Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I-Insect Part 2

Making the ant craft, I realized to kill some time for the preschooler, we did a sorting of eyes according size with her.
We enjoyed the Little Red Hen story and used pictures to tell it. We found a Little Red Hen video too.
The last picture happened this morning. I put out the books and was getting ready to read with them and then went to give my baby a feeding. When I came back, I saw this scene. It's a wonderful thing to see kids reading (even if they can't exactly read). I think MFW gives us a good variety of good literature to enjoy.
 I benefitted a lot mainly from the forum on the website.
Ian fell in love with Frog and Toad story. He can actually memorize it. And he likes to write lists like Toad. And he wrote thousands of them (it seems like). He kept practicing and practicing. He can actually write them by heart and not copy (like in the beginning). It's funny how interest can really spur on learning!

I-Insect Part 1 Anthill

The favorite of this unit of course. The Anthill. We were really surprised by how much we learnt! And though I'm REALLY squeamish about anything that moves that isn't human, I'm real glad we did this. It was fun!!

We also did a lapbook which I only found 3 days into the unit. Found the materials here

We like the books, but I don't think they're great. The kids like the Roly Poly Spider and What a pair most. I can't tell why. Esp Roly Poly Spider. I don't think it's much content. Seems like the round spider is real cute. 
We added Harold and the purple crayon (the giant garden) into the books, cos it's about bugs and ants!

G-Goat Plan

I like the theme for this week, but felt that not enough is done to reinforce the important idea that "Jesus died for my sins".

Here're the activities we'll do:
*Go through the gospel using the Wordless Book again. I've explained the gospel to Ian in the past year and he understood perfectly and knows he believes and that Jesus is in him.
*Using puppets from here for the Old MacDonald Song
*Match adult and child animal from here
*Make farm animals/babies book from here and here
*other nice worksheets I found are: prepositions (farm animals) and Animal Sounds
*for the preschooler, we received a Mary Had a Little Lamb book and puzzle for Christmas and we'll do that with her.
*let the child write his/her sins on a paper and then cover them with a cut out cross

Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier
G is for Goat and
Oh, Look! by Patricia Polacco
Gordon in Charge by Jill Newton
Bill Grogan's Goat, adapted by Mary Ann Hoberman
Life on a Goat Farm by Judy Wolfman
All About Farm Animals by Brenda Cook
The year at Maple Hill Farm

Monday, December 20, 2010

I-Insect Plan

Here's to hoping we get a better week for I-Insect!
Our plan:
*Anthill (I've prepared the anthill, but the ants haven't arrived! And yes, I still CAN'T believe I paid to get ants)
*Ant craft using paper egg cartons
*Observation log using ideas here
*ladybug game
*ladybug craft (still looking)
*ladybug snack
use half an apple, dots of peanut butter and put raisins on them. I think it'll be great!
*some more ladybug preschooler ideas here
*Ladybug math game (I like this but may not have time for it)
*Honey snack (still thinking)
*Bee craft?
*Matching bee and flower color folder game
*Berenstain bear Honey Hunt board game (Activities)
*Grasshopper and Ant video
*Read Little Red Hen story here

W-Water Unit

With 3 kids, and me and hubby sick for most of the past 2 weeks and the youngest one with ear infection, allergy to meds etc...I'm grateful we even got school done at all! But we did, but we toned down and did a lot less activities. 

 Here are the ones we did:
*colored and read about the woman at the well 
*We checked out the different states of water 
*did water cycle using the evaporation, condensation... 
*did the rising ice experiment *did the rain in the jar experiment (failed
) *read some books. We didn't have really good ones this week
 *cut some snowflakes 
*drank lots of water So. Here's to some mundane weeks of homeschooling. =)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

O-Octopus Unit

Our fav for this unit were the books and the lunch! I don't think I had a unit that I loved every book! The kids' favorite must have been Tickly Octopus and It's a good thing you're not an octopus. They really are great reads!
For the lunch, here're the ingredients: Octopus: hot dog, sunflower seeds Starfish: cheese sandwich, cheerios Crab: Persimmon, raisins Seaweed, goldfish

Other things we did:
*Mural, using hands and fist for octopus
*Acting out Rainbow Fish
*Some nice worksheets
*Retelling stories

And we found a great video for Swimmy. In Mandarin! Ian LOVED it!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

W-Water Unit Plan

Here's the plan for W-Water unit. My biggest challenge would be how to explain living water to the spirit to a 5 year old. hmm.
 Here are my planned activities:
Water as Liquid 
-Read Helen Frost's Water as Liquid 
-putting liquid in different containers, showing that liquid conforms to containers 
-guess which container has more water 
-Make chart for liquid/solid/gas 

