Saturday, January 29, 2011

Home Journal - Dirty Laundry

Here's Bo this week doin' what he does best... (You thought this post was going to be about laudry stains didn't you. :))

Lane Frost impersonation (see movie 8 Seconds). After he "helps" Z build his tower, he puts up both arms and waves.

Concentration Tongue

Dirty Laundry - literally. The maid service is so horrible around here, the dirty laundry has to put itself in the washer!

School Journal - Asia Overview

We moved to a different continent now. We are going to be in Asia the next several weeks if you care to join us. We'll definitely be sending you postcards from each country we visit. :)

This week we read a couple of library books to get a feel for the continent before we just delve into the countries. I kinda like doing this even if it's just for myself. I get a big picture of what's happening in general and then we can zoom in for a little closer view of each individual country. Maybe that's just my perfectionistic tendencies shining through, but it's all good. We learned that Asia has the highest elevation in the world (I know you know that one.) and the lowest low (Dead Sea). We looked at the different habitats that we'd encounter there and we studied Marco Polo as our explorer.

To help the kids remember where each major habitat or landform is located, I came up with a creative smaller way to do a salt dough map. I copy a map onto cardstock to make it a little sturdier. Then, I'll usually draw some loose boundaries for areas of desert, grassland, forest and rain forest, etc. (I know it's not completely accurate, but at least it gets the general idea across.) Next, the kids will make a collage using 3-D material for each habitat. On this map of Asia we used golden paint with salt mixed in for desert, small cut strips of green construction paper for grassland, split peas for forest, craft moss for rain forest, sea salt for the tundra and then we made our mountain ranges out of leftover popcorn. We did this for Africa, and as we were wrapping up the countries in the continent, I asked L something about the different habitats and L said the map helped him remember. So, I thought I'd pass that on to anybody and see if it helps your family too.

I also thought of a way for the boys to review their countries that we are studying for each continent that I hope will help them remember the country's location. I'll let you know. I print out one map as a go-by with all the countries' names and each country we're studying colored a different color. This is the one they will look at each time this activity is in their workboxes. On another blank outline map, I have up at the top of the paper the country names and what color I want the boys to color that country. Their job is to study the original map and then color as many countries as they remember. I will give them this activity two or three times a week and by the time we're done with the continent, I hope they can remember the location of all the countries we've studied. I do this same type of thing with E, but she has a map of all the countries in that continent and she has to be able to remember all the countries and their location by the time we're done with that particular continent. But she doesn't color hers, she writes in the name of the country where it belongs.

The kids actually {gasp} played TOGETHER (yes, all four older children) this week without any bickering and complaining on their own volition!!! Can we have a Praise the Lord!!! One afternoon we still were not done with school, but I got out the playdough for Betty and then the other three came right up and decided they were going to get involved too. It was a playdough creating session of highest degree. I was so giddy that I just let them play until the got it out of their systems. It was so much fun to see them using their imaginations together. Here's the only picture that they would allow me.

Cakes for the "Mayor"

School Journal - I am an Artist

This weeked we rowed the book I am an Artist. It was such a wonderful book full of things to ponder.

Betty enjoyed it but I wish the weather could have been nicer to go outside and collect nature items or try to be still and watch - that kind of thing - like it mentions in the book. We did try a few things inside though like finding a rainbow with a prism and we did some work on the letter X from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Betty also felt a little sick one day and wasn't really interested in her workboxes, so we lounged that day.

Looking at the insides of fruit

Painting Clouds at Sunset

Sand (Sugar) Patterns Like the Book

Some of her letter X activities included:

Box Matching

Xylophone Lacing

She also did other COHS letter X activities like Do-A-Dot art, magnet page, counting, playdough X, counting, color by number and finding X's. We also learned tic-tac-toe. From this site we did the X-ray X - so cute! (Scroll down quite a ways.)

She is L.O.V.I.N.G. her B4FIAR

Here's another helpful site:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Home Journal - Little Man in a Big Hat

Bo is really into the hats these days. He's almost 16 months and having a high time goofing around and getting into everybody's business. He's starting to say a few words like, "Mo" with a little cluck of his tongue on the end for "milk" and "I" for ice and ice cream. He's still trying to figure out names of people. He points and hits chests, but everybody is either Dada or Nana and it's not always the same for each person (sometimes Daddy can be Nana). He can already run and go up and down the stairs easily. And he loves to give kisses! So Sweet!

School Journal - Egypt

We've studied ancient Egypt in the past, so this week we brushed up on location and the geography of the area. We learned a little about the Muslim people too and prayed for them.

For art we painted a desert scene. This one is from Z (the other pics didn't turn out). He put the pyramid in front with an oasis. I've been impressed with the way the kids enjoy this activity. I let them do pretty much what they want. I just tell them to cover the page with paint and they spend a long time in concentrated silence (always pleasant) and create. They are very proud of their work and I've seen some wonderful improvement.

I had the boys create a pyramid with LEGOs one day. They didn't exactly build an exact replica, but they used their imagination to create booby traps to keep people from getting the treasure. I was thinking it was suspiciously like the new LEGO Pharoah sets we've seen online. ;) Oh well, they were busy and playing for hours with their creations.

