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!

Child Training Bible Review & Giveaway

When we found out we were expecting our first child, my husband and I discussed all of the things we wanted to teach our child… one thing we didn’t discuss was discipline. It’s not really something you think about when you have a baby, it’s not really necessary at that point! As our family has grown, we knew that as they needed more discipline and training that we wanted to do so in a way that glorified God and taught them right from wrong biblically. I wanted to use our bible to help teach our children when they did something wrong or needed to learn why something they did wasn’t right or Christ-like.

I was incredibly excited to come across the Child Training Bible, an incredible resource made by a homeschooling mom named Mindy Dunn. As a mother of five children she wanted to raise her children and train them up using scripture. Just like us, she tried many different ways to utilize her bible in a way to teach and discipline, but found that directly using her bible over outward sources was the best way. So she created a system that anyone could use to create their own training bible.

All you do is head over to Mindy’s website and order the chart set HERE. You can order one set, or order larger quantities for your group (and receive a discount depending on how many you purchase). The sets include a training bible key, three tabbing charts, and a set of instructions. Then, you will have to purchase a set of highlighters, tabs and the bible you hope to use.

You can click the images below to order your highlighters and tabs.

        
I chose to use my Message bible for this, though I will say it was a little harder to find what I needed to highlight because of the way the Message bible is laid out compared to your typical bible. I may end up redoing it in my NIV bible at a later point, but for now this is working just fine!

We’ve started using this whenever we find a need to teach or discipline our children, some of the biggest issues we come across with our children are fighting, lying and tattling. They aren’t always very excited about this, but we’ve found that when we use the word of God to help teach them, they listen more and care more about what we are saying. Especially Boogie… she was incredibly upset the first time we did this with her. She was constantly hitting and scratching Bubby, it’s such a competition with them and that’s how she was reacting to his behavior. So I sat her down and we went over the verses on fighting and had her do some copywork and then write a prayer in her journal. She was ANGRY, she was upset, and then when she finally finished she realized why her mommy was having her do all of this.

Using scripture teaches our children not just what WE want them to know, but what God wants them to know… and I think that makes a world of difference. I saw my child’s heart soften as she copied her bible verses, and I saw my child write a prayer that asked God to help soften her heart towards her brother.

If you have ever desired an easier way to find the scriptures you need to help teach your child, this resource is the way to go. It’s also a great resource to use for your bible curriculum, we’ve really been able to utilize this during our bible studies!

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Mindy has graciously offered up a chart set to giveaway to one of my readers! Just fill out the widget below, entries will be verified.

The Beginner’s Bible Review & Giveaway!

Now that Boogie is an excellent little reader (and she really really loves it!), I’ve been on the hunt for a book or curriculum to use for her Bible lessons. When I came across The Beginner’s Bible I knew that it would be perfect for her…. the book is a bible for little ones, with simple to read stories that go in the correct order that’s in a typical Bible. Boogie LOVES it.

There are some bigger words that she needs help with, but otherwise she can do this daily reading on her own, then discuss what she learned with me after!

The illustrations are bright, colorful and vivid, any child would enjoy glancing through the pictures even if they can’t read. These illustrations are fresh and new, but the book itself was originally released in 1989 and has been a popular book for many children ever since.

The Beginner’s Bible has a great website with games and activities for kids including printables of all sorts and videos to watch. You’ll also find some great resources for parents and teachers that coincide with each story in this bible. You can find that website HERE. Be sure to enter for a chance to win your own copy of this great bible, or head on over to Amazon to purchase! It’s currently on sale for $12.88!

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

How to Survive the Start of the New School Year – Home School Edition

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NourishWhatsNext #CollectiveBias

It’s no secret that we are homeschooling our children, it’s also no secret that we just found out that I’m expecting our fourth child! Needless to say, both of these are exhausting on top of the every day “mom tasks”. We just started our school year, Boogie is starting Kindergarten and Bubby is starting Pre-Kindergarten.

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Starting a new school year is intimidating and exciting all at the same time. You have a huge weight on your shoulders to offer an education to your children and the sense of excitement from you and your children about the upcoming school year brings so much joy! So here are 5 tips on how I survive the beginning of the new school year!

  1. Prepare ahead of time. I like to put together about 2-3 weeks of lessons to get us started, then I can see what works for us and what doesn’t. It also allows us time to be flexible and I can move things around until we find the right fit.
  2. Don’t rush into it, you may not like the curriculum or topics you originally chose. So take your time going over the materials with your children and have fun with it!
  3. Don’t limit yourself to schooling inside! Go to the library, the park, the zoo, the museum, or even your own backyard! One of the best things about homeschooling is the immense flexibility you have to school wherever you wish!
  4. Find a support system. Whether this be your family, friends, or even a home school group. While we haven’t joined a local co-op in our new city yet, I have connected with a group of local home school families on Facebook. Having that place to vent, swap ideas, and plan meet ups is so very helpful.
  5. Start every day with a good protein filled breakfast. I discovered Special K protein shakes and bars, pair these with a good fruit and you are set to start your day. Special K helps fortify you for what’s ahead!

 

I knew I needed to find something to fill my queasy tummy in the mornings and that would also sustain me through our morning chores and then our 2 hour school day. (This is a huge plus in my book for homeschooling!) Even though I’m 16 weeks pregnant, I am still suffering through “morning” sickness, it’s a plague that will not relinquish it’s hold! If I can get a good protein into my system I’m usually good to go, but most end up making me feel more sick.

I was excited for the opportunity to try some of the protein bars and shakes that Kellogg’s® Special K® offer, so I headed over to our local Kroger grocery store to hunt some down. You can find Special K products all over the store, if you head to the breakfast cereal aisle you can find granola bars, brownies and cereals. You can head to the breakfast freezer section to find crustless quiche and healthy breakfast sandwiches. However, I headed to the pharmacy department, you can find the protein shakes and protein bars in the aisle with protein powders, shakes and other miscellaneous items meant for enhancing your health. Special K products were easy to spot with their bright colors and brand labels.

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There are many flavors to choose from, I’m a chocolate girl so I chose a box of Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Meal Bars and a case of Rich Chocolate Protein Shakes. I would have loved to try the Chocolate Mocha flavor (because what’s better than chocolate AND coffee flavors?) but they were out of that particular flavor.

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The protein bars are delicious, it’s really like a candy bar! The inside is a crispy rice bar with peanut butter and then it’s coated in a smooth chocolate. I was so worried about feeling sick after eating one, because normally sweets are not good for my tummy in the mornings. However, after eating this I felt satisfied and ready to start the day. I still felt slightly queasy (but let’s get real, it never really goes away!) but I was able to function. I cleaned my entire kitchen this morning without getting sick!

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The shake was good as well, I like to mix mine with ice to make a more smoothie consistency. The shake is a little thick straight out of the bottle for me, but the taste is really good.

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Don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes below for a chance to win a Kroger gift card and head over to Special K Fortify to learn more about their amazing products!

#NourishWhatsNext Special K at Kroger

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!