Friday, September 28, 2012

{HomeSchool}: Weekly Wrap-Up--Review Style

This week we focused on reviewing all of the information we previously learned.  I touched on a little bit of that last week, but we didn't do enough.  Instead, reviewed a little bit the first day and moved on with the new 4-week study.  However, I learned quickly he really needed a good week of review.

For instance, after two weeks of not talking about day/night and the differences, he got confused.  In addition, recognizing letters was a bit tougher when we weren't using them in context anymore.  Instead of forging ahead and adding 5 more letters into the mix, I decided to just use the week as a review week.  

It's good we did, too, because Knox was out of commission with a high fever Wednesday and Thursday.  Poor bug was not himself, and we didn't do a lick of work.  Really, our brains melted with all of the TV, but I have to say he's much better and "back!"

To review without feeling like it he was testing in school, we hit the streets.  We went on a walk and pointed out all of the things he'd learned--colors, trees, flowers, counting items, animals and even sky, clouds and the sun.  

We played on the couch with a blanket and made a tent, and the holes in the blanket made "stars" with the lights on.  It was a great teachable moment, asking him when stars come out (in the dark) and the moon is present at night.

We used our binoculars, played with colored play-doh and had a great week.  Now...we're ready to tackle the next unit!

Hope you guys had a great week, too!  We're ready for the weekend, because like I said...He's back!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Big Morning

Last night, while I was drawing Knox a bath, I noticed that he removed his diaper all by himself.  I know most kids his age have probably already tried this trick, it's just never been on his radar.  I remember thinking, "this could begin an ugly trend," but quickly got busy with the nighttime routine and completely forgot. 

This morning, Knox was playing in the living room and I was on my computer.  He ran in the office, yelling "Mommy, I took my diaper off.  I took my pants off, too!"  I turned around to find him in solely in his pajama top, really proud of himself.  He then started saying "I wanna go potty."  

My first thought was to put the diaper back on.  Let's be real for a second...I'm not looking forward to potty training.  I like not having to stop every 30 minutes to enter disgusting bathrooms.  But I knew I needed to let him try.

He ran into the bathroom, pilfering through drawers until I was able to get my phone (I needed documentation)...

He sat down, and then cheered.  No, Knox...not how it works.  We had to sit for quite a while, while I ran the water.  He still wanted no part, until I mentioned we could wash our hands and get a treat.  Then he started really trying...

And then BAM!  Number 1 and 2, just like that.  I was stunned, then sicked out that I had to clean it up.

I love Lysol.

Thinking this was just a fluke, but we'll go with the flow (pun intended) if he wants to potty train.

Friday, September 21, 2012

{HomeSchool}: Weekly Wrap-Up

This week's theme was "God  made the Animals." 

We re-read the first few verses of the creation story and reviewed our colors, shapes and letter from the last 4 weeks.  This month we are moving on to the letters H-K, and working on squares and lines (in addition to circles from last month).  

To cover the animal part of the week, we decided to first make a fishbowl.  To be completely honest, he's obsessed with fish tanks.  We might just have to get him a beta (if I can get Dad on board).  I let him paint the bowl blue, then cut off the top and sharpie'd it black.  Yes, I just made Sharpie a verb.

If you have little ones that like to paint...GET THESE!  My friend Amanda recommended them, and I couldn't love them anymore.  The larger handle makes it so much easier for him to maneuver the brush...get them!

I printed off some pictures of Nemo, Dori and Marlin, and some coral for him to glue on and we were set!  

Later in the week, we practiced our colors and shapes by making a bird.

Circles, triangles, rectangles and a big square (and ovals/elipses if you're counting)

I glued the body, beak and legs to the green square and he did the rest.  I was really surprised how well he did with the stick on googly eyes.

Easy peasy week...but we weren't done.

I wanted to go on a hunt for green items in the house, since that's the color of the week.  There was a DIY binocular sheet in the curriculum binder, so I knew we had to do it.  

I made the ribbon green (obviously), and he has been obsessed with them ever since.

