Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Raising Rock Stars
I'm always in awe of moms who can homeschool, run multiple websites, maintain daily posts and still think up creative ideas and themes! Carisa from 1+1+1=1 is one of those ladies I admire.
Recently she posted about an idea she had about being intentional and laying a solid Biblical foundation in the lives of her children so that they can "shine like stars" and stand on Christ the solid rock. I love the idea! We have been doing our own studies through the years, but it will be nice to see what others are doing and have a little accountability.
One thing that we have been doing in our local co-op is keeping a Faith Journal. Basically the kids write down prayer requests and then write the date the prayers were answered. Sometimes they also write down the answered prayers of others in the group too. I work with the Kindergarten/1st grade group. Since most of the have a harder time writing, I made up a sheet for their Faith Journals. They draw a picture of an answered prayer or something they are praying about. Then they either write a short sentence by themselves or with adult help. I thought that maybe someone else might find this sheet useful too.
Faith Journal printable- early elementary
Labels: Bible activities
Wordless Book Nesting Cans & Song
I had a couple questions about the song so my son helped me create this short video. Please excuse the singing--lol! See what I do for you all? ;)
I used a film cannister for the dark page, tomato sauce can, reg. soup can, large pork & bean can and then a big chicken broth can. I cut the paper to size and then ran it through my Xyron, which adds adhesive to the back of paper making it a sticker. I did find that burnishing the paper to the can helped the adhesive stick better (you can use a stylus or the back of a spoon to burnish the paper). If you don't have a Xyron, spray adhesive will work. Make sure you file any sharp points on the inside of the can so that no one cuts themselves.
Once done you can use more than one way:
--Tell the Wordless Book Story
--Sort objects according to color
--Practice arranging from smallest to largest and vice-versa, using the correct terminology (big, bigger, biggest etc.)
For more information on the Wordless book, check out my recent Wordless Book article.
I also created two more printables that could be used with the Wordless Book:
Jesus coloring page (for younger kids)
Labels: Wordless Book
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tot Schoool (34mo)
It has been awhile since I've posted anything that we've done with dd#3. Now that we are kind of getting back in the school grove, I'm planning a few more intentional activities with her. I created a list of activities to choose from in order to cut down my planning time. This has helped me tremendously.
At the end of last week we went to the zoo. It was dd#3's first time going, so I was pretty excited to see her reactions to the animals. The zoo we went to was a small but very cute zoo. It was just the right size for a first zoo visit. The first animal she saw was a monkey and for some reason she was terrified. It took a little coaxing and assuring her that they couldn't get her before she agreed to be put down. After that she started enjoying the animals. We saw wallabies, chickens, goats, a llama, an eagle and probably some others but I can't remember at the moment. The zoo is under construction with a few more exhibits planned, but I loved that it was something you could do in an hour or two. I enjoyed walking through the butterfly garden the most. The kids enjoyed playing in the water fountains the best. Here are some highlights from our zoo trip and our tot school week:
The zoo had tunnels that you could crawl through and "holes" that you peek out of and act like prairie dogs. At first dd#3 would not go in the tunnels. She stood outside for the longest time, watching her other siblings dart in and out. Finally she gathered all her courage and slowly walked in. I couldn't believe she actually traveled through the tunnels. This was her expression as she came out of the tunnel. I love it. :)
We practiced our observation skills this week. We had a variety of objects that she looked at with the magnifying glass. Then we used words to describe the objects.
This week we started our co-op class. We are going to be studying oceans (the older kids are going through Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day and I'm modifying the content to teach preschoolers). I found this puzzle at a garage sale recently. We pulled it out for some puzzle practice this week.
We are still working on colors. This week I tied our color practice to the Wordless Book. I made these nesting cans to teach the Wordless Book story. These work particularly well with the Wordless Book song which you can find in the link above.
One fine-motor skill she did this week was putting coffee stirrers into an empty Parmesan cheese container. This was a big hit. In fact, I had to keep telling the 7yr. old to let the 2yr. old have a turn.
So these were a few of the things we did this week. For even more Tot School ideas, check out the links at:Tot School.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Phriday Photoshop Phun
Today a friend came over and had me show her some stuff in Photoshop Elements. It's when someone asks you to teach them something when you realize you don't really know that much! LOL! It didn't help that I just upgraded my PSE version and am still trying to get used to my Bamboo tablet. I hope she was able to understand my ramblings and pick up a few tips and tricks!
