Homeschool Creations

Friday, May 29, 2009

Preschool Corner: Robin Lapbook

We had a little robin who decided to build a nest right in front of our house and we were able to watch the entire process. The kids were thrilled to discover that she had laid three eggs.

Zachary was the one who alerted us to the fact there were eggs in the nest ~ after he reached up, stuck his hand in the next one morning and felt the eggs.

We had a little discussion about leaving bird's nests alone. Yes, we did.

That seemed like a great time to avoid those last few pesky letters of the alphabet that are hanging over my head and use the time to learn as much as we could about robins. It would be a shame to waste a perfectly good learning opportunity, don't you think?

Drawing a picture of a robin

I posted about the robin lapbooks that the girls put together along with some great links, but wanted to do a separate post for Zachary's lapbook, since it was a little different and more 'directed' by him. He was so excited to have school time along with the girls and feels like he is really doing school right now. It's so funny to watch him.

Zachary's lapbook only used one file folder ~ I opened it flat and then re-folded it so that there were two smaller flaps on the sides. The above picture shows the front and the back of his lapbook {cover pic is linked below} For the back cover, Zachary drew a picture of some worms and dictated a few sentences to me:
"Robins can see the ground moving. That means worms are going underground. They eat them."

There are only a few minit books inside: Who's Who {difference between male and female birds}, bird food, predators, a coloring sheet with a robin's anatomy, clip art and a drawing Zachary made of a robin's nest. I didn't get a very good picture of his completed drawing, but it's hysterical! The robins all have their heads straight up, mouths open and waiting for food. He was so proud because he did it all by himself and wrote "This iz a robin" along the top.

Here are a some shots inside the lapbook and with the minit books fully opened:

During the week we also worked on memorizing a little poem about "Little Robin Redbreast". Zachary did great memorizing the first stanza of it:

Little Robin Redbreast

Little Robin Redbreast sat upon a tree,
Up went pussy cat and down went he;
Down came pussy, and away Robin ran;
Says little Robin Redbreast, "Catch me if you can."

Little Robin Redbreast jumped upon a wall,
Pussy cat jumped after him and almost got a fall;
Little Robin chirped and sang, and what did pussy say?
Pussy cat said, "Meeow!" and Robin jumped away.

Links for the Lapbook
Be sure to check out my post about the girl's robin lapbooks. I'm covering a lot more information about the things that we talked about during the week and will have more resources and links in that post!

About the Preschool Corner:

The Preschool Corner is a place for us to share the ideas we are using during our "preschool time" with our kids. You can join in the fun and record what you are doing in your house. Please link your exact blog post to the Mr. Linky below (if you have questions feel free to ask). Be sure to link back to this blog post so that your readers can find some other great ideas too!

The guidelines can be found here if you need them.

Share what you've been doing in your house this week!


Labels: , , ,

Guest Posting @ Today's Housewife

I'm guest posting over at Today's Housewife about 'learning spaces'. Stop on over and say hi!



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Robin Lapbook and Unit Study

Little did I know that one simple robin's nest would take us on an adventure into learning some fun things about robins ~ and more about the creativity of God!

We watched a mommy robin build her nest right outside our window, found out {thanks to Zachary putting his hand in the nest} that she had laid three eggs...and then watched and waited patiently.

Until she abandoned the nest three days before the eggs were supposed to hatch.

Regardless, we continued on with our robin study and learned so much. We've all been sharing the little tidbits that we've learned with others we know, because it's too neat NOT to share!

At the end of the post I'll include a full list of all the great links and resources we used over the last bit. I'll also throw in some of the fun facts we learned as I post pictures of the lapbooks the girls put together. Tomorrow I'll be posting the lapbook we did for Zachary as part of the Preschool Corner.

Every day we spent time memorizing "Little Robin Redbreast" and also sitting outside to observe the robins {and other birds} in our yard ~ their songs, habits, etc... We also worked on the minit books that went along with what we were studying that day.

Monday: A Robin's Habitat ~ Our backyard
  • Identifying robins: difference between males and females ~ minit book
  • Scientific name of robins: turdus migratorius
  • Migration of robins & minit book
  • What do robins eat?
  • How do robins find their food? We had so much fun watching the robins in our yard and learning that they actually see the ground move ~ not hear like we originally thought!

