Tuesday, August 31, 2010

If You're Having Fun, You Must Not Be Learning

Whew!!! I thought we would start the school year off slowly and then really get into things after we had a nice routine going. Was I wrong! Today was a day filled with all sorts of hands-on fun! My little guy did his Starfall Kindergarten activities and was so happy to have a new friend- Backpack Bear join him. He then stayed busy the rest of the day playing with play-doh, "writing" a song, reading Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? and doing some sorting and graphing with M & M's. He played with ABC letter match-ups and magnetic pompom number practice sheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler (thank you!). He did some artwork on our easel and joined his sisters during Bible study time. We are focusing on the Fruit of the Spirit this year. He also had a ton of fun participating in Tub Time Tuesday. Today's tubtime activity was with colored water, lots of sparkly sequins, and several different tools and utensils. So, I guess it's safe to say that homeschooling is in full swing around here! Who knew learning could be this much fun...
M & M sorting with Brown Bear sheet
I see smiles!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Our First Day of Homeschool 2010

Today was our first official day of homeschooling for the new school year and I must say, it went quite well! I have to be honest and admit I was a little nervous about this year because my youngest was joining us and starting Kindergarten. I chose Starfall for his curriculum and really do love it for many reasons (see my other post on Starfall).  I know there are a few things I will need to tweak a bit, mainly our workbox order, but I feel like today was a huge success!
Happy 1st day of homeschool 2010!

My little guy kept busy today doing all sorts of things. He did a few sequencing puzzles, used his magnet letters to write the word Monday, did some math pages, and worked really hard on his "Read All About Me" poster. I was so proud of him for completing all 8 of his workboxes.

story writing time!

Look! I finished all my boxes!

My girls worked on their "Read All About Me" posters, made a prayer jar, did all their academic subjects, and had some fun playing with sidewalk chalk.

Too cute!

It was a great day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hurray For National Banana Split Day!!!

Today is National Banana Split Day. I absolutely love "holidays" like this because it gives us the chance to celebrate something silly, AND we get to enjoy creating a tasty treat together. It has been raining non-stop for about 3 days now and so it has been a challenge finding indoor activities to keep us busy. How's the weather where you live? Rain or shine, why not do something fun today too- make some banana splits and watch the smiles appear.

Monday, August 23, 2010

MOSI Homeschool Day

Today we attended the annual Homeschool Day at the Museum of Science and Industry, better known as MOSI. It is such a wonderful opportunity for all of us homeschoolers because it is free ( and I do love free things!) and it also gives us the chance to have some fun with science! My children had a great time investigating all the different displays and hands-on activities.  They climbed through a giant web, learned all about the human body, participated in wheelchair racing, and much more! 
Attempting to get a magnet onto the pole

How do we get out of here???
Who let the monkey in?
Here I come!
Experiencing hurricane force winds
So that's what I look like on the inside!
Experimenting with a funnel cloud

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back To Homeschool Bash!

There are many homeschooling families where we live and it is such a blessing to have so many co-ops and support groups to choose from! There really is something for every type of homeschooling family.  We belong to a support group consisting of only 5 families. We are all great friends and we have 14 children between us. Today we celebrated the arrival of a new school year with our "Back to Homeschool Bash".  We had a picnic at the park and all the kids played an exciting game of kickball in the rain.  They played on the playground. They found worms. The children had such a blast running through the mud and just being together. What a great day it was for everyone! Special friends and fun memories- these are the moments we will all remember and I am so blessed to be able to share them with our children. It was the perfect end to the summer and I can't wait to see what our new school year brings.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!!!

