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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Week 13 - Prayer For A Child

Hello to all!  I hope everyone had a splendid Thanksgiving with friends and family.  Prayer For A Child by Rachel Field is a simple book that shows a little girl praying for various things.  We rowed this book for 2 weeks since it also had a great tie-in to Thanksgiving.

To start, we made our own praying hands.   After we cut them out, the boys had to think of things that they pray for and then wrote them inside the hands.  This is one of the first times they have had to try and sound out the words in their heads and then spell it how they think it sounds.  They did a pretty good job and really tried to sound out the word.  The day we did this we read Anytime, Anywhere; A Little Boy's Prayer by Marcus Hummon.  Another great supplement book is Prayers for Children by Eloise Wilkin.

Next, we discussed the page in the book where the little girl prays for all the children far & near.  The page is wonderfully illustrated with faces of children from all over the world.  This was a great time to sing Jesus Loves the Little Children again.  They talked about where each child might live based on how they looked or what they wore.  Then we looked through the book called Children Around the World by Donata Montanari and discussed each child in the book.  We also read a book called A Country Far Away by Nigel Gray.  It is about 2 little boys who live in different countries but are doing the same things (only very differently!).  It was great to show them that not all kids have the same things, but both seemed to be happy with what they had.  We moved on to some of our lapbook activites (I used a little from homeschoolshare & homeschoolcreations) that included children from around the world.  The first one was finding the difference in each picture:

 And the second was a game.  You roll a cube that has pictures of children of different ethnicity's.  The first child to get to "10", wins.  I thought it was pretty basic, but the boys really thought it was fun.  

Another lapbook activity:

There were several pages in the book showing the little girl looking content.  We discussed what being content means.  I'm hoping that sticks around til after Christmas!  They drew pictures of themselves (like the little girl in the book) to hang above their beds.

So, I thought "B" got a little sidetracked as you can plainly see a Thomas the Train drawn in the picture.  He informed me, however, that he was praying and thanking God for his which "C" chimes in, "yeah Mom, just like the child in the story!"  As if to say, duh?!  We also discussed night time fear- as the girl in the book prays "through the darkness, through the night, let no danger come to fright."  We read When the Creepy Things Come Out by Melody Carlson.  A reminder that we just need to remember that God is always with us and we can always pray.

The first page in the story, the little girl is thanking God for her bread & milk.  So, we spent a day discussing where milk comes from, how it's processed, etc.  We read Milk Makers by Gail Gibbons and watched an old episode of Reading Rainbow (I haven't seen that show in years).

Finally we wrapped up the week with a prayer collage/thankfulness tree.  The boys went through lots of newspaper ads and cut out things that we could thank God for.  Then we assembled our tree:

Mommy's learning moment of the week:

So, as some of you know, the boys have really started to talk about salvation, heaven, hell etc.  I overheard a conversation between the two of them that really made me stop and think.  They were discussing death (I was a little fearful as to where the conversation was going but am glad I didn't intervene).  "B" asked "C", would you miss me if I was gone?  "C", with no hesitation, says no.  "B" looks surprised momentarily and repeats, "you wouldn't miss me?"  "C" immediately responds, "no Bud, because I know I would be with you again when I come to heaven."  End of conversation, back to eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  At this point, I was in tears because I was so happy that they had no fear but also ashamed that I would not be able to respond so casually at the thought of losing a loved one.  How quickly I forget that nothing I have is my own and from my own doing.  I am learning to praise God for His sovereignty and that He always makes things works together for my good. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 12 - Fiery Furnace!

This week we started rowing the book Prayer For a Child by Rachel Field.  It ties in so well with Thanksgiving that we will continue it into next week.  I'll wait to post on this so it will be all together.  So, we will go straight into Bible!


   We continued on with yet another faith building story.  Hananiah, Mishael & Azariah! or better known as their Babylonian names:  Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego.  My spell check just went crazy.  Even though I've heard this story over and over as a child (on flannel graph I might add!) it was a great one to hear again.  For our memory verse, we learned an excerpt of Daniel 3:17:

Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us.  Daniel 3:17

To start the week, we learned some new songs.  My favorite, and by favorite I mean the song that echo's in my head when there is no other noise going on, was called Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego (to the tune of Glory, glory hallelujah from Battle Hymn of the Republic).  It's quite catchy.  From their workbook, the boys colored a page and added some red paper for a fiery effect.

We talked about how they served God by trusting He would take care of them no matter what and were a great witness to those around them.  Then talked about ways they could serve God using their feet, mouth and hands.  Then did a really fun, messy craft:

Lip gloss for the lip prints!

 Who doesn't love Play-doh?  We got ours out and they made their own interpretations of the men in the fire.

The golden "idol"

 We wrapped up the week by making our own fiery furnace:

Painting our "furnace"

Coloring the 4 men in the fire

Add the trim!

Place in the window to see into the furnace!
Some great movies that we watched this week were:  Rack, Shack & Benny and Daniel.

 Mommy's learning moment of the week:

Are you missing a little joy in your life?  I know their are days that I wonder where mine has gone.  This simple maze the boys did this week reminded me of the things I should be doing to reach JOY.  I can honestly say that I lack in most of those areas daily and thus am robbing myself of the joy only God can give.  I saw a quote this week that I loved and thought went along well with this:  Remember the tea kettle. Though it's up to its neck in hot water, it continues to sing. 



We have officially started the addition concept.  Both boys did really well with this.  At this point, there is no actual memorization of facts (i.e. 1+1=2, 5+3=8) but rather to recognize that if you add the 2 block with the 3 block it will equal or be the same length as the 5 block.  This is done by matching up their blocks with the ones on the page.


