Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dollar store find

I found a "Tales of Peter Rabbit" book at Dollar Daze for $2.00 since I plan to use the FIAR this is a great find for me. It has reposable stickers on each page with heavy pages which makes it more durable for my wild bunch to use. My note book system for keeping each Fiar book in a ziploc bag in my three ring binder with the worsheets and go alongs is working out great. So far I have searched the house and found four more books I already own. ( I would have all of them if my older kids children's books hadn't been stolen out of moms attic after she died!!!!!!Thanks"Big Bro"!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Story About Ping-Day 1

All 3 of the little ones listened to the book today. They were quite excited to find the sink or float experiment set up on the table without the water at breakfast this morning. I told them we would add the water after Daddy got back home today. He went out to help at his parents. Today for lunch we ate my version of chinese minus the duck-ha ha! I served white rice cooked in chicken broth with parsley. I then made some mixed vegetables in the microwave and let the kids scoop out what they would eat over the rice in their bowls. Surprising since last year they didn't eat vegetables! Little man got his everywhere in the dining room including his pockets.I don't know how the chinese do it-- feeding rice to two year olds sometimes three times a day. To go alond with the story we colored a chinese flag (Geography)and counted the ducks in the story on our 100s board(Math). Pitty-pat did well counting this way but Tippy-toe was stuck on how to make an x right.

Tammy's Chinese Lunch Recipe
Boil 6 cups water in large pan with tight cover. When water boils add 2 chicken bouillon cubes, 3 Tblsp Parsley, and 2 cups rice. Boil 5 minuets then turn heat to low or off and let set until rice is done about 10-15 minuets.
While rice is cooking put broccoli, greenbeans, corn, carrots, and potaotes from can or frozen into microwave and cook 5-10 minuets until hot.
Let the kids serve themselves so they can't complain about which veggies are in their bowl.

We did a pushpin activity for the first time today. I gave Pitty-pat and Tippy-toe each a cork board mat and an apple picture and the pin. Pitty-pat was able to complete it but Tippy-toe got frustrated and didn't finish. He really needs to work on fine motor skills. He is still a little delayed in this area. They have both came a long way since they came to live with us three years ago. I love the montessori activites for motor skills. I just stumbled on pushpin activities or maybe just ignored them since a year ago I wouldn't have given either of them a sharp object!

After lunch they each picked out a book to read to themselves. Kung-fu Panda for Pitty-pat she recognized the china theme thing and batman for Tippy-toe. Not a bad day at the homeschool today. Tonight we go over to my daughter Aimee's house for cake and icecream since tommorro is her Birthday. I have to work tommorro so tonight works much  better for us to go so far away.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack, FIAR

I am putting together a unit study on The story about Ping, a FIAR book. The little boys will do this together but Pitty-Pat may join in if she wishes. I have been rowing with the boys and it is going rather well we did Corduroy last week so Ping is next. I think one BFIAR then one FIAR will be nice for both.There are so many resources out there for Five in A Row books I have printed a list and will be hunting the used bookstores and garage sales for the books  I am missing. I will update this post as I find resources to list.

Johny Appleseed Day

Today we had apples for lunch and put Johny Appleseed on our time line. Pitty-pat did a worksheet from Today September 26th is his birthday. We did the map activity to go along with the worksheet. The kids got to use an apple cutter for the first time. The picture is Pitty-pat trying to cut an apple. Sorry it is so blurry i used my phone for a quick picture.
Pitty-pat is also reviewing place value and did a thousands place worksheet for her math today.A+ to Trent who worked with her on counting by tens Friday night.he got the white board out and taught her so very patiently. Patience is hard when Pitty-pat plays dumb and mute and Trent is dyslexic. His difficulties in school make him very patient with her. Not many 19 year old stepbrothers would spent time on a Friday night to teach their 7 year old stepsister math.Thank You Trent.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Pocket for Corduroy

We are reading "A Pocket for Corduroy"  by Don Freeman this week. I started it for Little-man but Tippy-toe couldn't stay away.  I found  at  some activities that go along with the Corduroy books. Little-man can point to the bear on each page and Tippy-toe loves to pretend he is reading the pages to me. Some books are good for all ages Tippy-toe is 6 and Little-man just turned two.
 (update: I found a bear that looks like Corduroy and I am making clothes for him.)

