About Me

I'm a mom, a teacher, a student, a wife, and a scout leader. I am actually an education major currently working on my practicum in a 2nd grade classroom. I also home school my two children. I'm also a cub scout leader, a girl scout leader, and at church I'm the children's music leader. ;) I tend to stay a little busy. My state requires homeschoolers to keep a portfolio. I am going to use this blog as my portfolio.

What am I?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Buddies

So, Collin's school has Book Buddies. Yes, he is virtual school but this is Mrs Huiet and she came to our local library to have some time with the kids. If we include little Ryanne then we had K-4th grade represented in this group. ;) My kids thought it was awesome!! She read some books and then talked about some of the things the kids have been learning in the reading class and applied it to the book. It was fun!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

S.E.E.D.

Science Education Enrichment Day... yeap, Collin was in heaven. We started off learning about neurons and Collin built one out of pipe cleaners. Then we moved on to glass blowing. This was exciting b/c Collin had learned about it in history when studying Italy.
Then we learned about minerals and the kids had to name a mineral to get a dum-dum. Then we moved on to the animals.
There's a little turtle!! There were a couple of them. :)

A snake wrapped around the light bulb.

A hawk. The kids couldn't touch the birds but they had the parts of a bird sitting around the table for the kids to touch. Kinda creepy if you think about it too hard but the kids enjoyed it.

Here's the owl. There were also owl pellets for the kids to dissect if desired. We didn't b/c Collin had an appointment in the Planetarium.
So, on to the planetarium for a show went Collin and me.

After the show we headed off to the quad where we found a truck that ran on water and a very exciting demonstration of levers.


Collin got to pull the pin and throw the tennis ball with the catapult.

It's hard to see but in the distance is a little boy with a red jacket on. That's Collin getting the tennis ball. It actually went pretty far.
The kids learned what to do if I was choking... do you see how hard Collin had to hit to get that gumball out of "my" throat. Oh my... I think that would have hurt. LOL! Ronni tried it too and the ladies teaching it had to help her get the hotdog out.

Time to make some paper!! Here's the pulp!

No, those aren't pancakes. That's round paper... they were cooking out the water. ;)
We did many other things but there were so many ppl that it was just hard to get the camera out everywhere. It was a fun day. Then, we went out for ice cream to make the day even better. Oh yeah!! :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Colonial Times

So, we went on a field trip today and I'm exhausted. It went from 9am-1pm. Okay, so we left at about 12:50 but then we had to walk all the way back to the van so, yeah... it was pretty much 1. It was geared to kids a "little" older than Collin so I was surprised they lasted that long. It was tons of fun though!! Enjoy our adventures.....
This was George Washington. He was telling the kids all about his "adventures". He kind of lost my kids attention after ten minutes or so so we moved on to the guns... :)

This was one of Collin's favorite ones. This man explained step by step how the guns worked and he had samples of the barrels sliced open so Collin could see it all inside. He even fired the gun! Ryanne wasn't a fan of the loud noise so she and I went next door to the yarn spinner instead while Collin finished learning about guns, tomahawks, knives and swords.

Collin just looked so serious; I had to get a picture of him.

This was the arrogant French-man. He made lace and he was hilarious!! He was so haughty (an act) so it was just funny.

This is the Frenchman's wife. Ryanne thought that her dress was so pretty she wanted a picture with her.

This was the circus and the part that my kids spoke about most. This was one of those eye illusion things. He did some magic tricks and showed the comb of Medusa, a tooth from the whale who swallowed Jonah and some other things. Then... he moved on to the fire....

This was funny. He said, "Do you want to see me shove this lighted baton in my wife's mouth?" The kids all yelled, "Yeah!!" So, he did. hehe! ;)

He really did it for the kids though. He lit his tongue on fire and lit another baton with that flame. Fun! His finale was when he blew fire from his mouth. He made all the kids stand back. It was awesome!

Lunch

Finishing up lunch.

The kids watching the little creek that ran by where we had our picnic.

The wood carver.

