Little House In the Big Woods – So Far – Part 2

January 29, 2010 at 7:03 am (Uncategorized)

Last week I posted about what we had done through chapter 3 with our Little House in the Big Wood study.  Here is what we have done for chapters 4 through 7.

Soap whittling was the BIGGEST hit of the week!  The kids LOVED it! 

I had no idea how easy it would be to carve soap.  I bought a 6 pack of Ivory and we used pencils, spoons and butter knives to carve.  It was really fun and satisfying to see the block turn into a cute shape right before your eyes.  Plus my school room floor was cleaner than ever once we mopped up all the soap powder that spread everywhere!  LOL  (If you don’t want to clean your floor afterwards you might try this outside.)

Here are our finished projects!

Another hands on project we did was making paper lanterns.  This is super simple, but it was fun for the kids to pretend they were like Laura encountering a bear in lantern light! 
Here are the instructions to make a paper lantern. (You may notice in this pic that he crochet hearts have now spread to the school room!  I can’t stop making them! LOL)

We also worked on our lapbook pages.  One of the favorites for the kids was designing a tree that looked like a bear! (Pa encounters a bear in the woods that turns out to be burned out tree.)

The other booklets we did were: Pa and the Bear in the Way, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, Soap Whittling and Fiddle/Pop Goes the Weasel.

The plan is to finish up the rest of this book and lapbook next week.  Then we will move on to Little House on the Prairie book and

Happy Homeschooling,


Here are my other posts on The Little House in the Big Woods

Pioneer Times Study

Little House in the Big Woods – So Far

Pretzel Log Cabin

The Fiddle



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January 29, 2010 at 6:02 am (Uncategorized)

Just had to share that my 6 year old read his first book yesterday, quickly followed by his second book!  Hooray!  The day they "get" reading is the BEST day ever for a homeschool mom!  I just happened to be baking brownies when he read to me.  So I told him we would have brownies to celebrate.  He looked at me and said "Today I read a book and tomorrow I will write a book!"  I like his confident attitude! I wonder what he thinks he might get for writing one?  LOL

It was a wonderful homeschool day at our house!

Happy Homeschooling,


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American Girl Club Week 3 – Kirsten 1854

January 28, 2010 at 9:31 am (Uncategorized)

Wow, it’s hard to believe we are already half way through Kirsten!  But, this was week 3!

The book we read this week was the Christmas book.  So I thought it would be fun for our craft to be something a pioneer child would have gotten for Christmas.  So we made a Chromatrope Toy.

To make this I printed THIS PATTERN on card stock.  Two circles for each girl.  Each girl will also need a piece of cardboard to put in the middle of her two colored pieces of card stock.  (I cut up a pizza box.) Once they have their 3 layers glue sticked together you will use a nail to poke two holes in the middle.  This is the hardest part.  You need to get them centered like it is a button hole.  I made one that worked well and then used that one as a template to mark all the others.  (I tried to mark them on the pattern but couldn’t get them in the right place on the computer screen.  So sorry.) Then you need a piece of yarn (about 2 1/2 feet long) and a yarn needle.  Put the yarn through the holes, tie into a loop and start spinning!

My daughter coloring her chromatrope.

Learning to spin!

One of the mom’s helping the girl’s learn to spin.

We also did our Geography Notebook pages for Minnesota this week for Kirsten.
Here is the link to the pages the girls filled out. 

For snack we had Skansk Grot (Swedish Rice Porridge) This was YUMMY!  Of all the snacks we have had at American Girl Club this was probably my favorite.  I will be making this in the future!

So that was night three.  After the girls had the Skansk Grot they worked on their rag rugs some more.  They are coming along nicely!

Happy Homeschooling,


American Girl Club Week 1 – Kirsten 1854
American Girl Club Week 2 – Kirsten 1854

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Wordless Wednesday – Fire Dept. Field Trip

January 27, 2010 at 8:44 am (Uncategorized)


Happy Homeschooling,


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American Girl Geography Notebooks

January 26, 2010 at 8:26 am (Uncategorized)

During our Josefina study in the Fall I decided it would be nice for the girls to put together a notebook with pages from each of the States that the different American Girls live in.

Here is the notebook we are adding to as we study each girl.

Map for the girls to mark the State that each girl lives in.

One of the 4 geography sheets they will fill out about each State.

Here are links to the printables.


State Coloring Pages

State map, State shape, bird and flower.

Today we will be adding the sheets for Kirsten to our notebook.  :^)

Happy Homeschooling,


P.S.  Oh, since Kirsten is from Sweden we will also be adding this page:

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Lapbooking Class

January 25, 2010 at 8:40 am (Uncategorized)

Waaaayyyyy back in October I taught a "How To Begin Lapbooking" class for the kids in our homeschool group.  I have 30ish kids on a waiting list for another one I hope to teach in March or April.  So I decided I better write down what I can remember about the first one I taught before I forget it all! 

