Friday, May 29, 2015

My Father’s World Kindergarten: Unit 3

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Our twins have completed their third kindergarten unit through My Father’s World and I have to say it was a hit. This week we learned L is for Leaf. The girls completed their phonics and math worksheets with zero problems. They actually got all of the answers correct without mom stepping in to help.
 

 As you know I am a project person so I was not about to let the fact that it was early spring and the trees were still bare stop us from doing leaf based activities. Instead of the leaf collecting, rubbing, or drying that the teacher’s manual recommended we did a several other just as fun activities.

First we decided to look through our seed catalogs and find some pictures of leaves to cut out.



After we were finished cutting out the leaves we took time to talk about how some leaves are edible (lettuces, herbs, etc.) and others are not (trees leaves, flower leaves, etc.).  The girls then made a leaf collage out of the pictures.

 





We also decided to make a handprint tree with torn little pieces of green construction paper for the leaves. The girls got a big kick out of this activity. I can see lots more handprint activities coming up in my future.


Lastly one of our twins was having a hard time remembering the letter L after our weekend off so we made a torn paper mosaic in the shape of a capital L.


I think we made a good effort at replacing the recommended activities and adapting to our current situation. I am sure if we had been completing the kindergarten unit at the usual beginning of fall semester time frame things would have went a lot smoother for us. I am a rebel however and do things when my kids are ready not when the calendar says to start. So we will continue to make adaptions as need down the road.

I would love to hear how your L for Leaf unit went!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Our Third Week on the Farm

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We have finished our third week on the farm!

This week we made the exciting discovery that we have baby birds in a nest on our front porch! We would very much like to know what kind of bird laid the eggs. We however are having a hard time getting a good look at mama bird. We have purchased a bird feeder to hang on the porch next to the nest. I hope that mama bird will let us get a good look at her very soon.


My little bird watchers are on the case!




 This week the rain let up long enough for us to go explore the local library. Even though I grew up only a few miles from this library and went to college in the same town I had never been inside. I was pleasantly surprised to find they had a lovely children's section and a great deal of activities going on each week. The children enjoyed the change of pace and had a lot of fun looking through the puppets and reading new books.





















We had such a nice time at the library we decided to go back for story time at the end of the week. We were again pleasantly surprised to find that story time included singing, dancing, and a craft. It was a big hit with my children. So much so that the gentleman leading the story time commented on the "rambunctious children" there that day. Gee thanks dude.




















One of the benefits of being in Kentucky is the option of going to my parents lake house for the weekends.  The kids and I both enjoy the beautiful scenery and the time spent with family.




 Of course all that time spent chasing after grandpa to "help" is quite tiring on little boys....



While we were at the lake house the children were able to help grandpa fill up his homemade woodpecker feeders with homemade suet cake filling. After hanging them back up outside the kids had a competition to see which feeder would attract a bird first.























This week we have continued our study of botany. As you can see everyone is getting in on the act at this point. Luckily our oldest daughter enjoys reading her school work to our youngest child
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While we were running errands we found some tulips to practice our botany knowledge on. I was happy to see the the children knew all of the plant parts and their functions including the reproductive systems. Seems all that reading in our botany books has paid off.




One of the benefits of being on the farm has been the farm fresh eggs filling up our fridge. I am getting very spoiled!


Speaking of eggs we were very excited this week to find that our tadpole eggs did in fact hatch! We added our tiny brown tadpoles to our large black tadpoles. It seems we will have two different types of frogs growing up in our schoolroom!

We have had a full and exciting week here at the farm and can't wait to see what the coming week has to offer!

Friday, May 22, 2015

My Father's World Kindergarten: Unit 2

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Our girls have completed My Father's World Kindergarten unit 2: Moon.

This was a fun unit for us to complete. Luckily this unit didn't depend on the rain stopping...because it is still raining here!

The girls easily completed their phonics and math worksheets this week. They got all of their phonics work correct which made me a happy mama for sure!

One of our projects this week was to learn the phases of the moon.



What would a unit about the moon be without building a rocket ship and taking a trip there?



Lastly we completed a sun, moon, and stars mobile for their room.




















