Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week 33 & 34: Moses and Plants

This past week we finished our last complete week of school for the 2010-2011 school year. We had planned on doing another full week, but such is life. We’ve fulfilled our hours and done more than necessary and both Treyton and I were ready to start summer break.


We studied about Moses this week and the 10 plagues. I found a few printables and extras to go along with our studies.

One of my favorites was Henny Penny’s 10 Plagues PDF

I let Treyton use a coloring page of Aaron, Moses and Pharoah instead of drawing them himself in his Bible Notebook. I wanted to have Treyton see what the people in Egypt dressed like back then. In addition to the coloring pages I printed off some Ancient Egypt Printable Paper Dolls for us to look at.


Also because I didn’t want Treyton to get overwhelmed with Trying to draw the 10 plagues I let him use one of the 10 plague booklets that I found (I can’t remember which one I found these from but the link should be below). He colored them and we covered them like little matchbooks. He LOVED this, flipping the numbers up and trying to remember which plagues were which.




In addition to studying about the plagues we also read about:

The Red Sea

IMG_0070 and Manna in the Desert IMG_0071


Treyton asked to do an experiment out of our plant book this week. We covered one leaf of one of our house plants with aluminum foil and waited to see what would happen. After a week, we took the foil off and the leaf was yellow. Treyton remembered from studying plants the first time that plants need water, sun and air to grow. When you take sun away, the leaf cannot grow properly.

Treyton also asked to do some leaf rubs this week, something that we’ve done in the past, but that Treyton really enjoyed. My grandmother actually recently gave me a collection of leaves and dried flowers that she had collected, pressed and dried over the years (from 3 different states). I pulled them out and Treyton and I went through them, looking at all the different kinds of leaves comparing what we the same and what was different with our favorite ones.IMG_0190

We finished our compost bucket this week. After collecting our non-dairy and non-meat food scraps for a while, we added a little dirt, grass and leaves on the top and wet it down a little bit. You’re supposed to add quite a few worms, I think we found 5 :) As we continue to work in the yard we plan to add more. Treyton is really excited and hopeful that our compost will turn to soil.


We completed step 4 in All About Spelling, we are cruising through them, as this is all review for Treyton – this week we talked about alphabetizing, the difference between vowels and consonants and the fact that every word has at least one vowel. We are both really enjoying AAS and I think it will be a great addition to our schooling.


We finished up our number 1 – 20 studies and went on to review. Treyton flew through these, and by next week he will be on to the next unit for sure. I think math is the only subject I might carry out during our break in an attempt to finish up book 1A (Singapore Math). The few units we have left are easy units for him (shapes & length and measurements) I think it will take him a day or two for each unit.


I am overly pleased with Treyton’s progress in reading. This week he read the Bible Stories we worked on in his Bible Reader, on the days that he didn’t read his Bible Reader he asked to read The Cat in the Hat (he would read about 4-5 pages per sitting).

He is excited to be reading “real” books, and he loves to sit down with Lexie and read to her. I love it!! 


Treyton is constantly taking things that he learns in books, school or his favorite PBS shows (Cat in the Hat and Wild Kratts) and tries to recreate them in his play. This week he built a birds nest (out of sticks, mud and grass) and put it safely in the corner of our house, he has checked every day to see if I bird is living there…. Oh how I wish a bird actually would ;) LOL!


We are in the process of reading the story of Sebastian Bach – the book tells of a time when Bach was young that he snuck out of his bedroom at night to copy the pages of a music book that his older brother would not allow him to play with. After he completed the book he began to play from his own copy of the book, until his brother caught him and took that book away as well.

During quiet time one day Treyton asked me for some writing paper – when I asked him why, he told me that he was going to copy a book, like Bach. He had picked out his favorite book (and I Can Read it Spiderman book) and now he needed some paper. I got him a new copywork book and in the last 3 weeks he’s copied 4 pages of the book. :)



While it’s a little sad to be forever finished with Treyton’s Kindergarten year, it’s exciting to see how much Treyton’s learned and how much we’ve both grown over the year. As we learn more about ourselves and each other school seems to flow better and get more fun.

I’m looking forward to next year – I am very pleased with my curriculum selections (from what I have read so far) and I can’t wait to see what next year holds.



Heart of Wisdom Ten Plagues Song

Heart of Wisdom Ten Plagues Booklet 

Heart of Wisdom Exodus Lesson Plans

Homeschool Share Ancient Egypt Lapbook

Knowledge Box Central 107 Page PDF on Ancient Egypt

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tot School - Week 30 & 31 : Rainbows & Princesses

We focused these past two weeks on rainbows (because we were studying that in MFW), princesses and the Story of Joseph.