We started out with all the kids in one room having a brainstorming session.  The age range was from 3 to 15 so we had a wide variety of ideas.  I started out showing them a lapbooks of different levels my kids have made.  After I had showed them lapbooks for all ages I had them start to define what a lapbook is. 

Here is what they came up with:

A way to record information
A learning tool
A way to review
A way to "show off" what you have learned
A way to have FUN learning!

Next they all took turns throwing our ideas for lapbooks.  Here is what they came up with:

National Parks
Black Holes

Once we had a good list of topics we picked on to further investigate. They chose horses.  Then we brainstormed about booklets we could make to learn about horses.  Here is what they came up with.

  • Work horse do
  • Types of horse
  • Unique features
  • How to care for them
  • What do they eat
  • How to ride them
  • History of Horse Medicine
  • How they act
  • Horses uses in History
  • Wild Horses
  • How they came to the USA
  • Effect on the Native people of the USA

I wrote everything on the board as the kids came up with the ideas.  You can see that here:

I also talked a little about the RULES of lapbooking.  What are the rules?  THERE ARE NONE!  The kids really like this!  I told them that this was a tool for them to use to learn things.  They could do it any way that they and their mom’s agreed would work.  There is no right and wrong way to do it which is what I love best about lapbooking!

I also gave them some basic tips.  Like what supplies to have on hand.

(folders, paper, scissors, pencils, markers, stapler, paper brads, glue sticks)

After our brainstorming session we spent some time putting together a lapbook for them to go home and fill in later with the topic of their choice.

We made 7 different mini-books that I got the templates for from Here is the page with all their blank templates. the ones we used were the Matchbook – regular, Flip Flap with 3 Flaps, Octagon Shaped Fan – skinny, According Book Octagon Shaped Fat, Wheel Book 4 Divisions, Triangle Fold, Interlock medium size.

Here are a few of the girls putting their lapbook together.

Since we had 40 kids in the class I would have gone broke printing all these.  So what I did is print one to use as a template. Then two of the mom’s graciously pre-cut 40 copies of each out of construction paper for us.  (Except the
Wheel Book 4 Divisions.  That one I printed 40 copies of since I think it’s more likely to line up and work if you use a printable.)  This worked really well because this way all the kids had each of the booklets in a different color.  I could say "Get out your pink piece of paper."  and we were all working on the same booklet. 

Basically I had them fold their red folders and then we went through the booklets one color at a time and put them all together.  I also gave each of them a ziploc bag to take home the booklets in so they could fill them in before they glue them into the lapbook. 

Another shot of the kids working on their lapbooks.  :^)

It was a lot of fun and I am very happy to report that we have A LOT of families in our homeschool group now that are loving lapbooking!  I love hearing about the lapbooks being made when we all get together. 

I am looking forward to teaching this again soon!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Number Stamps

January 22, 2010 at 6:35 am (Uncategorized)

As much as I LOVE Math-U-See there is one weakness can see in the Primer book.  The lack of teaching the kids the proper way to write the numbers.  With my other kids I didn’t use Primer.  I just bought the little workbooks at the store until they were in 2nd grade.  But, my youngest REALLY wanted a REAL math book like his brother and sister have.  (They both do MUS.)  So I got it for him.  Instead of having the numbers with the start point for them to trace the numbers are just an outline for the kids to fill in.  My little man is having a hard time translating that to writing the numbers on his own.  So my original idea was to just get him a workbook to work on his numbers.  But, of course that would not be "real" math and he wants "real" math!  LOL  Luckily I found the answer!

Follow the Dot Number Stamps!

These were $10.00 at Lakeshore Learning

The thing I like about them is that I can just stamp them right in his MUS workbook!

The thing he likes about them is that after he find the answers to his math problems HE can stamp the answer and write the number himself! 
This is BIG fun when you are in Kindergarten!

I also like that I can just give him the ones to work on that he struggles the most with. (4, 5, 6, 9) and that we don’t have a second book to keep track of.  I can also see myself using these to make additional math problems for both my littles when they need extra practice.  (Oh, and how cute would these be on a scrapbook page about school?  LOL)

And for those of you wondering it all this working on math is worth it….
Here is a pic of my oldest who happened to wander downstairs while we were doing math.  (He does school upstairs.)  When he saw the MUS blocks were out he had to join us at the table and play!  LOL

Then he started telling his brother and sister about his favorite "math book" Math Curse and he got it out and read it to them. 
Of course the littles look up to him and were thrilled to have a little impromptu math lesson from their big brother.

It all makes me fell VERY blessed!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Crocheted Heart Garland

January 21, 2010 at 8:33 am (Uncategorized)

It seems like it’s rare these days that I get to do a craft that is just because I want to do it.  Over the weekend my grown nieces came to visit and we got to sit around a bit and work on "big girl projects". 

My oldest niece is the one that taught me how to crochet.  So this visit she taught me how to make hearts!

