Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bean at 19 Months

I haven't shared much about Bean lately so I thought I'd give a little update in case anyone was curious :)

Bean is 19 months old now and is so much fun! She loves to run, climb and just generally try to keep up with her brother and sister.

She got loves music and to dance and will usually insist that anyone who is in the room must dance with her any time music is on.

She is talking a lot now and is still singing as well. Over the past month or so she has dropped a couple of signs from use in favor of just saying the word instead. She has stopped signing more for the most part but will loudly tell you "more, more!" if she is still hungry. Her favorite signs at the moment seem to be bike, toothbrush and cereal.

She loves to look through books and if Buzz or Boo happen to be laying on the couch reading she'll usually grab a chapter book off the bookshelf and climb up on the couch too.

She loves the book Too Purpley! which she refers to as "pore-pul" but for whatever reason she only wants Buzz to read it to her.

At bedtime she usually requests Titch because there are bikes in it and bikes are pretty much her favorite thing right now. She'll bring the book to either Ruben or I and say and sign "bike!" excitedly.
She also loves the book There's a Wocket in My Pocket and signs toothbrush whenever she pulls it off the shelf.

Bean has really fine motor skills and I'm very impressed with how well she eats with a fork and spoon. She loves to eat cereal and it's so cute to watch her feed herself and then drink the milk from the bowl!

Her favorite food right now is any kind of pasta and whether it's macaroni and cheese or spagetti she calls it all "chee chee".

We haven't done much in the way of organized tot school time since we moved but Bean has still been a very busy little girl each day. Whenever the big kids are sitting down doing their schoolwork she loves to pull out one of Buzz's old workbooks and a pencil and work in her "wor-book" too.

She is also very bossy with Buzz and Boo and has no problem telling them exactly what she wants them to do. If she unhappy with anything she will wave her hand back and forth and loudly declare "no, no!"

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Rag Coat

This week we rowed The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills.
We used lapbook components from Aussie Pumpkin Patch, we only used a few pages of the lapbook but the whole thing is really great!

The story is set in the Appalachian Mountain region so we talked about where the Appalachian Mountains are and Buzz and Boo colored maps for their notebooks. We also talked about Appalachian culture and looked through the book to find items from Appalachian culture included in the illustrations.

In the story the main character, Minna, is teased by her schoolmates which gave us the opportunity to talk about bullying and how to treat others.

Minna's father dies in the story and she doesn't understand why everyone is wearing black to his funeral. Since Buzz and Boo have never been to a funeral we talked a bit about what funerals are, what they are usually like and why people often wear black.

We talked about quilts and how they are made and read a few stories about quilts. Our read-aloud for the week was In Grandma's Attic which went along with the story really well because most of the chapters told a story about different pieces of fabric in the grandmother's quilt just like each rag in Minna's coat had a story. Boo enjoyed this book so much that she checked out the second one in the series from the library and has been eagerly reading it on her own.
The story also mentions Joseph's colorful coat so we read that story in our Jesus Storybook Bible and talked about the similarities and differences between Joseph and his colorful coat and Minna and her rag coat.

We talked about sacrifice, forgiveness and the importance of fellowship. I recently purchased the FIAR Bible Supplement which is full of Bible verses and stories to go along with each FIAR title. It includes a lot of verses that I probably wouldn't have come up with on my own for each book and I think it was a great purchase!

To wrap up our week Buzz and Boo did an art project. I made a coat outline for each of them and they used scrapbook paper cut into squares to fill in the shape. Buzz's didn't turn out the way he imagined and he got frustrated with it so he decided just to color in the rag coat outline from the lapbook cover and cut it out and glue it on to cardstock instead. Boo had a great time putting her rag coat together and decided to add some buttons to the finished product.

I already have a box full of lapbooks and in an effort to keep things better organized I decided that instead of making individual lapbooks from each FIAR title, each child would have a FIAR notebook. Any lapbook components (or I guess notebook components in this case) get glued on to a piece of cardstock that is three-hole punched and is then put into a binder. We include any art, worksheets, etc. that go along with the book as well. I think this will (hopefully!) keep things much more organized and make looking back through rows easier for them as well.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What We've Been Up to: Valentine's Day and Recycling

We've taken a break from Five in a Row for the past couple of weeks (after getting only one book under our belts!) due to the library here never having any of the books that I'm looking to row. The library where we used to live was huge and amazing. The one here is just... lame. So out of frustration I ended up ordering all of the FIAR books that I plan to use this year and next (thanks to my wonderful husband for understand and not blinking an eye when I told him how much it would cost!) so we will be back to rowing this week!

