Homeschool Creations

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Preschool Corner: Letter D

Zachary worked on the Letter "D" this week. He has a great handle on his uppercase letters, and we're finding that he needs help with the lowercase letters - a big necessary if he tries to read, since obviously books are generally in lowercase. That gets to be rather frustrating for him. Here are some of the things we focused on with the letter "D".

ABC Book: Dandelion

Our page for the letter “D” was a dandelion (apologies for the scan).

Here’s how we made it:
  • Cut out two yellow circles, one about an inch smaller than the other
  • Cut out a brown or white circle (about half the size of the largest yellow circle)
  • Glue the circles from largest to smallest
  • Use scissors to fringe the yellow circles (causing them to look like dandelions)
  • Add a stem using a green pipe cleaner

Art Activity: Decorating Donuts

This week we made paper donuts. For this craft you will need: a large pieceof paper, white glue, food coloring, paint brush, confetti or glitter.
  1. Cut out large donut shape
  2. Mix a little food coloring in some white glue and put it in a small bowl.
  3. Use a paint brush to "frost" the donut with the colored glue
  4. Sprinkle confetti or glitter on top of wet glue to decorate it

Fun Activities

Duck, Duck Goose

Play Doctor

Letter Sheet/Collage

Click on thumbnail to download the pdf file.


Philippians 2:14 - "Do everything without complaining or arguing."


This week we practiced our letters on our tabletop whiteboard and easel that we have from Melissa and Doug (love that thing).

Rhymes and Songs

Diddle diddle Dumpling, my son John
Went to bed with his stockings on.
One shoe off and one shoe on,
Diddle diddle dumpling, my son John.

Donut Song

Oh I ran around the corner
And I ran around the block
And I ran right into a donut shop.
I picked up a donut and I licked off the grease,
And I handed the lady a five-cent piece.
Well she looked at the nickle
And she looked at me,
And she said, "This nickel isn't good to me!
There's a hole in the nickle, and it goes right through!"
And I said, "There's a hole in my donut too!
Thanks for the donut! Good day!"


One Stuck Duck by Phyllis Root
Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman
Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff

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Joining the Homeschool Crew

A few months ago I applied to be a part of a blogger's focus group through The Old Schoolhouse Magazine - they were the ones who graciously offered the free subscription for me to give away to you all.

I found out last week that I am now a part of The Homeschool Crew, a team of homeschooling moms that will be reviewing products from various companies!! For you all that can also mean some giveaways too!!

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Studying Japan ::Week 1::

This week we started our study of Japan. Of all the countries we've studied so far, Japan has had some amazing websites available to use in our studies. We’re planning on making this a three week study and wrapping it all up with a unit on volcanoes. Here’s how our first week was outlined:

  • Review geography song
  • Locate & map Japan with watercolors {link below}
  • Use atlas to learn more about Japan
  • Hello Japan video
  • Read Children Just Like Me & use notebooking page
  • Color Japan’s flag {printable below}
  • Facts about Japan using National Geographic for Kids website
  • Kids Web Japan
  • Talk about the Mon {family crest}
  • Review Asia geography song
  • Woodcuts/paintings {link below}

Laurianna's independent reading for the week was Dragon of the Red Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne and the kids also enjoyed listening to the audiobook when Laurianna had finished reading it on her own. We've also been reading stories from Japanese Children's Favorite Stories and The Boy of the Three Year Nap.

Great Links

  • Kids Web Japan - great videos, virtual games, pictures - too much to list, but a GREAT resource!! This week we watched the "Hello Japan" video, learned about tea ceremonies (and had our own), looked at some of the typical Japanese food

  • Visit Japan - this link is specifically to a quick video about Japan

  • National Geographic Kids: Japan - country facts, postcard, video clip and information on Japan

  • Japanese Woodcuts to Color - Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop has a great project for using watercolors to recreate some famous Japanese woodcuts

  • Hokusai's Great Wave - picture and information on woodcut painting

    Next week we'll be continuing our study of Japan by studying Japanese screens, origami, Japanese counting, puppet theatre and some other fun things too.

