Sunday, March 23, 2014


Welcome to our weekly MFW 1st Grade posts (we are using the first edition)! If you haven't already, be sure to check out our daily school routine and curriculum here.

We are getting over colds (again) and had to miss a full day (or two) of school because Mommy wasn't feeling well :). Isn't is wonderful that we can be so flexible with our homeschooling schedules?  We can stop when we need to take a break with no worries that we have fallen behind.  

Friends, I want to encourage all of you homeschooling mommies to not compare yourself with others, but focus your eyes on Jesus (Heb.12:2).  It's easy (especially when your just beginning your homeschooling journey) to try and duplicate what other mommies are doing; and if we don't fit it all in, we're sure we are failing our children miserably.  

If God has called you to homeschool, He has equipped you for the task!  He has given you these wonderful gifts (your children) to raise and nurture.  He will give you His wisdom and discernment if you ask Him (James 1:5). 

It's hard to believe that we've been homeschooling for 6 weeks now! Time flies when you are having fun :) 
Here's a look at our Week 6!

We had another "visitor" this week! :)

Bible:  Our Proverbs for this week is Proverbs 29:11 ("A fool gives full vent to this anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control").  We discussed the differences between a "fool" and a "wise" man.  A "fool" is a person who doesn't know God (Psalm 14:1).  He is reckless with his words.  A "wise" man seeks to know God and make Him known (Prov. 2:6).  He desires to build others up with his words and not tear down (Eph.4:29).  

Ladybug and Buddy enjoyed drawing their own Bible Lands Map.  We will be studying many things that happened long ago in Israel; and it will be good for them to be able to locate what we are learning on a map.  The teacher's manual shared a silly story to help children learn how to draw the seas and rivers (of the Bible Lands Map).  After we drew our maps, we looked in the back of our Bibles, and we were excited to see our maps (that we drew) were similar to the "real" maps in the back!

Buddy and Ladybug's Bible Lands Maps

Grammar:  We are continuing learning long vowels and new sounds like "th", "or", and "ar".  

Ladybug's workbook page on learning the "ar" sound

Also, Ladybug learned to differentiate between the "oo" sound in words like "spoon" and "book"!  

Ladybug cutting out words to help her review

Ladybug made a folder to help here remember the "oo" sounds.  She placed words with  vowels sound the same as "spoon" and "book"  

I am thankful for all the booklets Ladybug made this week to help her review what she is learning!

Ladybug made the car booklet for Buddy.  She asked him what his favorite color is.  Today, he had several favorites!  :) 
Ladybug decorated the inside of car booklet for Buddy! He loves road signs!

Math: We are using the Complete Book of Math (CBOM) that MFW suggest.  As I mentioned in our previous posts, we are technically "behind" due to Ladybug's desire to color all of the pictures.  But, I am loving the CBOM (along with the math games ideas from the Teacher's Manual).  Right now, Ladybug is learning about skip counting (2s, 5s, & 10s); ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) and less and greater than symbols.

I haven't shared about the Wooden Pattern Blocks yet. Each week, the blocks along with the Pattern Animal Puzzles are used on Exploration Day (in place of math sheets on that day).  

Here are some pictures of Buddy playing with the Blocks and Puzzle sheets.

The Animal Puzzle Book also has activity sheets for problem solving and critical thinking! Buddy (especially) enjoys the blocks.  He told me a few days ago, "Mommy, these are kinda like legos; and I like them!"  Yay!!

Science: This week we studied "Thunder and Lightning". Since I was "under the weather" (HA!), we didn't do any science experiments.  But we enjoyed reading and learning! 

We learned how lightning is produced.  I'm glad we studied "How does it rain" last week since it builds on that.  The tiny drops of water (a cloud) bump into each other and make electricity.  I thought it was interesting "that lightning and thunder happen at the same time, but light travels faster than sound through air" (taken from Things Outdoors).  That's why we see lightning before we hear the thunder!

