Sunday, April 22, 2012

Week 31 (Wk 27 & 28 of Adventures) and Week 32 (Week 29 of Adventures)

This week I combined two of MFW weeks into one as we studied Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

Treyton was very interested in the Civil War and are week was woven with LOTS of discussion, questions and opinions from our always thinking little man. He loves the study of wars, and was caused to think hard on the concept of slavery and the war within between the states.

Treyton thoroughly enjoyed reading “Abe Lincoln’s Hat” on his own, several times this week. We also read, together, several other books on both Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War:

  • “If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War”
  • “A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln”
  • “The Story of the U.S.”
  • “Harriet Tubman”

Addition Read-Alouds this week:

  • “Hero Tales: William Booth”
  • “The Hundred Dresses”

The Kids also watched two American Heroes Videos one on Abraham Lincoln and one on Harriet Tubman. Treyton really likes this video series, and enjoyed watching two from this series.

American History Binder

After reading on Monday about the Civil War and how it was literally a war between the states, I had Treyton color a map of the United States – IMG_1548coloring the North, the South and the States not yet in the union. Like all map studies, this activity was a hands-on and visual way for Treyton to see what was really meant by the “War Between the States”. IMG_1631We put this map in his American History Binder along with his Notebooking page on Abraham Lincoln. IMG_1622His narration was: “Abe Lincoln became President. He didn’t agree with slavery, the south wanted to leave the U.S.A. Lincoln kept our country united.”


This week I took off half of our timeline pieces, the ones not laminated, and laminated them. Then I had Treyton place them back on the timeline.  IMG_1633I was surprised by how well he did at this activity. It’s so encouraging to look back to where he was a year ago, compared to where he is now. His concept of time is developing…. how fun!


In his Singapore Math curriculum (2A) Treyton is working on subtracting large numbers (up to 999), while borrowing. Math continues to be one of his favorite subjects.

Week 32 (Week 29) of My Father’s World 

This week we studied 4 new states. These are usually pretty simple weeks, which I appreciated, as I needed a little extra time to plan for the upcoming Homeschool Convention I am planning on attending next week/end. IMG_1712 


In addition to this, I had both Treyton and Alexa both color a Flat Stanley (Alexa actually colored a Flat Summer). I explained the program to them and they are really excited to get started with it. I will also be taking them with me to the Convention in Cincinnati which is 8 hours away.

Now that Treyton is becoming a more confident reader, he reads quite a bit to his sisters. I love seeing this. IMG_1709

“Coincidentally” (isn’t God good), this week at AWANA Treyton had the missionary store, where he bought a Civil War excavation kit. It was a block of plaster that he had a brush and stick to pick away at the block until he revealed (and was able to extract) one of 6 different styles of the Civil War soldiers. IMG_1703

This activity actually took a couple of hours, and he LOVED it! He took his time and did a very, very good job.   

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Artist Study: Georgia Okeeffe

IMG_0264 I had seen some of Georgia Okeeffe’s paintings and knew I wanted to do an artist study on her, but once I saw that she was actually born near Sun Prairie Wisconsin (!) I couldn’t wait to do a study on her!! Personally, I love her style of paintings, and think that they are absolutely stunning.

Facts About Okeeffe:

* Most known for her oversized flower paintings

* She lived to be 98 years old, having lived in Wisconsin, New York, and making her permanent home in New Mexico. 

Paintings we Studied

image Oriental Poppies

image Shell No. 1

image Sky Above White Clouds 1

imagePansy, 1926

image Abstraction White Rose, 1927

Puzzle from Confessions of a Homeschooler


Artist Recreation and Flower Painting






“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say in any other way— things that I had no words for.”

“Nobody sees a flower, really, it’s so small. We haven’t time – and to see takes time…. So I said to myself: I’ll paint what I see – what the flower is to me – but I’ll paint it big…. I’ll make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.”


My Name is Georgia by Jeanette Winter

Georgia Okeefe (Getting to know the World’s Greatest Artist) by Mike Venezia

Preschool: (Letter D) Go Dog Go! and Easter

This week we were working on the Letter D in our ETC book B. Alexa is really starting to out grow Confessions of a Homeschooler’s printables (they were AWESOME while they lasted though), so instead of printing off more “busy work” for her, I decided to wing it this week a little bit.

Focusing on the letter D, I took a look are our bookshelf and pulled out “Go Dog Go!” written by P.D. Eastman is one of our family’s favorite preschool books.

One of the areas I really want to work with Alexa on right now, is a love or reading and books. I don’t spend as much time reading her “fun” story books, as I did with Treyton, because I spend so much time reading Treyton books to go with his school. Because of this, I think Alexa has really missed out on the love of books that Treyton was able to develop.