We found things in the house, grocery store, and even a firetruck.  We know it's not green...but it made his day!!

Who knew recycled toilet paper rolls could be so fun?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Celebrating 93!

I've been so blessed with amazing grandparents in my life.  Though we don't see each other as frequently as I would like, they have all formed the person I am today.  

My grandmother Arjorie turned 93 this past week.  My mom was in town, so we all drove down to have a little birthday lunch with her.  I love that she is able to interact with Knox and see him grow, and I love getting to hug her neck, too!

She splurged with some non-sugar-free peach 93 I think she's earned that honor!

He was flirting with her, getting close but not kissing her cheek.

Finally, he laid one on her.  Sweet.

Knox loves birthdays, but mostly candles and cake.  He was able to sneak some of the ice cream off of Arjorie's cobbler, but was interested in blowing out the candles all afternoon.  After his nap, I was getting him a drink and I heard him singing "Happy Birthday." When I looked over, he was "blowing" out the candles.

I decided to grab a candle and let him blow it out.

He was so excited...but he'd get too close and it would be hot!

He loved it so much, we had to light it again and again.

Sweet boy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Last week, my friend Mollie hosted a lunch playdate at Chuck-E-Cheese.  I can honestly say I haven't been to there since I was probably seven...and I have been scarred since then from the scary mouse.  She assured me this one was clean, and the robotic animals weren't too frightening, so we headed up there to check it out. 

She was right about most things...the place was super clean, it was completely empty (just our group and one other family) and the kids had a blast.  Chuck-E was still creepy, though. 

At the :30 minute mark of every hour, he comes out and plays with the kids, then initiates the cuban shuffle.  Yes, you read that correctly.  So weird.  At the end of the dance, he throws out free tickets to grab.  You would think it would have been a free-for-all with the tickets, but two year old's don't really grasp the concept.  Instead, the moms were on the ground scooping up the loot.

When he initially walked out, Knox was eating some pizza and observing him from afar.

Once he got closer, Knox refused eye contact and the hand shake.  I wish this was in focus...he kept saying, "NO mouse.  NO!"

Once Chuck went back into hiding, Knox adventured out again.  

There were a lot of toys that he liked riding, and even some "ticket" games that he enjoyed.  The nice thing about the place is that a token is .25 cents, and EVERY game is only 1 token.  I hate those places where most of the games are 4 tokens, wiping you out of money in the blink of an eye.  He was able to play 'til his heart was content on $5...success!

This one particular car ride took a still funny is that?  His passenger is a total creeper.

The main attraction of the afternoon was the monster truck...go figure.  He rode this thing a bajillion times, and loved every second.  

It was on hydrolics, so it went pretty high.  This was his first ride, so he was a bit nervous when it initially started climbing.

Claire rode shotgun for one trip.

And any time he ran away, this is where I found him.

Once we gathered all of our tickets, we were able to redeem them at the Chuck E. Store.  He and Claire looked it all over before making their decisions...

He wanted a lot of random things, but we ended up with stickers, a frog and a fake watch.  It was like Christmas. 

A great time was had by all, and dare I say we'll go back.  You should check it out...worst case they have wine and beer on tap :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

{HomeSchool}: Weekly Wrap-Up

This week, in following with the same theme (God made the world around you and me), we studied Gen 1:1 and covered the sun, moon and stars (which we had already done) and did some more work with colors.  Knox loves talking about the difference between daytime and nighttime, and really has it all down.  It's awesome to see the lessons make the leap into his real-life, and he's doing a great job.

Another thing Knox loves to do is count items, and then categorize them by color.  If we see a commercial for cars, he wants to tell us how many he sees, and will usually tell me if they are black/white/silver/red, etc.  To keep with the colors of this first month's lessons, we did an activity with three fish.  I drew a simple fish outline on the paper, and cut up tissue paper in the three colors we're studying: red, blue and yellow.  I filled the first fish with glue, and he stuck pieces of tissue paper on the fish until it was covered.

