Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Penny's Worth of Character - Math Lesson Plan


We recently finished A Penny's Worth of Character by Jesse Stuart, which everyone loved.  It was also a wonderful bonus to be able to have a discussion about the importance of honesty.  While we were reading the book, I put together a little math game for the kids to help them learn about the values of coins...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kandinsky Circles Art Project

I'm starting to introduce my kids to famous artists and their works.  Last week's artist was Kandinsky and E created an oil pastel / watercolor relief inspired by his famous painting of circles..

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Homeschool Kindergarten Week in Review

This week in Homeschool Kindergarten was very relaxed and productive.  I was consistent in getting the kids together for school-time in the morning and it seemed that all the kids were a lot more focused and less argumentative than the previous week.  Here's a glimpse of how our week went..

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monsters Theme in Homeschool Kindergarten

One of the days last week, I decided to make a fun "monster" theme for the kids during our homeschool time.  We read books about monsters, made crafts, wrote stories, and built our own monster creations (the one above was designed and built by E all by herself!).

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Easiest Glider You'll Ever Make!

After reading an article in Click Magazine on flying squirrels (and how they glide rather than really fly), we made our own gliders.  It literally took me less than 5 minutes to make three of these gliders with the kids (including finding supplies)...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pond Life Theme in Homeschool Kindergarten

We completed this mini-unit about pond life earlier this school-year in Homeschool Kindergarten, but I totally forgot to post about it.  After reading some books about the various animals that live in ponds, the twins had a chance to make some cute crafts which I'd love to share...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Learning About Sheep

We're reading through Among the Farmyard People by Clara Dillingham Pierson (free on Google Play Books and Project Gutenberg).  After reading a chapter about a lamb who bragged about his long tail, I decided to let the kids make a quick (and cute) sheep craft.  The one pictured above was H's (2.5 years old) - I made the sheep and he glued the cotton balls for the wool.  The twins (4.5 years old) made their own..

Friday, April 4, 2014

Holland {Netherlands} Learning Unit


The twins (homeschool Kindergarten) and I just finished reading The Dutch Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins.  It's the first book in a series about twins from different countries.  Since it was written in 1911, it's in the public domain and we read about The Dutch Twins on Google Play free on my iPad.  My own twins absolutely adored the stories of Kit and Kat (the Dutch twins) as they went to market with their father, churned butter with their mother, drove the milk cart, learned to ice skate, and met St. Nicholas.  The book also taught them a little bit about Holland, so I decided to include some Holland-themed activities: craft windmills, painting tulips, baking Dutch apple cake, and more..

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Diaper Science {and Sensory Experience!}

The other day, the kids were playing out on the deck when they ran to me with a gooey substance in their fingers asking what it is.  At first I was worried that it was something toxic or some type of insect egg and freaked out a little as H (2 years old) wanted to put it in his mouth.  A couple hours later I realized that H's diaper must have torn and this was the absorbent substance from his diaper (called sodium polyacrylate).  This inspired me to try an experiment with my twins (homeschool Kindergarten) to learn about The Science of Diapers...

Monday, March 31, 2014

Montessori-inspired DIY Weight Cylinders

If you love Montessori manipulatives, but can't afford the price-tag, try this easy DIY version of the Montessori Weight Cylinders using empty Play-Doh containers and dry beans.  Here's what we did for this little sensory / math activity...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tot School - 30 Months

Now that H is 2.5 years old, we've decided to put him to work on the farm.  Here he is milking the cow..  :)  Actually, H's "Tot School" time has been full of playing, exploring, fun, and learning (even on vacation).  He loves to participate in "circle time" with his older sisters and soaks up new information like a sponge.  Here's a tiny peep into some of his favorite activities lately..

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Graphing Rainbow Goldfish Crackers

Here is another easy edible math activity that kids just adore...  When my children begged for some rainbow goldfish crackers, I put a bunch into a bowl made a curious face and started asking them questions:  How many fish do you think are in there?  (More than 100?  More than 10?).  Which color fish do you think there are the most of?  etc..  After piquing their interest, the girls were eager to investigate further...

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Elementary Color Theory in Kindergarten

The kids have wanted to paint every day this week, so I decided to throw in some activities to allow them to learn more about color mixing...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cheez-It Math Worksheet for Kindergarten

The kids love edible math manipulatives, and this snack cracker worksheet that I quickly put together was a big hit in our homeschool.  Just because Common Core doesn't cover area and perimeter until 3rd grade doesn't mean that Kindergarteners won't understand it..

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Colored Celery Science Experiment for Kids {Capillary Action}

Back when we were learning about plants, the twins (4 years old) did an easy little science experiment to learn about capillary action (how water travels up a plant's stem).  Here's how its done..

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Homeschool Kindergarten Lesson Plans - Weeks 21-25

Although we've been doing a lot of themes recently in homeschool Kindergarten, there is plenty of playing and learning activities that don't exactly fall within the context of those thematic units.  This post will be a mishmash of all that "other stuff" we've been doing that I haven't had a chance to blog about...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

101 Chapter Books to Read Aloud to My Kids

It's no secret that I love to read.  When we visited a furniture store last weekend, the girls pointed out every (fake) stack of books that was displayed, yelling "Mommy, look at the books - your favorite!".  I've been reading chapter books aloud to the twins since they were 2.5, and it's still something special we enjoy every day.  I had assumed that when the girls learned to read they would be eagerly seeking out books and enjoy reading on their own, but that didn't quite happen.  They're technically amazing readers for their age, but don't have the passion for independent reading quite yet (I need to remember they are only 4.5 years old).  So for now I'm just reading lots and lots of book aloud to them (and starting to include my 2.5 year old boy too, although he doesn't quite have the attention span yet and wanders away).   I love being able to share classics from my own childhood with my children, as well as discover some "new-to-me" books as well.  Amazon recently released its updated list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime.  Since surfing Amazon is my "hobby" (yes, really!), I was inspired to come up with a list of 101 read aloud chapter books for kids (33 that we've already read, and the rest on my "wish list").  Here goes...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Combinatorics in Kindergarten {What Will Little Bear Wear?}

It's been a bit chilly here lately so the girls and I have been reading plenty of stories about cold and snow.  One of the stories in circulation this week is "What Will Little Bear Wear?" from the book Little Bear by Elsa Holmelund Minarik.  I threw together a fun little math activity related to the book. (It would also go great with the book Jesse Bear What Will You Wear? from Before Five in a Row)...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Learning about Africa in Homeschool Kindergarten

This week our theme was "Africa".  I'd like to do some activities for Black History Month later in February, so I thought a good start would be to learn a little big about Africa first.  This involved a lot of crafts (like the African mask art pictured above) which the girls really enjoyed.  Here's more of what we did..

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Homemade Math Game: Feed the Clown


We've been working on math facts in Homeschool Kindergarten for what seems like forever.  Instead of flashcards and pop-quizzes, I prefer to mix things up by playing lots of math games.  Here's an easy homemade math game that I put together in a couple minutes and turned out to be a roaring success with the twins...