Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lego design

Legos are fun for girls too, look what creative thing you can make with them... A garden-turned out great:) Free play choices today were lincoln logs or legos and this was the creation designed. Imagine something then build it. ps..Did you know there are some interesting online games on the lego site?

Monday, January 30, 2012


This was fun to watch. They had to hop over the bean bags with two feet together.... We'll have to add this to our practice at home. She was great at it, but I hadn't thought of it....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ice storm

How cold is ice...? Cold! My darling little California girl is really experiencing her first winter. The icicles were everywhere! She enjoyed collecting specimens to taste.. How does icicles taste?... Cold! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dance and library

Tuesdays are our busy social day. 
We have breakfast and head out the door for dance. Lola is very eager to return to dance since we have moved. She is very bouncy for ballet but she enjoys it:) After dance we have a little lunch and go to the library. There is a very cool statue out front that we posed at today. I LOVE Library time, it's one afternoon where I can allow someone else to plan some stories and art and music:) Library time is started off by story time. They have a wonderful story teller who is very animated and fun! At the end of story time there is a craft to go along with the week's theme. Today's story was "Just how long can a string be." It was a very sweet story about a bird telling how long a string could be... so the craft was to use string to make something. She used the string to make a flower and then drew some scenery to fill in the page. Many of the other little children saw her's and asked their adults to help them make one for their pictures. Very cool to see her lead others artistically. (Note to Mommy:- remember to bring her a change of clothes between activities.) Following the story time we pick out some books, starting with the Easy Readers, then some NonFiction( usually related to the season, holiday, or science we are working on that week), next some picture story books, some books on Cd, a DVD, and if we are lucky a kit. What's a kit? WELL,  it's a week's lesson in a bag based on a theme. We stumbled across them and always try to borrow one if there is one available. One week we took out the bird kit and it had toy birds that sang and 10 bird books and activity cards to go along. The library is a great place to find free activities so we are always on the look out for  what's on the calendar. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Errands With Great Granny

We spent the night with Granny last night and this morning we headed to the country to spend time with Great Granny. She is always ready for company and ready to go to town:) After lunch we chaffered her on errands that she would not be able to do on her own since she no longer drives. It was a fun Girls day. We went to the beauty shop and post office and spent time at the market. We had made some fun sharing homemade guacamole with Granny.  Then Granny rolled her mom's hair in rollers for her before we left. Each time we go there are so many opportunities for lessons on character. I use this Character Qualities chart from the Duggar family. I keep it on my fridge and refer to it often, not only for my daughter but also for myself.

lessons for today:
Exercising my senses so that I can perceive the true spirit and emotions of those around me
Giving to others basic needs without having as my 
motive personal reward
Expressing with my spirit the joy of my soul

Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting things back in balance

Gym is a great time for us. She gets to receive instruction and exercise and I have time to return emails and knit and just think for 45minutes. She's getting stronger and more coordinated. She is such a ball of energy as it is and this just helps to harness some energy. She's also learning a bit of team work and encouragement. 

Martin Luther King Jr Day

On the news we heard they were having a free day at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Museum for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Being new to the area, we are eager to visit new museums. It was a learning experience like nothing I have had. The museum is about African American History and the current issues dealing with slaves today. The installments they have are intense. Here are some things I was affected by -First was an actual slave quarter that was used in Kentucky for the housing of slaves that were to be sold. It was a very eerie place to stand and know what had happened in those walls.  The guide discussed how the women and children were downstairs and the men upstairs. Usually the people waiting to be sold were not friends or relatives. The slave trader would collect a building full from different plantations and then march them for days to the selling yard, where each would stand on a block to be sold. Second, were some shackles. It's one thing to know about them, it's another to hold a pair that was once used on a child. They had a child sized pair and an adult one. The third was the time of the history. I've heard people use the phrase only a generation away from being a slave. Well, to me that time in history seems like an unimaginable time difference to my life time. In reading the dates of the underground railroad, it was a discovery to me that the leading lady in the movement Harriet Tubman was still living in 1913. My Great Granny was born in 1916. All of slavery is so heartbreaking. There is so much to say about the museum, I learned a lot and I know my Doll did as well. The artistic interpretations and historical photographs were very powerful. Quite honestly, I wanted to cry the whole time. For learning words like - equality and freedom and civil rights- this museum is truly a great place to understand the definitions. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Coniferous trees

