Sunday, January 29, 2012

Baby Girl's School...Some New Finds

First of all, someone shared this learning through music company's website with me. It is really great! You've got to check them out. As I've shared before, Baby Girl absolutely loves music, plus she can remember lyrics & tune after hearing a song only once or twice. So music is the way to her brain! Also, I've purchased the book below to start using with her. We are stepping things up for her now that she's almost four. Lots of learning coming our way!

Also, I am still using Montessori methods with Baby Girl. It is also very effective. I am currently reading this book:

Friday, January 27, 2012

School Projects

The kiddos have a history project assignment each month. They know that the project is due on the last Friday of the month, and they do NOT get reminders from Mom. So far, they have successfully completed their projects on time. I feel that this is an important step in teaching them to be responsible and punctual. So, here are the results of this month's work:

Since we've been reading about the westward movement in Sonlight Core D+E, Doodles chose to make a covered wagon.

Well, Bug got really...ahem...creative with his project. Since we'd read about several inventors and their inventions (Robert Fulton-steamboat, Eli Whitney-cotton gin, to name a few) he decided to invent something. What is it? Well, it's a "dog food feeder."
And how do you use it? See the pic below:

Bug says this really comes in handy when you're too scared to go outside to feed the dog at night. So, even though his project probably stretched the perimeters of our history assignment expectations, it was just too cute not to accept!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chinese New Year, Part 2

Here are a few activities we worked on this week. Baby Girl still has more activities to do, so I'll post pics of those later this week. Meanwhile, you can see what we've done so far.

Our homemade fortune cookies. You can find the recipe here. And I highly recommend reading her top nine tips!

Tea, served with fine china

Our dancing dragons! You can find the craft here.

 I help Baby Girl work on counting. You can find these printables here. Baby Girl really enjoyed using her ink stamper and putting marks on the dots. As you can see, most of her work is still done hand-over-hand.

Baby Girl works on another Chinese New Year activity sheet, also found at the above link.

A couple of Baby Girl's New Year activities

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chinese New Year

Happy New Year! Monday, January 23, is the date for Chinese New Year. We've got lots of books to read, several activities and crafts to do, and then we'll top it off with a delicious Chinese meal. I might even convince hubby that we need to shoot fireworks! 2012 is the year of the dragon--my hubby and older daughter are "dragons" in the Chinese zodiac, so they are pretty pumped about this year. Kung hei fat choi!
Here are some of our books, activities, etc:
Chinese New Year activities for young children
Chinese New Year activities, games, etc. for older children

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Homeschooling: Week of January 9

We've had a good week. As much as we enjoyed Christmas, it's nice to get back into the routine of school again. Doodles and Bug had to write mini-reports for history this week. Doodles chose to write about the winter that General Washington and his men spent at Valley Forge during the American Revolution, and Bug chose to write about the Irish potato famine. Two really cool comments I heard from my children this week regarding history:
Bug: "You know, history is so cool. It's really our story."
Doodles: "Yeah, history is my favorite subject."
Thank you, Sonlight!
Here are some pictures from this week:

Doodles works on her science.

Bug does an experiment with a dirty penny and cola as part of his science.

Baby Girl works on her sliding and spinning her beads.

My little students: hard at work!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Baby Girl's School Week: Jan. 2-Jan. 6, 2012

Baby Girl got several things for Christmas that have been very beneficial to her for school time. We had a great week, and she is really enjoying her new learning tools. Here are some of the highlights:

Baby Girl wants to sit on her table...uh-oh!

Baby Girl really loves her little table & chair. It is so much better for her to have furniture that is just her size. Of course, there are several times a day in which I have to remove her from the table...she likes to sit on it, too!

Baby Girl works on her activity, which develops her counting, sorting, identifying color and shape skills, as well as helps develop her hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills

With my help, Baby Girl puts clothespins on an old wipes container, and then I help her take them off again. This helps to strengthen her pincer grasp.

Another use for the wipes container: we toss the bears in, counting them and identifying the colors as we go

Baby Girl is not much for moon sand, of course the reason could be that she grabbed a mouthful of it before I could stop her...not very tasty, I'd imagine!

I help Baby Girl learn about the letter "Q" using her iPad2. As you can see, big brother is interested as well. Big Sister took the picture.

Baby Girl's easel: dry erase side

Easel: Chalkboard side

Sit & Spin: great for vestibular stimulation and just plain fun!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Creative Writing

One feature of Sonlight's Language Arts program is creative writing assignments. Today's assignment involved looking at a "story starter" picture (included in the Sonlight Instructor's Guide) and writing a story to go with it. The picture featured a mountainside scene in which there was a horse-drawn carriage, with one man driving and another hanging on for dear life. Doodles wrote a really imaginative story, complete with "old west lingo." I credit Sonlight's program for bringing out this creativity in my daughter. With the combination of read-alouds, readers, and language arts instruction provided in the Sonlight program, she really flourishes! Here is her story:

The Desert Detective

Once there was a rough and tough detective; now he wouldn't ever tell anyone his name. He was just called the "Desert Detective." But, you must know that he can never, ever, ever lose his hat. He was born with it on, and he never leaves it. He lived in the dry,dry west. His home was surrounded by many-a-mountains. He lived in his old log cabin.

Most of the time it was quiet 'round the ole west, but not when the ole Professor Tumble-weed was 'round. He was always up to no good. But, this time, well, shoo', he really did it good. He captured Lady Angelica, the Love of Mr. Desert Detective's heart. Soon, the Sheriff came 'round and told the Desert Detective. "Why, sir, we had just came round the ole curb and had done saw Professor Tumble-weed carrying off ole Lady Angelica. We had done took a couple shots, den he ran right up de brook and got away."

Now, when de Sheriff had done told de story Mr. Desert Detective ran right on by the Sheriff. When Mr. Desert Detective got round de corner he saw up on de mountainside Professor Tumble-weed, who had poor ole Lady Angelica. He was whoopin' and hollerin', and he was drivin' ole Lady Angelica's carriage. "Help me!" shouted Lady Angelica.

So, well, the ole detective ran right up that mountainside and jumped right on the ole carriage. The wind blew him up and down, round and round. But no matter how hard de wind blew, he held tight to his ole brown hat. Soon as the Professor reached the top of de mountainside, he was trapped. Lady Angelica jumped out of the carriage and ran all the way down the mountain to the Sheriff. "Shoo woman, you are faster than them horses there," the Sheriff chuckled.

Mr. Desert Detective placed his hat on his head, looked up at the professor, and then boom, in a split second, he was round the Professor with his ole handcuffs round his hands. "Shoo, blasted ye Desert Detective," snarled Professer Tumble-weed.

Then Lady Angelica and Mr. Desert Detective got married, and they lived happily ever after.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Baby Girl's School Table

My parents gave this little table & chair set to Baby Girl for Christmas. It is perfect! I am going to have her do school and learning activities here, as opposed to the dining room table-which she will use only for eating. It's a good idea to keep these things separate for her.

Self-Care That's Not So Fun

As promised in my previous post, I am now going to talk about self-care that's not so much fun. This kind of self-care involves thin...