Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Dry Erase Board

We purchased this dry erase board a few months back from Toys R Us. I was thinking it'd be neat for use with Little Bean's worksheets (to make them reusable). You can slide a sheet of paper behind the clear dry erase board and use it again and again. The kit comes with several activities and sheets to slid behind the window as well.

As it turns out, this was way more of a hit with Miss O than with Bean. She asks to draw on this a lot, and this day she worked really hard on the above drawing. It may not look like much to you, but she was SO proud of herself, and once finished, refused to erase it because she was saving it to show Daddy when he got home from work. FYI, the sheet underneath is a square grid, so she was tracing--don't think she can draw that many squares on her own! Even still, I think she did great!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Difference Between 3 and 4

My two littles are only 15 months apart, but oh, what a difference there is between 3 and 4!

Here, Miss O is doing her best to cut little squares out for a pumpkin project we did this week. She loves to practice cutting, but is no where near being able to snip a straight line:
Now notice Little Bean's perfect little snipped squares. He has mastered the straight line, but has more trouble with cutting out a shape or cuting longer lines that require you to move the scissors forward more than once:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekly Workboxes

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The Workbox System, created by Sue Patrick, is a organizational tool used by some homeschooling families, including myself. The Weekly Workbox post is a weekly post I do displaying some of the things my kids are learning and some of the activities I am putting into our workboxes. If you use workboxes, please feel free to use the Mcklinky at the bottom of this post to link up to the exact blog post you have written about your workbox system. I love to see what other homeschooling moms are doing and how they are utilizing the workbox system in their homes! Also, feel free to grab my weekly workbox button from my side bar to include in your weekly workbox post if you like! It will link your readers back to my blog so that if they too would like to participate or check in on other bloggers who link up to the workbox posts they can do so easily.

Little Bean was suffering from hives this week, so we really only had school time twice, near the end of the week. However, I did plan some fun activities, and the kids seemed to really enjoy their boxes.

Miss O worked on "S" in her ETC Book B and on the Magic C in her HWT program. I made a paper napkin bunny to introduce her to the Magic C (this was part of the lesson plan):
Here, Miss O matched the initial sound to the correct picture. She did very well with this!
This is a magnetic/not magnetic activity. The wand is from our McRuffy Science Kit:
Miss O played with these magnetic foam blocks to make interesting structures:
And she matched easter eggs:
Miss O (as always) joined Little Bean for Sentence School, Handwriting Without Tears, and Science.
Little Bean worked on copy work today for the first time in our grammar curriculum:
Here are the manipulatives for our letter of the day:
And our McRuffy Science curriculum. We finished up our unit on magnetics. This day, the kids were about to see how magnetic force can be demonstrated with the use of iron fillings. They were both so captivated with the magnet unit!
Little Bean worked with stencils--his new obsession. We borrowed these ones from my mom, but I also like to make them out of old plastic lids by just cutting out a shape in the lid for him to trace.
Our reading lesson. We started this book over about 8 weeks ago, and are on lesson 28 (ish). He is doing well, but he doesn't love this book:
Here's our math work. On this day, we worked on the concept of zero:
And our spelling curriculum. Bean did pretty well naming the final sounds this day. Used to be he would always automatically tell me the initial sound, but now he can name the final sound pretty easily:
And lastly, since we have been working on evens and odds in RS, I made up this little worksheet. He was supposed to count the dots, write the number in the first box, and in the second box put an E for even or and O for odd. He did quite well with this:
So that was a snippet of our week. What did you do this week?


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thanks!

A big thank you to those of you who kept Little Bean in your thoughts and prayers. The last week has been pretty hard on all of us (but mostly Little Bean, of course). You probably couldn't tell how bad our week was considering I had a lot of posts up, but that was due to the fact that I happened to schedule a bunch of posts out just prior to him getting hives.

