Monday, August 26, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: week of August 26. 2013

It’s our first week of our new homeschool year so I am planning ahead,. 

Lunch – Sloppy Joe Sandwiches and Corn on the Cob served with Iced Tea.
Dinner – Rot Roast with assorted vegetables

Lunch - Hot dogs, un fried French fries, lemonade
Dinner - Baked Fish, mixed vegetables, pasta


Lunch – sandwiches, granola bars and fresh fruit.
Dinner – Pizza, salad, breadsticks 


Lunch - Hamburgers, baked steak fries served with Iced Tea.
Dinner – Creamy Chicken Lasagna, garden salad, iced tea


Lunch - Chicken Strips with country gravy, un fried French fries, and slice of Texas toast.
Dinner – Spaghetti and Meatballs, garlic bread, salad.

Lunch – Homemade sub sandwiches and fresh fruit served with Lemonade   
Dinner - Pot Crock Chicken, vegetable pilaf, white rice and creamy mashed potatoes

Lunch – Chicken salad sandwiches (left over crock pot Chicken) and chips served with Iced Tea.
Dinner – Whole Wheat Calzones.

For other Menu Ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Week in Review: weeks 4 and 5

In my life these two weeks, the balance between homeschooling and housework is never leveled and this past week I did little housework (but that’s okay).  

In our Homeschool these two weeks, we worked on our second book for our Five in a Row studies . This time is was “How to make an Apple Pie and see the World” by Majorie Priceman.  You can read about our Five in Row study with “How to Make an Apple Pie” by CLICKING HERE.  

FIAR Apples theme weeks 4 -5

As you can see we had a blast learning about the Apples.  It was a fun unit study for the boys.   
Helpful homeschooling tips  or advice to share…It’s okay when you can’t do homeschooling because you are ill.  Taking a day or week off won’t prevent your children from learning. Things In everyday life are a learning experience for them and you, I have learned that through the years.

I am inspired by… the love my parents have for one another. They have been married for over 58 years and they still at like they are honeymooners at times, I hope that my husband Timothy and I are blessed with many years of love for our Lord, each other and our family.

People we’re seeing and places we’re going… now that the weather is cooler, we have been going out to the thrift stores.  Earlier in the week I got a pair of jeans for $4.99 at the local Goodwill (even found a pair for my oldest son).  Hubby and the boys scored big with VHS movies at 5 cents each. I got a sealed copy of White Christmas, Sense and Sensibility, and  You’ve got Mail while they got some Star Wars movies. Turtle, my youngest found a copy the School House Rock collection and Disney Sing along Songs.       

My favorite thing this week was getting some much needed rest and sleep.  I appreciate having a husband who cook dinner when this Mom is not feeling well.

What’s working/not working for us… having distractions such automatic phone calls during the day have not helped us any. Friends and family know the hours we homeschool and text me on my cell phone if its important to contact me.  Our landline phone has been bombarded with political ads.  We get them as early as 8 am.  Hubby has resorted to putting the landline off the hook to get his sleep since we works late hours.         
Questions/thoughts I have… I have been thinking about Thanksgiving.  I had an idea to start buying some needed items such as chicken stock, dried herbs, a few canned goods to save for our Thanksgiving meal.  My mom started setting aside things in her pantry for that I am doing the same.

Things I am working on… I have been posting auctions on eBay in hopes of making some money for the holidays to get the family gifts. 

I’m reading…  The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling by Barbara Frank.  Even if your are a seasoned Homeschooler, you will take away insight and learn some things you may not have known about.  As I read her book, I felt like I was sitting with a friend, getting some much needed advice that I could use in our homeschool life. I have been making notes and enjoying this book.

I am cooking this week soups and stew. With the cooler temperatures, everyone has been in the mood for comfort food.

I am grateful for the cooler weather.  It feels wonderful getting to open windows and feel a breeze now and then.  Everyone seems more cheerful these days when the weather is cooler.

I’m praying for… our family, extended family and for our friends and their families.

