Monday, September 29, 2014

Updated October Feast Days

I've added several new links to my October Feast Days Post for 2014! Happy Celebrating!

Be saints, it's worth it!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

American Girl Unit Studies: Kirsten

We are studying our way through the American Girl historical characters as we learn American history. I've coordinated these units to work with the history sentences we are memorizing with the Classically Catholic Memory program. (I'm blogging about that too!) Kirsten lines up with week 2 of delta year.

(I have lesson plans for KayaFelicity, and Caroline, check em out!)

Kirsten Unit Study

Fiction Books

Six Book Boxed Set
The Runaway Friend
Kirsten's Short Story Collection

Non-Fiction Book

Welcome to Kirsten's World

We used mini books from Homeschool Share's free download and Currclick's download to create a Kirsten lapbook. The Currclick's download was literally the WORST lapbook I've ever seen, don't buy it!!! I used 3 mini-books from it, because I paid $1.25 for the download and I wanted to get something out of it! The rest of the mini-books I had to create on my own using Homeschool Share's lapbook templates.

The American Girl sticker embellishments were bought at Michael's with a 40% off coupon.

Timeline and Map
We placed Kirsten on our timeline and map using the same American Girl stickers that we used in our lapbook.

We made two fun treats from Kirsten's Cook Book: pepparkakor cookies...

and homemade applesauce.

Thanks to the Kirsten Theater Kit, we put on a very simple Kirsten play. We just read from the scripts and used makeshift props. I'm so thankful for all of the wonderful resources that the Pleasant Company put out... before they sold to Mattel, it's kind of sad.

In the Kirsten Craft Book there are directions for making a pioneer braided rug, which is just what we did.

Online Games
There used to be some great online games for Kirsten at, but recently they did away with Kirsten on their site. Silly, Mattel. I wrote them a letter (okay, it was an email, but I let them know my disappointment.)

Next up we will be studying Josephina!

Be saints, it's worth it!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ideas for Classically Catholic Memory: Delta Year: Week 2

Classically Catholic Memory: Delta Year: Week 2
I'm blogging my way through our four year curriculum program so I don't forget everything that worked for us! Please feel free to use what works for your family and share in the comments anything you would add. For more on Classically Catholic Memory go here.

This week the kids memorized the seven Sacraments. While working on adding Penance and The Anointing of the Sick to their Sacrament books (see below), they listened to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from Angel Food.

Lesson 1: Penance
*We skipped Holy Eucharist for now because there will be several weeks of memory work on the Eucharist in the coming weeks. I had the kids skip two pages in their books so we could fill them in later.

This week we studied the Sacraments of Healing, beginning with Penance.

All three of the printouts that we used were free!

The Steps to a Good Confession booklet comes from Catholic Icing. You have to subscribe to the email list to get it, so make sure to do this a few days in advanced to the lesson. I scaled the images down so they would fit in their books.

The Act of Contrition comes from Raising Little Saints (scale that one too), and in the pocket is a 10 Commandments memory game from St. Brigid's Academy.

They also made a Sacrament of Penance Treasure Box from 4 Real Forums.

While the kids worked I read them the section on Penance from A Child's Guide to the Seven Sacraments and we skimmed Lessons 29-32 (pgs 139-158) in The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism (No 1).

Finally, they watched Br. Francis' The Blessing of Confession.

Lesson 2:
Next, we covered the Anointing of the Sick.

First the kids created a Prayers for the Dying booklet from St. Anne's Helper to put in their book. Then I had this kids make a spiritual doctor's bag from Look to Him and be Radiant. I was so thrilled to find this cleaver idea! 

The other quotes that are on the pages come from the spiritual doctor's bag printout as well.

And while they worked, I taught the kids about the Anoiniting of the Sick from The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism (No.1) - Lesson 34 (pgs 163-166).

Over the next few weeks we will be memorizing O Salutaris Hostia. The kids will be learning it from the Delta year CD and this youtube... because mama can't sing.


Lesson 1:
Over the past two weeks we did another American Girl Unit study on Kirsten! These are so much work, but also very worth it.

Lesson 2:
The Monroe Doctrine was also coved in this weeks history sentence, so Kevin read the kids Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents: James Monroe.

Finally, you can check out this quick youtube on the topic. Oh and, here are 164 other youtubes on the Monroe Doctrine, so you can pick your personal favorite.


Lesson 1:
Leaves (period) That's what we studied this week. The supply list was short for our first lesson, but you'll need an ipad/tablet.

First I read the kids Leaves! Leaves! Leaves! and we talked about how leaves can be classified. Then we gathered leaves from our backyard and used the free leaf snap app to instantly classify them. It was a... snap. And a lot of fun.

