Friday, February 29, 2008

February Wrap up...

February started out filled with promise of exciting plans
of days filled with stimulating lessons and imaginative play time.
I am happy to say, we had many days of exciting moments of
inspired learning and much imaginative play! We also had days spent
in our jammies willing spring to come just a bit quicker.
We had big messes and meltdowns. Play dates that went well
and some that well, lets just say we won't record them for prosperity.
We had feasts prepared by our own wee little hands and happy meals
grabbed as we passed a drive up window.
We have sorted, washed and folded loads upon loads of laundry,
dusted and vacuumed and organized the house from top to bottom,
only to have it look like a Nor'easter blew in hours later.
We have made great art and listened to great music, visited with friends and
family, driven down the shore and each other crazy.
Princess has made great strides in her reading and amazing discoveries of how the world works.
Today I will take down the February bulletin boards and art work and Monday we will begin
our lesson plans for March. I will post them in a little while...won't you join us?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Teaching History

I love reading how others are teaching their children.
Princess is at a much earlier stage of her schooling than so many
of the children of my blogger friends, but I love filing away the ideas
for later use. Today I just want to point you all in the direction of
a family who loves to immerse themselves in learning!
Wendy and her children are studying the Middle Ages, and they
have some really fun learning going on.
I always leave her blog wanting to start one of her projects!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Book post on a Wednesday night.....

Backyard Bear , is another great book by Anne Rockwell.
Princess and I enjoyed this book about a bear who wakes up from his winter
hibernation to find a neighborhood where trees once were. He begins to eat from the
garbage cans etc and the game warden takes him up to a new home filled with acorns and nuts and a small
cave for his long winter sleep.The author even explains some ways to keep your yard less tempting to black bears in the back of the book.

I Heard It From Alice Zucchini poems about the garden
we had to pick this one up when we saw it on the library shelf,
we are all thinking about the garden right now.

Duck at the Door we loved this book! Funny!!
All the pets are hanging out one winter night, when there
is a knock at the door.Naturally, they wake up the woman
of the house to see who it is. Can you guess? A lot of fun e

Steamboat Annie and the Thousand- Pound Catfish
Princess loved this tall tale! Especially the idea of a town where
everyone sings all the time.
Those of you who know her "in real life" will not be surprised by this.
Apparently, this stubborn and ornery catfish named Ernie did not wish to
live in such a town. He hated the singing so much that he started eating boats!
Steamboat Annie takes care of it..despite a slimy cheater named Jefferson Jackson.

The Scarab's Secret is worth picking up for the art alone.
This is a really well told tale of how the scarab beetle came to be honored
by the Ancient Egyptians.Princess has long been fascinated by this period,
so this was a "must pick".

The Old Woman Who Loved to Read
Clearly I had to bring this book home. ;-)
This book is for all the Moms who have no time
to read. There is hope and your winter will come.
Princess absolutely loved all the Australian animals
pictured in this book.

Thank you all....

Have I told you all how much your kindness means to me lately?
My in box was filled with comments and personal e-mails and my heart
was filled with, well all of you. Thank you.

I do have a book post to write, and I will get to it this week..I promise.
I also have laundry and a house to scrub down and friends to visit and
well, life in general I guess. All I want to do is snuggle up with my little Princess
and hug her and read to her and listen to her sing and giggle and love her.
She wants to do her "maths"....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A sad day...

Today we got word that our very good friend's
Sister-in-Law lost her battle with cancer.
That in itself is sad, and she leaves behind a family
and friends (many from childhood) who love her.
She also leaves a loving husband
and two very young children. They are 7 and 4 years old.
I cannot even imagine the pain they are in right now.
Each of us has our own hardship, periods of sadness,
bad days, stresses over everything from money to husbands
and children who either don't react quickly enough when we
ask them to do something, or don't pick up after themselves...
but just for today, let us try to be aware of how very lucky we are
that we are here and we have them in our lives .Even if just Yesterday
that we were wishing to be somewhere else ( if only for a little while)
and the idea of a George Clooney look alike who knows what a hamper
is for wasn't just a bit more attractive then the guy who comes home to us each night..
let us just try to remember that not everyone gets a choice to try harder today
to make their marriage all it can be, or to try to be more patient with their children. For Fran.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Unplugged Group Project

