When you love what you have, you have everything you need.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Humpty Dumpty Homeschool Theme

Normally on Mondays, Aubrey goes to Gama's school for the day.  That way she doesn't have to sit in Lena's therapy for over an hour and a half!  Well, she couldn't go to school today, so we had an extra day of homeschooling!!!  I planned an extra special day of activities with a theme of Humpty Dumpty!  I know how important nursery rhymes are to beginning reading and phonemic awareness, so I have been trying to teach them to Aubrey lately.  She is loving them and LOVES rhyming, so teaching her has been easy.  

1.  Humpty Dumpty Creative Play:  I supplied Aubrey with Duplo blocks, Humpty made from an easter egg, Lego men, and horse manipulatives.  Aubrey built the wall and put Humpty on top.  Then she recited the rhyme and knocked Humpty off!  She thought it was fun that he could actually crack open!!!  She played with this for 30 minutes and asked to have it on a tray the whole week!  I'd say that it was successful.

2.  Fixing Humpty Math:  I supplied egg cut outs with faces on and numbered them 1-16.  Aubrey picked an egg and identified the number.  She then had to draw that number of cracks on Humpty.  Then she had to put a Band-aide (sticker) onto each crack to fix Humpty.  After she did them all, I had her put them in numerical order.

3.  Humpty Dumpty Booklet:  I supplied 4 large notecards with a nursery rhyme verse on each card.  We read the card together.  Then Aubrey circled each word of the verse.  She then drew a picture of the verse.  When she was all done, I punched a hole in the sides and bound them together with a pipecleaner. 

4.  Humpty Before and After:  On one side of the paper, Aubrey created Humpty on top of the wall!  On the other side, she made sure he was cracked!

5.  Sequencing Humpty Dumpty:  As we said the nursery rhyme, Aubrey had fun putting these cards in the correct order.  
I had made these Humpty Dumpty sequencing cards from pictures I found just searching "humpty dumpty clipart".  I do not know the original source.

6.  Science:  We concluded the unit on Living vs. Non-Living things today.  Aubrey sorted theme cards and created a poster with them.  

Thank you for joining me today!!!!  Halloween is in a couple days.  Come back to see the girls in their homemade costumes!!!  Aubrey is going to be a "sparkly owl"  and Lena is a panda bear!

Today I am linking with:
Motivate Me Monday
Montessori Monday
Hip Homeschool Hop
Tip Toe Tuesday
Show and Tell

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Keeping Baby Busy-Messy Play

When I taught preschool, I loved art!  Most teachers hated the mess, I looked for more ways to get messy!

Messy=Fun=Happy Kids

Not only do children love messy play, they need it.  It is a sensory experience that we should all be able to bring into our home.  It usually doesn't require much money and is easier to clean up than you think!

Our messy play examples:

Painting, of course.  She isn't ready to use those paintbrushes, but she liked experimenting with them.

Food is the best for messy play with baby; you never have to worry about those hands going in the mouth.

Lena was unsure about the Jello.

Scrambled eggs and a spoon kept her busy for awhile!

Colored Frosting!  Yummy and Fun!

This one required a bath afterwards!!!  WOW!

Bath time!  Let them play!  I usually sit next to the tub and read (two birds, one stone!)

Other things we have done:

Colored Ice
Cornstarch and Baby Powder
Any water play

Most of all, don't be afraid to get messy too!

Today I am linking with:
Show and Tell Saturday @
Weekly Wrap Up @
Strut Your Stuff Saturdays @

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alphabet Magnets Tutorial

These magnets were really simple and cheap to make!  Aubrey watched me as I made them, and couldn't wait for them to dry.  I like that they are functional and cute enough that i don't mind them being on the fridge for extended periods of time (unlike cheap plastic letter magnets).

What You Need:
Scrapbook Paper-already had
Large Flat-Sided Marbles-dollar store $2
Mod-Podge-already had
Magnets-dollar store $1
Letter Stickers-Joanns w/coupon $2
Paintbrush-already had
Super glue-already had

1.  Trace the marbles on scrap paper and cut out.  Place a sticker in the middle of each circle.

2. Spread Mod-Podge on the marble and stick the paper with the letter facing the marble.  Then Mod-Podge over the back of the paper and marble.  Place marble front side down on wax paper to dry.

