November 22, 2011

Handprint Art - Native Americans

I was trying to think of an easy way to make Native Americans for our new book, and this idea just popped into my head.  I still can’t believe it worked!!  I'll update this tomorrow after we add the details, but had to post now in case it would help someone else.  ;-)

For the boy, paint each finger (not the thumb) a different color.  Paint the entire palm brown.

For the girl, paint the index and pinky fingers black, then continue those lines down to form a U.  Paint the rest of the palm brown.

Note:  The girl is made with fingers pointing down, while the boy is made fingers pointing up.

Here is the finished product:

November 19, 2011

Handprint Art - Fall Trees

For Fun Friday this week, we turned some broken crayons into a wonderful fall keepsake...Handprint Trees!

Begin by tracing your child’s hand and arm on brown paper.  Cut it out, and set it aside.  Next, give each child a piece of waxed paper and a few crayons in fall colors (with the paper peeled off).  Give your chid an old pencil sharpener, and have them make a few crayon shavings onto half of the wax paper.  

(We used a fine grater for this step, and I’m still trying to figure out how to clean the wax off!  So, ignore the picture and skip the grater!)  Another option is to have another JungleMama make a bunch of shavings for the children to sprinkle on to make their creation.  Thanks Jen!

Next, fold the wax paper over and place a sheet of copy paper or an old T-shirt over the top.  (I tried it with a towel and it was too thick to work well.)  Use an iron on medium heat, to go over the top.  This is the most fun part, so make sure the children are gathered around!  The finished result will be something like this... 

The colors sometimes bleed through the wax paper, which is why you want a thin layer of paper or fabric to protect your iron.

Cut the wax paper into a cloud shape to resemble the leaves of the tree, then glue on the handprint trunk.  Simple, and beautiful in a window.  ;-)

October 27, 2011

Jedi Spelling

I had to post this today in honor of my favorite Jedi's birthday!  Levi is officially in the Star Wars phase.  As soon as he wakes up, he dons his cape and lightsaber to conquer the world.  Rather than fight it, I decided to use it to our advantage and do a little spelling practice in the meantime.  

Simply give your child a word to spell (verbally, on a flashcard, written on a whiteboard, whatever) and let them swoosh away.  Of course, speaking in a crazy accent at the time makes things much more fun.  ;-)

Visit 1+1+1=1 for more word play ideas...


October 26, 2011

PDF Calendar Site

I stumbled across an awesome site for creating customized printable calendars.  I like to look the big version of my school year when sketching out unit/thematic plans, and this site makes it super easy!

I forgot to post it in my back to school stuff, but remembered as I flipped the page over to work on our 2nd quarter plans today.  Oops!  If you would like a copy for yourself (for lesson plans, blog posts, menu, whatever)...

- Make sure the date is October 23
- Click on the icon of the PDF, or click at the bottom where it says “Download Calendar PDF”

Then you’ll get  an overview from now to the year end all on one page! 

October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Watercolor Paintings

I saw this idea on Pinterest and knew we had to try it!

First, we looked at our pumpkin and discussed the shapes we would use to create it.  Next we practiced drawing our picture on a whiteboard.

Then on to the glue step.  (I ended up doing the continuous squeeze while they moved my hand around to draw their picture.  Levi tried going at it solo, but soon got frustrated with the way it beaded up.)

Set your pictures on a babyproof spot to dry overnight.  ;-)

The original directions used a fine tip Sharpie to trace on either side of the glue lines.

I opted for some very thin markers I had, that would help them see what colors to use (that would also camoflauge if they bled a little.)

On to the watercolor step...

What focus!

I think these turned out great!

October 4, 2011

Indoor P.E. - Hallway Liners

We have been cooped up lately between rain, sickness, and no car.  I was desperate for a way to burn some energy and was inspired by a high school flashback.  It’s basketball season here, and as soon as that came to mind, so did the dreaded ... liners!  

To set up the scene:  You first need to find some lines, or markers.  (We used some foam circles since we had too many lines.  hehe)

We had one child at the end of the hallway, another timing,

and the baby watching safely from the stands.

When the time starts, the runner has to run and touch the first line, then run back to the wall, run and touch the next line, then run back to the wall...

Timer stops when they touch the wall (after touching the final line).

"Oops, is it this button Mamita?"

This is great for burning off lots of energy in little time!  See, just 21 seconds to a sweaty boy.  hehe  (Next up, a haircut for the sweaty boy.  Yikes!)

