Monday, January 31, 2011

Writer’s World: making books

Did you know it’s very hard to type when a dog is laying on top of your arm?  I’d make him move but hes so warm and comfy…….

Here’s another great way to make use of your workbooks.

All right, I made him move.  He’s still on my lap, but it was really driving me crazy typing with one hand.  It was taking so LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

Yes, I am working on my patience, and it is much better, thank you.

Back to my point though, this section of our workbook has the kids drawing lines and matching the picture to the sentence.  Well, I knew what would happen if I had my kids do that.
I’d have a very messy page with lots of extra lines, and kids who weren’t happy.

Instead, I cut out the sentences and pictures, and then made a mini-book by cutting copy paper in half and hamburger folding it into a book.  I set it up using a placemat and putting the words on one side and the pictures on the other with a gluestick.

Voila, instant easy reading activity.  Added bonus, they had to decide what order to put the sentences in for it to make sense.

That is the face of a happy little girl, and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the giant cup of water she has sitting next to her.

Other added bonus, they happily haul these little books back out to read to their Daddy when he gets home.


Okay, typing around a puppy is getting a little hard, and he ate my queso, which I’m not happy about.  So, I’m off to bed.

Oh, and make sure to check out my post today over at ABC and 123 for a great idea for Groundhog’s Day.  We’re doing it again this year, provided the weather cooperates.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Science Sunday: the next ER trip

Science Sunday
Notice, on Friday I’d said amusing, not good.  But, it did lead to a great discussion on the way to the ER.

So, as I was calmly making lunch on Thursday Batman was attempting acrobatics using our recliner and the sofa.  He slipped and fell face forward onto the tile.

Being the good Mom that I am I of course said, “What were you thinking?” as I scooped him up without looking and calmed him down.  After he’d calmed down a little I then went into diagnosis mode.  Looked at him and the large amounts of blood on his face and clothes, and said, “Let’s go to the doctor.”

So, everyone got dressed, because we OF COURSE were being lazy that day.


And as we were driving there it turned into a science lesson.  Yes, a science lesson on  the way to the hospital.

See, the boys were worried that Batman was going to die because of all the blood that had come out.  They wanted to make sure it wasn’t too much blood.

So, we talked about what blood is used for and how it gets food to the rest of the body and brings oxygen .  It made for a good distraction while we were driving and helped keep everyone calm.

Then later, when we’d gotten home and I’d had a chance to read up on about how much blood a little guy has in him, we talked some more.

An adult human has about 5 liters of blood in them.  Batman is less than half of an adult human, so I averaged that out to about 2 liters.  And that’s when inspiration hit.

The 2 liter bottle of Sprite is about how much blood Batman has in his body right now.  They were all duly impressed, I was less impressed when they started talking about drinking said Sprite, but what could I expect.

That little cup on the bottom is about how much blood he lost from his “bleeding owie.”  I figure he lost about a 1/4 cup of blood, give or take.  That looks like how much is staining the clothes and jammies, and what soaked through the paper towels.

And amusingly enough I’ve gotten several comments from friends on Facebook saying “Now I’ll be able to tell your twins apart.”

Yeah, until his brother gets the same injury a week later, that’s what happened last time.  A week later his brother got the exact same head wound, and then a week after that the boys dropped a shovel on Princess’ head and she got a nice little scar on the top of her head.053

Oh well, it’s been at least 3 or 4 months of no ER trips, so this is good.

You guys have any less exciting life experiences you’ve turned into science lessons this week?  I promise next week to have a less bloody post……….  Maybe I should go ahead and schedule that for the sake of sanity………

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What we’ve been reading: Kansas

I think I mentioned some of these last week, but here’s the majority of our Kansas books.


The biggest hits have been:

Mortimer’s First Garden- which Batman just saw as I was entering these into the computer and took it away

Aunt Minnie and the Twister- which got a rare request to read again

Twisted Tale- no picture of the cover, but it’s a super cute book about a family that goes through a tornado and how they have to solve the problem of their twisted up animals.




That Dancin’ Dolly- Which seems so cute, but it didn’t quite work right, aside from the kids asking me to sing it as a song, because it’s a song, so I tried my best to sight read the music….. kinda

Gramda Essie’s Covered Wagon- not on the carousel, but it was a little long for their concentration, and it was more of a journey type of book, no real action for the boys.  I might try them on it again in a few years.  It’s an interesting story about a little girl and how she remembers all of her moving back and forth and how much she had a hard time with that.  I think that’s the other problem, it’s totally out of their frame of reference.


