Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tank is 2!

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Turbo is 6!

Okay, so usually I take like 100's of photos at parties, and I did! But I CANNOT FIND THEM!!! Goes to show you what happens when you have 4 photo shoots and 2 birthdays within a 2 week time span. I hope I didn't delete them and that they are only in another album, hidden away for a special surprise one day. UGH!!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall Bucket List

I won't take credit for this Bucket List, but when I found it on Pinterest, it basically had everything on it that we wanted to do, and then some. Happy Fall! What's on your Bucket List?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tricky Science Thursday

Today we focused on the 5 Senses. I know, I know, there are actually 7, but trying to explain proprioceptive and vestibular to a 6 year old would be...well let's just say...nothing...let's move on.

We started out with making a picture of our 5 Senses. Tank even got in on the action:

Then we did a little game of Guess What's Missing.

Using sandpaper, we cut out a gingerbread man, and then rubbed a cinnamon stick all over it. DELIGHTFUL Smell!

Then, using rubber bands, I tied up Turbo's hands, so that he couldn't use them. We guesstimated how long it would take before he used his hands and then how long it would take for me to use my hands. We timed ourselves and then made a chart.

Next, we did a game of What is in the Sock? I put 4 different objects in a sock and he had to feel what was inside of them and guess what they were, using a chart to track his guesses.

We did a taste test of sugar, salt, apples, and pears. Since both look like the other, he was pleased with one and not so much the other with salt/sugar. Pears surprised him as he thought they were pineapple...????HUH????

Who could resist a game of old fashioned telephone made out of 2 cans and string. We had fun doing this game!

Finally, we made a book to culminate our findings and explorations for the day. Here is Turbo explaining the 5 senses to me. HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read/Write Connection

I decided to have Turbo try is hand at writing a paragraph. He has written many things, although copying. I wanted to see how he would react. HOLY COW!! Totally against it in every way. But being persistent, we got it done...5 45 minutes. But he did it!!!

The Read/Write Connection is a great way, I think, to help kids write a great paragraph.

Using the Stoplight visual, we forged ahead and wrote about his experience at the Pumpkin Patch. I think it's pretty good for his first attempt at writing an essay paragraph!

Post Crossing

I really have no idea where I saw this, but I think it is great! Before, Turbo would be pen pals with family and far away friends, which I still want to do once we get settled down. But this is great, because everyone loves getting something in the mail! Now, we are getting postcards in the mail from all over the world!

Just this week we got a postcard from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Minsk, Belarus! (Which I have to admit, I didn't even know was a country)

Here's the scoop: Visit Fill out a profile, select Send Postcard and voila! You'll be given an address to send a postcard. Send if off and wait for a postcard to be sent in the mail to you! It's that easy. You can send up to 5 postcards at a time.

Yesterday, the boys and I made a visit to Hobby Lobby and we found a HUGE world map for 5 bucks (via 40% off coupon). We have begun circling the towns that each card has been sent from and tallying each country's flag to see which country we get the most cards from. Right now, China and the U.S. are in the running.

Over meals, the family spends time just staring at the map looking at different places in the world. We talk about where each family member has visited, where family members live, etc. I'm sure dream vacations conversations will happen in the near future!

We then bought a ring to keep our postcards. This will be a great collection when the boys get older. Imagine all the great postcards from around the world, years old! Not to mention the wonderful stamps used to send them!

What a great way to introduce the world to them!

Cobra Weave Exploding Stick Bomb

In researching some fun and crazy science activities to do with the boys on Thursdays, I found this. We are not doing it today, but yes my friends, one day, one day we will!
This weave was made with 1000 sticks!!!

This is a Popsicle stick weave chain reaction called the “Cobra Weave Exploding Stick Bomb,” and you can do it yourself following an Instructables How To. — Time to go out and buy Popsicle!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

School Schedule

Being in a new home, I figured school would definitely be easier. More space, less distractions, yada, yada. Boy, was I wrong.

I understood that being in a new home provided a lot of excitement, but what I didn't count on was the excitement not being extending to school in the new home. WHAT A JOKE! Turbo refused to do any kind of schoolwork because Tank was having fun and he was not. Little did he know that Tank was suffering just as much has he was because his task was to group colors in his "toy set" and not just throw them or chew them.

