September 26, 2010

Week 9 - Review

This was review week to catch up on missing pages, and review stories and verses that we’ve learned.  For the rest of our “official” school time we celebrated Fall with lots of apple activities.  Here are some of our favorites:

- Making apple smiles (Ours were very simple, but here are better Toothy Apple Smile directions from Hubbard’s Cupboard)
- Reading the apple star story 

For our Friday Edition of Jungle School, we each brought apples to make applesauce together.  The famous peeler/corer/slicer machine is always a favorite to use, the only problem is that I never seem to make enough!  In Kinder I always used those tiny condiment cups from the cafeteria, so an apple a student gets you enough for 20 tastes.  However, 20 little apples don’t go as far when you serve in real bowls, so I apologize Jungle Mamas that there wasn’t more to share.

We also read 10 Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss, and each made a page for a class book.  

For those of you wanting the applesauce's foolproof really.  Peel, core, and slice a bunch of apples, then put them in an electric skillet with a little bit of water.  (You can do the same in a crockpot, but the skillet is much faster and the children can watch and get faster results.)  Shake on a little cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg, and cook it on medium (about 250F).  Stir it every 15 minutes or so (and if it is sticking to the bottom add a little water) until apples are soft.  Transfer to a big bowl, and let children use a potato masher to smash those apples into sauce.  Let cool, and enjoy!

For enough apple ideas to turn your brain to sauce, check out...

September 19, 2010

Week 6 - Joseph is Honest

Printables for this week:

Honest Chart from Hubbard’s Cupboard
Proverbs 12:22 from Hubbard's Cupboard

This week’s bible story was Joseph, so we read a little of the story everyday emphasizing the honest and dishonest actions amongst the characters.  There are many great Joseph activities out there on the web that we didn’t have time for, but maybe you will.  Check out the pipe cleaner Joseph and colorful paper ideas from Hubbard’s Cupboard.

Since the Honest chart and bible verse had the same graphic this week, I thought we’d get creative with the coloring.  For our Proverbs 12:22 page, we put on lipstick and colored our lips with truthful kisses.  I was very surprised that out of the three boys we had only one hesitant participant.  Of course, Aryelle couldn’t wait for her turn!
In honor of Francy Fish, we did some fishy math this week.  The plan was to sort and graph Rainbow Goldfish crackers using this graph.  However, it was a special edition basketball pack, so it didn’t match our graph exactly (not to mention that the orange goldfish were basketball shaped) but the children didn’t mind one bit.  First, they were to sort their fish in “schools” by color.  Then they lined them up on the graph, recorded them, and ate ‘em up.  (Note to self...ask the mathematical questions AFTER they get to eat their fish for the most participation.  hehe)
I thought of many options for our cooking day...french fries, fish sticks, fondue with french bread...but of course the chocolate lover in me couldn’t resist a chance to pass up our Fantastic Fruit Fondue!  With four simple ingredients, a few minutes in the vitamix, and a lesson in fondue dipping with “fancy forks”...we were all fulfilled.  Josh only wanted to eat the fruit, and Peter didn’t want to combine his fruit with chocolate.  Then you have my children who licked their bowls, then fingers, then fists clean (Aryelle) before leaving the table to run off their chocolate buzz.  The Jungle Mama’s were content to let chaos erupt among the monkeys, as we enjoyed our chocolate fix next.  Click here for the recipe. (I’m sure you could do this without the Vitamix, but you’ll want to opt for creamy peanut butter instead.)
For our Friday edition of Jungle School, we read The Berenstain Bear’s and the Truth, and talked about how lies are like a spider web.  Many times people get entangled in their lies.  They forget exactly what they have said and in what order it was said, and have to keep telling more lies to maintain their story. There is a phrase: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”  We passed string around to illustrate the spider web, and then Miss Peggy spent the rest of the day untangling it.  hehe  Thank you Peggy for detesting lies!

