Saturday, November 29, 2008

How to know that homeschooling is working....

When your eight year old makes a picture like this, it assures you that you are on the right track. Sam made this the other day when I was in the shower as a surprise for me. He says that he wants to have it as our family emblem. How cute is he.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fact Time

As usual I fell behind again on the list. So to make up for it I will add in some extra entries over the next few weeks.
1.) Three hundred and twenty-eight different species of parrots live on the Earth.

2.) Parrots have a wide range of articulations. Wild parrots do not imitate. Only pets will mimic people and noises they hear. The African gray parrots are the best mimics.

3.) In the wild, Macaws and Cockatoos can fly 500 miles per day in search of food! Some parrot vocalizations can be heard for up to 1 mile!

4.) Larger parrots such as the macaws and cockatoos live more than 75 years.

5.) Smaller parrots live 10 to 15 years.

6.) Parrots weigh from just a few ounces to 3½ pounds.

7.) Parrots cannot eat chocolate because it is poisonous to their body.

8.) While eating, parrots hold their food in one of their feet, which can be either left or right, making parrots left as well as right handed.

9.) Parrots are zygodactyls i.e. they have four toes on each foot. Two of their toes point forward and two point backward.

10.) Parrots, when not nesting, live in groups known as flocks and are prone to squawking and screaming.

1.) There are two types of camels: the Bactrian (or Asian) camel, which has two humps and the Dromedary (or Arabian) camel, has one hump.

2.) It is illegal to hunt camels in the state of Arizona.

3.) Now, central Australia is home to the last remaining herds of wild camels in the world. Australia even exports camels back to the Middle East.

4.) The camel's nickname "Ships of the Desert" comes from their walk. Like a giraffe, the camel moves both legs on one side of its body at the same time, then the other side. The rolling motion resembles a ship at sea.

5.) Camels can be milked, but the flavour is an acquired taste. Dairy herds are kept in parts of the Middle East.

6.) Llamas are very closely related to camels. In fact a camel cross llama was bred in Dubai in 1997. It was called Rama the Cama.

7.) They can close their nostrils to keep sand out.

8.) A camel can run for several hours without stopping!

9.) A camels' stomach has three sections.

10.) The hump on a camel is mostly a lump of fat.

Up next for our animals are a Turrkey and the Otter. Check back soon for them.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Our own little city.....

I have to be honest, with everyone being sick and the upcoming holidays, not much school work has gotten done over the last few weeks. I have tried to give some activities to keep them occupied and away from the t.v. This is the first one that we did and the boys had so much fun with it. I set it up all of the supplies the night before and left a note explaining what they were to do.
The note said "Turn this into a city for me and my friends to live." The boys got right to work. They actually forgot to eat breakfast, they were so excited.
Here is the final product. They decided to spilt into two cities. Sams is the rainbow side. Gabe decided to paint his purple because that is now his favorite color. (for today anyways)
I will try to post more of our other projects soon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My little Harry Potter's

The other day we were at Joann's. I found some Halloween stuff that they still had. It was all 90% off. They had the cute sets for Harry Potter that had glasses and a wand. Normally 15 dollars and we only paid 1.50. Can not beat that deal. Especially since the boys love pretending to be Harry Potter. The are always pretending to be him but they did not have any wands so they used drum sticks. I have been hearing alot of spells over the last few days.

And how cute are they! Little did they already now that they were magical to me. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Thanksgiving Booklist....

A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman. So what do you do when all of the turkeys in town get smart and disappear from town every fall. Why you throw an arts and crafts fair of course. The theme, what else....Turkeys. With a theme like that you need a model. See all of the fun that transpires.
Beauty and the Beaks by Mary Jane and Herm Auch. This is an adorable story of some chickens that try to help a turkey hide when it is Thanksgiving time. Check it out to see what they try.

Little Tom Turkey by Frances Bloxam. This is a nice story of how a turkey goes from a young turkey into a full grown one. The nice part of the story is that it told form the actual turkey's
point of view.
A Turkey For Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting. This book looked so good to us that we some how managed to get two copies out. LOL. It did not disappoint, very sweet. I was going to write something about it but my friend already did. Kate did a great job of explaining the book and shared some of her other favorite thanksgiving stories. So make sure to check her out.
One Is A Feast For A Mouse by Judy Cox. This a really sweet story that has a theme that we should listen to everyday not just Thanksgiving. A mouse comes out of his hole when the Thanksgiving feast is over. He sees a pea and realizes that would make a feast for him. It does stay that way though when he starts to see all of the other things on the table. To put it bluntly he gets little on the greedy side. A mishap happens and he loses it all. At the end though he sees the one green pea and realizes that is enough for him. So the moral of the story, appreciate what you have even if it is tiny.
I hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

A little delayed blog love......

Ok so I am once again a little delayed on an entry. Just when you think that I will not surprise you anymore. LOL. Well Kate gave me this award last week. Even though I probably do not deserve it ( I have been bad about commenting lately). Well I am going to try and be better about that. I am going to start by giving this award out.

