Bursting Into…

A New School Year at HomeIMG_5499 (3)   …with grades eighth, sixth, fourth, second, and Kindergarten!

First Day of School – July 2015
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Following in our homeschool tradition of having a Fun First Friday themed to align with a topic we will all be learning in the new year, we celebrated the first day of another new school year ‘bursting’ with red, white, and blue and all things Americana!

Here is a glimpse of what we did…

A Special Breakfast…
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(Yes, we enjoyed the celebratory ‘cupcakes for breakfast’, along with scrambled eggs and bacon. =)  )

Traditional First Day Photos…
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First Day All About Me/ Growing in Grace Sheets
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A Biblical View of Wisdom from God’s Word/ Praying for our Nation and Leaders

An Outside Obstacle Course (just for fun)

Fun Red, White, and Blue Art…
American Flag Pastel (for the older three kids) IMG_5578 (2)
Paint and Pipe Cleaner Fireworks and Patriotic Windsocks (for the younger two kids)IMG_5583 (2)
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Review Meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance

Lunch and Reading of our Encouraging Notes from Siblings…IMG_5493 (2)IMG_5590 1 (2)

Some Fun Math….
including Patriotic Symbol Roll/Tally/Graph (for the younger two kids)
and The Money Race (a game created by the kids)

Treasure Hunt that Ended with a Special Treat

United States Geography Review (a quiz for the oldest kids)
and Scrambled States of America card game
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And, we ended the day with daddy and a
Late Night Dessert
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and Sparklers!
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From the kids’ expressions and reactions, I believe that it was a successful, fun, and exciting day to kick off our new school year!    Now, it’s time to hit the books.  =)

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I simply adore these kids and am looking forward to a great year of learning with them.

Come check out how we’ve celebrated some of our previous First Days of School!
Patriotic (2009)
Love Theme (2012)
Flying Theme (2013)
Ocean Creatures Theme (2014)

Back to School Sale!

 cover cover JHSS Complete CoverCover cover Bundle Cover     

We are heading back to school this week and I know many of you are soon, too!  In celebration, all this week (Monday, August 3rd – Friday, August 7th), we are holding a Back to School SALE!  Everything is 25% off at our Joyful Heart Learning shop on Teacher’s Notebook!

Come check out our deals and grab some of our freebies, too.  =)

This sale ends on 8/7.

Our 2015-2016 Curriculum

Amazingly, this will be our 9th official year to school at home!

scheduling and journal sheets
(Above: preparing schedules and journal sheets for our five children)

I think this year has been the most difficult to plan yet, but I know that God is good… He’s got this!  He has us in the palm of His loving hand and He will help each of us to learn and grow how He intends during the course of this year!

Here is a breakdown of our curriculum choices for the 2015-2016 school year – grade by grade – for Kindergarten through 8th grade.

our Kindergartener…

  • Reading/Phonics:
    Alphabet Review – sounds and handwriting;
    Lots of Word Work – CVC, silent e, word families, sight words;
    Lots of Early Readers – Bob Books, Animal Antics, Playful Pals, A Beka K readers, etc.;
    Explode the Code books 1-2 (3?)
    Preparing for K
    (Above:  in the middle of my kindergarten literacy planning)
  • Math:  Horizons K
  • Science:  Apologia Exploring Creation with Land Animals
    (with his 2nd grade sister)
    Animals in My World
    (Above: I don’t think my little guy is quite ready for the Jr. Notebook that his older sister will be using, so I made him his own ‘Animals in My World’ Notebook!)
  • Social Studies:  Beautiful Feet Books: Early American History, Primary
    (with his 2nd grade sister)
  • AWANA:  1st year Sparks
  • Bible and Worldview:  Morning Worship (hymns and Training Hearts,Training Minds), Big Truths for Little Kids, Scripture Memorization (Exodus 20:1-17)  -planning to start second semester
  • Music:  piano
  • Additions:  Fit Kids, possibly taking part in Trail Life, participating in a homeschool co-op one day every other week

