What Nino Read, September 2016

A Child’s Book of Manners
A Gift of Gracias
Atoms and Molecules Experiments Using Ice, Salt, Marbles, and More
Bard of Avon
Brother Sun, Sister Moon (Mayo/Malone)
Buffalo Bill
Bugged: How Insects Changed History
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Chemical Change from Fireworks to Rust
Chess for Kids
Clare and Francis (Visconti/Landmann)
Days of the Knights: A Tale of Castles and Battles
Draw Really Cool Stuff
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysterious Handprints
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Slippery Salamander
Everyday Graces: A Child’s Book of Manners
Eyewitness Science: Light
Fortunately, the Milk
Gandhi (Demi)
George Gershwin (Venezia)
George Washington: Young Leader
Guinness World Records 2008
Guinness World Records 2011
Harry Houdini
Henry and the Paper Route
Henry Ford: Young Man With Ideas
Homer Price
Horns to Toes and In Between
How We Learned the Earth Is Round
I Did It With My Hatchet
It’s Off to Camp, Charlie Brown
James Herriot’s Treasury of Inspirational Stories for Children
Joan of Arc (Stanley)
King Jack and the Dragon
Leonardo da Vinci (Stanley)
Little Bear’s Visit
Make Your Mark, Franklin Roosevelt
Mary Cassatt (Venezia)
Mattimeo
McDuff Moves In
Michelangelo’s Surprise
Molly Pitcher: Young Patriot
Mother Teresa (Demi)
My Very First Mother Goose (Opie/Wells)
Myths and Legends (The New Junior Classics)
Once Upon a Time Saints
Our Presidents
Pablo Picasso: Breaking the Rules
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue
Poppy and Rye
President George W. Bush: Our Forty-third President (Gormley)
Return to the Willows
Revolution News: Power to the People!
Riding the Pony Express
Rome and Romans
Scientific Progress Goes “Boink”
Simeon’s Gift
Sina Elephas at Estegodon Noong Unang Panahon
Stars and Galaxies
Stories that Never Grow Old (The New Junior Classics)
Taggerung
The Beginner’s Bible
The Boxcar Children
The Boy Mechanic
The Bungalow Mystery
The Cartoon Guide to Physics
The Dangerous Book for Boys
The Emperor’s New Clothes (Andersen/Lewis/Barrett)
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Glorious Flight Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot
The Hobbit
The Horse and His Boy
The Kingfisher First Encyclopedia
The Matchbox Diary
The Moffats
The Monk Who Grew Prayer
The Neptune Fountain
The New Way Things Work
The Penderwicks
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
The Secret of the Caves
The Secret of the Old Clock
The Silver Chair
The Sinister Signpost
The Squire and the Scroll
The Tattletale Mystery (Boxcar Children)
The Triple Hoax
The Usborne Rainy Day Book
The World’s Best Fairy Tales
This Is Rome
Thomas A. Edison: Young Inventor
Tim and Ginger
Uncle Remus: The Complete Tales
Who Were the Vikings?
Why Things Don’t Work: Race Car


Notes on the Journey:

He’s getting used to ~4 lessons a day. Usually my pick, except on holidays — like yesterday — when he gets to pick. He likes all his lessons and doesn’t really exhibit anxiety/resistance to doing them. I did have to explain last week that he would have the rest of the day to spend as he likes if he did his lessons early. Got his assessment test results last week and he’s pretty much at 3rd-4th grade level in Math/Reading.

He knows the Rosary well enough now and prays with us more, leading his own decade and saying his own prayer intentions, usually for Papa and Mama (grandparents) and for the defunding of PP and for all of us to get to heaven. I’ve added My Catholic Faith Delivered to his curriculum, just so I make sure we have all our bases covered (anal mom) while we continue work on his Sacramental portfolio. Father says he probably will get to make his first Confession before we leave on our trip.

I’ve also introduced him to planning, so he writes out in his journal/planner his lessons/chores/plans for the day. Piano is of greater interest now, and he practices at least once a day without prompting. Also LOVES his art lessons and would skip and do the ones that most interest him (sculpture) if I let him. Had to go back a bit and retrain handwriting for some letters. Have to do the same with numbers. Still LOVES playing basketball with dad. AND BUGS. And trying to scare mommy with bugs. >.< On weekends he spends much time with Dad outside in the yard or tinkering in the garage. Yesterday Dad tried to teach him how to show his work (in Math) but he wasn't very receptive LOL. All in good time. Will enroll him again in swimming lessons when we get back. And maybe gymnastics. He wants to do soccer but I'm not sure I'm ready for that. 🙁

