Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Our week: the one with bees

This was life last week!  It wasn't much, just a few activities here and there in between swim lessons, and life!

We had a lot of free play with learning toys, and whatever the boys could find to do.  One day Alex found these cubes in the closet, and they sorted out the colors between the 3 of them.  Alex ended up with yellow and purple.


We have been on a bug learning path lately, so I thought the next bug that would be fun to learn about would be bees.  I pulled out our Honeybee tree game to play.


We started some bee lapbooks...


Aaron got this nifty little fingerprinting/stamping Jungle book set for his birthday to go with the movie that he also got for his birthday.  We watched the Jungle book.


Swim lessons.  Alex loves the water, and this is pretty much what he did each day while Aric was at his swim lessons last week.

Here's Aric with his swim instructor and the other kids in his class. 


I had Alex signed up for lessons at the same time, but he wanted nothing to do with a teacher, so I decided he would be better off just doing his own thing during this time.


Book and craft.  I found this great book at the library called Perfect Square by Michael Hall.  It's about a perfect square that is made into different shapes or pictures.  I gave each of the kids a "perfect square" and let them create something.  We had a fun art morning doing this.



An example of one of the pictures.  This perfect square was ripped into pieces and made into a garden.


Alex made his perfect square into a parking lot for his cars.


Aric made his perfect square into a scene from minecraft.  Although, he didn't quite get using just his square, and all of it.  That's okay, he did great after several squares of trying to come up with something.  It's not as easy as it looks!


Aaron's perfect square became a train going into a tunnel.

This is April's perfect square.  A present!  I think they all did great with their squares. 

We have been using the bug calendar connection cards from 1+1+1=1 this month.  The boys have loved reading about different bugs and bug stuff everyday.  These little calendar cards are packed with information!


We completed another all about spelling lesson for April.  I have to say these lessons really fit her learning style.  She also loves the writing station.


Another week down!  How was your week?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Our week: Just a few random happenings

It was a busy week, and we spent a lot of time in the car driving down to Salem everyday, so I didn't get a lot of shots, and we didn't really do much but try to keep up with life and survive the week of play rehearsals.  But here's what I have!...

Our week started with the first day out on the boat (this season) for Mother's Day.  It was a beautiful day, and the lake was pretty peaceful.  We had great plans to bring a picnic dinner, but ended up having roast in the crock pot at home waiting for us when we were done.


The water was COLD!  But, that didn't stop these guys from jumping in and swimming!  We also took our new knee board out, and April was brave enough to give it a first try!  She never made it up on her knees, but she sure tried.  I didn't get any pictures of that unfortunately.


 Our Media/screen time has been too much lately, so we started back with Media tickets this week.  This time I am doing it differently hoping that it will stick better.  I am posting them up on the chalkboard (for now) so that we can see how much each child has used.  I really like seeing them out all like this all week.  It's a good reminder for us all.  Our first week back at them went great, and I'm glad that the time spent watching movies and hanging out on the computer was definitely a lot less this week.


One morning I was making breakfast, and Aaron drew this picture on the dry erase table.  I think he was having a happy morning.  So cute!


We also started this week reading 20 minutes a day to prepare them for their summer reading challenges, and to just read more.  I set the timer for 20 minutes, and they have to be reading either by themselves or being read to.  This is a rare moment here with all 3 listening to Aaron read to them.  Aaron says he really likes reading to his brothers now.  I sure love these moments.


We had lunch out on the front porch many times this week.  It was pretty nice some days, and we have such a nice little patio table and chairs.  Alex wants to be outside any chance he gets, so this works nice that I can eat outside and watch him.

One of our favorite lunches:  chili over rice
We made rainbow rice with some old brown rice.  I had the boys shake each color up in ziploc baggies, they had fun.


We finally got to one of our history projects that I've had planned.  In our Story of the World activity book there is a page of Greek pictures to make into stickers.  Well, I had the idea to make Shrinky Dinks out of them instead.  We traced each picture on to a page and they colored them in.  I was going to have them make an Ancient Greece charm bracelet out of their page. 

See how these are curled.  He went ahead and made a necklace out of them before we realized we just needed to cook them longer.

