Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Morning Musings...

Can you believe that its February 28th already?  Where on earth did the time go???  I feel like just yesterday it was Christmas.  This week will be interesting for us because I've now got two more sick kids.  We have doctors appointments this afternoon to confirm whether or not Ryan shared his strep throat with them.  We're also getting close to the end of practices for the play the kids are in.  Its called The Fabulous Fable Factory.  Two weeks until showtime! 

This week we'll be continuing our study of chemistry using Gravitas Publications.  We're also working really hard on multiplication memorization this week.  Just hoping and praying everyone stays well enough to keep us on track.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Week in Review - Sick Kids & Fun with Atoms!

This week has been a crazy one at our house.  Poor Ryan got sick over the weekend and had to wait until Tuesday to get in to see the doctor.  I thought he had a nasty cold, but it turns out he has strep throat and a double ear infection too.  Fun times!  Now we're just hoping he keeps it to himself and spares the other two.

I'm trying something a bit different for science this know me, I'm always looking for something fun and exciting to do. Well, we are trying out Real Science 4 Kids from Gravitas Publications.  I'm impressed so far and the kids seem to really enjoy it.  I can totally see my kids picking up the text and reading it on their own just for fun.  Friday we did an experiment on atoms and molecules.  The kids used marshmallows to make molecules following the rules given on the lab sheets.  What started out as a fun way to learn about how molecules always follow the rules quickly turned into something completely different.  What can I say, when you give kids toothpicks and two sizes of marshmallows, you're bound to have some fun, right?

Ryan made some sort of really cool molecule with lots of connections.  He said it looked like a snowflake.  What do you think?

Adam did a better job of following the rules.  Haley on the other hand had a great time making molecule giraffes.  Here she's working on the baby giraffe.  See the mommy giraffe in the front?

Who knew that chemistry could be so much fun.  First you read something, discuss it, then you do a fun lab.  They were supposed to draw pictures of their "molecule creations" for their science notebooks, but they ended up eating them before they drew them.  This series of Science books is such fun!  I highly recommend trying it out.  There are 3 levels, and each level includes the text, teachers guide and lab book.  Each level includes biology, chemistry and physics.  You can sample all of the products online, and most everything is available as an instant download.  Gotta love that!  If you'd rather have a hard copy you can go that route too.  Their prices are very reasonable.

I think the funniest thing about learning about atoms was Adam laughing over his name sounding the same.  He kept saying "I'm Adam and I'm made from atoms."  Too funny!  Hope all of you had a great week as well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Its Girl Scout cookie time again!

I have to say, my favorite things about Haley being in Girl Scouts is the convenience of ordering cookies. What's your favorite cookie? Mine is thin mints, but my kids LOVE the tag a longs. Those are seriously yummy too. What is it about these cookies that makes them so good????

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week in Review - Valentine's Skating Party!

This week was a fun week for us, one which my kids always look forward to.  Our homeschool group had our annual Valentine's skating party at a local skating rink.  Even though the boys don't really skate, they enjoy seeing all their friends and running around the rink.  Haley did much better this year and actually kept her skates on the entire time.

Of course, she still fell down a lot, but she's willing to get up and keep trying.  Maybe by next year she'll be a pro!  We had a huge turnout which made it a fun time for all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to my hubby!

Yep, my wonderful hubby is turning 42 today. I always have a good time with him when he has a birthday. Now he's older than me!!! Poor guy has to spend his day working, then he has play practice tonight. So, we won't be seeing him until late today.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Week in Review - Groundhog Day Fun!

This year we decided to do something fun for Groundhog Day.  Instead of the usual boring groundhog stuff, we made a lapbook.  We started on Monday and spent a good part of our afternoon printing out and assembling our lapbooks.  On Tuesday we watched Puxatony Phil give his annual prediction and used that information to complete an activity in our lapbooks.  Yes, it was messy...3 young kids with many pages to be cut, colored, and pasted equals a big mess no matter how hard you try.  But, I think it was well worth it in that we have a really cool lapbook to refer back to to keep everything we learned fresh in our minds.  Here they are hard at work...

Since the boys have trouble spelling some of the longer words, and just don't have the ability to write out the long definitions and wording required for some of the activities, I used a writing program called StartWrite to type out copywork pages for them to complete which could then be added to the lapbooks.  

Do you want to hear the best part about the whole groundhog lapbook project?  It was free!  Unless you count all of the paper and ink we used that is.  All of the wonderful pieces that make up this really cool, well done lapbook may be found here.

If you haven't tried lapbooking before, I highly recommend it.  My kids really seem to enjoy taking a break for traditional learning and doing something different.  Lapbooking not only provides "something different" to do, but it them something tangible that they can see and hold.  These are so much fun to refer back to months or even years later.