Sunday, October 16, 2011


A couple of weeks ago we learned about the letter A and apple. We started our week learning about the fruits of the spirit in Galatians: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. It was neat to see Noah incorporate these words throughout the week in association with his own behavior.

I used this topic of apple to teach Noah about family trees. We made a very basic family tree with his nana, papa, grandma, grandpa, parents, sister, and our best friend Jenny - on the branch ;)

The last day of the week we met up with our friends and did some apple tasting. I also drew up a very simple chart with a sharpie on a white pad of paper to show them how to organize our thoughts on color, flavor, etc.

Apple stamping :)

I found an easy treat to make that the kids could help with - you can find the recipe here.

My friend took more pictures with her nice camera - I'll try to post them at another time.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This last week we have been learning about the letter L and leaves. We also learned that just like it's important for a leaf to stay connected to its plant, it's important for us to stay connected to the source of life and nourishment we have in God.

I am learning to be prepared - here are some of my supplies for the week.

I got this idea for a handprint tree from an apple tree I saw here.



Our words to remember for the week - I love hearing Optimus say them.

On a leaf hunt for our craft

The kids did some leaf rubbing - though I had to do most of it. They didn't quite get how to keep things from sliding around. The printable was also a great find from here (same place as before!)

Then we moved on to a craft where you paint the edge of the leaf and create a neat outline... This is what it was supposed to look like

But this is how it went down.

After Optimus was done covering his leaf with yellow paint, I took a piece of paper and pressed it down on top to reveal this beautiful piece of art. It wasn't the original plan but I'm really happy with it!

Today we joined up with our friends to read books and do another fun craft. But first, Optimus, Milli and I made leaf sugar cookies. The kids added red and yellow food coloring and I mixed :) Have I mentioned that my neighbor sells various cookie doughs for a living? Yes, I am blessed!

I brought out the airdry clay again and we made leaf ornaments - I'll try to remember to post the final product when they dry

This was a fun book I found at the library - we decided to make our own leaf man with leaves we had collected a couple days before - it turned out great!


Our lesson last week was the moon. We learned that we reflect Jesus to the world just like the moon reflects the sun. I love how he is getting these cool lessons combined with science!

It was really fun to watch videos of the first men on the moon, and to teach Optimus those amazing words, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". I also fell in love with our craft. As I molded some white air-dry clay into the bottom of a flat bowl, I sent Optimus to look around for anything that could be used as an asteroid to make a crater...

The tools of choice were: a plastic robot, a squinky ball, a marble, a piece from Faith's "Little People" pink car, a purple marker, and the bottom half of a monkey matryoshka doll...

These turned out to be perfect tools for making craters. We then built up some little mountainous regions.

Optimus got out his spaceman to go for a walk and plant the flag.

Here is what it looks like all dry

Optimus also got to hang out with his bff and paint planets. They painted and glittered the heck out of them and had a blast. I'm so thankful that we have great friends homeschooling!

This is me going through a book for the kiddos. Milli was clearly more interested in something else...

One fun experiment we did was calculate how high the boys would be able to jump if they were on the moon. I measured how high each one jumped on their own and then multiplied that number by 6. They were impressed!

The kids holding up their phases of the moon made out of oreo cookies. Of course my son has the "new moon" - which means all of the frosting has been licked out ;)

By the way, we do some writing during the week too but I just don't have the time or desire to take pics of EVERYTHING. I just like to capture certain moments :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Reflections on teaching my first homeschool week

So I have completed my first "lesson" in homeschool kindergarten. Here's the breakdown.

Better than I expected:

- Optimus LOVES school. He even wants it on the weekend! However, see below...

- It's more fun than I thought! Thinking up creative ways to teach a lesson has meant spending time in closets with flashlights, fingerpainting, making marshmallow snacks - and I'm hoping to make moon craters next week complete with an acting out of the first man on the moon!

- Every since school started, the kids don't ask for TV first thing in the morning, they ask for school! They also play more together, and independently and creatively.