And here is how they look on my fireplace.

I just LOVE the way these sweet little hearts brighten the place up!  By Valentines Day we will probably have the entire house draped in them!  LOL

You can find the directions HERE

Happy Homeschooling,


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American Girl Club Week 2 – Kirsten 1854

January 20, 2010 at 8:53 am (Uncategorized)

Last night was week 2 of Kirsten.  In the book we read this week Kirsten has to memorize a poem to recite in front of her classmates.  I figured this was a great opportunity for the girls work on their public speaking!  So, I emailed all the mom’s 2 weeks ago and asked them to have their daughter memorize a poem or Bible verse to share with the group. I am SO proud of the girls!  Every single one of them memorized something and presented it!  They did an AWESOME job!

Here is my daughter doing hers.
Here is the poem she chose…

I Must Remember
By: Shel Silverstein

I must remember,
Turkey on Thanksgiving,
Pudding on Christmas,
Eggs on Easter,
Chicken on Sunday,
Fish on Friday,
Leftovers on Monday.
But, ah me I am such a dunce.
I went and ate them all at once!

For craft this week we made a Midsummers Wreath.  These are they wreaths that they decorate and put on the majstång (Translated into English as the Maypole, although the celebration is NOT in May.)  in Sweden to celebrate Midsummer. (Or the day of the year when the sun never sets!)

Working on their wreaths…

Lots of flowers and ribbons = lots of FUN!

Pretty smiles!

After our craft we had Swedish Meatballs for snack. (Thanks to IKEA!  LOL) 

Then the girls started their rag rugs.  The rag rugs will be our ongoing project for the whole 6 weeks.  I bought 38 yards of fabric for 20 girls.  So they should be able to get a decent size rug made. To make these they braiding three 1 inch strips of fabric together then rolling it into a coil and stitching it into a rug. 

One of the mom’s ripping fabric into strips.  I am SO blessed to have all these wonderful mom’s who help me SO, SO much!

Girls and mom’s working together…

Girls working together….

Girls working with their feet!  LOL

My daughter working on her rug.

It was another great night of American Girls Club!

Happy Homeschooling,


American Girl Club Week 1 – Kirsten 1854

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January 19, 2010 at 8:00 am (Uncategorized)

I have never been to Haiti, but since the earthquake I sort of feel like me heart has been there and I have been here.  No, that’s not entirely accurate.  The actual day of the quake and the next day I had a migraine and I was barely functioning.  I honestly don’t think I knew about the earthquake for a full 30 hours after it happened.  But, the minute I heard one name came to my mind…R*****.  You see my friend R***** is a missionary in Haiti.  She is actually an online friend I met through an online Mom’s group I have been in for 10 years.  Pretty much everything I know about Haiti I have learned from R*****.  So when I heard, and I got my wits about me, I ran to my computer and started searching emails, blogs and anything else I could find for news on R***** and her family.  Since I came into the whole thing so late after the earthquake within a half hour I read the wonderful words "We are alive!"  I can’t tell you what those words meant to me at that moment!  There were many, many tears. 

So once I knew my friend and her family were alive what could I do?  I prayed.  I prayed and prayed and prayed….I am still praying.  Of course that is a lot, but it’s not enough!  Once I had a Paypal link to the Christian school where my friend and her husband work I emptied out my Paypal account into theirs.  (It wasn’t much, but it was a little thing I could do.)  And I continue to pray….

Meanwhile the next day my daughter reminds me that one of our friends from American Girl Club is going any day with her Dad to pick up her new brother and sister from Haiti!  More frantic emails and more prayers later we learn that our friends adoptive children are also safe!  Praise the Lord!  But, they are stuck in Haiti!  Yes, they are legally adopted.  (Soooooooooo close to coming home.)  And yet they do not have visas, so they are stuck.  We are praying, praying praying for them too!  Right now we have heard that they are safe, they have food and water and their adoptive parents are working feverishly to get them home.  Please join me in praying for them!

With all this said I wish like anything there was more I could do!  Last night I was reading my emails and I got one from one of my favorite blogs Skip to My Lou.  She is feeling the same as me.  I can do so little.  But, she came up with a great idea!  If you send her an email and tell her what you have done to help Haiti she will send you an adorable valentines cupcake decorating set.  You can learn all about it HERE

If you have not yet made a donation to help in Haiti I have an offer for you! Please go the website of the school where my friend works and make a donation. They currently have a hospital set up in the school, are housing orphans, passing out water and food and touching the souls of the Haitian people. I promise you the money sent to them will get to the people of Haiti!  Then you can email Skip to My Lou and get your free cupcake set!

Most of all please continue to pray.  The one thing that resounds in my heart through all the stories my friend has told me about the Haitian people is that they are strong, loving and resourceful.  I have to believe that God is going to bring great things out of this great tragedy.

Happy Homeschooling,


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