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    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    Tot School ::4::

    This week it seems we spent more time OUT of the house than we did IN it - but we tried to squeeze in some fun and time to learn between all the running around to stores and the doctor.

    We visited our children's museum where essentially the name of the game is "Follow Kaleb Around" and we play and do what Kaleb is interested in (and try to keep him away from the water cooler).

    This week we played with the globes and the magnets...

    ..and dug around a little in the garden and picked vegetables together.

    At home we pulled out the big paper and taped it to the table and let him color/scribble. He tried imitating some of the strokes that I was doing and repeating the colors that I named: blue, yellow, green and purple are definite favorites.

    We have some great "animal parts" that we can use with our playdough (I think this was a Costco buy last year) and had fun adding eyes and random body parts to a lump of playdough.

    We are still having issues with trying to eat the playdough, but he does love to squish it around and have fun trying to cut it up with the scissors or a kid's knife.

    We would get one playdough color open and out and he would hand me another color to open (and Mommy has issues with playing with more than one color at a's a sickness, it is), so we started stacking containers instead and counting containers - which kept him happy for a bit longer.

    And when he got tired of stacking and playing, it's always fun to take the empty containers and make funny noises together.

    At the end of the week we took a trip to the arboretum to go on a nature walk. Since Kaleb was in the backpack, there aren't any pictures of him, but we took a great walk and spent LOTS of time watching the ducks - so this is much of what Kaleb saw:

    And later at home, we played a new game with Kaleb which brought giggles and laughs from everyone involved: Slide the book under the door. Bonus points for hitting Kaleb, because that made him laugh more. He and Laurianna had a great time playing this together.

    That's it for this week! Thanks for stopping by!

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    Friday, September 19, 2008

    The Preschool Corner: Letter C

    Schooltime was a little hectic this week for Zachary. We had our routine thrown off a little bit by a trip to the doctor's office - so not as much time to focus on preschool as much that day - and then crammed more into another. We talked about the letter "C" this week and that involved crickets. The girls found themselves a cricket, named it "Chirpy" and everyone was having fun playing with him.

    Until Kaleb stomped on him.

    I seriously laughed out loud - the looks on the other three's faces was just priceless. I'm not a mean mommy - it was just so funny.

    ABC Book: Clock

    The alphabet book page for the letter "C" was a Clock (sorry, I know the scan didn't turn out that great!). We used a rectangle base and Zachary colored it to look like a clock (not one in oru house - he didn't feel like using brown). He cut out a clock face that I printed off and we added some hands with a brad so that the hands can move around. There is also a little pendulum hanging (just a circle taped onto half a pipe cleaner).

    Art Activity: Color Mixing

    We used paint to mix primary colors (red, yellow and blue) to see what colors we could make when we mixed them.

    Fun Activities

    We played Candyland together - what can I say?

    We are also using some little workbooks by Kumon called "Let's Cut Paper" to work on Zachary's cutting skills (there is a link on the Amazon widget below).


    Counting Coins: What child isn't fascinated with money - and counting pennies can take up a lot of time. We counted, and recounted. Made groups of five, etc... Found pennies in pockets days later...

    Calendar: We've been working on patterns using our wall calendar, getting the days of the week down pat and also the months of the year. Zachary is thinking he is such big stuff too! Learning by singing is a huge help in our house and the Sounds Like Fun cd from Discovery Toys has some great songs on it for learning your days of the week and months of the year (among other things).

    Cotton Ball Counting: Glue correct number of cotton balls onto a sheet of paper next to the number that is written down.

    Letter Sheet/Collage

    Click on the thumbnail picture to download the pdf file


    Colossians 3:20 - "Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is pleasing to the Lord."

    We've been using the book My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt. It has a quick little devotional and a few questions at the end of the story along with review from previous weeks.


    This week we used our Handwriting Without Tears worksheet to practice our letter "C" (the link will take you to the Scribd site where I uploaded the one I made).

