Saturday, January 26, 2008

Harold and the Purple Crayon

The kids had a great time doing our latest Five In a Row (FIAR) book, Harold and the Purple Crayon.  My son Tom Sawyer especially enjoyed how the lessons revolved around art and being creative.  The kids each illustrated and narrated their first stories.  I really was impressed how they all stuck with it and gave me complete stories about what/where Harold was going.  You can tell that the dog bite I received earlier and all of our ER visits are having an impact on their lives.  All of their stories involved either a dog bite or ER visit.

We then worked on mixing shades of purple together by melting different shades of purple crayon.  The kids liked that.  We also worked on learning how to count by two's.  The kids got the concept really well and enjoyed counting several things by two's over the week.  We finished off the week by having an all-pie dinner.  In the story, Harold makes and eats nine pies (with help from a moose).  Since I lack a magic purple crayon and a moose to clean up the leftovers, we had six homemade pies.  We had strawberry, apple, ice cream, cheeseburger, quiche, and Montgomery pie.  YUMMY!!

Another great FIAR book down.  I have found that doing our core lessons sometimes get behind during a FIAR book so we have been going back and forth every other week.  We continue doing reading lessons and math with our FIAR book but tend to drop music, Spanish, fine motor, art ~ picture studies, and history.  So having a week that we concentrate on these things without a new book is helpful for me.  Sometimes I (as I bet most of us do) get overwhelmed with all the things I want to teach and all the tools that I want to use and forget to pace myself.  This technique has helped a lot.

Blessings, Dawn

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Fun Meme

Lahbluebonnet tagged me with this fun meme.  The idea is to answer all the questions with a word that starts with the letter of your first name.  It was pretty fun so here we go.  Thanks, Mom, for giving me a D as the first letter of my name.  I found D to be easy to work with.

What is your name?  Dawn
4 letter word: Dark ~ first thing that came to mind.
Vehicle:  Dodge
City:  Dallas
Boy's name:  Dean ~ My dad's name and ds' middle name
Girl's name:  Dianna
Movie:  Dawn of the Dead ~ never saw it, don't want to see, enough said.
Occupation:  Dentist
Something you wear:  Dress
Celebrity:  David Copperfield
Food: Devil's food cake ~ Yum
Something found in a kitchen:  Dirty dishes!!  Better put the teen to work making those dishes clean.
Something found in a bathroom:  Doorknob
Reason for being late:  Dynamite daredevil takes over the highway ~ far fetched but you never know.
Cartoon character:  Duffman~ my dh says that this guy is from the Simpsons TV show.  Some of us wouldn't be caught dead watching that show, but my dh is not one of them.
Something you shout:  Dinner!!
Animal:  Dog
Body part:  Dorsalis pedis artery ~ it's an artery in your foot ~ my dh is an anatomy snob.
Word to describe you:  Devine ~ At least, my dh says so!

So, I am supposed to tag someone.  Hmmm! If you want to do it, be my guest.  Let me know, so I can come see what you came up with.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What We Did for Dr. Martin Luther King Day's Holiday

When I was a child in public school, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday was not a national holiday.  However, my Mother always called the school and said she refused to send me to school out of protest.  For me, MLK's birthday was a day to demonstrate in downtown Washington, D.C. ~ despite snow, rain, or freezing cold, for Dr. King to have a holiday.  As well, my Mother read me books about Dr. Martin Luther King, and we listened to an LP record of his speeches.  For my kids, while it is another day of homeschool, we concentrate on the reason for the holiday.  The kids really got into MLK Day this year.  We made a unity wreath out of the kids' hand prints and did several fact worksheets about the times, events, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  We really enjoyed a new book called The Bus Ride by William Miller.  It provided a great launching point for explaining segregation.  Then we watched the movie, Our Friend Martin.  We also listened to several speeches by Dr. King. They really enjoyed listening to his voice.  In future years, I look forward to using the book called The Civil Rights Movement for Kids With 21 Activities.  Most of the activities were a bit over the little ones' heads, but in a few years it will be a great resource.  I did many of them with the big teen a few years ago. 

