Thursday, January 31, 2008

Friday January 31,2008

Yes, the title is inspiring, no?
I am actually filled with inspiration today as we gear up for February around here..
Tomorrow is National Freedom Day, and we are going to have a "free" day.
I will let Princess play whatever she likes and draw,paint,sculpt or whatever all day.
Saturday is Groundhogs Day and we will read some books and try to get outside
and look at our shadows..although I think the weather is not going to cooperate.
Sunday is SuperBowl Sunday and since the Giants are in it..we will be watching.
Princess is already planning some great "snacks" for during the game.
Monday will find us back here for school and an Unplugged Group Project
which is to include pipe cleaners I believe. Care to join us and have some fun?
Be sure to link back to Mom Unplugged if you do so we can all see what you
came up with.Tuesday will be another book post..I'm picking up a big stack of good ones
tonight or Friday from our library. I was requesting all evening!
I will be here on Saturday with some of what we do for Groundhogs Day (there are probably pics of crafts we have done in the past if you care to scroll around this blog) I will post pics of what we will be doing
craft wise if you would like an idea or two. Sunday I will post our "month plan" for February for anyone who
wants to join in our crazy "theme" days.Now I need to finish my coffee and get dressed before waking Princess.
We have to pick up something from a local Freecycler this morning before Little Man arrives. ;-)
Today? Oh yes, today we will be doing more puzzles and worksheets and playing with Little Man.
We will also be sorting laundry and cleaning the about you?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows Day!

It has so been decreed that on this day January 30,2008,
we will be celebrating Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows Day
here in our little corner of the Garden State.

Princess asked last night ,"what day is Tomorrow?"
and I replied,"Wednesday".
She rolled her eyes at me and said "I know that, but what day
is it?".."you know, today was puzzle day.."
Oh my..I think I have created a monster.
I told her it was just Wednesday, and asked if she had
a "theme" in mind. "Yes!" she smiled bright "hot cocoa with marshmallows!".
So it shall be Princess.

I will post later on some worksheets and fun stuff I came up with this morning
to go with our new theme. ;-)

Matching the written numbers with the number of cups...

Discussing Full and Empty and Hot and Cold

She decorated a mug picture and colored a large mug..I had to draw all of these free hand, because I couldn't find what I needed online.

I also had her count out little squares of white paper (marshmallows) and add and subtract them to her "cups".
Give every cup four take away many do you have..etc.
We also had some hot cocoa with marshmallows to drink.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

National Puzzle Day

Before I begin, here is a puzzle for all of you,
What is Pumpkin doing?

LOL! He disappeared completely under the cabinet moments after I snapped this
and hasn't been heard from since.....
We will probably spend the day doing

For lunch we will have a variation on this sandwich
Puzzle Sandwich

For a snack you could make a sheet of sugar cookie dough and cut into
"puzzle piece" shapes and could use the kind in your refrigerator case if you don't bake,
or don't have time this week.;-) Just separate them enough so they are separate pieces when baked.

My good friend Heather sent me a puzzle website link
Princess is especially fond of this site.

We may do one of these crafts....
Have an old puzzle that is missing pieces?

Use the pieces to decorate a frame
for a fun look for a child's room or family room. If you don't like the "look" of
the pieces you could have the kids paint them in colors you do like.
Just glue on .

Or, glue some onto a strip of cloth or paper or hot glue (parents only please)
to wire and make a set of napkin rings for "family game night".

If you have a puzzle you no longer like...have your kids outgrown
"Blues Clues"? Put the puzzle together and paint or decoupage over it.
Take a digital pic of finished puzzle so you can use as a guide for the puzzle doer.
Scroll down if you want to see our weekly book post.

Books! Books! Books!

Yes, it's Tuesday, so it must be a "book post" here in our little corner of
The Garden State. I have a weird selection this week with no particular theme.
Princess (as many of you might remember) finally got a library card to call her own,
and has been choosing her own books.
This is what she chose this week:

ZELDA AND IVY by Laura McGee Kvasnosky
A story about sisterhood, rivalries and bonds.
The older sister is kind of mean and since I am an older sister,
and was NEVER mean (I don't care what she tells you!) I didn't particularly
care for this story.;-)

LIGHTSHIP by Brian Floca
Did you know that were places where lighthouses could not be built and
in there place, they had floating lightships? I did not until Princess picked up
this book at our local library. It is both fun and informative and we really like the artwork.
Check out the authors web site here.
If you go to downloads, you can print out pictures to color from this and
other stories.

WHY THE STOMACH GROWLS by Pamela Duncan Edwards and Bridget Starr Taylor
This fun book is based on a West African myth that gives a humorous explanation of how the human body came to be.Princess really liked the colorful pictures

I FACE THE WIND by Vicki Cobb and Julia Gorton
This book is meant to make scientific principles easy to understand,
even for the youngest child. Great hands on activities.
We have been just waiting for a windy day!