Water as Solid 
-Read Helen Frost's
Water as Solid
-Make paper snowflakes 
-Rising Ice experiment

Water as Gas 
-Read Helen Frost's Water as Gas and Water Cycle 
-Water cycle explanation and showing (ideas from here
-Rain in a jar experiment 

 Other activities 
-Soap-powered boat experiment
-Snack ideas: popsicles?
-Telling the story of Woman at the Well (and coloring) for day 1

Booklist (besides Helen Frost's)
Let's Try It Out in the Water by Semour Simon and Nicole Fauteux 
I get Wet Vicki Cobb
Make Way for the ducklings 

 But I get a feeling the HF's books are all I'm getting...Recently the library has been very slow in processing my requests.
Bible Verse:
John 7:37-38
Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

O-Octopus Plan

O-Octopus. not my favorite animal. =) But we get learn about other sea animals too! 

Here's my plan!
* Read Rainbow Fish and act out story using the props here
* Read House for Hermit Crab and act out story using the props here
* Make a under the sea mural
* Color sea in Black and White World Map
* Nice worksheets here and here
* Make hot dog octopus snack (cut the hot dog into 8 slits (on the bottom half and boil, they curl!)
* Think of a way to do some serious praising the Lord! =)

The booklist
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
Herman the Helper - Robert Kraus
How to Hide an Octopus - Ruth Heller (about animal camoflauge)
Good Thing You're Not an Octopus! by Julie Markes (fiction)
Hide and Seek Underwater Life by Valerie Davies (nonfiction)
Tickly Octopus by Ruth Galloway
IS this a house for hermit crab?, megan mcdonald 
Swimmy Leo lionni

D-Dinosaur Unit Part 3

D-Dinosaur Unit Part 2

D-Dinosaur Unit Part 1

The books we read. We enjoyed the Berenstain Bears one and Danny and the Dinosaur most.
We did the D-Dinosaur unit over Thanksgiving, so it took a long time as we took a break for that. As I said in the plan. What I was surprised about was how much my faith grew just by reading the article by Ken Ham.
Here are what we did:
*Dino-rama using the dinos from download -a-dinosaur
*dino drawings (I was very surprised by Ian who did a really good job!)
*dino play-doh. AHHH...he's not that good in this one. =)
*Made a story of "Ian and the Dinosaur" (from Danny and the Dinosaur) I thought he did a great job on this! (a Charlotte Mason-y kind of thing I think)
*made dinosaur book (I didn't put this in the plan but I like it very much! In fact I like the graphics by Kizclub a lot! Clean and nice) *match dinosaurs from here
*made a dino craft from "D"
I surprised the kids by making the dinosaur lunch (using Tyson's Nuggets). and in turn my boy surprised me by how he has gorwn in coloring and recognizing of words!
We also started the Jesse Tree as part of Advent. In short, Jesse Tree is a way to prepare our hearts for Christmas as we review God's plan for the World from Creation to Birth of Jesus (through his ancestors).
And Jesse Tree comes from the verse Is 11:12 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (meaning Jesus)
Get the info on Jesse Tree here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

D-Dinosaur Plan

Every unit excites me in different ways (granted. 

There are some units, that I just do. Not that much stuff). Some units, I LOVE the fact there are great crafts or fun activities. Others (like the last) I love the hands on. This unit, I am stretched in my spiritual learning. Because I never cared about the dinosaur. I AM A GAL! I never cared when they lived, if they still lived, and how that contradicts (or not) with the bible. I shrug it off with "God knows and I don't" But here comes a time when I'm confronted with it and I got to teach it to my kids and I better learn it. And boy, learn it I did and how grateful I am! Just by reading this AMAZING article by Ken Ham who made the whole dinosaur thing SOOO easy to understand, my faith grew a notch! Can you believe it! My God is awesome! His Word is true! Do yourself a favor and read it.

Anyhows, here's the unit plan (besides the usual Language drills)
  1. Teach about the dinosaurs well. I didn't have the Ken Ham book (I wish I did) but here're seven easy points I gleaned from the article that I'm going to teach my kids. *Dinosaurs were created on Day and they started out eating plants
  *Dinosaurs lived with men
  *Not all dinosaurs are big
*Dinosaurs went into Noah's Ark too
*After the Flood, they slowly died
*We don't know exactly how they look like
  *They may not be totally extinct

2. Clothes Pin Stegosaurus craft
  3. Hatchable Dino Egg
  4. Dinosaur Diorama using Dino here


How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? Jane Yolen and Mark Teague Dinosaurumpus! Tony Mitton A Trio of Triceratops Bernard Most
Dinosaurs Big and Small by Kathleen Zoehfeld
And if we have time we might make some dino snacks.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Us Unit Part 2

The drawing blindfolded game struck Ian cos he draws like a thousand trains everyday. And yet he was not able to draw it well when blindfolded.
He loves the food pyramid and started drawing his own.
The Ice Cream math game was appropriate for Taste Day.
 I added the Number words to it, cos he has finished learning the words.

