Disclosure

I am an Amazon Affiliate and Safari Ltd Campaign Blogger. Read my disclosure policy for more information.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Johnny Appleseed (year 4, week 3)

J is for Johnny Appleseed homeschool unit from In Our Pond.  apple week.. free printables.  kindergarten.  fall.  autumn
UnSplash
Tuesday was Johnny Appleseed's birthday, so I introduced the kids to his legends this week.  We watched a few videos about him on Youtube and practiced "The Lord's been Good to Me" song.

J is for Johnny Appleseed homeschool unit from In Our Pond.  apple week.. free printables.  kindergarten.  fall.  autumn

We made apple pops, which are like caramel apples but in slices.  It was a dismal failure, but they tasted ok.  It think the apple needed to dry out a bit before coating them in caramel.  The kids enjoyed the project, though- they each had a job.  It was our first time doing a food activity that went well.  I'm looking forward to doing more with them.


For more ideas on apple activities, check out these other blog posts:

- apple microscope pictures
- apple themed Montessori movable alphabet
- apple pie play dough
- salt tray ideas
- homeschool year 3
homeschool year 2
homeschool year 1
apple theme pictures/posters
apple scented writing tray
wormy apple busy bag
the Big Apple 3-part cards


J is for Johnny Appleseed homeschool unit from In Our Pond.  apple week.. free printables.  kindergarten.  fall.  autumn
UnSplash

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A is for Autumn (year 4, week 2)

A is for Autumn- a Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond
UnSplash

We had the strangest week!  The weather dropped from around 80F and sunny to 50F and rainy overnight.  It caught me off guard.  I felt behind all week trying to get everyone outfitted for autumn.

We also had a bunch of new fall activities.  I think we were out of the house 3 or 4 times this week!  Of course, we continued doing our bookwork and calendar.

A is for Autumn- a Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond
UnSplash

Monday, September 18, 2017

Science Center Inspiration

Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

We've been loving our Science Center, so I wanted to put together a roundup of science tables that inspire me.  Many of these themes are on my list for the near future; although, they probably won't look as nice as these.  They're something to strive for, though.  I hope they inspire you as they do me.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

Our first Science Center set-up was tree frog themed.  Click on the link to read more about what we put on our shelf.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

I love all the different eggs and the small poster on the right, which shows the tiniest egg (hummingbird) next to the largest egg (ostrich).  The books shows that the focus is not just on birds, but other oviparous animals as well.  Because of our garter snake, the kids have gotten very interested in egg-laying animals.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

A study of trees seems like it would be good for autumn, with the different colored leaves and the nuts.  My kids haven't been too interested in botany, but perhaps a "strewing" like this might peak their curiosity.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

Skimmer loves "the bones, the bones inside us."  He would be so happy with a light table and x-rays like these.  We have a small tracing table, so I bought this set of animal x-rays for a study this year.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

I have admired this Science table for several years.  I love the sunflowers, the colors, and the elements.  Now that autumn is here, I'd like to get a sunflower head so the kids can pick out the seeds and save them for spring.  I have to figure out where we can plant them that isn't a digging area (wink).


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

I really like the look of this table with all the mirrors and loose parts.  I like the picture frame for building free art with ocean pictures.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

Tadpole is a bug boy right now, so I know he would like this discovery tray.  In fact, I'd like to buy this bugs in resin very soon.  The kids have been talking about getting an insect like a stick bug or praying mantis, so look for that in the near future.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

I love the way this table is set-up with the real nest, the big poster, and the stuffed animal.  The bird clock plays backyard bird song.  This science center would be a good place for the Safari Backyard Birds toob (free printable).


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

My kids would absolutely love this investigation, because they love dinosaurs.  This fossil collection would be perfect for the science table.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

I'm very hesitant to allow my kids access to loose parts, but I like this provocation to build a nest.  Maybe we'll do this outside this spring.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

I'd love to do a table like this one in the winter.  It would be a good companion for a study of North American animals.  Kids could even match them with the Safari North American toob (free printable).


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

This Science table would go well with my seed matching printable.  It would be a good theme for fall or springtime.  A follow-up would be to plant a few different seeds to compare their rate of growth, visual appearance, and fruit. 