our 2nd Grader…

  • Reading:  A Beka readers (2nd and 3rd grade), Explode the Code books 6-8
  • Writing/Grammar:  BJU English 2;  Joyful Heart Spelling Skills,  Draw Write Now (animals that correspond with science)
    JH Spelling Skills
    (Above: Our second grader will be continuing in Joyful Heart Spelling Skills.)
    Math: Horizons 2, Xtra Math fact practice
  • Science:  Apologia Exploring Creation with Land Animals (using the accompanying Jr. Notebook)  (with her Kindergarten brother)
  • Social Studies:  Beautiful Feet Books: Early American History, Primary
    (with her Kindergarten brother)
    BF Primary
    (Above: a lovely spread of books from Beautiful Feet Books’ Early American History, Primary that we plan to use with our K child and second grader)
  • AWANA:  3rd year Sparks
  • Bible and Worldview:  Apologia Worldview, Reading through the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs and completing a daily devotional sheet, Morning Worship (Scripture passage review, hymns, and Training Hearts,Training Minds)
  • Music:  Choir, beginning Violin Lessons, piano
  • Additions:  Fit Kids, participating in a homeschool co-op one day every other week

our 4th Grader…

  • Reading/Literature:  Memoria Press
    (including Homer Price, Dangerous Journey, A Bear Called Paddington, The Blue Fairy Book)
  • Writing/Grammar/Composition/Spelling:  BJU English 4; Joyful Heart Spelling through Scripture (dictation for spelling and handwriting), A Reason For Handwriting (cursive practice)
  • Math:  Horizons 4, Xtra Math fact practice
  • Science:  Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics
    (with his 6th grade sister)
    Chemistry and Physics
    (Above: Our 4th and 6th graders are so excited to begin this hands on science course form Apologia!)
  • Social Studies:  Beautiful Feet Books: Early American History, Intermediate
    (with his 6th grade sister)
  • AWANA:  2nd year T&T
  • Bible and Worldview:  Apologia Worldview, completing Boyhood and Beyond,
    Reading through the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs and completing a daily devotional sheet, Morning Worship (Scripture passage review, hymns, and Training Hearts, Training Minds)
  • Music:  Choir
  • Additions:  Fit Kids, possibly taking part in Trail Life, and participating in a homeschool co-op one day every other week

our 6th Grader…

  • Reading/Literature:  Memoria Press
    (including Anne of Green Gables, The Bronze Bow, The Hobbit, Twenty One Balloons)
  • Writing/Grammar/Composition/Spelling:  BJU English 6; Joyful Heart Spelling through Scripture (dictation for spelling and handwriting)
    JH Spelling through Scripture
    (Above: I’m excited to start Spelling Through Scripture with our oldest students so that they can focus on correct capitalization, spacing, punctuation, grammar, handwriting, and spelling within the context of God’s Word!)
  • Math:  Horizons 6; Xtra Math fact practice
  • Science: Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics
    (with her 4th grade brother)
  • Social Studies:  Beautiful Feet Books: Early American History, Intermediate
    (with her 4th grade brother)
    BF Intermediate
    (Above: great books from Beautiful Feet Books’ early American History, Intermediate that we plan to use with our fourth and sixth grade students)
  • AWANA:  1st year Trek, serving as a Leader in Training with a preschool Gopher Buddies class
  • Bible and Worldview:  Apologia Worldview, middle school Bible study, Beauty in the Heart: A Study of Godly Beauty for Young Women, Morning Worship (Scripture passage review, hymns, and Training Hearts,Training Minds)
  • Music:  Violin lessons, Piano, Choir
  • Additions:  Faithful Workouts, You Can Sew, and participating in a homeschool co-op one day every other week

