Monday, September 28, 2009

My Big Girl

Recently, we went to a water park. The last time we went to a water park, princess was two years old, and really didn't even want to go in the water. Well, what a few years will do...

The little kiddie pool really wasn't cutting it for her. Her gaze immediately turned to the big kid water slides...

Here she is trucking up the steps to the biggest slide.

Honestly, I thought she would come down the stairs once she got to the top, but alas here's my big girl (actually, she's under the big splash of water).

At this point I thought we would never come back to a water park. This girl can't stand water on her face--even in the bathtub. I was so shocked when she grabbed her daddy's hand and said, "Hurry, let's go again!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Along the Alphabet Path Aa

This year for reading Princess is traveling Along the Alphabet Path created by Elizabeth Foss. Princess is enjoying this and looks forward to see what new fairy and saint we will meet each week. Here's a bit of what we did for week A.

Princess dressed as the Apple Blossom Fairy

Drawing of an apple tree.

Drawing of the Apple Blossom Fairy.

One of the books we read this week was The Art Lesson by Tomie DePaola. I love, love, love this author and so do my kiddos. After reading it several times we talked about drawing and decided to make our own unique crayons. What a better way than to reuse the old broken ones that are too small to color with? Here's a few pictures of us making our new crayons...

And last but not least...Apple picking!!! The kids enjoyed apple picking despite it being nearly 80 degrees! Princess kept looking for the Apple Blossom Fairy and the Apple Blossom Baby. This lent a conversation about seasons and how the Apple Blossom Fairy and Apple Blossom Baby are out in the springtime. It looks like we'll be traveling to the apple orchard again in the spring to check out the blossoms.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Handprint Calendar Portfolio

I found this website that has your child create a monthly calendar using their hand prints. There's also a cutsie poem at the beginning that talks about little hands. This makes a nice gift for grandparents, godparents, and anyone else who might like a nice memento from your child. I'm using it this year as a basis for a portfolio system for the older kids schoolwork.

While I'm not required by law to keep any type of documentation of our homeschooling journey, I still want to have a record of the progress the kiddos make. This is a good thing for all parents to have--especially for those days that you wonder, "Why in the world am I homeschooling?" :) You can look back and see the progression your child has made. The monthly calendar will serve as that month's tab in a binder and we can put schoolwork into the binder under the corresponding month.

The portfolios also serve another purpose...a way to keep the paper, crafts, worksheets, etc. to a minimum. I don't know if you're kiddos are like mine, but when it comes to art projects and crafts, they want to keep every single one of them. This can get out of control very fast if I don't keep it under control. Princess is old enough to decide what can go in the portfolio and what she would like to leave out. I have a feeling she will want to keep it all! I decided that the larger projects and crafts we can take pictures of and place the pictures in the portfolio.

As the school year progresses I will comment about how this system is working for us and what, if any, improvements I've made to the system.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

School is in session...well almost

Today we "officially" started homeschooling. Princess is more than excited to start school (Truth be told, she's been begging to start school). This week will be filled with easing into the routine we'd like to keep. Today we made welcome signs. While the kiddos decorated their signs, I read them the story of Abraham and Sarah welcoming the Angels. We discussed ways we can help people feel welcomed in our home and in other situations. I also included on their signs, "Jesus welcomes all the children" from Luke 18:16.