Monday, August 30, 2010

Week 5: Jesus Chooses 4 Friends, Friends&Manners

Well, here we are in week 5. I cannot believe that it is almost September! At times August went really slow, but at other times it went quick. A week from today Annabelle will be 4. Wow!

Anyway, a couple highlights. This week we are learning about the calling of the disciples. How they were called to be Fishers of Men. We are talking about how they are friends to Jesus. We are also learning about what it means to be a friend, and discussing how to be polite. I will be trying to express to Annabelle that the way we treat people will directly effect how people will portray God. A confusing concept for a 4 year old, but I think that I managed to put it into kids terms. We will be doing a collage of friends during one of our craft times this week to show that our friends can be all different ages, shapes, colors, and genders (Annabelle has an issue with boys lol).

This little game is to help the Bible lesson for this week to stick in her heart. It's just a fun little go fish game. The person who finds the most fish hidden under the nets wins.

Ummm....this is my excessively mess shoe closet lol. We obviously didn't get around to playing the shoe pairs game last week, but we will this week. In the process I'm hoping to get the closet straightened and organized. Annabelle will be helping clean and not even know it. She will match all the shoes for me. She is actually pretty excited to do this (I have no idea why). lol
These are a selection of books for the next couple weeks. This week we will be working on a lapbook based on the book Feathers for Lunch. This book is an excellent book that will transition us from learning about Aa and Bb into learning more about Cc. Then the little Angus Lost trilogy will bring us into learning about Dd (these are super cute books by the way). We will also be talking about caterpillars and dinosaurs. It should be a fun couple weeks of reading!

Annabelle is loving the library books. She sits down and looks at every single one of them when I bring them home. I love that all three of my kids have a love for books. I am completely amazed when I sit down to read to them and then look at the clock and 20-30 minutes have passed!

I am really starting to get in the groove of things and really feeling fantastic about what we're doing. I have really surprised myself with being flexible. I love to get check things off a list and get everything accomplished. But I am learning to just roll with it. Somedays everything gets done, other days it doesn't and I'm ok with that. It's ok when things get done, because it will give us something to do during the downtimes when someone is asking for something to do. It also helps on weekends....because Annabelle is constantly asking me to do school on Saturday and Sunday!

I am also really enjoying my time with my kids more. Can I be real with you....sometimes spending time with kids is a chore for me. But I've found with planned activities and something in my mind to do ahead of time has really made me enjoy it 100% more. To the point that I look forward to it. Can I just encourage any mommies reading this that might feel the same as me to just plan a couple things to do with your kids during the week, and then do it whether you feel like it or not. I think that you will be pleasantly surprised how enjoyable it is. Ok, off my soapbox. lol

Well, time to prep lunch. Happy blogging.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Week 4 Review

Ok. I have a ton of pictures on here this week, so I'm going to let them do most of the talking!

We had a light craft week this week. We have a couple butterflies (the pink and purple being Annabelle's of course, the other is Asa's). Annabelle used her pink and purple paint that she had left over to paint her plate I thought that it looked really cool so I hung it up. :) The colored pictures are of Jesus teaching in the temple when he was a little guy. The circles with aluminum foil on them have little pictures that the kids drew of themselves on them. They say "Annabelle (or Asa) is growing." Didn't turn out so win some, you lose some I guess. lol

These cute little guys are hanging in our front window. The kids had fun sticking the bees on the flowers and the window.

We talked a little about how we are helpers and that now that they are growing they can begin to help around the house more. To which Annabelle replied, "Not me, I'm little." Then Asa cutely piped in, " I wittle too." Precious....needless to say it is going to take some work for this mommy to get some help around here! We made these little cloths for them to help wipe up the table with after meals. They did seem excited about using these, so we will see how that turns out.

This was our lapbook for the week. The book was The Red Carpet. It talks about the color red, introduced the letter Cc, and opened up the door to talk about how important it is to listen to directions and be obedient....and Annabelle came up with that conversation all by herself! I was pretty surprised when she said, "That carpet needs to listen should be obedient." I must admit, I was speechless for a moment and had to think how I could make it a learning opportunity. It also introduced authority figures and how they help us (police officers mainly). And helped us start talking about the directions left and right.....I love lapbooks! You can find everything you need to complete this lapbook here:

Annabelle enjoyed the lacing cards. This is the first she's played with these to my knowledge.

Fun with the sensory tub. Asa and Silas both really enjoyed this. I must admit it was a HUGE mess to clean up. So this will only be coming out once a week....or in desperate situations. lol (and it didn't stay on the sheet)

These are the growing sponges that we put into the water on Tuesday and just took out yesterday. They got really big. Annabelle looked at them everyday and noted the changes in them. These are from the Dollar Tree (my new favorite store).

