Thursday, September 30, 2010

Our Literary Exercises for Apples

Here are highlights from our literary exercises for our apple lessons.  We read two books for this lesson.

A New House (from the book Grasshopper On The Road by Arnold Lobel)

This was a funny little story about a grasshopper who took the bite of an apple that a worm was living in.  Then the apple went rolling down the hill. Seth giggled alot when it was talking about his house inside the apple being tossed around. He had fun talking about all the different funny parts of the story after we finished reading it.

I drew an outline of an apple on a piece of paper and had him draw pictures of what could have been in that worm's "house".  Here is the picture he drew.

Everything really didn't show up well in the picture. The two sets of lines are actually two beds and there are a lot of cirlces in between them that Seth said were the toys that were in the bedroom.  (I thought it was quite clever...he wanted to draw a bed but didn't know how...I told him to think about his bed and what it looked like and to draw it...he remembered the slats on the rails of his bed and that is how the bed cam to be with the lines...the little circles in the middle of each set of lines is the pillows on the beds...and like his room has his and Aaron's bed...he drew two beds in this picture as well...he was getting tired by the time he drew the toys..that's why they are just circles)

The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

This was a cute little book about an apple tree that Arnold loved and the different things he did with the tree during the different seasons of the year.

Now one of the the activities they suggested was to make a booklet where the child draws how the tree looks in each season.  If you can recall we already did this activity (not a book but a picture) in our previous lesson on leaves.  But we did spend some time talking about the seasons again and how the trees change in the different seasons.  We also talked about all the different fun things that Arnold did.  Seth said his favorite was when they made apple cider. He said he wished we had an apple cider press so we could make apple cider (he is a HUGE lover of apple juice).

Another thing they did with apples in the book was make an apple pie.  The book included a recipe for homemade apple pie.  We had enough apples left over from all of our activities to make an apple pie!  Actually we had enough to make 2 apple pies - we are taking one with us when we go to MiMi and Poppy's tomorrow!!

(I love my little camera poser...look how he is looking at the book like he is reading the recipe )

YUMMY YUMMY APPLE PIE!  What a great way to end our lessons on apples!!

Our Apple Activities

You know we have been having problems with the weather not cooperating with us and our lesson themes (rainy during the entire sun lesson, cloudy and rainy during the moon lesson)...well our first cool snap hit during our apple lessons so we were able to welcome in Fall during our apple lessons!!  What a great way to welcome in fall!!

Here is a highlight of some of our apple activities.

We went to the grocery store to buy apples.  We made sure we got at least one apple from each of the varieties they had.  Seth had a lot of fun picking out apples.  (I would have rather gone to an apple orchard but frankly did not know where one was and failed to take the time before we started this lesson to look on the internet to see if I could find one).

We put all of our apples we got in a cute basket I had so that we could enjoy looking at them all week (and as you will see below we used them in other activities)

One day we took an apple and cut it in half horizontally so the boys could see the star in the apple!  They loved this!  We then chopped up a bunch of apples and made baby apple pies!  YUM!  I got that idea from another book I had but really the only part of that idea I used was the muffin tins.  For the crust I used canned biscuits (because I forgot to buy the roll out pie crusts).  I just flattened out the biscuits and lined each section of the muffin tin with a biscuit.  Seth mixed flour, sugar and cinnamon with the chopped apples and then filled the muffin tin with the apples.  Aaron mixed together brown sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon and butter and we put that on top of each of the apple pies.  We then baked them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  They were YUMMY!

On another day we took some apples and I cut them into halves and we talked about what a 1/2 is.  Then we I cut them into fourths and then again into eighths.  We talked about how much smaller each piece was the more I cut it.  

We then took our cut up apples and I peeled them and we made applesauce with them.  We also took a couple more apples and cut them into small pieces by cutting them horizontally and made apple chips (a recipe I had in another book).

We combined the science activity for day 5 (which was making an apple tree) with the additional activity #3 (which was making a tree and labeling the fruits of the spirit on the apples).

