Wednesday, January 7, 2015

US History Lesson Beginning: Revolutionary War

   Our first day of school yesterday went wonderful!  The kids were excited about getting up and getting started!  They got up early, packed their backpacks, dressed themselves and were eagerly at the table for breakfast!  The BEST part about yesterday morning, however..  was that for the first night Sawyer slept with Hudson ALL NIGHT!  We haven't slept without him in between us since we had to take his crib down because he could climb out of it, lol.  So we had a wonderful nights sleep, and I think the boys did too.  Hudson generally doesn't get up when he has someone to sleep with.  He goes back to sleep fast when he does, but it was nice to have a night uninterrupted! Ah-maze-ing.
   This week I wanted to start some new things!  I really trying hard to work on being more organized.  Since we moved the kids room around to accompany their beds, I ended up with one of those large plastic containers with three drawers that they weren't using..  perfect to put in my room and organize all of our school stuff!  Part of getting more organized was trying to make a cute weekly syllabus for the kiddos!  I thought that would be a great way of letting them take a little control of their own schedule instead of constantly asking me what was next.  I think I'll have fun with these..  playing with photoshop has became a really fun past time for me...  I'm really thinking I may start working on some of my own worksheets for people to use..  because I had no idea how much I would love designing things!  I have used it to edit photography for years, but just recently have started graphic design, and I love it!  Here are the ones I typed up for the girls this week.. PLEASE ignore my typos..  I was kind of hurried because the power kept going out while working on them, and I kept forgetting to save..  and I need a new computer battery so you know how that is..  lol..  so I know there are typos, but they loved them!  I think I'll do a new fun them each week..  this week was their favorites.. Big sis got One Direction and Little Sis got Once Upon a time :)

  This semester I really want to put more focus on their bible studies.  Sadly I really let that fall by the wayside last semester, and there's nothing more important.  We are in a better groove now, we get through our basic work faster, so we have more time for other things.  I am starting reading with them, there is a "Read the Bible in a Year" schedule in the back of my devotion, which we are starting to read together.  I'm also going to print them out a copy of it with a check box so that on the days we aren't in school (we school Monday-Thursday) it will be their responsibility to make sure that they are done.
   I've also started them doing their devotions every morning, its a good habit to get into.  Its awesome that little sis can read and write well enough to do her devotions and journal!  She's grown leaps and bounds in her reading and writing skills this year!  They also each have a Bible study book.  Callies's is a Sunday school book and l;ittle sis' is a bible reader from her older My Father's world curriculum.  I also have a Bible study workbook from the "Complete book of" series, Some of the work isn't really bible work, its math or English, but a lot of it is Bible work and it's some neat things, such as word searches and reading Bible passages to answer questions.  They really enjoy it, and doing it together.  Its a little below Callies's grade level but she enjoys some easy work every now and again, so this works out great!

I'm also still working on learning the books of the Bible.  We are going to really start that next week.  I'm going to write the names on cups for them to stack up.  We have a song that we used to listen too everyday on the way to Bethel and they almost know it.  I'm excited about doing more Bible study and work together...  its something I have to work on in my own personal study as well, besides just reading a daily devotion.  I really want to learn to cultivate a relationship with God this year.  We've pushed aside so much religious doctrine that I was raised on and now my husband and I see Jesus for who he really is...  and that's a Jesus we want to get to know!  Now more than ever.  I'm thankful our children can come along with us on the journey to know Him better!!!

   We are also continuing our American History curriculum!  We begin this semester with Felicity, and the Revolutionary War.  We finished "Meet Felicity". yesterday.   They have learned a lot from this series...  they learned that she had to wear a sunbonnet so not to get her face sunburned!  Also in this and the other novel we are reading the girls desperately want to wear "breeches"..  (pants) and the girls cant' imagine having to wear those long dresses with petticoats to play outside! Little sis also loves this book because its about her meeting and falling in love with a horse name Penny..  and Little sis can relate to Felicity's love for horses! She really wanted to read more at the end, so I'm planning to check out the second Felicity book for her and I to read at night while we go through this study.  She enjoyed Felicity so much she named one of her new twin babies she got for Christmas Felicity, and is calling her "Lissie", like in the book.  .  She has LOVED the fact that both the American girls we have read about love horses!  
  PS:  She got three Kaya books for Christmas from her aunt Emmy!  She's over the moon!  As soon as we finish this Felicity book we are going to start reading those Kaya books and we are soooo excited about this!

    One of our main tools for our revolutionary war series is this cute little television series!  I picked up a copy of this, all 40 episodes for about $7.00 on ebay!!!!  Can't beat that!

DVD- Liberty Kids

The kids really enjoy these, and they are historically accurate..  I've learned a lot from the few episodes that we've watched, and I know that they have too! It's a lot more fun than reading in a history book!  Hudson especially enjoys this part of our school day!

Here are some other books we have chosen for our adventures through the Revolutionary War!

Johnny Tremain- Esther Forbes

This book is for Callie's reading.  It is actually set before the outbreak of the revolutionary war, so she has already gotten started on this book.  So far she seems to enjoy it!  The boy on the front also resembles Peeta from the Hunger Games.  Haha!  

