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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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
  • Typing.com – 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 Pexels.com

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.

8th Grade: What are we using?

Our oldest is going into 8th grade and she is excited about challenging herself this year. She made a lot of progress in English, grammar, and spelling last year and she wants to push herself more this year. She decided she wants to do 8th grade English and grammar to get better at reading and writing.

We make photocopies of books to write or have a separate notebook for writing the answers so we can use them for our other students. So what did we decide to utilize for our 8th Grade Kit?

English

Math _ Undecided

  • Math-U-See Algebra
  • Horizons Pre-Algebra
  • Saxon Algebra 1/2
  • Saxon Algebra 1

Science

Social Studies/History/Geography

Art

STEM/Thinking Skills

4th Grade: What are we using?

We decided to challenge our 3rd grader and move her to 4th grade. She excels in English and Math. We figured she could do 5th and 6th grade Math. We still have arts and craft activities suitable for her age but other subjects we did the next grade or 2 up.

We make photocopies of books to write or have a separate notebook for writing the answers so we can use them for our other students. So what did we decide to utilize in the 4th Grade Kit?

English

Math

Science

  • Sassafras Science Botany & Earth Science
    • Workbook, Textbook & Lab Kit

Social Studies/History/Geography

Art

STEM/Thinking Skills

  • Gravitrax Set
  • Critical and Creative – Grade 4
  • Chasing Fireflies
  • Gridblocks
  • Color Catch

1st Grade: What are we using?

Last year our 1st grader was in a combo class for Kindergarten and 1st. She progressed on all of the Kindergarten curriculum and she did very well in 1st grade math. We decided to do another year of 1st grade to help with the English portion. We will focus on Reading comprehension, spelling, understanding word concepts such as over and under, and reading. We also worked on some second grade Math at the end of last year and decided she will do a combo class for math, 1st and 2nd grade so she gets a stronger foundation.

“Our approach is compassionate and student-centered because we believe that children are sensitive and intelligent and that learning can be joyfully integrated into life.”

Oak Meadow About Us

We feel that learning through nature and the world around her will help her develop more and influence her to learn through doing.

We make photocopies of books to write or have a separate notebook for writing the answers so we can use them for our other students. So what did we decide to utilize?

English

  • Oak Meadow Curriculum Book (Language Arts)
  • All About Spelling Level 2
  • Daily 6-Trait Writing Grade 1 (continued from Summer School)

Math

Science

  • Oak Meadow Curriculum Book (Science)

Social Studies/History/Geography

Art

  • Oak Meadow Crafts for Early Grades K-3
  • Doodle Washington D.C
  • Painting
  • Knitting
  • Drawing

STEM/Thinking Skills

  • Building and Thinking Skills Level 1
  • Chasing Fireflies
  • Gridblocks
  • Apple Twist
  • Smart Cookies

Additional Texts

  • Music: Beginning Recorder
  • Healthy Living from the Start K-3
  • Oak Meadow Guide to Teaching the Early Grades K-3
  • Word Families

Kindergarten: What are we using?

We are so excited about our youngest to begin Kindergarten. She enjoyed learning her Abc’s and counting last year as well as some emotional intelligence and smart games with her sisters. She will officially begin school in August this year!

We saved books from our Kindergartener/1st grader last year by making photo copies so we could use the books multiple years. So what did we decide to utilize?

English

  • All About Reading Level 1
  • Spelling you See Level A
  • The Reading Lesson
  • What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know
  • My Epic Life Word Book

Math

Science

Social Studies

Art

  • Aquarellum Animal Postcards
  • Painting
  • Knitting
  • Drawing

Geography

STEM/Thinking Skills

  • ThinkPlay Gears Extreme
  • Can You find me Kindergarten
  • Visual Perception Building Book 1
  • Kumon Thinking Skills
  • Smart Games

Classroom is finally setup! STEM and Garden

After many edit to our schooling we have decided to continue next year. In deciding so, we have put our classroom together and the students are very excited about the transition. The girls have been looking at the new Timberdoodle Catalog for 2021-2022 School Year and have been picking out items they want in their kits. We are waiting on the test scores for our 2nd and 7th Grader before we purchase their kits so we know what English, Science and Math to get for them. We still have some more items that need to be moved and organized, but the students were excited to be in their new classroom.

