Monday, September 29, 2008

September Reading List

Princess Flower's List of book titles read this month:
Meet Kirsten
Kirsten Learns a Lesson
Happy Birthday Kirsten
Kirsten's Surprise
Kirsten Saves the Day
Changes for Kirsten
Christmas in Sweden
Quilts
Praires
Oregon Trail
The Other Kitten
The Courage of Sarah Noble
The Great Kapok Tree
Kirsten on the trail
Matilda
Treasure Nap
Grasshopper on the Road
Abuela
The Night Crossing




Sunday, September 28, 2008

Piano Lessons


There are some things that I am just not able to teach my kids....music is one of them. I feel very fortunate that Brianna, a young lady at my church, has so graciously taken on the task of teaching princess Flower piano. She does an awesome job and PF has learned so much. We are now going every Monday after lunch for PF 30min piano lesson.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Running the Track




I have been wanting to take the girls to the track for awhile now and test their running skills. PF ran a mile, Butterfly just under a mile and Ladybug 1/2 a mile. I only timed PF. I am hoping to take them to the track a few more times and time PF again at the end of the year to see if she runs any faster.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Progress Report



Princess Flower has finished her studies of Kirsten and the history of America in 1854. Some of the activities she did in this study were nature journals, character journals, maps, and learning quotations and suffixes.

Butterfly finished her tracing book. She has worked really hard writing her name this week. She is on lesson 17 in the reading book.



Ladybug has done very well learning the days of the week and months of the year songs this week. She is on lesson 11 in the reading book.


video
video

Lunch


*Monday: PB&J, chips, raisins, and carrots
*Tuesday: Chili Mac & Cheese and smoothies
*Wednesday: Split Pea soup
*Thursday: Homemade Bagel bites (with carrots and sweet potatoes in the sauce), Garlic fries, green beans and Chocolate muffins (with spinach and blueberries).
*Friday: Dino Chicken nuggets, Mac and Cheese, green beans and fruit cocktail.

When you are home everyday for lunch it can be easy to make the same thing for lunch everyday. I try to change somethings up from day to day so our days don't blend together. Lunch is one way to really change things up. Although our time for lunch stays pretty consistent at 11am.
This week we had a treat on Thursday because we went to a friend's house to celebrate a birthday. My friend and I have both looked through the Sneaky Chef book and she used some of the recipes for lunch on Thursday. We had bagel bites with orange puree and chocolate muffins with purple puree. The orange puree has sweet potatoes and carrots in it which you mix right into the tomato sauce. The purple puree has spinach and blueberries which are mixed right into the batter. The muffins had a slight blueberry taste but the bagel bites tasted better than the ones in the store. Actually I preferred both the recipes from sneaky chef than the basic less nutritious versions.
My children don't have a problem eating veggies or fruits. I simply like the recipes because it makes what I cook even more healthy. As a side note: I made baked ziti when my niece was visiting with the orange puree and she loved it....just thought her Mama would like to know.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scissors


Butterfly is practicing her cutting skills. I have a bunch of scissor activity worksheets.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

File Folders


My mother-in-law was cleaning out her school room before summer one year and gave me this book. I have found it to contain fun ways to teach/reinforce certain areas. I have used other books and online sources to create even more games.

I keep them organized in a hanging file system.

Some of the games we have are colors, contractions, and multiplication.



Butterfly is using this game to demonstrate counting skills. I made this one special for my kids as it is bugs you match up with flowers.


I have used these as rewards and I have also used them when one of my children are struggle with a certain concept; putting the concept into game form for some reason makes it easier to grasp.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Morning Time

After breakfast, sometimes before we get dressed for the day or after, we have a group lesson time. This time includes: devotions, prayers, the pledge, calendar and other mini lessons that vary.


My friend is packing up her house to move and gave us this magnet calendar. I have really been enjoying it. I don't know why I like it more than the dry erase board calendar I had but I do. With the calendar we talk about months, days, seasons, the weather, counting, things we are doing, holidays, and tackle concepts like yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Then we sing days of the week and months of the year.

This is the devotional we are using right now. It isn't a typical devotional but discusses character traits based on Proverbs 31. In the process, we are memorizing the verses that go along with each section. By the end of the book, we will have Proverbs 31 memorized.