I didn't have any brown construction paper but I did have brown foam sheets so we used that for the tree trunk and branches.  I had the boys lay their arm on the foam and spread out their fingers.  I traced around theirs fingers and arm.  We then cut it out.  The arm was the trunk and then fingers were the branches.  We glued this to black construction paper.  I then gave the boys some green construction paper and told them to tear it up into small pieces.  We glued them on for the leaves.  I then cut out red circles and wrote the fruits of the spirit on each circle and had them glue them on their tree.  I had the boys draw a bird on yellow paper and cut it out and glue it on the tree.  We then glued on the poem from the book at the bottom of the page.
For those who don't have the curriculum here is the poem:

There's a little birdie in the apple tree,
Chirping out his little song for you and me.
He's a happy birdie, and I think he knows
That God is watching over him wherever he goes.
But that little birdie isn't half so dear
As every little boy and girl that God put here.
So as I watch the birdie in the apple tree,
I know that God is watching over me.
(author unknown)

(I thought it was kind of cool that Aaron had done a very similar picture a couple of weeks ago in his homeschool co-op class.  They used the finger painting method...they used his hand and arm for the trunk and branches and then he finger painted green leaves and red apples. He mentioned this activity when we were doing our tree saying that he painted a tree before).

We sure had fun with our apple lessons!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A new song

We have been working on sight words and Seth is doing a good job learning these words.  As we were working on our words this morning I thought of a new song to sing to help Seth to remember these words.

It goes to the tune of Mary Had A Little Lamb and works very well for 3 letter words can probably be adapted for 4, 5 and 6 letter words as well   :-)

A good example is the word the. Here is how the song would go with that word.

(to the tune of Mary Had A Little Lamb)

The is spelled T-H-E, T-H-E, T-H-E
The is spelled T-H-E, the, the, the, the

Have you made up any songs to help your kids in their learning??  I would love to hear about them :-)

Seth loves to sing so coming up with songs works well for him.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fun Day At Co-Op

We had a fun day at co-op once again.  We are all a bit more comfortable this second day.  The kids are starting to settle in with this group :-)

I had to highlight something Seth did in PE today.  They got to play with a parachute!  I remember playing with one of these in school when I was little and I remember loving it!  Well Seth loved it today!

I got a couple of pictures snapped of him playing with the parachute (of course I have pixelated the faces of the other kids in the pictures for privacy reasons).

Have any of you had a chance to check out   We did the other day and the kids loved the site!

I had been on (another GREAT site by the way) doing some reading games with Seth and Aaron said he wanted to do a game.  Aaron has been LOVING the new show on PBS - The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That, actually both boys have been!  I always see the advertisement for the website so I decided to go check it out!  They were so excited.

In fact we came in the house (because Mommy really needed to get some housecleaning done) and I decided to put them on the computer at the house.  Our computer in the house is actually hooked to our TV so I put it on the tv and sat them in front of it and gave Seth the mouse.  They played those games for probably an hour or so. With it being on the tv they weren't crowded trying to both look at the monitor.  Aaron was able to point stuff out on the tv and Seth was able to use the mouse to click it.  They did very well working together.

(plus with it being on the tv it was easy for me to make sure they stayed on that site!)

But go check it out!  It really does have some fun games for the kids.

Memory Verse

I thought I would share our memory verse board again this week.  (btw - Seth did an EXCELLENT job memorizing his verse last week!!) This week I decided to write all the sight words that he has learned that are in the verse in black. I then had a few "picture words" (words where I drew a pic in front of them to help with the word) in different colors.  I then told Seth we were going to read the verse together. He loved being able to read the black words and the picture words (once I explained each one).  Oh and I put a little sun over the pronouns referring to Jesus (we use the sun because we learned a couple of weeks ago that Jesus is the light of the the sun is an easy pic to use!) and I put a small stick figure over the pronouns talking about Seth.  That way, to help him grasp the meaning of the verse, I can go back through and replace those pronouns with the words "Jesus" or "Seth" (e.g. - "for without Jesus, Seth can do nothing).

This is just something I thought of myself to try to help my young child not only learn how to memorize scripture, but to be able to understand it as well.  Maybe sharing it with you will give you an idea or two :-).  If you have any ideas on how I can improve this please share! I would love to hear your ideas!