- Every random thing has now become an opportunity to learn. I've always kind of been that way, but even moreso now. For example, when we were playing with play-doh the other day, we opened up a container and found the red playdoh had grown crystals! Optimus went into science mode to investigate and journal it - then we googled to find out what it was. I will post on that later. He just seems to be more aware of his surroundings.

Harder than I expected:

- Milli is only 2.5, but she wants to participate in everything I am showing Optimus. This means making two copies of everything and letting her participate in things that would be MUCH easier with a capable 5 year old.

- I didn't expect Optimus to want school all day, every day. When I have exhausted all of my ideas and materials from my planning times, he still wants MORE. This is really cool, I know, but it definitely takes more time.

- The schedule. I had the idea in my mind: Mon, Wed, Fri at 10:00 am. Well, with my homeschool co-op every other Monday morning, my time volunteering at church on various Wednesday mornings, and carving time out for the gym - this has not been as easy as I thought! Thankfully it's homeschool, and my kids love school, so Sunday afternoon school is welcomed and so is after lunch school when Milli goes down for her nap :) I'm learning how to loosen my grip on "plans" - which I'm sure my husband will appreciate and will be good for me all around!

- Figuring out the "right" way to do some things, like handwriting. I'm using Handwriting without Tears but haven't figured out if I should go in the order it recommends or just go with MFW. I had a bit of a internal meltdown about this issue and realized I need to just give myself some time to work out the kinks and not stress!

That's just what I got so far, will post some pics later!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


So we had our first official lesson day today. It's Sunday, but I know I'm going to be gone all morning tomorrow and then Optimus visits a friend so I decided to start it today - gotta love the flexibility of homeschooling.

Optimus asked me to help him make this sign :) He is LOVING the idea of doing kindergarten at home and every time I'm done with a lesson he literally begs me for "more school"!

I love this calendar - we go through the date every morning and learn what yesterday was and what tomorrow will be - then we get to dress our little guy appropriately for the weather :)
My 1's and 10's - for counting (MFW)

I'm using a great idea I learned from my friend Danaly to help Optimus learn our key phrase each week.

Sun Snack - marshmallow, food coloring, pretzel sticks

First I read a great kids book that taught on all the aspects of the sun. It made it easy for Optimus to understand how far away it is. It takes a spaceship 3 days to get to the moon, but it would take it 4 years to get to the sun! And if it got too close it would turn into gases!

We then took a field trip up to Millie's room and turned all the lights off. I explained how hard it is to see without any light and how we can't tell which way to turn or if we are going to run into anything. That's why the sun is so helpful. And.... Jesus is the LIGHT, and the SON... and we need HIM to see which way to go. It was very cool.

Next we went out to the flower bed and borrowed some dirt so we could do an experiment with beans. We placed some in a cup that will be on the windowsill in the sun. We placed others in a cup in a mail-station we have that has cool cubbies in it and a door. Optimus will journal the changes he sees in each cup and will find out if the sun makes a difference!

More sun stuff Wednesday!


So we survived our first week and a half of homeschooling!! I am happy to say it wasn't nearly as difficult as I imagined it to be :) The more organized I was beforehand, the easier it seemed to flow each day. The kids enjoyed it and even begged for more school throughout the day, on the weekend, and on the holiday - I was pleasantly surprised!

The MFW curriculum starts with a teaching on creation, with the kids creating a book on the 7 days of creation. Noah got to cut, stamp, color and glue his little heart out over this lesson and he really enjoyed it. It was a great way to break us all into school since it was a pretty simple lesson each day for each day of creation.

Here is Optimus' book

By day 3 I had learned to pre-cut some small pieces and have them in individual baggies for the kids to use when it came time to work on the page.

Millie's book. I had NO CLUE she would be as involved as she is. So here are some of her pages in her creation book :)

I had a great experience, which is really good since I had so much anxiety over starting.