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Aug 30, 2012

FREE Home Depot Workshops!

This is an old picture but I thought I'd post it to show how focused the boys get when working with tools and how much they enjoy building-plus I love the picture!
 Hello! On the first Saturday of every month Home Depot hosts FREE kids workshops to learn how to build things. It should be happening at all locations from 9am to noon. This Saturday its building a Football Goal Post- a great way to kick off football season. Just go to the link and put in your zip code to find the nearest location-and it would probably be a good idea to give them a call to make sure its happening. 

Happy Building!!!
~Stole this pic from the website~

Aug 29, 2012

Banana Bread

Mom's Banana Bread Recipe: A Delicious old recipe that you'll love!

All you need:
4 very ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
1 egg
(combine all three)

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
(sift all 3 dry ingredients into wet ingredients)

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

*Helpful Hint: For Gluten-Free substitute regular flour for Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour*

How to make it:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix in a bowl four mashed and/or well blended bananas with sugar and egg. (I use my potato masher if my bananas aren't super ripe because I can't wait then blend them). In separate bowl mix flour, salt, baking soda. Sift dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix well. Add melted butter, mix. Grease a 5" by 9" bread pan (the little ones are great at helping). Place in oven at 325 for 1 hour.


SLP Tip of the Week: The Mirror

The Mirror:

I'm going to start my tips for you and your kiddos where we started-the mirror. Whether your child has slight speech delay or oral apraxia its your job as mommy to teach them self-awareness of their tongue and that they can use it. Using a mirror helps them to see how they make sounds, to focus, listening skills, and obviously talk. Plus kids are fascinated with seeing themselves.
FYI we started this at almost age 3.

Art 101

Learning About Colors

To start simple we learned about primary colors and how to make secondary colors out of primary colors with tempura paint.
Then we learned about how colors change when adding white and black. Of course the boys picked out blue.
 First we started with five bowls each with one drop of blue paint.

Aug 27, 2012

Book Recommendations

Books Are So Much Fun To Read!
Once a week I head to the local library by myself to pick up our weekly readers. Any unit study books we might need. Level reader books for each day of the week for Junior. Books based on our science topic of the week. Picture books for the kids to enjoy. And because I do enjoy some afternoon "down-time" reading maybe a book for me too, usually mine takes me a few weeks to read.

Junior has not, I do not kid, put this books down since I brought it home from the library. What a great way to spur on imagination then to look through a book solely based on Legos (this is one of Junior's favorite hobbies right now). Call me old fashioned but I miss the days of just plain old Lego blocksto play and to create an entire story. Now everything comes in sets and since we simply cannot afford to buy every set, except maybe just one for a birthday or Christmas present, this is a great alternative. He can stare at the pictures, then use what we've got to create his own story. AND I tell you what the pretend conversations that go on while he's playing are priceless. So go on check out the book for your little one and let their imaginations soar.
 The Lego Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination

The NDD Book by Dr. William Sears is really revealing! He discusses the idea that our children are so unhealthy that it contributes to nearly ALL aspects, yes, ALL of our child's learning, behavior, and health problems. Instead of kids being diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and a large gamut of other disorders they should instead be diagnosed with NDD- Nutrition Deficit Disorder. I can speak from personal experience because I have a child that has never been Vaccinated and yet suffers from a few disorders associated with autism spectrum disorder. So for those who claim that vaccines are the key to unlocking the secrets of autism I'm here to tell you, ITS NOT THE ONLY FACTOR!!! Because this is a highly debated topic Sears does a great job of gently introducing the idea to parents of what a real healthy diet looks like for your child. For example, here's a list from chapter 11.

Here's a list of seven ways you can prevent NDD:
  1. Feed your family grow foods.
  2. Reshape your tastes.
  3. Begin the day with a brainy breakfast.
  4. Raise a grazer.
  5. Encourage healthy eating while out and at school.
  6. Raise a supermarket savvy shopper.
  7. Supplement, if necessary.
The book is full of great tips, information, and encouraging advice! Check it out.
 The NDD Book: Nutritional Deficit Disorder
Grace to You, Jenna

Aug 24, 2012

Meet the Master: Vincent Van Gogh

Hello Everyone welcome to our new year curriculum for art called MEET THE MASTERS! When I found out it came with the option for homeschooling I was sold! Basically it works like this:

Step 1: Online Art History slideshow
Step 2: Worksheet technique pages
Step 3: Create a work of art based on the lesson

Why I like it so much? 
  • Because you don't need art teaching experience to teach the lessons to your kids. 
  • They use their hands on activities rather then just textbook work.
  • Because its broken down into sections so its easy to follow. 
  • And lastly, because of the joy I see it brings my kids when they get to pretend to be a famous artist and do the same art that Van Gogh did ;)
You can buy the entire curriculum (35 artists) or by track which is 5 artists. Track 1 includes Van Gogh, Cassatt, Mondrian, Picasso, and Monet. 
Our day with Vincent Van Gogh
We started the lesson by putting hats on the boys with little NON-lit tea candles so they could pretend to be painting at night like Van Gogh when he painted Starry Night. Then went through the computer slideshow while I read along. Next, worksheets where the boys could practice adding shapes to objects to create a textured look. The the fun part: learning how to draw broken line spirals with oil pastels around stars to create our own starry night.

