Friday, February 26, 2010

Getting organised...

I decided to get better organised with Lola’s monthly Í Can Do’ theme’s...
I wrote a list of the remaining months of the year and then next to each month wrote down a theme I want to explore with Lola.

The list is ~
March – Bears
April – Colours
May – Under the Sea
June – Bugs
July – Australian Animals
August – Trees and Flowers
September – Sun, Moon and Stars
October – My Five Senses
November – Dinosaurs
December – Christmas

I then made up a cover sheet for my Í can do... learn and play activities’ file.

I also made up ten label cards for each month and theme, laminated them and put each one in a seperate pocket of the folder.

So all is left is for me to think of and find different activities/ideas for each theme, write or print them out and file them in the theme pocket, ready to use. It will also be a great reference tool for when Molly is ready to start these type of activities.

So I have been thinking what are some other fun to learn themes I can use – feel free to put your ideas in the comments section.

Our Week in Words (With a few photo's added)

The start of my week... My desk is there somewhere... I like to think it is organised chaos but...? Maybe some filing might be in order!

A fun activity Pernella & Charlie tried this week was soap carving. Messy but fun... The first soap they carved up had to have something to do with our study on Ancient Rome and the next soap they had a free choice of what to do.

One of our favourite excursions is to our local Lifeline store. They have a book attic and this is where we go to hunt for more books for home. I am always amazed at what books people get rid of. We always seem to come home with a great collection. Here are a few of the books we got this week and all for a few dollars.

A quiet week this week - lots of school work done, still getting use to Ace. Worked out we would need to do about 3 pages of each subject to get the 9 paces completed per term. Then we need to work in our social studies, science, poetry, art & nature & handwriting. Me thinks I need to sit down and work out a schedule.

Our nature study was up close and personal this week with a tree snake that likes to visit our back verandah quite often. Also Pernella's tadpoles have legs now but I think we might have to move them before our friendly snake has them for a snack.

Made sure we took some time out this week to just have some fun together. I brought some Áir drying clay'(4 kg's from Overflow for only $9.99) and have decided that on Monday morning before we start our book work that the kids can have some creative time first. (I got this idea from my friend Di, another home school Mum - who says it works wonders in helping the children focus for the day).

Things I've learnt this week ~
Setting my timer for 15 minutes is a great motivater in doing my housework. Taking 5 minutes, drinking a coffee and watching the rain fall from my front verendah puts every thing into perspective. That garage sales are a fantastic place to pick up cheap resources for home schooling. That somedays I need to borrow Lola's mantra of Í Can Do'...

Quote of the Day
"I need regular moments in my life like that morning walk, times of refreshment and restoration that fill up the spiritual well in my heart that is too often left dry by the spirit-draining hustle and bustle of contemporary life. If I don't take care to keep it filled, I soon find I have no spiritual refreshment to give to those God has put into my life, especially my always-thirsty children. When I let my well run dry, I am no longer able to be a source of refreshing water to them, or to others. To say it more simply, I cannot keep giving out without taking in."
Sally Clarkson

So much fun with egg cartons and icy pole sticks

I saw this great idea on another homeschool Mum's blog, Inspiration Surrounds Creativity Abounds. Elise put paper hearts on the top of her icy pole sticks but I had these great stickers of animals so I thought I would use them.
It is an activity for Lola to use her 'fine motor skills', we can also talk about different animals.

I just used some icy pole sticks, laminated the stickers and glued them on. Then I used an old egg carton and cut slits in the egg cup holders for Roshana to insert & remove her icy pole animal sticks.

The finished product

Now for the test... will she love it?

Lola plays with her egg carton & animal icy pole sticks everyday...who knew such a homemade toy would be such a hit. Lots of fun while she learns.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Handprint butterfly & caterpillar fingerprints

Some more activities this month with February's theme of the 'Very Hungry Caterpillar'.

This is so much fun Mum

So pretty

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Week in Words

As of Friday we have finished our third week of school and just checking my diary there is six weeks only till the end of term one! Ahhhh ~ I will have to start collating and getting work ready to send in. It has been a learning curve managing school work with Lola & Molly. Molly is no effort at the moment, where as Lola is busy, busy, busy... I am continually adjusting our work schedule, but that is the beauty of home schooling, the joy of being able to be flexible.

We had a power cut last night, not so great in summer as it is so hot, an adventure though! The children grabbed their pillows and came and lay down in the lounge room while I read our read–a-loud, The year of Miss Agnes by candlelight. Sometimes its great not having any technology available to distract you, also I got to go to bed early! This was good practise for when we do our Amish study - big grin.

This is our second week of starting ACE with Maths, English and Word building. The kids like it so far but I do have to check the spelling in the books as it is an American curriculum. We are studying Ancient Rome for social studies and the kids will be completing a lap book. At the moment they are watching some great documentaries I have on Rome and we are just reading aloud from the various and many books I have on history about Rome. We are so going to dress up in toga’s soon – lol!

