Monday, October 20, 2014

Homeschool MOON Study!

In our home, Oreos and milk have their own beloved food group.  We eat these just about every day, and thanks to pinterest, they became the perfect way to teach moon phases!  Who knew there was a phase called "Gibbous"? I sure didn't!

I got this educational cube idea from this awesome homeschool blog, and we tossed it to see which Oreo we got to eat!  You can order them HERE.
We started charting the moon each night beginning at New Moon.  It only lasted for like 2 weeks, but it was so exciting! 

Here's the Quarter/Half Moon!!
On Quarter Moon day, we bought little bouncy balls for a quarter.

On Full Moon & New Moon days we have a PARTY with "Moon Cookies" which include white moon frosting.  If there's no time to make frosting, we just spray some whipped cream in our hands!  Turning off the lights and sitting as a family in the middle of white twinkling Christmas lights seems a bit cult-ish but SO MUCH FUN!

For this project you need 9 stoyofoam balls, black and yellow paint, paint tape, a Dollar Store black foam board, and hot glue gun.  
Check out the Full Moon!  Their head becomes the earth.
 The Sun is always shining on half of the moon.  But how much of the lit up moon we see changes depending on where the moon is in its rotation.  The moon rotates around the whole earth every 28 days about so we get a Full Moon once a month!

When the moon is in between the sun and earth, that's a New Moon - which we can't see.  The ball to the right is a Crescent Moon.

I don't care if they don't remember the difference between waxing and waning. But hopefully when they are someday off to college away from their mommy, they can look up at the moon and smile with fond memories.

Brayden's preschool teacher last year had this brilliant idea to ask the kids what questions THEY have about any particular topic.  She'd write them down and then the class would discover those answers.  Thank you Ms. Laura because we have used that idea over and over again.  My kids started asking about space and the planets so we just did another crayon resist like this one back here.  You just press hard with crayon and then paint with slightly watered down paint.

Apparently Pluto is back on the map as a planet again, and Hailey sure had such a fascination with that little pink planet on her page!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Goodness, thanks to pinterest there's a zillion fun ideas to make SIGHT WORD LEARNING FUN! 

BANANAGRAM or SCRABBLE LETTERS - I called out words from the DOLCH WORD LIST and he'd create them.  

ZAP!  This has been their absolute favorite game - the idea is from his wonderful kindergarten teacher Ms. Dorsey.  They want to play it all the time!  The teacher goes through this stack of sight words - each colored level (Pre-Primer, Primer, First, Second) also has ZAP!s  scattered throughout.  As soon as they read ZAP! the teacher gets to take all their cards and you keep going until the end and see how many they are still holding.  
Water Balloon Word Families - This cute blogger has an idea for kids to choose which word to create by throwing water balloons at the beginning letter!  We then practiced writing that word on our white board.  

This great gal and an awesome idea to do "SIGHT WORD SMASH" with baking cotton balls in the oven and then smashing words with hammers as soon as you spout it off each word!  We baked ours way too long so it didn't really work :), so try way less than 1 hour.  Oh and my hubby thought this would catch our whole house on fire - luckily it didn't.

Brayden's kindergarten teacher had a play dough station set up for uppercase/lowercase letters, so I thought we'd try it for sight words.  Oh and TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS had this super cute SIGHT WORD WATCHES idea.

WRITE CRAYON + DOT MARKERS makes for a fun surprise as they uncover the secret word.  Dot markers worked way better than paint and was faster and easier.  I wrote 2 of each sight word so they could play a matching game.

This one has been really fun (from this blog) - SIGHT WORD PYRAMIDS.  They have to read you the word before placing the mini paper cup on their creation.

SHAVING CREAM SIGHT WORDS.  We did this at 6am so we're still sporting santa pjs :).  He loved this- I'd call out a word and he'd create it, smear it to clear it, and start again!

FIAR: Owl Moon

For our FIAR "Five in a Row" program, we read "Owl Moon" during the same time as our MOON unit.  It's about a father and son who have a special experience together - owling in the woods!  THIS WEBSITE has TONS of awesome ideas that go along with each FAIR book.

We learned how to draw OWLS in our writing books.

 Highlighting the "OW" sound and practicing reading...
Learning about owls...
 Writing a special daddy-son experience - going to the playground with Daddy to chase and wrestle!  I loved how when Brayden colored the red, blue, and yellow slide - he stopped, looked at the piano, and exclaimed "My chords are the same color!!" and had to play this song.  We LOVE LET'S PLAY MUSIC by the way - it's an amazing 3 year music theory/piano class for 4 year olds to begin.

Story of the World: CUNNEIFORM

For our The Story of the World HISTORY series on CD, we're learning about some of the earliest writings in Mesopotamia- "Between the Rivers"- and their writting on clay tablets called Cunneiform!

 Of course it turned into Tic-Tac-Toe, their current favorite game.  Somehow they beat me every time :)

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