Thursday, March 29, 2012

Homeschool Mothers Journal

Playing under the weeping willow.

Is it the weekend already? I feel like I have been playing catch up for months. It always seems that way though. Either kids are sick and I get behind or there are holidays, or nice weather..... the list seems to never end. I guess the problem stems from me being an over achiever!

Robin, Duck and Owl
Two weeks ago we rowed the book Katy and The Big Snow. Check our our fun week long study on that here.

We started the FIAR book Storm in the Night, we will continue rowing it until next week since we only read it 2 days this week and haven't done all the projects yet that I plan to do.

We did make these cute Rock Bugs look here

Falcon has been working on an essay for a contest I encouraged him to enter. We had a long talk about writing for fun and writing to win. They are not always the same thing. I told him that I didn't care which direction he wanted to take his writing and that I would help him either way. Falcon chose to write to win so we did some research on who was doing the judging and discussed what we though they would want to hear. We talked about how to write and target a specific audience. He was happy with his essay.
Robin wrote an essay as well.

Falcon and I went to see Hunger Games. It was great and very much like the book. I bawled at the reaping scene it was played very well. Interestingly enough I like Gale better in the movie than I did in the book and the opposite for Peeta I liked him better in the book than in the movie.

Ever since I saw the movie I have loved this song.

I am reading:

Robin went to a birthday party for her friend who just turned 8!

She wanted to wear one of her new dresses, She looks good with those bowling shoes huh?

I am 7 more pounds down! Yay!

“The strongest oak tree of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.” ~Napolean Hill

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rock Bugs!

Our Rock bugs,this idea came from the book:

I thought it would be fun to take a walk and look for rocks we could paint as bugs (in the story, the root children paint bugs and lead them up to the surface to welcome spring.)

We went for a walk to look for rocks that would make great bugs. There is an area near our house where a train used to go through but they took the tracks down last year and now all that is left is miles and miles of a rocky path where the train tracks used to be. It is s bit littered up so we had to be careful of the areas with glass but the kids had a great time selecting their rocks.

At first they all tried to pick the biggest rocks they could carry but I reminded them that they had to carry these all the way back home and they reluctantly chose smaller rocks.

The boys were so cute carrying their rocks. I showed them how to use their shirts as a basket and they thought thatvwas really neat.

Painting our bugs. Owl was have more fun painting water on the cement than painting the rocks!

After they dried (the next day) we used Sharpies to add stripes and dots to our bug skin.

Some of our finished bugs.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

FIAR: Katy and the Big Snow

I really enjoyed this book, my kids gave it 5 stars! This has been a favorite FIAR book so far. All 3 of my littles sat down and enjoyed this story every time.

We went for a many fun walks where I let the kids take turns holding the compass while I told them which direction to head (north, south, east or west) this was quite a challenge at first but as the week progressed they got the hang of it. I planned on making a compass with them this week but never got around to it. That would be an awesome project to go along with this book.

We discussed weather across the globe and looked up the temperature to many major cities through the world. We also talked about how when its night in half the world it is day in another. We used yellow post its to represent day time and blue for night time. We also discussed that if its winter in the northern hemisphere then it is Summer in the southern hemisphere.

Shaving cream on a tray to simulate snow then pushing cars thorough it.

We talked about fire safety, practiced fire drills and finished this fire safety workbook.

A favorite movie of Ducks that has big machines on it.

We went to go see some real big machines at work. This is my Jr. high that they just tore down!

I got out our bean box and the kids had fun playing it it pretending to push snow (beans) around in the box with little construction vehicles.

I printed off some clip art street signs that I taped to some wooden blocks. The kids all built their own cities. We had a few discussions on how the city would function without certain buildings ( police stations, fire departments, hospitals etc)

This was a great book and I found that it had the possibility of so many more extensions than I even did. This will be a favorite on our bookshelf for many years to come. want to see what my friend Renita did with this book check out what she did here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First day of spring activities.

Playing with chalk in our driveway.

Spring is my favorite season, lots of rain which I love and not to hot. I love seeing the world green again and so full of color and activity. It is just so uplifting.!

In the morning we went to the graveyard to feed the ducks. I love walking through the graveyard and looking at all the headstones, some say it's morbid but I feel it's the exact opposite. I am remember those long lost, even those I do not know. Graveyard walking really makes you think about the fact that your days here are numbered and you should live everyday like your last. I saw a really neat headstone today with Asian characters on it. I was unable to get a good picture, maybe next time. The children and I enjoyed our walk and the sunshine as we fed the ducks and saw a turtle popping his head out of the water and peeking at us from time to time.

We read some read spring stories;

This one has a bunch a great Spring time activities to do at the back of the book.

We plan on doing most of these activities through out the season.

Went on a walk to spy things "spring" Robin took all of these photos.

Seeds on a sidewalk.

Leaf sprouts on the maple tree in front of the house.