I like it that we learnt at the end of the 6 days how wonderful we were made! It really reinforced that well

Us Unit Part 1

I really like the different easy experiments in this unit. But the kids got a little wary of me by the "Taste" day cos they have smelt some really smelly stuff and now they're tasting things like vinegar (AGAIN??!!!) haha.
They really like Tactile Pudding Letters. For obvious reasons. And we REALLY liket The Eye Book and the Ear Book. 
So cute! And oh! I forgot! There's a Sesame Street Ernie/Elmo Song that HAS to be heard in this unit. So appropriate and great!

Friday, November 12, 2010

U-Us Plan

This is a week I'm glad we have 6 days for the unit! It's a really fun unit with lots of hands on and Science stuff. We're doing less worksheets for this unit.

Here's our booklist
The shape of me 
The ear book Eyes, nose, fingers and toes : a first book all about you 
The eye book Super senses 
Here are my hands 
The luckiest one of all 
Super Senses has all the fun experiments. I wish we had more Christian books cos this is a great topic to talk about God creating us. Also, I realized There is the Nose Book too! (I didn't reserve it). 
And we read this one (Hands Hands Fingers Thumb) before and we LOVE it! (didn't borrow it this time)
We also have a set of books on the body by Scholastic (a gift from a friend) that I thought is pretty good.

And here's the plan:
TOUCH (Day 1)
  What's in the bag (Feel an object and guess) 
Ice/warm water experiment (from Super Senses) 
Picture cards page 
Tactile Letter (Write alphabet on pudding)

SOUND (Day 2)
  Blend Ladder Pt 1 
Short vowel song 
Blindfold and guess sound 
Eardrum experiment (From Super Senses) 
Read and discuss Prov 20:12 
Ear animation
Find sounds
List of sounds we hear the whole day

SMELL (Day 3)
  Letter sound Handwriting
Sound Discrimination
Math Sight Word 
Smell things and guess the object 

SIGHT (Day 4)
  Blend Ladder Pt 2 
Blend Ladder Page 
Word List page 
Memory Game (put ABC cards, child look away, take away/change cards and see if child remembers the order)
Memory Game (put objects, child look away, take away/change object and see if child remembers the order)
Blindfold and draw train 
Flag experiment
2 eyes
Memorize and discuss Prov 20:12

TASTE (Day 5)
  Short Vowel Song 
Drawing page
 Taste bud experiment (Super Senses)
 Food groups teaching

Do the extra worksheets that haven't been done

Thursday, November 11, 2010

T-Turtle Unit Part 2

Some extra things I thought interesting to share.
1. Extra books We found these Little House on the Prairie books that we like in the library! They are a nice find.
2.One morning I had to put the youngest baby down for nap. So I asked the brother and the sister to do the morning board on their own since they have been doing it for a while already. They were drawing and playing then. It was a real surprise to hear the brother say (after some minutes that I was in) "Come, Colleen, let's do school" and they did up the morning board all by themselves! so proud of them. (besides the mistake of "4+1" they did a great job!)
3.Our dear boy turned 5 today. It was soooo wonderful to have him in our lives and he is the pride and joy of his parents!
4. So a review on this "Pretend and Play Snack Shop" toy we bought him. It is WONDERFUL!!! You really get to learn A LOT of things!! (and our boy REALLY likes to open a "shop") Math, social skills (asking what they want etc). My boy even learn to be a great businessman (throwing in freebies, striking up a conversation with the "customer" etc). The real money value is complicating to them, so we stick to "number" of dollars and it's just number of coins. 

We had problems with the phonetic sound of "a". Not sure how an "ah" sound can turn into "e"pple. Still we perservered and practiced with starfall. Still figuring it out.

T-Turtle Unit Part 1

The most interesting of this unit turned out to be the Tortoise and the Hare story. We read it many times. We dramatized it and the kids ADORED it. It was super funny when E (my 11mth-old) crawled along and became the small turtle. We did a retelling of the story and I put up the verbatim version of Ian's retelling. In his broken English. Very funny.

