Betty and Bo both enjoyed this activity I got from Counting Coconuts (not from the link above, but I couldn't find the exact one). It's just putting little umbrella toothpicks into styrofoam. Great fine motor activity. We used our ocean animal toobs a lot and poured "sand" into different containers with a funnel which Betty loved too.
I also put together an ocean sensory tub with our ocean animals, blue aquarium gravel, a small boat, some seashells, aquarium plants and some spikey balls for sea urchins. The beach sensory tub that I did didn't get its picture taken but it had cornmeal for sand (since I didn't have the real thing), seashells, a bucket and scoop, a toothpick umbrella and little chairs and some game pieces to serve as people. Both of them were played with a lot.
I think that now they'll know what to do when we go on vacation!
We were outside one day and Bo wanted his brother's bike helmet and he took my sunglasses from me. He put them both on and quite proudly declared, "Erk, cycle!" which when translated means, "Erik, motorcycle." So here's to you, Mr. Erik from a big fan! :)
Here's a fun thing that Betty and I did to make her matching a little more exciting.
We used this Melissa and Doug puzzle and word/picture cards from here. I hid the pictures in the puzzle and she had to open the latch and find the correct word to match the picture. Betty enjoyed doing her words this way and it was justs as easy for me. If you don't have a puzzle like this, you could hide the words under cups or stuffed animals or even do a hide-n-seek around a room. Fun and Phonics go together!
Here's a special lady in our family that just recently turned 94! This dear one is my kids' only living great-grandparent. We're so glad that she is close enough to get to spend lots of time with her. We love you, Great Gran!
Gran with Bo and his Uncle
Great Gran still talks about the time Bo came to visit her at her apartment when he was barely a day old. She was recovering from surgery and couldn't get out so we brought Bo to see her on our way home from the hospital. He was born on Great Papa's (her husband) birthday.
It doesn't really feel like we should be gearing up for a new school year since we just finished the old one week and were on to the new the next. Next year won't be like that, but I wanted to finish up our World Geography countries before starting the new stuff. I need closure. :) I decided to stagger-start since I knew the curriculum I picked for E would be a change for her and I'm glad I did because that first day in the new program was a little (ehem) difficult. :) But anyway...I haven't said what curriculum we are doing!
E - 7th Grade
Heart of Dakota - Revival to Revolution It includes bible quiet time, biblical worldview, music appreciation, history, geography, state study of all 50 states, research on the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, Art, language arts, math, science and an inventor's study. I think it the perfect fit for her since she loves to read biographies and interesting books and she will be doing most of the things on her own. I also ordered the extension pack for 8th and 9th graders because she loves reading and being read to so much. I didn't use the math HOD recommends (although I love Singapore Math). E enjoys Teaching Textbooks so we're sticking with that. Rev to Rev language arts includes dictation, Drawn into the Heart of Reading program and grammar, but she needs a little more help in spelling, so we'll also supplement with All About Spelling. She's also using IEW's SICC-B Writing course that I am teaching for our co-op as well as Rosetta Stone for Spanish. She really loves the program and was very faithful with it until a certain 1yo got a hold of her headphones. Now she remembers to put them away. :)
L - 4th Grade
Z - 2nd Grade
L and Z are going to mostly be doing the same things this year except at their individual level. We started Primary Arts of Language this spring and are continuing our way through that program. L is my main helper and game player as well as getting some review on weak areas. They are both in All About Spelling at their level. For history/geography we are using Confession of a Homeschooler's Road Trip USA doing a state-by-state trek across the country which ties into a state study that E is doing. Instead of doing the coloring sheets that she includes in her package, the boys will use Fifty States Under God for Young Learners while E does the older kids version. I think they will enjoy cutting and pasting more than coloring. L is enjoying Singapore Math and I broke down and got Teaching Textbooks for Z because he begged to do math on the computer like his sister. I also have a stack of great literature that I hand-picked for them and we'll be using those for read-alouds. They will also be reading to themselves books that interest them.
For Betty I decided to go with Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory (LHFHG). I think she will enjoy the challenge of the program, but I'll probably just start it at half speed and throw in some other fun things if I see she is getting overwhelmed. It is a Kindergarten/1st grade curriculum and I got only the Kindergarten options, but she loves her Montessori-type workboxes. I really think she's going to like the reading and things like the big kids, though.
Bo, well, he'll be along for the ride. His favorite perch is on top of the schoolroom table, but I'm hoping he'll be broken of that soon. I will have fun stuff on his shelves that I will try to rotate, but he's never been one to NOT have something to do especially with four older siblings to play with him while I'm busy with one student.
I'm looking forward to a more laid-back year for me in that I won't have to plan so much outside of school time. I'll have more time to do a little blogging and just being with the family.