Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: Letting Go and Those Ahhh moments!

I have been praying about some of the things that I have been doing outside of the home (church, co-op, etc.) and asking God for guidance on what I should let go.  I decided to give up something that I really enjoyed doing but was becoming more and more of a demand on my time.  I have a peace about it so I know it was the right decision.   
We had one of those AHHH weeks homeschooling.  Ahh, no complaints about math or reading! 
Math – Review, review, review!  Emily and I reviewed addition facts using flash cards and playing addition games. 
Reading – Something clicked this week for Emily and she is getting it and starting to enjoy reading.  Ahhh!
Spelling and Writing- We have been using Learning Resources Reading Rods, which I found at a yard sale, to work on short and long vowel sounds this week.
Language – Emily and I are loving the lessons in First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind.  It breaks down things into easy to understand lessons, building as you go.  She memorized the poem The Caterpillar this week and even set it to music.  If I can figure out how to upload the video I will add it.
Art – We used the book I Can Do All Things – A Beginning Book of Drawing and Painting this week to practice drawing straight lines.  This was not an ahhh moment for Emily.  Who knew that drawing straight lines could cause a 6 year such frustration.  She gave her eraser a workout!
Science – We’ve been learning about the human body, germs and nutrition.  You can read more about that here.
Kitchen Time - This week Emily made eggs and bacon (the microwave kind) and pudding, with sprinkles or course! 
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That’s it for our week.  For more weekly wrap-ups please visit Kris at Wierd, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fun Hat

Every time Emily watches the episode on Curious George where he makes a fun hat I know I am going to find BIG paper hats all over the house.

This is her latest fun hat. 

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The arrow is pointing to a little door that opens and inside is candy.  She must really like the snack in a hat idea because on the other side she has a door that opens with nuts inside.  The straw is attached to a balloon that she can blow up.   She is still working on adding the bubbles.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Human Body

I am letting Emily decide what science and history subjects she wants to study for the remainder of the year.  Over the weekend she discovered a human skeleton model that I found at Big Lots for $5. 


Since she seemed interest in putting it together and learning the names of the bones we decided to continue studying about the human body, germs and nutrition.

This is what we have studied so far:


We read The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body.  We  pulled out the microscope, prepared and looked at a mouth smear and blood slide.  I am apparently getting soft as I age because I had the hardest time poking my finger for the blood sample.


We read parts of the book Uncover the Human Body Book and played with our Take-Apart Human Body Model and named all of the removable parts.

Note:  Let me apologize ahead of time if you should happen to meet my son out somewhere and he insists on telling you where poop is in your body.


We read Germs Make Me Sick and watched Inside Ralphie on The Magic School Bus – Human Body DVD.  Then we started working on the experiments in The Magic School Bus – The World of Germs Science Kit


This kit includes almost everything you need to conduct the experiments.


Emily received this as a present.  After reading some of the reviews saying the yeast experiments didn’t work,  I went ahead and replaced the yeast. 

We have only done three of the experiments and still need to observe one for a few more days so I will post more about them next week.

Plans for Thursday

Continue our science experiments and start talking about nutrition. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Pacifier

Aiden’s two loves as a baby and toddler…his blanket and his pacifier (passie).  He never gave up the blanket but he gave up the passie over 6 months ago.  We never forced him to give them up he just kept biting the ends and we would have to throw them away.  When he was down to the last passie we told him if he bit it, it was gone.  Well, you can guess what happened he bit the end off and in the trash it went.  He didn’t even fuss, just asked if we could go buy another one. 

Jump ahead 6 1/2 months……….Aiden finds a long lost passie under the sofa. 


Part of me wants to take it and throw it in the trash, after all he isn’t a baby anymore.  Then I look at this picture and think, oh, he isn’t a baby anymore (sniff, sniff).  Where have 3 years gone?    

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Uninvited Visitor

We found an uninvited visitor in our schoolroom, a cave cricket (a.k.a. camel cricket, spider cricket).

Since this ugly little creature entered our schoolroom we of course had to find out more information about him.

Cave crickets belong to the Family Rhaphidophoridae. As their name implies, these crickets are commonly found in caves, although some species also dwell in cool, damp areas such as beneath rotten logs, damp leaves and stones or in our case basements. Cave crickets are wingless, brown in color and can measure up to one inch in length. They have large hind legs and a set of long antennae, which serve as guides through their darkened environments. The cave cricket's long limbs enable them to jump high and very far. There bodies are bent forward and appear to be humped at the back. Many cave cricket species live without sufficient food sources (lovely!).

Maybe if we find another one we can have a cave cricket jumping contest.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Arctic and Antarctic Study

We have been studying the Arctic the for the past two weeks.  Some of the books we have been reading include:

We also used the following websites to find out more information about the animals of the arctic, Arctic Animals,  and Arctic Studies Center

Emily created an arctic diorama using a shoe box.


She made the animals out of Crayola Model Magic Clay (love this stuff!).  They include:


an arctic owl


an arctic fox, arctic bunny and a den for the polar bear. We included a polar bear that we already had.

Our only discussion so far about the Antarctic has been penguins.  We read Penguins by Gail Gibbons and drew penguins using Draw Write Now.


We will continue to discuss the Antarctic the remainder of the week.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I love to watch Aiden when he is really concentrating.