4.  Super glue a magnet onto the back.  Let dry.

5. Have fun playing with the magnets.  Aubrey loves making "words" with them on the metal pizza tray (dollar store find!)

Thanks to having way too many crafting things already, I was able to make this for only $5!  The only thing I would have done differently was that I would have used either solid paper/pattern letters OR pattern paper/solid letters.  Some of the letters can be hard for Aubrey to read because they are busy looking.
 Happy Crafting!!!!

Today I am linking with:
Friday Fun Party @ 
Inspire Me Fridays @
Frugal Friday @
Feature Friday Linky Party@
Frugalicious Friday@
Fabulously Creative Friday@
Show and Tell Friday @
Fabulous Friday @
Fridays Unfolded @

I know it's a lot, but I have been looking at so many others blogs and have really felt inspired lately with crafts, homekeeping, and homeschooling!!!  I hope you can find something that interests and inspires you too!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

eBooks and Online Games for Kids

I have debated the benefits of introducing the computer to Aubrey for awhile now.  There is just something about sitting her in front of the computer to listen to books or play games that doesn't sit right with me.  I just want my daughter to go outside and play and get dirty and use her imagination!  But, she is almost 5, and it is now time to introduce some computer sites to her.  For the past few weeks, I have been researching appropriate and educational sites for her to be able to visit, and I am pretty excited to show them to her over the next few weeks!

The first site is REALLY exciting: http://storylineonline.net/  which is a program of the Screen Actors Guild.  This website is sooo easy to navigate, making it perfect for new Internet users.   It has a lot of appropriate children's books that are read by celebrities, like Betty White reading "Harry the Dirty Dog."  I was impressed with the way they brought the book to life.  None of the illustrations were changed, and some of the pictures were made to move with the tone of the story.  Also on the bottom of each book is a link to activities related to the book!  This may be my new favorite website!!!  

The next one is http://scootpad.com/.  It is full of educational games for kindergarten and elementary school children.  There is a parent section where I can customize what lessons I want her to learn or to reinforce what we have been working on.  It also has rewards for the kids.  I have it set up that once Aubrey earns 100 coins from doing activities, she will earn a mini Lala Loopsy doll set.  She is the kind of kid that works best when she has something to work towards.  


I think the biggest part of Aubrey using the computer, is the risks that go with her being online.  It is such a complex system, that it would be easy for her to get carried away quickly.  Therefore, I am establishing rules for computer use right away!

1.  Aubrey will need to earn time on the computer.  This can be done by helping with any "Mommy" task.  These are tasks that are not part of her normal chores.  Examples:  sweeping the floor, dusting, folding towels, and washing dishes.  These may seem like extreme tasks for a four/almost five year old, but Aubrey already enjoys helping me do these things.  She is so helpful, and usually asks for ways she can help me.

2.  All computer time will be monitored by an adult.  No exception.  Right now this is not that hard because the computer is in the kitchen at the desk, but I want to make sure that this is established right away.

3.  Only approved websites are to be used.  I have put a tab with Aubrey's name at the top of my browser with these websites.  

4.  Computer time is a privilege and will be taken away when necessary.  Aubrey is going through an attitude stage right now, and I think this will be a really good incentive for a change in behavior.

If anyone has any other suggestions on introducing the computer/internet to a child, I would appreciate your input!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homeschool Tuesday #2

Well, better late than never on Homeschool Tuesday.  

We had a cute guest this past week:  my 3 year old niece Cece!  She was a gem to have, but that also meant that we didn't get as much homeschooling done as we usually do.  Instead we did a couple art projects, play-doh, singing, reading books, dancing, playing outside with the dog, and gathering acorns and walnuts.  Of course, I realized too late, that I didn't take any pictures!  One of the best things that I had the girls do was to do a GLO-LITE bath.  I've seen them all over Pinterest, and couldn't wait to see what they thought of it!  They thought it was really cool and I'm sure we'll be doing that again soon!!!

Well, here are a few things that Aubrey will be doing tomorrow.  Lena has aquatic therapy early tomorrow and then we have a couple errands to run, but we will be home in time to do quite a few things!!!

More sight word practice:  Building our 5 sight words with letter dominoes.

