Thursday, January 27, 2011

This week, the letter N

Lessons from the story of Noah's Ark
We made rainbow crayons (We've done this before, but they just never turn out that well...I'm wondering if I should use a different mold or something.)

Our Noah's Ark lapbook:
side note...I only posted this on YouTube, because the video clip was too large for my free Vimeo account. Don't expect many YouTube videos from me!!

Lessons from the Newspaper
We talked about what a newspaper was, what you can/should find in a newspaper, and we looked at the pictures of the teams coming to town for the Super Bowl!! (Their favorite part :) )

We also searched the newspaper for different letters and numbers, checked this week's weather, and looked at the colorful pictures in the comics!

Lessons from Franklin's Neighborhood
**We LOVE Franklin books!!*
J and T drew their favorite things in our neighborhood (journal activity)

Math lessons
We decorated our wall alphabet letter N with nickel stickers.
We stole THIS idea from an ingenious mother and learned about how 5 pennies=1 nickel AND 5 nickels=1 quarter ;) (See, home schooling even at bedtime!!)
We also ran with the money theme, since we started it last week for M week. We made a money lapbook! (2 lapbooks in one out! haha)

Science lessons
We read books about the different types of noses animals have. We talked about smelling, sniffing, sneezing, and "snotting!" ha (quite appropriate for our last 2 weeks of nasty cold bugs) We also read one of my all-time favorite books, "Stand back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


My 5-year-old, J, is learning to read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He is sounding out 3 and 4 letter words, and I am so excited!! He is loving it, and the confidence he is gaining from reading these little words is opening the door to more and more stress-free reading lessons! Praise the Lord :) The irony here? My 3-year-old, T, is beginning to simply "catch" a lot of this reading teaching him to read is looking like it is going to be a breeze. Now THAT is irony I am willing to live with :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Where does my help come from?

I just wanted to take a few minutes to show and tell of the resources/blogs/other moms who inspire me. I love home schooling, but I am in what I consider to be the easy stage. I mean, really...I am in charge of coming up with "lesson plans" for tot school/preschool/kindergarten. How hard can it be? I used to teach preschool, I have babysat, worked in day cares and nurseries, and nannied for as long as I can remember, and now I have 4 little boys of my own. I love kids, and these are the ages I'm "good" with :) Having said all of that, I still need a lot of help coming up with unending ideas for our letter of the week, math for preschoolers/kindergartners, science for littles, etc. SO lest you think I am a creative genius, check out these moms (blogs are also listed on my sidebar)...

Erica over at Confessions of a Homeschooler is amazing. She also does a Letter of the Week curriculum with her preschooler. AND she even occasionally posts things she does with her youngest for Tot School. I visit her blog often! I print her FREE printable worksheets and activities, and sometimes I look at the pictures and make it myself with whatever we have around the house. God, bless the mothers who are willing to do all of the hard work themselves and share it with the rest of us for free!

Speaking of those types of mothers, Carisa writes about and shares her numerous fabulous ideas here, here, and here. On the first site I listed, you can get to all the other links about her Raising Rock Stars curriculum for preschoolers (RRSP), her Tot School "curriculum," and even stuff for older kids (I haven't checked that stuff out yet!)

We use Sue Patrick's work box system as inspiration, as well. I have definitely tweaked it to fit our needs, but I think it is such a great method for many reasons.

I look at the blogs listed on my sidebar at random times when I need inspiration, and I get my juices flowing. I also have books from my preschool teaching days, books from Christian bookstores (Memory Verse, Bible story worksheets/coloring pages/dot to dot), and other wonderful books that have been given to me by great friends.

And finally, of course, I rely on the Lord. I feel like home schooling is part of my calling/job as a mother of these 4 boys...and I take that job seriously!

I lift up my eyes to the hills- Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip -
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you
The LORD is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm -
He will watch over your life;
The LORD will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121

Friday, January 21, 2011

This week, finishing the Letter M

We had a few things leftover from last week, plus we had a few sick days this week.
Here are some of our activities!

