Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm a Winner!

I had to share my excitement!! Our girls really enjoy lapbooking and our favorite lapbooks are those that are made by Hands of a Child. A year or so ago I was lucky enough to help the company out at a local homeschool conference. In doing so, they gave me a super membership for an entire year.

What is a "super membership" you ask? Each month the ladies at Hand of a Child (HOAC) develop 2 new lapbooks (generally on one topic and they do a lapbook for the younger children and the older children), if you have a super membership you are able to download both lapbooks for free. When they are released to the public they are about $15 a piece. We used several of the lapbooks that we received during the time we had the membership, but this past year we decided to save a bit and skip the super membership.

Well, this morning I ordered their weekly $5 lapbook which is all about Ancient Rome (we will be studying this next year when we do Rome to the Reformation with My Fathers World). Apparently the girls at HOAC are having a big anniversary celebration and they are doing give-a-ways right now. Lucky me that the $5 Rome lapbook was their 100th sale for the day because we won a year Super Membership! YIPEE!!

We LOVE Hands of a Child!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mr. Popper's Penguins Read Aloud

How can a person go their entire childhood having not read a book like Mr. Popper's Penguins? SIGH...well, I sure did and thanks to the suggestion of a friend, that was the read-a-loud that we just finished.

We started reading Mr. Popper's Penguins and was finished in about a week! Every time I would read a couple chapters and get ready to stop, all of the girls would say, "NO! Keep reading!" It has been hard to find books that all three of them (spanning ages 6-11) are engaged in that much!

Mr. Poppers Penguins has EVERYTHING that I have been looking for in a book:

1) Great story line that keeps all of my kids interested.

2) Not to "fluffy". You know those books, the ones that have very little new vocabulary in them. My girls love to read the "Rainbow Magic Fairy" books. They are fine little books for fun but the books are filled with silly dialogue and no real vocabulary in them for the girls to learn.

3) Wonderfully descriptive sentences. I have one child that does not excel in anything "English" related. She will read for fun but again, the books are usually below her grade level and really "fluffy". She also dislikes writing. Another of mine loves to write but has a hard time getting her story started. I LOVE finding books that use a lot of descriptive words and paragraphs so I can point out to the kids how much better it makes the story.

If you are looking for a great read-a-loud for your family, you really should not miss this one. Plus, if your children are anything like mine, you'll be done reading in about a weeks time!

We are on to Dr. Dolittle now. The girls are enjoying this one just as much!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bible Bowl

Last year as Sissy's first year on the church Bible Bowl team. She enjoyed it and did really well even helping her team to the state finals and winning a trophy and medal there. This year both Sissy and Peanut are involved.

The kids are studying the book of John this year. Yesterday was their first competition and the kids did really well. Sissy is now in the Junior High division. Their team did not place in the top 4 teams this time but Sissy only missed 2 out of 20 questions.

This year there are only 3 Primary Divison teams for our area. On Peanut's team 2 of the 4 kids are brand new this year. They all did so well placing 1st out of the 3 teams! Peanut did awesome herself and only missed 1 out of 20 questions! The kids all share the trophy (each child taking it home for one week) until the next competition. Peanut was excited to get to take the trophy home first!

Graham Crackers are Good for Your Heart

For science we have been studying the heart. The girls have learned about the structure of the heart and the flow of blood to and from the heart. Apologia had us make a model of the heart using tinted frosting (red for oxygenated blood and blue for un-oxygenated blood), graham crackers to represent the atriums and ventricles and marshmallows to represent the aorta and pulmonary veins. The kids really looked forward to working on their models a bit everyday.

Friday, January 7, 2011

AHG Pen Pal Program is a Hit!

One of the things the girls wanted take part in with American Heritage Girls was their Pen Pal program. The AHG Pen Pal program takes your daughter and matches her up with another AHG of the same age so they can be pen pal's for one year. The girls are required to write one letter a month to their pen pal. I LOVE this idea as I remember having 2 specific pen pals when I was a child and I have fond memories of the relationships we built via snail mail.

The girls received their notices about who their pen pals were about a week ago. Sissy had a letter written and in the mail within 2 days! Sweet Baby and Peanut sat down on Wednesday to write letters to their pen pals. I have to say that it was so wonderful seeing Sweet Baby write her letter! Not only did she work very diligently to use good handwriting (which is a struggle for her), she also wrote ALOT for her and did it with a smile on her face the entire time. What a joy to watch!

In addition to writing letters, the girls received a "fun badge" for the program, to place on the back of their vest. Sissy was in Girl Scouts for 3 years before AHG so for the last 4 years I have been sewing badges to her vest (I don't like ironing them on), but with 3 girls in the program, that is ALOT of badges to sew on. It seemed to me that Sissy should be old enough to learn to sew her own badges on. Here she is sewing her first badge. She did great!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Creating the Tabernacle

For history we are wandering in the desert. Well, we aren't but Moses is. We have finally watched him lead the Israelites out of Egypt and we are now learning about their time in the desert. This week we were supposed to spend the entire week making different pieces of the Tabernacle and building it from milk cartons. Rather than do it this way, a friend had a file that she gathered offline where we just needed to print the pieces, cut them out and assemble them. It took us about an hour to do it and it was alot of fun.

As we progress through our week we will be learning the specifics about the different items in the tabernacle. This will be a great model to have to look at while we do it.

Making Blood

It sounds weird doesn't it? Making blood. But that is what we did on Monday when we said goodbye to a rejuvenating holiday break and said hello to the remainder of the school year.

Just before break we ended our study of the blood. We discussed what blood actually does and the components of blood. We were to make a model of blood using corn syrup, candy red hots, a white jellybean (or gumdrop since that is what we had in the house) and candy sprinkles.

The corn syrup represents plasma, red hots represent red blood cells, the white gumdrop is a white blood cell, and the candy sprinkles are platelets. The kids had fun with this and so did mom. An easy model to make with very little mess and it did not take alot of time either.