Tuesday, June 28, 2011

School Journal - First Playdough

Not for her...

 ...for him.

Bo had such a good time with the "dough". It kept him busy for 30 minutes - which is definitely saying something. It probably won't happen again, but it was nice for one day of school. He really liked pushing the rocks into the dough. Then E showed him that she could make a ball with it so now he wants everyone to make balls while he smooshes them with his fingers. :) Great fun!

Home Journal - Princess Friends!

Monday, June 27, 2011

School Journal - Bunnies and Birds

Betty loved our spring themes of bunnies and birds! We read books on both topics including:

 Peter Rabbit: The Tale of Peter Rabbit Board Book     BabyBirdBook

I used some Easter theme printables and activities from Prekinders and the Birds Preschool Pack from Homeschool Creations for our 2 weeks of Bunnies and Birds.

This is a fun thing from Prekinders. It's like a Find-It! Game but you put rice and little items inside a clear plastic carrot. Betty had a blast finding all her letters in the carrots. Other bunny things we did were hopping like a bunny and other animals, bunny counting using a picture of a garden with a bunny and then using playdough carrots that the bunny gobbled up and a bunny craft.

I couldn't think of a bunny theme sensory bin, but we did do a bird bin. I used bird seed and had a couple of fake birds that I found at the dollar store and some plastic eggs. Betty wasn't the only one who got interested in that.

But we had to take it outside for him! :)

She also painted a little birdhouse I picked up at Hobby Lobby. We did a lot of games with plastic eggs and we made a playdough nest for counting our jelly bean eggs. She really likes birds and can name some of the more common ones around our house. But she's really hoping to see a Great-Horned Owl. 

Home Journal - Hugs

Nothing Sweeter!!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trip Journal - Texas Friends and Legoland

Last month we took a quick trip to visit our friends who had moved to Texas a few years ago. We still like getting together and hanging out. Of course, wouldn't ya know it, I got some tummy bug that had me urping the only night we spent there, but other than that...we had a great time! We had a little bonfire and roasted hot dogs and s'mores.

Their hammock was a little hard to master for the little guys. :)

They went exploring in the ditch and even got in the swimming pool that was freezing.....

On Sunday, we went to the Grapevine Legoland. The boys had a great time checking out all the stuff.

Even Betty had princess legos just for her.

Bo was most impressed with the Karaoke at the Princess Castle. He sang his little heart out without any words.

FYI - If you go to Legoland, don't put your lips on the mic. It wasn't pretty.

They had a really neat lego model of Dallas including all the major buildings like the observation tower and the sporting events centers and even a farm and a boat - all made from Legos. Don't miss that if you go! You can kinda see it behind the kids in these pics.

 Thanks for a great time! We enjoyed the fun and the company. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Home Journal - Furry Friend

We have a new friend at our house. Her name is Daisy. She's already found her "spot."

 Technically she's E's cat, but E is glad to share when she doesn't get up in time to feed the constant kitty whines. However, she is still a little overprotective when Kitty is in the hands of her two youngest siblings. Hm..Hmm.

She's mostly an outdoor cat, but she comes in for cuddle times and reading on E's bed. Our other cat Cloudy is NOT fond of her. Daisy can't understand why Cloudy would hiss at such a loveable thing like herself, but complete bliss in this situation was not meant to be. So Daisy looks only to the humans in her family for affection.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Home Journal - Fascinating Bugs

Bo is an explorer. He loves the outdoors and plays hard when he gets out, but then when he comes across a bug, he's mesmorized. He will be running at full speed and then notices a bug and he stops dead in his tracks to check the bug out. He has no qualms about picking up one of these fascinating creatures and letting it crawl all over him.  Check out this budding scientist as he observes his prisoner.

 And then just to get the full "flavor" of the insect, he pops it into his mouth. Oh yes...quite nice.

School Journal - Primary Arts of Language Review

I think I've tried almost every kind of reading program there is. All my kids learn so differently that they've (I've) each needed something different. So...I bought another program and I'm very glad I did. P.A.L. by IEW  is a very intense course, so I have slowed it down a bit to a pace that my 1st grader is comfortable with. This is all new stuff to him and I want him to be successful. My third grader "helps" the 1st grader and gets a review as well, which is good because he doesn't read independently yet and needs a b.u.n.c.h. of repetition. I was also trying to use it with my preschooler. She loved the letter stories and writing the letters, but after we got past the "squeally ee's", she was over her head, so I am doing something else with her. She still can spot the squeally ee's in a word though and is recognizing color words.

P.A.L. uses a Phonetic Farm folder to help introduce "helpers" which are basically different letter combinations that say one sound (i.e. ay, er, ee...). It also introduces sight words that you jot down on an index card to memorize and use in the reading practice each day. There are also file folder games that you put together and your child plays every day. So you're learning new stuff daily (unless you slow down a bit) and putting them into practice with reading and using those words in different games always reviewing previous words.   

I like that it teaches the not-so-basic sounds effortlessly and matter-of-factly. I was having trouble teaching what you do after the short vowel words that are easy to sound out, but P.A.L. makes it very easy and I don't have too much prep work to do except get file folders made. Z has made it through 13 lessons and I am amazed at how well he is doing and how much he is learning. We also get the added benefit of having the whole family interested in what the new reader is learning because there is a poem tying the lessons together and our family loves to memorize the poems and find the "helpers" in the poem.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

School Journal - Field Day

This year's field day was a bunch of fun! We were able to do it outside since the weather cooperated. There were so many activities to choose from and the kids were going in all different directions that I didn't get shots of everything, but I did get some cute pics. It was so much fun to see the kids interact with their friends. 

School Journal - Garden and Flowers

If there is one thing Miss Betty is into right now, it's flowers. So armed with some tools from Homeschool Creations' garden pack and 2 Teaching Mommies Flower Unit , we had some big school fun that was just perfect!


Clothespin Beginning Sounds

I hot glued some pattern cards to popsicle sticks so the flowers would make a garden when she pushed them into the foam. She loved this!  

Parts of a flower

She really enjoyed using a spikey ball dipped in paint to create flowers. She used green glitter glue for stems and leaves.

Of course, the highlight of garden schooling was creating her very own flower garden to take care of. She and her daddy planted her rainbow garden together.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fun Journal - Zoo Trip

We love going to the zoo. I guess it's the fact that we have a major animal lover in the family that is like our own personal tour guide, but it's always fun. Springtime is the best time to go - a nice cool day in April is just perfect at the zoo. The animals are out and feeling frisky after their long winter huddle and they are ready to put on a show.

The monkey board is our traditional zoo pic. We capture one without fail. Sometimes the faces change, but never the board. I hope they never get rid of it. What will we do for a tradition then!

We had our own little monkey show. The kids tried acting like the siamang and gibbons. Oh yes, we know that not all monkeys are just plain monkeys.

I got alot of pictures of the animals themselves, but I'd rather put them on a slideshow instead of one at a time, but I don't want to learn how to do that tonight. :) (Insert slideshow here.)

The train, of course, is always the highlight of the trip which is always at the end of a long day of walking. This time we splurged and went all the way around. Oh yeah!