Friday, July 16, 2010

School Starts Monday - 4th Grade Line Up

Yes, we are starting early this year. We did this in 2nd grade and it worked out great. I am always interested to see what other families are using, what they like and what works for them, so in that spirit I wanted to share our 4th grade plans.....
Language Arts
We will use Language Arts Through Literature for the first time. This is a complete program with reading, grammar, writing etc. but I do plan to supplement with Spelling Power, which will only take an additional 15 minutes per day and will be so worth it if I turn Wonder Boy into an ace speller!!
Singapore Math 4A & 4B will be out math curriculum this year. We used Singapore for 2nd grade and Wonder Boy and I both loved it. We took an SOS detour for 3rd grade and are going back to what suits us better for 4th grade.
We will continue on with Bible Study Guide for All Ages. This is a great flexible program that you can work at your own pace and go as deep as you desire. They sell activity books that correspond with the lessons in various levels to make the program work for various ages at the same time. We use this in a modified approach and make it work for us. We will also be doing Charlotte Mason's Scripture Memory System - this is a whole family not just school element.
Character Training
From a Mom perspective I am very much looking forward to the learning and growth of character that will take place as we begin our journey through The Book of Virtues by William Bennett. Netflix offers the video adventures which we will use and I found a great resource for f-r-e-e (f-r-e-e- that spells free - sing along won't you) - a complete unit study with lesson planning done for you.
Wonder Boy and I are both pretty pumped about our new history curriculum - The Story of the World, Volume 1 Ancient Times. I wish we had started with this as it looks fantastic and seems to be a great fit for us.....I will report back later ;-)
This year we will focus a little more specifically on geography as a separate subject than we have in the past where it has been typically tied in with history. Our 2 areas of focus will be individual state studies which we will do by working our way through each state in order of statehood, and then individual countries of interest. This will be a relaxed approach that will be 'delight driven' and will continue throughout our homeschooling journey.
This is probably the one thing we are most excited about this year.....we will be doing Apologia Science for the first time Exploring Creation Zoology 1 Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. Wonder Boy loves science and this particular curriculum has a companion notebooking activity book - big fun!!
Wonder Boy is continuing piano lessons with Miss Jenny. We loved the Folk and Hymn Studies that we did with Ambleside Online and are looking forward to getting that groove going again. We also use a modified version of the Composer Study.
Life is art - or at least it should be and we continually get caught up in the urge to create. We do not have one set resource for Art. We will pull from life and work on various handicrafts and hobbies. We will paint, draw, build, do papercrafts with our Cricut and be inspired where inspiration finds us!!
Nature Study
Our love of nature will continue this year with a subscription to Nature Friend Magazine. The monthly publication comes with a study guide feature that we have opted to try - looks like another fun resource!!
American Sign Language
Wonder Boy has taken an interest in learning to communicate through sign language so while this will not be a structured daily study it is our intention to have a working skill in this area by the end of 4th grade!!
OK - that about wraps it up - I don't expect that we will be bored often and hope that I have put together enough variety and hands on fun to keep Wonder Boy interested, learning and growing into the amazing young man God has called him to be!!
I would love any thoughts or input you may have ;-)
Learning as I go,

Monday, July 12, 2010

Funnel Cake Mommy Points

Summer is all about fun and good childhood memories right? Well in the spirit of summer fun and making good childhood memories I earned a little leverage in the eyes of my 9 year old yesterday when the lunch menu was Funnel Cakes & Watermelon. I had never had Funnel Cake growing up, so sadly my memories are vacant in that regard - it may have made it's way to Canada by now, but it was not "fair food" in my day. I was introduced to it many years back after moving to the South in 1994 and several years ago decided to try my hand at making my own......we love it - and personally I think it is better at home than anywhere - but that may be just me ;-)
Give it a try and earn yourself some easy Mommy Points.........

Funnel Cake

1 1/4 cup flour ( I use 1/2 unbleached white and 1/2 fresh ground whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (I use sea salt)
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk (buttermilk is good if you have it)
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
oil to fry (I use coconut - yumm)
confectioner's sugar

Mix all ingredients in bowl. Snip the bottom corner out of a quart size freezer bag and poke cake decorating tip through the hole. Pour batter into bag and seal. Heat oil in cast iron skillet or electric frying pan to 350 degrees. We do ours in a cast iron skillet on the side burner of our grill - this way the house stays smoke free ;-) Pipe batter into pan in squiggly funnel cake style lines and brown 2 minutes per side.
Remove from pan onto paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil. Dust with confectioners' sugar and enjoy warm.
Odds are pretty good that this will likely earn a few Good Wife Points - it's win win the way I look at it ;-)
Learning as I go,

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