Thursday, September 16, 2021

First Grade Religious Education (CCD)

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Good Morning! I've been a little quiet around here lately, but I promise to get back into things. It seems like I'm constantly saying that though. I really need to set out an hour a day to do what I need to do!

Last Sunday, religious education classes started back up for our church. Last year, I took a small break because of things happening around here and my torn rotator cuff. I filled in as a substitute as needed, but didn't teach my first graders. I am back to teaching first grade again. I have 13 children, as of last week. Only 4 girls this year. I have 9 boys!!! That many boys in a small room always changes the dynamics of the group. 

My goal this year is to document our class: theme, what we work on, what we are learning, crafts, games, etc. So today, I thought I'd go over how I structure my class. One thing I've learned over the last 11 years teaching first graders, you have to keep it fun, enjoyable, and always moving. They can not sit there at a desk for 1.5 hours reading a boring book. Plus, first graders are all over the board in their reading and writing skills. I know first hand that some children pick up reading quickly, while others struggle at that age. So I try to make the class a stress-free zone. 

So how do I teach?

I have class broken up into segments! 

I open class with prayer. We usually stand (or kneel) and recite the Our Father together.  After prayer, we review what was taught in the previous Sunday's class. Then we jump into class!

Each Sunday, we go over the following materials: prayers, a saint, a virtue, a Bible or religious story, and lesson for the week.

The first graders work hard on learning their prayers. We focus on the Sign of the Cross, Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, and the Guardian Angel prayer. We also go over the Blessing before Meals prayer too. I also make a cute tracking system to help them learn their prayers. I love seeing the children encourage each other and help each other learn their prayers.

Every Sunday, I introduce the children to a new Catholic saint and virtue. This helps them learn more about their faith and they will hopefully have some knowledge about various saints when they have to pick a saint name for when they are confirmed in 8th grade. Plant the seed when they are young. For teaching about the saints, I use a few different resources. 

I also have a small collection of the Book of Saints from Reverend Lovasik. These are perfect for the kids to look through and read a short story about different saints. 

After they are introduced to the saint and learn a little about their life and death, I introduce a virtue that the saint exemplified. I use a free Virtue Program that I found for my kids years ago from the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia in Nashville. They offer workbooks for children in K through 8th grade. It's a fantastic program.

After learning about the saint and virtue, I add the saint's picture to our saint poster and add the word(virtue) to our virtue poster. This helps with the review. The first few weeks are easy since the boards do not have too many pictures/words on them, but after the first 2 months, it gets a little trickier. I'm always amazed by all the details they remember. 

Next up is the first part of our lesson, we learn and talk about a specific topic. We are currently using the  Spirit of Truth God is Love program. It's not a bad program. I find it a little too heavy in the reading and writing for first graders in my opinion. It does help a child learn their faith. I can't say I love it, but I can't say I dislike it either. It's definitely one of the better options our diocese recommends using. 

After our lesson, we have a short bathroom break, a water break, and a short recess. I encourage the kids to get up, walk around, and stretch their little legs. 

Following our break, we have storytime. The stories are usually a bible story,  a religious story about a saint, or a short story that relates to the topic of the lesson. 

After storytime, we either do a craft, play a game, or complete some other types of activity. 
We ask the children about any good deeds they have done during the week and add them to our goods deed jar. 

The goal for the children is to have it overflowing so the lid will not screw on!

Class is usually done by the time we are done with this. Sometimes, we even run out of time and have to finish up the following week.

At the end of class, we recite our prayers again.

Till Next Time,

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sunday Inspiration~ September 12, 2021

Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you. 

Till Next Time,

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Review~ WORLD Watch News

Disclaimer~ I received a COMPLIMENTARY copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Good morning, friends! 
How do you start your day? Growing up, I remember my dad reading the paper and watching the morning news before heading off to work. Sadly, this is a habit I didn't pick up. I tried watching the news when the kids were little but often found the material not appropriate or not real news. I wanted to know what was going on in the world, not which celebrity was having a baby or what the newscasters had done the night before.  As the kids got older, I found the news more and more biased. Sure, we could watch multiple stations to get the full story, but who really has time for that. We just wanted the news presented in a straightforward manner. Facts, not opinions! So when we were asked to review WORLD Watch news, we were very interested in seeing how the news and current events were presented!

WORLD Watch news is a video current events program designed to give busy homeschooling (or non-homeschooling) families the news in just 10 minutes! The videos focus on current events and give them the attention they need and deserve. Families will learn what is going on in the world around them from biblically sound headlines, news briefs, and feature stories. 
Parents can feel confident that the news being presented is safe for their families. It allows families to encourage their children to be aware of news literacy without the fear of having them see topics they do not feel are appropriate.

So How Does WORLD Watch Work?

An annual subscription allows families to receive an email for each weekday of the week. So Monday through Friday, an email will be sent and families will be able to watch a quick 10-minute video presenting the current events for that day. The videos can also be found on the WORLD Watch website. The videos can easily be sent to the family's TV to watch the news video together too. 
The company is currently working on a TV and mobile app. They hope to have this released within the next year!

WORLD Watch news reports cover history, technology, science, economics, government, world cultures, and more. 

So for example, today's topics covered were.....

Taliban takes over entirety of Afghanistan
Acapulco recovers from earthquake
El Salvador adopts Bitcoin as official currency 
Arlington explains budget with Legos
Caleb reports on flyovers

and more!

