Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bible & Technology~

You might gasp when I say my kiddos get bored with the same old Bible reading all the time.
I've been using God's Love for You
and I LOVE it but sometimes we just have to change it up.
We've had these Bible DVDs for a long time
(think I may have bought them @ Lifeway)
and pulled them out this week for our Bible time~
Everyone was very attentive...
There is a scripture, a story, and a song.
We each took our journals and I wrote the scripture for them then
they drew a picture...
had the bigger girls write what it meant to them.
Evie also asked if I would read from
My Great Big God... love it because it rhymes!!!

As for technology...
I tread a fine line when it comes to computers, Ipads, Ipods, and tv.
How much is too much?
Should they be doing it at all?
When and what?
I have found it best used as a gift for tasks completed well.
Today everyone finished all their school work in good time
with little playing around so~
 Technology was gifted for about 30 mins before lunch
(school games only of course)!
And THIS is what the bitty girls' idea of playtime after school~
{Let's see if we can pull every single thing out we have
and cover the whole floor so our clean up time will last
a very long time!}
All that matters is that they were having FUN, right?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bitty Preschool Drawers~

I found with the trays, the girls kept pulling things out but not
placing back in correct place so I put all their activities in drawers too.
This week I changed their work out and in a week will trade it between the girls like I do with the boys.
Red~ Journals and a Workbook
Orange~ Bear Family Puzzles and Numeral Puzzle
Green~ Build a Word and Hot Dot
Blue~ Pattern Blocks and Dot Art
Purple~ Leap Frog Reading Game
 The bitty girls work as long as they want to and there is no pressure
to finish all the drawers.
I encourage and check them as they go.
I don't make them go in order either...
if they want to do something a second time, that is ok as well~
For the most part they work pretty well
and when they are ready to move on, I help them clean their area
so they can be off to their room for playtime.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Fun~ {K Work Drawers}

So I had some time over the weekend to change out the work drawers for the K boys and preschool girls.
{Big girls' drawers stay the same pretty much}.
I took photos of the K drawers...
First up is WP's~
Red~ Journal and ABC work
Blue~ Match Mag letters to Board
Purple~ Roll a die and make an inchworm that long

WP was super diligent today~
He was able to sort his inchworms by length and talk to me about most, least, equal, longer, shorter.

Payne's~
Red~ Journal and ABC work
Orange~ Explode the CodeRed~ Journal and ABC work
Blue~ Roll the die and give the kids that many teddy bears
Green~ Match capital letters to capital letters
Purple~ Find an animal in book and choose letters to string onto a pipe cleaner to make the word

Payne amazed me with how many letters he knows~
He chose to make LOTS of words with the letters and pipe cleaners!

Best thing about the Boys' drawers~
I can move the activities to the other one's drawers and have things set up for two weeks or so.

For the bitty girls today I needed to give Holly a chance to use real scissors so~
I gave them 2 straws which they cut into as many pieces as they wanted putting them into a bag.
Then they threaded them onto pipe cleaners and we made a necklace.
Took Holly some time to get the hang plus she is still struggling with whether she is right or left handed...
continuing to switch back and forth~
And while all this was going on 
the third and first grader were working independently on their own work.
Monday Fun!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fun Friday {Love Letters & Field Trip}

Sometimes simple things make the best learning!
Yesterday SJ received the sweetest letter from her friend Madelyn~
 It made such a great impression on everyone, I decided to make it a learning opportunity.
I found a book in our personal library {Penguin Post} as a springboard and the day just flowed from there.

These six sweets were very excited Art was up first.
We decided to make cards for some of the people we love using a really cool art medium called crayon resist~
 Everyone wrote words on the front of their card with a white crayon.
Then we painted over it and the crayon resisted the paint showing through!
After some drying time, we added words inside and addressed our envelopes~
 We watched a video of a field trip to the Post Office, counted out $.50 for a stamp, 
loaded up, and headed to our own Post Office~
 Ms. Dawn was SO nice to let each child choose/pay for their own stamp
 and get a penny back in change
Everyone LOVED dropping their letter in the correct slot!
 AND who should walk in while we were there?
Aunt Susan ~
 and she showed us how she unlocks her PO Box with a key~
We walked all the way around the PO and ran into our very own DAD!!!
Then back home to get our own mail in our mailbox!
This afternoon we grabbed our journals to stick our stickers in,
tape our pennies down, write about their fav part of the day, 
and glue in a photo of their choice.
LOTS of REAL life learning went on today!
A very Fun Friday with Love Letters & the PO!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bitty Girls again~