What Nino Read, August 2016

26 Fairmount Avenue
A Kiss for Little Bear
A Spider Story
Abner Doubleday (Dunham)
Alamat ng Ampalaya
Billy and Blaze
Blaze and Thunderbolt
Blaze Shows the Way
Charlotte’s Web
Daniel (Animated Stories Activity Book)
Edward Hopper (Venezia)
Extreme Machines
Eyewitness Books North American Indian
George Washington (Illustrated Lives)
Horse Heroes
Hot Air Henry
I Spy Gold Challenger
I Want to Be an Astronaut
Lou Gehrig (Riper)
McDuff Goes to School
Millions to Measure
Mouse Cookies
My Amazing Book of Egypt
Pigs Will Be Pigs
Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch
Riding the Pony Express
Roman Britain
Samuel FB Morse (Latham)
Sophie’s Stuff
Tales of Ancient Greece (Blyton)
The Beginner’s Bible
The Boy Who Drew Birds
The Chronicles of Narnia (Official Illustrated Movie Companion)
The Cozy Book
The Emperor’s New Clothes (Lewis/Barrett Trans/Ill)
The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor
The Most Beautiful Thing in the World (Brindle) – for Sacramental preparation
The Rain Forest
The Story of the Great Depression
The Story of the Oregon Trail
The Trojan Horse (Hutton)
The Usborne Rainy Day Book
The Usborne World of Shakespeare
This Is Rome
Tim and Ginger
Tim In Danger
Tim to the Lighthouse
Tim’s Last Voyage
Where Do Sharks Cross Mountain Peaks

What Nino Read, July 2016

A Boy Named Giotto
A Little Pigeon Toad
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
A wind in the door
And Then It’s Spring
Are You My Mother?
Attack of the Clones
Basic Aid Training
Basketball for Young Champions
Bionics
Brian Jacques The Tribes of Redwall Otters + Badgers
Cam Jensen and the Wedding Cake Mystery
Cautionary Tales For Children
Charles Dickens: The Man Who Had Great Expectations
Chasing Degas
Clara Barton
Cleopatra
Click, Clack, peep!
D’aulaire Book of Greek Myths
Dave and the Giant Pickle
Draw Really Cool Stuff
Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods & Heroes
Eyewitness: universe
Farmer Boy
Fortunately, The Milk
Fractals, googols and other mathematical tales
Galileo’s Leaning Tower Experiment
George Gershwin
Good Morning, Gorillas
Guinness World Records 2015
Henry Huggins
Holes
Joseph from Germany
Julius: The Baby of the World
Keepers of the School
King Arthur’s Knight Quest
King Jack and the Dragon
Leif The Lucky
Long-Arm Quarterback
Mission to the Moon
Nancy’s Mysterious Letter
Officer Buckle and Gloria
One Small Square: Cactus Desert
Pink and Say
Pocahontas
Rome & Romans
Room For A Little One: Christmas Tale
So You Want To Be President
Space
Squanto
Squire and the Scroll
St. Martin de Porres
St. Paul the Apostle
The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport
The Boy and His Lunch
The Boy Mechanic
The Case of the Shipwrecked Tree
The Dangerous Book for Boys
The Home Adventure Library
The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes
The Parables of Jesus
The Piece of Resistance
The Planet Of Puzzles
The Reader’s Digest: Children’s Atlas of the World
The Secret Of Red Gate Farm
The Secret of the Old Mill
The Sinister Signpost
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!
The Usborne Rainy Book
The Way Things Work
The World Almanac and Book Of Facts 2015
The World’s Best Fairy Tales
Tintin in Tibet
Treasure Box 2
Usborne Knights & Castles
Usborne Rome & Romans
Usborne World of Shakespeare
Volcanoes! Mountains of Fire
Wilbur and Orville Wright

– catalogued by Ate Yena and Kuya Migi

Resources for Drawing Comic Superheroes

We were just at Michaels to pick up stuff for Nino’s sacramental preparation portfolio (will blog that at a later date) and he found a book on how to draw comics, except it wasn’t on sale, and the “50% off any item at regular price” coupon we had couldn’t be applied to it — guess it really wasn’t “any item”. I didn’t want him to spend $10 on a book that looked mediocre to me, so I had to say no and he was all upset on the way home (character building moment).

I’ll let him have the figure drawing book given to me by the hubs when I was taking fine arts classes in college, but I also found him a few resources that might be helpful to other kids with similar interests:

How to Draw Step by Step Drawing Tutorials (images and videos)

How to Draw Comics.net – This one isn’t really for kids, but I thought I’d keep the link for when he’s older.

I’m also ordering these two books, but will hold off on handing them to him until I’ve checked for, uhm, unsavory images. Hopefully they’ll be clean enough. Worst case scenario I can tear off pages if need be.