Hence, the focus, once again to books in Alexa’s school. Purposely picking out books with Alexa in mind, for her level, as well as making it special Alexa time when we would read together (not just a part of Treyton’s school/reading) made a HUGE difference this week.

Alexa LOVED “Go, Dog Go!” and we had lots of fun.

Stop Lights IMG_1549

Alexa’s favorite pages were the red light, green light pages, so I decided to have her make a stop light. I figured she knew what all the colors meant, but quizzed her anyway, and she did great.    IMG_1551 

IMG_1554Fun Party Hats

Each of the three kids made fun party hats, to where during a dog party the following day.  IMG_1556 IMG_1557Lexie insisted she didn’t want a crazy hat but a pretty hat, so she covered the entire things with fuzzy puff balls.

IMG_1558The girls each made their own hats, then Audrey helped make an addition hat for her cousin Peyton who was going to be coming over the following day during our “dog party” IMG_1560

Dog Party

To celebrate “Go Dog Go” we had our own dog party.

I had the kids gather all the “dogs” in our house, from stuffed animals to plastic dogs on a leash, they all piled up in the middle of the living room floor. IMG_1582The kids got a snack of puppy chow, and then they sat down to enjoy a re-enactment reading of the book from our very own Treyton. IMG_1567 Treyton was so cute, lifting up different dogs, doing different things with them to entertain the girls even more. I am so proud.  IMG_1571  IMG_1579 


Paper Dog Craft from DLTK   IMG_1630


Positional Cards

I printed off some cute (really awesome) positional cards from Lil Book Chompers (link below), and played a fun little game with Alexa. I would give her short positional commands like “Take the orange and red crayon and put it beside the desk.” IMG_1637

Easter Celebration

Crown of Thorns: We made a crown of thorns out of chow mein noodles and chocolate.





Resurrection Eggs – this is the first year that Alexa really participated in the resurrection eggs and she did so good. They really helped her remember the story.


Sight Words IMG_1619Alexa worked this week on spelling her sight words with foam puzzle letters. Alexa has mastered “a” “the” and “see”, but she still struggles with “and”. IMG_1620 

Links for Go, Dog Go!

Making Party Hats for Go, Dog Go! believe it or not, I did come up with this idea on my own, as we were reading through the book, but then while researching additional ideas I came across this post, and thought I would go ahead and share it.

Go, Dog Go Pinterest Board by mdrouth 

Go, Dog Go! Kindergarten Activities

Go, Dog Go! Lesson Plans

DLTK Paper Craft: Dog

Go, Dog Go Positional Cards by lilbookchompers

Lil’ Book Chompers on Go, Dog. Go!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week 30 (Adv. 26 & 27): Santa Fe Trail, Oregon Trail, California Trail, California, Minnesota and Oregon

In an attempt to get through our curriculum a little quicker, I combined week 26 with part of week 27. The following week (week 31), I combined the other half of week 27 with week 28 and condensed our study of Abraham Lincoln to one week.

Santa Fe Trail, Oregon Trail and California Trail

We read American Pioneers and Patriots book for each of the trails. Treyton and I both enjoy this book quite a bit. I will be sad when we finish it. Having already studied the Wagon Trains, Treyton enjoyed having some discussion about the difficult travels they may have faced, and what it must have been like on the trails.

State Studies: California, Minnesota and Oregon

Treyton completed his state pages, and we read books on each state:

  • “Roughing it on the Oregon Trail’ by Diane Stanley
  • “First Day in Grapes” by L. King Perez
  • “If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon”

We also read our other regular books:

  • “The Hundred Dresses”
  • “Hero Tales”
  • “Sarah Plain and Tall”



IMG_1508 State Location Review

  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts (the one with the thumb)
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Ohio
  • Louisiana
  • Indiana (where Toni and Angel live)
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Iowa
  • Wisconsin
  • California
  • Minnesota
  • Oregon (he guessed and got it right)
  • West Virginia
  • South Dakota (Faces on  the mountain)
  • Montana (drive fast)
  • Washington
  • Idaho (potatoes)
  • Oklahoma
  • Alaska
  • Hawaii

States We’ve Learned but Need to Locate: 

  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Connecticut



Treyton has finished A Reason for Handwriting book A, and we are waiting until after convention to buy the Transitions book, so until then he is just practicing different letters every day. I watch him a little more closely to be sure he is forming his letters correctly. He does great!


