Thursday, October 27, 2011

USA Geography

We are not actually studying United States geography this year.  We are doing a world geography through My Father's World.  But our "trip" around the world begins in the U. S.  And our USA activity today was so cute, I had to share!

It was actually a challenge: Choose 4 colored pencils.  Color every state on a state map without having any bordering states with the same color.  Hint: start with the 4 corner states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wild Wednesday Deals from Barker Creek

 Check out these great Thanksgiving deals from Barker Creek!


Each Wednesday they offer Wild Wednesday Deals - which last for a whole week!
You can go to their website and sign-up to recieve their emails. 

I thought this week's deals were especially cute, so I thought I would post it for others

Monday, October 24, 2011

Letter C Lapbook

I finally tried my hand at lapbooks!  I was toying with the idea of doing a lapbook with my kids, but unsure of what I wanted to do.  Unsure of when to do it, sense we can't keep up with our work as it is.  And just plain unsure of how to do a lapbook.   Well, at the same time I was fumbling with all of my Little Squirts letter activities; trying to figure out a better way to manage the papers.  Then it dawned on me to make him a letter lapbook!   So, I started right where we were, on letter C. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Yummy Dinner - Even a Hit with the Kids!

I had to share this dinner since it was such a big hit with my whole family!  It is seldom that I find something that everyone loves - so this one is pretty special.  It's a recipe from a Pampered Chef cookbook that I altered.  We call it Dorito Chicken.  So now you know why the kids loved it!  I don't buy Doritos often - they are so messy; orange everywhere!  So the kids thought it was cool to have Doritos be a part of our dinner. 

Here's my recipe (I can't take complete credit for it, like I said it was a recipe that I altered from a Pampered Chef cookbook):

4-5 chicken breasts
Juice from 1 or 2 limes
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 egg whites
shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (can substitute with cheddar)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Science Experiment: The Water Cycle

Our science reading today was on the water cycle.  Right away I remembered that we had this Pop Bottle Science Kit that might be of use to us.  (Sadly, we've had it for a couple of years now and haven't used it yet - so I am so glad I remembered it for this topic!)  I found an experiment in it right away that would help show the water cycle.  It was called The Rain Maker.  It was very simple and easy to follow, and luckily I had everything (lol) water, ice and this handy-dandy bottle the kit came in.

Monday, October 17, 2011

b or d?

Deciphering lower case b's and d's can be difficult.  We've had struggles in our house.  I've tried a few hints here and there, but nothing seemed to do the trick.  So I thought I would try to create mini posters to go with b and d.  Something visual that they could remember when they approach one of these two familiar letters.

While coming up with my idea for the posters I also came up with a little slogan for each:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Schedule

We are trying out a new schedule this week.  So far, it seems to be going well.  I was feeling too pressured by our old schedule of "cram everything in the morning so we can have free time all afternoon".  Well, it was a little more organized than that.  But I am NOT a morning person - even half a pot of coffee can't change that!  And we all seemed to be continually frustrated throughout each morning. 

I love hearing from other homeschool families that they do all their schooling in the morning and are done by lunchtime.  Accomplishing it all in a much shorter school day than a traditional school.  And as much as I wanted to lay claim to that benefit of homeschooling, it just wasn't happening for us!  So I relented and rescheduled our day to include schooling after lunch. 

To see this load before us that we were trying to accomplish in just the morning hours left us feeling defeated by lunchtime.  So our afternoons ended up being as rough as our mornings.  Now with our new schedule spreading things out more, we are able to include some fun things like going for a walk with the dog each day.  And I think some of the things that had before seemed like just another chore, now are a lot more enjoyable. 

So here's our new schedule:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Passports Please!

We are using the curriculum My Father's World for our History/Geography.  They have a great 5 year cycle that starts with a full year of in depth geography.  This lays a great foundation for the next 4 years of studying history chronologically.  One of the many things I love about MFW that you only need this one curriculum for all your children.  And it includes Bible and Science that coincide with the history/geography that you are studying.

So this year, as a part of the great geography study that we are going to do, they supplied us with passports for each child.  And while my Little Squirt, being only 3, will probably not participate in any other realm of geography this year, I did get him one of these passports.  These passports will be used as we "travel" around the world.  We will be placing flag stickers in our passports for each country that we visit.  Which led us to the great idea to set up a "Passport Office" as a kick-off to our traveling adventure.   

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ahhhhhhh, Bedtime!

I don't know about you, but by the time bedtime rolls around I am exhausted!!!  Funny thing is I usually perk up a bit after the kids are settled in - but that sounds like a different story for a different day.  :)

Being so tired out by the end of each day, I tend to slack off on things.  Or my mind just goes completely blank and I fail to do, or guide my children in doing, those things that would help our mornings go smoother. 

It's so frustrating to start off our busy morning and realize we never completed our schoolwork reading yesterday and meant to do it at bedtime, but forgot then too.  Or to realize it's Friday morning and we haven't worked on our AWANA verses all week long, because we keep forgetting to do at bedtime.  Even family read aloud gets forgotten...and we love to read! 

We usually get the basics done - pj's on.  And most of the time - teeth brushed and toys picked up.  (I know, it's horrible that I forget to have my children brush their teeth!)

We just need a boost to help get us in a groove.  So I decided I need a little helper to get us through all the tasks for our bedtime routine.  Something that will remind all of us what needs to be done, so it's not just on mom or dad to dictate the tasks.

And here's my helper: