Thursday, November 7, 2013

Time4Learning review

They aso have NEW highschool courses which I will review 4 of. It looks like time4learning has put in a lot of improvements so I'm excited to give it a go.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Science is for the birds

 This week our Oak Meadow curriculum wants us to look for birds, to observe them flying south, and do a bird count. Here is the problem: birds who fly south have already done it here in Alaska. The birds who are left aren't many so observation is really, really, boring. So I had to come up with something else. 

With much searing I found an inexpensive printable about animal tracks from montessori print shop 
I'd take the boys out to actually LOOK at animal tracks but it's been snowing for the last 3 days so finding fresh tracks was impossible.

We also got out some of our better animals and made our own tracks in some clay to see how they matched up.

We followed this up by making a bird feeder with a store bought twig wreath, peanut butter, & bird seed.  So far only the squirrel has found it but that's been entertaining to watch him try and figure out how to hang upside down to eat from it.

We bought this owl pellet at an educational store a month ago and finally had a good reason to break it out. We found almost an entire bird skeleton in it. I printed out a really good mini owl lapbook from Lapbook Lessons  which complemented the pellet project nicely and gave us some good writing practice.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Getting back into the groove with a few projects

A few doings for our kindy year. We spent the last 3 weeks down in the southern part of the state visiting friends and family so are just trying to get back into our homeschooling groove.

Body outline and filling in the bits, including guts & heart. My kinder has never been a drawer so this amount of detail put into it and the fact that it wasn't a struggle to get him to do it is amazing.

This is a Geo Safari that I had when I was a kid. I grabbed it from my dads house and put new batteries in, it works! Did senses, animal parts matching, habitat and a few others.  Science, number identification, logic, sequencing... not to mention it makes such a fun beep boop sound. 

Have you read Life of Fred ? Fantastic books that introduce math in a living way that's fun and educational. It's the way I wish math had been taught to me. 
Fred doesn't eat very healthy food so he isn't very big for a 5 year old, in fact he is only 1 yard tall (3 feet).
Are we taller then Fred?

Introduction of our new scale. In the past we've had ones that let us know which side is heavier but this one actually tells us how much stuff weighs. Had fun trying to add things to make only exactly a pound.

Pratt Museum in Homer, AK, also visited the Oceans museum there. Both were very very fun experiences. Followed up by many a trip to the beach whenever it wasn't raining.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

easing back into homeschooling after a break

We bought a place and have been moving so we took a 'summer break' and did very little official schooling for the last month. Most of this was done just this week as we ease back into the swing of things.

Rhyme 'domino's' from targets dollar section. Some of the rhyme matches were hard for even me to find so I picked out a few I knew had matches and we played with those.

This book talked about how our tongue can only taste some things and where we can sense them on our tongue so we did a little matching. We used, salt, lemon juice, baking powder, and a piece of candy to label each taste as salty, sour, bitter, and sweet.

Got our kits from Academy of science for kids for the upcoming school year. Since it's summer (for not much longer) we did the Make Snow experiment from the polymers kit. It was a lot of fun and we figured out how if you keep adding water it turns from light fluffy 'snow' into gooey globs. 

More science! We used a kit bought randomly at a garage sale. This goo was made by a mixture of water, borax, & glue. We also dyed it red, 'cus the more it looks like something gross the more fun it is, right?

A marble maze.
You put the peices together attempting to make something the marble can run through to the end. Tricky tricky engineering and logic lessons going on here.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Summer weather fun

In the summer we like to use curriculum and do topics that we might not otherwise get to cover during the year. This summer we are testing out Moving Beyond the Page . We are just finishing up the weather unit.

Cloud formations. a printout of different cloud formations, construction paper sky and a bit of fluff for clouds. We made about four different cloud formations, these are Cirrus on the left and Cumulonimbus on the right. 

I've wanted to introduce form drawing for a while. It's generally introduced in first but for simple straight and curve lines I wanted to start in kindergarten. My kindy boy though is by no means a perfectionist and his motor skills aren't fantastic so I thought to use our Handwriting without Tears pieces for wooden capital letter to use for our forms. Here is the straight forms practice we did from Form Drawing for Beginners 
After practice with the forms using the wooden pieces for a while we will try again using out block crayons. 

Making Rain. Soil + moisture in a ziplock bag and taped to the window. After a bit in the sun the water evaporated, when it cooled it 'rained' inside out bag.