UMBRELLA by Taro Yashima
In this story little Momo is waiting for a rainy day to use her new rain boots
and umbrella.Princess enjoyed the Japanese words and figures and the story
is such a special one about a preschooler 's impatience to be "grown up"
and the little steps they take that show they are indeed growing up.

TRACKS IN THE SNOW by Wong Herbert Yee
This would be an awesome book to read on a snowy day...but we have no snow!
It was still nice to read this book about a little girl determined to find out who left the
tracks she sees in the snow just outside her window.The illustrations are soft and gentle
and perfect for cuddling up with a warm little one in your lap while it's cold and snowy outside.

AH,MUSIC! by Aliki
This author never disappoints us! We enjoy the pictures and the lesson..every time.
What is music? Read this book to find out all about it.

ANIMALS IN WINTER by Henrietta Bancroft,Richard G. Van Gelder & Helen K. Davie
This is one of those awesome filled with great science information and great illustrations
books that I just want to buy and keep on our science shelf. Princess has been enjoying it immensely.
I think she picked it out, because she read the word science on the cover
as it is a "let's read and find out science book".

Monday, January 28, 2008

Unplugged Project

The Unplugged Group Project over at Unplugged Your Kids is
titled Egg Cartons
Be sure to stop by her site to check out what all the participants have done
and to leave your link if you join in.

Here are a couple of pictures of what we
do to egg cartons around here....

We use them for plastic eggs in the play kitchenThis one has numbers inside so we can use it for math as well.

We use them for "story time"
We have several stories that I cut out the pictures and the stories (short finger plays)
we glue them to large Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors and cut slits in egg carton.
Then we can put the pieces into the egg carton in order as we sing the "song/story".

We also use them to hold our paint and mix our paint colors (disposable palette).
If there is paint left over, I just put the whole thing in a plastic ziploc bag and leave it on the counter.
This is by far our favorite way to use egg cartons!

Jackson Pollock's Birthday

Jackson Pollock was born on this day in 1912.
We will be reading Action Jackson by Jan Greenburg and Sandra Jordan
and Illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker


If you would rather have your kids experiment without the mess check this out.

I will post pictures later and also be here for the Unplugged project
which features egg cartons today....I have so many uses for them I don't know where
to begin. ;-)

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Gold Rush

We will be learning about the California Gold Rush
if you would like more info check out these sites

We will be reading a National Geographic Society book,
Gold Fever.....

and Wagons West! by Roy Gerrard

Princess would also like to do some math worksheets, so we will do that as well.
This was supposed to be our lesson plan for Yesterday, but time got away from us.
Little Man wanted/needed more attention and so we played and cuddled all day.
We also made bread and muffins.
We were unable to attend science play group today due to his schedule changing
a bit this week, hopefully it will all fall into place next week.If not, we'll have to start making some changes.
I hope you have all had a productive week, we did more work than I thought,I feel like we were a step behind all week. We did get some gym time (roller skating) some art (painting and coloring) and lots of books and fun were shared.
Next week is bound to be different if not better.

National Handwriting Day

Wednesday was National Handwriting Day.
Princess worked on her handwriting by writing letters to
some of the children in our Homeschool-Preschool Online Group.
She dictated to me, I wrote it on our white board, and she copied it
onto paper.If you have been waiting for our letter, it's on it's way.
We read this book, The Holiday Handwriting School and enjoyed it
very much.Princess then spent some time drawing the Tooth Fairy.
Check out this site to make some worksheets to practice penmanship
 handwritingworksheets comes another MEME

The Rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6) Let the fun begin!

  1. I know the person who tagged me In Real Life
  2. I do not need coffee to survive, but it makes my life better.
  3. I have the ability to convince people they agree with me (at least until they get fresh air).
  4. This ability has no affect on my husband!
  5. I do not like when people watch me prepare food..with the exception of children.
  6. I like being tagged, but I do not like to tag others (I worry they will be annoyed).
Having said all that, I'm going to tag Yas
and Heather
and Amy Sue
Because they are three women I talk to just about every day and wish it was face to face
and In Real Life.
I leave this craziness open to any other readers who feel willing to play along.
I am still trying to get around to posting about Patience's meme,
but it takes more thought than I have had time for this week....please be patient with me.
(yes, #7 would have been "thinks she is way more clever than she really is" lol)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

National Popcorn Day !

January 22,2008 we celebrated National Popcorn Day.
I have found several different days listed as National Popcorn Day,
but since there is no historical reason to be all that specific about the date,
today works for us.If you would like some lesson plan ideas, or other info about popcorn,
including a book list check out this site.
Princess and I will also be reading If You Bring a Mouse to the Movies and
The Popcorn Book

For a craft we will glue popped popcorn onto paper to make a picture or sculpt
it..I'll leave that up to Princess.I will post pics when I have time.....