We recently had the opportunity to take a field trip to an animal safari. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous upon viewing the sign posted above. The gates were enormous and it reminded me of the movie Jurassic Park, which was frightening, to say the least. This was one of those safari expeditions where you drive through in your vehicle and the animals come REALLY close to you. I had thoughts of wild animals suddenly stampeding us like you see on one of those TV shows. Thankfully, nothing that drastic happened and the  kids enjoyed traveling through each section of the safari. We were able to view many different animals. You are given a CD to listen to as you journey through each different habitat and so it was quite educational. At the end, we were able to get out and go to the hands-on section of the park where we hand-fed birds, pet baby goats, and fed giraffes. It was a fun day for all of us!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dollar Tree Treasures

I have long been a fan of the "dollar sections" at various stores. My favorites are The Dollar Spot at Target and the Five and Under Finds at Michael's. Recently, I found these great items at our local Dollar Tree. I couldn't believe the great deal I got on the science project boards- $1 each! I have spent as much as $5.00 at other stores! I found large foam dice for various math games we like to play. I picked up 2 bags of colored clothespins for all the great letter and number matching printables you can get for free from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I found several different sets of sightwords and some inspirational stickers. Last but not least, I found these nice spinners. One is just a normal spinner you can use for all kinds of activities and the second one is a Word Wall Spinner. On it are various directions regarding words. For example, "Choose a word and use it in a sentence" or "Choose a word and define it." I thought this would be great for not only word walls but also for spelling or vocabulary words! So, if you live near a Dollar Tree, get out there today and find your treasures.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Color Cards Ideas

I found these cute little Disney paint color cards at Home Depot yesterday. We love all things Disney and so I thought these cards would be something I could use with my little guy for Kindergarten this year. I laminated the cards with my Xyron machine (which I absolutely adore!) and then I printed off these color word strips from Confessions of a Homeschooler (thank you!!!). What can you do with these color cards and words? Well, some ideas I came up with are:

  • identify the colors by sight
  • match the color word to the color card

  • use 2 sets of color cards to play memory

  • give the set of cards to your child and have them find 1 item in the house for each color

  • Cut up the color word strips and have your child spell the colors using the letter tiles

What other ideas do you have? I would love to hear anyone's suggestions for using these cute little cards, and the next time you're at the Home Depot, why not pick up a set or two?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Isn't Life Great???

Rain is falling, it's falling, it's falling
Rain is falling, down on me!
One of the joys of childhood is playing in the rain on a hot summer day. My children absolutely love running through the backyard during a rain storm- no thunder or lightning of course! When is the last time you played in the rain???

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hurray For S'mores Day!!!

We are always looking for a reason to celebrate. Today happens to be National S'mores Day and so of course we just HAD to participate in a holiday that involves 2 of my favorite foods- marshmallows and chocolate!
OOOOOH!!! So good.....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Favorite School Supply

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love school supplies. I could easily spend hours wandering through Office Depot. All those isles of pens, calendars, filing systems, and more send me into a state of giddiness! There is one item though at the very top of my list of favorites and that is my laminating machine. A friend of mine actually discovered this one day and after her demonstration, I knew I had to have one! I was spending WAY too much on laminating at our local store and the thought of being able to do it myself was thrilling! This machine is called the Xyron Creative Station and it is so absolutely simple to use that I became addicted immediately. Even my children can do it and they actually argue over who is going to get to laminate. The best part about it is, it does not use any electricity or batteries- just old fashioned hand cranking. Although the cartridges are somewhat expensive, I am able to purchase them 40% off the regular price at our local Michael's or JoAnn Fabrics. So, all you homeschooling moms out there- if there's one item to invest in, it would be this fantastic laminator. It will save you time and money, and its lots of fun!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Starfall Has Arrived!!!

I was very happy when the UPS truck showed up today with our Starfall materials! Starfall is the Kindergarten reading program I am using for my youngest child this year. I can't say enough about this program. It is a complete reading curriculum and includes science, social studies, and other subjects as well. The materials are colorful and engaging. When you order the Homeschool Program, it comes with everything you need and includes very detailed lesson plans as well as a year subscription to http://www.more.starfall.com/ where your child can play extra games and you can print out puzzles and worksheets. They also provide free support if you have any questions regarding lesson plans or materials. My little guy will be so excited when Backpack Bear shows up on the first day of school!