The program director and host is Brian  Basham. He's been in broadcasting for over 15 years. He presents the news in a clear, precise manner. No drama, no opinions. He presents the facts!

What Did We Think About WORLD Watch News?

For this review, we received a 6-month subscription. The company offers an annual subscription, as well as a monthly subscription. 

 WORLD Watch news reminded me of a program we had in my Catholic high school. Each morning during homeroom, we'd watch a 10-15 minute news program geared to high school students. It covered the current events going on at that time. At that time, the big news was the Persian Gulf war. It helped us stay on top of what was going on in the world without all the other unnecessary topics out there. 

As a parent of two teens, I found the quick, easy-to-follow 10-minute videos perfect for teens. They presented a variety of topics, especially the most top current events. There was no drama, talk of inappropriate things, and I loved how the program focused on important issues. Kids are already bombarded with images of famous people and what they do on social media. Having current events covered is so much more important. Kids need to be aware of the issue going on in the world. They need to be more aware of these things than what shoes some girl wore for a night out on the town. 

"I think we risk becoming the best-informed society 
that has ever died of ignorance."
~ Reuben Blades 

Michael enjoyed the lack of "extra" talk that is so often found in everyday news channels. He just wants the news, nothing more. He hates listening to the regular news and hearing all the gossip. He finds it rather annoying. He liked that the news segments were short and quick to the point. 

Therese felt the program was O.K. She liked the fact that just the news was presented. There was no extra "garbage" she had to sit through. She feels that if she wanted to know about pop culture she can find that out all on her own on social media. It doesn't need to be the main focus of the news. 

Learn More About WORLD Watch news on social media!

 Stop by and see what the rest of the crew had to say about WORLD Watch news!

Till Next Time,

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Wordless Wednesday~ Cats and Sunshine

Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you. 

Till Next Time,

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Wordless Wednesday~ Treasured Memories

Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart, and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you. 

African Violets hold a special meaning for me. 
When my grandma died 32 years ago, she received tons of flowers and a few people sent plant arrangements instead of flowers. 
My mother still has a few of those plants to this day.

I was given a small African Violet. I had it for years. It even went with me to college. 
Sadly, that particular plant died when we moved into our current house. The shock of relocation, lack of direct sunlight or lack of attention from having a new baby, I have no clue. 
I gave up on plants when the kids were little. Let's just say, I don't have a very good green thumb. 

A few years ago, I purchased this purple Violet in memory of my grandma. On the anniversary of her death this year, I added this pink one. I love walking into my sewing/craft room and seeing these beautiful flowers.
 It feels like she is still here with me. 

Till Next Time,

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Review~ ACT Mom Online Class

Disclaimer~I received a COMPLIMENTARY copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Recently, we were offered a chance to review the ACT Mom Online Class from ACT Mom. Therese was thrilled to have the chance to use this course since she is planning to take the ACT test this year. 

ACT Mom Online Class includes streaming videos, materials, and practice questions. The online class is thirteen hours long. Nine hours of in-person instruction. The same as the in-person class but through videos. Five additional hours of teaching videos and practice are included. 

For this review, we received access to the ACT Mom Online Class and a binder filled with various materials for the student. Online access for the ACT MOM Online Class is one year and currently costs $250 (plus $8.25 for shipping). The binder included multiple practice test in page protectors with an answer key, a pencil case with a dry-erase marker, a cloth to clean the dry erase, and I think little sticky notes (or Therese added them to her pencil case). 

What is the ACT Mom Online Class?

The ACT Mom Online Class is prerecorded sessions that are presented in bite-size segments and followed up with practice questions. The practice questions are to help reinforce the material presented in the lesson and help students see what they understand or do not understand. The goal of the course is to help students increase their ACT score and hopefully receive scholarship money from the college of their choice. 

The class is divided into the various topics covered in the ACT test. Students will work through a English section, a Math section, a Science section, and a Reading section. Each subject is broken up into multiple sessions. As the students work through each section, they will be introduced to the various types of questions they will see on the actual ACT test. Students are taught how to work through the questions and practical advice is given. The goal is to help the students achieve their best possible course.

As students work through the class, they will complete one ACT practice test. The online class also offers links to six additional practice tests for the students to work on. 

What Did We Think of the ACT Mom Online Class?

I only briefly looked over the course when we received access. I immediately sent the information to Therese so she could start the class. From what I saw, the class looks extremely well done and the enthusiasm she has while teaching the class is amazing. The class is educational, engaging, and fun. It is not some boring class where students will zone out!

Therese has enjoyed the class immensely. She feels she has learned a lot. She loves the practical advice that is given. She has commented multiple times that she has learned things she was never taught, especially when it comes to English. This surprised me since we have always used such a strong English program. I was looking over the notes Therese has taken, and she has written done information about commas, semicolons, and word endings. 

She said the teacher has offered a lot of valuable advice about how to do well on the test and why it's important to score high when looking to earn scholarship money. She offers advice on test taking skills, time management, and ways to remember particular concepts. Therese has not competed the course yet, but she already feels that this course will help her get into the college of her dreams. 

I'm thrilled that she is learning from his course. The knowledge she is picking up will help her feel confident when she takes the test but also give her the skills to ace the test. It is clear the Katie Johnson has spent years learning the ins and outs of the ACT test. I'm just glad she has decided to share that knowledge with others. 

Learn more about the ACT Mom Online Class

Be sure to stop by and see what some of the other review crew members had to say about the 
ACT Mom Online Class!

Till Next Time,

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