Pom pom Addition:  Roll the die and put that number of blue poms in the first section.  Roll the die again and put that number of yellow poms in the second section.  Count them all and find the corresponding number and put it into the bottom half.

Measuring and Recording Pumpkin Circumference.

Weekly Book:  Color each monkey one color and write the color word on the line.  Then I will staple it together to form a book that she can read herself.

Science:  I didn't get a good picture of this one....  We continue to learn about Living Vs. Non-Living Things.  Tomorrow we are doing the grid on the left page.  We are going to go outside and observe some things outside.  If we can, we will bring some things inside.  The plan is to get:  a bug, bark, a rock, a twig, and a clump of grass.  Aubrey then will draw each thing in the first column.  Then she will be asked:  "Does it need air?" "Does it need food?" "Does it make more of itself?" "Does it grow and change?" "Is it living?".  She then will put a Y or N in each square.

Letters on the Bus Song:  This song is great for reinforcing letter sounds.  Since you can't really make out the song on the picture, I'll post it.  It is to the tune of Wheels on the Bus.

The letter on the bus goes _  _ _; _ _ _; _ _ _.
The letter on the bus goes _ _ _ and _____ is it's name-o.

More sight Words.  Tomorrow we will do one page in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Aubrey will write the sight word on the line to complete the sentence.  We will then read the sentence together with her always reading the sight words that she knows by herself.  When we have completed all the sentences, she can draw a picture related to the "story".

Today I am linking up with:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Made It Monday #2

Geoboard Tutorial
This week, I am posting a cute geoboard that I made for Aubrey.  She absolutely loves it and we like to use it during her homeschool activities.

What You Need:
Wooden Board-about 3/4 inch (mine is from Hobby Lobby)
Mod Podge
Short Nails

Start by painting a base onto the wood board.  Make sure you get all the sides.

 There isn't a picture of the next step.....
I printed off a graph of 1 inch squares that were 11 squares by 8 squares.  Using that as a guide, I centered it on the wood board.  I, then, poked holes in each corner of the graph with one of the nails and made an indentation in the spot that I wanted them to go.  After I had finished, I picked up the paper and made a light mark with a pencil where each indentation was.  It needs to be dark enough to show through the decorative paint.  My 9 x 11 inch board has 8 nails by 10 nails with 1/2 inch on the short sides and 1/4 inch on the long sides.

Decorate the board with paint.  I used the base of a small cup to trace 2 inch circles to make a geometric pattern.  Since I had already marked the places for the nails, I used that as a guide for the circle's placement.  I used four paint colors and tried to make the colors as random as possible.  I had to do two coats of paint for the circles.

Allow plenty of time for the paint to dry.  Then Mod Podge the entire board.  I put two layers on.

Tap the nails into the marked spots.  I let the nails stick out a little less than a 1/2 inch.

We use colorful hairbands to make shapes!!!

I hope you enjoy this Made-It Monday!  

Today I am linking with:
Brag Monday @ The Graphics Fairy
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping It Simple
Made by You Monday @ Skip to my Lou

Check them out to see some more great ideas!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Bit of Fall Fun

Today, I worked on making a Fall Subway Art Collage.  So far it is going good, but I have yet to figure out how to transfer a word document to an online document.....a project for another day.  So today, I decided to just share some recent picture of the girls playing outside on a beautiful fall day!

I am so glad that Lena loves playing in the grass!  And you can see her kneeling here!

I asked Aubrey to take a nice picture with Lena, but Lena had other ideas!

A little bit of football!

Lena was amazed at the crinkling sounds of the leaves.  I can't wait for her to play in a leaf pile for the first time!

 Aubrey was nice enough to play catch with Lena (for like 2 minutes!)

And then she was back to playing football with her dad and the dog!

This weekend we are having a big bonfire and fun with friends!  I have some orders to take care of and will hopefully get a project done for Made-It Monday!

Have a great weekend!!!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cabinet Cleaning

This post has been sitting around for awhile, so I figured it was time to post!  

A month (or more) ago, I decided that I couldn't take my one kitchen cabinet anymore!!!  It was a mess and everytime that I went to get something out, I had to move everything around to get to it.  Plus, I kept seeing all these amazing and organized people on Pinterest that had their cabinets together, and I was jealous!  I don't have a pantry and really don't have a lot of cabinet space for staples, so I was at a loss of what to do!  I went shopping at IKEA one day and found my soultion.  The IKEA 365+ series was perfect for what I needed.  They are narrow and tall, so that I can fit many in a row and don't have to dig to find things.