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way

Simplified Anatomy for the Comic Book Artist

What Nino Read, June 2016

A Rooster in the Sun / Ang Tandang sa Araw
A Spider Story (Isang Kuwentong Gagamba)
Alamat ng Ampalaya
Alexander Graham Bell
Ang Mahiyaing Manok
Ang Prinsipe ng mga Ibon
Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare
Beverly Cleary: Henry and the Paper Route
Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones
Cam Jansen and the Scary Snake Mystery
Cam Jansen and the School Play Mystery
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Children’s Atlas of the World
Codemaster Book 1
Everyday Graces: A Child’s Book of Good Manners
Extreme Machines
Eyewitness Science: Light
Favorite Greek Myths
Frindle
George Gershwin (Mike Venezia)
Get Into Gear, Stilton!
Gilgamesh the King
Grossology: The Science of Really Gross Things!
Hank the Cowdog: The Case of the Kidnapped Collie
Hank the Cowdog: The Case of the Shipwrecked Tree
Horns to Toes and In Between
How Science Works
I Did It With My Hatchet
If You Lived at the Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake
Joan of Arc (Diane Stanley)
John, Paul, George and Ben
Lassie Come Home
Little Bear
Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain
Maria Cacao: Ang Diwata ng Cebu
Matt Christopher: Long-Arm Quarterback
May Pera sa Basura
McDuff Moves In
Mission to the Moon
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
My Amazing Book of Egypt
Naomi and Ruth
Papa’s Latkes
Pirates Past Noon
Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch
Redwall
Roman Britain
Ronald Reagan: An American Hero
Science in Ancient Rome
Secrets of the Mummies
Ship’s Cook Ginger: Another Tim Story
Stone Soup
Taggerung
The Aesop for Children
The Beginner’s Bible
The Book of Virtues
The Children’s Book of Virtues
The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie the Pooh
The Dalai Lama
The First Dog
The Home Adventure Library
The Knight At Dawn
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
The Naughtiest Girl Is A Monitor
The Princess and the Kiss
The Rain Forest
The Revenge of Ishtar
The Sinister Signpost
The Story Hour
The Story of the Pony Express
The Story of the USS Arizona
The Story of Valley Forge
The Tattletale Mystery
The Teachings and Miracles of Jesus
The Triple Hoax
The Usborne Book of Art Ideas
Things I Can Make
This is Rome
Tomie de Paola’s Book of Bible Stories
Tony’s Bread
Toto In Italy
Usborne Flags Sticker Book

What Nino Read, February 2016

Zita the Spacegirl
Legends of Zita the Spacegirl
The Return of Zita the Spacegirl
Little Catechism on the Eucharist
Hurricane and Tornado
Childcraft World and Space
The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook
Saint Martin de Porres
Star Wars The Yoda Chronicles
Airplanes and Flying Machines
The Rain Forest
Castles
Best Ever Paper Planes that Really Fly
Scientific Progress Goes Boink
My First Body Book
Pablo Picasso: Breaking All the Rules
Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days
If You Lived at the Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake
Gandhi by Demi
A Weekend with Wendell
The Moffats
Space Station: Accident on Mir
Who Were the Vikings?
George Washington Illustrated Lives
The New Junior Classics 2 Stories of Wonder and Magic
The World’s Best Fairy Tales Volumes 1 & 2
The Penderwicks
The Boxcar Children The Camp-Out Mystery
The 13 Clocks
Hopscotch, Hangman, Hot Potato, & Hahaha
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Taggerung
Once Upon a Time Saints
Things I Can Make
Tomie de Paola’s Book of Bible Stories
The Great Juggling Kit
The Naughtiest Girl Is A Monitor
Charles Dickens: The Man Who Had Great Expectations
Days of the Knights: A Tale of Castles and Battles
Poppy and Rye
Scientific Progress Goes ‘Boink’
The Kingfisher First Encyclopedia
Great Cars
Peter Claver, Patron Saint of Slaves
The Ultimate Lego Book
A Gift of Gracias

Homeschooling First Grade Science (A Sample Curriculum)

IMG_7709

Posting this for my friend Madora who asked for a bit of guidance on how to homeschool Science with a first grader without the use of a textbook.

Prior to fifth grade and often even beyond, I rarely use a textbook. I find that living books very much fit our homeschooling lifestyle and personalities, so I will almost always reach for one whether I’m reading aloud to the kids or letting them read themselves.

This list of living books (plus other materials) isn’t meant to be comprehensive or match a specific state’s rubrics. At 6 years old, my first grader is still very much a sponge (thank God), so there isn’t much that he does NOT want to learn about, and I simply take cues from his interests, which I observe just from day-to-day interaction. Almost anything can trigger questions, so I do my best to pay attention to those and encourage further questioning and exploration.

