Monday, June 15, 2015

First Day of Homeschool!

Today has been an exciting day!  
Rainbow officially started 1st Grade today and Ladybug started Pre-Preschool!  Haha!
We have decided to homeschool year-round, as its the best option for our family.

Here's how our day went:

The girls' celebratory breakfast of champions...

I have chosen the My Father's World curriculum to use in our home.  
Rainbow is using MFW 1st Grade.  Ladybug is sitting in on some of Rainbow's lessons, such as Bible/History, Science, during read-aloud time, and when we're using Math manipulatives.  This absolutely helps.

Some of you may remember when I did the Desk Makeover (DIY Old School Desk Makeover) for Rainbow.  She does use it for her independent work.  We mostly stay at the kitchen table when working together, and the first few weeks of this curriculum are especially hands-on.

After breakfast, we gather in the living room for 2-3 songs or 15 minutes of worship.  I found this sets the tone for the day, adjusting everyone's attitudes and getting us ready to learn.  My go-to is Pandora radio on the T.V. 

  This year, we are starting our day out on the couch.  Ahhhh....the beauty of homeschool.  Haha!  Anyways, Bible and History is integrated together in the 1st grade.  I love this because it's going to give the girls a strong biblical foundation.  Today, we used the teacher's manual, The Bible, and a globe for our lesson.  We will be doing a historical timeline later on, and I've already found and printed the "scroll" paper we're using for it.  You can see it in the photo below.  You can download it for FREE by visiting this website:

  Next, we do Math.  I decided that we'd get math out of the way before the other subjects since they have the most brain-power first thing in the morning.  Math starts out everyday with the calendar.  I use a printable calendar for the month and have Rainbow tell me the month, day of the month, and day of the week.  Then we look outside to see what the weather is like and what temperature it is.  Rainbow notates these on her calendar on the correct day.  
Afterwards, we do the number of the day activity.  Obviously, today was Number 1.  There are about 5 activities that center around the number of the day.  It includes things such as asking Rainbow to bring me __ amount of an object, putting __ coins in the coin cup, putting __ beans in a bean cup, adding the number of the day to her hundred's chart, etc.  While I did these daily activities with Rainbow, Ladybug was coloring a printable for the number 1.  I found it here:
MFW 1st grade also includes a Math workbook, but it is not utilized in Week 1.  Instead, it suggests you allow the child to have free creative time with the pattern blocks.  This worked out great today because I let both of the girls use them and Ladybug was possibly more occupied by them.  Rainbow originally sorted them into shape and color, but later began to build animals and such.  

English/Language Arts:
Ladybug was so quietly entertained by the pattern blocks, I let her continue using them while I did Rainbow's English/L.A. lesson with her.  
The first two weeks of MFW 1st Grade English/L.A. is more of a Kindergarten review.  It covers the 26 letters of the alphabet, goes over vowel sounds, and uses phonetic blending.  Today's lesson included a full page of handwriting A,B, and C in uppercase and lowercase for the first section.  The second section included the short a sound and phonetic blending.  Rainbow didn't struggle in the least, and it was a breath of fresh air seeing all her Kindergarten work paying off.  
These first two weeks also includes a project where Rainbow will be making an Alphabet Scroll, like the scrolls The Bible were written on. She completed letters A,B, and C today.

After Rainbow finished her lesson, I sent her to the living room to work some addition and subraction math puzzles. This was to give her a "brain-break" while I worked with Ladybug on her short lesson.  Since she will be doing HIPPY in the fall, I bought a few preschool workbooks from the Dollar Tree and tore out the worksheets.  Writing the letter A was a tad difficult, but she took it like a champ!  It made Ladybug feel like a big girl and she loved it.

MFW 1st grade uses 3 different Usborne books for Science.  Monday and Wednesday, you read the assigned pages and do the activities listed with each lesson.  Friday is exploration day and it really solidifies the science topics covered during the week.  Today, Rainbow and Ladybug curled up with me on the couch while we did our lesson.  We covered worms, snails, moles, and ants in the book, "Things Outdoors".  Our activity was to go outside and look for worms and other critters under leaf litter or any cool, dark places.

We didn't do art today because it's interchangeable with Science.  Art is done on Tuesday and Thursday.  When you purchase MFW 1st grade in the deluxe package, you get this art program.  It's a combination of lessons for Drawing with Children, with the Enjoying Art Together set.  Enjoying Art Together is a set of 20 full-color famous works of art on card stock, with all the work's information and discussion questions on the back.  Before we began using the curriculum, I laminated each one of these to ensure durability.  I'm VERY excited about the program!  It's more about introducing them to famous art, and less about factual memorization at this age.