The Gold Blogging Friends Forever Rules are:
1. Only five people allowed.
2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog.
3. One has to be someone new, or recently new to your blog, or live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to whoever gave you the 'Blogging Friends Forever' award.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Unplug your kids......Thankful

This weeks theme was "Thankful" for the unplug your kids project. We went more towards a Thanksgiving theme for it. I was actually working on a christmas gift when Gabe gave me the idea for this. He really wanted me to trace his hand for him. When I did, I thought that little turkey suncatchers would be cute. I know that I have done suncatchers like this before. Some people are fairly new to reading the blog and may not have seen it before so I thought I would share the directions again.
First you want choose a design for your suncatcher. In this case I used my own drawing of the boys hands for the design.
When Gabe saw these he said "Oh what nice pigeons." That kid sometimes.

Then after you have choosen your design lay overhead sheets on it and outline the shape in puffy paint.

Then you take equal parts paint and white school glue and mix them together. Let your kids paint in the design.
These are still wet but when they dry it will still have color. Then results will be clearer. Now you have a very cute suncatcher. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Make sure to check back for next weeks theme of Weather. Until then check out everyone else's projects over here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Some Randomness

Lately we have been missing due to alot of sickness and busy activities. Even though with all of that going on we did manage to get some activities done. So here are some pictures of the fun we have been doing.
For our study of Japan the boys made cherry blossom trees. I painted each of their hands for the tree trunk. Then the boys glued on tissue paper for the blossoms.

Sam even had some fun goofing off (which is rare for him. He is way to serious for his young age) He was pretending that he was a beaver. funny boy
Gabe had a fun sensory project this week. It was called "Magic Garden". You put out little piles of paint and the child uses a straw to blow them around to make beautiful flowers!
The boys made this for math class. It is called a Soroban. It is the equal to an abacus.
I hope you enjoy the activities that we have done. I will share more soon. Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How to make a Kimono.....

Ok. I have to say I love this book. There is so many great fun activities in here. Like this one on making a kimono. The boys had so much fun making them and love wearing them that I thought I would share the directions with you.
First step-- Take a large white v-neck t-shirt and cut it up the front. If there is a problem with it rolling, just iron on some fusible interfacing. If you are wondering what size we used on our shirt it was mens large.
Then let the kids loose to decorate the back. The boys just used fabric markers to decorate them.
Once you have finished drawing a design then the kids get to wear them. To tie the Komono up use some fabric strips to tie it up. The tie is called an obi. How to tie the obi. Wrap the Kimono closed with the left side over the right. Boys tie a narrow sash in the front. Girls tie a wide sash into a flat bow in the back.
The final product......
Here is Sam's Wonderful Komono. He worked really hard at his design. Sam drew a picture of Mt. Fuji with a cherry blossom tree. He drew a rain cloud dragon on the top to.
Gabe loved his so much. He had tons of fun drawing. He channeled Jackson Pollock. LOL.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hago Asobi

Yesterday I shared pictures of the boys and there Japanese game Hago Asobi. Today they played it for a little bit for Gym class. I thought that I would share a short little video with you on them playing it. In the video you can see the Kimono's that they made yesterday. Check in tomorrow I will share the how to on the Kimono's. Very simple to make and lots of fun. See you then.

Book Time

Granny's Dragon by Lisa McCourt. If you have a child that is scared to got to bed this is a story that you probably want to read. The little girl does not think she should go to bed in her room because there are probably monsters. Her Granny teaches her how to overcome the fears.
Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare by Patricia Polacco. Trisha has a problem, her brother Richie. She thinks that he is the worst thing in her life. He is always teasing her about dance. That is until one day when she dares him to join the class and participate in the recital. He agrees as long as she joins in on one of his hockey games. Wonder what happens, make sure to read it.
The Frog with the Big Mouth by Teresa Bateman. The pictures in this book are wonderful. They are so bright and full of life. The story is a cute way to teach little ones to keep there ego in check (I certainly know my little guy needs to learn that lesson)

On a Tall Tall Cliff by Andrew Murray. Busby and Puffle live on a very tall cliff and are the very best of friends. One day Busby ask Puffle for some favors. Puffle agrees and says that he would do anything for him. The request start to get bigger and bigger. Puffle actually starts to wonder if Busby is trying to make a fool of him. Check out the book and see what the request are and why he makes them. A very nice story about friendship.
So that is the book list for this week. We are really excited around here because our library is finally opened back up. After 6 long months and it looks great. YEAH!!!!!! Happy Reading everyone.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Unplug Project

Sorry I have been missing for a few days around here. We have been busy getting ready for the holidays and having a few sick days around here. So now things are getting a little more undercontrol, for now, I am back. I plan on catching up on all of my missed entries this week. To start with I thought that I would do the Unplug your kids project.
The theme this week was SORT, JUNK, DONATE. The first thing that came to my mind was to use up some of the recycables. Then of course I love to combine activities, so the boys preped for tomorrow's gym class. They made the Game of HAGO ASOBI. It is a Japanese game, similar to badminton. I got the idea of it from this book. Hago Asobi was tradionally played by girls. The hago (shuttlecock) was origanally made from feathers and soap-berry tree seeds. The wooden paddles were decorated with pictures of famous actors.

