Monday, April 1, 2013

Learning Log of March 2013

My existing boxes refreshed ready for seeds and new plants.
Spring is here!!! We have been busy this month. I say that every month, don't I ?

My oldest 2 were busy preparing for a Science Fair that will happen in April. I have been decluttering like crazy and selling things on Ebay. God was so good and I had the opportunity to meet a group of like minded Christian homeschooling moms.

To the left my winter garden: collards, kale, green onions and broccoli. We are so blessed to live in the northwest of Alabama and we really don't have much of winter, which I love. :) Now I am getting ready for Spring. My DH built us another 3 boxes this last weekend, and we had our first outdoor grilling of 2013. Green beans and mustard greens seeds are in the ground and I am germinating my herbs indoor for now.

I hope you can find some good links and suggestions of things, books or websites to use with your children. I am doing a give away and next Friday I will be announcing the winner and offer another great book. So if you would like to win a beautiful illustrated book on character and Bible for children, please go post a comment HERE.

Books Read Aloud 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).
* Secret of the Prince's Tomb # 7
* Battle for the Cannibal Island #8
* Escape to the Hiding Place #9

So far these are all the books released for this series. I am selling them all as a set. If you are interested in them please go HERE or email me at mytreasuredcreations at gmail dot com.

Why is mud so fascinating to kids??
* Amon's Adventure - A Family Story for Easter by Arnold Ytreeide - I have wanted to read this book for the past 2 years, but I thought my children were too young for it. Now, it's just the right time. This book will definitely be a keeper. It's written in a such a way that you can read a chapter a day during Lent or read a few for a couple of weeks before Easter. After each chapter, the author shares a Bible verse and a paragraph to think about related to the chapter. My kids are really enjoying the book, even DD5 is showing more interest in the gospel message. What I really liked about the book: there is lot of information about the Jewish ways of life, culture and belief. The book will transport you to the time of Jesus.I highly recommend it.I think we will definitely read this every year.

The trees are in bloom! Spring is here and the kids are in school. The park is all ours!!!

* Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do by Eileen Christelow
* Press Here by Herve Tullet  - interactive book. :)
* Wild about You! by Judy Sierra - love the illustrations... the mixed media artist in me loved to see the texture of paint brushes on the pages.
* Meet George Washington by Joan Heilbroner - Landmark Books 
* What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? by Jean Fritz  
* The Winter at the Valley Forge - Survival and Victory by James E. Knight - another book from the Sonlight curriculum.
* When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore - The perfect book for Spring Break if you are going to the beach. :)
* The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore by William Joyce - some books I just don't get it. :|
* Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen
* The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer
* Just in Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado 
* Home to Medicine Mountain by Chiori Santiago - This book led to a discussion about why we homeschool. 
* I want my Hat Back by Jon Klassen - another book that won an award. What for??? :(
* Tuesday by David Wiesner
* Lucas the Littlest Lizard by Kathy Helidoniotis

Spring is definitely here because we are outside playing with playdough.

* Lives of the Musicians - good times, bad times (and what the neighbors thought) by Kathleen Krull  - I had read about this book before and by chance, I found it in our library. So we read it and as to illustrate our reading we heard the Four Seasons and used Classics for Kids website that not only features the classical pieces but the history behind each piece and its composer, as well as worksheets and activities. I highly recommend it!!

Audio Books

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

Homemade pickled ginger that DD10 helped prepare.
* The Hobbit -We haven't heard it yet, but it's on cue on my YouTube channel for next month. Or you can FIND IT HERE for FREE on and download to your mp3 player.

* The Cat of Bubastes by A.G. Henty - DD10 heard this as an audio book this past month. We downloaded the files HERE. It's a historical fiction about Egypt.

* A. Lincoln by Ronald C. White, Jr.- 
I am done!! I don't think I got to the half of it... it's way too long and since I was only listening to it while driving around the speed I was going was way too slow. I would recommend it though. If you really like history and biographies you will enjoy this audiobook. If I had more time I would finish it, but it belongs to my library I got to return it so someone else can listen to it. :)

DS7 independent reading list:

 * Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems - he read this to his sisters out loud.
* Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble by Judy Schachner - he read this book to his sisters out loud.
* Oscar and the Cricket - a Book about Moving and Rolling by Geoff Waring
*  Lego - Stars Wars - The Phantom Menace by Hannah Dolan

DD10 independent reading list:

* Misty's Twilight by Marguerite Henry
* Crime Lab 101 by Robert Gardner - Experimenting with Crime Detection
* Your Allowance by Margaret Hall - Earning, Saving, Spending - We don't do allowances at our home. From time to time, I will offer money incentives for odd jobs or completed assignments.
* Favorite Norse Myths - retold by Mary Pope Osborne
* Artist to Artist - 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About their Art - I found this
DD10 reading ARtist to ARtist book 23 major illustrators
book at a thrifty store last year and it's a beautiful book. If you have artistic children at home, I highly recommend it.