We have really come to a head with Treyton and his shapes. I thought he would eventually just pick them up on his own, but he continues to struggle and has started becoming embarrassed by the fact that he doesn’t always know his shapes well. So with Tim’s help we’ve been much more deliberate working with him to remember his shapes. We started by focusing on the square, but he kept calling it triangle, so we switched to the triangle after we explained to him that “tri” means three, just like his name “Trey”. He got it and picked it up pretty easily.

Then we went to square, which he got easier after he eliminated triangle as an option.

Oregon Trail Resources

Oregon Trail Lapbook Lessons

Landmarks of the Old Oregon Country Video

Oregon Trail Teacher Resources – offers 158 page educators pdf file with GREAT resources, activities, worksheets, songs, recipes, teaching ideas and more. 

The Crafty Classroom – Pioneer and Oregon Trail crafts

File Folder Fun – The Oregon Trail Game

Listen to Pioneer Music On-Line

Oregon Trail Classroom Ideas 

Pioneers & the Oregon Trail on Squidoo

Letter J & H: Jesus and Hippos

I am combining my preschool posts, in order to try and catch up from my lack-of-blog posting the last month or so. Pregnancy seems to have so many side-effects, one of which this time seems to be some type of allergy to the computer. We’ll get through it of course, but please try to bear with me as I try to continue updating in sporadic bursts.


For letter J we focused on Jesus and Jelly Beans. IMG_1423We read several Jesus stories in our Hands-on Children’s Bible:

  • Jesus Walks on Water
  • Jesus Loves the Children
  • Jesus Heals the Blind Man

We did our Explode the Code pages,    IMG_1429 all of our usual Confession printables as well as a few coloring pages. IMG_1445In addition, Confession’s had a cute baby Jesus and stable paper craft that Alexa cut out and assembled. IMG_1435


Her favorite activity this week was Jelly Bean graphing. She had several jelly bean colors in a bag, and would pull one out and graph it. Put the card back in the bag, shake it up and pull another one. She did this 4 or 5 times this week. Treyton also participated, as they both enjoy graphing, and make competitions out of it. IMG_1424


Again, we did our Explode the Code pages IMG_1452and Confessions pages – Alexa just flies through the Confessions pages, so this will probably be our last week printing and going through them. IMG_1511They are a great preschool level program, and we have loved using them, but I think Alexa has outgrown them, and I see no need to continue printing and laminating them. IMG_1493I found several cute hippo crafts that we did this week, some I forgot to take pictures of, but they were cute. Alexa’s favorite one came from DLTK. IMG_1501

Alexa also spent some extra time this week writing her letters that she has learned, thus far. She loves writing. Her handwriting is not nearly as slow and deliberate as Treyton’s was at this age, which means a slightly sloppier writing, but overall she does really well, I figure we will work on the actual handwriting practice later on.


Because letters seem to be losing their challenge with Alexa I have begun to step-it-up-a-notch in two different ways.

First of all we started learning the second phonetic sounds of some letters, these two weeks we focused on c and a – C says /k/ and /s/, a actually has 4 (I believe) sounds, we are focusing on two the long and short sound. Alexa has NO problem with this, so depending on how consistent I am on this I think she will fly through it.

We continue to occasionally (once a week or so), work on her letter blending. She likes doing this because she feels like she is reading, it takes effort, but doesn’t seem to frustrate her at all. However, I want to make sure we’re not pushing to hard, so I think I’m taking it easier than she would like, but for now, it’s for her own good. :)

I also introduced sight words, using 1+1+1=1’s sight word printables – step/unit 1, and some other miscellaneous printables I’ve found online. The first four words we are going to work on will be: a, and, the and see. IMG_1428Alexa picked up a and and in the first two days, and we spent the week mastering them. The second week she got ‘the’ and she struggled a little bit more with ‘see’ but managed to get it by the end of the second week. IMG_1448


Alexa loves painting and would do it all day every day if I let her. She refuses to leave even a speck of white on the paper, which is just like her :) she is such a colorful person.


Alexa can count by 2s to 12 now, she really struggled getting past 10, mostly because she didn’t want to. When I would ask her to keep going, she would say “No, I don’t need to.” IMG_1520

She seems to have forgotten some of her shapes, we’ve been playing a few flashcard games (with both her and Treyton), and I had her do the shape play-doh cards that I had printed off last year from Confessions of a Homeschooler. The second week we decided to focus on a specific shape (square) and I think she remembers that one now. It’s kind of funny – she remembers the more abnormal shapes (like heart, diamond, star and heart) but her basic ones are the ones that she struggles with.   

I had her paint the square shape, and that seems to be what cemented the shape back into her memory. IMG_1477




Next we cover the letter d!