Stockades. Neither of my kids were tall enough to reach so I could take a picture so Collin is lifting his sister into it. LOL! It was the best we could do. ;)

Toymaker!! My kids were here for a while.

More toymaker...

Still at the toymaker....

We just needed to get that stinkin' ball into the cup so we could move on from the toymaker's. Collin finally did so on we went.

The Indian Trader... no, he didn't trade Indians. I meant that he traded goods with the Indians. The follow pics of some of the stuff from his tent. In the picture above he was demonstrating how to make fire w/o a match.



The Blacksmith


Collin kept trying to get closer to the orange part. Freaked me out. We finally just left that building and went on to safer places.

This was a soldier showing us the food rations the men in the army were given. The ones on the floor were for the regular army men (rice, split peas, dried meat, vinegar, rum, and flour) and the ones on the table (which looked yummy-- chicken, fruit, cheese, pickles) was for the officers.
By the time we got to this part Ryanne was so tired she was cranky and yelling and crying about everything. Collin wanted to see so we quickly walked to other booths and looked to see who was there and then moved on to make a trip to the "Doctor Who Potties" (as the kids called them) or port-a-potties and then to the van. So, not pictured but also there were Indians, Benjamin Franklin, a leather builder person, a lady with information on tea, a woman doing those silhouette portraits ($20 each if you wanted one of you) and a few others that we just didn't make it to. Tons of fun!! :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Update on virtual school

The kids have been loving it!! Ronni participates in a lot of the classes. Collin gets 3 live virtual class each week. He has reading and math and then science and social studies alternate each week. He also just got his IEP and now gets two speech sessions with the school and one through private so, yes, he gets 3 speech sessions/week. On top of all that he has math, language arts and phonics lessons daily. Then he has art, history, science, and music which alternate; he has 2 lessons of each one/week. Ronni loves to participate... especially on the projects. He just had his monthly assessment with his teacher to make sure he was where he was supposed to be. We skipped the first 8 units of math b/c Collin already knew them. That equaled 16 weeks worth of work. So, she tested him on that to make sure he understood everything he skipped. He did!! She was shocked and bubbly when she realized that. At the rate he's going he should be moving up to first grade math in January. He is also reading and building words now. It's awesome. He got to start his first reader book today. Hooray!!

Ronni and I have been working on number recognition lately. She can count to 12 but she doesn't know what the numbers look like so that has been fun! :) It's not as fun for her as it was for Collin so our sessions are much shorter for her. She's only 3 so I don't want to teach the fun of learning out of her. We make it fun and when she's tired we do something else.

Here are some pictures of a few of our projects.
These are from history....
When studying the Netherlands we built a dike. The water is on the right side of the dike.

Then we built a canal to go with the dike.

This is Collin's diorama of The Great Reef off the coast of Australia from when we studied Australia. ;)
The following are science:
We've been studying plants and how they get nutrition so, of course, we had to do this classic science experiment. We ended up with a blue and red daisy. :)

This was when we were working on senses. This day we were focusing on the sense of taste. I blindfolded the kids and they had to tell me if things were salty, sweet or sour. It was fun!! Especially when I gave them the lime. LOL! :) It took a lot of trust on their part.

Collin pouring white vinegar into a jar.
Ronni placing a chicken bone into the jar.


Two weeks later - Collin demonstrating what happens when calcium is sucked out of the bone. (Obviously, this was when we were learning about the body and on the topic of bones.)

Friday, September 2, 2011



What do you think? I know that not everyone believes in the same God or has the same faith but most people believe in SOMETHING (not everyone, I know). What do you think of the idea of gathering together at the flagpole at school and together asking, whoever you feel is in charge, in a united voice for help. They don't allow this IN the schools but will they tolerate it outside the schools? It probably depends on where you live too. Here, in the Bible Belt, I think most of the teachers would just ignore it but in other places it may cause problems. It will be interesting to see what will happen.

