Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Cleaning

In honor of the first day of fall. we began our fall cleaning.

The playroom/classroom/office is the first room we have tackled, because it needed the most work. I like to get the hardest jobs done first. I find that I motivate myself that way to continue on to the rest of the house. Unfortunately I didn't think to take before pics, but believe me when I say it looks like a whole new room. Now if we can just keep it that way!!!

I am very happy to have all of the school stuff up on these shelves. It makes it easy to see everything and find what we need.

These trains make the biggest mess, or is it the little boy who loves them? To hear him tell it they jump out of their bins onto the floor of their own accord, but I'll let you be the judge of that.

My lovely floor model, Jonathan, showing off the tidy toys.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nature Walk

On a typical nature walk, for us, we are out 30-45min and we poke around and look at everything that interests us. Sometimes, after our walk, we want to know more about something we found (like dragonflies)and we come in and look it up or draw a picture about what we saw.

Today Benjamin was not feeling his best and he was not his usual curious self. We still enjoyed going for a walk, seeing animals, and just being outdoors in general.

"Our Birds"
We have been very fortunate to watch these birds that live close to our entry. We saw mommy bird building her nest and then sitting patiently on her eggs. We saw the babies just after they hatched and watched as mommy bird fed them (Benjamin named the baby birds Benjamin and Jonathan). We helped one back into the nest after it tumbled out (unharmed) and every day, actually several times a day, we go say hi and listen to their chirping.

Checking the lake for alligators. We've not ever seen any, but you never know in Florida.


Mommy duck and ducklings.

Examining the berries on the tree that I told him never to eat.

Mr. Squirrel.

Lemon Fever Cake

What to do when your preschooler has a fever?

Why you make a Lemon Fever Cake. Lopsided enough that it could grace the pages of a Dr. Suess book.

The important thing to remember: just make them happy!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Human Body Week

Week 2 Journal:

This week our overall theme is The Human Body. Our Bible theme is Noah and the Ark. The memory verse for the month is "Be angry and do not sin" Ephesians 4:26a.


Today is Library day, which means Benjamin had preschool story time this morning. The theme was Grandparents are Great, in honor of Grandparents day. He learned this very cute poem

Grandma and Grandpa Come to Visit

When Grandma comes to visit,
We like to play with toys.
We read a book, and sing some songs.
That's what she enjoys.

When Grandpa come to visit,
He likes to tickle me.
We take a walk, and then I jump up,
And Grandpa carries me.

One of the books they read that he really enjoyed was Grandma, it's for you! by Harriet Ziefert. It is about a little girl that wanted to give her grandma the perfect gift so she made her a one-of-a-kind hat.

For our theme today, we traced Benjamin on a large sheet of paper and cut out and pasted a heart, lungs, and part of the digestive system. We also drew on veins and discussed the basic functions of the organs we made. Benjamin LOVES science, so this theme really appeals to him.


Today was Sprout Club for Benjamin. In addition to his home classes he went to Selby Gardens for his preschool class. The theme there today was the Rainforest. He learned about many types of foods that come from the Rainforest and he tasted all of the samples - cashews, chocolate, vanilla, coffee - he saw the poison dart frogs and watched a demonstration of a poison dart gun.

Checking out the poison dart frogs

This was Benjamin's interpretation of the hand and footprint bird.

Today we started our human body lapbook.


Today Benjamin went to the Moppets program while I attended MOPS. In his class he learned about baby Moses and this song that he has sung to me over and over again:

Itty Bitty Moses (to the tune of Itsy Bitsy Spider)

Itty Bitty Moses was crying in his room,
Then came his mommy and sang a little tune.
"Hush little baby, the Lord will be your guide,
And no one will ever harm you,
for God is by your side."

Into a tiny basket, the baby Moses went,
Placed into the Nile, and to the palace sent.
"Hush little baby, the Lord will be your guide,
And no one will ever harm you,
for God is by your side."

Lovely Pharaoh's daughter saw Moses in the Nile,
picked him up and loved him, raised him as her child.

"Hush little baby, the Lord will be your guide,
And no one will ever harm you,
for God is by your side."

I was impressed with how quickly he picked this song up. He was able to retell the story he heard because of it.
These are his papers. He apparently got distracted by drawing trains:)
(click on them to see them clearly)

Today we made "Inside-out-bodies". We had a lot of fun with this. Benjamin particularly enjoyed inflating his "lungs".


Both of these days we worked on our lapbook and read from our library books. In addition to our other classes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Human Body Lapbook

Here is our very first LAPBOOK!

This is the front cover:

The first inside flap:
We used the hand and foot puppets as we sang:
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.
Eyes, and ears, and mouth,
And nose.
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.
We repeat this song, singing it faster with each round, until we can no longer sing for laughing :)

We also sang If You're Happy and You Know It, but I think the puppets preferred the other song ;)

The first inside center:

For this section, I used this face labeling diagram to label the parts of the face as he told them to me.
The paper doll we used to talk about clothing for our bodies: what goes where, when different types are worn etc.

Here is a close up of the boy paper doll (Jonathan).

Here is the second inside center:

As he colored the I will take care of my body
images, we talked about what he could do every day to stay clean and healthy.

With the heart flap up:

Benjamin really liked making this mini My Body book.

Some of the pages from his mini book.

The last inside flap:

The back cover:

He chose to include a drawing of his daddy's body.

Our book list:

The other books on our list:
Human Body,
by Caroline Bingham, a DK Eye Witness Book, 2003
~We loved the detailed pictures. This book was very fun to look at.
My Wonderful Body, by Alexandra Parsons,
A Franklin Watts Book, 1997 First American Edition
~ Very detailed. We enjoyed the cartoon depictions of the body at work.
A Drop of Blood, by Paul Showers, a Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science Book, 1989 ed.
~Fun Pictures of a boy and his dog as they discover things about the human body.
Your Insides, by Joanna Cole, 1992 ed.
~The see through pages in this book we’re our favorite. We could lift up the skin page and see muscles and bones. Under that we saw the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. Finally was the brain and nervous system. This book was very fun!

We enjoyed making this book so much I believe lapbooking will become a regular part of our curriculum. Benjamin has repeatedly gone through this book and retold to me the things he has learned. I do believe this was a success!

Other graphics I used:
the human organs
I also used the free site fotosearch.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You know you are a homeschool mom when...

You get to change more than diapers, you get to change their minds.

When a child busts a lip, and after seeing she's okay, you round up some scotch tape to capture some blood and look at it under the microscope!

You find dead animals and actually consider saving them to dissect later.

Your children never ever leave the "why?" stage.

You ask for, and get, a copier instead of a diamond tennis bracelet for your wedding anniversary.

Your kids think reading history is best accomplished while lying on the floor with their head resting on the side of their patient dog.

Your husband can walk in at the end of a long day and tell how the science experiment went just by looking at the house.

You never have to drive your child's forgotten lunch to school.

Your child will never suffer the embarrassment of group showers after PE.

The only debate about the school lunch program is whose turn it is to cook.

You never have to face the dilemma of whether to take your child's side or the teacher's side in a dispute at school.

If your child gets drugs at school, it's probably Tylenol.

Your neighbors think you are insane.

Your formal dining room now has a computer, copy machine, and many book shelves and there are educational posters and maps all over the walls.

You have meal worms growing in a container....on purpose.

If you get caught talking to yourself, you can claim you're having a PTA meeting.

Talking out loud to yourself is a parent/teacher conference.

You take off for a teacher in-service day because the principal needs clean underwear.

You can't make it through a movie without pointing out the historical inaccuracies.

You step on math manipulative on your pre-dawn stumble to the bathroom.

The teacher gets to kiss the principal in the faculty lounge and no one gossips.

Your honor student can actually read the bumper sticker that you have put on your car.

If your child claims that the dog ate his homework, you can ask the dog.

Some day your children will consider you to be a miracle-working expert and will turn to you for advice.

Your kids refer to the neighbor kids as "government school inmates."

You can't make it through the grocery produce department without asking your preschooler the name and color of every vegetable.

You can't put your produce in your cart without asking your older student to estimate it's weight and verify accuracy.

You live in a one-house schoolroom.

Your favorite Christmas gift was a gift certificate to a book store.

The principal can give the teacher a pat on the behind and it's not harassment.

Your kids will actually talk to grown ups at a family gathering and are actually patient with kids half their age.

You can take the time to look at a tiny spider on a log.

You can listen to your child's favorite hilarious passage from Hank the Cowdog 47 times.

Your daughter, who is practically a vegetarian, is begging her dad to shoot some starlings so she can pluck them and clean them up to make a "blackbird" pie just like the Ingalls family.

You're almost afraid to put your hand in your purse because you not sure if your 6yo has put something that's alive (or possibly not alive, but once was) to take home to view under the microscope.

You have a line item in your budget for overdue book fines.

You have to add the words: "homeschool, homeschooler, and homeschooling" to your computer's spell checker so it will stop marking them as wrong.

Your house in on the Parade of Homes List - for educational merchandisers.

When visiting a strange town you see a parking lot full of mini-vans and station wagons and wonder if it's a homeschooling conference.

Your friends don't want to help you move because you have so many books.

Your school clothes have more holes in the knees than your play clothes.
(I have had this saved for some time. I only wish I remember where I found it)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

School Week

Week 1 Journal:

It's the first week of our official homeschool!
Our theme this week is, well, school. I am going to teach Benjamin rules, where to find school supplies, and what he can expect during our school time. Our Bible theme this week is Creation and this month's memory verse is "Be angry and do not sin" Ephesians 4:26a.


First day of Preschool!


We started our individual subjects and I "tested" (I use this term very loosely)him on his current level of understanding and development. This gave me a good idea on where to begin with him.


Sunday is Grandparent's day, so in addition to our classes we talked about Grandma's and Grandpa's. We finished out our first week by making Grandparent's day cards for his Gran-mommy, Gaga, Grandpa, and Grandma-Ann (when he says this it sounds like Granma-nan).