Here the boys are decorating their paddles. Since the boys do not really know of much famous people, I changed that part for them. I gave them some of their nature magazine's to cut out pictures for it.

Now to make the parts. First for the Hago (shuttlecock). You take styrofoam balls and insert two feathers. Our styrofoam balls are painted. Dh thought that the might make less mess that way. Sam's Hago is the one with orange and white feathers. Gabe has the red and green ones. You only need one for the game but I wanted each of them to have the chance to make one. It also does not hurt to have a spare one ready in case the first one is damaged or lost. :)

The paddles are made from cereal boxes and rulers. The book that we used had a pattern for the shape of the paddles. I just traced it on to an old cereal box. The directions called for paint stirrirs as the handles but we could not get any. Instead we picked up some cheap rulers. They are the ones with the sharp edge built in. To make sure that the kids did not get cut we covered them in electrical tape. Then of course the final touch was for the kids to decorate them. Sam chose to put multiple pictures on his while Gabe chose only one for his.

So do you wanna play with us? The rules are simple. You need no net, just keep the Hago in the air as long as you can.
I hope that you enjoyed this. Make sure to check out everyone else's projects over here. Check back for next weeks project. The theme will be .....Thankful.
If everyone can say Happy Anniversary to my Mother and Father in law today. They have been married 40 years today. So happy anniversary to you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Book Review

The Red Blanket by Eliza Thomas. This book is a sweet story about a lady that had so much in her life but felt she was missing something, a child. The story goes through her time of trying to adopt. She finally adopts a little girl from China. The blanket becomes a bond between them that last for many years to come. Gabe actually asked to keep the book an extra week from the library, he loved it.
Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora. Oh I read this book and I think of my Sam. It is about a little boy that finds some happiness in the library. Books start coming to life for this little boy just like my guy. It is a well written story that has very beautiful pictures.
Class Two at the Zoo by Julia Jarman. A great story for the little ones. A class goes to the zoo and sees all kinds of animals doing different things. That is except for one animal. You should never turn your back on the anaconda. The class is in for a major adventure. Just check it out and see what they do..
Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel. Imagine that your name was "Tikki Tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pipperi pembo" . In ancient china it was the custom to name your first born son with a long name like that. The second born son was given a short name (his brother was chang) It shows a reason in this story about why that may not happen any more. Sam highly recomends this book to everyone to read.
The Way We Do It In Japan by Geneva Cobb Iijima. We are now studying Japan so this book came in great. It is about a little boy that lived in the United States with his parents until his fathers company moves them to Japan. The story shows all of the different changes that he goes through living in Japan.

So now go read, and of course have a great day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Unplug your kids...Kitchen

I found this weeks theme to be fun and easy for the unplug your kids. I had bought this new cookbook for the boys the day before she shared the new theme. See it even has Kitchen in the title, perfect right.

So I set about with the boys to make a special lunch with recipes from the book. The cookbook is set up really well. The kids could do everything pretty much everything there own. It is also filled with activities that will keep kids active, plus quizes and facts. The boys wanted to share the recipes with everyone in case you wanted to make them to.

First ....The Sky Is Falling Apples! Wraps
1 small banana
1/3 cup peanut butter
4 (7 to 8 inch) whole wheat or white flour tortillas
1 cup chopped apples
1.) Put the banana and mash. Add the peanut butter and mix.
2.) Spread the peanut butter over the tortilla. Sprinkle with apple. Tighlty roll them up and cut in half. Wrap tighlty in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. (just to help the flavors blend more together)
Next up the drink....Tropical Fruit Smoothie
Ingredients -
1 medium banana
1 1/2 cups of cut up fresh fruit (your choice)
1 (6 to 8 ounce) carton of vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup milk
Honey (optional)
Fresh fruit (for the top, optional)
1.) Put all ingredients in blender and mix well.
Finally (and the best part) Dessert... Disappearing Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup toasted rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purposed flour
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (or like we did, left over candy bars from halloween)
1.) Put the oats in a food processor and grind until smooth.
2.) Beat butter until smooth. Add in brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined. Add in the yogurt, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Mix in the flour and oats. Finally add in the chocolate.
3.) Preheat oven to 375. On an ungreased cookie sheet drop the doaugh by the teaspoon. Leave a couple inches in between. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until cookie bottoms are browned. Remove and cool on wire racks.
I hope that you all enjoy a wonderful meal. Make sure to check back in for next weeks theme. Until then look over here at everyone else's projects.