We ended our Saturday evening with a fun family game called Hullabaloo. I highly recommend this. It is fun, easy, quick (we played 10 rounds in 15min.), and it practices listening skills. Zak even had fun. :)

Annabelle standing on the winning mat....she was pretty excited because everyone else had won a round but her, then she won on the last round!

Even Silas joined in the fun. He thought it was hilarious that we were all standing on these mats....he wanted in on the action.

Asa listening to where to go next....notice Silas waiting cute. lol

This was our week. It was a rough one due to some circumstances with our dog needing emergency surgery....but I think we still managed to have a good time, and learn a little in the process. Happy blogging :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Week 4: I Am Growing

This week and next week are both going to be more of review weeks. I also think that I'm going to introduce the letter Cc to Annabelle. She is showing interest in moving on from Aa and Bb, and since August if a 5 week month it would get really boring for her to sit here and have to do busy work for two weeks on something she is done with. So we are introducing the letter Cc this week.

Our Bible theme for the week is Jesus as a boy in the temple. It is always fun for me to think of our Saviour as a little 12 year old guy preaching in a temple full of Jewish theologians. Little did they know that He knows everything. :) It is also a great concept to introduce how little kids can be about God's work. You are never too young to grow God's kingdom. We will also be talking about how Annabelle is growing and doing some fun activities with that.

Also we'll be playing a fun shoe mix-up game. I'm going to pull out a lot of our shoes (which is a whole closet full!!), and then Annabelle and Asa will get to find matches. There are two shoes to every pair/match.

This is our new "Calendar" area. We discuss what day it is, what the weather is like outside, and we are keeping track of the weather as well. Just a quick 5 minute activity to start our day. The printouts for these are found here:

Ok, so there is a lot more organization and tweaking that I have been doing this last week and a half. I've been introduced to workboxes, and we all LOVE them. It is a fun way to help Annabelle become more independent in some of her work, and to help her visualize her schedule for the day. It takes prep work most nights, but I find that we are actually getting more things accomplished and some of the things that I've been wanting to do we are actually doing (i.e. games, lapbooking more efficiently etc.). I could talk forever about how these work, but I will just include links to some fantastic blogs that will be able to explain it more efficiently than I ever could.
This first picture is more or less the order of our day. The numbers coincide with which box Annabelle is supposed to get in at that particular moment. The printouts for these can be found at the same website that I mentioned above and here:

The second picture is of Annabelle's and Asa's boxes. When they complete a drawer they take the number off and put it into a small container I have designated for it. When I see that they have completed something (which is easy cause I'm generally standing right there) we remove it from our schedule and move on to the next thing.

This is Silas' little busy area. I plan on rotating these toys every week. This week we have plastic food, giant poms/giftbows, and wooden blocks. Just a little something to keep him entertained.
This is my other project I've been working on: the Sensory Table. We had this water table that we had never used. It's about a foot off the ground. This will be changed out every couple of weeks and filled with different sensory items. This is the Back to School theme. It is red shredded paper/foil paper, plastic apples, big erasers, paintbrushes, and pencils. My kids generally don't put these items in their mouths so I wasn't worried about the brushes and pencils. I already owned the pencils and brushes, and everything else was found at the Dollar Tree (my new favorite store!). They have fantastic preschool/toddler manipulatives there! I'm excited to bring this table out and see how my kids react to it. Note to self: Lay down a sheet. lol
To get other great sensory table ideas go here:

So this is the new and tweaked plan. It is Tuesday, and so far it is going very well. I will use it for a while and then let you know how it works out. :) Happy blogging.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Week 3 in Review

Here it is the week in review. We are having a good time still. And Annabelle consistently asks everyday, "Are we going to do school?". lol I'm having to come up with stuff to do over the weekends (which isn't very hard, we just complete whatever we didn't get to during the week). My house has finally settled back down to the normal level of chaos. I only have 3-5 kids instead of 6-8, so I'm able to give Asa more things to do, and he is really enjoying his little Tot School time. It makes him feel grown-up to do these special things with Annabelle. I just wanted to mention that these reviews never really show all the worksheets that we've been doing either. We do quite a few each week that I print from websites. We do a lot of them because Annabelle really enjoys them. And even though most of the time it is just busy work, I think that she feels really important to be doing them....and that is something that will not last long in her schooling lifetime. So we will embrace it while we can. :)

We talked alot about Jesus' first miracle at the wedding in Cana this week. Annabelle and Asa both really liked the visual of the water turning into Kool-Aid :)

We also found a really cool website to help with phonics. really cool! And it lets Annabelle play a game on the computer, which makes her feel really big. :)

Another new development this week. I put 3/4 of the kids toys away. I was sick of them playing (which basically means throwing everything off the shelves and out of bins...totally trashing the upstairs), and me having to clean everything up. So I put tons of stuff away and plan on rotating every quarter. Hopefully that will stimulate more actual play, since they don't have the temptation of the fun activity of destroying the upstairs. lol

Ok onto the pictures. I will try to post later today with our theme for the week and some of the things we will be doing. Otherwise, expect that post tomorrow for sure! Happy blogging.


