Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: rhyming words

All about reading level 1

how we lapbook...(top 10 Tuesday)

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

This is our completed How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World lapbook.  This lapbook has work from all 3 children, so it was a joint effort lapbook.  Sometimes a whole lapbook is a lot for one child (especially younger ones), so for big units like this that we all do together we do a "community" lapbook.
The inside...
   There's so much you can do with lapbooking, so I thought I'd share some tips on how we have done it over the years.  There's pretty much no right or wrong way to lapbook either!

The top 10 list for lapbooking:

1.  Who's going to create it?  Most of the time I have the child create it from start to finish, adding one or two elements at a time.  But, there are times when I don't want it to take forever, or I want it done a certain way, so I just do it myself.  Meaning, I do all the cutting and layout.  That way it's all ready for them to just put their thoughts and discoveries in.  Sometimes I also work along side them, working together.  You have to be the judge for each child, and sometimes for each lapbook.  Some are harder than others.

2.  File folders.  Keep your eyes open for fun ones!  I've found a lot of fun prints on file folders at Target.  Really though, most of the time I just grab a plain color out of the huge box of file folders I bought a few years back.  I still have tons of them, and we lapbook a lot!  Buy a big box if you can!

3.  Finish it all if you can.  I expect my kids to complete a lapbook that they've started. It's always a great accomplishment to see a completed lapbook.  My kids love to look them over later and remember what they learned. 

4.  Unless they don't.  There are times when the lapbook just doesn't capture their interest.  In that case we toss it in the box of lapbooks to be finished someday, and move on.  We have quite a few unfinished ones.  Don't be afraid to ditch a lapbook if it just isn't working for some reason.

5.  Make your own.  If you can't find a lapbook for a certain subject, just make your own!  Do a google search, and find coloring pages and facts and pictures to add to a lapbook.

6.  Free lapbooks at Homeschool share.  An amazing resource for free lapbooks is at homeschool share.  I have done many lapbooks from there.  There are many other blogs, and websites with free ones too.  Most of the time a quick search for your lapbook topic will bring some up.

7.  Lots of writing practice.  Lapbooks are a great place for lots of writing practice.  Let your child use their own words where possible.  There are some great copywork elements in a lot of lapbooks too!

8.  Do one yourself.  Have you ever done one yourself?  For your favorite children's book.  You know, for fun.  Or, not for fun, but for another reason.  Maybe I'm the only one, but I thought it was a lot of fun.  I did a lapbook for Little House on the Prairie, and I thought it was kinda neat.  It gave me a feel for what it's like to do one.

9.  Kids love them.  My kids love lapbooking.  Sometimes I ask them what kind of lapbook they want to work on next, and they always surprise me when I do.  Even when I have a lapbook that they didn't choose themselves, they still seem to love that way of learning.

10.  A great way to keep school work!  And display it too.


I am linking up to Many Little Blessings for Top Ten Tuesday.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: Chess!


In my life this week...Little Alex, who is almost 2, has declared that he will no longer stay in his playpen/bed for naptime or bedtime.  Which means he also won't go down for his naps during the day, and bedtime is terrible.  He hasn't had a real nap this week, except for in the car, and can hardly keep his eyes open by around 6pm.  I'm still trying to figure out what to do with him now at bedtime.  My older 2 boys have also had a hard time going to bed at night, AND sleeping through the night.  I have been up several times a night with these boys.  I'm hoping it's just a seasonal thing, and we'll get into our Fall sleeping groove soon.  Needless to say, I'm pretty tired this week!

In our homeschool this week...We've been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  We have about 7 chapters left before we finish.  All 3 kids have started an Elections lapbook.  I actually had only planned to have April make one, but the boys saw her decorating with cool patriotic stickers so they wanted in on that too.  April got through 2 of her Singapore math lessons this week.  I am not sure this book is working for her.  It was a struggle both times.  She flies through her Life of Fred though, and she did get one chapter of Life of Fred done this week too.

 I am inspired by...Friday afternoons!  Yes, a weekend is definitely a welcome sight, and truly inspiring to do some catching up.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...We had our homeschool group co-op meeting today at the library.  It was book club, and we discussed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  That was pretty neat.  I like how it got the kids thinking about the book.  April and I went to church activity girls (girls group, ages 8-11) on Wednesday where we did face painting, and had a little halloween treat.  My boys always get to go over to their friends house to play during activity girls.  Poor Alex cries everytime, but the big boys have fun.

