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Showing posts from October, 2012

Which Tree is Yours? ~ Outdoor Hour Challenge

October's Outdoor Hour Challenges from Handbook of Nature Study centered around Trees. The kids and I had started identifying trees at our local park this summer, so we transitioned into these lessons quite nicely. We didn't get all of the challenges done, per se, but made connections none-the-less.

Our fun primarily included going to the park and each choosing a tree to follow all year.

Brynne chose the Maple.


Eli chose the Sweetgum.


And I chose the mighty Oak. I had the kids run around the park and find the tree with the acorns. It took some time, but they found one. We observed the acorns and the oak leaves. Several times through the month I would hold up a leaf at the park to see if they could identify it, trying to focus on the oak, maple, and sweetgum. We are trying to get to know our three trees more intimately, and can't wait to see what they look like covered in snow.


We did bark and leaf rubbings of "our trees", and pressed leaves.




We also spent some o…

Halloween Unit

Am the only one who has had Halloween sneak up on her? I mean, I have the costumes mostly done, and I have the candy bought, but somehow I forgot to plan a fun Halloween school unit! So I spent some time this weekend working on a unit for us to do today, because tomorrow we are going to go on a mini-field trip to a pumpkin patch.

The three essentials of a unit study for me are literature (reading), writing, and math. Then I try to throw in a craft activity and possibly a food. Here is what we have planned for our unit:


Literature.
Halloween Pie by Michael Tunnell

Jack-o-Lanterns by Lola Schaefer

The Magic Pumpkin by Bill Martin

Rattlebone Rock by Sylvia Andrews

Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet by Diane De Groat

Writing.

We will read Riddles that Rhyme for Halloween Time by Leonard Kessler and then choose a riddle for copywork and an illustration.


Math.
We will do some Halloween Magic Squares with double-digit addition.


Crafts and Activities.
History and puzzles from SchoolExpress Halloween unit st…

The Week Ahead

I love how Lora at My Blessed Life always does a weekly preview post. So, I thought I would give it a shot this week, especially since we will be kind of all over the place. This might help me stay on track. Here are the plans ...

Monday
Babysitting my 3 month old niece, Ashtyn, in the morning and then again in the afternoonHaving a "regular" day of school, in between babysitting, with our unit study being IndonesiaCub scouts Chicken tetrazzini for dinnerTuesday
Halloween unit study full of literature, writing, math, crafts, and cookingHandbell choir practice Spooky burgers and bloody finger fries for dinnerWednesday
More Halloween fun with a trip to the pumpkin patchTrick-or-treating on Main Street and at the nursing home Hot dogs at church for dinnerThursday
Another "regular" day of school, with more Indonesia studiesCalzones for dinnerRun "to town" for groceries in the evening Friday
Start an Election unit study that we will finish on Tuesday Daddy's he…

Samson's Classroom ~ Schoolhouse Review

"This is really fun!" ~ Brynne, age 7

"I wish I could do the karate game for spelling today." ~ Eli, age 8


These were some of our endorsements for Samson's Classroom, a fun online educational program that reinforces sight word recognition, spelling, and reading comprehension for grades K-5. We have been reviewing this product for the Schoolhouse Review Crew for the past month or so. There were parts that we LOVED and parts that we didn't care for as much.


Here's a breakdown:

Sight Words. My kids, ages 7 and 8 are already avid readers, so the Sight Words games were not beneficial to them. I did have them play each of the games, however, and they said that they were really fun. If they were emerging readers, I can see that this part of the program would have been extremely beneficial to them.


Spelling. We use a spelling program in our regular studies that does not have my children learning designated spelling lists from which they take traditional spelling …

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Geography

Ever since we downloaded Stack the States onto our iPad, my kids have been hooked on geography! Once they had exhausted that game, they wanted to move on to Stack the Countries. It was hard! But it didn't take them any time before they had mastered many aspects of it. And now they have an amazing ability to identify locations of countries, their flags, monuments, native languages and more. They blow me out of the water. They even want to decorate their bedroom in a geography theme with flags, maps, etc., and I have found the coolest world map rug that would start off the theme perfectly! Christmas gift???

Yesterday, we were reading the book Monkey Colors by Darrin Lunde, which includes a world map on the back page showing where the monkeys live. My kids, seriously, were able to identify which country those monkeys lived in, just by looking at the blank map. I was astounded! (And they proved it to me by bringing up the maps on Stack the Countries.)

Their love of geography made me …

Little Hoot ~ Amy Krouse Rosenthal {Virtual Book Club for Kids}

I have decided to start participating in the Virtual Book Club for Kids blog hop with Toddler Approved and a host of others. This month we were to read to our children a book written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. We chose Little Hoot.



Poor Little Hoot. He loves everything, except bedtime! Why? Because his parents make him stay up late, like all the other owls, and he wants to go to bed like all his friends do! One particular night his mom makes him stay up another hour before he can go to bed, so he comes up with a whole bunch of activities to keep him busy.

After reading the book, we did the majority of Little Hoot's activities.

We played swords.


We jumped on the bed.


We went to the park and played on the jungle gym.

We made a fort and played in it, and did some reading with flashlights.


We were going to rake up a pile of leaves and jump in them, but they were soggy wet from the previous night's rain. We did scooter to grandma's for lunch, like we do every Tuesday.

After we got …