What We’re Learning

What We’re Learning in Autumn/Winter 2011-2012

Literary Studies and full-range Unit Studies through Five in a Row, Vol 1. 
This year, we plan on studying Madeline, The Story about Ping, Lentil, The Glorious Flight, Storm in the Night, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel,  Grandfather’s Journey, The Rag Coat, Papa Piccolo,  A Pair of Red Clogs, Another Celebrated Dancing Bear, Night of the Moonjellies, and Very Last First Time.
The Five in a Row program includes read-alouds, narration, memorization, geography, mathematics, history, science, and character study.  If you haven’t taken a look at this program, it’s a must-see!  Our children absolutely LOVE Five in a Row!
Bible and Faith-based Study
  • Hands On Bible Explorations
  • Daily Bible Reading and Memory Verse Reading (for Bibles, we are using Ergermeier’s Children’s Bible, and Usborne Illustrated Children’s Bible.
  • Milk’n’Honey Cookbook for Kids (Recipes based on favorite Bible Stories).
  • Growing Up Where Jesus Lived (A Beka) – unit studies and history lessons
  • Alexander and Audrey (pre-K and JK): Family Math for Young Children – fantastic hands-on approach to introducing Math in a fun and engaging way.
  • All three children use the Math activities in Five in a Row as well.
Phonics and Reading
  • Readers for Simon, including the “I Can Read” series and the Usborne Very First Reading and Usborne Reading Program, First Reading level 1 and 2.
  • Letter Boxes, Word Boxes, Word Building Chains, The Alphabet Tree, and various other Phonics and Reading Manipulatives and Games.
  • How to Teach your Childre to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
  • LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of reading aloud together!
Science and Nature Study
  • 15 Minutes Outside, used for ideas and as a leaping board for outdoor creativity
  • The Handbook of Nature Study
  • Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do
  • Science activities withing Five in a Row
  • Kitchen Table Make and Do

History and Geography
  • Much of these subjects will be covered within the Five in a Row studies, including topics such as France, China, People’s of the World, among others.
  • Also to be studied – Johnny Appleseed, George Washington, and Martin Luther King Jr., among others.
Art and Music Appreciation
  • Harmony Fine Arts, First Grade
  • Program includes a close look at numerous Classical Composers and their music, varied classical music and an intensive Visual Art Study, looking at various famous art pieces and using the inspiration and techniques to create our own art.

Visual Arts
  • What Shall I Draw? (Usborne)
  • What Shall I Paint? (Usborne)
  • Visual arts withing Five in a Row
  • Harmony Arts program for 1st grade
  • Nature Journaling, each child with their own journal and choice of medium
  • Now We are Six by A.A. Milne
  • The Usborne Book of Poems for Little Children
  • All Day Long, complied and Edited by Mrs. Mark Yoder
Read-alouds and Books for Narration:

Chronicles of Narnia (A Horse and His Boy, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe), The Boxcar Children, MANY more to be listed…

Other Unit Studies:

Autumn Leaves

(more to come… still working on compiling this all here!)
A peek at our past Spring/Summer (2011)
Educational Plans and Activities:
(Feel free to use any of this!)

 (Download the free Summer Schedule fill-in sheet for Summer Planning)

Unit Studies Overview-
  • Horticulture/Botany – Plants, Seeds, and Flowers, Gardening – growing food, healthy eating, caring for a garden, harvesting food, farming
  • Insects – Caterpillars and Butterflies, Worms, identifying and investigating insects of all types
  • Gardening – growing food, healthy eating, caring for a garden, harvesting food, local farming
  • Eggs and Chicks
  • Tadpoles and Frogs
  • Puppies and Dogs
A selection of some of our Spring/Summer resources books.
-Seeds, Plants and Flowers
Time Scope: Starting in Spring, spanning throughout the Summer, into the early Fall for Harvest.
Overall Educational Goals:
Infuse an understanding of God’s world and His power to make things grow.  The importance of seeds, plants, and how they make our world go around.  Seeds grow into plants that feed us.  
God’s world and the beauty of flowers and various plants
Gaining a better understanding of types of seeds, plants, flowers, and how they grow.
Understanding and respect of farmers, farming, and why it is important to choose local produce.
Arts and Crafts and Experiments/Science:

  • Researching, deciding upon, and purchasing seeds and materials for our garden
  • Planting our Seedling Garden
  • Transplanting plants from our Seedling Garden to bigger pots, then to our garden bed.
  • Designing and constructing our Raised Bed Garden.
  • Growing Shoots (out of beans)
  •     Pg.14-15, Farmyard Tales Things to Make and Do
  • Growing Sprout Shapes (Vacation Activities)
  • Grow a Leaf into a Plant
  • Sweet Potato Experiments – Organic vs. Regular Produce and growing sprouts (Vacation  Activities)
  • Growing Tiny Islands in the Sea (Summer Activities)
  • Flower Candy (Summer Activities)
  • Lemon Slice Ice Cubes (Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do – Usborne)
  • Magic Flowers (Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do)
  • Tasty Bread rolls (Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do)
  • Strawberries (Summer Fun – Usborne)
  • Poppy’s Paper Daisy Chains (Farmyard Tales Things to Make and Do)
Math Applications:
  • Sorting, identifying, and storing different types of dried seeds
  • Counting Apple Seeds
  • Keeping track of seed data, crop quantities and charting it.
  • Measuring and understanding how to build the Garden Bed
  • Collecting, sorting, and counting seeds and distances of planted seeds and seedlings
  • How Flowers Grow (Usborne)
  • Trees (Usborne)
  • First Encyclopedia of Our Earth, pg. 38-39 (Usborne)
  • Flip Flap Farm (Usborne)
  • Farmyard Tales Things to Make and Do (Usborne)
  • Johnnie Appleseed
  • National Audubon Society First Field Guide – wild flowers
  • Plants and Life by Sally Morgan
  • Plants are Living Things by Bobbi Kalman
Eggs and Chicks/Birds
Overall Educational Goals:
  • Exploring, watching, and documenting the growth of our own Robin’s eggs and chick in the backyard – inspiring awe in nature and the beauty of God’s world at work
  • Understanding how eggs work
  • Connecting the power of God’s hand in creating life inside an egg