I have never seen or been around someone with hives before, but it was truly a pitiful thing to see. Poor Bean had big, red, painful welts all over his body, from head to toe, and spent several days just laying on his bed, doing a lot of scratching, crying and thrashing about in pain. The hives collected on his joints (ankles and wrists and shoulder blades) and caused intense swelling, which in turn caused bruising. For a few days there, he couldn't even get out of bed or walk. :(

We started out giving him Benedryl every 4 hours, but when that didn't work, we took him to an after hour appointment and saw a doctor. She diagnosed him with urticaria (hives), and said we could double up Benedryl and Claritin 24 hour to help with the painful itching. When this didn't work, and the rash spread even more, we called nurse advice and she suggested we take him to urgent care (this was all over the course of a few days). The doctor there started him on a round of steriods to help, since the over-the-counter meds weren't working. We scheduled a follow-up with our pediatrician the following day.

The oral Pred helped a lot, but Bean was still pretty miserable. Our pediatrician actually re-diagnosed him with a specific kind of hives called erythema multiforme. Since then, he's been getting better and better, and I couldn't be more thankful! Seeing him in so much pain was pretty awful since there was nothing I could do to help. His asthma has been acting up again, so I'm wondering if the hives wasn't from the change in seasons, since his allergies and asthma tend to flair up when the seasons change. I guess it isn't something I'll ever know...

Anyway, he is doing a lot better now, and I can't thank those of you that prayed for him enough! I hope this was a one time occurance! We ended up missing school time Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, even though by Wednesday he was well enough that he was asking for me to fill his workboxes. I wasn't going to do that though because I knew he'd just get worn out and cranky. We were finally able to do some school time Thursday and Friday though.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Look! I Was Interviewed!

Several weeks ago I was contacted by a writer from examiner.com, about my blog. She is doing a series of articles on inspiring children's activity bloggers (like myself?!?--who knew?). I agreed to do a short interview with her via email, and the article is now online! Please visit her here to read the interview and see my pics! Be sure to scroll down once you follow the link to view the other articles she has written about inspiring mom bloggers!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Ten Triangle

In the picture above,Little Bean is using the AL abacus that came with the math kit from our Right Start curriculum. The AL abacus is unique in that each row divides the set of ten beads into 5 and 5. Each row has 5 blue beads and 5 yellow. This helps the child to see numbers 6 through 10 in terms of "5 and" (5 and 1 is 6, 5 and 2 is 7, etc). And if you don't use Right Start, but like this abacus, I was just at CM School Supply the other day and saw that they actually sell this abacus right in the store! Of course you can also purchase it from the Right Start website as well.

Another unique way to see numbers (specifically the number 10) on the AL abacus is to make ten triangles. You can see Little Bean has completed a blue "ten triangle" and is about to complete a yellow ten triangle in the photo above. Making the ten triangle is just another way to "see" ten on the abacus. Ten is whole line of beads, ten is 5 blue and 5 yellow, but ten is also a ten triangle. Little Bean made as many ten triangles as he could, and then we counted how many tens we saw on the abacus--ten tens, or 100 beads (eight were ten triangles and two were two lines of 10 beads each).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

All About Spelling

We recently started using our All About Spelling curriculum twice a week during school time. It's been a little challenging for Little Bean, so I'm not sure if we'll keep at it at this point or put it away for a while. The activities seem to be just a little bit out of his reach.
The exception was this lesson on alphabetizing these magnetic letter tiles. Miss O actually joined us for this activity as well, and practiced her letter recognition. For Bean's part, I had him sing the abc song and then put the letters in alphabetical order. We did this several times over the last two weeks, and then at the end of last week, I had him do this independently. It took him a bit longer, but he managed to do the whole activity alone.
Notice he is still having confusion over his p, b, and d's. After we finished this lesson, Little Bean sighed and looked at me before saying, "That was enjoyable!". I had to laugh out loud at that remark! ;)