Playing the Letter A game at Asa loves to watch too!

Screen shot of some of the game.

Annabelle's coloring skills. I just have to have a mommy brag moment. She is fantastic, meticulous, and anal when it comes to coloring. But it is exhausting to her, and she does NOT like to mess up. It took her a good 20 min. to color this little astronaut. lol

This is Silas enjoying himself while we are doing school. Wish he was always this happy and self-entertaining while we needed him to be. He stacked those blocks all by himself!
This is the much talked about Balloon Bat game. I stayed up until 12:30am hanging all these silly balloons. :)

But it was so worth the time. They had alot of fun. And they are still hanging up as we speak so that they can play again this week. Annabelle asked, "Is it my birthday?" And then said, "Birthday starts with B!" Funny girl.
Asa stretching to hit a balloon.
Our craft board. Annabelle's letter Bb with buttons, balloons, and butterflies, her circle collage (milk caps and contruction paper hole punches). The next thing is supposed to be a bear made out of circles, but she took it in a different direction lol...more like Picasso. Bingo marker pictures (bingo markers make fantastic circles!). Then there is Asa's Bb picture, followed by Annabelle's circle buddy, and her number 2 buddy. Pretty full week!

Friday, August 20, 2010


I really have to stop looking at other people's blogs and in the homeschooling forums. The more I look the more work I create for myself. lol I'm going to share with you a fun new project I've found called lapbooking. We have been working on a couple of them the last couple weeks. One of them is for the letter Aa, and the other goes along with the book We're Going on a Bear Hunt, and it enforces the letter Bb. Annabelle and I both love these. They are easy and fun to put together, and you can add something new each day. Plus it reinforces the phonic sounds that she is learning, and makes a great keepsake for her to go back and look at (which already happened this morning). It is also a great discussion tool and makes her think about things which I love. She has been more open to wondering and asking questions about things while we have been working on these. Things like I wonder who so and so's favorite color apple is...or what would you like to hunt for mommy? These questions of wondering never happened much before this, and I think it is opening up a whole new world to her. Exciting.

Ok, I will post some pics now so you know what they look like. Keep in mind that these are really simple ones. They can be more complex.

This is the front of the Aa lapbook. You may recognize the stained glass apple from our first week. Open it up and see what's inside. Apple, Apple, what begins with A? Just a wheel that turns and shows pics of things that begin with Aa. Apple Pattern Strips that she worked on to complete a pattern. The Apple Graph, she had to ask different people what their favorite color apple was (notice nobody said yellow lol). Big A, little A pockets sort the big and little Aa into their appropriate pocket. An Aa book to show more works that begin with Aa. How many apples she got to stamp the appropriate number of apples on the apple tree. Apple Pie Opposites is just what it sounds like, she has to match the opposites with each other (this is a complicated concept for her at this point).

Another shot of stuff out of the pockets....we had fun with this.

Now for our Bear Lapbook pictures.

The Story Sequencing Cards are fun items for her to be able to retell the story with. The Bible verse is under this flap, then there are the pattern bears that she had fun coloring. The lift and see flap is asking a question about what type of bear lives where, she had to glue the correct bear under each flap. Next is the over, under, through cave, we still have yet to do this but basically she will listen to the story and place the correct marker where is goes every time she hears it read. And the little flap with the girl and net was a fun little question she got to answer: What else would you like to hunt for? She said a poodle. lol :) So we did just that we hunted for one of her stuffed poodles.
A shot of everything out and opened.
Annabelle having fun this morning exploring her lapbook and playing with the sequecning cards. She did this for almost 30 minutes! Then she came up with the idea that tomorrow morning we should go on a bear hunt with her, Daddy, Silas, Asa, and me.....and Amos that is what we will be doing with our Saturday morning! How fun!