Well, that’s a quick overview.  I’m off to take a walk with the kids, and then maybe when I get back write the rest of my posts for the week.  That or go upstairs and work on some more painting.  We’ll see.


Now head on over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns to see what else people are reading this week.

Friday, January 28, 2011

One more phonics game

Okay, that is probably still a lie.  But, I’m going to pretend for now that is this is the last.


short a

I figured out a good way to store these (at least for me) is to hole punch it and put I on one of those bookbinding rings.  It works really well because then I can also throw them in my purse and let them practice these while waiting in line somewhere.


Oh, and my Science Sunday post this week is going to be very amusing……… 


Now head on over to Homeschool Creations to see some more fun preschool and kindergarten posts.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Everyone who guessed Kansas was of course right.  And we couldn’t just “do math,” as my kids would say, with sunflowers.  We had to paint with them and more.


I found this super cool site with some sunflower ideas, and used their sunflower life cycle page as part of our Kansas study after reading.  First we read about how they grew from this book.  I have to say this is my favorite book about plants so far because it had great pictures, and did a great explanation.



The books we used……


Then I made this recipe from Pocketful of Posies, and she’s right it makes A LOT.  So, now I have a whole tub full of finger paint waiting to be turned into different colors.


At first I was very strict on the whole you must paint a sunflower.  That was their first index card (and let me just say I’m loving this whole index card art, it’s a great size for displaying and keeping in lapbooks and such, and it’s not overwhelming for when they don’t feel like painting).


After the first one they just had at it, and I added in a few more colors.  I’m looking forward to when we try this again.


Now head on over to:

A Mommy’s Adventures for more stART projects.

Red Ted Art for more kid art projects

and JDaniel 4’s Mom for more reading and general cool projects.

Shibley Smiles

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ancient Greeks


We read about Sparta and Athens and did a Venn diagram about the cities.  Honestly the kids didn’t get much about this, but after a lot of repeating and reminding they got the gist of the two cities.


It simplified down to Sparta fights a lot, and everyone fought in their town, everyone learns how to be a soldier.


Athens is the city of art and democracy.  That simplified down to art.  All the discussion of how their government was just flew over their heads.


021And they were the same because they were both city-states.


But that’s boring.  We finished up by taking the same pots from our earlier sunflower game and made them into greek pots.


And the boys pots were very greek showing fantastic battle scenes.  I’m not sure what Princess’ was.



Now head on over to Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn to see what other people are doing for history or geography.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I’m declaring today a computer free day

Well, that’s what I’m going to try and do.  So, if I don’t read your post today or comment, that’s why.  I’m feeling a little stressed and harried, and some of it is because I know I’ve been spending too much time on the computer and not enough time doing things I need to do.


Instead I will be:


Yes, they are sword fighting in the back seat of the car……



And maybe even digging in the dirt.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Math Monday: Sunflower math

Our math lesson for this week was tally marks, and I knew that if I made them do it using the text book they’d get all freaked out, so instead we just did it using our homemade dry erase boards and using all sorts of things to count.

And then we read some books on sunflowers and I had a brilliant idea.  Ages ago I made a seed sorting kit for the kiddos, and so I ran upstairs and unearthed it.




Then, I gave each kid a small pot and had them sort out the sunflower seeds and count how many they had using tally marks.



After we’d practiced with just the sunflower seeds all week, on the final day they had to count up how many total with tally marks for each group.  That was quite a challenge, but it made an otherwise boring subject fun.


This was also part of our newest state study, let’s see if anyone can guess what state……..


Now head on over to Joyful Learner to see some more fun math ideas and later this week The Nurture Store is hosting a math playing thing.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Homemade bird feeder

Science Sunday
One of the links from my super bird links list was to a homemade bird house.  I like the idea, but right now we needed to build a bird feeder, so I adopted it to our needs.
Supplies: milk carton with lid, sharp knife, sharpies, bird seed, rope


1.  Cut a hole in your bird feeder.  I probably cut a bit larger than is preferable, but I cut out the indent that’s in a milk carton.


2.  Let your kids have fun coloring the milk carton.

3.  Sorry, no picture of this.  I stabbed an x-shape on each side of the milk carton with the knife, and then I fed the rope through in two loops and tied those loops off.


