Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We're Moving Soon!

Not out of the house, we're here to stay for a while yet... but the Homeschool Den blog will be moving. A couple of months ago one of the editors of Parents contacted me and asked if I would like to come under the Parents umbrella as one of their bloggers. I was honored and thrilled to join such a great team of people.  So in just a couple of weeks you'll find us over at the Parents website. We'll have a link from this site to get you to the right place.  Stay tuned for more about that transition soon!

I've had this post done for ages... at least mentally! I love to hear what others are up to and thought I'd do another general post about the rhythm of our day.

While each day is different overall, our mornings often start off the same. We all have breakfast and slowly gather in our homeschool room. Most mornings we start off with independent reading (though ED and I have often been up for a while so we may have already done some preschool activities together). LD loves to read so he starts reading the second he hits the kitchen.  I generally have to ask DD to find a book she wants to read, then she's happily engrossed. Right now LD is reading the Lightning Thief while DD is reading a chapter or so each day from a Nancy Drew book Grams brought us.

Then we have collection (which is our group time).  We often start of singing songs together.  Right now we are going over some USA basics about the states and Presidents. We're learning the "50 States That Rhyme" song. We've managed to memorize about half the states so far--and we point to each state as we sing it. It's been a fun challenge, though I doubt we'll ever sing all 50 states in 35 seconds like the young girl on you tube here!! I typed out the lyrics last summer.  You can download them here if you're interested. We are also learning a few basic facts about the US Presidents. We've covered the first five and we'll eventually go up through at least Abraham Lincoln. Our main unit in history this semester is on the American West. I'll be posting about some of the things we've been doing with that soon.
Most days we try to work on German. We always start with basic greetings and chit-chat (like "What day is it?" or "Today is cold.") Right now we're using a dictionary book that has great pictures. I'll ask questions like, "Where is something blue?" or "Where's the rug? What color is it?"  We're still in the slow process of vocabulary and basic language acquisition so we don't cover grammar at all (except in a natural way as I help guide them in their speaking).
We usually then do our morning projects (first aid, geography, experiments or whatever) together before branching off to the subjects the kids work on on their own (math, spelling/writing, music) as the day progresses.

ED has been doing some basic geography activities (again I'll have more about this soon) for her main preschool work. We also have been doing a test run of a website called Reading Eggs. She is really enjoying that and it looks like we'll probably get a subscription once our 4-week trial period is over. She's been jumping on that while the others are involved in subjects she's not interested in.

Right now LD is reading Real Science 4 Kids' Physics book, while I'm reading those same chapters aloud to DD. That's because we'll be doing some hands-on stuff in a couple of weeks and I want them to have finished the book before we do the experiments and activities. I have both pre-level 1 and Level 1.  Pre-level 1 is definitely better for DD (age 6). It's written in very simple terms.  I think LD would be fine with either level, but I'm having him read the Pre-level 1 on his own. He is really enjoying it. Then we may add in the next level when we actually do our activities.
DD is really enjoying the piano. She never has to be reminded to practice and stops at the piano to play several times a day. She's learning the Theme from Ice Castles at the moment. Meanwhile, LD still loves the trumpet. I think we found a high school student who will give him lessons once or twice a month. I can teach music generally, but I'm a woodwind player not a brass player!
So there's a bit more of a glimpse at the kinds of things we fit into our homeschool day. I have a couple more postings about our first aid unit and then I will be posting about some of the other things I mentioned.

PS If you are interested in learning more about Real Science 4 Kids's Physics textbook you can check out the Pre-Level I sample here. And here's the link to the sample of Level I.  LD just finished reading Pre-Level I this morning and as I said above, he really enjoyed reading it. I plan to use other materials for our activities so don't have any recommendations one way or the other about the teacher's manual or lab workbook.


  1. Congratulations on the blog move, how exciting! Thank you for the heads up on the Real Science 4 Kids books. I am currently putting together my "shopping list" for next school year and I think our family will look at purchasing a level. Thanks!

  2. You always have great resources on your blog, I think it is fabulous that you have been recognized for all your hard work. I will make sure and follow you over!

  3. Thanks for the nice comments! In case you want to actually see a sample of the physics book before you make a purchase I went back and added in a couple of links on the original post. I found the sample chapters really useful in helping me make the decision whether it was a good fit for our family. I really loved the examples she used and cute graphics and felt that it made the material really accessible for the kids.

  4. Very exciting, can't wait to see you over there :-)