Saturday, December 13, 2008

snow, ice & hot chocolate

This week we did get some school done...but more excitedly we had our first "substantial" snowfall...according to the kids anyhow. Really, it wasn't much, but it was enough to sled on, and that is all that really matters to the kids. See here:






See? Not really more than an inch or so...but enough to sled on at least 3 times.
Then we tried a new recipe for homemade hot chocolate. I don't drink it, but I knew there must be a way to make it from scratch, using powdered milk...and we found a recipe...the kids loved it:



Then we had a surprise ice storm...we were expecting freezing rain, just not so much of it! We lost power, no heat, no water, no tv, no internet...but we were able to power up enough to get the refrigerator running as well as the pellet stove so at least we could stay warm, and not lose our food.

dd18 and dd6 went out to take a few pictures...here is our ice world:






*Ü* Blessings,

Friday, December 5, 2008

This Week at Our House

This picture was actually taken last week, but I wanted to include it here. This is our Thanksgiving Tree all finished. The whole family participated to some degree, but dd6 was the most faithful...she really enjoyed watching the tree "grow"!



This week we started up again slowly after having the week of Thanksgivng off...I hope we are a bit faster getting back into the groove in January after Christmas break! My printer is out of ink - again! So for our calendar pieces, I suggested the kids make one each day...they loved this idea! Here's a picture of ds4 holding the flag for the pledge, and another of the kiddos making the calendar cards...





We've started reading the New Testament in history (Heart of Dakota, Little Hearts for His Glory) - I thought "perfect, just in time for Christmas" but no, it moves very quickly, and we are already on the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. This week's art expression was to "paint" with water then add one drop of food coloring and watch the picture emerge. This tied into the story of Jesus turning the water into wine, and I asked the kids if I had just turned water into wine...no. Why could Jesus do it? Because He is the Son of God. I know I've said this before, but I really like the way Carrie (author of Little Hearts) ties everything back into scripture.



Speaking of scripture, this week is a review week of the last 5 verses we've studied, and the kids are doing great remembering them all!

Yesterday we read the story of how Jesus met Andrew and Peter while they were fishing and told them to throw their nets to the other side of the boat, and how the net was so full others had to help them pull in their catch...to which Jesus responded "Come with me, and I will make you fishers of men." Little Hearts then had us on a "rabbit trail" regarding fish and how they breathe and move...we created these fish with gills and fins:



So far, we've had a good week. The kids have done well doing all I ask of them. We skipped spelling this week (no ink in printer, remember?) But our math, phonics (Explode the Code) and handwriting has been accomplished lickety-split! They have been enjoying playing out in the yard even though it's averaged 35 degrees here daily (brrr). We finished the second "story-time" book and I am preparing a lapbook on rabbits for them to do...but again I'll need ink to print those things. The next animal storybook is about Danny Meadow Mouse...I think I should start gathering things now for that one! The idea was for me to have the lapbook ready when we finished the book...but that hasn't happened yet...maybe next time.

If you didn't catch it at the beginning of my post, dd turned 6 this week! She lost her first tooth on Saturday, and turned 6 on Wednesday...I can't believe she is growing up so fast! I did a scrapbook page for her tooth:



For Christmas, I am still knitting the sweaters...the big pieces are all done on the last one, so it's just the ribbing that goes up the front for the buttons, and then put it together and add the neck ribbing and buttons on both...if I took the time, I could finish this weekend...we'll see. I have a special day planned for tomorrow, so I am not sure how much time I'll devote to knitting. Tomorrow will be my family's "second annual ladies shopping trip". Last year my two oldest daughters, and my mom and sister all went, it was great fun. This year, sadly, my daughters can't make it. :o( I'm sure I'll have fun with my mom and sister...but we'll all miss the "family" time.

I've got to run and get school started! Have a wonderful day!

*Ü* Blessings,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day! (gobble, gobble)

Hope you all had a wonderful turkey dinner, pie and et al. (did I spell that right?)
We did have a nice time, and my oldest son was home, so we took that opportunity to grab the camera and snap, snap, snap! After dinner, I then decided to scrap, scrap, scrap...oh course? what else was I to do?



I've lots more photos we took today...of just the boys, just the girls, etc. and I can't wait to scrap those as well!

