Spring Break!

March 29, 2010 at 8:46 am (Uncategorized)

Whoooo Hooooo!  We are one SPRING BREAK this week!  To make things even better…my rent-a-kid is here for the week!  YAY!!!!!  The weather is suppose to be gorgeous all week and we have TONS of things planned!  So I am taking a blog Spring Break too!  I want to enjoy every minute I can with my kiddos this week!

I will leave you with pictures of what we did over the weekend…

We bought a play structure from our friends for our littles!

Here are my kids with our friends that we bought the play structure from. 
It is a Rainbow Play System and although it’s 10 years old it’s still super strong and in great shape! These are our friends that moved here from Las Vegas, so our kids have played together on this is two States!  Now it’s moved to our house.  :^) (I am glad the boys can still come visit their clubhouse! As they called it!)

Here is my little man HAPPY to be getting his "tree house", as he calls it.  (We are pretty sure "tree house" was his first word! LOL He has been wanting one of these for years!)

Here are the boys carrying the disassembled play structure board by board to our back yard.

No sense walking when dad is pushing the empty dolly!

Pieces in a heap ready to be assembled.

The littles helping dad with the assembly. (You can’t see my daughter too well, but she is behind dad helping too.)

Once the swing section was assembled dad lost his helpers…They were too busy swinging!

Here is the final masterpiece!
The kids are VERY grateful to their daddy for all the hard work he did to move this to our yard.  (And in case you are wondering…YES, my teenager did help A LOT with this project.  It’s weird that I don’t have any pics of him helping.  I think what happened is that he and I switch back and forth helping dad and I was taking pics when it was my turn to work. :^)

Okay, we are off to enjoy our Spring Break!  We will see you again after Easter.

Happy Homeschooling and have a WONDERFUL Easter!

Jamin

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Hobble Horse

March 25, 2010 at 7:03 am (Uncategorized)

Yesterday I was working on making the sample craft for next week’s American Girl Club.  My daughter came by and said "Is that a Hobble Horse?"  I said "It’s called a Hobby Horse."  "Oh, HOBBY"  she replied "Like my hobby is beading and your hobby is being a mom?"  LOL

Yeah, like that! 

Here is my little man trying out the one I made.


Here are the directions to make your own Hobble/Hobby Horse.  :^)

You will need:

  • 1 one inch X 36 inch dowel
  • 1 wood cap for the bottom of the dowel. (I just tried different beads in the wood section of the craft store until I found one that fit.)
  • 1 mens crew sock (You want the kind with a built in heel.  Not a tube sock.)
  • 2 buttons for eyes
  • Yarn for mane
  • white felt for ears
  • Fiber fill to stuff the head
  • yarn needle
  • white glue
  • hot glue
  • thread and needle (To sew eyes and ears on with.)

Step 1:

Fill the sock with fiberfill up the the point of the heel.

Step 2:

Glue the wood cap on the end of the dowel.

Step 3:

Insert the end of the dowel (That doesn’t have the cap on it.) into the sock so that the dowel is resting in the heel.  Then stuff the rest of the sock with fiberfill and tie with yarn to secure to the dowel about 2 inches above the end of the sock. Hot glue the dowel rod under the loose portion of the sock and then pull that portion down and secure to the dowel.  (This will keep the head from flying off the dowel if a wild 6 year old spins it around the room.  Learned this the hard way!  LOL)

Step 4:

Sew on the button eyes.  Cut 2 triangles of white felt for the ears.  Sew the ears on.

Step 5:

Use your yarn needle to add the mane.  I sewed 3 rows of long pieces down the back.  Tie each one in a knot to secure it.

Here are a few more pictures of so you can see the details better.

The head

The mane

The ball on the end that will drag on the floor as they ride.

That is it!  Have fun riding your Hobby Horse!


Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

P.S.  Here is another use for these, other than teaching about toys from the 1800’s.  One of my friends said they made these when her daughter was little at a My Little Pony Birthday Party!  They added ribbons and barrettes to make them "girlie".  What FUN!

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American Girl Club – Addy 1864 – Week 3

March 24, 2010 at 7:48 am (Uncategorized)

This week we read the Christmas book in the Addy series.  One of the things that happened in the book was that Addy saw a red scarf in the window of a second hand store that she wants to buy for Mama.  She decides to save up her money and buy it as a surprise.  However, as time passes she feels conflicted because she also wants to spend the money to help other newly freed slaves.  I won’t tell you what happens, but the story inspired us to make scarfs for our Mama’s!  We actually had 2 "planned" crafts this week.  Another part of the story was that they had a shadow puppet show as part of their Christmas celebration. So for our second craft we made a shadow puppet! I said we had 2 "planned" crafts because the 3rd craft the girls came up with themselves!  They noticed I had some extra red polar fleece so they asked if they could use it to make scarfs for their dolls. 

Here is the night in pictures….

My daughter working on her shadow puppet.

