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Our Star Spangled Story- Week 1


We finally and officially started our new homeschool year!  Although the kids have been eager to begin our new year for about a month, I held them off until after Labor Day, because I'm a traditionalist (wink).  We were very fortunate this year that the wildfires in our area weren't very bad, so we actually got to enjoy our summer by spending a lot of time outside.  It was a good couple of months, and we're ready for the next season.



We always like to start September with a bit of apple fun (see this menu for ideas and printables), so I put together an easy apple pie writing tray for the boys.  They spent a bit of time during school working on the troublesome letters in their names and learning how to write them more efficiently.  They both enjoyed the smell of cinnamon and other spices in the salt (more sensory tray ideas here).



On the Tuesday after the long holiday weekend, when all the schools around were back in session, we celebrated our homeschool freedom with a NOT-Back-to-School trip to our favorite creek.  We had maybe our last frog catching adventure for the year.  The kids also played in a nearby creek with lots of rocks and a faster current.  They enjoyed the challenge.



Our biggest change in the new school year is that we're doing "Our Star Spangled Story" US History curriculum together.  Each week, I'll summerize what we've learned and what we've gotten to do.  I'm having the kids keep notebooks to practice handwriting and note taking.  Dragonfly (age 8) is copying a few sentences that I've typed us for her, while the boys (7 and 6) are cutting apart sentences and drawing pictures.



The Notgrass history book comes with suggestions for activities for exploring the time periods or cultures with hands-on projects.  This week, we learned about the pottery of the pre-Colombian Pueblo Indians.  We tried to make coil pots out of play dough, like the Pueblo did, but discovered that it was easier to shape a pot in other ways.  At the end of the week, we visited the local Farmers' Market and watched a man make bowls on a potters wheel.


We also learned about Columbus and the conquistadors and talked about how many men came to the New World looking for gold.  The kids made gold slime with lots of sparkles and jewels in it to be the treasure, which was never found by the explorers.  Mostly, it was just fun to make slime (my kids love sensory play!).





It's my aim every week to have a lists of books for kids and adults to explore the historical period more thoroughly.  Unfortunately, I have not read these books; although, I have added them to my bucket list.  To get more information about any of the books, click on the colored text.







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