I made my first pecan pie today, and other than being cooked a tad too long...it came out great! I'm happy because I was a little nervous about this. My sister had tried several times to make one for her dh, but has only succeeded once, and given she bakes more often than I do, I didn't think I had it in me...but yay! it came out fine, and my dh liked it!

The turkey was tasty, the potatoes perfects and the stuffing...well it was rather stuffing! lol No really, dinner was scrumptious! I hope yours was as well.

*Ü* Blessings,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our Pies are done...(well, almost)

Today was our day to make pies! We make alot of pie...so several years ago I decided to bake the day before and alleviate the stress of pies/turkey/taters, etc. all on the same day...boy was that a BIG help!
Because our family is so large, I plan on 4 pumpkins, one fruit and one mincemeat (the jarred apple/raisin variety - a tradition from my childhood.) Well, apparently mincemeat is scarce this year, wally-world didn't have it...so I opted out (*sniff*sniff*) and I'm hoping I'll find it somewhere before Christmas, and I'll make it then.
My dh loves pecan pie, which I have never made...but I did pick up the supplies, and will try to make that for him tonight.

The kids love to bake with me, so of course I let them help. This year I decided to let them help with the crust, so here are a few pics of me teaching them that skill, and two of our finished pumpkins (before baking.) YUMMY!



We are looking forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving with ALL of my children here at home! I hope your Thanksgiving is just as blessed.


*Ü* Blessings,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

making pies

Good Morning, Friends,
We have a family coming over today to learn how to make pie...it will be so much fun to share that experience...it is one I look forward to every year!
I don't have alot of time as I have to pick up the house a bit...but I wanted to check it with you all and tell you I haven't forgotten you.
I plan to take pictures today and add them here a little later, maybe during naptime!
How are your Thankgiving plans coming along? The turkey is thawing in the fridge here. Every year the company my dh works for gives it's employees a turkey, which is such a blessing. But every year we forget and put it in the freezer (after all it is frozen when we get it.) Then have to scramble to thaw the big bird...so last year I told dh, "next year when you get the turkey we should just put it right in the fridge so it can have a week to thaw" of course we forgot and into the freezer it went. However, I did remember I think it was Sunday night and so it's in there, taking up half the bottom shelf...but hopefully he will be thawed on time!

Have a lovely day!

*Ü* Blessings,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Science & Thanksgiving Tree

Good Afternoon (almost),
This week in science we've been learning how sound is made by vibration. Specifically, vibrations in our throat...we transferred that knowledge today to water in glasses and the sound made by the glass vibrating. Here are a few pics:






I almost forgot...here is a video of dgd telling what she learned about sound:
video

Afterwards, we (well...I) created the Thanksgiving tree. I put it on a little cork board as I said I would, and cut out a bunch of leaves. I put the leaves in a basket with a black marker and the stapler...a little sign on the tree gives instructions. Each of the kiddos made their own leaf (including ds4 who wrote FAMiLY). So the tree will fill up over the next several days, and on Thanksgiving we can talk about all we are thankful for! Here's the tree today:



*Ü* Blessings,

A Cardboard House

During quiet time yesterday, while I was busy doing other things, the girls proceeded to unload our paper-to-be-recycled bag (the town picks up every other week...so it was pretty full this week.) B came over and asked for some tape to hold her house together...I didn't pay much attention, just gave her a couple pieces of tape...now this is because the day before the girls were sitting at the table drawing and doodling and making their "future families", so I just assumed they were up to the same thing.

Let me interject here and tell you about their "future families". G will marry a man named Jon, and have 3 girls: Cara, Mady and Sophie...do you see the "Jon and Kate plus 8" theme going on...one of her favorite shows! Initially B said she would have 6 girls and 4 boys - she used happy face stickers to show this. G told her that was 10 kids, I said "that is alot of babies!" She then changed her mind to 2 girls and 1 boy...because she didn't want "to have to take care of all those babies!" LOL I had to laugh, I remember as a little girl wanting a dozen (literally) kids...well, I got more than half...and when they all marry, I'll have my dozen - right?

Okay, back to the first story...I gave them some tape...of course once B had hers G had to have some too...then I checked to see what they were up to - wow! Take a look:



Now, I know they didn't come up with this idea all on their own...in ps, G had done this in Kindergarten...but I liked that they were working cooperatively to make this project, they chose the materials and with no help from me created a pretty cool structure that was architecturally sound - we were able to lift it from the floor and move it to a spot safe from the marauding two year old! Best of all, it can all be re-recycled!

