September 30, 2006

Share Your Favorite Lesson Plan Contest Entries

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me! 31 Entries to read and all of them brimming with wonderful lesson plan advice and adventure. I'll be busy until Monday... check back then to see who won first and second prize! Until then... back to homeschooling (we do school Saturdays since we take days off on the week when Daddy is off work)! If you haven't read the entries below... I've linked them all to make it easier. Have at it!


1. Homeschool Mama

2. A Home for Homeschoolers Portal

3. The Heart of Harmony

4. Prncsstefy

5. 7ValleysHomeschool

6. Wired Wisdom

7. My Fenced In Family of Four

8. Heart of the Prairie

9. Electric Barbarella

10. Holy Experience

11. Babymakers

12. Ladies in Training

13. Dominion Family

14. Graced by Christ

15. Talmidim and a Campfire

16. Dayspring Academy

17. Doctor Homeschool

18. Hind's Feet

19. ABC Academy

20. Bunny Trails

21. Janet's Journal

22. Debtor2Mercy

23. At Home in Russia

24. Gooblink

25. It Coulda' Been Worse

26. Routon Family Homeschool

27. Principled Discovery

28. The Thinking Mother

29. Ann King's Blog

30. At a Hen's Pace


Two entries were received by email (but only one was qualified by sending it to a forum/email list).

Here's the email entry that was qualified:

Hello everyone,

I am entering a contest that is offered by Academic Superstore via my homeschool-blogging friend Sprittibee. Here’s the scoop: The title of the contest is “Share your favorite lesson plan,” and I am hoping to win a new digital camera. I am supposed to post my favorite lesson plan on my blog, but I am not a blogging mom. :-) I was told that I can still enter if I send my story out to a group. Please read on, it's really a cool story! I had so much fun writing this up, I may turn into a blogger after all.

We, as you all know, are a fun-loving, homeschooling family. To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure how to pick our FAVORITE lesson. Should we go with (1) crawling through the ear we built in the basement, (2) turning our main floor into a Medieval Ages castle and pouring oil over the countertops onto the heads of the invading enemy army, (3) tromping thru the woods to collect moss and leaf litter, or (4) dramatizing our Bible stories on our living room stage. What to pick…I just couldn’t decide. Soooo, I sat the kids down yesterday and asked them, “What is your favorite lesson plan? What do you think is the coolest thing we ever learned?”

Keldon jumped up and blurted out, “You have to tell them all I learned to READ.” His siblings wholeheartedly agreed that Keldon learning to read was definitely the most exciting thing that had happened in school in the last year. So much for my glorious, self-promoting ideas!

The big event happened last Friday morning. My husband, David, had taken a day off of work to stay home and see what the Jones’ are learning in school. Keldon, age 6, has been working on nailing down his phonics for what seems like AGES. I had begun to wonder if it was ever going to happen, bless him. J He was happily working on coloring and cutting out a hat from Sing, Spell, Read and Write. It had a “t” printed near the right edge. He cut two parallel slits in the hat and pulled a strip of paper through that had “ba,” “ca,” “sa”, etc. (Photo below) When you lined up the letters, it would make three letter words (bat, cat, sat, etc). Anyway, I started to sound out the word for him, and THE LIGHT CAME ON. He stared at that strip of paper like he’d been struck by lightening. I get chills just writing about it. “It’s like a secret,” he said awestruck. Then, he exploded into action. He snatched up the paper and starting trying to work out every word. He was so ecstatic, I can’t even tell you. I got so excited I was cheering and trying to hug him. Big Sister Hannah and Little Brother Charles got into the action. It was utter pandemonium for a few minutes, with my husband trying to figure out what was going on. Hannah, 18 months older and a mature 2nd grader, spent the next two hour writing three letter words out on paper for him to try to read. She would illustrate them to give him a clue. (The best was a tiny bug called a “nat”.) David was so proud he took the whole family to Chuck E Cheese to celebrate at noon.

Five days later, and Hannah and Keldon are still hard at work together: She’s writing and he’s decoding! He is honestly sleeping with these papers. It warmed my “mother heart” to see her so excited about his achievement. Charles, age 4, is a bit jealous about being left behind in this momentous discovery. I don’t think he’ll be too far behind.

When I think back on it, I have to agree that last Friday was one of the best lessons we’ve ever had. The most amazing thing about it was that it was a FAMILY lesson!

MOMMY: I, Keldon’s mom, got to be there when the light went on. I was there the moment his eyes lit up with understanding. I still marvel at what a blessing that is.

DADDY: His daddy, who has never taken a day off just to see us school, got to be part of this amazing event. How cool is that. Thank you, God.

SISTER: Hannah, at age 8, has helped to teach someone to read. How many 2nd graders can say that? She is so enamored with writing and illustrating words for him that I can’t peel them apart. They are together in the bedroom “learning to read” right now.

BROTHER: Charles, age 4, has witnessed the passion of learning. He is in hot pursuit of this amazing skill called “reading.”

KELDON: Need I say more?

This is the beauty of this amazing thing we call “homeschooling.” It’s our family working together, learning together, and celebrating each other’s accomplishments. I am so grateful that God showed us this amazing path.

So this is my entry to win a camera in the "Share Your Favorite Lesson Plan" Contest sponsored by Sprittibee and Academic Superstore.

Thanks for reading our lesson, and I hope you enjoyed it. Check out Sprittibee's site; she's got lots of interesting posts. Then, wander over to Academic Superstore.


Buzz Words: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Hanley Family said...

Wow...I can't wait to go through all these. Thanks for doing this, Sprittibee! I love reading other people's lesson plans!

Karen said...

Hi there, I am interested at what age do most start using KONOS?? Is it good to start when your oldest is in Kindergarten or wait till he is older?

Karen said...

I loved 7valleys homeschool!! Can't wait to do it some time!!

Sprittibee said...

Dana... this has been really difficult for me (judging) since I like ALL of the entries. I have done a few of them and plan to do many others... and a few are really neat ideas I never would have thought of. Everyone has their own unique writing style and homeschooling style... all of them are such a blessing. How do you pick a "winner" in something like this???? It is nearly impossible. That is why I have asked another homeschool mother to help me narrow it to three (out of the 12 that were my favorites). My husband will be helping me pick #1 and #2 from that list tonight. Right now he's playing Star Wars Lego, so he's busy! Ha!

KAREN - I can't speak for everyone, but WE started Konos when my son was 4.5 and my daughter was 2.5 (Kindergarten and Preschool). We skimmed through the book and picked only a hand-ful of the activities that first year instead of doing the reall meaty stuff. At the end of that year, however, we co-oped (you can find out more about all the fun we had if you visit my homeschooling series on my top right sidebar) with another family and HAD A BLAST doing more in-depth study. My 3 year old (then) still remembers some of the things we did (including canoeing and an indian feast) from that unit and she's 7.5 now. :) I think KONOS is fun at any age (even for moms).

Yes, I enjoyed the 7valleys homeschool lesson plan. We have done a few similar things over longer periods of time, but for the younger set... that is an awesome way to learn it in ONE afternoon like she did it! We have also used similar passport type ideas at Bible school classes for Paul's missionary journey. :)



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