Archive for the ‘Curriculum’ Category

Free Resource: Handwriting Worksheets Generator

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Today, I worked with Levi to learn to write numbers.  We did one set of numbers and he wanted to do letters instead.  Well, I thought, at least it is writing and not on the wall.  I tried a couple of different writing resources.  After some frustration, I finally hit Google and searched for writing worksheets.

I came across a site called The Amazing – Incredible Handwriting Worksheet Maker!  I browsed the web site trying to find something that did traditional print worksheets rather than cursive or a hybrid ones.

I found a print sentence worksheet creator and wrote a sentence with Levi’s name in it.  He loved it.  He called tracing the letters “giving them coats.”  At least I can get Levi interested in writing words on paper, rather than walls.  Anyone interested may want to check out

The Mesopotamians and Gilgamesh

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Levi likes watching They Might be Giants videos.  We are doing Mesopotamian history this week.   As a fun introduction we played “The Mesopotamians” video.

Then Levi watched The Epic of Gilgamesh (warning: it has a passing indirect reference to sex.  Most kids won’t understand it).  It is an interesting series of videos retelling this classical tale of Gilgamesh.  Levi really enjoyed watching this video and learned much about the story of Gilgamesh and his best friend, Enkidu.  Gilgamesh goes on a quest for immortality after the death of Enkidu.  The story addresses the human wish for immortality and the futility of that quest.

We will continue to  do the introduction study of the Mesopotamians throughout the week and continue through history throughout the rest of the school year.


George Washington vs. Washington Street

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

On Independence Day we watched the musical 1776 from the 1970s.

Levi was in and out of the room while we watched the movie.  I really didn’t concern myself with how much he watched.  It wasn’t on for educational purposes.

Later that evening we watched the fireworks at Minnetrista in Muncie.  As we left and went through downtown Muncie and Levi was loaded up with Caffeine.  He was chattering about everything he saw.  Think Kurt Vonnegut on crack.  He then read a sign saying Washington Street and then started asking if George Washington was on the bus next to us.  I was shocked.  George Washington was several times mentioned in the movie earlier that day, but never was the word Washington written out.  The phonics first method seems to produce astounding results linking the verbal and written aspects of language.  I wish I could take credit for it.  Starfall has been the main resource teaching the boys to read.  I will write more in detail later about what we use for Phonics.  You may wish to look at Levi, Reading and Starfall.

Levi still insisted George Washington was riding on that bus.

Levi – First day of Kindergarten – Math-U-See

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Monday was Levi’s first day of Kindergarten.  There was a lot of setup involved.  The first part of it was setting up decimal street for our Math-U-See Alpha level math curriculum.   It covers single-digit addition and subtraction.  It comes with a DVD that covers each lesson.

Levi loves the blocks and putting each one into the correct “houses.”  He seemed to start getting the idea of place value and didn’t want to end the lesson for the day.  Even Isaac was getting into it.

Today we will continue with this lesson.  I will let Mandi discuss further about what is being taught.

Stayed tuned as Orchard Hill Classical Academy is now in session.

Fun and Learning: Meet the Elements

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

We are always looking for resources to further our children’s education. We found a band named They Might be Giants and their album “Here comes science.” Today I am sharing the video called Meet the Elements.  They do a lot of songs and videos that are interesting and accurate. This music video is catchy, intelligent and well done. Enjoy.


Giveaway: Visual Latin

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Visual Latin | GrammarThe study of Latin is an important part of classical education.  Nate and I have been searching long and hard for a Latin curriculum that suits our family’s needs.  Song School Latin has been an effective introduction, but we need something more to continue our studies.

Enter Visual Latin, a “video-driven, self-paced curriculum for anyone who wants to learn Latin.”  The creator/teacher was nice enough to post a free complete lesson on his website.  We like what we see, and will most likely end up purchasing the curriculum.  Fortunately, we may not have to (at least not all of it)!  During the month of February, Secular Home School is sponsoring a giveaway of the first ten lessons of the Visual Latin series!  If you like the series, you may earn entries by commenting on the giveaway and by sharing it through various online media.

Now, check out free video lesson!

Blinded Me with Science – Quantum Mechanics

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Those who are children of the 80s probably remember the song “She blinded me with Science” (follow the url for the video).  Lately I have been looking curriculum and resources related to science.

Youtube has an amazing amount of videos, both amateur and professional, on scientific subjects.  Levi in picture to the left is watching a video on the Standard Model of Quantum Mechanics.  It is a graphical introductory video and both boys seem to like it.  The picture is showing the four known forces of matter and energy and their separation at the big bang.

The four known forces in the universe are:

  • Electromagnetism
  • Gravity
  • Strong Nuclear Force (holds nucleus of atoms together)
  • Weak Nuclear Force (causes radioactivity)

I was concerned about the availability of science resources.  I have found quite a few resources.

If you have an interest the video is here.  It is about 15 minutes.

The Pond View

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

The boys looking into a pond

Last Friday, we took a trip to the Lost Bridge State Recreation Area.  We arrived around 5:00 p.m.  The sun was beginning to set.  We took a flashlight just in case it got dark before we returned to our car.  Levi initially did not want to go on the hike.  After a while he started to enjoy himself and played in the leaves.

We also observed two deer,a buck and a doe.  Levi yelled at them and scared them off.  Still they were pretty close.  The view in the woods and off of the pond around sunset is quite simply amazing.  The trail has markers.  Both boys started counting them down from 16 to 1 (we walked the trail “backwards”).  It is amazing what they pick up and learn by themselves without prompting.  Opportunities to learn are everywhere.

We finally cleared the woods and arrived at the pond as the sun was setting.  The boys wanted to go out onto the dock on the pond.  They took some leaves and tossed them in and watched them float.  We spent some time there on the cool and quiet water letting the boys observe and experiment.

We finally returned to the trail as twilight arrived, and we used the flashlight briefly as we returned the van.  It was a fun hike in the woods for us and the kids.  I look forward to doing this more often in the future.