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wishlist

by Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007
1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.
3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.
4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.
6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.
7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.
8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.
10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.
12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.
14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.
15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.
16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.
17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.
18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.
20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.
22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.
23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.
24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.
25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Everytime I watch this trailer I cry. When I watched the movie, I cried. It is such an amazing video (yes, it is biased but so is everything else). It follows several children as they work with their parents to find a better education and it's all based on luck. You also get a better look into the American schools and what the gov't is doing to try and improve the education system but the stupid politics that prevent them from doing anything. I definitely recommend watching it.

Stress while at home

Those of us who homeschool know what I am talking about. Being at home with my kids is amazing and I absolutely LOVE learning from them and watching them learn as well. I love knowing what they're doing in school and being so involved in their lives. However, that also means that I get no break! I know, it sounds horrible that I would like a break from my children but occasionally, I think it would be nice. Some days my children just don't want to listen to me.
I grew up thinking I was patient. It was one of my talents and everyone praised me and my patience. Even my mom when I was a teenager. That's saying something, right? Well, then I became a mom and I realized that I really have very little patience. My kids, especially my 3 year old, do not like to obey. They say don't count so I try not to count but often I find myself counting anyways b/c I get an immediate response from them. Professionals tell you not to bribe. I offer fake money for good behavior. Professionals tell us not to yell. Well, occasionally I do yell. I really don't yell often but sometimes the kids are just pushing the right buttons and there is nothing left but anger. It has all been held out for so long that I turn into this evil monster who scares my children. They don't understand why I'm yelling but they fear the anger and immediately obey but then I feel terrible and cry and apologize and feel like an idiot and a failure at motherhood. The professionals also always remind us to follow through. I will admit, this is one thing I am good at. I always follow through on my discipline and make sure my hubby does too. If I tell them that if they don't clean up then I'm trashing their toys then I trash their toys when they don't clean up. Well, sometimes I send it to Goodwill but either way my kids don't get it anymore.
So, how do I make my kids obey so I don't have to respond this way? How do I get a break so that there is nothing left in me to give? Not homeschooling is not an option. I don't want to hand over my children's bad habits to someone else. I want to fix them myself but how? How do I get my 3 yo to just obey me b/c she wants to? I wish there was a manual or something but unfortunately, all children all different -- of course, this is fortunate as well. I sure wouldn't want my kids to be like everyone else.
So, homeschooling moms... in your experience, what is a good way to give yourself a break so you can be a better mom?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Secret Powers of Time



This video was awesome. The part that really stuck out to me is that the world is progressing however the way children are fed information is not. Children's minds move 100 mi/hr but our educational system is still stuck going 2 mi/hr. They cannot just sit there and listen. They need more. It makes me so grateful that we're doing virtual school. My son doesn't get to control everything but he has interactive online activities and we have a chart so he can choose which subjects he wants to do. As long as he gets all of those finished by the end of the week then he can do what he wants -- the order he wants, the projects he wants, whatever experiments he wants and he loves it! Are your children moving with progress and have trouble with classes in traditional school or are they okay (only answer this after watching the video to understand)? What are your thoughts on the video?

Are you part of the 20% who sit down and eat dinner with your family or part of the 80% who don't? We are in the 20%. We make sure to plan dinner every night. We also have family night once a week.

I just thought this was such an informative video. What are your thoughts on it? Do you think it's all a bunch of crock or was there really some useful info in there? 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Best Day Ever!

That is what my kids said about today. It was the best day ever! Of course, they say this often b/c we like to do fun things around here. So, I am sure you are eager to hear what exactly we did today to make my 5 & 3 yo say that it was the BEST day ever.... Well, we made smelly playdough. hehe!! We have been learning about our senses in science and today we focused on the sense of smell so we made playdough with lavender oil. You could use vanilla extract or whatever too.