Tuesday: Life Cycles/Nesting ~ Getting ready for babies
  • What are the predators of robins?
  • Who builds the nest?
  • Robins 'chore chart' ~ who has what responsibilities in raising babies. You guessed it, it's primarily the momma robin. We learned that the mom lays one egg a day and that it generally takes 2 weeks for the eggs to hatch. The mother robin spends on average about 50 minutes of each hour sitting on the eggs in the nest.

Wednesday: Keeping up with the babies
  • Feeding habits of babies ~ wow! We were amazed to learn that the parents have about 100 feedings a day. {And I thought that my kids ate a lot}
  • In the first two weeks of life, each baby eats the equivalent of 14 feet of worms ~ we even went into the backyard and measured that out.
  • Babies weigh less than a quarter when they are born and are almost the same size as their parent within 2 weeks.
  • Disposable diapers for birds ~ This was amazing!! Did you know that every time a baby robin eats it poops right away? That way the parents are there to pick up after them. Their poop is contained in a little sac that the parents can pick up {just like a disposable diaper} and carry away from the nest. This helps keep the nest clean.

Thursday: Listening to robin's songs
  • What are the different songs of robins ~ we sat outside and listened to them
  • Put our lapbook and minit books together
  • Wrote/journaled and illustrated our robin stories. The girls used Draw Write Now to do the first page and then drew their own pictures on the second page. We use a lined journal that has room for drawing on the top of the page and then I photocopy their work to put in the lapbook.

Books we used

Some Great Resources


Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

John Piper Addresses the President

Extremely powerful and moving....



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We Belong to Heaven ~ John Mandeville

Today marks the official release of We Belong to Heaven from John Mandeville. Over the years he has written hit songs for Point of Grace {Jesus Will Still Be There}, 4Him, Clay Crosse, Avalon, and Tammy name just a few. We Belong to Heaven was birthed during a difficult season in John's life:
“This project really wrote itself as a result of what I was living through, it was meant to be a monument of change for my family, sort of like David wrote the Psalms,” he recalls of those initial sessions. “This was the turning point, the line in the sand, to see all the drama come to a close”. It was my chance to find my heart and return to a place of hope, while also returning to the heart of who I am as an artist.” ~ JM more about John's album, We Belong to Heaven, and get peek at one of his videos, by heading over to No Ordinary Moments.




Monday, May 25, 2009

Great Deals on Old Schoolhouse Magazine


Until midnight on Tuesday, May 26th, you can subscribe to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine ™ for only $15. Plus, as a bonus, you can select 5 FREE WeE-books of YOUR CHOICE! TOS is taking $10 off for one-year print subscriptions! (U.S. only). Use coupon code "FREEPICK5" when checking out. For more details, click through for a 1 year subscription.

Also, there are less than 5 days left to RENEW your subscription to the Old Schoolhouse ™ Magazine and get 2 years for the price of 1! For just $25 you'll receive 2 full years of TOS! But you must subscribe by June 2nd to get the summer issue! Use coupon code "2YRRENEWAL"~ that's $3.12 an issue. You can find more details here.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tot School ::24::

Tot School

~ Kaleb is 30 months ~

The last two weeks I've been using a little planning form I made up to hang on my fridge so that I would:

a) plan intentional activities with Kaleb
b) have them staring me in the face to ensure Kaleb doesn't just get 'Mommy leftovers'

That said, here's how I broke up our week:

Monday: water pouring, Nemo book; watercolor painting
Tuesday: 2 pc puzzles; hair scrunchis, Wii
Wednesday: tp ramps & cars; veggie/fruit cards; nature walk
Thursday: alpha puzzles; foam shapes; sandbox time
Friday....well, umm....I was getting ready for my own birthday party and baking a cake. {grins}

And here's the FUN stuff ~ the pictures of how it played out.

Kaleb LOVED pouring water from the mini-pitcher and into the cups. We have a kid's Tupperware set that is now one of his favorite things to do. Next time, I will be a little wiser and let him do it on the deck where the water mess isn't an issue {for me, not him ~ he could care less!}.

I pulled out the letters of Kaleb's name with our alphabet puzzles and we had fun playing with those together and {trying to} name the letters.

Kaleb matched shapes {and named circles and triangles) with our foam shapes and cards.

On one of trips to the dollar store, I bought a pack of hair scrunchies and we used a peg from our ring toss game. Kaleb had to stretch the scrunchies over the edge of the peg and slide them down. We also used them to work on naming colors ~ we've got green and blue down pat {and I'm sure it's no small cooincidence that his favorite binkies are green and blue...}

Everyone wanted to be a part of the toilet paper tube ramps with little cars. Once we were done making ramps, the cars moved on up to the big slide and went flying down the BIG ramp!

