Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yeah for something new

We finally started a new unit today! Q and I were both getting a little bored with Flat was taking too long. She has been waiting to start on the ocean and today we did. We did a broad introduction to the topic today.

We read the Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor.

The Magic School Bus books are Q's favorite. Fred commented that we seem to use these books a lot. There are so many of them, it would be hard to have a science topic that the Magic School Bus hasn't covered. The local community college is offering a Magic School Bus college for kids class over the summer that Q is interested in. I think it's a wonderful idea and would be a lot of fun for this budding scientist.

Anyway, we looked through another book about the ocean Q pronounced boring and talked about what kinds of things she would like to learn about. After some reading, phonics, and grammar we watched Swiss Family Robinson. Yes, I know this movie is not about the ocean per se but we got to talk about ocean storms, shipwrecks, pirates, and living on a deserted island. I think it fits - and it's a totally awesome movie!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Flat Stanley - the lapbook

Ok so Q finally finished Flat Stanley. Even I was getting a little bored with it. She finished putting together the lapbook today. During her lunch break she started playing with the neighbor and so I asked if she would like to help Q make her lapbook. While they were putting it together Q was explaining all the mini-books and telling the neighbor what a good book Flat Stanley is. I was really proud. So here it is -

There is a mini-book about manners around the world, some stamps Q created, a pocket for her "Greek" myth, a graduated book about clouds and one for measurements, as flat as Stanley mini-book, and a spelling pocket. She decorated the cover and the inside pages with pictures from the art museum map we brought home from our trip.

This is Q with her mythological creature the raymakzola.

Here is the Olympics of the Bean mini-book, a Venn diagram for planes and trains, money practice with the cost of stamps, a map of the world, onomatopoeia, and vocabulary.

More practice counting money, a mini-book of abbreviations, and some about California.

This is the back. It has a picture of a violin and bow, another mini-book about measurement, and a foldout of Q's aerial view drawing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Olympics of the Bean

We started out Flat Stanley using a ruler to find things that were a 1/2 inch and things that were four feet (Stanley's measurements after he was flattened). Q had a great time with this and measured just about everything she could find in the house. She needed more practice with using a ruler so I thought it would be fun to flick things and see how far they went. This thought was sparked by watching Q play marbles one day. Marbles roll too much and I thought their distance would be hard to measure, but we had some dried beans...

So we set up a competition to see which bean would go the farthest. We taped out a start line and a winner's box on the floor and used a yard stick to measure. She recorded each one's distance and I clapped for each one and announced it's "official" distance. She named it "The Olympics of the Bean" and asked to play again after all the beans got their turn. And all this time I thought beans were just for eating.

Oh and M was very busy figuring out how the tissues kept popping out of the box!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flat Stanley

This week we are finishing up a unit on the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. We started this book what seems like ages ago. A lot of things came up with Easter events and activities and both the kiddos were sick. So we are quickly finishing up so we can move on to oceans, which Q has been dying to start learning about.

I got most of the ideas for studying Flat Stanley from homeschoolshare and they have complete lapbook for it too. We started out learning about trains and airplanes. Q loved that the library had a Magic School Bus video about airplanes and flying. She also surprised me when she said we needed to find out who invented the train and the airplane so we could add them to our timeline! We learned about the state of California and Q decided she didn't want to move there after all because of the possibility of earthquakes. Learning about clouds was fun, especially when we went to the park for further study. We tried flying a kite while we were there but we couldn't get it into the air!

Q had the most fun teaching M about onomatopoeia and reading him Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss. She really liked our trip to the Philadelphia Art Museum (even though we missed our turn and were too late to catch the children's docent tour). She got really into Greek Mythology and even did some work while she was sick. She created her own mythological hero and creature.

She created her own flat character and there will be more about Flat Q when she comes home again from Oma and Pop-Pop's house. We have a couple more topics to cover but I don't think we'll get to them all. Oh well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

1 plus 1 equals 1 (great day that is)

Who would have known what a great day it would be today when I told Q we would be going to Michael's craft store in addition to our weekly visit to the public library.

Now, going to Micheal's with Q is never a turn off. She loves the place and everything in it. And asks for just about everything in it every time we go there. But we needed a gift for a co-worker whose wife just had a baby. We also needed to find a big brother gift for said family.

After one hour of mindlessly wandering the store, taking things off the shelf and putting them back after finding something "better," Q decides on a unfinished wooden bird feeder. She decides that this can be both a "congrats on your new baby" gift and a "congrats on being a big brother" gift. I agree and off we go.

We stop at the library where Q again wanders aimlessly in search of the perfect poetry book. She does not find what she is looking for...but enjoys looking. M gets cranky and we leave.

Q chooses the colors to paint "her" bird feeder and the project begins. This is when I left for work leaving loving husband in charge. Before I left Q made a point to hug me and tell me what a great day she had with me today. Wow, sometimes things can be really simple, if you let them.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Givin it a try

Well this is my first adventure into technology. I guess you can call it that. I am terribly afraid of anything that can even remotely be considered new technology. I don't have personal cell phone (only the one required for work purposes) and I never use text messaging or take photos with it. I only recently switched to using a digital camera. I don't have myspace or facebook. I am nervous while typing this. But I wanted a place where I could record our family's adventures in homeschooling. I have found other people's blogs and websites to be very helpful and if our adventures can help others then I'm all for it. So here goes...