our 8th Grader…

  • Reading/Literature:  Veritas Press Omnibus 1, Secondary
    (including Chosen by God, Till We Have Faces, all books in The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Best Things in Life, Unaborted Socrates, The Eagle of the Ninth, The Screwtape Letters, and The Holiness of God)
    Literature
    (Above:  I think our eighth grader is most excited about digging into this self paced, online, biblically based literature course from Veritas Press!)
  • Writing/Composition/Spelling:  Editor in Chief, Gumdrops, Write with the Best (possibly followed by a Time for Writing online course), Joyful Heart Spelling Through Scripture (dictation for spelling and handwriting)
    Writing
    (Above:  Our eighth grader has used BJU English on previous years and we feel she has a firm grasp on grammar skills.  This year, her final year before entering high school, we desire for her to improve her writing and plan to place a greater emphasis on composition and editing skills.)
    Math:  Saxon 8/7 Pre Algebra
    (continuation from last year and then possibly Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1)
  • Science:  Apologia Physical Science
    Physical Science
    (Above: We found Apologia’s General Science to be both thorough and challenging.  Continuing with their series, our daughter will be learning from their Physical Science course and participating/completing labs within a homeschool co-op.)
  • Social Studies:  A Beka 8th Grade- America: Land I Love; additional historical books that correspond to the time periods studied
    8th History
  • AWANA:  Trek, serving as a Leader in Training with a preschool Gopher Buddies class
  • Bible and Worldview:  Apologia Worldview, middle school Bible study, Beauty in the Heart: A Study of Godly Beauty for Young Women, Morning Worship (Scripture passage review, hymns, and Training Hearts,Training Minds)
  • Music:  Violin lessons, Piano, Choir
  • Additions:  Faithful Workouts, You Can Sew, and participating in a homeschool co-op one day every other week

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Would you like to see our previous year’s curriculum choices?
2014-2015 (7th, 5th, 3rd, 1st, PreK)
2013-2014 (6th, 4th, 2nd, K, preschool)
2012-2013 (5th, 3rd, 1st, PreK, 2 year old)
2011-2012 (4th, 2nd, K, 3’s preschool, toddler)
2010-2011 (3rd, 1st, PreK, 2 year old, 4 mo old baby)
2009-2010 (2nd, K, 3’s preschool, toddler, baby arrived end of year)
2008-2009 (1st, PreK, 2 year old, 6 mo old baby)
2007-2008 (K, 3’s preschool, toddler, baby arrived mid year)
2006-2007 (PreK, 2 year old, 7 mo old baby) – Joyful Heart Character
2005-2006 (3’s preschool, toddler, baby arrived mid year) – Joyful Heart Bible and Rhyme
2004-2005 (2 year old, 6 mo old baby) – Joyful Heart Learning

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This post is part of the 7th annual “Not” Back-To-School Blog Hop over at the iHomeschool Network.  Check out what other homeschool families are choosing to use for their children this coming school year!

His Great Grace

I remember this photo, this captured moment in time…
April 2010 kids (2)

That year our family grew from four sweet kids to five blessings aged eight and under.
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When our youngest child was born, we were a month or so away from wrapping up our homeschool year with a 2nd grader, kindergartener, preschooler, and toddler.

Yes, we were in the thick of it then– a beautiful mess of sleepless nights, diaper changes, toilet training, beginning reading, meal preparation and cleaning with little helpers wrapped around my feet, singing Bible verses, tears and crying out to God, survival mode, princess dresses, all the fun from this precious group of little kids, the exhaustion, the love, laughter, and hugs!
Chiris and the kids (2)DSC_2686 (2) DSC_1298 (2)
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And, as long and lonely as some of those days felt, I can never forget that this mama was being wrapped in the strong arms of God and His great GRACE.  Grace to say ‘yes’ for reading one more book, grace to keep going on planning and schooling through all the doubts and fears, grace to juggle and be spread thin each day, grace to grow through the reading of His Word, grace to have encouragement sent through a loving husband and friends, grace to share His love with these precious children that He sent to us.

