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Showing posts from November, 2012

Pancakes and Playing at the Gym

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My oldest son was disappointed when I told his younger brother I'd make pancakes tomorrow instead of today.  So I said, " you can make them. Go find the cookbook, look up pancakes and follow the recipe."



I knew it wouldn't be quite that simple but he really tried (and did a great job!).  Once he found the cookbook and opened to the table of contents, he asked me if it would be under eggs since there are eggs in pancakes.  I asked him "where else can we look up things in a non- fiction book?"  "The index!"  We flipped the book over and he finally found pancakes, opened to the right page and started to read.

I told him it would probably work best if he got all the ingredients and measurements out first.  He had no problem with 1/2 and 1/3 but 3/4 threw him.  He asked if he would use two 1/3 cup measures.  So I said well we'd have to add 1/3 plus 1/3.  I knew he'd never added fractions before so I prompted him "what's 1 +1?"  H…

Snowmen jugs, math games & paper towel science

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This is what a typical school day looks for us during the holiday season.


I dreamed of science experiments last night (no, seriously, I did!) so I decided it was time to do one.  We choose this paper towel color experiment (partly because it was the one in my dream, but mostly because I had all the supplies and thought it would be quick and fun for the boys).  The instructions and photos on the linked site are awesome!

The boys couldn't decide on two colors so we made one cup red and yellow (also known as orange) and the other cup was blue.  The first time our paper towels fell into the filled cup completely so the second time I used a wet fingertip to "adhere" the dry ends of the paper towels to the dry cups.  It takes quite a while but eventually the colored water travels up the paper towel and into the empty cup and the colors mix.

 It was pretty neat but a bit slow for the boys (it took over an hour before we had green water in the middle).   So we left it sitting …

Using Read Alouds In Our Homeschool

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We tend to read a lot of books in our homeschool.  My boys enjoy listening to stories and often beg for me to read more than I had planned.




I'm honest enough to admit I don't always want to read aloud but I do know that it is so important.  Reading aloud helps my boys develop a love of stories, it allows us all to learn new things together, and it helps bond us together.

Anytime I feel a homeschool day slipping out of my control, I quickly grab a stack of books and begin reading. It calms us and settles the boys down (most of the time anyway!).  We don't always pick a theme or even read books during the "right" season but we do often read together.

Today we read:

1. Another chapter or two in our Hugo book



2. Started reading a few chapters in Thanksgiving on Thursday (part of the Magic Treehouse series).  We had checked out this book long before Thanksgiving and never got around to reading it.  I was going to return it but they didn't want me to until we re…

A New Christmas Tradition

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I had some ideas for several new traditions I wanted to start with the boys this year.  I went through all our bookshelves, pulled off all the Christmas books we have and wrapped them each individually. 
Each night they unwrap a book and we read a Christmas story.

This has made them so excited about reading!

We ended up reading three books last night because we had forgotten the other few days and they were all ready to tear open a new book this morning.  I had to explain it's really only one book per NIGHT.  We're going to save them for bedtime.

 They all grumbled and begged to open one this morning but I explained we'd run out before Christmas ever got here if we open them now. 

Ian has been creating elaborate houses out of dominoes.  He lays out floor plans and his last house had three bedrooms, each with their own closet, a game room, a huge family room/ kitchen, and honestly it looked a lot like the floor plans you buy except instead of drawn they were laid out with…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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No, I didn't forget that today is only Wednesday, but I will not be blogging tomorrow since we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house and I'll be busy cooking up a storm and spending time with my family.

I love this time of year. 

I just love to cook and entertain.  Yes, it requires a lot of time and effort on my part but I don't mind.  This year, so far anyway, it's actually been easier.  Yes, you heard me right, easier.  It's the first year I've had the boys home with me and I've been giving them all jobs.




They've helped clean the whole houseWe got out early and went grocery shopping while the stores were somewhat empty.They've helped prepare much of the food and even decide on the menu. I had them help set the dining table
We have everything planned out, written down, and even had extra time to visit friends.

Yesterday, we took time away from our holiday planning and we went to visit friends.  They occupied themselves on the long car ride…

4 Hour hike-- Wordless Wednesday On a Monday

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Yesterday, my husband and I took the two younger boys on a hike through the woods to a relative's house.  It took us a good 3 hours to hike to her house even though it's really not that far away (we came home on the road and it only took us about 20- 30 minutes).

Part of the length of our hike is due to the fact that the kids don't walk that fast and they often stop to look at everything around them.  To me that's a huge part of the hike.  They learn so much by observing nature.  We also stopped by a pond to have our lunch on a rock.  It was a beautiful day for hiking!














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A Day of Computer Play

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I decided to make today a "fun" day.

The boys could stay in their pajamas and I thought I'd allow them to take turns playing on the computer today using some game sites. There are some pretty phenomenal games out there and we rarely take the time to enjoy them.



Evan played Starfall and Word World for a bit this morning, learning all about letters and sounds, and learning some emergent reading.

Ian played Cool- Math and read some of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series on Funbrain.

Once Alec saw Ian playing Cool- Math he wanted a turn too.  They really loved the game Isoball 3.  Alec also likes Word World and most of the PBS kids games.  I encouraged him to try playing Cyberchase games too since they use a lot of math.

I had them check out Sphinxkids too.  It's supposed to teach them a bit about classical music.  The older boys have once again started Words With Friends games with some family members so they've been playing that off and on today too.

I have so many gr…

Homeschooling with Games Galore!

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Some days when no one really feels like "doing" schoolwork, I like to pull out a stack of games and have a gameschooling day.  Today was one of those days.


Evan and I played tic- tac- toe sight words this morning.  
I printed out this blank tic tac toe template then filled it in with a few sight words.  It's played just like regular tic- tac- toe but in order to cover the sight word he had to read it to me first (since he's very new to sight words I coached him quite a bit) and we had fun.  
  He knew yes, mom, dad, red and go!  I had no idea he knew that many words. 

Ian and I played a multiplication dice game.  We had to roll two dice and cover up the answer on the the board.  The object was to be the one to get the most covered.  It was great practice and sure beat writing down all the multiplication facts.

Everyone wanted to play Alec's math memory game; Match 10.

We've played this before, it's played with the number cards 1-9 out of the Uno deck and…

Marble Race and Water Bottle Fountains

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It's often a struggle to find that happy medium between planning time, teaching time, and just plain old regular time to enjoy my kids.  Some days I feel like I spend most of the time planning and I don't like that, but I do like to have fun activities for us to do and they take prep. work.

Today, I asked Ian to go through my Pinterest boards and find something fun for us to do today. He decided he wanted to make a water bottle fountain.



We had all the supplies so I agreed but told him he needed to wait until his brothers were ready, since I knew they'd enjoy it too. 

We used:

empty soda bottle
straw
balloon
duct tape
water
food coloring

We poked a hole on the side of the soda bottle just big enough for the straw to fit through.  We used a bendy straw and made sure the straw opening was facing up.  Then used duct tape to tape all around it.

We moved over to the counter and filled the bottle part way up with water and food coloring.  We made sure the bottle wasn't lea…