Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sneak Peek Week 9: Abraham/Isaac, Ducks

Here we are, last week of September. Cannot believe October will be here before the week is out! Well, this post is going to be short and to the point. Mostly because there aren't a whole ton of activities that have been prepared beforehand with this week.

We are going to be continuing with learning about Abraham. This week we are going to add onto that story and bring in the birth of Isaac. This has always been one of my favorite lessons to do. I just love thinking about how faithful God is, and how good He is to provide (the sacrificial ram), and to keep His promises (the promised heir Isaac). Now, I won't get this in depth with Annabelle, but it does get me to think about it, and that is part of the reason I love to teach Annabelle these things. It brings it back to my remembrance. The living Word of God is powerful whether the lesson is for preschoolers or adults! That is exciting.

I know that I said that our theme is ducks, but this first activity is for dogs. We are working on our Angus Lost lapbook (Angus is a dog). It is a trilogy and one of the books is called Angus and the Ducks so that will be fun to tie this lapbook into the duck theme. This activity is sorting dogs with long legs and dogs with short legs. In the book Angus tries to keep up with the dog with long legs but he can't. These books are really charming.....kind of sad that I have to take them back to the library. lol I just have them sorting them onto the pages of the book, but it can also be sorted just into piles with no pictures.

On Friday we are going to be going on a Duck Hunt. I haven't decided if it is going to be inside or outside yet. Much of that depends on the weather. Either way these are the little guys we are hunting for.

This is the last picture (told you the post was going to be short!). I found these cute little duck baskets at a couple different thrift stores. I bought them knowing that I had this theme coming up. One duck gets to have all the yellow feathers, the other gets the orange feathers. Annabelle and Asa have both already have had lots of fun with this activity. Much to my surprise they really love the duck baskets the most. They each had quite a few things to say about them. So that has been great knowing that the dollar I spent on these baskets didn't go unnoticed. :)

A good friend of ours has Peking ducks (I think that is the breed). So we will be going over there sometime this week and watching the ducks. The kids have done this before and they all three really like seeing those silly ducks waddle around. Should be a fun week!
Now, I know I mentioned that I was adding a Wednesday post to the mix, but I'm not going to be starting that until next week. So my next post will be Saturday. Have a great rest of the week. Happy blogging.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Week 8 in Review - attempt #2

As per the title this is my 2nd write up of this post. My first one was lost in transmission....lesson learned, always save in Word document before publishing. :/ I hope that I still have it in me to write a good post. Here it goes....

Whew! What a week. This week I have been working really hard on getting organized and managing my time. I feel that over time with the help of FlyLady.net I will be able to get on top of managing my home how I want to. I was having a very difficult time balancing school, kids, cleaning, and the dreaded computer (aka my connection to the outside world). I am pleased to say that I think I have found a balance and pray that I can uphold it in the upcoming weeks. I am also really enjoying cleaning/organizing for the first time! (Did I really just say that?) I have been working hard to do things as unto the Lord as He truly deserves my best....not only that, but my best with a joyful heart. By managing my time I have been able to spend time doing things that are precious to me instead of wasting it sitting at a computer screen when I've already done everything that I really needed/wanted to do at the computer for the day.

So what does this mean for blogging? Well, have no fear. I am not going anywhere. This blog really does help keep me accountable and stirs up the need to continue and do something on the days where I might not want to do anything pertaining to preschool. I now have specific times during the week that are set aside for blogging. The Week in Review posts will now be done on Saturday (instead of the following Monday). Sneak Peeks (which is my new title for the week themes post) will be done on Sunday. I even have plans for a Wednesday post with a witty title I have yet to come up with based on what we are doing at that moment. That mid-week post will hopefully keep the Review post a little shorter. Ok, on to the fun stuff!

