Thursday, December 10, 2009

AD Players: Do you hear what I hear?

We went to a holiday play this morning by the AD Players. It was really nice. We have enjoyed all the plays we have gone to by them.

For this one they dramatized the Christmas Carol "Do you Hear what I Hear?". They added in lots of physical comedy which made the kids laugh.

I wish I had better pics. If I take a pic with my cell phone, no one can breathe, or blink, or it blurs out. You can imagine how difficult this makes it with wiggly children... New mantra: must remember camera, must remember camera.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Homeschooling in December

This past Monday we met our friends at the Space Center for a play date. We LOVE space center. Perfect for a laid back play date. Which has been awesome, because save for this play date I would have nothing to post about.

I am almost beginning to think that trying to school during December might be an exercise in futility. And it has nothing to do with the kids, this one is all me. Being "Santa's little helper" is exhausting work. It tends to eat into my time. This is my FAVORITE time of year. I can barely stand it, I want to do everything, wring all the holiday cheer out of the season that we can. And I find that my mind is just... elsewhere. I am the one with the sugar plumbs on the brain. Plus, we have had wonderful field trip opportunities. So, although we have managed to squeeze our reading in faithfully, I have been elfing around on the rest of it.

It was also probably a mistake to give the family the Wii early. We knew we weren't going to be able to do Christmas on Christmas day, so it just got to be "why wait?". Well, to be honest, I was the why wait person and being that we are both HUGE gamer nerds, it wasn't hard to talk Brian into it. So, I should amend that to: "We have faithfully done our reading, and our PE on the WiiFit". (I highly reccomend that PE part, we have a BLAST!). Also, I might have Wii elbow, and that is embarassing. I have been officially injured by a video game, and hoping it will heal, I don't look forward to explaining that to a DR.

So, I still wanna have fun. I am not overly worried, we do school all year round, but I would like to do a tinsy bit more of our regular work so I can save us the awful "review period" after the holidaze. How do you cope with Decembers?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nutcracker 2009

I left my camera at home and had to take the pictures with my phone. So the quality is lacking. We went to see the Nutcracker this week. The kids had a BLAST! The performance was
wonderful, and I loved how they stopped at intermission to explain how the props, costuming, and stage managers contribute to the show. The second picture is of the device they use to create realistic snow. Is sifts the fake snow down onto the stage in a realistic manner.

I also realized it has been awhile since I have posted. Man, the holidays, or the holidaze has set in full force. Thankfully, I have all the shopping done, most of the crafting done, and all the presents are already wrapped. So I am looking forward to settling back down to school this coming week!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Weekly Wrap Up

Well, I am starting to think that our schooling this week was like a wagon slowly sinking into the mud. Seemed like the more we attempted to move our wheels and make some progress, the deeper in we stuck ourselves.

On Sunday, I took Emma to the Urgent Care center. She had been either bitten or stung by something on her little finger and it had swollen up to scary proportions. So we got some steroids. The week before we had been fighting off some kind of cold, so Sunday was supposed to be my catch up day. Wave goodbye to the catch up day Mommy. Because of that, Monday we decided to do basic school so I could attempt to catch up. We did manage to do a candy experiment.

On Tuesday we were still catching up, so we ran errands and did our basics (spelling, reading, phonics, math). Which was probably a good idea since the child who had started her steroids was having emotional meltdowns every fifteen minutes. As a mom, even though I know its medically induced, its still emotionally draining. When its 10:30am and the patience fund has run dry, that is whey you know its going to be one of those days.

On Wednesday I had another root canal (we are up to #4) on the same tooth. Oh Joy! Since I don't really respond well to heavy medication, we decided to take the day off totally. Unless playing the playstation could count as school? Please?

On Thursday, we had fun!!! Thank Goodness!!! We went on an Aquarium Field Trip. We had a blast, it was a ton of fun and very educational.

Today, we spent a quiet day at home. We did our basic schooling, and I am finally caught up around the house (for now, I should be knocking on wood). I think we will take some of the fun stuff I had planned for the week and do it over the weekend.

