Wednesday, October 23, 2013

L for Leaf

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
 - L M Montgomery

L for Leaf = we got to spend a lot of glorious time enjoying God's beautiful world!!!!

This is the 3rd unit in My Father's World Kindergarten, and I sorta wish they had made this unit #1.  I am glad that we started "L" for leaf back in the winter, because:
 (1) it made me focus on my sons"L" lisp (which is adorable, but time he outgrows it)
(2) It upped his writing confidence. "L,l" is easy to write, while"S" and "M" (unit #1 and unit #2) ARE NOT.

We hit the pause button on this unit back in early March, and now that the leaves are turning....
it's time to start anew!

Day #2 instructions in our manual was to "go on a leaf hunt." We went on one every day for a week:).

I love that even the dead leaves are worthy of collecting in my 3 year old's mind.
Of course, the yellow ones are his favorites (he is yellow obsessed).

(we did have a time-out from the leaf hunt to release the enormous frog Grandpa brought us)

We pressed the leaves, and then put them in order by size.

Of course, we had to do some leaf rubbings, and use the leaf stickers I had been hiding for this unit.

We actually haven't hit the peak color yet, but you never know around here if and when that will happen. I am hoping that our family photos will occur on the magic tree day.

Oh, back to school - Teacher Mom has her head in the clouds again. I wonder how long it will take for my kids to pick up on the fact that I cannot resist a beautiful day outside and use that info against boring school days?

The words to remember for this unit are "I will live and grow in Jesus." My five year old really held on to the fact that we are the branches and Jesus is the big vine. The boys both loved learning the song "Read your Bible, pray every day, and you'll grow,grow,grow...". I had forgotten  about that gem.
 I love My Father's World. Yes, my son is beyond counting to three beans at this point. No biggie. We just count 3+3+3+3. I rather feel like we are ahead of the game then feel pressured to push my child to work too hard. He is just 5! Oh my goodness he is smart, and I want to kindle the flame. This curriculum is perfect for us. I can't wait for "T" for turtle, and learning about our 5 senses with "u" for us, and then "D" for dinosaurs (my three year old keeps asking when we are going to talk about dinosaurs). As we add vowels, we also add actual words and reading, and Tobin is ready!

Friday, October 18, 2013

N is for Nest

N is for Nest - unit 6 in My Father's World Kindergarten Curriculum

All of a sudden, writing is coming easily, or naturally, to Tobin. What he used to complain about, he now does without hesitation. He wrote a dozen "N"s and "n"s without blinking an eye. Instead of complaining when he had to come up with items that started with a letter of the alphabet, he colored the items and he actually wanted to write the whole word! 

I didn't make him write "lobster" as that would just confuse him, but I love that he came up with something so unique. Nike for "N" is my favorite. I asked if he could think of a world that started with both "S" and then "a", and he immediately thought "sad"! I think we had our first big kindergarten "Ah - HAH!" moment!!!! That, my friends, is what makes my job awesome.

Of course we made nests. We shredded the shredded wheat for our grass, and used chow mein noodles for twigs. Melted chocolate and peanut butter was our very yummy mud.  (MFW idea)

 And of course, the jellybeans are the little eggs. My blue obsessed boy was SOOOOO excited when he learned that robins actually lay blue eggs:).

We shared our nests with our neighbor (another "N" word that I did point out for learning purposes:))

I got this idea on pinterest of course. I didn't follow exactly, but we got about the same result.

Yet another pinterest idea. I love this lady's website. She has so many wonderful ideas.
Tobin is wearing his badge that we made with our My Father's World curriculum. We learned "God takes good care of me." I love the character-building focus that goes with each topic. 

 I wrote our memory phrase on the eggs. Hey, I had an original idea! Take that pinterest!!! I have a love/hate relationship with pinterest. 

My yellow obsessed 3 year old stole and lost the yellow egg soon after,  
so I am glad I got this picture in time.

We also read one of our favorites: "Are you My Mother?"

Tobin made his own version of the book that included an octopus, but the book has magically disappeared,so... Sorry, no pictures.

This was a gentle, much needed lesson for my always worrying 5 year old. I am so glad we could talk about how God takes care of us just like a mother bird takes care of her eggs. I think it really got the point across in a way that my animal loving son could understand.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A is for Apple

Finally it's Fall and time to return to our My Father's World curriculum!
We started last January, but we stopped because there were no leaves (L) or apples (A) to enjoy in winter! I am so glad I held off, because we went to an apple farm with our co-op friends!

