Thursday, October 28, 2010

October Park Day

Yesterday was our monthly Park Day with the support group we belong to. The kids enjoyed a nice pizza lunch and played on the playground. One of my favorite parts of park day is when the children all share something they have been learning about or bring in a project to show off. It is so neat to see the creativity and I especially enjoy the variety. On this park day, we had a science lesson, a paper mache hot air balloon, painted pottery, and more!

Then the kids had fun with some "spooky" activities. They got to put their hands in the mystery boxes and try to guess what was inside. By the looks of their faces, some of them weren't too sure about touching anything they couldn't see!

They had a blast with a team building activity involving LOTS of toilet paper and two unsuspecting "victims", the oldest girls in our group. The little ones squealed with delight as they wrapped up the girls in paper and turned them into mummies.

 It's hard to believe October is almost over. We have many exciting activities and events planned in the next coming months. I can't wait!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Fun and a Pirate

The kids have been enjoying all the fun fall activities, even though it still feels like summer here! This past weekend, our oldest entered her dog in a costume contest at Petsmart and won 1st place! She worked really hard with Daddy on the pirate ship. Isn't it cute???

I've been trying to do lots of "fun" fall lessons with the children. We did some cinquain poetry as well as fall sponge painting. 

We also did a really neat Christian Pumpkin activity which I was able to print off from the wonderful blog 1 + 1+ 1 = 1. I just loved this craft and the kids seemed to enjoy the poem too that came along with it.

I absolutely love this time of year!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Civil War Weekend

This past weekend, we had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Civil War Days Weekend at a railroad museum. This was our first experience of this kind and we really didn't know what to expect. When we arrived at the museum, it was as if we had stepped back in time!There was a Civil War camp set up in the field. Dozens upon dozens of people dressed as soldiers, wealthy businessmen, wives, etc... greeted us and proceeded to converse with our children as if they were living during the Civil War. At first, the kids didn't know what to say or how to respond. But after a while, they became more comfortable and played along too!
After touring the camp, we boarded the Union train along with many of the Civil War characters and went on a journey to take payroll safely to its destination. The excitement built as we tried to figure out which passengers were the spies for the Confederacy. Our oldest daughter especially enjoyed this part of the trip and was able to figure out who most of the spies were.
Suddenly, the train came to a stop and a battle enfolded that was like something right out of an old movie! It was very realistic. Our son was completely impressed by it and decided he wanted to be Civil War soldier when he grows up (too cute!).

We were very impressed by the knowledge of all the people playing the parts during the reenactment. They knew everything about the Civil War and were able to explain it to our children in a way that made it so interesting. While on the train, various Civil War passengers would come by and talk to us about their attire or their weapons.
This was definitely a field trip well worth the drive. Our kids were so excited about what they saw and they were able to experience a part of history in a "hands-on" way that they will remember for a long time!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Trip To The Ice Cream Factory

This morning we went on a tour of the Working Cow Ice Cream Factory. We stepped inside the freezers filled with huge containers of ice cream in every flavor imaginable! Notice the temperature on the thermometer? -20 degrees! Brrrrr!
We got to see how the ice cream was made and packaged. They use over 150 different flavors and vanilla is the most popular.
By far though, the highlight of the tour was when they gave each of us our own dish of vanilla ice cream, fresh out of the machine! It was absolutely divine... I honestly believe that was the best ice cream I have ever tasted.

After we got home, my little guy did some fun ice cream activities I printed off of  He had to build an ice cream tower with sight words and he also did a fun clipping game with ice cream cones and color words.

It really was a fun tour and I know the kids as well as the grown-ups enjoyed it!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Busy Week!

We finally had our first week of "fall-like" weather and you know what??? It feels GREAT! I absolutely love the cool, windy breezes and the crisp smell in the air. It's the perfect time of year for us to spend lots of time outside and so our first adventure this week was to the alpaca farm to learn all about these cuddly, cute animals from Peru.
We also engaged in some science experiments, including one where my daughter learned about air pressure and how birds fly.
My little guy loved reading "Caps For Sale" with me and even got out his own set of caps to "sell" to us. He wrote in his Starfall Journal about his favorite cap.
My kids were also able to finish their hot air balloons as part of our Galloping The Globe geography studies. I was quite impressed with their creativity and love how each one of their balloons is different.
What was my favorite homeschooling moment this week? It would definitely have to be the times I caught my older girls helping their little brother and showing love and kindness towards him. It sure does make me smile...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Is Your Mama A Llama??? No! She's An Alpaca!

As I mentioned before, I absolutely LOVE taking my children on field trips- especially ones that are related to something we happen to be studying. Well, this year we have hopped on the Galloping the Globe train and our first stop is Peru. We learned that Alpacas are native to Peru and so after some research, I was able to find an alpaca farm not too far away that would give us a tour! It was such an interesting trip. The kids were able to feed and pet the alpacas. Alpacas are quite friendly and love to be with people. There were only a few "nervous" ones and they kept their distance from us. We found out alpacas normally live about 25 years and their fur is used for all sorts of products such as blankets, socks, hats, and more. The farm we went to shaves the alpacas in April each year and sells the fur.  Alpaca fiber is extremely soft and was once used only by the wealthy. Alpacas are not common in the United States and so there is a demand for their fur. Alpcas are extremely expensive so I don't believe we will be purchasing one for a pet anytime soon, but if it were up to my oldest daughter, she would have brought one home today!