  • 3 c flour
  • 3 c water
  • 1.5 c salt
  • 3 TBS cream of tartar
  • 3 TBS oil
  • 1 TBS extract.
We actually just made half of this and left out the extract. Since it was half the recipe I added 1 TBS of oil and then .5 TBS of lavender essential oil. :) We now have a very aromatic lump of playdough. Now, if you make it, be prepared for a mess! :)

DIBELS

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literary Skills --- oh my! That is a mouth full. No wonder they call it DIBELS. It is a test for grades K-2. I had never heard of it. Did your kids have to take it? My 5 year old took it today and I was proud of him. An average score for a K-er is an 8 and he scored a 12. Then on the letter recognition, the average K-er should know 9 letters in 60 seconds and my son knew 28. YAY!!! :) I was proud of him. He did struggle for part of it. He's used to watching my teeth and lips to figure out sounds and he couldn't see his teacher (b/c it's a virtual school so it was online) and he couldn't figure out that she was saying the /s/ sound. Oh well. He still did awesome! YAY Collin!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Astronomy

Most people who know my 5 year old son know that he LOVES space. He LOVES any type of science. His plan is to become a  physicist and go to outer space. Hopefully, they'll plan a new space program by then. We'll see.
We are fortunate enough to have a planetarium in our little city. A couple of weeks ago he was able to go and learn more about space. He also watched the little video called "Follow the Drinking Gourd" which is based off the story about the slaves and the underground railroad who followed the Big Dipper to escape. It's a very cool story. Then, last week he went to the observatory and was able to look through the huge telescope and see all kinds of things he can't normally see. He came home and told me about a double star he saw. Did you know there were double stars? I sure didn't. So, my 5 year old then explained to me what a double star is and why one star was blue and the other yellow (I did know why they were different colors -- just to clarify). So, I then set to work to find an activity we can do at home to help strengthen this love of astronomy. His virtual school has an astronomy club but you have to be in third grade to join so we'll just have to do our own. Here is the activity that I found.


What You Need:

  • Empty paper towel roll
  • Stickers of stars and planets
  • Paint
  • Internet or local newspaper
  • Blanket

What You Do:

Make a Telescope
While you won’t be able to see any far out planets with an empty paper towel roll, it will help your child focus on what she’s looking at. To make this homemade “telescope”, have your child paint her paper towel roll and decorate it with stickers of the stars and planets. Getting your child involved in the process will build anticipation for the evening.
Research the Night Sky
Some constellations are easier to see than others. Ursa Major, "The Great Bear", is the most popular constellation because it is visible in the Northern Hemisphere year round. The Big Dipper is actually not a constellation at all, but part of The Great Bear. And the North Star, Polaris, is not the brightest star in the sky, but a very important one. Because of where it sits in the sky it appears not to move, making it the marker to find north from anywhere on Earth! Orion, "The Great Hunter", is another favorite of junior astronomers and easily visible from January through April. Teaching your child the legends behind the constellations may also helps her remember what to look for and get excited about it along the way. For example, Orion is the great hunter of the night sky traveling with his two loyal dogs - the constellations Canis Major and Canis Minor. The three stars which make up Orion’s belt that hold his sword are easy to spot. And from there you can locate an array of other constellations.
Not sure what to look for? Using the Internet is a quick and easy way to find out which stars are currently in your area. Check out googolplex.cuna.org and www.astronomical.org.  You can also often find this information in your local newspaper.
Let the Gazing Begin
You will probably have to let your child stay up a little later than usual, but lying in the backyard with mom and dad looking at the night sky will be an experience well worth it! It will take your eyes 30-40 minutes to adjust to the darkness, so be patient. As your child looks up at the stars with her handmade telescope, ask your child, “What do you see in the sky?” Explain that the stars make pictures called constellations, and that constellations are used to help people remember which stars are which. Check out the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, part of the Big Dog constellation.
On a clear, dark night, you can see between 1,000 and 1,500 stars with the bare eye. Point out a few constellations but also encourage your child to find her own pictures in the sky. If she were an astronomer, what would she name them?
This is a fun way to introduce the beginning concepts of astronomy and get your child excited about something science-related. It’s also a great way to spend a summer night with the whole family involved.

What are your child's interests? Do you do anything to help them grow in those interests at home? I love getting ideas!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Out of School Programs

Funding for public schools right now is a bit of a joke. They are laying off the people who teach our children regularly and cutting out extra curricular activities, especially the arts. More and more families spend extra time doing extra curricular activities after school. What types of activities do your children do?

My son, kindergartner, is involved in Tae Kwon Do. It has been amazing watching the growth and the independence come from only two hours a week. He is making new friends, developing interests and skills that he wouldn't develop at home or in school. Today he is getting tested for his next belt -- white, orange, YELLOW!!! So, what do your kids do?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Education

I have been asked to moderate a group called "Moms for Education." This means that I will be required to have 10 original posts each week. Wow!! So, I think I will be posting here a lot more often. I am going to try to put what I write here since this is a blog about education. True, the type of education that I do is a bit different from what the majority of America does. My children don't sit in a desk. Instead, they learn at the dining room table, the kitchen, the living room, the yard, the park... the places are endless. We have many opportunities to learn. Anyways, that's not what I'm writing about right now. I am just writing to say that I will probably be writing on here more often. Okay, yes, that was a pointless post but I felt like saying something so here it is! :) Enjoy and look forward (or maybe not) of hearing from me more often. :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

another good reason to homeschool

Okay, I have lots of reasons to homeschool --- the one on one, no busy work, more hands on, flexibility, spending more time with my kids are just a few of the reasons. However, this week I have learned a new reason. Sleep!! Apparently, getting up early and then go, go, go all day is too much for my 5 year old. This past week he went to day camp which lasted from 7:30am - 5:30pm. It was TaeKwonDo Day Camp so there was quite a bit more physical activity than there would be at school but every evening he came home grumpy and he's normally not grumpy. So, he did this every evening and fell asleep around 7pm. In the mornings I tried to wake him up and he groaned at me and rolled over. I couldn't get him to eat because he was so tired. In the van, I always handed him his breakfast and he just held it with a dazed expression and never ate it. The poor guys was so tired. I was just grateful it was only a week.

So, today is Saturday. He slept until 7:30am and woke up my normal, cheerful boy. YAY!! Well, until about 4pm and the grumpy little boy returned. So, now it isn't even 6pm yet and he's been asleep since 5pm. haha!! I can't wait until he finally catches up on his sleep so my happy boy will be back.

What has this week taught me? It has taught me that my son isn't ready to spend all day in a classroom if I want him happy when he gets home. LOL!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The books for the new school year are in...

