Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ECC: USA, Part 2

We spent two weeks introducing our year (Part 1, Part 2) and shared Part 1 of our travels in the USA. Here's part two before heading off to visit our neighbors to the north.


This year we are reading through the book of Matthew.  To help us along the way, we made bookmarks featuring the name Matthew or Matthaios in ancient Greek.  This is the language the book of Matthew was originally written in.  The back of our bookmarks have the readings for the year broken down into portions with a space for checking off each one as we go.

Miss M never reads her Bible without a dry highlighter in her hand…and she highlights everything she reads.  I think she would eventually like to have her entire Bible highlighted.  Hey, if that's what it takes to get her in the Word, then it's fine by me!


Somedays when you wake up and it's bitter cold outside, you just need some fresh scones and a tea party to get ya going!

For USA we listened to some Wee Sing Around the World: a song in the language of the Omaha Tribe and the Eentsy Weentsy Spider.  (We always sing it Itsy-Bitsy though).  The kids loved them both!  Lots of good excuses to dance and prance around, going over and under, around and through.  We also studied the hymn Rescue the Perishing that we enjoyed very much!


We continued our study of Van Gogh in our final weeks of USA.  You can see our art "wall" in the kitchen where we posted our new works as we studied them.  Little Guy was particularly bothered by the red color on Van Gogh's ear in his self portrait.  He thought he must have gotten sunburned and that it looked yucky.  In fact, he repeatedly told me how much he didn't like the self portrait at first, but a few weeks later he told me that he changed his mind and he likes that one best.
We used this sunflower project as a springboard to make our own.  Miss M used acrylic paint, crayon, and chalk pastels.  I'm getting a nice frame to put her finished product in!

Farewell USA Picnic

To wind up our stay in the USA, we had an indoor picnic!  It was much too cold to have a real picnic, but we had fun.  My mom came to visit that day and joined our festivities.  We served hamburgers with all the fixin's, carrot sticks, potato salad, grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese pearls, and pink lemonade!  I had a few toothpick pinwheels in patriotic colors from when we celebrated the one year anniversary of Hubby becoming a US citizen.  They added the perfect touch to our burgers!

We enjoyed learning about our own country -- Miss M said her favorite new thing she learned was about the colors of our flag, their meaning, and that Congress did not establish a meaning for them -- but we're excited to move on to another country!  We'll be "flying" to Canada soon!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ECC: USA, Part 1

After our first two weeks (Part 1, Part 2) of introductory material, we were ready to start out on our traveling adventures! We spent the next three weeks "traveling" around the USA, learning about it's geographical significance.


One of our texts for this year is Window on the World.  In it we read about a couple different people groups in North America where Bible translation work is on-going.  The kids loved that each section includes a list of items to pray about and to praise the Lord for!  We each take turns lifting these items before the Lord.

We also started reading about Christian heroes from Hero Tales, beginning with Dwight L. Moody.  I printed the copywork pages from Mama Jenn.  Miss M enjoys illustrating these pages.  Though at times her zany sense of humor comes through rather strongly!


Miss M has been trucking along through Singapore Math 2B.  I've been faithfully remembering to have her drill her basic math facts: addition on Mondays, subtraction on Tuesdays, multiplication on Wednesdays, and division on Thursdays. Fridays we forego our Singapore lessons and play math games -- often involving dice or spinners or timers or something of that nature.  I got a set of Wrap-Ups from a deal on Zulily that have been a big hit with Miss M.  But the favorite activity of all is playing Timez Attack! (And sometimes math lessons require ensconcing oneself in a little nook somewhere!)

Language Arts

I mentioned last time that we may end formal spelling lessons when we complete Spelling Power.  Well, I was thinking about that more and decided that once we reach that point I'm going to focus more on vocabulary (including proper spelling).  Miss M is very good at reading and spelling words, but she's only 7, so she hasn't been around long enough to learn all the words in the English language. *wink*  In other words, there's plenty of material out there for her to learn even though she is an excellent speller!  I ordered this book used from Amazon and I think it'll be an excellent place to start.  If you have a vocabulary resource you love, please let me know about it in the comments section!

Read Aloud

To enhance our "travels" in the USA, I selected The Cricket in Times Square to read aloud to the kids. They *loved* it!  Even Little Guy didn't want to miss a single word as we read.  I found some interesting resources on Pinterest to go along with it:

No one ever said that only the kids are allowed to be inspired by good literature, right?  'Cause I was inspired by The Cricket in Times Square to make a Chester Cricket stuffed toy.  Cute, no?


Since we spent most of last year studying the USA and all 50 states, this was nearly all review.  I quizzed Miss M on the states by handing her a blank map of the USA.  She correctly filled in every single state! That's pretty impressive, if you ask me!  We also looked up some facts about our flag and tried some regional recipes.  The New England Pumpkin Cake we made was gone so fast I didn't even have a chance to take a picture!


To complement our study of the countries of the world, we began studying the biomes of earth as well. We started with forests.  Miss M made a large poster of the layers of a forest, did a forest vocabulary page, and pasted some pictures of forest dwellers to the layer of the forest in which they'd likely spend most of their time.  We also watched some films about forests on Netflix -- my favorite was called Moving Art: Forests because it had no talking, just pretty pictures and pretty music!


We've been slowly working through our Tagalog flashcards working our way through the family members.  The kids love it!  It feels like a snail's pace to me, but they don't seem to mind!

I'll have to share the other books we enjoyed and our studies in art and music in Part 2.  We have certainly been enjoying our travels in the good old USA, but we're getting ready to move on to other parts of the world.  But as always, "Good things come to those who wait."