Sunday, March 3, 2013

Learning Log of February 2013

DD5 and DD3 making a Valentines' craft during our co-op.

The month of February was very busy. The kids prepared artwork for an Art Fair and we did more formal desk work using the Logic of English curriculum. I am also teaching DD5 to read using Hooked on Phonics and I am really tired. The learning log this month is not complete. There are a lot of information missing, but I am just too tired to go look for it.  The children also played a lot of new apps for Android and were really consumed by these new activities. I hope you find some useful info here.

I am now hosting Give Away Fridays!

Books Read Out Loud to All

Dad is reading The Word and Song Bible by Stephen Elkins every night as well as for our daily before bedtime routine the books from the series The Imagination Station: (You will find additional activities and information about each book on the site).
* Voyage with the Vikings #1
* Attack at the Arena #2
* Peril in the Palace #3
* Revenge of the Red Knight #4
* Showdown with the Shepherd #5
* Problems in Plymouth #6

DD10 working on her 3D artwork for the art fair
About these books... They are the Christian version of Magic Tree House books. They are entertaining and provide a good start to some of the historical events mentioned. DD5 and DS7 are paying more attention and anticipating the next chapter/ book. The books are a good starter point for great conversations, but they don't have much depth, instead they trigger curiosity to find out more about history and Christian content of the book. What I like about them is that they are "safe", don't contain magic (so far!) and the children in the book depict good behavior.

* For devotions,  I am reading Teach Them to Your Children by Sarah Wean (An Alphabet of Biblical Poems, Verses and Stories) to the children as well as The Awesome Book Bible Facts by Sandy Silverthorne.

*Valentines Day by Joyce K. Kessel
DS7 working on his mixed media piece for the art fair.
* The Adventures of Micki Microbe by Maurine Burnham Guymon - DD10 read this last year and we picked it up again at our library. This time, we read it out loud to all the children. Although some of the information is not accurate (i.e. vaccines) most of it is well worth the time. The story line really shows how we are surrounded by microbes and good hygienic habits are important to having a healthy life. The book provoked all sorts of questions and discussions. I highly recommend the book, if you can get a copy of it. The link is for a buy it now listing on Ebay.

* If you give a cat a cupcake by Laura Numeroff - I read this book to DD5 and then used Cupcakes Counting by 10s to play with her afterwards. We practiced counting by 10s up to 100. We then sorted the cupcakes by color; played what number is missing and spend some quality time together. I am finding out that with so many children a Mom has to consciously make an effort to spend one on one time with each child.
DD5 working on her artwork for the art fair.
* Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke - I find that it is so hard to find books that are 100% morally good. So I use the ones I find to teach the appropriate behavior. With this one, DD5 and I talked about the correct way that Princess could have talked to her Dad (the King) about her desires, instead of having a tantrum and being rebellious and disrespectful. This book would fit the Unschooling books category, if there was one. :)
* The Search for the Perfect Child by Jan Fearnley - I got 4 perfect children at home!!! hahahhaa :)
* I Speak Dinosaur! by Jed Henry
* Beautiful Buehla and the Zany Zoo Makeover by Gary Hogg
* The Tooth Book - A guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums by Edward Miller - Why do I have to send my kid to the dentist twice a year so a hygienist can clean his teeth? I think I am capable enough to teach him how to brush his teeth and make sure he is doing a good job. This book was a good starter for some good conversation about healthy teeth and gum and how we have bought into so many lies about them.
DD3 working on her motor skills by weaving.
* Matthew the Cowboy by Ruth Hooker
* Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire
* Angelina Star of the Show by Katharine Holabird
* Owen by Kevin Henkes
* Mary's Tiger by Rex Harley
* Toot and Puddle - Puddle's ABC by Holly Hobbie
* The Old, Old Man and the Very Little Boy by Kristine L. Franklin
* The Skippack School by Marguerite de Angeli - this book is part of Sonlight curriculum and is used to illustrate American History. It captivated DS7 and DD10 interest. I highly recommend it.
* And then what happened, Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz - I decided to read Abraham Lincoln's biography for President's Day, that sparkled interest in American History and we began watching a documentary on the Revolutionary War. So it just make sense to read this book on Paul Revere... also a book from Sonlight Curriculum.

The kids at co-op dissecting owl pellets.

Audio Books

* The kids have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales, worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia.

* A. Lincoln by Ronald C. White, Jr. - Still listening to this audio book, hoping to finish it in March. Here is what I said in January: We began this audio book read by Bill Weideman. It's massive but so interesting.We are listening to it in the car as we go to and fro places. It can be a bit over my head sometimes, so I know the kids are not understanding every word. But I really think it's important for us to listen to hard book because we always learn something knew even if we don't get every word of it!!!