It is very important for the bitty girls to have opportunities to share
and be sisters.
Today I found a couple of ideas that reminded me to spend time showing them HOW to play together.
I brought our easel out of storage
{amazing how exciting it is for something out of sight to come back... like a brand new toy}.
I set up white paper, dot painters, and paint shirts~
 Loved watching Evie interact with Holly showing her how the painters work then lots of giggling.
They LOVE play dough and had just pulled it out when I remembered this post and printed the free mats~
Holly has been wanting to use scissors and you know Evie's history with them
but decorative scissors require just a little more precision so figured
they were safe for just play dough cutting
{and NOT hair!!!}.
Shot this little video to show a new little habit HM has begun~
Not long after we were home, HM figured out her Chinese was not working for her.
So when another sibling would speak to me she would come behind them and mumble in a soft voice then give me the biggest smile.
Knowing full well I still couldn't understand, we would both burst out laughing.
The video shows a tiny bit of it...
she has a very quiet voice and often she does it so quick I can't video it.
You can see her left handed work and diligence with scissors.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Photo Shoot~

I needed a new pic with HollyMei part of the crew so we had a mini photo shoot 
before boy haircuts and our afternoon swim yesterday afternoon~
LOVE doing life AND school with these 6 blessings every single day!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Schooling Outside~

We had a BIG cooling off here today so I took advantage and we began our school day with a morning walk~
 Down the street and back then to see the horses.
Couldn't bear to make them go inside with such a soft breeze blowing
so we brought school outside~
 After work time, we all enjoyed some technology...
Holly has finally gotten the hang of memory~
But Evie is quick to show she is WAY faster!
A quite healthy little competition going on between these bitty girls. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wonderful Art Wednesday~ {Blueberries for Sal}

Someone asked one of the kids last week if they liked school and that one kid said... not really... WHAT?
Yes, kind of hurt my feelings and made me think through our day.
Is it the curriculum?
Is it too routine?
Is it boring?
Is it too much?
Is it just what kids say?
Is the cocooning getting to them?
Is it their teacher???
Maybe a little of all that SO today we had Wonderful Art Wednesday... 
totally changing our routine!

After bible time I read Blueberries for Sal mainly because EK and SJ have picked tons of blueberries at our sweet neighbor Ms. Margaret's house~
I asked them if they would like to field trip over to our side yard for blueberry picking?
YES and we were off.
We did a little tasting to know the big ones were the tastiest~
 I'd say Evie and Holly did MOST of the tasting! :)
EK found a bird nest of course and once our bucket was pretty full we went back for our Art project~
We decided to paint with the berries instead of cook with them.
While they boiled, we also read The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse~
 After boiling the berries, the kids noticed they weren't blue at all... purple maybe. 
So after drawing something to paint, everyone took a brush, dipped into the berry paint and got to work~
And once again...
Evie and Holly did more tasting than painting.
Also once their masterpiece dried, it was totally BLUE!
A change in routine proved to be JUST what we needed.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Writing with Bigger 2 and Bitty 2~

Today I introduced a fun way for kids to write when they just think they are having fun.
I used this when I taught school and got awesome results...
Talk To Me journals~
Simply a little journal I bought at Target in which I wrote a short note to EK and SJ.
I ended with a question for them to answer in some way.
They had lots of questions about how much they had to write and I
 assured them there was NO expectations... write what you want.
I will write back each night and have waiting for them at morning breakfast spot.
2 things: great keepsake and one way to get them writing!!!

NEW for Bitty Girls today~
I found ABC stickers on the $1 spot @ Target and today after the girls worked on their name, plus making something with a circle~
I cut one line of letters off a sheet and wrote them on their page.
They had to match letter to letter.
I did the same with the boys...
they had to match two lines of letters and name them plus give me the sound.
Everyone loved it!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bitty Work Drawers~

Along with the trays I introduced on Monday, all the kids have work drawers with activities in them~
The red drawer holds their journal which we do most every day.
I usually find their next page, date, and write their name at the top.
They copy over with a crayon and this day they wanted me to trace their hand then they colored.
The next 4 colors are there if they choose to do them~
NO pressure at all and sometimes they do it, sometimes not.
As they finish up one of the activities, they place in the finished basket for me.
After they have worked through the drawers, they move onto trays or free play in their rooms.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Bitty Preschool~

School seems daunting to most when you pair it with summer
but truthfully it makes our family life flow better to be in our normal routine.

It really isn't that big of a deal to our kids because they don't really know any different and they like what we do.

In order to school a 3rd and 1st grader with 2 Ks, 
I planned a few trays for the bitty two girls~
Top Shelf:
~Egg carton/ping pong balls:
the balls were already programmed with letters so I just colored a dot with sharpies and they match color to color
Bottom Shelf:
~Beanbag throw into the basket {gross motor}
~crayons and stickers with paper... tracing feet and hands!

 Evie was amazing helping Holly know how to play~

I have a few free things sitting on top of the shelf~
~Number puzzle
~Magformers ... hands down the FAV toy in our house right now!!!
~Board Books

The girls also have a little activity book we can pull from
as well as journals to write/draw in.
Today went pretty well with them in and out of the school room.
I will change out their shelf probably every two weeks
and I will try to remember to share the new activities.