* A Room with a Zoo by Jules Feiffer - for the animal lovers out there. :)
* Amazon Diary - The Jungle Adventures of Alex Winters - 4th time checking this book out. :) Do you have favorites too at your library??
* The Apple and The Arrow by Mary and Conrad Buff 
* The Bald Bandit by Ron Roy - A to Z Mysteries
* The Kidnapped King by Ron Roy - A to Z Mysteries  
* Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow - 
* Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene VelchinThe link will take you to a website where there is a wonderful book review full of details and useful information about the book and author. I highly recommend this book. AT a time where many in our country are being deceived and have government as their god, we need to study history to see what it has done to people all over the world. This would be a great read aloud.
Playdough Rainbow Dash by DD10
* Clementine by Sara Pennypacker - read once more so we could give it away or sell it.
*  The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl - DD10 own review "This book is great. It's completely unpredictable. You know, how some books you can tell what the plot will be? Like the guys who is bad turns good, or the good guy is actually a traitor? Well, this one you cannot tell what will happen. I liked it." So I guess I will be getting another book from the same author at the library. What do you think? Do you kids like Roald Dahl??
* James and The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
* Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow - a book about dogs and post WWII, also in Russia. We are looking to read the prequel Finding Zasha. 
* Steal Away Home by Lois Ruby DD10 and I are reading this book together at night or when the others kids are occupied and all is quiet. We are in the middle of it and it's taken us about 2 weeks. The book is set before the Civil War during the Underground Railroad and current times. It's 2 story lines in one book. Read the reviews on the link provided to find out more. Another treasure found at our library. The book is interesting enough that although sometimes we go days without reading it, we want to pick it up and see what happens next. I highly recommend it!
 * Wild Life by Cynthia DeFelice - this would probably be great for a boy, because it's the story about a boy whose parents are off serving the country and he has to live with his grandparents that don't understand him as well. It's adventurous, but open ended (my daughter didn't like that).
* The Encyclopedia of Horses Ponies by Tamsin Pickeral
* Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like by Jay Williams  
Making sushi with cotton balls, electrical tape and foam.
 Activities at Home

* One afternoon, we made cotton balls sushi craft. Instead of felt, we used foam stickers and pieces that we had laying around the house. As a follow up, we made real sushi a couple of weeks later with avocados, smoked salmon, cucumber, eggs and pickled ginger. We made our own pickled ginger, you can see HERE DD10 explaining how to peel the ginger root in a YouTube video. The kids did not enjoy the sushi rolls but DH and I goobled them up. 

* Unit Studies (not on purpose, it just happened!) - Composer Vivaldi... we heard the Four Seasons of Vivaldi ,
* DD10 is sewing again... creating her own designs.

* Preparing for Science Fair in April. Lots of research on Cells, watching videos, drawing, making lists, writing, writing, talking and discussion Creationism versus Evolutionism point of views.

* Stories of Adventure and Survival -  The Globe's Readers Collection - DD10 is working through this book. It's a book filled with short stories with writing exercises of comprehension and thinking critically.

* DD5 is working on ClickNKids that we purchased at the end of 2011. She can read all the short A sounds and we are now working with the short I and O sound words. I am using the Hooked On Phonics books I used with my oldest children, as well as Word Family Fun activities, Explode the Code 1, I Can Read It! book 1,

* DS7 and DD10 are doing the Logic of English Language of Arts curriculum together. We meet 3 x a week and for about 40 minutes or so, we goof around, laugh and learn about spelling, grammar and writing. The kids are enjoying and so am I!

* Lots of playing: in the mud; with playdo; outside; in the garden; in the park; on the Wii; with
The dance of glow in the dark sticks in our living room.
friends. We had a couple of playdates.

* DD5 was helping me the other day fold laundry and I videotaped her explaining how to fold socks. She loves to teach and boss her siblings around. I think she will be a great Mom. :)

* One night we had a black out for a few hours and I brought out the last of the glow in the dark sticks from last summer. Got to remember to buy more this summer. They are so much fun when the power goes out, or we swim at night.

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.

* Ballet and tap classes. Preparing for a Recital in May... the costumes are here and they are soooo cute! 

< As a side note and encouragement, I want to share with you how God made it possible for our girls to take these classes. Almost 2 years ago, when the girls began dancing I noticed that the studio was in need of cleaning. I figured the teacher probably didn't have anyone cleaning it for her and didn't have much time to actually do it herself. So I offered to swap services. I offered to clean the studio in exchange for the girls monthly fees. She accepted and since then every month I go there and sweep, dust, mop, clean and feel so good to be helping the teacher and making sure my kids are using a clean place. It was also a blessing when my DH work decreased and all of sudden the fees were just too much for our budget. Since the money wasn't coming out of pocket but sweat, we didn't fret. This month and last month, DD10 began going to work with me. She is becoming such a hard worker. She is so diligent and I am so blessed to work side by side with her. It's amazing the opportunities that God provides to teach our children the importance of work, service and the value of things, if we would just grab them. :) So be encouraged today, look around for the opportunities that present themselves to you. >

Our new pet: crawfishes that DD10 collected at the park!
* 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 go into water. They talked about buoyancy.