Big sis's other independent reading book through this study (we are heavy readers...) is Chains.  Its about a slave girl during the middle of the Revolutionary war.  Its been said in many times in our history text as well as our video that there are some who are not free in this fight for freedom.  I think its something we don't think about a lot during the Revolutionary war, but I think she'll enjoy this one even more.

This is my text book.  I was so happy to find that the local library has a copy of this series!  I'm not giving it to the girls, however I am reading it myself, and I do intend to make some worksheets especially for big sis to do some research using this book.  I really enjoy most parts of it and so far have not found the things that others do not like about it, so for now I'll still use it as the backbone to what I'm teaching them.  Its well written and actually pretty short in the chapters, which the girls like.  Its also well organized in chronological order, so that's very helpful!  So far, I'm enjoying it!

This is Little Sis's independent reading book for the study!  It's right on her reading level, and she really enjoys it.  More than this she enjoys having something she reads and understands all by herself.  The chapters are short and its an easy read, so she doesn't get confused and frustrated.  She is enjoying being treated like a big girl, and my kids LOVE reading books!  I'm really loving this series, as soon as I return some of the HUGE pile of books I borrowed, I'll probably check into getting a couple more of these for her to read at night!

   Hudson has really enjoyed Ox Cart Man.  He's been read it several times, and he likes it a lot.  Its simple but it really shows them a contrast..  Felicity lives in the 'commercial' area, her father is a shop owner and she lives close to others.  Ox Cart man is a shorter book but it tells the life of a farmer and his family preparing their things and his travels to market to sale them.  It gives the other side of life for the colonists.  They really enjoyed it.  Little Sis said she would be a farmer, and big sis would want to live in the city and own a shop during colonial times.  :)  I love seeing them try to relate!
We are reading King George tomorrow with our history lesson, and John, Paul, George and Ben next week.  I want to focus on the beginning of the war this week and why it happened, so it'll be good to know a little bit about King George.  
     I also have a fun game about taxing!  I want the girls to understand what taxing was and why it was so overwhelming.  Tomorrow morning I am going to give them each ten pennies.  Throughout the day, I am going to 'tax' what they do.  Like..  two pennies each time they use the restroom.  Three pennies when they want something to eat.  One penny when they want a drink.  I want them to see how fast it goes, and why the colonists were angry about taxing!  I think it'll be interesting!  I also have some worksheets on Colonist vs Loyalist for them to fill out.  I think its important to know why the war happened!  

   This book is really awesome!  The most important thing I want them to get out of using American Girls to study history is to know what it was like to actually be there.  I feel like they are a part of history, because that's what the American girl stories do.  This book is so full of information!  Its full of pictures of what they wore, what their lifestyles were like, and it puts Felicity in the middle of the Revolutionary war!  They really enjoy this, and I think it'll be really helpful in their final projects that they will be doing, which I will share at the end of the month.  

We also started A Little Maid of Narragansett Bay and we enjoy it!  The main character is a patriot and her close neighbors are Loyalists, so its interesting to see that dynamic.  Its been very enjoyable so far!  As soon as we are finished with this we will begin the Winter of Red Snow.  I believe these are good choices that the girls will enjoy, and will get to know what it felt like to be in that time period.  

   I'm trying to decide between Teaching Textbooks and Time4Learning to test out for Big sis for Math.  Also I'm considering Time4Learning as a tool for Hudson.  He loves computer time but has grown bored with Teach Your Monster To Read..  so we are thinking about going with Time4Learning.  He did great when we were doing his free trial, so we shall see!  

I'm SO excited about this!!!

  I finally signed up for Little Passports!!!  I went with the USA edition since we are doing United States Geography!  I was really frustrated with our Geography because I was trying to cram in the entire United States in a year, but then I realized its going to take us two years to do our history lesson..  so why not allow geography to span over that time period as well?  We don't want to be doing united states history and world geography..  so why not just allow it to take two years?  SO, I'm going to allow the girls a month to study each state, and make a detailed lapbook about the state to present to us when they do their final presentations of their unit studies.  I thought this would be AMAZING to get in the mail!  It will be how we choose what state we are doing!  I also signed up at the first of the month, so hopefully they will begin sending them near the first of the month!  The girls are really excited about this!  I think Hudson will enjoy it too when it comes, and I think this will be something he jumps into!  He already enjoys making the state lapbooks.  I'm excited about this being a neat addition to our studies!  and its' only $11 a month!  We are super pumped!

Hudson really enjoyed this free Frozen Printable Pack.  He enjoyed it so much after he was finished with the alphabet sheets he hung each of them on his wall, lol!  I think Little Sis will enjoy the addition and subtraction sheets as well.

I'm also revisiting this free Berenstain Bears curriculum that I downloaded about a year ago.  I dove in and purchased a TON of Berenstain Bears books for him and Little Sis for Christmas, and I believe I may have all of them now that are needed for this lesson!  I think Hudson would really enjoy it, because he LOVES the Berenstain Bears!  He's also REALLY into Pete the Cat right now, we've read a lot of him lately!  I love that my kids love books...
   So that's our month for now!  I'll share throughout the month on some fun things I've been trying to put together.  Thanks for following!