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Homeschool Journal, Discussion and Newsletters
Monday, 22 September 2008
Newsletter 4
Topic: Newsletters and Journal

Newsletter 4

Week 6: Catch up

Week 7: Fall! (also: Fire Safety and Johnny Appleseed)

Week 6:  We used this week to catch up on our family unit from last week.  We also took this opportunity to teach the kids a bit of the political process as we watched the Republican National Convention together and discussed the process.  It’s really cool that a 6 and 5 year old know the names of the major candidates and their running mates.  We also watched coverage of the hurricane and talked about what a hurricane was and what it might mean for families.  Sometimes homeschooling is about the beauty of not having to go along with any schedule and letting the kids learn by living and life experience.  We took such advantage this week.

No School on Monday, Labor Day

Day 1 (Tues.):  We just summarized week 5’s unit on families.  We had a few writing assignments to finish, so we did that today. 

We did:

Journal, “Thank you God for my family. I love my family because…” Kate answered-“Because Mommy plays with me sometimes.” Dom answered- “Because they give me legos.”

Writing practice pages to fill our Family Mini Book:  wrote and drew on our favorite family celebrations, family memories, completed an “All About Me” page for each child, among other smaller things


Week 7:

Basic Skills Menu: (This week we will do lots of basic skills; here is the menu we choose from).

`Horizons Workbooks (Kate, Phonics and Math; Dom, Phonics and Math).

`Various worksheets: Kate, money; Dominic, patterns, sorting, etc.

`Extra practice: Kate, money, 10’s, teens; Dom, tracing numbers, letters

`Kate’s First Grade Readers

Books used all week and next week: Fire Safety-“Stop, Drop and Roll” by, Margery Cuyler; “Arthur’s Fire Drill” (activities with this book)

Johnny Appleseed- “Johnny Appleseed”; and Apples-“ How Do Apples Grow?” (activities with this book)

Fall-“ I Am a Leaf”, “Why Do Leaves Change Color?”, “Country Fair” (“My First Little House” book series), “The Deer in the Wood” (“My First Little House” book series).

Journals week 7 ( 3 ): “Johnny Appleseed planted…”, “I like football because…”, wrote a letter to Johnny Appleseed,

Read Aloud: The book is, “Meet Felicity” from the “American Girls” series. However, we did not read from it this week. We focused heavily on basic skills this week and the reading for our fall unit.

Verse and Bible Theme:  John 15:12, “This is my command, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Theme: Adam and Eve

Spelling Words: (Taken from our Johnny Appleseed reading): apple, plant, tree, hero, money (Kate wrote these words 5 times each and wrote a sentence for each one to gain a better understanding of their meaning. She will test on them on the last day this week.)(We bumped her spelling test to next week since we are making this unit a two week unit).


Format Change This Week: We also are changing the format, again, a bit this week.  We have slowly but surely through July and August moved up to this point, of having a regular format and schedule.  We have had basic skills practice (including Kate’s 1st grade readers), calendar work, read alouds, journal writing and Bible study for the past several weeks.  In addition this week, we add to the format- A spelling list for Kate each week (5 words first semester), and a specific memory verse from Scripture for the kids to memorize each week. 

*This is such a packed unit, we have decided to take it into next week, as well.  So, we are going to be doing fall/fire safety/Johnny Appleseed weeks 7 and 8.

Notebooks/Binders used this week (and every week from here on out): Bible verse notebook, Journal binder and Kate’s spelling notebook.



Day 1:

-We went over our calendar (month and day of week) AND starting in Sept., we made a countdown calendar for the baby and Halloween.  The kids mark the day off each day until we reach our goal dates.

-We brainstormed the season, Fall. We talked about what it makes us think of: football, cold, Halloween, leaves falling, etc.

-I showed the kids our completed Family Mini Book we worked on week 5 and the beginning of this week.

-Bible Study:  

`Verse-John 15:12, “   “ (The kids wrote this in their Bible verse notebook; for Dom I wrote it and he traced it.

`Devotion-We read form a book called, “Right Choices”; It tells stories to help Preschoolers and Elementary kids make moral choices.  Today’s reading was on, fighting with other kids and siblings.

`Story-We took a look at Adam and Eve this week.  We are going in order of the Old Testament, and have already covered Creation this past summer. So, with Adam and Eve, we told the story from the Bible, and did several worksheets about the story: Kate did a dot to dot 1-45 that formed the animals in the Garden of Eden, when completed; Dominic colored a Tree of Knowledge picture and traced the letter “E” on a worksheet that said, “ E is for Eve”.

-Basic Skills (Math and Phonics):

`Both kids worked on their Horizons workbooks.  Kate worked on beginning consonant sounds and Dom traced his numbers 1-10.  We are working on proper form with him.

-Reading (and Social Studies):  We read from a book called, “What Your First Grader Needs to Know”, the story of Johnny Appleseed.  After, the kids completed a worksheet putting the sequence of events of the story in proper order.

-Writing:  The kids did two journal entries today: “Johnny Appleseed planted…” and, going with the Fall theme- “ I like football because…”  We added these journals to our journal binder.

*No read aloud this week.

Day 2: *Dom was sick today, so we had a short day.

-We started the day with our calendar work and our baby/Halloween countdown.

-Bible Study (and Science):

`Verse- We reviewed the weekly verse by reading it aloud.

`Devotion-We read from, “Five Minute Devotions” that combines a science principle with a Biblical principle.  We read on sea otters and how they work and play and how God wants us to balance between hard work and play.

`Story-Kate and Dom colored worksheets about Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden.

-Basic Skills (Phonics, Reading and Math):

`I worked with Dominic today on tracing and writing his numbers 1-10.  We practiced each number several times to ensure proper form.

`Kate and I read from her First Grade Reader.  We bought a book from the Horizons Christian publisher that specifically wrote stories for a First Grade level, and later, to challenge the First Grade level.  We read story 1. She is so strong in reading!

-Spelling:  I introduced Kate’s spelling list to her today. She wrote each word 5x in her spelling notebook. (*Taken from our Johnny Appleseed reading): apple, plant, tree, hero, money

She will test on them on the last day this week, after she also writes sentences using each word.

Day 3:

-We started the day with our calendar work and baby/Halloween countdown.

-Bible Study:

`Verse-We reviewed our weekly verse by reading it aloud.

`Devotion-We again read from “Right Choices”.  This lesson was on obeying your parents.

-Reading/poetry (and Social Studies): We read a book called, “Johnny Appleseed”, in poem form.

-Writing: We wrote a letter to Johnny Appleseed for our journal entry today.  Kate wrote telling him we read a book about him; and Dom wrote him telling him we eat the apples he planted. J  *P.S. I taught them John Chapman really did live long ago.  They wanted to know if we were writing these letters to send to Heaven for him, since he lived long ago and is long dead now.  I had to explain we were just writing pretend letters to him. 

-Basic Skills:

`Kate completed a worksheet for extra practice in which she had to look at Johnny Appleseed pictures and circle the items on the right (right from left review).  Then, she read to me from her First Grade reader.

`Dominic traced his numbers 1-10 with me, again.  Then, he did the same right vs. left worksheet as Kate did, and in addition-he did a worksheet in which several apples had either letters or numbers written in them.  He had to color letters read and numbers green.  *This was really good for him, as he still has a hard time differentiating between what is a letter and which is a number.  He was having a bit of difficulty until I gave him his number chart and alphabet flip book, both to use as references.  Using the references, he looked them up and did the whole worksheet on his own correctly!!

-Spelling: Kate wrote her 5 spelling words each in a sentence.  She had to underline the spelling word in each sentence and it gave me an opportunity to introduce proper punctuation and capitalization to her.

Day 4: Basic Skills day


Fire Safety Unit Lessons: (Here is just a sampling of what we covered with fire safety this week, or will cover next week!)(Fire Safety is usually taught in Oct., but I did it early so I could do other things later.)

Main points we discussed-

Fire Safety- smoke alarms in homes (extra batteries, check batteries), sprinklers, escape plan, fire drills, never play with lighters or matches, keep electric heaters at least three feet from anything that can catch fire, extension cords away from doorways and not pinched behind furniture, have professional check chimneys and furnaces once a year

What to do- crawl under the smoke, cover mouth with wet towel if able, check the door by touching-if cool, open; if hot- do not-go to window and call for help; and stop, drop and roll if clothes catch fire

Escape Route

Fire Drill

Stop Drop and Roll

“Sparky” the Firedog-We checked out his website and worked through coloring and activity pages in a Sparky coloring book

`Sparky’s Top Ten Fire Safety Tips for Kids (on back cover of: “”Stop, Drop and Roll” by, Margery Cuyler):

1.    Every home should have working fire alarms on all floors and near all bedrooms

2.    A grown up should test each alarm very month

3.    Every family should practice fire drill at least twice a year

4.    Memorize your address and emergency numbers

5.    Matches, lighters and cigarettes are dangerous, do not play with them

6.    Kids should only cook with an adult

7.    Space heaters should stay at least three feet away from anything that will burn

8.    Candles should not be in children’s rooms, and only adults should light them

9.    If a fire happens, get out and stay out

10. Stop, drop and roll if your clothes catch on fire







Posted by dskdgfamily at 8:11 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 September 2008 8:23 PM EDT
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