Mom Unplugged is holding her weekly Unplugged Group Project over at unplugyourkids.
This week's theme is Letters, as in the alphabet.
Care to join in? Be sure to visit her and link in so we can all see what you have came up with.
Here is some of what we did around our little corner of the Garden State.....
we pulled out our felt board and had Princess put them in order, spell some words
and we read a few dozen books including a couple "alphabet books" we had on our
bookcase.We were going to write letters and words on our chalkboard, but it is cold outside
and we opted to stay inside in our jammies all day having a very "quiet day".(see last blog post)
The kitties were also into Quiet Day mode as these two photos show.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekly plans

Here we go, the last week of February.
Princess and I will be following this schedule:
  • Monday 2-25-08 Quiet Day we are planning a quiet day here, staying in our jammies ,participating in Mom Unplugged's Group Project, maybe some baking.
  • Tuesday 2-26-08 Grand Canyon National Park Established in 1919/Fairy Tale Day we will be going to our homeschool group's open play date (unless canceled) and learning about the Grand Canyon a bit,read some fairy tales.
  • Wednesday 2-27-08 Longfellow's Birthday 1807/ Polar Bear Day we will be learning about polar bears and doing some polar bear crafts and reading a little Longfellow.
  • Thursday 2-28-08 DNA Discovered 1953 I am leaving this day open to read and maybe have an outside play date.
  • Friday 2-29-08 Leap Year Day We will have some fun with the "leap year" concept. I have sight words written on non skid shelf liners and I will have her "leap" from word to word and maybe just have some fun with our mini trampoline.

Saturday in the yard....

Here go some fun pictures of our little corner of the world on Saturday.
Farmer Dad and Princess went outside to play in the snow.

They decided to make an igloo

A few minutes later he had another row finished,but I was quick enough to get a picture..
this happened as I got the camera ready...
They came in to warm up and have some sandwiches and hot cocoa and we watched the birds come
to the feeders....

Friday, February 22, 2008

Now it's more like freezing rain.....

Oh well, Princess and I did get to play outside in the snow for a little while today.
After breakfast we played inside a bit, some button crafts,reading,dolls,bead necklaces,
she did many,many worksheets simply because she wanted to.
She practiced writing her full name, and sang and danced for me.
We enjoyed some "maple snow".
Can you see who did not like being left inside?
We baked a cherry pie for George and had lunch and played outside
for a little more until it started to rain on me (I can not find any of my 200 hats)
so we came back inside.
Now it's just getting really yucky out!Farmer Dad got out of work early,
so they are on the porch trying to identify the birds at the makeshift feeder
we set up today. They are also playing some basketball.
She loves this time of day with her Daddy and has been enjoying having him
to herself again now that Little Man has stopped coming to our house.

Finally, it's snowing!

It is finally snowing here in the Garden State.
Princess is sleeping, and I can see snow coming down from both
the living room and kitchen windows where I sit.
I am going to go wake her up so we can play in it a bit before
the freezing rain/sleet thing happens later today.
First I will finish my coffee and enjoy the quiet.

Later today we plan on baking a cherry pie or a
birthday cake for George...we'll see what we feel like
when we come inside....
I promise to post pictures either way.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Today is the anniversary of the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
in New York City in 1872.
To celebrate they have been having a lot of fun family activities, and free family passes.
We were thinking of bringing Princess, but the weather is colder and
snow is headed our way supposedly, so we are going to pass. Farmer Dad also has a
rare (for him) cold which doesn't make plans of heading into the city any more enticing
to him.Instead, we will read books (see sidebar) and pour over the web site.
Princess often enjoys this section on the site, explore/justforfun .
I think next year we will definitely plan a trip in, but I think it would be more hassle and
aggravation this year than enjoyment for Princess, so we will hold off.

I will try to make it as fun for Princess as Yesterday was with her homeschool group's open play date.
We were the only family to attend (it is held at another member's house) and the girls had a lovely time
playing dress up, building with blocks and playing everything from board games to computer games together.
The play date before this Princess got a book on tape recommendation from the daughter (they are the same age)
and we had picked it up from the was cool to hear them discussing it together as they played.
I had a lovely couple of hours talking about homeschool plans with the other Mom over a cup of coffee.
We came home for lunch and played and did some math and reading worksheets until Farmer Dad returned
from work for tea. Princess helped me get dinner ready and played computer games for a bit before we ate.

