Saturday, July 30, 2011

Caves, Igloos, and Doughnuts

Sonlight Core B - Week 5

We added the following book to our studies this week by Bobbie Kalman.  It is an engrossing resource that explores homes from different habitats, country or city.  Excellent!

We decided to make a marshmallow igloo to go along with this week's selection from Houses and Homes.  It didn't really look like an igloo, but the girls appreciated it after reading and watching a movie (see below) on igloos.  We used powdered sugar frosting as glue.  It was super sweet, and I didn't like it much, but the girls thought it was pretty good.  Make it early in the day, as it's loaded with sugar!

Constructing an Igloo . . . er . . . sort of ;)

Marshmallow Igloo

This week in From Akebu to Zapotec, we took a closer look at the Dongxiang.  They lived in China, and our drawing book, Draw and Write Through History, had a panda, and we decided to file it away next to this page.

Last, but not least, some videos to go along with this week of Sonlight!

Marsh Arab video

Cappadocia Turkey Cave Home

Building an Igloo

I will post about some Homer Price printables and notebooking we have done when we finish the book.  For now, we watched a movie on how doughnuts are made!

How Doughnuts Are Made

Goofy muppet video for a laugh!


Friday, July 29, 2011

Let's Explore the World Week 3

This week we explored food on the farm, hens in particular.  See my reading list for books we've read.  We got these books from our library; feel free to substitute as needed.

We made this craft.  Since we take photos, we put the photos in a notebook for the year, let the craft sit around a while, then trash it.  That way we don't have paper plate crafts overtaking our home!  :)

Hen Craft

Along with these hands-on activities, we do a lot of stuff orally, playing games, riddles, rhyming, singing songs.  All of this is scheduled out for you in my schedule for Let's Explore the World.  There are books to purchase or use from the library that are needed in addition to the schedule.

For science, we made a "Bug Hotel."  We used an empty yogurt container, put a bit of cheese in it, then buried it to the rim in our yard.  Put some rocks around the edge then a piece of wood over it to make it more "cozy" for your bug guests.  After a day, we returned to see what we found, and Beeps (4) was thrilled to discover a line of ants going in and out of her hotel!  She tried to draw them in her science notebook.

Close up of Bug Hotel

We also made a large circle in our yard using yarn.  She drew whatever was in her science circle, and we talked about what we found.  Mostly some weeds, grass seeds, a jumping spider (wolf spider?) and some sort of red insect.  We didn't get chiggers, so that's always good.  ;)

Science Circle


Wednesday, July 27, 2011


We read a marvelous story for our farm unit called Cook-A-Doodle-Doo by Janet Stevens.  This story is a kick-off from The Little Red Hen fairy tale story when the hen does all the work, and everyone else doesn't get to eat then.

This story is about her grandson, a rooster.  The dog, cat, and goose don't help make strawberry shortcake, but an iguana, pot-bellied pig, and a turtle DO want to help.  The fun comes out when iguana looks for teaspoons in the teapot and tablespoons under the table.  The pot-bellied pig wants to taste every time a new ingredient is added.  Rooster clamorously shouts "No, no, no!" every time iguana misunderstands the directions.

The story made us laugh all the way through, and since there is a recipe for strawberry shortcake in the back of the book, the girls talked me into making it.  I headed to the store for strawberries and low-fat whipped cream in a can, and we had a delicious dessert!

Have fun!

Yummy! Let's dig in!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Charlotte's Web Notebook

We have been working on these notebooking pages while we read Charlotte's Web by EB White.  I used many different sources from different places.  I will list them all right before each photo.  I used Homeschool Share, HS Launch, and I made a few myself.

Hope you find it useful!

I made a 4-part series for the page on the left in this photo.  I called it Seasons on the Farm.  For the page on the right, I used Enchanted Learning and Homeschool Share.

Label the Spider
Where Spiders Live matchbooks (scroll down to "Where Spiders Live")

Notebooking pages and Enchanted Learning Plus minibooks!

The left-side page components are from Homeschool Share or HS Launch.  The right side is a page I made.  I Googled pigs and piglets, and we decorated with various printouts of pigs too.

Products from Pigs and Vocabulary (This is the link where all the pig stuff is from)

Homeschool Share components and one of my notebook pages

The left side of this next photo is Homeschool Share, and the right is the pages I made.  See link above.

Homeschool share and my own notebook pages

This last page is from Homeschool Share.  It is the same link as above.

More Homeschool Share components


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

From Akebu to Zapotec and Homes Around the World

Sonlight Core B - Week 4

Some highlights for week 4 include some videos on interesting homes around the world and a few different people groups.  Since I haven't highlighted my From Akebu to Zapotec notebooking pages, I'll do so this week with a few photos.  We didn't add any crafts to this week.

Building a Mud Hut

Gypsy Homes

Thatching a Roof

Yanomamo People of Venezuela

I have made a set of notebooking pages to go with From Akebu to Zapotec.  Our children fill out the lines and illustrate the notebook page each week after we read and pray for the people groups.

From Akebu to Zapotec notebooking pages


Monday, July 18, 2011

Hopscotch Numbers

To keep your preschooler active and engaged, try this fun math game one warm and sunny day.  Just grab some sidewalk chalk and start counting and working on number recognition!

