Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thanksgiving Lapbook

We finished our Thanksgiving lapbook this week. I am very proud of what G grasped from our study... it is a great base for future knowledge.

Resource Update: I thought I would add the links I did not include in my original resource post.
Cover Pilgrims & Indians
I Am Thankful Mini Book
The First Thanksgiving Mini Book
Circle Pilgrim
Pilgrim Pilgrim book
My Pilgrim Counting Book

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Romans Are Coming

Later this week we are going to see a once in a lifetime exhibit, Roman Art From the Louvre. The Louvre is remodeling their Roman gallery so they are sending the collection to three US cities (Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Seattle) while they work and we happen to be an hour away from one of them. So today, I conducted a mini workshop on Roman Art for some of our homeschooling friends that are going with us.

  • we talked about where the art comes from and why it is here.
  • we talked about types of sculptures we would see... full, relief & busts, and how they were carved
  • we played statues

  • one of the other mothers made two types of Roman bread and talked about eating habits
  • we tried on togas, stolas & pallas

  • created reliefs & mosaics

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Do You Know Sarah?

Do you know Sarah Josepha Buell Hale? I didn't until this week.
As a part of our Thanksgiving studies I checked out the beautifully illustrated picture book "Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving" by Laurie Halse Anderson. ( A study guide can be found here.)

It was Mrs. Hale's 38 year letter writing campaign to make a National Day of Thanksgiving that finally landed on President Lincoln's desk during the Nation's unrest of the Civil War. Wow! 38 years. Mrs. Hale was not only an advocate for Thanksgiving but a teacher, writer, and one of America's first women editors. She published writers such as Poe, Hawthorne, and Emerson. And most importantly, she penned Mary Had A Little Lamb!!! The poem was based on a real day when a lamb followed one of her students to school and waited outside all day.

How did I not know about this amazing woman? Because my history education stink, stank, stunk Mr. Grinch, that's why. This is just the kind of thing I hope to overcome with G's education. I hope to give him a memorable, interesting, and thought provoking history education.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gobble Gobble Up!

We made these adorable cookies for G's reading group at the Library. They turned out really sweet. I found the directions in my November teaching binder when I was searching for Thanksgiving activities.

2 wafer cookies
1 Reece Cup
1 Nutterbutter Cookie
2 mini M&Ms
3 yellow jelly beans
1 red jelly bean
5 candy corn

Inspiring Literature

"Nobody Notices Minerva" but you can't miss G! LOL

Around the World in 180 Minutes

We had a fabulous time this weekend at the International Festival. This is the first time we have attended this event and it did not disappoint. We explored several counties as G filled out his mini passport. G's favorite was Taiwan. We visited this booth several times throughout the afternoon. It had drums to play, lions heads to wear and shadow puppets to dance. We also enjoyed building a marshmallow & toothpick Eiffel Tower, dancing, and window shopping. The International Festival was so great and brought our obsession with Amazing Race alive. OOh OOh, next year we can not only map the Amazing Race countries, which we are doing now, but make a point to visit those booths at the festival!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Carnival of Homeschooling

I am so thankful for the Nerd Family hosting this weeks carnival.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thanksgiving Resources

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth.
By Jennie A. Brownscombe (1850-1936).
Painted in Honesdale, PA, or New York, 1914.
Material : Oil on canvas.

As I set out to plan this months activities about Thanksgiving I am overwhelmed by the need to be accurate. As a teacher, I always tried to teach my students the truth and I have learned more about this holiday since I have left the classroom. So, when you know more you do more. I have also learned this year that it is possible that my family tree links to one of the original Mayflower passengers so I really want G to learn more truth than myth.

Here is the pile of the links and books I will be wading through while I plan...