Well, we got them all colored and cut out, put in the oven, and noticed they were curling a ton.  I panicked and took them out.  Little did I know that they are supposed to do that before they shrink!  So, for the first 2 that happened, and I thought our project was a flop no matter what I tried.  Well, I accidently left the other ones in longer, and viola they shrunk all the way and weren't curled.  So, lesson learned...leave them in long enough to shrink all the way.  I was able to put the curled ones back into the oven to "save" them.  They all turned out great.

This is a close up of some of the Greek objects, a helmet, the parthenon, a ship, grapes, a Greek amphora, a sword, and a dolphin.  This picture was taken when they weren't done all the way and still curled.  I later realized they needed to be cooked longer and put them back into the oven, then they shrunk nicely.
We started practicing this song for morning scripture time.  I noticed in primary last Sunday that they were practicing this song, but my boys were having such a hard time that day.  They weren't singing, and I had the thought that we should practice it at home, so I printed 2 copies up one for each of them.  A light bulb went on.  Aaron immediately started getting it when I put the words in front of him.  He was excited to sing it, and so was Aric.  Even Alex was trying as we were singing it together.  Then I stuck it in my church bag this Sunday so he would have it in primary to help him.  


On Wednesday Dad took the 2 older boys up to Silver Falls for some hiking, and to visit Grandma and Grandpa who were camping up there.  They had a pretty good time, and I had some time with just Alex.  It was also nice to not have them in the car for our 2 trips to Salem that day taking April to her Shakespeare rehearsal.



 April had Shakespeare rehearsal everyday this week, and on Friday and Saturday she performed in all 3 shows.  I can't believe I have not a single picture of any of that.  I didn't take my camera with me when I watched the play, and I didn't have it at the cast party.  She did amazing though, all the kids in her Scholar class were amazing.  The play was awesome, and the kids did a remarkable job.  Maybe if I ever get permission to use someone else's pictures I might post some.

That's a wrap for this week.  Hope you had a good week too!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

ladybug crafts and fun

We spent a few weeks doing various ladybug crafts and activities to go along with the book, The very grouchy ladybug, but we still have yet to spot a ladybug!  Now that we are moving on we'll probably see them everywhere.

So, here are a few of the fun ladybug things we did the last 2 weeks...

We made paper plate lady bugs.  I had this planned for Alex.  He painted the plate, and was done.  But, my older 2 boys gladly made them once they saw what we were doing.  I love it when that happens.
Ladybug paper plate craft made by Aaron and Aric.  I had originally planned this for Alex, but he lost interest halfway through painting his plate.  Aric gladly finished for him!

I made this one up, cork ladybugs!  These turned out pretty cute.  I saw these cork love bugs, and thought wouldn't it be cute to make these as ladybugs.
I made up these cute cork ladybugs.  The boys had fun making these too.
All of the cork bugs lined up.

I think this was the funnest actvitiy.  We made ladybug cookies one afternoon.  
We had so much fun making these ladybug cookies!  They are surprisingly easy!  Idea found at Almost unschoolers.
They tasted really good too.  It's just sugar cookie dough with food coloring.
Here are Alex's activity trays.  He had a few other ladybug themed activities like counting, biggest to smallest, ladybugs on a leaf, and roll a ladybug.  I think he's finally done with these activities, and we're ready to switch them out soon.  FYI, these trays stayed this way for a few weeks.  I can't keep up with switching them out daily or even weekly.  I've tried, but I get too stressed so I've just decided to do what I can. 



Monday, May 12, 2014

Our week: May 4-10th

I know it's a new week today, it being Monday and all, but I'm not going to worry about that!  Our last week was busy, like usual.  I got sick for part of it, and that never helps.   I still feel like I'm trying to get rid of  the sickness.  Oh well, onto last week...

On Sunday (the 4th) we took a family walk in between rain storms at Mission state park.  We learned that it is home to the nations largest Cottonwood tree.  Here are the kids standing by it.  It's huge!  It's fun to discover cool things close by, especially when we've come to this park so many times before.  But we just have never been to this part of the park.


