Saturday, January 29, 2011

Penguin Art, Volume 1

We have taken the Penguin plunge! (By the way, doesn't that sound like some fun zoo exhibit where you get to swim with the penguins? I wish it were real!) At any rate, we started our penguin studies this week and we are loving them! We just want to be a part of the cool crowd, I guess, because everyone is studying penguins and Antarctica right now.

See that baby? It is Alex on his first Halloween. He was so ahead of the penguin trend. 

Here are our current penguin-y resources:

Expedition Earth from Erica at coahbutton

Which has about a million ideas for crafts, snacks, games, etc. because has several penguin unit studies in it (It covers such books as Tacky the Penguin and Mr. Popper's Penguins)


Finally, I have also been dabbling over at the website of
Love2LEarn2Day where they are also doing a penguin study right now and there are tons of fun ideas and links!

We have been having so much fun! Anyone who knows my Alex knows he has a love for all things penguin, and that is what actually made me decide to take a brief interlude from my other studies to do some penguin studies with the kids. I just knew
he would truly enjoy it. Also, I am going to be getting surgery on my foot next Friday so I didn't want to start a new chapter in our science or Little House in the Big woods. I will be posting this week to finish up the chapters we were working on, but then I will take a week off and post about other things as I will be laid up for about 7-10 days.

And now, onto our penguin art for this week!

First, we have this lovely penguin made from a balloon, cardstock, and scotch tape. Isn't he handsome? We call him Mr. Waddles. But he mostly just falls over, so don't get your hopes up in that department.

Up next we have some lovely penguins made out of toilet paper tubes. Everyone loves to have something to do with those empty tubes once they have removed all of the precious TP, right? Well today, you are in luck! You can turn them into a cute little penguin! Male and female versions are available, just change out your bow!
You can find the template here, at DLTK's Penguin Crafts for Kids

And for our final craft of the week, a delicious one. 

Enjoy! We did! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Organization - Daily Schedules for the Kids

Sorry that I haven't posted for so many days. My husband's grandfather died and I took a few days off to spend time with my husband and his family. I am going to post the blog I had been working on for Sunday because it is already half finished, and kind of see where I am at after that because I also have some homework to catch up on for school. (I am in school too, not just the kids!) So, here we go:

This week I decided to make schedules for my kids and post them up on the walls so that they would know what to expect from their days. The seed for the idea started when I saw my friend's blog about making similiar charts for her own children here Children Need Rules and Structure and Charts . That seed continued to grow and flourish throughout the week.

My husband and I told our littlest one that there are no electronics after dinner time but he just couldn't understand. Finally, I knew just what would do the trick! A little label on his chart with a picture that said "electronics off" every night! Now all I needed was a chart. 

I couldn't make a chart exactly like the one at Juana Be's because I need something a little less static. My husband and I are both in college and then we have church activities, a co-op, errands, blah blah blah. I wanted my kids to be able to wake up every day and know exactly what to expect from their day so I decided to make a chart that had velcro on it and the activities could be added and removed every night when I fill my workboxes. That way the schedule can vary from day to day! I work hard to keep it as consistent as possible, but this way there is room for the changes in our schedules and it is all visual for the kids.

The schedules went up officialy on Thursday morning, and so far I would say they are working great! Today (this would be Sunday when I was typing this) I told the kids we would be going to their grandmother's at 3:00 and Alex yelled: "3:00! But that is snack time!" It was so funny to see how he is already getting so settled into his little routine and doesn't like to see anything messing it up. He also does much better at doing his chores now that there is a scheduled time to do them every night and there is already no tv allowed at that time anyways so he "might as well" spend some time with me working on his chores.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Busy and Beautiful Art

This week we have had a lot of fun in art! We have had a lot of snow, which has led to a lot of cancelled activities and dissapointment. To counteract this, I have tried to plan lots of crafts and fun to keep the children entertained.