For the scarfs I gave the girls a 42"X7" piece of polar fleece.  Then they cut fringe on each end and tied the fringe in a knot.  Here is a finished one.

Girls working on their crafts.

One of the puppets put together.
For the puppets I traced the body onto a manilla folder.  (There are 5 pieces.  The body, 2 upper arms and 2 lower arms.)Then they girls colored the dress portion and cut them out.  Then we punched holes to connect the puppets with mini-brads.  (We used the ones you find in the scrapbook dept.) Then we glued 3 dowel rods to the back.  (On in the center and one to each hand.)  Then the girls went to town decorating them!

One of the mom’s wearing the scarf her daughter made for her.

A finished shadow puppet!

My daughter showing her scarf she made for Addy.

Our YUMMY snack!  Sweet Potato Pudding!

The girls lined up to accessorize their shadow puppets.  I brought fabric, pearls, ribbon and lace and the mom’s helped them glue them on.  Each one became quite a masterpiece!

This puppet matches the girl who made her!

My daughter helping one of the little girls make a scarf for her doll. :^)

Making a doll scarf.

2 finished puppets with their creators!

After all our crafts were done we all gathered around and sang 2 of the songs mentioned in this weeks book.  Joy to the World and This Little Light of Mine.

My daughter with her puppet.

So that was week 3 which means we are half way through Addy!  Wow, these weeks go FAST!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

American Girl Club – Addy 1864 – Week 1
American Girl Club – Addy 1864 – Week 2

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More Math!

March 23, 2010 at 7:01 am (Uncategorized)

I was sitting at the table working on Math with my daughter yesterday.  She was dawdling and complaining.  Finally I said to her very seriously "Look, you need to pay attention and get this work done.  We have to finish this book this school year."  My daughter looks at me and says innocently "Why?"  I replied (with much aggravation in my voice) "Because this is a 3rd grade math book and you will be in FOURTH grade next year!"  Without missing a beat my daughter looks me right in the eye and says "You’re kidding me! There’s MORE!?!?!"  LOL

I love my kids!  They always make me laugh when I need it the most! 

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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Mad Science – Slime

March 22, 2010 at 8:48 am (Uncategorized)

This week for Mad Science we studied SLIME

We learned that:

Polymers are long chains of molecules
Polymers are formed by "cross linking" (or holding hands.)
Polymers give things elasticity and can be found in plastics, rubber and skin.

We experimented with Silly Putty and observed it’s properties…

Bouncing Silly Puttty

Getting the news to print on Silly Putty.

We created a chemical reaction by combining polyvinyl alcohol and sodium borate — making our own SLIME!

We played with our slime by stretching and squishing it!

The little kids had their own fun playing with Play-doh and hanging out with some of the mom’s.

It was another great week of Mad Science!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

Read my other posts on Mad Science:
Mad Science – Light and Color
Mad Science Kid’s Day
Mad Science at My House – Watt’s Up?
Mad Science – Dry Ice

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Boys Book Club – Wishbone – Beowulf

March 19, 2010 at 9:26 am (Uncategorized)

The boys book club my youngest son joined last month met again yesterday.  The boys are now going to be reading the Wishbone books!  I am very excited about this because I have such great memories of reading them with my oldest son. Although these books are now out of print, my oldest son LOVED them so we own many of them already.  If you have kids over the age of 10 you probably remember the PBS show Wishbone.  The premise of the show (and the books) is that Wishbone, a cute little dog, imagines himself as  the main character in classic stories.  He also has a current day story going with his owner Joe that follows the same theme as the classic story. 

Beowulf was the first story…and boy was it a BOY story!  LOL  Dragons, monsters, swords, and lots of action packed fighting!  What is not to love?  My little man was on the edge of his seat from cover to cover!  The writer did a good job of taking a classic tale that is intended for a much older audience and introducing it to kids.

Here are some pictures of the boys at book club…

Discussing the book.

My little man working on his Beowulf craft.  A SWORD!

Making swords is a GOOD boy craft!

He likes it!

It’s even better after adding a few jewels!

Yep, boys book club was a hit!

My son is already excited about reading the next book, which is based on Treasure Island!  There are actually several series of Wishbone books.  The ones we are starting with are The Adventures of Wishbone series.  Here are the books we will be reading in the coming months:

Salty Dog based on Treasure Island
The Prince and the Pooch based on The Prince and the Pauper
Robinhound Crusoe based on Robinson Crusoe
Hunchdog of Notre Dame based on The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Digging Up the Past based on Rip Van Winkle
The Mutt in the Iron Muzzle based on The Man in the Iron Mask
Muttketeer based on The 3 Musketeers
A Tale of Two Sitters based on A Tale of Two Cities
Moby Dog based on Moby Dick
The Pawloined Paper based on The Purloined Letter
Dog Overboard based on Kidnapped
A Pup in King Arthur’s Court based on A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthurs Court
The Last of the Breed based on The Last of the Mohicans
Digging to the Center of the Earth based on Journey to the Center of the Earth
Gullifur’s Travels based on Gulliver’s Travels
Terrier of the Lost Mines based on King Solomon’s Mines
Ivanhound based on Ivanho
Huckleberry Dog based on Huck Finn
Twenty Thousand Wags Under the Sea based on Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