Yesterday our mini lesson was on good vs. bad behavior and punishments. Another friend of mine has a chart that she refers to with her children so I was kinda of going with that. The punishments my kids came up with were very drastic. I thought it was actually pretty humorous. Their daddy looked at the list later and basically said "so you want me to break my hand?" This list will be revised by the parents/teachers but it was nice to see the kids aware of things they need to be working on.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mondays

Our schedule varies slightly on Mondays compared to the rest of the week because Princess Flower has piano lessons at 12:45pm. Because we already have to leave the house to go to the lesson, I have incorporated other out of the house places to visit as well. (makes it seem like the gas used goes to cover several different things than just one)

So today we left the house at 9:30am after having morning time and breakfast, and headed to the neighborhood gym. The younger girls played with blocks and other toys while PF did her morning review sheet. While they were busy I got in a quick 30 min run. The treat after the gym is to go to the office (in the same building) and get a cookie. They had really good cookies today. Then we headed to the playground right outside to run off the sugar.

At 11:00am we headed to the Library to stock up on some new books and read a few stories while we were there. I was able to find a couple books that will be incorporated into preschool lessons in the coming weeks and PF picked out a few extra books to read and earn rewards (I will touch on this in another post).

We then headed down to piano lessons and had a picnic lunch at our friends house before the lesson started.

Now we are back home and two kids are napping, one is playing quitely, and PF is finishing the rest of her work for today.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Students

Our class consists of four students who are on different levels. They have different interests and areas of focus.





Princess Flower has started 4th grade curriculum this year. She is a highly motivated and bright student. She has amazed me with her skills to grasp new concepts and put them into action. She loves to read and if I let her plan her own day she would be on the couch reading for the majority of it. She also has a creative mind and is always inventing or crafting something. Her least favorite subject is math although she does just fine with it.

This year's heavy focus we will be fine tuning her Language arts and writing skills and improving vocabulary and spelling. Extra curricular activities will include Mandarin, piano, and Keepers.

Current Curriculum and reading material we are using include:
1. Bible

2.A Portrait of an American Girl Study (includes all the American girl books. Covers History, Science, Language Arts, Creative Writing, Vocabulary, Reading comp, Map skills, geography, logic and other life skills)

3.Review activities for 3rd graders moving to 4th graders (a reminder of what we did last year and also includes a recommended reading list)

4. Abeka 4 Math

5. The Stories of Pilgrim's

6. America's Presidents

7. God's Wisdom for Little Girls

8. Chinese Made Easy for Kids

9. Piano Adventures

10. Keeper's of the home




Butterfly is moving right along and is eager to learn new things. She is very active and enjoys running and dancing. She does the best when she is one on one although enjoys our group activities as well. This year the biggest goal is to have her independently reading.

Her current curriculum and books include:
1. Bible

2. God's Wisdom for Little Girls

3. Preschool Comprehensive Curriculum

4. Tracing

5. File Folders and mis. worksheets

6. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy Lessons




Ladybug is eager to learn new things but her attention span only allows for so much. She requests reading lessons over all the other work. She enjoys singing and can learn anything quickly if put to a song.

Her current curriculum and books include:
1. Bible

2. God's Wisdom for Little Girls

3. Preschool Comprehensive Curriculum

4. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

5. File Folders and mis. worksheets




Dragonfly is our littlest learner. Although she will not be receiving any formal education this year, we will be working on motor skills, speech and language. I am sure she will pick alot more by just being around everyone else learning. As everyone in the house is picking up some of the Mandarin that Princess Flower is studying.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fun with M&M's

Our Students love M&M's, they usually get them for rewards. On Fridays, I like to do something fun and out of the regular routine during the week. This week I decided to use M&M's to reinforce a few concepts with the girls. (On a side note...they picked out their own clothes)


Sorting into color groups.

Princess Flower documenting how many of each color on the three plates. Butterfly and Ladybug counting each of their groups for Princess Flower to record. Princess Flower then determined the total number of M&Ms and found the average M&Ms that come in a Fun Size pack. She then determined the average of each color.

Making patterns.

Making letters with M&Ms.


Princess Flower's analysis:
If you were to have a fun size pack of M&Ms you probably would have 22. You would have 7 orange, 6 blue, 3 yellow, 3 green, 2 brown, and 1 red. You will always have more oranges than any other color.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

H is for Homeschooling


We are back to a full schedule of homeschooling after several weeks of light work while on vacation. The best part about homeschooling has come into play this week which is flexibility. Between piano lessons, mandarin tutoring, ER visits and the dentist, I have had to be flexible with when to teach my kids to schedule in these other things.
This week I have started to work individual with Ladybug and Butterfly instead of working with them together. They vary slightly in their skills that makes it difficult to keep them on the same level. This new change is working really well. I have been able to accomplish alot more than I was accomplishing before. Plus I get to have quality one on one time with each of them. Princess Flower loves this arrangement too because she gets to have some time in the morning off from schoolwork.

Despite our crazy schedule (I have come to terms that it will never be non crazy), we have been able to accomplish quite a bit this week and I believe this is do to flexiblity.