Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Science is so cool!

I know I've mentioned before how much we just love our science curriculum, and I'll say it again. We just love our science curriculum. Both Patty and I think it is so cool! We use R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey by Pandia Press. If you're looking for a good science curriculum, check them out HERE.
This week in science we've been learning about Earth's surface, including how much land/water covers Earth. The kids tossed an inflatable globe back and forth to determine the ratio of water to land. I was amazed at how accurate their results actually were.

We also talked about how much of that water was available for drinking as is and Patty completed this lab sheet.

On a completely unrelated topic, here's just a little snapshot of some of Petie's math work this week. He had to cover a design using pattern blocks. We use Saxon for math and I go back and forth on whether I actually like it or not. I'm going to keep it through this year, because the kids are actually really learning with it, but I'll probably reevaluate after this year.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kids In Church

Thank the Lord for nursery workers. I don't know about you, but I would get absolutely nothing out of the sermon if I had to keep a baby or toddler quiet while trying to listen to the preacher. I know there are people out there who feel their children should be in the service from the first time they ever come to church - I'm just not one of them. But alas, there comes a day when they are just too old to be in the nursery any longer. In our church it's when they turn four. At this time, the kids are in "big church", as we call it, for the Sunday Evening service. We allow them a few coloring books and crayons to use during the preaching portion of the service. They must participate in all the opening things like singing, shaking hands, prayer etc., but when Pastor gets up to preach they can quietly draw or color. Now that Patty is a little older I have been looking for ways to get her more involved in the sermon. That's why I was so excited recently when I came across this.
I don't make her do this, but I have given her one every week since I found it and she loves doing it. She's always so proud at the end of the service to show me what she drew from the sermon. A big thank you to Larissa Holland for making these available. You can print out a copy HERE.

3D Airplane Art

Last year I came across this beautiful 3D butterfly art, by Ali Edwards.

We're going to be painting and redecorating the girls room this summer, and this is one of the projects I was planning on including in the room. We have however recently finished decorating the boys room with a transportation theme, so when I was at the craft store the other day and spotted this punch on clearance, I snatched it up.

I used that punch to make this art for Petie's room.

I just love how it turned out! The only thing I wish I had done differently was to stack the foam dot's two high to make them stand off the paper even more (which is what the tutorial I followed said to do, I just missed that part - oops!). Overall though I'm very pleased with the result.

I followed this tutorial done by Jen at Tatertots & Jello.
Don't you just LOVE what she did with this idea for halloween? With the plethora of punches available out there, the possibilities for this project seem endless.

Monday, September 20, 2010

When Function Meets Beauty

I've been needing some kind of memo board in my kitchen for some time now, but I didn't just want to throw one of those plain white dry erase boards on the wall. I wanted something to match my kitchen. I purchased some pretty green paisley fabric on clearance a while back not exactly sure what I wanted to do with it at the time, but when I saw this project, I knew that it would work great for this. I cannot claim this idea as my own. I got the idea from the blog Make It and Love It. Follow her tutorial here. When you need to have something functional, why not try to make it as pretty as possible at the same time?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Uppercase and Lowercase

Somewhere along the way kids learn the alphabet. It may be through your direct teaching, exposure to printed words, through games, or store signs, but sometime in their preK years you will realize they know their letters. I have noticed with my kids though that uppercase letters seem to be what they just learn on their own, and lowercase they need to be taught. I printed this sheet out from the PreKinders website and had Petie match some of our lowercase alphabet tiles to it's correct uppercase match on the sheet. He was able to do most of them on his own. The few he didn't know, I just had him look through some alphabet flashcards that have both cases together and he could find them that way. They also have sheets with the lowercase that you can match uppercase tiles too along with a ton of other alphabet activities. Check them out here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Harvesting Potatoes

This is what we had with our dinner one night last week. We dug these out of our very own garden. I don't know if there could possibly be anything more satisfying than digging through the dirt in your garden unearthing beauties like these.

And this is what they look like inside. Could they be any more beautiful? Not to mention delicious!! We all devoured them and went back for more. They're a lot like a red potato, but if I had to describe them even more, I almost thought they had a bit of a boiled peanut taste. (That would be bowled peanut for all my southern friends.)
These pictures are of the pre-cooked potato of course. If I took time to take pictures of food once it was cooked, there would be a full on revolt at the dinner table; because of course my poor kids wouldn't have eaten anything that day besides breakfast, morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack - but they're staaaaaarving!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Keeping Peanut Entertained

Needless to say, keeping Peanut entertained while we do school is no small task. That is why I am thrilled when I plan an activity that she really enjoys and wants to do over and over again. Not to mention the fact that it was really inexpensive and easy to throw together.

I picked up a pack of little golden rings in the wedding section at the dollar store knowing I could come up with something to do with them. I then took a baby food container that had a plastic lid, cut a small X in the top of the lid and stuck an unsharpened pencil down through the X. I also added some clay in the container just for some extra stability. I gave Peanut the rings and showed her how to drop the rings onto the pencil. I figured she'd do a few and be done with it, but she did the entire package of 80 rings! And then she wanted to do it again - success!!

I have a few other ideas for ways to use the rings. I'll post those activities if they're as much of a success as this was.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Caterpillar

Patty has currently been working on memorizing the poem "The Caterpillar" as part of her language lessons. Here is a video of her reciting it. As you can see, her brother and little sister have memorized it right along with her.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Last Week In Review

Here is a look at our schooling adventures from last week.

We are really enjoying history this year. Those of you that know me know what a momentous occasion this day is. The day that I actually said I was enjoying HISTORY of all things. Don't misunderstand me, I am extremely grateful for the education I received and for the sacrifices my parents made for our educational opportunities, but maybe if I'd learned history this way, I may very well have enjoyed it the first time. Here we are making a model of the Nile River. We are using The Story Of The World for our history curriculum and just love the hands on learning opportunities presented in this series.

One of the activities I planned for Petie this week was a bingo game to work on number recognition. After we were finished playing with it, he wanted to do something different with it. After a mini brainstorming session, I pulled out some foam blocks and had him tell me what number was in each square, and then place that same amount of blocks over the number.

Peanut, as much as I love her, can be quite a handful during school time. I am quickly learning that I need to be really prepared and have activities lined up for her to do. Here I gave her two jars, one of which was obviously large, and the other small. I also gave her large and small popsicle sticks and she had to sort them into the right jars. She really enjoyed this activity and wanted to do it again and again. Those are the activities I consider a real success. We'll be pulling this one out again for sure.

Here We Go!

Well, here it is. Hopefully this will be our new family website to replace the old one. While I love my Mac, the one thing I have never been happy with is iweb, so I've decided to try out Blogger instead. We'll try this out for a while and see how it goes. If you're visiting from our old site, you'll notice a few changes. If you've just stumbled across us by accident, enjoy our adventures in homeschooling, parenting, crafting, and all around craziness.


Being that all my posts (for the most part) will be about them, I thought I'd introduce my adorable kids to you all. I'm sure you'll be able to figure out that for safety reasons, I chose not to use their real names.

This is Patty.
Patty is our 6 yr. old girl, who loves to learn and takes everything in life so very seriously.

This handsome little fellow is Petie. Petie is our 4 yr. old strong willed, full of energy, only boy who takes nothing in life seriously.

This crazy girl is Peanut. Peanut is our two year old crazy, loud, little monkey who makes life interesting for all of us.

Last, but not least, this sweet little lady is Penny. Penny is our third and final girl. She loves crawling, snuggling, and right now nobody but her mommy!