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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Love (homeschool unit)

- sight words with chocolate
- sight word hunt sensory bin
- number hearts matching

- Lady and the Tramp family date night
- arranging roses in a vase
- trace and cut out hearts
- cupid's arrow bead counting
- V-day fancy glasses pouring
- arranging hearts on on a stick
- counting m&ms on number cards
- pompom sort
- digging for hearts sensory bin
- paper towel roses
- snipped paper valentine's card
- sensory rice bin
- marshmallow building

- There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose
- Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse

BONUS!  Valentine's Day themed books with QR codes!

Click here to download.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Back to Homeschooling- Snow Day

We ended up taking a very long break for Christmas and haven't done hardly any school in months.  I don't feel guilty about it.  Taking unexpected, unscheduled, and unauthorized breaks is why we homeschool.  Ironically, we started back at school just when a big dumping brought a week of snow days to the public schools.

Skimmer recently took scissors to his own head, reminding me that I haven't given him (and all of them) enough cutting practice.  I set up "stations" on the table that the kids took turns using.  One station was a piece of cardboard, colored paper, and a giant push pin for poking.  They're obsessed with poking right now so this was a hit.  Dragonfly worked on her name.  I was busy making sure that all the activities were painless and didn't get a picture of it.  Bummer.

Another station was a bowl of yarn for snipping.  Skimmer thought cutting all that yarn from big strands to tiny half-inch pieces was the best.  He worked really hard on maintaining the correct hand posture while cutting.

The second cutting station was just scrap paper and scissor.  Tadpole was using trainer scissors and just focusing on snipping.  He loved the destruction part of cutting and kept laughing.

Skimmer also begged me to "do math" with him this week.  I wasn't exactly sure where to start, so I made a counting game for him.  We started with a pile of counters in the middle, and then gave each of us bowls.  We took turns rolling a 1-3 sided dice and counting out how many we got.  I had him put the counters on the table before adding them to his bank to check his counting.  There were too many steps for him to follow so he struggled with the sequence.  It also revealed that he didn't know what numbers meant or what they looked like.  I now have a good idea of where to go next.  And, like I said, he is motivated right now.

I also noticed that he had trouble using picking up the small counters that we used, so I know we need to work more on his fine motor stills (he's completely gross motor skills driven).  This was good too because it helped me focus on what things he needs to work on there, too.  More pinching, transferring, and poking!

Dragonfly and I planned the "gone game" as well, but I gave her a regular 6-sided dice with numbers written on it (printable).  She loved the game; however, it was way too easy for her!  I'd like to switch to a 10-sided dice and have her count pennies next time.  Her math workbook has introduced her to pennies and dimes so I'd like to have her count pennies and then grab dimes when we roll a 10.  The best part is at the end of the game, when we have to count all the change.

I broke the blogger rule and didn't get good pictures of our math game, but here's another picture of snow:

So, I guess you can say that this week was sort of an assessment week for us.  My goal for next week is to have our activities set up in the work box drawers, so that I can school them all together.

One more snow picture:

And next week is Valentine's Day so we'll be having our special "Family Date Night!"

d is for dinosaur

Every year, I plan for us to study dinosaurs and every week it doesn't work out like I thought.  Well, here's a bunch of ideas for next time.

Blog Posts About Dinosaurs
dinosaur skull 3-part cards
paleontologist anchor chart
measuring dino bones
- Review of Museum of the Rockies
- F is for Fossil
- d is for dinosaur (year 2)

lots of amazing dinosaur printables
dino facts printables
dinosaur word wall printables
dino pre-k pack
dinosaur tile spelling cards
dinosaur preschool pack
egg puzzles

dinosaur world felt play mat
dinosaur measuring
giant dinosaur sand skeleton
counting dinosaur bones
dinosaur eggs discovery bin
4 types of fossils
mini real dig site
DIY fossils

Saturday, February 4, 2017

t is for tiger

I had intended that we would talk about big cats, India, and extinction this week.  We didn't end up doing formal school at all.  So, here's a list of things we can do another time.

- parts of a tiger 3-part cards
- kindergarten printable unit
- India printables for preschool
- tiger mask

- matching spices
- drawing henna

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lady and the Tramp Valentine's Day Party

Lady and the Tramp Valentine's Day Family Date Night from In Our Pond
"He's a tramp, but I love him."

Last year, we did the Lady and the Tramp family date night for Valentine's Day, but I lamely didn't have the movie for us to watch.  Yesterday, I ordered the DVD off of Ebay, so we'll be ready for this year.  I am the only one in my family who has seen it, so I'm excited to hear what the rest of the family thinks of it.

There's still lots of time to put together this Italian dog-themed movie night.  It can be as simple or as elaborate as you chose.  And, of course, it doesn't have to be just a "family" date night, the movie and ideas will work for a regular date as well.  So, pick up a box of graham dog bones and settle in for this classic Disney flick.

Lady and the Tramp Valentine's Day Family Date Night from In Our Pond
- Lady and the Tramp (Ebay)
- printable chalkboard signs (In Our Pond)
- red and white checked table cloth (Amazon)
- candles in wine bottles (Pinterest)
- coloring pages (Coloring Book)
- felt dog ears (Project Caitlins Life)
- official Tony's restaurant menu (Dad's Guide to WDW)
- how an accordion is made (Youtube)
- dog bone shaped food (Pinterest)
- printable Disney L&T valentine's cards (Family Disney)

Lady and the Tramp Valentine's Day Family Date Night from In Our Pond

- spaghetti with meatballs
- cracker/breadsticks
- dog bone graham crackers
- grape juice/wine

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cabled Afghans

This is a the tale of a process knitter and this blog post was written during the process.  Hopefully, it makes a good story of woe:

First Pattern

Original cable pattern (chart) was found on a Russian website.  I translated it into English and wrote the chart out in long form.  The English pattern can be found here.

My afghan was knit with Simple Soft (off white) on size 11 circular needles.  The cable pattern was set on a bed of 25 stitches, and I placed panels of 25 stitch moss stitch between the cabling.  The blanket had 7 stitches of moss stitch for border stitches (14 total) plus five panels of cabling (125 stitches) plus four panels of moss stitch (100 stitches).  There were 239 stitches.  I don't know why I didn't notice there were way too many stitches.

Here's what I've learned-

AKA- why this afghan is priceless

Yarn- 30 oz (6 oz to a skein)
Time Per Row- 25 minutes per row
Number of Rows- (264)
Total Time- 110 hours!

And then I completely abandoned it when I realized that I had accidentally made it 10 feet wide!  If I ever want to make a bedspread, now I know how to do it.

Looking back over the numbers, I should have figured it out from the beginning, but I've been a bit distracted lately.  Oh well, knitting a blanket twice is the best way to stretch your yarn dollars.

Second Pattern

Violet's Cable

This pattern was much simpler to work and very satisfying to finish.  I did nine cabled ropes over six stitches each, with six stitches of reverse stocking stitch in between.  The borders are seven stitches of seed stitch.  I knit the yarn from the failed blanket, unraveling as I worked.  It is the same amount of yarn minus a bit (so about 5 skeins worth).  Very simple, soft and elegant.

Third Pattern

I had a second request for a cabled afghan, so I made another one.  This one has 3 sections with 5-strand braids and a simple rope cable in between.  When I make another afghan (cause I'm sure I will), I'm going to try putting cables on both sides of the blanket.  The 5-strand braid makes a nice ribbed pattern on the reverse side, which I think will work nicely as the divider between cables.  I think the reverse stocking stitch boarders are a tad large and boring on this one.  No more blankets for a while, though.