We did this to practice skip counting with our older girls too, aiding in memorization of multiplication facts.  You could also throw 2 rocks, add them up, and then if they answer correctly, they get to hop through.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Make Your Own Abacus!

Instead of purchasing an abacus for each child, we made our own.
big popsicle sticks
pony beads - any color
sushi roller (found at any Wal-Mart and very cheap)
hot glue gun

1.  Dismantle the sushi roller by cutting the strings.  The bamboo sticks left over are all you need.  The pony beads fit easily onto the bamboo, and slide with ease.

2.  Using the photos below, hot glue the tips of 2 large popsicle sticks.  Then I measured equal distances in between each bamboo stick and hot glued it in place.  Do this for both sides.  After gluing all the sticks in place, I glued the last popsicle sticks on top.  Make sure to use enough glue.

As you can see from the photos, I had to layer them to make it lay straight on a tabletop, but it worked out nicely!

Side view of abacus

Close up view to show layers of sticks

Finished abacus


Friday, July 8, 2011

Cultural Dances

Sonlight Core B - Week 3

Dreamer's intricate dragon puppet
We decided to try the Chinese Dragon Puppet from Handle on the Arts Core B supplement.  We used the template from HOTA, colored it, them embellished with buttons, feathers, ribbon, and jewels.  They turned out really fun, and the videos below inspired the girls to use their dragon puppets in cultural dance.  Here are the highlights.

Check out these videos to go along with week 3 of SL Core B.  There are some to go with the Chinese Dragon, but also highlights of other folk dances mentioned in Peoples of the World.

Awesome Chinese Dragon Contest

Chinese Dragon

Maori Poi Ball Dance

Russian Folk Dancing


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Creative Ways to Practice Math Facts

Flashcards can be effective, but let's admit it, they're not much fun.  There are fun ways to incorporate into your homeschool the mundane task of learning math facts.  Let's start with addition and subtraction.

  • Egg carton toss. Save an egg carton, preferably 18-count size.  It can be styrofoam or the pressed paper kind.  Grab a Sharpie marker and write numbers 1-9 two times.  If you have a 12-count size carton, put numbers you know your child needs to practice.  Find 2 pebbles, 2 buttons, or 2 of anything small and smooth.  Put them in the container, shake, and add or subtract where they land!

  • Dice facts.  You will need at least 2 die for this game.  I purchased some special dice from a school store that had the numbers up to 9 and higher, and those work well.  Just toss them and then add, subtract, or multiply!

  • Egg hunt facts.  I had some leftover plastic Easter eggs and decided to do some math facts.  Write numbers 1-9 or whatever you want to practice with a Sharpie inside the egg or on a slip of paper placed inside the egg.  You can either hide the eggs and have the children find them or put them in a basket and have them choose 2 at random.  Add, subtract, or multiply the numbers inside the eggs.

  • Card games. The sky is the limit with card games and math facts!  We like to divide a deck of cards minus the royals equally among players.  Each player sets a card down, and the player with the highest card gets to add them all together.  Adjusting card games can become a family effort!  See who can think up the most fun game for math facts.

Do you have any more ideas on practicing math facts?  Please share below!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gross is all I have to say about that

We were recently taking a walk through some nearby woods, and this is what we found.

Stinkhorn Mushroom

Another Stinkhorn

What do you have to say about that?  I had to look this up, as I had no idea what it was.  I figured it was a fungus, growing in the decomposing forest floor.  I Googled slimy pencil-shaped fungus, and discovered it was a stinkhorn mushroom.  Ummmm, gross.  I never knew such a thing existed.

The girls and I had fun poking it with a stick (isn't that scientific?) and moving on.  Dreamer found this lovely tulip tree flower.  I didn't have the urge to look up the specific name for it, but here it is.  This made up for the scariness of the mushroom! ;)


Monday, July 4, 2011

Trip to the Aquarium

We're a couple of hours away from the largest freshwater aquarium in the US, so we took a day trip.  We had a lot of fun, and it feels so nice to just sight see and relax and not worry about the next appointment.

I'll just let the pictures tell the story.

Sting Ray Station

Tropical flower

Girls holding up a gigantic turtle shell


Sea turtle trying to get food out of a tube.

Giant Dragonfly and Girls


Friday, July 1, 2011

Coil Pots Made From Clay

Sonlight Core B - Week 2

This is the kick-off of our new year!  To make things easier to navigate here, if you are interested in a week-by-week for either Sonlight Core B (Early Elementary Ancient History) or Story of the World Volume 1, click on that category, and at the beginning of each post will mention which week it is.  Most will say both.  I will try to make this easier to find, but need to tweak.  Any ideas are appreciated on ease of navigation!

Since we don't start SOTW until about week 7 of SL Core B, it will be all SL for a while.  I hope you find inspiration and ideas here!

For week 2 of SL, after reading about different crafts of people around the world, we made clay coil pots.  The idea came from Handle on the Arts (HOTA).  I used some real clay I purchased from Rainbow Resource for our art this year.  We had never worked with it before, and it gave me the heebie-jeebies!  ;)  It was silt-y and strangely dry.  The girls had fun getting messy and had a blast making these for some hands-on Sonlight!

Make sure to put down wax paper for easy cleanup.

Coil pots made from clay.

Coco molding her pot