This 3rd-Trimester has been exciting for the students with the addition of more art and agriculture. We just finished the planter boxes and went to the nursery to pick out more vegetables for the garden. Here is a picture of the new garden boxes we made from old pallets. We placed chicken wire on the bottom of the beds and then did a layer of pine needles from our pine tree.

The kids had a wonderful day gardening and harvesting some spinach, beets, and lettuce.

This week we worked on STEM and making circuit connections. Our 2nd grader had a blast! She made a circuit and a floating ball. Then our Principle showed her how to connect the two together.

The Gaiam balls we purchased for the students desks have been a life saver. Our 2nd Grader does not sit still and the ball has helped her stay in her seat. It is a bit too tall for our Pre-K student so we have to hold the ball in place when she sits down and adjust her every 15 minutes or so because she begins to push the ball back. I think I will deflate it a bit more but not too much so the desk is too tall for her.

Our mindful class has been coming along as well. We are teaching the students that negative behavior is not a way to act or to punish. Creating a positive environment in the classroom and in the home is a balancing act and should be something that allows each child and adult to grow. Communication is the balance of life and should be provided as a tool to excel. There is no reason to use negative punishments when you can communicate through the situation. Talk about what each person thought and understand what happened. Usually it is a matter of miscommunication and it turns out nothing was wrong to begin with.

Almost done with Lessons and Sprouting

We are nearing the end of the school year and our students have almost completed their books. Our Pre-school student has completed 4 of 6 of her book and is almost done with the Pre-Reading activities. Our first grader already completed the Math you see Alpha and we have been giving her assignments in the Math you See Beta. She has 4 more lessons in All About Reading Level 1 and has come a very long way in her reading. She was reading at a 0.2 Level and now she is reading My First Reading books. Our Second grader is finished with Math you see Beta and we have been doing Math you See Gamma Lessons A & F daily, she is on lesson 13 already. She has been enjoying the Mystery of History Volume 1 book along with the activities. Our Seventh Grader has 5 more lessons in the Math you See Pre-Algebra and she is has 5 weeks of stories left in the Mosdos Pearl English book. She has made great strides in her writing, grammar and spelling with the Grammar Book and the Spelling you See.

We are very happy with the way the year evolved for all of the students and teachers. This 3rd-Trimester has been exciting for the students with the addition of more art and agriculture.

We found a humming bird nest on the light plug outside the house. It is so tiny and the humming bird kept coming back and forth but I was not able to get a picture of it.

Beautiful salad with homemade sprouts, lettuce from our garden and Veggies from the Co-op we are part of.

We have been learning to sprout. So far we have sprouted Lentils (pictured above), clover seeds, mung beans, and wheat berries.

Our mindful class has been coming along as well. We are teaching the students that negative behavior is not a way to act or to punish. Creating a positive environment in the classroom and in the home is a balancing act and should be something that allows each child and adult to grow. Communication is the balance of life and should be provided as a tool to excel. There is no reason to use negative punishments when you can communicate through the situation. Talk about what each person thought and understand what happened. Usually it is a matter of miscommunication and it turns out nothing was wrong to begin with.

SAT 10 Testing, Strawberries & Games

We began the SAT10 testing on Monday this week and it went really well and we will be sending the booklets and scoring sheet back to the company we ordered from. We are excited to see what the scores will be for our 2nd and 7th grader because it will give us the information for what books to get for next year. We are not going to focus on the actual grade as we are the level they are testing in. This way the students will not struggle with the curriculum and we can help them progress in their schooling.

Playing King of Tokyo and getting our art on with pastel colors.

Our strawberry patch is doing really well and we have been getting around 2-3 strawberries a day. Here are some pictures of our strawberries, potatoes, beets and spinach. The students have been enjoying their agriculture class and we will be learning about solar greenhouses beginning next week.

We are still enjoying the Qigong routine at 8am we have been doing different videos about 10-15 minutes long on You Tube.

Garden Project

The spring garden has been planted and the students helped plant, water, and weed the yard and garden. Here are some pictures of the plants we planted this week together. We have lettuce, onions, strawberries, snap beans, tomatoes and cabbage.

Our mindful class has been coming along as well. We are teaching the students that negative behavior is not a way to act or to punish. Creating a positive environment in the classroom and in the home is a balancing act and should be something that allows each child and adult to grow. Communication is the balance of life and should be provided as a tool to excel. There is no reason to use negative punishments when you can communicate through the situation. Talk about what each person thought and understand what happened. Usually it is a matter of miscommunication and it turns out nothing was wrong to begin with.