In no particular order, these are my 6-year-old’s current favorites:

Microscope and slides
Seeds, any kind but bean seeds are great because they’re easy to grow, and grow quickly (almost instant gratification)
Paper, water, food coloring for random experimentation
Playdough – always nice to have colorful ones, but not necessary; whenever I make bread I give him a piece and it occupies him for at least a couple of hours if not more.
Recently he came home with some flubber from Trail Life.
Paper Airplanes
KidsGardening: A Kids’ Guide to Messing Around in the Dirt
Star Wars Yoda Chronicles (I don’t know that Star Wars = science, but hey, it counts as science around here)
Books by Gallimard Jeunesse, especially Dinosaurs and Airplanes
Mission to the Moon: (Book and DVD)
Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection
Boys Life Magazines (you can usually find this at your local library)
Dinosaur!
Universe (DK Eyewitness Books)
The New Way Things Work
National Geographic Readers: Volcanoes!
Dk Eyewitness Hurricane & Tornado
Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia Of Everything Nasty

At this age, he’s very curious about body processes and functions, so jumping up and down on the couch or on the floor, or down from the tree, using the bathroom, turning cartwheels, are all opportunities for me to engage and answer questions or point things out about anatomy and the way our bodies work.

When it gets a wee bit warmer we’ll head out to the fossil park not far from here. There’s a good list of fossil park locations on Wikipedia, but anywhere where kids can hold a small trowel and do some digging is great.

It goes without saying that play outside is essential. If you live near the beach, a nature park, a zoo, a botanical garden, a space museum — take advantage of these resources. But even if you don’t live near any of those, just get outside and observe trees, leaves, bugs, grass, the sky, birds, the sun and stars, etc. The list is endless, because God’s creation is endless.

A couple of sentences I love to use when interacting with my child:

“I don’t know that one, should we look it up?” Usually the answer is an excited YES, and usually there’s already some book in the house that provides basic information to satisfy his curiosity. If not, we ask dad, or a sibling, or one of mom’s online friends. There’s always Google though caution needs to be exercised when you do a search with a little one beside you.

“Why don’t you try it and see what happens/tell me what you find out?” with some brief guidance on where and when to conduct the experimentation — the tub, outside in the yard, at the sink. If you forget to provide that guidance, don’t lose your head later if it happens on your couch or bed.

Every once in a while, we go on the Pinterest board that I put together for him, and check out some new things we haven’t tried.

There really are not enough hours in the day to answer all his questions, so I don’t worry at all that he might not be learning enough. If he ever stopped asking them, THEN I’ll worry.

I hope this gives you a good starting point so you can put together your own first grade science curriculum. Or, if you would rather have something already put together for you, a favorite of homeschoolers is Noeo Science, which we tried one year and liked.

And in case you need it, I’ve got more science ideas in my previous post, How I Didn’t Teach Science. There are also ideas in the comments section from friendly folks.

My 6-year-old’s Christmas/Birthday Wish List

globe

Sharing this in case it’s helpful to anyone who’s gift-planning for their own kids. A catalog came to the house a few weeks ago, and today I found these items circled in it. LOL. He just made our gift-giving easy. I’m giving the list to our older kids so they can brainstorm further on what to get the youngest.

Very Big Maze Book
HexHive
Ravensburger Puzzleball Globe
Zoob Challenge
Skwooshi
Magnetic Thinking Putty
Laser Maze Jr.
Brain Fitness Solitaire Chess

What Nino Read (November 2015 Update)

IMG_8295

Religion, History, Geography:

The Reader’s Digest Children’s Atlas of the World
On the Mayflower
If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution
Favorite Norse Myths
Thomas A. Edison (COFA)
Abner Doubleday (COFA)
If You Lived at the Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake
New Catholic Children’s Bible
The Great Wall of China
The Story of the Pony Express
The Revolutionary John Adams
The Story of the Statue of Liberty
Once Upon a Time Saints
The Monk Who Grew Prayer

Literature:

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma
The Moffats
26 Fairmount Avenue
The Story of Ferdinand
The Haunted Showboat
Flat Stanley
A Weekend with Wendell

Math:
Singapore Math 2A (Whoops! I did it again! Meant to get 1B and made a mistake >.< But he loves doing this book and isn't stumbling much 😛 ) Science:
Eyewitness Science: Light

Art:

The Ultimate Lego Book

Miscellaneous:

Trail Life USA Trailman’s Handbook
It’s Off to Camp, Charlie Brown


Notes:
– follows along at Mass using Magnifikid, about 75% of the time.
– can lead a decade of the Rosary
– always prompts me to pray at night before bed — his favorite “Angel of God” (besides the family Rosary which he joins in sometimes, sometimes not) plus Goodnight to Jesus, Mary and Joseph and his guardian angel.
– has questions about divorce 🙁
– I made the mistake of getting Book 2A of Singapore Math instead of 1B, but he really loves doing it and can do simple multiplication now, and has even asked that I prepare drills for him (he asked me to put a bunch of subtraction and addition problems he can solve, and I told him those were called “drills”)
– writes very well, but still need to practice lowercase letters as he keeps using uppercase for everything
– has written 700+ words so far for NaNoWriMo
– wants to go bowling for his 7th birthday, but just with family, no friends
– can cut his own nails
– crown popped out day after Halloween and had to see dentist to put it back on
– is quite diligent about brushing and flossing and washing his hands
– participates well when we do our family journaling
– still loves jokes and makes up his own, some really morbid ones 😛
– asked to have and bring his own journal to Mass, copying me (although, I take notes at homily, and he draws whatever, usually Father)
– wants to study ukulele
– asked for a Kiwi Crate re-subscription, so I signed him up again. he loves crafty stuff.

