Monday, April 22, 2013

Menu Plan Monday!

Helloooo Monday! I cannot believe how quickly the weekend goes. It really does not even matter what I do. If we stay home and work around the house or we are out of town and having a blast...it's always over far too soon. Here is our Menu for this week:
Monday: Homemade Chicken Soup with Salad
Tuesday: Vegetable Lasagna
Wednesday: Ground Turkey in Baked Potato Skins served with Raw Garden Veggies
Thursday:  Quesadillas and Pinto Beans
Friday: Beef with Broccoli over Steamed Rice
Happy Earth Day! Here is a fun worksheet to have your littles fill out every year, to see how their responses vary!
We are spending time with our container garden today!
Enjoy every minute my friends!






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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Around our Home...

Saturday is welcome here any day! We have been taking it easy this week at school and just enjoying nature as it happens all around us. We are still getting our studies in but spending more focus on the weather. We are experiencing some serious flooding on our area and in 1 day we had rain, snow, hail and then back to snow. So crazy.
A favorite in our home for awhile now are these bookshelves that we put next to each child's bed. They each hold their bank, books they are reading and a few prized possessions. The rules are that they have to keep them neat and clean and my kids are absolutely doing so well with this. 
How do you organize your games in the playroom? We have a shelf for kids games (here) and another shelf for older type games that we all play as a family more often (upstairs near the fireplace). These 2 shelves hold oversized toys on the top shelf and then games for kids on the bottom. Our Ikea Expedit holds more large toys along with a small microwave for them to have popcorn when they are watching a movie in the playroom. On top there are fun books that don't really belong in the classroom, because they are most loved! Markers and our favorite Globe Lamp!!!! I also have a little reading nook tucked into the corner, where the kids can often be found curled up in pairs reading.
Have your students decorate a tongue depressor with some markers and you have an easy reading pointer. This allows the child to stop and read each word, only focusing on one and not the entire sentence. They are also flat enough to serve as bookmarks! Inexpensive and fun.
Enjoy your Saturday my friends! It is 2:30am, so I will bid you goodnight!







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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Go Fish!

Why can't it be Friday yet? I've been so busy with little things that I just keep waiting for something gigantic to take me over next. I try so hard to be that person that always sees the silver lining in things, but do you ever get that feeling that in some cases there just is NO silver lining? I want to pray and bring peace to all situations but I am dealing with difficult people that know they are in the wrong but still choose to be those kind of people. I pray for them more than anything but well, sometimes I just want to throw my hands in the air and hope I hit them while I'm doing it! hahaha! 
As we tackle sight words this week, I wanted to do something that shows how you can teach and learn at home without spending any money! A washed out container of Cool Whip holds cereal box letters that are then used to spell Sight Words! This is a fun activity that all can help out with. Manipulatives don't have to break the bank. 
A game of Sight Word Bingo helped out the little guy and gave the big kids a break in the day! This was a lot of fun for everyone, that he didn't even take notice of the sight words he didn't know, just sounded them out and kept going. 
GO FISH! This is the latest of our Sight Words games. It requires foam letters and filling a tub with water. I added them all in and tossed in a few bath buddies that they had all become too old for. This is a great way to get use of toys that are almost ready to be retired. I also used our handy game piece that I wrote about TUESDAY! Roman just had to slide the game piece to be given a two letter word and then he has to say it and spell it. If he has this correct, he needs to FISH for the pieces used to spell the word. Next, he must stick them to the wall of the box and say it and spell it again. 
These tiles are better to use than flashcards here, because they tend to get a bit wet! Do this with just letters if your child is just beginning or shapes, numbers for math...anything you can think of! There are so many variations to the things I post that all ages can and do benefit from them. I have children of 3 different ages and they all have fun doing the different activities as I adjust them for their levels. 
I have to keep reminding myself of this! When I deal with difficult people, I must remember that it is something within themselves that makes them who they are. The battle they are fighting is one they are fighting with themselves. It's too bad that they suffer so much, for this I pray for them that they don't continue to prey on other people for their benefit. Enjoy every minute readers, because we won't get any of these back.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Time 4 Learning Online Educational Curriculum Review