After meeting with her, I decided to mess around with a current photo I took. I tried some of the new effects, messed with brushes and layers. You can see the before and after pics. below. I like how it turned out.
Labels: Random Photos
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Look Who's Talking: Featured Blogger Posted
Oh it has been a long day! Due to unforseen circumstances, I ended up pulling an all-nighter. I did manage a small nap today, but boy I need my sleep! :) I did manage to post the featured workbox blogger of the week:
Look Who's Talking: Featured Blogger Sheri H.
As much as I surf the web, I do occasionally miss some good blogs and posts about workboxes. If you know someone or blog about workboxes and would like to be featured, please sent me a link via the contact button me button. Thanks!
Labels: Look Who's Talking
Monday, September 21, 2009
Workbox Highlight: Active Activity Cards
One of the things I really like about the workboxes is that I can plan extra activities, especially active activities into my kids' day. Before I would forget, or get distracted, but now I have some of those activities on their schedule cards. I wanted to showcase a set of cards that Candace Crabtree created on Homeschool Share that I think are a wonderful addition to our schedule.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Big Daddy Weave
Since the concert was out-of-town, we booked a hotel for the night. The girls had a blast! It is so nice that my good friend and I both have girls the same age, and that they are best friends. Our goal this year is to plan a couple intentional outings with our tween daughters to create memories with them and have opportunities to talk to them about growing up and growing deeper with God. What a fun weekend!
Labels: Random Photos
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Learning Curve and Workbox Stuff
One thing I would like to point out is a new feature I'm trying called : Look Who's Talking About Workboxes. It is a dynamic (constantly changing) article that highlights who tweets about the workbox system, who blogs about it, and each week a featured workbox blog post picked up from my internet searching or via submitted submissions. So if you tweet, it would be helpful to use the hash tag: #workboxes or have workboxes somewhere in the tweet. If you have a helpful tip, or a blog post about workboxes that you would like highlighted, send me the link. Your blog will be featured on the Look Who's Talking site and listed here on my blog. The first featured blog post will be on Wed. Sept. 23. If you have a post you'd love highlighted, send me the link via my contact button. I will just be linking to your article, not reprinting the article. The cool thing is that just by talking about workboxes we can also raise money for the Salvation Army at the same time!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Graphing Apples in OpenOffice
Lately I have been looking at ways to integrate technology into our curriculum. Truth be told, I'd rather they were rarely on the computer, but that's just not going to happen in my house. They see me on the computer all the time. They know I blog, Tweet, Facebook, digital scrap and write articles. My husband is in an IT related field as well, so he's on the computer often. Computers are a big part of our lives. My goal is to show them how to responsibly use technology, and to use it for learning, not just to keep them busy. I previously wrote about how we are starting to integrate digital scrapbooking into their schooling. I realized that I haven't been teaching them any word processing/database skills. Other than typing and playing educational/Webkinz games, they haven't been using much technology, and they haven't been using it as a tool for showing what they have learned.
So today's graphing lesson was intentional. We needed to review graphing skills and I wanted my son to learn how to create a table using OpenOffice. Combining the two created a great thinking activity. He first had to sketch out the graph on paper and record the results from my blog. Then we worked together to create his sketch on the computer. I taught him how to set up the table, add color, add columns, merge cells and change fonts. He loved working on the computer (I knew he would which is why I started with him--lol). In fact, after the graphing assignment, he stayed in OpenOffice and wrote a play! His idea! The boy who earlier that day was giving me grief about just filling in answers for a personal writing exercise wrote a mini-play.
So do you use technology with your schooling? (Technology can be more than computers--video recorders, Ipods, etc.) To what extent? Certain ages? Any great ideas on how to use technology at home to promote learning? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Friday, September 11, 2009
This and That
I also created a list of ideas of things/activities to include in toddler workboxes. It's getting so long that I might actually break it down into separate articles. We'll see. :)
We're still working on apple things. Here's a super cute Apple counting file folder game from Mama Jenn. I plan on making it for my daughter.
ABC Teach has some apple printables---we're using the survey form and the shape book.
I also had many other apple resources and a printable in the post: Everything Apples
Jimmie had a really good post about Crafts and the CM Method. She always has such insightful blog posts.