This week has went by fast! We are enjoying the journey!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Welcome to our weekly MFW 1st Grade Posts (we are using the first edition)!  If you haven't already, be sure to check out our daily school routine and curriculum choices here.  

This week has been tough getting use to the Time Change. Ladybug asked me 3 mornings in a row if we lost another hour last night!  We had more snow and ice this week and even lost a few pine trees.  Thankfully, we have heat and power. Praise the Lord! 

Here's a look at our MFW 1st Grade Week 5!

On our first day of Week 5, we had a new "student" join.

My most quiet student!

Bible:  Our Proverbs for this week is Proverbs 16:24 ("Pleasant words are honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones").  On Day 2 of this week, Ladybug copied the Proverb for handwriting practice.  We talked about how our words should be kind and sweet (like honey). The teacher's manual suggested a visual for this.  I put honey in a spoon and pieces of trash in another spoon. Using the prompts, I explained that honey is sweet and yummy. Our words are to be like this spoonful of honey: sweet, kind and encouraging.  Holding up the spoonful of trash, I continued. But unkind and mean words are like this spoonful of trash: terrible and ugly.  I used the questions from the teacher's manual to ask Ladybug and Buddy, what kind of words do they like to hear and what kind of words does GOD like to hear.  This was a great way to show that are words (and our thoughts and actions) are to be pleasant and honey!

How pleasant are YOUR words today?

Grammar:  We are continuing to learn long vowels. Ladybug is doing well with the long vowels and it went smoother this week.  I appreciate that each day in her workbook, we review what we learned from the previous day.  This helps it stick!

Ladybug's Workbook Page

Ladybug loved making her Animal Tales book in Week 4, and she was a little sad when we finished it.  Thankfully, her bean seeds (from Week 3), and our other science projects have kept her busy! 

Math: We are working our way through the Complete Book of Math (CBOM) workbook.  According to the teachers manual, we are still behind.  Ladybug hasn't been coloring her math pages as much these days, so we may "catch up" soon.  Our math pages have been covering skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s.  This is review for Ladybug (she learned to skip count in our Classical Conversations community). We also use the Number of the Day sheets (The master copy is in Teacher's manual) and math ideas/games (also from Teachers Manual) daily.  

Here's what a Number of the Day sheet looks like!  Our number this day was 19.

Science:  This week we studied "Why does it rain?"  We learned about the water cycle.  

Water Cycle Coloring Sheet (click here to print your own)

Every day, millions of tiny drops rise up into the air, from lakes, rivers and seas.  This is called Evaporation.  We made our own "lake" using a glass of water.  We filled the glass with water and I wrote (with a dry erase marker) "Day one" on the glass cup and marked the water level.  On Day Four, we checked the water level again.  Over one-fourth of an inch (water) had evaporated! 

Our "Lake" 

When lots of these tiny drops of water get together (float) in the same part of the sky, they make a cloud.  Clouds float because they are light! BUT, if the tiny drops bump into each other, they combine and form bigger water drops. When these drops become heavy enough, they fall back to Earth.  We call this RAIN.

We made our own "rain clouds" using shaving cream, cups of water, and water diluted with food dye.  The shaving cream (cloud) floated because it was light.  Once we added the water diluted dye (with the eye droppers) the "cloud" became too heavy, and it rained!

Making Rain Clouds Are FUN!!


Daddy helped with Pumpkin during Science Project Time

This week we had fun painting with watercolors and acrylics!

Wow, what a great week this has been! Thank you for following along!

Here's a few updates on our Science projects from Week 3 and 4!

Our Bean Seeds Update and Tree Exploring (Science~Week 3 and Week 4)

Here's a few updates from our Science Projects!  

Kidney Beans: In Week 3 , we soaked kidney beans in water overnight and opened a few to investigate any changes. 

The rest of our kidney beans were wrapped in a damp paper towel, put on a paper plate and then wrapped with aluminum foil.  We observed their growth from a seed to sprouting root hairs!  Ladybug and Buddy were so excited to check on their beans every few days.

