Thursday, January 26, 2012

Homeschool Mothers Journal- I Turned 34!

In my life this week…
My son was recognized by the library for leaving a very nice comment about them on their facebook page. They were so thrilled that they asked to photograph him and use his quote in the new library promotion. He will be in the new posters through out the city as well and in our newspaper for the next 4 weeks. They took many pictures of our family throughout the library to use in future promotions, it was so fun. We were also asked to be in the commercial they were shooting on Wednesday all because of my sons wonderful comment. It was such a great experience for my kids to see how a commercial is shot, and get to be in one. They treated the kids like movie stars it was so fun for them. This whole experience was flashback of the days that I worked on the set of Dawson's Creek in my 20's as an extra. Now that was FUN!

In our homeschool this week…
We finished up our studies on Ethiopia and have moved on to China. We started out our week with a Chinese New Year Celebration. There were so many youtube videos up so quickly on the 23 of the parades and fireworks in Hong Kong. The kids really enjoyed watching the Lion dance.

We have also started our Human body unit, starting with the skeletal system. I will be doing a long blog post on this later next week.

Duck stringing vertebrae and cartilage on his spinal cord.

My favorite thing this week was…
Having dinner at a super fun Japanese steakhouse for my birthday.

Questions I have…
Does your dining room table often look like this through out the week?

Things I’m working on…
Lots of emails and organizing events and such that are coming up next month.

Thinking about doing letter of the week again with my littles. They seem to get a little boared of the more complex topics I talk about at circle time. I think I need to do simpler stories, finger plays, rhyming and songs with them before I sit down for older kids circle time.

I’m cooking…
Shepherd Pie that no one liked!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Unicorn and Dragon story and Craft.

We Read:

The Dragon and the Unicorn
by Lynne Cherry

Wonderful story about saving the rainforest.Valerio the dragon and Allegra the unicorn are driven into hiding when humans begin to destroy the natural beauty
of their land, but they receive hope when they befriend the daughter of the man responsible. Beatiful story my children loved it.

We then made these

Isn't this little guy so cute!

We got the idea from this book.

Africa, Ethiopia - Coffee Is So Fun and Educational.

Projects we made:

Coffee is Ethiopia's major export and is said that coffee originated from there, so we did quite a few projects around coffee.

Sensory fun: Playing with whole coffee beans.

Ginding coffee in my great grandmothers old grinder.

Duck playing with a gas station coffee cup I had earlier that day.

Coffee grounds craft:
1 cup of used coffee grounds
1/2 cup of cold coffee
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of salt

Mix it all together and let harden overnight.

Making coffee at the office (we dont own a coffee machine so we used the one we bought our staff a few years back)I was going to post a picture of this but I am sure everyone has seen kids staring at a coffee pot before!

How would our trip to Ethiopia be complete with out sampling some coffee? I made the kids some very yummy iced coffee's.

Owl stirring his, in my favorite Greatest Homeschool Mom's mug!

Geometric art is found throughout the country. We used all sorts of Geometric shapes to make these. We used the colors of Ethiopia's flag to create these wonderful art pieces.

My 2 younger ones thought it was really fun to watch all the colors swirl around in the sink they also did a great job washing all the paint off.

Books we read:

Beautiful book, it really helped us get a visual about this area of the world.

I used this novel as a read aloud to the kids all week. I highly recommend this book for middle schoolers it has a lot of events that create wonderful discussions.

A quote from "This harrowing story set in Ethiopia during the 1980s features an unexpected friendship between two girls of different religious backgrounds. Threatened by war, famine, and drought, Sahay and her uncle set out from their small Kemant village to find safety in the Sudan. Rahel, a blind Jewish girl, and her brother also flee the country as part of a group of Beta-Israel planning to make an aliyah to Jerusalem."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Homeschool mothers journal

In my life this week…
I dumped urine on my husband (by accident) and he was PISSED (pun intended!)

To make a long story short (that I do not really want to rehash in detail)Papabird was yelling at Duck for getting out of bed to pee and saying that if he didn't pee he was going to be in a time out. So when he peed (a lot I might add) I took the insert to the potty chair over to Papabird and threatened to dump it on his head for his un called for behaviour and the insert slipped and dumped all over his chest.(It was obvious to everyone that I did not mean to do it) The kids and I were laughing so hard we had tears running down our cheeks. Papabird was NOT so thrilled. I told him I never intended to actually dump it on him but a higher power must have intervened and felt he deserved it for making his son scared to get out of bed to pee that he would rather wet himself than have dad yell at him.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
Be flexible and go with the flow.

My favorite thing this week was…
Finishing our Van Gogh art project.

What’s working for us…
Doing a bit more unschooling this year is working well for us. It was stressful at first but I am getting the hang of it. Some subjects are still structured but some I let the kids pick and choose at the start of a 6 week session and they have that time to explore that topic in great detail and give a demonstration to the family to express his/her knowledge on the subject.I am amazed at what they are picking up.

Questions I have…
Which is the right way to hold a pencil?
Let me first say that my kids are all right handed.

Falcon Holding his pen, this is how I hold a pen to write.

Robin holding her pencil. It looks all wrong to me and it is defiantly not how I hold a pencil but she says this way is easy and the way I do it is to hard. She is a beginning writer so If I need to correct her positioning now would be the time to do it. So what do you think is is right? wrong? or does it even matter if she is writing?

It never occurred to me until I uploaded pics and wrote this out that maybe I just need to get her some pencil grips to help her position her hand correctly.