Friday, September 24, 2010

FIAR volume 1 reading list

Here is the book list for FIAR Volume 1 -

The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese( found free online)

Lentil by Robert McCloskey

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans(already had a copy)

A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno

The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills

Who Owns the Sun? by Stacy Chbosky

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin (bought for 3.95 at used book store)

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear by Gladys Scheffrin-Falk

Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley

Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews

Clown of God by Tomie dePaola

Storm in the Night by Mary Stolz

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton ( we have a copyalready)

Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (Susan Jeffers' Illustration) (Public Library has a copy--- we read last winter 2009)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sea Shell Sorting

I printed out a mat from and put tippy toe to work sorting shells form the basket of shells I bought last week at dollar Tree  for $1.00 and other shells we alread had at home.  He did a good job. He has some shells his grandpa gave him and loves to look at them. I found this book at a garage sale this summer. It is about Florida Sea Shells and identifying them. I also found some 3 part cards on line and printed them to add to the activity. I will post pictures as soon as I can get them off my phone.

Dollar store finds

Today I spent $9.01 at Dollar Daze
I got this neat skeleton window cling I put on the fridge for bone identification ($1.00), hemp necklace kit i bought for the cowrie shells (1.00), leaf and pumkin cut outs 10 per package (0.75 each so $1.50 total),a 3-ring binder (2.50) and a little golden book "Animal Homes" (1.00). not bad I think for staying close to my budget today.

I am working up a "them bones" unit study

On my fridgerator side right now is a window cling skeleton with the major bones about three foot tall. I bought him at Dollar Daze for a $1.00  he will be perfect with a set of sticky notes to label each of the major bones in the body. Tippy-toe loved helping me put his together in order on the fridge. It is a natural progression from our 5 senses lapbook to studying the bones. and Tippy-toe is obcessed with anything pirate and scary right now. We did a pirate lapbook last year that turned out amazing! He also found a deer skeleton while playing with his cousin from California this summer.  I found some skeleton 3 part montessori cards online yesterday (various animal skeletons) and a small plastic human skeleton at the dollar store. I will put links and photos up soon as the unit study developes out.

Monday, September 13, 2010


5 senses lapbook

Today Tippy-Toe and I are working on his 5 senses lapbook. The cover is like I be Jamin's with a match up game of see, hear, smell, taste, touch to eyes, nose, hands, mouth, and ear pictures. Inside is a four square graph of sweet,sour, salty,and bitter with magazine pictures to signify each. After our tasting game we will put pictures of each in the correct square. On the other half is two large triangles  one saying loud and the other quiet. On the back cover it is divided in two parts  for soft and rough with sandpaper hands overlaying --I traced and cut to represent  touch. I also made a mystery bag for him to use during studying touch. I cut out many pictures and Tippy-Toe then pasted into a 5 senses mini book.( I would have let him cut for practice but I prepared them since we didn't have alot of time I wanted to keep him on task) We read the  "5 Senses" picture book by Aliki. I just happened to find it this summer at a garage sale.