As you can see the boys will be getting some great exposure to some wonderful classic literature!  I am so thankful for the mom who is hosting this in her home each month!  My son is LOVING having his own boys book club and I am thrilled to see him SO excited to dig into books!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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Why I Love Home Shcooling

March 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm (Uncategorized)

A note from my daughter…


In case you can’t read it in the picture it says…

Why I Love Home Shcooling

I love homeshcooling Because it is fun! We Get to read cool Books & do Kid day’s and hav Mad Science.  it is so much fun!  i love my mom. the End!

:^)

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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Lapbook Organizing

March 18, 2010 at 8:25 am (Uncategorized)

Awhile back I gave a quick 15 minute talk about organizing lapbooks at our monthly homeschool meeting.  I have been meaning to post the info here too, so here it goes!

Here are the basics…

When we start a new lapbook I print out all the pages and put them in a folder.  If all 3 kids are doing different lapbooks they each get their own folder.  If the littles are both doing the same one I put all the copies in one.  Then I also put a gallon sized ziploc bag in the folder with the appropriate child’s name on the bag.  This is where their finished booklets will go. 

Next I decide how long I want them to take working on this lapbook.  I count the number of booklets and divide it by the number of days.  Then I write a note in the folder letting the kids know how many booklets they need to do per day. 

During school time when we are ready to work on our lapbook we have a bag that we keep all our lapbooking supplies in. 


In this bag we have:

packing tape
double sided tape
other scrapbooking adhesives (Whatever I have gotten cheap at Big Lots.)
crayons
color pencils
scissors
stapler
staples
pencils
Sharpies
templates to make letters
templates to make lines in booklets (Bought these in Target Dollar Bin)
Stamps to make lines on booklets (Bought these at Michael’s Dollar Bin)
glue sticks
ribbon
brads
Little booklet of Bible verses (Kids use this often to find a verse to add to their lapbook.)

Once the kids have completed all their booklets we have a bin of folders for them to chose folders from.


Once they have selected their folders we work together to lay out the booklets and place them inside.  Honestly my daughter is much more interested in this process than the boys are.  Often I end up putting the booklets in for the boys. :^)

To store our completed lapbooks we use these cardboard magazine holders from IKEA.  They work great and they fit on a bookshelf nicely.  We have 7 of these filled after 4 years of lapbooking!


That is pretty much it!  One of the things I love about lapbooking is how simple it really is!

If you have felt intimidated to start a lapbook I hope this helps to simplify things.

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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American Girl Club – Addy 1864 – Week 2

March 17, 2010 at 8:53 am (Uncategorized)

Week 2 of Addy was SUPER busy!  We started out the night with a Spelling Bee!  I had emailed out a list of spelling words last week for the girls to study.  Since the girls range from Kindergarten to 6th grade we split them in 2 groups.  (K-3 and 4-6)  We did a double elimination so that the girls wouldn’t be out if they missed only one word.  They all did really well!  It was nerve wracking for many of them, but I think overall it was a good experience.  I made certificates of participation for them at this website:

http://www.123certificates.com/makeit/spelling.php

After the Spelling Bee I read to them from the book If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War and Welcome to Addy’s World: Pages 8 – 11 and 28 – 33.

Next I showed them the abacus I made and explained to them a little about how it works.  We also passed around a little slate like Addy would have used in school along with her abacus.

Finally it was time for our craft! This week we made an appliqued pillow.  There was a great picture in the Welcome to Addy’s World book of a quilt that had been made by a slave.  It had appliqued pictures of Bible stories on it.  I showed that to the girls to inspire them.  Then I turned them loose with fabric, thread and felt!

The girls working on their pillows.

Stuffing!

A few of the finished (or almost finished) projects!

For snack we had
Black Eyed Peas and Buttermilk Biscuits. They were great!

So that was week two of Addy!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

American Girl Club – Addy 1864 – Week 1

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Homemade Abacus

March 16, 2010 at 7:29 am (Uncategorized)

In book two of the Addy series Addy goes to school for the first time.  One of the tools she uses at school is an Abacus.  I wanted to girls to get to experiment with an Abacus, so I thought I would make one for them to try out.


I found the directions to make this HERE.  I followed the directions pretty much (Which is odd for me.) although I added an extra bar for support.  I also used hot glue instead of wood glue.

I plan on using THIS Brief Introduction to the Abacus to explain to the girls how to use it. And showing the THIS video for more info. (And just for fun HERE is a video of a Japanese girl using an Abacus lightening fast!)

I hope they like it!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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