What Nino Read, October 2015

IMG_8295

Curriculum “after the fact”

What Nino read the past couple of months or so. He’ll be 7 in December, so I guess this is around first grade?

Right now our 13-year-old does a combo of unschooling/homeschooling/co-op schooling, so whenever I’m “on duty” at the co-op, I take the little one with me and that’s our more formal schooling day of the week. So “real” schooling takes place about once a week. The rest of the week, he just reads and does whatever he wants to do throughout the day. It’s mostly books, as evidenced by the long list — and I keep track by listing what he’s read every month or so, just to kinda make sure that all subjects are “covered” in some way. Mainly what he does is take stuff out of the bookshelves, and at the end of the day we pile them up around the bookshelves, until I can’t stand it anymore and have to put them all back on the shelves. THAT’S when I make these posts and document what he’s read.

I do have a box of the “curriculum” I designed for him before the beginning of the year. That’s where I get the books/materials that we use on our official school day each week.

Besides books, he plays outside, and alternates painting, drawing, sketching, play dough, Lego, math manipulatives, board games, and just talking talking talking about the thousand different things that he wonders about on a daily basis, etc. He gets one show a day, usually an educational one, though he’s allowed one 30-minute game a week (usually on my phone or Lego Batman on the XBox), and one non-educational show, like today, when he watched Lego Chima. There are evenings he gets to watch Studio C with older siblings and Dad — with monitoring/censoring done by the older viewers. I’m not too fond of him being exposed to more adult humor, but I figure with siblings and Dad around the bonding is more important than zero exposure to secular culture.

Yesterday, he wanted to learn sewing since I was hemming the hubby’s pants.

Last night he said he wanted to learn cursive, so I need to make up some practice sheets for him for tomorrow.

Today he decided to make fingerprints using paper, graphite pencils, and scotch tape. He’s been fingerprinting all of us.

And since he’s read a variety of biographies and historical events, time to make a Book of Centuries.

Learning happens. 🙂


Religion/Character Education
Little Acts of Grace
Saint Francis by Brian Wildsmith
Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Margaret Mayo
– four prayers memorized so far
– also enjoying Magnifikid subscription

English
Mad Libs (he’s learning pronouns and nouns and verbs and adverbs and adjectives!!)

Literature
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
The Enchanted Castle
Redwall
parts of Taggerung
Spider subscription (joined the drawing contest for “really cool school bus”)

Math
After working for several days on the first half (2/3?) of Singapore Math 1 last year sometime, he took 3-4 more days to finish the rest of the book, a couple of weeks ago. So now he’s ready for the next book. This is the type of relaxed Math I love!!
asked me about square root last month so I showed him using tiles
verbal math happening almost every single day with questions on dates, equivalences, money, time, weight, height, etc.
still reads Big Sis’ Life of Fred books when she leaves it lying around.

Science
DK Eyewitness Hurricane and Tornado
DK Eyewitness Space (3 Books in 1 + Workbook + Poster) – he LOVES the workbook and just started doing them one evening and wouldn’t stop!
DK Readers Space Station
The Rain Forest by Gallimard Jeunesse and Rene Mettler
Best Ever Paper Planes that really fly
DK Eyewitness Readers Extreme Machines
The Camera by Gallimard Jeunesse et al.
(eclipse watching)
(informal experiments: paper mache, airplane making)

History
Molly Pitcher, Young Patriot
Lou Gehrig
Buffalo Bill
The Story of the Spirit of St. Louis
Wilbur and Orville Wright
The Story of the Mayflower Compact
George Washington (Heroes of America)
The Story of Valley Forge
The Story of the Statue of Liberty
Snowflake Bentley
Davy Crockett
Abigail Adams
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt
Revolution News by Christopher Maynard
Albert Einstein: A Life of Genius
The Story of the USS Arizona
Fun with Hieroglyphs

Civics
The Story of Presidential Elections

Music
George Gershwin by Mike Venezia

Art
Pablo Picasso: Breaking All the Rules
I Spy: Mystery

Logic
Chess for Kids by Michael Basman
Chess for Children

Field Trips since September:
– Dayton Art Institute
– Cincinnati Museum Center
– Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum
– iSpace
– The Atheneaum, for Vespers
– Fossil hunting with Dad last month

also learning to bike
Trail Life weekly activities continue
lots of exploring using scissors, paper, glue
still writes mostly in ALL CAPS
listening to Redwall audiobooks
trying to write in Gallifreyan
learned AMPERSAND yesterday and thinks it’s so cool — and asked me if & could be used in place of “AND” and “END” in spelling words
loves playing with soap in the bath
loves playing basketball and soccer with dad
doesn’t know if he wants birthday party in December or not
wants a new Sonic Screwdriver

Need to get focused on piano lessons.

