Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pretend Passports from Little Passports

A while back, I posted about the pretend passports I made, but also featured a deal from Mamapedia.

I came across a fun Geography kit that also uses pretend passports. The website is Little Passports and I thought many of you with kids who are between the ages of 5-10 might be interested in this product as well.

The deal I purchased was 50% off a 3-Month Little Passports Subscription ($47 value for $23) Now if you order by December 18th, they'll guarantee Christmas Delivery!

Each month, your child will receive a package from fictional characters Sofia and Sam as they “travel” to a new country. As he reads the adventure letter and discovers exciting souvenirs and activities, he’ll learn about what it’s like to live in Japan, Brazil, and other locales. As each country is visited, your child will receive a personalized package via postal mail that includes an adventure letter, fun souvenirs, activities and access to Little Passport’s online Boarding Zone full of games and activities. The souvenirs and stickers are such a fun treat for the kids, such as an amethyst gemstone from Brazil, an origami kit from Japan. In addition the kids receive stamps for their passport and stickers to stick on the outside of their suitcase! Oh! and you get a world map too!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Personalized Santa Letters!

It's December 1, 2011! The countdown begins! What better way to get your kids excited and involved with Christmas, with a Personalized Christmas Letter from Santa!

This deal is good for their Elf Package only, which includes:

Letter Personalized with your child’s name and wish list items
Includes North Pole envelope and “nice list” certificate

If you redeem by December 9th, 2011, The Original Santa Letter company guarantees delivery by Christmas! Through this link receive your letter 50% off the price ($10 instead of $20). Hurry up! Deal ends in 5 days!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our week with Lentil!

This week we rowed through the book  "Lentil" by Robert McCloskey . We had a lot of fun with this book. Besides following the pages in the FIAR guide for Lentil, there's so many great additional activities you can follow. I guess that applies to all the stories in the Five in a Row Curriculum!

I had so much fun recreating the cover of Lentil.

McCloskey is the writer and illustrator of "Lentil". In this story his illustrations are made with charcoal. I introduced charcoal to the kids with a drawing I made of the harmonica featured in the story.

My Daughter's Pictures: First one is like my harmonica but white charcoal pencil against black paper. The second is black, brown, blue and green charcoal against white paper

My Son's Picture

We also discussed taste since there's a part in the book where everyone puckers their lips at the sight of someone eating a lemon. We looked at a diagram of the tongues taste buds and taste tested lemon juice to identify sour, unsweetened cocoa powder for bitter, sugar for sweet, and salt for salty. The kids enjoyed it. They each drew food that represented the 4 taste buds and we pasted them under the corresponding taste bud word. Template can be found at Homeschool Share.

For a scrapbook, we glued a plastic sleeve to hold the kids charcoal drawings... They're quite messy! The kids each chose what they wanted to color. The book took place in Ohio. So my daughter colored the Ohio bird and flower (Cardinal and Scarlet Carnation). My son colored the US and Ohio flag and they both practiced their writing by writing vocabulary words and their definitions. I'll post pictures soon.

The best activity we did was soap whittling. A character in the book (Old Sneep) is whittling wood and I wanted to give the kids an idea of how it's done. My good friend from Snoopy Girl from Eclectic Musings also rowed Lentil and wanted to do it but didn't get the chance. So she was kind enough to give me the idea of soap whittling. So here's what we came up with...

We used popsicle sticks to slowly whittle down the soap...

Sometimes we would use a plastic knife to carve out bigger chunks. Even though it's a plastic knife, I still helped my son carve it out.

The popsicle stick was perfect for smoothing out their sculptures. I have to learn to let go and let them do it themselves, but I spent an hour on each one smoothing it out. They would come back from time to time and help me out. It was very therapeutic! lol

Here's their finished sculptures! My son wanted a mushroom and my daughter a dog bone.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Who Owns The Sun?

Who Owns The Sun? is such a great book and I just found out the author of the book wrote it when she was 14 years old! I can only hope my children find a love for writing and are able to come up with their very own stories.

The subject of slavery is the main topic of the story and I was unsure how my kids would react. Surprisingly they did well learning about slavery. I gave them a general idea on how they were captured, how they were sold and treated by their owners.

We also read two other books on the topic of slavery:

Here's my book cover for our mini book scrapbook:

Benjamin chose to draw the starry night scene in the book and they learned what a simile is:

Here's my daughters drawing and we pasted a plastic sleeve for their copywork:

We also learned about simple machines such as levers, wheel and axel, pulley, wedge, screw and inclined plane. I set up a few simple machine examples to demonstrate how they work. We made a vocabulary pocket to put all the words and definitions the kids wrote.

We discussed how slavery ended and even read some books on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. My favorite was Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books. Homeschool Share has their own unit study page that has great templates on Abraham Lincoln. We printed out a few of them and added them to our mini book.