I don't think the week was a total loss, we did get our basics done. But I really do like to have more "fun" in our schooling each day. The kids vote for fun too. We had less fun and more errands. Apparently, even if you throw in a slushy from Sonic, its still just errands. According to my kids "you just can't make that fun, Mom".

Monday, November 2, 2009

Too much Halloween Candy? No Problemo.... Hello Science

We have a lot of Halloween candy we can't eat. So we decided to do experiments with the candy we couldn't eat because of the colorings in it.

Our first experiment was "Does it contain Acid?". We took candy, put it in water, then we added baking soda. If the solution bubbles, its an acid. If it doesn't, its not an acid.

Nerds are definitely an acid. M and M's are not. It was fun, the kids loved playing mad scientist with the candy.

We plan to do more experiments this week. We have a whole bucket of candy to make it through!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The AD Players: Secret Garden Play

We went to see the AD Players presentation of The Secret Garden. It was wonderful, the girls loved it. They both posed for pictures with "the acting bug". Chloe got autographs from Collin and Mary. This was such a huge hit, we can't wait for the Christmas play.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fire Safety Unit Study

I recently had a brainstorming session, where I tried to come up with all the skills/info I thought would be important for the kids health and safety. So we are covering those areas this semester. Our germ unit was a part of this brainstorming session too. This past week was fire prevention week, and this unit study seemed to be a natural progression. We visited the firestation and got some great handouts from the firestation that will supplement our curriculum here and we had a GREAT time. This unit study is probably best for preK- elementary aged children.

  • Fire! Fire! by Gail Gibbons
  • Changes, Changes by Pat Hutchins
  • have kids practice stop, drop and roll. Explain why it works.
  • have a smoke crawl race.
  • what does fire need to burn? air, fuel and heat. Light a candle, place a jar over it... why does it go out? Explain how this works with stop, drop, and roll.
  • check all the smoke alarms and change the batteries.
  • explain to the kids what a fire fighter entering the home might look like with the fire mask. Stress the importance of not hiding from the fire fighters.
  • learn our address and phone number, and how to call 911. What to report to the person at the 911 call center. Reinforce that you ONLY call during an emergency, discuss what would constitute an emergency.
  • dramatic play: let the kids pretend to be firefighters.
  • Visit your local fire department.
Making an Escape plan:
  • explain to the kids why it is important to have a plan use this handout.
  • stress that in the event of a fire emergency they are to get out FAST, not to try to save any belongings.
  • Fires can be scary and confusing, you might not be able to see well. Smoke may make the house, or their room very, very dark.
  • create an escape plan that includes at least two ways out of the house. Then practice using those escape routes. Especially practice taking out a window screen, or lowering a ladder. Actually go out of the house using your two escape routes.
  • Include information about feeling the doors for heat, and the doorknobs for heat.
  • crawl low if there is smoke along your escape route (run through your escape routes practicing crawling).
  • pick a safe spot outside for the family to meet.
  • discuss how important it is to stay outside the house no MATTER WHAT. Don't go back in after pets, or toys.
  • Do a fire drill at night, when everyone is asleep to see if the smoke detectors wake the children, and practice using the escape routes. Read this article for the reasons why you should do this.

Coloring Pages:

  • Fire truck Egg carton Craft
  • Fireman toilet Paper craft
  • Fire straw painting craft: Supply each child with a straw and a piece of paper. Have kids create a construction paper house that they can glue onto their paper. Then place a dot of red, yellow, orange paint on the windows of the house. Then, have them use the straw to blow the paint around their picture creating flames.
  • Fire Truck Sponge Painting: cut a sponge in the shape of a fire truck and let the kids press it onto fire scenes they create.
  • Fire Truck Saran Wrap Painting: Give each child a piece of paper with thick lines of red and yellow paint. cover it with saran wrap and then let each child drag the saran wrap a bit to make flames.
  • Fire shaving cream play: drop red or yellow food coloring into shaving cream and schmear it round!