Read Aloud:
While we were still on the couch from finishing up our science today, we moved right into our read-aloud time.  MFW 1st grade deluxe package comes with a book called "Honey for a Child's Heart", which includes lists of classical and living books that are considered to be the best books to introduce to your child.  MFW suggests 15 minutes of read-aloud time EVERY DAY.  I love it.  The books we chose today were "I Love You, Little One" by Nancy Tafuri, and "The Tale of Benjamin Bunny" by Beatrix Potter.  

This concluded the "official" homeschool day.  However, the girls played this "Rhyming Words Puzzle Pairs" matching game while I fixed lunch.  I'm pretty sure it was gifted to one of the girls at Christmas, but you can find it here:

After lunch, the girls had some free play for about an hour and a half.  Then we did some worship before it was time for naps.  

Overall, we had an incredible first day!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

DIY Old School Desk Makeover

This is my very first furniture makeover!!!  It's an old school desk, and a $5 yardsale find.  Score!
Be forwarned...this post is image heavy.

I was needing a desk for Rainbow's very first year in homeschool - 1st Grade!  I decided to tackle this project with no prior experience whatsoever, lots of determination, and plenty of pinterest tutorials.   It's certainly not perfect with a few drip spots, a small peeled spot, and a portion of mixed paint color on the side with the bars.  But it's complete and perfect for Rainbow...she said so.  :)

What you'll need:
  • Primer
  • Staple Gun
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pliars
  • Paint Brush of choice
  • Drop cloth
  • Spray Paint of choice
  • Mod Podge - Gloss Lustre
  • Scissors
  • X-Act Knife
  • Fabric of choice
  • Tape (optional)

Then let's get started!

1.  You need to prime it 2 times.  Let dry at least 30 min in between, maybe more depending on what brand or type you use.  The primer I bought was for all surface types since I had plastic and metal on the desk.

1st Priming:

2nd Priming:

2.  You need to remove the staples from the cushion and seperate the fabric from the cushion.  I used regular pliars for this, but developed a few blisters.

3.  Cut your fabric to size and be sure to leave an excess around the sides of at least 1 1/2 inches.  

4.  Use a heavy duty staple gun to begin, staple around the piece while stretching the fabric to ensure it is tight around the cusion.  Notice the round edges's best to fold the fabric over and staple to avoid an awkward overlap on the cushion.

This is what the head piece looked like when I was finished on the back side.

Here are my cushions...all finished!

5.  Time to paint!  I chose spray paint to give it a more professional, finished look and to avoid the brush strokes from painting with regualr paint.  It's always best to spray paint in an outdoor area in an open space because there will be over-spray and fumes. 

 I used the drop cloth and scotch tape to section off the plastic chair from the metal bars.  I applied two coats of the pink, with 30 minutes in between coats to allow some drying.  It's better to wait an hour or two, but I was so anxious and inpatient to wait that long and kids only entertain themselves for so long!  

Afterwards, I removed the dropcloth and spray painted the metal bars a lavender color.  There was some overspray and a little bit of purple and pink mixed where the bars and chair met together.  Again, I was going for speed and not perfection here.  

Spray Paint takes an hour or two to completely dry, but it takes 24 hours at least to cure.  If you want to test it to see if its cured, use your fingernail to scratch an inconspiuous area.

6.  Mod Podge the fabric to the desktop.  I did this by taking the primed desktop and first adding a thin layer of Mod Podge.  I used my hands to roll and smooth out any air bubbles.  I added two more layers of Mod Podge, allowing at least 20 minutes to dry between each application.  Then I cut the exess with scissors, going back to make a clean edge with an X-Act Knife.  

When this is complete, it's best to go over it with a fine-grain sandpaper.  You may add as many layers of Mod Podge as you wish, sanding each time to make smooth and remove brush-strokes.

Mod Podge can take 3-4 weeks to completely cure, so its best to use some type of sealant.  My next trip to Wal-Mart or Lowe's, I'm going to pick up a spray can of sealant or polycrylic to seal it.

Drumroll.........The finished result!!!!!

So that's it!  Leave me some love and tell me what you think.

Have a great day and do some DIY!