First, we have this cute snowman activity that I printed for Alex from Erica at 

Next, we made some wonderful Disney princes hair clips. I posted the link to these wonderful printables earlier this week but I will share them again. I am super proud of these. Isabella took them to co-op yesterday and all of her friends adored them! They are perfect for the princess in your home! What we did  instead of what the instructions say, was to hot glue the flowers on to metal clips.

Disney Fairy Flowers

The last thing we made for art this week was a rocket ship sticky mosaic. I was originally worried that this might be a little hard for Alex to do on his own, but he didn't need any help from me at all! What a great way to keep him busy while I got some stuff done for once! Money well spent, in my opinion!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award!!

I was so excited to be forwarded this by KrazyKuehnerDays . I love to check out the exciting things that they are up to at their house from one day to the next. Their family is always doing something fun and new, and I love to get new ideas for things to try with my own! 

I started my blog because I read another homeschool mom's blog and I got inspired. It seemed so much fun to share what we were doing with others, plus the more I blog the more I am motivated to be more creative as I plan what to do with my family. Blogging helps me to stay organized and focused, it is almost a way of keeping my lesson's on track and sharing all of the interesting resources i find. 

On to the "rules" of this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award

2. Answer 10 questions

3. Pass it along to 7 blogs you've recently discovered and enjoy

4. Leave your recipients a note, telling them about the award

The 10 Questions...

1.      Why did you create this blog?

I love being able to share all of the cool things I find and that I am doing with my kids. 

2. What kinds of blogs do you follow?

I mostly follow blogs about homeschooling, crafts for kids, sewing, crafts for adults, and weight loss.

3. Favorite make-up brand?

So hard to pick! I love Urban Decay for eye liner, Shany for eye shadow, Bare minerals foundation and lip gloss, and too faced mascara to list a few. I am a make up junkie! 

4. Favorite clothing brand?

My current favorite clothing is from Express! Their clothes are gorgeous and they make me look wonderful. I also like H & M. 

5. Indispensable makeup product?

Eye shadow primer potion by Urban Decay. It is wonderful! 

6. Favorite color?

My favorite color is green, I really love it! 

7. Favorite perfume?

My favorite perfume was Heavenly by Victoria Secret but I am growing tired of it. I haven't found a replacement just yet. 

8. Favorite film?

I really like anything that is mind-bending. Some examples of favorites would be Momento, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

9. What country would you like to visit and why?

I would really like to visit Italy. I love art and would love to see the old churches and artwork. 

10. Would you rather forget to put mascara on one eye or forget blush on one side of your face?

Mascara, I would look like a circus freak with blush on only one cheek! 

Now onto the people I will be sending this to:

Geography, Week 2 - Paper Globes and Penguins

This week for geography we started by finishing up our work on the globe. We had already made the paper mache earth, but I was also doing these lessons with a class at co-op and I needed something a little less messy. I originally thought I would just do the clay earths, but the room we were assigned this year is carpeted and the class is full of 5 year-olds and even play dough is too messy when you combine those type of elements, so I was delighted with this solution:

The paper strip globe is easy to make and not the least bit messy, also it has a bible verse on it. 

It can be found at this website: Craft Earth Day Globe

Since it is Winter time and my littlest student has developed a recent fascination with penguins, we have decided to make our first stop on the map Antarctica.

We decorated our passports and added our first stamp.

We read the book Explore Antarctica which led to some interesting discussions because my 8 year old because it talked of global warming in such a manner that my 8 year old was afraid of where we would live once the entire world was under water. As I type this I have a flash back to the movie "Water World" hehehe.  

This week we will have tons more activities about Antarctica in general and penguins specifically to explore and learn about. I can't wait! I hope that you all will join us!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Science, Week 3 - Oceans and Whales

Here is our third week of studying the Ocean and Whales. We are still using the same books, and I am really enjoying them. I am very impressed with the Make it Work! book especially, because it adds a lot of experiments to our lessons and makes it more interesting for Isabella. We also did a gummi bear experiment on osmosis for fun this week.