    Rhymes and Songs

    C is for cookie, and that's good enough for me
    C is for cookie, and that's good enough for me,
    C is for cookie, and that's good enough for me.
    Cookie, cookie, cookie.
    Cookie starts with C!


    Clickety Clack by Robert Spence
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
    Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

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    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Studying Korea: Week 2

    This week we finished our tour of the peninsula of Korea. I found several other websites to visit this week with the girls. This week we focused more on South Korea.

    • Talked about kimchi pots
    • Mapped the Yellow Sea and the capitals of Norht & South Korea and explored on our globe a little more
    • Talked about Korean currency - I put together a little info sheet with pictures of the current South Korean currency (you can print off a copy for yourself below if you would like)
    • Practiced Korean numbers
    • Made Korean beef tips (one of Daddy's favorite meals)
    • Put our notebooks together with our Korean studies information
    • Marked our passports as having studied Korea

    We are still reading aloud the book Archer's Quest by Linda Sue Park (and I'm even interested to see how this is going to turn out!). Laurianna has continued reading Seesaw Girl by Linda Sue Park and McKenna LOVES the book Dear Juno by Soyung Pak.

    What We’re Reading

    Website Resources
    Here is the document with the South Korean currency: Next week we will be starting a three week study of Japan ... and I so need to get working on those lesson plans. I've started researching some things, but haven't sat down long enough to put it all down (that's usually my Friday afternoon and Sunday evening routine).


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    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Homeschool Memoirs: Favorite Things

    This week's meme at Homeschool Blog Awards is "Favorite Things". We were given a start of things to work with, so here goes with mine!


    Freebie sites

    Forums/Book Clubs

    Blog Help Sites

    Kid sites - oh, my...too many to share, but here are some of my most recent favorites - my sidebar has a full list of my favorites

    Memes - these might be ones that I participate in using my other blog No Ordinary Moments


    Family Blogs


    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Tot School ::3::

    This week for Tot School things were a little crazier (a lot to do during the day with preschool starting for big brother...and a new routine to adjust to), but we still squeezed in time together and are adjusting everyone to the "Mommy gets to spend special time with Kaleb" routine too!

    Getting rid of our high chair and moving Kaleb to the booster seat so he can sit at the table has been a huge help - although he still wants to be buckled in constantly and then sometimes can't reach the activity that we are doing. In his little mind: booster = must be buckled. :)

    We spent some time playing with some animal magnets that I found last week. He loved pulling them off and rearranging them, dropping them in and taking them out of the bag. We tried driving the tractor around on the table, but the magnet he was most interested in? A haybale. Go figure.

    Kaleb loves the stacking cups and is beginning to consistenly get them in the right ascending order.

    Ever since I pulled this ring stack out again (I know it's more of an infant toy, but I'm working on the size differences and stacking them correctly) he has been carrying it around the house and wanting to take it to bed with him. Now, of course, the rings are located all over my house (and good luck to me in finding them all).

    Kaleb has also discovered where Mommy has been hiding the crayons and has great fun dumping them out and then putting them back in the box. I can't complain if he wants to clean them up, so I just take pictures. He is having a lot of fun coloring and is sitting for much longer time periods to scribble away now.

    I pulled out some of our puzzle blocks to stack, and he wanted more to stack so we pulled out the 1" blocks too (much better).

    He also loved trying out the lacing cards. He was able to get the string into several of the holes, and then let me pull the string tight for him.

    That's it for this week - be sure to click on the Tot School link above to see how other moms are incorporating Tot School into their day!

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    Friday, September 12, 2008

    The Preschool Corner: Letter B

    Zachary has moved onto the letter "B" this week and it cracks me up how HUGE he has to make his "bellys" on his B's. His P's and R's are normal, but he really enjoys making them larger than life.

    He also started preschool 2 days a week (so Mommy has a little more time with Kaleb on those mornings).

    ABC Book: Bumblebee

    The bumblebee fits onto a standard size piece of paper. He cut out circles for the body and head of the bee and cut black stripes to glue on it also. I cut out wings for the bee using wax paper and then we added googly eyes and antennas to complete it.