Monday, September 21, 2009

P is For Panda

I saw this project on Let's Explore the other day and thought it would be a lot of fun for my two. I was right! It's pretty self explanitory, but one of the neat features is that Amy, the blogger whose blog I got this idea from attached a little pocket on the back of the paper plate, turning the plate into a hand puppet. The pocket is just half of another paper plate stapled onto the first plate. Head on over to her blog for the full instructions. :)

Here's Little Bean's panda:
Miss O had already glued the eyes on and then came to me wondering what the black ovals were for. So, she made hers into feet, instead of eye patches!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekly Workboxes--A Good Week

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The Workbox System, created by Sue Patrick, is a organizational tool used by some homeschooling families, including myself. The Weekly Workbox post is a weekly post I do displaying some of the things my kids are learning and some of the activities I am putting into our workboxes. If you use workboxes, please feel free to use the Mcklinky at the bottom of this post to link up to the exact blog post you have written about your workbox system. I love to see what other homeschooling moms are doing and how they are utilizing the workbox system in their homes! Also, feel free to grab my weekly workbox button from my side bar to include in your weekly workbox post if you like! It will link your readers back to my blog so that if they too would like to participate or check in on other bloggers who link up to the workbox posts they can do so easily.

We had a really good week this week. Despite Little Bean recovering from both an ear infection and a nose-dive on the sidewalk while running home from Grandma's house, the kids were in good spirits, and somehow I miraculously chose things for their boxes that they really enjoyed.


This week, Miss O began her work in Get Set for the Code, the second book in the Explode the Code series. She also continued working on letter and shape formation with her Handwriting Without Tears workbook:

I saw this panda craft on Let's Explore, and since we were working on the letter P in her ETC book, I thought this to be the perfect craft project for her. I'll post more about how these turned out later:

Here, I included a muffin tin for sorting and some buttons for Miss O. I didn't really expect her to do much more than just explore the buttons, but she surprised me by spending a lot of time sorting them by color and by exact design (since a few of them have exact matches):
Miss O also did the classic fill and spill with these popscicle sticks and an empty creamer container:
And here is a stringing activity. She actually didn't work very hard on this one:
In Little Bean's boxes, we started out with Sentence School, our Grammar curriculum. We are still working on verbs, and this particular lesson was on the verbs step and skip. Miss O joins us for Sentence School each day as well:
And here we have our daily box of Handwriting Without Tears. Each school day we have a new letter or a review of letters to go over using the hands-on manipulatives that are part of the HWT curriculum. Miss O sits in on this activity as well:
Here is Little Bean's All About Spelling box. I purchased this because I'd seen some other moms using it with their Kinders, and it seemsd like something Little Bean would like. So far, I've found the lessons to be pretty long, and maybe a bit advanced for him, so we are taking it slow. He did enjoy the alphabetizing activity from this curriculum though (more about that later this week!):
This is a coloring and cutting activity. Little Bean was supposed to color the boy and then cut fringe for his hair:
100 Lessons in this box. We do this 4 times a week and things are going well so far:
Here Little Bean has his Explode the Code Book 1 and Right Start Math book. I can't remember what we did on this particular day, but we spent some time this week working on odds and evens and on counting by twos. Little Bean really enjoyed the math lessons this week:
Here is a work alone box for Bean, tangrams:
Finally, this is a nuts and bolts activity for Little Bean. It was pretty easy for him to match up the bolts with their corresponding nuts:
What did you do this week?


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Prayers Needed for Little Bean

Would you join me in praying for Little Bean tonight? He had an allergic reaction to something (we don't know what, but he has a history of allergies), and has broken out in hives. He has red, swollen welts all over his body that are itchy and painful to the touch. He is also running a fever. We have been to the doctor, and she has him on two different antihistimines, plus Tylenol for the fever. He is in so much pain at this point that he can't even walk around because his feet are so swollen it hurts to put any pressure on them. :(

Would you pray with me that God would heal his body and take away the hives and the fever?

