Sunday, September 11, 2011

Teacher Gift - 1st Week of School

This is what I did for my kids' teachers this year for the first week of school. I included this note. The flowers are from our garden, and we used a canning jar for the vase. We are very excited about the kids' teachers, and we wanted to let them know!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentine Subway Art

I'm really into Subway Art these days. This is a version I did for the girls group I coordinate. I listed Biblical scripture references where it talks about these varying aspects of LOVE (you can download it here). I got the lumber from a scrap pile at a wood shop and had them cut it down into workable pieces. I adjusted the art word to fit on the wood.
Here is what you need for this project:
A print out of the subway art, paint, wood, and Modge Podge.

Paint the boards any color for a background. It won't be seen much except the sides and back.

After the paint dries, MODGE PODGE the paper (printed on kraft colored cardstock or whatever you choose) to the wood. Brush over the paper with M.P. also. Let dry. Add a ribbon or other embellishments to the top.
Here is how it looks in my kitchen with my Valentine cluster:

Et Tu, Brute?

We don't always homeschool.... we love our local public school too.... but this year I'm homeschooling my boys and we are reading this book for history. We are at about 300 A.D. and have loved every page. My 9 year old son brought this as his book of choice on a weekend trip we took! That tells you something. It is written very intelligently, and also explains history in a clear and simple, yet captivating, manner. Every day I hear, "Mom, can we PLEASE read history today?" I sing back "YES!" because I love it as much as they do. Shoot -- I feel like I'm learning as much as they are! This book is a MUST HAVE for every family library! Order it here. Read it with your kids and be prepared to get drawn in.....history will come alive!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pattern Blocks -- an oldie but a goodie!

Pattern blocks keep my children occupied for hours. They are most often used to build math concepts like symmetry, order, counting, number operations, data collection, and estimation, but I also keep them out to keep little hands productive! If I leave the jar out on the counter, it isn't 5 minutes before someone is building something with them. I like them because they are educational and fun!

Pattern Blocks Help children:
* build visual-spatial skills
* increase pattern recognition
practice shape recognition
* visualize how shapes work together to create new shapes
* master color recognition
* learn beginning math concepts
* practice creativity

This is my daughter's shape. At 12, she still likes creating with these! The shapes included in the traditional pattern block sets are:
green triangles
orange squares
red trapezoids
blue rhombuses (or rhombi)
tan parallelograms
yellow octagons.

Give them a try!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Way Cool Workboxes

Many of you in the homeschool world have heard the buzzword.... workboxes! A very innovative homeschooling mom, Sue Patrick, came up with this system which allows students to be more independent, responsible learners. You can read about the whole system by following the link provided. Essentially, the student works through each subject in a separate workbox until he is all done. The teacher helps with certain boxes that contain a "teacher help" label on them; other than that, the student works as independently as possible. This also works great with special needs kids, in fact, that was the reason the whole system was created!

To make my workboxes I used shoe racks from Costco, clear bins from Fred Meyer, and cute sports ball clipart fromLettering Delights. Easy, space efficient, and cute! Voila!