Hello readers! I recently had the AWESOME opportunity to review Time4Learning an online educational curriculum. I have 3 children ages 8 (Autumn),7 (Gabriel) and 5 (Roman) and all 3 were given their own accounts on Time 4 Learning. During this time that we had with the program, my children enjoyed every minute. When it was time for them to work on their lessons online, they were all eager to log in and be the first one on.
Time 4 Learning is so easy to navigate, that even my 5 year old was able to log in on his own. Their curriculum is fantastic if you plan on using it as a full time curriculum or even just as a supplement. The bright colors and fun animations kept all 3 of my children fully engaged during their time on the computer with it. One awesome thing that you can look forward to, is that your child can also have access to work that is 1 full grade over where they are or 1 full grade under their current level. Having this access, allows you to really know where your child falls. Even the parents get an account to keep up with your children, if you do not have enough time to sit and do each lesson with them. 
Time 4 Learning even has a Parent Community & Forum! This is AWESOME should you have any questions about something at an odd hour or even just to chat with parents that are in the same boat that you are in. Have questions before you make it that far? They have a Getting Started Guide online too! They have so many tools on the Time 4 Learning website that there is always something to look at and learn from. 
Head on over to Time 4 Learning before this month is over and take them up on their special offer! This is really a great deal when you consider all that they have to offer. You can also try out some Free Demos while you are there, to see if what they have will fit for your child.

*I was offered a subscription for my 3 children in exchange for this review. My review is entirely my opinion.*

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2 Letter Sight Words

Life is all about learning and I am of the firm belief that you learn something new everyday. It's amazing how this new adventure we have taken into homeschooling has helped me learn so much about myself along with my children. I hope that with each new adventure you all take on, you learn something from it. 
Today's reading worksheet is tackling to 2 letter sight words. I started out just making a list and I was going to have him spell them out with letter tiles but then I got thinking about how easy it would be to make it fun. These raindrops have words on them that have 2 letters. First have your student cut out each rain drop or you can do it for them if you are pressed for time. Go through each raindrop as though it were a flashcard, to familiarize your student with the words.
 

Once your raindrops are cut out and you have read through them, have your student glue them on to the matching umbrella. This repetition will help the child remember these words. As they are attempting to match up each word, they will also work on spelling the words to double check the match. For a copy of these worksheets GO HERE. Please feel free to use my worksheets or share them, but link back to me if you use them online anywhere.
Thank you everyone out there that checks in with me daily, remember to enjoy every minute!





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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Literacy & Learning Fun!

Tuesday came rather quickly! When that alarm went off this morning, I certainly wanted to curl back up and keep sleeping comfortably. Sometimes I often wonder what would happen if I decided to spend the day in bed? They could fend for themselves for a day, right? Hahaha...ahhhh, the dreams of a mother that is on the job 24 hours a day. Today is a post on what we have going on in the classroom in regards to literacy and learning!
I have a beginning reader that makes me prouder than words can say, as he begins his launch into the reading world, I like to build his confidence. He often time wants to give up when he opens a book and identifies just ONE word he does not know. To prevent that, I slip the book into a page protector and hand him a marker. I have him circle the words that he knows by sight alone and then sound out the others. If he still does not know it, he just crosses it out. Seeing everything he knows, makes him realize that there is more that he does know than does NOT know. This is one of his favorite things to do!
video
My baby reading his first book all the way through! You know those moments right? They bring tears to your eyes, you can even hear me sniffling in the background. I have each child reading their first book on video and it's amazing to see them all then and compare it to now.

