The first 6 weeks back to school Whoa!

It was such a fun start to the year! Even though it’s been hot and humid, we had a blast making a garden schedule, planting seeds and making garden beds, learning about Ancient India and aboriginal art, and reading books (like one about dog training).

We started off making a garden schedule for the new school year. While we have not stopped planting I wanted to remind the kids that gardening is a year round project and there are many things to consider.

Planting schedules, harvesting, bugs, preparing, canning or other forms of prep, and when to start germination for seeds. Plus we went over beneficial and not beneficial bugs, what to use instead of pesticides and how to take care of the problem before it gets too bad.

There were a few days of rain, and tons of humidity (which we are not used to) but overall this has been an exciting time. I’m looking forward to seeing all the new things we’ll be learning throughout the year!

Photosynthesis was our 5th grade topic and we learned how plants gather their food, water, and energy (light).

We also went over how plants absorb carbon monoxide and release oxygen for clean air.

We talked about why you would want a variety of plants in your garden as well as flowers to keep a small ecosystem of diversity.

6 weeks of math, STEAM, art, science and history

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Back to School after the Holiday Break

English Poem

Our 4th Grader made a cute poem called “Sticky Little Fingers”.

Earth Schooling

We are excited to include Living Lessons from the Earth schooling into our Curriculum for our younger students. We did a couple of videos for Kindergarten on form drawing and one for the letter C.

We love doing the Smart Games. They are so much fun to do after a lesson because it gives the kids a break from their studies while stimulating their little brains!

Month of November (Weeks 10-12)

Week 10 (Nov 1-5)

Social Studies was very fun this week, we learned about a Compass and the Cardinal Directions. Students drew maps and put a compass in the corner of the map letting the reader know which direction they need to go. We also got a weather vain for science so we can check temperature, humidity, wind speed, dew point, and moon phase.

Week 11 (Nov 8-12)

This week was about the garden and nature. We found an injured humming bird and tried to help but after 36 hours she did not make it. She was an Anna’s Hummingbird which stay in Southern California and do not migrate. She had an injured wing and was unable to fly. We made nectar for her and a box for her to rest in. The students learned so much about the hummingbird species and how December is their mating season.

Week 12 (Nov 15-19)

The garden has taken off. We are excited for our Kale, lettuce, beans, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and mandarin oranges.

We also have seeds planted so when the harvest is pulled we can plant more as we harvest.


Happy Thanksgiving!

We love pumpkins and gourds. A simple photo for a simple time of year. We celebrate being a family, learning together, and remembering all those before us. The season of Autumn reminds us to shed old habits that do not benefit us and take on new habits for growth in our lives.

Overall, we had a great month of November.

Kindergarten – Continuing letters and their sounds: a, t, n , p, m, j, and s. We took nature walks this month in the afternoon when it was warm and we saw many birds, lizards, and bees in the neighborhood.

First Grade – Made this month about fairy tales and exploring our imagination to make our own stories. We worked on math manipulatives which went over addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

4th Grade – We continue to move forward in math. Talk about science in nature through the world of botany and different ecosystems around the world. We have also been having fun with learning about Chakras and positive vibrations.

8th Grade – Law has been a point of interest in 8th grade and how it works. We have a lot of law books including Black’s Law Dictionary. We are also learning that math is also in science and how important it is to understand math in many ways; measurements, time, scheduling, money, bookkeeping, and driving (to name a few).

Recap on October

Week 7 (Oct 11-15)

This week was a lot of fun, we had the students build a Bird Nest Supply Box. They learned that you can put hair trimmings, small twigs, feathers (from the chickens), moss and clipped grasses. They really enjoyed making the nests because where we live there are birds who do not migrate.

We also were able to get ready for Halloween and the students were able to read stories on EPIC, watch some videos on YouTube and decorate the front yard (which I forgot to get a picture of).

Week 8 (Oct 18-22)

Learning about mirror images in math and finding letters in words.

Week 9 (Oct 25-29)

The Descendants – I think they were more excited about the wigs than the actual costumes!

The wore there costumes all weekend as well and they were able to have fun dressing up and playing. It is important to have an imagination!

Overall, we had a great month of October.

Kindergarten – The students have be progressing nicely in their studies and we are starting to be able to retell stories which we read during the week. We are also working on letter sounds and beginning to put sounds together to make words. We have done letters: a, t, n , p, m, j, and s.

