Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 19-30th Highlights

I haven't had time to blog about what we've been up to the last two weeks because we've been up to a lot!  But they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Read, Stamp, Write mats and cards

LD helping unload the dishwasher.

EM's favorite project of the week.  We learned about constellations and then made our own.

JR's constellation

My eager class, ready for the day!

Stick-figuring with our Grapevine Bible Study.  This is a drawing of Jesus praying on a mountainside.

Enjoying the last fruits of the summer!

It's hard to see, but all of the letters are drawn in chalk on the driveway.  JR had to  find the letter I called out and sit on it. EM had to jump on the letters to spell her spelling words.

Making triangle cookies.

LD helping organize Mommy's yarn.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Astronaut Lapbook

Recently I discovered a treasure trove of educational fun-ness at Totally Tots!  Anything and everything for preschoolers and tots from games to snacks to craft ideas can be found at this amazing blog and it is totally free!  What an awesome blessing the talented mommies have shared!

I had a hard time choosing where to start, but I went with the Astronaut Preschool Pack generously shared and created by the mom (I couldn't find her name!) at Homeschool Creations because EM is learning about our universe this week and I thought it would be a good way for JR to be involved.  We also decided to give lapbooking a try this week, so this was a perfect place to start!  Our astronaut lapbook is a huge hit, the kiddos keep arguing over who gets to "play" with it!

Our Astronaut Lapbook

Inside the Lapbook with cute little pockets to store everything!

Find the first letter of the word

Everything is laminated so it can be used over and over.

Sequencing rockets

Tracing Color Words

Shadow Matching

Count down to blastoff!

Pocket on the back to hold full size worksheets

Also dry-erase of course!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Discovering the New World with John Smith and the New World after BinLaden


The name Jesus means, "the Lord saves", so we talked about what it means for Jesus to save us and what it means to live like Jesus.  Our Grapevine studies tied in once again guiding us through the gospel's teaching about John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus and Jesus's baptism by his cousin.

Memory verse:  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind."  Matthew 22:37


JR learned about the terms "same and different" as well as "more and fewer".

EM finished a chapter in her math book about addition and fact families.  It's my goal to find something to challenge her with next week!


I thought EM was old enough this year to learn about September 11th and what the date means to our country.  We flipped through a few children's books on the topic, mostly looking at the pictures while I told her in words I thought appropriate what they were about.  Many topics came up that were new to her including terrorism, suicide, war, and homeland security (a phrase I don't think I ever heard as a six year old).

She never ceases to amaze me with her understanding and wisdom beyond her years.  As I was explaining to her what "suicide bomber" meant and how the men thought they were doing what God wanted them to do, a concerned look came across her face.  Of course we were discussing many things that were concerning, but I wasn't prepared for the depth of connection her mind made.  She proceeded to tell me, "You shouldn't really sacrifice yourself cause Jesus took the sacrifice instead of you."

The books were read were:
The 9/11 Terror Attacks and September 11, 2001

In MFW we learned about the first American settlement of Jamestown, as well as John Smith.    On EM's notebook page she wrote, "Jamestown had wooden fences to protect them.  The people started to get sick in the summer.  The men hunted and the women grew gardens.  John Smith said whoever did not work could not eat."

Language Arts

JR worked with the captial letters G and H this week.  We played games with rhyming words and read lots of  great books.  I'm making an effort to introduce the kids to books I consider to be "classics".  Some favorites we enjoyed together were:  The Little Engine That CouldHarold and the Purple Crayon, and One More Acorn.

EM and her All About Spelling board

EM is doing so well with her Phonics and Spelling program!  She worked through two more steps in her book this week and easily read the readers that go along.  It's been great for her confidence to read something that isn't a big struggle and she is discovering the joy of reading.  

Spelling list 1


I was disappointed again this week with the simplicity of our Science lessons which discussed air, so next week I will be including extra science studies with our first FIAR book.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Columbus and Climbing

Adding our first name of Jesus to our Jesus Poster
In our study of the names of Jesus we learned this week that Jesus means, "the Lord saves".  Our Grapevine studies tied in nicely as we read about the angel telling Mary and Joseph their baby's name was Jesus. 

