Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thursday Three

Really? Am I committing to another weekly blog post?

I thought it would be fun to post
three pictures
about what my
does for school on

(notice the theme?? ;) )

I think this age is difficult as far as "school" goes. (Okay, I'll stop that now ;) ) Some days go wonderfully, while other days???
I never know how much school work E will be interested in on any given day. Sometimes, I don't have enough planned and set up for him. Other days, he barely gets through one school drawer before I send him upstairs to play or take a nap. Anyway, we'll see if I post consistently...hope you enjoy any ideas you glean from my trials and errors!!! :) (or at the very least, I hope you enjoy seeing a cute three-year-old's face a little more!!)

H tracing page
(H is for House)

sorting links by color
(This manipulative is so great for any age. There are idea workbooks where older children can make patterns, follow instructions to create given patterns, etc.)

Lacing shapes

Shapes Trees

This is one answer to the question, "How do you homeschool with kids of different ages?"

Tonight (yes, after dinner...a beauty of homeschooling!) we all gathered around the dinner table (or rather, cleared our food and cups and stayed in our seats), and participated in a fun activity...each child learning and experimenting with different skills.

We made Shape Christmas trees:
The tree: triangles
The trunk: a rectangle
Ornaments: squares and circles

The 6-year-old (Kindergartner/First Grader) practiced patterns, sorting large to small triangles, and assuring his mother that he still knew his shapes!

The 4-year-old (preschooler) worked on using JUST the right amount of glue, lining things up appropriately, sorting large to small triangles, and (again) assuring his mother that he knew his shapes!

The 3-year-old (I typed "2-year-old" and had to go back and change it!) worked on colors and shapes.

Things like this don't always turn out as beautifully as I have planned, but they had fun, learned a little, and got to glue...so they were happy :)

E doing school

Today, we had fun with the letter "H"

Sorting hearts by color*

pre-writing (horizontal, then vertical lines)

Dot painting*

cutting pictures for a collage

sorting capital and lower case H's

(sometimes, the plastic baggie is the best part of the activity :) )

*Most of our Letter of the Week activities for preschool fun come from (or are inspired by) the
Confessions of a Homeschooler blog

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Special Activities from A to Z

With 4 kids six years of age and younger, school doesn't take all day.

J is doing Kindergarten/First grade this year, T is doing Preschool/Kindergarten, E is doing very early letter, number, and color recognition stuff, and j is tearing our house apart all morning :)

Really, we take a couple of hours in the morning to do seatwork-type stuff, then the big boys and I do our big read-aloud and tougher Arithmetic once the little boys are down for naps.

The afternoon, though? Well, we often find ourselves bored...believe it or not. (And maybe the kids aren't bored, maybe it's me feeling like we need the structure of our afternoons to at least be similar to the structure of our mornings.) Anyway, since I don't want to be a slave to a school-like daily schedule (one of my reasons for homeschooling!), I decided to come up with a list of ideas. We can use it, or not!! It's not a schedule or routine I will feel guilty about if we are all just having fun being outside all afternoon...but if everyone is fighting, children are misbehaving, and we need an organized activity, this list will come to the rescue :)

If you have any ideas of ANYTHING at all, I will be happy to steal it and use it in my home. Please do share!!

Special Activities from A to Z
*All can be done in the comfort of our own home!!

A: Art project

B: Bake something, bubbles, balloons, balls

C: Car wash (real or with toy cars), Cook dinner with Mom, "Create" box (a box full of random craft supplies, where imaginations can run wild)

D: Dance party!

E: Egg hunt (no matter what time of year)

F: Frisbee, Fruit Kabobs, Fence letter shooting,

G: Game Day, Gak/Goop

H: Horses (we have some down the street we like to pet and feed), Hide and Seek

I: Ice cream sundaes, Ice painting

J: Jump Rope

K: Kickball

L: Lemonade stand

M: Music, Motion (exercise), Mud pies

N: Nature walk (draw what we see/hear, make a treasure basket of our collections, or decorate a nature table from our findings)

O: Outside games/races, Obstacle course

P: Puzzles, painting, play dough, puddy, plastic cup pyramids, pillow pile, picnic (inside or outside)

Q: Q-tip painting with shaving cream and paint/food coloring

R: Read books on Mom and Dad's bed, Redbox movie, Relay races

S: Salt dough, shaving cream, special snack, sprinkler, swim, Skype with relative(s), Sidewalk chalk

T: Take a treat to neighbors

U: Undercover letter/number/color hunt

V: Make a volcano

W: Water fight, Wooden blocks, Water bottle bowling


Y: Yoga balls (our kids love playing with the couple we have. Throw a yoga ball at a boy and knock him smack down to the floor, and you have apparently made his day.)