    Art Activity: Binoculars

    We took two toilet paper rolls and stapled them together to look like binoculars, punched holes in the side to tie a long piece of string in for a “strap” of sorts.

    Fun Activities

    Balance: Have your child try walking with something balanced on their heads.Then try standing on just one leg. Do it while closing your eyes and see what happens!

    Balance Beam: Tape a long strip of wide tape down the middle of a hallway floor and walk along the tape line. Can you do it without stepping off the tape?

    String Beads: Practice patterning or make a necklace together.

    Bounce Balloons: Blow up some balloons and have fun bouncing them back and forth to each other.

    Letter Sheet/Collage

    Click on thumbnail to download pdf


    This week we used our large easel to practice writing our letters, especially since the bellies on those "B"s can get rather large at times!

    Rhymes and Songs

    London Bridges Falling Down
    Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee


    Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle

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    Korea Study: Week 1

    We really are having a fun time this year with our geography study and learning together, which always makes it fun! We looked at North and South Korea this week, although the majority of our studies were focused on South Korea.  

    • located and mapped the Koreas
    • reviewed our Asia area song
    • colored the South Korean flag
    • independent reading {see carousel below} Laurianna is reading Seesaw Girl by Linda Sue Park and McKenna is reading Dear Juno by Soyung Pak. Together we are reading aloud the story Archer's Quest (mainly so that I can moderate some of the content).
    • read about Bob Pierce (missionary)
    • did our Children Just Like me sheet
    • independent reading {see carousel below}
    • toured Korea via a kid's website (links are below), and learned a little more about Buddhism and different Korean temples
    • tryied out orgami and making panda bear faces...a little something we didn't have time to fit in last week.
    • talked about Buddhism
    • looked at different Korean temples
    Web Resources

    Here are some great links for Korea:
    • The Wedding of Kaz and Ilsu - this site documents the wedding of the site author (Kaz) and his trip to Korea for his wedding and honeymoon. There are some great photos on the site to look at various Korean temples and culture shots.
    • World Heritage Tour - provides 360 degree pics and views of different Korean temples and sites.
    • Our Place - pictures of the Sokkuram Groto and Pulguksa Temple.
    • Korea for Kids - has a virtual "tour" of South Korea and includes some fun printable activities for kids (Hahoe mask drama, acrostic poems and kimchi pots).
    • South Korea Unit Study - Knowledge Quest has some great ideas posted at this link for South Korea also.
    Books We Used


    Next week we are continuing on in South Korea by looking at Korean currency, Kimchi pots, Hahoe mask drama, making a yummy meal of beef tips and rice, and studying Korean numbers as well as making our own acrostic.


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    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Tot School ::2::

    Getting pictures of the things that we do during Tot School, can sometimes be a wee bit challenging. Four kids, all vying for their own piece of the action. And everyone wants to help the baby. Sigh.

    But I have pulled my act together, and even if the pictures are blurry, skewed or whatever, here they are!
    Kaleb is well aware now that all the "good stuff" is hiding out on the shelves in Mommy's room. It's almost enough to distract him from the toilet.

    The toys may be exciting for a little bit, but then being able to reach door knobs and open and close doors is so much fun too, so forgetting the toys can be rather easy.

    This week Kaleb colored a lot more with the crayons as opposed to trying to eat the entire box, which was a welcome surprise. I kept naming the colors he used as he was coloring and every time he used the purple, he would color a bit and then raise his hands and say "Purple!" He repeated it over and over - so sweet!

    We also spent some time playing with our Fisher Price farm - he loved zooming the tractor around, making fun noises and putting the animals in their pens. He is consistent with a few of the animal sounds (pig, cow, and rooster) at this point.

    The new found "freedom" of his booster seat has been great, but he has more fun buckling his seat when he isn't sitting in it - and Mommy has fun unbuckling it over and over again!!

    Next week I'll have some more pictures to show what else Kaleb is up to!

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