First Grade – There has been so many good stories and we are solid on reading level 1. Level 2 has been a little tricky and retelling stories is still being worked on. We work on drawing pictures of the stories and mastery work.

4th Grade – Sassafras Science had been very fun. Math is progressing very well and we are excited to move forward to Pre-Algebra In January. Spanish has been a bit of a challenge but sign-language is excelling!

8th Grade – This has been a difficult month but we are working on positive mindsets, organizing our classwork and time, going back to the examples or to the chapter to understand how to answer the questions. We will survive!

Week 6 is Complete

We had a very good week learning new things and reviewing what we have learned so far in Health for K, 1st, and 4th. We are almost done cleaning out our garden beds for the next seeds and plants. Even though we are not on track we will still be fine planting in the greenhouse and outdoors with some shade tarps. We also have a huge crop of eggplant which we are going to salt, skin, and cook down to use in soup bases and curries.

Always eager to learn. Our Kindergartner has been having so much fun doing story time with her older sister in 1st grade and she loves doing the coloring pages after we read the stories.

Letters and a cute quote I found

We have been doing old fables and stories each week and this week we did the story of Prince Darling and Stone Soup. These were such fun stories, I especially loved the stone soup story because it taught a valuable lesson why you should not judge someone with nothing. Then I found this cute funny page where it said “Gardening is a Revolutionary Act”. I liked this because we teach our students the value of a single seed. One see can produce food for many.

The pictures with letters allow the students to learn their alphabet and letters without getting bored with writing letters on a single piece of paper in order. Turns out they are learning without learning.

Lets get ready for Arts & Crafts week!

Week 5 is Complete

Learning is always something we do, this we had new lessons and new concepts we learned. When the students struggle they are letting us know they need a break to regroup and refocus. Just like adults, they get distracted, upset, unmotivated and grumpy. We need to make sure we allow time for them to decompress and then get back to businesses. We have found that coloring pages and the Time In Corner has been a great addition to our schooling.

Click on picture to learn more about Generation Mindful

Gardening & Animals Outdoors

We are getting ready to have the students plant the fall garden. We have 3 of the 7 planter beds cleaned out and ready for seeds. We just have to decide what seeds we want to go where and this time we really need to get some beneficial bacteria and bugs to help our garden not get eaten. This week we harvested one of our watermelons and it was 30 Pounds!!! We put a 5 gallon water jug next to the watermelon so you can imagine how big it is!

Our Kindergarten and 1st Grader went on an animal track expedition in the back yard. While it was rather amusing to us they were not sure what to look for so we had them draw the different types of animals they saw.

Prodigy (Math Games)

We are finding ways to make math fun and so we created a free Prodigy account for the students. The first day this week they were on it after school! I don’t want them to get over stimulated with it so I will do limits of 30-45 minutes depending on the grade.

It is time for a Microscope

After these last few weeks in science it is time to get a microscope. The students have a small magnifying glass which has been good for them but you can see they are interested in more.

Which one will be based on our search this weekend.

As we closed out the week we learned about the last day of Summer and the first day of Autumn. We have also been collecting different items for art and crafts which we will be doing after week 6.

Morning Walk, Tomatoes, and Eggplants – Week 4

We began a new morning routine at 7:30am we walk around the block for 30 minutes, picking up seeds, flowers, leaves, or naming trees and plants along the way.

Mother Holle (Story)

We read Mother Holle this week for Kindergarten and 1st grade. It was a good story about hard work, kindness and being rewarded even when it is not expected. We had the students draw pictures about what happened in the story and they did an amazing job.

Abundance from our Garden!

We are so excited about our eggplants and tomatoes. When we get a few more eggplants we are going to make Eggplant Parmesan. We also had a surprise in the garden when we saw some golden raspberries on our bush. Also, our bell peppers are in full bloom as well and we are getting some beautiful red bell peppers.

Lots of Seeds

This week we gathered lots of seeds and learned the cycle of a seed. When the tree is ready to prduce its fruit it creates a bud, next a flower, then a seed, last a fruit, nut, or vegetable.

Life of a seed

1st: seed

2nd: sprout

3rd: Tree

Here are seeds we collected and discovered about this week.

Week 3 is Complete

So Music we did not start again because the kids go their dad as their substitute teacher on Thursday and Friday while I was at the Doterra Convention (online)!

Spanish has been a hit!