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

There are so many levels of learning with this activity.  Kids can see how a spider's web is made, can do web pretend play, and can practice their fine motor skills weaving pretty threads through the web.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

This "strewing" of interesting thing involves geology and crystals.  A companion to this science table would be an experiment to grow crystals in either borax, salt, or sugar.  There are also grow-your-own-geode kits that you can buy as well.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

A study of the stars could also include this craft area where kids can make their own starry skies or constellations.  Kids can work on their fine motor skills pinching the tiny jewels and gluing them to the paper.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

This discover area is neat because it's not life science focused like many of the other ones on this roundup.  Grab a pile of random stuff and a magnet and put the kids to work sorting.  Introduce them to this neat magnet putty, too!

*Magnets can be very harmful to children so only do this activity with parental guidanc*


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

Our latest Science Center set-up with a garter snake and some science posters.  I'm waiting for the kids to mature a bit before adding more things to our shelves.  Hopefully, they'll be ready soon, because I really want to do some of the ideas that I've linked to on this blog post.


Science Center Inspiration from In Our Pond

Saturday, September 16, 2017

S is for Snake (year 4, week 1)

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our PondWe started our 4th Year of Homeschool with a study of snakes.  Dragonfly caught a garter snake from our yard, so she requested that we release the tree frogs and keep the snake for a while.  We have studied frogs quite a bit, so the snake has been new to us.  We did a bit of comparison between venomous and nonvenomous snakes.  We also found out that some snakes are oviparous while others, like garter snakes, are ovoviviparous.  We watched Youtube videos of garter snakes being born, which the kids found very fascinating.  They're hoping our snake is pregnant with eggs and will produce babies one day.

Dragonfly also requested that I replace our frog posters with snake ones in our Science Center.  I had a very hard time finding anything about garter snakes, so I made the posters myself.  The one on the left shows the snake's place in the food chain.  The top animals are ones that the snake eats (earthworms, minnows, and tree frogs) and the bottom animals are ones that eat snakes (hawk, raccoon, and crow).  The poster on the right is the life cycle information.  The top picture shows a garter snake that has been cut open to show the eggs inside.  Garter snakes hatch inside their mothers, and then slither out of her, which is what the bottom picture shows.

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond



We had our first day of school on Monday.  Like I said in the curriculum post, we're focusing on the 3R's this year.  Dragonfly (6) did very well on her math workbook.  We're working on direction-following and independence.  Her book focuses on addition, number sense, and counting to 100.


For writing/reading, she traced a letter for her friend.  She's excited to send it to her and to get mail back.  I realized watching her that we need to work on letter formation a bit more.


The boys (ages 5 and 3) worked on their pencil grip.  They're each working on learning to write their initial letter with the goal of writing their names soon.  They're both lacking the fine motor skills to write for now, so we'll be doing a lot of practice this year.





S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond
Add caption
For our second day of school, we went on a field trip!  We started at the courthouse to turn in some jury paperwork.  Then, we went to the "Mennonite" bakery for our traditional back-to-school donuts.  Lastly, we drove down the highway about twenty minutes and ended at a campground with a creek.


My kids love this creek, but we hadn't gone to it all summer.  It was fun to see how much they had grown since last fall and how much more confident they have become.  They scampered all over the rocks, walked up and down the creek, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.


They were so happy with mud between their toes!  They begged me for more time and to go back every day.  I loved seeing how they played and explored.


The only animals we saw were skimmer bugs.  The kids were fascinated with them, but were disappointed that we didn't see any frogs or snakes.  The drive to the campground brought us past lots of farms, so we saw horse, llamas, cows, and deer.


Our third day of school was a home day.  Dragonfly did some math and writing/reading work.  The boys worked on writing their letters.  We also moved our calendar board from an obscure place to a prominent one.  Already we've used it much more this year than ever before.  Dragonfly is enjoying the number connections.

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond

The fourth day, we visited a new church and attended a women's Bible study with childcare.  Yay for socialization and free lattes!

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond

On Friday, Daddy was home and we had company coming in the evening, so we cleaned the house most of the day.  We also started a new chore system with "Disney Dollars."  Each buck is worth $0.10 and can be exchanged for treats or toys.  Right now, Dragonfly is working on earning 100 Disney Dollars to get a dragon toy that she wants.  In the safe environment of our home, I want the kids to learn about earning and spending money.  I'll probably blog more about this soon (and get some free printables on there too).

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond

Dragonfly also colored a snake anatomy poster.  She did such a good job on the detail work (with a bit of help).  We laminated it and hung it proudly in our Science Center.


This was our snake's first time hunting minnows.  He's not very good at it, but it was very interesting to watch him try.

