Friday, August 30, 2013

Fun Friday: Mouse Paint Day~

Because the main character for lots of Kevin Henkes books is a mouse, 
I decided to continue the mouse theme using a different book.
I actually did a couple of these activities with them last year 
but they didn't remember so it was awesome.
I started by READing the book Mouse Paint 
and allowing them to interact with the story using their mouse puppets~
 Already in our paint shirts we moved to the table to begin our own ART mouse painting.
First for the little kids we played find the colors and began doing a little color mixing... 
oh the magic!
After mixing the colors we used them to paint a sunset 
(one of God's most beautiful masterpieces) 
and then WROTE about color mixing in our journals~
 Giving everything time to dry, we moved to MATH using a color die and graph, 
they played roll-a-color. 
It was so fun to watch the little littles find the one that 'won' 
and the big girls did some adding of colors on the back...
perfect for all levels~
Next was our COOKING for the day... Rainbow toast and milk.
We mixed colors using milk and food coloring then painted right onto a piece of bread.
They picked their favorite color to make their milk so fun, toasted the bread, 
and enjoyed a fun rainbow snack~ 
 Back to the school room to finish up our Mouse Paint masterpieces, 
we added three little white mice and called it perfect~
 A perfect Fun Friday: Mouse Paint Day!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mouse Puppets~

Lots of the main characters in Kevin Henkes' books are mice so we made mouse puppets today~
 We can't wait to try them out tomorrow for Fun Friday!!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sick Day~

Still squeezed in the main subjects even though we have sickies~
 Reading, writing, math, and some technology.
I'd say that just about covers it!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sheila Ray the Brave~

Since we are throwing FIAR into the wind right now and doing a Kevin Henkes author study, 
I thought it necessary for the kids to meet him... online of course~
We all sat and watched a great video of him sharing his life as an author and illustrator.
We read Sheila Ray the Brave {did a little predicting and retelling} then discussed the things that do and don't make us afraid.
With those thoughts circling in our heads, we pulled our journals and illustrated just like Kevin... added the words... and used watercolors to finish off our masterpieces.
I think this awesome idea of SJ's is going fabulously!

At one point this morning everyone enjoyed hanging their name on the clothesline~
Naming the letters in their name and everyone else's too. LOVE the connection the little littles make when they notice same letters in various names. 
Letter learning when they don't even realize it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Name Loving~

Today I walked into the school room to find all the Kevin Henkes books we own lined up on the piano.
SJ had found them all and informed us we would be reading them all this week... I guess we are having an author study!
Fine with me so we took one more day to read Chrysanthemum one more time... kids just can't get enough of it~
 I just happened to find this name activity last night and decided to put my own spin on it.
I wrote each letter of their name on a paper plate and they dot painted them all.
I also gave them a baggie with just enough clothespins to hang their name on the clothesline. 
Definitely a very fun activity and one they will love doing all week long!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Language Arts, Reading, Spelling~

As I move down our schedule, I move down the rainbow work drawers~
Red: Bible and Calendar Notebooks
Orange: Writing, Grammar
Green: Language Arts, Reading, Spelling

Today I want to share my thoughts so far with our LA curriculum.
With EK I am using Beautiful Feet: Early American History and we have been reading Leif the Lucky and honestly, we are having a hard time getting into it. Just a smidge over her head and I am struggling to paraphrase so she will understand. SO I may either skip the Lief book or move onto the next book, Columbus.

I also like to read something fun with her so she is reading Pony Mysteries highlighting vocabulary and retelling with details.
While I am working with EK, SJ works on Reading Eggs and when I work with SJ, EK does RE too.
I didn't take photos but SJ is working through Bob Books Set 2 and I have some printables for her to work on from Walking by the Way.
 This is my second year to use BFIAR and FIAR and the kids LOVE it.
For Spelling I really haven't found anything that EK loves. I am continuing Spelling Workout and instead of writing in the book, EK is doing all her work on a dry erase board. Smart. :)

Our Chrysanthemum activity today~ the GREATEST name is Jesus~
And He is the only One that can mend a wrinkled heart.

