Friday, February 25, 2011

School Journal - India

This week we tried to have a semblance of normal and tackle India with some gusto, but it turned out to be only halfway done. I didn't get to the art that I think the kids would have enjoyed. You can see some fun India crafts at They had some neat ideas for fused bead crafts and also some Rangoli designs that looked authentic.

We did the regular map and flag work. We prayed for the Hindu people in India. We read some good literature books from the library. One book that we already had was The Story of Little Bibaji. The kids asked to read that one again and again. We also learned a little about Gandhi and Mother Teresa. The boys did a lap/notebook on Tigers too from Homeschool Share. We ended the week with Daddy bringing home Indian food - our first try for most of us. E and Ter and I liked it, but the boys weren't too thrilled and Betty wouldn't even try hers. Bo just threw his food, so we don't know how they would like it, really. 

Obviously didn't like the smell. :)

We also played a little Parcheesi, since it is the "Royal Game of India". 

E also posed for a photo with her pic of an elephant. I'm sure it's an Asian Elephant. ;)

Helpful Links:

School Journal - Goodnight Moon

We rowed Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown this week. Such a sweet book that the one we got when E was little was completely worn and we had to get another. Betty has enjoyed her copy as well and we had some fun recreating our own version of the Great Green Room.

I used two green manilla folders for the walls and cut windows out of them. I found some clipart for the things we didn't have and gathered some various toys and animals from Betty's toy stash. Then we put it all together so that she could play as we read along. She had a good time with our recreation. 

We did some lapbook pieces from Homeschool Share to go along with the book.

We also continued with our Letter of the Week from Confessions of a Homeschooler. This week's letter Y sorta tied in with our book since there are kittens on the floor of the room playing with yarn and the old lady is knitting.

We also did some of the activities in the links provided below. There are so many on Goodnight Moon. Happy schooling!

Goodnight Links:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Home/School Journal - Valentine's Day

On Valentine's I like to get a small gift for each one of the kids and make a card for them with a special note inside. I should do it more often, but I make a point to do it on V-day. I don't always get that special treat made or do the special craft, but I do have the tradition of homemade love notes. The kids opened up their packages at breakfast time, read their cards and then ran off to play.

Bo and I played with his light-up ball. He was quite enthralled!

That Friday at co-op we had our beltaed Valentine's Party. There were games and crafts, food and prizes and of course, Valentine exchanges.

The kids had a fun time at the party - so much to do!

Home Journal - # Four-O

Yep! That's right! Daddy is officially 40.

On his official bday, we were snowed in. So he got to enjoy a day off with his favorite people! Yeah! But we didn't have all the ingredients for a cake, so he had birthday pancakes made by.......himself. Yes, the birthday boy is the only one who makes pancakes around our house, so the duty still fell to him. They were quite yummy.

We had Daddy's parents and sister over for a celebration when the roads cleared up and Ter's mom made him his favorite German Chocolate Cake. That made up for the pancake cake. :) 

Then, we finally ended the celebratory month with a big shindig at our house on a day that let the kids be outside in their shorts and t-shirts and we could open the doors and sit on the porch. Go figure! My mom catered for me and friends old and new came to celebrate with us. It was a fun time (with no black just a red button). But, alas, I did not get a picture with the birthday boy man. Maybe next year....sigh.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Home Journal - Snow Fun!

A couple of weeks ago we had two H.U.G.E. snowstorms - one right after the other. The snows broke all kinds of records. We were housebound almost two weeks, but we snuggled close and had a good time hibernating.

One of the biggest passtimes during the snow was bird-watching. We had so many birds come to our back porch to get at the seed we scattered on the snow. We saw Cardinals, sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, doves and Bluejays. The kids were arguing over the binoculars and who would throw out more birdseed.

Snow piled high along our driveway. The orange is a post-hole digger to mark the drop-off of the driveway.


Boys relaxing on their snowman turned snowchair.

Through the two weeks where it sometimes got in the negative numbers, the week following the snow had record high temps of 70 degrees. L (who is quite the dramatist) went out into the warm weather in his t-shirt and shorts to ride his scooter and play. When he was out there, he yelled, "I feel so alive!" as loud as he could. Lol!!!

School Journal - The Umbrella

Betty had a great time reading this book, but not only did she like it, but the boys stopped everything to listen to it too.

We learned about some animals we didn't know about before and Betty learned about sequencing and anticipating what might happen next in a story. We used some of the activities on the Jan Brett website that went along perfectly with the book. We also enjoyed the printables and activities from the Prekinders sites below.

We were trying to tie the book in with the Letter U activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler, she was more interested in the book than what I came up with for the letter U. I had big plans of doing different activities for each day. Monday was Umbrella - she did that, Tuesday was Up in the Sky - she did that, Wednesday was Underground using ideas from Delightful Learning blog below - did NOT do that, Thursday was Underwater using some ideas from Homeschool Creations - did NOT do that either. She either just wanted a break from the workboxes (which is very unlikely since she is so gung-ho about every other day) or more likely, saw the underground creepy crawlies and figured it wasn't for her. Either way, there are some great links if your little one would care to use them. :) 

My only "U" shot was this one. She glued some clipart images that I found of things that she might find UP in the air like airplane, helicopter, sun and rainbow, hot air balloon, balloons, clouds, birds, stars, etc.

Helpful Links:

School Journal - Japan & Korea

I had big plans for Japan and Korea, but my plans were thwarted by snow. We could only seem to get the basics done when the kids would somehow get disentangled from my teacher grasp and scoot out the door or sneak up the stairs not to be heard from again until they were hungry. We managed to get maps and flags and read a few books about each country, but the library was having trouble getting the books we ordered on time because of the record snow, so I had to resort to the internet. We used some of the links from the Homeschool Creations posts for that and played Japanese and Korean games online. E enjoyed her book selections: The House of Sixty Fathers by DeJong and If I Perish by Esther Ahn Kim. If I Perish is a true story about a Korean lady who was put in the Japanese prison for 6 years during WW II for her Christian faith and how God moved in her life during that time. Powerful story! 

Some Japan links:

Some Korea Links:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

School Journal - Valentine V

I know this is past and everyone has moved on to the next holiday, but I had to post what we did for our Valentine fun!

Betty LOVED her sensory bin. Of course, it was filled with some of her favorite things - pink hearts!

The cat was quite interested in it too. I think it was the feathers that peeked her curiosity. :)

Found this clever idea on Counting Coconuts (link below)

Confessions of a Homeschooler has a bunch of Valentine activities and Betty had a blast with all of them.
For some reason this week she has been into the weird faces. She's pretty unpredictable anyway, so the pic fits. Silliness!!

Prekinders activities that are provided below. Cutest mean face I ever saw. ;)

I cut hearts from felt and let her design to her "heart's content!" Get it?

Heart painting

We really didn't read a book for Valentine's this week, but there was still plenty of reading going on! It was a good week of learning fun.

Links to share:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

School Journal - China

China kinda got pushed aside for the more important and ultra-exciting SNOW that piled higher than it ever has before in our neck of the woods. The kids were a little hard to control and rein in, but we did manage a few things other than playing in the snow around here. The bad part is that I don't really have any pictures of them. I don't even have cute snow pictures for you. But such is life sometimes, right?

We mapped China and colored the flag. We prayed for the Chinese Christians and the church there. We read lots of good books about China. The kids' favorite was The Five Chinese Brothers. We also read aloud Little Pear.  E has also been reading The House of 60 Fathers that she said (and I quote), "is a good book if I didn't have to write a paragraph about it." Sometimes she gets a little put out with me if I ask her to narrate to me in writing - not her fave. I just smile and wave. L finished reading about Pandas and said that they were now his favorite bear.


We also tried our hand at Chinese Calligraphy, Sudoku, and Tangrams. One day I had the boys build The Great Wall out of Legos (just a model and as you can tell not an exact replica), but it did take a lot of time and imaginitive play which count for something!

Here's the link for printables and otherlinks for you:

School Journal - Owl Babies

Owl Babies is such a cute book. Betty really enjoyed this one. I think she can relate to one of the babies named Bill who always said, "I want my Mommy!"

Now, I have to tell you that I have a thing for owls. I think they are so sweet and they are quite the rage right now. They are popping up on everything...deco and scrapbook papers etc. So even though our letter for this week at Confessions of a Homeschooler is O for Octopus, I threw in about half owl stuff.

We did some of the lapbook things from Homeschool Share (link below) that she is really enjoying. My other kids didn't really like lapbooks, but Betty is different. Yay! Because I like lapbooks! :-)

Cheerios Octopus from a site I can't seem to locate right now except she jazzed hers up with glitter glue.

She enjoyed putting the word on a pipe cleaner with beads to match the picture.

I put together a Letter O/Circle Sensory Bucket with odds and ends around the house. She hasn't been into the sensory buckets like I thought she would, but I'm still not giving up yet. They're fun to put together and you never know when one will be a hit. This one had anything round I could fit...pompoms, game pieces, Lauri puzzle pieces, beads, canning jar rings, gears, round bowls, coins and baby toy links.

I made up a couple of owl printables one for a number match. She puts down the number of mice under the correct owl number. The other game I made was just a bunch of different free clip art on owls that I made into a matching game which she L.O.V.E.S. to play. It's especially cute when she starts to feel sorry for you and how poorly your matching ability is and starts to "help" you by making matches for you. I don't know how to put printables on my blog yet, so if someone would like to explain :) or if you'd like them, I can email the printables to you.

This is a cute little O for Owl from No Time For Flashcards

Quote of the week: "I like reindeer. I also like snowdeer."

I found some great links for owl crafts.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Home Journal - No. 3 is No. 7

Yep, Z - man is now perfect! I told him since he was God's perfect number, this was the year that he was going to be perfect. He just said, "Mo-om..." in the 17-year-old way. :) Z is such a sweet boy and we're especially proud of the way he plays so well with his little brother and doesn't even think it's a chore. This year the top things on his birthday list were, of course, LEGOs, but when we questioned him about which ones, he just said, "I'll be happy with whatever LEGOs I get, mom!" Good to know and good to remember for the after-birthday blues that can sometimes creep up after the anticipation is over. You know what I mean?! Actually, Mr. Z did a great job about being grateful.

We went out to the restaurant of his choice - Braum's - 'cause they have GOOD chocolate shakes. Then, he wanted to watch a movie. He picked Kung Fu Panda. We had a family party for him, but he and L are saving their birthday parties until they can have Boy's Day in June when the weather is nicer and friends can be outside partying! (Yes, that was my idea. From last year, but it will probably be the tradition around here for a while.)


1.   His dimples
2.   How he can spend hours up in the playroom pretending with his Legos.
3.   How he loves his Big Brother.
4.   How he loves his Little Brother.
5.   His Lisp (even though we're working on correct speech).
6.   His methodical way of eating. Always the same. Creature of habit.
7.   His lips that stick out when he gets upset.