Ladybug and Buddy also made Seed Booklets to document their kidney bean observations.

Ladybug's Seed Plant Book

This was a very EASY, low maintenance science project that showed what happens to a seed when we plant it.  

Tree Exploring:  During Week 4, we learned about Trees. Unfortunately our weather here made it impossible to get out and explore.  We had one nice day during Week 5 to go outside.

We estimated this pine tree had been over 100 years old!

We observed some exposed tree roots and were amazed how far they were from the tree; and we observed the bark of a pine, oak, birch, and maple tree.  

We enjoyed soaking in the sunshine and exploring God's creation!  

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Welcome to our Weekly MFW 1st Grade Posts (we are using the first edition)!  If you haven't already, be sure to check out our daily school routine and curriculum choices here.

We are almost all better from our sickness and have been filling our days with school, giggles, and lots of cuddles. The weather here has been up and down, and we have tried to go outside when possible. I'm not sure who is looking forward to warmer weather more, the kiddos or me!

Here's what we did MFW 1st Grade~Week 4!

Calendar/Weather Chart:  Yay for a new month! Ladybug decided on a "Rainbow Theme" for coloring her calendar and chart. 

Check out these adorable weather charts/calenders here


Bible: Our Proverb for the week is Proverbs 21:23 ("He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity).  We discussed using our mouths to speak kind and helpful words.  Ladybug and Buddy liked this song by Steve Green; and it went well with the Proverb.  It's an oldie, but very cute! Ladybug and Buddy giggled while they tried to hold their tongues and sing! 
On day 2 (beginning in week 3) of this week, Ladybug copied the Proverb on a handwriting sheet.  Click here for a cute handwriting practice sheet! 
We also did a Bible Activity to help Ladybug and Buddy understand who the real author of the Bible is (God). 
Side Note: Most MFW 1st Grade activities (that we've done) take little preparation.  This is helpful when you have young children and active babies!!  

Pumpkin, our sweet, active, socks don't have to match, Baby

Grammar: This week, we've started learning long vowels. The first day, Ladybug was a little confused.  I think because she has many long vowel sight words memorized (from Reading).  But after some review games (helpful games in teacher manual) and making sure she understood the long vowel "rules", we were able to move on.  That's the beauty of homeschooling, isn't it? Being able to move at our children's learning pace, stop when they've hit a "snag", and watch them grasp and master the hurdle. There is nothing more wonderful than being apart of that process!

Ladybug's MFW 1st Grade Workbook Page (Week 4)!

Also, as part of her phonics, Ladybug created a book called "Animal Tales".  She enjoyed reading/writing/illustrating the sentences each day!

I laminated each page and used two book rings.  Ladybug requested ribbon.  Here's a few of Ladybug's pages.

Math: We are using Complete Book of Math (CBOM).  It's part of MFW 1st Grade curriculum. We are slowly working our way through.  The reason: Ladybug likes to  This slows down our "progress", but I feel she is very advanced in Math at this point.  We also get a good dose of Math from our Classical Conversations Group (she can skip count all the way to the 15's!! in 15,30,45,60...etc).

Ladybug working on her CBOM Book

              Closer look of a CBOM Page             

Science: We are enjoying the Science Books that are included with MFW 1st.  This week we are studying trees in our "Things Outdoors" book.  
Unfortunately, the weather here has been on the cold side. We are hoping in the next few days to finish with our Science part.  Ladybug and Buddy have been learning how to figure the age of a tree, and have already picked out the perfect tree trunk to investigate. There is a beautiful birch tree outside our dining room window.  We've learned fascinating things about birch trees this week!! For instance, the most popular and well-known uses for birch wood are birch-bark canoes and indoor basketball court floors. A fully grown birch tree can produce over 1 million seeds in a year.  Who knew?!?
We are also watching our beans (from week 3).  Lady bug and Buddy draw a picture of the changes they see in the beans every few days.  I'll share more about that in the next few weeks.