Today I plan to make a Thanksgiving Tree...I'll put it on our mini cork board. I think I'll even have the kids cut out the leaves for it. I know I should have started this at the beginning of November, but time just got away from me. So this is my plan...Today we will each write on a leaf something we are thankful for. We will cut out extra leaves and hopefully each person in our family will daily write out a leaf and add it to the tree...then by next Thursday we'll have a tree full of blessings! I challenge you to do one, too! (Bet ya didn't expect that did ya?)

Gotta start school (((hugs)))

*Ü* Blessings,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Hi Friends,
I'm sorry I haven't been homeschool blogging lately...I've been doing some digital scrapping and filling that blog instead. I do have some photos of what we've been doing lately, and some new ones of the baby, too...I'll try to get those downloaded tonight so that I can upload them here.
I love the teacher resource publisher Evan-Moor, I even signed up for their newsletter. Today they sent me a really neat freebie by email. It's three writing frames for Thanksgiving...a turkey, pilgrim boy and pilgrim girl. The frames are two page print-outs to color, and then you put your child's writing in between. I think the pictures are really, really cute...so I thought I'd share...here's the direct link. I think you'll like them, too!

Have you popped over to check out my digital scrapbook yet? I hope you do soon...and leave me a note so I know you stopped by!

Hmmm...let's see, what have we been up to lately? Well, today is day 58...which means we are 1/3 of the way through school already! I can't believe it. We're learning the different addition facts for 10, counting the minutes on a clock by 5s and getting better at transitioning from counting one type of coin to another (example: dimes to nickels to pennies - we haven't started on quarters yet.) I'm very pleased with the girls progress in the coin area. We have been doing a spelling program (Evan-Moor) for a few weeks now, and it has dictation built in twice a week...the girls now start and end sentences correctly without needing to be reminded.

OH! I just remembered...lol... I was in the store with B, and we were in the craft dept. She noticed a large package of beads for kids and read it..."Mom, this box has ten-thousand beads in it!" I couldn't believe it! She recognized and correctly read the number 10,000 on the box! I asked her how she knew that was ten-thousand, and her reply? "It has three zeros" duh...I still have NO idea how she did it!

B is reading Little House My First Chapter Books now, and G (having just gotten her very own library card *Ü*) is reading Mr. Putter and Tabby books. Both girls are reading very well.

Yesterday we did some baking, and I had the girls reading the recipe card sentence by sentence as we mixed up the cookies. They put on my grandmother's aprons, and I just love that connection we have to her. We used it as a learning time for not just reading and following directions, but recognizing measurements in a recipe. The cookies were very yummy! Peanutbutter cookies are my favorite!

The timer is beeping, the pizza is ready...gotta run!

*Ü* Blessings,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Button *Ü* Babies

Hi Friends,
Just wanted to let you know I'll be moving my scrapbooking pictures to another blog. I decided to make this one just my homeschool adventure, and so have created a new blog: Button *Ü* Babies. I hope you'll stop over and say hello!
*Ü* Blessings,

Friday, November 14, 2008

Teddy Bear Tea Party

Hello again,

We woke up to a great surprise this morning...a MOOSE in our yard! The two little ones came running into the bedroom shouting "you are not gonna believe this...you gotta come see!" so of course dh and I jumped out of bed and tore out into the other room...by then the moose had moved to the other side of the yard, so we had to scamper over to the sliding glass door, we were just in time to see him canter down the middle of the road! He was pretty good size, and had a nice rack. Earlier this evening, dd5 explained it like this..."we saw a enormous moose and we yelled to you and daddy, and it was so funny how you jumped out of bed! and he was really big and it scared the heck out of me, and he went running down the street." She said the "scared the heck" part several times today...I think she was having fun just saying it! lol

After that, things settled into a more normal rountine...

We had a wonderful day with some of our dear friends today!
As it happens, dh did end up taking ds out just before our friends arrived, and didn't return until after they had gone home...ds didn't seem upset, so I am guessing he and daddy had a grand time of it!
I didn't tell my kiddos what exactly I had planned because I wasn't sure 100% that our friends would be able to make it, but just before they were due to arrive I began to set up the table...they became very excited to see the table cloth go onto the table, and the tea set come out. I had them put chairs around the table for our "bear friends" which was exactly the number of our real friends...so they never guessed.
Then I took out the dress-up box and they all put on their best finery. Even my little daycare 2yo found a fancy dress to wear (well, actually I found it for her...she looked so cute!)
Not too long after that, my "surprise" arrived! Everyone was happy to be together. We started with tea and teddy grahams.