"..the chief function of a child--his business in the world during the first six or seven years of his life--is to find out all he can, about whatever comes under his notice, by means of his five senses..." Charlotte Mason (volume1, Home Education, Pg.96)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bread success

The sourdough loaf from the bread machine looks so good and smells wonderful. I found the recipe at I used my left over whey from our cheese making to feed my starter and in place of the milk and water in the recipe. I have frozen the rest of the whey for more bread making. I just hate to waste anything. The cheese we made yesterday tastes rather bland so we will have to herb it up or use it for baking. Not quite a spread for crackers unless we make a cheese ball again. But we really just made it to go along with Pitty-pat's Little House in the Big Woods pioneer unit study. I plan to put the facts I learned about cheese on the time line I am putting together for our history study. I just don't know how I want to show the timeline. One poster isn't enough space and a wall is too much room to dedicate to this project. I just want to show the time from the pilgrims (last years history lessons)to the pioneers for now with a few things far before and after as we learn them this year

benchmark tasks

Tippy-toe learned to tie his shoes himself today in one easy lesson from Aaron. It was amazing to watch them together. It took all of ten minuets. I was amazed. I remember my dad sitting patiently with my three oldest teaching them to tie over and over again. He had so much patience for children. Aaron is so good with the kids. Today he has taken cam to sight in her gun and shoot her bow. Tippy-toe got to tag along. He called and he got to shoot too and he has acorns in is pocket to grow a tree someday.

Little-man has a bench mark of his own. I have a long weekend so he is sitting on his potty chair. I haven't had any luck catching him tinkle yet. But he is telling us he is wet, so he is ready.

More bread experiments today. Sourdough in the bread machine. I'll let you know how it turns out later. Pitty-pat is amazed by the living yeast. We will be growing our starter like the pioneers for a while so they can watch it. I like this edible science.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

making artisan cheese

I found a recipe for homemade cheese at together pitty-pat and I made a double batch. It is draining in the fridge until tommorro. I hope it turns out good.
Today we also made bread again in the bread machine. It has become a every day-off thing for us. I am trying my hand at cinnamon rolls tonight. But have to leave soon right in the middle.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Field Trip-Nature Center

The Nature Center was a big hit with the kids and my sister. I didn't realize Sawyer hadn't ever seen farm animals--kinda funny since before Sawyer we had animals at a friends in the country. He loved the chickens best even after one pecked his finger. Pitty-pat loved the log cabin. Tippy-toe loved the stilts at the one room school. I enjoyed a picnic beside the river. Carolyn kept taking us on trail walks. I think we will have to repeat this trip again. I think we will also get one of the learning trunks to use in our home school. You can check them out at $20.00 for two weeks time.

Homestead Field Trip

today we are going to the Chippewa nature Center in Midland, Michigan. They have a cabin homestead and one room school museum displays with all sorts of activities for the kids today. This is free admission! It also fits perfectly with our "Little House in the Big Woods" unit study. Cam went in third grade with her public school class and is really looking forward to going as a family today. I also went as a chaperone before so this should be very educational and fun today. It is a drive but worth it since we already know what to expect. I packed a picnic lunch to eat by the river in the park. Midland is a nice place to visit and I am lucky to have access to a calender of events this weekend.More after we get home tonight. They should really be tired tonight.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Third grade curriculum

This is a work in progress but so far I have planned for this year (2010-11) to work with Pitty-pat on mostly third grade. We tryed to get her into church school but she wasnt excepted but they are going to let her do field trips and some half days at school to see if she could go next year.

"Little House in the Big Woods" unit study-plus activities to go along with events in the book. I have been doing the activities before we get to the story in the book so the kids will understand better what they are reading. Some days she can read really well and others she struggles over the same word over and over again, these are all sight words she already loves to show up tippy-toe and shout out before he can work on them but struggles when they are in a sentance. So Aaron is making them do silly sight word sentences on magnetic fridge words I made.