We took our best shot at making boats which we then tried out in our puddle. The balloon boat did make quite a splash but didn't do to well once it got wet. 

Tot school. Matching colors. At 2 he isn't very good at naming the colors but he can match like with like.

These same pieces from the above picture also have removable shapes which we matched and fit back into their proper spaces.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

whats the title?

We bought Life of Fred: Apples and LOVED it. Loch doesn't quite get it all of course and there are parts I just skip over but he is loving reading them and even I'm learning stuff. We managed to inter library loan the 2cd book (Butterflys) and a discussion of the Orion Nebula turned into a full on  little study of our solar system. We had some old card board boxes so Loch drew and colored the sun and all 9 planets and I cut them out.

(And yes I said 9. Because there are 9 planets in our solar system. It's only a matter of time before Pluto regains it's planet status.)

At a thrift shop eairly this summer I also found a Magic School Bus kit about asteroids. So I dug it out of my 'homeschool stuff for later' box and we read the book and then created this nifty little homemade 'plant'. Flour covered the bottom and then we added cinnamon, cloves, & chili powder for coloring. 

Then... is that a bird? a plane? No! it's an asteroid! (or a rock)  Coming to disrupt our planets surface!

A few army men took the brunt of the blast, one lost a head but the rest lived to fight another day.

Shadow puppet play!

Playing with color. If I look through blue and yellow what color is the light?
red and blue?
 This could be used with colored plastic wrap too we just happen to have borrowed these fancy ones from a friend.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A bit of preschool doings

Working with chop sticks for fine motor control. Slowly getting better and better with these.

Painting with ice. Froze water with food coloring to create this fun project.

Measuring practice! is the broom longer then a yard stick? Is a pencil?

For yule we were blessed with a set off wooden letter pieces from Handwriting without Tears. This was R week but we had fun seeing what other letters we could make with these shapes as well.

We are trying to get a local children's museum together so there are bi monthly museum without walls events. This was working making a tower from on the light board.

Monday, January 9, 2012

pre-k activities over the winter break

Been taking a nice easy break. Presents and family, and siblings, and weeks & weeks of -30 makes lazy people. so here are a few activities we did for school.

Practicing with a hole punch. Originally I was making sewing cards but The kids wanted to try it and it's good for that fine motor control stuff.

Practicing buttoning on a dressing vest. We are pretty good now with unbuttoning and re-buttoning with the large ones and can unbutton the small was well too.

Story telling cards. First he told his own story then we took turns picking cards and telling part of a story. Story telling practice, Memorization, Social Skills, Taking Turns.... 

While watching The Electric Company I got this idea and we made up these cards. I wrote down some easy 3 letter phonetically correct words. L had to read the word then he could jump over it. 

If he needed help to read the word he had to read the next word and jump over both. If he kept missing the list of words kept getting longer. If he read a word independently the line got shorter. 

I picked this up at Once Upon a Child for a $1 it's basically word bingo. So lots of easy fun reading & matching practice.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Winter Solstice Meditation

"These next few days are the days of the Winter Solstice, a time when those who are very attentive to the skies note that the sun, which has relentlessly moved southward on the horizon since last June, seems to pause on its journey before beginning to climb northwards to center again. Solstice is a time of pause. So…pause. Breathe. Relax. Rest. Be at peace.

Spirit of winter rest, help us to enjoy your peace in this quiet place.
Remind us to pause during this season.
Grant us awareness, keep our gratitude fresh each day.
May the songs in our heart be blessings and insights to us and to others
and may compassion always shine forth from the depths of our hearts."

~Christine C. Robinson

Friday, December 16, 2011

We sure do use a LOT of paper...

Making christmas presents; a quick google search and I found these stockings with writing promps on them. We plan to do the set then get them laminated, bind them, and give them to grandma for solstice. 
These ones say: 
Christmas is... By LOCH Christmas is the smell of LOVE & Christmas is the sounds of HOHO

Santa Lucia day included making hot cross buns and star boy / candle hats. 

A quick and easy santa lucia inspired sewing card. I made a few paper starts and punched holes in them for the boys to 'sew'.

Sanint nicholas day fun. Using shoes to print patterns on paper.

And robots.... always robots...

Grouping. I have a bunch of little 'things' that make their way into my house. Here we grouped them by rocks, metal, and alive things.