You can see all our bear friends in the photo, and here are a couple close ups of my best-dressed girls...G is wearing a dress from my late grandmother. I believe she made it herself as there is alot of hand stitching, and no tag. It's really quite a pretty dress:


B is wearing a dress her Auntie Kathy bought for her one year for Christmas. She has been very reserved around the camera lately...but honestly she did smile today!


After the tea party, we read a pop-up story about a polar bear who writes to his bear friends in other countries...it's very cute. Then we sorted our bears by size, color, clothing, etc. and compared them for more/less. Then we gave our bears awards for best dressed, softest, fuzziest, oldest, etc. The girls had to decided which bear got which award...I think they really enjoyed that part. Lastly we played dvd candyland...except that instead of candy or characters on the game squares, I had attached photos of the different kinds of bears...I did this once with the rainforest, and the kids seem to like this game just as much as the real game.

Afterwards, my friend and I had a chance to chit-chat while the girls played for a short time.

*Ü* Blessings,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Memorization of Poetry & Math Concepts

Hello again,
I mentioned yesterday (was it yesterday?) how I had been inspired by another blogger to have my children memorize some poetry...well, I think I also mentioned taking some video of B reciting our morning prayer poem...before I show it to you, I thought I should probably credit the sources; however, when I went to gather them, I found them to be anonymous prayers for children. So, ours is a blend of 4-5 simple children's morning prayers:

video

My darling son wanted to sing a song for me...so he made this one up on the fly:
video

And I have to tell you, yesterday after I finished checking email, and before school began, I found dd5 spontaneously doing this:


If there is anyone out there who doesn't know the significance of this, read on. This is called "cumulative property" - the concept that numbers in addition (and multiplication) can be turned around and still mean the same thing. This is an easy concept for adults, but not so much for children. Most kids see 5+1=6 as a different addition problem than 1+5=6. I was so thrilled to see B doing this without any prodding from me (except the Math Minute white board being ready with the sentence...she filled in the number.)

She was a little shy about getting her picture taken, hence the reason she is hiding behind the board. In order to even get her to let me take the photo, I had to first let her and ds4 play with my camera...so they took some pictures, and had me take some of them...and this is a really nice one of them:


Yesterday was Veteran's Day, and I had a hard time finding any activities online to do on this day. We ended up just discussing it, and doing a word search. If you have an idea for an activity for elementary aged students, please share it with me.

Did you know Friday is National Teddy Bear Day? We're planning something very special, so you'll have to check back to see just what we do! I can't wait. I'll have to scrapbook those pages...or maybe smile box it...we'll see.

Have a wonderful day!

*Ü* Blessings,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day!

Hi Friends!

I've been inspired by another blogger: Trivium Academy. Her daughter is 8, and she has a video of her reciting a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson...well, our morning prayer poem is about the same length, and B can recite that from memory...so I took a video of her to post here...but the camera batteries are recharging. I'll post it later. Anyway, I have a couple of children's poetry books, and gave one to each of the girls and had them choose a poem they really liked. They will memorize it and recite it, hopefully I will get a video of that sometime next week or so...I'm not sure how long it will take to memorize. B is a bit faster than G...we'll see how it goes.

I have extra kids for school today, we're getting a late start as we are still waiting for them to arrive. I wish I had some really special Veteran's Day activity planned...but they are hard to find!

On Friday, it is National American Teddy Bear Day. We're having friends over to do special activities with our bears...sorting, counting, games, etc...then we'll have a teddy bear tea party or picnic...probably too cold for a picnic, most likely we'll do a tea party, as they love getting all dressed up and fancy...plus Ben will be the only boy...hmmm, Daddy is on vacation, maybe he'll take Ben away for the morning? That's an idea!

Gotta run for now...
*Ü* Blessings,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Another Test - Direct Post

Hello again,
This is a direct post from email to blog.
I wanted to include a photo and see if that works, so here goes...
Yesterday the kids had to choose from the house 3 things they thought would float.
We then tested their predictions...I have to say we had done a float/sink experiment last year or the year before, so this was nothing new.
They each chose their three items, traced them onto a paper they had labled "I think these will float" then color the items in if they did indeed float.
Here is the outcome of those papers:

 
 
Blessings,
    *Ü*
  Karen

PS Another note to self...this didn't work either for image uploading.