Our artboard was missing from the review last week, but is back in all its glory. Annabelle and Asa really enjoy doing their letter/number buddies. This week we did the #4 and letter C. As always, Asa's are the Picasso looking ones. The brown paper plates (cookies) they painted and put sprinkles (color paper hole punches) on. The green blob (Asa's) and the paper between the #4 and the C on the bottom are cookie cutter paintings. The kids really enjoyed these. Grandma and Grandpa were here to help with those also....only wish I had taken pictures of it. The pictures with the camel's on them are part of our Bible lesson. The kids colored them and then glued packs to the camels. They were packing for Abraham and Sarah when God told them to leave their home and told them to go to a different land. As you can see, we need a bigger artboard. lol

Working hard in her pjs. Annabelle is working on putting the packs on the camels here. I didn't get to do everything that I wanted to with the Abraham lessons so we will be continuing them into the beginning of this week. I want to build a tent with them and also let them help me pack a couple little overnight bags of what they would need.
Yes, Asa is wearing purple butterfly wings. This is what happens when you have an older sister who loves all things girly. :)

The wonderful autumn themed sensory tub. Let me just tell you a little story about my idea to use real acorns. All three kids were playing really nicely with this sensory tub, making a huge mess, but playing nicely none the less. Suddenly Annabelle yelled, "Look mommy, a worm." I went to look and lo and behold I saw it. A fat, white, grub with a bright red head. Quickly I took care of it. I began looking through the other acorns and to my absolute horror I saw about a dozen more fat, white grubs rummaging around in them. Needless to say the acorns had to go....immediately. So the next time that this sensory bin comes out the real acorns will be replaced by fake ones simulated by brown pom poms. Ewwww.......

Asa scooping and pouring, prior to the grub incident.

I put a couple new fall themed activities to help welcome autumn. Autumn is here, it was inevitable....so long beautiful summer! Silas is working diligently to put orange and green colored poms into a pumpkin shaped ice cube tray that I got at the dollar store. He really likes doing this stuff. I think that it makes him feel big.

This is the grown-up version of the same activity. Montessori schools call it transferring. It supposedly helps with dexterity and hand-eye coordination. I think that it is just a fancy way of saying fun busy work that keeps a child entertained that may have benefits in other areas of their mind. And I must say that these activities do keep my kids busy, and I'm happy to say that they are playing more imaginatively and not watching nearly as much television. (BONUS!!)

This is another new fall activity. Obviously the object is to sort pumpkins by size. Asa is clearly understanding this concept. This week I am going to add a medium sized pumpkin and see how he does. I got these pumpkins on one of my thrifting adventures....such a good find.

Such a hamball. He said, "Mommy, take a picture....I smile." lol

"This is a wittle one." Oh and this is the last post that Asa will have long hair. I was able to persuade him to sit in the chair and let the nice lady cut his hair on Saturday! He looks pretty handsome sporting his short do.

Well, that is it for now. I will post the Sneak Peek tomorrow. Have a great day. Happy blogging.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Week 8: Abraham, Cookies, Squares, #4

This post is going to be a little weak. Mostly because I haven't gotten the new trays and new sensory tub ready as planned. A trip to the Dollar Tree is in order. I need some more fake leaves. I might just have to do a mid-week post (my million readers all cheer in anticipation lol).

We are going to be learning some about Abraham this week. I say some because as a patriarch of our faith we could never cover all the lessons to be learned from his faith story in a week. Not only that I think that it would go over the heads of my sweet little 4 and 2.5 year old. I am hoping that Annabelle will glean from the lessons that I have planned for her the importance of obedience (this is a weekly lesson lol) and trust in God. Also, that God keeps his promises. He will do what He said He would do! Our God is faithful to completion of His Word! No really fun pictures at the moment for those lessons. We do have some fun printouts from HennyPenny that we'll be using to hopefully help these lessons sink into her heart.

Square is the shape of the month. I thought that this would be a good time to introduce the number 4 as well. This is an easy game to learn about squares and #s 1-4. There are two different versions: Matching Color Clothespins, and Matching Number Clothespins.

