Friday, December 27, 2013

Learning the Classification System

So we just started a new unit in Science and are really enjoying it so far.  It goes in depth into a subject and is based on the creation.  It is the curriculum Apologia and we are starting zoology 1.  

In the first section we focused on classification.  For our activity to introduce classification I had the boys gather random objects around the house and put them all together in a bag.  Then we dumped it all out in a pile and I had them choose things similar to each other to be grouped together.  As we continued on into the chapter I had them break down the groups they had further by color or size or some other similarity.  This was a big help in understanding classification on a scientific level and they understood and had fun doing it. 
(My kids love giving me a straight smile for the camera...or at least one of them does)

In the book they created a mnemonic phrase to help you remember the classification system which is 
Kings Play Chess On Fine Glass Sets =
Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species.

We created our own mnemonic phrase for our last name.  The kids had fun with this.

We used a elementary dictionary to help us with the phrase.

It turned out to be a great day in science and we are really enjoying the book and it's layout so far with the Apologia curriculum.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Themed days of the week for Summer

I like to start out each morning with the typical chores for the day so when chores are done then we can go and do our special for that day. Here you can go and get lots of ideas for doing chore charts with your kids or go here  or here for some other great ideas to help motivate children with getting things done.
Make our House a Home Mondays 
Now I don't know about you but after the weekends at my house things are more than a little crazy.  It is like a whirlwind got out of control in our home.  So I make Monday my Cleaning day.  I know a lot of families do chores on Saturdays but at this stage I am at in my life, this is what works for me.  I want to just savor the time together as a family with daddy on the weekends.  Don't get me wrong, there are still projects and yard work we do around the house on the weekends but the designated cleaning is for Mondays.   This is what works for me.  make this list personal for yourself to know what works for you.
For the kids I have found cleaning stations work well.  So say you have 6 stations.  Example: St.#1 Play room  St.#2 Bathroom....Etc..  So you have a 'small' list of what needs to be accomplished in each station.  After each station you reward the kids with a 10 minute dance party or a you tube video, or a Popsicle.  That way they get a break after each station and can look forward to the 'reward' they will be getting for doing a good job.
Other's that work well is setting a timer and going for 30 minutes then recess for 15 then go for another 30 and then to playing for 15.  It helps to break it up.
If you have really focused kids then make sure to reward them after your house is sparkly clean from their help :)

Great cleaning kit idea here
Trekking Tuesdays

I like to get out of the house and go for a hike or go to the zoo or go explore a different part of town.  This day is for getting out and enjoying what is in your community.  Field trips to the fire station or library.  Go to a museum.  Explore and have fun!

Why and How Wednesdays

This could be a great day to answer all the why and How questions you and your kids come up with during the week.  What makes the Sun so hot?  How to Frogs croak?  Why do we need sunshine?  I am sure if you have a child they are always asking Questions.  It is a good day to relax at home and learn something together. 
how stuff works website here
Discovery Channel
The history channel
or just google your question to come up with answers

Enjoy your day relaxing and learning together!

Think of Others Thursday

How does it make you feel when you have put a lot of time and effort into a present and your so excited to give it to that person.  Then the anticipation of what their reaction will be.  When they see the gift and are so excited and happy you just beam from ear to ear with joy because you have brought happiness to someone else and that has brought you great joy.  That is how I want my kids to feel when we go out looking to serve others.....Yes, that may not be the results at the end of the day but I want to teach them how important it is for us to stop thinking of our selves and reach out and help and serve others.  The world would be such a better place if we all did this :)
So how to do this.  Well you could do the random act of kindness or you could go to a friends house who is moving and help pack boxes or clean, or mow a lawn for an older couple in your church or community or for someone sick. 
I like the idea of creating a Service Scavenger Hunt.  Make a list for the kids with pictures if you want from clip art and go from door to door in your neighborhood and ask if there is anything you can do to serve them today.  You can show them the list or ask them if there is something special they would like you to do.  Things on the list could be, take a dog for a walk, wash a window, mow a lawn, etc.  but make some'special' boxes open for jobs they have you could do.  The scavenger hunt will be exciting for your kids and to see how people react to you wanting to serve them will be wonderful!
Check out these people's ideas of Random Acts of Kindness
100 acts of kindness

Fun Day Friday

Need I say more!?  Go and have fun with your kids or stay at home and do something fun.  You can check out my just-for-fun board on pinterest for some fun ideas.  Having fun together and doing things that the kids want to do goes along way.
If it is hot outside Go to the pool or play in the sprinklers.  If it is rainy make something together.  A craft, cookies, sewing project...the list is endless.  just go have fun...TOGETHER!

Strengthening Family Saturdays
For most people, your not working on Saturdays and can do things together.  Start a tradition.  I have a friend whose family goes every Saturday morning to the golf course and has breakfast.  Do they golf every Saturday, no.  But they go out for breakfast together.  Think of something that can strengthen the relationships between siblings, a husband and wife and of course with each other.  Every family has different needs and different ages.  The best way is to ask the Lord for divine inspiration of ways you can strengthen your family and draw closer together.  If this means turning the TV and computer off and playing a game, DO IT!  Our time is so short together and I can't believe how fast my kids are growing up.  Make things happen. 

