It’s March already and we’re so ready for spring!
Almost all the snow is melted and it’s been gorgeous the past few days!
Almost all the snow is melted and it’s been gorgeous the past few days!
We did a lot of science this past week or so. A LOT OF SCIENCE.
We weren’t very diligent about completing the experiments in our anatomy science book, so we knocked out several recently.
Here is Elizabeth laughing about how gross it felt sticking her fingers into Jello.
The finished Jello human cell. We then threw it in the sink as it looked so unappetizing. The Skittles “bled” meaning their colors clouded into the Jello. Elizabeth was pretty disgusted.
Elizabeth’s “Alton Brown pose” before dissecting a chicken wing.
The “not so Alton Brown pose”…
We also did music (piano and voice), Latin, math…studied Mongolia, Georgia (the state), history…but alas, no pictures of those. She’s had a much better attitude this week and has been much more helpful with chores and her siblings and completing her school work more diligently.
We’re preparing notebooks for every subject to complete the transfer into Notebooking with our Ambleside curriculum. We’ve used Notebooking loosely, but I really want to rev it up and get her more independent as she heads toward high school. I can’t believe that my baby will be in 6th grade this fall…
Since Daddy is deployed, they offer Parents Days Out once a month. I dropped off the littles and we had ourselves a Mama-Daughter date to the thrift store and lunch at McGrath’s. That was sheer seafood awesomeness.
Elizabeth now has a palate expander to prepare for braces next month. I don’t laugh at her lisps ALL the time…
Here is Big Sister reading to Little Sisters. They love this anatomy book!
Here is the little clay girl with toothpick skeleton they made from lesson 2.
They also made some layered human body paper dolls from a Scholastic workbook Easy Make & Learn Projects: Human Body (Grades 2-4)
and are working on a cell model mobile. We’re focusing on healthy eating this week with a Food Pyramid bulletin board and food file folder games from File Folder Fun. (oh, the alliteration!)
Tori and Katie made little log cabins out of pretzels.
I found the printable at TeacherFileBox.com. We’re looking for some paper people to print to add to their pictures…
We also finished up the letter Z. They worked on anatomy science with Big Sister Lizzie and loved it. I got a mini bulletin board set of the Food Pyramid and I made a board of some of it and a lapbook with the food sorting. We’re going to work on healthy eating habits this week.
We enjoyed watching snow and birds. We went to the Wild Bird Center and bought 3 new feeders and 3 bags of birdseed and we’ve laughed at these guys fluttering around. Not sure what they are cuz I’m from the East and these western and mountain birds are sure different! I think it’s a type of phoebe or junco…I need to buy a new bird ID book! We also have lots of sparrows and chickadees. They haven’t discovered the other feeders yet..
I found this idea on Currclick. I think it will work better than any other chore system we’ve used. I must remember to remind the girls to utilize it.
I have acquired the cards from various sources…Homeschool Creations, Homeschool Share, Heart of Wisdom…I plan to combine school and chore activities on one page to save space. We really don’t need more than 16 squares each day between the 3 girls. They usually help each other with the chores. That can be good and can also cause problems when all 3 are in 1 bathroom trying to clean the toilet, for instance. :)~
I got the pocket chart and clock schedule at Target’s dollar spot over the summer. I cut the clock chart into strips and Voilà! I’ve just been lazy not getting to doing this until now.
Here is a close-up of Elizabeth’s chart. I made the titles on Publisher and I thought putting what they did today rather than “Lizzie’s Chores” would be more motivational. I put the cards on the white grid and they move their cards to the colored grid as they are completed. They love the color coding with their favorite colors. :)
I figure I need to set up a prize system or something. They get $1 per week allowance, but they’re not good at remembering to ask for that and I forget to get cash for them. They each tithe 10¢ and give 10¢ to missions each week though. I figure I’ll put some little treats in a bin and if they complete their charts, they can pick one…daily? weekly? I’ve never been one to dangle the carrot, but they’re not doing so well lately, especially the 10 year old, and the littles follow suit! I’m too tired to do all the chores all the time!
