Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dolphins Lapbook...

The kids were allowed to pick a mammal to study and Ashton chose a dolphin. I was surprised she chose another ocean animal, but who could resist a dolphin?

We took full advantage of our Draw, Write Now and she drew a great dolphin and practiced some handwriting:

We read some great dolphin books. I am amazed at how much she remembers that I read to her. Her favorite things she learned about were dolphins that have rescued people. Using resources from Homeschool Share have really saved me a lot of preparation. It is so wonderful to see her learn so much and especially to be able to study things she is interested in.

Posted by PicasaI'm really glad I let the kids choose which animals to study as that automatically helps with their motivation. Ashton is getting really great at lapbooking and is only a kindergartner- makes me proud :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Field Trip???

Jackson and Ashton woke up to find Daddy at the door (on a work day) holding an envelope with this puzzle they had to work (which Mommy made a little too hard!):

When they finally worked it, they were excited to see it said, "We're going to Chattanooga for 3 days, go get in the car!"

We had a great time at the Aquarium. It was amazing how many things we were able to see and review that we had studied this year. My son loves petting stingrays more than anything in the world I think!

I definately took advantage of all the teachable moments possible. It was a lot different than before we homeschooled although we were always teaching things, I am much more purposeful about it now. I love that!

Another great Dodd trip and wonderful learning opportunity to boot!Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Water Cycle...

*Warning: my children appear naked but are really not- I promise!
When we were studying the water cycle as part of our weather unit, we decided to try our own experiment. We put ice in a strainer over boiling water and observed the different states of water going through the different stages in the water cycle. They had to use their clipboards to draw what they saw.
Experiments are irreplaceable when teaching science. Nothing can teach them facts about God's great creation like actually seeing how He designed it in action. Plus, they're downright fun!

We watched the show and read the book the Magic School Bus Wet All Over. I am a huge Mrs. Frizzle fan! I joked with my husband that I need an outfit made out of felt. Then every time we start a new study I could cut out different felt shapes to go with the study. Then I could attach them to my outfit and jump out at the kids just like Mrs. Frizzle. How cool would that be???

I saw this great idea of printing out words on a label maker that the kids could just stick in the right place. I know there is a place for writing practice, but if I had expected my kindergartner to spell words like condensation and evaporation in about 10 different places the fun of the experiment would've bogged down in spelling/writing drama. They loved the labels and it helped everything go much smoother.

Posted by PicasaThis was an extremely simple experiment but so fun and really stuck with the kids.

Twin Tot School #4: Discovery Museum Style...

We had Tot School at one of my favorite places the Discovery Museum in Chattanooga. The boys enjoyed it immensely. That place is absolutely wonderful. They could have played in the water area all day long:

Wesley has an absolute obsession with vacuum cleaners. When he found this one in the little playhouse area, he never let go of it and even took it up into the tree house with him!

Everything is so cute. Not surprisingly, Will loved the painting part!

Posted by PicasaI really wish we had something like this closer to home. We could go here every week. What great Tot School that would be! I was really wishing we had a school room at home so I could incorporate some of their activities in it, wishful thinking! Still, it was a great day, and I can't wait to take them back!

Jellyfish Lapbook...

When the kids were allowed to choose which invertebrate they wanted to study, Jackson chose jellyfish. We got some great books at the library. This one was my favorite because it had the perfect readability and great pics and info:

These were also great books we read parts of. I think one of the coolest parts of homeschooling is learning right along with my kids. I've never known so much about jellyfish. They're kind of scary!

I was making some gel bags for a writing center and had gel all over. It occurred to me that a bag filled with hair gel dyed blue would make a great jellyfish. I attached it to the front of the lapbook with glue dots then cut out colored paper in the shape of a jellyfish. I think it turned out great, and Jackson said, "This is the best lapbook cover ever!"

The inside is all great free resources from Homeschool Share as usual:

I love lapbooking. I think I'll start doing my own. What would I study? I'll have to think on that one and get back to you:)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Starfish Lapbook...

When we began studying animal classification, I decided to spend a week on each category studying an animal from each. We began with invertebrates. I let them choose from animals that Homeschool Share had lapbooks on, sneaky huh? Ashton chose a sea star. We headed to the library where we checked out this great book that was the exact mix of enough info and real pictures.

We decided to tackle an art project for the cover (honestly, I was trying to use up some of her millions of beads from beading kits that seem to be everywhere!). She enjoyed it, but it is a bit of a mess still as beads fall off a lot!

I always think of Jackson as my animal lover, but Ashton really loved this and learned a lot about them. Her favorite things were the regeneration one where you can move the arm back and forth to represent it growing back.

I made this little surprise pop up book for her...

She was so tickled because she does love Patrick (and now you know my dirty little secret of that questionable but really funny show I let my kids watch!)...
Posted by Picasa