Tag Archives: preschool

Scripture Memory System

So I just got home from Wal-mart, where I purchased everything needed to create a scripture memory system, as seen at Simply Charlotte Mason (this might be my new favorite website).

I have wanted to start scripture memorization for a while now, not only for Madison but for our whole family because I feel like it is an area all of us need to improve in. I stumbled across this idea about a week ago, and I think it is something that can really work for our family.

The System:

(copied from the SCM website)

Step One: Get an index card box and forty-one tabbed dividers that fit inside it. It doesn’t matter if the dividers have letters on them; you can flip them over and use the other side for labeling.

Step Two: Label the dividers as follows and place them in the box in this order:

  • 1 divider — Daily
  • 1 divider — Odd
  • 1 divider — Even
  • 7 dividers — Days of the Week (Sunday, Monday, etc.)
  • 31 dividers — Numbered 1-31

Step Three: Copy onto index cards (or slips of paper) any verses your family already knows. Record both the reference and the text of the passage. If you don’t know any yet, don’t worry — you will very soon. Place the verses you already know behind the numbered dividers, distributing them evenly.

Write cards or papers for verses you want to memorize. Put one verse card or paper behind the Daily divider; this will be the passage you’ll work on memorizing first. Then stack the rest of the verses to be learned in front of the Daily divider to learn at a later time. At the beginning, you won’t have any verses in the Odd and Even or Days of the Week slots. Don’t worry, they’ll fill in; see the next two steps.

Step Four: Each day you will say together the verses behind four dividers:

  • Daily
  • Odd or Even
  • Day of the Week
  • Date of the Month

So if today is Tuesday, the 3rd, you will say the verses behind Daily, Odd (because 3 is an odd number), Tuesday, and 3. The next day (Wednesday, the 4th), you will say the verses behind Daily, Even, Wednesday, and 4. Keep in mind that only the verse behind Daily is a new one that you are memorizing; all the others are just review.

Step Five: As you master the verses behind the Daily divider, advance that card and move the replaced verses farther back in the box. So when you have memorized a Daily, move it behind either the Odd or Even divider. Move the verse that was in that Odd or Even slot back to a Day of the Week slot. And move the verse it replaces in the Day of the Week slot back behind a numbered divider. You can then put a new verse or passage to memorize behind the Daily divider and you’re ready to go again.

So basically, you choose the verses you want to memorize and write them down on index cards. If you are not sure what verses you want, SCM provides a list of suggestions broken down by year. I am probably going to use a combination of these and others I had already picked out. I am also probably going to include other Bible “lists” like the apostles, the judges, the 12 sons of Jacob, etc. that I think we should memorize. And when Madison has memory verses at church, we will probably add those in as well.

We started doing a family Bible reading right after dinner each night, so we are going to add scripture memory to that time when the whole family is together.

Here is a picture of my finished box:

So for about $7, I have a great scripture memory system for the whole family that I think we are going to get a lot of use out of!

Week Six Report

We had a pretty good week 🙂 A lot of things happened this week that I am really happy about, and a few that I am disappointed about.

Unfortunately, there won’t be any pictures this week 😦 Our camera is still broken, so until we make a decision to get it fixed or replace it, I guess I am going to be photoless. We do have another camera that works, but the USB cord for it is extremely tempermental, so we may just replace the cord for that and do without a new camera.

But some good things:

We finished ETC Book A! Our letter for the week was “R” and the recipe was Raisin Apple Muffins. We don’t actually like raisins, so we made the muffins sans raisins and called them Really Good Muffins – and they were really good! I also found out this week that there is a version of ETC online and decided to look into that for the future.

I made a memory cd for Madison. This was not something I originally planned to do, or something that I had even thought of until this week when I read about some other homeschooling families had used this successfully. We have been working on memorizing books of the Bible, days of creation, the alphabet, counting, etc. so I made up a CD with these things (plus some more that we are not working on yet but will be sometime soon) and have been playing it for Madison during her rest time and at bedtime. It seems like it might be working – yesterday she could remember two more books of the bible, so that is a start at least 🙂

We also started using Headsprout this week. If you have been reading this blog, you know that I have really been struggling with how to teach Madison how to read. She claims she wants to learn, but generally complains whenever I try to work with her. For the last couple weeks, she has been spending a lot of time on Starfall, and I remembered hearing about Headsprout before but not being interested because Madison had not mastered using a mouse. So I looked into the program and found three sample lessons online. Madison sat and did them all right in a row (they were about 20 minutes each) and then asked to do more. She said she liked them, so DH and I bought a subscription (which, thankfully, was 1/2 price till February 1) and so far it is working great. She already read one of their “readers” this week, and still likes to do it, so I am extremely optimistic. I have also told her that once she can read, she can stay up a little longer at night and read in bed, so this week, she asked if she could do that and stayed up reading the Bob books she had already learned how to read. That also made me extremely happy, and I finally feel like we are making progress here.

