Monday, August 31, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - Circus

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

The theme for today is the Circus. After having a migraine all weekend, I was not very creative with the theme. We had foods you would find at the circus and can I just say, this has to be the most unhealthy meal he has had in a long time!
We had an Concession Stand with a list of the foods and the cost. Since we are working on counting money, I had coins for him to use to "pay" for his meal.
There was:
Hot Dog
Funnel cake(cinnamon roll with powdered sugar)
Cotton Candy(found it at Hollywood video)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Easy Experiments - Polymers

Here are two quick and easy experiments we did this week. The experiments are about polymers and how they are in everything we use. They can expand or contract depending what you use. They are part of the Magic School Bus Science Experiments kits we are using for science this year.

Experiment #1
You will need:
sandwich bag
Freshly sharpened pencil

Fill the bag with water and poke the pencil through both sides of the bag. Did the water leak? Did the polymers in the plastic bad expand and fill around the pencil? As a side note, you can see the pencil through the water looks bent, due to the light refracting in the water.

Experiment #2
You will need:
styrofoam peanuts
Glass or metal bowl

This experiment shows how the polymers are already expanded to make the styrofoam and when put in acetone the polymers shrink and make the styrofoam break down. It soaked for about 2 minutes in the photo, you can also see what is left of my manicure:)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Weekly Review - Week 8

This week we got away from my lessons plans a good bit, but I do not mind. He was still interested Egypt and mummies so instead of moving on to Chapter 6 in Story of the World, we stopped and learned more about what interested him. He also started asking about constellations and the stars so we took time to learn about the constellations. We tried several times to get out the telescope and do some star gazing but the weather has not cooperated with us this week; hopefully this weekend will work better.

This is one of the reasons I love homeschooling, we are able to stop and take all the time we would like, to learn about whatever topic is of interest. Having the time to slow down and let him he ask questions and study what is of interest to him is great. It helps instill the love of learning that will go with him all his life.

He is getting better and faster with his math facts. He is making good progress on telling time and we continue to work on counting money. On the math worksheet you will notice dots beside some of the problems, if he does not know the answer he put dots beside the numbers so he can count them and work the problem himself.

We read Mummies and Pyramids the Magic Tree House Research Guide. These books are great; they go along well with the books. They are written on the same level as the Magic Tree House books so he can read them himself. I bought 3 of them but I will be looking for more to purchase. They are a great addition to his reading list. We are on number 13 in the Magic Tree House set.

He has learned how to count to 20 in Korean for TaeKwonDo. He is doing excellent with French through He had his first test and did great. He is already asking when we can start Spanish, I think he wants to learn a little bit of all languages.

If the weather holds, we will be taking a few days off from school next week, to enjoy the outdoors. One of the reason we start school so early is for us to be able to take the nice cooler days and enjoy them. He can so little in the summer due to the heat, school in the summer works great for us.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - People/Faces

Today is muffin tin Monday. To learn more about muffin tin Monday head on over to for more information.

Today's theme was people and faces. I did people and places. We are studying Egypt in school right now. We are studying about the pyramids, mummies and treasure hunters. So, I had to work that into the theme this week.

We had
1. Mummy - marshmallow wrapped in a fruit roll up
2. Pyramid - made out of cheese squares
3. Pharaoh - drawn on a tortilla with food color markers (well my attempt anyways)
4. Oasis - blueberry yogurt with graham cracker sand around it
5. Treasure - banana muffin with a few chocolate chips and sprinkles on the inside
6. Treasure Hunter - Lego Indiana Jones on the cheese pyramid

Friday, August 21, 2009

Weekly Review- Week 7

We had a good week this week. I worked at adding more fun activities into our school work. We have been doing a lot of reading plus worksheets and it was getting a bit tiresome for him.

As I have mentioned before, he is completely in love with Jack and Annie from Magic Tree House books. He wants to read a book everyday. We are now on book 11 in the series. He has shown an interest in learning more about Morgan la Fey and Merlin so I have bought a book called, "King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table" by Puffin Classics. It is the retelling of Le Morte D'arthur. Having read Le Morte D'arthur I look forward to reading this with him. I also purchased a few of the Magic Tree House research guides, that go along with the books. I just got them in and they look really neat. They are written on the same level as the Magic Tree House books. They are more in depth with information and illustrations to go along with the books.

This week we used our new globe to find Egypt, the Nile River, Red Sea, Black Sea and the state we live in. We made a sword out of cardboard and tin foil. We did math and graphing using M&M's.

We are doing more Magic School Bus experiments this weekend. I need to go buy a few supplies first. I am going to try to find more fun craft projects for us to do next week. I know we are going to make bookmarks for his chapter books. I think we will also make hieroglyphics using concrete stepping stones mix I have.

