Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them
what counts is best. ~ Bob Talbert

Monday, March 30, 2009

Poland Extravaganza

My daughter is participating in a Geography Fair next week. She is focusing on Poland since we rowed Mrs Katz and Tush during the month of March. ("Mrs. Katz" is a Jewish woman who lived in Poland and immigrated to America.) Because my daughter is in kindergarten, it has taken a full month to complete our display. She does a little at a time.

A few weeks ago she created a map of Poland. The map took 4 days to complete, but we are very pleased with the results.

Day 1 - Making the salt dough, shaping it into the country of Poland and baking it.

Day 2 - Painting the baked Poland.

Day 3 - Painting the rest of the map - Defining water bodies versus land masses.

Day 4 - Labelling the map through copy work.

Now please don't be going and checking the map to scale!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Some of Why I Homeschool ...

Every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory. ~ C.S. Lewis

I took a piece of living clay
And gently formed it, day by day
And molded with my power and art
A young child's soft and yielding heart.

If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder ... he needs the companion of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in. ~ Rachel Carson

The imagination should be allowed a certain amount of time to browse around. ~ Thomas Merton

Monday, February 23, 2009

Harold and the Purple Crayon ~ Crockett Johnson


Harold and the Purple Crayon Folder ~ Crockett Johnson

Front of Folder ~ I have started to use folded file folders to store completed work. It saves space and is well organized. It also provides little "spaces" to place extra information such as a scripture reference or a narration.

Dictated narration ~ The inside flap of the folder is a perfect place to put this.

Artwork ~ Purple Crayon Drawing - Going from a random thought (squiggle) to a more concrete thought/ image; City Scene Collage using perspective - fireworks are in the background and the buildings are in to foreground. A great activity to reinforce 2-D shapes; Another Purple Crayon Drawing - Using near and far perspective.

Transportation collage ~ Some pictures are printed from the computer while others are labelled directed drawings. And yes, an elephant can be a means of transportation! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Just for a Smile ...

To view a larger version of this cartoon, click here: Homeschooling Funny

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2-D Shape Placemat

Use cut paper in the shapes of circles, squares, rectangles and triangles to create a quilted image.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Snowy Day ~ Ezra Jack Keats

So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~ Psalm 90:12

The Snowy Day Folder ~ Ezra Jack Keats

Front of folder ~ Snowflake colourings of various flavoured snowflakes.

Cut and paste snowman, art creation using cut paper and water colour paint, snowman chalk drawing (directed drawing), story sequencing booklet, and copy work of Psalm 90:12.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What I Love About Winter

Frozen lakes
Hot pancakes
Lots of snow
Hot cocoa
Skates and skis
Evergreen trees
Funny hats
Sunsets blaze
Snowball fights
Fireplace nights
Chimneys steaming
Winter dreaming

~ written by Douglas Florian - Winter Eyes

Friday, January 30, 2009

Words to Consider ...

There is no nobler career than that of motherhood at its best.

There are no possibilities greater,

and in no other sphere does failure bring more serious penalties...

To attempt this task unprepared and untrained

is tragic,

and its results affect generations to come.

On the other hand

there is no higher height to which humanity can attain

than that occupied by a converted,


praying mother.

~ Elizabeth Eliot

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snowman Art

Left snowman ~ completed by 3 year old; Right snowman ~ completed by 5 year old (materials were pre-cut).

A great activity to explore a wide variety of materials and textures:
~ blue background ~ construction paper
~ tree ~ corrugated brown paper
~ ground ~ green flannel
~ snow and snowman ~ cotton batting
~ moon ~ aluminum foil
~ eyes and buttons ~ buttons
~ hat and scarf ~ scraps of cloth

This activity was found in:Photobucket

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Story Writing Jumpstarts

Writing Idea #1 - Round Robin Stories - Using a round robin strategy for story writing can help motivate the unmotivated writer. It also works well with children who are just learning to write. In a round robin strategy, the first writer starts the story and then passes it along to the next writer who continues it. The story continues to be passed between writers until it is completed. The amount of writing done during each turn is usually pre-determined before the story writing begins. For more round robin story writing ideas click here: Round Robin Writing

Writing Idea #2 - Picture Prompts - Story writing needs to start with an idea and sometimes that's the hardest part. Pictures from magazines, newspapers or a personal photograph collection can be used to jump start creative ideas. Pictures of people can encourage character ideas, pictures of places can encourage setting ideas, and pictures of action can encourage plot ideas. Here's a website that has some picture prompts available. You can check it out here: Picture Prompts

Writing Idea #3 - KidsCom Write Me a Story Contest - At the KidsCom website there is a neat story writing opportunity for children. Children are encouraged to write a story using the provided character, prop, and place prompts. Children can submit their stories online where they will be voted on by other children and then possibly published on the KidsCom website. Click here to see the writing prompts for this week: KidsCom Write Me a Story

Writing Idea #4 - Comic Strip Story - If your child loves to draw, then a comic strip story may be a hit. A comic strip still includes all of the story elements (characters, setting, problem, solution, etc.)but the pictures play a larger role in the telling of the story. A comic strip story needs to be planned out well. A good place to start is by folding a piece of paper in half (hot dog style) and then folding it in half twice more to create 8 boxes. In each box your child can plan a story by writing little notes about what will be happening in each box of the comic strip. Have fun with this one!

Writing Idea #5 - Model a Story - Have your child choose a favorite story to use as a guideline or model for his own story writing. For example, many stories include a journey of some sort. Encourage your child to think of a starting place, an ending place, and a problem that may occur along the way. Most stories end with some sort of resolution, and so should your child's. :)

Writing Idea #6 - Tell a Story - The mind of a child is bursting with ideas. However the task of putting the ideas on paper can often be laborious. Encourage your child to think about a story and practice telling it orally. Then have your child tell the story to a tape recorder. During short periods of writing, have your child write out the recorded story editing and revising as needed.

That's all the ideas I have for now. If you have any story writing ideas that have worked for you and your child, then please share in the comment area at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hiding God's Word in Your Kid's Heart

Kendra from Preschoolers and Peace first inspired me with this scripture memory idea. I love how visual and "rewarding" it is as young children memorize scripture. Here are a couple of photos that show how to set up a scripture memory folder. It is super simple - once your child recites the passage of scripture independently, he/she gets to put some fabulous stickers onto the chart. It also works great for reviewing previously learned scriptures!

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You. ~ Psalm 119:11

Friday, January 23, 2009

Praiseworthy Thoughts

Pleasant words are honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. ~ Proverbs 16:24 NIV

The gift of praise is the best gift you can give a child, any time of the year.

99 Ways to Give Some Praise