Besides the normal drill, we
*Learnt about the turtles online
*made a turtle art (which was wrong before, cos I put the front legs as back legs, but we rectified it)
*did some prewriting practice and also the turtle puzzle and the turtle color match
*put up a piece of paper that said "Ian, you perservered" and "Colleen, you perservered" and everytime I seeing them doing so, I write it down. This unit we were quite intentional about putting that character trait to practice.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

N-Nest Unit Part 2

N-Nest Unit Part 1

We enjoyed a couple of fun things in the Nest Unit 
 *We used the Nest counting cards to do Math at different level. C counted the eggs and put them in order (more or less). I played addition with Ian using the cards and he found them real fun. 
 *We ate Bird's Nest. Go wiki it if you don't know what it is...you might be grossed out though. BUT! It's a VERY expensive snack (a gift from my mom) and a valuable high-value tonic for the Chinese.
 *We enjoyed the Mickey Mouse Sticker Book given by a friend. It's very colorful, fun and can be used for different levels too! I like the reusability of the stickers as well.
 * We used the alphabets and spelt words.
 *I think our favorite books were Best Nest and Baby Bird' First Nest.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

T-Turtle Plan

2 more days for N-Nest and here's our plan for T-Turtle
Besides the normal drill for MFW, we have these supplements:
*Some interesting facts/videos/photos here (leatherback turtle) and here (loggerhead turtle)
*Watch animated Tortoise and the Hare Aesop's Fable here
*Make a turtle paper plate craft or bowl craft
*Make a wristband craft here
*Do a turtle puzzle, patterns, prewrting skill(for preschooler) turtle color match all from here
Our booklist
The Race (Caroline Repchuk)
Most of our books still in reserved...hopefully some will be here soon!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

N-Nest Plan

This is our plan for the N-Nest unit. 

Best Nest (PD Eastman)
A first book about animal homes (Nicola Tuxworth)
A nest full of eggs
My first books on animal homes (Eric Carle)
Animal Homes (Usborne)
A House is a house for me Baby Bird's first nest (Frank Asch) - I like this guy 
Silly Little Goose
Are you my mother? 
Grasshopper on the road (a new home) from the apple unit is great here too 

 Other supplements:
Good information on animals' home online here 
Matching animals to home cards 
Online Animal home game 
Nests videos
Nice easy tree/nest craft 
Try this nest snack recipe 

Other great preschooler number match or games here 

 Bible Verse: Ps 90:1 Lord, through all generations You have been our home

Apple Unit Part 3

There were other books I reserved from the library that didn't come in time for the unit (so now I reserve them 2 units in advance) I LOVE the reserving system in the library though. I didn't need to spend a cent! These books were wonderful. We like the Johnny Apple seed book on the bottom and ten apples up on top and "apples apples apples" most.
We didn't have space to put up every worksheet he did.

Apple Unit Part 2

These are the other supplementary activites we did on top of the usual "drills" of MFW. My son doesn't seem to mind the drills, I think he find the routine comforting...he knows what to do with those worksheets. Apple Tree Seasons was a fun craft and we do like Ten Apples up on top!

Apple Unit Part 1

We had a lot of fun for this unit, even though we were in the midst of a big house move while doing the unit. I'm so glad I prepared the unit during my vacation BEFORE the move or else we would have had a really bad time.

Apple tasting was the BEST event. The kids LOVED it!

Johnny Appleseed and learning about him was another hit. They LOVED the disney's Johnny Appleseed movie (found on youtube)

and of course, we had to bake our favorite Apple Crumble (and shared some with our new neighbors)

Friday, October 8, 2010

L-Leaf Unit part 2

L-Leaf Unit part 1

Because: 1) we weren't planning on doing the unit yet we did 2) my color printer went out of color (then I realized it didn't) 3) it rained and rained and rained 4) we're sort of on vacation...

The L-Leaf unit was less activities.

We did (besides the drill work of MFW)
*Leaf sorting (I drew, cut and laminate the "leaves" myself). Nope. Big Gal didn't like it
*Picked a leaf from a plant and discussed it. But you can see...after 2 weeks this leaf is RESILIENT! haha. But we did have a discussion after the tornado/microburst that hit NYC, to see the dea branches on the road about staying in Jesus. Now here's when a child gets really good. He asked me "but leaves that stay on the tree also die (referring to fall)". hmm...
*picked leaves (FINALLY!!!) I intend to laminate and make into placemat
*Talked about parts of leaves
*Played some board games
*did the chicka book (I love it!)
*made a mini L book 

The kids' favorite book for this unit: Caps for Sale!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A-Apple Unit Plan

We're still on vacation and not quite done with L-Leaf unit. Cos it had been raining and raining and raining and we can't get any leaf outside!! I still hope to find some real leaves and make some simple art to finish the unit.
But, I've been planning for the A-Apple unit and I was so excited at the things I found!! Man! We could possibly use TWO weeks for this unit! So much fun stuff to do! But we'll be moving and start the unit possibly at our new place, so it can get pretty crazy.

Anyhows here's the plan for all the supplementary activities
Johnny Appleseed Lapbook (we're using some components only) (find it at homeschoolshare)
Johnny Appleseed movie (old Disney movie that you can find on youtube)
Apple Tree in different seasons craft
Ten Apples on Top activity (great for preschooler)
Many folder games for the K'ner and preschooler:
Apple Matching game
Worms in my apple counting game

Fun worksheets/activities
Apple magnet page or mosiac
Apple Patterning Dot to Dot
Some counting page or other activities here
We might do some apple cooking
Apple Crumble (we LOVE this recipe)
Pioneer Woman's Apple Brown Betty

And I've already reserved these books from the library
Johnny Appleseed - A poem
Johnny Appleseed (Gini Holland)
Johnny Appleseed (Steven Kellogg)
Ten Apples up on top
The seasons of Arnold's apple tree
How to make an apple pie and see the world
Apples Apples Apples
A tree is a plant
The apple pie tree
Grasshopper on the road

There were other books recommended by others but I can't find them in the library I thought this one might be interesting 3-in-1 a picture of God I can't wait to do A-Apple!! =)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MFW materials organization

Here is how we organize our MFW materials. I leave them in the box they come in. I plan for all the activities on my computer (I'm trying hard to reduce clutter)

Then when I prep for next day's activities, I take them out and put in the workboxes (yes we do use the workbox method...but...read on)

After we're done with the activities, I put them up on the school board (a large poster board). I like it that we can look at the things throughout the 6 days.

After the unit is done, I take them down and staple them into a file folder. (But my hubby has been telling me a 3-ring binder might be a better idea...I think so too...in the end I did use the 3-ring binder). I also take photos of every thing. After the K year is over, I might take them out and let Ian look through for fun sake and off they go to recycle. We don't have much space for storage.

Now, about workboxes. I REALLY love the idea. Until I buy the separating hanging folders, I'm using this method now. I put everything in "process" (things to be laminated, to be cut, to be prepped etc) in a big file box (we got this from Spore). And then when I prep for next day's lesson, I pull out worksheets (from the MFW box, or from this box etc) and put in a smaller file box. The next day I just take this out and use as needed. It works for us!

*edited 8/6/2011*
We didn't use the workbox at all for the year. We used the very nice form a lady put up on yahoogroup. And I pulled out the sheets into the binder box (for the week) with other supplements I have. And everyday I simply pull out the sheets to use.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

L-Leaf Unit Plan

After some discussion, we decided to finish up L-Leaf unit for this week and then take a 2 week break instead of 3. It should be doable, since we're only going to go out of town next Sat.

So, here's our plan for L-Leaf week!
*Pick up leaves in our area *Leaves placement (using laminating method)
*leaf rubbings
*Draw trees and parts
*Make maple leaf cookies or simply leaf cookies Supplementary activities
*Leaf sorting game (I'll show it when I finish)
*Words Match for "I will live and grow in Jesus" Language/Math supplementary
*Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Magnet game (Read the book [a GREAT one, btw] and let the kids put up the alphabets on tree) I got the drawing here
*Math numbers sight words (I got the download here)
*L dot to dot
*Tracing worksheets (for preschooler) We already got a great resource from International Paper (free posters) and also an online resource for the trees in NYC.

Here's our booklist. 
Why do leaves change colors
Leaf Man
Look what I did with a leaf
Leaves! Leaves! Leaves!
Be a friend to trees
Leaf jumpers
Caps for sale
a tree is nice
How leaves change (a bit too much info for K)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Having a break!

We'll be having a break from school for 3 weeks. HOW DIVINE. Actually I think we might miss school. But important people are coming from the other side of the globe. A very good reason to rest. We'll probably still do a lot of reading and very school stuff, just not the planned units...So, leaf unit in mid Oct!
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M-Moon Unit - 5

I did most the lapbook myself, but the kids colored, or stick or played.

I told the story of Goldilocks while doing the bear cards, they LOVE it!

The Goodnight cards are quite fun too, pick out the things that were said "good night" to.

You can see I try to cut down ink by not printing the cover in color...and I have to say I'm practicing my coloring too!! =)