A photo, video. link, or quote to share… the boys playing with their Star Wars light sabers.
Light saber battles pic 1
Thank you for stopping by and Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

FIAR- How to make an Apple Pie and see the World

We started our second Five in a Row book last week  Our Five in a Row selection  was “How to make an Apple Pie and see the World” by Marjorie Priceman.

book How to make an apple pie
A young girl decides to got to the market to buy the ingredients she needs to make an apple pie and discovers the market is closed.  Instead of giving up, she decides to pack  a suitcase to travel around the world in search of each ingredient she needs to make her apple pie.  She first travels to Italy for seminola wheat, to France to get a French hen for the eggs, to Sri Lanka for the bark of the kurundu (cinnamon) tree, then to England for a cow (for butter) and to Jamaica for  salt water and sugar cane, and finally she travels to the state of Vermont for apples.  After returning home, the young girl make her apple pie to share with friends.

This week we did a bible lesson on goodness. I borrowed ideas from biblekidsfunzone on the Fruits of the spirit and tailored the lesson for the boys.  In the beginning of the lesson, we talked about how we know that most fruit grows on a tree or a vine. We used the story pages to show how some trees produce bad fruit and some trees produce good fruit.  The boys learned that people are the same (Matthew 7:16-17).  “If someone’s heart is full of bad things, they produce only bad fruit – things like causing fights or trouble, stealing, lying, etc. But when God’s spirit changes your heart, He produces good fruit like love, joy, peace, patience and kindness.”

The boys worked on making a paper plate apple tree and added apple cutouts. On each apple they wrote what things they wanted Jesus to produce in them.  We really enjoyed using lesson with our FIAR studies.
We used our atlas map to plot the little girl’s journey around the world in her travels. We used the story disks from Homeschool Share’s lap book and printables for the book to mark the areas on our map.

Mapping How to Make an Apple Pie
We played a geography match game for the book from FIAR Circle. The game consists of 7 country cards, 7 transportation cards, and 7 ingredient cards.  The game offers several options (variations) to play. We used the cards to quiz the boys on the order the places the little girl visited, matching the mode of transportation the little girl took to get to a country and matching the ingredient with the country it came from.

After reading the book throughout our FIAR study, the boys narrated the story to our family.  They were able to recall the different places the little girl went to and the ingredients she gathered.  (I think playing the geography match game earlier ion the week helped the boys remember the story).  We did a KWL chart on Apples: What I know about apples, What I want to know about apples and what I learned about apples.

Ways to describe an Apple Chart 1The boys used their five senses to describe an Apple. We made a chart on the wall and the boys called out adjectives that describe their apple.  I was impressed with the answers they came up with,  After making our chart, together we created an apple tree out of construction paper and wrote on each apple, the apple adjectives that describe an apple.  This was a fun activity for both the boys.

Apple adjectives
MATH In addition to our Rod and Staff math lessons, we added some math concepts that were related to our FIAR studies.  My youngest son played a Roll an Apple Tree game and apple patterning. We used the Apple patterning cards from the A is for Apple pack from All Our days blog (formerly A Heart for Home).

Roll an Apple tree game  Apple patterning
Apple math measuring  Apple measuring

The boys we did some apple math measurements. They measured different objects such as an Elmer’;s glue bottle, a pair of scissors, a paint brush and pencil to determine how many apples long the object was.  They also completed several worksheets on apple addition and falling apples (subtraction) from Education,com

The boys examined apples and counted seeds.  They labeled the parts of an apple using
a worksheet from what the teacher wants blog.  

Apple Science  Parts of an apple

We read several go along books for our FIAR study which included: The seasons of Arnold’s Apple tree by Gail Gibbons. After our readings the boys completed a worksheet on the life cycle of an Apple tree.

Life cycle Apple tree
We had planned to conduct some experiments based on our FIAR book, The little girl in the story evaporated the salt water to get salt to make her apple pie. The boys made predictions on what would happen to the salt in the water from our experiment, We left outside a jar filled with salt water so that we could observe what would happen throughout the day but someone knocked over the contents of our experiment. Hopefully, we will have another opportunity to do other experiments with FIAR.

As part of our learning about Apples, we read a book about John Chapman (otherwise known as Johnny Appleseed).  We read the book Johnny Appleseed by Aliki.   We used our Apples Unit study to learn more about John Chapman and the history of Apples. The boys watched several DVDs on John Chapman. We found several online including 
American Legends Volume 1: Johnny Appleseed on YouTube.    

We did not get to do as much crafts as we wanted to for this FIAR study but the boys were still happy with the art projects they did complete.  The boys made paper plate Apples trees.  They traced their arm and hand to use as the tree and branches and them painted paper plates in different shades of green.

