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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week 19- Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch / Valentine's Day

  Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli, was such an endearing story to read for the week of Valentine's Day.  Poor Mr. Hatch is a very lonely man.  He has the same routine, day in and day out.  Until, he receives a valentine in the mail with a small slip of paper saying, "Somebody loves you".  Life changes from then on.  He starts wearing a tie, putting on aftershave, and talking to people he never talked with before!  Eventually, he forgets all about the valentine and is just happy helping people out.  Then, he receives a knock on the door from the postman.  It turns out, the valentine was delivered to the wrong address.  Mr. Hatch is sad and goes back to his old ways.  The people of the town figure out why Mr. Hatch is so blue and surprise him with a big banner that says Everybody Loves Mr. Hatch!

  We started the week off with making our own valentine box...old school style!  Shoe boxes, anyone?  The boys cut out hearts and used stickers to decorate.  Throughout the week, they made as many valentines as they wanted for whomever they wanted!

  Next, we made some really fun chocolate play-doh.  The recipe can be found here, along with many other great dough recipes.  It was very simple to make and smelled good enough to eat.  "C" thought it smelled just like fresh brownies from the oven.  As suggested on the other website, I purchased some cheap candy boxes for them to use to make their own "chocolate candy". I also gave them different sized heart cookie cutters:

  ***A warning about the dough!  If you have dogs, make sure this is put away where they can not get into it and all scraps are cleaned up.  Let's just say, we woke up to lots of doggy accidents that took about 24 hours to pass.  Yikes!  Chocolate is toxic to dogs and lots of salt=lots of drinking water and a really bad belly ache.  No fun for anyone.  So, protect your pooch if you make any of this! *** 
 What's a valentine week without conversation hearts?  I found these great math printable's (from to sort/estimate/count hearts.

Baby "J" watching "B" sort!

That was one big bag of hearts!

  Our Bible verse this week was Psalm 119:11.  I'll elaborate on our Bible activities in my next post.  But, we made these:

 Finally, on Valentine's Day we had our big party!  As a fine motor activity, the boys strung hearts to use as a decoration:

   I made a valentine Memory game by placing sets of stickers on index cards:

  For lunch, they had pink milk, heart PB & J sandwiches, heart jello-jigglers, and pink yogurt.

  Then, they each got a cupcake to decorate and devour!  Afterward, we opened up the valentine box and passed out all the valentines.  

Baby "J" enjoying her valentine.
 Some other great books that we read this week were:
    -Valentine's Day Is, by Gail Gibbons
    -Max's Valentine, by  Rosemary Wells
    -Snowy Valentine, by David Petersen
    -Plant a Kiss, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
   - Too Many Valentines, by Margaret McNamara

   I'll be making another post with our Bible activities, handwriting, and math.  I'll most likely be breaking them up this way in the future.  My posts are way too long!!   Feel free to share about your Valentine's day fun.  Thanks for reading, see you soon! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Week 18 - Angus Lost

     Have you ever been curious?  Most kids are, which is why Angus Lost by Marjorie Flack was a great row!  The darling little Scottie dog, Angus, decides that he is tired of all the "same things he knew all about" and slips through his front gate to an unknown world.  While on his adventure, he meets a dog (with long legs), a goat, a car and an owl.  He is gone too long and it starts to get dark.  He is lost.  It starts snowing and he takes shelter in a cave.  The next morning he is awakened to hear the familiar sound of the milk man.  He ends up following the milk man from door to door, until at last he happily returns home to the "same" old things.

     In one of the book scenes, you can see Angus' silhouette as well as houses in the background.  This was great as we had discussed silhouettes not to long ago when we did Cranberry Christmas.  The manual suggested looking outside for a sky similar to the cover of the book or the page with Angus waking up from the cave.  Both skies show purple/pink skies.  We were lucky enough to get to see one very similar.  "C" pointed it out as we were eating dinner.  We thought it was beautiful!

     Next we talked about pets.  We have two dogs so they already know a lot about taking care of dogs.  We looked up a Scottish Terrier & Collie in The Dog Encyclopedia by Bruce Fogle (these were the two dogs in the book).  We also read My First Dog by Linda Bozzo.  Michelle, over at Delightful Learning, had a great idea to make a pet store.  So, we decided to make one.  Personal Story:  when I was younger, I made a candy store out of a box and taped the candy to the inside to sell to my brother.  We left to go on vacation and when we came back, my dog had gotten into the "candy store" and eaten all the profits.  So...if you have real dogs, make sure you store all items you make for the pet store (or candy store!) in a high place that they can't reach!  Our pet store:

     We decided on the items to be sold in our store and their prices:  toys ($0.01), bowls ($0.02), leashes ($0.03), food ($0.05), treats (4 for $0.06 or 8 for $0.10) and dogs ($0.25, no puppy mill pups!).  They decided to use their belts as leashes (pretty clever, I thought the would use their jump ropes) and got some of our dog's toys to use for the toys.  For food, we used a chocolate/peanut butter cereal and for treats, we used Scooby Snacks™:

     After everything was set up in our pet store, we discussed pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.  Then, they got to use their math skills to pay for their pet store items.  You can see a video (not the best quality) below.