4.  Carefully pour in the bird seed.  For ours it took about 3 cups to fill it to a satisfactory level.

And apparently the pictures of my finished hanging up in the yard bird feeder are missing somewhere, so imagine a wonderful bird feeder hanging up until such time as I take pictures with my old camera or find my camera charger.

So far we’ve eagerly looked to see if any birds have come and no such luck.  I might have to break down and get a real bird feeder, or it could just be I need to have patience.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Our favorite books this week

Or at least the ones I was able to add into an Amazon Widget, but some of these I’ll be writing about again later.


Actually, now that I look at those books, I lied.  Bear’s New Friend was a surprising miss.  We’ve loved all of the other bear books, but this one just didn’t work for us.


But, popular ones:


Mortimer’s New Garden- I love the story of this mouse who is putting his faith in that little seed growing.  It is a great lesson about faith and trusting God will do what he says.


Aunt Minnie and the Twister- a great story about a family and how they weather a tornado.  This is part of a series, I checked out two books from the series, but haven’t read this one yet.


Raising Dragons- a little boy discovers an egg, and raises a dragon from it.  His parents are convinced about the benefits of this dragon at first, but slowly come around.


Missing Sunflowers- the little boy in this story wants to grow sunflowers and finally gets to, but someone starts stealing his sunflowers.  I love the message about how to deal with tragedy without it breaking you.  My kids liked the little boy.


Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy- had been recommended by several other blogs and I saw it in our book order and knew it would be popular.  And it has been.  It’s disappeared into both rooms and rarely been out of one or the other.


Well, that’s our books I can remember for this week.  Head on over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns to see some other great books.

Friday, January 21, 2011


We’ve started making our slew of valentines for friends, and I wanted to share a cool printable I found thanks to Confessions of a Homeschooler linking it.  Over at Christian Preschool Printables they’ve got a slew of Jesus loves me stuff (link goes to page 3 where the printable I used is), and I printed off the pop-up Valentine card to make.

I also printed off the Jesus loves me booklet to help my kids learn the song, since it’s one of the ones we’ll be singing.  I plan to have them practice every day until we go there just to make sure they know it.

Now, on to the two sets of Valentines we’ve finished so far.

supplies: mini-cupcake liner, green construction paper, red or pink construction paper (or you could use the printable), markers, scissors, glue


1.  Smash the cupcake liners so they’re more or less flat.  Then let your child happily color them as much as they want.  It looks more flowery if there’s lots of color on it, but it’s their art.  And it looks so cheerful when you have mounds and mounds of them spread out on the table in front of you.


2.  Take your construction paper and cut it in half.  Then hamburger fold that piece in half.  This means you get two cards from one piece of paper.


3.  I divided the green construction paper into fourths, this cut down on any ideas of making monstrously huge stems or anything like that.  Then I told the kids to cut a thin long piece for the stem.

By the by, like my oh so professional typing paper background?


4.  To make this a bit of a math activity each kid drew a number to tell how many leaves to draw.  Superman drew 5.  Which he enthusiastically mutilated his construction paper to make.  Happily glue on leaves.

 5. Glue on your cupcake liner at the top.  Batman added in the step of fringing the cupcake liner after it was glued on, which I thought added a rather adorable twist to it.

If you want you could use one of the phrases from the printable I’m including, we ended up not using them because the kids decided to turn these cards into get well soon cards for a sick friend.


This one is a bit more complicated.
Supplies: printable, contact paper, tissue paper, yarn, hole punch, markers


1.  Cut tissue paper into miniscule pieces.  This is perfect for practicing cutting, or for any kids (cough cough Princess) who like to make confetti.


2.  Get out a piece of contact paper, for each of the kids I cut one that is about 12 inches or so, and I was able to get easily 30 necklaces from one set of it, so you probably want to make it smaller depending on how many you’re trying to make.
I taped the contact paper to the floor and let the kids start covering it in the tissue paper.  I tried to get them to keep it flat, with mixed success.


3.  Sandwich their creation in a second piece of contact paper.  Then start tracing hearts.  You could just freehand them, but every time I do they end up looking funny.


4.  Hole punch the heart and thread yarn through.  I cut our yarn about 18 inches.


5.  Meanwhile have your kids trace the words to get in some writing practice and sign their names.


6.  Put a bit of double sided tape on the bottom, and a second piece to help secure the necklace, and you’ve got yourself a very cute card.


Or twelve.  Only a lot more to go………..
valentine cards
Click on picture to go to the printable.
I’m linking this up to:

abc button
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