Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Skimmer Duty~

During pool season, checking the skimmer is the #1 chore and the littles can't wait to go out each morning.
Today they hit the jackpot...
9 toads and 1 salamander~
 During breakfast both EK and SJ researched to determine what kind of toads and salamanders they had saved~
They decided they needed a photo printed and wrote all about their morning in their journal.
They also copied some facts from their books.
Yay for Skimmer Duty!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Tree is Nice~

This week we are rowing A Tree is Nice~
 We especially loved the words Everything Beautiful in it!
After we read the story, we created our own trees in honor of the real trees we LOVE in our yard~ 
 {Dogwoods, Magnolia, and Swing Trees}
We decorated them with stickers and wrote what we love about our trees~
Trees make the woods.
They make Everything Beautiful.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Reading with EK~

There is a great deal of reading done each day with everyone...
from Bible to FIAR to living books to history to science and math, 
not to mention chapter books and bedtime stories.
I try to have a time when I specifically sit with EK and SJ to work on reading at their level each day.
This week EK and I chose a Cynthia Rylant book, The Blue Hill Meadows for her to read to me.
One chapter each day and it was wonderful~
As we read, I can't tell you how many connections she made from her life, another book, or something in the world to the text.
We learned much new vocabulary and after reading I always had her extend learning with some kind of writing.
Day 1 with Chap 1 she just wrote a life story of her own of a connection she made.
Day 2 with Chap 2 there was much about a fishing trip. 
I had her record/draw all the fish and research a fact about each.
Day 3 with Chap 3 after reading I had her narrate all she remembered from her reading and I wrote down every word.
Two things she noticed:
~ she remembered SO many details
~ I sure can write fast... wow, cursive really IS awesome!

We have one more chapter and the time spent one on one has been super sweet.
It has encouraged the others to bring me a book for me to read just for them.
Reading with our children is probably one of the BEST things we can spend time doing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spot It!~

We bought the original Spot It! awhile ago and along about Christmas I found the other three~
All 5 kids have loved each one!
I have them in a center bin to do each day when morning work is done.
The boys were playing today~
and Evie wanted to play...
They take turns {she doesn't}.
They play by the rules {she doesn't}.
They are ok if the other person gets the card {she isn't}
She came to me and we modified~

Some really great skills going on with this simple game~
Visual perception, focus, reaction time: 
ALL which strengthen reading, writing, and math skills!
Growing Whole Hearts AND Brains!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day~

Today we celebrated Earth Day with a very sweet book...
The story helped us think of all the things we use in a day, 
where they come from, and how we can be conservative.
We loved the phrase...
Everything comes from something,
Nothing comes from nothing.
Just like paper comes from trees,
And glass comes from sand. 
Everyone thought of one way {with help} they could help take care of the Earth and wrote about it.
We also traced our 'helping hand'!

Next we were off to the kitchen for some earth painting.
I really like these Tempera Cakes since we can take out the colors we want to use by adding water~
 Looking at the globe, they drew a few continents onto a paper plate then painted.

After painting we made Earth Day cakes and sang Happy Earth Day to God~ {since He made the earth and all creation:}
 We broke out our new Geography book and worked on a couple of pages while singing our continents and oceans songs~
 After everything was dry, we combined it all into our final project~
that is now hanging in our school room.
Happy Earth Day everyone!!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Art in Nature~

We are changing it up a bit this week...
going to celebrate God's beautiful creation with Earth Day tomorrow.

Today while reading our history selection Benjamin West we read that he drew on birch bark.
EK went out and gathered bark, a feather (quill) and black paint~
She had quite the audience while trying out this old fashioned art technique.

Instead of a FIAR title this week, I read a great review for The Raft and decided we would use it for our Earth Day selection~
ALL the kids LOVED it!
There were SO many connections with this story.
The boy in the story spends the summer with his grandmother near a river and she encourages him to draw/paint nature.
Today we spent the rest of the day outside enjoying our own yard full of nature!
They even dug up and replanted the wild onions~
Can't imagine what we will get into tomorrow!!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday~

Today we read the story of Christ's crucifiction and talked about God's plan for our salvation.
I found a beautiful post here and pretty much copied her idea~
It was amazing to watch the littles faces as we drew those red circles and colored them in.
I told them if they had been the only person on the earth,
Christ would have still died for them.
A super sweet day for SJ for sure... she asked Jesus to come live in her heart.
I'm pretty sure THAT is exactly what this season of Easter is all about.
Praise You Jesus for loving us SO much you would lay down your life.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Busy and Growing~

