Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lions, Tigers, Whales and Blubber....Oh My?

This week felt like such a busy week too me. Bodie started his once a week P.E classes again. I am glad because he really enjoys it, but it does mean one more day this week that felt rushed. Brylee has her dance on Monday, we have a homeschool group we get together with on Wed, and then Thursday is P.E. Since we live outside of town, it becomes a lot of driving. It is nice that we homeschool so we can be flexible. If we don't get everything done in the morning we can finish when we return. Yet, the downside is that it really feels like a long day to me, where I feel like I don't feel like I get much accomplished around here. I think I have an unrealistic expectation of what things need to be accomplished. I feel like since I'm here all day my house should look less messy. Yet the truth is.......my kids are here all day. Gotta remember to let it go.

Bodie has been studying ocean animals and we did a couple of fun experiments this week. First we took a tape measure and a string and measured out the typical lengths of different whales. We cut the strings and laid them on the ground to see just how long these animals are. I wish I had different colored string that showed up better and a way to take better shots, but here they are anyway.  

This is us measuring a blue whale. The typical length is 110 feet. Of course we knew he was huge, but to see it laid out was pretty amazing!               
 
Again I wish the string showed up better. Here they are laying feet to feet, with six different types of whales measured out. Of course all of them were longer than they were.


Next we did an experiment to see how blubber helps to keep seals and sea lions warm. They had two gloves on one hand. Then we put one glove on the other hand and slathered crisco on all over it and then covered it with another glove. They took turns putting each hand in ice water and timing it to see which one lasted longer.

Bodie didn't last long with either one of his hands. I thought Brylee's hands would never get cold. 
 Brooke didn't put her hands in the water, but wasn't gonna miss out on the fun.

This week we also went to this place called Play for All. It is in Round Rock. I had never heard of it. This is a super fun place though and it's free. It's a closed in area for kids to play and they have something from small babies to older kids. The whole thing is fenced in with only one way out which is so helpful when you have multiple kids you are trying to watch. 
They have an area that is like a city for kids to ride their bikes in. There are little shops all over that they can drive in and a real working traffic light.

 Inside the dealership.....




 Of course there has to be an HEB!



Outside of the city was a huge playground and sandpit that Brooklyn could play on. I could leave Brylee and Bodie playing in the city safely because there is no gate in that section. They would have to come right past me to get out of the entire area. So super safe design and fun for all the ages. Bodie said it was the most fun playground he had ever been to. As a mom I really liked the safety aspect.


Brylee has continued to do her weekly lesson plans. This week we did z for zoo. We built a zoo for her stuffed animals. It wasn't a very pretty zoo, but it managed to contain all the animals quite well.
Other things we are working on is writing her name,and reading. We are using Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. This is the same book I used with Bodie and it worked well for him. She is not as curious as he was about reading, but she is sounding out her words well. When she realizes she has read a word it is so much fun to watch her face light up.

Bodie has really made some  improvement on his writing. Last year it was a struggle to get through some of his writing. This year has started off really good. You can't see the first few days on here, but each day he adds a little more detail so at the end of the week he can write a full paragraph with a main idea, supporting sentences, and a conclusion. Huge difference in his handwriting this year as well. 


Parting shot.....sometimes cute, sometimes a little bit naughty!
 
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pioneer Farms and more fun stuff

We went on our first field trip of the year to Pioneer Farms. It was a rainy, soggy sort of day, but warm out so we went anyway.

Pioneer Farms is a living history farm in Austin Texas with five themed historic areas to explore. The areas are: a tonkawa indian camp, a german emigrant farm, a texian farm, a cotton planters farm, and a rural village called sprinkle corner. It is self guided and full of history and fun things to do. The weather did actually put a damper on things, there wasn't as much going on. Even so we had a fun time and learned some great things about Texas History. It does involve a lot of walking. And I think in a few years the kids will appreciate it more, but we still had a good time. 

The first place we went was a house that was full of all kinds of wagons and carriages from long ago. This one just happened to be one that Teddy Roosevelt rode in when he was in Austin. 

Little legs get tired and this bench was a great place to rest in out of the rain!












It didn't matter which way you went 
there was something fun to see.
 The blacksmith was by far our favorite. He did such a great job of getting the kids to ask questions and think. 





