Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cranberry Thanksgiving--a quick FIAR unit

Delightful Learning

Alexander is 4 years 11 months old

I just love this book, Cranberry Thanksgiving, but I've got to give myself more time to row it someday! This is the 2nd time we've rowed it just before Thanksgiving, so we didn't get to do nearly as much as I'd like because I just don't give it enough time!

If you aren't familiar with the story, it is about a girl named Maggie and her grandmother. They each invite a friend over for Thanksgiving dinner, but Grandmother is afraid that Maggie's guest will try to steal her famous cranberry bread recipe. It is a sweet story with a twist, and we all just love Mr. Whiskers.

Day 1:

We started out this row at our co-op. I read it to my little Core Jr. class (which Alex is in), and they did really well with this story. I wasn't sure how they'd do as a group with this longer story. Especially since it was a group of very active little boys. I'd say it was a success!

First, we did a dancing craisins science experiment with craisins in Sprite. The boys loved this. I wish I would have gotten a picture of it. The craisins really danced! Try it, just put some craisins in Sprite or 7up and watch them go up and down.

Then, they all made some popcorn and cranberry garlands. I was amazed again how much they loved this activity. I was prepared for them to spend only a few minutes as it is a class of 4 and 5 year-olds. But, they blew me and my helper away by filling up their whole string! (most of them) It turned out to be such a great activity for all those boys.


I even made one! I don't have a tree to put it on yet though, so it sits on our school book shelves for now.


Day 2:

We read the book at home over breakfast. I read it to all the boys because they all enjoy this story, and I hope they continue to each year at Thanksgiving time. I think they will.

Then, I got out some cornstarch to play with, and added a little red food coloring to give it a cranberry feel. Why cornstarch? Well, Mr. Horace (Grandmother's guest) is described as "pink-cheeked and starched". We talked about what starch does when I use it to iron clothes, and why that word might have been used to describe him.


Then, later in the story it says:
 "All the starch seemed to leave Mr. Horace."
 So, we had fun playing with cornstarch and water, and watched how it melted through the fingers. Kinda like Mr. Horace was!


 Day 3:

I came across this Hodgepodge Cranberry Thanksgiving chalk art tutorial, and you all might know how much I love chalk pastel art. I just had to try this one.

So, I started out with tracing paper because this project is all about re-creating this page with the silhouette of them eating pie by the fire. I traced around the black figures so that I could make a copy for each boy that wanted to do this project.


 Here is a lovely picture of me tracing. Yes, still in PJ's, so I'm not looking the greatest. But, I wanted to post this picture to show how I got the images. My hand got tired!


This is mine. I only put it first to give you an idea of what the picture was 'supposed' to turn out like.
That's not to say that my boys did anything wrong. They took this project and did their best and that is all I hope for. I want them to make each art project they do their own, and that is exactly what each boy did.


Alex loved the black part. In fact, he loved it so much that he covered everything in black! Even his hands and arms! Yes, I definitely recommend having wipes handy, and he went straight to the bath after this one. He was very proud of his coloring!


This is Aric's. He really tried, and was so close. This project was a little bit harder, so I feel like this was a really good effort on his part.


This is Aaron's. He asked if he could create his own silhouette. Of course, it was a fish. He also used oil pastels. Chalk pastels frustrate him because they are so messy.


 And, of course, darkness by Aric :)


Our art hanging up. I always love seeing art displayed in our dining room!


Day 3

I printed up the counting cranberries in a bag page from Homeschool Share's printables for Cranberry Thanksgiving. I gave Aric a bag of cranberries to explore. He had to estimate how many were in the bag, and then count them up. He spent quite a while trying to figure out the best method of counting so many berries.


 It took a lot of tries before he was ready to give up. I think he started over several times, and just couldn't come up with a good way.


He didn't want my help until then. Finally, I sat down and suggested maybe doing groups of 10 in each bowl, and we had 10 bowls. So, if each bowl had 10 that would be a hundred berries counted up really fast. Once he figured that out he was on a roll. He wrote it up on the back of his paper in an equation, it was pretty neat to see him take off once he figured it out.


After he was done, and figured out he had 406 cranberries in the bag, he was onto the next part. Now he had to figure out of the cranberries would sink or float. Of course, he already knew the answer to this question, but he had fun making a cranberry bog anyway.


He played with them for a little bit. Then we were supposed to measure the bouncing height of the cranberries but we didn't get to that part. 


I never got a picture of Alex playing in the cranberry bog, but he sure did. He even made a bog "storm" and that was the end of that playing!


We have been doing some other thanksgiving activities that aren't necessarily related directly to the book, but I thought I'd include them here. We started this Thanksgiving Jar. The kids get to draw a thing each day to be thankful for and an activity or suggestion of something they can do to help them remember to be thankful. Great reminders for little ones! It's a Thanks and Giving Countdown.

We've also been reading some other great Thanksgiving books. I don't have a picture of all our books but I have some book lists and other ideas pinned here on my Thanksgiving pinterest page:

Follow Desiree's board thanksgiving fun on Pinterest.

If you'd like to see our previous row from a few years ago, click on this link.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Time Out For Women 2015

It was an amazing weekend at time out for women, and time out for girls, as always. Great friends, great speakers, great music, and a great feeling of being united in purpose with such a large group of women is so powerful and uplifting.

April invited her friend M. along. These girls had a blast. They enjoyed the girls sessions, and the excitement of it all.


 A picture from my seat on Friday night. Yes, I had to crane my head a little to get a good view sometimes, but it was still great.