Note: We no longer use nor condone chore charts, rewards, punishments. This system helped our kids learn to remember to do necessary tasks when they were very little.
An Atmosphere, A Discipline, A Life…
I’m loving notebooking instead of worksheets. The kids can be so creative!
I believe in a good foundation and being open to questions and conversation about God and the Bible.
We moved to Utah from Hawaii.
It’s a BIG change.
Here is our workbox wall.
On the left, our calendar/circle time “corner.”
Here is our desk wall and calendar. The clock is set to “Daddy Time” in Afghanistan.
Here is the rest of our school space that we finally cleaned up and organized.
We are so blessed to have a finished basement in our rental house to use almost exclusively for learning space. When we move, I have no idea what we’re going to do because I doubt we’ll have anything like the space we have here and we’ll have to downsize! We came from a small 3 BR 1-level house where we “did school” at the kitchen table or on the living room sofa to this great 6 BR 2-story with a basement. God made it all possible. :)
That corner wasn’t really working out, so here are our updated circle time boards on a pocket chart rack. They are two foam boards hooked together. (I am working on changing it up for the week so there’s blanks.) A word wall is in the red pocket chart on the back.
Our reading nook.
Our weekly preschool manipulatives are in the cubes (from Target).
I use the shelves (yard sale finds) to store pencil boxes, AWANA cards, felts, a Beka cards, big puzzles, our book of centuries, and nature journals. The tops of the shelves have our pencil sharpener, a basket of magnet letters, a portable DVD player, paper towels, Kleenexes, etc. The rainbow cart (had this forever) on the right holds magnets, push pins, do-a-dot pens, geoboards, cork boards, play doh…On top of the rainbow cart are our Education Cubes and tot trays.
Here is the same wall from another angle. I found this very sturdy table at a yard sale for $15 and the 4 chairs at another yard sale (on the same day) for $20. That was a good day!
I put our daily tools in little metal buckets on a lazy susan on the table. The bulletin board above the computer station shows off my 2 preschool daughters’ Bible crafts. To the left of that bulletin board, I have created pictorial timelines for my daughters with pictures of each of their birthdays to show their growth. They love it! Underneath those, a little blue pocket chart holds a weekly Bible verse.
The bookcase holds all my teaching materials and extra books that I want to keep nice. The bottom two shelves have some manipulatives like dry erase books and magnet dolls. The colored plastic drawers hold lots of Melissa & Doug and Lauri puzzles. On top of that is our bin of circle time stuff.
There is another set of folding doors to the right of these, but it’s still messy. I store board games in here. We have labeled plastic bins with all of our school and craft supplies like construction paper, paints, stamps, beads and baubles, pipe cleaners, feathers, etc.
We also are so blessed to have a separate play room for toy storage and another room that is supposed to be my personal sewing and craft room (right now it’s seeming to be storage!)…
We also have our TV and sofa behind the reading nook. It’s nice to have a not-so-central location so it’s not on very often. We use it more for the Wii anyway.
Our school room in the basement…
Maybe should’ve taken the picture before school time?
(Although, it looks better than most days! Notice I’m not showing you the play dough tables and accessories all over the kitchen floor! Nor the glue dollops and collages that are stuck to my plastic floor pad under my computer desk…)
We do workboxes, sorta. Love my cube unit for activities the 3 littles share. The girls are about to outgrow those little pink and purple desks! The bookshelf mostly holds Elizabeth’s books. A plastic crate holds board books. Bean bags and pillows are on the floor.
There’s another bookshelf in Tori’s room that holds the picture books and early readers.
Elizabeth has an entire setup in the room that should be a formal dining room. We turned it into her music studio and desk area. She has her keyboard, workboxes, a storage shelf, desk, and computer station.
This setup is working for us this year!
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