  • Firesafety song
  • The Fire Song
  • Sing the chicago fire song: One dark night while we were all in bed, Old lady Leary left the lantern in the shed, and when the cow kicked it over, she winked her eye and said, its going to be a hot time in the old town tonight! Fire, Fire, Fire!!! (then stop drop and roll)

Monday, October 12, 2009

S'Mores and Brownies

Last year we were a part of American Heritage Girls. We liked it, but it was too much in our schedule. It's one of the things that makes having a husband with a variable schedule difficult, it makes signing up for activities that are a weekly commitment difficult.

This year we decided to go back to Girl Scouts, but to sign up for the juliettes program with our friends the Ischy's. Meeting with just one other family allows us to be flexible. (the juliettes program is a program for independent girls instead of a whole troop).

Our first meeting was awesome, we ate smores, learned our brownie handshakes and promises, and drew pictures of girls enacting the girl scout law. This has been the perfect fit for us and we are having a blast!!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden is the next book we were set to tackle this school year. I wanted to try to incorporate our younger kid activites into the curriculum this week instead of dividing it up. We wind up overlapping so much, it just made sense. In order to make our learning a tiny bit more flexible, with each unit study I have gotten both the hardcopy of the book, and if its available I have gotten the book on CD for the busy days when we are in the car. This has been a lifesaver!

Book summary:

Mary, a bitter young orphan girl from India, is brought to England to live with her uncle on the Yorkshire Moors. Upon encountering numerous problems in adjusting to the rigid, lonely, and unfamiliar life of her uncle's mansion, she gradually befriends Dicken and her cousin Colin. Together, they venture to restore the Secret Garden, into which entry had been forbidden by Mary's uncle. The story culminates when the garden flourishes once again; and Mary's cousin is able to walk again, thanks to her, after spending years confined to a bed, believing he was forever destined to be a hunchback. The Secret Garden conveys a message of hope--a message based on the powerful role of friendship in bringing about a change for the better

Extended Activities:
  • Find India on the globe, then also find England on the globe. Trace the route Mary might have taken, discuss the differences in travel then and now.
  • Use Google earth to view photos of India, or find photos of India online.
  • for preschoolers, do a flower/gardening unit
  • Grow a lima bean seed. Discuss the parts of the plant, and what plants need to grow.
  • Dickon planted potatoes in his garden. What do potatoes need to grow? Purchase small trashcan, punch holes in the bottom of it. Then fill it with potting soil. Cut up several potatoes and bury them in the potting soil inside of the trashcan. Watch potatoes grow. Better directions here.
  • Watch video on what the moors of England look like here
  • Compare and contrast England to India.
  • Watch movie versions of the book, compare the movie to the book. Which version did you like the best?
  • What would Mary, and her mother have worn? Look at fashions of the 1900's here
  • Get some paper dolls from the period
  • Draw a picture of what your secret garden would look like.
  • colin says there is magic in the world, but people dont know what it is, or where it comes from. He says that maybe its saying nice things to people that makes magic happen. Learn a couple of simple magic tricks.
  • Take the time to say nice things to each other.
  • place all the major events in the book on slips of paper. Have the child put them in order.

Art projects:
  • Make a construction paper flower collage
  • use clay to make a flower stamp, make a flower picture with clay stamp
  • use pastels to make a large (o'keefe like) flower
  • make tissue paper flowers
  • make a watercolor garden
  • do flower face painting

  • How does Mary change physically and/or mentally during the novel?
  • Where is Mary first taken after her parent's death?
  • What nickname does the clergyman's son give to Mary?
  • How might Mary's life be different if her parents hadn't died of cholera?
  • Mary eventually moves to her uncle's home. Is moving hard to do?
  • Both Mary and Colin are described as very unpleasant children. Why do you think they are so very unpleasant? Who is responsible?
  • At what oint in the story does Mary begin to be less contrary and selfish and more normal, caring?
  • Why does Mary respond differently to Martha?
  • Does mary do the right thing to Colin the night he has hysterics?
  • What is meant in this story by the quote "When you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow."?
  • what is the magic that makes colin walk? (positive belief) What magic would you want for yourself? what would you choose for your family members/friends? Do you believe this magic exists or not?