The Things You Can Do With a Blog!

Each time I use this blog, I learn something new!
It's amazing...I can use my normal email program, and type up a rambling (or not so much) message...hit send, and ta-da! It's here on blogspot! Wow.
Yesterday I learned how to change my background and format my header and all that...today I came back to dig around some more...and found this cool option.
 
I'm going to add in a picture, just so I can see how it really works:
Today was a zero day...the 50th day of school...so we did an art project that I will be adding to our growing "Hundred Day Book".
This project was also connected to Veteran's Day...we did the flag in watercolors, first coloring the stars with white crayon, then washing over them:





My ds4 is improving with leaps and bounds in penmanship...you can see he wrote: Fifty White Stars, with just a bit of help on the S's.
 
In case you were wondering, this is what we did on the 40th day...Candy!





We haven't written anything for this page yet...I am not sure what to write yet...Forty pieces of candy probably...but that sounds boring...do you have a better idea?
 
I'm going to send this off to the blog now, and see how it comes out!
 
Blessings,
    *Ü*
  Karen


PS Note to self, the email version didn't work well...no pictures showed in the blog...will try next one to post automatically.

PPS I decided on 40 Colorful Candies for the title of the candy page.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oh Boy! I had fun today!

Hi!
I'm sure you've noticed my new look? I found a great blogging background spot today:
The Cutest Blog on the Block! I am so glad I came across it. Not only do they offer some really CUTE blog backgrounds, but they give tips and such too and that helped me to create my own personalized background AND header - which up until this point, I didn't know was even possible!
I hope you like my new look...I know the small family photo is a bit outdated, and I'd forgotten (how could I?) about the wedding photo...however, bear with me, because come Thanksgiving, I'll be taking another family pic and will change that one out!
*Ü* Blessings,

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More Pictures of the Baby

Hi Friends,
Some of you have been asking for updated photos of the baby...well, here she is - pretty in pink!


Click to play Baby Isabella - Smilebox


*Ü* Blessings,

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Guided or Leveled Reading

Hi Friends,
I don't know how many of you homeschoolers use ordinary books for reading rather than a basal reader...but I'm sure some of you are familiar with Reading A-Z and their leveled books.

In a public school, children are tested to find their specific reading level, so that during independent reading time, they can be directed to books that are not too hard to read alone; but also, the testing allows the teachers to teach specifically to the child's level.

Anyway...I saw someone ask once about their child's reading level, so I thought I'd share this Reading-Level Comparison Chart which shows grade levels with approximate reading levels for different leveling indicators such as Lexile, DRA and Guided Reading (Fountas & Pinnell.)

I use the Reading A-Z benchmark books to get a level for each child, then use the Reading A-Z Comparison Chart to find the correlating "professional" levels.

Then a few days ago, I found this Book Wizard at Scholastic. You can put in the title of a book or the author, and it will tell you the different levels of the book. Then you can search for more in that level or above or below that level. I've been busy leveling the books from my bookshelves so that the kiddos will know at a glance the books that will be "just right" for them. I send my dgd home with a bag of books to read with her mom and dad every few days, so this wizard has been a huge help in sending the right books home! No more guessing and hoping the books won't be too hard or too easy...now I can just pull level "H" books off the shelf and into the bag they go! So easy.

I thought even though you may not have a grandchild or extra child that leaves your homeschool each day...this may still help you pull the right books out for taking in the car, or for making a list of books to get from the library, or maybe just for quiet time reading... so hopefully I am helping someone out with this post.

Blessings,
*Ü*
Karen

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Got Yarn?