I also had a thought this morning as we were beginning our Prayer Pail time that I should print photos of kids we were praying for. Clearly it was a happy idea~
 Later in the morning I looked over to see Evie holding the Bible and praying... was just mumbling but definitely knows the connection with prayer and the Word.
God is so good!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Most Important Word and Writing~

The most important word to a young child is his/her name.
Today I read Chrysanthemum and discussed the reason for their name and how special it was.
I had the letters in their name written all over a paper and we counted each name comparing length to Chrysanthemum.
I think it made my kids feel super special since they all have pretty long names too~
Next they had a strip with name either printed to match or for the big girls just blank cards and they had to put in order from memory.
PC, WP, and EC matched just their first name.
EK had to put her first, middle, and last name in order.
SJ did her first and last.
ALL were very proud of their finished product.

A very powerful tool for teaching reading is making connections with letters and sounds to a child's name.
Ex. ShayleeJoy starts like shark so what would shark begin with?
When sounded out words for writing, it is helpful to give kids clues like ddd dog starts like ddd dad.
Most Important Word... a name!

Speaking of writing~
I am trying to highlight a portion of our day as I have time. 
So far I have shared our Bible time and today we decided to do that together  in the family room while we waited for our breakfast to bake.
Loved using that time more wisely and helped to shorten the time we spent in the school room. :)

Back to Writing~
 I am using First Language Lessons Level 2 and Writing with Ease Level 2 with EK and she is doing so well. It is a perfect way to introduce great writing without the pressure to think of something to write and is short to the point. Copy work and dictation being the main components right now~
While I am working with EK, I have been sending SJ off to draw anything her heart desires anywhere her heart desires and she has loved writing more this year than last. 
About the time I finish with EK, she comes back to tell me all about her drawing and we decided on words. I have taken the pressure off of her of sounding out every single word.  We are taking a copywork approach right now (I write whatever she tells me) and occasionally leave out a word for her to sound. Definitely makes it less intimidating. 
A good day for writing!!!

In case you wonder what I do with the three little littles with writing... they each have a journal that I have out for them each day with their name written in pencil and they trace then write if they can~
{Taken a couple of weeks ago}
Sometimes they ask if they can draw a picture in the journal and of course I let them then take dictation of what they say. Teaching that whatever they can say I can write for them. One day they will be doing all the writing themselves!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Prayer Pail~

Thanks to LeighAnn for the Prayer Pail idea... the kids LOVE it~
I found a bucket (pail) in the garage and gathered some decorating supplies. We wrote 1 Thess 5:16-18 on it plus the people in our immediate family. I had them think of people they thought we needed to pray for and wrote them on popsicle sticks. 
Each morning they will all pull a stick and pray for that request.

I also changed up what we are using for Bible. The other book just wasn't keeping their attention. I am going to reread The Jesus Storybook Bible and adding Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing and today they loved it!!

Please let us know if we can pray for you!!!
Blessings to all!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Getting Organized~

I had a friend ask me to show her how my art supplies are organzied and because we continued school somewhat through the summer, things were a mess. :) She gave me the motivation I needed to get it all organized once again and ready for our new year.
I decided using the plastic drawers was much better than individual containers... they can be pulled out and transported and they are contained when put away neatly~
1. Curriculum and Materials/Games
2. Art Supples and Play dough materials
3. Manipulative Drawers (Fine Motor, Math, Lang Arts)

I also came across another homeschool blogger that created All By Myself Preschool Boxes for her daughter.
I thought this was a great idea and made Preschool Baskets for the boys and Evie.
I labeled the baskets Monday-Friday and chose 5 activities for each:
1. Little Books
2. ABC Activity
3. Math Activity
4. Fine Motor
5. Something to Play
 Because they will only use the basket once a week, I plan to leave them out for a month and change out then. This is huge for planning and being organized with my time~
Monday: Chunk books, ABC match, Pattern Blocks, Tag Books, Cutting
Tuesday: Chunk books, ABC puzzle, Matching #s, Memory Game, Gluing shapes
Wednesday: Chunk books, Writing Letters, Counting unifix cubes, Traffic Jams game,  Play dough names
Thursday: Chunk books, Name Stamping, Play dough #s, Puzzles, ABC game
Friday: Chunk books, ABC match, Teddy bear counting, Tracing shapes, View finder
*Trays on top are their journals and one activity sheet they will do First before starting Basket work.