Here is the before.  I know it's small and really crammed and a little embarrassing!

And here is the after.  Going through the cabinet, I found a LOT of stuff that was expired or had been sitting open, so those got tossed.  The rest was organized into the IKEA containers.  I found some cheap tupperware containers that didn't have lids and used those to sort oatmeal, easy mac, chocolate chips, and spice packets.   I also realized that I didn't buy enough of the IKEA containers and had to improvise with stuff I already had.  

One thing that I have always done and will share:  When you pour in things like mashed potatoes, rice, polenta, etc. cut the directions off the box and store in the container with that food.  I learned this the hard way when I forgot the amount of water needed to cook the oatmeal.

This project really should not have taken long, but I wanted to make cute labels.  I used my Cricut and cut labels out of spare velum.  I wrote out the labels (now I wished I had printed them on the computer) and used Contact paper to put them on.  So far, they are sticking really good.

Another nice thing about these containers is that they stack nicely on top of each other and don't slip around. The one and only problem I have is that my rice scoop doesn't fit down into the bottom half of the container to scoop out for the rice maker.  Just FYI, in case you make 3 cups of rice every week like me.

Now, I am not one to usually keep things organized for more that a week, but so far, my cabinet looks pretty similar to what you see here.  Things have been added, but I have been trying to keep it looking organized.  So far, so good!  Now I need to tackle the cabinet with canned goods and spices!

Today I am linking with:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Homeschool Tuesday

Tuesdays and Thursdays are our best days for homeschooling since they are the only days that we always get to stay home.  Therefore, I try to pack in a lot of information and fun!  The added bonus to Aubrey learning more, is that she is also better behaved!  She is the kind of kid that always needs to be busy and engaged in something.  When she isn't......well I am not even going to start!

Today I really wanted to work on reinforcing the sight words we worked on the last few weeks.  I haven't added any new ones this week since Aubrey is a little stalled on IT vs IS.  Here are today's activities that I have planned.

Sight Word Work:  Building sight words with letter magnets.  I usually add our weekly sight words each week. Right now we are up to 5:  IT, IS, A, AM, I.  She has also worked on HAVE, MY, LIKE.

 Sight Word Work:  Flip an Egg.  Aubrey will have to flip one egg over at a time and name that word.  If she is correct, that egg stays flipped.  If she misses it, I will remind her of the word.  Then she has to flip all the eggs back over.  The game ends when all the eggs are flipped sunny-side up!  

Sight Word Work:  Matching sight words.  First Aubrey will color in the bubble sight words.  Then she will cut out the words on the bottom and match them to the correct word up top.

Math:  Domino Parking Lot.  Aubrey will add up the dots on the domino's and park them in the correct spot.  I also glued the "Domino Parking Log" into her Math Journal to record the math problems.  
 Domino Parking Lot is from Mathwire.com and is available at:  http://mathwire.com/strategies/matsdom.html

Science:  This week we will focus on Living vs. Non-Living.  We will start by listing attributes of both living and non-living things in Aubrey's Science Journal.  Then we will look at pictures of different things and ask ourselves questions to see if it is living or non-living.  Our questions include:  "Does it move?" "Does it grow and change?" "Does it breathe?" "Does it make more just like itself?" "Does it need food and water to live?"
 Pictures and graph can be found at http://www.kindergartenkindergarten.com/2012/03/a-science-mini-unit-living-and-non-living.html.  Kathryn has a great blog and has a ton of useful ideas for science journals for little ones.

Phonics:  Bead Slide.  This is an activity that I bring out almost every week.  It is one of those great ones that Aubrey can do on her own.  I set the clock for 10 minutes and she knows what to do.  It is a simple and very important activity that teaches kids to segment each phoneme of a word.  With each sound, the child slides a bead over to the other side of the rope.  Then the child is able to count how many sounds (phonemes) are in that word.  Frog= F-R-O-G=4 sounds.

Also on the list of things to do today:

*Playdoh:  Making houses for plastic frogs.
*Art:  Fingerprint Fall Trees
*Cooking:  Making oatmeal chewy bars!