 This was one of the girls' favorite parts, meeting some of the presenters and musicians. Here is one of the music groups that performed throughout the conference, Gentri. They were pretty good! It was my first time hearing them. I included a youtube video of one of the songs they sang down below. Listen to it, it's even better with the video, so sweet!


 A picture of the carpet at the Portland Convention center, because it's just kind of cool looking.


 My companion for the conference was my mother-in-law. I had realized that we never got a picture of us, ever, so it was a must at this fun event.

 We had to wait in a long line to meet this one. This is Calee Reed. Her song about her Mother is so sweet, and I shared it at the bottom. Beautiful singer.


My take home package. I think I like going just for the bag! Just kidding, it's just a nice benefit, we love getting the bags each year. I picked up the books at the book sale they have at the conference.


I also picked up this journal, but forgot to include it in the above picture.




Callee Reed...

Those videos are just a very small dose of the uplifting stories and music we heard. Such a great experience!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Homeschool Mama's Daybook

For today: November 13, 2015

Outside My Window....
It's a windy and blustery day. Damp, but not raining right now. Oooh, I just love this Fall weather!

I am Thankful for.....
Friday! I'm also thankful for the opportunity to take a time out this weekend at Time out for Women.

I am Thinking....
About my blog. I have some exciting changes coming up, and trying to figure out how to reach more people, and improve my blog a little. I want to grow in this area, and I'm excited for the opportunities I have coming up to help me with that. Sorry to be vague, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to announce anything yet, so I'm waiting until things get rolling in that area.
I am Hoping....
The fruit flies get under control soon. I am killing tons of them everyday. It's driving me nuts. Not sure how I have so many of them. I've never had this bad of a problem with them.

I am Learning....
How to keep a budget. Like a real one with daily input of numbers so that I see immediately where our money is going on a daily basis. It's eye opening. I'm thankful I am finally getting it, and doing it. It has stopped me on many occasions this week when I've thought about buying something, and realized that we didn't budget for that. 

I am Looking forward to....
Seeing family in California. I haven't see some of them for probably over a decade. Yikes! That sounds terrible, and I'm wishing I had seen them more over the years.

What I am Wearing....
Jeans and a green and white striped t-shirt. Hair tied back like I like it. Oh and OSU beaver slippers!

In the Kitchen....
This week I made some pumpkin pancakes, and they were delicious. I also made an apple blueberry pie earlier in the week. I was happy that April wanted to organize the spice cupboard this week. She loved it. I'm glad because it has needed to be done for a while.

April organized the spice cupboard for me!
Aaahhh! Much better!
Around the House....
I've packed a few more boxes this week to take to the storage. It's nice to some progress there again. We still have a long way to go still with getting this house ready for selling. I still have a room to finish painting. I just can't get the motivation to do it. I need to have a painting party or something.

Homemaking Plans for next week....
I have a Christmas countdown that I'd like to finish next week. It has been waiting to be finished for 2 Christmases (yes, really). I am determined to finish it for this Christmas. Especially since all the supplies to do it were given to me for a birthday gift a few years back.

A Homeschool Highlight from this week....
We looked at blood under a microscope. The boys thought it was pretty cool.

Looking at a red blood sample in the microscope

Homeschooling Plans for next week....
We will do a lot of Thanksgiving themed learning activities since it will be the week before thanksgiving. I hope to have a pretty quiet week as far as homeschool goes while getting ready for Thanksgiving.

We Are Going....
To the library today for game day with some local homeschool groupies. Then we are going to pick up April's friend for our fun girls weekend.

Favorite Scripture/Quote....
This poem came across my path 2 times this week:

I met a stranger in the night
Whose lamp had ceased to shine.
I paused and let him light
His lamp from mine.
A tempest sprang up later on
And shook the world about.
And when the wind was gone
My lamp was out!
But back to me the stranger came—
His lamp was glowing fine!
He held the precious flame
And lighted mine!
 Lon Woodrum, “Lamps,”  The Lighted Pathway, Oct. 1940, 17.
Favorite Article/Blog post from the week....
I really love this one at 123 Homeschool4 me with a lot of math games and printables. I'm always looking for some fun math ideas. I have already printed the hole punching math fun for Alex. He just loves the hole puncher. So excited to find that!

Favorite Photos from the Week....

Alex wanted to "help" mow the lawn on his tractor!
Aric earned his yellow belt this week

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Science: wrap-up of swimming creatures

We took a field trip to the local Portland aquarium at the end of the summer to wrap up our swimming creatures study for last school year. This is mostly a picture show of some of the beautiful creatures in the water that we saw. I handed over the camera to April and she got some great shots!

















Monday, November 9, 2015

Puzzles explosion!

It all started with a friend's post on facebook. It was a picture of her puzzle in progress. That reminded me that I really like puzzles and haven't done one for a while. But, I just don't have anywhere to keep them while in progress. That's when I had an idea...why not bring in the long table and just leave it up? Yes, it takes up too much room in our already small living room, but I figure it can be taken down when it becomes a nuisance.

Well, several weeks later it's still up! And, I have finished a puzzle! This one right here...


 Of course while that one was in progress Alex did several of his own on the other side of the table right along with me. But, as soon as I finished mine and cleared the table for what I thought would be the last puzzle for a while the big boys decided they wanted to take it over. Here they are building puzzles which is something I've always wanted them to enjoy doing!


 They have pulled out several of our old puzzles. Even some of April's old ones. I didn't even get a picture of all the puzzles they have done. Now they suddenly want new ones for Christmas!


 They are getting quicker and sitting down to do them more often which I love. These busy boys have needed a focus and this has been perfect. I don't know how much longer the puzzle building frenzy will last, but I'll take it while I can.


 Thanks Bethany for inspiring all of us!
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