Showing posts from December, 2013

Organizing Ideas for Kids Toys, Games and Puzzles

This is the time of year I go crazy cleaning and organizing.  Seriously crazy, uber- organizing, the over the top kind of cleaning and organizing most people do in a year, I do in a week! And I love it! I love organizing, cleaning, straightening and making the house look nice.  I can't stand clutter and really live the mantra "everything in it's place." Something about taking down all the Christmas decorations and cleaning up the house makes me go a bit nutty.  I love to decorate for Christmas, but by Christmas day all the decorations start to make the house feel cluttered.  Add to that all the millions of toys and games the kids get and I am chomping at the bit to clean it all up. I dive in headlong and start cleaning things I previously thought were pretty organized. Over the last four days I have re-arranged all the furniture in the boys rooms, brought up tables and bins from the playroom and helped them organize all their new Christmas toys. I ha

Looking Back To Move Forward

I find that the end of the year is the perfect time to look back through my old posts and review what we've done in 2013.  I enjoy looking back to see how much my boys have grown, changed, and learned. It's not always easy to notice all the little day to day changes but when I look back over the past twelve months some obvious areas of growth really stand out to me.    Of course, looking back over the year I also see lots of ways we can improve too and that helps me formulate new plans. In reading my first post of 2013 I was reminded of my New Year's resolution to spend more time with the boys outside everyday--oops! I don't think I've been outside with them since October!!  We'll have to remedy that.   I also stumbled upon our state studies that we seemed to have stopped altogether in the past few months.  While the boys didn't enjoy all the worksheets that went along with each state study, they did enjoy reading books, watching trave

Our ELF Day Mini Unit.. That We Never Got Around To

I hadn't planned on starting our holiday break yesterday, but that's what ended up happening.   We had a full day of lessons planned around the movie Elf-- a new holiday favorite around here. While I'm not a huge Will Farrell fan, I finally gave this movie a real shot last year and found that I enjoyed it quite a bit as did my boys.   For school we were reading a chapter book called The Forgotten Helper: A Christmas Story. We were going to make Maple Crinkle Cookies (recipe here ) to go with our movie. For our craft today we were going to make paper Christmas chains (using these templates and instructions ) and some snowflakes for the windows. We even had some "elf" themed math planned.  Evan was going to do another roll, add and color sheet with elves on the paper and I had a fun game planned for Ian and Alec called The Great Elf Contest .  It was a free printable multiplication game that I thought would be lots of fun.  Instead we wrapped

Jingle All the Way Day

We've been trying to theme all our homeschooling days this season around fun holiday movies.  I picked the movies first and then picked activities, snack and schoolwork to go with it. We're watching Jingle All the Way today-- another "new" holiday movie for the kids, but before I would let them watch it they just had a small amount of schoolwork to do.   We started by reading Jingle Bells, Homework Smells .  I read to the boys while they were eating breakfast.  I only had one math worksheet for each of them today.   The older boys had to match trees with three digit number equations on them to the answer bases and then glue them down onto paper.  For some reason getting to match and glue was fun. The boys matching answers and equations  While they worked on those Evan had to color in certain objects on his Owl paper , count them up and write the numbers.  It was good practice for him since he still struggles with the fine motor control to actuall

Olive the other Reindeer

We had a fun day of activities planned around the book Olive the Other Reindeer, including watching the movie .  It was actually quite simple to turn it into a day's worth of activities by deciding to turn the day into another reindeer day . For language arts the older boys had a worksheet where they put all of Santa's reindeer in ABC order  and did a word search for reindeer words (found in the same download as the ABC order sheet).  Evan and I read a mini book called Five Little Reindeer .  I had him point out the sight words he already knew and introduced the new sight word "little."  I then had him go through the book and circle the word little every time he saw it.  To finish up I had him try and read the book back to me and asked him to read the book to dad tonight before bed.  Hard at work-- he already knew how to do ABC order.  Told me that he taught himself by reading the Weird School books!  For math they all had a roll and color she

I'll Be Home for Christmas

Today our Christmas movie is   I'll Be Home For Christmas .  It's a "new" movie for the boys this Christmas.  We've been having so much fun planning our homeschooling days around Christmas movies. We ended our day with our feature film and they just LOVED it!   Since this movie is about a boy trying to make it cross country to be with his family on Christmas we just decided to theme our day after Christmas!  It was so easy and fun! We read On Christmas Eve and The Best Christmas Present of All .  These were two touching and moving stories and we enjoyed them very much.  As soon as we finished our stories we dove right into our math work. The older boys had one more plot the grid sheets and today they made a Christmas tree .  Ian found this to be pretty easy and remembered right away how to do it.  While the older two boys worked on their sheets, Evan was working on a 100's chart hidden picture.  He followed the directions and colored i