I can say we now have a good routine going and I feel like we are making good progress in all his subjects. The curriculum we are using is to the right of the blog. I am happy with all the books I picked this year except, First Language Lessons, it so repetitive and he just does not do repetitive things. We are still using it I am going to speed it up and see if that works better for us.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Favorite Fun Educational Dvds

I wanted to make a list for some LittleBit's favorite educational dvds. I rented all of these from Netflix. Some were so well liked, I purchased them such as the Popular Mechanics for Kids dvd set, he loves these so much I bought the whole set.

1. Popular Mechanics for Kids dvd set
PMK - Lightning and other forces of Nature
PMK - Radical Rockets and Other Cool Cruising Machines
PMK - Rip Roaring Rollercoasters and All Access to Fun
PMK - X-Treme Sports & Other Action Adventures
PMK - Gators & Dragons and Other Wild Beasts
PMK - Slither and Slime and Other Yucky Things
PMK - Super Sea Creatures and Awesome Ocean Adventures
PMK - Firefighters and Other Life Saving Heroes
This are his favorite videos, we have had them for over a year and they are still watched often.

2. Vrrrooommm!: Dairy Farming for Kids
3. Vrrrooommm!: Citrus Farming for Kids
4. Vrrrooommm!: Farming for Kids
5. Vrrrooommm!: Apple Farming for Kids
6. Way Cool Science: Space Trekkers
7. Way Cool Science: Stormchasers
8. Magic School Bus
9. Sid the Science Kid (can be seen on PBS also)
10. LeapFrog Letter Factory set ( good for the younger kids)
11. All About Trucks
12. Real Wheels dvd set (great set for those who love vehicles)

There are tons more educational dvds out there for kids, I just wanted to list a few of our favorites.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday

There was no theme for this week. I called this week a snack of champions. LittleBit has 2 TaeKwonDo classes this afternoon and it will be a late supper tonight so, he needed a big snack to get him through the afternoon.

He had:
Penaut Butter & crackers
Laughing cow cheese wedge
Kool-aid - a big treat, we don't have it very often.

Great Deal- New Globe

I have been looking for a new globe for school. We have the Leaf Frog Jr. explorer globe and he has long since out grown it. I wanted to get the more advanced Leap Frog globe that show the actual states, countries, oceans, rivers, etc.

I have found the Odyssey globe for anywhere to $100 to $200. As much as I wanted another interactive globe for us to use, I was not going to spend that much money. I just happened to check Craigslist and I found one still in the box for $35.00! I am so happy, I love getting a good deal.

The globe is so neat it tells the countries, continents, states, distance, area, population, money, music, plus more. It also has games. We will have a great time with our new globe.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Weekly Review - 6

This has not been the best week, I would call it a school lite week. We are a little behind with the lesson plans. I am having a time with my insomnia, 1.5 hours sleep does not make for the best day. Little Bit is not sleeping well, his sinuses are bothering him. He has been working extra hard this week with extra Tae Kwon Do classes getting ready for his belt testing this weekend.

We are really starting to enjoy the Story of the World book with activities. He does not like the coloring at all, he actually asked to take a nap over coloring this week but he loves the map work. We have spent some time working with the globe and looking at satellite photos from of the rivers and countries we are studying in STOW.

He is working on his handwriting and is having fun with the math fact sheets. He has started making a math sheet for me to do and when I get the answers right I get a smiley face.

He is loving the Magic Tree house books, he is on number 10 in the series. He is going through them so fast. He is asking questions about Merlin and Morgan La Fey, I was telling him about King Arthur etc. and he is interested in learning more about them. I am looking for child friendly books on King Arthur.

We finally received our butterflies that I ordered in May for our butterfly house. He had a great time watching them go from caterpillars to butterflies. It was great fun to check the progress everyday. My hubby had fun taking photos with the new DSLR camera. We are already planning on ordering some monarch butterflies and they are campaigning for praying mantis eggs.

On the Well Trained Mind message board, someone suggested taking the Story of the World activity book to Kinko's to have it cut and rebound on a spiral, it is a brilliant idea. It cost 6.00 and now I have a book I can make copies of the activity sheets in the back for him, he loves working with the maps and I can now make more than one copy. It is so much easier to flip through the book. I wish I remembered the name of the person who mentioned it, I don't, but thank you!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - Planes Trains & Automobiles

Todays theme was planes trains and automobiles. I was happy I had a few cookie cutters to use this week. We had:
PB&J - Train
Pretzels - train tracks
Rice Krispy Treat - bulldozer
Grapes - logs for the bulldozer to push
Cheese w/ pepperoni - dump truck
A few chips - rocks for dump truck to haul

He a great time building his construction site. I wanted to use carrots to make the railroad tracks but they did not look good today.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Yogurt Cup Speaker Experiment - Success

Today we did an experiment I found on the site. Here is the link

First there was a trip to Radio Shack to buy the supplies. I would like to tell what all was involved and how much work it took but I left it up the boys to do. It only took them about 45 minutes to complete the experiment.