I knit...not alot, but this time of year more so. Last year I made the kids hats, I'd like to do it again. Last year I made my dgd a Fisherman Knit cardigan...I've always wanted to make one...it was SO unbelievably easy! I finished it in less than 3 weeks - and I made an extra sleeve...well, I didn't make it extra on purpose...I made it and decided it would be too small, and I would need to make the next size up...so I have an extra sleeve...NO WAY was I ripping out all that hard work. LOL So this year, I decided to make the rest of the sweater to go with that sleeve. I'm nearly done...doing the last front piece, and then I'll have to assemble it and be done. It's for dd5, she knows it, she's very excited...it'll probably be a birthday present since that is before Christmas.
This is dgd with the sweater at Christmas:



Well, today as I sat down to work a little on the latest sweater, dgd asked if I would teach her to "sew." I explained it is called knitting, and found some short wooden needles for her...and dd as I knew once dgd was knitting, dd would have to do so as well! lol I was right, I had just enough time to get dgd knitting away when dd noticed and wanted to do the same.
I wasn't able to get alot of knitting done myself, and I only managed to get photos after dgd had gone home...so I don't have photos of her yet, but she did very well learning the rhyme. If you haven't figured out my A type personality yet - well, dd is the same way! She sat an knit away, right up to dinner and afterward, too! Dear hubby was able to get a couple photos and even a video of her. She is very competitive, and wanted to make sure she had "passed" dgd in knitting length of the "scarf."
Rather than post a bunch of pictures, I decided to make a smilebox for it...so, without further ado...




Click to play Knittin' with Momma



Blessings!
*Ü*
Karen

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My "Schoolroom"

Hello Friends,
Someone in a yahoo group I belong to was asking for photos of our homeschool setup for a website she was making to help other homeschoolers. Of course now I can't find her post, so I thought I'd just put my pics here...maybe she'll find me, maybe not...but maybe someone truly is interested in my setup...then again maybe not.
But I'll post anyway. *Ü*

We are set up in my formal dining room...which we don't ever use as a dining room.
The pellet stove is in this room, so it's nice and warm.
This is a picture of the full "calendar wall". The next pictures are close ups of the different components:

You can see there are some "song sheets" and a white board which has days of the week, a clock, piggy bank and tally spot. Below that is a rolled up pocket chart, another white board (which is gray) used for morning messages, and a "weather station". To the left of the "weather station" is our calendar and thermometer.


The above close up shows the days of the week. We turn one card over each day, and will eventually use this to spring board into math computations...7-4=3, 7-3=4, 4+3=7, 3+4=7 etc. On the blue square we write the date in numerals. We do the "time" each day...right now we are doing strictly by the hour and so far have used word problems for this..."if it is 10 o'clock now, what time was in one hour ago" to get a time for the new day. We also tally the days of school each month and record that as well as count the days we've been in school (not for the month, but total) and then count that in coins.


The next photo is of our "white" board, that is actually gray...we use it for a morning message. Right now we are concentrating on punctuation, capitalization and spelling of sight words. The weather graph is done daily by ds4, the girls do it in their calendar notebook...well, most of these components are also done in their notebooks. Under that is our new Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow chart. Our old one just had the days of the week...I made this one yesterday to include days as well as numbers. I'll manipulate it for a couple weeks, then let the kids do it. Underneath, you can't see the clocks we use during the "time" part of calendar. Every child has his/her own clock. You can see them in the first picture I posted.

This next picture shows the coin songs we use, the Book-It chart and the pledge. Below that is a strip of seasons, the orange arrow points to our current season.


Last photo...it's our calendar, place value/school day counter pockets (we use popsicle sticks instead of straws for this), our thermometer {we practice counting by 5s daily, and this is graphed in our calendar notebook daily, and a hundreds board (we add then new number daily, we're counting our days of school...to 100, then we'll have a party!) Every day of school that ends in a zero (10th, 20th, 30th, etc.) we have a special celebration with "Zero the Hero" and do an art activity and a graphing activity.}


Well, that's not the entire room...I didn't post a picture of our table, so I'll have to do that on another post...but that is our calendar wall, and it takes about a half hour to do all of that. It sets a nice routine to our day.

The kids know we do calendar, spelling, Explode the Code or handwriting and math...then we have snack. Then we finish our school day with History and Science. Break for lunch and recess, then storytime and naps for the little ones. Lastly we have reading for the girls and some independent activities to reinforce math and language arts skills.

I've gotta run and make lunch...my tummy is growling!

