Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Church History Museum and Frontrunner

You can tell we live out in the middle of nowhere when the fun Family Night activity is a trip to ride on public transportation. ;) Ben took off work early yesterday, and we (Pam, the kids and I) met him for a picnic lunch. After lunch we went to ride on the new Frontrunner commuter train. It goes from Ogden to Salt Lake City. So we hopped on the train, and rode all the way to Salt Lake. It took about an hour, with only a few stops. After we got to Salt Lake- we hopped on the Trax train and rode into Temple Square and went to the LDS Church History Museum.

The Church History Museum was really neat! I'd never been in there before. There was lots of neat stuff to see, it started with the first vision all the way through church history with pioneer handcarts, a wagon, an awesome model ship. Then there was a section that had displays about each of the prophets. But the neatest was an AWESOME display on the Primary theme for the year I am a child of God It was SO much fun!

We could make stained glass picture drawings, make a huge stained glass "window" with plastic shapes.

There were blocks we built temples with.

A huge mural of Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life with signs you could put where they belonged.

Some Puppets and dressups- so you could act out scripture stories, a maze with cars and a magnet to drive the cars to the temple.

Afterwards we stopped at JB's for dinner then hopped back on Trax, and back on Frontrunner to get back to our cars to come home. It was a fun trip.

Poor Exhausted Roo!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dino park

Fridays are Field trip days- we love Fridays at our house. We do "school" mon-thur and then Fridays are for field trips, library days, park trips, and home economics (aka- cleaning the house!) Yesterday we went on a field trip to one of our favorite places- the Dinosaur Park. Ben's aunt Pam and his mom came and brought his sister's 2 boys, C and K. It was a fun time for all. The boys all loved playing together, and we enjoyed visiting. Tricky part is getting everyone to pose for a picture.

Doodle and Roo walking on the path- I love this pic- it's not often I get to see the 2 of them getting along and helping each other so well. ;)

Cousin K, Doodle, Roo, and Cousin C waiting for their lunch

Digging in the Dinosaur Fossil Dig

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hill of Fire Volcano

Doodle has had fun with Hill of Fire this week. It's based on a True story down in Mexico where a farmer was plowing his field, and a volcano began forming. It's an I Can Read book- and Doodle will read part of the book to me tomorrow for reading time. After reading Magic School Bus Blows it's Top. We made a Volcano out of Salt Dough, and baked it in the oven at 200 for a few hours for the dough to harden. We formed the volcano around a 20 oz pop bottle, that I cut down then smashed the top back into the bottom, so it had a nice funnel top to erupt though.
Then this afternoon, we had fun with a vinegar and baking soda eruption. It was a fun expirement, and one that Doodle could do most of on his own- so that's always cool.

Thomas Edison chapters 3-5

Bug is continuing his studies with Thomas Edison. On Tuesday he was given the assignment of designing a landing pod for an egg that would be dropped off the playhouse. He had to draw 5 ideas, and build 2 of them. Today was the drop day. He designed 1 that was wrapped in big bubble wrap and taped shut. The other one he used a hot chocolate box, and put some cardboard pieces in to contain the egg to the middle with a little bit of bubble wrap padding. Maybe bubble wrap was cheating ;)

But his eggs both survived the drop, and even survived a toss across the yard as hard as he could.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cars fixed and Boys Club

We have working vehicles again! Ben spent all night Friday working on putting the Engine back in the metro- and got it working. Then we took the Truck in to the shop, and they got the broken sparkplugs out without removing the engine. Whew! Thank goodness! Thanks again Pam for being so wonderful to loan us your truck while we were working on fixing them.

Today was Bug's Great American's Boys Club. We really have fun with this! Way back last fall, someone in our homeschool group was starting up a Girl's Club. I lamented the fact that there wasn't anything for the Boys. I said if I knew what to do with my younger 2, I would do a club for them. Another mom piped up that she would watch Doodle and Roo if I did the club and her oldest boy could come. So Thus tthe Great American's Boys Club was born. Each month we read a Childhood of Famous American's book about a "great american" (hence the name! lol aren't I original!?!) We discuss the book, play games, do some notebook pages, and do an activity. The meetings are once a month, and we meet for 1 1/2 hours. There are 11 boys that come each month. It's great fun. And the poor boys get to be my guinnea pigs for lots of cub scout ideas. ;)

