Shabby Blog Wheels on the Bus

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Football Field Trip

One of the best things, one of the things I love the most, about homeschooling is how you can extend learning far out of the classroom.

Extra things that, before, were just "activities" can be counted as field trips and educational excursions.

A couple of weeks ago, we took the kids to their first ever live football game. It was our old high school's team, and the kids have been asking to go forever (every time we passed the school, which in our small town, is often).

Before long the kids had been versed in real-time football play terms and vocabulary. Mr. Tinker obsessed over the numerous clocks and timers; Miss Artsy sharpened her social skills and made some friends. And it was FUN.

Who says learning can't be?! ~~

Monday, September 26, 2011

Banana Pops Made Easier

One of our favorite snacks? Banana pops. Though we really love Diana's Banana Babies, they're not always on sale. So, many times we make our own when we have a notion for this healthy-ish, frozen snack!

Here are my tips for making them easier to make:

1) Be sure to use the wide, curved, short wooden sticks, found at most craft stores. They hold the banana better than traditional popsicle sticks.

2) After inserting the sticks, freeze the banana halves FIRST before ever starting to tip into chocolate.

3) Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave -- semisweet chocolate works best. Then pour into a tall, skinny glass; easier to coat the bananas this way.

4) If you are going to roll the pops in sprinkles, nuts, etc., be sure you do this immediately after dipping each one. The frozen bananas set the chocolate extremely fast, and if you wait, the toppings won't adhere.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Los Plantanos!

To celebrate the culture of many Spanish-speaking countries, we made Los Plantanos Fritos last week: Fried Plantains!

Wasn't too sure whether the kids would like them or not....but they DID! I thought G was going to make himself sick off of them!

Though los plantanos can be topped with a variety of things, we found out that powdered sugar is the topping of choice in our household.

Want to make Los Plantanos Fritos at your house? Here's how.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Best Freebies We've Found

Everybody loves freebies, right?

I've put together a small list of some of our family's favorite freebies.

Publix Preschool Pals.

If you have a child under 5 and have a Publix grocery store near you (and chances are you do if you live on the Eastern side of the US), I highly recommend signing up for Publix Preschool Pals. Not only do you receive coupons (that are really good ones) and newsletters full of tips as your child grows, every month your child receives a small prize in the mail. By far our favorite was the Preschool Pals CD-ROM, which included some very well-made interactive, educational games.

Lego Club and Lego Club Jr. Magazines

If your child loves Lego, then he/she would adore the free Lego Club Magazine (and Lego Club Jr. for smaller builders). With comic strip stories, jokes, fan photo submissions, and monthly building contests, this is a magazine that our kids anxiously await the arrival of each month!

Your Story Hour's "Adventures in the Holy Bible" Program

I grew up listening to Your Story Hour's dramatized Bible story cassette tapes! These didn't survive my childhood so that I could pass them down to my two, so I was thrilled to see that Your Story Hour has a new program for kids that lets them work to collect the Life of Jesus CDs: The "Adventures in the Holy Bible" program! Every time your child completes a set of Bible quizzes based on booklets sent their way, they receive a CD (or mp3 download) from the Life of Jesus collection. Mr. Tinker just completed the 13-part program, and he received this nifty CD binder in the mail this week!

Inter-Library Loans

Did you realize that your library has a wealth of available books, CDs, audiobooks, DVDs, and videos? Okay -- maybe not your local branch....but thanks to a little something called "inter-library loans" (ILLs), you can gain access to most every item in your entire state's library collection -- most likely for no cost at all. We are enjoying so many audiobooks and hard-to-find books this way, shipped to our local branch from other branches state-wide. I request a hold online, and within a few days our local library calls to let me know I have items available for pick-up. Can't beat this!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Las Vocales

One of the first things the kids learned via La Clase Divertida, our Spanish curriculum this year, are the vowels -- las vocales -- and their sounds.

Here is the little song they learned to help them remember:

Las Vocales en Espanol from Megret on Vimeo.

Muy bien, muchachos!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pretty excited....

....about the two books that I just bought to read:

I'm a mega huge fan of Sally Clarkson and have heard amazing things about this particular book of hers. And Andreola's CM Companion has been on my "to read" list for years, the ultimate handbook for classical style schooling. It's about time I did!

Egg = The Brain

One of the "Try This" projects in our Apologia Anatomy & Physiology text was comparing an egg to a brain.

The kids dropped two raw eggs into a plastic container and then went crazy, running and shaking, then finally dropping them onto the pavement!

It didn't take long for the "brain" to succumb to such abuse:

We repeated the experiment after adding a new egg and water to the top of the container, acting as the skull and surrounding fluid to cushion any blows. (No pictures of the result -- my camera battery died! -- but the eggs came out just fine this time.)

Learning about Ancient Egypt!

I must say, the chapters on Ancient Egypt in our Winter Promise Hideaways in History curriculum were big hits with the kids!

We learned all about the Egyptians' early paper making, which they did by weaving together flattened riverbed reeds. G didn't want to stop this project!

We also "mummified" some of our favorite stuffed animal friends....

...and read all about what was involved in the mummification process. (One word: Yuck.)

Last but not least, Ken helped the kids construct a giant pyramid out of boxes. Not only do stuffed animals enjoy this hideaway, but Mittens the cat does, too...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Anatomy & Physiology

This week the kids focused on learning (in science):

1) The difference between anatomy and physiology

2. The scientific advances of various peoples in history (Greeks, Hebrews, Europeans, etc.)

3. The parts of the cell

They also created a rotating "cell wheel" and cell parts vocabulary flip cards, which aren't pictured.

Next week we'll be starting on the skeletal system!