Sunday, November 27, 2011

M is for Muffins, Mountains and The Moon

Most of you, if you were wise (unlike myself), took this past week off of school to celebrate Thanksgiving. We did not because we took a week off a couple weeks ago during our trip to Baton Rouge and did the Thanksgiving unit and we will be taking a week off the 2nd week of December for, what Titus calls, "Early Christmas." when we head up north to celebrate with my family before everyone's schedules get too crazy around the holidays. All that said we did not do a lot of schooling for the letter M but Titus got through an entire week of curriculum work. So that was great!

I knew that we wouldn't have a lot of extra time this week so the M verse I chose is our family verse. It is very familiar to the boys as we reference all the time. I did not have Titus memorize it, although he probably has it memorized from reading it and hearing it so much. We also chose Hope for our "God is Faithful, You can have____" board, as it is a repeat as well. Being Thanksgiving we talked a lot about what we are thankful for. I talked to the boys about our verse and how we asked to be blessed, not mainly for our own reception of gifts (although it may very well include that) but mainly in order that God's name may be known. This was a great thing to talk about in leading into the season of Advent & Christmas.

Monday morning we had Muffins. This is Justus' favorite breakfast. I am not sure that he put it together that I made them on Monday for M week but he loved them all the same :)

We had a wonderful time having friends and family over for Thanksgiving. I did LOTS of cooking and baking. So for the letter M I let Justus learn how to use the Mixer. HE LOVED IT! Now he thinks its his job. I have a feeling it will be a while before I bake alone again. :) Sadly, I don't have a picture of him doing this.

For the pre-school letter project we did M is for Mountain. This was so fun in that Justus' is fascinated right now with terrain. If he sees lots of trees he yells,"Hey look, it's a forest!" or if he sees a big hill he yell, "hey look, it's a mountain!"

We just happened to have a good deal of books that could be for the letter M. That made schooling this week much easier as Justus LOVES to be read too, even if we don't make it through the entire book, which happens often.

We read (or at least started reading) :: If you take a Mouse to the Movies, Goodnight Moon, Away in a Manger, Mortimer's (the Mouse) Christmas, Morris the Moose, Maizy's Amazing Book of Words and Full Moon Rising.
Here I am reading one of our favorite children's books, Fool Moon Rising. I highly recommend it to you.

We played a good deal of playdoh and did a lot of this::
We are very thankful for dot paints. If you school at home or just like doing fun things with your kiddos with out a big mess, these are the paints for you! No clean up & no prep, just lots of fun.

I hope you had a great week off, if you took one off. We are going into our last week of the official semester! I am excited. But I plan to continue through the winter so as to get a head and take some fun breaks in the spring when it is wonderful weather!

Happy Schooling!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

L is for Lizards, Lions and Leaves

This week was a fun, laid back week. We got a late start, as we were traveling all day Monday returning from our week and a half on the road. Then Vernon went out of town after being home only a day. So the boys and I did all we could to get schooled and have fun while Dad was gone. I think we were successful :)

Our verse for L week was Mark 12:30, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." This was a great verse for this short week for so many reasons, one being that Titus already knew this verse so the memorization was easy to accomplish in 4 days. I think this is a great verse to come back to over and over for ones entire life. I talked to to Titus about ways we can "love the Lord our God" with the 4 things this verse tells us to love Him with: Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength. I had him list some ways for each. This was a great exercises for Titus and also for myself!
For our "God is Faithful, You can be_____" board we did, "God is faithful, You can be Grateful." This paired well with Thanksgiving and the "holidays" as they approach and the influx of catalogs and advertisements that begin to invade our home, enticing us to buy toys for Christmas. While we are not against gift giving, the catalogs coming and talking about being grateful were very timely :)
One of the ways we practiced being grateful was to be givers! Each year we participate in Operation Christmas Child and we have the boys go shopping to fill a box full of goodies for a boy their age from a different country. They have grown to love this. It is fun watching them grow through the process of giving. Here are some pictures of them making the list of what they were going to buy then packing the boxes.

For L week with Justus we read LOTS of books. We went to Starbucks to read and got Lemon Loaf. :) The Proud and Fearless Lion has been one of both of my boy's favorite books. It's a good one.

For the L letter project with Justus we made a Lizard. He LOVED this.

One day we went "Looking for Leaves." This was a hit. For some reason, making it sort of like a hunt made him so excited to look for them. Leaves are literally everywhere, but we were looking for very "special ones." He had a great time with it.

Once the leaves were gathered we took them inside and glued them in the shape of an L.

Today, as we were playing, Titus remembered our Lincoln Log set. We keep it put up so we don't loose all the pieces. Titus got so excited because it starts with L and he thought that it would be fun for Justus to learn. Justus liked destroying the things Titus built more than actually building things and I'll let you guess how long that lasted :) hehe.

I bought a wooden lizard in the dollar section at Micheal's and let Justus paint it. I didn't really get any good pictures of it but this is a good picture of him painting. We do this almost daily in some fashion. He loves painting way more than drawing, coloring or writing. So I just go with it. (if you look behind his arm you can see the lizard)

And lastly, we did a lot of playing outside. Trying to enjoy the last of the 80 degrees.

