Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sun Unit

We had a lot of fun with our Sun unit this week and we were able to get quite a bit done with only a partial week to do it in.

For our craft we painted suns. Treyton was careful to include yellow, orange and red. All of the colors that he saw in our sun pictures. Lexa was not so careful, but had just as much fun :)

IMG_0048 IMG_0047 (I printed off Lexa’s sun coloring page on cardstock to paint from here. I can’t remember where I got Treyton’s from.)

IMG_0051 IMG_0065 We tried our hand at making raisins, it didn’t go well, they are still grapes. We weren’t really diligent at setting them out every morning (we would remember later in the day), so I’m thinking it was mostly our fault. Treyton really wanted it to work, so we may try our hand at it again next week (if we think of it).

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We did make a sun dial. This was fun. We went out every hour for the first hour and then we made it out at lunch, 3pm and 6pm. It brought up some good discussion about shadows, what makes shadows, and why some shadows are long and some are short. IMG_0071 IMG_0068

To wrap up our sun unit Treyton and I did some dictation of some of the things that he learned. After I typed it up for him, he drew some illustrations so that he would remember what he learned. I think this was my favorite activity. I copied what Treyton had to say verbatim, it was so awesome.

IMG_0074 IMG_0076A Little More Sunshine 

IMG_0090 And just for kicks and giggles a picture of our little sunshine :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tot School: Week 4

Colors

This week we learned about the color red. Lexie tends to call all colors ‘blue’ so this is a little bit of a challenge, but if nothing else I think she is realizing that all colors are not called blue. 

I gave Alexa a little red circle (that we normally place on our daily board) and asked her to find other things in the room that were red. Treyton had to help her a little bit, it was fun for both of them.

I downloaded this red booklet at ABC Teach. It was good practice for Lexie, coloring with a specific color and following directions.

Tot Toys

Most of the week, however, Lexa spent playing with her new toys from her birthday.

One of her favorites has been her new VTech Ride and Learn

giraffe

Giraffe Bike. I love that she is learning to peddle while also learning her ABCs and 123s. She has an unbelievable ability to learn a song after only hearing it a couple of times, so she is already singing along and making a bunch of noise. She spends at least 30 minutes a day on this (throughout the day).

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She also got a couple of new puzzles, which are always a big hit with her.

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One of my favorite gifts that Lexie got was the Melissa and Doug pattern blocks – it says for 3 + so I wasn’t sure how good she would do at it.

IMG_0083 IMG_0086 But, I opened up the box and before I even finished explaining to her what she needed to do she finished her first one. She did half of the puzzles in about 5 minutes. It was awesome!! And on top of that, she really likes it!

image image Her favorite toy by far is her “Kitty” as she calls it. It is a Kitty Keyboard (piano thing). I think it’s made by Parents. Mommer has one at her house and every time Lexa was there she had to have it – so Mommer got her one of her own – it’s almost near lamby status!! She gets lots of singing and dancing done with this toy around :)

image My sisters got her a water-table, which is obviously outside, but a perfect toy for the summer!! She isn’t a huge fan of the pool, so this gives her something to do (that cools her down) while Treyton is splashing around in the pool, and it also encourages measuring, pouring and fine motor skills and is all type of sensory splashin’ fun. The table we have has a watermill on it, which is just too cute :) I highly recommend this table.

She loves her plasma car and she also got Treyton’s old tricycle which she is doing very well on.

I’m loving that so many of her new toys are active toys and not just hands-on. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s obvious that I love hands-on learning, but my kids are also the kind of kids that need to burn some energy every now and again, so moving toys are great!

Coming Up!

This week we started using a very similar workbox system to what Jolanthe over at Homeschool Creation uses, I can’t wait to share how Lexa is doing with it …. she amazes me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sun Unit: Part 1

This week we started My Fathers World (Kindergarten) A to Z.

This is our first week and I AM LOVING IT!! Actually, I almost started crying the second day we were doing it because I felt like we may have actually found our curriculum fit :)

Anyhow, Lesson 1 is about the letter S and the Sun. (Which is a little ironic because we have experienced an unnatural amount of rain in our area of the country this year and the sun has been sparse… just ask my would-be-garden).