Math and Bible are both still going great… nothing new to report 🙂

Planning wise, I mapped out the rest of preschool work that I want to do with Madison. What I am calling “preschool” is about 33 weeks of work, so without any breaks, that would be finishing the end of July. Completely unrealistic. But, since I have no idea when we are moving, how long we will be homeless, etc, I am just going with it. On one hand, I am going to try to be flexible, and on the other hand, I am going to try to take our school where ever we go – Nana’s, the airport, hotels, etc.

On the disappointing side:

Of course, there is the broken camera…

We didn’t do any science or violin lessons this week… or last week… I just didn’t feel like it. I think this is not a good indicator of the future.

I also started planning out our future plans for homeschooling – a long term K-12 plan, and a more definite Kindergarten plan. I felt rather confident in our K plan at 3 am when I finished the outline, but today I am not so sure. I feel like I need to figure out where I am going to end up before I can start making other plans, and I am terrified that I am going to screw it up somehow. I am waffling between doing Five in a Row for Kindergarten and making up my own similar program. I also considered starting Tapestry of Grace next year at a very slow pace and spending 2 years on year 1, but I just don’t know. I feel like I need to pick a program and stick with it. AHHHHH… I think I am just going to step away for a few days (or longer), pray about it, and then come back with what will hopefully be a clearer mind.

So that was our week. Everything else was just normal…

Week Two Report

Our second successful week of homeschooling! I call it successful because we managed to accomplish everything I wanted to and Madison was quite good.

Here is our week in pictures (I am going to have to start trying to take more pictures!)

On Sunday, we made gingerbread cookies and went to the Myriad Botanical Gardens in Downtown OKC. Church was canceled because of a major ice storm in Oklahoma, but the botanical gardens is close enough to our house to walk (plus it’s free on Sunday nights in December). It was really cold, but worth it I think.

On Monday, we started back up with homeschool. For Bible Study, we did 5 more lessons from the Bible Study Guide for All Ages. We did an extra one on Sunday since church was canceled.

For Reading, we did the letter B in our Explode the Code workbook and made banana bread from the Alpha Bakery Cookbook. We also read our library books and practiced reading with Bob books. She can read the first two on her own now. I have given up on 100 EZ Lessons and have decided for now that we will just do ETC and read lots and lots of books. I checked out Phonics Pathways and the Ordinary Parents Guide from the library as well, so over the Christmas holiday I am going to look through those books and see if I think either one will work for us.

I ordered her a LeapPad for Christmas, so that will be something she can do for fun that will hopefully reinforce reading skills. I was also able to check out the Talking Words DVD from the library, so we watched that as well as Letter Factory again.

For Math, we did four more lessons in Horizons K. We only do math on Tuesday and Thursday right now, so she is averaging about 2 lessons each day and she really likes it. Most of it right now is kind of like review for her because she already knows these numbers. We also play a lot of math games – we played Numbers Bingo and a time game this week, plus one with flash cards that I made up.

We also did an activity from Mudpies to Magnets for science, a violin lesson, and lots and lots of art. Art is her favorite thing to do.

Some other fun things we did this week: We went on a free canal ride in downtown OKC and on a ride called “Adventures in Santaland.” The canal ride was fun but really, really cold, and the other ride was extremely lame, but Madison loved it.

On Friday, Nana came down and picked Madison for the next week. My parents live about two hours away now and Madison has been begging to spend “one whole week” with Nana. Since we will be driving up there this Friday for Christmas, it was a great week for her to get some Nana time – which means we won’t be having homeschool this week.

Instead, I am hoping to get quite a few other things accomplished this week. First, when I was in college, I made copies of file folder games to use in my classroom one day but never finished them. I am hoping to finish those these week so that Madison will have them to play with in the afternoon. I am also planning to do quite a bit of holiday baking. I wish Madison was here to help with that, but I probably will get more done without her here. I may also try to make Christmas cards – it looks like they will be New Year’s cards this year 🙂 And finally, I am planning to make up my list of books for the 888 Reading Challenge.

So I won’t have a weekly report next week or the week after – we will be taking a two week break, then starting up again.

Our first week ever!

If you read my last post, then you know that my husband and I have decided to homeschool my daughter, age 4.  When we made that decision, we were living in Florida and I was working full time, however, we knew that we would be moving to Oklahoma in November.  So, I spent the last several months reading everything I could find about homeschooling, trying to make some curriculum decisions, and really looking forward to starting homeschool.