September 17, 2011

Cat Day

We had an alumni drop in to visit this week.  Peter came to hang out with us for the day!

He thought it was way cool to point and sing the Days of the Week song while Levi worked on his calendar notebook.

Then we did our TLC art project for C!  We work on body parts while waiting for everyone to catch up.  “Put your paper on your elbow!”

I love these projects because even though everyone follows the same directions, each one is so unique.  

Each cat is sitting on a rug, but everybody added their own touch (cat, mouse, rockstar glasses, and....banana?  Silly Sissy.)

I know I will soon regret this, but we were having a cat face contest at the dinner table.  Papito had to get the camera to capture the moment...He thought my eyebrow was hilarious.

September 10, 2011

Pretzel Spelling

We were at the pool when I hear “Look Mamita, I can spell ‘beep’ with my pretzels!”  By golly he did...and correctly too!  (Well, before he flipped the P.)  hehe

Your word choices are a bit limited when using regular pretzels (although B, e, p, d, and o can be made with some quick nibbling).  However, add some pretzel sticks and your vocabulary grows rapidly.  I think we might make pretzel spelling a weekly sight word activity around here!  hehe 

August 25, 2011

Bible Memorization Reward - Heart Date!

I’ve been thinking for awhile on how to approach bible memory this year.  

In the past we’ve been part of a larger group, so the easiest was for all of us to focus on the same verse every week.  However, with two more “official school years” under his belt, Levi has already memorized our alphabet verses.  So, I was looking for a way for them to have flexibility in their verses and to work at their own pace.  I also wanted to motivate my children to memorize scripture, but didn’t really want to use “stuff” like sweet treats,  money, etc. as rewards. 

Enter the lightbulb moment (thank you Holy Spirit) ... a Heart Date!

I created this little worksheet to slip into our Bible Memory binders.  Every time they memorize a verse, or “hide it in their heart” like Psalm 119:11 says, we write the verse inside their heart.  When they have 5 verses written down, we celebrate with a heart date.  Each child gets to choose an activity they love or that is “dear to their heart,” and include whomever they choose.  Some ideas we brainstormed were:

- bake a cake with Mamita
- have an entire afternoon of playing with Papito
- invite some friends over for a tea party
- go to the movies as a family
- go bowling
- have a picnic at the park
- make bananas spilts
- have a lego party

So as you can see, it doesn’t have to be some expensive outing, mostly engaging with your children in something that they enjoy doing.  If it is easier for your family to make a list together beforehand, go for it.  My children are still young and easily swayed my enthusiasm.  hehe  

Here are the printables (with a couple options so you can customize them depending on how fast your children memorize scripture.):

August 19, 2011

First Week of School

Well, it is official...We finally had our first day of school!  A couple of weeks after anticipated, but due to birthdays and sickness, not to mention boxes filling the house, unpacking, and preparing for this Saturday's yard sale...we did it!

There is nothing like the fun of new pencil boxes, crayons, and school supplies!

I surprised them mid-week with our new "Kindergarten" set of manipultatives...Zoobs!  It was a team effort to open all the bags and get them in the tub.

 After that, it didn't take long for the creative brains to flow, and the baby to chew.

Here is the princess, complete with suspenders.  HA!

We also had our first Fun Friday of the year, and decided to make some cookies together.  

August 12, 2011

2011-2012 Curriculum

I don't know why, but this year has been the hardest to plan so far!  I've been dreaming of the day I would have my very own Kindergartner, and now that it's here I feel like a first year teacher again.  That's the fun thing about homeschooling I guess, every year you ARE a first year teacher!  (Yikes, hadn't really thought about this before.)  Even though they are your children, you have most likely not had the exact same combination of ages, personalities, and circumstances as the year before.  Woohooo!  Nothing like a challenge.

Anyway, here is our current curriculum plan for the year with my 4 year old PreK and 5 year old Kinder:

-Grapevine Studies Old Testament Beginning Book
-Learn OT book names
-Memory Verses
-Hubbard’s Cupboard verses recorded by Matt
-Steve Green’s Hide Them in Your Heart

Language Arts: 
-Zoophonics (dot 2 dot, Level A sentences/Coloring page)
-Picture Dictionary
-Heidi Songs color/shape books
-You Can Read by 1+1+1=1
-Word Family Minibooks by Hubbard’s Cupboard
-Hooked on Phonics

-Kidwriting at every opportunity
-start Mrs. Meacham’s mini-lessons mid-year
-Science Journals
-Thankful Journals

-Pattern Block Books
-Marcy Cook (Early Skillboard, Math Tiles)
-Number Journals by Hubbard’s Cupboard

-Animal Investigation Binders (add Zoophonic’s animal friend every week)
-Habitat theme, one per month (add spanish vocab. in calendar)
-Science with Sid, weekly theme and experiment

-TLC Alphabet Book
-Monthly directed drawing

Note:  I hope to go through and explain how we use some of these components over the next few months.  I will add a link on this blog post everytime I make an update.