C is for cookie....that's good enough for me! What preschooler doesn't like cookies? I have yet to meet one. So our letter theme for the week is Cookies. I have a couple of fun games that we will play. Also I hope to be able to let the kids decorate sugar cookies on either Friday or Saturday (when daddy is home to help). It would definitely be a fun end to the week.

Match the cookie game. Pretty self-explanatory.

Feed Cookie Monster. Kind of like pin the tail on the donkey, but I think that Cookie Monster's mouth is bigger than most donkey behinds that I've seen. Hoping that this will be something that Annabelle and Asa enjoy.

Here is a preview of our books for the next couple of weeks. Surprisingly, the only children's book that I could find on cookies at our library was If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I was hoping that they would have a better selection. So I got a book about a cow and a cat. Annabelle enjoyed the dinosaurs so much that I got her a big picture book of dinosaurs to look at. I you look closely you will see what our letter theme for next week will be (hint...it says quack). Also, I got a book called Autumn. I thought that it would be appropriate seeing how tomorrow is the official first day of Autumn!

In addition to these activities I plan on starting another lapbook based on the book Angus the Dog. And if we have time and I'm feeling ambitious enough I will start the lapbook based on the book Are You My Mother. Oh, and we now have two carrot sprouts poking through the soil. I survived the first day without Zak being here this week. I'm very thankful that my parents made it back from vacation safely. Always nice to have an option of someplace to go in the evenings if we need to get out. One more hour until bedtime....should make it memorable. Happy blogging.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week 7 in Review

Here we are at the end of week 7. What a fun week we had. Our week here was much more unscheduled than normal due to Zak being on vacation. We did schooling here and there when daddy needed a break from all the attention the kids were giving him. On top of that Silas had to have tubes put in his ears Thursday morning which made for a day that was completely out of the norm for us (he did great!). I am pleased to say that my finger is healing nicely and can now use all my fingers to type again....yeah! :) Ok, on to the review.

Annabelle and I were able to finish the two lapbooks that have been taking a long time. I'm not including pictures of those or of our art board this week due to having so many other pictures. Rest assured that there are things hanging on it though.

Lets start out with what we did with dinosaurs this week. Annabelle and Asa got to 'excavate' them from the ice. They used warm water, salt, and hammers. They really both enjoyed this activity, and it kept them busy for quite a while. Her is Annabelle using salt to melt the ice faster.
Asa preferred the hammering method. lol

I was surprised at how much fun Silas had playing with these dinosaurs this week. He would make them roar at eachother. I must say it was quite cute.

Asa is obviously having a whole lot of fun making this crab craft. These remain unfinished as of right now, otherwise I would've included a picture. He is such a ham....all I said was, "Smile!". And this is what I got. He cracks me up.

I decided to take advantage of craft time this week while Zak was home. Annabelle and I made a stuffed fish. We each painted one side and then I stapled them together and stuffed it. Then we glued Jonah in the middle of the fish praying. We both had a good time painting.

Guess who's side this is.

A good friend picked up all these wooden spools for me at a Goodwill. There are probably close to 200 of them. All three kids have been having a blast building with them all week. I have a feeling I will be using these quite regularly in our rotation.

Just one of the many towers that were built with the spools.

The Jonah Toss game goes into the books as their favorite thing this week. Zak made it so much more fun that I had originally thought it could be. Here is the play by play. Annabelle, Asa, and Cheer Bear (Annabelle's new favorite) line up and wait with great anticipation.....

Zak makes the whale 'throw-up'. (This was the kids favorite part)

They are allowed to only pick up one at a time and bring them back to the can and put them into the whale.

Annabelle having a good time running....trying to get more balls than Asa. This game lasted a good 30 minutes for two nights in a row. I have a feeling it will get pulled out again tonight before bedtime.

Well, that pretty much sums up this week. We all had a lot of fun and will all definitely miss Zak (daddy) when he goes back to work. He really makes the days more fun around here! Happy blogging!

