‘Hot on the Trail’ of Learning

detective 004 (2) Have you heard of the 100th Day of School?   Typically, it is an elementary school celebration and is a HUGE day jam packed with fun learning activities – especially in kindergarten and first grade classrooms across the country.  

As a former K teacher and now a homeschool mama to 5 kiddos ranging from Kindergarten to 8th grade, I’ve helped our children celebrate their fair share of 100th days around here.  With each year, it has become more and more challenging to figure out how to include both the younger and older kids in the day’s festivities, making it engaging and relevant to what they are learning.  I tried to break it to the older kids that this year the 100th day activities would be just be for the elementary aged kids, but that didn’t go over so well.  LOL!  

Take a closer look at a few of our ‘hot on the trail’ activities (across grade levels)…

detective table

hat
detective hats for our younger kids as they begin their learning investigations

tiny clues 
Tiny Clues

100 Hunt (2) 
100th Day 1-100 Sticker Hunt

100th Day Collections 
the younger kids’ 100th Day 100 Item Collections

detective donuts 
Don’t all good detectives deserve some donuts (and coffee, aka hot cocoa)?!

fingerprint suspects 
Fingerprint Suspects

 game (2)
The Cupcake Mystery Game (A ‘Clue’ Math Game)

hot on the trail mix
Our 100th Day ‘Hot on the Trail’ Mix
(The kids discovered that ten groups of ten small snack items add up to be a pretty large snack!)

revealing secret words 
Revealing Secret Words

Scripture search
Scripture Search for the older kids

secret case files 
Secret Case Files (The numbers correspond to each detective’s grade level.  =) )

detective cupcakes
A special dessert fitting for our super sleuths!

That was just a quick glimpse, but there was so much more to our day!  I’ve added our resource packet (with both elementary and middle grade ideas), to our Joyful Heart Learning shop.  Come check it out!

Cover

Sample

More 100th Day Resources:
100th Day (free ideas and printables at Hubbard’s Cupboard)
Touchdown: Celebrating 100 Days (for purchase at our Joyful Heart Learning Shop at Teacher’s Notebook)

The Favorite Part of Our Homeschool Day

Hands down, my favorite part of our family’s homeschool day is the time when we gather all together and sing hymns, review Scripture passages, use a short devotional to focus on the truths in God’s Word, and pray.

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We call this time Morning Worship, but it can (and does) take place anytime throughout the day.

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We use three binders for our family of seven.  In each binder, I placed several hymns that I desired for all of us to learn to sing as well as Scripture passages that many of us have learned previously.  I organized the binders so that there are two sheets (back to back) inside of page protectors.  Since we use them each day, I am hopeful that the added thickness will enable the sheets to last longer.

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After singing praises to Jesus and reviewing Scripture, we then answer the catechism questions as found in the book Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade.  Next, we read two days worth from the devotional.  For the ages and attentiveness of our kids, this seems to be a good amount for us.  To get our older kids more involved, I will often ask them to look up the Bible verse references beforehand and then they read those at the point in the devotional when the Scriptures are needed.IMG_6692 (2)

We follow the devotional reading with a prayer time.  In addition to praying for others, we are attempting to pray back Scripture read that day and making an effort to pray integrating what was just learned through the devotional reading.

I look forward to this short, enjoyable, focused, and intentional time with my family each school day!

Here is a free PDF containing our Morning Worship Binder materials – hymns and Scripture passages.  Enjoy!

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!

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.
cover

Just one more way to build confidence and skills in our growing readers!

Steps to the Cross – A GIVE AWAY!

At Christmas, we celebrate God sending His Son Jesus to earth as a baby.  Steps to the Cross is a natural continuation of learning about Jesus Christ our Savior as we follow His steps to the cross.  This eBook contains daily readings of Scripture, a Bible passage to memorize, and ideas for activities and crafts for children to engage in during the 13 days leading up to Easter that will point them to the cross and the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

In preparation for Easter, we are giving away 2 copies of 
Steps to the Cross: Celebrating Easter and Christ’s Sacrifice
cover 
2 Winners will each receive one PDF document containing…

  • 13 days of Scripture reading
  • hymn suggestions
  • ideas for building an Easter Reminder Basket
  • memorization of either Philippians 2:5-11 or Psalm 103:1-12
  • ideas (with photos and descriptions) for crafts and activities
  • printables to use with a Scripture Easter egg hunt
  • coloring sheets
  • copywork for memory verses in both print and cursive
  • 2 printable booklets
  • printable tags for decoration

Enter this giveaway by clicking on the image below!
Teacher’s Notebook will notify the winners and send a link
for your free download once the contest has ended.

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