Our Second Grade Curriculum – Boogie 2018

I thought I would write separate posts for each kid and for my boxes so you can see what I’m using for each age and then what we are using family style. Today’s post will be all about Boogie, she is 7 (8 in December) and is in “second grade”. I use quotations because in homeschool grades really aren’t accurate. She is doing above average and average level work depending on the subject. But for category purposes, we say second grade!

First up is Language Arts. This year we are about halfway through Level 1 of The Good and the Beautiful. If you’ve never heard of this curriculum, I highly recommend checking it out. I’ll talk about it more in a minute. So I discovered this curriculum early in the year and I actually started Boogie on it around March or April. The Language Arts levels are not aligned with grade levels, they are a bit more advanced. You’ll hear more about that when I start talking about Bubby’s LA levels. So Boogie is about 1/3 of the way through Level 1, if she finishes it before the end of our school year I will go ahead and start her on Level 2. What’s really awesome is that Levels 1-5 in PDF form are COMPLETELY FREE. Yes. You read that correctly. You can download and print these levels for free. You will need to purchase the phonics cards and the reader is optional. We’ve opted not to use it this year.

It’s truly an amazing curriculum, we are thoroughly enjoying it. It’s also important to note that the author is Mormon, and while we are not Mormon and don’t believe in the faith… there is absolutely nothing in these books that push their faith. It’s non-demonational, she has people from a lot of different Christian faiths read through and edit her curriculum. My thought is that I’m not supporting her faith, I’m supporting her family… a fellow homeschooling momma, buy utilizing this curriculum. It truly is a good and beautiful curriculum.

Next up is Math –  we really enjoyed Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 1 with Boogie last year. I started her out on the lowest level because I felt there were some things covered in it that we had missed in what we were using before (Easy Peasy). She flew through that and then we started Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 2 around March and we are about halfway through it this year. Taking it a little slower these past few weeks as we’ve reached some topics that are a bit harder and more challenging for her. I’ve gathered the manipulatives that she needs throughotut the book, as well as cut and laminated the manipulatives directly from the book and placed them in a plastic envelope that she keeps in her box. She loves reading through the stories and learning along with Charlie and Charlotte, the twins in the book. Both of these levels are on sale, you can click on them in this paragraph, or you can go HERE to see more levels that are also on sale!

For History we are utilizing another The Good & the Beautiful curriculum, their Year 1 History. This is actually done family style, but is recommended for grades 1 and up, however they do encourage you to incorporate your little ones so they can learn right along with their older siblings. So for this, I’ve opted to just print out fun coloring pages for Bubby and Bird and I’m using the student workbork for Boogie. So that’s also included in her box. I’ll share more about this curriculum in my post about our family style subjects.

We are also working on cursive handwriting, I’m teaching this to her myself and we use a basic Mead Learn to Letter notebook to practice. Then she is also learning to type on the computer. For this we are using this awesome FREE online resource called Dance Mat Typing. It’s a little corny, but she loves it!

That’s all Boogie has in her personal homeschool tote. It’s nice to have everyone’s personal books organized this way, and I’m sure I’ll post again later in the year on how it’s going. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Keep your eye out for my next post on what we are utilizing for Bubby this year!

Some of the above links are affiliate links at Amazon.com, I earn a small profit on qualifying purchases and this helps fund my blog website. So thank you for your contribution to Mustard Seed Mommy if you order from one of these links.

 

 

 

 

Homeschool Organization

Now that we’ve been settled into our new home in NC for half a year, I feel like we are finally getting into a good groove. I am hoping to start writing more homeschool posts on Mustard Seed Mommy as our family grows and ages, we are stepping away from our baby days (cue tears). Bear is 18 months old this month, so still technically a baby but more a toddler. I can’t believe that next year he will be TWO (cue more tears).

I’m really excited about this school year, we do tend to school year round and take longer breaks throughout the year instead of one longer summer break. We started this school year officially at the beginning of August and started slowly with just Math and Language Arts and then I added our other subjects slowly throughout the past few weeks. I’ll probably mix in a few other things throughout the year. For us, while we do have a homeschool space/room, we also like to school on the go. So I bought totes that we can take with us. They’re a little bulky and I’m not sure if they’re going to work, but for now they’re doing the job. I really like these totes made by Latchmate that have a organizing tray and handle, however they aren’t wide enough for binders, and we are using a binder for Boogie’s math this year.

Next year we may just bind everything with coils and skip the binders and utilize these totes instead. You can find those totes HERE. The ones we are currently using are these basic Sterilite 15qt storage totes from Walmart (they’re like $3/each, way too expensive on Amazon!).