Rodents teeth and skull found in an owl pellet during dissection.
* A Series of Unfortunate Events - Book 2 - The Reptile Room 

* Whit's End

DS7 independent reading list:

* He still reading a lot of books I am not aware of. I usually find out because he will be talking about something and I ask "where did you learn that?" and then he tells me about this book and that book. So he is reading... what he wants and when he wants. I have tried suggesting some books and even "made him" read a couple, but his response is always "this book is so boring!" So I am strewing books around the house, and on his bed and letting him pick and choose.
* Lego Club Jr. magazines
* If You're So Smart, How Come You Can't Spell Mississippi? (The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses) on the Kindle
* The Lego Book by Daniel Lipkowitz 

DD5 practicing letters and writing words on a salt tray.

DD10 independent reading list:
Wasn't able to keep track of many books she read this month... I noted the ones below:
*Duckling Diary by Ben M. Baglio
* Horrible Harry and the Ant Invasion by Suzy Kline
* About the History of the Calendar by A.E. Evenson
* Cool Physics Activities for Girls by Suzanne Slade  
* Jason's Gold by Will Hobbs  

* Write Away - a Handbook for Young Writers and Learners by Dave Kemper, Nathan and Sebranek. - I got this on Ebay a couple of years ago and DD10 is finally interested enough in writing to read it. Take a look at the link and the review there. It's exactly like it says, I don't need to repeat it. Highly recommend it!

DD10 monster sculpture done in salt dough.

Activities at Home

* Lots of playing: magnets, Legos, horses, playing house, cooking, making puppets and acting them out in plays. Also lots of DANCING. The kids watched some ballet videos on YouTube and that just triggered a ballet dancing frenzy at our home.

* I found Happy Hooligans and the owner of it has a daycare and provides so many activities for her little ones that she calls holligans. I used her idea for sensory boxes and brought out my craft supplies one day and let DD5 and DD3 play with them. They had a party dishing out pom poms, gems, buttons and foam stickers. I gave them some chipboard shapes and cupcake silicone cups and they went to town creating a restaurant, shop and selling cupcakes and other "food" they prepared. I highly recommend you check her website even if you don't have preschoolers, you might find some creative play for your big children also.

*  DD5 is working hard on her reading skills. She can read all one syllable words with the short A sound. We are using resources from Walking by the Way.

Building pyramids with plastic cups.
* DS7 is still building a lot. This month we used clear plastic cups as well as legos. They were everywhere. We also began decluttering our toy boxes and found some "new" toys we had forgotten we had.

* Lots of cooking... I am teaching DD10 how to bake and cook. She is really enjoying.

* LOTS of ART: We spend the month getting ready for the Art Fair. The kids worked hard to finish their projects during many days.
 * There will be a Science Fair in April and the kids are preparing for it by reading and researching different topics they are interested in. Will see what will come about.
* I am using The Logic of English curriculum as our Language Arts program with DS7 and DD10. It covers parts of speech, spelling and I am incorporating some writing aspects to it too. We are covering a lesson a week divided into 2 classes of about 30 minutes each. So far the kids are enjoying and it doesn't require a lot of planning on my part. I have The Logic of English textbook and the cursive workbook, as well as the Basic Phonogram Flash cards. The textbook is a teacher's manual too as it provides spelling lists, ideas for games and activities and the lesson plan. You can see more of it on this video.

I did the Phonemic Awareness with DD10 last year because although she is an advanced reader she has great difficulty with spelling. After we covered the Phonemic Awareness together, I noticed her struggles were diminished. We also began doing Denise's Spelling Videos on YouTube. It has helped her. DS7 is a great speller and has no trouble spelling words above his grade level. 

DD10 playing on cell craft.
The program is beneficial to both of them in very different ways:

- For DS7 who is in 2nd grade... he is learning what is a noun, adjective, compound words... he is also practicing his manuscript handwriting. DS7 is learning to put ideas together and turn them into sentences and stories.
- For DD10 who is in 4th grade... she is practicing her cursive handwriting, reviewing concepts she already knows of grammar and becoming confident in her spelling. She is also taking her writing to the next level.

What surprised me: the children are asking for the class. They enjoy the spelling dictation and love participating and answering questions. I hope this continues as we hit lessons that might be completely new and more challenging to them.This month we did the first 3 lessons.
* I have received The Logic of English Curriculum for FREE in exchange for my review.

 Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Karate classes - the kids are now in the intermediate class and sparring a whole lot more. It's amazing their growth in karate in just one year.

Making a Panda T-shirt during the birthday party of a new friend.
* A birthday party - The girls and I went to a birthday party and met a family that moved to our town recently. It was fun to make new friends. They got to play games and did a panda craft.

* Ballet and tap classes.

* Lego Club - this month, the homeschooling Dad hosted the club on a Saturday morning and the majority of the parents were dads. It was a good time for all. They built things that fly and discussed laws of physics.

