• Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader
    real homeschool stories,  week in review

    Homeschool Week in Review – Volume 9

    This week was a little different for us.

    We didn’t do much school work on Monday or Tuesday because I was running a bundle sale over at Intentional Bundles and was monitoring my email more than normal.

    On Friday the big kids went to a homeschool gym time with some friends and while they were gone our social worker called us to say she would be reuniting our foster boys with their birth family and would be picking them up in a few hours to do so.

    (You can read about our fostering journey on my personal site.)

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    OUR HOMESCHOOL WEEK IN REVIEW

     

    For reference, here’s the low down on all the kids:

    The Daughter – she’s 9 and in grade 4
    The Son – he’s 6 and in grade 1
    The Preschooler – he’s 3
    The Toddler – he’s 2

    (The preschooler and toddler came to us in the fall via foster care.)

     

    Here’s a recap of our week:

     

    + my fourth grader is participating in a reading challenge I created for myself, this month we are each reading (at least) one book that is also a movie, I told her I wanted her to read Bridge to Terabithia but not to get mad at me when the book makes her cry.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + speaking of reading, the first grader started reading Penny and Her Marble to me. It was one of the first books that made my daughter realize she could read so I thought it would be fun for him to read to me. So far he’s not enjoying it, for some reason he thinks he can’t read when he actually can. I’ve requested some other books from the library for him to try soon that may be more up his alley.

     

    + I’m constantly trying to work on my son’s fine motor skills and we use drawing for practice a lot. One of our favorites are Art for Kids Hub videos.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

     

    + we also pulled out the Handwriting Without Tears book one day this week and did a page, I need to remember to get him to do that more often.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + after our foster boys left us on Friday we spent the rest of the day and the weekend playing family games. We played Colt Express, King of Tokyo and Apples to Apples.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    There’s a little peek into our week and some of the resources we’ve been using! What are some games you enjoy? What is something that’s been working in your homeschool lately?

    You can check out all our homeschool weekly reviews here.

  • Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader
    real homeschool stories,  week in review

    Homeschool Week in Review – Volume 8

    This week we had a mix of what I would call “school days” and “extra curricular days”. 

    We had a field trip to a museum one day and went sledding with one morning with a bunch of friends.

    It was really a perfect balance this week where both my introvert and extrovert got a bit of what they prefer.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    OUR HOMESCHOOL WEEK IN REVIEW

     

    For reference, here’s the low down on all the kids:

    The Daughter – she’s 9 and in grade 4
    The Son – he’s 6 and in grade 1
    The Preschooler – he’s 3
    The Toddler – he’s 2

    (The preschooler and toddler came to us in the fall via foster care.)

     

    Here’s a recap of our week:

     

    + one evening my daughter decided she wanted to make brownies, so she grabbed a box mix and got to work. Baking is one of my favorite sneaky ways for kids to work on their math skills (also, life skills!).

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + one day this week the kids played Chroma Cube for math. It’s a good deductive reasoning and problem solving game. I kind of wanted to shove them over and play myself . . . (You can see more of our favorite game here.)

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + we continued with our Bible journaling, and like I had planned last week I read out of the Action Bible for them and they drew pictures and wrote a summary of the story in their own words. I would still like to find a good, comprehensive children’s illustrated Bible. I have a couple on hold at the library, we’ll see next week if they are good or not.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + we played another math game one day. I just dealt the kids a few cards (the same number) and they tried to make the largest number they could with their cards. We did it with a variety of different numbers of cards so they could practice saying larger numbers (like 353,837) and it was a good reminder how important place value is.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + while our preschooler and toddler had a family visit one morning I took the older two to the same children’s museum we went to last week and they had a lot of fun in front of the green screen.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + one thing my six year old pulled out a few times to play with on his own this week was Snap Circuits. He has spent so many hours creating different circuits with this kit.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + I’ve been proof reading Harry Potter for my nine year old and this week she started in with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + a friend of mine was telling me that she often lets her grade one class watch a video from Storyline Online during their snack time so one day while I was making lunch the kids watched one. Of course my Lord of The Rings fan wanted to watch “Sam” read a story:

     

     

    + lately my six year old has been reading to me from the Usborne First Readers, like Mole in a Hole and Goat in a Boat.

     

    There’s a little peek into our week and some of the resources we’ve been using! What is something that’s been working in your homeschool lately?

    You can check out all our homeschool weekly reviews here.

  • Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader
    bible,  real homeschool stories,  week in review

    Homeschool Week in Review – Volume Seven

    I feel like we finally started to hit our post-Christmas homeschool groove this week. Plus the -30 C/F temperatures from last week gave way to -5C (23F) temperatures so that was also really helpful!

    One thing I hope to add in for next week is the beginnings of a morning basket. I asked for some input over on Instagram the other day on what people’s favorite items are in their morning baskets and I’ve been pulling a few things out for ours.

    Anyway, let’s chat about last week before I get too excited about a week that hasn’t even happened yet!

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    OUR HOMESCHOOL WEEK IN REVIEW

    For reference, here’s the low down on all the kids:

    The Daughter – she’s 9 and in grade 4
    The Son – he’s 6 and in grade 1
    The Preschooler – he’s 3
    The Toddler – he just turned 2!