We made a homemade paper bag pinata on Monday for Cinco de Mayo.  I found the idea at Enchanted Learning.  The boys liked making this with me.  I loved that it was simple, but very festive looking.  Unfortunately we don't have any trees in our backyard, so we had to use our old pool ladder.


Oh well!  It works, right?  They had so much fun breaking it open.  We didn't get to break it until Tuesday because we had to wait for it to dry.  Here's Alex getting ready to hit it!


For preschool this week we worked on a lot of Itty bitty bookworm activities that go with The Grouchy Ladybug.  Here Alex is matching the paper plate clock to each card in turn.  He did super awesome with this, and even wanted to do it again.  I was impressed.  I expected him to have no interest in this at all because he's so young.  But, he got it after I showed him the first few times.  He was able to match, and he was able to tell me "it's 8 o'clock." Or, whatever the number was that the short hand was pointing at.


I got my first ever completely flat tire on Tuesday while driving April to her play rehearsal down in Salem.  I tried to straddle what looked like cardboard at first.  Well, it turned out to be metal, and it had a flap that was sticking up that caught onto something, and made it fling over into my right back tire.  Cut all the way through the outer wall.  I never go over anything questionable, but I couldn't really go around that thing.  It was a long afternoon.  I called Hubby, and he came from work to save us.  This picture is after the tire was changed (as you can see it's not flat anymore), but I was still stuck because the battery had died!  So, Michele had to go back home again and pick up a battery charger.  Thanks to Hubby's who come to the rescue!  So glad I didn't have to end up changing that tire (he did that too)!

Since we didn't do much for May the 4th (star wars day), Wednesday we made some mini light sabers, and Aaron made this origami yoda.  I thought the 2 went together pretty good.


We read quite a few ladybug books.  Alex really likes this book, Ten little ladybugs.


While we were at the dollar store we found these excavation kits, so I got one for each of the boys, and they dug either a dinosaur or a mummy out.  They were pretty fun for a dollar!


A picture of the wrapper in case you want to find them.

I made this alphabet outdoor scavenber hunt for Alex's preschool.  He liked it, but wasn't thrilled about it.  I hid all the blocks around, and had to get him interested in it.  We said the letters as he found each one, but that was it.  He had no interest in putting them in order.  I think it had a lot to do with the nice weather outside.  He just wanted to go drive his car around.  Once he started noticing them around the yard though, he was pretty excited about finding them.


 I started All about spelling level 7 with April this week. I have been looking for a spelling program for her for a while, and each time I was at Exodus books this one jumped out at me.  I've seen a lot of great reviews of this program on various blogs, so I thought I'd give it a try.  We've only done one lesson, and it was an ok challenge for her.


This is our "All about spelling" board.  These are the same tiles I use for Aric's All about reading, so I love that it has the same set up.  When I had this board out and was working with April, Aaron saw it and said he wanted to do it too.  I'm considering this program at a lower level for Aaron too for next year.  I think we need a bigger board though!  We'll see how this goes.


On Friday I had Aaron make some cookies mostly by himself.  I guided him with directions, but he did most of the measuring, and mixing.  I need to get him in the kitchen more, he sure loves it.


That's about it for last week!  Now we are knee deep into our marathon week before the play.
How was your week?


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

chalk pastels art: angry birds

I just love how easy a chalk pastel lesson is, and how much we all feel like great artists after doing one. 

We did a fun one this time, Angry Birds!  I discovered that hodgepodge has 50 free chalk pastel tutorials on their website, so we are going to start doing some of those.  The boys really loved this one.  We didn't have any stuffed angry birds to look at so we got out our angry bird games and looked at the figurines in those.

I forgot to get action pictures of them drawing.  Mostly because I was doing it myself.  I love doing it too!

Here's Aaron's...


Here's Aric's picture.  He chose to do Angry birds space.  We have the space game so he did the birds from that one, and made a night sky with stars.  I thought that was pretty creative!


Here's Alex's picture.  I'm sure there's an angry bird in there somewhere! :-)

Here's mine.  I accidently made the red bird too big.  I'm pretty sure the white was supposed to be in that spot.  This was such a fun tutorial!

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