Sacred Things Sunday
We all have our own religion and beliefs and view things differently but we all hold certain things sacred to us.  Things that have great meaning.  So think of those things that are special to you and focus on them on Sundays.
For an example this is what I do (or what I would like to do more).
I would like to spend more time on genealogy.  There are so many stories of the past that can help us learn who we are, where we came from and what our great great grandparents did for fun.  I would like to link up loose ends and research more.  By spending time doing journals on my personal blog I am creating my own genealogy for my posterity.  They will look back on my family and see what we did for fun, where they came from and what it was like to live in 2013.
I would like to learn more about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The best way to do this is by searching the scriptures and learning more about him.  When ever I have questions or concerns, I try to turn to my scriptures and when I do I find answers.  I love that about them.  The Holy Ghost gives me a sweet peace that what I am doing as a mother is alright and to keep going.
More Family time!   I can't get enough of being together.  I love to do things together where we can laugh and have fun but also reflect on things that are sacred and talk together and grow closer to one another.....These are all hopeful things that of course with my family sometimes ends up with craziness but do your best and that is all you can do. :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Egg Carton Nature Walk

My friend Joselyn had this great idea. You take an empty egg carton and paint a color on the bottom of each individual egg container, and then head outside to find things in nature that match the color. We got some friends together and took all our kids to a local pond and greenbelt area and walked around as they collected things for their cartons. It was such a great idea and very affordable fun!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day gift

 I found this super cute Mother's Day gift idea on Pinterest it's super affordable & easy and so cute!

Supplies You Will Need:
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam craft brush
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Scissors
  • Canvas - one for each hand
The directions are below. Let them dry over night before you give them away.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I found this website from Pinterest. It's called COOKIE. Cookie is a unique online learning experience for kids, which offers a wide variety of educational games and activities. These include Educational Games in Maths, Science, Language, etc., Educational Worksheets, Lessons, Reading Exercises and lots more. They have things for these age groups:  Pre K | K | 1st Grade | 2nd Grade Pretty cool - must check it out if you have small kids!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hands on fun delivered right to your door!

Enjoy monthly projects that spark creativity and curiosity for kids ages 3-7. All materials and inspiration included. Just $19.95/month. Free shipping. Go to Kiwi Crate for more details!

Here are some sample crates:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Glue and Salt Painting

On My friends blog I always get the coolest ideas of things to do with my kids for school.

You draw a design with glue.  Then you sprinkle salt onto the glue and then you take water color paints and all you need to do is just touch the salty design and it sucks up the paint.  It is really fun and the boys really enjoyed it.. and so did I!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Obstacle Course

Nothing better to ware out your kids then to have them make an obstacle course and have them do tricks and twirls on it.  Great for a rainy day.  You could add music and play freeze every time the music stops.  Make it as fun as you can and they will be begging for more.  Have fun!

A Service Jar

Grab a large pickle jar and get a bag of cotton balls from grocery and/or craft store and call them "Warm Fuzzy's"   Each night at dinner we talk about acts of service we have done for someone else that day and if we can't think of anything then we go around and compliment everyone at the table.  For each act of service or compliment we put a warm fuzzy in the jar.
The kids look forward to doing service for others so they can pick a warm fuzzy!

Celebrate what you have!

Sometimes it is just good to celebrate your love.... Not because it is your anniversary or Valentines day, but just because it is good and worth celebrating!  ~Camille Jones

This is us doing just that on a Tuesday morning!
Decorating the cake

Celebrate your Family!  Your love, your children, the life you have!  And just because.  Even if you are a single mom, you have been given the gift of those beautiful children. Celebrate Them and You.  

I made something for the kids...  Glitter, corn syrup and water in a jar and then hot glue the lid shut and decorate with stickers.  "Life is Magical!"

What to do with a crib....when not in use!

Make it into a desk!
The crib bumper works great to keep things on the table such as Lego's and markers and it is a nice firm place for doing school work and instruction.
The possibilities are endless!  

The solar system

This week we studied about the solar system and decided to make a mobile of our planets in our solar system
this is us painting them up
We used Styrofoam balls of different sizes (found at a garage sale), kabob sticks from the grocery store, paints and hot glue and got on line to NASA to their page where you can explore the solar system.  Then we printed out these pictures we found on Google that gave us a better idea of what the solar system looks like.
and the order they are in

all finished with labels

Get creative!!  We just used what we had in the house.  We cut out a Styrofoam bowl into strips to make our rings around Saturn and hot glued them in place.

When we were done we made constellation finders.  You can make all kinds of different constellations and change them out


View finder in action

Our Solar System mobile in the school room

This is a great link NASA for kids for further exploration with your little astronauts 

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