 An outdoor kitchen. Apparently womens dresses were quite the fire hazard back then so outdoor kitchens were where they cooked most of their meals.

 

At the Indian encampment was one of the biggest trees I have seen around here. I wish I'd gotten a good picture!

They have special events that go on and I want to take the kids back again for one of those, but even with all the drizzle it was a good day and the kids were tired by the time we got finished.

Here are a few more things we did for the week: 


Beans and containers.



Practicing our spelling words for the week.


Apples stamping for our letter of the week....A



Our apple tree painting.



Brooklyn's box was so much fun everyone had to play in it.


Stamping blocks in playdough.














And.....the parting shot. It's not always 
exciting and fun as this picture cleary 
demonstrates! 

 

 
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Preschoolers, Meltdowns, and more school stuff.

Can I just say Wow! Wow what a weekend. Just when you start relaxing and let your guard down a little regarding your child's behavior, the bomb is dropped. Oh how I hate those rotten wayward bombs you didn't see coming. They are the worst.
 I have always said the threes are more challanging than the twos. I've never had terrible twos, it's terrible threes.  I guess we can extend that into the terrible fours, but I am really hoping that is the last we see of what we call my daughter's evil twin. 
 This weekend Nana and Papa were in town and Nana took us to the movies. When we left the movies Brylee had the biggest fit I've ever seen all because she had to put those 3D glasses in the recycle bin. In retrospect I probably should not have made such a big deal out of it, but how could I have known the drama that would follow. I have to say I really am surprised no one accused me of kidnapping my own child, such a magnificent display of outburst and indignity warrented. With cheeks that were certainly glowing, I managed to make it back to my car with my child protesting all the way. I was thankful Nana was there to keep an eye on the other two, not sure how that would have played out had I been alone. So I just wanted to give a shout out to other moms. In that moment when your child does the unthinkable, remember you are not alone! All in all it was an interesting adventure and I might have been forced to take some sips of a margarita at the end of that day and I'm pretty sure Nana did as well!
 On to our school adventures...   we did  G for garden a couple of weeks ago. We planted some new seeds in our garden and actually got it fenced all the way around so the chickens would not eat the peppers and tomatoes. Our seeds are up and it is cute to see Brylee checking on the new things every day.
We learned a lot about seeds. We examined how they feel, their sizes, talked about what makes them grow. Then we went in our front yard and looked at plants that were already grown. We talked about how plants help bugs and other creatures by providing food and shelter for them. Then we saw the coolest thing...

A Hummingbird Moth!!! I had heard of them,but never seen one. This little guy was quite busy and was not bothered by our presence at all.
Of course the monarch butterfly was really pretty too but I think all of us thought the hummingbird moth was especially cool.
This was also the day we collected grass and leaves for our creation book.

A long those same lines, Bodie's science is all about marine animals. He has been working on an ocean box. Each chapter he completes he adds those new things that he learned about to his box.

He's having a lot of fun with this and it will be a great way to remember everything he learned about in science this year.














Meanwhile..... Brooklyn stacks cans.

Plays with puzzles...











Puts pom poms in holes....
And joins sister in dressing up magnet dolls.




Meltdowns, play, and a little school too, just a day in the life for a preschooler!




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Monday, September 10, 2012

Pre-School Fun and The Case of The Mystery Rooster

So I promised I would share my free preschool lesson plan that I am using for Brylee. It's from Stacey at http://www.motherhoodonadime.com/. We started week one last week and it is the perfect thing to supplement what we are already doing. She sends the email weekly. It has the entire lesson plan broken down by day and has whatever printables or links you need to go along with the lesson that week .I am loving that it is one thing I don't have to plan out for the week. I look at the supply list and make sure I have everything and we are ready to go. The letter this past week was X. We did a treasure hunt(one of the activities of the lesson plan) and talked about how having God guide your steps in life is kind of like having a map for your life. Here are some pictures of some of the things we did. 



We started with the treasure hunt. We looked for all the x's and found the treasure behind the spots.


We made our treasure map with markers and stickers. I wish I'd gotten a closer picture, but I didn't.

We made binoculars.........















We went on a treasure/nature hunt.......