One tip I can share with you, is when you get workbooks super cheap like these from TARGET's Dollar SPOT, pick up multiples. They allow you to use any good pictures for cutting out and using in poster boards when the kids have to do a report. They are also great for fact sheets if you are making a subject notebook, instead of the kids using their own handwriting in every single page.  
Reusing games is huge in my book. I get so much more out of them when they can be used for multiple things. These frogs come from a Cranium Game that we have and I just pulled them out and placed them on the floor with some sight word cards. This way he would flick the frogs and whatever card they landed on, if he could read it, he could keep it! He loved this game and wanted to play it all the time. It's amazing how kids will be drawn to learning if you just keep it fun! If you don't have that Cranium Game, head on over to Oriental Trading for a total STEAL on these frogs
What's Gnu is a FABULOUS game that my children LOVE! When I had the opportunity to purchase just the slider and 72 letter tiles for .25, I knew exactly what to do with it! This became our new writing center for my youngest. He slides a word and then he sounds them out. Next, he says the word and then writes it out as he spells it! Fun for him and perfect for me!
My children also love working with Geoboards. Something fun that they enjoy doing is making their own cards for their siblings to be challenged by. These are some designs that they started making on the computer. I also just keep the plain paper printed out at the center, for them create their own as they play.
Everything can change in an instant. Enjoy every minute that we have!



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Monday, April 15, 2013

Inventors and Their Inventions

Happy Monday! It's time for the launch of our Inventors & Their Inventions Unit of Study. The kids have been so excited about this week that they counted down the weekend, which never happens! They bounced out of bed, ran to the classroom and were seated and ready before I had even started my own breakfast! I love when children get excited about something and when it's learning, well that makes it all the better. 
For this unit, I made them booklets with worksheets and plain paper stapled together. They can take notes on what they learn, do their work and study all with one packet. All worksheets can be found HERE if you would like them. 
One thing I have learned is that these kids absolutely ADORE having unit study booklets with everything in one place. After school ended, they still had them throughout the day as they flipped through and asked questions. They asked if we could go to the library and do more research and if they could add more pages to their books. I am hoping to add Biography pages of the inventors we are studying as well.

Part of our lesson will be to create our own invention. The children will be given an inventor box and be set out on their own. With tools and bits and baubles they can let their imagination run wild. 
As the children study different inventors, we will be adding vocabulary words for them to learn definitions of and the spelling of the words as well. These words will then need to be used in their final writing piece. As we learn each word, they will write the definition on the back of the sheet and once complete, they can remove the page from their booklet if they wish to and use them as flashcards to study.

This is the worksheet that I made up for the kids to write all about what they created from the inventor box. They must use at least 4 of the words from the Vocabulary List and then write all about what they created and how it works or what it does.

Enjoy Every Minute My Friends!

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

5-A-DAY!

Why do the weekends have to fly by so quickly? I often find that just as I am allowing myself to relax, Sunday is here and it's time to prepare for the week ahead. Can we please make the weekend 5 days and the work week 2 days? That would really help us all.

This week our 5-A-Day books are oldies but goodies!
Click on the title of each book, to be taken to a description.
The last book I chose in order to fit in with our lesson on BONES that we have going on in Science this week!

Enjoy every minute my friends!


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Saturday, April 13, 2013

In The Moment...

The weekend is upon us and I am just enjoying it all with my family.
Life is all about moments that we log away and these moments are what we look back upon when we relive our life. Do you live in the moment? 

I absolutely adore watching my children play together, those are moments that truly warm my heart and leave me smiling as I listen to them, watch them and sometimes even join them (if I am invited!). To see siblings get along is something a parent will always treasure. 
Homeschooling is a family affair. I love when I am busy helping out one child, another will step in and help their sibling. It makes a huge difference when you know you are not alone in this adventure. Even if my children are young, they can still learn so much by helping out mom and their brother or sister.
Field trips and outings are moments that not only will I remember but the children will as well. The Littles remember all the fun they had and Mom will remember how much they enjoyed examining every little thing that they came across. As a child, the world is all something of extreme amazement and I wish that we did not lose that when we got older, I wish we too could see it all just as a child does. Why are we in such a hurry to get into a store, why can't we stop to look at that ant, that crayon that was run over in the parking lot, that balloon someone let go as it flies up, up and away?  
Whenever I catch my antsy, active boy stopping to take a moment and draw, is always HUGE! He loves to always be on the go and coloring is very rare for him. New supplies is always a large draw and I know I can lure him in that way. He loved the opportunity to create a masterpiece.

Enjoy every minute friends!


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