February 03, 2010

American Girl® - Felicity Learns a Lesson

Projects we have been working on for our American Girl® Unit Study about Felicity Merriman®

1- The 13 Colonies   2- Governor's Ball invitation   3- One Room Schoolhouse   4- Hornbook   5- Kali making her hornbook

January 13, 2010

American Girl® Unit Study - Meet Felicity

We are doing an American Girl® Unit Study. All of the American Girls® are fictional characters but the  time and place of their stories are based on real events of America's past. Our journey back in time will include historical events, important people, lifestyles, occupations, education, traditions, religion, fashion, hobbies, transportation, communication, geography and more.

Felicity is the first of the American Girls that we will be studying. "Meet Felicity" by Valerie Tripp is the first book in her six book series.  Felicity Merriman® is a spirited, independent nine-year-old girl, growing up in colonial Virginia, in 1774, just before the the onset of The American Revolution. She was a very loyal, independent young girl who had a true love and passion for horses. Her father successfully owned  and managed a general store in Williamsburg while her mother took care of her family and their home. Faced with some very tough choices, Felicity and her family had to decide if they were American Patriots or British Loyalists.

Word of the week - Independence
Vocabulary Words:
  • patriots
  • loyalists
  • taxes
  • apprentice
  • delegates
Felicity loved horses, so Kali wanted to learn more about them. We did research online and went to the library and checked out books about horses. Kali really enjoyed learning more about them and learning how
to draw them.

October 12, 2009

All About Me - Fingers & Hands

My Fingers and Hands
  • Art: Fingerpainting
  • Fine Motor: Sorting buttons with tweezers
  • Language: Learn to say "yes," " no," "please" and "thank you" in Sign Language
  • Music: "If You're Happy and You Know It", "Where is Thumbkin", "Open, Shut Them"
  • Discovery: View fingerprints through a magnifying glass, play with sand
  • Read: "A Pocket Full of Kisses" by Audrey Penn, "Why Do You Always Have To Say Please?" By Wendy Rosen & Jackie End
  • Discuss: What would it be like if you didn't have hands? Imagine you are a fish or a dog.

October 09, 2009

H is for Horse

Our letter of the week is H. We picked horses to study for our animal. We had so much fun making this Footprint Horse. I think it turned out adorable!! We made the head by tracing one of Braden's shoes, then glued on the eyes and hair and then he used stamps for the Hh. He did not like getting glue on his hands when he was gluing the hair (yarn) on, but he had fun and loved learning about horses.

October 02, 2009

Alphabet Notebook

I have been trying to think of a way to help Braden enjoy learning to read and write the alphabet that isn't totally boring for him. I decided it would be fun to make an Alphabet Book. A book that he can keep forever. I am going to let him pick a different letter every week to study and make crafts and do different activities that go with the letter for that week. He loves to learn about animals, so we are also going to pick an animal, to go with our Letter of the Week, to study. He will work on it over several months, adding to it, until it is completed. I think we are going to enjoy making it together, and I can't wait to see the finished product!! It will be something he can be proud of and enjoy over and over!!

September 25, 2009

Learning can be FUN!!

I try to find every way possible to incorporate the things Braden likes to do into our school lessons. It makes learning fun for both of us!! Here is a website with several fun ideas that you can use to teach math and have fun at the same time Pre-K Math Games.

Lego's can be used as learning manipulative's in several ways. We use them for following directions, sorting by color, shape and size, making patterns, counting, addition and subtraction. I love them because Braden is doing what he loves to do and doesn't even realize he is learning so much when he is playing with them.

He also LOVES cars. So, we found a way to include them in our school day too!! We use them for math.... sorting by color, counting wheels and adding!!

Math Blocks - I made a worksheet on excel with blank squares the size of our math blocks. I make a pattern on one row and Braden copies it on the next row. He also enjoys just filling all the squares and counting them and building towers taller then he is!!

September 10, 2009

Painted Toast - Edible Art

This morning for breakfast, we made painted toast. It is so much fun for the kids to make and then they get to eat their art work!!


milk - food coloring - toast

1. Fill 5 glasses with a 1/4 cup of milk
2. Then take your 5 food colorings and in each glass put 5 drops of food coloring in the milk and stir till color shows.
3. Use a small paint brush and dip the brush into the food coloring. Then take your piece of bread and paint a face or picture of choice on it.
4.Now place your bread into a toaster and wait till the bread is toasted.
5. Butter lightly and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
6. ENJOY!!!

September 08, 2009

Braden - A New Beginning

WOW!!! Where has the time gone? My baby is almost 5 years old!!! *sniff*sniff* This will be Braden's first "official" year of homeschool. He is learning math, science/discovery, social studies/dramatic play, reading/language, music and art through thematic unit studies, that I have selected based on his interests and learning style. His preferred learning style is kinesthetic, which means he learns best when he is allowed to explore "hands on" what I am trying to teach him. Each theme is broken down into several topics that will introduce him to all learning styles and supports all four areas of developmental growth for early childhood (social, emotional, physical and intellectual). Developing a well rounded curriculum for him has been very challenging for me. It is very difficult to plan lessons and activities, that include a variety of hands on learning experiences, for a 4 year old boy, with an attention span of about 3.5 minutes!! I am hoping to increase his attention span by incorporating his interests in our lessons. As with most of us, when he is doing something he is interested in.... he is willing to spend a lot more time doing it. When I asked him what he would like to study and learn more about he said "Oohh... probably.. like.. backing the boat down the boat ramp, so daddy doesn't have to do it by his self." He wasn't kidding..... Haha... Then he said "And... deer hunting and shooting my bow." He can already shoot his bow better then I can!! Needless to say those are areas that only his daddy can teach him!! He is such a joy and a blessing in my life and I am loving every minute of it.... the journey through early childhood only happens once in a lifetime.

August 30, 2009

Kali - A new Year

I am now beginning my third year of homeschooling Kali. Before I took her out of public school, I researched complete homeschool curriculums and never found one that fit our needs in every subject. I learned real quick that there is no such thing as the "perfect" curriculum and that the eclectic method definitely fit our family best. For the past 2 years we have tried several different curriculums.... some we liked and some we didn't. For math we use Math-U-See. It has worked really well and Kali LOVES it!! Math is he favorite subject. For Language Arts we use Easy Grammar and Handwriting Without Tears. We live at the lake, so science is pretty easy to cover without much book work. For social studies we are using Portraits of American Girlhood unit study. This study has seven series with six books in each series. Each series follows the story of a different American Girl as she faces the challenges and adventures of growing up during her distinct historical era, including:
  • Revolutionary War Era and Colonial Williamsburg
  • History and Cultural Heritage of New Mexico
  • Pioneers and The Westward Expansion
  • Civil War Era and Underground Railroad
  • Suffrage and Progressive Movements
  • The Great Depression Era, especially 1932-34.
  • World War Two Era and Home Front America

August 09, 2009

Church Camp

Kali went to Church Camp again this year and had a blast!! She was ready to go back the day she got home last year.... LOL. I am so glad she had a good time and is developing a close relationship with God.

July 29, 2009

Camp E.D.G.E. VBS

The theme for VBS this year was Camp E.D.G.E. I took pics again this year for the slide shows. I love getting to see all the activities!! Brad helped with the 3rd graders!! Lexi came up and stayed the week with us and they all had a blast!!

Brad & Braden

Traci and our Preacher as "Nutty Buddy"


Kali, Lexi & Kassidy

Braden, Aubrey & Johnna.... his girlfriends!!

May 21, 2009

"Are you awake?"

Braden woke up from taking a nap yesterday and I went in his room to check on him. He was just laying there chatting. I said "Are you awake?" He said "No, not really.... God just ruined my nap." I asked him "How did God ruin your nap?" He said "Because he wouldn't talk to me. I always talk to him, but he never answers me." I tried to explain that God doesn't have to speak out loud to us. He speaks to our hearts. He just said "OOHH."

I am so truly blessed to have such amazing children.
Thank you God!!

May 18, 2009

Sunshine... Finally

After 21 days straight of nothing but rain... we finally had a beautiful day with SUNSHINE!!!!! We took the boat out and put out some trot lines and caught 7 catfish!! The kids were so glad to finally be outside. They wanted to swim so bad, but the lake is still way to cold to swim. It was a great day at the lake =)

Kali loves helping daddy with the trot lines

They wanted to jump in so bad....LOL

Braden decided to just swim in the boat!!

Kali Marie

Man... I just saw a fish THIS BIG!!!!