The Pilgrims' 1621 Thanksgiving
The First Thanksgiving: A Feast of Activities
Are You Teaching the Real Story of the "First Thanksgiving"?
Pilgrim Hall Museum
Thanksgiving Resources for Teachers (K-2)
The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving (variety)
Life at Plymouth Plantation

Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters
Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy by Kate Waters
On the Mayflower: Voyage of the Ship's Apprentice & a Passenger Girl by Kate Waters
Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times by Kate Waters
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson
Our Thanksgiving Book by Moncure
The First Thanksgiving by Linda Hayward
N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims text by Robert San Souci
Who's That Stepping on Plymouth Rock? by Jean Fritz
The Story of the Pilgrims by Katharine Ross

Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen
Fried Feathers for Thanksgiving by James Stevenson
Arthur's Thanksgiving by Marc Brown
Silly Tilly's Thanksgiving Dinner by Lillian Hoban
The Know Nothings Talk Turkey by Michele Sobel Spirn
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

Hands On

An American Adventure Play Set: Susanna White Winslow and her Pilgrim Family

Along with my overflowing 2 inch binder of resources from my classroom and what's a holiday without Snoopy & Charlie Brown (A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and The Mayflower Voyagers). LOL

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Aqua Dots Recall

One of G's favorite toys is being recalled, Aqua Dots.
Please click on the link if you have not read the reason for the recall or need to return some.
If you know anyone who has these please tell them about the recall because they may not have heard. We are on our second box and have a third that is waiting to be "earned". I was also going to ask for some for him for Christmas. Unlike his Easy Bake Oven which Hasbro wanted back even after they send us replacement parts this is not a recall that can be ignored.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Under Construction

I have wanted a 3 column format from the beginning and just found some... so bear with me as I rebuild and play with the site.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

45 Days: A Review

Well, it has been an interesting 45 days.
Here is a look at the original plan.
Here is the current plan.
LOL, no really my ideals of what school should be are out the window but my goals have not changed.
  • I want G to learn to read this year
  • I want him to learn formal math basics
  • I want him to love learning
Aside from my wants...
  • G is independently sounding out cvc words and with incentives, aka stickers for suprises, reading Bob books
  • G is grasping/ mastering place value, counting, story problems, and adding zero
  • G loves to think,explore,wonder, and plan
  • G feels music and really enjoys the FREE classes we found at the local university
  • G has taken an interest in coloring, something he used to avoid like the plague
I am really excited about his progress and mine. Finally I am starting to relax with the amount of material we are covering. There is no need to hurry through materials because we can still use them next year if we do not finish. I am more interested in mastery than exposure. I am working hard not to compare us with others using the same texts because I know our slow go will be less stressful on G and more likely ensure mastery so we don't have to learn it again down the road. It is hard to break my public school habits.

Ahead for Us: Continue with Reading and Math U See. Try to add hands on art and science to our week or at least month.

Side note: I just finished reading A Thomas Jefferson Education today, yes I read a book, and am going to reread A Well Trained Mind. I am curious how they can work together and how they may fit into OUR school.

NEST Videos

I have always been fascinated with the NEST videos since I was young and saw their infomercials on TV. I was even going to break down and purchase them last year at the Homeschooling Convention but they did not attend. How glad I am today! After a discussion with my friend, School for Us, she pointed me to Library and Educational Services. Wow! Rather than 20-30 dollars a piece for the DVD with a study guide, I got the VHS tapes for about $3 each. For 3 dollars I can make my own study guide. I could have purchased DVDs, which I really wanted, but I got a couple extra titles with the VHS set and saved 10 dollars. I will keep watching their supply because I really want the history and science ones too, which they are currently out of.

Update: I just found coloring and a few activity pages free here on the NEST site.

Keepers Award Ceremony

The first session of Keepers of the Faith has come to an end.
Much has been learned and taken to heart. Relationships have formed. It has been very exciting! The children spent the afternoon putting finishing touches on their final projects. Then they enjoyed refreshments & games before receiving their award badges.

G received badges in ....

  • identify the state tree & bird
  • use a compass
  • know safety guidelines
  • recognize and use basic tools
  • tool saftey
  • built a hat peg
  • built a weaving loom (for the girls next semester)
  • listen to 6 devotions on willingness
  • memorize Ecclesiastes 9:10
  • Practice willingness at home
  • define willingness

The girls received a badge for Scrapbooking rather than tools.
They created pages for the boys documenting the six weeks.
The group will meet again in March for Weather, Kites, and lots of fun!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fishers Renaissance Faire

Renaissance Faire but it was a blistering 90+ degrees and miserable. Very little learning took place. Hopefully next year the weather will behave like October rather than July and we will be able to really soak in everything this amazing Faire has to offer.

The few things we did experience...
G was thrown in jail and had to sing to be released.

G was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I

G with some fellow Knights

Daddy was picked from the Audience to participate in the sword fighting comedy with Rogue Blades.

We did spend a long period of time in a warriors tent to get relief from the sun. G was very happy to just sit and watch him & his squire (son)play chess. While watching, we learned that there is a medieval version of chess which uses dice to determine your moves. We will be researching this later.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Carnival of Homeschooling #94

Hey, Let's check out what everyone else is doing after I share my experience at Animal Kingdom.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Columbus Study

(He looks asleep but he really enjoyed this project)

I am really excited to study History along with G as my own experience is weak and fragmented. I really learned a lot about Christopher Columbus over the past few days as we have studied his holiday. I am going to have to do some more reading to find out why the United States has a National Holiday for an Explorer that never laid foot on North American Soil?

During our study we watched several videos, read a couple of books, played a game, and created a couple projects.

Here is a list of the resources we used:

Our Columbus Day Book by Jane Moncure
Holiday Histories: Columbus Day by Mir Tamim Ansary

Brain Pop jr.- Christopher Columbus
A Magic Voyage (cheesy & light on the history but fun)
Christopher Columbus: The Commemorative Series (3 vols.)

Go West With Columbus (Board, Pieces)

Paper Sailor Hats
Earth Light Catcher
Coloring Pages

Friday, October 5, 2007

New Web Discovery

Have you discovered this site... Daily Lit?
I tried to find who lead me to it so I could link her description but between Bloglines and Carnival of Homeschooling I couldn't find it again. Anywho, It is an email service that sends you short, less than 5 minute, reads of copyright free books FREE (there are a few paid ones but I never saw one). For example I started The Adventures of Tom Sawyer last night, it is 90 parts. So part one came to my email, I read it, and if I wanted to read more I could have clicked send next installment now or since I didn't I waited until today for the next day for it to come automatically. So it could take me 12 weeks or less to read Tom Sawyer. I am sure that sounds like forever to some people but for me who NEVER reads for pleasure... I am so excited! There are 20 books listed in the Children's Category... Twain, Baum, Grimm, Carroll.. just to name a few. I am really excited to read everything in this section!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mom's Overture

I have about 5 entries started but not finished so until then enjoy!!!

UPDATE: Here are the words!
Get up now
Get up now
Get up out of bed
Wash your face
Brush your teeth
Comb your sleepy head
Here's your clothes
And your shoes
Hear the words I said
Get up now
Get up and make your bed
Are you hot?
Are you cold?
Are you wearing that?
Where's your books and your lunch and your homework at?
Grab your coat and your gloves and your scarf and hat
Don't forget you got to feed the cat
Eat your breakfast
The experts tell us it's the most important meal of all
Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall
Please remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at three today?
Don't forget your piano lesson is this afternoon

So you must play
Don't shovel
Chew slowly
But hurry
The bus is here
Be careful
Come back here
Did you wash behind your ears?
Play outside
Don't play rough
Would you just play fair?
Be polite
Make a friend
Don't forget to share
Work it out
Wait your turn
Never take a dare
Get along
Don't make me come down there
Clean your room
Fold your clothes
Put your stuff away
Make your bed
Do it now
Do we have all day?
Were you born in a barn?
Would you like some hay
Can you even hear a word I say?
Answer the phone
Get Off the phone
Don't sit so close
Turn it down
No texting at the table
No more computer time tonight
Your iPod's my iPod if you don't listen up