Lastly, if you would like to try your hand at some lapbooking of your own here are the links that I love and have used for these ones (and for others that I'm planning)

And I thought that there was another one, but I can't seem to find it. Anyway, looking forward to introducing another new idea in the next couple of posts. Still working on it and getting it ready. Until then happy blogging!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Week 3: Circles, Wedding at Cana, Aa, Bb, 1, 2

Well, week 3 is here and I must say that preschool is running more efficiently and better than I had hoped for! We have somewhat slower week this week. Not as many new and exciting things, but still a good week. The Wedding at Cana is the first recorded miracle of Jesus. I'm excited to share with Annabelle the power of God, and the incredible things that Jesus did while here on Earth.

We are also learning about circles. Now Annabelle already knows most of her shapes, but this theme also has a lot of fun things that Asa can join in on as well (and it is most helpful to have another child occupied with something to do lol).

I will be revisiting my Balloon Bat game this week since we weren't able to do that last week....I'm planning on doing that Wed. or Thurs. We are also doing a couple of collages. A circle collage, and a number two collage. The number two collage will be spread out over a couple weeks.

Included are some pictures of the activities we will be doing this week. I also included a picture of the books that we will be reading and focusing on this month that fit our themes. I will post later this week on the wonderful new world of lapbooking that Annabelle and I are thoroughly enjoying. Happy blogging!


This is our Chip Drop game. The object is to sort the poker chips into the same colored container. This game will be easy for Annabelle, but she will still have fun with it. Asa will also have a great time with this game. Notice that the shape of the poker chip is a circle. :)

The is the Apple Size Discrimination game. This is to help understand the concept of big, medium, and small (obviously lol).

This is a picture of our books for the month. They all pertain to themes that we have during the month. If anyone wants names of specific titles please ask. I thought that Annabelle would have a hard time paying attention to the non-fiction books about bears, but she is actually really enjoying them!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week 2 in Review

Whew....another week done. This week was a whirlwind of activity. Needless to say with extra kids and a spontaneous day out with Grandma I didn't get everything that I wanted to get done this week done. But this is the beauty of homeschooling. I can let my kids take a day off here and there and it is not so hard to make up. We still did get a lot done. The Balloon Bat game that I talked about the previous post did not get played, but it definately will be on the schedule this week.

Again this week Annabelle had such a great time. I always give her the option of wanting to school or not, and everyday she responds excitedly about wanting to do it. She is making progress with phonics. I think that once she actually catches on there will be no stopping her. I stumbled upon a website in a homeschool forum that I think is just plan fun...and it's free! It's a site with games on it for learning phonics. Go and visit, I don't think that you will be disappointed.

I will be posting a couple different times this week. One the normal rundown of our week, and something that I am so excited to share with you. A wonderful new world has been opened up to me....the world of lapbooking...more to come about that later. Hopefully, by Wednesday. I included a couple pictures of our week. Enjoy! Happy blogging.


Sprinkling coffee on her 'brown bear'.

This was by far her favorite craft of the week. We did a brown bear and a polar bear with their caves. She 'pet' them all day and wanted her picture taken next to them :)

Up close with the bears.

This is her finished brown bear. Her letter Bb's dressed up to look like bees...cute, Asa's color's supposed to be a red rose lol, a polar bear (this one was sprinkled with salt), and Annabelle's number 1 buddy. All in all....a great week!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bears, Adam & Eve, & Bb

Week 2 here we come! This week should be fun. I am introducing the letter Bb and the rest of this month will be focusing on Aa and Bb. I have a couple fun games that will be taking place as well as the file folder games, worksheets, and arts & crafts. Most of these activities you will have to wait and see pictures of at the end of the week.

In particular I'm looking forward to a little game called Balloon Bat. It consists of me hanging balloons from the ceiling and letting the kids run around and hit them. I haven't decided if I am going to make a variation of the game or not yet. I planned on writing Bb on all of the balloons, but I might write different letters on them and tell Annabelle she can only hit the ones with the Bb on it. We are going to be doing this game a couple more times this month so I will probably introduce that variation a little later.

I will also be introducing the number 2 this week. There are a few games that I have planned for that as well including a collage of pairs and a game called Find Two. Find Two is a game where Annabelle will reach in a bag and find two of the same object without looking. I am interested to see how that will work out.

Well, not as many pictures to post at the beginning this week, but there will definitely be more at the end of this week. Hope your week is as entertaining as mine is shaping up to be. :) Happy blogging!


These are butterfly color match file folder games in a couple different variations. Sorry again for the dark/not good quality pictures...can't seem to get the right lighting in here :/

These are Bear Dominoes that I made. Hoping to have a nice, quiet, fun game to counteract the Balloon Bat, which we all know will be pretty noisy and chaotic :)