Friday, February 27, 2015

ABCDEFG...

The boys are schooling K this year and doing so well.
As much as I have tried to keep the bitty girls on a younger level,
they want to sit with us when I teach the boys reading and math.

I really should have known they were soaking it in like little sponges.
Yesterday I went through every single thing we have have for school
weeding and reorganizing. 

I found a couple of items I had put away 
and created a ABC activity for the bitty girls~
 I pulled out one of each letter and wrote those same letters on foam board.
The boys wanted me to make them one even though it would be easy for them.
I wrote lowercase letters on their board~
This morning when the girls sat down to match,
I was amazed how many letters and sounds they knew 
without any formal instruction.
A great activity to check knowledge.
Once they were done, they began typing on it...
"It's our laptop Mom."
Okay! I can go along with that!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Schooling Smart~ {Frugal}

EK and SJ work out of their own Queen Language Lessons Book
SJ out of the one EK passed down and EK in a new one. 
They are pretty expensive to be consumable so we don't write in them. 
We alternate doing a lesson orally and the next copied into their journal.

All six kids work in Explode the Code each day. 
There really isn't enough writing on a page to warrant a book for each child. 
I decided to buy them once, cut apart with my paper cutter~
Place pages in protectors and store in small 1/2 inch binders. 
They complete front and back of a page with a dry erase marker each day
 keeping a sticky note on following page for tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Centers for Boys and Bitty Girls~

Boys:
Reading Bag
Listening Books
Pirate Memory
War with Uno cards
Zingo

Bitty Girls~
ABC Match
Neighborhood Sounds
Sewing
Princess Puzzles
Listening Books

I will leave these centers out for 2 weeks. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Snow Day~ {Snowflake Bentley}

Six kids and two parents were pretty excited about a yard dusted with snow this am
and went straight to the windows to watch it fall.
I grabbed some black paper and tried to catch a snowflake to photograph
with my macro lens on my phone~
We loved our time out in the snow
and I shared it @ Everything Beautiful!

 After a lot of fun out in the tiny bit of snow we had,
everyone came in to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate
and reading time with Snowflake Bentley.
We also watched a short biography on YouTube then
 EK & SJ used chalk pastels and the little 4 crayons~
You can see the personality in each one and I LOVE them MUCH!!!
A Wonderful Snow Day!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Homeschooling the 3Rs~


One of the things about our schooling at home is it allows us days off when we need them
AND days on even when one has had surgery or broken a bone.

Today was one such day and I had known we would need a little pick me up so
I ordered some amazing books to open on our first day after WP's surgery~
{3 Rs: Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic}
 1. Reading: 
I started with a couple of board books for bitty girls then Alfie for the boys... ALL were a hit! 
EK has been wanting to see the Paddington movie so I knew she and SJ would love the book. 
As we read the first story, we learned he was from Peru 
so we opened up this big MAPS book and did a little geography too~
 And before we knew we were doing science with our IPads researching all the animals 
that lived there as well as other items on the map. Great discussion!

2. wRiting~ 
There was a letter from the author of Paddington explaining how he came to be an author.
It sparked a great discussion of story writing 
and we grabbed our journals
to perfect our writing skill.
I pulled out a drawing book I had used with EK and SJ long ago
and had a little drawing lesson with the bitty girls~
They did an awesome job!!!
And so did the bigger kids as well~

There were other books in the box we will get to later
as well as this wonderful Zingo game for sight words.
I had originally thought of the boys with it but Evie and Holly wanted to try
and they did awesome looking and matching the words~
The boys played and practiced reading the words.
The big girls played and practiced spelling the words.

Finally our day ended with their regular Math U See work.
I'd say Homeschooling the 3Rs is just what this crowd needed!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year~ {新年快乐 Gong Xi Fa Cai}

Today the boys were gone to dr apps with dad so it was just us girls.
I pulled lots of our Chinese books and read them every single one.
I jumped online to find a craft we hadn't done before and landed on Red Ted Blog...
I read books and they listened to stories on tape as they cut/painted their dragon puppets~
SO fun putting them together with an accordion fold.

While I set up for next thing, EK read to the bitty girls~

Then we were ready for a little Chinese Teatime~
Everyone LOVED it but SJ {holding her nose to try}.
We bought tea and teapot set when we were in China to get HM.
Evie is a tea LOVER!!!!!