Bye for now!
Blessings,
*Ü*
merchi

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lapbooking and Zero the Hero

Well, after helping someone on LapbookLessons.ning.com come up with some ideas for a bear lapbook, I decided to go ahead and do one lapbook on each animal in the Thornton Burgess stories...(rather than one mini book and culminating in one lapbook at the end of the year.) God gave me some inspirational ideas in the middle of the night, I should have gotten up and jotted them down! I did remember a few however and so will incorporate those into our lapbook.
The first book was called The Adventures of Reddy Fox. So we did a library pocket with some tangrams and a picture of a tangram fox - I really like making my lapbooks interactive and able to be used again and again. We also put some folds along one small side, and used those to write some words that end in sh/ch/tch or x to add -es to to make plural (such as foxes - I tried to find words somehow related to the fox world...but we did stretch a few! lol)
We also did a little flip book with vocabulary words such as nocturnal and omnivorous and an accordian fold which tells the size of each type of 3 foxes, and compares to find the largest and smallest.
I think in the big center space we'll add a peek-a-boo lift-the-flap of four different types of foxes, and on a fold-out we'll put in a wheel that does something similar, and finally we'll have some lift-the-flap greeting card type folds for where each fox lives in the world.
We found a lovely Jan Brett illustration for our cover, and I will certainly share our creations when we are done.
I'm just glad to have finally made the decision and be moving forward!

On another topic, today was our 30th day of school - I can't believe it! I don't know if any of you have ever heard of Zero the Hero? Well, we have a "visit" from him every tenth day...days of school that end in a zero. Today he brought Reese's Pieces for us (notice the zero shape) 30 for each child, and we sorted and graphed them. I had hoped to have one graphing activity each month besides our weather graphing...but this is our first. The kids loved it - we did a few last year so they are old pros now. Another zero day activity I'm planning is some sort of art project that will end in a ten page book which counts by 10s to 100. On day 10 we did 10 red apples in a tree, day 20 was 20 fall leaves and today was 30 pumpkin seeds...of course I made a mad dash to Wally-World last night in hopes that they would still have seed packages - nope - I was dreading having to cut open a pumpkin and dry the seeds overnight when it dawned on me that we could paint the seeds...so we did. We cut orange construction paper ovals, and then smaller, lighter ones and layered them to look like we were looking at the inside of a pumpkin...then using our finger we made the seeds! They look so cute!


Just in case anyone is interested...these were the apple trees:


and these were the fall leaves:


I'm excited about the final book. My plans are for 40 - candy, 50 stars (it's on or near Veteran's Day, so we'll do a flag) 60 turkey feathers, 70 Christmas tree ornaments, 80 snowflakes, 90 - not sure yet and 100 hearts (very near Valentine's Day.) If you have any ideas/suggestions for this, help me out! I appreciate all the help I can get!

Watch for our Fox lapbooks coming soon!

Blessings,
*Ü*
merchi

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory - Week 6

Last week I attended our local homeschool group's monthly meeting. One lady lead us all in song, and afterwards said that is how she and her children begin each homeschool day...with a worship song. I thought, oh how nice...I should do that, too! The next morning, we did. We sang two songs, our day went wonderfully. That was Friday.
My dgd made a wonderful drawing of Moses coming down the mountain to find the Israelites worshiping the golden calf...

(I think I wrote previously of the edible playdoh adventure we had!)

Well, on Monday of this week, we started the same way...it was awful! No one wanted to sing or be quiet and enjoy the music...it was dreadful. We tried again on Tuesday...it wasn't much better! We tried again today (Wednesday) and it was much better...the sense of peace and calm was back. School was very smooth, attitudes were mostly cooperative, and we finished school in record time!
This week we've been reading about Moses and the promised land. Moses has died. Joshua is to lead the people into Jericho. Today we read about Rahab and the spies she protected. The Little Hearts program suggested a very creative art project...re-create the walls with construction paper and hand drawn stones and have the children fill in the "mortar" (ie. shaving cream) by squeezing it from a baggie onto the paper - sort of like frosting a cake! It was so much fun. Then we added a red "rope" that was the rope the spies escaped Jericho on. Here are some pictures:

You can see they all enjoyed this...and you can see dgd6 is quite proficient with a bag of "frosting" I may have to do some cakes with her!
Here they are with their finished products:

Rather than just throw away the extra shaving cream, I let the kids have fun with it in the tub! They thought that was just a grand adventure...

dgd made a face with it.

ds was just a giggly little guy!

and dd got it on herself...oops!

Well, this was a really long post...and I haven't blogged at all about our horse riding adventures! I'll save that for another blog.
Blessings,
*Ü*
merchi