Pernella had a visit to the specialist today to see about her asthma/food intolerances/allegies as they seem to be getting worse. She had a bad episode yesterday where as she ate some tomato sauce on her hashbrown and it brought on an instant asthma attack, loss of breath, which was quite scary and had both of us freaking out. After a full check-up she is extremely healthy and we have a new plan of attack for her asthma. We will be changing our families’ diet. No preservatives, junk food, or food high in salicylates. Even though Pernella is the one it affects Hubby and I agree that we should all eat the same in the house and not just have Pernella on a special diet. It’s a bit more work in the kitchen and a bit more expensive with the groceries but our girls’ health is so much more important. We changed our eating habits when she was very young as she had a huge problem with eczema and changing her diet managed it to the point where she no longer has a problem with eczema. We slowly introduced foods back into her diet over the last few years but it seems now that we have to eliminate everything again. Pernella is ok with this as long as she can still have hash browns - big grin. Later on in the year we will have to fly to the gold coast to see another doctor to determine her allergies and intolerances to better manage them.

Charlie had an exciting day on Wednesday as he received a package in the mail from his new American penpal, Vinnie who is also 8. Pernella & Charlie both have two penpals each – such a fun way to learn about another culture and also to get them writing.

We have tadpoles being lovely cared for on the front verandah by Pernella.
Charlie & Pernella have been discussing about building an animal/reptile house in our back yard when they get older! They warned me they would be having snakes in it.

I have been enjoying finding some other Australian home school mum’s blogs to glean off. I have also been looking for some creative ways of storing books, displaying work ect, ect... for when we build our new school room, hopefully sometime this year. I’ve been writing lots of ideas down in my diary for things we would like to get done and there is also a long list of books written down that I also would like to get.

Things I’ve learnt this week
If I want to have a great day homeschooling, then I need to get a good night’s sleep. School work gets done better if you send them outside for a break to run around in the garden or jump on the trampoline after you have done a couple of subjects. (Gets rid of that excess energy and they sit quieter for the next half of the lessons.) I packed away the PS2 and the DS and made them off limits during the school week. When there are no computer games available I suddenly see them painting, playing with Lego or hunting insects in the garden. Their imagination takes over. I’ve started taking the phone off the hook again during the day. I find sometimes you get inundated with phone calls and it just disrupts the day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Can Do... February's activities....

Í CAN DO', is Lola's catch cry. My two year old wants to help and have a go at everything. A very independent little toddler. Lola wants to be a part of what ever we do school wise and so I thought it would be a good idea to do up a activity/craft sheet of things just for her each month. I am going to choose a theme for each month and work out activities around this theme. Tracy gave me my first theme for February and that is...

~ The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle ~

This book I had never read before and what a great story - I brought the board book from the book depository (free postage world wide)and Lola and I read it every day and she just loves it.

So her Í Can Do' activities are -

. Make a caterpillar and butterfly out of felt pieces
. Colour printouts of caterpillars, butterflies, fruit & leaves
. Teaching colours (Print out coloured circles and stick together to make a caterpillar)
. Make a collage out of recycable items found in our craft box
. Teaching numbers 1 to 10 (put numbers on circles and make a caterpillar)
. Create a caterpillar made out of toilet/paper towel rolls
. Make a caterpillar out of fruit & cheese
. Do some leaf rubbings
. A collage of the lifecycle of a caterpillar
. Paint leaves and print with them on paper
. Finger painting – make a thumb and finger print caterpillar
. Make a caterpillar out of play doh
. Cut out pictures of different food from a magazine and make a poster
. Do up a days of the week caterpillar
. Go on a nature walk and see if we can find some butterflies and caterpillars
. Make butterfly prints with paint and glitter (paint one side of the paper, then fold and open)
. Paint handprint butterflies
. Coloured paper mosaic butterfly
. Make a caterpillar out of cupcakes
. Read book ‘What are you’ by Keith Faulkner (a lovely story book about baby animals/insects/reptiles and what they change into when they grow up)

DLTK printable crafts for children had some great caterpillar craft ideas and I got colouring pages from and the other ideas came out of my head - big grin.

Roshana's paper roll caterpillar with button eyes

Roshana's collage caterpillar made of milk bottle tops, buttons, and cotton bud's

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Our Excursion to the Dam

Ross River Dam

On the way to the viewing platform

The roar of the water

The open gates

Saharna on the viewing platform ~ enjoying the spray of the water

The Ross River

Our homeschool group's theme for this term is water. Quite appropriate as it is Townsville's wet season. Our first excursion was to the Ross River Dam. It was a very hot and humid morning after all the rain, but well worth the visit as the dam was at full capacity and they had to open up the gates for the overflow to go into the Ross River.

Art on Canvas

Pernella has discovered painting on canvas

Her tree frog

African animals

Our new budding artist

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Let them eat cake....

Home economics the home school way!

Pernella was very excited to make her very first cake all by herself ~
A chocolate one of course.
She did a wonderful job.

It turned into an impromptu maths lesson as we discussed weighing & measuring ingredients, temperatures and time.

Time in not how long the cake took to bake but how quickly they ate it.