We had a lot of fun with this unit and all of the hands on activities! So far so good!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Care Package

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With my husband overseas you can imagine we have given care packages a lot of thought. This is not his first deployment so we have a few care packages under our belt. With the last few deployments I have sent the boxes willy nilly throughout the deployment with no real theme or schedule. I would like to change that for his current deployment. I have a lot of themes in mind for the boxes and will be attempting to send one box per month.
The base my husband has deployed to hosts a cafeteria and a BX (like a small Walmart).  He does not NEED me to send him anything. These boxes are 100% for moral boosting. It is nice to get a box from a loved one and see they missed you enough to spend half their night cutting out various letters to decorate the inside of a box for you.
I won’t go into what our upcoming themes will be since I do want to keep those a surprise for my husband (on the off chance he gets REALLY bored and decides to read my blog for the first time!). The theme for April will be “Happy Birthday” as my husband will be celebrating his 34th birthday that month.
The kids and I were excited to start working on our first care package of this deployment. We decided to cover the inside of the box with construction paper and then spell out “Happy Birthday Daddy” with one word per flap. On the fourth flap we all signed our names. The bottom of the box contains a “secret message” that is revealed when the contents are removed. In this box we covered the bottom with construction paper and cut out a red heart. We then used the heart to complete the “We <3 p="">u"



I asked my husband if there was anything specific that he would like to have included in the box and was met with “No junk food”.  He is apparently turning into a gym rat over there and attempting to get “Buff and tan”. How in the world am I supposed to send a Happy Birthday goodie box with no junk food? I thought about it for a while and then decided on some boxed granola bars, fiber brownies, fiber one bars, protein bars, beef jerky, and gum. All semi healthy and things he can keep in his room or backpack to eat if he is hungry and the cafeteria has closed for the day.


I managed to get it all to fit somehow without really doing a lot of planning as I was buying things. I think next time I will bring the box with me to the store and fill it up as I go through the aisles. That way I am sure I am only buying enough to fill the box and not going to end up with a lot of extra items.

The last thing I added to the box was tons of art work completed by the kids. We spent one morning doing art work for daddy. As each of the little ones completed their art work I wrote their name on the bottom and added a description of what the picture was of. For example our 3 year old colored an impressive scribbled mess that he said was a bunny fishing. I am sure my husband will get a smile out of the descriptions. Now that I am thinking about it I should have included a roll of scotch tape in the box so he could hang the pictures up on dorm room wall. Adding that to the list for next month!
While I was at the post office mailing our box I requested another large flat rate box and custom forms. That way I am already all set to begin working on our next themed care package! I can’t wait to complete the package for May!

I would love to hear about any themed care packages you have sent to your loved ones!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Our Second Week at the Farm

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Life here on the farm is settling down and gaining speed all at the same time. We are still exploring our surroundings and learning about the new things around us but also adding back in our school work. I have instituted a new rule that no one can visit the cows or the creek until all of their school work has been completed. Guess whose children are now completing their school work in record times? All 4 of the older girls are done with their school work by noon each day with no whining or complaining. That is pretty amazing considering there were days in Jersey where we were still doing school work at 7pm! Who knew cows were so motivating?

We are currently studying botany for science and spent our week learning about float beds and planting our seeds for our garden this summer.




















While we were working on the float bed containers my aunt found a frog. I told her that if she found any tadpoles we would very much like to have them. She texted me a few days later that she had found some frog eggs so we loaded up the van and drove over to my cousins farm (a whole 5 minutes down the road) and went exploring.

We did in fact find frog eggs and brought a few back home. I was shocked at the difference just one day made in the development of the little embryos. I put the little eggs in a lunch meat container until we could find a larger container to hold them as they grow into little frogs.


No trip to hunt for frog eggs is complete without a random cow blocking your way home. We met a very nice gentleman while we were trying to get around the cow in the road who of course had to comment on our Jersey plates. Seems we stick out even when we stay in the car!

I started to worry that our frog eggs were duds and wouldn't hatch. I texted my aunt and wouldn’t you know it she knew where some tadpoles were that had already hatched. So off we went on another adventure to find living tadpoles.

We were able to borrow a small aquarium from my parents and filled it with our living tadpoles.


Also on the science front this week we had an impromptu bumble bee class. I found this little guy in the basement of the farmhouse and he was pretty miserable. I have no idea how he got down there but it wasn’t even close to the correct environment for him. I trapped him and brought him up for the girls to inspect. They of course wanted me to kill it (we have been killing wasps all month). So we had a quick class about the benefits of bees (and how wasps are the devil), inspected his various parts and pieces, and talked about pollination before we let him go in the backyard.


















The twins completed their first full week of My Father’s World Kindergarten this week. It was kind of funny that the week was all about the sun and it has rained just about every day. I am working up a post concerning our first full week using our new kindergarten curriculum.

With all of the rain we had plenty of time to get settled into our new home. My aunt left us several milk crates to use as we needed around the house for storage. I decided to use 4 of them in the kitchen for a makeshift pantry. I love having the vertical storage and apparently my children think it is pretty cool as well.

Another of my rainy day projects was to finish an embroidery project I have been working on. I plan to turn the square into a pillow down the line.



Overall we have had a pretty quiet week on the farm. We got lots of school work done and still had time to do some visiting with the cows……..oh and family of course!

We look forward to sharing the rest of our farm adventures with you! 

 

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