Our Kidney Beans ~~Day 3~~

  Usborne Science Book

Week 4 has went by fast.  We are enjoying MFW 1st Grade and look forward to next week!  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How to Make a Lapbook

Here's a brief tutorial on how to prepare your folders for a lapbook.  

Lapbooks are fun, hands-on learning tools that are great to use at any age.  They are also great to have on hand as a "quiet toy". 

You can use a pocket or manila folder. I use pocket folders more because we usually have extra games.  It's easy to tuck a game or two into the pockets for safe keeping.

Open folder and find middle line.  Fold one side towards middle line.  Repeat on other side making sure sides line up with each other

And now your lapbook is complete and ready to be used!  I keep a few "pre-made" lapbooks in my file box.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful.  Check out our policeman lapbook (complete with pictures and links so you can make your own)!

Our Policeman Lapbook

Since we just went through My Father's World Kindergarten (MFWK) with Ladybug last year, we decided to take a little break from it.  Buddy will start MFWK this fall.  He shadows Ladybug in MFW 1st and does different workbooks.  But I wanted to add in something special and personal. I asked Buddy what was something he wanted to learn more about.  He thought for a moment and said policemen.   PERFECT THEME for a Lapbook!

Here's a look at our Policeman Lapbook (for a quick tutorial on how to prepare a folder for a lapbook, click here).

Buddy showing the front of his lapbook.

Front of Lapbook: I found this FREE Adorable Police car printable online.  Buddy colored and cut it out.  I glued it one each side of the front.  Buddy decided to put (LOTS) of star stickers on the front "because it's night time and the policemen can see the constellations (SO CUTE)".


Inside of Lapbook

Inside of Lapbook: This Lapbook is jam-packed! I love seeing Buddy open his lapbook and play.

Here's the details:

1) Fingerprints~I got the easy idea for making your own fingerprints from here.  I also included laminated pictures of Ladybug and Buddy doing their fingerprints.  

I added a removable mini magnifying glass (on velcro) to get a close-up look at the fingerprints

2) Fingerprint Book~ In keeping with the fingerprint theme, I added a fingerprint book.  We cut out fingerprints from black construction paper (but you could use ink pad) and Buddy added the correct number of "prints" on each page. Here's the link for the printable.  (Scroll down and click on Preschool Download.  Once you are on that page, scroll down to page 10)). 

Finger Print Book
3) Pattern Game~I got this game from the same link as fingerprint book (Page 5).  I put velcro on the backs of each piece after I laminated them.  

Pattern Game

4,5, and 6) Box for Pattern Game Pieces~This idea was born out of necessity.  I realized VERY quickly we needed a place for all those pattern game pieces that didn't have a home.  I hot glued a gift card box (you could also use a box from a gum package) that I had colored with a sharpie marker.
Badge~ I wanted to have some items that Buddy could remove and play with.  I found a cute printable for a badge and hat (sorry couldn't find that printable again, but this one is cute too!!) and laminated both.  The badge is velcroed on the book and hat is in a pocket.
Cute coloring sheet~I found this coloring sheet here and quickly colored it and added it as a surprise!

Police Coloring Sheet, Removable Badge and Pattern Game Piece Holder

7) Policeman Puzzle~ This cute puzzle was laminated and cut out.  I hole-punched the pocket of the lapbook and added pipe-cleaners to hold the puzzle.  Check out the puzzle here (there's also a girl policeman)!

Removable Policeman Puzzle

Back of Lapbook~ For the back of lapbook, I found this printable (page 24) of a policeman and Buddy colored it and glued it on the back.
Back of Lapbook

Well, that's it!  I hope this post has encouraged and inspired you to make your own lapbook with your little one!  



Here's some other helpful posts:

We are doing MFW 1st Grade (check out what we do each week here) with Ladybug.  
To see our daily school routine and our curriculum, click here