Paper plate Apple Tree painting

Paper Plate Apple Tree by Turtle  Paper Plate Apple Tree by Godzilla boy
My youngest son painted his Paper plate apple tree light green while his brother painted his a dark hunter green.  The boys liked the way their trees turned out.

The boys tried their hand at stamping with apples. I cut several apples and the boys dipped some in apple green paint, red paint and a mixture of yellow and red paint.

Appple stamping MW  Apple Stamping MT
After letting the apple prints dry overnight, we cut all the apple prints and the boys glued them onto a paper plate (that had the inside cut out).  They arranged their apple prints to form an apple wreath,

Apple Wreath 1 
  Apple wreath 2 
Printable Materials we used:
- All Apples! A Fun Unit Study by Homeschool Bits
- How to make an Apple an Apple Pie and see the World curriculum pack by Learning Days Curriculum. 
- FIAR Circle’s How to make an Apple Pie and see the World match up card game.
- Roll an Apple Tree game by
- Apples by what the Teacher wants (includes parts of an apple, apple graphing, Johnny - Appleseed, and more,
- Apple Science by 2 Teaching Mommies
- Apple Bible Verse (Psalm 17:8a) by Clarissa @ 1+1+1=1.
The life cycle of an Apple tree by
- Apple addition and Falling Apples (apple subtraction) by 

Other Resources Online
U.S. has great educational materials
Apple Facts from the University of Illinois Extension
Johnny Appleseed thematic unit from Midge Frazel
American Legends Volume 1: Johnny Appleseed – YouTube video

Books we read for this FIAR study

Other resources we used: 

Thank you for visiting our blog and reading about our Five in a Row adventure with “How to make an Apple pie and see the World.”  
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Saturday, October 6, 2012

a Star Wars play day


Many fans will come together to celebrate reading and Star Wars at public libraries and bookstores On October 6th, 2012, YOU can read more about this even by visiting the official Star Wars site.   

In honor of Star Wars reading day, the boys read several of their favorite books and watched several Star Wars episodes on DVD as they re-enacted the roles of their favorite Jedi: Anakin and Obi Wan.  Their dad ought them each a light saber of their own. You should have seen the looks on their faces!

Pictures speak louder then words at times so here are the boys playing on their Star Wards day! It’s fun to be a kid…

Light saber battles pic2

Light saber battles pic 1  

Light saber battles pic 3

Light saber battles pic 4  
It was fun filled day for the boys.  They enjoyed reading books and especially playing with their light sabers.  I have a feeling we will be seeing plenty of light saber battles throughout the weeks to come….
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Week in Review: weeks 2 and 3

 Bird watching and listening
In my life this week, I have been trying to find a balance between  homeschooling and housework.  I find that during the week, my housework slacks off (almost becomes non existent except for the “necessities' of meals, laundry, and errands).  I play catch up on the weekends. Who has not experienced this? I know that this too shall pass and hopefully soon I will find my balance. 

In our Homeschool, we embarked on our first Five in a Row book: Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say.   We spent about 10 days on this unit. We read plenty of go along books that went well with our Five in a Row studies and the boys made their share of crafts as you can see below. You can read about our Five in Row study on Grandfather’s Journey by CLICKING HERE.   

SCRAPBOOK PAGE homeschool week 2-3
The boys look forward to each day. We are still schooling late afternoons but I am sure that once the weather gets cooler, we will be schooling earlier in the day so we can venture outdoors afterwards.    

Helpful homeschooling tips  or advice to share… Make sure to have a snack basket nearby so that your children can get a healthy treat while they are schooling.  It helps from getting distractions when children go to get snacks in the kitchen.  This way, Mom has a handle on what snacks the kids are getting.  We pack graham crackers, raisins, granola bars, fresh fruit, baked goods and bottled water in our snack basket.

I am inspired by…  God in helping me each day had the desire to raise my children to have a love for Him and build good Christian character in their lives.  I know that it won’t be easy for them to break bad habits but I am praying, having faith and working with my sons to make sure they have good habits that will continue into adulthood.      

People we’re seeing and places we’re going… not much visiting people this week since everyone was plagued with allergies.  My eyes have been so watery the last two weeks.  We did trek out to the dollar tree to get Fall d├ęcor for the home,  We bought ceramic scarecrows, pumpkins, and fall leaves.  This week I finished working on our old Autumn wreath. I needed to be updated so I took it apart and re-did it. This weekend marks the first day of Autumn and we are ready for it!