This is such a neat looking tree. An elderly man near our house has taken over the property next to his house that the city owns and has turned it into a secret garden! It's so impressive, we actually knocked on his door and met him today. I will have to take pictures of it when its in full bloom. walking through his Garden makes me want to read The Secret Garden

Sketched daffodils

Spring flower painted by Robin, she got silly and painted the sky green and the grass purple (only because I told her I was only getting out green, yellow, and purple paints!)

Made a cute daffodil banner here is the blog tutorial

I got this great idea from the Spring blog Carnival be sure to check it out for some great spring activites or add your own.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Homeschool Mothers Journal - circle time stumps

The new outdoors circle time area (when weather permits) and kids play area.

I love these stumps and have so many ideas on what we can use them for.

We had our tree trimmed last year and finally had someone come cut up and take all of the. We kept it thinking we would do something with it someday. Papa bird and Falcon thought they were going to chop it all up with an ax. They did do quite a bit but chopping solid oak was not as easy and they thought.

What the wood pile looked like in Feb of 2011

Robin was so excited to see more than a dozen of her favorite birds looking for worms out of our lawn.

Which do you use when giving meds to your kids?
regular spoon

or medicine spoon

My mom always used just a teaspoon from the silver ware drawer. I have always use a medicine syringe or spoon. When my kids were sick this week and I could find any medicine spoons I started using just teaspoon. I do only give herbal remedies with them I am usually more precise if I ever do give synthetic pharma drugs the doctors peddle.

Our homeschool week:
Well due to sick kids we did not get as much done as I wanted but we did finish up all our Thailand studies check out my blog post on it here We got a very neat package from Thailand with all sorts of fun stuff in it, and met an exchange student a homeschool friend of mine is hosting from that country.

I came across this picture on facebook.

Do NOT eat what ants would NOT touch.
Top right: margarine, left: reduced fat margarine,
bottom right: natural butter.

I thought this would be great to try out ourselves and many other real food vs. synthetic food items. Great science project, if you try this or something similar please post your link here so we can see it.

Here are a few interesting comments made by my friends about the facebook post
"It looks like the couple ants that tried the margarine died!"
"I wonder if the ants would eat the margarine in the absence of butter..."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thailand- The Land of Smiles

We are studying Thailand for our homeschool geography club. This was a very exciting month because a homeschool friend of ours with their 3 kids moved to Thailand for 2 years at the end of last summer. So she sent a package of goodies from the country.
The kids and I were so excited to see what was inside.

Postage on the envelope. Notice it cost her $651 Baht (that's the Thai dollar) it was really only around 24 US dollars but that a lot considering the package was less than 2 lbs.

Thai currency, she also sent a Thai baht for every child to take home at our monthly event.

The big bag of goodies she sent us (not including the map that is standing up)

Snacks that most Thai kids love and eat all the time. (her kids do not care for them much)

Aesop's fable that is written in Thai and in English.

A variety of post cards.

A magnet (wooden I think)

A video that is spoken in Thai

A few magazines that were written in Thai and some English.

The floating Market.

Thailand is full of canals (they call them Klongs)and a long time ago these were a popular way of getting your goods to the people who wanted to buy them Now they are mostly just a tourist attraction.

Our Canal boat. I tried to write something in Thai on the side I have no idea what it says, I just copied a world from one of the books.

The kids thought this a very new fun way to play grocery store. They took turns being the canal boat vendor and customer.

I shaved Falcons head over the weekend and his friends at TaeKwondo were calling him a monk. (light bulb) so I thought it would be neat for him to do his project on the Monk's in Thailand. He like that idea and went to the Internet and found the Tiger Temple The temple is located in the Saiyok district of Thailand's Kanchanaburi province.The website is interesting to look around, most of it is written in Thai though! If you listen to the homepage, they do talk in English and tell a bit about it.

So for his project: he wrote a personal narrative from the point of view of an 11 year old monk who is here in the USA to talk about his experience so far at the tiger temple.Falcon did a great job when he did his speech, I couldn't have been prouder.

Robin and I read this Thai folk tale:

It was a neat book, written in Thai and in English.
A great story to teach a valuable lesson on having to much.
Some things we did to go along with the book.
Robin tried on 10 of her favorite dresses/skirts and blouses so she could see how hard it would be to move around in them. Then we put on all of her jewlery, after she took them off we looked through her stuff and we decided (I convinced) her that she might have too much stuff and that we should get rid of some ofit. So we gathered some items and put them in our Goodwill bag.

Robin also made a Green spotted triangle butterfly

These are said to be common in Thialand. This was a very easy and great project to work on. Robin cut out to greeen shapes at a time so they would be the same shape them she placed them on her butterfly in a symmetrical pattern. This was hard for her at first, but she caught on quickly.

Insep, a foreign exchange student from Thialand giving a great speech about Thialand to the children, everyone loved her. She taught the kids some Thai sayings and some Thai dances.