Today I read Jesse Bear again and we talked about all the things Jesse Bear ate at his three meals. I pulled out magazines for the three littles to find, cut, and glue things they loved to eat. The bigs thought it looked so fun and I had to let them get in on the fun too~
 A great day for sure!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fun Friday~ Jesse Bear

Today was Fun Friday and on these days I center lots of activities around one book... 

I always try to fit in the cooking, reading, writing, art, and math...
Cooking: Jesse Bear muffins (last minute and found stuff in the freezer to decorate with:)  
Reading: EK read the book to the littles white they traced and cut out their own Jesse Bear to sponge paint.
Art: Made Jesse Bear and made a shirt for him to wear.
 Writing: Copied the chant with our names instead of Jesse and wrote about our favorite outfits.
(Evie's bear had a little nose run:)
Math: We played Teddy Bear Relay with teddy bear counter (boys) and the girls played Teddy Bear Addition using the scales to see which addition fact was the greatest.
All in all it was a 'Beary' Fun Friday!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Keeping it Real~

Just in case you think everyone RUNS madly to the school room each morning shouting... 'Teach us Mommy, Teach us!', 
I want to Keep It Real!!! 
They don't... {Well some days they walk slowly}
Most mornings they finish breakfast and want to go off playing in the playroom or goof off in the boys' room
so I had to find a way to reel them in without nagging and begging.
Want to know what I figured out???
They LOVE read aloud time so I've started reading our chapter book to kick off the day.
Thanks to a precious friend I met in China who suggested the YWAM books, we have begun our first and they LOVE it~
 Also posting a photo of the girls' art work today...
A day at the Beach.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Little Reading and Art~

Reading is pretty much the main subject and skill used each day in school so we emphasize it with ABC books~
{Very CUTE one from Target and Evie LOVES it!}

I am using two different curriculums for the 3 littles {BFIAR} and 2 olders {Beautiful Feet: Early American History} so after I spend time with EK/SJ reading their book, EK is reading the BFIAR book to the others. They really like her to read to them and gives her confidence with reading aloud... also polishes her fluency and comprehension~
 Today I pulled out our Woodkins and played Jessie Bear, Jessie Bear what will you wear. They had to dress the bears dolls and then describe clothing using texture and color words.

SJ is continuing her Bob Books this year and we are printing a few things from Walking By the Way. Today she used a list of words to build using her letter box~
After lunch today we deemed it Art Afternoon using A Simple Study in Chalk Pastels~
 I'd say they rocked it!!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Our First Day of 2013-14~

Everyone was up and ready this morning by 8 to begin our first day of 2013-14 school year~
Maybe you've heard the phrase... 
'Eat the frog' 
meaning do the thing you least like first thing getting it over with leaving the rest of the day for things you love.
The 'frog' for my two girls is worksheet work {Explode the Code} but I like the phonics reinforcement so it's staying and we got it over with first thing~
 Next was our Bible/Calendar time... We read how we SEE God in the things He made so took our journals outside to draw/list things He made for us.
This year we have moved our school room to the sunroom {needed the whole space in the other room for a playroom} and we love it~
A bright and sunny space for little ones to learn about their Maker and look on all He has made.
The rainbow drawers above have been my greatest organizer for our school day/curriculum.
I love my new desk area and the little three have their own shelf with baskets and trays.
This morning while eating breakfast SJ asked if she could bring her backpack to school~ yes. "What should I put in it?" I suggested something for Show and Tell {Her eyes lit up!} and I can honestly say THIS was their favorite part of the day~
I am still using BFIAR with the little littles {bigs loved it too} and after reading Jesse Bear, I took their photo in their first day of school outfit so they could write or narrate descriptions~
EK and I also started our new History curriculum from Beautiful Feet... Early American History AND due to the recommendation of a friend we are also adding Science Apologia: Land Animals of the Sixth Day: She LOVED it!!! We found the scripture and she highlighted (BIG fun)!
Lastly... we didn't actually get to spelling and math but that comes tomorrow.

For me planning ahead is kind of not necessary. I have all my materials organized in the rainbow drawers and we move through them in order each day doing the next thing. I have found instead of writing plans before... it is better if I write them after the day is done thus the notebook in the photo above. 
Works perfectly for me!