This was a first for me too, and it was a wonderful experience. 

We then took all those apples home that we picked and used them for school.

 We made our very first chart.
 My five year old organized them by color, counted them, and then placed them on the graph I made
 (this idea comes straight from the My Father's World kindergarten manual).

 The MFW also had the idea of making applesauce and an apple pie. I dutifully bought the apple pie at the apple farm. We made applesauce, but it wasn't very good. Good thing I didn't try making the pie:).

 My three year old had a blast playing with the peelings in the sink. He can always make me smile, even when I am frustrated with clumpy applesauce:).

We painted with apples ....

 and we did a science experiment too. The right plate of apples has lemon juice on them.

 We also painted with tissue paper (leaves) and corks (apples)

We read the book Ten Apples Up On Top

I had the magnets of the boys already, so we made magnet felt boards with 10 apples on top both of their heads. They loved this! It was an easy winner!

I am so glad we are back to our regular curriculum. Making your own unit studies is a lot of work and organization! My Father's World makes it so I can relax and make sure we thoroughly cover every letter, number, and season. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mexican Fiesta

While Daddy was in Mexico on a business trip, we studied Mexico at home. Thanks to Dora and Diego, my boys understood the concept of speaking Spanish. We learned 1-10 in Spanish, and how to sing "Gloria Dios," "Alleluia," and " Dios es Amor" (with finger puppets).

We looked at pictures I had pinned on pinterest, and we enjoyed our children's atlas book.

We also watched the Kratt Brothers learn about the Monarch butterflies that fly to Mexico every year. My boy LOVES bugs. He retained this information better than anything else we talked about.

Oh, and we talked about shapes. I didn't really find a way to make that about Mexico, but I wanted to review them and add some new ones to his vocab, and I figured now is the best time. We also made symmetrical drawings (butterfly/house/tree), and my little man made a hopscotch game (good way to review his numbers). 

We made a pinata, which was much more time consuming than I had remembered. Tobin was excited about the first layer of slime and newspaper, but after that, I was on my own.

He didn't realize he had cute dots of paper mache glue on his nose:).

We then got ready for the fiesta to welcome Daddy home! Naturally, the boys decided to do something I would never think of: making felt ponchos and pom-pom/foam sombreros for their dinosaurs to decorate the table with. 

The boys and their friends made a "bienvenida a casa" (welcome home) sign, and we finished our Mexican Angry Bird pinata. 

Daddy made it home safely (but sickly-thanks a lot Mexico). Family came over, and the fiesta began. We ate tacos and queso, and we enjoyed listening to some Herb Alpert. The boys loved breaking the pinata, eating candy, and showing off their finger puppet skills.

Out of all my do-it-yourself unit studies, I enjoyed this one the most. I have always loved learning about other cultures, and it was fun to share things I had from my own travels to Mexico.  I can't wait to learn about more cultures and what a big, big world we are a part of with my boys. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Music and Learning

Life would be better if it was a musical. I grew up on musicals, I grew up playing music, I think in tunes, and guess what... so do my boys:). So many lessons can be taught with music. I have a cd of skip counting songs that we started listening (and learning) this week. Tobin can now play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on the piano. My boys both love finding the beat and play rhythms on whatever surface they can find. Tobin started his homeschool music class this week too, and he has no problem hitting his little drum to the beat.
           I introduced the idea of what music looks like in written form, and Tobin loved writing the music language of circles and lines with A-G. I love how he just accepts the concept of music theory as another fun thing to learn.

We also incorporated the Bible truth of using music to praise the Lord! We learned Psalm 150:6, and sang lots of praise music together. 

We also enjoyed painting with blue paint while listening to Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. 

Being a stubborn musician myself, and not very good at technology, this post has taken me about a month to actually post. Why? Because I finally figured out how to post the above videos... I think. Oh, the stubborn part is that I don't want to ask my techie husband who would have figured it out in 3 seconds. So I have lots of posts to work on so that I can catch up! I really want to keep up with this as a journal/diary of sorts so I can feel accomplished in my daily doings:). Hope you enjoy!
and add more music into your lives!