     Our library is awesome and they actually had Angus and the Ducks and Angus and the Cat by Marjorie Flack.  These were also great stories that they enjoyed reading (sometimes over Angus Lost!) throughout the week.  After reading Angus Lost for a few days, we practiced sequencing it:

     They worked on quite a few lap book activities from Homeschool Share.  They did a number pattern page, spelling page, maze, talked about different dog breeds & how to take care of pets, rhyming words, etc:

     I thought it would be really fun to make our own cave (since Angus went in a cave in the book).  To start our study of caves, we read Caves:  Mysteries Beneath Our Feet by David L. Harrison which was a big hit!  I didn't want to do a box cave since we had already used a box to make the pet store.  So, I used this salt dough recipe (this site has awesome play dough recipe's, will be visiting again) to make one.  It was really easy and quick (minus the baking time):

     The next day, we watched a few Youtube video's about caves and then they got to paint their cave.  When the paint dried, we used a Scottie dog printable to practice direction (ie Angus was in/on top of/to the side of/in the back of the cave, etc.).

     Finally, we made dog masks and turned the other side of the box into a doghouse.  The boys decided to show off their best dog tricks and obedience.  They are "speaking" (barking) and you can see my dog, Grace, thinking, "what is going on here?"

     At the end of the week, I asked the boys for their interpretation and favorite part of the story.  I may start doing this with each story.  Their answers:

Me:  What happened in the story?
   "B":  Angus slipped through the door and saw another dog.  Then, he saw a stranger.  That was the milkman!  Door to door to door to door and then he found his home.
   "C":  Angus went through the gate, then he saw another dog.  Then, he saw a strange goat.  He climbed into the cave until morning came.  Angus followed the milkman from door to door to door.  Then, Angus was home again.

Me:  What was your favorite part of the book and why?
   "C":  When Angus slipped through the gate, because he is curious about things.
   "B":  When he followed the milkman, because it said door to door to door to door.

I thought they were rather humorous responses!

     Some other great books that we read were:  Archie by Domenica More Gordon, The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy by Jane Thayer, Little Puppy Lost by Linda Jennings, and Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion.  We also watched Bark George...and more doggie tales by Scholastic Video Collection as it has a movie adaptation of Angus Lost.  I wasn't a big fan of the movie as they changed/left out parts of the book.  The boys noticed this too and were a little disappointed. 


   The boys studied David this week.  We started out discussing how his first job was being a shepherd.  But even though he was just a shepherd, God had a plan for him to become king one day.  Our memory verse was Colossians 3:17:

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through Him to God the Father."  Colossians 3:17

   I stumbled upon a great website this week!  It's called Lambsongs Bible Story Books.  They have printable books of stories, from the Bible, for children.  You can find it here.  The best part, they're free!  I printed out David the Lion and the Bear, David Looks After the Sheep, and David is Brave.  The boys were able to look through them, by themselves, throughout the week.

   The first day, was the story of David the shepherd.  We discussed how he was a good shepherd by:  looking for his sheep when they were lost, protecting them against a bear & lion, carrying them when they were hurt and helping them find food.  Most importantly, they found out that David learned how to talk and love God while he was a shepherd.  And that this, would be very helpful for a future king.  They got to retell the story with some puppet cutouts:

   Next, we talked about how David wrote songs, or praises, to God.  We read the 23rd Psalm together.  Then, we started our "Big Book of Praises".  Everyday, I would ask them to give me a sentence to put in our book.  It was a collaboration between the two of them.  It turned out like this:

I want you to come into our hearts.
Sing praises to God.  
I want to read Your word.
Be Brave. 
Help other people.
Believe in You.
Take away our sins.
Thank You for dying on the cross.
Keep us safe. 
I am Your sheep.
Jesus, we love You very much.
We praise You. 
   We discussed David's next job of being a soldier in the army of King Saul.  David & Goliath is one of their favorite Bible stories, so they were practically feeding me the story as we went along.  They discovered that David had to learn obedience which also helped him to be a great king.  He also learned how God was with him wherever he went.  Especially, when he had to run away from King Saul.  

   We talked about different careers and made a list:  doctor, teacher, fireman, police officer, teacher, artist, preacher, missionary, chef, etc.  Then, they had to choose what they thought they wanted to be when they grew up and wrote it out in a message to God:

"B"- a policeman

"C"- a dad.  He must have an awfully good daddy to want to be one too!   ;)
   To wrap up the week, we discussed how David was faithful in all of the small jobs that God gave him and that this, prepared him to be king.  We did a color by shape (instead of number) page that turned out to be a crown.  We used this to decorate our "Praise Book":

Mommy's Learning Moment of the Week:

   Do you ever find yourself asking, what am I going to be when I grow up?  This seemingly harmless question for a school-aged child can nearly lead an adult to anxiety & depression.  Trust me, I'm one of those people.  There are days where I sit and anguish over the fact that I am not using my college degree.  What was the point of even going?  This week, David was a great reminder that if you are open to God's leading, He will work in your life no matter what your job.  I need to stop and remember that only God knows the big picture.  He is equipping me with the skills that I need.  He has gifted me the best and most important job that I'll ever have; to raise my children to know, love and accept Him and to spread the good news of His gospel to others.  I need to keep that my focus.


   This week we finished up doubles 4+4 and 5+5.  They had another math test:

  Then, they learned how to skip count by two.  I thought this may take a couple of weeks, but they had it down in about a day or two.


   We moved away from magic "c" letters this week and practiced "v", "w" and "t".


   This week started our very first week ever of learning about a virtue.  And it was....drum roll...Courage (or being courageous).  I thought this would tie in very well with David and Angus Lost.  We will try to do 1-2 per month in the future.