Edited to add: I completely forgot to post this....

WooHoo it's a Book Post!!!

Here are some of what we picked up at the library this week.

ALL I SEE by Cynthia Rylant and Peter Catalanotto
We loved this story...of course we love painting.
Princess can not wait for it to be nice outside so we can set
her easel back out in the yard and she can paint "all she sees"!

Cold Paws,Warm Heart by Madeleine Floyd
This is a very sweet story about a lonely polar bear and a little girl
who warms his heart with friendship.The paintings are lovely too.

The Happiest Tree a Yoga Story by Uma Krishnaswami and Ruth Jeyaveeran
Princess loves this story about using yoga breaths to calm yourself down...we use this at home
with her all the time.Very lively pictures..we are really enjoying it!

Tumble Tower by Anne Tyler and Mitra Modarressi
Princess Molly the Messy isn't like the rest of her neat freak family, but
after a flood in the castle can they grow to like it too?
My little Princess enjoyed this story of a little Princess with a very messy room..just like hers..well P has no food stored there, but outgrown clothes and toys and books in her bed..oh yeah!

My Wishes for You by Adele Geras and Cliff Wright
My favorite this week for sure!
I think so many of you will relate to this lyrical story
of a parents wishes for their child. The watercolor illustrations are delicate and precious
and we just can't get enough of it.

Princess has a favorite too...

The Snow Princess by Ruth Sanderson
Long ago Father Frost and Mother Spring had a daughter.They called
her their Snow Princess because she could call up snow storms at will....
Inspired by a Russian Opera, this beautiful fairy tale will warm your heart.
Check out the author's web site for more books.

I hope you all enjoy this weeks picture book selection.
I will try to post Thursday or Friday about some of the non-fiction books
we are reading.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Not a Book Post

OK, I am very late in posting today.
Little Man stayed with his Dad today,so
Princess and I slept in and then headed over
to the "open play date" at one of her homeschool
science playgroup friend's house.It was so nice
to hang out with two other Mom's and one Dad
and talk about how we are teaching our little ones.
To discuss the troubles and triumphs without getting
the "I could never do that" or looks that say
"then why don't you just put her in school?".
We came home and started lunch when my sister called
to ask if she could take Princess with her to the local
Chinese Buffet (it's "their" place). She was very happy to
go and I got to pick up a bit from our morning rush to get out of the house.
She arrived home right after Farmer Dad and is happily playing with blocks as he watches
some t.v. and I check my mail and post here.
I will try to get over to visit all my favorite blogs while dinner cooks and promise to post
about some new good reads I picked up at the library last night ,Tomorrow.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today we are learning about Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
We read the book What is Martin Luther King Jr Day?
and Can You Say Peace? (even though it is meant for World Peace Day)
We checked out some websites too,
because Princess was interested in seeing and hearing him .
To hear him mlkihaveadream.
I cried, she asked why..agreed it was sad, wanted to know more about why someone
would kill someone...I'm not sure I answered her to her satisfaction, or that I ever could.

Unplugged Monday

Once again we are posting on Mom Unplugged's
Unplugged Group Project. Please pop on over to see what others have done with today's
project titled Toothpicks.
We did not use toothpicks, as Princess has a ton of Popsicle sticks etc, we went
with option number one. She actually used really big ones made for waxing..I think.
We probably got them from freecycle or a friend or family member who knows we
"collect" such items for use in our homeschool.
Here is a picture of the "art" frame she made her Dad as well as the picture of them together
that she drew to put inside. It has a place of honor on his bedside table.
This afternoon we will be learning about MLK Day.
I'll be sure to post about it later.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Ben!!

January 17Th is Benjamin Franklin's Birthday!
We will be celebrating by reading a couple of
books about him and coloring a picture of him
which I got here and with cake!
Care to join us?
For more ideas click here.

Hat Day Photos!

Princess did a coloring sheet for Hat Day and designed her own hat,
and drew a self portrait of herself wearing a hat.

Then Little Man arrived and we starting in on some fun "hat" ideas I had.
OK, Truth be told, I had way more ideas for Hat Day than the kiddos
were willing to sit through. They have their own "stuff" to do don't you know.
But here are some pictures of us playing a little "hat" game we made up as we went alongLittle Man had so much fun, but after lunch they watched a mr.ray dvd and he asked for his nap!
All the playing and dancing did it I guess.
After we settled him down on his nap mat with the cats watching from my bed (they like to nap with him)
Princess started doing some math worksheets.