Oh, and that cute little stinker---how she looks in that picture is how I feel-- a big mess! :)
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Brownie Try-Its: Space
1. Made M&M constellations. I had a file folder for each girl in the troop. On the front of the file folder I glued a piece of black cardstock. When the girls arrived, they each received a small bag of M&M's, one sheet of foil stick-on stars and a white crayon. They had to pour a handful of M&M's in their hand and then drop them on the black cardstock. Wherever a M&M landed, they would place a foil star. Once they had all their stars down, they had to create their own constellation.
2. Next I read some constellation stories from Constellations: A Glow-in-the-Dark Guide to the Night Sky . I had this cool little light that made the glow-in-the-dark stickers really shine. I turned off all the lights in the room and read a few of the stories using that flashlight. It really helped the girls see what the constellations looked like and why they were named that way. Then we went outside and tried to find some of the constellations we read about.
3. The next two activities we did in stations. At one station the girls created Oreo cookie moon phases. Click here for directions: Oreo Cookie Moon Phases Hint: buy double the amount of cookies you will need for the project as half will get eaten! We adhered the cookies to the plate with white frosting. Yes, we had alot of sugar that evening!
I found that the younger girls needed to keep this activity simple, so we only focused on four of the phases instead of eight.
4. The second station we did was film cannister constellations. Click here for the print-out: Constellations. These were so much fun to use afterwards! The directions call for a large safety pin, but we found that using jumbo thumbtacks worked perfectly. Each girl made three constellations.
Here is what I included on the inside of the folders. As part of the Try-Its, each girl had to draw a picture and chart the moon for a month. I thought that by putting everything in a file-folder--kind of like a modified lapbook---that we would have a greater chance of the assignments coming back. Everything was adhered to the file folder for each girl to bring home.
Additional Space Resources:
Exploring Creation with Astronomy book & journal
Many Space Units/Lapbooks/Notebooking pages from Homeschool Share
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I Heart Faces--Back to School
Well I would have had my daughter pose with her teacher, but her teacher was still in her pajamas--lol!(Yep, that would be me). We are getting back into the school groove here in the Spell household. Of course the holiday this week is throwing me off. I need to get off the computer and back on track... ;)
To check out more back to school photos visit:
Labels: I ♥ Faces
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Quick Pages, Workboxes and a Tired Momma
It has been such a busy week! I know my blog has been very quiet, but I really was accomplishing alot! I also had a couple of sick kids this week. My 2yr. old had some breathing problems and needed a nebulizer and a steroid (oh boy, she was quite a handful on those meds!) After that she got a virus, but is on the mend now. Her 1yr. old sister was also not feeling the greatest either. So both were a little clingy this week and needed a little extra TLC. The one good thing is that I got my carpet and couches cleaned this week because of them ;)
I did find time though, to put a couple articles up on Squidoo. I hope you'll check them out and pass them on to anyone you think might be interested (You can see the icons for them on my sidebar too)
Working the Workboxes (if you have anything you'd like to share or include in this article, let me know and I'll add your link)
Digital Scrapbooking as and Educational Tool (boy I really need a shorter title!LOL!)
Working with Digital Quick Pages (the layout above is a Quick Page by Lynn Grieveson)
I hope you all have a safe and restful Labor Day Weekend! I'm looking forward to sleeping in on Monday if my kids will let me :)
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The Scripture Lady--Review
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Here are some of the resources we are using:
Apple Trees and Apple Blossoms-great info. by Evelyn Saenz
Apples to Oregon unit from Homeschool Share
How to Make Apple Pie and See the World Unit from Homeschool Share
The Apple Pie Tree Unit from Homeschool Share
Unit by Naturegirl 7
Mini-Unit and Lapbook from Homeschool Share
Misc. Apple Stuff:
Preschool Apple File folder game from Homeschool Share
Apple Tree Math Mat from Homeschool Share
Apple Pie Recipe by Aunt Opal from All Recipes.com
I spent some time last week photographing apples and I'm pretty proud of my attempt! I definetly won't be moving into food photography anytime soon though ;)I did however, enjoy using those images to create toddler apple pattern cards. DD#3 has been working on learning apple colors, so I thought she'd enjoy practicing using the apple cards. If you'd like a copy too, just click the photo.
Next week I'll have a guest post showcasing one of our toddler apple activities. My 2 1/2 year old and I had so much fun putting it together. I can't wait to share it with you. :)
Oh, my kids are doing an informal survey and would love to know what your favorite apple is. We'd love if you'd post your answer in the comment section :)