Friday, June 29, 2012


I have been wanting to post a weekly daybook of my thoughts for sometime now because I enjoy reading them on other blogs.  A Daybook gives a little peak into one's personal thoughts and I hope to share that with you on more of a regular basis.

I am wearing:
A denim skirt (have I told you I hate pants and shorts?  They are just so, so confining and uncomfortable) and a pink lace tank top.

I am listening to:
The sound of the boiling tea kettle and a little Kari Jobe on Youtube when I get a chance.

From the Kitchen:
Myself and eight children made a dirt cake for the last day of VBS.  It took me 2 hours to clean up the mess yesterday evening.  I made granola this morning, crockpot chicken tacos for the past 2 nights and want to try a new Indian lentil recipe tonight.  Oh, and the kitchen floor needs a good cleaning.

Around the House:
I can't keep up---towels in the mudroom from yesterday's VBS waterday, laundry to put away upstairs, books all over in the learning loft, girl's room--a mini tornado seems to have gone through and the bathrooms need to be cleaned.

In the Learning Loft:
This is the last of our 6 week break, so I am doing some planning for our summer term.  We will be doing Nature Study, Geography, Math facts and review, building challenges, U.S. History and crafts.

In the Gym:
Hubs and I returned late Sunday night from the Team BeachBody Summit inpired but tired.  We have taken a rest this week from our normal workout routine and need to discuss our plans for next week, I feel and INSANITY break maybe needed.  I have managed several morning walks and runs though.  I'm thinking I might add some push-up, pull-ups and chair dips next weeks as we are prepping for 2 birthdays and backpacking.

From the Prayer Closet:
I really want to do a personal study on joy when we get back from backpacking but for now I am praying through my prayer lists, reading Disciple Like Jesus for Parents and Promises of Joy.

Plans for the Weekend:
Setting up for a wedding today, hubs may get our herb bed built so I can thin out our current asparagus and herb bed, laundry, sheets, homeschool planning, birthday and backpack planning. I think that is enough.

A Picture to Share:
West End Beach, Donner Lake

To see a video of me eating an obscene amount of dessert at the Bellagio Buffet, check out Hub's Coach's Corner post.

Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Finishing Preschool Year 1

Last week's post was a look at some of E and A's final school activities, so I thought we would take a look at how B ended his year. B's preschool was primarily lead by him saying "can you do trays' with me?" So some weeks we were busy and others we may have done nothing. I am happy with B's learning and as he matures he is showing more and more interest in academics through counting and letter recognition. I hope in the coming season to work with him more but I am unsure of how to fit it in. I do know that I will continue to set work out for him focusing on counting, letters, storybook centers and block play.
This reusable sticker book is one of B's favorites.  It is called Play Scene Around Town.

B is concentrating so hard to put this Rhyming Words Photo Puzzle together.

More puzzle work, using numbers.

I was so excited when I found this mini pegboard at a children's consignment shop.  The set came with a lot of pegs and pattern cards.  B is not up to using the pattern cards and his attention span is currently very short for this activity but it is wonderful fine motor practice.

Working on matching cartoon animals to real life animals in our Crayola Dry Erase Activity Center.

Using Dot Painters to paint Spud and Bob.

Exploring an I Spy book or should I say "I Py?"

This Lauri Toddler Tote has gotten so much use by our children.  It has very simple, one piece puzzles for shapes and animals as well as 2 mini shapes to put pegs in.
Learning With The Sister--Sometimes B just wants to be in the thick of it all, so here are 2 times that he joined K for a bit of advanced work
Puppy Phonics--I bought this at a children's consignment store.  The game has 2 levels of play--short vowels and beginning blends.  This game is way above B's capabilities but letting him play includes him in our learning, shows him learning is fun and exposes him to the idea of taking turns and a lot of letters.

Here B joined us for a bit of money sorting.  I remember years ago a friend offered me s set of fake money for math activities, sometimes I wish I had taken it but nothing feels like the weight of real coins in one's hand.  The coin practice was a good primer for our summertime trips to the neighborhood general store.

This is the last week of our six week break, it is amazing how time flies.  I am working on 7 weeks of lesson plans while the children attend VBS this week.  Our work for the summer term will include nature study, math review, blue series work, copywork, building challenges, American History and crafts.  Pray for us: it is a busy summer, more busy than I would prefer so come September when everything slows down we will have another 3 week break before launching into our fall term.

Bless you all for stopping by.

I am linking up with Deb's Montessori Monday.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Elementary Wrap Up--Sort Of

Here is a look at what E and A worked on to complete their 4th and 2nd grade years.