S is for Snake Homeschool Unit from In Our Pond

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Book Review- The Scarlet Virgins

Book Review of The Scarlet Virgins from In Our Pond
The icons of the "Purity Culture" were well-known for most of the men and women who grew up in church during the 2000's.  Books like "I Kissed Dating Good-Bye," "The Bride Wore White," and "The Purity Code" were held at nearly the same level as the Bible.  Trinkets like purity rings and necklaces became the talisman given by parents to protect their children's sexuality.  There were even several purity events like ballssecret keeper fashion shows, knighting ceremonies, and True Love Waits pledges designed to continuously drive the purity mindset into the teens' heads.  It was the era of analogies like poop brownies, contaminated water, construction paper hearts, and trampled roses.  All the emphasis was placed on the young person's virginity, with several layers of "do not touch, do not taste, do not handle" laws added on top.

My husband and I grew up in the middle of the Purity Movement; however, we managed to glean all the positives from it and none of the negatives.  We are glad that we only dated each other, that we have very few relationship regrets, and that we had our first kiss on our wedding day.  If our children walked a similar path in the future, we would be pleased.

Book Review of The Scarlet Virgins from In Our Pond
picture from UnSplash

In the last few months, I have been introduced to the women who had a very different experience with the Purity Culture.  Many of them are raising awareness of the abuses as they work through how they will approach this subject with their own children.  Their stories can be found on Recovering Grace and To Love, Honor, and Vacuum.

Rebecca Lemke is one person who is speaking out about the legalism and dangers of the Purity Culture.  Through her touching book, The Scarlet Virgins, Rebecca chronicles her story of healing and hope, as she sheds the works-based Christianity of her childhood to rediscover grace.  Thirty-somethings who has been negatively affected by the Purity Culture will appreciate how the Gospel shines from her writing.  Parent, who are trying to work through what you should teach your children, will find lots of Scripture to guide you in Biblical thinking.  And church members, you will benefit from this cautionary tale.  Buy it, read it, pass it around- everyone needs to read this book.

"God’s love is more powerful than any force on heaven and earth.  It is greater than our sin. It is stronger than our pain.  It is more infinite than the scars that we bear on our bodies and spirits.  His love is the Truth that shines into the lies and cuts through the deception that has tied us down and trapped us.  God’s love sets us free from legalism, our own sinful nature, and from death itself; such is the power of the blood of the Lamb."
                                                                          - Rebecca Lemke, The Scarlet Virgins

Book Review of The Scarlet Virgins from In Our Pond
Click on the picture to buy the book!


“Mrs.AOK,

Monday, September 4, 2017

Follow That Child- Our 2017-2018 Curriculum

Follow That Child- Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Curriculum In Our Pond
UnSplash

I can't believe that it's September already!  The summer has been long and smokey, but filled with lots of family adventures.  We've gone to the beach, camped several times, and saw the solar eclipse.  The only classroom preparations that I've actually finished was our Science Center with the tree frog habitat.  With Labor Day weekend at a close, it's now time to turn to our homeschool plans.

Follow That Child- Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Curriculum In Our Pond

This year, Dragonfly is 6, Skimmer is 5, and Tadpole is 4.  They're still very young and active, so we're going to be focusing on the 3Rs (reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic) again this year.  We will also be continuing our science-based theme units like we have done in years past.  This year, though, we're going to spend more time Following the Children to study the things they are interested in.  Instead of deciding in the summer what we'll study every week of the upcoming year, I'm only going to plan a few weeks ahead.

Follow That Child- Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Curriculum In Our Pond

These first few weeks, we'll study astronomy, since interest is high after the eclipse.  I've collected a large number of space books and some Safari toys (solar system and space toob).  This isn't an area that we've studied very much, so I think the kids will enjoy it.

Follow That Child- Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Curriculum In Our Pond

We're also going to work on getting out of the house and into the world more often.  Using my 110 Field Trip ideas list, I'm hoping to create lots of learning opportunities for the kids (and adults).  I'm setting our goal at one outing a month, but it would be so awesome if we could do more.

So, that's our plan for the 2017-2018 Homeschool year!

Follow That Child- Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Curriculum In Our Pond

I'm excited to be linking up for the first time to the 9th Annual Back to Homeschool Blog Hop on the i Homeschool Network.  Stop by the link-up to see a wide variety of experiences and styles.

Pin It!

Follow That Child- Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Curriculum In Our Pond