His grace found me in the midst of it all.
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I look back at these photos and I can’t help but get all teary eyed.  Friends with older kids tried to tell me…  They’d say that the kids wouldn’t always be that little and to cherish every moment.  I think it was hard for me to believe.  You know, when I was in the midst of it, the days seemed so long, the nights too short, and it appeared as though those little ones would be at that stage forever.

But, five short years later, as if in the blink of an eye, I can honestly say that those years passed –way –too –fast.

Those tiny eight and six year old little girls… are now young ladies, bright, cheerful, helpers who come alongside their mama, independent learners, middle schoolers (gasp), and rivaling me in height!  That sweet, sun shiny toddler who would run around the school room and steal our hearts (and erasers) is now an upcoming second grader herself – still giggly and in love with her siblings and her Savior.
oiur girls

And, oh, those sweet boys (the once so small baby and the eager preschooler) are now handsome young boys – one preparing to enter kindergarten (how can it be?) and the other one a big 4th grader.  They love to wrestle with each other, build wonderful contraptions from Legos, are adorably goofy, help their mama, and of course argue as only brothers do.
our boys2

GRACE.

The seasons change.  Our kids grow and blossom.  The challenges are different.
But God’s great GRACE and love towards His children never change.

I’m praising Him for all these years – the past, the present, and those yet to come!
I’m still in need of God’s grace and am thankful for His loving arms wrapping me tight.  He is faithful and His Grace still finds me…

  ‘ Your Grace Finds Me
by Matt Redman

It’s there in the newborn cry
It’s there in the light of every sunrise
It’s there in the shadows of this light
Your great grace

It’s there on the mountaintop
It’s there in the everyday and the mundane
There in the sorrow and the dancing
Your great grace
Oh, such grace

From the creation to the cross
Then from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

It’s there on a wedding day
There in the weeping by the graveside
There in the very breath we breathe
Your great grace

Same for the rich and poor
Same for the saint and for the sinner
Enough for this whole wide world
Your great grace
Oh, such grace

From the creation to the cross
Then from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

There in the darkest night of the soul
There in the sweetest songs of victory
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

Your great grace
Oh, such grace
Your great grace
Oh, such grace

So I’m breathing in Your grace
And I’m breathing out Your praise
I’m breathing in Your grace
Forever I’ll be
Breathing in Your grace
And I’m breathing out Your praise
I’m breathing in Your grace
And I’m breathing out Your praise
Breathing in Your grace
For our God, for our God

Yes, Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

 

”I’m breathing in Your grace and I’m breathing out Your praise…”

Silent e

Many of you know that Hubbard’s Cupboard has numerous FREE printable booklets. 
The collection of booklets for emergent readers has grown over the years and includes…
Sight Word Booklets
Word Family Booklets
CVC Booklets
and various booklets to correspond with holidays and picture books.

Are you ready for more?!  We now also have Silent e Booklets!

Just as with our other booklets, the Silent e Phonics Readers are available in both 8 1/2 by 11 colored teacher versions as well as black and white half page student versions.  There are four booklets (one booklet to focus on each of the four long vowels a, i, o, u) and three additional booklets to be used for review of all the CVCV words.  (We intentionally did not create a silent e booklet, as long e appearing as CVCV is rare.) Here is a sneak peak of one of the covers…

long a phonics reader student samplelong a phonics reader teacher sample

The Silent e Phonics Reader Booklets are available to download for FREE
over at the ‘Printable Booklets’ page at Hubbard’s Cupboard!

Of course, I couldn’t stop there!  I wanted to create a way for our emerging readers to have additional opportunities to detect, read, and spell those silent e words. 
Here is a sampling of some of these resources…

    listen and color read match gluesilent e notebook
 which word rhymesbuild and writeword hunt

The Silent e Word Work sheets are available for purchase
at our Joyful Heart Learning shop at Teacher’s Notebook.
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Just one more way to build confidence and skills in our growing readers!

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