* This month we participated in a local Co-op that offers a 4H class and other activities. The children participated in an Art Fair, an owl pellet dissection and a Valentine's Day Party.

Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

DS7 mixed media artwork for the ARt Fair.
* Apps for Android: Ice Age Village; Carnivores Dinosaur Hunter; Carnivores Ice Age; My Little Pony;

 * BozemanScience - DD10 played the Cellcraft game again this month. She is getting ready for a Science Fair and wants to do her presentation on cells. So she has been reading on cells, watching videos on the materials and preparing for her presentation. She wants to do a salt dough model of a cell and an eatable one. It should be fun and time consuming!! ahahha On Mr Bozeman's website we watched A Tour of the Cell; Cellular Organelles and Why are Cells Small together. While checking out Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology Textbook from Apologia I discovered that their sample PDF file was about the cells. So I downloaded and printed the pages and DD10 read them all. She really enjoyed the sample pages and asked me to purchase the book for her.
DD5 practicing writing her short A sound one syllable words.

*  - While at the Bozeman's website I watched the Abiogenesis video on how life began and as usual evolutionists provide a very contradictory explanation. So while researching about the Miller-Urey experiment I found . I highly recommend you check it out. There are many FREE resources there like videos, articles and other materials. Here is a video from Kent Hovind on how life began.

DD5 artwork for the art fair.

* I have compiled a few Playlists on my YouTube channel and we have been using them: Study on Cells, Histories that are Horrible; Comedy; more playlists HERE.

* Games:; Frogatto; Wolf quest;

New Lego creations by DD10.

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube findings

* Mr Bean: The Whole Bean - we watched the whole series together as a family. I think the best thing to beat the winter blues in some good comedy. I highly recommend it!

* The Revolution - Disc 1 from Netflix - This documentary is on the Revolutionary War and it's full of truthful information. Check it out and look at the reviews. I recommend it!

* Frogs and Toads - a Dutch movie on Netflix. Very cute!

* Chasing the Kidney Stone - another foreign movie, this time from Norway. Very interesting ,young Simon shrinks himself to miniscule size and embarks on an odyssey through the old man's body to seek and destroy the culprit: a nasty kidney stone. Caution: Costumes are very weird...can be scary to small children!

* Book of Virtues animated videos on YouTube;

* My Little Pony; Strawberry Shortcake; Oscar Oasis - on Netflix

Playing on Lego Creation website.
* White Fang - episodes on Netflix.

* Leap Frog movies on Netflix - reading, alphabet and numbers. - DD5 and DD3

* A lot of Angelina Ballerina, Horseland, Dr MacStuffin episodes; Go Diego Go!; Babar; Curious George; Sophia the First; Wild Kratts; Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood; Backyardigans;

* Economics Has Consequences - We began watching this and really enjoyed it. Here is more information on it from their website: "Abridged from the original 12-lesson series, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr clearly shows how economic freedom is directly related to religious freedom, and that the loss of one inevitably leads to the loss of the other.
Where the original series is great for small groups, Sunday schools, and students, the new version is perfect for a single session at a church, an evening's entertainment for a family, or an individual wanting a quick intro to economics." This video is FREE on YouTube during the month of March and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in economics and High school students too!!

* Torchlighters - The John Bunyan Story - another great resource for your devotionals, church History or ancient History curriculum. There is a lot of bonus features on these DVDs with more historical facts, sometimes interviews and more. Because my kids are young we are mostly sticking to the animated movie but I would recommend you watch the bonus feature for more in depth information if you got middle or high school aged children. For Perpetua and Jim Elliot's videos we watched the bonus feature and the more detailed information was extremely valuable. 

DD10 mixed media piece for the ARt Fair.

 Mom's Eclectic Reading List

Sensory play for DD3 and DD5.
* A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans

* Taking Charge of Your Fertility - The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler, MPH. - If you are a woman you should have this book on your bedside table. This is a MUST read!! I wish I had read this years ago. I borrowed this book from my library, but I will be purchasing my own copy. Check out the link and read the reviews. Very easy to understand and follow.

* There is more, always more.. so check my YouTube channel for videos and lessons saved there in my playlists. 

Yummy chocolate smoothie -->>> ---->>>>



I am cleaning my house and decided to down size the number of books and homeschooling resources I own... I will be selling some and doing some give aways too.

I am also downsizing my craft room and will be liquidating some of my inventory too.

If you are interested, please subscribe for my emails or follow me to be notified.

 Don't forget to check out my  Give Away Fridays!


scarlett clay said...

I love seeing the different types of artwork your kiddos are doing! Especially that mixed-media piece! :) Hope they have a great time at the art fair (we love those, too!)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Such wonderfully busy days:) Looks like a lot of hands-on learning, which we love! I see several resources that I need to check out...thanks!