I do know they discussed the vocabulary words listed in the lesson plan and discussed the whys of each step. I can tell you that LittleBit had the most fun using the batteries and wire to create a electromagnet to attract and repel the magnets. I can tell you it was a success, Dad attached the speaker to the sound system in the living room and we had sound. LittleBit chose Star Wars to put to listen to his speaker with. You could hear the high tone sounds, such as the light saber noise that is in the movie. Very impressive coming from a plastic cup with wire and a magnet.

Dad thought the instructions were good all be it a little vague, with the option of wire size it took some trial and error to figure how many times you needed to coil the wire for it to work. Overall a good experiment with room for a more detail experiment again when he is older.

The vocabulary words were:
magnetic field
magnetic force

The supplies we used were:
jello pudding cup
masking tape
magnet wire - 24g
D cell battery
magent - round 1"
wire cutters
hot glue

Friday, August 7, 2009

Week in Review - 5

We are fully into school now having started all subjects it has been a busy week. He loved the Mind benders book we started this week. This week he also started getting paper and markers out on his own to write, this is major progress for him. He learned to make his letters at age 3 and ever since then he has not wanted to practice handwriting. It is always a trouble spot for us. He thinks, I already know how to write I shouldn't have to do any more, he is a fast learner and repeating with practice not his favorite. I am very happy to see progress in his learning and willingness to practice.

He is enjoying the math facts we do everyday and is making his own problems for me to work(lol). We are also using Singapore Math 1b workbook and he is sailing through it. He loved the Magic School Bus experiment we did this week and can not wait to do more. I am happy with them and feel they are worth the price.

He read Magic Tree House books 5 and 6 this week. He loves these books and is getting to where instead of reading a few chapters he is trying to read the whole book at one time.

Thursday was a sick day, he had been up sick most of the night before and so we watched movies and played Wii. I did notice when playing Lego Star Wars he was reading his score instead of asking what it was. He can read the 10 thousands place not quite sure about reading the 100 thousands place. Amazing how progress can be seen anywhere.

This weekend Little Bit and Dad are making yogurt speakers from the site. I am not sure who is more excited him or Dad. Dad being an electrical engineer, loved the website and is ready to do most of the activities. With his favorite show being Deconstructed on the Science channel, I have no doubt one day I will find he has torn something apart just to look at it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fun Curriculum - TeachEngineering K - 12

I was given a link to an engineering curriculum for K - 12. My engineering hubby is loving this and I am thinking data analysis and reasoning proof, yuck! I started looking over the curriculum and it is COOL. There are some really good activities for kids of all ages, I found one we will be doing this weekend. I look forward to adding this to our list.

This weekend we will be making yogurt cups speakers, FUN! There is a lesson plan with learning objectives, vocabulary/definitions, a procedure, assessment and activity scaling for different age groups. I am sure we will find many valuable lessons from this site.

I will be sure and blog about our experiment and how it well it goes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mind Benders a.k.a - My son may be smarter than me

Today I thought we would try a Mind Benders workbook. It is for deductive and logical thinking skills. I thought the book was difficult for a 5 year old, of course show me a word problem and I freeze up, we do not mix. I thought we would try a problem or two and see what happens.

I should have known, he loved them. While I was reading the problems slowly to make sure he caught the whole sentence, he read ahead and answered the question first thing. We did 4 questions before I said enough, my brain was starting to hurt. I really don't care for word problems:)

It is a fun book with the problems that get progressively harder. I am sure we will enjoy the book. I purchased the book from Christian Book Distributors.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - Party

Today's muffin tin Monday's theme is party/celebrate. We did a ice cream party, ever since we had a ice cream sundae bar a few months ago his favorite thing is to make ice cream sundaes.

It is hot and humid here, ice cream in the afternoon was perfect. He did mention I forgot to use marshmallows. We had ice cream with nuts, sprinkles, m&m's, chocolate and carmel sauce.

Slime Goop and Gel Magic School Bus Experiment

We opened our first science experiment box from Magic School Bus today. He picked the slime, goop and gel kit, no surprise there. We did 2 experiments today, there are 11 total. I wish the box had mentioned the household items you would need, I was out of white vinegar. It came with everything you need except for water, cornstarch, vinegar and disposable cups or bowls.

We made slime and them turned the slime into a bouncy ball. It was fun, he had a great time and wanted to keep going. There was light reading on atoms, molecules and polymers. We talked about water molecules being made of 1 oxygen and 2 hydrogen atoms. I think I will get a periodic table for us to look at and study. I thought it was a simple and fun introduction into science with easy facts to learn. It is also a great way to work on following instructions and measuring correctly.

None of the 20 Magic School Bus chapter books I have are about atoms but I think I have a show recorded that is, I will look for it for us to watch. I look forward to doing more experiments.