We have had all the kids on Rosetta Stone this week and they all enjoyed the Lessons. They did Lessons 1.1 to 1.3 and pronunciation. While our Kindergartner and First Grader struggled more than our 4th and 8th Grader they still were able to understand La and El in the Masculine and Feminine the other words like come (to eat) and bebe (to drink) were a little more tricky. I think because they sound familiar.

What about Khan Academy?

Khan has been used by our Kindergartner and 1st grader and it was fun to see our Kindergartner understand how to add 1 to numbers 1-5 and how to take away 1 from 1-5. We used blocks along with the lesson and the hands on was a fun visual. The lesson was a little more challenging for our 1st grader for adding double digit number even while using blocks. We will continue to learn about how to add with block and how to subtract.

Science was a blast!

1st Grade gathered leaves and looked and them under the magnifying glass to see their veins and drew pictures.

4th Grade we had a fern leaf that we looked under a magnifying glass. – – Now I wish we had a Microscope!!! We also looked at fungi on a leaf and talked about what fungi is as well as what it does.

Week 2 is Complete

We have gotten a good schedule going and we will be starting Music in Week 3. We had a little bit of acclimating to do and to allow the students to get back to their studies daily.

  • Language Arts 3 days a week
  • Social Studies 3 days a week
  • Mathematics 3 days a week
  • Science 2 days a week
  • History 1-2 days a week
  • Music (Recorder (K-4) & Ukulele (8th)) 1-2 days a week
  • Health/P.E 5 days a week
  • Art 3 days a week

Online programs

  • Khan Academy – 1 day
  • – 1 day
  • The Spanish Experiment – 1 day
  • Rosetta Stone – 2 days

We decided this would give the students more freedom in their studies to decide how they want to plan their day. The 4th and 8th grader can choose what subject they would like to work on and use the schedule to plan accordingly. We utilized this schedule last year but instead of doing English and Math everyday we decided 3 days a week would be more adequate.

P.E. is scheduled monthly

Last year we did running once a week on Fridays and during the week we had them chose between riding their bikes, jumping on the trampoline or we would go to the park. On days it was raining or too cold we did You Tube Videos for stretching and exercises. This year we have monthly goals for students and have running a few times a week.

Smart Games are a Success

The Smart games are fun and challenging for all ages and we picked up a couple more games at our local Toy Store. We have Cube Puzzler GO, Diamond Quest, and

We have been busy making Pickles!!

Week 1 is complete

The students are back to their lessons and refocusing their minds to stay on track and enjoy the new school year. This first week was a success for all of them. They love their new classroom set-up and the schedule for the week (which I am sure will be modified at least once this year).

  • Language Arts 3 days a week
  • Social Studies 3 days a week
  • Mathematics 3 days a week
  • Science 2 days a week
  • History 1-2 days a week
  • Music (Recorder (K-4) & Ukulele (8th)) 1-2 days a week
  • Health/P.E 5 days a week
  • Art 3 days a week

Online programs

  • Khan Academy – 1 day
  • – 1 day
  • The Spanish Experiment – 1 day
  • Rosetta Stone – 2 days

We decided this would give the students more freedom in their studies to decide how they want to plan their day. The 4th and 8th grader can choose what subject they would like to work on and use the schedule to plan accordingly. We utilized this schedule last year but instead of doing English and Math everyday we decided 3 days a week would be more adequate.

Obsessed Reader Challenge

We also have an Obsessed Reader in place for our 4th and 8th Grader. For the obsessed reader challenge they have a list of subjects to choose from such as; history, nature, just for fun, culture and to name a few. We will do a library excursion once a week and they can choose books to read for the week. Our 4th grader has a list of over 4,500 books to choose from and our 8th grader has a list of over 1,400 books to choose from. If they complete their challenge they will get $100.

4th grader – 136 book challenge

8th grader – 72 book challenge

Photo by Janko Ferlic on

We also started some new seeds for our fall garden this week and we are looking forward to learning about how plants grow with our Kindergarten and 1st grader and have them draw pictures of the plants growth process for science class. Plus our watermelon is huge! I think it is over 20 pounds now.

We also went over what books the students will be using and how many pages, lessons or stories they will have each week which gives them an idea on what to expect. They also have activities they can do throughout the week to decompress and have a 10-20 minute break. We have the Calming Corner to help with feelings and moods, thinking putty, mosaic coloring pages, and at any time they can stop to read one of their books.