We did other stuff with this lesson plan too, but I didn't get pictures.






This week the letter is G and the theme is Garden. Looking forward to this lesson! Thanks, Stacey!


Have I mentioned how much I love Bodie's Science this year. Really really like it. It's Apologia Science and we are doing the swimming creatures. Not only is the reading interesting, but I like the journal with the premade templates too. Each chapter takes about two weeks to get through because of all the things you put in your journal. I like that we aren't just doing Qand A. There is  a lot to write but it is broken up with drawings, experiments, and puzzles. I think that he is going to retain the work so much better than if it was just Q and A. Maybe I should say that Bodie is liking it a lot too, not just mom. But it is just so much more fun to teach if you like it too!

I love this picture of him reading The Grasshopper On The Road. He thinks this whole book is so funny.


On to the case of the mystery rooster. Yes, here in the sticks we don't get stray dogs, we get stray roosters! We have twelve lovely lady chicks that provide us with eggs every day. I saw no reason to add a rooster in the mix as I did not want to see beaks or feet in my eggs. You see, eggs and I have a shady relationship anyway and I am quite certain if I came to find a baby chick in my scrambled egg our relationship would come to a screeching halt.Anyway, the other morning my husband was drinking his coffee when he heard a crowing out the window. He went outside and sure enough there was a rooster looking like he had just stumbled onto a gold mine. None of our near neighbors have chickens and we just couldn't imagine one wondering from somewhere. Come to find out later Glenn's friend Bill dropped him off in the night, knowing Glenn had been wanting one and I hadn't. I guess he figured I couldn't argue if one just showed up. So we've agreed that Don Juan can stay, but like I said it's a shaky relationship. For now the girls are not too impressed, but I figure that will change. After all he is Don Juan.

 
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Monday, September 3, 2012

Our First week with a 2nd grader, preschooler, and a toddler.






Our first week of school I had two goals I wanted to meet. Those goals were: relax and work on keeping our work area clean. I'm happy to say that I feel like we met both of those goals! I hope that we can continue with both of them throughout the school year. Keeping our work area clean really helped me relax more. I don't like ending the day with a house that looks like a cyclone hit, it makes me anything but relaxed. Having places that everything belongs really helps to meet that goal. Plus, I feel like it such a great life goal. Something else that helped this week came from my friend Chris. A mom figure in her life told her that while you have small children have one thing you tackle every day together on the house. It could be the bathrooms, or the yard, or cleaning their rooms. Pick one thing, set the timer and spend  thirty minutes working on it. If you do that one thing, keep up on your laundry and your dishes then you won't feel so stressed. I've tried various things but this one really works for us. One day we picked a bathroom. Each child had their jobs. My four year old took all the rugs and towels to the laundry room and helped put new ones out. Bodie cleaned the sink while that was going on. I cleaned the toilet and the floors. It was much more fun and I was able to give them tips a long the way. This week we detail cleaned one bathroom, our van, the yard, the livingroom, and their bedrooms. They still have their regular chores daily and so do I but we actually get some detail stuff accomplished! This makes me relax even more!

Here's some fun things we did in school this week! 


I love the fact that Bodie loves to read. I have discovered that when he's quiet now it isn't always a bad thing!

Letter bingo. This game is super easy for Bodie, but it is a fun game I can do with both of them and Brylee is really getting good with all her letters. 




For this game I had letters on cards and Brylee would search through her box to find the right letter. I forgot to get pictures of Bodie, but he did the modified version of this. He grabbed a scoop of letters, wrote all the letters down on paper and then used those letters to see how many words he could form.


 While they were busy doing that, Brooklyn had things to do also! Playdough is always a good time filler......


 When you get bored of rolling it will seem like a whole new thing if you add straws or pipe cleaners! Those are so much fun to poke in the dough!


And never underestimate the power of a box with a hole that is just big enough to put pasta in! Loads of fun!

  We made music using only things around the house...
















A few more things we did...... Have I mentioned how important your own laminator is to a homeschooler? I love mine. I use it for everything. 



 Over all a great start to the week. I found a great site that provides free lesson plans for the school year for preschool. I printed off the first week and will start that next week with Brylee. I will post the website and pictures of what we did next week.

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