Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Holidays Are Upon Us!

 Well, I guess it's safe to say the holidays are upon us and in full swing. My kids are looking forward to a break from school work this week, even though they will still be working on various projects, craft activities, and reading assignments. They have really been excited about our Christmas in Mexico project and are busy completing some clay "tree of life" candle holders and ornaments.
Another activity my oldest daughter especially enjoys is all the baking during this wonderful time of year. Here she is baking some delicious banana bread with her little brother. My little guy has really taken an interest in baking lately and so any opportunity he gets, he is right there ready to assist.
I am thankful for so many things this year. I am thankful for God, for my wonderful family, for the freedom to homeschool our children, and for living in this great country. This Thanksgiving and throughout the year, think about the many ways God has blessed you. "Be thankful unto Him and bless His name." Psalm 100:4. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

God's Eyes, 3 Letter Words, and Too Much Sugar!

Every year, my kids get a TON of candy. When I say a ton, that is no exaggeration.  Each of their buckets was completely overflowing with chocolate, gum, Skittles, M & M's and just about every other type of candy you could imagine. So, always looking for a teaching opportunity, I decided to have my children do some math and science activities with their load, secretly praying it would all somehow disappear before they ate too much. First, I had them sort all the candy by brand. Then, they sorted the candy by type- chocolate, chewy, gum, hard candy, etc... The fun part came next. We did lots of experiments using various candies-melting time, water/oil experiments, etc...   They really enjoyed this activity and little by little, the giant sugar mountain started to disappear.  I don't even think they really cared about eating the candy as much as they were curious to see how long it would take a chocolate bar to explode in the microwave. Fun times...
We've been learning about Mexico as part of our Galloping the Globe studies and the kids had fun making Ojos de Dios (God's Eyes) this week. Much more about Mexico will be seen here, as we chose Mexico as our Christmas Around The World country.

I know I've mentioned this before, but I will say it again- I just LOVE Starfall Kindergarten. It is so thorough and full of all sorts of colorful, high quality manipulatives and products. My little guy has been working hard at sounding out words and so I decided to make 3 different colored circles and laminated them. Then, I wrote the words "beginning" "middle" and "ending" and placed one above each circle. I say a word out loud and give him a handful of magnetic letters. His job is to break up the word into separate sounds and then find the correct letters and place them in the appropriate spot. For example, I say the word "bed" and he repeats it and then says what each letter sounds like b-e-d. Then, he finds the letters in his pile and sets them in the correct order.  He really enjoys this activity and I am amazed at how well he is learning to distinguish beginning/ending sounds as well as vowels.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

International Folk Fair

This weekend, we participated in the annual International Folk Fair in our area. It is such a neat event because it has so many educational opportunities. There are dozens of countries represented and each country has a booth set up with cultural displays, crafts, and food items. Most countries also perform dances or sing on the stage. Children can get a passport and have it stamped as they "travel" to each country. This year's theme was "Our World's Waterways" and so as you visited each nation, you were supposed to find out information regarding that country's main rivers, lakes, etc... My children really enjoyed seeing all the different displays and sampling all the delicious foods. But their favorite thing was when they performed on stage with the folk dancing group. Actually, this was my little guy's very first show and he did great! If you ever have the chance to go to a multicultural event such as this, don't miss out- it is like traveling the world without leaving home!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Sew" Sweet!

My girls have recently taken an interest in sewing, which I am absolutely thrilled about! I myself would LOVE to learn how to sew better and I am determined to make time for it in the near future. My younger daughter takes a hand sewing class at our homeschool co-op each week but my oldest has never taken any formal sewing class. This didn't stop her ambition though. What a sweet surprise when she presented me with this adorable fall pillow she made all by herself! I was really impressed with it and amazed she didn't ask for one bit of help. I am even more determined now to get out that sewing machine and start some creating with my girls.