Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: September 17-21

We had a great week of PK and Kinder!  

In math, we've been working on identifying items that are the same/different and that have common characteristics.  On the whole, this is incredibly easy for all of the kiddos, and we're moving through it pretty quickly.  

We worked with how to make the lower case form and the correct sound for letters Q, R, S, and T in our pre-reading program

And as usual, we had the most fun (and took the most pictures) during Five in a Row.  This week we spent two final days on Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car, and then began our new book, Madeline.  Here's how it looked, in pictures:

Monday we did the art lesson from Mr. Gumpy.  The author/illustrator used cross-hatching to shade his illustrations, so we looked at his technique in the book and then tried to do it using scratch paper. The kids LOVED the scratch paper.  They thought it was super fun to scratch off the black layer with the little wooden pencil and see the colors underneath.  Hazel was the only one who attempted much actual cross-hatching, though. The boys just drew.  Good enough. 

a boat!
On Tuesday, we did a second science lesson with Mr. Gumpy.  The manual was full of fun science ideas for this book!  They all followed along and drew their own water cycle while I drew one on the big white board.

Then we went to the kitchen and did a water cycle simulation.  The kids were so excited to see it rain, right in our kitchen!  I don't have the best pictures because my hands were full and my helpers are not great photographers. ;)

Below you can see our "lake" (the saucepan filled with water), being heated by the "sun" (the burner).


Waiting (somewhat) patiently to see if the warm lake water would evaporate and then condense and form a cloud when it met the "cold air" (plate of ice).  


It did! Our "cloud" (the underside of the plate) "rained" when we held it up!  

The little experiment worked well!  If you want to try it, here are the instructions we followed.  We followed up our discussion of the water cycle by watching Magic School Bus Catches a Wave.  The first episode on that DVD is on the water cycle, and became an instant favorite.  We've watched it several times since then. I foresee more Magic School Bus DVDs from the library in our science future! 

On Wednesday, Ziggy brought a friend to school! Madeline! On our first day with Madeline, we found Paris on the map and talked about how we might get there from our house, if we were so inclined. Charlie was convinced that a submarine would be the best choice. :D 

We talked about the Seine River, and tried to figure out why many cities are built on rivers.  I thought we'd have a picnic near our river and watch some boats, to maybe help us think through that question.  We had a lovely picnic at a riverside park, but not a single boat passed by.  I hear the Mississippi is really low upriver. Maybe that's why? Go figure. 

In the absence of boats to watch, we shot off stomp rockets and generally ran around. 

Heading to the hill that Jono and I rolled down. Ouch. 
We had MOPs on Thursday, so we took a break from Madeline.  Friday, we looked in a large picture book of Paris and found all of the landmarks that are in the illustrations of Madeline.  The kids had a fun trying to match up the real photos to the illustrations.  Then I got out Paper City Paris and let them play.   

Charlie with the Paper City Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower

Jono, using the Eiffel Tower as a parking garage 

Paper City play, with Madeline and our Paris picture book in the foreground.  Yes, Madeline even has her scar!

A couple of other pictures, just for fun:
We borrowed this book from a friend to see if it's something we might like. Hazel thought it was super fun, and drew quite the nice chicken!

Jonathan and our beloved pal, Ziggy
Thanks for reading!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Knitter for Hire

I have had many people ask over the past few years if I sold my hats (or other knit/crocheted items) anywhere, or if I would be willing to make a custom item for them.  I have always said no, that I didn't have the time to take on knitter-for-hire projects, and that I had no interest in maintaining an Etsy store or the like.  Well, the no interest in an Etsy store is still true.  BUT recently I have found myself wondering what yarn work I should work on, and not having any good ideas.  Seems I just might have some time for other people's yarn crafting after all!  So, consider me a knitter for hire.  Need a birthday gift?  A baby shower gift?  Having a baby and need a photo prop for those squishy little newborn photos?  I might be able to help you out! Feel free to contact me to see if I have availability. We can discuss what you're looking for, and I can give you a time frame for completion and a price quote.  

new mommy gifts for MOPs this year, commissioned by a friend in charge of such things

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: Sept 10-14

We had three really good and one iffy day of school this week.  Not bad, right?  

In Five in a Row, we started "rowing" Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car by John Burningham.  We had fun reading this little story about a man who takes a dozen passengers with him on a ride in his car.  It rains, the car get stuck, and they have to all get out and push.  

Some of the lessons we learned from Mr. Gumpy included the definition and some examples of onomatopoeia, which the kids are all BIG fans of.  We used the book If You Were Onomatopoeia to help us understand it, and then we went back and found the onomatopoeic words in Mr. Gumpy.  

We found England on the map, where Mr. Gumpy's story takes place.  We talked about some differences between Mr. Gumpy's car and our own (the steering wheel is on the other side!).  We talked about being a helper and cooperating, since all of Mr. Gumpy's passengers tried to make excuses as to why they could not get out to push.  We compared Mr. Gumpy's unhelpful friends to the pig, cat, and goose in The Little Red Hen, an old favorite of ours, which we also re-read. 

