Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week of: Life

This week has FLOWN by.  Seriously, where did it go?  We managed to do a few lessons almost every day but did nothing for our theme week. Even though it was fine and we accomplished what we "needed" to accomplish, I feel that I need to get more organized with our themes.   We did start to read our next Magic Tree House book about Dinosaurs.  Next week I have a bunch planned to go with our Dinosaur/Volcano theme.  Perhaps that is an odd combination, but there are volcanoes on the cover of the MTH book, so of course Charlie wanted to study them as well. :)

The weather has been gorgeous here, 50 and higher.  So, the boys have also spent a great deal of time in our mud pit backyard.  We have also taken a few walks around the neighborhood. It has been such a welcomed change to!

Besides our lessons, celebrating Valentines Day, doctors appointments and the girls over 2 days this week, we spent a good deal of time just doing everyday stuff around here.  Organizing, throwing things out, playing, laughing, planning Tommy's bday party, and spending time together.  So, this week our official theme was: LIFE.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week 2 of Valentines

It is kind of nice not having a "theme" per se these last 2 weeks. Instead we have been focusing on making Valentines Day crafts and cards for some of our favorite people. This year we are really trying to reinforce giving to others. Whether it is taking food to the food pantry at church, donating used toys and clothes to the Salvation Army, taking dinner to a neighbor in need, or making cards for our family and friends, we want our children to grow up with giving hearts.

The boys made 2 types of hand-print valentines. I added the wording "Happy Valentines Day, Love, Charlie/Tommy". I think they turned out so cute!
We also painted the outside of the boys pinky finger and along the side of their palm to make the heart prints.  They also made their Valentine card box to collect their cards in and prepared their Valentines for the Co-op friends on Monday.

On Thursday we had a small Valentines Day party with a few of our friends.

For our treats we had confetti cupcakes, brownies and strawberry milk. 

The kids decorated their cupcakes and made a valentine card to take home.  It was a lot of fun!

Besides all our pre-Valentines Day fun, we stuck to our basic lessons as well. Charlie completed lessons in Phonics and Math, practiced his hand-writing by finishing up his Thank You cards from his birthday and we picked up his Explode the Code book.

I had a conference call with Charlie's "teacher" from K12 this week as well.   We went over his test scores from the AIMS web test he did a few weeks back.  Charlie scored average or above average on all subjects.  She was also pleased with the progress that he has made from the beginning of the year and feels that he is right on track in most areas and ahead of the game in some.  She also said that if we continue to complete lessons at the rate we are currently working, then we will be done with his school in late April.  The last day of school is technically June 3rd.  We will most likely continue on as we have been, possibly taking a few days off for the boys to have a "free day" from school and for me to devote to planning their summer curriculum and Tommy's curriculum for next year.

What we were playing with this week:

Linking up this week to:

No Time For Flash Cards
ABC and 123 
Preschool Corner

Monday, February 7, 2011

Week of the Valentines

Tissue Paper Valentines Day Hearts

This week both boys shared the same theme and we worked on our Valentines Day  decorations and cards.  We made tissue paper hearts with contact paper.  They are so pretty on our front window when the sun shines (which isn't often these days!).  
The boys also had fun buzzing around the house with the "love bugs" that they had made.

Charlie continues to do well with his daily phonics and math lessons.  We learned about matter, solids, liquids and gases in science this week.  We also made a weather chart and will be charting the weather for the next few weeks.

Charlie is using blocks to solve subtraction problems.

Tommy is still enthusiastic to do "school" with us.  
This week he did a few sheets in his workbook and  played on  He is also doing much better playing independently when I need to work solely with Charlie. 

Having fun with dress up as Kings and Knights in their "castle".

Our school year with K12 ends in May and won't start up again until August. I am planning a summer curriculum for the boys to do at least 2-3 days a week during those months.  I am also gearing up to put together Tommy's Prek curriculum for the 2011-2012 school year.

And our last bit of fun over the weekend was making some yummy cookies for the Super Bowl.

Linking up to:
Preschool Corner
No Time For Flashcards
ABC and 123 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Preschool: Week of the The Penguin

Tommy's Penguin
  I have done some tweaking on a curriculum for Tommy and have decided to focus on one theme for a few weeks.  We will be doing different activities based on the theme we are learning about.

This week we started our Winter theme of Penguins.   When Penny was hospitalized for RSV, my dear cousin Amy from Montana sent us a copy of Don't Be Afraid, Little Pip by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman.  Ms. Wilson is a personal friend of my cousins and therefore signed the copy for our little Penny. It was so thoughtful of both of them!

We started off by reading the book which is about a sweet little penguin named Pip who desperately wants to learn to fly but is told repeatedly that she must swim instead.

After reading our book we made penguins out of model magic.  I told the boys what characteristics they needed to make or how to roll the clay etc, but they
did everything else.  Their creations could not be any cuter!!

I had hoped to use the penguins to make snow-globes with, but we all agreed that they were just too cute.  See, I am learning to go with the flow! :)
While I was getting our supplies out I set the boys up with a cute video  from National Geographic about penguins.  They learned how scientist tracked and counted penguins by placing bar code chips in their feet and then having them walk over long pieces of metal that they disguised in the sand.  The penguins were so cute!