 Some interesting discoveries were made on how Coniferous trees survive by using needle leafs compared to non-coniferous leaves, ya know like maple leaves or oak leaves.... we did a hands on experiment to discover how the needle leafs help to reduce evaporation by testing the 'wind' on our hands. Also new vocabulary evergreen. 

Reading something different

This past summer my mother-in-laws church had a clean out the cupboards yard sale weekend. So with a little diligent sorting she came up with several very sweet old books for us to use in our lessons. One is this reading book titled, The New What Next?. After each simple story there are 3 or 4 questions to review what we just read.  It's copyright is 1963. There are also some very darling pictures to go along with the stories. Speaking of old books, don't ya just love Half Price Books? I have found a lot of great teaching resources there and Lola has fun digging through the old golden books:)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Life lesson- marine biology

Our daily life has about an hour of pet duty- did I say daily? 
Here's the pet chores
A-a cat (twice daily feeding+ poop clean + exercise) 
B-a lizard (once daily feeding + crickets kinda do need to be fed and watered + poop clean) 
C-a beta fish(once daily feeding + refilling the bowl with water because animal A drinks water)
D-two hermit crabs ( water change, exercise in tub, + make sure still has food)
E)-55gallon fish tank (feeding two or three times a day, involves thawing out shrimp, - once a month cleaning filter. 
We have recently added the the aquarium, we really enjoy fish. We used to have it set up when she was a baby, but then we moved several times and it's just been in storage. We visit aquariums all over the country and really love learning about the different species and food chains etc. So now we have a whole new learning opportunity. It's all part of life, give a girl a fish tank and see how long it stays fresh and clear.  It probably lasted two weeks before....Let's see what happens when too much food is added -purely by accident. We have learned that if you give the catfish more than 5 pellets of fish food that it really does clog up the filter. This is what our tank looked like :( So Mommy had to take the decorations out and suck out 1/3 of the water and extra food and re-stablize the water. 

We also were ready to add more fish. The lady at the pet store told Lola about how the fish are happy in groups of the same fish, called schools. So we picked some more mollies to give 'Snow White' some company. Boy, was 'she' excited to see some tank mates or school mates. We also picked up some Angel fish to add some variety. The molly only seemed interested in the other mollies- pretty cool to learn about it. So our life lesson on home marine exhibits continues...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Great granny

We took today to go visit Great Granny. It was such a soggy morning, so spending time sewing was a splendid idea. Momma cut the dolls out of the fabric, Granny pinned them, then Momma sewed and the Doll stuffed them. We enjoyed how Granny had made a wholesome lunch for us. Then we played Uno and Granny won the first round. The second round was a long one so after it, Lola and I went for a walk around outside. The weather had cleared up and the garden was a tempting place to visit. She was curious about the purple rooted thing growing. So naturally she plucked it up:) She is always learning something about food from Great Granny. Notice how sometimes home learning does not require 'proper' clothes:) Lola felt very snug in her new pony jammies and decided to wear them all day.
lessons for today:
Making known to God and others in what ways they have benefited my life. 
Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to wishes of those I am serving. 
When stuffing pillows- allow room to close the opening- not too full.
What's a turnip- root vegetable available for frying:) 

Diligence- that second game of Uno went on for quite a while.