By far what the kids loved the best about the day was our family tradition of making gingerbread men.  Yummy!

Blessings, Dawn

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snow Day!

"We do get a snow day, Mommy, right?" ~ Kids

"Of course, we get a snow day.  There is snow outside, isn't there?  I have lots of wonderful snow science and art projects ready for today!" ~ Mommy

"What?!?  We meant no school snow day." ~ Kids

"Sorry! That's for public school kids, not you poor enslaved homeschool kids." ~ Mommy

Well, we were blessed with three inches of snow the other day and the kids had a blast with their "snow school day".  First we bundled up and played outside for about an hour.  Yes, we were out there at 6:45 am.  Yawn.

For physical education, the kids went sledding, made snow angels and kinda shoveled the walk.

After a yummy breakfast of yogurt, hot chocolate, and toast with jam, it was off to science time.

We did science by collecting a cup of snow and then everyone guessed how much water would be left in the cup after the snow melted.  The big teen's guess was exactly right!  The big teen also made a snow gauge the night before, but the wind blew it away.

For art they reviewed how to mix colors and made water color pictures in the water snow table.  Even the big teen got into this one.

Moving on to geography, we studied Eskimos for a little while and then made a sugar cube and frosting igloo.  The big teen did all of the research for us and then corrected the teacher with all of her facts!  That boy is getting too smart.  Then the kids wanted to add a totem pole to the igloo.  That sounded fine with me, but the big teen pointed out that Eskimos live in Canada and that totem poles are from the Pacific Northwest of the United States!  As I said, he is getting to be a real smarty pants!  LOL  Well, I just made up a story about a Pacific Northwest family bringing a totem pole as a gift to the Eskimo family.  The kids thought that was just fine with them.

(They even included a fishing hole for the family, but I'm not sure what the arch block is for.)

I had planned on making snowman cookies for math; but at the last minute the big teen's ancient world history class decided to hold class after all, so I had to race to the other side of town.  One thing you can say for living in the South is that the snow sure does melt quickly.  The roads were clear by 1 pm.

Blessings, Dawn

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Chores, Chores, Chores and a Little Bit of Fun

Today we got a lot of chores done.  After my entry on how my kiddos do laundry, some of you asked how my kids do other chores.  For the most part, the big teen works alone and the little ones work as a group.  The little ones enjoy doing most chores and are always eager to use the spray bottle and anything that involves water.  The big teen did lots of chores today, too, but begged to be left out of the photos.  The photos show them cleaning the bathroom floor, the kitchen cabinets, and the kitchen floor.  Of course, this process is not flawless.  The kitchen floor was actually washed on Saturday, but they dripped so much that they ended up doing the kitchen floor again.  Too bad I couldn't catch Tom Sawyer jumping on the wash rag.  But you can see his feet doing more of the work than his hands.

They have been emptying the dishwasher for a long time but are just learning how to fill it.  There was a lot of discussion on how to fill up all the empty spaces.  They were very pleased when they got to put the soap in.  Notice that Little Red Ridinghood doesn't put her doll down even during chores. 

As the saying goes ~ All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  In their free playtime today, the girls put on a mega birthday party for most of their dolls and the boys played with Playmobil.  The girls served imaginary purple and pink cake and 10 different flavors of ice cream.  Sounds like a fun party, huh?

We are supposed to get serious snow/wintry mix tonight.  I hope it is more snow than wintry mix.  I have a very fun-filled day of snow science and crafts planned, so I hope it really shows up.  You never can tell in the South.

Blessings, Dawn

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mirette on the High Wire & Rabies

We had a great week with our latest Five in a Row (FIAR) book, Mirette on the High Wire.  The kids really enjoyed doing our science project with the book.  They learned how to clean copper.  We tried two different ways.  We soaked six pennies in lemon juice and six pennies in vinegar for 24 hours.  Hmmm ... the vinegar ruined the pennies.  However, the lemon juice worked great.

The photos show the dirty pennies, then Little Red Ridinghood shaking the pennies in a jar of lemon juice and a jar of vinegar, and the pennies set out to dry.  Yikes!!  Look at what the vinegar did to the pennies!