I sure hope your schooling is going well. We are plugging away and starting tomorrow we are 1/2 way through the alphabet! That means we are 1/2 way through school!! Thanks for all the feed back and encouragement from these blogs. It has been such a blessing knowing y'all are out their and schooling right along with us!

Happy Schooling!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Unit

Last week we were on the road again so I decided to take a break from our regular routine of curriculum and do a Thanksgiving Unit. Titus is very much a hands on type kid so I wanted everything to be interactive and fun. We actually had a great time schooling and since we were on the road, I had to be very choosy about things that made big all of the things you will find below take little effort to pull off and get cleaned up! (that's always a plus to me!)

Here is a snapshot of what we did last week. I tried to include links and photos so you could get ideas and do some fun things with your kiddos this week! Enjoy!

We started off the week by watching Scholastic's Voyage of the Mayflower::
I HIGHLY recommend this! It is fun and easy for the kids to understand. It has photos and lots of facts. After having watched the Voyage of the Mayflower, we did a Timeline. (I made the timeline out of construction paper and the free Pilgrim Story printable HERE)

After those activities Titus knew the over all story of Thanksgiving pretty well. Next we divided up the days:: one day we majored on the Wampanoag Tribe and their accounts of the events and the next day we did the same with The Pilgrims. With each we did a craft that went along with it. Here are some of the crafts::

We did hats from construction paper and they wore them while we listened to the stories and acted out some parts::

Made Tomahawks (from a Hobby Lobby kit)

We made The Mayflower (model from Michael's) and painted on this printable::

For the Pilgrim's day we read "The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving" by Ann McGovern and we made Pilgrim hats.

On the Wampanoag day we read "Squanto's Journey" and made the Tomahawk.
After reading the books to Titus I had him draw a picture of what he learned. This is an example of what he drew after "Squanto's Journey."

For more information through out the week, we referred to the

Titus worked on a Thanksgiving book the entire week. He did a couple pages a day. He found it fun and out of the ordinary of what we do. It is a little cheesy but he loved it. (It was free printable from here, just click on the Thanksgiving Lapbook word document)

We did an "I Am Thankful" book. I found this online and cut it out and made it a book.
(Find it Here)

I found some random worksheet for him to do as well. One was a diagram to compare and contrast two turkeys and another worksheet was the Pilgrim story told that you had to de-code then answer questions. He really liked both! (these came with the Pilgrim Story document from the timeline above but this is the link again:: here)

And he did some really great reading. He really loved this Magic Tree House since we were learning all about the people that the kids in the book end up meeting. It was perfect.

I did some things with Justus that were more geared toward Pre-School learning. Justus definitely did some of the above mentioned things, such as the Tomahawk and Mayflower but some of the things were not suitable for his age or attention span :)
With him I did a hand print turkey and we worked on colors and counting. HUGE hit! And I did a construction paper turkey where I laid out the feathers and said, "find a red feather and lets glue it on next to the yellow feather," then he would attempt to pick a red feather out of the bunch and we would talk about how to put it next to the yellow one. This was obviously to make sure he is still knowing his colors and work on fine motor skills as well.

We read these pre-school books:: The Littlest Pilgrim, One Little, Two Little Three Little Pilgrims, and Thanks for Thanksgiving::

I am sure we did some other things but this is all I have photographed. If you follow Vernon on twitter, then you were blessed to see Titus' Wampanoag Indian Chief dance. It was hilarious. He really got into the Wampanoag portion. It was very fun. Justus just took it all in. :)

I hope this helps some of y'all get pointed in the right direction this week as you school or as you have your kids home on Thanksgiving break.

Have a tremendous holiday.
I am thankful.
K is for King, Kite and Being Kind

We have been out of town for a week and a half so this post was about two full weeks ago schooling. That said, I am a little foggy about all that we did so I will just cover the basics ideas.

Our verse for K week was Ephesians 4:32, "Be Kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." This was a great verse to reinforce, for sure! Titus seemed to begin to understand a little of the severity of how deep we are called to forgive. He has heard me say a thousand times after picking on his brother or speaking harshly, "Titus, was that Kind or Rude?" his usual answer, "Rude" to which I respond, "Do you love your brother?" his answer "yes," my response, "honey, Love is kind not rude, lets think how we can be kind in this situation." (or something like that...obviously it is not always that scripted as we are not the Beaver's we are the Burger's) This verse sat on him for a day or two as we talked about how deeply Christ forgave us and that we are to forgive in the same way.

For our "God is Faithful. You can be ______" board we used the obvious word :: Kind. This was helpful on so many levels as we are entering the phase of not being kind to our siblings.

The Monday of K week was Reformation Day/ Halloween so we did some school at Starbucks in our was fun.
Since we were packing and preparing for our trip and I was trying to get Titus to a good stopping point with his curriculum, Justus did a lot of this::
He loves it and keeps him busy and feeling like he is doing "school" and it takes little effort or prep on my part.

Justus' K Letter Project was a Kite::
One of the days I made this little crown out of construction paper and he was a King. He was so funny in it. One time I found him in the back room looking in the mirror. :)

I am sure we did some other things that I am forgetting but this is all I have :) If you are reading this and you are schooling:: I hope y'alls semester is going so well and the kiddos are having fun!! If you are reading this because you are looking for some fun ideas:: yay! I hope you find something here that inspires you to do something even more fun! Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Schooling!