Arts and Crafts, Experiments/Science:
  • Watching closely and discussing the developing Robin’s eggs in the next on our fence
  • Taking photos and creating a Scrapbook, documenting the development of the chicks, from egg to fledgling. 
  • Visiting friends who have baby chickens and asking questions and interacting with the chicks.
  • Rock and Roll Eggs (Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do)
  • Bird Doodles (Animal Things to Make and Do)
  • Bird Hand-print Paintings (Farmyard Tales Things to Make and Do)Books/Resources:
Books and Resources:
  • Eggs and Chicks (Usborne)
  • In The Nest (Usborne)
  • Children’s Encyclopedia (Usborne)
  • Over in the Meadow (A counting poem) by Olive Wadsworth
  • Off We Go!  By Jane Yolen
  • Lucky Duck by Ellen Weiss
  • Make Way for Ducklings!  Robert McCloskey
  • www.allaboutbirds.org
Tadpoles/Frogs and Toads
Overall Educational Goals:
Gain a better understanding of the life-cycles of Frogs and Toads and how they differ
Gain an appreciation for these amazing little bouncy creatures God has created
Arts and Crafts:
Sam’s Froggy Door Sign (Usborne Farmyard Tales Things to Make and Do)
Frog life-cycle mobiles
Frog life-cycle projects

  • Finding toads, discovering their behaviours, studying their habitats 
  • Creating a large Terrarium for toads in our Science Room
  • Studying toads and tadpoles in their natural environment
Writing/Phonics Projects:
  • Labeling the parts of a Tadpole and Frog
  • Writing the phases of the life-cycle
  • Life-cycle of a frog mobiles
  • Tadpoles and Frogs (Usborne)
  • Quicklinks for Tadpoles and Frogs @ www.usborne-quicklinks.com
  • Growing Frogs  by Vivian French
  • Usborne Children’s Encyclopedia
  • Wild Animals (Usborne)
  • Rain Brings Frogs – a little book of Hope by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Overall Educational Goals:
Gain a better understanding of what makes an insect and why they are such wonderful little creations
How do insects work to help us?
Arts and Crafts and Experiments/Science:
  • Cheesy Worms and Caterpillars baking project (Vacation Activities)
  • Worm Pencil Toppers (Summer Activities)
  • Drawing Snails (Summer Activities)
  • Sugar Cookie Lady Bugs
  • Caterpillars out of Egg Cartons craft
  • Swirly Snake (worm) (Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do)
  • Busy Bumble Bees (Summer Fun -Usborne)
  • Bright Bugs (Animal Things to Make and Do)
  • Snail-trail Letter Paper (Farmyard Tales Things to Make and Do)
  • Leaf-print Butterflies  (F.T. Things to Make and Do)
  • Bright Bug Prints (F.T. Things to Make and Do)
  • Fluttering Fingerbugs (Summer Things to Make and Do)
Writing/Phonics Projects:
  • Labeling the parts of various insects, butterflies
  • Labeling life-cycle charts

  • Caterpillars and Butterflies (Usborne)
  • Bugs (Usborne)
  • Butterflies Fly by Yvonne Winer
  • Butterfly and Moth (DVD)
  • Are You a Lady Bug? Judy Allen
  • Are You a Snail?  Judy Allen
  • The Caterpillar by Judy Kentor Schmauss
  • Ladybugs by Claire Llewellyn
  • Butterflies by Fran Howard
  • Butterflies- Pollinators and Nectar-Sippers  (Bridgestone Books)
  • Butterflies (Let’s Read About Insects by Weekly Reader)
  • Summer Birds – the Butterflies of Maria Merian
Dogs and Puppies
Overall Educational Goals:
Gain a better understanding of Puppies, Dogs, and how to care for them and how they grow, play, learn
Form a bond with our new Puppy and learn how to train her using gentle techniques.
Arts and Crafts, Experiments/Science:
  • Choosing a breed and purchasing a puppy from a breeder
  • Discuss the importance of Ethical puppy purchases (Puppy Mills, etc.)
  • Training our own puppy
  • Creating a comfortable environment for our puppy
  • Taking our puppy to the Vet
  • Drawing Dogs (Little Book and Dogs and Puppies)
Writing/Phonics Projects:

  • “Molly” name cards
  • Parts of a dog label chart
  • Breeds charts
Math Applications:
  • How much food and water will Molly need?
  • What is the cost?
Books and Resources:
  • Dogs and Puppies (Usborne)
  • Dogs (Usborne)
  • Books about breeds and their characteristics 
  • Puppy Party DVD
A New Book I’d Recommend:
  • BACKYARD!  Fun Experiments for Budding Scientists  (Lisa Burke)
  • All About Animal Life Cycles DVD
  • Animal Atlas (Fun on the Farm!) DVD
  • Animal Atlas Puppy Party!  DVD 
  • Mist movies
  • Milo and Otis