Showing posts from September, 2015

t is for tree (year 2, week 3)

We're on track with our homeschooling, which I think is a big accomplishment.  This week, we will be learning about trees, both coniferous and deciduous.

Day 1
We finished up some "milk week" business that we hadn't finished last week.  The kids tasted three "kinds" of milk and decided which kind they liked best.  All three decided they liked the strawberry the best and put their results in their notebook.

Day 2
We spent all day doing "practical work" lessons.  We cleaned the house, and the kids took turns vacuuming (for the first time!).  They also got to practice their fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination by helping me line dry our clothes.  It was a big day spent under the trees, but no other school work got done.

Day 3
Wednesday is our Bible study/socialization day, so we often don't have school on this day of the week.

Day 4
The night before was a late one for the kids after spending the evening with their grandma and aunties.  Today …

m is for milk (year 2, week 2)

The letter order that we're using jumps from "a" to "m" so that kids can begin spelling right way.  Already, Dragonfly realized that she can spell "mama" and "am."

We started our "farm" week with a trip to the fair and rodeo!  The kids got to go on some of the kiddie rides and really enjoyed them.  Check out Skimmer's face as he rides this motorcycle- just like daddy!  Every time the motorcycle on the ride went into a wheelie, Skimmer stood up and rode it out.  This would have been a great time for a "Mary Poppins" moment- for the motorcycle to have magically come off the track and allowed him to ride it all over the countryside.

This would have been another good "Mary Poppins" moment.  Dragonfly talked for days about how excited she was to ride these horses.  She would have loved to have ridden this prancing pony around the fairgrounds, too.

We also got to walk through lots of animal barns.  One barn was a…

a is for apple (year 2, week 1)

It's finally time to begin a new school year!  We started this year with a classic theme- apples.  Here's what we did this week:

Day 1
First, we took the "first day of school" pictures.  This is Skimmer (age 3) in his footie pjs.

Dragonfly (age 4)

To start out of apple week, we explored three types of apples, a green one, a yellow one, and a red one.  I cut them slightly differently so we could see the parts of the apple and the star in the core.  We collected the seeds for words later in the week.  The kids and I tasted all three of the apples by themselves and then I introduced them to caramel sauce.  Dragonfly was begging me to let her start chopping apples and making the apple pie.

We planted one of our apple seeds in some wet toilet paper to watch it grow.  Dragonfly was disappointed that an apple tree didn't sprout up instantly.  I had to explain to her that some things take a long time to happen.

While the other two were playing outside, Tadpole …

Thematic Wall Decorations- Laundry

One of the more unusual themes this year will be our "l is for laundry" unit.  To help introduce the week, I've made these laundry themed wall decorations.  The pictures show different types of laundry situations around the world from washing clothes in a river to industrial laundry companies.  To download the pictures, click here.

Summer Theme: Scientist

For our last week of "summer school," I decided to focus on the Scientific Method and scientists.  Our next school year is going to involve a lot of science, so I wanted to spend a week exploring the bigger picture of science.  We read the book "What is a Scientist?" and learned that we can be scientists too.  Then, we went through a basic scientific process with a bar of Ivory soap and the microwave.  To our amazement, the bar of soap blew up in the microwave like a marshmallow and became a snow-like consistency as we played with it.  Pretty exciting!

Tadpole practiced using his science tools and transferred cotton balls from one bowl to another.  He isn't quite able to use them consistently, but he was enjoying experimenting with how they work.

Thematic Wall Decorations- Seeds We Eat

This fall, we'll do a study of seeds.  One of our focuses for that week is all the different types of seeds exist and how many we can eat.  These posters will be displayed in our classroom and will serve as an anchor for our discussions.  During the week, we will probably eat many of these types of seeds, as well.

To download, click here.

Thematic Wall Decorations- Apples

Apple life cycle pictures for wall decorations.  I intend to display them during out apple week to reinforce vocabulary and sequence.  They also make a good conversation piece for your homeschool room.  To download them, click here.

Thematic Wall Decorations- Insects

Our current homeschool plan for this year includes a study of insects.  These posters will be used to decorate our classroom and to prompt conversations throughout the week. You can download them here.

Scented Salt Box for Writing Practice

This year, I've added a "salt box" to our homeschool supplies.  A salt box is simply a place for kids to practice their fine motor skills and writing in a very forgiving environment.  If a child messes up their writing work, they only need to shake the box to erase their mistake.

Dragonfly is very sensory-motivated, so I intend to change our salt box frequently to make it more appealing to her.  For the first few weeks of fall, I created an "apple pie" box, since apple pie is one of her favorite things.

Apple Pie Salt Tray Recipe
- 1/4 cup salt
- brown gel food coloring
- a few drops of water
- 2T cinnamon
- 1tsp nutmeg
- a sprinkle of ginger

1) Put the salt in a bowl.  Put some brown food coloring on a spoon and add a few drops of water.  Mix into the salt.

2) Add the spices and stir well.  Dump into your salt tray and cover until class time.

Other "flavors" of salt boxes
- Christmas tree (evergreen essential oil and green food coloring- write with a s…