Anyhow- Today's Club was on Neil Armstrong. We had a good discussion going about the book, and what kind of man Neil Armstrong is. Determined, Hard working, and Brave. Then the boys did notebook pages. The first page has a pic of Neil Armstrong and lines at the bottom where they write Traits they admire. The 2nd page has a place to draw a picture and lines to write their favorite part of the story. The last page is a timeline of his life. (If you want copies of the pages- email me, I'm happy to share!) After that we played a Scout game "Kim's Game" (since Neil Armstrong was an Eagle Scout!) Then we build paper rockets and launched them from Soda Pop Bottle launchers. Here's where I got the ideas. Our launchers were a bit smaller (used last month's marshmallow guns to make the launchers) But overall it was a Success. The boys all had fun I think. Next month will be our final meeting for the year, and we'll meet at the local Pizza place for a pizza party, and each boy will tell or show or somehow present a Great American to the rest of us.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Making Yogurt

Last Fall, our Relief Society (church women's group) challenged us to live a month on our food storage. I learned Many things in September- But the first is --- If you have powdered milk in your food storage- make sure it tastes good :p and works for yogurt. EEEW! We tried many differnt brands of dry milk looking for one that we (read I!) could actually stomach. A few to stay away from- Morning Moos- BLA! As Roo says "that's go-gusting!" Honeyville Grain aslo has a whey based milk- double Yuck! (it's now being used as slop for the pigs!) A few that were hits- If you can find it- Country Cream was actually good! The LDS Cannery also has good tasting powdered milk- not as good as Country cream, but cheaper! Powdered milk is great when I keep it mixed up and use it for cooking, but the thing we use it most for is Yogurt! I love yogurt smoothies for breakfast, and this is a simple (and delicious!) way to use that powdered milk.

Step 1- Measure your powdered milk into a thermos jug adding an extra 1/4-1/2 cup.- I use 1/2 gallon ones-
Step 2- if you want your yogurt sweetened- add some sugar (I do about 1/2 cup per 1/2 gallon). You don't have to sweeten it now- but if you are only using it for smoothies or eating- it's better to stir it in now than afterwards.
Step 3- add HOT tap water to your milk and mix WELL, making sure to get the milk out of the corners of the jug.
Step 4- GENTLY stir in Yogurt starter. I just buy the cheapest usually Western Family Vanilla- a small carton. And stir half of it into each thermos.

Step 5- Add Vanilla (totally optional!) But I like a vanilla flavor in my smoothies. Stir gently- as little as possible to mix it around.
Step 6- Screw the lids on tight.
Step 7- Fill a cooler with HOT HOT HOT Tap water.
Step 8- Place thermoses with yogurt in cooler.

Step 9- Set cooler somewhere warm that it won't be disturbed. DON'T touch it, mess with it, check on it, or bother it for 6-8 hours.
Step 10- remove from cooler, and place in refrigerator. It will be ready for smoothies in the morning.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bug's School

Since I posted what I use for Doodle for school- I decided Bug should get equal play ;) Bug is 9 years old and in 3rd grade. He is a smart kid, and very talented at writing stories. He has a very active imagination with lots of ideas to write about.

Of course- the bulk of our school is Beyond Five in a Row A Unit Study based on great chapter books. We are currently studying Thomas Edison- and Bug is really enjoying it.

We also use Singapore Math 3 (because it's cheap! and gets the job done!) Rod and Staff English 3- kinda looking for something different for next year- I think I'd prefer a workbook approach rather than the book. But otherwise we like it. For Spelling- Christian Liberty Press Spelling workbook. Spelling is not Bug's strong point-which is wierd because he is such an awesome reader. But he is improving. For Handwriting we use Handwriting Without Tears- awesome- I love the simpleness of it. He's working through the cursive book right now.

A few other things we throw in occasionally- History and Art , Typing- onilne game- (link is at the left,) spanish online- (link is at the left)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Car Troubles- warning- WHINE whine whine....

As Roo would say "uggg!" Ok- a few months ago- Ben's metro was starting to have engine problems- so we took it in- and they said "oh it needs a new engine, or this engine rebuilt" Now we just put a new engine in it last year, and while it does get plenty of miles put on it commuting back and forth to work each day, we didn't think we should spend the $ on another engine. SO... we started looking for another car. We found another OLD metro and thought- on he can drive this one while he fixes the other one.

THEN He and Doodle were in an accident- read about it Here and totaled that old metro. Again "UGG!" So we borrowed Ben's Aunt's truck (which she so graciously offered- Thanks Pam!) and started getting serious about fixing the first metro- ordering parts and tools and all sorts of things.

THEN our truck needed new sparkplugs- now sparkplugs- they aren't hard to replace- so he got under the hood, and started to pull them out- and 2 of them BROKE as he was pulling them out. "UGG" So he's tried and tried to get the pieces out. I guess we'll have to take it into the dealer and pay way too much for them to pull the sparkplug pieces. And now we are down to no vehicles working- only a borrowed truck. WAAAA! When it rains it pours they say.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Doodle's School, and Hot Wheels Phonics

Doodle is 5, and would barely have made the cutoff if we were sending him to public school (by only a couple of weeks) So truthfully if I were sending him to public school I wouldn't have sent him to Kindergarten this year. We are just going along with school, and at some point in the future I'll decide whether to call this Kindergarten or not. He's reading well, and doing great with Math and such- but maturity-wise he definately woudn't be ready for Kindergarten. So here's what we use for school-

First off- our main cirriculum is Five in a Row- This is simply the BEST unit study out there for early elementary years. We read great classic picture books, and study them each week.

Monday is Social Studies (history, geography, relationships, lots of things fit in this category) We study where the story takes place, any historical aspects of the story and lots more.

Tuesday is Language Arts- we talk about the way the author wrote the story, did they use repetition? Rhyming? Alliteration? Make lists, and other simple writing assignments.

Wednesday is Art- what better way to study art than to look at great illustrations and immitate them? We've used pastels, watercolors, and studied such fun things as pointillism, perspective and shading.- I am truly amazed, because I am so not an artist, but I learn things through the stories to where I can now identify the mediums used in the books and such.

Thursday is applied Math- counting objects in the story, days of the week, story problems using the book, counting money, telling time and other fun things.

Friday is Science- science projects, expirements and topics to study that relate back to our story. It's neat the way it all ties together.

Here's some other resources we use:

Singapore Early Bird 2 a and b for Math (he's only got 5 pages left, then I suppose we'll start on Singapore 1- first grade math and go slowly)

Handwriting without tears- Such a great handwriting program- I can't say enough for this one. It's cheap, easy, and teaches them their letters. Another day I'll write about what Bug uses for school- but he also uses Handwriting without tears- their Cursive program.

We just started the last book- Starfall.com (an AWESOME site for pre-k through 2nd grade reading) had some free workbooks a few years ago- and I ordered one. Doodle is just now beginning it. Simple short, yet good handwriting, and phonics practice.

Ok- so I've got it all covered except phonics. Phonics is kinda haphazard and relaxed around here. We of course play starfall and other computer games. I don't use a set "program" though I do have lots of resources. Mostly we just play games. That sounds so simple, like it's not enough- but it's worked so far, and if it ain't broke.....

One resource I like is Happy Phonics from Lovetolearn.net- Mine is an older version- so I think this new version has more games than ours. It's simple basic phonics games on cardstock. Nothing fancy- but fun. Probably something you could make on your own if you had the time and ambition.

Doodle's Favorite Phonics game is one we played today- called "Hot wheels phonics" The rules are- Spread out the rug, and grab a car (he prefers motorcycles- but couldn't find one today- so he went with a 4-wheeler with a trailer) Mom spreads out word cards all over the roads. Sometimes I use sight words, other times words he can sound out- sometimes a mix of both. If he needs extra work on "silent e" words, or consonant blends- I just make sure and throw down some cards that will help him work on those things. The cards and just index cards that I write words on that I want him to read. Then I set the timer and he drives the car around to pick up all the words. He has to read the word, then he can pick it up. If he beats the clock, he gets some small reward, piece of candy or prize.

Reading a word

The 4 wheeler with the words he's read

Going to get more words

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Treehouse Museum

On Friday we went on a Field Trip to the Treehouse Children's Museum in Ogden. My Sister in Law- Natalie and her 2 kiddos came with us. It was a Fun time- though next time, I'm bringing more adults with me! lol- they just run crazy! The sad thing is- Natalie's little girl Carlie- not even 2 yet- had the longest attention span of any of them!

The Favorite seemed to be the Fire Engine.

Roo, Doodle, and Hayden driving the Fire Engine- of course if you ask Roo and Hayden where they are going, it's "To the Dinosaur Park" So we will definately have to go there again soon.

The Music Room is SO cool. So many neat instruments to play, huge bongo drums, xylophones and all sorts of them. Showing our knowledge on the map of Utah. Ok- So Bug knows what the state bird is. Maybe I am doing fine homeschooling lol- Not sure anyone else in on the right spot. ;)

They have an awesome Indian Teepee set up, complete with a "campfire"

Inside the Teepee.

Carlie is such a cutie! Since I don't have any daughters, I'll claim her ;)

Future President of the United States- Hayden

Just can't quite get his sword out of the stone yet- huh King Arthur, umm I mean Doodle!