We are doing K12 so I am super excited this year. I won't be posting as many lessons as I normally do but I'll try. Of course, I didn't do so well at posting last year either... hehe! oops!! I'm just a slacker. Anyways.... here's a picture of all of our books.
Isn't that exciting? So here's what we have to work with this year:
  1. Math
    1. K12 Math+ Blue Book -- activity pages and the lesson guide
    2. 2-D Shapes, 3-D Shapes and Snap Cubes
  2. Music
    1. Preparatory Music Student Pages (there are stories and worksheets that go with songs, up and down practice with music, beat practice pages, all kinds of things I never would have thought to use in music)
    2. Let's Sing Vol K CD (A bunch of kid and folk songs)
    3. Let's Listen Vol K CD (Classical music)
    4. Let's Learn Music Vol K DVD (I haven't watched this one so I still don't know what it is. The back said that it's to teach kids how to move and feel the music)
  3. Phonics
    1. K12 Phonics K Student Pages and Teacher Guide
    2. PhonicsWorks (the big box on the bottom shelf in picture above)
      1. White boards, dry erase markers, flash cards for site words, magnetic book (incredible!) with letters and letter combinations to make different sounds -- awesome!)
  4. Language Arts
    1. Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten Teacher's Guide and Workbook
    2. K12 Language Arts K Student Pages
      1. Poetry, following direction activities and stuff like that
    3. Junior Great Books Sailing Ship Series (These Jr Great books are neat b/c they have discussions to bring up at certain points in the story and lines for the child to read a-loud with you. Both sets of these series are for me to read aloud to my children.)
      1. The Shoemaker and the Elves by Brothers Grimm
      2. The Frog Went A-Traveling - Russian Folktale
      3. Night into Dawn by Robert Hillyer and John Ciardi
      4. The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter
      5. Bouki Cuts Wood - Haitian folktale
      6. Fantasy - by Silvia Path, Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll
      7. Lion at School by Philippa Pearce
      8. Coyote Rides the Sun - Native American folktale
      9. Seasons by Nikki Giovanni, Robert Louis Stevenson and Langston Hughes
    4. Junior Great Books Dragon Series
      1. The Frog Prince by the Brothers Grimm
      2. Guinea Fowl and Rabbit Get Justice - African folktale
      3. Nature Speaks by Carl Sandburg, James eeves and Federico Garcia Lorea
      4. Feraj and the Magic Lute - Arabian Folktale
      5. The Tale of Johnny Town - Mouse by Beatrix Potter
      6. Companions by A.A. Milne, Gwendolyn Brooks and Robert Louis Stevenson
      7. Buya Marries the Tortoise - African folktale
      8. The Huckabuck Family and How They Raised PopCorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back by Carl Sandburg
      9. Magical Places by Byrd Baylor, William Shakespeare and Martin Brennan
    5. The Random House Book of Fairy Tales
    6. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
    7. Tom Thumb retold by Richard Jesse Watson
    8. Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel
    9. A Story A Story retold by Gail E Haley
    10. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
    11. The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
    12. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
    13. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
    14. Rhyme Time by Tomie dePaola
    15. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
    16. Millions of Cats by Wanda Ga'g
    17. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
    18. Mik Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
    19. The Rooster Crows A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles by Maud and Miska Persham
    20. Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall
  5. Art
    1. K12 Art K Student Pages (It's directions for me and instructions for activities to do along with a few worksheets on different drawing methods)
    2. Come Look With Me - Animals in Art by Gladys S. Blizzard
    3. Come Look With Me - Enjoying Art with Children by Gladys S. Blizzard
    4. 12 different art prints to look at -- there's Monet, Van Gough and many others in the list
  6. Science
    1. K12 Science K Student Pages(These are the worksheets that go with the lessons)
    2. The Big Dipper by Franklyn M Branley
    3. Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft and Richard G. Van Gelder
    4. My Five Senses by Aliki
    5. What's Alive? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
  7. History
    1. K12 History K Student Pages (again, just worksheets to go with each lesson-- mostly geography)
    2. Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
    3. Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
    4. The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese
    5. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
    6. When Clay Sings by Byrd Baylor
    7. Possum Magic by Mem Fox
    8. The Great Kapok Tree by  Lynne Cherry
    9. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
And.... that's it!! :) Most of the books are available at your local library and the K12 books can be bought through K12 w/o enrolling in the virtual school. My son is incredibly excited. We will start school on August 15th so until then I will be working on activity bags for the 3 yo that will be self-checked learning so she can play with those with minimal guidance from me while I work with my 5 yo in Kindergarten. *sigh* I can't believe he's old enough to be in Kindergarten.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Learning Activities on a Budget

My kids love learning activities and I love it when they love learning but I love it even more when it doesn't cost much or take too much effort on my part. I can't help it... I'm lazy and have lots to do so I don't want to spend hours creating things. It's just not in me. Right now, my son (5) is learning to read. Here's a video of him reading... it's not that exciting but he was excited and so were his parents so it's okay. :) Anyways, I've been looking for things to make his reading practice fun. So, here is something that I saw a picture of and then just went with it.
This one was easy. I just bought a book of index cards (we went with neon colors b/c I thought it was more fun) with the spiral thingy on it for $1.30 or so. Then I cut all the pages into thirds so each third would turn on its own and then I put letters on it. Easy peasy!! I read where they're lettered different ways but I did A-Z on the first third, vowels only in the middle and consonants only on the end. My son saw it after I was finished and without telling him anything about it he started playing with it and making up his own words. Love it!!

The second one that I made was completely free but I can't take credit for it. I got it from a friend of mine who runs the blog Children, Cakes, and Creations. Here is what I did. I went to Wal-mart and picked up a bunch of those little paint samples. Make sure the big ones have the little hole in them as seen in the second picture. This is mainly to work on rhyming. I put the last part of the words on the big ones and then the first couple of letters on the smaller ones. See pictures below b/c this description makes no sense. The pictures tell it better. :)


Now both my kids are rhyming away!! :)