Making family trees
My favorite thing this week was… seeing the boys make progress in their studies. I can see they are trying and catching on. I also enjoyed seeing the boy make their crafts. They smiled and took pride in their work after completing a project. 

Turtle and his family tree 2

What’s working/not working for us…  sticking to our school schedule has been helping the boys stay in track but we have been slow in covering subjects.  Time is still not on our side. We did hit “a bump in the road” this Thursday when Godzilla boy had a major meltdown (he had not had one in several months). We were not able to school that day but we were able to resume today without any mishaps.

Questions/thoughts I have…my mind has been on the upcoming operation Christmas Child that will be held this November.  I am praying that we will send two shoe boxes for a boy age 10-2.  After reading this post from Kris at Wierd Unsocialized Homeschoolers, my heart was touched and drawn to participate.   

Things I am working on… catching up on housework and laundry. This week I am working on our lesson plans for next week.  I just finished our Autumn wreath for our front door,  

I’m reading…
my recent copy of Homeschool Enrichment. There are some great articles
that I find helpful. The one that I really enjoyed was called “How to stay inspired” by Katherine Trauger.   

Banana bread
I am cooking baking this week. The cool front came this morning and the weather feels like Fall.  I have been baking Banana bread, Coffee cake muffins, blueberry muffins for for our snack basket.  I have not trouble getting my  family up early with the smell of fresh baked banana bread. Next we’ll are planning to make Apple tarts with crescent rolls and other yummy Apple desserts for our FIAR study on How to make an Apple Pie and see the world, 

I am grateful for my husband’s efforts in spending extra time with the boys so that I can have some “Me” time.   Sometimes even Moms need to re-charge.   

I’m praying for…
our family, extended family and for our friends and their families.  

A photo, video. link, or quote to share…

My Autumn wreath
My completed Autumn wreath hanging on our front door.     

We are linking this post to:
Weird Unsocialized HomeschoolersHip Homeschool Hop Button

Thank you for stopping by and Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

FIAR - Grandfather’s Journey (Families and Cultures)

Our first Five in a Row book to read was Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say. 
We did our FIAR study of this book from September 5th to September 18th.
Book Grandfather_s JourneyThis a touching story of a Japanese man’s journey to America. It is told by the Allen Say (the grandson). His Grandfather was born in Japan and when he was a young man he came to America. He first traveled by ship across the Ocean and did not see land for three weeks, He traveled across America and saw the mountains, prairies, deserts, and cities.  He met people of all races. He settled in California (the city of San Francisco)  because he liked it the best. California had mountains, sun, and a seacoast which reminded him of his home in Japan. 

He eventually returned to Japan to marry his childhood sweetheart and they moved together to San Francisco but then Grandfather became homesick for Japan and his family moved back to Japan. Grandfather realizes that when he is in one place he longs for the other. As grandfather grew old he longed to visit California one more time but a war broke out which prevented him from ever leaving Japan again. When the grandson (Allen Say) grows up he decides to come to America to see all the things in that his Grandfather loved and spoke of.  The grandson stays in California but never forgets his homeland.

BIBLE This week I wanted a bible devotional to tie in with our FIAR studies this week. I thought of one on families but decided to do a bible devotional one on “worth.”
Our bible verse this week was:

“Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows from Matthew 10:31 
which was presented in our bible devotional as:
Who we are on the inside is more important than the kinds of things we do.
Just as the Grandfather may have traveled to many places and did many things such having songbirds, what was important to him was what we carried inside his heart (his love for family). I explained to the boys that even if they do great things in life, they need to have a good heart and good character when they do these things. Who they are as people speaks more in volumes than being good at games, knowing facts and doing hobbies. I hope that the boys understand that being a good person on the inside is what’s important.               


Country and Culture
We located the country of Japan on our globe. We learned about what the continents are from our book Geography from A to Z.   We discussed the modes of transportation that the Grandfather took in his travels.    We talked about what it feels like having to travel a long distance.  We were reminded of our experience a year ago when we moved to a new place,  After several months of living in our new home, the boys still missed our old home.

We learned about the culture of Japan from the book Children Just like Me:”A Unique Celebration of Children Around the World by Anabel and Barnabas Kindersley.

