Double Box Day

Yesterday we had a double box day. Adrian’s pre-k and Fritz’s first grade arrived in the afternoon. All four children are officially Calvert kids now.


The boys happily helped pull everything out of the boxes. There was a LOT in the first grade box!


The pre-k box wasn’t nearly as exciting for me because it was just over a year ago we got all that stuff for Fritz. Adrian, however, was thrilled! He kept asking if these things were his now. He was always so jealous of Fritz’s pre-k stuff.


So the pre-k box…


big pad of paper, Kindergarten Fun, small pad of paper, 3 packs of 9×12 manila paper, 2 packs of construction paper


lesson manual, Favorite Nursery Songs, Stories and Poems, Road to Reading, Path to Math, Open Eyes, Read-to-Me Storybook


Lauri alphabet puzzle, Lauri Fit-a-Space puzzle, shape/color buttons, Favorite Nursery Songs CD, white yarn, watercolors with paintbrush, 2 pencils, pencil sharpener, plastic needle, pipe cleaners, package of 8 jumbo crayons, 5 each of four colors of connecting cubes, modeling clay (which will be given to a friend and replaced with Play-Doh – I cannot stand the texture and feeling of that modeling clay!), pencil box

And the first grade box…


big pad of paper, pack of manila paper, pack of construction paper, pad of lined paper


lesson manuals A, B, and C (much to my delight, they have combined the technology lesson manual into the regular manuals; the core manuals have been split into three now instead of two; I’m so happy to no longer have to juggle the technology manual that is used only occasionally)


math manual, Calvert Math, Practice and Enrichment Workbook


set of 5 Houghton Mifflin reading books: Here We Go!, Let’s Be Friends, Surprises, Treasures, and Wonders


Phonics Library, Stories and Longer Verses, Red Robin, Fly Up!


Reading Work Pages, Reading Word Cards, Calvert Speller, Writing Fun


Science: A Closer Look, Explore Your World I, Maps Globes Graphs Level 1, Activity Pages


pencil box, bar magnets, ruler, 2 packs of index cards, two pencils, pencil sharpener, hand lens, three thermometers, 10 each of five colors of connecting cubes


The ATS tests are automatically included in every Calvert box. We choose not to use the ATS so I got the Calvert Test Series for both math and core. The 20th lesson of first grade will be the first time Fritz takes a test. The on-line portal lets me access the answer keys in pdf form. I have found I prefer to have a printed copy, so I got the printed math and core answer keys as well.I didn’t order Discoveries in Reading I. We’ve used VIIa and b, II, and are currently using III, but for the cost I just don’t think it’s quite worth it for the activity book you get. Instead I’m just going to order the books (because I love the book choices!) and read them as they come up in the lesson manuals.

We’ll be starting pre-k and first grade on Monday, August 8th. I know pre-k will be super fun. It looks like first grade is going to be totally awesome, too!

A Lesson in the Life of a Calvert 3 Homeschooler

Cameron, age 9 years and 9 months, completed lesson 54 of Calvert third grade this morning. I thought it would be fun to take pictures of him throughout his lesson and keep track of what he did and how long it took to share.

He got started with math at 8:09. He did a warm-up of four problems. He had to write down the number of tally marks. We talked about data and how to make a tally chart using data. He answered some questions on pg. 132 in his Calvert Math book. He read the top of pg. 133 and then flipped a quarter 20 times and recorded how many times it landed on heads and how many times it landed on tails. His result was 10 of each.


He answered three questions on pg. 133 about his results of flipping the coin. He completed pg. 134 in Calvert Math and Practice 66 in his math practice book.


He finished his math checkpoints and started mythology at 9:55. He’s easily distracted while doing math. He gets distracted by things at the best of times, but Cameron’s math time is the best time for me to start school with Fritz so Cameron’s extra distracted and I’m less available to him for a little while to make sure he stays on task.

I read “Strange Creatures” in Greek Mythology to him. It talked about the sphinx, wood and water nymphs, satyrs, and Pan. Cameron is very familiar with those creatures thanks to Rick Riordan and the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series. He colored a picture of a sphinx and a picture of Pan.


He finished his mythology checkpoints and started spelling at 10:10. Spelling with Cameron is kind of a joke. We keep working at it and he keeps failing miserably. He really does try and that’s what’s important. At least he has finally stopped inserting random u’s in his words. Today was a spelling test. Cameron did quite a bit worse than usually. Most of the time he gets at least half the words correct. This time he only got 3 (out of 14) regular words right, but he got 1 (out of 4) bonus words right. He spelled doing, alone, a lot, and hundred correctly (hundred was the bonus word).


He finished his spelling checkpoints and moved on to composition and technology at 10:22. He had started working on a book report in composition yesterday. Today he finished it. The technology part was typing it himself (followed by me fixing his spelling… really, he does try hard when it comes to spelling!). He chose to write his report on Cam Jansen and the Chocolate Fudge Mystery.

A few weeks back he actually asked us to get him some Cam Jansen book (they are reading level 2-3 and so perfect for him). Our closest library didn’t have any so I insisted we immediately drive to another, bigger, county library to get them off the shelf. Cameron asking to read a book in his free time is huge and I was going to get him what he wanted whatever it took. The Chocolate Fudge Mystery was the first of those books that he chose to read.

He did a pretty good job on his book report. He could have put in more details, but he covered what he had to so I was happy. He said recommended it to dyslexic kids six and up. Not sure why he specified dyslexic. I remember Ani used to like the Cam Jansen books, too.


He finished composition and technology (checkpoints were just to say yes he did the work as assigned) and started phonics at 10:35. Phonics lesson in Calvert 3 are optional. For kids who are reading well, they can be skipped, but for kids like Cameron they are very necessary. We went over ph and gh making the /f/ sound. He did pg. 80 in his phonics workbook.


He finished phonics (again no checkpoints beyond saying he did the work as assigned) and started reading at 11:06. He started reading “The Mysterious Giant of Barletta” in Rewards yesterday. He read pgs. 302-309 today, finishing the story. It was a cute story about a giant statue that comes alive and tricks an invading army. Cameron had thought it was really boring at first, but once the statue stepped off his pedestal he was much more interested.


He answered some questions about the story. We discussed r-controlled vowels and he read some sentences. He did pg. 57 of reading work pages. He really hates the reading work pages and is looking forward to not having quite so many of them in fourth grade.

He finished the reading checkpoints and moved on to Famous Americans at 11:40. I read to him about Alexander Graham Bell. He answered some questions based on the reading. Then I read to him about what patents are and about some surprising inventions. He completed a fill-in-the-blank worksheet in Famous Americans about Bell.


He finished Famous Americans (no checkpoints) and started geography at 11:53. We reviewed what a map grid and map index are. We went over the difference between columns and rows. He completed pgs. 44-45 in Maps Globes Graphs.


He finished the geography checkpoints at 12:07 making the entire day of school 3 hours and 58 minutes to complete one entire lesson. Cameron didn’t have science, poetry, social studies, art, or extra reading using Discoveries in Reading during today’s lesson. Calvert has the subjects nicely arranged so each day is pretty balanced. Some subjects are daily (like math and reading), while others only occur every other day or even just once a week. And, so, that’s what school looks like for my Calvert 3 homeschooler.

A Whole Hand

For a long time Fritz has said his goals in life are to be in kindergarten and to be five years old. He’s been in kindergarten for several months now and today he is 5. As a man at church said, it must be an amazing thing to be self-actualized at 5 years old.

Fritz is 5! Happy 5th birthday, Fritz!