and while I have said over and over again that I was going to get back to writing about our family I just haven’t! There are many reasons for that but most importantly I’ve been spending more time with my kids and less time blogging. Anyways, I have big plans for this little blog of mine this year. You’ll learn more throughout the next few months, including seeing many reviews for some awesome products, and a big giveaway to celebrate my 8 year blogiversary in April!

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Anyways, things in the Mustard Seed house have been crazy and LOUD and adventurous to say the least. J has been working a lot (including staying over at work for a few days this past weekend and a few weeks ago due to poor weather) and he started his second semester of school a few weeks ago. He’s doing great, he’s tired, but I’m so proud of all the hard work he’s putting into this job and education. We are working on some projects together as well, we have really gotten into wood working since building our king sized bed last spring. We made some monogrammed ornaments for our family for Christmas, some picture holder signs for our mom’s, a coffee table, and we are currently working on loft beds for our kids! It’s so fun and a great way for us to bond when we otherwise don’t have the time or energy to do much of anything, including going out.

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Boogie has been working on some kindergarten curriculum this semester, she finished her Big Preschool Workbook last semester so we moved on to other things. We are halfway through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and she LOVES it. She’s already able to read a lot of her favorite books, with some help with the bigger words, seeing her face light up when she realized that she could read was AMAZING. Homeschool for the win! We are also using Earlybird Kindergarten Mathematics that I purchased from a friend a while back, it’s no longer in print, so I’m hoping to find more similar to this as Boogie really enjoys this particular book. She flies through her school work and is hungry to learn more and more. I will have to find some easy ways to teach her all the fun things she wants to learn – she’s super interested in the human body, animals, and baking/cooking…. so I’m planning to include those in our studies these next few months.

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Bubby is growing up so fast, I was astounded to discover that he is now in a size 4T pants when we were trying on clothes for this coming year last week. His 3T pants weren’t too short yet, but I guess I’ve been in denial because the 4T fit him perfectly! We are trying out different ways to handle Bubby’s behaviors, I haven’t really posted about this much, but our sweet boy is quite a handful. Our hope is that we can help him learn to handle his emotions a little better, that’s all I really want to say about that for the moment. Bubby loves being a “big boy”, he’s officially potty trained, though he does need to wear a pull up at night as he doesn’t wake up to go potty. But he’s done a great job being independent about changing back into undies the next morning. He is super into everything super heroes, so that includes being wild and crazy all the time as well! I’ve tried some preschool/tot school stuff with him, but I’m going to have to be more creative with how I go about teaching him. That child can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes unless he’s got something to munch on or his favorite movie is on! He wants to be like his big sister and sit for school, but he just can’t handle it. Any suggestions would be great! 😀

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Bird has been the perfect addition to our family, she is a breath of fresh air. She’s definitely a toddler now (I will not cry…. I will not cry…) and is showing her desire for independence but is also very much a clingy, mommy milk loving baby still. She loves to run around with her siblings and “try” to play with them, she is not afraid to let them know she wants to play or when she doesn’t like something they are doing. She loves playing with her babies, Bubby’s super hero action figures and anything that rolls. She loves being outside and still sticks EVERYTHING in her mouth. So that’s super fun. We are still bedsharing with this sweet girl, but she’s learning to sleep in her own bed as well. As of right now she sleeps the first few hours of bedtime in her own bed and then wakes up around 1-2am and sleeps the rest of the night with us. It works for us, so we don’t mind! And let me tell you, that baby likes to sleep. If she could sleep in in the morning, she’d probably sleep until 10!

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As for me, I’m planning some fun things for Mustard Seed Mommy and I have some dreams I would like to pursue in the next year… if I can save up the money to do so I would love to sell Lularoe. If you haven’t heard about Lularoe you’re missing out. Two words…. butter pants. Check it out, you won’t regret it!

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Anyways, that’s it for now. Life is crazy and hectic for us, we are always busy and I can’t believe how big my babies are. Having a 5, 3 and 1 year old all at once is an adventurous journey. I wouldn’t want it any other way! God bless!

What I Learned When My Daughter Turned 5

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You learn a lot in your first journey of becoming a parent, and really you learn new things with each child because every kid is different. Looking back there a few things I learned with our oldest, so I thought it was fitting to write this post on Boogie’s 5th birthday.

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You learn to be silly, ridiculously silly. You drop the insecurities you may have had and you do anything and everything to make that child smile. Boogie has one of the most beautiful smiles so you better believe I still do silly things to see her pearly whites. Now though, you’ll find that sometimes Mommy’s silly antics entice some eye rolls and “Mooooommmy, stop it already!” Is she 5 or 15?

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You get used to not sleeping much. It’s true. I won’t say that it is easier with less sleep, but you definitely learn to live without as much. We’ve gotten super lucky this past year with Baby Bird, so we actually have enjoyed a lot more sleep than what we are used too…. but really, you get used to 5-6 or less hours of sleep. It becomes routine and you create survival modes. For instance, when I was pregnant with Bubby and I was more exhausted than usual, I would snuggle up with Boogie in the recliner and we’d watch Disney Princess movies (this is probably why she’s been princess obsessed ever since!) You do what you have to do to survive…. and you survive!

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You don’t realize how quickly time flies by until you blink and all of a sudden your sweet baby is FIVE. Seriously, how did that even happen? It truly goes by so fast, so slow down and savor every moment. I feel like I just posted my birth story after Boogie’s birth… and now here we are, and she’s FIVE. FIVE people… FIVE!

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You learn to laugh, you laugh when you feel like crying, you laugh when you feel like screaming in anger, you laugh when there is absolutely nothing to laugh about… because laughing gently lessens the hard moments when you have no idea what you’re doing. Laughing helps you focus on the task at hand instead of losing it when all hell breaks loose. So you laugh, and laugh so more… and when you laugh, she laughs, and her laughter is beautiful.

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You love harder than you ever knew possible when you become a mother. You love that child so much that the tiniest ounce of fear or hurt or discomfort makes you want to fall in a heap and cry, you want your child to know no pain, to never feel hurt or betrayal, to never face despair or heartbreak. You would take that pain on yourself if you could because you love her so much… it’s a love that is most magnificent and hurts like you cannot believe.

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Being a mommy to this beautiful girl is one of the most amazing gifts I’ve ever received, she was the first to call me mommy, the first to teach me what unconditional love and the first to fulfill the desire in my heart to be a mommy. Happy birthday Boogie, here’s hoping you’ll forever be the quirky, sassy, bubbly girl I’ve come to know and adore.