Where you going and with whom and what time do you think you're coming home?
Saying thank you, please, excuse me
Makes you welcome everywhere you roam
You'll appreciate my wisdom
Someday when you're older and you're grown
Can't wait 'til you have a couple little children of your own
You'll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willingly
But right now
I thank you NOT to roll your eyes at me
Close your mouth when you chew
Would appreciate
Take a bite
Maybe two
Of the stuff you hate
Use your fork
Don't you burp
Or I'll set you straight
Eat the food I put upon your plate
Get an egg A, Get the door
Don't get smart with me
Get a Grip
Get in here, I'll count to 3
Get a job
Get a life
Get a PhD
Get a dose of reality
I don't care who started it
You're grounded until your 36
Get your story straight
And tell the truth for once for heaven's sake
And if all your friends jumped off a cliff
Would you jump too?

If I've said it once, I've said at least a thousand times before that
You're too old to act this way
It must be your father's DNA
Look at me when I am talking
Stand up straight when you walk
A place for everything
And everything must be in place
Stop crying or I'll give you something real to cry about
Brush your teeth
Wash your face
Get your PJs on
Get in bed
Get a hug
Say a prayer with Mom
Don't forget
I love you
And tomorrow we will do this all again because a mom's work never ends
You don't need the reason why
I said so
I said so
I said so
I said so
I'm the Mom
The mom
The mom
The mom
The mom

Book Finds

I just wanted to share a couple of library books that have been a pure pleasure! They have added to our learning without "feeling" like learning.

Math-terpieces: The Art of Problem Solving by Greg Tang is brilliant! Famous art pieces such as Degas' Ballerinas and Van Gogh's Starry Night are paired with little poetic math problems. For example opposite the picture of Van Gogh's Starry Night are pictures of groupings of stars to add together such as "find 7 ways to make 10". We have done 2 a day for the past week. G even brings them to do outside of school.

G loves mazes and Roxie Munro's Mazeways A to Z does not disappoint. You first follow directions through the picture.... start at the red van, follow the path to the fishing pier, then hike to the visitors center. Munro's rhymes are much more melodic. Then the picture turns into an I Spy game with a list of tiny details to discover. Beautiful Artwork and mind focusing fun!

Both of these books have captured G's attention and held on. I am considering purchasing them to rediscover over the years to come.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


We really thought that EPCOT would be overall, boring for G but we were wrong! They have added Kidcot, hands-on tables, that are geared for elementary kids and a lot of fun. It is like a learning scavenger hunt. We learned about the Venus Flytrap, Car Design, The Food Pyramid, Sound, & Sea Life. You can do a similar hunt through the World Showcase where you decorate a mask then collect trinkets from each county. G was too tired by the time we got to that task... so next time.

Kidcot station one- Venus Flytrap

Car Design

G really enjoyed the boat ride through the experimental greenhouses. We had just seen the Mickey pumpkins on TV before we left home and it was exciting to see them growing on our trip. These pumpkins are growing without dirt, hydroponics.

We went into this little building, outside the Kodak building, with signs "Meet Figment", Kodaks Purple Dragon. When we got inside there was no dragon but fun house mirrors surrounded by wonderful inspirational messages and ideas! I think it was more for me than G because I struggle with focusing too heavily on academics in our classroom and the main reason I homeschool is so he doesn't loose his creativity and excitement. I need to make a poster size print of this for our classroom.

Kodak asks... What if pictures could talk? As you step on each photo it plays the sound you might associate with it. G had fun and ran off some steam.

There are computers and video games all over EPCOT for children to explore. This one is about ants.

EPCOT is a haven of photo opportunities... here are a few of our favorites.

In Norway

In Bruce

In Bliss

My personal highlight was getting to ride/ drive a Segway! I have always wanted to ride one and you can in Innovations East.

What a wonderful Day!