Her View of Me

Miss O drew this sweet little family picture the other day and called me in to photograph it (of course I happily obliged!). You know you take too many pictures of your kids when they actually call out to you, "Mom, come here! You need to take a picture of this!" :)

See the one person at the bottom of the drawing who is laying down? Apparently that's me, laying on the couch, while the rest of the family (including Grandma) are standing! Wonder why I'm the one pictured laying down on the job?? ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bottle Cap Fridge Mosaic

A friend from my husband's work who drinks a lot of bottled drinks began saving bottle caps for me a few months ago because I like to use them to make matching games for the kids. Well, the kids have pretty well mastered simple matching games, and now I am left with a ton of bottle caps. Lucky me, I stumbled across a mom blogger who had turned her old bottle caps into a fridge mosaic. Sadly, I cannot remember where I saw this, so if it's you, then please do let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!

This is SO easy to make. I just stuck a small piece of sticky back magetic tape to the back of each cap and that's IT! The kids have really enjoyed this. They split the magnets off between them and make different shapes or long lines of caps on the fridge. Miss O is fond of separating them by color, while Little Bean likes to make "Mickey heads" out of three bottle caps. Who knew something so simple would be so entertaining to them?!?


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Miss O is Moving On!

To Book B, that is! Yup, we've finished Get Ready for the Code, and are moving on to Get Set for the Code, Book B in the Explode the Code series. Book A covers six letters, B, F, T, M, R, and K. Miss O already knew S and O, so I made up this little work sheet which we used twice this week, and Miss O did wonderful remembering the letter sounds, and sometimes the letter names. The names aren't important to me, since it's recognizing the sound of the letter and being able to recognize the letter in print that are the building blocks for reading. Even Little Bean, who can read simple books, doesn't always automatically say the name of a letter when he sees it; he often says the sound first.

Here is the book Miss O just finished (minus the handwriting portions of course):
And here is one activity she did where I hid letters in popcorn kernels and she had to find the letters and match them with the corresponding letter on the page:
Using the same worksheet later in the week, I had Miss O find the corresponding letter stamp and stamp it on the page in the appropriate spot. She loves stamping, so I take advantage of it a lot even though it is messy!
I guess it's on to Book B for us!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekly Workboxes

Photobucket

The Workbox System, created by Sue Patrick, is a organizational tool used by some homeschooling families, including myself. The Weekly Workbox post is a weekly post I do displaying some of the things my kids are learning and some of the activities I am putting into our workboxes. If you use workboxes, please feel free to use the Mcklinky at the bottom of this post to link up to the exact blog post you have written about your workbox system. I love to see what other homeschooling moms are doing and how they are utilizing the workbox system in their homes! Also, feel free to grab my new weekly workbox button from my side bar to include in your weekly workbox post if you like! It will link your readers back to my blog so that if they too would like to participate or check in on other bloggers who link up to the workbox posts they can do so easily.

This was our sixth week of school for the kiddos, and we had a great time. I find that they are constantly growing and their needs are constantly changing. Even so, the workbox system is flexible enough to adapt to their changing needs.

This week, Miss O:

Searched for letter tiles in popcorn kernels and then matched them up to the correct letter pairs on this paper:
and colored a picture:
She explored with these circus magnets to create fun circus scenes:
And she worked on the letter "R" in her Explode the Code book, as well as writing H and drawing retangles in her Handwriting workbook. Miss O also joined Little Bean in Science, Handwriting Without Tears work and Sentence School (our grammar curriculum).
Little Bean:
Continued his work with action words using Sentence School:
Worked on his letter formation using Handwriting Without Tears wood pieces, slate, playdough, and magnadoodle:
Little Bean was introduced to a new Science unit on weather:
And continued working on his reading using 100 Lessons and BOB Books for practice. We've moved on to the second set of BOB Books, as he's read through the first set several times and is tired of them.
Little Bean learned that a square is a rectangle and a quadralateral and sorted squares by size:
He practiced letter formation on his own with the HWT magnadoodle and these letter cards:
And found the corresponding lowercase stamp and stamp it next to the matching uppercase letter:
And lastly, Little Bean completed this 25 piece puzzle:




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