I will try to upload pictures later of any crafts or fun stuff we get done.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Book Post

I came home with far too many books from our local library
this week (did I just say too many books?)
Music over Manhattan
Princess enjoys books about musicians, so this was a must grab from the
library shelf. The illustrations are fun and lively and we had to put music on and
dance around the living room after the first reading.

farfallina & marcel
This story will melt your heart. A caterpillar and a gosling become friends,
until one day everything changes (can you guess?).They find each other again and find they can
indeed remain friends. This is one of those books whose illustrations are just as wonderful as the
story being told with the written word.

Thimbleberry Stories
Very sweet story about a little chipmunk and his friends, both old and new.
My only complaint is that it made us long for spring and picnicking outside in the garden.
Now to dig out some peppermint soap for tonight's bath.

My Mother's Voice
is a lovely book for any mother of a daughter. It is how I wish Princess
to remember our time together. It has warm and beautiful illustrations
which will draw you into the story as surely as the heartwarming text.
I may need to buy this.....

Under the Table
Princess is always under our tables. It has always been like another room in the house to her,
so this book was another "must grab".We have had this book out before, a long time ago
and already had the talk about respecting furniture in the house, but if you have a little one
you should know before hand that the little girl draws all over the bottom of the table and gets in trouble
when it's discovered.

Grandmother Winter
Delightful story about where the snow comes from in winter
and what all the animals and people do to endure the cold of winter.
The art work really captured Princess's imagination.

The Bake Shop Ghost
Princess has been oohing and aahing over this book in between readings.
It is about a baker who dies with no family to leave her shop to.
It gets sold and baker after baker leaves because the bake shop is haunted
by the former owner. Finally a new baker buys the shop and moves in.
The ghost cannot get rid of her and finally tells her that she will leave if the baker can
make her a cake that is
"so rich and so sweet,it will fill
me up and bring tears to my eyes. Ac ake like one I might have baked,but that no one ever made for me."
After trying many, many cakes the baker reads a history of the town in the library and knows what to do.
I will not ruin the it for yourself, and make sure you have some cake on are going to want some when you are done reading!

Ramon loved to draw until his big brother makes a rude remark about one of his drawings.
For months he crumples up all his drawings believing they are not good enough.
One day he catches his little sister picking up his "trash" and tries to get it back.
He follows her to her room where he is silenced by the "art gallery" of crumpled drawings
he sees there upon her walls.She points out her favorite and he explains that it was supposed to be a vase,
but that it "doesn't look like one". "Well, it looks vase-ISH!" she exclaimed.
And with that his love of art returns and his ideas begin to flow freely again.

This is a perfect book for any child who believes they cannot draw or paint "well enough"
for it to be worth doing.Another book by the same author that we are enjoying right now is..

So Few of Me
This story of a little boy who has so many things on his " to do " list that he needs
to have "more of himself". He soon finds that there is just more to do.
Cute story that reminds us that we need "down time" as much as efficiency!
We could all use to be reminded of that every once in a while.

Monday, February 18, 2008

President's Day in the Garden State

I completely forgot that today was a holiday for Farmer Dad,
so we tossed our school plans aside and they played outside
while I got ready and then we took a drive down the shore
to see Princess's Nana.It was unseasonably warm today in
the Garden State, so we even went down to walk on the beach.
It was colder there.
We found lots of shells and had a few laughs and then headed
up to the boardwalk, where I finally found a NJ postcard for
Yas and her kids. I only promised about a month ago!
Princess played with Nana and her cat,Daisy
for a while and then we headed home just as the rain came down.
The kitties missed us....

Unplug Your Kids Group Project

Mom Unplugged said
"Fabric.Don’t panic, it doesn’t have to involve sewing. How about making a collage of fabric scraps? Creating a dress-up costume out of old clothes or fabric remnants? Tear an old piece of clothing into strips and teach your child how to braid? Sort fabric scraps by color, or texture? Also, don’t forget that fabric glue exists if you want to sew something simple but can’t, or don’t have time"
...ok, here's what we came up with...Princess and I found some fabric scraps we had picked up from a freecycler
with some other craft supplies. She picked out fabric and I cut it with my pinking shears and I tried to show her how to sew it by hand. I ended up sewing it and we made this scarf...Then we made a cat nip filled toy for the they are enjoying it.