He didn't love having the glue on his hands, but he was a good sport.

He was very concerned with the fish having teeth, so once the glue dried, we drew teeth on the fish and he was happy!  I also wrote the color and numbered each of the fish.  He's counted them a million times since.

Knox also loves pointing out the sun, moon and stars.  The lesson plans I use had a great idea for an activity incorporating fine motor skills and paint.  I put a big glop of yellow paint in the center of the paper, and Knox pulled the paint away with a Q-tip to make the sun's rays.  He loved it, and we could have made 30 suns before he would have quit.

Both projects turned out great, and are now up on the showcase canvas:

To add a little fun to the color play theme, I made him some playdough.  It was very simple to make, and turned out perfect!

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water 
1 cup salt
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
Food coloring 

You simply mix all ingredients in a large pot, cook on low heat until the mixture becomes less soupy and more mashed potato'y.

Once it's mashed potatoes, remove it from heat and let cool.  Then, knead it until smooth.  I separated it out in three sections, added food coloring...

And voila!  Perfect playdough.

Make sure you keep it in an airtight container, otherwise it will dry out.  If that happens, simply add water and knead again to bring it back to life.

Hope everyone had a great week, and have an awesome weekend enjoying the cooler temps!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Preschool and Homeschool Weekly Wrap-Up

Today was Knox's first day of Preschool.  All week we've been building it up.  After Meet the Teacher, he's been asking to go daily.  We keep asking him if he's excited, and he always says yes.  This morning, he was yelling for us to come get him.  When we went in, we told him today was his first day of school.  He immediately yelled "I'm excited!!"  It was pretty funny.

He then let me know that he wanted to wear an orange shirt with his orange shoes...bossy pants. No idea where he gets that.

We did the obligatory "First day" pics, and I think they turned out adorable.  But then again he's my kid, and I'm VERY biased.

His backpack is bigger than he is, but he loved wearing it around.
Though he looks upset in the picture below, he's really just over the photo-shoot.

We had to take one more with dad, though!

Once we got to school, he wanted his backpack on and to walk into school.  I was able to get this cute shot of my two favorite men!

Once inside, he was eager to get to Mrs. Trisha's room.  He ran right up to the door, helped her open it and ran straight to the cars.   In fact, Stephen and I had to remove him from the cars just to get a kiss goodbye.  

His cubby hole picture turned out so cute...

In heaven...

I would much rather him be this way than extremely upset by us leaving him.  Walking away with a joyful boy playing with toys made me feel much better, though I still had a "small" cry in the car while pulling out of the parking lot.  He's a big kid now...but I couldn't be happier for him to have this fun time at school with friends.

Now...onto the Weekly Wrap-Up.

The theme for this week was the same as last:  God made the world around you and me.  We focused this week on "God made the heavens and the earth," specifically on plants.  The color was blue, and we also worked on vertical lines.

Here is the finished work:

For the flowers, we used a water bottle dipped in paint.  The bottom has five different points, which make up the petals.  I had to help him "stamp" the paper, but I think it turned out so cute.

For the inside of the flower, we used the bottle cap.  He dipped it in brown paint and stamped them all by himself.

Once we were done, and it had dried, I put it on a vertical surface and let him practice writing vertical lines with a green marker (I did one first as an example).  Once completed, we had stems and flowers!

For the color blue, we made an elephant.  Since the shape of the month is circle, this was a great tool for teaching the shape and color in one.  We started by cutting a large circle, then a medium one (cut in half for the ears) and then accordion folded a strip of paper for the nose.  I had googly eyes on hand, and just used a marker for the details.  He talks to the elephant in the kitchen at least once a day :)

And last but not least, trees and grass.  Since we already made a "foraged tree," I decided to simply draw a tree and grass and let him color with markers.  We did so on a vertical surface (to help with fine motor skills), and used fall colors.  We're excited for some fall weather around here this weekend, so it seemed natural!!

And, that's the weekly homeschool wrap-up.  What ideas will you try with your littles??