Younger child activities:

Nursery Rhyme:

Mistress mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockel shells,
and marigolds all in a row.


Planting a Rainbow, Lois Ehlert
The Reason for a flower, Ruth Heller
The Tiny Seed, Eric Carle
Trees, Harry Behm and James Endicott
The Mouse and the Potato, Thomas Berger
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Jeanne Titheringron
Over in the Meadow, Ezra Jack Keats

  • Explain the process of a seed growing into a plant. If you have them, show pictures of seeds and plants. Be sure to explain that plants need water, clean air, and sunlight to grow. Then sing the following song and have the children act out the plants growing process as you sing. (the child will start curled up as a "seed")
The flower seed song (to the tune of Ten Little Indians)
One little, two little, three little flower seeds
Four little, five little, six little flower seeds
Seven little, eight little, nine little flower seeds
planted in my garden
Water those seeds and watch them grow (sing three times)
in my flower garden
The warm sun helps the flowers grow taller (sing three times)
in my flower garden
Watch those flowers sway in the breeze (sing three times)
in my flower garden
  • Give the kids art supplies and ask them to create their idea of a garden
  • Explain the purpose of earthworms in the garden. Purchase some earthworms from the bait shop. Let the children handle the earthworms, if you are brave enough make an aquarium home for the worms and allow the kids to care for them. (Worms eat corn meal, green leafies, grass cuttings, potato peelings, bread crumbs and coffee grounds (2 TBL every other week). When you are done, let them wriggle back into the ground.
  • How Bees pollinate flowers: paint flowers on a piece of paper that have 2 inch circles in the center and let them dry. Once they are dry, sprinkle either cornstarch or flour into the centers. Fashion "bees" our of pipe cleaners and show how the pollen will stick to the "bee" when it visits the flower.
  • Listen to Laurie Berkner's Bumble bee song Here.
  • The magic of the garden, was the special feelings that Mary and Colin experienced about each other and themselves. Hide a mirror in a box and cover the box. Have the children guess which special person could be in the box. Then pass the box and let them look into the box at the mirror.
  • make a paper plate self portrait using buttons for eyes, yarn for hair, and a Popsicle stick to hold it up. Have circle time and chat about the things that make each of us special.
  • Each child traces their handprints on a different colored construction paper. Each family member lists on each handprint something special about each child.

Vocabulary Words

Ayah - an Indian term for nanny
clotted cream
Cholera - a disease of the intestines that is often fatal
flatly - dull, without expression
frail - weak, sickly
moor - English prairie lands, rolling hillsides that grow wild plants
musty - smelling old and damp
nanny - someone paid to care for a child
sour expression - an upset look
stern - very strong and firm. Usually not kind.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rosh Hashanah Unit Study

In our house, we celebrate all of the Jewish and the Christian holidays. I wanted to make sure as the kids got older that they understood the meaning behind all the holidays. So for this year we are going to do a short unit as a family in the evenings as each holiday comes during the year. This week we will celebrate Rosh Hashanah.

What is Rosh Hashanah?

"In the seventh month, in the first day of the month shall be a solemn rest unto you, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns, a holy convocation...."

Rosh hashanah is the Jewish New Year also called The Feast of Trumpets because it is a holiday where we blow the shofar, or ram's horn. It is a time for thinking about the past year, and gathering our hopes for the new year. Rosh Hashanah is observed in the Fall season of the western calendar, usually in September.

Leviticus 23 calls the blowing of trumpets a memorial but does not say what it is a memorial of. A memorial of the creation of the world, at which the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). This holiday was the new year’s day, on which the people rejoiced in a grateful remembrance of God’s benefits and implored His blessing for the future year.

Before Rosh Hashanah we reflect on the previous year, contemplate any mistakes we might have made, and putting things in order by seeking forgiveness from others, and from God. We pray prayers for forgiveness and search out hearts for areas where we might need to recieve or give forgiveness.
We try to maintain a reflective, forgiving mood. The eve before everyone has a bath to make their bodies new, maybe a new haircut and new clothes. Treats are given to children.