 We also learned about rain clouds like the ones that dumped on Mr. Gumpy and his driving party. We re-read a book that Grandma gave us for Christmas, Cloudette, about a little rain cloud that learns she can make a big difference even if she can only make a little rain.  We did a science activity that simulated rain falling from a puffy cumulus cloud.  We made our "clouds" with shaving cream and dropped food colored water on them until they rained into our glass full of water.  Playing in shaving cream was certainly the highlight of the week, and I've been asked if we can "make clouds again" several times already.  Once you see the picture of the aftermath, you'll understand why I've been putting them off for a repeat. 
Charlie, watching his cloud rain 
three kids, focused on rain clouds 
forget the clouds! this is way more fun! 
aftermath. ay yi yi!
One of my favorite parts of FIAR so far has been pulling library books, or books that are already in our book stash, to read during our read-aloud time before rest time in the afternoon. These go-along books both deepen our understanding of the topics we've studied, and give us some good variety in our reading material.  In addition to Cloudette and The Little Red Hen, some of the other go-along books we enjoyed this week with Mr. Gumpy were Mr. Gumpy's Outing, a book by the same author with the same characters, Slop Goes the Soup (another onomatopoeia story) and Duck in a Truck, whose plot is very similar to Mr. Gumpy, right down to the red convertible that gets stuck in the mud.  Duck in the Truck has a super fun rhyme pattern, too.  

Last, just some pictures of hard working kids! I have to make sure and take these pictures to remind myself that moments like this DO occur in our homeschool. LOL
Charlie, working on his required coloring for the day. He's not a super big fan of hand muscle exercise. 
Hazel, the coloring queen
Jono's coloring skills are coming a long way, too!
Charlie's sequencing sheet, done with number cards so as not to frustrate the fine motor skills unnecessarily. 
Next week, we will spend two more days wrapping up Mr. Gumpy (art and another science activity--there was too much fun science in that book to stop with one!), and then we'll start our "row" of Madeline mid-week.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I have been planning this project since we moved over a year ago and just got it finished a few weeks ago.  A friend reminded me that I had forgotten to take pictures since I hung it up, so here you go!

I brought the door jamb from our old house laundry room with us when we moved.  It had all the kids' heights marked from when they were old enough to stand still and measure until about 2 months before we moved and I started readying the house to sell.  I transferred all of those heights and then measured our current ones.  There is a gap of about 15 months between when we took off the door jamb and when I hung the new ruler.  They grew SO much in that time! I was shocked!

Anyway, I'm thrilled with how this came out and love having it on my wall!

Oh, and as far as method, I consulted several pinterest links, used a fence board that I found in the shed, a sharpie marker and a couple of coats of poly. The only thing I'd do differently next time is spend the money on a board that isn't warped.  This one bows out from the wall a little and annoys me.  I'd prefer it to lay FLAT.  Oh, well.  Still thrilled!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: September 3-7

Well, I'd be lying if I said we did much school this week.  We spent Monday and Tuesday in a hot dark house without power from Hurricane Isaac.  Once power was restored, I spent Wednesday catching up on laundry and other chores.  We had a play date and a field trip already scheduled for Thursday and Friday, so school was more or less blown off.

We did sneak in a few minutes of learning here and there.  We read some good books.  We did the art lesson from FIAR for The Story About Ping and learned that we could give the illusion of water around objects with some wavy lines like the artist used in the book.  We practiced on the white board.

Sorry for the dark picture.  It was one of those no power days.
 We wrapped up our study of Ping with oral narrations.  Each kid took turns telling me the story.  I recorded them, and am transcribing their narrations for their finished work binders.  They are adorable!  They remembered so many details, and everyone's versions were so different, but all good summaries in their own way.  It's definitely fun to have their versions written down!

Finally, pictures from our trip to Memphis during Isaac, as promised.

Jono, throwing horse shoes in Memaw and Papaw's back yard.  Very Carruth of him. 

Jono, seeing if Memaw's cat had a good gig going, laying down on the front ramp.  Goof.

Charlie, standing on the back of Papaw's wheelchair, waiting for a ride out of Ryan's
Hazel and Memaw
Hazel and Jono hitching a ride out of Ryan's
kids with Memaw and Great Aunt Donna
kids, tired of mom and her camera, with the ducks at the Peabody

an upstairs view of the ducks' fountain


I have a new sewing machine! and she's PINK! Honestly, her color is my least favorite feature, but I'm trying to embrace it, since I am really enjoying her overall!

I got a Brother Innov-is 40 (one of their Project Runway line of machines) for my birthday! Here she is in action, on her first project, the curtains for the french doors in Charlie's new room (formerly the play room).

FInished and in place! With Spiderman, of course.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: Isaac

Last week turned out to be one of those weeks where you're grateful you have the flexibility that homeschool affords. With Hurricane Isaac forecast to visit us here in southeast Louisiana, we chose to go visit my grandparents in Memphis.

We had a nice time visiting Memaw, Papaw, and Aunt Donna. Kate and Sarah were wonderful hostesses and let us thoroughly take over their house.

We arrived Monday afternoon and didn't return to New Orleans until Friday. As I type this, it is Monday night (Labor Day) and we are still without power from the storm.

A few things we did that can count as schoolish:
1. We went to see the ducks at the Peabody hotel in downtown Memphis. We're calling it a field trip on the theme if Ping. It's kind of a silly parade of 5 ducks, from the elevator, down the red carpet, and to their fountain, but the kids thought it was fun.
2. We own a whole stack of Kumon workbooks for fine motor skills like folding and cutting that I never get around to assigning during school time. I took them to Memphis and just let the kids do them for fun. They put quite the dent in them! So, fantastic fine motor practice last week.

That counts, right? We're starting our week back with school tomorrow, power or not.

I'll add photos from this week to next week's update since it's a pain to blog photos on my phone.