Our FAV book, Ruby's Wish was the perfect story since the boys were away.
After reading I had them sketch and paint what they wanted to be when they grew up~
EK & SJ~ Vets, EC & HM~ Moms :)
The boys jumped right in when they arrived home~

THIS photo was made yesterday afternoon as EK & SJ sketched birds
from our yard and their guidebooks~
 These are the times best friends are made
and educating each other collides...
{Afternoons spent sketching, chatting, and giggling}
Pretty much describes the whole reason we school at home.
Blessed and thankful!!!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Just Go With It~ {Community}

I could have started this day with "Put all that away and let's get after it"
but everyone had some kind of vehicle pushing them all over the house having a ball
so I began gathering things to Just Go With It!
I had a stash of Community stuff from my teaching days~
 We also pulled out our vehicle puzzles, listening books, and books.
Everyone brought their vehicle to the family room and then...
We Got After It.

I started with The Big Green Pocketbook for the bitty girls
and each pair chose a puzzle to complete~


 We also played Traffic Jam~
 One of our favorite stories Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel 
was the perfect springboard for a graphing activity~
 Sweet to see Holly has two guardian angels helping her~
 Our next story was The Noisy Book then made our own about traveling~
 We played a Community listening game~
 Boys finished up their books and had a turn at Traffic Jams~
 We glued our projects in our journals~
 Finally we made traffic lights for art~
Then made edible ones!
Just Going With It turned out to be a super fun day
and following their lead was the best choice by far!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Writing Love~

Every single day Payne takes out his journal to write
{even on weekends}
and today was no different.
I saw him working away in the sunroom while I was making breakfast.
He walked into the kitchen with a huge grin on his face.
He knew he had accomplished something great.
I looked down to see a miracle
{maybe not to everyone but to his mom.... HUGE!}
because today was the day HE sounded out his own words, drew his picture~
I LF Mom
 I LF Dad

I LF PC
I LF Will
{He wrote what he heard himself sounding!}

Why a miracle?

I had not spent anytime formally teaching him to sound.
We had just worked on Explode the Code with sounds
and when we did write in journals,
I always wrote for him and he copied.
I will still continue this scaffolding for him
but today HE saw he could do it for himself...

AND I I witnessed him feeling loved and Being Love!!!

Love Wins Again!!!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy President's Day~

Today was all things history since we have studied both Washington and Lincoln
already this school year.
We pulled all our books, skimmed through them
and watched 3 YouTubes on each one~
I had to planned to copy a little book about presidents to make
but we were low on ink and I had to make alternate plans...

 I rounded up paper, journals, art supplies, and we made our own
Washington and Lincoln~
The little kids traced over what I wrote for them
and the bigs copied that plus wrote facts they knew about each president.
We also sang our president song
and enjoyed discussing what we would do if we were president!!!
Happy President's Day!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day~

I pulled out lots of things to make Valentines 
and loved how our devotional was about spreading love~
We made cards, love bugs, and painted too!
It was a sweet day~
Full of Little Love!!!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

This and That~

Some mornings just need a slow start~
 Today was one such day when playing with Christmas toys was necessary.

EK and SJ finished up their Abraham Lincoln study
and were assigned a report of his life~
 I had them narrate all the things they knew about him
and I scribed it in their journals then had them read back.
One of our favorite historical heros!

And I have loved listening to a new podcast I found,
which has lead me to some new books including
all about animals and very interesting discussions afterwards.
My other favorite podcast is The Art of Simple.
Please share others you might like as well!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

School on the Road~

We had the joy of spending the day with BC so we Schooled on the Road!
I grabbed the IPads and Mr. Popper's Penguins~
We were a little over halfway through the book so we read two chapters
and listened by Audible every hour to finish it up.

One chapter listed all the penguins so we wrote them down
and made up some games.
We also made a list of names in our family
and sorted the two lists with boys/girls for little kids.
EK and SJ worked on ABC order with both lists 
and copied them for copywork~
 I was amazed that the little 4 could read lots of the names on the list~
Boys:

Bitty Girls:
The time between games and listening to the story was spent IPadding.
.
Cool seeing EK and SJ reading along with the book
while we listened with Audible~
The celebration to the whole day...
Watching the movie on the way home!!!
We LOVE Mr. Popper's Penguins!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Week of Love~

I pulled all the books I could find about love and we are reading them this week.
Our week began with our KidSpring videos~

SJ chose this book as our first of the week and we ADORE it~

The next book was a stretch... the love for our crayons~
 and from the faces below, it is now our FAV book right now... especially the peach page!!!~
 Bitties not sure what all the laughing was about~
 Found SJ reading the peach page over and over~
 For the bitties, I cut hearts from sticky paper~
and let them stick foam stickers, reg stickers, and really anything they could find.
I think they made about 3-4 each... a great Valentine activity!!!