Purposeful Links #72

Purposeful Links from www.homewithpurpose.net

August has flown by!

Here’s my last collection of purposeful links for the month:

Have a wonderful, blessed holiday weekend! :)

In Our Classroom: Kindergarten Edition (2014/2015 School Year)

In Our Classroom Kindergarten Edition

We’re three weeks into kindergarten and going strong!

It’s a bittersweet year for me, since it’s the first time I haven’t had a preschooler in the house, and the last time I’ll get to do kindergarten. My motto this year is to “keep it simple”, with four students at four completely different levels, plus a full extracurricular schedule!

I mentioned last week in our third grade update that I’ve gone back to our homeschool “roots” with Sonlight Cores for both Kendall (8) and Kade (5). So far two cores is not as daunting as it might seem. I think if I had tried it when my older two were younger, it might have been overwhelming, but after over a dozen years at this, I feel comfortable picking and choosing and not checking off every. single. box. on the schedule.

For example, we’re alternating between the read-alouds for each core, and will end up skipping a few, since there’s no way to fit every title from both cores in. Although, as I look at them, I’m having a hard time deciding which ones to skip – there are just too many good ones!

Here’s what Kade is doing so far:

[Read more...]

Essential Skills Advantage: Comprehensive, FREE Language Arts for K-6!

Essential Skills Advantage: Comprehensive, FREE Language Arts for K-6

Since my teens were just toddlers, I’ve been a fan of supplementing their education with high-quality educational apps and online learning sites.

Nowadays, with multiple kids to teach at multiple levels, I appreciate them even more! They’re a great tool to keep one child occupied while I work one-on-one with another. And the options are nearly endless – we’ve come a long way since the CD-Roms my 16 and 13 year olds played on our old PC! We’re on our third week of the new school year, and my 8 and 5 year old have been using Essential Skills Advantage almost daily, each taking fifteen minute turns on it while I work with the other one.

Essential Skills Advantage is an online reading and language learning program for grades K-6. It covers basic phonics and reading skills, spelling, reading comprehension and vocabulary. According to the website, it “focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and sight words, using skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success.” When I had the opportunity to review their Premium Plan, I knew it would fit right in with our schooldays!

The format is very straightforward and easy to use. From the menu, students simply select the icon for the correct level, then enter their username and password.

Essential Skills Advantage Menu Page

Kendall (8) and Kade (5) have been working their way through the complete reading sections that are appropriate for their grade level. We haven’t yet even explored the vocabulary, reading comprehension, or spelling sections, but the reading sections have been a huge hit! [Read more...]

Simple Lives Thursday #208

It’s time for another Simple Lives Thursday blog hop!

Simple Lives Thursday

This hop is dedicated to simple living. “Consume less, produce more. ” So many topics fit: gardening, raising animals, cooking from scratch, real food, natural cleaners, sewing, recycling, thrifting, a mindset of simplicity, saving a buck, and more. When you link at this blog your link shows up on each hosts blog!

Be sure to link back to one of us (see guideline #2 below), not providing a link back will prevent us from choosing you as a featured blog. Often, I’ll share featured posts (along with their photo) on my Facebook page and pin them on Pinterest. [Read more...]

Purposeful Links #71

Purposeful Links from www.homewithpurpose.net

Another busy week has ended!

This was our second official week of school, and it went really well! Here’s this week’s roundup of purposeful links:

  • We’ve had 100+ degree temperatures here on the Gulf Coast the last couple of weeks. This frozen sangria lemonade sounds wonderfully refreshing in this heat, and simple to make!

Have a wonderful weekend! :)

In Our Classroom: Elementary Edition (2014/2015 School Year)

In Our Classroom Elementary 2014

It’s hard to believe we already have two full weeks of school under our belt!

Kendall* (8) began third grade this year. I can’t believe she’s halfway through the elementary grades already! In addition to her schoolwork and chores at home, she’ll be taking dance classes (ballet, tap, and jazz), and participating in Awana.

To stick to my goal of keeping things simple this year, we’re going back to our homeschool “roots” with both Kendall and her younger brother (in kindergarten, watch for his update next week!).  We’re using Sonlight cores (which include history, Bible, language arts, and reading) for them both. We began our homeschool adventure with Sonlight’s original preschool program for Kaitlyn (16) back in 2001, and she used it all the way up until last year (I’ve explained recently why we decided to make the switch with her). It’s not a “light” curriculum by any means, but it is familiar and comfortable for me after using it for so many years, which makes it less stressful and time-consuming to use than new materials I’m not accustomed to. This leaves me more brain power to focus on new territory with my high schooler without sacrificing my younger kids’ quality of education!

Unlike in previous years, though, I’m doing two full cores: one for Kendall and one for Kade. With my older two, I had Kaitlyn do a full core, while Kyle tagged along or used something else that coincided with the same period of history at his level. Next week, when I share our kindergarten update, you’ll hear a little bit more from me on how that’s going.

In Our Classroom: Peanut doing math

With that background, here’s a peek at what Kendall’s doing this fall: [Read more...]