I only made one, because only Pumpkin plays with toys,,never our Alley, but here she is..It was quite a hit.
We spent the day down the shore at my Mum-in-Laws and she had just finished this in time for a quilt showAs you can see, her way with fabric is much nicer than mine, so Princess might just learn to sew
correctly one of these days.Her quilts are all done by hand, and the picture does not really do it justice.
Be sure to check in at Unplug Your Kids and link your site there
if you join in and even if you don't, go see what the other participants
came up with. There are some very creative people who join in...and
some of us just enjoy having fun. ;-).......

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Looking forward to the week ahead

  • Saturday , 2/16/08 marked the Anniversary of the opening of King Tut's tomb in 1923,so we will be reading about and doing crafts about King Tut all week.
  • Monday ,2/18/08 is President's Day ,so we will read about Presidents Lincoln and Washington and do some crafts as well.
  • Tuesday ,2/19/08 we will celebrate Pluto being discovered in 1930 (2/18).We will also try to attend our homeschool group's open play date.
  • Wednesday, 2/20/08we will celebrate the Anniversary of the day the Metropolitan Museum of Art opening in NYC in 1872 with fun books and a tour online.
  • Thursday, 2/21/08 is National Sticky Bun Day, we will try to make some.
  • Friday, 2/22/08 is Washington's Birthday, so we will bake a cherry pie and read a bit more about him and try to make our homeschool group's science play date.
We will also use our Making the Grade, Everything your Kindergartner Needs to Know.
I will post links and craft info as we do them, and the books we are using are on the right sidebar.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Just another Saturday in the Garden State

Princess and Farmer Dad were in the basement playing with the "new to us" bass guitar he picked up last night
when I realized that the computer was free and I could float around some blogs that I haven't had time to read in a while.I wandered over to my favorite homeschool magazine site (Secular Homeschool Magazine)and then to the editor, Deborah Markus's blog where I read this
I'd rather be hated than used.
So naturally, I had to stop and come back here to leave a link and say again how much I appreciate all her hard work.I cannot wait to get my next issue in hand and I encourage all of you to order a copy if not a full subscription
today, here.

Oh my, now they are back upstairs..must feed them.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Here comes the weekend.....

I hope you all had a lovely "Love" Day.
We had a lovely day filled with art and crafts and visits from friends.
Cozy reading and home made pizza for dinner.
I even made a "desert" pizza....with mixed results and a big mess in
my oven. I spent this morning arguing with the phone company and the cable company
and Princess who could not get her favorite show to play "on demand" on the t.v.,
which is why I was arguing with the cable company.
I have laundry and cleaning and such to do, but now I am aggravated and
I just don't feel like it! I know that is no excuse, I will get some of it done today
before Farmer Dad heads home for 3 whole days..oh my!
What will we do with him for 3 days? In the winter? Maybe he can plan his garden.....
Princess did a bit of schooling today, spent some time on Starfall
and practicing her writing. She also cut more hearts out and played her version of a cooking show
while I tried to get the phone and cable thing cleared up.I am hoping to get to the library tomorrow
for some "me" time and to pick up a ton and a half of books I have on hold before Farmer Dad's
friends come over to break the sound barrier..I mean play some wonderful music in our basement.
Or, maybe they'll jam somewhere else..not sure yet....Have a lovely weekend.
I promise to be back to talk about our plans for next week in some detail, including craft ideas and instructions
for those of you who desire such information.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Love Day !!

That is what we call it around here.."Love Day".
Here is what we awoke to today,
my entire house smelled like these....

and there was also this

well after the time
Farmer Dad left for the lab I might add.
We also enjoyed one of these for me...

And this for breakfast for Princess (nutella on wholegrain bread with strawberry milk)
We did a little of this
which became this butterfly (can you see it?)
And she made these
Then we played with this for a bit (after a bath to wash off the paint)
And every day must include some "maths"..don't ya know.
Here is a picture from Yesterday..this squirrel kept Pumpkin's attention for at least 45 minutes!

Subscribe Now: poweredby

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 .