Sunday, April 27, 2014

E is for Elephant

Elephants are very smart, interesting, and humongous creatures. They have amazing trunks that they use to communicate with, but they also use their feet to communicate with through stomping and vibrations. Did you know that they are very sociable, loving creatures that bury their dead and have been seen to shed tears when separated from each other? So amazing. 
  We didn't even make it to the library for this unit, but I had an e-book about elephants, and a Zoo-book magazine Tobes has always loved from his great-grandparents. We are learning with this unit "I will remember what God has done for me." I had no idea that the reason we say that an elephant never forgets, is because it really is a very smart animal that never forgets its way around the jungle.
      We played a memory game, where I displayed 10 items for the boys to try and remember. We named off each item in a row, and then the boys turned around while I hid two of the items. Then, they turned around and tried to remember the missing items. They loved this game!

    I would make a horrible elephant, as I just forgot that I was browning hamburger meat. Oops....

Anyways, He thought this picture in his magazine of all the food an elephant eats in a year deserving of a school project... so we made a graph. No big surprise, elephants eat a lot.

Here he is writing "I will remember what God has done for me." We discussed the importance of remembering the blessings God has given us, and that we should give thanks and tell all people about the wonderful things He has done.

We read one of my favorite books from my childhood...

and then I amazed my kids with my tracing abilities,
 and we remade our favorite before and after scenes from the book:

We made elephant toothpaste:

 which became an elephant bath:

Finally, we listened to our weekly classical music: Bach: Brandenburg Concerto no.4 in G Minor
and fingerpainted with pudding on a cookie sheet. 
Tobes (who had to make sure a bath was ready for him in order to get messy) 
loved moving the slime to the music.

Jones hardly made any art since he found the paint so tasty.

I had hoped to visit the Knoxville Zoo (since it has elephants), but it didn't happen. Weather wasn't good. Thankfully, we found lots of fun activities to do instead. There is A LOT of elephant ideas on pinterest and in the My Father's World Curriculum. We actually didn't even have time to do everything. Especially since the boys REALLY wanted to learn about foxes! So... instead of k for kangaroo (unit 17), we are moving on to x for fox (unit 23). 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

H is for Horse

We focused on the words "I obey right away" with our H is for horse unit. These words are sooooooooooooooooooooo beyond needed in our family. I know training my kids to obey the FIRST time I tell them to do something is something that I have to train myself to expect from them. Not as easy as it sounds, though. We talked about Noah, Jonah, and Jesus as a child and how they obeyed (at least obeyed eventually).

Now, when my kids are not listening to instructions, I ask them "do you remember what we learned when we talked about H for Horse?" They are learning to reply... "I obey right away!"

I didn't really take many pictures for our horse unit. My boys just don't get excited about horses. That is fine by me, as it is a very expensive hobby:). 

We did make clay horses:

We enjoyed looking at books about wild horses, and we also read a children's storybook about Seabiscuit.
They had a blast pretending to be (Seabiscuit) racing horses:

We are also reading this classic:

We played a treasure hunt game to further teach the "obey right away" concept. I hid a treasure box of chocolate coins for both boys. I gave them step by step instructions, and they had to follow my directions exactly in order to find the hidden treasure.
After they found the hidden treasure and enjoyed the surprise,  I asked them "what would have happened if you had not listened and obeyed? Do you think God has wonderful surprises hidden for us, too, if we listen and obey?"
We read: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."- James 1:22

G is for Goat

Here are my boys holding a precious baby goat just two days after it was born!
 I couldn't have planned learning G for Goat better if I tried!

 The baby kid couldn't hardly walk yet, it was so new to this world. 
The combo of this sweet little baby and my yellow loving three year old has
 become some of my favorite photos ever!

Meet Farmer Tobes. He plans on taking all Grandpa's goats, pigs, and chickens to start his own farm. 
 We also enjoyed the goats at the petting zoo.

 Explorer Tobes is searching for new animals for his farm. Worksheets can take a long time to get through sometimes, but at least it is a lot of fun! 

Goats are not a new thing to my boys, since they enjoy visiting them at my parents' home. 
My  main focus was on the words "Jesus died for my sins." I explained  that goats and sheep were sacrificed for sins before Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice for our sins.

 I love how the My Father's World curriculum explains it, as this is a very delicate and scary concept for little ones: 

"Jesus never did anything wrong, but when He came to earth He was killed because we have done wrong. We don't kill animals now if people sin, because Jesus came and died for our sins. When we sin, God forgives us if we are His children because Jesus took the punishment that we deserve."