Friday, March 29, 2013

Dd is for Dinosaur

Elijah started asking when we were going to do the dinosaur unit ever since he found out there was one, which was before we even started kindergarten. It came at a good time, too. We finally were unpacked and starting to get into the groove of our life in Asheville. Homeschooling had been less exciting since the move and this was a good way to bring back the fun of it all. We started the unit with evidence of dinosaurs in the living room...

I used these footprints for a number of activities. Some were movement ones, having him jump from one to the next. I also wrote a large letter on each one and we used them for man words he knows like man, cat, sun, etc. 
We talked about measurements and how you can use almost anything for measuring. We traced and cut out an elijah foot print and hand print then made a graph. He helped pick things to measure and chart. I thought this would be super fun, but in all honesty, it took ALL day and was more like pulling teeth. He just wasn't in the mood for it I guess. Oh well, you can't win them all :o)

I saw these two ideas on pinterest, too (seriously, my homeschooling would be so much less fun without pinterest!) We made some cute little dino feet for Yohan, too, but I never got a picture. I used craft foam sheets for them so the are more durable. Paper would work, too.

We both love Bill Nye the Science Guy. Between him and The Magic School Bus, I have at least one fun episode for most every unit. Learning about dinosaurs seemed like a good time to learn about volcanos, too so I threw that in on one of the days I added to the unit's curriculum. Most of the units we do are 6 days, but we went ahead and did 8 or 9 for this one cos there was just so much cool stuff to do.

And of course, you can't learn about volcanos without making one! I had wanted to do it outside on the grass, but it was too cold and wet out, so we tried to make it look as outdoorsy as we could...using legos. Lij covered a plastic water bottle with play dough. we poured in some baking soda with a little bit of dish soap then poured in the vinegar and food coloring and watched the eruption. Many people pointed out on my instagram picture that it looks like a pig head with a bloody snout. Gross! I assure you it is not! haha

Another favorite was making dinosaur eggs. We made them one day and then cracked them open and turned them into dinosaur egg salad sandwiches for lunch the next day. Yum!

I got the idea for this cute dino craft from here. He is still hanging out on our fridge.

This pasta and coffee grounds craft (whyyyy is it upside down??) was so cute and fun! and I got the printable for making the skeleton puzzle here.

Elijah is learning so much with letters and reading and it just thrills my heart! 

There were so many great books for this unit, but these were our favorites :o)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Uu is for Us & Valentine's Day

Uu us for Us was a good unit. I, personally, am fascinated with anatomy and had hoped to instill that in my son. He's just not that into it at this point and that's ok. We had a good time anyways. We have a kid's museum with an exhibit all about the 5 senses, which we visited. We also watched a couple Cat in the Hat episodes and a Magic School Bus episode all about the body. I had him lie down on a large piece of brown craft paper and i traced his body, then had him fill in the features and even make his outfit look like what he was wearing. However, he asked me not to put the pictures of that online, so I won't. But trust me, it was cute :o) We went on "blind walks", observed sounds outside, and of course, did some activities with food. I forgot to take a picture, but I made a chart with the 5 senses and each of the foods shown in the picture (marshmallow, cheerios, granola bar, pretzels, and chocolate chips. I had him feel them with his eyes closed, smell them, listen to them being broken or bitten, look at them, and taste them. we then charted how he described each sense in relation to the food. 

We LOVE these cards from Usborne all about learning to tell time. We also made our own clock out of paper plates. (Please forgive the not upright photos!) 


And ok, seriously, how cute are these little tootsies? 

 And then we had Valentine's Day! I LOVE this day! It inspires so many beautiful things, especially in the food department! We got to have a little themed party when our friends visited, which made it even more fun. I made these cookies, which I loved, though I think everyone else just thought they were ok. We also had twizzler hearts and ice cream sodas. So pretty!



We made these cards for the grand parents and my husband's aunt and uncle. I love that we traced Elijah's hand for it. I think that makes it even more special. For his cousins and friends he made monsters with googly eyes and they said something like "I've got my eyes on you". Cute stuff inspired by Pinterest! Love it.

I also got the idea for this online. I interviewed Elijah about his dad and write it down. This is totally something that will be saved. 

On Valentine's Day we took a break from our curriculum and learned a smidge of history about it (turns out there's not much to learn). Elijah got homemade cards from us, his first very own box of chocolates (it only had 4 in it) and candy hearts. We put those candy hearts to work with this graph he filled out. I saw a print out for something like this online, but I can't find it to look it. I just went ahead and made it myself though. Super easy. 

He also did some taste tasting and clearly marked how he felt about each flavor/color and he practiced drawing hearts.

By far the best part was having Elijah help decide what random acts of kindness we would do and who we would give them to. He picked out a chocolate bar to leave for the mailman and we made chocolate dipped short bread cookies (one of the best recipes ever, which I got from my dad) for our neighborhood firemen and librarians. He helped make them and we added a note saying we appreciate them and i included a list of ingredients for any restricted diets they might have. We also made chocolate dipped strawberries as a surprise for my husband :o)

Delivering the cookies was SO fun! I cannot recommend doing this enough. I need to do it more with him. The firemen were so excited and kind and the librarians (whom we see on a weekly basis) were extra appreciative and thankful. I could tell he was so happy and proud. I love seeing him shine like that. I love that he is old enough to feel how good it feels to be kind to others.

 Our Valentines Day table was covered with sweet cards and gifts. I also got a surprise box from my sister full of Valentine's Day gifts that made me cry and miss her and her family so much.

My husband and I ended the day with a homemade dinner of flilet mignon (my first time making it), spicy roasted zuchinni, and creamy garlic noodles and we watched Lars & the Real Girl. It was a beautiful day full of love and happiness, which I am so blessed to say that I experience on a daily basis with my boys. I am so in love with my family I can hardly stand it. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Moving Between Units...

Moving day arrived quickly and I am SO very thankful for the help we got from our friends Dave & Allison and my awesome sister and sister in law. Seriously, I have the coolest people in my life. We got to Asheville late at night and decided not to face the music until the next day. But not before going to s cute little diner for breakfast. :o)

I tried to pack the boys, but decided to keep them around with us...

I decided to take a break from the unit studies during unpacking/the holidays, but still wanted to do school. I took this time to focus on things Elijah was less confident in and to stick with the basics. We started learning how to tell him and did a lot of reading together. We also spent a lot of cold days making forts inside. 


We also had days where we learned all about Christmas and Hanukkah, which was special and fun. I absolutely love these holidays.

And I did random things around the house, trying to keep things fun for Elijah during the transition. This was my favorite :o)

Nn is for Nest & Tt is for Turtle (ish)

So... I know we did a lot of fun stuff for these units, but it feels like SO long ago and I remember nothing! Basically, anything we did the month before moving is a blur. This is all I've got...

For the nest unit we learned about animal homes and I know we spent a lot of time outside. We went to the zoo and talked about habitats. We also did a day that I added when my nephew was visiting (age 4) about fire safety. Stop drop and roll is always fun :o)

For the Turtle unit, my favorite book was Emma's Turtle. Elijah loved having a new reason to look at the globe and track where the turtle thought he was. Cute stuff!

letter blending! I was so excited to officially start this with elijah and he picked it up so quickly.

I don't remember exactly what this was for, but I love the pictures. I know I had him run a distance in his boots and then had him do it in mine. What did it have to do with? I am really not sure, but the message is clear: his boots are way easier :o)

We also spent A LOT of time in this month making lego robot "families" and "armies". These are a personal favorite of mine in the list of things to build with legos.

This was also right around the time that Hans started pulling himself up on furniture.

 We also had a day with friends over to learn about Thanksgiving (again, I KNOW I took pictures of all the cool things we did, but this is all I can find) and the kids made these cool Native American vests.

     ...and this is just because I am in LOVE with these beautiful dishes my sister found for me at a yard sale! I was so happy to get to use them for Thanksgiving and thought these happy flowers went perfectly. We have so very much to be thankful for!