Another fun activity was making snow cream.  I got the idea from Susana, who is my wealth of knowledge blog friend!  Trent gathered some snow from the front yard (we had plenty to spare!), I added some milk, vanilla and a little sugar.  The boys added sprinkles and ate away.  Charlie said it was ok but too cold, Tommy accidentally dumped about half a tube of sprinkles on his and thought it was "gwoss" (gross) and Trent said it tasted like watered down ice cream.  I think we will try it again next year when I can taste it and make it better (no dairy for me because of little Miss Penny).  It was fun  though and something we did as a family, can't beat that!

Tommy also did some worksheets from on the number 3 and the letter C.  Our neighbors had also given a ton of odds and ends preschool workbooks.  I have given one to Tommy as his school book to do with us as Charlie finishes up his seat work.  Tom loves it and it makes him feel so big.
Hammering his ABC puzzle

Color match game I made him.

The boys also had some fun in the tub with  a full bottle of shaving cream (our fake snow) and a few chunks of colored ice.  I took different plastic containers and filled each of them with water that was different colors. I then just put them outside for a few hours and later that night brought them in when it was bath time.  We let the boys play in the shaving cream with the chunks of ice and they loved it.  Since they were in the bath it didn't matter how messy it got.  In the end the boys had fun, they were clean and I had a squeaky clean bath tub! Win, win for everyone!!

 We made these adorable penguin footprints and a snowman snow-globe out of more model magic.

Linking up to:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kindergarten: Week of the Mummy 3

Tommy the Mummy

We finished our study of Mummies this week.  We read both Mummies in the Morning and Mummies and Pyramids from The Magic Tree House series.  We all enjoyed reading these books during lunch or  as a family before bed.

Charlie participated in almost all of the Winter/Penguin themed activities that we did for Tommy's school.

Making his snowman and penguin out of model magic
Brother's doing school together
Having fun with shaving cream and ice chunks.

The boys also started their Co-op this week.  We all had a great time.  Charlie is enrolled in a LEGO class and a Fun With Numbers class.  Tommy had fun playing in the nursery and  I enjoyed myself at the Bible study for one class and then volunteering in the nursery.  There are about 100 other kids at the Co-op ranging from newborn to high school. 

We are really getting into a groove with our schooling and it feels good.  Life is settling down a bit and we are getting to experience our new "normal".  I love each and every day that I get to spend with our boys, teaching them and watching them grow.  I truly feel blessed!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Paper Mache Snowman Faces

Tommy's Snowman Paper Mache face, with carrot nose and coal eyes and mouth
One of the books we read this week was The Biggest, Best Snowman Ever by Margery Cuyler.

A very sweet story with an even sweeter lesson, that you are never too small to accomplish big things!  Nell, the little girl in the story, is told that she is too small to do much of anything.  She sets out into the wintery woods where she meets up with her animals friends an together they build the Biggest, Best Snowman Ever!  Proving that with a little help from her friends, she indeed "big" enough to do BIG things.

To go along with this story and our week long theme of Snow/Winter, we opted to make paper mache snowman faces. 
We started off  by practicing writing our letters in flour, an idea I have seen all over the blog-sphere.  It is great fun for little people and a wonderful exercise for little fingers.

Once the boys were done making a complete mess writing their letters, we started to work on our snowmen faces.  We used water and flour mixed together and then dipped bits of toilet paper into the mixture.  I helped Tommy form some of his pieces because it was difficult for him to do so since it was so sticky.   It was great fun, until I went to clean up! 
We waited about a day for them to dry and then painted them.  Orange for his carrot nose and black for his coal eyes and mouth.  I think these turned out so great and the pictures don't show their depth.  Tommy had so much fun to have complete control over his creation and I think that shows!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ice Cube Sun-catcher

This was a very cool activity for the children and myself.  It took a few days to complete but the end result was worth it!  Isn't our ice cube sun-catcher pretty?!

 We tied this project into Charlie's science lesson on measuring liquid. It also turned into a spontaneous art class when the boys mixed different colors of food coloring to make the colors that they wanted. We used our fun tropical ice cube tray from Grandma Candace for the ice cubes. We put the tray outside for a few hours to freeze them. Again linking into Charlie's science lesson on temperature. That is one of the cool aspects of homeschooling, that lessons over lap and the younger ones can be learning right along with the older children.

Once the ice cubes had set we filled a cup with water and placed it in the middle of the black flat bowl.  The water in the cup keeps it from moving around when we filled the black bowl with yellow colored water. It also makes a smaller circle in the sun-catcher that we can use to hang the sun-catcher from a tree etc.We placed our sun-catcher outside again (I guess temperatures in the low teens are good for something!) and let it freeze over night.

In the morning we brought it in and ran it under the tap for a few seconds to loosen our suncatcher from the mold.  Our ice cubes did not hold their "tropical" cute shapes but melted into small round balls.  Regardless, we all thought it turned out very pretty.

Daddy hung it from the playscape in the backyard and we will continue to enjoy it as long as the weather permits.  This is one of those projects that we will certainly do again and the possibilities are endless!

Linking to:
Something for the Weekend
Kids Get Crafty
Preschool Corner and 5K too
Creative  Connections for Kids