So each kid has a tote with all their curriculum, the manipulatives they use on their own, and anything else they may need for their individual work. Then I have one tote that has our family style curriculum like history, science, bible, etc. The Latchmate tote on the right has the manipulatives and supplies that we all utilize together. How cool is that tray? It fits right down inside the box and then the lid latches over it. Our biggest issue is that this is a lot of boxes to tote around, so I’m thinking up a solution for that… maybe backpacks or just grabbing what we need for the day and throwing it in a tote bag. Either way, I love how we have everything separated and organized. Even if we don’t use these particular totes for on the go, I think we will continue using this method to organize at home. I like it much better than baskets or placing the kids curriculum on  shelves.

I will be posting this weekend about the curriculum we’ve chosen for Boogie, Bubby and even Bird (she loves to participate in school!). If you have a moment, share in a comment below on how your organize your school supplies. What are your favorite supplies to use for organization?

Paradise Praises – Bible Activities Review

I am so excited to share this review with you guys today! One of the things that drives me crazy is searching for extra worksheets to give Boogie for busy work when we are studying something in particular and I need to give her something to do while the littles need my attention.This book completely solves that problem for our Bible studies!

I love love love this book! My only complaint is that it would be easier to make copies of in a spiral bound book or even a loose leaf binder or perhaps a book with easy pull out pages. I’ll probably tear this apart and put it in a binder for easier copying for my kids.

As you can see in the above image, there are a ton of worksheets and coloring pages to choose from! Some are above my children’s levels just yet, but we are already utilizing some of them! For instance, as I will state in my video (hopefully I’ll have that posted tonight), we are learning the books of the Old Testament…. first worksheet in this book is a word search containing the Old Testament books! Boogie LOVED it! It kept her busy while I did some other work with Bubby and Bird. I’m excited to utilize this book some more and I’m even more excited to see if the creator, Katie Hornor, comes out with more books like this!

You can find out more about Katie at ParadisePraises.com or purchase your own copy at Amazon HERE! Be sure to check out Paradise Praises, there are some awesome posts and other resources there for everyone, not just homeschoolers!

I received a free copy of this activity book in return for a review. All opinions and statements are my own, a positive review was not required. Affiliate links are included in this post, any money made goes back into this blog! Thank you for visiting Mustard Seed Mommy!

New Beginnings

The old has gone, the new is here! How amazing is that? How wonderful is it that God can wash away all the old and spring forth new goodness and hope into our lives? We are officially NC residents again, we are getting settled into our new home and gearing up to get started into Boogie’s second semester of first grade and Bubby’s second semester of Pre-K. It’s been a hard few months, but we are HERE. God has truly been merciful to us, I’ve been reminded again and again to lay my burdens at His feet so that He can take on my burdens… it’s not been easy, but we made it through this trial.

I’m excited to start this year anew with some changes to what you’ll be seeing in the coming months on my blog. I have been taking a long break from writing really, with the exception of some reviews and random posts here and there because I really just didn’t know what I wanted to do with Mustard Seed Mommy. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to continue or what I should use MSM for anymore. I love blogging, it’s always been a way for me to share family adventures with our friends/family who live out of state, it’s also been a way for me to share my faith and to share things that I love with my readers.

This past month I’ve been praying and thinking a lot about where I want to go with MSM and I thought, what better way to start this year blogging, then with my “Word” for 2018?  It’s something I’ve also been praying over, I wanted something that would push me this year… and it’s a word that’s been whispered in my ear over and over and over. Rest.

Yea, you heard me. REST. I know what you’re thinking. Rest? Trust me, I’ve said no over and over again to that word for this year. I don’t have time to rest. I don’t have time to go to the bathroom alone, how would I have time to rest? Guess what? Through Him I find rest. It’s as simple as that. I have to strive to be like Mary of Bethany, to rest at the feet of Jesus, to choose Him above all else. I have to say no when I want to be like Martha, running around like a crazy person attempting to make my home spotless, my home perfect for my guests… I have to find rest in Him. Always. Every. Single. Day.

So this year, you’re going to find more posts about my family and our adventures. You’re going to find posts about homeschooling and my faith. Because those things are what keep me going. Family and faith. Homeschooling is part of our family right now and I am SO SO excited to share some curriculum with you this year. I’ve got some pretty cool things up my sleeve, it’s going to be a blast! I’ve also got some things planned for a mom’s group at our church that I’ll also be sharing, lots of neat things to come.

Thank you for sticking by me all these years, it’s a big one y’all…. April will make TEN years since I started blogging. I can’t believe it! I can’t wait to see what the next ten years brings. God Bless!

 

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!