OOOHHHHH P.S. Our first little carrot seed has popped through the soil. Annabelle and I are both really, very excited! I actually might have been more excited than her. lol

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Week 7: Jonah and the Big Fish, Dinosaurs

Here we are a day in which means a day late. Sorry. We did do school yesterday though...and I already have some great pictures for the review post. The last few times I've posted I've just been explaining between pictures. I like that so I'm going to continue that!

Our Bible theme this week is Jonah and the Big Fish. Annabelle likes to call it a whale-fish, because she has heard this lesson both ways (with a whale and a fish). lol There are very important lessons to be learned from this piece of history. The obvious lesson is obedience, and with disobedience there are consequences. So we will be talking about obedience. But the other lesson that I want her to take from this is that God forgives. Even when we are wrong, or do something that grieves Him, He longs for us to repent and return to Him....all we have to do is ask. This is evidenced in this lesson through the second chance God gave Jonah who deliberately went against God, AND in God's forgiveness of a repentant country who didn't know they were doing wrong until Jonah told them.

Anyway, there are so many fun activities that can be done with this! This first picture is just a quantifying with whale erasers (from the Dollar Tree). Annabelle and Asa both like to do this, although it is really easy for Annabelle.

What did the whale eat? A fun little game where you put your hand in, pull out a card and see what the whale ate. The goal is to find Jonah. This is made with paper plates, and some laminated clipart....easy to make (there is one of my favorite words). Should be fun! The idea for this was found at www.daniellesplace.com it was one of the free sample lessons.
Toss Jonah game. Jonah's consequence for his disobedience was being thrown into the water and swallowed by a whale. In this game the kiddos will be throwing bean bag balls into the can (symbolizing throwing Jonah into a whale). We are also going to watch the Veggie Tales Jonah movie.
DINOSAURS. This is our Dd theme of the week. This letter will be introduced through dinosaurs. Really fun. I have a few books from the library. This picture is a couple activities that I printed off from www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com There are two piece dinosaur color matching puzzles (for Asa) and number matching (for Annabelle).
This is some of our dinosaur collection that I recently purchased at Target and the Dollar Tree. So far Annabelle and Silas have been having the most fun with these guys. We've also been watching Land Before Time and Dinosaur Train (both available instantly through Netflix...amazing what you can watch without cable!).

So these are the big new plans for the week. We are also going to be finishing a couple lapbooks this week and hopefully I will be able to post those for our week in review. And STILL waiting for that little carrot to pop its head up. :) Happy blogging!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Week 6 in Review

Sorry it is late. Which means this weeks focus will be a day late too. Zak is home this week on vacation so that is really exciting and distracting. I also got a much needed girls overnight with great friends this last weekend which also caused the delay. To top it all off I sliced through my finger (my right index one at that!) and am attempting to type this up still without it. I didn't get any pictures if Asa this week....sad, but there are some of the other two. So without further adieu, here are the pictures of our week.

C is for caterpillar (and cotton balls). We made fun Cc's that look like caterpillars. Annabelle picked black for her construction paper color, very different for her. Asa, on the other hand, picked a bright cheery yellow. :) Then we have the number 3s each with 3 circles, squares, and triangles on them. We also did a collage of things you can find in your home and talked a lot about family.

This little idea, though great in theory proved to be difficult for Annabelle and Asa. They had a hard time manipulating the yarn to follow the number 3. I probably won't repeat this for my kids when they are this age again. But here it is completed on the wall mostly done by me while they watched.
Here are the cute baskets with the fish and bread in them to assist with teaching the feeding of the 5,000. Asa's is on the left and Annabelle's is on the right. I must say that Asa was much more into school this week than Annabelle was. So his is more decorative than Annabelle's. I was pleased with how much Annabelle took away from this lesson. We were able to talk a lot about sharing and giving. And how important it is to give no matter how much or how little we have. I'm praying that this will become instilled in her little heart, and will be evidenced in the upcoming months.