(oh and the phrase at the bottom of the board is our "words to remember" from the MFW curriculum)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Paper City

I found this idea of a paper city here the other day and thought might boys might like to do it one day.

Well, we found out this morning that Daddy would not be home until late tonight and so I decided that today might be a good day to do this.  I showed Seth the idea on the blog link above and he loved it and was excited about it.

So I printed out all the templates on white cardstock.  I had the boys color them with markers.  I then cut then cut them out and laminated them (so that they would last longer).

The boys wanted to play on the floor but Alyssa kept messing up everything so I cleared the table so that they could set it up there!  It kept them busy for quite a while!  I think this will be a good rainy day activity in the future!

And I feel pretty good that I was able to provide my kids with new toys today - without spending a single penny!!

(They used their roadmap rug to set up everything on)

(Seth liked flying his helicopter over the city)

(a close up of one of the city, people and cars)

Like I said I got the idea from this blog post.  I printed off 4 copies of the city template. One copy of the people template will give you two sets of the people).

On this post was the template for the vehicles (one copy of the template will give you two sets of vehicles).

On this post was the template for the helicopter (one copy will give you two helicopters and one landing pad. The post has directions for making the helicopter so it can "fly")

Of course, as I was cutting out everything my mind was being flooded with other ideas that you can do.  I kept thinking about in a couple of years when we get to studying different countries how we can draw city scenes from the different countries (e.g. adobe homes from Mexico, cottages from Germany, etc...)...and either find or make a world rug and have our people travel all over!!  I mean these cities are just simple pen drawings...I should be able to do that right??

Oh the possibilities!

Hopefully I have gotten someone else's mind working and thinking of ideas as well!!  If you have thought of any ideas please feel free to share :-)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our Literary Exercises for Leaves

We had a fun time, as always, with our literary exercises for our leaf lesson!  Here are highlights from those activities!

Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

One of the beauties of homeschool is that you are not confined to a classroom!  You can have school wherever you feel like it!  I was in my bedroom gathering hats for this book and the boys decided they wanted to read the book in my bed so I thought "why not!"  So we all crawled in my bed to read this book (which the boys really liked!!)

After we read the story we decided to all take turns being the peddler carrying caps.  Thankfully Daddy has a good collection of ball caps, which made this a lot of fun.  (Don't worry Daddy...we put all the caps back when we were done!).

Here is Seth carrying his many caps and yelling "CAPS FOR SALE!"

Aaron couldn't carry as many caps because he wouldn't keep his head still long enough!  It seemed that the more I told him to keep his head still the more he wanted to move it!

Alyssa even had her turn!  We all laughed at her walking around with a bunch of caps on her head!

A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry

Seth actually had a lot of fun with the activity of making his own book about trees.  In fact I took pictures of each page of his book.  (As per the instructions he drew the pictures and told me what they were pictures of and I wrote the words for him)

Page 1
Seth's tree is nice. It has limbs.
Page 2
Seth likes it when the leaves change color and fall off the tree.
Page 3
Seth likes it when the tree blows in the wind. "God made the wind so the trees will blow" he said.

Page 4
Some trees stand straight. Some trees lean over.

Page 5
Birds build nests in trees.

Leaves by David Ezra Stein

(I was unable to fnd two of the books suggested, The Singing Leaf and Johnny Maple-Leaf, but I did find this additional book at the library that we did some exercises with)

This is a very cute book about a bear who sees leaves falling off the trees and tries to put them back on...he then goes and sleeps in a hole through winter and when he comes out there are new baby leaves on the tree and he is happy feeling that the leaves are telling him "welcome".

We once again talked about bears and hibernation (seems that we have been talking about that alot lately!  Seth is going to come out of kindergarten knowing a lot about bears as well as all of these other subjects!)
This book also allowed us to review the 4 different seasons that we talked a lot about just a couple of weeks ago in our sun lesson.

I took a piece of paper and divided it into 4 sections, labeling each section "Spring", "Summer", "Fall", "Winter".  I had Seth draw a picture of how a tree looks for each of the seasons (you can see his drawing the picture above).

