Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Monday, August 8, 2011

Arrow Academy–Week in Review, 1

Here’s a little wrap-up of all the action that went on during our first week of school.  I think the monkeys are enjoying themselves so far.  Ty told me he was really starting to get back into the “school groove,” and he’s actually been doing his work with minimal complaining.  I know it’s only the the first week, but I sure he keeps up the positive attitude.

First, I’ll give you a tour of our classroom.  I’m not 100% finished with all the decorating details (Surprise, surprise!) but I’ve got all the furniture in place, and so far the set up is working for us.  I still want to give the desk a coat of fresh white paint, and I’ve got to make some curtains for the windows.

This is the desk where Ty does most of his work.  Above it I hung corkboard tiles to display the monkeys’ artwork and things.

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To the left of the desk I set up Ty’s workboxes, one for each subject.  The three boxes on top contain “fun” activities Ty can do when he finishes all of his work.  The cubbies to the right hold Lucy’s tot trays.  In her tot trays last week were 1) green lacing beads, 2) simple puzzles, 3) a big bowl of various green objects, 4) green Play-Doh, 5) Oscar the Grouch green K’nex, and 6) a deck of Big Fish Little Fish playing cards.

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Opposite the corkboard wall is where I hung our pocket charts.  I hung one for Ty, one for Lucy, and in the middle, I hung our place value pocket chart.  To avoid punching a bunch of holes in my newly painted walls, I decided to hang everything using Command Adhesive Strips.  You know, the stuff where you just pull on the tabs and the the hooks come off the wall cleanly.  I love these things!

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In the small space beside the door I hung our calendar.  Each morning it’s Ty’s job to set up our calendar for the day.  Then he practices saying the date correctly, and we review things like yesterday & tomorrow, before & after, days of the week, months, and ordinal numbers.  It’s a good warm-up to our school day.  I use the basket below the calendar to collect books and toys that go along with our theme.

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We began our school year with a pond theme.  At the library, we checked out books about frogs, alligators, and pond life.  I pulled out all of the frog, lizard, alligator, fish, and snake toys I could find around our house.  I also made the kids a pond theme sensory bin (sorry, I don’t have a picture of this yet) filled with rice which I dyed green, rocks, and rubber lizards, fish, and frogs.  Lucy loves dipping and pouring the rice.

In addition to ponds, Lucy’s been working on the color green this week too.  Here she is stamping away with a green, foam, frog stamp.

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And digging around in her bowl full of green…

She loves using tongs to move things from the big bowl to the coffee canister.

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Stacking and counting green cubes…

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Here’s my little second grader practicing his reading.  Don’t let his smiling face fool you.  This is not a subject that Ty enjoys.  I think this is going to be the area where Ty will need the most work this year.  He still struggles a bit with reading.  Ty knows his phonics rules and sounds, but he does have some trouble putting it all together sometimes.  It may be more a matter of patience than ability though.  Ty’s not one to want to sit still and do quiet things.  And let’s face it, that’s what reading is all about.  I’m trying to get him more interested in reading this year.  We’ve been making regular visits to the library, and this week I’m taking him to get his very own library card.  If any of you teachers have any more advice on the subject, I’d love to hear it!

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All of the work scheduled for Ty this week was review.  In phonics we started back with vowels and their sounds.  Arithmetic began with counting, adding 1 and 0, and pennies & dollars.  Ty learned how to write the entire cursive alphabet last year, so this he’ll just be mastering his penmanship. And spelling won’t begin until next week.  It’s probably a good idea that they’re easing him gently back into school!

Lucy’s first letter of the year is “L.”  I downloaded several worksheets from 1plus1plus1equals1 and Lucy has really enjoyed coloring and painting them this week.  Here she is tracing lines from capital L’s to lower case L’s.  I slip the worksheets into sheet protectors and let Lucy use dry erase crayons to write on the protectors.  That way, I can just wipe them clean when she’s done, and the worksheets are ready to use again.  It’s a great way to save on paper and ink!

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Here’s Lucy working on name recognition.  She’s matching letter cards to her name strip.  She was having trouble getting the cards to stick on the wall so we moved the activity to her pocket chart.

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Lucy loves the pocket chart.  I found some simple two-part puzzle cards at the Dollar Tree and she really enjoys putting them in the charts.  She’s always dragging me by the hand over to the chart, “Come on, Mama.  Puzzles!”

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We also focused on semi-circles this week.  I made this semi-circle matching mat on the computer.  I printed out two copies, cut one of them up, and let Lucy match the pieces to the right pictures.  She really enjoys this activity.

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The monkeys’ favorite fun activity this week has definitely been Play-doh.  I’ve been challenging Ty to sculpt various pond animals, and being the little artist that he is, he has really impressed me with his work.

A frog…

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A turtle basking on a log…

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Lucy asked me to make an alligator for her.  I did, and when I gave it to her, she quickly cut off his tail and legs!

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Daddy even got in on the action one day.  The monkeys loved having him in there doing “school.”

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Ty worked very hard on his sculptures.  I think he can see the figures in his mind before he makes them.

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I loved the snail Ty made.

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Ty made an origami frog this week, and he showed Daddy how to make it hop across the table.

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The monkeys also got Daddy to read a book to them.

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I am so thankful to be able to homeschool my children.  It is such a blessing to be able to spend this precious time with them. 


  1. Wow girl. I am in awe of you. You are doing a wonderful job. I look forward to getting to know you better. Maybe we could get together and have a lunch play-date on the playground when it cools off some. :)

  2. PS...the next time I see you can you bring me your place value concept cards from abeka for me to look at? Thanks! ;)