Little Man got picked up early and Princess got really energized to do a whole lot of math worksheets.
I had only planned on her doing one or two.By the time she was done, she had a table full of work.
She did "before and after" and counting and "more and less" as well as "first,second,third,fourth and fifth".
Then she spent some time on the computer playing on the Highlights and poisson rouge.
before Farmer Dad got home.Here is what some of her work looked like

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I have seriously lost track of which books I blogged about and which books I have not.
I have a basket full of library books next to my chair
and a shelf above my desk with the library books we are specifically using for "school".
Here are a couple of books we are reading for fun right now...I hope they are not duplicates..
Veronica by Roger Duvoisin
Veronica was a most inconspicuous hippopotamus, until she traveled to a pink and white city
where she became a most conspicuous hippopotamus!
Princess loves big words like conspicuous, so we had fun reading this story and the drawings are pretty delightful as well.

Sammy and the Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow and illustrated by Adrian Reynolds
Sammy finds an old box in the attic filled with dinosaurs.His sister says they are junk, but he knows better and fixes the broken ones.He calls them all by name "You are my Triceratops," and very quietly the dinosaurs answer him back.This cute book sets out to prove that dinosaurs aren't really extinct, you just have to know how to care for them properly!

We also have Harry and the Dinosaurs at the Museum by the same authors.
Princess has been wanting to go back to a "science museum" as she calls them.
In this story, Harry visits the museum with his bucketful of dinosaurs and they want
to get out and look around.Harry's Mom tells them they might get lost and should stay put,
but Harry starts to play with them and he gets lost.

We also have two Eve Bunting books out right now,

The Memory String with pictures by Ted Rand
which I must warn you is about a girl who's Mom has died.
I like the idea of the Memory string of buttons from special outfits,
but it was just too sad for me.

My Backpack with illustrations by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
is a much more upbeat story about a little boy who gets a
"new to him" back pack in the mail from his Grandma
(who bought it a a garage sale)and proceeds to put everything in it from his
brothers baseball mitt to his Mom's shoes! Princess thought this was very funny

Now we are off to "celebrate" Hat Day! We will be re reading Do You Have a Hat?
by Eileen Spinelli
and playing fun games with hats and listening to Laurie Berkner singing about hats in her song
"This Hat". You can order your own copy of her Under the Shady Tree cd or find the lyrics here

Monday, January 14, 2008

Unplug Project:Sculpture

Once again we joined Mom Unplugged for her group
project. This week is the theme is Sculpture.
Please join us and link back to her site here.

Here is what Princess did

She used modeling clay to make sushi and a lady with a hat and balloon.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday catch up....

73 years ago Amelia Earhart flew solo across the Atlantic..we will spend some time learning about this and reading
A Picture Book of Amelia Earhart.
We will also talk about Jupiter's Moons and some other stuff we never got to this week.
Or maybe, we will just play with the wooden blocks we picked up on Freecycle Yesterday.
Did I mention I actually left my house? Princess and I got in the truck and drove a town over,picked up
some blocks and other toys from a very nice lady. We hit the drive thru of McDonalds on the way home and got
some breakfast and coffee (for me) and then we came home.Little Man was very excited to play with some new trucks and Princess spent a lot of time playing with a family set of Mr. Potato Heads...none of these even looked played with. There was even a firetruck, which went well with our "theme".
I did miss my Mom's Night Out though, by the time Little Man got picked up I had such a headache.
I did drop off my library books and pick up two holds.You know I have not been feeling well, when I only have two holds at the library. The ladies behind the desk were even shocked. I'm usually good for at least 10!
I did treat myself to a cappuccino while I read Mother Earth News (we gave up our subscription since the library carries it).I had no real drive to look for new books however (I told you about my headache right?)
Although I did pick up a couple of "be a better parent" books...I really have the best of intentions to read them
too,as well as a murder mystery and some "chick lit".Don't be too impressed, this is what was on the "new shelf"
which is next to our library's cafe area (which is where the magazines are).Quick and painless pick up.
I came home to find Princess and her Dad watching a movie together snuggled up on the couch.
We all headed off to bed when it was over, although when I suggested it to Princess, she said "I'm not tired yet",
put on a new movie while I was getting ready for bed (she was already pj'd,teeth brushed and ready to go)
and promptly fell asleep on the big ugly chair in the living room. I carried her to bed and fell asleep almost immediately myself (despite the cappuccino).
The rain finally came as well, with booming thunder waking me up this morning.
It has stopped now, but it looks dark and gray and cold outside.I'm going to make myself some coffee
and get out our bag for today's lesson. Princess slept almost entirely through the night last night and woke up
clear of eye and fever free for the second day in a row.
I hope you all have a lovely day today, we are going to try.

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My homeschool buddies and I are all posting pics of our "home schools" as part of our idea sharing.

Plato said...

Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child's natural bent .