While I was dealing with library frustration and subsequently waiting for my box of books to arrive in the mail we focused on two other topics: Valentine's Day and recycling.
First up was Valentine's Day. We read a few new books:
The Kiss That Missed
We also did most of the activities from last year's trays and recreated, with a few new additions, last year's sensory tub. It's so fun to see how each child plays with sensory tubs in their own way. Buzz set up a store for Boo and I to shop at with the different items. Boo liked sorting everything and Bean liked pouring things between the different cups, bowls and buckets.

I also made homemade chocolate playdough. Bean loved to smell it and made everyone else smell it every time we played with it too. I saw this idea on Counting Coconuts.
I made binders for Buzz and Boo filled with Valentine themed worksheets. I found most of them at Activity Village. I also made a few math worksheets and some crack-the-code worksheets that Buzz loved!
We also tried an activity called read and write the room for the first time with this unit and both Buzz and Boo loved it! I think I first heard about it at 1+1+1=1. Basically you hang different vocabulary words (I used math problems for Buzz) around the room and the child copies the words (or problems and answers) onto a provided worksheet attached to a clip board. So fun!

Buzz has been working on meeting all of the requirements to earn his Wolf badge in Cub Scouts and this past week one of the things we had to do was read books about recycling and conservation, then discuss. We chose:

These books got Buzz very interested in the topic and he wanted to learn more. We read about where garbage goes and how glass, plastic and paper are recycled in our Giant Science Resource Book.

Giant Science Resource Book Grades 1-6
Then we watched the Magic School Bus Holiday Special. It's all about recycling and how important it is. It may be available through your library, but we just watched it on YouTube.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Owl Moon

This week was our first official week of school back after our Christmas break and also our first week of the school year getting back to "rowing" with Five in a Row.

Our book for this week was Owl Moon

We started our week by reading the story (of course) and putting the story disc on the story's location. Buzz and Boo colored in a black line map to show where we live, where the story takes place and what direction we would travel to get there.

We played Owl Knock-Out from the Owl Prowl pack on Homeschool Share.

Boo played Feather Phonics (also from Owl Prowl) and she loved it so much that she wanted to play again and again and again!

We talked about telling time. I called out different times and Buzz and Boo used our foam clocks to show what each time looked like.

Boo did a leaf graphing activity from Owl Prowl as well.

We read a great go-along book called All About Owls

There is a two page spread in the book that shows pictures of North American owls along with their average height.

Buzz busted out the rulers right away to measure how tall each of the owls is, which lead to making a chart comparing all of their heights.

Of course they had to measure Bean against the chart to see which owl she was the same size as!

The kids spent a long time on the computer listening to different owl calls from this site.

We also disected owl pellets! Not the real things because that would be yucky (can you tell I'm not really a sciencey mom?) I found a kit at Hobby Lobby called Unreal Upchuck
It came with two synthetic pellets, each with a different kind of skeleton. Boo spent most of the time talking about how gross it was and how she would never touch a real owl pellet so I'm glad I decided to wait on using the real thing :) But they got the idea behind what owl pellets are, and Buzz really enjoyed it.

We wrapped up our week with an art project inspired by this one on Walking by the Way. Somehow I neglected to make sure they we had brown construction paper until about 5 minutes before we were supposed to start. I did remember to buy the glow-in-the dark paint though! So we went with multi-colored owls and Buzz and Boo both chose to add craft feathers to their final product.  

Linked to Weekly Wrap-Up

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Long Overdue!

So I haven't posted in over 3 months! We've had a lot of changes going on around here and I just haven't found the time!

1. We moved! We found out at the end of the summer that Ruben had gotten orders to a new base so we spent the month of November getting packed, living in temporary lodging, visiting family over the Thanksgiving holiday and staying in temporary lodging again at our new base. Whew!!! Relocating from the east coast to the Midwest has been more difficult on some of the family members than others. I know I, in particular, miss our home and friends on the east coast very much! But we're working hard to meet people and get plugged into the community and it's starting to feel more like home.

2. We're expecting baby #4! We found out at the end of October that we are going to be blessed with another little one next July! The big kids are very excited (Buzz is hoping to finally have a brother) and Ruben and I are thrilled to be the parents of four kiddos (4 has always been the magic number that Ruben has envisioned). So next month we should be finding out if our newest family member is a boy or a girl!

3. We changed curriculum! We started of the year with Adventures in My Father's World. I liked it just fine, the kids liked it just fine but it didn't feel like the best choice for us. So we're back to Five in a Row. We are currently rowing our first title of the year and having a great time! It feels much more relaxed and much!

So, yeah, lots of changes but now that we're settled in to our new house, the holidays are behind us and I'm starting to feel less nauseous, I hope to get back to blogging regularly!