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Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in Children's Literature, Kindergarten, Library, Preschool | 0 comments

Fab Five Fridays: Children’s Books, Volume Three

Fab Five Fridays: Children’s Books, Volume Three

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Books are something you can never have too many of. We love books. We have LOTS of books, whether from birthday & Christmas gifts or hand-me-downs. Our collection is growing as our children grow and we couldn’t be happier!

When I started the Fab Five Fridays: Children’s Books series, you can see we were in a different place in our parenthood. We were reading board books to please our eager toddler. Now that our children are older, they naturally enjoy more advanced books.

1. Press Here by Herve Tullet (all ages)

We love this book so much, we purchased the iPad app! Press Here will hold a child’s attention through the entire book. It’s so captivating and, more importantly, FUN! The website even offers activities related to the book. Enjoy!!

Press Here

Photo Copyright Chronicle Books

2. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (ages 3+)

Though this book may not be appropriate for the much younger crowd, it’s very amusing. Our kids really enjoy the humor involved and get a laugh each and every time it is read in our house.

I Want My Hat Back

Photo Copyright Candlewick Press

3. The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (ages 4+)

This is another book geared toward preschoolers and up. Morris Lessmore is full of imagination. Our oldest daughter can relate to the idea of getting lost in a book. The illustrations are wonderful and story line clever. And, by golly,there is a short film. Little did we know the film came first, then the book. Of course, there is also an app. We added the film & the app to our wish list – more on that later!

Morris Lessmore

Photo Copyright Moonbot Studios

4. Journey by Aaron Becker

Winner of a 2014 Caldecott Honor Award, Journey is unlike any other book we own, quite unlike any other book I’ve seen. There is no text, simply beautiful illustrations covering the pages of this lovely book. A young girl guides us though the creative world in which she lives to let our minds wander. I highly recommend this book for children who love storytell, or for those who haven’t yet tapped into their imaginations.

Photo Copyright Aaron Becker

Photo Copyright Aaron Becker 

5. Can You Find It? by The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Our kids LOVE finding objects in real life so why wouldn’t they love them in books?! They have always been keen on finding Waldo and his friends, so we branched out into the world of seek & find books and found this gem. Each set of pages has a pretty scene of famous art in which they search to find items listed. I love the art, of course, and think they do, too!

Photo Copyright The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Photo Copyright The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

 

 

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Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Children, Education, Family, Homeschool, Kindergarten, Memories, Motherhood, Parenting, Preschool, Stay At Home Mom, This Is Homeschool, Toddlers | 2 comments

This Is Homeschool: 01.16.14

This Is Homeschool: 01.16.14

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We’ve been spending lots of days in our jammies (you’ve got that right – full days in pajamas – simply because we can). Between multiple illnesses among us and the freezing cold temps outside, why bother getting dressed?! Today, being a ‘recovery’ day, we decided to stay in our pj’s & do things like play cards, dye noodle necklaces (post coming soon), read, & do workbooks and a few other projects.

We love playing cards for so many reasons. As homeschoolers, it teaches us various concepts such as numbers, taking turns, strategy, planning ahead…and as a family, it brings us together for some time, usually a long time, and teaches patience as well as how to win and how to lose.

Crazy 8’s (pictured) is a great game for little ones. Also, Go Fish, Old Maid, & Speed are fun, age-appropriate games to play with preschoolers & kindergartners. The kids love playing card games & learn in the process: a win-win! Who knew a little play could lead to such enrichment?!

What are some of your favorite family-friendly card games? Do share, please!

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Arts, Children, Crafts, Creative, Economical Activities, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Preschool, Stay At Home Mom, Toddlers | 2 comments

C Is For Camel

C Is For Camel

We’re finding ourselves right down the middle of the line between structured schoolers and unschoolers. No rush, but the kids seem to desire some structure once in a while. This is such a learning experience for all of us!

Part of our latest homeschool curriculum is to choose a letter as well as take turns choosing an animal of the week.

I got the idea to do a letter of the week from Confessions Of A Honeschooler, one of my favorite homeschooling resources.

This week, it was Tavia’s turn to choose so she chose camel. Therefore, the letter of the week is C.

I love that she chose a camel! We learned a lot about camels. I always enjoy learning new things alongside them. Did you know dromedary camels can store up to 80 pounds of fat in their humps?! They can survive on that for a long time in the desert.

We watched a few videos, some educational and some just for fun. The kids got a kick out of Alice The Camel!

Some info came from National Geographic, some from other sources online & from our local library.

We also made some camels of our very own out of egg cartons, markers, glue, & pipe cleaners.

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Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in Children, Crazy Mom-isms, Creative, Decor, DIY, Economical Activities, Education, Family, Home Decor, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Library, Lifestyle, Minimal Living, Motherhood, Organize, Save money, Stay At Home Mom | 3 comments

Space Invaders

Space Invaders

20140103-120818.jpgHere’s a little something you may not know about us: We live in a 1200 square foot town home.

Five people. Two bedrooms. One general living room. One kitchen. One dining room. One and a half bathrooms. One garage. One basement.

One work-from-home Mama. Three homeschoolers. One hundred percent childhood energy.

You do the math.

This photo depicts an organized, believe it or not, version of our current set-up for a “play area”. (It may appear a tad hazardous, but not to worry, those shelves are anchored several times to insure safety.) All of our new Christmas presents & overflow of toys have been sorted and arranged. This is pretty much everything the children have, nestled into this puzzle of shelving.

The homeschool area was just relocated yesterday & has to be organized, art & projects hung up, shelving installed. This is depicting the bare minimum.

There is always something more needed in this space. We always need something more to keep us from going bonkers while living in close quarters.

Sure, we have outgrown our space. You’re not the first person to think that, not would you be the first to call me crazy for choosing to homeschool three little ones in such a tight space.

The time will come when we have our own home, but now, life is just too busy and hectic to have to worry about a new roof, a leaky hot water tank, broken windows or a new refrigerator.

We are making due with what we have because that is the way to happy.

We are choosing happiness together. Really close together.

For tips on how to stay organized with lots of toys, books, games, puzzles, and supplies, please don’t ask me.20140103-121935.jpg

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Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Children, Christmas, Crafts, Creative, DIY, Economical Activities, Education, Gift Ideas, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Holiday Gift Ideas, Holidays, Homemade, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Parenting, Preschool, Stay At Home Mom, This Is Homeschool, Toddlers | 0 comments

This Is Homeschool: Gingerbread Crayons

This Is Homeschool: Gingerbread Crayons

It’s snowy and cold. Winter is here, and so are the holidays…in full force!

As busy as I’ve been, I always try to make time to craft with the kids. For the past several years, we have collected broken crayons from our home, restaurants, etc. We just hold onto them to make our own crayons!

I found a fairly inexpensive gingerbread crayon mold at Hobby Lobby last week (it was 50% off) for a total of about $4.

The kids love to peel stuff (it’s a gene, I swear), so we got to work stripping the crayons. This takes a while, but with a little Christmas music & storytelling, we passed the time fairly easily.

Speaking of time, we’ve been learning about the passage of time – how long is a minute, an hour, a day. We guessed how long it would take to melt the crayons in the toaster oven. We didn’t get too scientific, rather we kept it simple. Each child guessed & Marsden came the closest! Then we did the same for guessing how long it would take for the crayons to cool. Tavia was closest this time.

A fun and pretty time consuming activity – with lots of play time in between!

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