Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Writing

There were four pumpkins sitting on the porch. They did not speak or they went away. The first one said "Trick or Treat" and went away. Three pumpkins sitting on the porch. One said "Smell my feet give me something good to eat" and he went away. Two pumpkins sitting on the porch. One said "Happy Halloween" and he went away. One pumpkin sitting alone on the porch. He said "Boo!" and was the last one to arrive at the pumpkin party.

Pumpkin Day

This morning we worked on a few pumpkin crafts. The one butterfly is holding here was sticker pumpkins that you got to design their face.

Then we made pumpkins that Granny T sent us.

The girls insisted on being in costume all day. They ate fall leaf cookies while doing their crafts. Before their crafts they watch Charlie Brown's pumpkin movie.

October Reading List

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Ellen Miles
Good Luck, Ivy by Lisa Yee
Harriet Tubman by Ann Lane Petry
Meet Julie by Megan Mcdonald
Julie Tells Her Story Megan Mcdonald
A Brave Little Princess by Beatrice Masini
Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep by Gail Levine
Swamp Tigers by ?
The Princess Test by Gail Levine
Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar
The Tales of Uncle Remus by Julius Lester
Happy New Year Julie by Megan Mcdonald
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Lions by Sally Morgan

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lion Report

PF had the assignment to write a report on a zoo animal of her choice.

Lions are big cats. Their futures are bad in the wild, but good in zoos. Lion's futures are bad in the wild because their lives are shrinking from 100,000 lions. So now there are 17,000 lions in the wild. Lions in the zoo have good futures because there are more lions in the zoo. Lions that live in India, live in a forest. Lions that live in Africa live in dry grass to match the yellow coat of fur. Lions have a territory, where they have space, shade for shelter, and where they can find prey and water. Lions eat meat such as Buffalo, deer, and other types of meat. Lions have pad under their paws. This helps them to creep silently on their prey. People should stop killing lions, help them in pain, and leave more food for them to survive in their habitat.

Creating a Zoo

I gave the older two girls the assignment of creating their own zoo while the other two were napping. I had them draw one zoo and the other they created all on their own. They used their polly pockets for the visitors to the zoo and some plastic animals for the exhibits.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Animal Creation

This animals name is Minnea. She moves by running. She likes to eat ginger snaps. She weighs as much as a small dog. She likes cats. She lives in Brazil and can survive for 50 years. Her mating season is in the fall. She is pregnant for 3 months with 3 to 5 babies. When the babies are born the males help to feed them flowers. This animal has no predators.
As one of her animal projects this week, PF had to create her own animal and write a description of it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Field Trip: Baltimore Zoo

Our class.

Today we ventured with our friends to the Baltimore Zoo. It was suppose to be 55 degrees with a slight chance of rain. So I packed rain jackets for all of us. When we left our house it wasn't that bad. When we got to the zoo the wind kicked up. I borrowed a blanket from my friend for Dragonfly and PF borrowed a sweater. We made it though our hands were icicles when we left. Some of the animals were packed up in their warm homes so we weren't able to see them. For some of the animals it was to our advantage that they were inside because we got to visit their "home" and see them closer than we would have if they were outside. My favorite place was the chimpanzee house. I love watching the monkeys interact with one another. The most precious moment was watching the interaction between a mom and her two year old. The baby would nurse and the mom would rub her head and love on her. This zoo exhibits mainly African animals.

The beautiful path we walked from the entrance to the zoo exhibits.

Some fall colors.

Checking out the polar bear.

The older kids had a zoo scavenger hunt (provided online by the zoo). They had to find a list of animals and then determine their classification.





Barn slide

Penguins.....some of the only animals that felt at home with the weather we had today. Damp and cold and windy. I should have learned by now not to trust the weather report which said it would be 55 today. My poor babies were cold. I am glad my friend had an extra blanket and sweater.

Looking at the giraffe

the lion eating butterfly's hand.

Leaving the zoo on the trolley.

A little bit of the chimps.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Animal Books

We started the morning out by reading a bunch of animal books including this one.

The girls enjoyed doing the movements on each page of the book.

Each movement related to a particular animal and a movement that each of these animals do.

Animal Week

Koala: Butterfly likes them because they start with the letter K.

A little geography: Where do Lions live?

Lions: discussed differences between males and females.

This week we are taking a break from our normal studies to focus on animals. We have a trip planned for tomorrow to visit the Baltimore Zoo. It is free for homeschoolers this month and when you sign up they provide you with all kinds of worksheets to do pre, during and post-visit. We will be working on these sheets and activities this week plus alot more.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Birthday Holiday

Today is Princess Flower's birthday and we are taking the day off to celebrate! How convenient it is a Friday anyway :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chinese Calligraphy

This is the special paper, I referred to in a previous post. A sample of PF Chinese characters.

