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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring has (finally) sprung!

   I just wanted to take a moment to thank God for all of the beautiful weather that we've been having lately.  I, for one, am not the biggest fan of winter time (as many around me well know).  So, to see these exquisite spring flowers open up over the past week, has been simply marvelous.

Violet's popping up in the front yard

Tulip's in the flowerbed 

We couldn't resist taking a break and enjoying some outside time this week:

Taking in all the sunshine and nice breeze...

Enjoying a game of soccer

     The rain is headed our way tomorrow...which means that we will be seeing more and more beautiful flowers.  Oh, how I love the spring!  Have a lovely week.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Carrot Seed {part 2}

   So, after a very crazy weekend of trying to get rid of mass quantities of kids clothing/equipment, I'm back!  Hopefully, I can start posting more frequently again.

....The Carrot Seed, continued.... 

    So, to throw just a tad more science into the mix, we discussed the parts of a plant and what plants need to grow.  I found this worksheet at Lakeshore Learning that we colored together ("B" added the rain!):
  I also used the "What do plants need" printables from the Homeschool Share lapbook.  They had a fun time coloring them:
   Finally, I found this awesome sequencing worksheet for them to cut/paste the life cycle of a carrot.  Find it here:

   For some go-along books, we read:  Inch by Inch: The Garden Song by David Mallett, Titch by Pat Hutchins, and Linnea's Windowsill Garden by Christina BjorkLinnea's Windowsill Garden had some great diagrams on plant cycles and the water cycle.  It also has a great section on growing plant tops.  So, we couldn't pass up the chance to grow something else!  Our carrot & potato top:
After (about 1.5 weeks of growth)
After (about 2 weeks of growth)
 Since we were talking about growth, they each got measured on our "God's Word Helps Me Grow" chart.
I'm thinking Baby "J" must have gotten a hold of these.  I can't imagine they've grown that much in less than a month.  Could it be true?  Their pants have been a bit short lately.  Hummmm....
For math this week (we use MathUSee), they were learning to solve for the unknown.  For example, they would have a problem 5 + ? = 10.  They would have to solve for the ?.  Early algebra.  They did finally get it at the end of the week...after much explaining that they don't add 5+10.  Phew.  Anyway, I was able to use some of their Carrot Easter Eggs (provided -unknowingly- by their Nana) to make it a bit more fun:

They were given a pile of bean seeds and 2 eggs.  We'll use the 5 + ? = 10 for an example.  I would tell them to put 5 beans in one egg and 10 in the other egg.  Then, they would have to figure out how many seeds they needed to add to the first egg, to make it match the number in the second egg.  They got this right away.  If only I had thought of it at the beginning of the week.

  To take a break (and have a little bit of fun), we talked about the wheelbarrow in the story.  It's shown on the last page of the book with the enormous carrot the boy has grown.  Well, we don't own a wheelbarrow, but I fun would it be to teach them how to have a wheelbarrow race?  The answer, totally fun!

   We talked about the artwork in the story and how the author only used two colors until the very end of the book (the bright orange carrot).  And, also how the author has chosen to only draw the boy and his family in profile.  The boys had fun checking each page.  We read another book (also illustrated by Crockett Johnson) called The Little Fish That Got Away by Bernadine Cook, in which the characters are also drawn in profile.  Side note, an excellent book on patience as well!

   We also looked through another Linnea book called Linnea in Monet's Garden by Christina Bjork.  Then, we decided to make a little art of our own.  This idea came from Delightful Learning.  I love-love-love her blog.  She is so inspiring.  Monet was an impressionist, we made our own impression paintings of carrots, with carrots!  They dipped the bottom part in orange paint and the leafy tops in green paint:

   We also made carrots out of arm/hand prints.  First, I traceed their hand and forearm on a piece of paper.  Then, they got to paint it with green/orange paint.  Finally, and perhaps the funnest part of all, they added "dirt" to their paintings with a little chocolate pudding.  Yum!


     To add to our "art museum", we talked a little about fruits & vegatables.  Then, they had to think of 3 and draw them on an index card.  Afterward, they tried to spell & write it all by themselves (spelling is something we are starting to work into our schooling):

    We had such a great time with The Carrot Seed.  In keeping with the theme of patience/waiting, we learned about Joseph this week.  Stay tuned for this post!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Week 23 - The Carrot Seed {part 1}

 The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss is a very simple book that teaches hard work & patience.  The little boy in the story plants a carrot seed.  His whole family tells him, it won't come up.  The boy continues to pull the weeds and water the soil regardless of his nay-saying family.  Until, one day the carrot comes up!  At the end, you see the little boy with his wheelbarrow overflowing with his gigantic prize of a carrot.

  To start the week, I made a sensory bin with several items from the story.  I used a plastic tub, soil, boy & watering can cutout from story, and plastic carrots (purchased at the $1 store after Easter!!).  I also made a game with the "Will It Come Up? printable from Homeschool Share's lapbook to go along with a great carrot game I stumbled upon at Sorting Sprinkles.  The carrots are made out of pipe cleaners and the boys practiced planting and pulling them up with tweezers.  Nana, unknowingly, provided us with some carrot Easter Eggs that I filled with green pom-poms.  They used these for planting in the soil and in the egg carton.  You can see all of our fun below:


   Next, we read Seeds! Seeds! Seeds! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace and Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens (the boys favorite go along book for the week).  We talked about seeds and got out some of our seed packets to inspect different kinds and discussed how God had made them all different.  And, each seed contains the information inside of it to make the plant.  After the discussion, we planted some seeds of our own.  First we planted some carrot seeds using a damp paper towel and a plastic bag (and watched them grow throughout the week):
{Before}  Teeny, tiny carrot seeds.
{After}  They came up!
   We also planted a bean seed in a mason jar and used the damp paper towel technique, again.  This allowed us to view the bean as it went through the growing process.  I made the seed growth booklet (from the homeschool share lapbook) for them to document the growth of their bean:

Getting our beans ready
 And now, the beauty of God's handiwork:


   Pretty amazing to watch it all unfold...

  In the Seeds! Seeds! Seeds! book, the little bear grew a grass head.  So, I thought it might be fun to add something else to the "growing" list this week.  Besides, who doesn't want to have their own grass head?!  I used Just Being a Mum's method:  old panty hose, grass seed, cotton balls, and some rubber bands. 
Scooping/Measuring out Seed
Adding the cotton balls
Completed heads- ready for watering!
After about a week-ish of growing.  He looks like he's in a boy band.  Don't fret, you will see more pictures of grass-man!

   The next round of go along books included:  The Giant Carrot by Jan Peck and The Enormous Carrot by Vladimir Vagin.  The books had a similar feel to them.  The characters had to use their strength (as one) to pull up a carrot.  Afterward, the carrot was used to make lots of different dishes:  soup, cake, ice cream, raw, juice, puddin', etc.).  Of course, we HAD to make some sort of food dish to go along with our carrot theme.  Before we did, we practiced some cutting skills.  First, on our wooden fruit/veggies:

              Then on some real carrots and a very dull butter knife.  It was a rough go, but they were able to chop through the carrots.

   We were ready to move on to shredding carrots (which I did 98% of, in fear they would shred their fingers off) for our carrot cake.

Trying to mix in the flour
A little help holding the bowl, as the last of the flour goes in!
Mixing in the carrots

 The final (scrumptious) product:

   ....part 2 post of The Carrot Seed coming soon...  Click Here for part 2!!