    (The preschooler and toddler came to us in the fall via foster care.)

     

    Here’s a recap of our week:

     

    + We started back into our Bible journaling this week after taking a very unintentional extended break from it. I was feeling like reading directly from the Bible was going a bit over my six year old’s head so this week we used a children’s Bible which I think was too below my kids so I think for next week I am going to try reading from The Action Bible and we’ll see how that works.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + Speaking of Bibles, I finally picked up The Beginner’s Bible. I know this is supposed to be a Bible to read to preschool-ish age kids but I thought it would be perfect for my six year old to read from. It seems to be a really good reading level for him.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + One day this week we went to a local children’s museum. This was my six year old’s reward for finishing his reading lesson chart that I created for him. He gave the place a rating of 194/5 stars so I guess it’s a good thing I bought a membership. There were a few different areas the kids liked, this section was filled with tubes of air that you could stick giant pompoms into and watch them shoot through the tubes and come back out.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + With the weather so much warmer we spent some time outside playing at the playground, it made me excited for spring but I need to remind myself that I still have to wait a few months before spring actually arrives.

    + The kids continued on with math this week and like I decided last week on Friday I gave them the option of doing two pages in their math workbook or playing SushiGo. Oddly the six year old decided to do the workbook so I played with the nine year old.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + I am working on letters A-D with the preschooler, I’m very impressed with how quickly he has been catching on to everything I’ve been teaching him in the last couple of months. One of our favorite alphabet books for young kids is Dr. Seuss’s ABC.

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    + My nine year old does a lot of reading on her own that I don’t usually mention every week (I do share many of them in my monthly reading wrap ups on my personal blog though), because she reads so much I don’t often assign her books to read but one thing I have challenged her to do this year is read through the Bible (my husband and I are also doing it as well). Most days she has her Bible reading done even before she gets out of bed in the morning. In case you are wondering, the Bible reading plan we are using is via the Read Scripture app.

     

    There’s a peek into our homeschool week!

  • Puzzle - Homeschool Week in Review
    real homeschool stories,  week in review

    Homeschool Week in Review – Volume Six

    We finally started easing ourselves into homeschooling again this week. With Christmas and then spur of the moment dental surgery for one of our little guys and then pneumonia for another one we were kind of forced into a longer break than I had originally planned for.

    It’s just a good reminder for myself to appreciate once again the flexibility of homeschooling. I can’t imagine trying to get my school aged kids to school every day when we had all this other stuff going on.

    Of course, we jumped into homeschooling in what will probably be our coldest week of the winter. The temperature barely got warmer than -30 all week. School buses weren’t running but kids are still expected to be at school (and I was so glad I didn’t have to drive mine!).

     

    Our Homeschool Week in Review - what we did and resources we used with a toddler, preschooler, first grader and fourth grader

     

    OUR HOMESCHOOL WEEK IN REVIEW

    For reference, here’s the low down on all the kids:

    The Daughter – she’s 9 and in grade 4
    The Son – he’s 6 and in grade 1
    The Preschooler – he’s 3
    The Toddler – he just turned 2!

    (The preschooler and toddler came to us in the fall via foster care.)

     

    Here’s a recap of our week:

     

    + we learned about cheetah’s and caracal’s thanks to Wild Kratts. In the winter while hiding from the freezing temperatures we tend to use a lot more technology in our homeschool and as someone who does not appreciate the cold I am totally okay with that.

     

    Puzzle - Homeschool Week in Review

     

    + the winter always feels like the perfect time to work on a family puzzle so I pulled out this 500 piece Norman Rockwell puzzle that I picked up at Dollar Tree in the fall. So far we’ve just tried to do the outline and I’m not too impressed with the puzzle, it’s nearly impossible to tell if the pieces go together . . . I may end up getting rid of it and pulling out a different puzzle. 

    + each of the kids did a little bit of math out of their workbooks (we use some that we found at Costco). We’re starting back slowly so my daughter is doing some multi-digit addition and subtraction review and my son did some addition and subtraction up to 20 review.

     

    Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons - Homeschool Week in Review

     

    + my six year old continued on with the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. We’ve taken this book slow over the last year or so because he kind of hit a wall for awhile. Learning to read has not been an easy task for him but he has made so much progress. He still mixes up the sounds for b/d/p quite often and struggles with some words that he’s seen thousands of times but can read bigger ones (like, he has no problem reading the word “little” but almost always stumbles over “the”). He hit a bit milestone this week though but completing a sticker chart that I had made for him quite awhile ago, as a result we are going to be going to a children’s museum next week!

    + the preschooler has been obsessed with naming the colors of everything lately. When he came to us less than three months ago he didn’t know any colors (or really how to speak at all) and now he knows most of the colors. He’s had a huge learning curve and has loved it.

     

    Sushi Go - Math Skills - Homeschool Week in Review

     

    + because the temperature was so cold for most of the week one day I let the kids have the option between doing math from their workbook or playing Sushi Go. Not surprisingly, they chose the game. Sushi Go involves using a variety of math skills while playing and it was a good trade off. I might make this a Friday tradition for the winter. (You can see more of the games we like to play here.)