Modes of Transportation
Transportation Game
In the story, the Grandfather uses many modes of Transportation to cross North America (steam train, riverboat and walking). We discussed the modes of transportation still in use today.  Afterwards, we played our transportation game that I made years ago for the boys.  You can read more about it and download our transportation cards and game questions by clicking HERE. 

Family History and Relationships
We looked at old photographs of my husband growing up, of his parents and grandparents in their youth. We shared stories about the boys’ grandparents and the places they had been.  The boys were surprised at all the countries their paternal grandfather (Bill) had visited during his service in the Army and they enjoyed hearing about the different states their maternal grandfather (Pete) had been to as a youth picking crops during harvest season.       

I told the boys the story of my great grandmother who was full Apache Indian and married an Englishman named William Porter who sailed to the United States from Europe. I had many native stories to share with the boys and they listen intently.

We talked about the common interests the boys have with their grandfathers. My Dad enjoyed growing up near trains as a youth. Now that we live near trains, the boys enjoy hearing the sounds of the train at night and in the early morning hours.  My Husband’s Dad enjoyed the outdoors and went hiking often.  The boys love the outdoors just like their grandfather.       

MATH In addition to our Rod and Staff math lessons, we added some math concepts that we related to our FIAR studies.  In the book, the Grandfather sails across the ocean to North America by ship. He does not see land for three weeks,  To help the boys understand that length of time, we talked about the days in a week and weeks in a month.  After realizing that it was 21 days before the Grandfather saw land, the boys said they could never wait that long. 

Bird Pattern cards
Turtle, my youngest worked on Math Patterns using our Bird Pattern cards that I made last year.  Turtle enjoyed following the different patterns I asked him to complete.  We used our pattern blocks and math printables that were downloaded from Kelly’s Kindergarten. We used her pattern block set 2 which had a bird and owl pattern.
About Birds
In the book the Grandfather while living in Japan, keeps songbirds to remind him “where he was not.” In order to learn more about birds, we used our copy of the Kingfisher First Animal encyclopedia on Birds (page 24) and in DK’s First Animal Encyclopedia on Song Birds (page 58-59). The boys enjoyed the information on the songbirds.

what is a birdWe learned about the different parts of a bird and the differences between the beaks of birds and about the birds that fly and those that do not fly. We used the Evan Moor Giant Science Resource book
to label the parts of a bird.
We found a link to a great printable that showed the beaks of different birds from our good friend Virginia Lee at the Rogers family blog. With the printable, the boys could see a variety of beaks from the different birds shown.

Nature Study
Bird watching and listeningIn our Nature studies from our previous home, we were to identify some birds through their songs.  We tried listening to birds around our new dwelling this week. 

We know that most birds can be heard singing in the morning when there is still a cool temperature. To help us to learn
to identify the birds by ear in or area, we revisited “Birding by Ear” from and used our copy of Peterson First Guides: Birds and the website Birdzilla and its Nifty Fifty State Bird guides.
The boys and I enjoyed doing Nature Studies again, It had been a long time since we did that.  Hopefully, as the weather gets cooler, we can go out more for Nature Studies,  

ART AND CRAFTS The boys had fun in this are during our FIAR studies.  They made several crafts throughout the week. 

salt painting 1

salt painting 2 salt painting 3

We studied the contrast in the pictures of the book and worked on salt paintings to show the ocean and ship that the Grandfather traveled in.

Steam train FIAR
steam train 1
The boys made puffy paint from equal parts of shaving cream and Elmer’s glue. They drew trains with white chalk on black construction paper (again showing contrast) and painted steam with the puffy paint.     

Rabbit Origami
Together the boys and I tried our hand at Origami but only managed to create this rabbit.  Maybe in the future, we will have the skill to create other Origami animals. 

Cherry Blossom trees
The boys made Cherry Blossom trees with black construction paper and pink tri-beads (that I had left over from our Christmas crafts).  We love the way the tri-breads reflected the light in the photo. 

Making family trees
On our last day of rowing with Grandfather’s Journey, the boys made family trees. I printed off family photos and the boys cut and glued them on their family trees, 
GODZIILA BOY_s famiily tree 
    TURTLE_s family tree

Books that we read this week

Resources used this week

Thank you for visiting our blog and reading about our Five in a Row adventure with “Grandfather’s Journey.”  Next time we will be rowing the book “How to make an Apple Pie and see the World.” 
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