The Giraffe That Walked To Paris

Three weeks ago, we rowed "The Giraffe That Walked To Paris". I'm scrambling to post what we did for the past few weeks!

This book gave us the opportunity to learn so many new vocabulary words including "Pasha" (Egypt's high military official. This is also based on true events, which made things even more interesting for the kids. I printed out a few templates from Homeschool Share and we constructed the mini book together. In addition to reading the book, they completed these small assignments throughout the week. Here's what we came up with:

The kids wrote some vocabulary words from the book and wrote the definitions. They also practiced their writing and did some copywork from a sentence in the book:

I drew the cover

The kids wanted to draw their own giraffes and my daughter wanted to write a story under hers. My son also wrote a small sentence to practice his penmanship.

Our geography lesson was on Egypt, Mediterranean Sea, and France (Marseilles and Paris)

The kids each colored the flag of their choice

My daughter made a hand print giraffe and we all learned some interesting facts about giraffes. I wanted to take them to the zoo to see the giraffes, but the week got crazy!

I used a yard stick and applied tape to the end and measured out 11 feet. We read somewhere that a small giraffe is about 11 feet tall. I used blue tape to show how tall it would be in the house!

How To Make An Apple Pie and See The World

I finally have had the chance to catch up with my posts on my FIAR adventures with my kids. After our first week of FIAR, we continued on a wonderful journey around the world with one of my favorite books How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

The kids had a great time learning about evaporation (we conducted an experiment on salt evaporating), tasted some cinnamon from a cinnamon stick, colored flags from the countries the main character in the book visited for a geography lesson and learned about the seasons and the apple tree.
(Not pictured: minibook page with cinnamon stick attached)

Best of all, we finished the week with a small math lesson on measurement and made a delicious apple pie! I've made it several times since then. My kids are allergic to dairy, so I had to modify the recipe in the back of the book and use vegan butter. I've recently discovered Xylitol as a natural sweetener (good for the teeth too!), so instead of the 3/4 cup listed in the back of the book, I used a little less than 1/2 cup of xylitol instead of butter. If you want to make a vegan Apple Pie, omit the egg wash.

The kids also drew pictures and did some copywork from the book. Another successful and fun lesson!

I love these mini books that we've been making... not only do we showcase the kids art, but it has opened up a great creative outlet for me! I studied art and drew my entire life. Shortly after two years of college, I lost the love I had for drawing/illustration and completely dropped it. My interests changed and then I had children and never found the time to draw. It wasn't until a few weeks ago, when I started to draw the cover for our Make Way For Duckling minibook that I fell in love with drawing again. So now it's my job to draw the covers and the kids do the rest. :)

Apple Tree Facts and Vocabulary Words From Book:

All these templates can be found at Homeschool Share

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Eclectic Musings: Some homeschool Laughs!

I had to post this. My good friend Lisa from Snoopygirlmusings posted this on her blog.

Eclectic Musings: Some homeschool Laughs!:   Whoever said there isn't pressure to make a good impression even within the Homeschool community? LOL!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Make Way For Ducklings FIAR Unit Study

Last week was our first week back with our FIAR (Five In A Row) studies.

So far it was our best week with FIAR ( Five in a Row Curriculum). The kids were very much involved and have learned so much about Geography and Mallard Ducks. We decided to start our FIAR studies with the book Make Way for Ducklings.

The great things about FIAR is that I'm learning a lot of things I don't remember learning in school! Male mallard ducks are "Drakes" while females are "Hens". Although it's probably one of the most common ducks, I don't ever remember learning about them when I was in school.

Male mallards, or drakes, are more distinctively colored than females.

The female mallard, or hen, has mottled brown feathers and not as striking as the drake.

We wanted to showcase what we leaned from the FIAR lessons. We created a lapbook based on "The Clown of God", however I had no folders to make a lapbook for "Make Way For Ducklings", so I improvised. I folded a couple of sheets of thick paper and stapled them to make a book.

After reading the book, they drew and colored their own mallard ducks. I drew the cover and the came up with a few questions for the kids to answer. We pasted them into the book and tried to keep the lapbook feel throughout.

Here's some detailed pictures of what we came up with so far... I want to add more color and photos:

This book was constructed throughout the whole week... In between our lessons, we went to the zoo and Chicago Botanic Gardens to visit the mallard ducks up close in person.

On the left page, I had my son write down a few vocabulary words from the book. When you lift the flaps up, they can see the definition. Behind the flap labeled "The Duckling" are the ducklings names... the kids had to put the names in alphabetical order.

Geography lesson: Massachusetts and bordering states. The worksheets above can be found at Homeschool Share and Enchanted Learning websites.