Z: Ziploc painting

Rare, but cute

We RARELY do school like this (everyone lined up all neatly at their desks), but I thought it made for a cute photo opportunity on this special occasion :)

Friday, November 4, 2011


(oops, I cut off the "He" and "me" on the first page :) )

This is one of the things we are putting in J's and T's Operation Christmas Child boxes...We are praying that God would bless those children in knowing THEY are God's masterpiece!!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just another day...

This morning

still wearing his pajamas


in his fort

doing phonics

Just another reason we LOVE homeschool :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011


It has been a whirlwind of days over the last couple weeks or so. With 2 visits to 2 different zoos, baseball on the weekends, and even a field trip on a Saturday morning (not to mention Bible study, MOPS, book club, baseball practices, library trips, etc.), I feel like I need to get us back to the basics again in school. Monday holds yet another interruption for us to our regular homeschool day, but then it's back to business...hopefully!

I also have 2 new curriculum paths we're going to try out, so we'll see how we like them.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Another "Field Trip" :)

Much to our happiness, "Santa Fe Days" occurred quite coincidentally right on schedule with our study of Native Americans. This festival is a place for many different Native American tribes to gather, dance, sell their CDs and art (of MANY different types!!), and sell produce and seeds/beans that are unique to their specific area/tribe. The boys were able to see this fascinating group of people firsthand. I was so glad we were able to go and teach the boys about appreciations for a different culture...and our appreciation for everything their culture adds to our world.

The boys love looking through the books from the library about the different types of dress, headdresses, etc...but they were excited to see it up close and personal (especially on children around their ages.) We were privileged to watch the different types of dance they performed and hear music from quite a few instruments....drums, flutes, bells, etc. T and E even got to practice a little music on their own.

We walked around and looked at bows and arrows, knives (made from coyote jaws and buffalo ribs), amazing paintings, the most colorful jewelry I've ever seen, and more...all made by the hands of these Native American men and women. The boys got to watch a couple people in the midst of their work and even helped make a couple things.

This lady made a belt at last year's Santa Fe Days with the help of every child who stopped at her table. It was over 100 kids. She let the 3 oldest boys pick out 8 beads each, and then she used those beads to make the next 3 rows on her belt. Pretty cool!

J and T colored paper tepees while I made a mental note to search for the cut-out pattern online :) J got to grind some corn, and T and I (or well, really just me....and more truthfully, the man "helping" us :) ) made a dream catcher to take home.

We ended our time at Santa Fe Days watching a World Championship Hoop Dancer. This guy had TALENT, to say the least. I had no idea you could do some of the things he did with hula hoops. I'm not sure if they were even as big as the classic hula hoops. He picked them up with his feet, threw them around and they came right back to him, and he even portrayed different animals using the hoops and his body...all while dancing with bells on his ankles. It was so fun to watch.

Even S enjoyed the festival :)

Oh yeah, and he played a flute-type instrument for us, too. Like I said, man had talent!

As a side note, with the study of a different culture comes the realization that there are lost people in the world who have not put their faith in Christ. People have many different beliefs about where they came from, what to do in times of trouble, etc., and I want to be careful not to put too much focus on the "fascination" of this beautiful group of people. God gave these individuals their gifts and talents, and while they might believe that dream catchers actually "catch" bad dreams (and different arrows hung around the house or wooden figures can bring peace and protection for your home), we have to be careful to explain to OUR children what the Bible says, what we believe, and WHY we believe it. One thing that hit home in my heart was the fact that Native Americans are so intentional in sharing their traditions and beliefs that have been passed down through their families to their own children. That is not some kind of "rumor" we hear about this group of people. We saw it in action today with numerous generations represented and stories told of grandparents and great-grandparents who had passed down various traditions and skills. What we have, as believers, is much more than "traditions" and folk tales. We have the truth, based on both Scripture and historical evidence...let's learn what we can about different cultures, take inspiration from them, and teach our children the truth of the Gospel so they can possibly go into these cultures one day and tell them OUR story :)
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