And this is a little man intent on playing football...for all of 4 seconds or so. Covered in sand from the freshly cleaned sandbox.

Before I forget, I posted my 'Tot School' planning form if you want to use it {graphics are courtesy of Carissa at 1+1+1=1). Click on the thumbnail graphic to print it off.

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to visit Carissa at 1+1+1=1 for some more Tot School posts.


Labels: ,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Preschool Corner...

I am pulling together a post to show what we did in our robin study this last week...but I've been a little sidetracked having fun for my birthday! :)

More to come!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fruit and Vegetable Matching Cards {Preschool Printables}

Before I have a mutiny on my hands, I AM going to be posting number cards soon!! I did pay attention to the poll results...but since I already had these partially completed {and they were so pretty}, I'm going to post them first.

Will you forgive me? {grins}

Here's a little thumbnail glimpse at what they look like.

The cards can be used as a memory game, for matching to like objects, grouping by colors, etc...It's up to you! You can also use the picture cards to practice identifying fruits and vegetables with your child {or sort by what they like and never know!}.

Word cards are also provided for each of the fruits and vegetables pictured. Let your child sound out the words and find the word card that matches the picture card. But have fun!! Click on the thumbnail to print off the cards ~ it's that easy!


Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tot School Planning Form

I mentioned a few weeks back in one of my Tot School posts that I had pulled together a form to help me plan out my 'school time' with Kaleb. My theory being if I actually have an 'official form' staring me in the face I would be more consistent and have some better activities for Kaleb to do each day.

My goal is to plan at least 3 intentional activities to do with Kaleb each day. I also made room for additional ideas{songs/fingerplays, gross and fine motor, or lapbooks}. The form can be printed off front and back and I've been tacking it up on our fridge so that I can see the week at a glance too ~ and it is helping me out! In case you are interested in using it too, you can click on the thumbnail image below and print off your own copy.

If you'd like more information on Tot School, visit Carisa at 1+1+1=1 and join in the fun!


Labels: , ,

So Very Sad...

We saw our momma robin this morning for a bit, but noticed later in the day that she hasn't come back to the nest.

A quick look inside and there are only two eggs in the nest now {not the original three}...and no one to sit on them.

We're still working on our robin unit, but sad since we most likely won't have any hands-on field study and observation of the babies.

So very sad.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Homeschool Geography Resources ~ My Top Picks

I've had several of you ask me recently what books I would recommend to use along with geography studies. What I started out using at the beginning of this year and what we are wrapping up our year using most are very different. Some of the changes have been because of the ages of our kids and others are just because we found some great books that we love!

These were some of our favorite resources that we referred to over and over during our ‘world travels’:
I've put in an Amazon carousel below so if you click on one of the picks it will take you to Amazon. I usually buy most of my books through them since they offer free shipping on orders over $25 {which sadly is too easy to come up with…or you can always use Prime shipping}.
  • Ten Boys & Girls Books ~ all four of the books have short stories about girls and boys who later grew up to be missionaries or help others in some way. These books are usually $6.99 at Amazon and are included right now in the 4 for 3 promotion {buy 4 eligible items and get the lowest priced one free}. We used the 'changed the world' and 'made history' books {4 total}
  • Around the World in 80 Tales ~ I wrote a review of this book earlier. Our kids literally beg for us to read a story from it each time we start a new country.
  • Rand McNally Schoolhouse Beginner Geography & Map Activities ~ we bought these to go along with the Beginner Atlas. It starts out with basic map/geography activities and then breaks it up by continent.
  • Pocket Factfiles: Mammals ~ small little book, but ever-so-handy for quick reference and look up
  • Children's World Atlas - this one has links to the internet. Very handy!
  • GeoPuzzles ~ these are some of the best puzzles we've found and they have helped the kids learn and place countries too. There are puzzles for almost all of the continents. Ages 4 and up
  • Draw Write Now ~ we've used these to help us draw different animals from the countries that we are studying. I'm working on a list to post of the books/animals from different continents. We bought the whole set because the kids really enjoy them and they also provide journaling information
  • Geography Songs: Sing Around the World ~ we picked this up from Rainbow Resource at a convention and the kids and I have learned the countries on the continents by singing our way through them. LOVE it!
Some other fun resources...but not necessarily on our 'have to have' list:
Hope these help you out!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button