A lesson in Chinese Calligraphy by PF. She filmed herself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Princess Flower's Schedule

For right now (we change depending on the particular area we are focusing on) Princess Flower's schedule looks like this:
8:00am- breakfast, get dressed, calendar time and devotion.
9:00am- Start schoolwork to include:
Bible Study lesson
Math worksheet
Daily worksheet (a review of Lang. Arts & math skills from last year)
Journal writing or writing bug
Spelling words (dictionary, sentences or stories using spelling words)
Read a chapter of the current American Girl Book
Pilgrims comprehension reading (one story about pilgrims and answer questions)
Read about one President (From a book on Presidents.)
Piano practice
11:30- Lunch and chores
12:30- Playground or Free play
1:30- Grammar lesson and review Chinese
2:30- 1 hour of free reading

If time permits we watch a Science or History documentary. For right now we have a heavy focus on History. Some days we have other little things we add in or take out.

On Mondays she has piano lessons, Tuesdays she usually has Chinese lessons (some weeks it is moved to other days) and Wednesday nights kid's class at church. Fridays we take it easy. If she has work she didn't get done on the other 4 days she does it then. We also have fun projects, mostly art related, or play games. This is the day that I use to add in other activities to reinforce what we are already learning.

A Little Bit of Mandarin

My name is.....

A Short dialog

She has been working on a family tree and learning each members' Chinese name. These will be written without accents so if you read pinyin you won't get the full affect but for those of us who don't you get a small glimpse of what the words look like. I will try and figure out how to write in Chinese Characters and Pinyin on here.

Mom- mama, Dad- baba, Princess Flower- wo (I) or zhu li (her name), Butterfly- Kai li, Ladybug- Ai li, Dragonfly- Rui li, Aunt KK- Kai a yi (a yi means aunt), Aunt Becca- Bei a yi, Papa- Wai fu, Grammy- Wai mu, Uncle Dan- Dan shushu (shushu- younger brother of father), Uncle Matt- Mai hobo (not pronounced like the English hobo nor does it mean this...means older brother of the father), Aunt Jenny- Jin a yi, Moro- Muo li, Dabba do- A bi, Aunt KiKi- (working on the first part) a yi, Grandpa and Papa Buddy- yeye, and Granny T- nainai.

As far as her uncle Zach and Richard, and 3 other cousins....she is still working on them. Her three cousins are a bit of a challenge because they each have R's in the middle of their names which the Chinese language does not support. So these names will be post and added to her family tree next week.

One thing I didn't know before Princess Flower started the family tree was that I have followed a Chinese tradition of naming each generation with the same ending sound. The ending to each one of my girls name (li) means cool is that! So I have Beautiful Pearl, Beautiful Open, Beautiful Love, and Beautiful Lucky if you translate their Chinese names into English.

I also requested that Princess Flower translate their blogging names into Chinese for me. This was easy as they are actual words in Mandarin.


Butterfly- hu die

Ladybug- piao chong

Dragonfly- qing ting

Princess Flower is still meeting at least once a week with our neighbor for Chinese lessons. They go beyond just learning the language, she is also learning culture. She eats lunch (dumplings her favorite) with chopsticks, Chinese calligraphy (she uses awesome paper that she writes with water and it looks like ink. In a few minutes the water dries and what she just wrote disappears), and much more that I can't remember right now.

Let's Sticker and Paste!

I really like the Kumon company books. My friend introduced them to me a while back. Today Butterfly and I worked on the Sticker and Paste book. She liked it so much that she finished the entire book today. I do not discourage or limit (when at all possible) what they want to learn on most days. So today, when she wanted to keep going I encouraged her to do so. I want my kids to have a passion and joy for learning. As Butterfly gets older she will have to complete each of her subjects before focusing on her favorite but for now she can spend as much time as she wants on one particular thing. I also make a note of their special interests at this stage of life so I can gear future learning around what suits them best. Princess Flower enjoys reading so I try to incorporate reading as much as I can into her school assignments. She also enjoys movies so we watch many science and history documentaries. I use movies as rewards to get her through tough subject material.

The book starts out with stickers in different settings. In this one, she had to place fish in the ocean. We talked about fish and the sea and counted the fish. After the settings, she placed stickers on fruits and veggies. Each fruit and veggie had a shape missing in the middle to place the proper sticker. We discussed shapes, colors and named each fruit and veggie.

Another activity involved cutting out parts of animal faces and gluing them in their proper area. We discussed each of the animals as we went.

Then the book moved onto cutting out pieces to a puzzle. She then had to arrange them properly and glue them.

She really liked this page. She got to cut stripes of white any length she wanted to make snow.

She is now going through the phase of writing her "K's" backwards. Princess Flower did this with "J's" so I am not very concerned.

So not only did Butterfly improve on her cutting and gluing skills today but we learned about shapes, colors, fruits and veggies, different habitats, animals, seasons, counting and transportation. I think we covered a full days work just using one book.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

-at Family

Today Butterfly worked on the -At word family. I had an "at" storybook that she colored and we read together several times. I had her point out certain words in the story.

She takes coloring very seriously.

Her finished book before we put it back together.
"In My Hat"
pg 1 The bat sat in my hat.
pg 2 The mat sat in my hat.
pg 3 The rat sat in my hat.
pg 4 The cat sat in my hat.
pg 5 Oh No! Scat rat! Scat cat!

She also did a cut and paste worksheet. She had to match up the letters to the right "at" for each picture. She did very well with this.

Proud of her final work.