Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Link, the hero of time, getting ready to save Zelda and get some candy.
Haunter, a ghost type Pokemon. I have a feeling this mask will get played with a lot after Halloween. Maybe I should whip up a Pikachu one as well.
Matilda wanted to be really scary so she asked to be Frankenstein's monster. She thinks she looks super scary. I think she looks super cute.
And last, but not least, a fire-breathing dragon who didn't want me to take a picture of him! I guess he though he was so fierce that he would break the camera!
Here are the kids hanging out in the graveyard. One trick or treater asked if those were real graves. :)
And as a Halloween bonus, the cupcakes I made for a certain husband's 40th birthday. Recipe can be found here.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Boo! favorite time of year! I love the cool breezes, the many pumpkin recipes, and of course Halloween!! Yesterday was September 30th, so we got busy making our first of many Halloween crafts. We started with jar-o-lanterns. (Thanks for the idea Kim!!) Here's how we did it...

First, I gathered all the unused ball jars leftover from my overambitious canning dreams. Then I gathered up some craft paint and brushes. The kids painted their jars (on the outside), then played Wii until the jars dried. After many turns at Wii Sports Resort, the faces were then painted on the jars.

The jar all the way to the left is Liam's (a boo from Mario), then Jack's ghost and Matilda's pumpkin. She directed me as I painted the face. The final three are mine. This was a super fun and easy craft for the kids. Now onto making some tombstones!!

And one more thing, it rained last week!!!! As you can tell, we had fun playing in it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

girls and dolls

A friend's daughter just turned six and got her first American Girl doll! So I just had to make some matching little dresses for them! I made two tea party sundresses and two popover dresses from Oliver and S. Such fun sewing.

And now the knitting bug has bitten me hard! I currently have two projects on the needles and some more yarn on the way! And of course I have an embroidery project going and am making a quilt. Am I the only crafter who has 1,000 projects going at once? I won't even bore you with what I'm doing as far as decorating my house. I'll wait until I have the after pictures.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

homeschooling part 3

Now on to my favorite subjects! History, geography, social studies...I love it all! Now my kids are still fairly young, so I'm not going in too deep with these subjects just yet. But I have found some great "jump start" books to use this year. By jump start, I mean that the book just gives overviews of each subject which allows me to whet the kids appetite. From then we can go to the library and get many more books on a particular subject that they are interested in or do a craft on that subject. With me?

The first is The Usborne Geography Encyclopedia. This little book is full in information. It has information about from our solar system to maps of the Arctic and everything in between. It also has internet links like I described in the previous homeschool post.
For history I got another Usborne book. Can you tell I like Usborne? The Usborne Book of World History is also another "jump start" book. It also has a great little timeline in the back.

And for our final subject we'll cover home economics. Yes you heard me correctly! I think it is very important for children to learn how to cook healthy foods, clean, mend clothes and even knit or sew if they want to. Luckily my kids are still at the age where they love to help mommy clean!

The great thing about homeschooling is that I can mix all of these subjects together. For instance if we are learning about Hawaii, I could teach the kids about the people of Hawaii, volcanoes, the history of Hawaii, and have them write stories about Hawaii. That covers geography, science, history, writing and language arts. I'm sure I could even throw in some Hawaiian math!

The final thing I will say about teaching your children at home. The library is awesome! Use it. There are so many books on every subject that are just waiting for the touch of a child.


So far five years of snuggles, hugs, giggles, silly jokes, bedtime stories, robot love, crayon doodles,
trips to the playground, bubbles blown, smiles given, boo boos kissed, ice cream eaten, songs sung,
board games played, books read, and love. Happy birthday to my five year old Jack. Here's to many more.

Monday, June 27, 2011

homeschooling part 2

Let me start by saying that kids are learning even when you think they're not. They are blank canvases completely capable of painting themselves. But it doesn't hurt to let them borrow your paintbrush once in a while.
So my curriculum...after reading, lots and lots of googling, tweaking my budget and going over education goals with my husband (very important to do!), I've come up with our curriculum for next year. Some we've already done before and some we're new to. I'll give you a quick run down of each subject. Keep in mind that my children are pretty young, so most of this doesn't go higher than a 2nd grade level.
Reading: Headsprout. These are interactive "episodes" that last about 20 minutes each. The program adapts to each reader and really keeps kids engaged. It really works for our family. The program is very affordable, can be done from any computer, sends a great progress map and stickers, and you get a multi-kid discount! There are tons of printable books as well as some that they send you. We also do just good old fashion reading. We make weekly library trips, go to story time, and I read to them at least an hour a day. I also try to open discussion about books that we read and I let the children make up their own stories.

Math: Singapore Math. This is the only math program we've ever used. It's superb. The text book and workbook have really great illustrations and don't cram lots of problems on each page. It's also very visual and many of the problems can immediately be applied in the real world. An example would be, "If there are 10 balls and 5 children, divide the balls evenly so each child gets an equal number of balls." The books also give fun activities to do in the home that allow the children to get a better grasp of the concepts by manipulating objects and having fun!
Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears. This has worked really well for us so far. I highly suggest getting the teacher's guide as well. It has a wealth of information. My children also love using the personal chalkboards to practice on.

Science: I love Usborne books for this. We have First Encyclopedia of Science that I picked up for around $13. This book has "quick links" that can enhance the learning experience by allowing children explore brains, learn more about cells and many other things all online. We also have Usborne Book of Science Activities. (I have all three volumes.) These books are full of experiments that are simple enough for children to do on their own with things found around the house. We also listen to a CD called Here Comes Science by They Might be Giants just about every day. Full of fun science songs. And just so you know, it does have a few involving the Theory of Evolution, but we're Catholic, so we're A-OK with that.
I have more information, I promise! But it will have to wait until next time. I hope I helped anyone new to homeschooling, anyone thinking about homeschooling, or anyone who wants to do something for summer enrichment. Stay tuned for the next post involving social studies and history!