Tuesday, July 20, 2010

China Shirt Blitz and Giveaway!!

Hi friends!

Between now and August 7, we are having an adoption t-shirt blitz to raise money for our next adoption from China. The next payment we are trying to raise is $1800.

You can see the shirts here.

Shirts are $27 each and will be mailed 7-10 days after your order. I have an inventory on-hand of Men's and Women's sizes. As my inventory runs out, I will order in batches of 25 to save money. Feel free to write me a check or pay via Paypal. (If I don't have your size, please be patient as I collect orders for the next batch. I am willing to order youth sizes if there is enough interest.)

With each shirt you order, I will enter you in a giveaway for this handmade bear, Frazzle!

My Aunt Eva has made bears and dolls for as long as I can remember, and I have wonderful memories of the bear and doll clothes I received from her as a child.

Aunt Eva has offered her "bad hair day" bear, Frazzle, to us for this giveaway. Please visit her site to see the other dolls animals she has made! (Adoption peeps: she has just made a China doll for me to show my friends, and she's working on an Africa doll. Watch her site for these new ones!)

If you have already placed an order, please let me know if you would like to be entered for the giveaway!

Friday, July 9, 2010

First Grade Curriculum

I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but I'm finally getting a chance to sit down and do it.

For this next school year, I purchased Homeschool Tracker Plus to help me plan and organize school. It took a bit of time to get it started, but so far I really like it! I was able to download some lesson plans and tweak them, and creating my own lesson plans was pretty simple. I really like their online forums as well...I can even get a daily email of the topics discussed. This program should be useful for all the kids throughout their schooling.

I will say that we are following a classical model of schooling and we use The Well-Trained Mind for the basic structure of classes and curriculum, with some changes.

We will be using the following curriculum:
  • Bible--Grapevine's Level 2 Old Testament Overview
  • Language Arts: Writing--Writing with Ease Level 1. Thanks to the advice of a friend, I just bought the workbook and not the text. I also went to Peace Hill Press's site and downloaded the workbook pages so that I could print them off instead of copy them. If you do this, you still want to buy the workbook because it tells you what to do each day in addition to including the worksheets.
  • Language Arts: Spelling--Spelling Workout A and B
  • Language Arts: Reading--lessons 141-end of Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. We went through lessons 1-140 last year. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have necessarily stopped at lesson 140, but just stopped whereever we landed at the end of the school year (after 140 preferably). Susan Wise Bauer recommends getting at least to that lesson by the beginning of first grade. Finishing this won't take us the whole school year. We also will be supplementing with Sonlight's reader's list for first grade...we're using the Reader's 2 schedule. We already started with The Beginner's Bible a little this summer because Aidan has caught the reading bug.
  • Langauge Arts: Grammar--First Language Lessons 1
  • Language Arts: Handwriting--Handwriting Without Tears My Printing Book. We are not using the teacher's guide this year. I really think we COULD use a regular handwriting program this year since Aidan is doing so much better with his writing, but we opted to stay with the familiar and let him go through just the workbook at his own pace. He doesn't seem to need the extra activities for fine motor that the teacher's guide gives.
  • Math--Saxon Math 2. We had a difficult time by the end of Saxon Math 1. Math often brings tears in this house. We decided to stay with Saxon one more year at least and try to change things up a bit as far as what manipulatives to use. Aidan is excited to start math again, which is encouraging!
  • History--Story of the World 1: Ancient Times. I am super excited about this. We're actually starting history a couple of weeks early because there are so many chapters and because I want to beat the rush to the library for some of the supplementary books for each chapter. I also bought the workheet pack for level 1 on their site so I can just print out the worksheets I needed instead of copying them. I have an older edition of the workbook, and the pdfs are the newer edition and much nicer.
  • Science--Apologia's Zoology 1: Flying Animals of the 5th Day. I am excited that Apologia has now made Notebooking Journals for each of their elementary science books! We are looking forwarding to studying bugs and birds and such.
  • Literature--Sonlight's Read-Aloud books for first grade. I have collected all of these through Paperback Swap over the last year. I'm already starting to collect the 2nd grade books. We loved the books from last year. We are supplementing with books listed for first grade in WTM; these go with the history curriculum. We are also pulling a few from Ambleside Online's literature books.
  • Art and Music--Harmony Fine Arts First Grade. We're using the option 2 group in Art.
  • Health/Character--Generations of Virtue has a curriculum for Preschool-Grade 4, and we will gradually use that this year. I don't have any of the books, so I added them to my PBS wish list and will also check the library.

For PE, Aidan will continue with taekwondo. Over the summer both kids have been in swim lessons, and we will decide soon whether to keep them in it or not.

We also have the chance to join a local co-op, which meets once every 2 weeks for the morning. We just sent in our registration for it, so we're hoping to get our first choice of classes.

I also gathered together the worksheets for each subject that uses them for the whole year. I divided them into six-week groupings and then paperclipped each week's workheets. I store them in file folders for each set of six weeks. (So I have bible, history, math, and writing clipped together for each week.) I know we will get off of that pre-planned schedule, but I have all the stuff printed off and ready to go. I got the idea for this here, though we will not be saving the worksheets after the fact in this way like she mentions. Instead, we'll file them in 3-ring notebooks per WTM.

We're making a timeline this year!! I'm using Homeschool in the Woods Timeline CD and we'll make a timeline that includes history and bible combined. I made a test timeline myself this past week and I'm really glad I did!! I did it in 2 evenings for the whole year, and now I'll be going through and marking which figures go with which chapters. I did a notebook timeline, in case you want to try to do this too. I think when we don't have little ones, I will graduate to a wall timeline, but I'm afraid Iona might try to pull stuff off the wall right now.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Simply Love China shirts are here!

Our t-shirts have arrived!! Thank you to Kari for the design. :)

For men, we have M, L, and XL in stock. The shirt is a medium blue. The front says "Simply Love." in white letters. The back has an outline of China in blue.

For women, we have S, M, L, and XL in stock. The cut is slightly slimmer than the men's shirts. The shirt is black. The front says "Simply Love" in white letters. The back has an outline of China in pink.

If you would like a size other than the ones we have in stock, let me know. I will keep a list of who wants what size, and as soon as I have enough requests to place an order, I will. Please know that it may take a few weeks for you to receive your shirt because of this.

The cost for the shirts is $27 each.


Thanks so much for supporting us in this next adoption!!