Monday, August 20, 2012

Lesson Theme: Back to Homeschool and Curriculum List!

WOW!   What a couple of weeks:  back to school excitement and a new blog look that I am L-O-V-I-N-G!  
Jamie from Blood Orange Designs is wonderful and amazing to work with!  Did I mention she is patient - oooohhh so patient - she was great about explaining things that I am sure are super basic in the blogging world but completely overwhelming to NON-tech-savvy me.  :)  She has a great site (check it out), fun blog, and is incredibly talented!  If you are ever in need of some blog design help - Jamie is the person to talk to!  You'll be soooo happy you did!  :)

A few quick things to point out - I now have my very own grab button!  Isn't it pretty?  :)
There's also a menu, new "About" page, AND some great ways to "follow along" (RSS, e-mail, etc.)!  

Can you tell I am excited about my new blog look and features?  ;)  Okay, okay onward I press...

Here are a few of the fun things we did for our first two weeks of "Back to Homeschool"!

Isn't this little family of owls cute?  Inspired by the cardboard tube owls I found hopping around Pinterest, it just seemed to fit with our owl-lish back to school theme so we made some of our own.  

If you missed the post about celebrating our first day back with a special breakfast, some owl surprises, and a visit from the homeschool elf - catch up by reading about it here!  :)

One thing I did this year was to create an activity pack for our "Back to Homeschool" theme.  I wanted something more centered on homeschooling which would also be a fun review of some skills we practiced last year (counting by tens, patterns, etc.), AS WELL AS something to stretch Miss A a bit (building a story using the story spinners, puzzles, defining goals for the year, etc.).

You can see a more detailed description of what is included in the pack here in my TPT store.  For those interested, I have decided to put the pack on SALE for $1.50 the entire month of August!  :)

Wanting to encourage Miss A to begin the year thinking about what it means to be an excellent student, I came up with this activity.  She painted an empty egg carton yellow, and I added some wheels and windows to make a bus.  

We brainstormed what characteristics we thought make someone an "egg"cellent student and wrote them on little slips of paper.  We placed one each inside six eggs left from the spring.  Each egg was then decorated in order to look like a student and placed inside the "bus". :)  

If you make this craft, consider keeping it in a special place in your home where it will be handy to take down and review as needed throughout the year. 

We enjoyed playing this memory game from the Stay At Home Educator blog as well - I would place different school supplies on a tray.  Miss A would look at them, close her eyes, and then I would remove one object.  After she opened her eyes, she would have to try to figure out which item I had removed!  :)

More pictures of some of the activities we worked on from the "Back to Homeschool" activity pack.

Don't you remember when you were younger how much fun it was to "play" school?  Thus, I added some school items to a "Back to School" pretend/play bin for Miss A to use - her excitement was so cute as she lined up her dolls for "school".  

Some of the items inside were flash cards, a blackboard and chalk, ABC book, nursery rhyme book, notebook, an old reader, etc.  Here are some other suggestions for items to include if you make your own tub (and have room inside):  a pointer, dice, an educational game, whiteboard and washable dry erase marker, a small container of school supplies, back to school books from the library, an attendance chart, a pretend planner book, etc.

We also cracked open our NEW books!  Here's our current curriculum list for this year:

Bible:  The Big Book of Questions and Answers  (I also hope to add the The Big Picture Bible Time Line)

Reading/Phonics:  Veritas Press Phonics Museum  AND First Favorites (Veritas Press)

Grammar:  Shurley English

Math:  Saxon 2

Geography:  Legends & Leagues (Veritas Press) AND Beginning Geography (Evan Moor)

Character/Good Citizenship:  Daily Character Education Activities (K-1) by Carson-Dellosa Publishing

AND of course we have handwriting practice, thematic activities, and opportunities for physical ed. (starting up in September)!  

Whew!  Lots of stuff but what fun to be back into schooling once more!  :)

Hope you are having an amazing start to YOUR school year!!!  :)  If you have a back to school post, school organization/planning tip, or homeschool room you would like to share with us, I am currently hosting a linky party here (open the entire month of August) and would love to have you link up to share with the rest of us!  :)

Linking up:
Hip Homeschool Hop Button


  1. How exciting to get a new blog design! I've been going back-and-forth about getting someone to design something for me. I think I would be a challenge! ::laugh:: But it looks great!

    I have those owls pinned for a handicraft project for the kids this fall or winter. (I have about 30 TP rolls saved so we'll have a FOREST of owls! ::wink:) Very cute! (I just pinned SOCK OCTOPUS today. That looks fun too!)

    And what wonderfully fun Back-to-School activities! I miss the younger years!

    1. Thanks! Yes! The younger years are a lot of fun - I don't know what I will do when Miss A hits high school. LOL - we'll figure it out as we leap along. :)

      I HIGHLY recommend Jamie for blog design! She is wonderful! If you choose her - please tell her hi from me! :)

  2. Love that egg carton! So cute!
    I love how all your pics have a black background. How are you doing that?
    You should come by and link up to #BTSBash with this post, it's perfect!

    1. Thanks so much Adrienne! I hopped on over and posted at your party - WOW - do you ever have a lot of awesome giveaways! Hope to win something! :)

      On the black background - it is a black cloth. I also have Photoshop which helps when I want to deepen the color of the black. I like black because I think it doesn't detract from what I am showing - even helps to show it off on occasion! :)

  3. Thank you so much for the sweet shoutout!!! You are the best to include me in one of your amazing posts! So glad we reconneccted and finished this because it turned out amazing!

  4. Such cute ideas and the owls are just adorable! I'd love for you to share with my readers if you get the chance - my party just opened tonight!

  5. Great idea and your blog looks gorgeous, I love the little chalkboards!

  6. Thank you for these great links!

  7. Those owls and the yellow bus are SO adorable Michelle! Can I come to your home school? lol! Have a fabulous weekend! Angie xo

  8. LOVE your new look! BEAUTIFUL! And the eggcelent bus is WAY CUTE!!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great week =-)

  9. Thanks for linking up to mommy solutions this week! I'm featuring you on my facebook page right now! love it!

    Thanks, Crystal!

  10. Soo many fun ideas! I just love the bus :) Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  11. Thank you for sharing at Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you'll be back this week to link up again! Have a great weekend!

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