These little handprints are what we made for their grandparents (they even painted the stems themselves). They are supposed to look like flowers. I'm not sure if they do or not, but they're cute either way. Annabelle was really excited to send these out in the mail. So any grandparents if you're reading this you should be getting these hopefully in the next couple days.
Also not pictured is Annabelle's first 'letter' that we sent out to her pen pal, Jasmine. She even received her first 'letter' from her today. Annabelle really enjoyed getting something in the mail.

Here is Silas 'sorting' erasers. He really just enjoyed picking them up off the floor and putting them in the little tray.

I would say that planting these carrot seeds were the highlight of Annabelle's week. She really enjoyed it. I just hope that she has more of a green thumb than me. lol Here she is putting the dirt into the pot.

Sprinkling the seeds into the dirt. Then we watered it.

Every morning the first thing she wants to do is check on her carrots, and sprinkle them with water. Nothing has popped up yet, and she is being very patient about it. Me on the other hand am very impatient and just hope I didn't kill the poor little things. lol

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week 6: Feeding of the 5,000, Families, #3, Cc

Woohoo....September. Goodness, time is speeding by (for the most part). This week we are going to be having some fun. We are going to be talking about families, and all the people that make up a family. Grandparents Day is coming up so all of you who read this who are grandparents to Annabelle pretend to be surprised when you have a made with love card/craft handed to you. Annabelle has already started making things for her grandparents and is enjoying it

There are so many fun things that you can do while learning about the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. With goldfish crackers and bread many things are possible. :) This is a picture of a craft/Bible activity that will be used to re-tell the lesson. I try give Annabelle a craft to do that will be able to be used to re-tell the story for every lesson. This way one or more of the mornings when we are going over the lesson she can 'teach' the lesson to me. This is a fun way to know that she understands and remembers what is going on in her lessons. So this is a picture of what that craft is this week (she is going to be decorating the basket...that is what will make it a craft).
Our shape of the month is the square. Again, Annabelle is familiar with these shapes, but these activities will benefit Asa. This is a fun shape game that I made. I cut out these shapes from foam. They will be put on the floor and we'll play a version of musical shapes. Turn on the music and when it stops find a square. I could also do a "Stand on a green square" type of game. Possibilities are endless and it was quick, cheap, and easy to make!

We are also learning about the number 3 the next couple of weeks. This is a fun feltboard game that introduces the concept of 3. Three circles make a snowman. A little early for snow, but another fun, cheap, easy idea. (Those three words make my day...fun, cheap, easy :))

While we will be finishing up our Feathers for lunch lapbook this week, we will also be starting a new one. This one is based off the book called The Carrot Seed. Carrot starts with c so it goes along with one of our letters for the month. I'm really excited about planting the carrot seeds and watching them grow with Annabelle. This project will last a while. She has a little book where she will draw a picture of what the plant looks like every 10 days. Seeing this is the first time Annabelle has ever planted and taken care of something it should hopefully be a fun, rewarding experience. (I really hope this goes well....I'm kind of notorious for killing plants. lol) You can find everything you need for this lapbook at HomeschoolShare.com

Also, we are going to be talking about caterpillars this week. I have a lot of fun caterpillar activities planned. I will post more about that at the end of the week since I will still be putting most of those together tonight after the kids are in bed.
Lastly there are a couple new things in the busy trays right now. This first one is sorting paperclips by color. They are getting sorted into these cute little baskets. I thought that the baskets went well with the feeding of the 5000 story....wish I had some cute little fish to sort instead of paperclips....I'll have to find those another time (after my spending freeze is lifted). SIDENOTE: If any of you ever go thrifting and find some great sorting materials I would be more than happy to pay you back for them! Anything that can be sorted by color, size, or type would work great!

This is also in the busy trays right now. It goes along with the Feathers for Lunch lapbook. It is a fun bird bingo type game. I've been really amazed with how many different types of birds Annabelle has been able to identify by looking at the pictures since playing this game. Bonus: She really has fun playing these kinds of games. What is better than playing and learning at the same time? Not much!

Ok, that is all I have time for today. Time to plant some carrot seeds. Happy blogging.