September 12, 2010

Week 5 - Moses is Respectful

Printables for this week:

Respectful Chart from Hubbard’s Cupboard
1 Peter 2:17a from Hubbard’s Cupboard

I know that on the schedule for this week was the story of the centurion’s servant in Luke 7, as I thought that it might be a good way to explain authority and respect.  Well, we tried that on Monday, complete with little green army men to act out the story.  By the end of the day, I could see that they weren’t really understanding and were only consumed by the army men’s tiny guns, so our new respectful story illustration is....Moses and the Burning Bush!  This one was much easier to capture.  When God began to speak to Moses through the burning bush, he didn’t stop and think about whether or not to remove the shoes...he threw them off and hid his face too!!

My children love this story, and acting it out is a favorite activity at our home.  Although Levi's sugar cane staff disappeared to the trash last month, it lasted for over a year's worth of playing Moses.  This week's production was about 10 minutes long, but I had to include a short clip of Pharaoh Levi coaching Moses Mamita in her lines.  

We also talked about practical ways to be respectful, including using manners and being polite.  Each day we focused on a different scenario; meeting someone for the first time, answering the phone, answering the door, table manners, and using please, thank you, and excuse me.  It was fun to role play in English and Spanish and talk about cultural differences, like greeting someone with a handshake in the U.S. versus kissing on the cheek here in Panama.

My highlight of the week was our cooking day.  Not only were elephant ears super fun to make, but we decided to practice our table manners while eating them.  We put a candle on the table to set the atmosphere, then went to answer the door as the children pretended to enter our fancy restaurant.  They really got into it, copying my accent and all with Levi calling me “Sir Cook.”  Halfway through the meal, Josh staring at the candle in the middle of the table yelled “Look!  It’s the burning bush!”  hehe

As for the recipe, I decided to take a risk and try a new recipe found on the back of the Coach’s Oats, a new oatmeal they are carrying at PriceSmart.  We were all pleasantly surprised even with substituting whole wheat flour.  So much so, that I had to make another batch for lunch to share with Papito.  We decided go with the new recipe since elephants are herbivores, adding oats and wheat “grass” to the recipe.  I was just going to make elephant ears (pancakes with a honey e)... but got inspired by memories of my sister's chocolate chip pancake creativity, and we ended up with Ellie Elephant holding a blueberry in her trunk for a second course.  

I got a little carried away researching Ellie, and was pleasantly surprised that Ari was a walking elephant encyclopedia too!  We had lots of fun walking like elephants, swinging our trunks, and hiding the babies in the middle of the mommy circle when the big lion came to attack.  We learned that they have a big sweet tooth, preferring things like mango, coconut, pineapple, plums, berries, and at the zoo...pumpkins and watermelon!  

I won’t retype all my findings, but check out these sites for more interesting elephant facts and youtube for some videos of elephants eating too.  Their web cam is down at the time, but they have a great fact page and photo gallery  Baby elephant video and a concise fact page  Interesting page introducing all elephants in the sanctuary and their favorite food

For our Friday edition of Jungle School, we had an elephant art project planned.  However, the children were playing so well together that we made the day’s project “to go.”  Jungle Mamas, check the slideshow at the top to see the shapes needed and how our elephants turned out.

September 10, 2010

Character Training in Action - Lose a Letter

We’ve been talking about being respectful, attentive, and obedient, and Levi could verbally define, role play, and give his own examples of each one. However, when the heat was all went out the window! Let’s just say that Papito and I were both realizing the need for some more intense consequences in order to keep the peace.

Last Friday, I had an idea. I had a little talk with Levi explaining why we’re learning about these traits, and how important they are to learn when you are young vs. when you are older with BIGGER consequences. We talked about what being disrespectful to your parents, sister, and friends looked like, then we went to our favorite whiteboard (the fridge) and I drew a circle. I asked him what his favorite toy was. “My armor.” (Cardboard and duct tape brillance from the artistic on that soon) So, non-artistic Mamita drew her very best armor in the circle, then crossed it out. Next I wrote an equals sign and his name. Lesson being, no more armor if your lose all your letters.

I explained that he wasn’t going to get lots of chances or warnings, just the four letters on the fridge. I knew I could not make it a battleground... no yelling, no stomping to the fridge to erase, no threatening, no show, no emotion...just consequences for disobeying or disrespecting. I was surprised at how his standards were much higher than mine! “Mamita, before I stopped myself and had self-control I growled at Sissy, so you need to erase a letter.” He went the whole week, and finally, yesterday, the inevitable happened. All four letters gone by 4 p.m.