Today as we got school underway, I looked around to see~
Everyone working on their own thing... {Busy}!
I want to remember the day the three little littles began their Reading Eggs adventure~
Super happy don't you think?
They also learned to work the CD player and listen to stories from the libray... {Growing}!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Tale of Peter Rabbit~ {FIAR}

As we continue to row The Carrot Seed with the little littles,
I have added The Tale of Peter Rabbit with EK and SJ~
The cool thing is having EK read to us!
We talked about Beatrix Potter today and her home of England.
We printed maps, traced and discussed them, then added to our journals.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fun Friday~ {Centers}

Today after we had our Bible time and read a few books, 
I asked them what they wanted to do...
they all had ideas of their own.
I decided we would make a chart of activites {Centers} 
so they could choose what they wanted to do~
We sat in a circle, made center names, and initial cards~
It was amazing to watch the girls take the boys under their wing 
and explain how to choose, complete, then check off.
The boys thought it was very important to X out their initial 
when a center was complete.
EK was in charge of the art center and SJ the listening one~
I think the most beautiful thing was NO ONE was off task.
They loved the freedom and worked to their best ability.
Pretty sure this will be a regular occurance of Fridays!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Things I Don't Want to Forget~

Update on the bean experiment... 
everyone has roots and a little plant sprouting~
 They all run to them each morning and we are so excited to see growth!

Payne had a little accident last evening 
and he wrote a story about going to the ER in his journal~
Such a brave boy and doing very well today! 

SJ has had a little difficulty sounding short vowel words and today we had a huge breakthrough.
Up until now she was sounding words choppy j..a..m. 
so I suggested she stretch out the sounds in a smooth way j-a-m~
I wish you could have seen her face {that light bulb moment}
and all of a sudden reading short words wasn't so painful anymore.
Thankful to be the one to experience this beautiful moment!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Carrot Seed~ {BFIAR}

This week we are rowing The Carrot Seed.
We read the story and connected with our planting day on Friday
 then read our Bible story of The Parable of the Sower in Luke 8.
We thought of things we had to be diligent at to succeed and wrote a story in our journals~
 In the midst of school, the UPS man delivered EK's MOST wanted birthday gift so all school halted as we swooned over this wonderful gift~
 Do you think she was just a little happy?
We are SO excited to see a bird move in and maybe raise some babies!!!

Dad was able to hang it when he got home from work~
Right outside our school room window along with another birdhouse, a feeder, and our hummingbird feeder!

After just one reading of The Carrot Seed SJ picked up the book and read it to me!~
{THIS is why I don't skip BFIAR (Before Five in a Row) books...
They are SO valuable for new readers in gaining self confidence in their reading journey not to mention...
 they are just plain AWESOME books!} 

AND just look at the youngest student to join our school for the day~
Ummm... can you stand the cuteness???

Monday, April 7, 2014

Birthday @ School~

With a combination of a Monday and EK's birthday...
School was composed of~
Ipad games, baking a birthday cake, cleaning the fish bowl, opening birthday gifts, holding precious Ben Curtis, and celebrating!
True life school!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Roxaboxen and Math~

Today was math day.
I changed up the book choice and we read Roxaboxen since it was illustrated by Barbara Cooney.
The kids loved it~
I pulled out some flower stamps and let the big girls teach the little kids about AB patterning.
I also gave each one several turns playing Flower Match Garden Patch.

We are at a place with Math U See where addition facts must be memorized before moving farther.
Both girls have been playing lots of math games on their Ipads as well as Xtra Math on the macbook.
Their facts are getting better everyday!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Art in the Park~ {yard}

Today we changed up the location of Miss Rumphius and headed outside.
If you don't have a picnic blanket, I highly recommend getting a picnic tablecloth.
I picked mine up at Target and we use it for EVERYTHING from picnics, to art projects, to reading area under a tree, to playing on the lawn while watching Rosie's tennis match!

I grabbed the picnic blanket, a snack, and the book and we went out to read.

Afterwards we talked about Barbara Cooney's illustrating style and began painting our own lupines.
I found this link online and got started.

First we peeled crayons to create the background~
 Next we painted stems and began using our fingers with acrylics for the petals~
 {Evie thought this was the best day of her life!}

The budding artists~
A beautiful day for Art in the Park!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Language Arts~

Today I wanted a different way for the kids to hear Miss Rumphius so I found a YouTube video for them to watch~
 I recorded vocab words in the girls' journals and they dot painted them when they heard them in the story.
EK copied definitions afterwards and SJ illustrated her.

For the littles, I wrote the alphabet and they could stamp or use stickers to match~
They did pretty awesome!!!