The results!

Interesting Fact: Van Gogh only sold one painting his entire life.

Grace to You, Jenna 

Unit Study: Birds

Our first unit this year was birds, yes birds. On Monday we read through a few bird books then did a craft about Toucans from Tippytoe Crafts.

He was very proud of his Toucan
"Birds of a feather flock together"
On Tuesday-Thursday we combined science with our unit study and explored the aspects of birds and how to look at nests but not disturb them from our Applied Science curriculum. Then did a little art by painting eggs and placing them in an abandoned nest from our backyard that I balanced in a tree.

Step 2: Determine if our robin eggs would they fit in a robin's nest.
Step 1: Gently put the eggs in the nest.

The nest will stay there until it is seasoned. Then we'll add it as an exhibit to our classroom. I got the fake wooden eggs from a craft store then had the boys color them with oil pastels.
After that we painted pictures of the still life.
On Wednesday we headed down to the park for some bird watching with our handy-dandy binoculars! Then watched videos on YouTube...amazing! Weaver Bird Video.

On Thursday we learned about two dimensional versus three dimensional items ie birds eggs as spheres.

On Friday we did another craft with Peacocks and finished off the week by pretending to fly around the backyard.
For information on this craft go to Tipptytoe Crafts.

Aug 20, 2012

Our Classroom Interim

Well it looks as though my husband might embark on a home improvement project-finishing our walk-up attic but until then WE will be using my makeshift classroom. Also we do almost all art, science experiments and projects at the kitchen table.

All our curriculum books are in this bookshelf. The top two shelves are mom's supplies that are difficult to reach for a reason ;) The middle shelf holds all Junior's books including his level 1 and 2 reading books and My Little Engineers curriculum books. The bottom two shelves hold art, art and more art supplies and our Lapbook/Unit Study stuff.
Next, each boy has his own desk to work on along with their workboxes. At first I didn't like that the bottom drawers were deep but as it turns out those drawers work great for science, art and unit study stuff (which usually require a lot of supplies). Each wall has some poster pertaining to their main focus of study and bulletin boards to display their lovely art.

In another corner of the room is a supply closet that holds Juniors subject bins and my teacher manuals. Below that are bins filled with music, science supplies, math supplies and games, workbooks and coloring books, and bins of activities to keep the Tiny Queen Bee occupied. Nothing was more frustrating last year then not being able to find the right supplies required for activities, hopefully this will amend that problem this year. Best part is this closet closes.

Between the closet and bookshelf we have pocket sleeves that hold various worksheets to keep Junior busy should he complete a subject and I'm not available to help him move onto the next. He can simply grab one off the hook and work on them. I took apart about 8 workbooks of various topics and put them all together in a binder so I can just pull the worksheets out and throw them in the sleeves. 

I lucked out when I asked my father-in-law if he had any extra bulletin boards and he DID! As the year progresses the walls will be filled with art projects, and seasonal themed stuff. The boards hold our scripture memory verses, and morning routine stuff.

Lastly is my All About Spelling wall and United States of America map. The boys will be spending a lot of time staring at this wall ;)

So that's it, that's all. Its a cozy little room. I hope to add a few more shelves, and good comfy reading chair, and maybe some great memories, that is if we don't make a move up to the attic. 

To be continued...

Grace to You,


Aug 19, 2012

Our Curriculum 2012-2013

Hi Everyone! Well its that time of year again as the start of our school year is quickly approaching. I've many changes to our curriculum from last year and I think its going to be great.

Junior (first grade):
Supplemental Books (other then books used in his curriculum studies):
  • KUMON workbooks: Time, Money, Mazes, Amazing Art Projects
  • A+ workbooks: Addition, Subtraction, 50 States books 1 and 2, Famous Landmarks, Presidents, Insects, Sea Creatures, Dinosaurs, and Space Exploration (these are $1.00 from Target whoohoo!)
The Little Engineer (pre-k):
  • Confessions of a Homeschooler K4 curriculum which includes:
    • Bible
    • Math 
    • Reading 
    • Writing
    • Art 
    • Music and Movement
    • Sight Words
    • Vowel sounds/blends
    • Motor Skills
  • Books:
    • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
    • KUMON: Mazes, Alphabet Games, Numbers, Easy Telling Time, Easy Counting Money
    • Level pre-k reading books
The Tiny Queen Bee:
  • Anything we're doing that she's interested in besides complicated science stuff :)
 How do I keep it all organized?

Last year I found that if I didn't have anything planned for the week or day then I didn't know what to do with the kids other then a random art project. That's why I love these books. I organize my curriculum by weeks not by dates on a calendar because some weeks just don't go well and this way I know we're not skipping lessons in the books to stay "caught-up" but still can go through 180 days of school. Another reason why is that it helps me to keep track of what units are coming up so I know what books to check out from the library, supplies we need, etc. Lastly, these books work well because they help to keep track of what we've accomplished for our portfolios throughout the year. 
School starts tomorrow, wish us luck!

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