     

    I would love to hear about your homeschool week, let me know what you learned about and/or some of the resources you used.

  • Ideas to Help You Homeschool in the Winter When It's Too Cold to Go Outside and You Hit the Winter Slump
    real homeschool stories

    Ideas to Help You Homeschool In a Winter Slump

    January is a pretty terrible month for weather here in Saskatchewan. Looking at my temperature gauge right now I can tell you it is -35C (-31F) and -50C (-58F) with the wind.

    Needless to say we don’t venture outside much in January and we all start to get cabin fever a bit.

    With the cold weather also comes a bit of the winter blues and a bit of a homeschool winter slump.

    Knowing this would happen (because it happens every year) back in July, when the sun was shining and the air was still warm I decided to be proactive and I asked for some ideas over on Instagram on what you all like to do when the winter slump occurs. 

    Oh, now we’re down to -52C (-61.6F) . . . after writing this post out I’m going to have to use some of this advice and do some of these in our homeschool today!

     

    Great Homeschool Ideas for When the Winter Slump Occurs

     

    Because my Instagram followers are awesome they shared all sorts of ideas. I am going to share a lot of them here but there were so many you can check out the original Instagram post for all the ideas.

     

    Ideas to Help You Homeschool in the Winter When It's Too Cold to Go Outside and You Hit the Winter Slump

     

    Ideas to Help You Homeschool In a Winter Slump

    Also, one thing to note: adding hot chocolate to any of the following suggestions always makes things even better!

     

    Author/Book Study

    The winter is a great time to pull out all the books you’ve collected over the year. There were a couple of people who gave ideas for specific author/book studies they were going to be doing this winter:

     

    Lego

    I mean, Lego is just an everyday activity here but even more so in the winter months.

     

    The Best Audiobooks for Preschool to Adult

     

    Audiobooks

    We love listening to audiobooks in our home (we usually listen while we are eating our meals), you can check out all my audiobook tips, including the various apps we use for listening to audiobooks here and a list of the best audiobooks here.

     

    STEM activities

    My kids love STEM activities! Unfortunately I’m not the greatest at doing them myself but my husband is pretty good at it! You can check out all our STEM posts here as well as some great STEM books here.

     

    Historical documentaries

    This was a great suggestion but one we’ve never really done. If you have some great historical documentaries that are good for kids I would love to hear them!

     

    Baking

    It not only warms up the house but they learn math and you get something delicious out of it at the end! It’s a win all the way around.

     

    Crate Subscriptions

    Crate subscriptions can be a lot of fun and the winter is the perfect time to try them out. We’ve had Little Passports before as well as Kiwi Co.’s Tinker and Doodle crates and the kids have enjoyed all of them! If shipping wasn’t so crazy expensive to Canada I’m sure we would get more of them!

     

    Ten Beginner Sewing Projects - Perfect for Tweens - Homeschool Handicraft Ideas

     

    Handicrafts

    The winter is the perfect time for all sorts of handicrafts. My daughter really wants to get better and sewing so a few months ago I made a list of ten beginner sewing projects she can pick from this winter.

     

    Learn a new skill

    Potentially in relation to handicrafts is to learn a new skill! But you don’t have to limit it to handicrafts, you could work on a new language, learning to code, there are tons of different options!

     

    Educational TV

    This one is an easy one that kids love and there so many options for! Some of our favorites include:

     

    Inside Campouts

    Such a fun idea! Build a fort, grab some snacks, lots of blankets and some books and you’re all set! While fort building you work on all sorts of engineering and construction skills.

     

    Our favorite family board games

     

    Games

    We love playing games together as a family. These are some of our favorites.

    While technically not a “game” I also like pulling out a big puzzle to do as a family in the winter (usually one between 500-1000 pieces).

     

    Museum Tours

    We have a few different indoor “museum” type places we like to visit and we often save these visits for the winter.

     

    Library

    We take out over $20,000 a year in library resources (and that doesn’t even factor in our audiobooks via Libby and Hoopla), so obviously we love the library! There are a number of resources available besides just books and they often have some great programming available for kids.

    Need some tips for getting more out of your library? Check out my ten tips here.

     

    Play dates

    Play dates are always fun but even more vital in the winter months. Plus you can mark it down as “socializing”. 😉 (Because homeschool kids are socially awkward, right?!)

     

    Art tables

    While I love the idea of art tables, laying out all sorts of craft supplies for kids to use as they wish, I’m honestly a little too OCD and a perfectionist to actually allow it. But I wish it was something we did here!

     

    Free Pirate Unit Study Resources - great for talk like a pirate day

     

    Mini unit studies

    I had plans to do weekly mini studies this year and while we haven’t had them quite that often we do really enjoy them when we do them.

    You can check out the mini unit studies I’ve shared here.

     

    Homemade Playdough

    Always a win! You can make the playdough and play with it too! We make a gluten free version in our home.

     

    If you have more ideas for how to spice things up in the winter and survive the freezing cold winter months while still educating your children I would love to hear them!