Macaroni on the letter M for our ABC Binder

Geography: USA Map puzzle

Mouse/letter M patterns and Super Mario fruit snack patterns :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

This week, the letter M

It was a busy week! Here are the highlights...
Mooncake by Frank Asch
This book is FULL of learning opportunities!!
Here are the boys tasting snow (Is it delicious like Bear said in the book?) It does NOT snow often here in cool that it snowed the weekend before we read this book!! :)
We also talked about what trees looked like during each of the four seasons (pictured in the book), what bears and birds do during the winter months, and other signs of each season.

Saying the pledge (a daily occurrence)

Last week, we learned to praise God through prayer. This week, we learned to PRAISE God through music, singing, instruments, and dancing. We listened to "Make a joyful noise to the Lord/I will not be silent" (David Crowder Band) *also a blessing, because this was our Bible verse for the week!!!* and "Mighty to Save." We talked about how God made everything for His glory (one of the catechism questions) and how the trees and flowers glorify God (as the David Crowder Band song said.)

Bible Verse:
"Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth." Psalm 100:1

Bible Story:
Stories of Moses all week
(Jesus Storybook Bible)

Math and Language Arts:
We learned about opposites and discussed the examples in a couple of our "Opposites" library books:
A Garden of Opposites by Nancy Davis
Exactly the Opposite by Tana Hoban

Moses dot-to-dot

Copywork this week included: Psalm 100:1, m words, and other memory verses

Journal: Draw things that start with the "m" sound; What does it look like outside during the Winter?

Geography: (America unit) USA map puzzle

Book for fun: My "m" Sound Box by Jane Belk Moncure

Science/book for fun: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle (body awareness)

Vocab words from RRSP (Trace letter M, cut out cards, put in binder)

AND our work boxes from this week:
Paint pallet with primary and secondary color/color-mixing

Clothes Pin Number Match Card
I cannot remember where I got this idea from!!!

Sponge painting the moon on our letter M for our wall alphabet
Learning about money (coin labeling and counting)
Fun M&M activities from Confessions of a Home schooler

A baby Moses color and cut puzzle

Coloring our map of America for our Unit Study

A game of Memory
Another book for fun:
Monkey Mo Goes to Sea by Diane Goode

Books for Science:
I Spy in the Texas Sky by Deborah Ousley Kadair (clouds and for our Texas unit study)
My Five Senses by Margaret Miller (for body awareness)

Fridays are Science Experiment Days!! We didn't get to it today, because we were gone ALL day. I'm hoping to do this tomorrow. Yes, sometimes we do school on the weekend or on "holidays." Since we are doing the Body Awareness Unit Study, we are doing very simple experiments with our 5 senses. Last week, we did a smell and guess experiment. This week...touch and guess :) (making sure I get in a little tactile activity every now and then haha)

Monday, January 10, 2011

God is in this Place!

Examples of the Lord's presence and blessing on our home schooling efforts this week...

We have been learning about colors and the mixing of the primary colors. This morning, the boys were watching a new show on the kids' "Christian" TV channel, and they were "quizzing" the kids on that exact topic!

We are learning the names of coins for "M" week, and what did we get in the mail today? A request for donations from a charity...with a nickel inside. ha!

I picked out a book (Mooncake by Frank Asch) at the library last week. I flipped through it and checked it out, hoping it was a good one for "M" week. Wow, not only will I be talking later this week about how wonderful this book is...but God gave us SNOW this weekend to prepare us for this book!! Tune in on Friday to see the many lessons we were able to pull from this one resource :)

Our "M" Bible verse is Psalm 100:1 "Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth." David Crowder Band has a song of this verse, and we were able to sing, dance, and praise God
this morning while listening. (Practicing praising God through song AND practicing our verse of the week!!)

Once again, amazed and blessed!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

America and patterns

We are doing a unit study on America and Texas this month.
The other day, we painted American flags (well, our version, since we painted the stars blue instead of white...don't worry, they know the real flag has white stars representing the states!) We talked about the similarities in the American and Texas flags, looked at pictures of both, have been saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and we listened to our American pride play list while we ate our lunch!

