Friday, January 22, 2010

How Do Salamander's Hear With No Ears?

In science we are currently talking about freshwater rivers, lakes and ponds. We have been talking about the wildlife that grows and lives around these areas. This week we talked about how some animals (specifically salamanders) do not have external ears to hear with. Of course the girls had no idea how it was that they would be able to hear an approaching predator. So, our science experiment had us take a tin tray (which was our ground) and turn it upside down, pour some salt on top and then demonstrate what would happen when the tray were hit with a spoon (which acted as our predator). The girls immediately recognized the vibrations as the salt particles jumped and moved. Of course, the experiment wasn't complete without having a Littlest Pet Shop join us!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How Do You Keep One Busy While Working With Another?

When we decided to keep Sweet Baby home this year, one of the things that had me concerned was how on earth was I going to keep her learning while I dealt with the older girls? Of course we have had to figure things out as we go, but one thing that has been a wonderful addition to Sweet Baby's day, is the use of our Learning Palette from Usborne Books and More. The Learning Palette is a wonderful way for children to practice skills they are learning and be independent doing so!

The child has a certain skill they are practicing (in this case Sweet Baby is practicing her letter blends.) If you take a look at the upper right hand side of the palette, she needed to know that the "sp" says "sp" and be able to match that sound with a picture that contains that sound. By finding that the "spider" has a yellow circle with a hole in the middle, she places that chip next to the "sp". When she has completed the entire disk, she turns the disk over and.........

the disk allows her to self check. See the colors along the sides of the disk? If they match with the chips she placed, she has them all right! Sweet Baby gets to practice her skills for a couple minutes - quietly - while I work with a big sister. It is great for both of us! And, if your child wears her princess Belle dress to school, she'll feel like a real princess when she gets all of her answers correct too!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'll NEVER Be Able to Home School

Life is such a such a journey. I remember thinking that people who chose to home school were crazy radicals who would no doubt cause their children to be social outcasts. Then God lead us to home school and lead us to meet families with "normal", great kids so THAT thought was out of my mind. After that first year, and as our youngest approached kindergarten, I was certain that we would send her to school to "get the basics" under her belt because certainly, "I could not teach a child to read". Then God lead us to keep her home too. (Seriously, what was He thinking? He can't know me better than I do can He?)
Well, imagine how excited I am when I see Sweet Baby doing this:

She is already sounding out 4 and some 5 letter words. Here she is reading the word "held". It is the cutest thing. And when she insists on bringing Bitty Baby to "school" with her, it just makes me smile.

I'm glad He knows me better than I know myself.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Misc .Christmas Pictures

I can't believe the holidays are over..what a wonderful month time! Admittedly we took the entire month of December off of school to do crafts, wrap at the mission, decorate and just enjoy one another. It was a wonderful break and I thought I'd share some photos our doings.
The girls the Sunday before Christmas. All dressed up, headed to church.

On Christmas Eve I stopped at Michaels and they had these adorable foam house kits for just $3 each. A PERFECT activity while we enjoyed a quiet day at home.

Sissy has her own room and the younger two share a room. Last year the girls asked to set the air mattress up in Sissy's room on Christmas Eve and all sleep together. Apparently it has become a new tradition (as it was declared by the girls). Here they are as Sissy is reading "The Night Before Christmas" to them before bed.

This year we added a second tree to our home (thanks mom!) and I declared it "my" tree. It is my "country decorating tree". The kids decorated the main tree in the front of the house and this slim cutie was mine to decorate. I'll add some gingham ribbon next year (of course I picked it up this year AFTER the decorations were all on it.)

The girls were thrilled to open these gifts. Can you believe they were all sewn by me...and I haven't sewed anything other than a straight line in my life! It started out that I wanted to make them cute library bags that morphed into matching fancy jeans and shirts. Lots of late nights over my sewing machine, but they loved them!

Christmas morning snow play! Santa brought snow block makers.

And on New Year's Eve...more baking!
These chocolate cookies filled with peanut butter balls were SO yummy!