The eve of Rosh Hashanah a meal is prepared. Usually it includes fruits and honey both to celebrate creation and to hope for a sweet new year.

Traditional foods sweetened with honey, apples are served, pomegranates, cabbage, gourds, dates symbolizing sweetness, blessings, abundance and the hope for a sweet year ahead. So, so why an apple? Actually we eat apple dipped in honey. At the festive meal we take a piece of apple and dip it into honey as a token of the wish for a sweet year, adding the blessing: "May it be your will, Lord our God and God of our fathers, to renew us a good and sweet year." It works.

Teshuva (repentance)

Repentance is a singulary human ability to realize you have done wrong, say you are sorry, and try not to do it again. You are getting a "Do-over". It is important to both confess your sins to God, but also to repair any wrongs you have done to fellow humans. Such is the power of teshuvah that it restores people to closeness with God or with the other person. Repentance does more than undo the past evil. It brings healing and a new closeness and sympathy.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a rather complicated notion. In my opinion forgiveness means giving up the grudge. If you have a good basic relationship, and its either one little thing, or several that have caused a rift, then I think forgiveness will also repair the relationship. However, I don't think you have to want to hang out with someone in order to forgive them. Forgiveness is a choice you make in your own heart not to hold a grudge against that person, to just let it go.

Tashlich - Drowning Our Sins

On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, after the afternoon services, Jews visit a body of water or pond, containing live fish*, to symbolically "cast away" their sins into the river. Crumbs of bread are tossed into water, after the Torah verse: "And you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."

Genesis 21:1-4, 5-12, 13-21, 22-27, 28-34

Coloring pages


Charity box, rosh hashanah apple cards, shofar
honey card craft
apple candelstick craft
3 D Dove
apple of hope

Saturday, September 12, 2009

catch up week: narnia craft wrap up

We forged ahead in our school work, but we left a few narnia crafts behind. So we used our catch up week to finish them and as an excuse to drink hot chocolate.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Unit

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs unit study

Because we planned to see the movie, and I love the book to begin with, we decided to do a unit study on the book. The kids are super excited about the idea. There have been some new books that have been published in anticipation of the movie. If you have older kids, there is a novelization of the movie also. We decided to focus on the weather and nutrition for our part of the unit study.

**Unlike other units I have written, this is not my original work, I have merely compiled other resources into one place for our unit.



Oats, and Beans, and Barley Grow

Oh my what will the weather be?
Oh My, What will the weather be?
Oh my, what will the weather be?
Oh my, what will the weather be?
It will be (rainy, cloudy, sunny, snowy, windy) today.

Whats the weather like today?
Whats the weather like today? like today? like today?
Whats the weather like today? on this (day of the week) morning?
The weather is (sunny, rainy, cloudy, snowy, windy) today X2
on this (day of the week) morning.

Mr Sun
Oh Mr. sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun
Please come shine on me
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun
Hiding behind a tree
These little children are asking you
To please come out so they can play with you
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Please come shine on me.

What's The Weather?
sung to the tune of "Clementine"
What's the weather?
What's the weather?
What's the weather like today?
Tell us (child's name),
What's the weather?
What's the weather like today?
Is it sunny? (hold arms above head in a circle]
Is it cloudy? [cover eyes with hands]
Is it rainy out today?[flutter fingers downward]
Is it snowy?[wrap arms around body and shiver]
Is it windy? ["blow children over" with a swoop of your arms]
What's the weather like today?

  • Take the kids for a walk to look at the clouds in the sky on multiple days and talk about the different shapes of the clouds.
  • Watch a weather report with the kids, then have the kids give their own weather report using cut out pictures of weather.
  • Let the kids do a fashion show for various kinds of weather
  • Make a storm. Begin by rubbing your hands together making a soft sound, Tell the children to imagine that it is beginning to rain softly. continue to develope the storm by snapping fingers. Follow this by patting your legs, then reverse the action to have the storm subside. (You can add in thunder with a drum, or a cookie sheet). Then have the kids create a storm also.
  • write the names of different clouds onto a divided sheet of paper, then have children create the cloud types with cotton balls, glue, and marker.
  • Graph the weather for the week.
  • create Mr. Weatherbear from cardboard, cover him with felt. Cut out various weather outfits from felt. Each morning when we do the weather graph, have the children dress Mr. Weatherbear for the day's weather.
  • Practice writing in the "snow" (using shaving cream).
  • Turn on the sprinkler and go rainbow hunting.
  • There are many people that work together to make the community function smoothly, called community helpers, such as the mayor, doctors, police and firefighters, as well as the storeowners, transportation workers, and sanitation workers. Make a list of community helpers referred to in the book. Have your child brainstorm other community helpers to add to the list.
  • Have your child make a pretend map using the description at the beginning of the book, including oceans, deserts and mountains. Make sure he adds a compass rose (North, South, East, West) and labels the town of Chewandswallow. Make a story disk (maybe with a meatball on it) and place it on your map. You could also let your child make a small map of Chewandswallow for your lapbook.
  • visit a land fill and a recycling plant. Think about ways you can stop throwing so much stuff away that will be hauled to landfills (recycle more, take things to Good Will, start using cloth bags at the grocery instead of plastic, make a compost pile as mentioned in the story- “the rest of the food was put back into the earth…”).
  • Measure 15 inches (like the drifts of cream cheese and jelly sandwiches). What in your house is 15 inches high/long? Compare to things bigger or smaller.
  • make giant meatballs or pancakes together!
  • Messy, but fun- Dry out some pieces of bread and let them build a boat or house with peanut butter.
  • Go and see "Cloudy with a chance of meatballs" at the theater.

Science Experiments
  • "When it rains where does it go?" Have kids use eyedroppers and various materials (cotton, synthetic, paper, papertowels, cardboard). Drop water onto the materials to see which are absorbant. Then ask question like which surfaces outdoors will, or won't absorb the rain? What type of clothing do you want to wear in the rain? What causes flooding? Talk about saturation point.
  • Pop Popcorn, show kids a cup of popcorn kernels. How much popcorn do you think this will make?
  • The water cycle involves evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection of water.
  • Make it rain using this condensation technique
  • Read here about thunderstorms and lightening.
  • conduction activity here
  • convection activity here.
  • convection current activity here
  • make a tornado here
  • Make a storm with a tornado tube and some old bottles.
  • Learn about evaporation by placing a dish of water in the shade and another in a sunny spot. Put a thermometer alongside the dish to introduce temperature. Observe the dishes and thermometers periodically during the day.

  • Make a cloud mobile (p 463 circle time)
  • make rainbow mobile (p.476 activity)
  • make a windsock
  • Make a symmetrical cloud painting by placing drops of white paint on a blue paper, then folding the paper in half, pressing down. Open he paper, add glitter to the paint areas, and there's a white puffy cloud.
    Observe the clouds and draw what you see.
  • Make a diorama of a favorite part of the book (you can use play food to be the “giant food”).
  • make a spaghetti and meatball hat craft here
  • make this picture except have food falling.
  • corn weaving with yellow, brown, and orange construction paper. (p. 169 circle)
  • make an ear of corn from a paper plate.
  • make banannas from hand tracings. Paint the fingers yellow and the little bit of wrist brown.
  • make grapes with purple paint and fingers.
  • make paper plate pizza. take paper plate, paint red paint for sauce. Cut toppings out of construction paper.

  • Play the weather game (p. 473 activities)
  • make "puddles" (about 8-10) out of blue construction paper and laminate them. Have the kids practice gross motor skills jumping from puddle to puddle.
  • play games on movie site