Now that we are settled in our new home in Oklahoma, I am excited to start being a stay at home, homeschooling mom.  Since Madison is only 4, I am trying really hard not to overwhelm her. She has been in preschool for the last year, so she has some expectations of what “school” should be like, but mostly, I am just trying to make it fun.  I am planning to do some school with her on Monday through Thursday, then on Friday we will go to storytime at the library and do other errands (grocery shopping, drycleaning, etc.)  So here is what we are doing –

First thing each morning, we start with a prayer and a Bible lesson.  I ordered the “Bible Study Guide for All Ages”, from www.biblestudyguide.com.  The program seeks to lay a strong foundation in biblical knowledge, and is available for three different age levels.  We are using the beginner level, which is for 3-K.  So far, it is fun for her and she seems to be retaining what she has learned. There are built in review questions, so I am hoping that will keep her retention level high.  We are doing a lesson each morning (4 per week).  This week (and the next two weeks) we are studying Joseph.  Today, there were ice storms in Oklahoma and church was cancelled, so Madison asked if we could do one of her bible lessons even though it wasn’t a homeschool day 🙂  So she likes it, I like it, Bible studies are going very well for us…

Another I try to do every day is read at least 5 picture books per day and 1 chapter book per week.  She loves to be read to and doesn’t think of this as school.  The only problem I foresee with this is a lack of books.  Since we are in transition right now (we are only living in Oklahoma for 6 months before moving to Japan, so we don’t really have any of our own stuff right now), we don’t have a whole lot of books(which is sad, since I have over 800 in storage 😦 ).  We are going to the library each week, but the library has a 30 book limit for checkout, and I really can’t carry more than that anyway.  We went Friday and checked out 30 books, however, we have not had a real school day since then and we have already read over half of them.  My solution?  I will have to make 2 trips to the library each week.  This may work out better actually, because I can make I trip by myself and pick out more specific books to fit with our weekly theme (I eventually hope to have a weekly theme), plus I can find books for myself to read and not have to worry so much about whether the time on my parking meter is about to expire.

For reading lessons, I started with “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.”  Madison wants to learn to read, and I bought this book a few months ago before we moved.  We did a couple of lessons there, which went pretty well – it wasn’t her favorite, but there is a writing section that we do on a little white board that she really likes.  However, this week, trying to do reading was a huge struggle.  She HATES this book.  I don’t want to push her because one, she is only four and two, I really want her to enjoy school, but I do want to do some sort of reading with her.  So I have come to the conclusion that I will have to try a new reading program with her.  I am going to take the next few weeks to do some research about different reading programs, then start a new one with her in January. (If any of you have a reccommendation, I would love to hear it!)

Another thing we are doing right now is the “Letter of the Week.”   This week was the letter F, and each day we do a different activity with the letter F.  The first day, we watch videos about the letter from United Streaming.  There is one about an animal that starts with each letter, and another about the letter that shows how to draw it, tells a story about it, etc.  The second day, she watches the video for the letter at www.starfall.com, plus any more that she wants to.  The third day, we make a quilt block with the letter on it (eventually we will put them all together to make a real quilt) and the fourth day, we cook something that starts with the letter.  I found a cookbook called the Alpha Bakery Cookbook, which you can request for free at http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/gold-medal-flour/cookbooks-for-kids.htm (all you pay is about $4 shipping), and it has a recipe for each letter of the alphabet.  This week, we made fudge brownies.   Also, I ordered the Explode the Code books A, B, and C.  They have several pages of activities for each letter, which so far, Madison really likes.  Also, we watch one of the leapfrog videos about letters/reading each week.  That is the only TV I let her watch (except for “Friday Night Family Movie Night”).

Each of those things, we do every school day (4 days a week).  Then on Monday, we do art using the book “Scribble Art,” by Mary Ann Kohl.  On Tuesday, we do one of the activities from the book “Mudpies to Magnets.” On Wednesday and Thursday, we do Violin Lessons using www.theviolinbook.com – right now I am teaching her, but as she gets more advanced I will put her back in lessons. On Wednesday, we do a game from Level 0 and on Thursday, we do a lesson from Book 1. 

On Tuesday and Thursday, we also do math.  Initially, I was not planning to do math with her until later, but I ordered Horizons K for later.  She saw the book and has been begging to do it.  The first day, she wanted to keep going and going – we did five lessons before she was ready to take a break.  On Thursday, we did 3 more lessons.  She said math is her favorite part of doing school, which is surprising to me, but I am going to go with it.  As long as she wants to do it, I will keep teaching it.

After Christmas, I am planning to also start Japanese with her using the Rosetta Stone software.  My husband can access it free through work, and since we are moving to Japan in April, I think it is important for both of us to start learning the language.

Overall, I think our first week went much better than I had hoped.  I know this sounds like a lot for her to do, but in actuality, we did school for less than 2 hours each day – and she asked to do more school on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so it must be fun for her – which makes me really happy. 

Some other fun things we did this week – on Friday, we went to storytime at the library.  On Saturday, we went to the Oklahoma City Civic Center to see The Nutcracker, then went ice skating, and tonight we went to see the christmas lights at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.  All of these things were in walking distance from our new apartment, which is really nice.  I am loving living downtown in Oklahoma City so far. 

Finally, I was hoping to add a slide show with pictures our first week – I probably should have put it at the top, because I doubt many people read this far 🙂 – but I can’t get slide.com to work for me right now, so I might add it in later.  Also later this week, I am going to try to post pictures of the homeschooling space I have set up and post about the “Treat Jar” system I am trying to do with Madison to encourage good behavior.

EDITED to add our slide show from Week 1:

Until then, have a great week!!