They also enjoyed working on their balance beam exercises on the little retaining wall outside our home.  They walked forwards, backwards, and blindfolded (holding Mom's hand).

To finish off our study of Mirette on the High Wire, we made omelettes and crepes.  Unfortunately, the crepes just did not work out at all.  But the omelettes were wonderful.

We also counted up the coins the kids had saved for Heifer International.  We used the big teen's new money bank that automatically counts the coins.  Yes, I know that counting all the coins would have been very educational, but $30 in mostly pennies would have taken forever. The kids really wanted to buy honeybees for a poor family, and they had just enough (after searching the house for an additional dollar in loose coins my dh and I secretly hid).  

The question is, who is going to put all those coins into those paper coin rolls?  Do I have any volunteers?

In the kids' spare time this week, Tom Sawyer decided to make a TV set.  The kids had a blast sitting inside being their favorite TV shows.  One or two kids would sit outside with a cardboard remote and yell, "Bob the Builder," and then the one inside would sing the theme song.  It was really cute!

Last but not least, I would like to ask for a small prayer request.  I was bitten by a dog that had no proof of rabies vaccine, so now I have to go through the series of rabies shots.  I started the protocol on Friday, and shots will continue every few days until early February.  I am not really worried about the shots, but they are a hassle in an already very busy schedule, and I have to go to the Emergency Room each time.  Please say a little prayer that the wait at the ER is short each time and that all goes smoothly.  Thanks so much!

I hope you all have a blessed week!


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

We Got Snow!

We got some snow last week!  We only got 1 inch but at least we got something.  The sledding was a little bit sad, but we pushed ourselves along.  I had to joke with my dh about how we have become real Southerners!  You see, after last year of having no snow, I was not totally prepared for snow weather.  My ds (5) didn't have any boy mittens so ended up out in the snow with white mittens with flowers.  My dd (7) wore a boy's snowsuit because she was the closest to the size of the snowsuit, and my other two did not have any snow pants so they had on double layers.  It was a bitter 18 degrees when we stepped out the door at 9 am.  The kids started asking if we could go out at 6:45 am.  I was pleased that they lasted outside for an hour, and we all had a fun time.  Well, hopefully, we will have more snow this year!

Blessings, Dawn

Friday, January 4, 2008

Tiany's Blog Anniversary Party

Tiany is holding a blog anniversary party.  If you are interested in playing along go here .  It looked like fun, so I thought I would join in.  She wants us to post some of our favorite things.

Here are some of mine, besides my dh and children.
  • Mother's Peanut Butter Bumpers cereal -  It is organic and has no chemicals in it.  Since we try to eat free of chemicals and food colorings, our meals can become very involved at times.  This is a quick breakfast when there just isn't time for anything else.
  • Snuggling under blankets with my kids and reading books to them Love, love, love reading to my kiddos.
  • My house being clean - Okay, this doesn't happen as often as I would like, but it is really wonderful when everything is in its place and you can walk through a sparkling home.
  • Jam imported from France - The brand is not important.  I just love really rich, thick jam that has no high fructose corn syrup in it. My Dad and Stepmother spoiled me years ago when they brought home a whole bunch of jam from France.  Yummy!!!  I especially love raspberry.
  • Wipies - Even though no one in my house is still in diapers, I still use these things all the time.  They wipe up little spills and little hands so quickly.
  • English Breakfast Tea - Yummy!  I love my morning tea.  Sometimes I have it at night, too.
  • Christy by Catherine Marshall - This is still probably my all-time favorite book or at least the one I have read the most times.  I think I have read it six times.  LOL.
  • Consignment shops - I just love the great deals I find in these shops.
  • The Sound of Music - I could watch this movie over and over again and not get bored.  I better go pull it out of storage.  We usually watch it on Christmas day but did not this year.
Well, I hope you liked my little Favorite Things List.  Now I have to go look at everyone else's list so I can find more favorite things.

Many blessings to all of you and a happy new year, Dawn