Bubbles and Trays

We have a store downtown called Main Street Discount.  I L to the OVE this store!  I picked up some awesome heavy denim fabric (on an commercial roll) for $4 a yard!  We also get cheap restaurant take out containers that I use instead of the fancy plastic wear from the grocery store.
On our last visit we came across these restaurant trays for only $4!!  Hubby knew they wouldn’t fit in our oven and couldn’t imagine what I wanted them for but he bought me two of them anyway.
We have used them for flash freezing veggies, beading, crafting and today we entertained our tot with measuring cups full of bubbles from the sink!

Indian Headdress: A Thanksgiving Craft

One of our easy Thanksgiving Day crafts this year was our Indian Headdresses.

First I doodled up some feathers!
Feathers

You can download my pdf file here :Feathers
I gave each girl 3 printouts (6 feathers total) for our craft and sent them off to color them in however they wanted.  We had some pretty wild feathers before we were done! Then they cut them out.
I took a paper grocery bag and cut off the top, roughly 2-3 inches wide.

After sizing it to my kid’s noggin I used my stapler to form a simple headband.
**Make sure to staple the TOP of the staples to the inside, so it doesn’t scratch their head. YES, you can use tape or glue, however thanks to my recent swapping of craft room and school room I cannot find either**
Next, I folded all the little feathers somewhere along the mid line just to help them stand up better.

Then I stapled them to the inside back of the headbands.

Easy peasy…  now to send my little Pocahontas Girls out to play!

Observe, Compare, Contrast: A Science Worksheet

One of the easiest ways to “do” science is to just use your eyes and observe the world around you!
Look at fruit, trees, bugs.
Examine types of floors, colors of flowers, smells from the spice rack.
Here is a simple chart we print and use to fill in our findings.
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Observe, Compare and Contrast Science Worksheet
In column one we simply write (or draw) what we see.  What color is the apple?  What shape is the cinnamon stick?
In the second column we compare how they are alike.  The apple and orange are both round.  The tree and the bush are both green.
In the last column we show how they are different.  Red vs. Orange.  Tall vs. Short. Strong smell vs. No smell.
Please feel free to download our simple spreadsheet and add to your collection of fun worksheets!
Come back and let us know what you observed.

Science Experiments: Osmosis, Part One, The Worms

My kids LOVE science experiments. For the most part, I enjoy them as well.  They are, unfortunately, the first part of our homeschool plan to get cut when things get crazy busy.  This year, I’m trying to make sure we get at least one in every week.  The topic is unimportant, as long as we practice the observation and journaling of the process.

Osmosis, Part One: The Worms

Osmosis is the movement of water molecules across a selectively-permeable membrane down a water potential gradient.[1] More specifically, it is the movement of water across a selectively permeable membrane from an area of high water potential (low solute concentration) to an area of low water potential (high solute concentration). Less specifically, it is when water moves. –Wikipedia

The unofficial definition we used over lunch while admiring our worms? Osmosis is when water moves to dryer areas.

Supplies:

Pie pan, dish, or bowl

Water

Gummy Worms (or bears… but worms were available)

Ruler

Paper and pencil

 

1. Measure gummy worm (bear) and draw a picture of the ‘before’.

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2. Put gummy worm or bear in the water. Mark the time on your paper.

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3. Pass the time by eating some gummies.

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4. At regular intervals, enjoy observing your worms.

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5. DO NOT try to move the worms… they break… and little people cry and start thinking they will “never be a scientist!” **oh my gosh the drama**

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6. After 24 hours, mark the time and draw a picture of your ‘new’ gummies.  If you can, take new measurements.

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Mama Smiles did this experiment with her littles! Check it out here!

Here is a great pdf worksheet of the experiment from Science-class.net with directions for making a worm growth chart!

Our Binder System

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In my post Downsizing our Homeschool I mentioned that I wanted to implement  something similar to Amy’s Assignment Binders and I finally have the chance to post about it. 

Three weeks into our school year and so far I am finding this much easier then our workboxes.

I started by buying them each a 1” binder with the clear covers so they could decorate it as they wished.  Next year they can create new covers without me having to buy a new binder!

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I found a pack of 5 plastic dividers that had pockets on each side. I labeled them Monday through Friday.

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The blue file folder in the inside left pocket has their pen pals addresses written on the inside.  They store their pen pal letters in here and use it on Tuesday’s when we write our letters.

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In the front pocket of each day’s tab, I put their work for the day.  It may be an empty page with just a heading. It might be a complete worksheet. Sometimes it’s the supplies they need, paperclipped to a notecard with the subject written on it (and “With Mom”). 

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This one is forever in their Friday pocket. 

When they finish, they move the page or card to the back pocket. On Friday I gather all the times out of the back pockets to my file folder for grading. Which I am going to do at some point… and probably should do today.

That is when it will get hole-punched and moved to our big yearly binder. A big honkin’ 3” thing that stays on the shelf so Principal Daddy can check out what we’ve been up to.

In my nifty (and heavy) crate of file folders I have five labeled with the days of the week.  I can put worksheets and such in there that will be needed in future weeks.  This makes the filling of the binders on Sunday night a breeze. 

Do you do binders? File Folders? Workboxes?

New School Year, New Planning System

Once again we are trying something new.

A new curriculum, a new technique, new game plan, new planning style…. It will probably change again before Christmas.

Life changes and homeschooling gives us an amazing opportunity to change with it; to make adjustments that keep us working effectively no matter what the circumstances.

I knew having a new baby in the house would mean a few more ‘frazzled’ days then usual. Planning would be hard. Being the ‘fun’ mom would be hard (as I would be tired). I also knew planning our school work would be overwhelming. I felt that feeling coming on long before the baby arrived last June.

So instead of giving up, I changed the game.

I broke the year down into tiny pieces that were more manageable. (Funny, I broke it down into the same bites as the public schools 🙂 )

I’m planning in SIX 6-week sections. I have a composition notebook for each six weeks. This way if I don’t like my method I only have to put up with it for a bit, then I can change my mind.

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See my little tabbies?  They are mailing labels, folded in half over the edge of a page.  I skipped 6 pages (one for each week for notes and such), tabbed our first subject, and left 6 pages in between each tab.  Each page lists the objectives, work, ideas, etc. for that subject for that week. 

Some of them specify a day to do the work.  Some of them are blank waiting to be filled with the title of the book they read, or the recipe they learned.

Last week, I sent it to my mom’s house with the kids and their binders (I’ll show them in another post).  She LOVED it!  She knew exactly what the goal was, and had a place to write notes to me about how they did, or what she had to change. 

We’re on week 4 this week.  At the moment, I think I’m going to keep it this way for another six week period.

How do you like to plan your lessons?

Books of the Bible: Things I Should Know

Well, I should know this already, but past the first five in the Old Testament and the first four of the New Testament I know some just not in order.  Their curriculum has them learning the Books of the Bible.  Since I can’t sit down and just memorize something like that I went searching for a more entertaining way…  Thought I ‘d share!
Enjoy!

Time 4 ABC’s : New Alpha Doodle Coloring Page

It’s been a long time since I posted a new coloring page. That whole pregnancy and having a baby thing just wore me out!

I thought while I was on our last little trip for the summer you might enjoy a new cheesy coloring page to print out for your kiddo.

A back to school page just for fun!

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Click here to download in pdf: Time 4 ABC’s

Enjoy!