Lesson 2:

For our second lesson on leaves I read the kids Leaf Jumpers and we added several booklets to our Botany Books.

Pal wanted to fit everything on one page. Bean wanted to use two.

Below are the links to the booklets that we used. You'll have to add the text yourself, which can easily be done in their PDF format. Or you can just write everything in by hand. All of the links come from

Also, you'll need to printout pages 2-5 from York CCD for filling in the pages of your booklets.

Ways to Classify Leaves: Page 9

Leaf Shapes: Page 3

Leaf Veins: Page 1

Leaf Arrangements: Page 6

Leaf Margins: Page 12

And I had the kids do some leaf rubbings in their botany books, but I forgot to take a picture of that and I really don't fell like pulling out the camera again :).

I didn't come up with anything new for learning the multiples of 3 this week, so check out my post on 20+ games for teaching the multiples for some inspiration!


Lesson 1:
You can also pick your favorite timeline game from my archives!

Lesson 2:
We pulled out our Timeline Book from last year and I had the kids find this weeks cards in the book.

I found two fun activities for teaching the circles of latitude this week. And I found time to do one of them :).

What we didn't do is this free printable activity from The Wise Nest. However we did use this free world map printable from Layers of Learning.

Great Words I
We began memorizing The Turtle by Vachel Lindsay this week. It's a pretty simple poem and I think the kids already memorized the whole thing. Check out youtube 1 and youtube 2 to watch it and you can find it in Playtime Rhymes (with cute hand motions!) and A Children's Treasury of Poems.

Be saints, it's worth it!

Friday, September 12, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: Edition 38

- 1 -

I took an unintentional extended break from the blog.

First, my computer died.

Next, I didn't have a computer for several days.

Then, we bought a new computer.

Last, I am finally blogging from my new computer because...

- 2 -

About the time I got a new computer, we left for the beach.

This, my friends, is the beauty of homeschooling. While everyone else is just starting school, we homeschoolers are taking over the beach. It's snowing outside of my window, I want to go back.

- 3 -

The day before we left Kevin turned in his final edits to the manuscript for his next book. It is now completely out of his hands! Yea!

Two books and a baby in less than one year. That is what we were celebrating on the beach. It's been a crazy year and a little downtime to soak it all in was much needed!

- 4 - 

The 1st week of our CCM Delta Year plans are up on the blog! Due to our vacation, I won't be posting the 2nd week until next Monday. Sorry for the delay :(.

- 5 -

The most important news of the week is actually the birth of my newest niece!

She's gorgeous, I know. I love little babies.

- 6 -

It took a year, but I have now blogged about feast day ideas for the entire year. Now to organized it all on the Liturgical Year tab. I'm thinking something with a picture collage for each month, as well as one for each liturgical season. There is so much I want to do with the blog, but I just don't have the time!!!

- 7 -

The current state of our world has been heavy on my heart. So I decided to up my intentional prayers for our world JP II style with a living rosary. Here's my post at on what that means. (P.S. The FOCUS blog has been on fire lately! So many amazing posts have been going up, you really need to check it out!)

Linking up at Conversion Diary!

Be saints, it's worth it!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ideas for Classically Catholic Memory: Delta Year: Week 1

Classically Catholic Memory: Delta Year: Week 1
I'm blogging my way through our four year curriculum program so I don't forget everything that worked for us! Please feel free to use what works for your family and share in the comments anything you would add. For more on Classically Catholic Memory go here.

Here we go again! Delta year, let's do this!

For the first three weeks of the year our Catechism memorization focuses on the Sacraments. We will be making a Sacraments book during this time by studying two sacraments each week for three weeks. During the subsequent weeks there are several questions that focus on the Eucharist, so we will add Holy Communion in then.

In addition to making our Sacraments book we will be reading a Child's Guide to the Seven Sacraments and excerpts from The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No 1.

Lesson 1:
First we did a quick introduction to the sacraments by reading Lesson 23 (pg 111-115) of The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No 1. The kids colored this awesome worksheet from Look to Him and Be Radiant for the inside cover of their sacrament books. To the right of the worksheet they will be writing out the weekly memory work on the sacraments.

As the kids colored they listened to a free sermon for children on sacramental grace called The Penny Man from Angel Food for Jack and Jill. 

The sermons are old school, so sometimes you get old language. In this sermon the phrase "buy your way into heaven" is used, so you'll have to explain that clearly to your kiddos so they don't get confused.

Lesson 2:
The first Sacrament we studied was baptism. We read the section on baptism from Child's Guide to the Seven Sacraments and did Lesson 24 (pgs 116-119) in The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No 1. Then the kids added two pages to their books using this free printout from Sadlier Religion and this free printout from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Finally, they watched Born into the Kingdom from the Brother Francis series.

