Showing posts from May, 2013

How to Make Glue & Paint Batik Shirts

We started our  batik t-shirts  this week. I had let the boys each pick out some acrylic paints a week or two ago at the craft store and promised we'd be making shirts with them.  I finally found the time to start them with the kids. We first looked at pictures of batik cloth and clothes to give them some ideas and then I set them loose with white t- shirts and clear glue (though white glue will also work well).  Ian sketched his design first but Alec and Evan decided to just free hand them.  We got the fronts all glued and set them in the sun to dry two days ago. After they were dry we flipped them over and worked on the backside.  We stretched each t-shirt over a large strip of cardboard to keep the glue from leaking through both sides of the shirt.  Wherever the glue is; it will resist the paint. Today, we headed outside and painted the fronts of the Batik Shirts. I'm not sure they really understood how Batik works as they didn't start out painting la

A Very Short School Day; How we Read So Many Books When We're Not Schooling

With our summer fun underway a bit early this year we have already started shortening our school days.  We try to do a short math activity each day, squeeze in some reading when we can and hope to find time for some fun science experiments or art projects.  All of our schoolwork is worked around our activities and I was amazed today to realize just how many books we managed to read! This morning the boys watched another episode of Popular Mechanics for Kids; Rip Roaring Roller Coasters and All Access to Fun.   They learned even more about the science behind park rides, attractions and circus shows.  While watching Alec was also playing Kanoodle and Evan was working on an art project he's making for his Aunt's baby. They all remarked on how much the gummy bears grew and we pulled a "normal" one out of the bag to compare.  I heard them talking about why the gummy bears grew so much and they all agreed "the gummy bears absorbed all that water!"  I love hearing

Delicious Fractions & Fun Geography Games

We had so many wonderful and fun lessons planned for today that we jut could not wait to get started.  I have found that incorporating any kind of candy into our school day makes it an immediate success! We started our day by watching a few movies; Travel with Kids to Costa Rica and Popular Mechanics for Kids; Slither and Slime as part of our geography and science lessons for today. We also read An Earthworm's Life . But the best part of science was when we made our own slimy creatures by growing a gummy bear ! According to most sites I looked at; when placed in regular water overnight a gummy bear will grow and multiply in size, but one site  found that the bear dissolved in water so we'll see what happens tomorrow I guess. I found this great print- out  for the boys to measure and trace the gummy bear before and after that explained the experiment too; I'm not one for worksheets usually but something about this one appealed to me so we used it today.  After just a few

Time for Summer Fun: Water Games

It was a bright, sunny, warm Tuesday afternoon and after having had a little teaser of summer yesterday we were all ready for fun. I made some sponge balls over the weekend and brought them outside for a water fight with the kids.  These are easy and pretty cheap to make and much easier to use than water balloons.  This link has a great tutorial for making them, but it's very simple.  Using three sponges for each ball, cut each sponge lengthwise into three long strips so you now have nine.  Gather the strips together and using an elastic band (we used hair ties) cinch them tight in the middle.  You have to "fluff' the sponge strips just a bit and you end up with a wonderful ball. Sponge balls Dunk them in a bucket of water and they absorb  an awful lot!  I had the boys each get a bucket with water and set them up on the lawn/ beach in a triangle.  They tried to throw the sponges back and forth into each other's bucket.  It's just as much fun to

Making Memories on Memorial Day Weekend

More and more as we homeschool I am trying to be intentional about making memories and enjoying life.  This memorial day we focused on slowing down, enjoying the little moments, and making memories.  I took the younger two boys to a nearby town for the memorial day parade where we met up with some family and the kids played, ate ice cream and enjoyed the warm weather and sunshine! We talked about the importance of Memorial day and what it means.  We watched the ducks in the water, looked at the fast flowing rapids coming from the dam and noticed how the rain we had just had effected that. After almost 5 straight days of rain the sun was such a welcome sight! Ian and his dad stayed home and went kayaking and fishing together.  They took kayaks down the river too with some friends and never came home until lunch. Once we were all home, we got a fire going in the fire pit and had a nice picnic outside for dinner followed by roasted marshmallows.  They had a ball adding things to the fire.

Fraction Fun on Friday: Learning About Fractions Through Play

For math we read a few books about fractions.  Whenever possible I like to teach my boys math through reading fun books and playing games. Today we read two books Full House and The Wishing Club . Both of them were absolutely adorable and the kids loved them! We then played roll- a- whole.  I had the fraction tiles that I got with my McRuffy set and I had ordered some fraction dice from Amazon.   If you don't have any fraction tiles you can order some from Amazon or go to this page and print some off for free.  If you don't have fraction dice you can use regular dice and attach stickers to the sides. The object is to keep rolling the dice until you have one whole strip filled up. The boys seemed to like this game (we played three rounds!) and I loved that it worked on many skills pertaining to fractions. Identifying fractions Matching fractions Adding fractions Looking for equivalent fractions   Alec's first roll was for 1/4 and he quickly grabbed