I’m reading…

I’m cooking…
Gluten free burger buns that did not rise properly.

Video to share...

We just love Choo Choo Soul

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Van Gogh Studies

Day 1 we read all about Van Gogh then created our own replicas of Sunflowers
The kids chose to use a similar color scheme as Van Gogh. We drew out our pictures and painted the table and wall today using acrylic paint of heavy duty drawing paper

Strathmore Drawing Pad - 40 Sheets 70lb - Unruled - 11 X 14

Day 2 we painted our vases, flowers and stems. Robin decided to make her vase a little differently than Von Gogh. I encouraged the children to make their own decision and make it just like Van Gogh or add their own personality to it and make it differently. We talked about what mood they were in and how that might reflect in their work, just like Van Gogh work changed according to his mood.

Day 3 The children used a black felt tip permanent marker to outline their work.

Day 4 Completed work hanging above my stove.

The post it notes cover over their real names, they signed and dated their work like real artists.

We read

My favorite fact about Van Gogh is that he was very unhealthy because he would rather buy paint than food and went hungry often

Robins favorite fact about Van Gogh was that he loved to paint.

Falcons favorite fact was that other artists that he met while in Paris were not famous at the time but became famous much later just like Van Gogh.

Make sure you follow me, we plan on posting many other famous artists art projects through the year. One of my goals for this year was to study at least one famous artist with the kids each month (hoping to do more though)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Week in S. Korea

Seoul S. Korea skyline- "Seouls population zoomed from fewer than 3 million people in 1960 to 10 million in 2000. South Korea went from being one of the poorest countries to being richer than some in Europe" according to National Geographic magazine Dec 2011.

Looking at pictures of Seoul's skyline on the Ipad while looking at pictures of the inside of Seoul apts. in the Nat Geo Magazine (Dec 2011 issue)

Some great fiction books we read related to S. Korea are:

A great story full of suspense with a happy ending. New Cat was a HUGE hit with all my littles. I am sad this is out of print or we might add it to our collection. This book did start a conversation on what Soy is and why we do not eat it (no offense to those that do.) WE also watched some great soy factory videos on youtube.

A cute Korean Folktale about frogs who disobey their mother and always do the opposite of what she says.

A fun story about making Bee Bim Bop, with a recipe.

Our Homeschool group studied S. Korea this month.

Here are some yummy Korean goodies brought for all to try and some assorted Korean items as well as a 3d board.

One of Robin's friends doing a Korean dance with fans.

Falcon spoke about the Korean war and Robin and I talked about the the 3 books listed above. I also read the Korean folktale and then shouted out orders to children to see if they would do as I say or be naughty green frogs.

Studying S. Korea was so fun we tasted some great food went to an authentic Korean restaurant (read my blog post about it) visited 2 Asian grocery stores (we bought some asian goodies too!)and learned a lot.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Taste of Korea

Our Homeschool group has a geography club that I created a few years ago. Each month we independently study a new country, this month was S. Korea. Falcon's Tae Kwon Do instructors family are Korean and they own a local Korean restaurant. I have never tried Korean food in my life and thought this would be a great experience for us to go eat there. I invited our homeschool group as well. On the first Thursday on January, 15 of us (children and adults) showed up eager to eat some Korean food. Two of the families had eaten Korean before and myself and 1 other family had not.

The outside woodworking of the small restaurant that sits in a strip mall. This entryway was amazing and really set if apart from everything near it.The Korean owner did all of the woodworking and painting himself. I was blown away.

I especially loved this, so cute!

Sign that says Korean Restaurant.

View of the inside of the restaurant. It was small only having a total of 8 tables but big in terms of Asian style and taste.

Here is a painting that sat over one of our tables, the owner did the artwork himself as well and all the indoor and outdoor woodworking. The owner is also a Grandmaster of Tae Kwon Do.

Here is my food, doesn't it look pretty? I could not tell you what I ordered because I just said okay to all the recommendations from our waiter and it was all FANTASIC. I now find myself craving Korean food and have been searching the Internet for Korean recipes. I will defiantly go back and eat there very soon, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Not sure what this is but I thought it was neat!

I am so glad that I was able to bring this country to life for my children and really get an authentic taste of traditional foods from S. Korea. I highly recommend this restaurant to all my friends and family. A beautifully designed restaurant, great service and mouth watering foods that has created a craving that will only be suppressed by eating at this restaurant in the very near future.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Avalanche at Mount Hubba Bubba

We Read:

Then we made our own snow capped mountain (pillows, stuffed animals, throw rugs, and blankets covered with mattress pads to create our snow)

This is Mount Hubba Bubba he first mountain we built. There were usually 2 or 3 kids behind the mountain ready to push the pile down to the other kids on the steps or bottom of the stairs.Many children fell tumbled down the mountain as well but no injuries ever occurred due to all the cushions.

The snow (pillows and such) cascading down the mountain (stairs)

Now placing animals and Ice pixies on the mountain to see what would happen when the avalanche occurred.

Things did not go well for the animals nor the Ice pixie. It took us awhile to dig them out.

This was a great activity to get out some energy. All my children were eager to run up and down the stairs to build, and then cause avalanches again and again. I even got a great workout doing this. Falcon said this was the most fun science class ever! It was really fun to create different types of avalanches to discover what would be the most destructive.

Geography skills were used while we looked for mountain ranges on the map and found the Alps and the Rockies which is where the most avalanches occur.