  • In this book the sanitation department has to work really hard to keep up with the leftovers. How do you get rid of your garbage? Does your student know where it goes? How is recyclying different?
  • Where does our food come from? We know it doesn’t rain down from the sky, but does your student understand that food doesn’t really “come from” the grocery store? Talk about Froberg Farms.
  • List the problems that happened, such as flooding, tornados, etc. Ask, how can we stay safe during this weather?
  • how it would affect the economy, employment, etc. in our town or area if food suddenly started falling from the sky. **Think about stores, employees, truckers, shipping industry, warehouses, factories, packaging plants, and an almost endless list of areas it would affect.
    ** How would it affect your family economically? This will vary depending on your employment and buying habits or how much you grow yourself, etc
  • how it would affect the economy, employment, etc. in our town or area if food suddenly started falling from the sky. **Think about stores, employees, truckers, shipping industry, warehouses, factories, packaging plants, and an almost endless list of areas it would affect. ** How would it affect your family economically? This will vary depending on your employment and buying habits or how much you grow yourself, etc
  • Discuss your family food budget. Compare prices from several stores and graph the information. Talk about using coupons, buying in bulk, etc.
  • Discuss cooking from scratch versus packaged or restaurant meals. Compare price of prepared food to fresh. For example price raw potatoes, frozen potato products, boxed or canned potato products, potato chips, French Fries at a restaurant, etc. Compare cost per ounce.

Language Arts
  • Write about what food you would like for it to "rain" on you. If food dropped like rain from the sky, wouldn't it be marvelous! Or would it? It could, after all, be messy. And you'd have no choice. What if you didn't like what fell? Or what if too much came? Have you ever thought of what it might be like to be squashed flat by a pancake?
  • The Israelites and Manna (Exodus 16)
  • Students will use a spreadsheet to organize compound words they find in the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. After entering the data, they will sort the columns by alphabatizing the words. As a fun ending activity, they will re-sort, using only one column of words, thus creating “new” compound words. Students will write a sentence with their new compound word.
  • A tall tale is a story that contains humor and elements which are exaggerated or hard to believe. Discuss with your child how this story fits the definition of “tall tale” and give specific examples.

  • Discuss healthy food choices, including the five food groups (grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and beans). You can include in your discussion any particular choices your family makes regarding healthy eating (trying to eat mostly whole-grains, not eating meat, etc.).
  • Talk about the food pyramid, identify the different categories. Try to eat meals with offerings from each.
  • Ask your child to analyze the day’s meals as written in the book (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Are the meals healthy? If not, what could be changed?

  • Have a vegetable tasting.

  • Where does it come from? (ketchup, orange juice, peanut butter, applesauce)?

  • make butter, fruit salad, peanut butter, muffins
  • make "stone soup" (veggie soup with a stone in it) and read stone soup.
  • Junk food, or healthy food? Talk about what makes food healthy, what makes it junk?

  • using the food ads, make a nutritional menu for your own healthy restaurant, then using notpads dramatic play restaurant.

  • Memory verse: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:8)

  • The people of Chewandswallow came to a place where they needed a refuge from the extreme weather they were experiencing. Talk with your child about what it means that the Lord is our “refuge”; share personal examples of how He has cared for you and how you have experienced “tastes” of His goodness in your life.

  • Bible Story- Manna From Heaven

    In the Bible, there was a time when food really did rain from the sky! Read Exodus 16 with your students. Be sure to discuss thankfulness and complaining. You may even want to mention that we need to be thankful for the foods we do have to eat even when they aren’t our favorites.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Sneeze that got away

Today we also talked about how when sneezes get away uncovered they can cause germs. To demonstrate I took a spray bottle full of regular water, pretended to sneeze, but didn't cover it. The kids were able to see and feel the water vapor land on them.

Then we added food dye to the bottle. (call me crazy but I didn't want the food dye to stain their clothes). We "sneezed" into tissues using the spray bottle, and saw how it stained the cloth.

This was a big hit. It just went on and on, by the time we were done, the clothes were soaked.

On a completely unrelated note, how does the dog wind up in every single blog post?

Playing Doctor

Since we are studying germs it seemed the perfect time to talk about the doctor. The kids got out their doctor kits and their animals to have some dramatic playtime. They had a blast, didn't want to stop, as I write they are STILL playing doctor more than two hours later. As you can see we started with stuffed animals, then the dog joined in the fun and became the "live" test subject. Poor Mac, I told him to run... he just didn't listen.