My favorite thing this week was...watching the kids learn to play chess.  It literally took them a day to learn the moves, and get some strategy down thanks to the game "no stress chess."  Then today at the library Aric picked chess to play at the children's services.  He was very excited about it, and I think the librarian was kinda surprised that he was so excited, I just know she was thinking something like "he's excited about chess, does he know what it is?"  Well, yes, he does.  Even my 4 year old can play chess with "no stress chess."

What's working/not working for class didn't work for Aaron.  He and April started an art class last month.  He went for a few weeks, but it was just too intense for a 6 year old.  We decided that he wasn't going to continue with the class at the same time that the art instructor came to me and said that he thought Aaron was too young.  I'm glad that I had already decided that when he came to us with that.  I've also decided that Speekee TV isn't going to work for us, so we aren't doing that anymore either.  It was a great program, we just weren't getting to it enough each week to be paying a fee for it.

Questions/thoughts I have...I've been pondering this one for a while.  I need more for my 6th grader.  I'm not sure what it is, but she needs more challenge.  What exactly is it that she needs?

Things I'm working on...Halloween costumes.  Sorting through boys' clothes, weeding out the too small stuff.  Finding "new" clothes for the younger ones.  Lots of other things I can't think of right now.  I'm always working on something it seems.

I'm cooking...I made blueberry breakfast cake for breakfast today, and French toast for dinner.  I must have been in the breakfast mood today.  I didn't make much else this week.  I need to get back to the menu planning again.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...
The kids playing chess.  This has been the new scene at our house over the last week.  So fun to see!

To see other homeschool journal entries visit ihomeschool Network.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall crafts

Here are some of the Fall crafts that we have done recently.

Aric made an apple wreath with apple prints.


 These crafts were made with our homeschool co-op:

Scarecrow TP craft, inspired by BusyBee crafts
Sun catcher leaves made with tissue paper and clear contact paper
A Fall collage (or drawing)
We love a good craft day, especially in the Fall!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I pinned something from my blog today

For the first time today I pinned something from my blog for a special purpose.  I'm so glad I did.  It brought to my attention that none of my pictures were pinnable!  Over each image it said:  "sorry, cannot pin this image."  I didn't even realize that people couldn't pin from any of my blogs.  Sorry to anyone who has tried, I just didn't know. 

Well, why couldn't anyone pin?  I had no idea why, so I googled it, and up popped this great blog post:  "Help!  My flickr photos are no longer pinterest friendly."  I love finding an easy solution.  It didn't take but a few clicks, and problem solved.  I had to change some settings, one of which was a "allow others to share your stuff on pinterest" option.  I clicked on "yes, that would be lovely." 

So, now, we are good to go.  Pin away! 


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Our {mystery} tree

On the first day of October we went to a local park and picked out a tree to study!  I was inspired by Handbook of Nature study's newsletter to pick a tree, and study it all year long through each season.  We haven't really ever done that before, so this is pretty exciting.

I knew this particular park had some really interesting trees that I thought would be fun to learn about, so we ran some errands, and stopped at the park with our lunch.

 I grabbed some of the essential nature study tools, and we headed out. 
Of course Miss April was immediately up the tree.  She didn't skip a beat.  That girl loves trees.
The boys on their blanket, eating lunch, under our tree.  You can see April there still in the tree.
It was a quick lunch out kind of day.  This day was just so perfect, with a little breeze, beautiful sunshine, and we were pretty much by ourselves at the park.  I was trying to capture that, but this picture doesn't quite do it :-)
The leaf of this tree.  This was a bigger one.
The bark of the tree.
Aric was showing me the leaf he picked out for his nature study notebook.
We determined that it is a smooth-edged simple leaf.  This book has some common trees that have these kinds of leaves, so we decided that we would go home to look it up.  We looked online today, but still have not determined the type of tree this is.  We thought maybe a dogwood, but it doesn't seem quite right.  So, the search continues.  We are going to pick up some books at the library and keep looking.
Tree bark rubbing.  This doesn't work so well with colored pencils, but they got something to put in their book.
The picture I drew with Aric.  He wanted me to draw it for him.  He sat and watched me, and we talked about the different features of the leaf, like how the veins didn't match up in the middle, and how it was smooth on the edge.  He enjoyed that.
Another shot of April up in the tree.  It was so pretty how the sunshine was shining through.
April had a chance with the camera too.  This is one of the shots she took.  I really like that it caught a good shot of the whole tree stump, and the leaves.  It might help us in identifying this tree.
I'm really looking forward to watching this tree through the seasons.  It'll be interesting to note when, or if, the leaves fall of.  What the flowers look like in the Spring.  April loves this too, and already has our next tree picked out.  It was the perfect way to spend lunch at the park too!

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