Getting Started: A Cute Story

Monday morning I was excited to get started with our new curriculum, I had been waiting for this for a couple of weeks, and I don’t do so well with waiting :) This day happened to be our anniversary so we were really lucky to have dad home with us for most of it. Tim did have to go into work for a couple of hours in the morning and Treyton begged to be able to go with dad to work, this doesn’t get to happen often, so although I was disappointed, not being able to start school in the morning, I consented to my two puppy-eyed boys.

When the boys came in a couple hours later, Treyton was eager to show me what dad had taught him. He balled his hand up in a fist and explained to me that his fist represented earth, and his other fist represented the sun. He pointed to two “houses” on his fist, one on either side. He began rotating his fist around saying “when the sun goes around, it’s night-night here and sunny here, and then it’s night-night here and sunny here.”

I looked up and smiled at Tim, he gave me the proudest most “knowing” parent look. I looked back to Treyton and said “That’s great honey, but really the sun doesn’t go around the earth, the earth rotates around the sun” (I didn’t mention at this point that the trip around the sun was actually a year, and that day and night were actually the spinning on the axis).

Tim goes “Oh, yeah, sorry buddy, she’s right… I thought something was off".” ;)

Love it!!

Hands-On Demonstrations

In order to show Treyton the way the sun really works I decided to make a fun hands-on demonstration. So while dad made lunch Treyton, Lexie and I got hard at work making a big sun out of construction paper.

IMG_0011 While we worked I asked Treyton what he thought the sun did for us. He came up with:

~ keep us warm

~ give us light

Great answers!

IMG_0012 I decided to grab a couple of books to more thoroughly introduce the topic of the sun while the kids finished up cutting (and Lexa coloring). IMG_0014

After this, Treyton and I went to the dark bathroom with our globe and flashlight to talk about how the earth spinning on it’s access is what causes day and night. Then we went outside with our big sun and the globe to talk about the seasons and the earth’s BIG trip around the sun (which makes a year).  IMG_0023 Treyton was so excited, I was the sun, Treyton was the earth and dad was a satellite in orbit taking pictures ;)

Just for Fun

Next we decided to use the sun for some pleasure – Treyton and I spent a couple hours in the kids pool sun bathing.

IMG_0024 IMG_0055 Through the windowIMG_0058 Waving to baby Audrey through the window

We also made some sun tea.

To do this, we had a pitcher with 6 cups of water, added 7 tea bags, covered with cling wrap (to keep the bugs out) and set it out in the sun for 4 hours.

IMG_0029 Tim, I think, was actually a little skeptical of this activity, but within the first 5 minutes it was already working!

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(and yes, that is my daughter in the background walking toward the swings with no clothes on…. give me a break we were swimming and we live in the country… kinda)

Here it is 2 hours later:

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Here is is 4 hours later:

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We added some sugar and enjoyed!

Friday, July 23, 2010

CSN Giveaway

Visit my other blog to enter to win a $25 gift certificate to CSN.

Monday, July 19, 2010

TOS Review: Travel the World (June Module)

I am excited to be posting my very FIRST review as part of the TOS Crew, and while we haven’t actually “set sail”, we are nearly there, with a test-drive review. I chose to review The Schoolhouse Planner June module  - “Travel the World”.  June Module

Product Description

This module is a one-month unit supplement to the Schoolhouse Planner called “A Trip Around the World” this 52-page e-book is based on --World geography.

This unit explores the seven continents, teaching all about some of your favorite places while helping you to discover new ones. You and your student will learn geography facts, complete map activities, create a lapbook, look to the Bible for answers about God’s design for the earth and have access to all sorts of links (including internet games)

Review

I thought that this unit study was put together very well, and could certainly be used with students of a variety of ages. Everything that you needed to complete your studies is at your fingertips (or on your computer screen as was my case), which I find convenient – the links included give you the option to add even more to your studies, with ease (if so desired – but certainly not necessary). 