Seth really liked this book!  I am so glad that I thought to add it to our books for today!

A Part of God's Plant

I really liked the illustration that the curriculum had you use in the leaf lesson for the biblical concept of "I will grow in Jesus".

It started on Day 1 with you showing the children a healthy green plant.  I forgot to get a house plant (but probably for the best because I kill house plants) so we decided to find a nice plant outside near the schoolhouse.

We found a nice little plant growing at the base of one of our trees in our yard.  We talked about the leaves on this plant and how they are happy living on the plant.  Except for one little leaf who decided that he did not want to live on the plant anymore.  He wanted to be free and doesn't think he needs the plant and wants to go somewhere else.

He decided to live in a dark area of the schoolroom.

 (you can't see the leaf in this is on the floor between the desk and the filing cabinet)

I then explained to the kids that God is like that plant outside and we are like the leaves.  If we are God's child then we are like a leaf that is growing on the plant and God gives us what we need.  but some people don't want to obey God and want to live without God.  They are like the leaf that decided to live in the dark shadow.

During the 6 days of the lesson we would check on the plant outside and observe how well all the leaves were doing.  We would then check on our poor leaf that decided he could do better by himself.

By day 5 the leaf had withered away to almost nothing.  We focused on how, just like a leaf needs food and water to grow and needs to stay with the plant, our spirit, the 'real' us, needs to stay with Jesus to live and grow.  I explained how the bible is like our 'food'.  We read several bible passages that went along with this concept (Psalm 1:1-3, Jer 17:7-8, and 1 John 5:12).

I think Seth did a good job of grasping this concept.

We also sang the song "Read Your Bible, Pray Every Day".  Seth was excited about this because he remembered the song from Vacation Bible School this summer.  We had a lot of fun acting out growing and shrinking!  Alyssa was even trying to do the actions with us :-)

My prayer is that Seth will remember these lessons as he continues to grow!

Our Leaf Activities

Here are some activities we did during our leaf lesson!

We made stained glass leaf pictures.  We found some pretty leaves and put them between two pieces of waxed paper with some crayon shavings and then ironed them  (make sure you put newspaper or scrap fabric or something between the iron and waxed paper so you don't ruin your iron!)

On one day we decided to do the foliage friend craft from (LOVE that site!)  I thought Seth was very creative using 3 leaves to make one leaf person.  He named him Leafy and wanted to put his name on the sheet (you can see in the pic below...I told him letters to write).  He also drew Leafy two friends to play with. :-)

We painted outlines of leaves.  I admit, I used silk leaves for this exercise.  I just wanted some different shapes...we have boring leaves where we live :-)

(Aaron just enjoyed painting with the watercolor...he sat there and painted forever!)

I thought it was cool that one of the other leaf activities that the book mentioned was an activity that Aaron did on his first day at co-op classes...using a hand/arm print to make a tree.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Memory Verses

I thought I would share something that we are adding to our MFWK curriculum.  We are adding a memory verse.  The curriculum has the children learn "words to remember" which are good biblical concepts but I personally feel that scripture memorization is very important.  I have to admit that it is something that I wish I was better at and hoping I will become better with it as I help my kids with scripture memorization.

I have made a memory verse board where I put the memory verse.  As I can I like to use little drawing to help Seth "read" the verse as we learn it.  Then at the bottom of the board I will put the "words to remember" from the curriculum.

Here is a picture of our board for our leaf lesson!

(we put the sun pic for the helps Seth remember that word plus it fits because we learned a couple of weeks ago that Jesus is like the sun because he is the light of the world! :-))

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Last Post about Our Moon Lessons

We really had some great lessons on the moon!  I thought I would make one more post to share a few other activities that we did.

We made a picture of different moon phases.  We did it on black construction paper using a white crayon.

We made a picture of the earth and the moon.

We made a mobile of Day 4 of creation - when God made the sun, moon and stars!

The boys wanted me to get a picture of them with their mobile  :-)

We had great lessons on the moon!

And Seth is EXCELLING in his reading and math lessons!  I am so proud of him!