Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We are here!

We are here! Holly is still learning. Fun is still being had.
Mom is just slacking on the blog, that is all.

Life is just busy, as we all know. The holidays add that little bit of excitement to the air, activities to the calendar and fun to the day. In the mean time we are still enjoying schooling.
We have been working a lot on our weekly sight words and reading. I finally picked up a couple sets of magnet letters I have been desiring. With them Holly has been practicing her spelling list for the week. She spells them out and reads them to me. We talk about the word. Then we play a game of hang man with the magnet letters on her white board. It is a lot of fun! She is also enjoying a new website called Spelling City in which we use her weekly words for learning and games. A different way to learn that interests her!
Holly has been reading a lot lately. Really working her way through some tougher words and the idea of doing this on her own. At first she told me she would not like to read to me because she was worried I would stop reading to her. That took a few days to sink in for her that things would not change with our reading. Books are really big in our family and reading to our children will always happen.... as long as they let us!

Art is happening daily, often several times a day. Cooking is happening every couple of days. We are enjoying parks and playing, friends and activities!
We take our weekly trip to the library for a new stock of books, movies and music. The libraries in our area are really wonderful -they have a nice variety as well as many other community offerings too. We are fortunate to have great libraries!

Life is good!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cool Mosaic Game

I had picked this game up for a recent road trip we took. Holly spent several hours playing with it in the car and since being home several more hours. Honestly, I think it has had more use then many of our more 'main stream' items.

It is a magnetic mosaic tile game or puzzle. It has a few films of designs you can follow. Place it on the metal black lid and then follow the pattern, placing all the magnetic mosaic pieces on. You can also create your own designs or try and figure out some other ideas they share on your own. This game really works your fine motor skills, is creative, artistic and fun!!! I have fun with it.

Cranberry Fun

We are still enjoying schooling through the weather we are enjoying too! In between sneaking out to play in the snow, sipping hot cocoa and enjoying some playtime we are also dipping into a bit of school work. Holly did some work on math, writing and reading - then we had some fun with a few crafts and cranberries.
I saw a great blog where a gal did some fun with cranberries and was inspired so we broke open the cranberries and played! We first read on cranberries, enjoyed the book A Cranberry Thanksgiving, learned how they were apart of the first 'Thanksgiving' and then opened a bag to inspect. Do they sink or float? Why? What do they look like inside? Are there seeds? What do they taste like? How do they taste compared to dried cranberries? So many questions.... After answering these questions we watched an episode of Dirtiest Jobs on cranberry harvesting and making cranberry jam and syrup. It was a fun time.

Then we made cranberry colored play dough with the colored water after simmering them for an hour or so. The play dough smells really good, is cranberry colored and even had little cranberry seeds. It is really cool!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Corn Casserole

After reading a lot on Thanksgiving, Pilgrims and Native Americans we decided to make a recipe that uses 'maize'. We used a recipe from a friend called Corn Casserole. Holly made this for dinner the other night when we had family over. It was a huge hit!
She really enjoys cooking and we have been doing several cooking opportunities each week. She is becoming a little pro in the kitchen. It is neat to see her blossoming in trying out new recipes, as in eating them. She is great at listening in the kitchen and follows her direction well (from us or the recipe book).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cute Owl!

Here are a few projects Holly worked on today... some cute stuff, the owl is my favorite by far!!! The other two pages are fall themed worksheets that work on beginning sounds. She had a lot of fun with them all.

Thanksgiving Book

We have finished reading a fun little book from the Magic Tree House series on Thanksgiving. As well, we have read several other books and are working on some fun art projects. I came across this great little book called 'My Thanksgiving Book' that a lady used with her 1st/2nd grade class, her blog is It was a perfect addition to our holiday study. We have the book she read first as well, so we pulled that one out and read it first then went to work!
Holly did all the work herself from looking at some examples online. I provided her all the supplies needed, a lot time, company and she had a blast. Originally I had planned to have her work on this throughout the week, however she was so in to it that she finished it up in one morning. She LOVED this project and is so proud of it!!! I am proud of how well she did too!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Candy Experiment

This afternoon Holly did a small candy experiment (great way to enjoy the Halloween treats). We chose four candies and placed them into a dish containing cold water. Before she placed each candy she made a prediction as to what would happen. At first she predicted whether it would float or sink and then a longer prediction of what the water would do to the candy.
She pretty much guessed that the water would soak off the outer layer of color. But she tried predicting what was under that color layer. What smells she might encounter? If the candy would stay intact. Some guesses were correct and some were a surprise. For instance, the Skittles were colored through and the 'M' off of the M&M soaked off in tact and was floating on the top of the water. It was very cool!

Enjoying Learning

After our big trip to Disneyland we took a bit of time to get back in to the swing of things. We gradually worked out way back up to a full day of learning and now back into it. Holly really enjoys learning and misses when we are not doing our normal routine. This week we have been working on a lot of basic skills, fall themes, science, some art and introducing Thanksgiving into our fun.
We have a small library of some wonderful Thanksgiving books we checked out from the library and a few we purchased to read. A favorite we are enjoying together is from the Magic Treehouse series: Thanksgiving on Thursday. This is a great introduction to the idea of Thanksgiving on a pilgrims/natives level.