When I first looked at the study, I was eager to implement it into our school, but chose to only do a few activities, rather than the entire unit because of the young age of my students (Treyton not quite 5). Treyton is still working on grasping the concepts of maps and the United States, so I didn’t really want to move on to bigger and better before he grasped the current. I think in a year or two he would be able to complete this unit with no problem, and for his younger sister(s) I won’t have a problem finding activities to include her. The work that Treyton did do, we both enjoyed and it wasn’t hard to gain his interest.

What I Loved:

I loved that the unit study included BOTH lapbooking pieces and worksheets. For my family, I have learned that we like to use both tools in our studies.

I loved the flexibility it offered – for both the student and the teacher

Great maps – I loved the maps they chose – not too much detail, just enough for the student (sometimes world maps can be completely overdone), not the case with this unit study.

Prep work is all done – all of the work is done for you, which is great for those times that I can’t pull a unit together myself, but have some school to do. This unit would only take a few minutes to look through to get my kids started on it.

Instant E-book download – Maybe it’s just me, but I LOVE getting my product right away, I’m able to print what I need and leave what I don’t (love it!!)

What I didn’t love:

I thought that some of the copy work pages lines were rather small for younger students, but Treyton is still a little young yet, by the end of this year, I wouldn’t see that as a problem. But for now, I tried to have Treyton complete one, and while I think he writes very well, he was unable to write neatly in the allotted lines.

This isn’t something I “didn’t love” but thoughts I wanted to include: If you were already doing something for geography/world geography doing this unit study along with your normal geo would be a little more than what you would need, but if you would rather do a geography unit rather than a curriculum this would be a great option.

For Purchase

A Trip Around the World” costs $7.95 and is available for immediate download, just click-through the link.

Or you can purchase the entire set of the 2010 modules here. The set of 12 sells for $83.95 and is available for download immediately after purchase.

Extra Information

You do not need to have the Schoolhouse Planner to get the modules – they are stand alone unit studies.

There are 11 other modules, each month offers a different unit/topic of study. A few of the other modules that peaked my interest were “Favorite Childhood Books, Weather Clouds and related Experiments and Going Buggy for Bugs”

To see what others had to say about this product visit the TOS Crew Blog.

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Discclosure:  This product was given to me for review purposes free of charge. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

B4FIAR: Jesse Bear What Will You Wear?

image Jesse Bear What Will You Wear is an adorable little book about a little bear and the clothes (and other things) he wears throughout the day.

Activities

The second morning we read the book the kids and I decided to try our hand at making bear pancakes, my husband is a MASTER breakfast cook (seriously, people “talk” about how good he is), since we’ve been married I can probably count on one hand the times I’ve made pancakes – this being one of them. Needless to say, pancakes are difficult enough for me, but bear pancakes…. real tough. I did the best I could, and while I was disappointed, the kids were ecstatic and LOVED the whole process. IMG_0025

In the book, Jesse Bear plays peek-a-boo with his blue blanket – Lexa loves peek-a-boo so of course we had to play. This led into a hilariously funny game of hide-n-seek with the kids. It was a great time.

Treyton drew family pictures of Jesse Bear’s family and his family – I found a cute lapbook piece off of homeschool share. He was very creative in how he picked out the colors for each member of the families. Daddy Bear was purple (because his dad [Treyton’s] likes purple, mama bear he wanted to be green (because that’s what I like) but he went with pink instead which is another color that I like. Jesse Bear was orange, Treyton’s favorite color. For our family picture he switched it up a little bit – Him and Lexa were purple, mom and dad were orange and Audrey was red. 

IMG_0022 IMG_0023 One of the kids favorite parts of rowing this book was our bear picnic. We brought out all our stuffed bears, sat them up under the table and had ourselves a little bear picnic. I took some cookie cutters and made bears out of some turkey meat. They loved it!! Tim had found a pack of those zoo-plates at the store with a bear right on the top, so he picked them up, knowing we were talking about bears this week (so sweet).

IMG_0034 IMG_0038

Lexie insisted on bringing her new “fat lamb” to the bear party… I told her I didn’t  think it was a good idea and that it might become lamb chops, but she didn’t care :)

IMG_0046 IMG_0047

Crafts

We made Jesse Bear Paper dolls, Treyton really wanted to paint them so the kids used water paints to decorate them. Alexa had a blast – the only color she wanted to use was blue (and that’s what she calls every color), I’m beginning to think it’s one of her favorite colors :) (she picks pink over blue but it’s the only color) IMG_0049

IMG_0052 IMG_0054 We made the B books from Homeschool Share. Alexa loves to color, but Treyton barely has the patience for it. He likes it for the first 5 minutes but then he’s done. So I painted a B page for myself as well, and colored with the kids, this helped get Treyton at least get through his cover. By the time he finished it and started coloring the B pictures to inside of his book he just scribble them all pink and said “Done!” 

IMG_0045 IMG_0043 

Details

The kids were very much into the details of this book, more than some of the books in the past. We took our time on each page discussing random things – like on one page Treyton noticed that the sink had two faucets, he wondered aloud why there would be two and what he thought they were for. He counted the tooth brushes, put them in order (by size) and talked about their colors. Lexie loved the two pages that had bubbles on them, so we talked about baths and washing our hands, and why it’s important to stay clean.

We talked about the clothes Jesse was wearing (our color this week was red) he was wearing a red shirt and blue shorts.

Treyton and Alexa talked about how on one page that it was night time, I asked him how they knew, Treyton said “because they’re were stars out”. On that same page Treyton was curious about the moon beams shining through the window, so we took the time to talk about the moons light and how it shines through the window “like lines”.

Because our letter of the week was B, we went through and picked out all of the things we could find that started with /b/. Treyton would usually find them and Lexa would repeat him. Some of the things we found were: butterfly, ball, bubbles, blue bird, and bear. 

Lexa noticed right away that Jesse Bear went on the big boy potty, which she realized only because he was big boy underwear. I thought it was a pretty good observation for her age.

Treyton assembled the lapbook completely on his own this time (his first time) I did the first page with the Jesse Bear paper dolls, but every thing else he decided where it was going to go, taped it on and made room for everything. I can’t tell you how proud this made me.

This was a very fun book to do, the kids really enjoyed reading it and were genuinely excited whenever I would pick it up.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kindergarten: Week 4

For week 4 I’m actually combining two weeks to make up one (we basically had two light weeks, so I figure together they make an actual school week).

Color of the week: Red

Number of the week: 8

Verse of the week: Isaiah 58:11 “The Lord will guide you always.”

Language Arts

We had a review lesson in Explode the Code, lesson 5. Treyton did an excellent job. He seems to have good weeks and bad weeks in his reading and this was definitely a great week. Almost every time we did reading he seemed to have no problems at all really - he would read 10 flashcard words, no problem, and then the Bob Book or progressive phonics book without much problem at all. Any time I would give him reading as an option of a subject he would always jump out and shout “Reading! Yeah, Reading!!! I want to do REEEAAADDING!!”

He still seems to be a little unsure of himself and needs lots of reassurance from me, but he has it on his own, he just doesn’t know it. Overall, this week was good, he was excited, I was excited, he was “getting” it and I was able to take a moment of relief, thankful that I didn’t totally screw him up!! 

Math

On Monday of this week, we did our normal number review, Treyton put number cards 0-20 in order and then I call a number out one at a time, he picks them up and if he gets it right he gets to keep the cards, if he gets it wrong I get the card. For the first time, Treyton got them all right!!  It was a big milestone for him and he was very excited!  IMG_0018

I had also printed out an addition worksheet, which Treyton was so excited to do. He did 15 problems the first day, and was even able to do three of the easier ones in his head without using his fingers or the markers, we were both really proud. He showed dad his page as soon as he got home – which means he was really excited about it.

At the end of the week, Treyton started acting strange, he could no longer count past 6. He did this two days in a row after doing nearly perfect addition, he just couldn’t count anymore. He would get very upset about it, but it seemed as though his mind was just done thinking. When Tim would get home he seemed to always count just fine…. so I don’t know… I guess it was just his minds way of tell him he needed a break.

We did extra work this week with our calendar. Treyton has been asking questions about why a month doesn’t always start on the first day (Sunday). Our Horizon’s lessons have been having Treyton circle different days of the month like “the third Sunday” or “the fourth Friday”. This gave me the reminder and opportunity to really sit down and talk about the calendar and months. I printed off a yearly calendar to show that the months repeat themselves (just like the weeks do) and we went through each month talking about what day a month would end on and that that’s why a new month starts on the next day. Treyton seemed to grasp the concept much better when he could actually see the big picture.

 Art

This week, Treyton, totally on his own decided he wanted to do a little art. He took his art notebook, cut up some paper took a little glue and some colored pencils and drew this. IMG_0008It’s a picture of racers, nearing the finished line.

 P.E.

We are continuing on with Treyton’s swimming lessons, which he thoroughly enjoys, though he says some of the stuff is “Too easy” – I try to explain to him that they teach some easy stuff and some hard stuff so that it’s not to boring…. he didn’t seem to care about why.

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He also learned to ride his bike with no training wheels – which the entire family is SUPER excited about. Since then he rides his bike EVERY DAY – as much as he can. He’s getting lots of miles on that thing :)

Handwriting 

I had Treyton do a little bit of handwriting in the past week, his handwriting is improving and he enjoys the copy work that they have him do but he struggles doing it on his own. I think it’s hard for him to keep his place at times and it takes time to find where he is – something he isn’t very good at doing (being patient). Plus he never likes to just sit and do work by himself. He always wants me there next to him.

(Bible, Science and B4FIAR are all in separate posts)

* I’m not sure how much time I will continue spending on our weekly updates – I may start doing ‘monthly updates’ as more of a progress report/journal instead of these weekly ones…. we’ll see.

preschool corner

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bible: Samuel

We studied Samuel this week.

After reading the story for the first time, adding our timeline character’s and drawing our grapevine pages, we spent most of our time discussing God’s Word – it was awesome. We mostly talked about listening for God’s voice. IMG_0087(We added to the grapevine picture – the arrows and other people to illustrate that God talked to Samuel and then Samuel would tell the people)

Treyton asked about how God talks to people. I told him that most of the time God speaks to us through the Bible or in a quiet voice in our hearts, rarely God speaks to us like other people do, but that we should always be listening no matter how He chooses to talk to us.

He told me that sometimes at night, like Samuel, he hears someone say “Hey Treyton” but it’s not me or Tim. I told him that he can always talk to God, and that it’s good for all of us to take time to be quiet to listen to God.

All this week, during the girls’ nap time Treyton grabbed his children’s Bible, his Bible that he received from his dedication and one of the books off the back of the toilet called “101 Things Jesus Did for You” – he sits in his quiet spot and flips through them all.

I think he is trying to be quiet and listen. :)

Discussion:

Treyton was very interested in talking about hearing God and how God talks, about the prophets, what life was like before we had the Bible, how God wrote the Bible, etc.

It was a week of Bible study I will always treasure having had with him. There is nothing like sitting and talking with your child about God and hearing their gears turn, asking questions – many of which you’ve asked yourself and some of which you don’t know the answers to. It’s exhilarating, scary and really motivates you to learn more about God on your own.

Some of the questions Treyton asked this week:

~ How can I hear God?

~ Does God have a really big head – if he is soooo big, is His head so big we can’t see it?

~ What is a Spirit?

~ So when we get to heaven, will I see Jesus? What will he be like?  Will he have a body?

~ Is God a person?

~ How did Samuel tell everyone what God told Him? Did he have to walk everywhere? How could everyone hear him?

~ Why didn’t Samuel have a Bible like us?

~ How did God write the Bible?

Some of these questions we’ve talked about before and some of them are new, some of them were easy to answer and some of them weren’t.

It’s an incredible thing – talking to your child about God. I am watching Him grow so much and as he is growing he is developing a hunger to know about God – it’s so AWESOME!! And such a blessing to be the one  to tell him about Him (at least what I know). If you think about it, please pray for me, so often I feel ill-equipped and nervous – not wanting to teach the wrong thing, which makes me over-explain things sometimes. image

On that note, I found these really cool books a while back written by Ken Ham,  called “The Answers Book for Kids” Treyton and I spent a little bit of Tim talking about some of the questions in these books, and it eased my mind to have a little “back up”.