What the 6-year-old is Reading Now

ninobooks

A friend with little ones asked me about reading recommendations for her 6-7 year olds, so I thought I’d give her a list of what our 6.5-year-old is reading right now. Hope this helps, J!

Life of Fred Decimals and Percents – his big sister’s book, but he’s reading it for fun.

Get Into Gear, Stilton!

Clare and Francis
Catholic Children’s Treasure Box, Books 4, 3, 9, and 2

Viking Raiders (Usborne Time Traveler) – a long-time favorite, I think he rereads this every few weeks

The Mysterious Benedict Society – something that escaped me. I didn’t mean to let him read it at this age, but one of the older kids left it lying around….

Alexander Graham Bell: An Inventive Life

The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor

Thomas Edison: Young Inventor (Childhood of Famous Americans)

DK Readers: Secrets of the Mummies

Reader’s Digest ~ How Science Works

Abner Doubleday: Boy Baseball Pioneer (Young Patriots series)

The Tale of Despereaux

Where Do Sharks Cross Mountain Peaks?

Cam Jansen and the Ghostly Mystery – probably should not have bought this (bought this at a resale shop and I thought, eh, a quick read for him for when he’s bored) — now he’s asking me about ghosts. ack.

The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys – one of his birthday gifts; he rereads this every couple of weeks or so.

Great Illustrated Classics: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – a bit twaddly version of the original, but it will do for now

A Weekend with Wendell

The Story of a Bad Boy – recommended by big sis because she loved it. I haven’t had time to read it aloud to him as we still have several read alouds we’re working on, but he’s slowly making his way through it and said I could read it aloud to him, if/when I catch up.

The Story of the Spar-Spangled Banner

The Lady of Guadalupe – a Tomie de Paola classic

Homeschooling First Grade Science (A Sample Curriculum)

IMG_7709

Posting this for my friend Madora who asked for a bit of guidance on how to homeschool Science with a first grader without the use of a textbook.

Prior to fifth grade and often even beyond, I rarely use a textbook. I find that living books very much fit our homeschooling lifestyle and personalities, so I will almost always reach for one whether I’m reading aloud to the kids or letting them read themselves.

This list of living books (plus other materials) isn’t meant to be comprehensive or match a specific state’s rubrics. At 6 years old, my first grader is still very much a sponge (thank God), so there isn’t much that he does NOT want to learn about, and I simply take cues from his interests, which I observe just from day-to-day interaction. Almost anything can trigger questions, so I do my best to pay attention to those and encourage further questioning and exploration.

In no particular order, these are my 6-year-old’s current favorites:

Microscope and slides
Seeds, any kind but bean seeds are great because they’re easy to grow, and grow quickly (almost instant gratification)
Paper, water, food coloring for random experimentation
Playdough – always nice to have colorful ones, but not necessary; whenever I make bread I give him a piece and it occupies him for at least a couple of hours if not more.
Recently he came home with some flubber from Trail Life.
Paper Airplanes
KidsGardening: A Kids’ Guide to Messing Around in the Dirt
Star Wars Yoda Chronicles (I don’t know that Star Wars = science, but hey, it counts as science around here)
Books by Gallimard Jeunesse, especially Dinosaurs and Airplanes
Mission to the Moon: (Book and DVD)
Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection
Boys Life Magazines (you can usually find this at your local library)
Dinosaur!
Universe (DK Eyewitness Books)
The New Way Things Work
National Geographic Readers: Volcanoes!
Dk Eyewitness Hurricane & Tornado
Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia Of Everything Nasty

At this age, he’s very curious about body processes and functions, so jumping up and down on the couch or on the floor, or down from the tree, using the bathroom, turning cartwheels, are all opportunities for me to engage and answer questions or point things out about anatomy and the way our bodies work.

When it gets a wee bit warmer we’ll head out to the fossil park not far from here. There’s a good list of fossil park locations on Wikipedia, but anywhere where kids can hold a small trowel and do some digging is great.

It goes without saying that play outside is essential. If you live near the beach, a nature park, a zoo, a botanical garden, a space museum — take advantage of these resources. But even if you don’t live near any of those, just get outside and observe trees, leaves, bugs, grass, the sky, birds, the sun and stars, etc. The list is endless, because God’s creation is endless.