Pages 19 - 21
Blue Whale Info/Coloring Sheet
Label the Parts of the Baleen Whale
All About Whales

Pages 22-27
Whale Anatomy

Pages 28-30
Porpoise Info/Coloring Sheet
Whale Senses

A list of  Whale Activities

We also read pages 10-19 of the book Make it Work by Andrew Haslam and Barbara Taylor and did the corresponding experiments.

This week we made a hydrometer:

We learned about water pressure by trying to blow up a balloon under water:

We learned about how only the tips of icebergs are above water:

We also learned about osmosis. We put one gummi bear in tap water and one in salt water and waited to see what happened! The link to this experiment and other gummi bear experiments can be found here .

 That is all for our week of science. I hope you have had a great week with your kids! I start college this week so it is getting crazy around here, but I hope to keep up with everything. Feel free to help me out by sharing any cool ideas you have found!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's In the Box Wednesday 2

Since it is Wednesday, I decided to share what is in our boxes. Today, I will share Isabella's boxes, she is in 3rd grade:

We have Expedition Earth and are studying Antarctica in our first box.

In our second box is Learning Language Arts Through Literature and Little House in the Big Woods

In our third box is Daily Geography Practice Day 2

In our fourth box are some books and a worksheet about wildcats that go with our Little House in the Big Woods curriculum.

In our Fifth box is our Science.

In our 6th box was our story of the world activity, we made a salt dough map of Italy:

In our 7th box was Gummi Bear Science. (How cute is that!?)

Here is the link: Gummi Bear Science Projects

Today was our last day of Singapore Math 3B. We Will be moving on to 4A! Yay! 

The last box is my favorite! We got lots of fun stuff from the Disney family website. We got patterns for hair accessories, and for Alice in Wonderland and Mickey Mouse shrinky dinks that I just print onto the paper. We are going to make bracelets and hair accessories.

You can find the link here: Disney Printables

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Little House In The Big Woods - Ch. 2 Curriculum

Chapter 2

I don't have the pictures that go with everything yet because we are running behind thanks to the lovely snow days we have had all week. (It is hard to keep them in when their friends are knocking on the door). At any rate, this chapter is a short one so we will be caught up in no time, I will add the pictures as we do them, and I have full confidence I will be on schedule for next week. I am so thankful that one's voice can't waiver while you type. Here we go! 

Language Arts

Word Search Easy Fun School


Study wildcats

I found a new report form for animal reports that I really liked at for free and you can get it here:

I have had Bella writing reports on the animals that we do not have lapbooks for. She is still just a beginner as I have never had her do reports until last week, but we are making progress! 
Study Deer

I also found a free deer mini-helper from 

Research animal trapping Animal trapping on wikipedia
(you may want to view any material on animal trapping before allowing your children to view it. I chose this article because it was the least controversial one I saw)


"Churn" Butter -  How To Make Butter at Home

Here is a worksheet to fill out about your experience afterwards: Butter Churning Worksheet

Research - Find out how old Laura and Mary were when this book took place Little House in The Big Woods Info

Draw a picture of Jack Frost

Look at pictures of  Kerosene Lamps

Character Building:

In this chapter the family works hard together to get things done. Even the very young members of the family help out around the house and with chores! When they are finished, the family spends lots of quality time together because they enjoy each other's company. What are some ways that you can be helpful around your house? What are some things that you would enjoy doing with your family for fun? 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu Monday, the Entertaining the masses edition

We have lots of people coming over at different times this week and lots of plans to entertain and enjoy our friends company, hence the title of today's blog. I am excited, but the idea of feeding so many people (and keeping my house clean, makeup on, and not wearing pajamas around the house) for days on end exhausts me to be quite honest! But enough about me, lets see what I am going to feed these people!


