Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Alphabet pictures

A few months ago Kendra over at Pumpkin Patch had a giveaway and I recieved a gift subscription to Family Fun magazine. We have been enjoying it. Thanks SOOOO much Kendra! This month's magazine had a great idea for an alphabet book. (I can't find the article online- darn!) So yesterday when we went to the park- I took my camera- and let Bug have a go at it. He searched for alphabet letters in the surroundings- and took pictures of them. He didn't find all the letters yet, we are still on the hunt for a few- but here's some of his awesome pictures.

We're going to see if he can get all the letters in his name, and print them and frame them to go in his room.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

History Timelines

When I was in school I really hated history- it was such a boring subject to me. "Read the chapter, answer the questions at the end, remember the information just until the test, then forget it" It wasn't until just a few years ago- (as I was teaching my boys) that I actually began to enjoy history.

What made the difference? For starters- interesting stories- many of the FIAR stories we've done have talked about different time periods or events in history- stories that happen during World War II (A New Coat for Anna) lessons that mention the US receiving the Statue of Liberty as a gift (The Giraffe that Walked to Paris). As I read these stories- I became more interested in the time periods and events of the books.

The 2nd thing that's made a huge differnce in the way I view studying history is Timelines. History suddenly makes more sense to me as I view it in a timeline. As I was reading one day about Hellen Keller, the book mentioned Mark Twain. For me and my silly brain, I never would have put the 2 together in the same time period. It's so exciting as we put events in our timelines to realize what things were happening at the same time periods.

Our timeline notebooks are quite simple. It's a 3-ring binder with divider tabs. The divisions are creation-1000 BC, 1000 BC-0, 1AD-1500, 1500-1800, 1800-present. Then whenever we "put something in the timeline" we write the year in the top right corner of the page, and write what happened that year. Here's Doodle's entry for today- Milton Hershey born- 1857. Then comes the fun part- figuring out when in history this happened. The kids open their timeline books and begin flipping pages.... "Let's see- it's after 1800" so go to the last section. "1802- Louisiana purchase"...nope- after that, flip a few more pages "1849- California Gold Rush" ...after that "1882- Ralph Waldo Emmerson dies" Ooooh- Before that! Put the page in. We have run into things that happened the same year. They each have their own page- simply because we write the pages down first. I suppose you COULD put them both on the same page, but we've never done that- on occasion we've found out the month they happened and put them in order of what month.

Bug's entry- "1752- Ben Franklin conducts his electricity experiment" in the notebook after "1743- Thomas Jefferson born" and before "1773- Boston Tea Party"
For a while the kids each had their own timeline- but I felt like they weren't getting used as often as I would have liked. The entries in them were haphazard, and occasional. I was getting frustrated- because I could see what a useful tool timelines could be. As I was discussing it with Ben (the principal does have some input around here- lol) He said he'd like the kids to start memorizing famous quotations. So we decided to put the 2 together, and learn quotes by one person for the week. And each day as we work on the quote for the day- we'll put something about that person in our timeline.

I also have Bug practice his cursive by writing the quotes down in a notebook. Here's his page of Benjamin Franklin's quotes.

I type up the quotes and hang them on the board so we can see them as we pass by all day long. Next to each quote I have an idea of what they could put in their timeline that day.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How to entertain a 4 yr old for hours at a time

Roo is so Silly sometimes. He usually does a very good job of entertaining himself. But every once in a while he looks like THIS:

Way #1 to entertain a 4 yr old- BUBBLE WRAP!!! Oh he danced and jumped around on this for hours!
Way #2..... Sandbox river filled with water....Sorry Lindsi- I know you just LOVE it when your 4 yr old comes home wanting to put on her swimsuit to swim in our SANDBOX!

Yeah- Monday night we were all ready to go to Pam's house for dinner and Family night- and Where is Roo!? Out swimming in the sandbox. UGGG! Had to throw him in the shower before we could leave. Stinker!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Buggies and Wagons

I often think how much simplier life would have been in the pioneer times. I know they had their trials too, but life was a much slower simplier pace. Today for our Homeschool group Field trip we went to see some horse drawn wagons and buggies. Although Wagonland Adventure is still in the dreaming and planning stages (probably mostly the fundraising stages) We were able to see many of the wagons and carriages that he has in his collection.
An old Conestoga WagonMore wagons

My 3 yeahooos who would love to go for a ride in one of these!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Anniversary Vacation

I've been a bit slow on getting things posted on here lately- tomatoes are on, as well as peaches. So I've been bottling tomatoes, peaches and made some blackberry jam. Ben and I went away to the Oregon Coast for our Anniversary. Each year we take turns planning the vacation. Usually the "vacation" is just a night away at a Bed and Breakfast. Our 13th anniversary fell on Labor Day this year- and Pam and Amber said they would take the kids to the cabin with them, so I got busy planning.

We went to Newport Oregon. It was a beautiful (though long) drive. Friday night we went as far as Boise Id. and spent a night there at the Anniversary Inn. It was a fun place to stay. Then Sat. we hopped in the car and headed for Oregon. We stopped at a few sites along the way, We had a picnic along the way, and stopped right along the road and found bushes and bushes of blackberries. They were everywhere growing wild. So of course we picked a ton. (we picked enough that I made some Jam with them after we got home)
We got to the hotel on the beach that night, and went for a walk in the sand. It was beautiful and relaxing. The beach behind our hotel. Quite amazing. Us at the beachA Jellyfish that was stranded on the beach
On Sunday we went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium They Jellyfish were coolWe enjoyed watching the OttersThe tube aquarium was way cool- watching the fish swim right over the top of you was neat!
We went on a "whale watching" boat trip- only I think I picked the wrong boat service- lol- this one was full on old ladies, and they didn't even go out on the open ocean- we just stayed in the harbor, s0 there were definately no whales. lol- it was fun anyhow. The Yaquina Bay Bridge- it's a beautiful bridge. A whole group of Sea LionsWe went to the top of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse- The spiral staircase going upThe view out the top of the Lighhouse.
We explored some Tide Pools down below the Lighthouse. Some mussels we found on the rocksA green Sea Anemone in one of the tide pools

Ben near the tidepools.We loved watching the waves crash against the rocks.Monday we went out on the ocean to do some fishing. I booked a Salmon fishing trip- knowing how much my boys love to eat salmon. Unfortunately the Salmon fishing wasn't that good- I did catch this fish- but he was the wrong kind- and we threw him back. After while with no luck catching Salmon- they decided to try Bottom fishing instead. Ben caught quite a few Sea Bass, but I was SOOOO seasick I didn't even gets pics of them. (Yes I took Dramamine, AND used the Sea Band wristband thingys- but uggg!---- )

We had a great vacation, and now it's back to work, school and everything else.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Solar Power Fun

What a great science week! Bug decided to make a Solar oven and try his hand at cooking lunch on it. So he's spent the week doing some research on Solar ovens- and found this pdf file that has lots of information and instructions on how to make a solar cooker. Yesterday Ben and Bug got it all laid out on the cardboard, and cut it out. Today- Bug glued the foil onto it, assembled it, and cooked his lunch out in the sun. The pan on the left is a fried egg, and there's 3 hot dogs in the pan on the right. He put the hot dogs in first- they cooked for about 1 1/2 hours. He put the eggs after a while, and they were done in about 45 minutes.

Bug with his Solar cooked egg.The finished product.He had fun with it- and wanted to try popcorn. lol- not sure if that will work or not- but he put it out in the oven, and it's hopefully cooking right now.