Summer: Beach in a bag craft, make ice cream, "Day at the Beach" sponge painting, playing in water (it is summer after all)
 Fall: Color on top of leaves with crayon to make leaf shape appear, leaf color match-up, leaf art, play with leaves in PlayDoh, fall pumpkin magnet pom pom play (we did stations with this one and the pattern blocks), scarecrow pattern blocks, raking fall leaves, make a scarecrow tp roll, fall leaf finger painting, finger-play and leaf songs found on youtube
We also did a fall sensory bin with items I collected around the neighborhood. The leaves were just perfect! The boys each had a magnifying glass and tweezers.
 Winter: Melting snowman booklet, color/cut snowman and name snowman with packing bubbles-painted snow, snowflakes made out of q-tips and coffee filters, roll-a-snowman, snow ball fight with cotton balls!, snowman sandwich lunch
 Spring: Make little bouquets in a muffin tin, bird nest cupcake holder, rain pictures
 Lots of paper work: the boys have a math workbook and K writing book. I was so proud of Nehemiah this week writing his first sentence! He also tried to write out rooster and I thought that was so cute. We also are still continuing the calendar everyday and starting our school day with several stories related to our subject. 
 Here's another look at our lapbook (or look here here here here), including some work we did that covered all of the seasons together:
We had our first co-op homeschool day. I think it went really well and I am excited for the consistency we are bringing to the group. We started off with a song (we will do the same one every meeting), introduced the behavior chart, made name spots for each kid, introduced the topic, read a book on the topic, did a craft project to make a seasons tree, then broke into stations. Fall: rake leaves, Spring: plant flowers into a pot, Summer: handprint sun painting, Winter: Snowman felt board, All: sensory bottles with different leaves for me to ask questions about the seasons and put them in the right order. Lastly, we did PE. We did different body control things like running, walking fast, walking backward, hoping on one foot, gallop, and limbo.


Carnival Birthday Party

 Decorations: ticket stubs, tablecloths made into the shape of a circus tent, a sign I made from leftover wood, popcorn tins, red/white striped banners and signs, ...
Food: nachos, hot dogs, pretzels, cotton candy, animal crackers, cracker jacks, circus peanut candy, popcorn, peanuts, fruit in ice cream cones, ...
 Games: we had a row of carnival games set up like basketball, bean bag toss, bowling in a wagon, try to get a ping pong ball in cups, ring toss, a bounce house, a ball pit, parachute games, limbo, face painting, a toy train to ride, ...
 ...of course a few magic shows...
...and a photo booth (made from poster board and red duct tape)...
 For cake, I did a giant cookie cake!


Angry Bird Birthday Party

 Most of our decor revolved around the food. We had a little tower with TNT boxes and angry birds in them, ...
 ...printed, colored, and cut out angry bird shapes to decorate the watermelon and bowls as well as lemonade dyed green to look like a piggy. 
 The birthday boy really wanted those icing cookies for his party so I got colored licorice to make eyebrows and beaks...
 I had found angry bird cheeze-its and fruit snacks! Score! I got little sticky balls from the party store and had a sign that said "thanks for crashing Nehemiah's party, please take one home." and they got to make slingshots and color angry bird pictures.
 It was a pool party so we did a lot of water play and daddy had an eye infection and had to stay indoors so we then moved the party back to my parent's house for presents and cake and slip-n-slide water fun in the backyard.
 So excited to get his first big boy bike!


First Week of School 2012-2013

We started our first week of homeschool this week. We had our wonderful moments where everyone was excited to learn and so excited to be playing together and sitting and listening, and we had our moments of craziness and chaos. I love making these memories with my children. I am so overjoyed that this is my ministry. It's not everyone's calling and that's okay. My calling might change and that's okay. My homeschooling might look totally different than someone else's and that's okay. But, for this school year, I feel we are where we are supposed to be and learning the way my kids need. 
We talked about whole body listening this week. We read a really awesome book called Howard B. Wigglebottom learns to listen to reinforce that, as well as made a few projects and hung a few visuals (see here, here, and here). 
I am really glad we made a clip-chart for discipline. It has been another motivator for getting through our school day with happy hearts. It's really hard to balance school discipline and obeying me as a teacher vs obeying me as a parent. Overall I think that it's good for my kids to obey no matter what, but at such a young age that can be tricky to add schooling in the mix. This chart helps alleviate some of that, so I can encourage sitting still and doing writing through a chart and not hitting brother through a spanking or timeouts.  If the boys get to the top at the end of the day there is a special prize (sticker, computer time, ...)
 I introduced the kids to the calendar as well this week. Every day we started off with the calendar and reading books (related to our subject of the week) on the rug. (We are attending the library story program every week as well and I get a chance to pick up books there.)

Interactive Classroom Calendar; no. MTB800
We made a calendar book to show different things happening throughout the months of the year. I used this printout and my own stickers, cutouts, and stencils. We sang songs about the different months of the year (a printout from here).
An accordion calendar from here.
We cut out PlayDoh numbers and put them on the right day of the month.
We played with a magnet calendar someone generously gave me.
We made a calendar out of painted hands (idea from here).
Grandpa got the kids these cool things for Christmas last year. They are boards you can slip a worksheet into and then write on with expo markers. Then, you can wipe off and re-use the worksheet. We did a calendar journal everyday to circle the day of the week, write our name, circle the month, draw the weather...
I colored some water and had my son use a dropper to put the water on... the 12th... or the 27th... or all of the Mondays...
Nehemiah's favorite thing in life is technology so we watched several youtube videos on the months of the year and days of the week and went over our zoophonics animals.
We did several worksheets from a workbook all related to the subject of school or about the calendar.
 We did name and sight word practice as well as fine motor skills. We cut out some little books (Elijah is all of a sudden being able to use scissors now!) I wrote the kids name in pencil and they traced it in glue and then poured glitter on top.
We spelled with Cheeze-its letters (food is always a motivator with my kids...you spell it, then you eat it..for Elijah he just had to tell me what the letter was).
 Magnet spelling (Isaiah kept attacking the magnets and throwing them on the floor):
Using bottle caps with letters to arrange in ABC order:
And, per Daddy's request of favorite thing he did in elementary school, we did shaving cream writing. It was one of the chaotic moments of the week.


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