This week, we worked on our G's and Q's.  


 We finished up our "o" word families this week as well as read a new book called The Fog.  They have also added helper words:  we, see & no.  We'll be moving on to "u" word families next.


 Thank You, God, for your provisions, forgiveness and unfailing love.  You have blessed me in so many ways that I know I don't deserve.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week 11 - Pledge of Allegiance

We took a break from the Before Five In A Row manual this week to focus on the election.  I thought this would be great as I believe this will be the first election the boys will remember.  As such, I decided to do a patriotic themed week.  Since the boys do not know the pledge, I thought this would be a great book to row.  The Pledge Of Allegiance published by Scholastic worked wonderfully as they can both now recite the pledge.  The book is illustrated with real pictures to help translate the pledge.  You can see them say it below:

{best part, wiping the snot on your hand afterward...ick}

We had a discussion about what the stars and stripes represent.  Fifty stars=Fifty states (they'll be ahead of our president on that one!), although I hear we may have 51 soon.  We read the book Meet Our Flag Old Glory by April Jones Prince and made our own Old Glory.  Construction paper + Qtips + White paint!

They both got to participate in Tuesday's election by going to the polls with hubby and me.  They were very excited to get to push the buttons and look at the names.  I wanted to let them vote at home, but I knew they would choose the candidate that hubby and I would be voting for.  After much research, I found, "Your Vote Counts", a lesson plan by Kathleen Carpenter.  It uses Cookie Monster and The Count as the candidates.  They are campaigning for an imaginary position as a classroom helper.  The kids have to decide who would help the most.  Their campaign posters:

Cookie's idea of helping is making people feel better about whatever problem/issue they are having by giving them a cookie.  The Count will help by offering solutions to the problem.  Both candidates left gifts for the boys in hopes to persuade them in one direction:

A helpful math reference sheet to use with our new colored Math-U-See blocks from The Count

A cookie from Cookie Monster

Enjoying the treat from Cookie Monster!
I didn't tell them who they should vote for and encouraged them not to announce who would get their vote.  Although, they proclaimed loudly to one another who they thought would be the best helper.  They were so excited to vote and counted down the days.  We read Vote by Eileen Christelow and Amelia Bedelia's First Vote by Herman Parish so they could learn a little bit more about the voting process.  Then, Election day finally arrived and we all got to vote:

 Signing in & Voting:

A whole lot of privacy going on here..."C" trying to sneak around to see "B".

The only vote for Cookie from "C".  What can I say, he's a man after my own heart.  I think the treat from Cookie swayed his vote.  

We watched this video showing Cookie & Count cooperating.  It was a great wrap up.  We also read America the Beautiful by Katharine Bates and America:  A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney.  From these we discussed America's special dates, places, people etc.  We made the White House, fireworks and a Bald Eagle (see here for patriotic crafts!).

The White House:

Bald Eagles (made from hand prints and a foot print):

Fireworks (made from Q-tips)

 As a side note, the website suggests drying these in the microwave if you don't have time to let them dry overnight.  Word to the wise, take them off the paper plate before putting them in the microwave.  Otherwise, it turns into a science experiment and you get real fireworks.  Ahem...



  This week started our lesson in Daniel.  We focused on 3 P's this week:  Prayer, Praise & Promises.  We learned about Daniel trusting in God no matter what and continuing to praise Him even in hard times.  Our memory verse this week was Jeremiah 33:3:
Call out to me.  I will answer you.  I will tell you great things you do not know.  Jeremiah 33:3

We started the week by reading the first part of the story of Daniel in the Lions Den.  All the way up to the point that he was thrown in the den.  We came up with our own prayer requests to pray for and put them on our bulletin board.  Our board also includes the other P's.  The prayers will move to the praises section when answered and the promise section will contain our Bible verse and other truths that we are learning for the week.  They colored a picture of Daniel in the den:

Sasquatch face?
We read Lion by Caroline Arnold and Lion's Lunch? by Fiona Tierney.  The next day we finished up the story and talked about praises as Daniel praised God for keeping him safe.  We also had a "lion hunt."  I printed out lions and wrote words from the story on them.  Hubby hid them in the house and they had to find them:
Listening to Daddy to see where to look to find the last one!

After they found them, they had to match the word up with the correct picture...King Darius, lions or Daniel.
That day, they had lion sandwiches for lunch.  It was a roarin' hit...get it, roarin'...sigh.

We wrapped the week up with some songs/fingerplays and making the story from pages in our workbook:

"C" retelling the story with his mini-book.

Mommy's learning moment of the week:  I suppose this just continues to go along with last week and that cute little sheep with a smile on his face.  What are the lions that you face?  If Daniel was able to keep praying to God in a of real, raging, ravenous lions, why don't I?  I need to work on my faith and trust as I clearly don't seek Him as I should when a "lion" is in my midst.


The boys started using colored blocks this week.  Instead of using green units (1 block) to count, the colored ones represent the units "glued" together to form a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 block.  The course recommends making up names to help you remember the color associated with the number.  For example, the 3 block is pink- so he recommended the 3 Little Pigs.  The boys ran with the animals idea...2 orange tigers, 5 blue whales, etc.


We finished up C & O and worked on writing some words.  They did great!  Although, I think I need to start integrating more writing into our day.  So, we'll see what transpires of that next week :)


As promised, readings from "B" & "C":



The boys are back to their healthy selves...just waiting for the next illness to come our way!  Oh how I love the winter season.  Baby J's croup is gone.  She still has a slight cough every once in awhile, but is for the most part back to 90%.  She has her first tooth popping up as well, so that is likely adding to the fun!
     I would love to hear your prayers, praise's, comments etc!