There was some drama in the bedroom about a toy and Sissy, and I said “Levi, come here please.” In the anger of the moment he yelled “No!” Big mistake. Huge! hehe So, I left the room without saying a word, erased the last letter, walked back in and said, “Let’s try that again. Levi, come here please.” He walked over, and we solved the drama. Then with no mama drama, no guilt trip, and no explanation needed, I walked over and picked up his armor bag and took it into the office. He didn’t ask questions at all, at the moment, and I knew he had no idea of the truth depth of his chosen consequences.

We spent the next couple of hours keeping busy in our preparations for company coming over. I knew that we was going to want to play with his armor when company arrived, as he and Tia had a great time with it the last time she was over. He was busy preparing a pretend fancy dinner for her though, and it wasn’t until about 9:30, way past bedtime when he came up to ask where his armor bag was. I reminded him he lost all his letters, and it was put away for the day. Wow, let the howls begin!! The tears were flying out horizontally, and after dropping to the floor in anguish a few times, he began to tell me how he really felt. “You are the BADDEST MAMITA ever in the whole world! I wish I didn’t have a mamita so there could be NO rules and NO consequences! I just want there to be NO MORE CONSEQUENCES. AAAHHHHH!!!!!” I told him I understood how angry and upset he was, but I would be a bad mamita if I didn’t have those consequences. Then he ran and laid down on his bed, and fell asleep.

He was still upset this morning, but calm enough for us to talk it over. I had rubbed in discussed the lesson enough and he was starting to get fired up again, so I told him to follow me as I ran to the kitchen. I took the cleaner and got all of yesterday’s green marker residue and smears off the fridge. I explained about how God’ mercies are new every morning, and when we ask for forgiveness he wipes everything clean and gives us a fresh start. I neatly redrew our equation, and on with the day we went. Guess what. Not one letter erased today! Woooohooooo!!!!

September 6, 2010

Week 4 - Noah is Obedient

Printables for this week:

Obedient Bible page
Obedient Chart from Hubbard’s Cupboard 

Colossians 3:20 from Hubbard’s Cupboard
Zoo ABC - letter d
Zoo Math D - #4

This week has to be a mommy’s favorite as the topic of discussion is...being obedient!  Woooohoooo!!!  Although the song had me convicted with “’ll do it right away, and with a happy heart...”  There’s always room for growth, right?  Anyway, on to Noah and all the great things you can learn through this story!

We started the week with our first official “science experiment,” and thanks to the PBS show Dinosaur Train, we are familiar with “making a hypothesis.”  So we had everyone make a hypothesis (or good guess) about how many animals could fit on our “ark” before it began to sink.  The hypotheses were from 2 - 40, and the result...85!  We left the tub out as a water exploration activity for the rest of the day.  The children loved it so much, I decided to bring in our water table from the patio (which gave us some great character lessons on sharing and and taking turns too ;-).   

The most anticipated activity of the week was definitely making banana boats.  Here’s what you need per child:
-Blue bowl/plate (optional)
-whipped cream
-animal cookies
-2 mini-marshmallows (or anything to represent Noah and his wife)
We used our blue banana split bowls for the water, then let each child peel a banana boat to float in the water.  They needed a little help to use the knife to carve out the ark (make a v-cut the length of the banana, kind of like a dug-out canoe).  Then we added some whipped cream “hay” to rest our animals on, and finally Noah and his wife.  (I was waiting for Levi to request more marshmallows for Noah’s sons and their wives, but he was too focused on the food to correct me...hehe)  Don’t rock the boat, it’s time to munch!

Other possible activities:
-See Me Obey booklet from Hubbard’s Cupboard
-Rise and Shine song page
-a float/sink experiment (predicting, then testing which objects would float and sink)

For Friday's edition of Jungle School, we decided to have a free day of Noah-themed fun.  However, had I found this great Noah's Ark paper plate craft by Mama Jenn before Friday, it would have definitely been on the day's itinerary!