*An out of the blue trip to the park. I had to run to the post office so we just took a couple of hours off and went to the park. We collected crawfishes, checked on the frog eggs, lichens, mushrooms, moss, squirrels; played with children visiting from Iowa and enjoyed a beautiful sunny spring day.
 I decided to do some squats and lunges while the kids were playing and did not realize how out of shape I am until the next day. For the next 3 days I was so sore I could barely walk. :)

* Many trips to the library. Books, DVDs and any other educational items (toys included) are great items for libraries. What are you donating as you Spring clean?

Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

* Free Music Archive - where you can find classical pieces performed by orchestras... Here we The Four Seasons ; Mozart and Beethoven.
DD10 using Typing Web to improve her skills.
found the complete works of Vivaldi -

* Classics for Kids website -we listened to the programs about Vivaldi, Bach and used their activity sheets as complementary work, as well as listened to the music with the website above.

* Beethoven's Wig - more classical music with funny lyrics. Get your kids enjoying classical music.

*Animal Jam - According to DD10, it's awesome! It has animals, which she loves. Lots of social interaction, which is fantastic for a social butterfly. You do have to get a membership to get extra fun stuff according to my kids, BUT we are not members. Too much money for something that can get addicting really fast. I would say this is the facebook for kids. I don't do facebook, so what do I know!!?? Anyway, if you allow your kids to do social interactive websites and they are animal lovers, you might want to check this one out.

* Bozeman Science videos - For the science fair project, DD10 watched many of the biology videos on this website to prepare. Although, they are NOT from a creationist point of view, there is valuable information here.

*Typing Web - A few months ago the kids used the BBC Dance MAt Typing Game to learn how to type. Because of Animal Jam and all the chatting that goes one there, DD10 said she needed to improve her typing skills. So I found the Typing Web to be a better typing program since the exercises are more fluent and similar to real typing. You can create an account so you can keep up with your progress and it's FREE.

* Apps Games: Dinosaur War; Carnivores; My Little Pony;

Ballerinas and princesses like to swing!

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube

* The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe - DVD from our library.
* Over the Hedge - DVD from our library

* The Revolution - Disc 2 and 3 - a documentary on the Revolutionary War; from Netflix.
We are watching the videos as we read on the Revolutionary War. This documentary is really good, gives a really thorough perspective on the war that I never got in school or seen in textbooks for that matter. I highly recommend.

* My Little Pony; Doc McStuffins; 

* The Life of Jesus Christ - animated movie on YouTube. 

* Testament - The Life of Elijah - animated movie on YouTube- on this movie Elijah sings opera. I thought it was a very creative take on this story.

* The Life of Elisha - animated movie on YouTube - I think of all 3 this was my favorite.

* Spymate - a silly family movie.

* Good Eats on YouTube - we watched episodes on eggs and did our own experimentation with a variety of brands to find out which eggs where best.
Free range, grain fed, organic eggs?? which one is better??
* Thou Shall Laugh - The Deuce - Christian stand up comedy show on Netflix. So funny! The kids loved it! we will watch it again.. other than references to single parenting and being tempted by seeing a naked women, everything else was clean. Taylor Mason was really funny with all his puppets. He was a hit with the kids. You can watch him HERE on YouTube.

 Mom's Eclectic Reading List

* First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung - This is a dramatic story of family's survival that is torn apart by Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.... if you haven't read anything on this subject you might want to begin with this book. This is the first of a trilogy written by Loung who is a survivor and today lives in America. It will give you a new glimpse into Asian culture and the effect of communism.

* Becoming a Millionaire God's Way by DR C.Thomas Anderson - If you are NOT a tither or a giver, but a Christian this would be a good book to read to find out WHY these 2 things are very important.

* 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum - Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child's Learning Style by Cathy Duff - A friend gave this to me and by accident I read it. What a surprise! Inside I was able to find out what my learning style is, as well as, my kids learning preferences. Guess what?? We are doing exactly what we were supposed to. We are unschoolers, interest led learners at heart. :) I would highly recommend this book if you are doubting your journey, or struggling with a child. You might be able to find out what best learning style fits him. Read the reviews on the link, they are really helpful.

* Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver

So that is it for this month! Don't forget to check out the Give Away and there will be more in the coming Friday. 


1 comment:

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

Looks like lots of fun and learning take place in your home. i love the way you adapted the cotton ball sushi craft, it looks great!!

I also love the play dough "Rainbow Dash" pony - my favorite!

Pink and Green Mama