Lesson 3:
The next sacrament we studied was Confirmation. (Baptism and Confirmation are the Sacraments of Initiation, so we kept them together.)

To learn about Confirmation we read the section on Confirmation from Child's Guide to the Seven Sacraments and did Lesson 25 (pgs 120-123) in The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No 1. Then we added two more pages to our Sacrament books.

On the left I had the kids cut out flames and write down the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit on them. Bean said "Wait, we memorized these!" She was right. Beta Year, Week 8, Religion asks "Which are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit." Look friends, CCM works!!

On the right the kids sealed a letter with the phrase "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit" and colored and cut out a picture of Pentecost.

For the sealed envelope we took a standard white candle and dripped a thin amount of wax onto the paper. Once the wax was almost hard again we pressed a rubber stamp of a bird (dove) into it. I sprayed the stamp with cooking spray before we used it so it wouldn't stick to the wax. It turned out pretty well!

Over the next few weeks we will be memorizing O Salutaris Hostia. The kids will be learning it from the Delta year CD and this youtube... because mama can't sing.


Lesson 1:
Per the suggestion of a reader (I LOVE getting lesson ideas from readers, please email me your ideas!! catholicmissionaryfamily(at)gmail(dot)com) I picked up A Child's History of the World from the Library and read to them chapter 78 on Latin America and the Caribbean Islands. So far I really like the approach the author takes and I think we be reading from it again for future lessons!

Lesson 2:
Next, Kevin read the kids A Picture Book of Simon Bolivar to learn about the George Washington of South America. And we watched this Brain Pop video on him as well.

The first 10 weeks of science, Delta Year focuses on botany. There are several good overview books and movies you can use throughout these 10 weeks, so pick your favorites!

Also, during these 10 weeks we will be creating botany books that we will use as a sketch book and that will be filled with lapbook items. The CCM Teacher Text suggests getting a subscription to for printouts for making a lapbook, but I'm going to see if I can pull it off without one... which means you will be able to also!

Lesson 1:
Here are the supplies we used for our first science lesson of the year.

First I read the kids Seed to Plant and introduced them to the world of botany.

Then we talked about the differences between vascular and non-vascular plants and made this mini-book for our botany books. Use page 4 from homeschool share's Lapbook Templates: Flap Books to print off your own.

We also did the "paper towel absorbing water like a non-vascular plant" demonstration that we suggested in the Teacher Text.

Next we talked about the 3 major parts of a vascular plant. As we discussed each part, the kids filled them in on a free diagram printout from Wikispaces. I reduced the image to 50% when I printed it so that it would fit into their botany books better.

Leaves: We gathered various leaves from the backyard and discussed what makes them important for a plant. We'll study leaves more in depth next week.

Stems and Roots: We read Plants Stems and Roots and then discussed what makes them important for a plant.

We also divided up our plants into taproots or fibrous roots. Next the kids made a mini-book on these two types of roots using page 2 from homeschool share's Lapbook Templates You Can Type On!.

Here are our completed botany book pages!

Lesson 2:
For our next lesson we took our botany books and went on a nature hunt.

Specifically, I had the kids sketch several of the interesting plants that they found, and then label them as vascular or non-vascular. Pal was much more interested in throwing rocks and sticks into the creek, but hey, he's a 5 year old boy.


Lesson 1:
To review the multiples of 2 The kids created these freebies from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits (scroll to the very bottom). You can also print them for 1s, 5s, and 10s. She has a few other ideas at the post as well!

Lesson 2:
The kids grabbed 12 pairs of stray shoes from around the house. Then we skip counted them and I had Pal skip count and tell me how many shoes were mom's, dad's, etc. Finally the kids put all the shoes back to where they belonged. School and cleaning up... so great!

For more skip counting ideas check out my post on 20+ games for teaching the multiples.


Lesson 1:
Pick your favorite timeline game from my archives!

Lesson 2:
We pulled out our Timeline Book from last year and I had the kids find this weeks cards in the book.


Lesson 1
To review the continents we read Where is my Continent? and looked through the Beginner's World Atlas. And here's a simple online game from Soft Schools.

Lesson 2
My Discovery Kid's World Map came in handy again this year! The kids labeled the continents...

and then we placed several landmarks on the map. You can buy the toobs of landmarks at Michael's with a 40% off coupon!

Great Words I
This week we memorized "Happy Thought" by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The poem can be found in A Child's Garden of Verses. It's only two lines, which is a nice way to feel like you already accomplished something!

Be saints, it's worth it!