EM and JR learned about Christopher Colombus this week.  We read lots of great books (which I have already returned to the library so I don't have the titles to share) and made models of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria (which were sailed by naked Polly Pockets - what, your history book didn't include that?)

EM added a page to her notebook.  She wrote, "Christopher Columbus wanted to be a sailor.  He sailed three boats to Haiti.  The Indians gave him parrots and he went home." 
Tracing the Route of Columbus

I'm starting to wonder if the Science portion of our curriculum is lacking.  It is very basic and we complete it in about 15 minutes for the week.  I think I will read ahead to see if it improves or consider supplementing.  This week the kids learned about air - how it is all around us and can be used to move things. 

Language Arts
JR is continuing to work his way through the alphabet and went on with capital letters E and F this week.  I'm trying to find ways to make the craft sheets more enjoyable for him (read: not like pulling nails to get him to touch).  He just doesn't not enjoy arts and crafts AT ALL!  It's a good thing he looks like me or I might wonder if he was switched at birth.  He also played games to learn the concept of rhyming words.  His favorite book from the library this week was Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman.  Cute book!

EM breezed through Steps 4 (sound cards) and 5 (short vowels) in All About Spelling.

EM enjoyed painting a sunset and cutting out a silhouette of Colombus on the Santa Maria out of black construction paper.  I think she did a beautiful job!

JR continued working with patterns and shapes. 

EM did a review of bar graphs and addition.  Next week she will be skipping ahead a chapter because we are still reviewing what she learned last year and she is getting bored.

LD's Corner
Our little guy is fully mobile now and exploring his surroundings with vigor.  You never realize how many little crummies and pieces of fuzz are on your carpet until you're diving to stop a little human from eating them.  He is also pulling up whenever he finds a launching point at just the right height.  We are doing a little bit of baby sign language, which has been fun for the whole family.  LD knows the sign for nurse and is also learning MamaDada, and kitty.  

That was our week in a nutshell!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Letters and Fabric

We are almost completed with a little face lift for our Laundry Room, but I was still keeping my eye open for the perfect finishing touches.  Where do you go when you need inspiration?  Pinterest, of course!  This project was very affordable and easy to re-create.  I began by purchasing cardboard letters from JoAnn's.  The edges got a quick coat of black paint.  

I searched through my lovely sister's stash of scrap fabrics for that perfect pop of color, traced the letters and cut them out.  

A quick coat of Mod Podge and those babies were ready to hang!  I love the way they warm up the space!   

I have been seeing tons of adorable, crafty ways to make letter magnets, but this one was my favorite!  My sister, Amanda, and I made these together (did I mention she has an awesome stash of fabic?).

We began choosing a font we liked and printing and cutting out each letter.  The paper letters were then traced onto felt and cut out.  We then hot glued small magnets on the back of the felt letters and sandwiched them between fun fabrics.  All three layers were hand sewn together.  Since Mandy and I both have babies at home it was important that those little magnets be safely tucked inside.

This project was much more time consuming than I originally thought it would be so I'm only finished through L.  Thankfully JD is only on "G" in his Reading book, so I'm hoping to stay ahead of him!

Visit to the apple orchard!

One of our family's favorite days of the year is when we make a trip to the apple orchard.  It was a beautiful, sunny, crisp autumn day!

JD searching for the perfect Honey Crisp Apple.

LD's first trip to the orchard

The best ones are always at the top.

Mommy and her Lil' Pumpkin

EM didn't even wait until her feet hit the ground to eat that one!

It doesn't get much fresher than that!

Kiddos and my sweet niece, L.

The Three Little Pigs

What's more fun than a hay maze?

Our Family 2011

LD LOVED this tractor!  He's getting so big!

All three of my blondies.

How big is LD?  Sooooo big!