Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer is here

Yes. Summer is here. Shown by the fact we're finished with school (Kindergarten for Ian). Also shown by the rise in temperature. So what are we doing for summer besides lazing around?
*Lots of playground time and outdoor time. Time to practice cycling and scootering!
*Make home-made bubbles
*Water play in balcony
*Going to the library
*READING! (yeah! I'm trying to come up with a list of fun books to read together, besides finishing up a few of Little House on the Prairie series)
*Drawing
*Making some crafts MAYBE (at least for the girls)
*Butterfly farm!! (yeah! They are arriving end June)
*Church Retreat
*Visit to New Hampshire, a friend's place
*Maybe visit to the city when daddy has half day Fridays off

For mommy, I have my own plans too
*Read and prepare for MFW 1st grade
*Research and plan for Exploration Days
*Research on Character Building/Bible materials
*Research and make preschooler busy bags
*Spring cleaning (almost done)
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Y-Yellow Unit




Cannot believe I actually MISSED the plan for the LAST unit. =) Didn't finish "that well". But I'm not a perfectionist, so I'm ok. =) So, here's the plan AND report for Y-Yellow. We had a BLAST. Colors are just so fun.

We did:
*Making playdoh (recipe below) in primary colors and then mixing into colors of the rainbow
*Rainbow cookies. Oh my, SO PRETTY!!! It was hard work. (recipe below) I want to make this cookie again without the colors, for the more you work on it, the harder it is. It really was. AND, I really want to try it with REAL butter one day. I'm sure it's DELICIOUS.
*Science Experiment (I found online here) It was too funny. I didn't know what to expect and don't even know if this was supposed to be the result.
*Mixing colors (food coloring)
*Mixing colors for paints (painted mouse paint. Wksheet here
*Flower color mini book (well, I made it mini)
*Crayons sight words coloring
*Color by numbers (here, under "Y")
*If you like more color by numbers, go here
*Color collage from magazine
*hunt for colors when we were at the playground

Booklist
My World of Colors
Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you see
All things bright and beautiful
Blue Hat Green Hat

Bible
The heavens belong to you.
The earth is yours also.
You made the world and everything that is in it
Ps 89:11

Sang "神啊我要讚美你"

WE ARE DONE!!!!!!!

Recipe for playdoh (this recipe can last you for 9 mths to 1 year)
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
4 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 cup salt
2 tablespoons oil

Stir over medium heat until the dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the pot.

Recipe for cookies (sables)
1.25 cup powdered sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla
1 medium egg yolk
1 cup plus 2 tab salted butter diced (room temp)
2.5 cups all purpose flour

Put sugar, vanilla, egg yolk and butter in a bowl and mix quickly with your fingers or spoon.

Add flour and mix to firm dough, working as fast as possible. Wrap and chill for 1 hr or up to 1 week

Bake at 400 deg for 14 mins

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Q-Quail

I realized I just didn't take much of Q-Quail unit! Also we didn't do much more than the curriculum, but we did go in depth of the bible story and learning to not grumble and be content!

This is especially so because we had a WHOLE week of gloomy skies, grey and rainy.

But Day 6 finally we had some sun and I decided to give the kids a surprise to the park. They LOVED it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Q-Quail Plan

My son, when thinking about the Q unit, said "Queens!" (where we live) ha.

Here is our plan:
*Reading in depth the story of the complaning Israelites
*Color quails
*Bible Memory in progression (like X-Fox)
*Object lesson on the oil on feathers

Booklist
Don't fidget a feather
Feathers for lunch
Yertle the turtle and other stories
The biggest house in the world
Count their blessings (Berenstain Bears)

Bible
Do everything without complaining or arguing (Philippians 2:14)

Homeschool Group

Thu I went to a Mom's Night (dinner) at the homeschool group I was newly aquianted with. It gave me A LOT of thoughts. I had to say, we had been praying for a long time for a group. It seems that it's mighty hard here in Queens, NYC. And when I found this group, it felt like God answered my prayers.

Last time I went (for the first time), they were doing a Passover Seder, which was wonderful for me (cos I've never seen one done, and the Messianic Rabbi was amazing) but it was not exactly what I thought a group does (I was more thinking of "support" groups). But something happened that night that made me think about God's "leading". I wrote that experience in my personal blog and here it is:
* * * * * *
Last week I got to know a homeschool group by chance. And they happened to meet near our place (20 mins drive) and they were going to meet the day I found them! ha. We were looking for a group for a while, though we have not really known what we're needing the group for. It seems that the home is enough (Clarkson) for our kids.

anyhows I went and the meeting that night was a Messianic Jewish Rabbi who was teaching on Passover, and giving the entire Passover Seder. It was very interesting in my view and I learnt a lot and this Rabbi was very genuinely passionate about Christ! His attitude inspired me.

I had a little adventure finding that place and the neighborhood didn't feel too safe to me (maybe it's just me). And on the way I prayed that God will arrange the conversations for me in this group for I had no idea what to expect.

The lady sitting beside me turned to me and asked "Do you homeschool long?"
Me: No, I just started. My oldest is 5.
Lady: How many do you have?
Me: I have 3. 1,3 and 5.
Lady: Do you homeschool all of them?
Me (puzzled): er...the other 2 are still small
Lady: Why do you homeschool?
Oh my. I was taken aback. I thought I was at a homeschool support group. I didn't expect to answer such a que...

Anyhows, later I found that she homeschools one of her two kids, the nine-year-old because she's "slow" and no school can take her. With a super sad and resigned face, she said "What can I do? I have no choice but to stay home and teach her"OH MY. This REALLY hit me HARD. SO, this was the divine conversation I was to have. THANK YOU GOD that You gave me joy and a purpose to homeschool! I cannot imagine homeschooling with such a heart, it must have been so burdensome.

On my way back, I prayed for the lady. She needs much.
* * * * * *

This time, I was happy for a chance to meet up with other moms and actually talk.

 The 1st mom I met have 5 kids (how lovely) her youngest the age of my oldest. She is teaching in public school (huh?) Then I realized her older three schools at home (via an internet curriculum) and her younger two attends the school she teaches. I don't know how she does it and why she had to (there must be a reason cos she kept saying "I really didn't think the environment is good") But all the time she said "it's tough"

The 2nd mom I met (a Chinese mom) has a 14 year old piano protege. He studies in Julliard, goes around everywhere for performances and competitions. Because of that the private school he was in was not able to accommodate his many "leaves" and she pulls him out, quit her job of a Math teacher and homeschools him (on the road). She was very envious of the 1st mom. Her eldest go to Stonybrook and she said with much much regret, "Yale is too expensive"

The 3rd mom has 3 kids, the 2nd has autism. She doesn't cook at all. Her eldest go travelling around the world with grandma when she can.

The conversations around the table at night revolves around what colleges to go to (plus a couple of stories of the genius' mom stating the importance of not "letting talent go to waste") because one of the mom's daughter is going this Fall, the importance of not having the kids being vaccinated too early, and other stuff. None being homeschool stuff.

The only time redeemed was when the 3rd mom turned to me and asks if I like homeschooling. "Yes!" I smiled brightly. And she asked me why. And then she said "The kids are so precious, I cannot imagine why I wouldn't spend my time with them raising them and let others do that." I was encouraged.

Anyhows, I felt...really confused at the end of the night. I felt like...maybe I overidealized homeschoolers. I was looking for homeschool moms who are energized, joyful and purposed. Who raise kids to love God more than academics, to love learning more than books and to live life more than the world. I know I'm silly. Of course, we're going to be discouraged at times, but how about overall? I didn't expect to hear moms who "HAVE TO" homeschool, or focus on generating the next generations of Havard-ers, Yale-rs or ...

Hmm...a lot for me to think about.

Friday, May 13, 2011

V- Vegetable


V-Vegetable got us really thinking about how much vegetable we eat and we attempted to eat more this week. We even made vegetable soup together (the kids helped me cut)

Here are what we did besides vegetable soup
*planted carrots (success!)
*Planted beans (sprouting today)

*Planted cilantro (got those little kits from Target for $1)
*Did vegetable printing and used them as wrapping paper for Mothers' Day present for Grandma
*Learnt about the food pyramid
*Read wonderful books
*Watched some really cute videos of vegetable and gardens from Sesame Street

Thursday, May 5, 2011

V-Vegetable Plan

V-Vegetable Unit is great for us for our kids really need some "push" in eating vegetables! (though I recently found the magic Spinach...it's versatile and doesn't have a strong taste, so I can put in many dishes and the kids will gladly eat it).

Here is our plan:
*Teach about the food pyramid, emphasizing on Vegetables (they are GREAT in grains, fruits and dairy). Wonderful resources, posters, games, worksheets here
* from the site I printed off a "fruit and vegetable diary" and plan to do a charting at the end of the unit
*Vegetable printing (using okra, potato, carrots or other veg)
*We happen to have nice vegetable posters and reusable stickers that I put on the windows
*Vv tracing for the preschooler
*GREAT WONDERFUL Vegetable/garden videos on Sesame Street. Games too!
*Make Vegetable Soup
*Sprout carrots/beans

Booklist
The ugly vegetable
How Groundhog's garden grew
Food for Thought
Rabbit Food
Mrs Spitzer's garden
The tale of Peter Rabbit
In the garden
Growing Vegetable Soup
Vegetable Soup

Bible:
You make grass grow for the cattle
and plants for people to take care of.

That's how they get food from the earth
Psalms 104:14

X-Fox Unit

We didn't have a lot of activities for X-FoX, but I'm very glad that Ian managed to memorize the verse, including the spelling by the last day. (we did a progressive filling in the blanks)

We baked gingerbread man(without ginger cos the kids didn't like the taste) and had so much fun reading "Fox in Socks".

Ian also found that the new word "enemies" turn up in many instances (in worship songs, in bible reading...)

Nowadays I give him Math sums that he needed practice in in his little note book.I think this give him practice at his pace and also in his context.

We also found a REALLY funny (and amazing) pbs short clip video of the fox hunting in the snow. He (and his siblings) loved it!