J working on his pattern beads and showing them off to j

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Learning even when we're not trying to!!

Children are amazing...and creative...and inspiring. I can only speak from my experience with my own children, but on any typical day at any given moment, they are ready to learn. Whether I am actively engaging them in some kind of learning activity or not doesn't matter. Even when I give them activities, they take them to new levels. It makes a home schooling mom happy to see this!!!

Example 1: We were outside playing this week (enjoying the BEAUTIFUL weather before our apparent "winter blast" is upon us), and I was taking pictures of the clouds. J asked me if we were going to have to go inside because of rain, and I said, "Oh, those aren't rain clouds, Bud." He replied, "Well, can we learn about clouds sometime, Mom?" Absolutely, sweet son of mine...I'll put it on the calendar for next week. (I have some studying to do first! :) )

Example 2 (my favorite): I gave J some M&Ms in one of his work boxes this week to use for a counting/number recognition exercise. After he laid out his M&Ms (and before he did his activity), he sorted his candy into different color groups and told me which one had the most, which had the least, and (of course) which group was therefore the "winner." (Everything is a competition in this little boy's eyes!)

Example 3: We went to the library today and came home with a ridiculous amount of books (of course.) J was sitting on the couch with one of the chapter books he had checked out, and he was flipping through each page so slowly and carefully (and silently! ha) He finally got through the last page, said quietly, "The end," closed the book, and looked up at me. "Mom, you really need to teach me how to read!" (Trust me, we're working on it! :) )

There are so many more examples, but the most encouraging thing to me is the fact that even when I feel like I am overwhelmed with dealing with the younger kids, the housework, etc. etc., my children are still learning. If we "skip school" one day, their brains are still being fed. Kids truly are little sponges. I love learning about each of my sons' interests. I love nurturing those interests (and helping them explore those interests) and wondering if they will end up using them in some way in their adult lives. I am BLESSED to be a home schooling mom...I wouldn't have it any other way :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Trying to nail down a schedule that works for us!!

7:30 Mom up, shower, feed and change Josiah;
Eat breakfast, empty dishwasher
9:00 Devotional, coffee, start laundry;
Everyone get dressed, brush teeth, fix hair
9:30 j nap, Mom set up school activities;
Everyone clean up toys, Mom switch laundry to dryer
10:00 Everyone to kitchen table:
Calendar Time!
- Sing Days of Week song and Months of the Year song
- J write day on calendar
- One straw in bag (working toward 100!)

Talk about the composer, Franz Joseph Haydn.
Find out he tutored Beethoven and was friends with Mozart...both of whom we have already studied!! How cool is that?! :)
Listen to Bach cd, because we can't find our mixed classical CD!!!

Special Activity!
(This week, we're working on an America unit study.)
- Look at American flag online
- Color American flag
- Listen to Mom say Pledge of Allegiance

Bible story (Daniel in the Lions' Den, for L week),
Bible verse (1 Corinthians 13:4 "Love is patient. Love is kind," for L week)

10:30 Active time!
- Hokey Pokey

- Red Light, Green Light

- Freeze Dance

11:30 Everyone plays upstairs while Mom makes lunch
j is awake!
11:45 Lunch time!
- Memory verses (Philippians 2:14, Ephesians 6:1, Matthew 7:12)
12:00 T and E nap time!
J listen to story (audiobook, online, etc.)
- Adventures in Odyssey
12:30 J School time!
- Copywork (Philippians 2:14)

- Kindergarten Skill (Cut and Paste activity)

- Science (5 Senses in Encyclopedia)
- Journal (Draw 5 things you like to see)

- Work boxes
(Truck puzzle book, hand writing, shapes, maze book, numbers, making cards to mail to others, etc.)

2:00 j nap, T up from nap, Read Aloud (Peter Pan)
2:30 Watch educational video
3:00 Snack time!
Play together
5:00 Play outside!
6:15 Room time so Mom can make dinner!
7:00 Dinner, then everybody upstairs to get ready for bed; Play until Daddy gets home!
Whew! Day is over!!
Related Posts with Thumbnails