She painted her own rainbow alongside Treyton. She mixes a lot of her colors, which is fine, but makes it can make it a little tougher to distinguish which line is which :)


She’s a talented artist (of course I’m a little biased), she painted a few other masterpieces while she had the paints out which I gladly hung on the wall.



I decided to go ahead and have Lexie start working on the letter P (even though I was originally going to wait) because I think she’s been ready for a little while and I’ve just been trying to hold her off until we started actual preschool in June/July.


I gave her some play-doh and our play mat letter P to get a little hands-on time with the letter. She loves play-doh, and spent nearly 45 minutes putting the play-doh on and taking it off and repeating. At first I helped her roll out her snakes/lines, but after I started working with Treyton again she started putting the play-doh on in patches (she’s very creative).


Both Carissa (from 1+1+1=1) and Erica (from Confessions of a homeschooler) just released a bunch of Princess Printables which of course I printed, and knowing that Lexie would want to have princess pages to work on over-and-over again, I decided to put them in page protectors for her to use dry erase markers on. She loves using dry erase markers so this was doubly fun for her.

She practiced her numbers…



… pre-writing tracing/lines   IMG_0068    … tracing letters


…. learning the letter Pp


…. puzzles



… numerical order


…. and counting

Of course, most days she also dressed up as a princess, here she is coloring a masterpiece in her finest princess attire.   IMG_0010She had so much fun with the princesses that I will probably go ahead and let her do princesses again next week.


Something neat that we also had the opportunity to do this week was to bake, just the two of us. Lexie has baked before, but usually with big brother Treyton helping right alongside her. This particular day, we made dairy-free chocolate brownies, just the two of us, and she did almost everything on her own – from cracking the eggs to mixing and tasting the brownie batter.




She was very, very proud of them. (Totally Cute!)


Treyton learned the story of Joseph in MFW this week, and I had Lexie join us in making a Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors Craft.


She had a lot of fun coloring the coffee filter.  IMG_0011 We’ve been having lots of fun with Tot School the last several weeks, partially becomes I’ve been more deliberate with making certain we actually get it done and that I spend quality one-on-one time with just Lexa.

It has been such a blessing.


Number Do-A-Dots – I usually give her one of these during our daily board to keep her entertained. It works pretty well and she’s slowly learning the numbers she wasn’t as confident with before.

Carissa’s Princess Preschool Pack – super cute as always Carissa did a great job!!

R is for Rainbow – Confessions of a Homeschooler, great printables available.

Rainbow Lapbook by Carissa we used a few pieces of her lapbook though I actually think I used them more with Treyton I wanted to include them just in case :)

Rainbow Lapbooks linked to Little Laplinks

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tot School: Part 2 – Educational Toys

Tot School copy


In my previous Tot Toys Post I showed lots of pictures of Lexie using her favorite toys, in this post (for the sake of time) I am going to link you to My Tot Toys Amazon Store so that you can search and look through it easier.

On My Tot Toys Amazon Store, these are the toys that we currently own and use (except for two of the tables that I could not find exact matches for).

I have toys separated out by categories (numbers, shapes, alphabet, etc.) to make it a little easier to look through – so please, take a look around, you may find some new ideas.

This is faster and easier for me as far as the links go, I hope you can understand. (BTW: if you purchase anything through my amazon store, I receive a small amount of compensation for your purchase)

However, if you have any question about any of the toys, how we use them, what we like about them or don’t like about them (if anything), just leave a comment here and I will be sure to answer you.


Toys and playing (in my opinion) is the BEST way that I have found to engage my children to want to learn. (Which by the way, is the goal of tot school.) It’s not so much what they learn, as much as that they want to learn – so keep “school” fun! Spending time playing with your child and teaching through that play is more effective than anything else that I have done. It’s also a good idea to have toys that are only to be used during tot school.


And just because I do like pictures of my daughter so much here are a few pictures of her with her using her toys in school :)

image Building didn’t come as easily for Lexie as it did for Treyton she worked a long time at building the tallest tower she could. It kept falling over before she could finish….

image when she finally got it she was so proud!!

image A favorite game she got fore Christmas, a great way to practice stacking, colors, building, counting and number recognition.

image More intricate building skills are needed when using the Cuisenaire Rods, but still lots of fun.

image Her first time using her shape puzzles, it seems like only yesterday. These were a great tool to learning our shapes. In fact, they were one of the only ways, she learned through us playing together before I even realized it, and everything else was mostly review.

image Building is good to practice at any age.

image Do – a – Dots, the possibilities are endless!!

image Building together, a great way to teach team work along with fine motor skills – not to mention patience, because all the two of them can think about is knocking their towers down!!

image Our Tea Set gets lots of use, pretend play is great!!

image Painting can get a little messy, but it’s lots of fun and I have a hard time throwing any of their first art pieces away!

image Coloring – a favorite activity for Lexie since she was very young!