We also did mapping activities, colored the flag, watched a DVD on mummies from the library and read books about Egypt. I already took our literature selections back to the library, but a couple of them were Egyptian Cinderella and Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile.

Next, we're going to Asia and spend a few weeks there. I'll have to share how I'm doing country memorization and location review sometime.

Friday, January 21, 2011

School Journal - We're Going on a Bear Hunt

After a couple days of rowing We're Going on a Bear Hunt with Before Five in a Row, Betty said, "Mommy, you pick fun stories for us to read!" It was a fun one. All the kids stopped what they were doing to listen to this one.

We also did some activities with the letter Q is for quilt using Confessions of a Homeschooler letter of the week and some other activities we picked up.
I made a Bear Hunt Sensory Tub like the one at Delightful Learning (link below).

 I used pipe cleaners secured on cardboard for grass, water with blue coloring in a plastic bag (sealed with clear packing tape) for a river, brown playdough in a baggie for mud, sprigs of cedar trees for a forest, unraveled cotton balls with snowflake punches for a snowstorm and a toilet paper tube painted brown for a cave complete with a bear figure.
I had Betty do a little collage for some of the things the Bear Hunt family encountered. The green one is for grass. The leaf collage is for the forest using leaf die cuts and punches from scarpbooking. She did a blue one with tissue paper and bubble wrap painting for water. I thought of doing brown paint splashes and sand for mud and gluing cotton balls and snowflakes and white paint for a snowstorm, but we didn't get to that.

She enjoyed a reading of the book by the author on You Tube. Her brothers helped her make a cave from the table and blankets in the playroom and we hid bear cookies for her to hunt, but she didn't want to eat the chocolate pudding mud I made to go with it. We also did lapbook activities from Homeschool Share (link below).

We made a queen out of Q like the one at
Here are some other activities I caught this week.
Quilt Number Match (COHS)

Shape Match (COHS)

Lacing Card Match
I just traced the outline on cardstock and had her match the card to the outline.

Orb Factory Magnetic Mosaic Wooden Cubes and patterns from COHS

Q-tip Letters

Miss Queen Bee herself!

story sequence cards're_going_bear_hunt.php

Monday, January 17, 2011

School Journal - Morocco

This week we traveled to Morocco. But...first thing we did on Monday morning was play in the snow!

After we got that out of our system, we were able to concentrate on our schoolwork. We finished our flag and map activities from Homeschool Creations and looked at a few of the links that we found on her blog about Morocco. We also read some literature from Around the World in 80 Tales and The Butter Man. We really enjoyed Star of Light by Patricia St. John.

It had a really clear gospel message and told the story of a young boy in Morocco growing up in the Muslim culture and trying to take car of his blind little sister and their adventures. It was really exciting and moving. The boys (6 and 8) really enjoyed it.

The boys worked on their Animals handwriting practice from COHS Expedition Earth Discovering Gods Creation .

Our art for this week was decorating our own khamsas. In Morocco, these traditionally red hands are supposed to represent the hand of Mohammed's daughter, Fatima. It's used to keep away evil spirits and bring good luck. We got out the pink and orange construction paper because we were out of red and just painted and glittered our own designs. 
We ended the week with a Moroccan meal eaten at the coffee table on cushions. Moroccans usually eat outside, but it was a little chilly here for that!

We fixed grilled lamb with a Moroccan marinade, vegetable stew and couscous. All the recipes came from Eat Your Way Around the World . We had a good time of recounting what we knew about Morocco around the table, too.

School Journal - The Snowy Day

Betty had such a fun time with the little book about Peter and his adventure in The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. We also studied the letter "S" using the Letter of the Week at Confesssions of a Homeschooler

It snowed on Monday just enough to have a little fun and read our book. We started off the week playing then worked on our workboxes. Betty worked on some lapbook components from  Homeschool Share.

She made glitter glue sparkly snowflakes and made all different kinds of snowmen out of paper, felt, playdough, more paper, etc. We colored snowmen and counted snowmen. We made snowflake "S" and snowman "S" and playdough "S". When it came time for our weekly library trip, she didn't want to give up the book, so we held on to it for another week.

Felt Snowman

Losing her shoe in the snow

Sledding with Big Sis

Sparkly Snowflakes

Snowmen Counting with snowmen erasers from Oriental Trading

Snowmen Color Match

This link from Delightful Learning was very helpful.

I didn't use this particular lapbook, but it looked really cute.

Monday, January 10, 2011

School Journal - Nigeria

This semester I decided to pick up the pace and study a country per week instead of every two weeks. I just don't want to be doing this for two years! But I did take some pics of our trip to Nigeria.

We did the standard flag and map work. We read books about Nigeria and read literature selections too. E did a five paragraph report on the country. One of the things that surprised me was that the boys really had a good time using our African instruments to reenact a tribal dance. They built a fire and took off their shirts and one would dance while the other would beat the drum and then they'd switch. They had a great time doing this.

I'm not sure the fire is authentic, but it was a nice touch to have the glow of the lightsaber. :)

We painted an african village scene inspired by african hut craft

An we tried to keep little Mr. entertained. (I had to get him in here somehow!)

It was a good week back from Christmas Break.