History--It will be of course the pioneers and westward expansion as we did pilgrims last fall with both. I am working on a time line to put it in perspective visually for them

Science--- We are working on the Science wonders Brownie Try-its right now as I am making Pitty-pat a julliet brownie scout. She doesn't know that fun Brownie activity is really school---sneaky mom! I also found a microscope so we will do some things with microscope study. Our nature study will continue year round as we have really enjoyed those activities with all the kids.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Science Wonders Home Grown Crystals

Our sugar crystals we were growning are done. We found this idea in "Try-Its for Brownie Girl Scouts" book pages 130-131. The recipe was a little unclear so a search revealed a great recipe at Camryn was fascinated with hers and wanted to save the best looking crystal group from her string.Aaron added food coloring so they could each tell wich was their crystal jar. Here is the recipe if you want to try-it too.
Rock Candy
4 cups sugar
2 cups water few drops food coloring
small clean glass jar cotton string
waxed paper (we used ziploc baggies upside down over the jars)
tip:dip the string in a sugar syrup and let dry a few days to make better crystals(we let ours dry overnight)
Bring the water to a boil slowly add sugar stirring to disolve it a little at a time. When cooled at little pour into glass jar. Add foood coloring if you want. Hang string over jar from a straw or pencil. Let set and watch.
Our crystals grew really big. They look like those candies you find on wooden sticks in novelty stores.
Science you can eat!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First Grade Curriculum

Tippy-toe will be doing a combined K-1st Grade since he is kind of in between these two grades this year. (although we home school year round september marks the new school year for us too)

Included in his plan for this year is:

The Five senses unit study---this includes a 5 senses minit lap book,scented playdough play,scent jars I made in the montessori style,mystery touch bag,bells sound activity, reading "My Five Senses" by aliki, verse this unit is Psalms 139:14 "I will praise you beacuse I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
He is excited to learn to read so we are continuing to use phonics games and starfall phonics online. He spends time each day "reading" picture books and magazines like "ranger rick" and "birds and blooms".
As always, we will continue our nature study with the bird feeder identification station in one window. I have added two new "used" books--A Guide to field identification Birds of North America by Golden Press and "World of Birds' by Fisher and Petersen. "Birds and Blooms" has neat little cards in the back of most issues which we cut out and save for a quiz game of name that bird. Fall is the perfect time to continue our walks in the woods. Last year we did a unit on woodpeckers (Tippy-toe's favorite bird). This year we will do owls as this goes along with our third grade "Little House in the big Woods" unit-We can do this with both of them.
Tippy-Toe is building his own robot out of salvaged pieces of metal. So far he has an old waffle maker for a head. Long bolts for "bones" and other nuts and bolts we found at a garage sale or two this summer. I have put the word out loooking for robot parts we will see what we find this will cover many months I am sure.

I have a dinosaurs rocks and minerals unit almost ready. I have been collecting rocks and fossils for a display in the science cabinet to go along with this unit.

August was sea shells for the display in the science cabinet. I found a large conch shell and tippy-toe and pitty-pat have some shells we set out. I left out "Discovering Seashells" by Douglas Florian, "A Shell for Seahorse" a picture book and "The Snail's Spell" by Joanne Rider as the reading time books.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Little House in the Big Woods Unit Study

I am doing a unit study with Pitty-pat using the book "Little House in the Big Woods" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. So far we have made butter, baked bread, and rendered lard--all things my mother who lived during the depression taught me. I also know how to make soap and plan to do this with the kids. We are using templates from for our lapbook to go along with the story.

Home made Butter Recipe:
1 pint whipping cream in the dairy aisle of the grocery store. Put in a clean glass jar with a lid. I recycled a plastic peanut butter jar because it had a very tight fitting lid. Now let kids shake until butter forms. when enough butter forms pour off the buttermilk. Rinse and salt butter if desired. Taste best on warm bread.

Single bar recipe for soap making
(**use caution not for small children Lye is VERY, VERY Dangerous!!)
use safety glasses when handling lye

1/2 cup cold water
2 heaping tblsp. commercial lye
1 cup tallow or lard or mix of each

slowly add the lye to the water, then bring both the lye solution and tallow to about body temperature. Combine the two in a glass bowl and mix slowly and steadily until the consistency is about that of sour cream. Pour mixture into a mold and age. (original recipe from "Back to Basics"book published by Reader's Digest. My mother always used red devil lye and the recipe for a large batch was on the can. The older the soap the better it was for getting stains out.