Previous Post in this Series:

Tot School Resources & Ideas: Part 1

Friday, May 20, 2011

Week 32: Joseph to Moses & Seeds

We studied Joseph to Moses this week.


One of our favorite projects that we worked on was making Joseph’s Family Tree: as we were making Joseph’s family tree I decided to go along and make Treyton’s Family Tree as well. I felt like doing a tree for Treyton would help him understand Joseph’s family tree a little bit better. It did. I went ahead and drew an actual tree and cut out different colored leaves for each generation. I then wrote the names on the leaves. IMG_0066

I had Treyton color his family tree, while I colored Joseph’s, then      Treyton placed the names/leaves on the tree by himself. IMG_0065This was a really fun craft that Treyton got a lot out of and was extremely proud of. IMG_0067

We also learned about Moses this week. I printed off the Moses in the Reeds craft from DLTK and allowed Treyton to use the paper craft in his Bible Notebook. He ended up covering the entire baby Moses with reeds so that you couldn’t even see it…. I think he got the idea of the story ;) IMG_0174

On our timeline we placed our Egypt (inluding white strips of paper to illustrate how long the Israelites were in Egypt) and Moses timeline pieces. IMG_0070

I found this burning bush Craft on Danielle’s Place – I printed off the burning bush picture from somewhere else (sorry I can’t remember) and had the two kids paint the bust like it was on fire without actually burning. IMG_0009

Alexa painted inside the lines very well.


Treyton did a great job at copying the example we looked at online with the “splashes of paint”.


Treyton also illustrated his Bible NotebookIMG_0006 I love this one :)



We started learning about plants this week. We were supposed to start the water book, but decided to do plants instead because of the time of year, and the fact that we started putting in our square foot garden a couple of weeks ago.  IMG_0144

The kids helped me plant all of the seeds either in little dixie cups before hand or in the actual garden, and we’ve been expectantly waiting for them to sprout.


We actually started our school year learning about plants and seeds so a lot of what we were doing this week was review for Treyton. I went ahead and pulled out several different types of our seeds, along with a few samples we got for free back in June (2010).


We really enjoyed watching the bean seeds sprout last time so we decided to do it again.

We also soaked a few beans in water overnight to soften, so that we could cut them in half and see what was inside.


We then drew our seeds in our nature journal. 

A few days later, on his own, Treyton drew me a picture of some flowers and gave it to me as a gift. I love the detail of it. He drew the seeds, roots, stems and dirt.



James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

Ask Mr. Bear by Marjorie Flack

Andi’s Pony Trouble by Susan Marlow

Cat in the Hat Do Not Open this Crate

That’s When I Talk to God by Dan and Ali  Morrow

Birds by Kevin Henkes (cute book by the way)


Lexie was learning about animals this week so we took a field trip to the zoo, this was our first zoo visit this year and we had a great time.


The kids especially loved feeding the sheeps and goats!!  IMG_0074 LITTLE LEAGUE

Spring Little League started back in April but Treyton just had his first game this past Wednesday (the actual first game was canceled because of the weather). IMG_0152He really loves baseball and is a great player. He is still learning a lot of the game rules and fundamentals which is fun to watch. He is a great hitter, and is one of the more ambitious ball getters/throwers on the team.  IMG_0165 Since the weather has gotten nice, the kids have been outside nearly every day it was raining. It’s not uncommon for them to be outside for 2 + hours at a time, coming in only for water and bathroom breaks.

They like to pick dandelions, climb our fort in the back and play pretend games (like “The pirates who don’t do anything). Lexie is usually a princess and Treyton is usually a superhero/pirate.

I love watching them explore and it is during this time that I think Treyton actually learns the most. Or at least when I see his mind actually working for itself.

It is during these playing times that Treyton uses his very creative imagination to build and experiment. For example, he’s recently built an alter, took pictures with his digital camera like Frans Lanting (a famous photographer), drew a picture of some birds, collected bird feathers, went bird “hunting”, made a birds nest from sticks and mud and planted dandelion seeds in my flower garden – all on his own ;)      IMG_0030I’m blessed to have some amazing kids, and I love how creative and imaginative their instincts are. IMG_0038LINKS

Homeschool Highlights @ A Heart Like Water

Preschool Corner @ Homeschool Creations

Elementary Round-Up @ Granola Mom 4 God

Weekly Wrap-Up @ Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers