Sunday, September 19, 2010

Temporary Blog Break

We have been homeschooling six days a week for the past eight weeks and we are ready for a break!  We will be taking our first scheduled school break for the next two and a half weeks and I will be taking at least two weeks off from blogging. 

Arin has worked really hard with her school work and is coming a long ways.  When we first started schooling in July (on her 4th birthday), she did not want to do her work everyday, now she asks to do school as soon as she wakes up.  She has completed her math book (looking into our next options in this subject), she has completed her Lollipop Logic book as well.  She is now doing her Explode the Code with very little whining, which is a change as she was having a meltdown everytime I'd pull out the book.  Even with her being more cooperative with that workbook, I just don't think it's really the right fit for her.  She seems to be going through the motions more than actually grasping the concepts.  Anyone have any advice on a good math and phonics program for a kindergartener?  We also have Hooked on Phonics which we will be using more frequently after our break.  Arin has been reading and writing more on her own, not all the time or anything, but she is only four :)

I have seen Arin maturing in the past eight weeks.  She is remembering her manners with very little reminder.  She has also taken over "mommying" her sister.  She wants to put her bed at naptime, brush her teeth, change diapers, encourage her, read to her, etc.  They also spend many hours a day coloring together and playing babies, which are the  two favorites at the moment.  It's very sweet to see their relationship develop more and more each day. 

Ella has been growing up as well.  As of a month or so ago, she no longer takes a pacifier.  We had actually taken it away from her this spring, but after a few weeks, she found a hidden pacifier or two around the house and since I was weaning her from nursing at the time, I let her keep the pacifier for comfort.  Yeah, I realize that might have been a bit of laziness on my part (ahem).

Ella is also potty training now.  We bought her a floor potty last week and she is doing fantastic!  So far, she is about a million times easier to potty train than Arin was.  If we are home Ella wears panties most of the day (except naps, night, and when she decides to run around bottomless, which is pretty often).

We are looking forward to our break during which time we will be spending lots of time with our family and friends.  I will start posting highlights from our time off in a couple of weeks and then I will resume with school work posts the following week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

F is for Frogs

Arin wanted to learn about frogs for Ff week, so we made a lapbook.  To make this lapbook, I taped three pieces of cardstock together. The materials for the lapbook came from a few different places (mostly from here and here).  Activities included in the lapbook were a frog dot-to-dot, frog mini book, life cycle of the frog cards, frog questions, frog that eats bugs, -og words, Five Little Tadpoles song which had clipart frogs and tadpoles (I velcroed these to the folder so that Arin could use them while we were singing the song.  She loved this song), a frog craft, sight words (used the front part of this book and wrote Arin's sight words on the inside pages), and a frog maze.

In addition to the lapbook, the girls also did the following activities:

Both of the girls also made frog lacing cards, which can be found here.

Arin started learning how to count by 5's by using these cards.  I put the same numbers on clothes pins.  Arin matched them to the cards.  Then we practiced saying the numbers in order.

We put these frog life cycle cards in the lapbook.  They came from here.

Ella played a color matching frog game, which was found here.  This was a bit advanced for her, but too easy for Arin.

I made a frog color matching game for Ella which she liked much better.  I simply cut lilly pad shapes out of different colors of cardstock.  Ella then matched our plastic frogs to each lilly pad.

Arin and I played a game called Splat the Frog (found here).  She loved this game.  It kept her giggling the whole time we played!  We divided the cards between us, then each flipped a card over at the same time (like you would if you were playing War).  We kept flipping cards over until a frog was turned face-up.  The first person to slap the frog card got to keep all the cards.  The person with all of the cards at the end of the game was the winner.

We also read several frog books (mostly fiction).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I've been reading the story of Jonah to the girls.  We've read the story out of many of their bible story books as well as some Jonah books that we checked out from the library.  The girls also watched the Veggie Tales movie of Jonah.  You can watch the full movie here.

We played two Jonah games (Arin won them both!).  The first was called Jonah's Whale of a Tale, which can be found here.

The second game was called Jonah in the Whale and it can be found here.  This game came with several trivia cards that I also used to quiz Arin even when we weren't playing the board game. She really impressed me because she knew most of the answers without any help!
The girls made a whale/fish that swallowed Jonah.  Ella's was a whale and Arin's was just a big fish.  The Jonah template can be found here.

Arin acted out the first part of the story of Jonah.

God told Jonah to go to the city of Ninevah to tell the people to repent.  Jonah did not like the people of Ninevah.  He did not want to go and instead he began to pout.

Then, Jonah decided to hide from God.  He boarded a ship to Tarshish (the opposite direction of Ninevah).

While on the ship, Jonah went below deck to take a nap. 

While Jonah was napping, God sent a terrible storm (this is Arin acting out the ship in the middle of a storm - she was rocking the "boat").

The sailors tried throwing everything overboard to save the ship.

They woke Jonah and told him to pray to his God.  He tells the sailors to throw him overboard.

A big fish comes along and swallows Jonah (which saves his life).

Jonah prays while he is in the belly of the fish.

After three days and three nights, the fish spits Jonah out and onto dry land.  Jonah goes to Ninevah.

We also sang a Jonah song (to the tune of Where is Thumbkin?)  We could have used this song as a felt board activity/puppet activity, but we simply sang it.

Where is Jonah, where is Jonah?
In a boat, in a boat.
What is Jonah doing, what is Jonah doing?
Running from God, running from God.

Where is Jonah, where is Jonah?
In a fish, in a fish.
What is Jonah doing, what is Jonah doing?
Praying to God, praying to God.

Where is Jonah, where is Jonah?
On a hill, on a hill.
What is Jonah doing, what is Jonah doing?
Learning to love, learning to love.

Where is Jonah, where is Jonah?
Ninevah, Ninevah
What is Jonah doing, what is Jonah doing?
Sharing God's love, sharing God's love.

(the song came from here.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Firehouse Field Trip

Today, Andy's brother set up a field trip to a firehouse for us.  It was a great, educational field trip for the girls and for us, plus it was a lot of fun!

As a thank you gift, we made fudge for the fire fighters.  We made regular fudge, using this recipe (I did substitute about 3/4c. marshmallow creme for the regular marshmallows). We also made cookies and cream fudge, using this recipe.
For lunch, we kept with the theme by eating at Firehouse Subs.
Thank you Uncle Mike for setting up this awesome field trip for us!

Monday, September 13, 2010


During Ff week, the girls went fishing with their father.  It was the first time that Arin has been fishing and although her fishing pole was too big for her and nobody caught anything (they did get a couple of bites) she thought it was fantastic and has already asked to go again!

At first, Ella just watched from Uncle Todd's shoulders. 

Then, she sat on the tackle box and as you can see, she was less than thrilled to be involved in this activity. 

Eventually, she found the fishing lures which entertained her for a while. 

She also made several different faces (funny, happy, sad, etc) for the camera before she finally decided to give fishing a try.