A couple of sentences I love to use when interacting with my child:

“I don’t know that one, should we look it up?” Usually the answer is an excited YES, and usually there’s already some book in the house that provides basic information to satisfy his curiosity. If not, we ask dad, or a sibling, or one of mom’s online friends. There’s always Google though caution needs to be exercised when you do a search with a little one beside you.

“Why don’t you try it and see what happens/tell me what you find out?” with some brief guidance on where and when to conduct the experimentation — the tub, outside in the yard, at the sink. If you forget to provide that guidance, don’t lose your head later if it happens on your couch or bed.

Every once in a while, we go on the Pinterest board that I put together for him, and check out some new things we haven’t tried.

There really are not enough hours in the day to answer all his questions, so I don’t worry at all that he might not be learning enough. If he ever stopped asking them, THEN I’ll worry.

I hope this gives you a good starting point so you can put together your own first grade science curriculum. Or, if you would rather have something already put together for you, a favorite of homeschoolers is Noeo Science, which we tried one year and liked.

And in case you need it, I’ve got more science ideas in my previous post, How I Didn’t Teach Science. There are also ideas in the comments section from friendly folks.

What Nino Read, October 2014

Religion

The Monk Who Grew Prayer
New Catholic Children’s Bible – he reads this on his own
Catholic Children’s Treasure Box Books – he now reads these on his own, and asked me for sacrifice beads, though he hasn’t used them much

History/Geography

Abe Lincoln Remembers
Abraham Lincoln (Childhood of Famous Americans)
Anno’s Spain
D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths
Harry Houdini
The Kid Who Changed the World – this seemed to have an impact on him as he was reading another book the other day and pointed out George Washington Carver’s name (one of those mentioned in the book)
Martha Washington – this has been a favorite for a while now
Gilgamesh the King – and this trilogy
The Revenge of Ishtar
The Last Quest of Gilgamesh
The Miracles of Jesus – this is a new favorite and
This is Rome – the book that launched several discussions and revealed to me just how much he knew from reading other books/listening to audiobooks — amazing what he retains

Literature

A Kiss Means I Love You
Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony – old favorites of the big boys — so glad I spotted them at the library, I had forgotten about them!
Blaze and the Mountain Lion
Blaze Finds the Trail
Hedgehog’s Secret
Little Tim and The Brave Sea Captain – another re-discovery — Jenn blogged about the books and I remembered that the big boys loved these as well, so I ordered a few
Tales from Shakespeare – I didn’t think he was ready for these, but wow! We were reading these for a couple of weeks and we all enjoyed them, hubby included. Again, amazing what he remembers.
The Crane Wife – I still don’t like this story after all these years, but keep it because it has kid appeal.
The Little World of Don Camillo – A gift from a friend — not really a kids’ book, but for some reason Nino is quite taken with it and has asked me to read it again, one or two chapters a night since we found it (it was misplaced for a while)
Spoken Memories/Painted Words
The Tale of Ginger and Pickles
The Serpent Came to Gloucester
Thumbelina – an old favorite that he recently asked me to reread. Beautiful as ever.

Math

The Baker’s Dozen

Though we’re not doing a formal Math curriculum yet, he is constantly playing with numbers in his head, and asking about days, dates, time, the months, how many __ in a ___ questions, skip counts by 2s and 5s when we play ball. I might order Singapore Math for him sometime soon.

Science

Eyewitness Books Flying Machine – he reads this on his own, though once in a while, he’ll ask me to read portions.

No formal science curriculum either, but like any boy he loves bugs and creepy crawlies, and is always curious about the weather, and things going on in nature, like the crispness and color of fall leaves, or why gloomy days mean no sun, which makes him sad and grumpy.

Art

Can You See What I See? Once Upon A Time

Nino in August in Michigan
Nino in August in Michigan

He continues to enjoy art his own way — I am not forcing writing or drawing right now, though he will randomly ask for paper and pencils or markers to write or copy somethign that’s important to him. A couple of weeks ago he asked for watercolor paper and watercolors and painted happily for ~10 minutes, but did not want to repeat the exercise the next day. He has been using the scissors more, and did a Creation worksheet on his own one day with just the teeniest prompting from me. Yesterday he decided to cut up some scrap paper, and I thought he was just going to cut random shapes, but then he started showing me words that he had cut out. It turned into a fun game with us putting random words together and deciding whether something was a phrase or a sentence. I don’t know if he quite got it but he did come up with some funny ones.

He continues to love building Lego and K’nex, though that initial phase of taking old Bionicle instructions and recreating them quickly passed, and he is back to making up his own stuff, often impressing his older brothers with his creations. He doesn’t dance as much to Just Dance like he used to but will dance to just about anything, even nothing; his moves are something else. 😀

A few weeks ago I ordered him a new set of slides, and he enjoyed looking at those one by one, prefering the ones that look like something familiar, like monsters 😀 . He also took the old slide sets and rearranged them as he now knows they are supposed to be in a certain order.

He loves the outdoors as much as the older boys and went on his first camping trip, slept in his own sleeping bag just a few weeks ago. Slept through a thunderstorm even.

At Mass he still gets bored and distracted often, but will sit quietly most of the time, and participates in prayers and songs most Sundays. He has gotten more curious about the Sacrament of Reconciliation so I’ve been talking to him more about it.

He still loves listening to Jim Weiss audiobooks, though I’d like to introduce him to composers soon. He used to love making noise on the keyboard, but the adapter broke, though it may still be repaired… but hubby has to find time to do it. I’ve asked him if he’d like piano lessons, but for now he’s not interested. For some reason the Donut Man songs do not appeal to him; perhaps I just need to play them more often.

What Nino Read, September 2014

the princess and her great-great-grandmother (from The Princess and the Goblin)
the princess and her great-great-grandmother (from The Princess and the Goblin)

Corduroy Makes a Cake

It’s Milking Time (didn’t like this one that much — maybe he can’t relate since we hardly ever drink cow’s milk here)

Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the Carnival Prize

The Best Kind of Kiss by Margaret Allum ***

The Little Piggy’s Book of Manners (a fun way for kids to learn manners/reinforce what we’ve taught them) *****

Little Bo Peep Can’t Get to Sleep (Little Bo Peep plus other familiar characters from traditional nursery rhymes and stories incorporated) ****

A Photo for Greta by Anna Alter – on photography and father/daughter relationship. Cute. **

Disappearing Desmond by Anna Alter — cute book on hiding in plain sight and on being “seen”. **

A Gift of Gracias — on Our Lady of Altagracia — HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ***** Dominican Republic culture , faith, cultivating a spirit of gratitude, January 21

Best Little Wingman – long-time family favorite on father-child relationship, wintertime, how snow plows work ****

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind – **** – Africa, electricity, power & energy, Malawi, drought, poverty, windmills.

Nino’s thoughts when we read this: This reminds me of The Wizard of Menlo Park, Mommy!
Me: Who’s that?
Nino: Thomas Edison! (LOL, I had forgotten – we read about Thomas Edison in My Book House)

Three Scoops and a Fig – Italy, Italian flag, figs, cooking and baking, about being “too little” to do things — this book made Nino want to eat gelato. 😀 ****

The Babe and I – baseball, Great Depression, 20th century, Babe Ruth, Yankees, New York, newspaper boy ****

Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox – cute rhyming book on — what else — chicken pox ***

Miss Nelson is Back — funny, silly story on substitute teachers (and their tricks). ***

My Friend by Beatrice Alemagna – pictures are fabric/thread collages. simple book on friendship ***

Also read this past month:

Shakespeare’s Stories for Young Readers — which Nino asked me to read (got it on Kindle) — he had been introduced to Shakespeare via Jim Weiss — we loved most of them except King Lear — that was just tragic and bizarre.

princessgoblin2

The Wizard of Oz – ** – Meh.

The Princess and the Goblin — absolutely wonderful book!!

The Princess and Curdie — sequel to Princess and the Goblin

both by George MacDonald, a Tolkien favorite. Wish I had read these books to the kids when they were little. Lots of little nuggets on faith, adventure, staying true to oneself, bravery, honesty, integrity, etc. Wow. Nino and I had LOTS of fun with these books and I’d love to get them on hardcover so we can have them on the shelf and he can reread them anytime and re-learn these character lessons when he does.

What Nino Read, August 2014

5 Stars:

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Ill. Mary Azarian
The Children’s Book of Heroes, Ed. William J. Bennett, Ill. Michael Hague
Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator by Augusta Stevenson, Ill. Jerry Robinson
St. Francis by Brian Wildsmith
The Legend of St. Christopher by Margaret Hodges, Ill. Richard Jesse Watson
A Boy Named Giotto by Paolo Guarnieri, Trans. Jonathan Galassi, Ill. Bimba Landmann
The Jolly Postman and Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon
The Umbrella by Jan Brett
The Miracles of Jesus by Tomie de Paola

1 Star (Nino doesn’t seem to have a sense of in between; I explained to him that he could rate books 2-, 3-, and 4-stars too, but he wanted to keep his ratings)

Simeon’s Gift by Julie Andrews Edwards & Emma Walton Hamilton, Ill. Gennady Spirin
Abraham and Isaac by Katy Keck Arnsteen
My Five Senses by Aliki
D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths (says he’s tired of this one hence the 1-star rating, but he keeps on reading it) by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire

Previous Post with Other books he read in August Nino’s First-Grade After-the-Fact Curriculum 2014-2015)