Monday, November 30, 2009

Arches Vacation

After Thanksgiving Dinner- Ben, the kids and I headed out on an adventure. We were trying to find somewhere close to go explore that we'd never been. We decided to give Arches National Park a try. Thursday night we drove as far as Price, and stayed in a hotel there. Friday morning we got up early and drove to Arches National Park. We got the kids the Jr. Ranger books, so they could earn the badges. Roo was so excited- usually he's too young for them- but Arches starts at age 4- so even he could do it.

First we went on a short hike out to Balancing Rock. Any time there was a rock that looked somewhat climbable- 3 boys were up on top of it in a matter of seconds.We took a hike out to Delicate Arch. What a view. and (yikes! Hang on tight Roo!)Some Indian Petroglyphs on the way to Delicate Arch.
Hiking up the trailThe boys all completed their Jr. Ranger Badges- The Ranger is swearing them in as Jr. Rangers. We spent the night in Moab, and got up early Saturday morning. We set out on a l-o-n-g hiking trail- called Devil's Garden trail. This is Tunnel Arch. I think this was Double O Arch- or rather the bottom half of Double O arch."But Mom, I'm tired of carrying the water backpack!" Says Doodle.Yes- this was the TRAIL! Up the cliff. Hang on tight (again) Roo!
What a view- a sidewalk in the sky. Just don't get too close to either edge of the sidewalk. Ben sketching at a rest stop along the trail. We each took our sketch pads, and will include our drawings in our nature journals later this week.The end of the trail! We made it- Dark Angel rock formation.We'd planned on trying a couple of more short hikes Sat. Afternoon- but after this one (which was marked strenuous) and totaled around 7 miles (yes- even 4 yr old Roo hiked it- all but maybe 1/4 mile on the way back down when he rode on dad's shoulders.) We were all pretty exhausted. So we went for a ride, and found some more ancient Indian Petroglyphs. They don't show up too well in the pics- but we thought they were amazing.

Sunday morning we found a church, and went to Sacrament meeting before hopping in the car and heading home. It was a great adventure, and we're looking forward to more hiking adventures.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Few Field trip pics

We had 2 great field trips last week. First off- our local homeschool group went on a tour of the Pizza place.
We learned all about making pizza and breadsticks. It was a great field trip (and yummy too!)

On Friday- we went with Pam to Thanksgiving Point to their Museum of Ancient HistoryFeeding Doodle to the Megaladon

Roo checking out some of the fossils.HA!! Got a Pic of Doodle. So he's sticking his tongue out.... it's still a picture of his face! lolBuilding Dinosaurs. This exhibit was WAY cool. It was a great time- Thanks Pam!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Reading games with Roo

Teaching my kids to read has been one of my favorite things about homeschooling. I LOVE seeing them make the connection between letters and sounds, and sounds and words. I can't believe he's getting so big already-but Roo is learning to read. Now nothing complicated- but he's learning to sound out short 3 letter cvc words. So what do you do to teach a 4 yr old to read? FUN and GAMES. Everything needs to be a game. First off- when Bug was little I bought a used version of Happy Phonics. It's simple, sweet and fun games. There are games for every step of learning to read. But we tend to take a long time on some of the steps, and need a bit more variety in our reading. So here's a few fun games Roo's played lately.

The bear mat is our gameboard. There's a Token (read more about our token system here) at the end that he gets to keep when he wins the game. He moves the red unifix cube along the bears, when he's at the end of the alphabet he wins. Of course there's my favorite fishing for letters. Here I have the letter "a" and he fishes out 2 consonants to see if he can make a word. He enjoys sounding them out, and making silly faces when it's a "silly word" (or when it's not really a word) Sometimes I'll help him arrange them so he makes real words, and sometimes I just let him make them on his own.

Another fun fishing game- fishing for words- same idea, only I have words that he can sound out and read. Later we'll take it one step further, and arrange the words into sentences.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The "School" Room

I use the term school loosely- as really not much "schooling" takes place in the "school room" But it is where we store all our school stuff. Bug does do most of his studying in there, since he prefers to be where it's quiet- and Doodle can concentrate better if Bug's not in the room to distract him. But anyhow- We've been busy organizing. I LOVE to look at pictures of other homeschoolers "school rooms" Melinda over at Homeschooling a Houseful has a great school closet-- I just love the look of all of her labeled tubs. So here's what we've been working on-

If it didn't look SO much better- I'd be embarrased to post this Before pic:
And the After pics- We bought some cupboards to organize the mess- Inside the closets- top shelves are games, the one closet has reading, phonics, science, nature stuff. I did put labels on all the bins after I took these pictures. The other closet has math, art, crafts, and my planning books and such.The small cupboard hods Bug's school stuff. The desks with Doodle and Roo's workbox drawers.
The Big desk- No it's not Bug's, but he tries to claim it- because he uses this lapbook for lots of his school work. On his way home from buying the cupboards- this was in front of someone's house with a "FREE" sign on it. So Ben snatched it up- and it works GREAT!The printing center, and the play computer. This computer is SO old- we got it when I was pregnant with Bug, but many of the kids games still run on it, and it does have internet access, so I can put Roo playing Starfall or something while the others are working on other things.
I am looking forward to being able to FIND things in my newly organized room. :D

Monday, November 2, 2009

Quick Halloween Pictures

We had a Halloween party at my parents house Friday night. It was a "Disney" party- so everyone was dressed up as Disney characters.

Here's Robin Hood, and Little John,

And Buzz and Jessie
we went to Ben's aunt's house for her annual Halloween Party. And of Course- Bug and Doodle wanted to be something different- so Harry Potter (tell me you are surprized by his choice of costumes!) A Ninja, and Buzz (I spent a while making his costume- so I was mean and said he got to wear it both nights.)