May 8, 2011

Week 23 - Ruth is Modest

Printables for this week:

Modest Chart from Hubbard’s Cupboard
Philippians 4:6 from Hubbard’s Cupboard

This week we learned about being modest using the story of Ruth.  Modesty (or immodesty rather) is a bigger issue for preteen/teens, but I figured it would be good to introduce the concept.  At the preschool level, we focused on how our beauty comes from the inside, not what we look like on the outside.  There was still plenty to talk about, especially to little girls thinking that putting on certain clothes and fixing their hair a certain way make them “more boo-afull.”

Our zoo friend this week was Xavier Fox, so of course we had to play a couple of rounds of “What time is it, Mr. Fox?”  We also made Fox cookies for our cooking project (since I had some orange frosting left over from the sport’s ball cupcakes).  The children frosted a Maria cookie, then added chocolate chip eyes, and drew on the rest of the face using chocolate frosting.  X-cellent!

Fun Friday was X-ray day!  We made x-ray name art by using white out pens to write our names on a piece of black construction paper folded in half.  (Hint: Since the white-out dries so quickly, we learned it worked best to fold the paper and rub after every letter, rather than wait until the entire name was finished.) 

The name section is the ribs, then we talked about what bones are connected to them and how they move...joints!  (For example, the leg bends in the middle, so we decided there must be a bone on top and one below connected at the knee joint.) 

Next we glued on Q-tips to represent the arm and leg bones.  We finished it off with a dot paint head, and googly eyes.  Ta-daaaa!

We even had an x-ray snack, by frosting a graham cracker then drawing on some white frosting bones.  Say "X-ray!"

May 1, 2011

Week 32 - Jonathan is Faithful

Printables for this week:

Faithful Chart from Hubbard’s Cupboard
Proverbs 17:17 from Hubbard’s Cupboard

This week we learned about being faithful using the story of Jonathan and David.  Since the chart defined faithful as being a good friend, we focused this week on “how” to be a good friend.  Keeping your promises, using kind words, not saying or doing hurtful things to our friends were all put into action this week.  (And what a week to practice with a major case of spring fever going through this place!  hehe)  In fact, in an attempt to calm some of the spring craziness, I decided to start Monday morning with some new playdough infused with lavender essential oil. The girls have been asking for pink or purple, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity.

It was also fun for them to watch the colors mix from this 

to this!

Our zoo friend this week was Willie Weasel, and I must admit my weasel resources are rather slim, except for this one book I remembered called Earthquack!.  It is a version of the classic "the sky is falling" tale and has a weasel for the villian.  Quite the tongue-twister to read, but the children enjoyed it.  

We went looking for videos, but didn’t find any good enough to share with you.  One thing we learned was that weasels build their nests in rock piles, or take over other animals nests rather than building their own.  Levi got a kick out of this sneakiness, and has been testing it out all weekend. “I was tricky like Willie Weasel and snuck some chocolate chips, then hid over here to eat them.”  Not looking forward to one more week of this, as tricky Xavier Fox is coming up next week.  :-S 

Wednesday was our last day of swimming lessons, and a very exciting day for one of our Jungle Families.  Miss Peggy had her baby, making Gaia an official big sister!  There was lots of praying involved, and lots of faith built, as our prayers were answered and Peggy was able to have a natural birth.  We still haven’t been able to meet baby Sitka, but are looking forward to meeting her soon!!

This Thursday’s cooking day might have just been the most popular one yet.  We made Waffles, and they were indeed wonderful.  Miss Niki whisked everything together,

and Papito came home just in time to help us cook them up!

Toppings included berry syrup, whipped cream, nut butter, and honey.  Berries and cream took the landslide vote in everyone’s book (except Josh’s), and all went for seconds, thirds, or even fourths!

We visited Miss Jennifer, Nat, and Abi for Fun Friday, and the children had a Wonderful time in the fort.

It took up half the living room, and their imaginations took up even more.  hehe

Rachel and Gio joined us too, for a fun-filled morning.