Handwriting, and reading in the car- 2 hour road trip one way is certainly the opportunity for reading aloud. She read some Amelia Bedelia.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ping pong dance

How about a game of ping pong before we go?
After dance this morning, we became distracted with the ping pong table. What is it? How do you play? Oh it's like tennis... NOOO don't swing so hard..... Hmmm, lot's more practice:)
I can see this becoming part of our dance routine... Ping pong Dance 

Helicopter letters

This week we're working on lowercase 'helicopter' letters. We use this wonderful handwriting material called Hand Writing without Tears. I used to use it when I taught preschool and have found it excellent for Lola as her learning tool. Recently, with the practice of lower case letters we noticed that some of hers were in need of some mending. So we reached a milestone with the helicopter idea of a, d, and g. The progress she has made is wonderful. We practice on the chalkboard first. Then she has practice in her book and finally we give her some lined notebook paper to practice.

Here's before in the pink- the lower case g is very disconnected, then here after the lesson, very straight and g looking:) we'll work on the length of the tail later:)

Monday, January 9, 2012

New gym

Back into socializing:) when it's just one student at homeschool, it can become a little routine-ish, so now that we're settled in our new city, we changed the days up a bit by enrolling the Doll up for some gym & dance classes. She was sooo excited. She was chatting on about how she wanted to make friends and have a playdate. Plus, it's always fun to jump on the big trampolines:)

Learning something new (for Momma)

While Lola practices her letters, I squeeze in a little reading. I'm always learning new ideas too. This morning I came across this idea of seven great teaching . We really do a hodgepodge of home learning with many different philosophies. We need to add some mentors to our list of activities:)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

blog subscription fun

 Reading my morning blog subscriptions this morning led me to find this great list of reading recommendations by grade level. Since Lola has a caught the very healthy reading 'bug', we often find her quietly reading in some comfy spot. The list was fun to read and helpful to see how many of the books we already read together.  How many have you read?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

snow continued

We did a lot of number activities today. We practiced greater than concept and telling time. We played a bird migration game where you roll the clock dice to see what time the bird would leave. The cat really enjoyed this game. She would grab the bird by the neck and take it over to her food area. It was kinda comical. Later we made a snowman, or should I say snow lady story- talking about beginning, middle, and end- like a snowman has top, middle, end. During our afternoon tea, we noticed the cat on the tea cup our neighbor had given us matches our Duchess. As  you can see, Duchess very much enjoys tea time....

snowflake spelling swap

Sorry about the fuzzy photo... 
Todays spelling fun was snowflake swap.
I wrote different words on the end of this snowflake and she had to swap one of the letters to create a new word. It's interesting how many words end with t... She found the bus one quite funny. We also did several centers today-playdough, lincoln logs, ponies, DEAR time.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Sprinkling of Snow

As there is only a sprinkling of snowflakes in our back yard, we decided to make some indoor snowflakes today at homeschool. here's a great link for how to make your own indoor snowflakes:) We also couldn't resist a little winter walk around the back yard. Keeping an eye out for ice crystals, Lola found a tiny icicle on the end of the window sill that she just had to eat. We felt sorry for the birds too since the water was all froze in their bath.
Here's our snow week reading selection:
The cat in the hat comes back- dr Seuss
Snow- Roy McKie and Pd Eastman
Snow- Uri Shulevitz
The snowy Day- Ezra Jack Keats
Just a snowman - Mercer Mayer
Snow Crystals - WA Bentley & W J Humphreys
And for the fun of it Snow White-Walt Disney Golden book

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome To our Home learning Adventure

In a way to keep my thoughts in a row and to share what we learn with the community of home learners, I've embarked on this new documentary of our learning activities. Homeschooling is so fun and has been such a blessing to us. It has provided us with a wonderful opportunity of growing together. What fun it is to say we taught her how to read, and recite prayers, and know the pledge of allegiance. It's been wonderful meeting the community that share our commitment of learning together as a family. School so does not need to be a room with a blackboard and a test score. LEARNING is our goal and with that in mind, our world is our classroom (our highly visited library is also nice:)
God bless and have a lovely day!
Science at the Beach