Monday, July 22, 2013

Nature Reading Booklist

We love books around here and every afternoon is dedicated to reading aloud and individual quiet reading or book looking.  I like to make lists subject by subject of the books we are going to read for the coming year and check them off as we progress.  I say progress because often our lists are over ambitious and either unfinished or even unused.  That is the case of our nature reading list for 2012/2013.  I made the list last fall specifically to read with K and B but as you can see it was over ambitious and we actually read very little.So this summer as I was planning science work I pulled out the list and we are reading a little at a time.  Our main nature text is A Nature Walk with Aunt Bessie.  Aunt Bessie takes her niece and nephew through her garden teaching about each thing they encounter and that is where our list comes in to play.  If there is a book on our nature list that fits in with Aunt Bessie's teachings we read it, last week we read Spiders.  We also read books from the list when we come upon the topic in our own yard or around town.

Nature Reading
Smithsonian Backyard
Bumblebee at Apple Tree Lane
Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way
Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane
Cottontail at Clover Crescent
Ladybug at Orchard Avenue
Gray Squirrel at Pacific Avenue
Canada Goose at Cattail Lane
Mallard Duck at Meadow View Pond
Robin at Hickory Street
Little Black Ant on Park Street
Gail Gibbons
The Moon Book
Galaxies, Galaxies
Weather Words
The Magic School Bus:
Gets Eaten
Gets Baked in a Cake
Lost in The Solar System
Sees Stars
Thornton Burgess
The Bird Book for Children
The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk
Old Mother West Wind
Lightfoot the Deer
The Adventures of Peter Cottontail
Mrs. Peter Rabbit
The Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse
The Adventures of Bobby Raccoon
The Adventures of Reddy Fox
The Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack
The Adventures of Buster Bear
The Adventures of Old Man Coyote
The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel
The Adventures of Grandfather Frog
The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad
The Adventures of Prickly Porky
Why Do Leaves Change Colors?
I Can Read About Wolves
See How they Grow—Frogs
From the Library
Walking with Henry—Thoreau
Henry David’s House—Thoreau
Henry Builds a Cabin—Thoreau
Henry Hikes to Fitchburg—Thoreau

Here are a few pictures of how we have been spending time in the great outdoors:

Sunday Afternoon walk down by the river.

B riding at the Pump Track.

E and A catching frogs and tadpoles.

E picked wild flowers for little ol' me.

Today is Montessori Monday and I am linking up!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Balloon Animals and YouTube

Hi everyone!  How is your summer going?  We have been very busy this past week with Vacation Bible School and gearing up for more fun this week.  On the 4th of July we celebrate E's 11th birthday, which means a trip to the water park and on the 5th it is my husband's birthday, so this is always a go, go, go time of the summer for us.  However, among the hustle and bustle the children still need some suggestions of what to do when we are home in the afternoon (especially when I have pulled the t.v. and all devices).  So out came the balloons.

We started with a package of animal balloons and the book Crazy Balloon Modeling.

It was so interesting to watch the children attack this project.  E got right to work making a dog for herself and then for B our youngest. K wanted a ladybug which proved to be too much for her and for me.  (If you follow me on Facebook, you saw my post "It's official, "I suck at balloon animals!"  AJ took a long, long time to decide on what to make.

Poor little K was so frustrated about her lack of abilities but then she got creative,  She scrapped the book and just followed her own ideas and made a few hats and balloons.  I was so proud of her.  She gets frustrated then can go into a very negative mode but she pulled herself out and moved forward.

E is a get to it kind of gal and she helped B participate by making him a dog and a humming bird.

Then we moved on to YouTube. Is there no end to the self and home education that can be done through that website?  If you want to make balloon animals just search "easy balloon animals" and you will be overwhelmed with choices.  AJ watched and watched then finally made a sword and a dog.

Watching a YouTube tutorial.

E is making a heart she saw on YouTube.

After the animal balloons, out came the party balloons for games of all kinds.

So, don't ever underestimate the fun that balloons can be on a hot summer afternoon.  I think I will also add this to our list of winter activity ideas.

I also wanted to tell you how fabulous rocket balloons are.  I don't have any pictures but if you haven't tried them yet, you should.  Once you pump them up they travel a long distance with a great noise.

And just in case you wanted to know what I did to help in this fun, since I was a complete failure at making animals, well I was the official balloon tie-er.

Today is Montessori Monday and I am linking up!