Breakfast: Bagel and cream cheese

Snack: inordinate amounts of coffee and chocolate chip cookies with my friend Sarah. It was shameful, I swear.

Lunch/Dinner (Is that Linner?): I looked up at 3 and realized I had never fed the kids lunch. To be honest we never got hungry because of all the cookies, and we were on our way out the door to get Alex a hair cut so we all went to Planet Sub, where kids eat free on Mondays. Yum.


Breakfast: Special K cereal (lets make up for yesterday, eh?)

Snack: applesauce

Lunch: baked potato

Dinner:  Indian Butter Chicken
(Let's forget all about making up for yesterday! We are having company over to play Killer Bunnies! See also: Best game ever!)


Breakfast: Fiber one Apple muffin

Snack: oranges

Lunch: Chicken Adobo and white rice

Dinner: Swedish Meatballs      and homemade noodles


Breakfast: Bagel and cream cheese

Snack: crackers and cheese

lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Dinner: Tortellini Soup


Breakfast: Fiber One apple muffin

Snack: crackers and cheese

Lunch: yogurt and granola bar

Dinner: Lasagna


Breakfast: cereal

Snack: granola bar

lunch: turkey sandwich

Dinner: Spicy Black Bean Soup and tortilla chips


Breakfast: bagel and cream cheese

Snack: yogurt

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: Thai Chicken and white rice

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Organization - Chore Charts!

I am super excited about today's post! I don't know if it is because of the new year or what, but everywhere I look lately there has been talk about organization in general, and chore charts in particular. There have been multiple threads about chore charts in my workbox group, and then yesterday I logged onto and what is her blog about? You guessed it! Chore charts! Complete with downloads! It was crazy!

What made it especially crazy was the fact that my organization blog this week is going to be about chore charts! I have been trying to get a more rigid chore schedule for awhile. Isabella is great about helping, even when I forget to load up her chore chart (we use the magnetic chore chart from Melissa and Doug).

For Alex, however, this chore chart is too complicated. For one thing, he can't read! For another, I even had to hang Bella's up super high because he kept stealing and losing all of the smiley face magnets because he just liked them so much!

I had been reading what everyone put on their blogs or attachments about charts and decided to just make my own. Who knows better what will work for my kid than me, right? The thing is, Alex is only 3 years old. He can't read, and I am not trying to get him to help clean the house. I am mostly trying to get him to keep his room cleaned and his teeth brushed without a hassle.

I pondered this and thought about how, even at 8, Isabella does best when instead of saying "clean your room" we only give her one task at a time like "pick up your books"   followed by "pick up your dolls", "pick up your clothes", etc. until the whole thing is done. By breaking it into smaller jobs the kids seem less overwhelmed. With these running through my head I created a system with Alex, and his room, specifically in mind.

Alex's Room

The first thing I did was I went through and labeled everything. When I say everything, I mean everything. I put a picture with the words telling what it was under each drawer or box that his toys go in (they are already all sorted because I am a neat freak).

I then created matching labels with the same picture that just said "pick up small toys, pick up trains, pick up puzzles, etc." so that I could give him the card with the picture and he would know to pick up everything that goes in the drawer with that picture. This way he can focus on picking up one thing at a time. 

I made a few other cards like "put away silverware, put away clean clothes, pick up trash, and help set table", but not too many. I will add more as he gets more efficient. Right now I am just trying to help him build good habits and to keep his room from turning into a disaster area. To be honest, I may have let it go for too long. :/ When he has done all of his chores, he gets a prize of some sort. Sometimes it might be a snack, sometimes it might be us playing a game or watching a special show. It really depends on what I have planned that day already.  We tried it out today (you know, so the room would be clean for me to take pictures) and my 8 year old liked it so much she wants me to make tags like that for her room! Considering that this is my first time trying to make something like this myself and that it took me a lot longer than it probably takes the more experienced bloggers out here, we will see if I get motivated for THAT anytime soon! 

If you would like a copy of the tags I made this week you can get them here: