Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Easy Peasy: his 7th grade language arts

 

I’ve had quite a few questions about how I’m using Easy Peasy with the kids. I’m sure there are a lot of moms like myself. Curious. But hesitant. Because it’s free. And anything that’s *easy peasy* AND free must not measure up, right? In love

 

So I thought I’d keep writing the occasional picture marathon post. I’m visual so pictures always make it better. Although, you’ll have to pardon the blurry photos. I love great photography but my new smart phone makes it waaaay too easy to snap & upload. My poor Canon Powershot SX20 is busy collecting dust.

 

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I’m still a fan of Sue Patrick’s workbox system. We continue to use our workbox totes. I really like Sue’s downloadable grid (free, along with other printable when you purchase her e-book).

I’ve tried a bazillion other methods of organizing and tracking their work but this one just fits us best.

So the picture above is a sample of today’s work load for my 7th Grader. I write his daily tasks – he then highlights as completed. I’m not going to line item everything listed. I really just want to focus on Easy Peasy in general…and how we’re using it for Language Arts in specific.

On line seven of his list you’ll see: EP – 60. That represents Easy Peasy Day 60. We started using Easy Peasy late in the year. He knows he needs to navigate to the Easy Peasy website then click on Level 7th and find Day 60. I expect him to complete everything listed for Day 60 minus Math & Foreign Language. We are using Easy Peasy for our Foreign Language too but he is on a different level.

 

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So, for today he needed to read the second part of chapter 7. He’s looooving Call of the Wild! And then take the quiz.

He then needed to write for 20 minutes. He chose to write a story using five vocab words.

I consider Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, Spelling and Grammar all part of his Language Arts program. All work related to any of those will live in this notebook.

 

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I quickly learned that using a notebook would help us keep his work organized & tidy. Some Easy Peasy students have a binder with tabs dividing their subjects instead.

 

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When applicable, I have him type his work in Word and then print it out. We then cut and paste the page into his notebook. The effect is kind of scrap book-y. He digs it.

The first weeks of Easy Peasy’s Language Arts program is always poetry. After that the focus is more literature & writing.

 

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There is not always printable work or even written work to add to the notebook. And really, if you don’t want the expense of printing you don’t have to print at all. You can teach your child how to screen capture and then copy & paste the screen shot into a Word doc for you to review later. It’s just easier for me, personally, to have them print out their work and keep it in a notebook.

The Easy Peasy Language Arts program can be a little confusing at first. Spelling is only occasional and consists of vocabulary words. Vocab words are taken from the current book. Grammar is spotty. Where Easy Peasy excels is the quality literature choices and the writing requirements.

Because my 7th Grader struggles with grammar I do supplement. This year we’re using Digging into Diagramming every other day & Daily Grams which we had left over from last year. I have him do his diagramming right in his notebook.  

 

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I am definitely an Easy Peasy fan! The more we use it – the more I’m loving it! I’m super excited for his 8th Grade Easy Peasy program which will include GrammarLand. We had started reading it aloud last year and never finished. He really enjoyed it though…so I know he’ll be excited to see it on his docket.

If you have any other Easy Peasy questions please don’t hesitate to ask me either via email or our Raising Little Rhodies facebook page.

Happy Homeschooling!

danielle

 

 

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

purple day

 

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Wear purple tomorrow in support of Trevy and his seizure fighter friends!

Monday, March 3, 2014

his easy peasy science notebook

 

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Recently I shared what her Science notebook looks like while we’re following Easy Peasy’s Zoology.

It’s only fair that I show you the 7th Grader’s notebook too.

 

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While there are less lapbooks for the older students…there are still some printables.

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My 7th Grader likes the look of layered lined paper. So he writes on loose leaf and then we cut & paste it in.

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We also like to find google images to match what we’re studying and print them out to add a little color to our pages.

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He is really enjoying this curriculum. Some of the things I’m loving are watching his face light up as he learns new things and watching him develop study habits as he’s encouraged to research independently.

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For instance, with the habitats he had to search a lot of the info out on his own.  He was SO into it too! Annoyingly into it! He’d stop and give me the play-by-play with each habitat! In love 

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A great supplement to go along with this course would be any of the Apologia zoology books.

We’re reading Swimming Creatures for our read aloud time and it’s a great addition.

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The more Easy Peasy we incorporate into our homeschool…the more we love it!

 

…danielle

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Play-Doh Geography–a twist on map blobbing

 

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My daughter has really struggled retaining the names of the 50 states. We’ve tried music and workbooks and iPad games and trivia during dinner.

 

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But I think it was all just too abstract for her.

Enter map blobbing.  I love love love the idea! We’ve been using the idea to learn the continents. One day the idea popped into my head that we could modify the idea to help her learn her states too. And she doesn’t need to draw it to retain it! Why, she could play-doh blob the states instead! Everything is more fun with play-doh!

 

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So I searched Pinterest for the cutest FREE USA printable I could find.  Hands down it’s this one. I printed & laminated & added magnets to the back so it can hang on our white board. We just pull it off the board for geography lessons. I have her shape play-doh over 5 (gradually increasing the number) states of her choice. She then has to tell me the names of the states she’s play-doh blobbed.

You can make it as intensive as you’d like. My goal right now is just helping her learn the names of the states and where they are geographically. The natural connections, like places we’ve been or have family help make it more concrete too.

 

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This is so much fun even the 7th Grader can’t resist helping when he happens to find her state blobbing!

 

…danielle

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

we’re using Easy Peasy for Science

 

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If you’ve been homeschooling for a bit by now then I’m sure you’ve heard rumblings about Easy Peasy or All in One Homeschool.

 

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I’ve slowly been replacing other curricula with Easy Peasy.  Science being one of them.

 

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Honestly, there is so much to love about this program. It’s well laid out and easy to follow. It promotes independent learning. It’s written to be aligned with PA homeschool standards. PA is among the more stringent states which helps me feel confident that what they’re learning is robust. Also, my kids are having fun! That’s not my guiding light when making educational choices for them…but it is a nice perk!

Learning is a blend of both online activities, readings, games and printables. Click here if you’d like to peek at the full Scope & Sequence.

 

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Printables, like lapbooks, are linked in the daily schedules. This makes it SO easy to implement! I’ve always wanted to incorporate more lapbooks but I’m the girl that drools & thumbs her lips in the big box stores because there are too many choices! Too many choices paralyze me and trigger my “second guesser” instinct! That’s how I’ve felt about lapbooks. Easy Peasy makes it so…well…easy. And peasy!

I have found that for us using notebooks (rather than file folders) works best for our lapbooking. This way I can include other projects right into the same book. Plus, we’re enjoying the scrapbook-y feel. And it looks so neat and tidy! I have a thing for organized and tidy. This year I’m using composition notebooks. I like them best. Maybe it’s nostalgia?

 

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The only thing I’m adding to our Easy Peasy Zoology studies is using Apologia’s Swimming Creatures as a read aloud. And that’s really only because a friend offered to let me borrow it.

 

Overall, I’m really enjoying this program and we will definitely continue to use it next year!

 

…danielle