So we had to make some changes. I reviewed my blog entries from his Therapy, and realized that I had failed to introduce a new schedule to Turbo, ESPECIALLY since we are in a new place, starting a new year of Kindergarten/1st grade, and in reality a new life.

So, I stopped school all together for a few days to take some time, step back and reorganize school. This is what we came up with: I know that Turbo does REALLY well with focusing on one subject per day. Instead of transitioning to different subject every day. Yes, I know that this is a valuable lesson for him to learn, but he is 6 and a BOY!, and that is the luxury I have in homeschooling.


I ordered and began using Number Neighbors from Muggins Math. It is a hands one way to show numbers and how they relate. IT. IS. AWE. SOME. I'm so glad I spent the money to get it. The lesson on EVEN and ODD numbers was simple and easy and he got it RIGHT AWAY!

We still use the math concepts from My Fathers World but no longer rely on it being the only thing. Of course I supplement with fun math activities such as Pumpkin Seed Math (since it is fall), cooking, going to the pumpkin patch and weighing pumpkins, sizing them to small, medium, large, etc. and using the computer for games such as Cool Math Games.

TUESDAY is TRUTH Day and I have now included SPANISH
A homeschooling mom showed me this curriculum for teaching Bible stories using stick figures. It is called Grapevine Studies. The teacher draws the stick figures while teaching the story just as the student follows drawing on his/her own paper. I finally found something where Turbo will listen and sit through. Tank likes to sit down too, although he just colors on the window like I do and doesn't really pay attention. Go figure.

For Spanish, I am still searching somewhat cheap...OKAY FREE...curriculum and have found some beginning studies at Homeschool Share where you type in the search engine "SPANISH" and some lapbook studies appear with free download and printables. We will be using that until find something better.

Here is where we focus a lot of Spelling, Writing, and Reading. I've complied a lot of different curriculum here from everything we are doing and have. Spelling comes in every subject, but I specifically use Hooked on Spelling computer program. Turbo likes and dislikes it. I don't use it often, only when it works with the words/blends we are studying at that time.

I found this free Reading program from 1+1+1=1. It is called You Can Read! It is mainly a free program, with the option to pay $5 to get to the ad free section. Here, she breaks down all of the site words into groups of 4 and provides activities and worksheets to help the student learn and remember the site words. Very awesome.

Then, we supplement this all with the reading/writing/blend ladders from My Fathers World. Although the Kindergarten level seems to be a bit easy for Turbo, we pick and choose things that will strengthen his understanding of the English language. We use BOB BOOKS and other beginning readers to help with comprehension as well.


With all of the curriculum comes experiments and fun activities that we found we didn't have time for throughout the day because I realized school was going a bit too long for Turbo's attention span (that of a gnat) and we were missing some really fun things! So Thursdays are saved for such things. I have found fun science experiments online and checked out books from the library that show age appropriate experiments. For example, this week, we are learning the letter "U" in MFW. Which is translating into "US". We were to take the whole week to learn about a different sense of the 5 Senses each day. Instead, we will use Thursday to do those activities. With it being the fall season, we will learn about decay using a pumpkin after we carve it. Small things like this will increase because now we have dedicated a specific day to do it. It also means that if we need another day to work on a core subject, we can use Thursdays.

This is the day where we have planned to get together with other homeschoolers to just have fun. We use this day to do field trips, or to just play games. Last week we met at a park. Then Turbo and I came home, put Tank to bed for a nap and then jumped on the trampoline while using a large ball with all of his site words written on it. After counting to 10 ( and now we can include counting in Spanish) he catches the ball and reads all the words in a section. This part is where our relationship will really blossom because now it isn't just task master to student, we can actually play instead of having to check something off the list.

Of course, this all sounds great when you write it down, but for us, it has worked and is working so far. I'm sure come mid-year I will have to revamp our schedule and morph it into something that will work better for us. But for now, this is what we've got. I'll tell you one thing, I am MUCH, MUCH, MUCH busier than I was before and have to say "no" a lot more to things. Good and bad, but better for us. It may mean that our school year will go all year long instead of having a break in the summer, but Turbo thrives on schedules and it may not be such a bad thing. But then again, we will probably have a new schedule by then when he realizes that option of having a break in the summer. ;-)