Language Arts:We made it through all eight parts of speech and still love our grammar symbols.  The symbols are such a wonderful hands on way to teach such an inherently dry topic.  Now this is a bit backward in the Montessori method, but we tend to follow our own course of study, we will be working with the grammar farm throughout the summer to keep what we have learned fresh.  So call us remedial, backward or slow if you want but it is what works for us.

E using our movable alphabet to spell and copy her weekly words.

We have also pulled out our phonics stamps from Lakeshore Learning.

A working with abbreviation cards

A doing a bit of prefix review.

Geography:  We finished our geography studies with a look at North America. We really focused in on Canada. Next year E will be doing a state by state study of the U.S. and creating a notebook as she works. For our study of Canada we read the book Lost in the Barrens and used a study guide from Queen Homeschool Supply( I tried to find the guide on line but couldn't).  We have really enjoyed all of the Queen studies.  The studies are very simple in presentation but a treasure trove of ideas.  The children actually stated to me that they really have liked our studies based on living books.  They compared this Canada study with our notebook study of the human body.  They said they liked the anatomy study but really, really enjoy these Queen studies.  During this study I read Lost in the Barrens aloud while they made books of Canada's wildlife.  They also completed a few notebook drawings to illustrate the different types of river terms found in the story.
A cutting out pictures of wildlife for his book.

A and E working together on a puzzle of North America.
Math:We are leaving off in math with A needing to work on his multiplication facts and E needing to work on her division facts.  Both E and A will be using copywork over the summer to continue the memorization of their facts.  I am excited about next years study of geometry and fractions.
A working on our equation and product cards.  He has completed the whole set, so now it is time to combine families for  more of a challenge.

Life Skills: E has been working in the kitchen to prepare lunch for her siblings.  It is always my intention to include the children in as much food preparation as possible but a lot of times they are busy playing and I don't want to disturb the peace of it all or I am to burnt out and just want to get the meal made and not instruct.  Either way I would like to assign E a weekly meal to fix with as little help from me as possible.  Here is a look at what she has done so far.  Strange how both meals included cheese.

E put together this lovely plate of Macaroni and Cheese.  This is our quick mac made with macaroni pasta, fresh cheddar cheese, salt and butter--no boxes here.

E making grilled cheese, she even added some leftover ham to the sandwiches.
I feel like this post is a bit choppie but the fact is it is hard to blog when children are running around and wanting my attention.  So thanks for visiting and leave us a comment to let us know you were here.  I am off to clean up breakfast and sew a skirt for our 5 year old (no I don't sew but we got a different machine and I said I would give it a crack once again).

Enjoy your week--hubs and I are off to the Beach Body Coaches Summit this week and Grandma is coming to stay with the children.  I bit of a break for us and some date time.

I linking up with Montessori Monday. Deb is talking about music appreciation, check it out.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Painting with Littles

The littles or should I say K has been very good at keeping herself and B entertained while E and A do their lessons.  On this particular day the littles wanted to paint and I said "sure why not? Let me get it all set up for you."  Now follow along to see what goes from a great idea to a complete mess. I realize between the playdough post and shots of K painting her own finger and toe nails that I look like I handle messes well and could seem to be completely unscathed by them but let me reassure you that nothing could be further from the truth.  Messes make me very grumpy and my children unhappy when I slip into ranting over the clean up.  However, I realize that sometimes, okay it should be a lot of times, my children's happiness and our relationships are more important than the mess. So to quote a popular commercial "life's messy, clean it up!"

Isn't this sweet, they are painting so nicely together sharing the paints and the paper.

I really liked using the muffin pan to put the paints in and then putting  it on an old baking sheet can keep messes to a minimum--right?

Blue, glorious blue--she is doing so great!

Oh look, he is painting so nicely on the paper and doesn't have any paint on his body, clothes or the floor.
Oh what's that--just a bit of paint on the hands--oh yeah," go ahead and make handprints, great idea!"

"Of course, you can make handprints too."

"Oh, yes, yes, yes let's get the stamp pads out too."
Now the fun has begun--Paint on the face, all over the hands and forget it, the floor is so much more fun to paint than the paper.

"Everybody now"--paint on the hands, legs and the floor is so much fun.

Oh, now it is time to clean up, note that K is scrubbing paint off the wall, not to mention the floor, bathroom stool, the bathroom counter and oh yeah--their bodies!
So go ahead, join the craziness, make a mess and let your small children paint unattended just do it outside on the grass so the grass can be cut to hide the mess and they can run through the sprinklers to clean their bodies.

Have a great week!

 I'm linking up with Montessori Monday and the Preschool Corner.