IMG_0963More gluing!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Science Experiments

We have been doing some science experiments from the book 101 Great Science Experiments by Neil Ardley.


The experiments are easy, the pictures are great, and most of the items needed are things we have around the house.

Our first experiment: How can you crush a plastic bottle without touching it?

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Fill a bottle with HOT water. Leave it sitting a little while before screwing on the lid. Lay the bottle in a bowl and cover it with ice and water.

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Then stand the bottle up and watch the bottle collapse. We discussed warm air and cool air and which exerts more pressure.

Our second experiment: How can you inflate a balloon without blowing into it or using a pump?


Pour vinegar into a bottle. Fill a balloon with some baking soda.

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Stretch the neck of the balloon over the neck of the bottle. Slowly lift the balloon and add the baking soda.


This forms a gas (carbon dioxide) that will inflate the balloon.

Lots of fun and not much mess to clean up.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cooking Time

Emily enjoys cooking so I decided to add a cookbook to her workboxes once a week. One of her favorite cookbooks is Southern Living Kids Cookbook. She picked out two recipes to prepare this week, Chicken Salad Scoops and Ice Cream Pies. She made her list and I let her do most of the grocery shopping.



  • 1 (9.75 ounce) can chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup raisins (we omitted these since daddy isn’t a fan of raisins)
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 4 ice cream cones
  • Curley leaf lettuce

Combine all the ingredients in a medium size bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Just before serving, line cones with lettuce leaves and fill with chicken salad.

Emily rated this recipe 3 stars. She got tired of chopping and grating so I had to help her.



  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 1 (6-ounce) can of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed and undiluted
  • 12 (3-inch) graham cracker tart shells
  • Whipped topping

Let the container of ice cream sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften. Spoon ice cream into a medium bowl. Add lemonade concentrate, and whisk until smooth. Pour into tart shells. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for at least 8 hours (we didn’t wait this long).

When your ready to eat, let the tarts sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Add the whipped topping and enjoy!

Emily rated this recipe 4 stars. Easy to make and very tasty!

I wish I would had taken pictures of Emily cooking but I completely forgot about it. I was more concerned about helping her cut and chop.


Friday, January 15, 2010


We had some fun painting this week. I found some great art projects at this site Deep Space Sparkle Art Lessons for Kids.

In this lesson we learned about painting things when you look at them close-up. Emily wanted to repaint her snowman because she said his nose was too big. I think he is cute!


Here is Aiden’s snowman. I made the outline of the snowman and he painted it. Pretty good job for a 3 year old!


Of course I had to join in on the fun.


Our other art project this week was painting some pretty spring flowers. We used a sponge cut up into the shapes of flower petals, dipped them in paint and sponged the paint on the paper.

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Aiden decided his was a monster instead of flowers.


On important thing that I learned while looking at the art lessons on Deep Space Sparkle’s site was that sometimes kids don’t follow your instructions, that’s ok. They are still creating art using their imagination. This is were I have had to step back and just let Emily and Aiden be creative.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Workboxes revisited

By the end of last year we had gotten away from using workboxes. Mainly because they took up so much space and Aiden was constantly pulling things out of them. The solution..a new cart for Emily’s workboxes.


This cart doesn’t take up as much space and Aiden is not rearranging or hiding the contents. I have also stopped using the schedule strip. We finish much earlier and will less complaining if we just go through all of the boxes without stopping. We can finish all of the boxes in 2 – 2 1/2 hours. In the evening we usually finish an art project, read or play games.

We have gotten so much done the past two weeks and for the most part Emily has enjoyed everything. We both love the workboxes! Things just seem to flow better when we use the workboxes. I am using more games and fun activities. Things that I just didn’t know how to incorporate into our daily lessons before, such as cooking. Emily loves to cook and help in the kitchen so once a week I add her favorite cookbook to a workbox. She gets to pick out two recipes, one “real food” recipe and one dessert. She then has to make a grocery list. When we go to the grocery store she has to compare prices and decide what to buy.

I also set up a little area for Aiden with his own “workboxes”.


He can pick what he wants to work on. I usually change them once a week. Aiden has not been interested in doing much of anything lately. He will sit and cut or paint for a few minutes and then decide he is finished. I have even been willing to pull out the messy crafts to keep him occupied but nothing has held his interest. He currently has the following in his boxes:

-sticker scene

-paint swatches to cut

-Oreo shape matching game

-Hand/clothes pin color matching (found it on Itsy and can’t find the link)

-Lauri number express train


Friday, January 8, 2010

Dear Blog,

I know I have completely ignored you!  I have thought of you often, taken pictures, composed posts in my head but I am sorry to say you were not a priority last year.  I was dealing with a lot and truthfully felt like an unworthy wife, daughter, mom and teacher.  I let little demons creep into my head and life.  The next thing I knew I was so busy (doing who knows what) that I stopped doing quite time in the mornings and consulting God on decisions I had to make.  So what changed?   God’s word re-entered my life (God never left me!) and I realized that my priorities were off.  

Dear Blog, you are still not on the top of my priority list but I have missed you and want to let you know what I’m doing with the kids.  So, the plan for 2010 is to post more often, worry less about content, and have fun with you.



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