Chasing Cheerios

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Insect Matching

I set up this insect matching activity for E(3) thinking she would really enjoy it since she loves insects, and she loves her toob figures.  I was wrong.  She doesn't care about this activity at all.  She is almost completely uninterested in choosing any of the work from her Montesssori shelves...she just can't be bothered with inside work when there  is so much to do outside :)

The insect cards came from Target.  We spread out the cards, and then E matched the figures to the cards.  We read information about the insects that is on the back of the cards.  O(6) really enjoyed learning more about the insects from the backs of the cards.
Both girls LOVE this book that we read shortly before we completed this activity.  We've all learned a lot about insects from this fun book, and E(3) asked if she can get waterbugs for her birthday after we read about female waterbugs cementing their eggs onto the male waterbugs backs.  She thought that was SO cool!  We went kayaking shortly after reading the book and completing the activity, and I had fun asking the girls questions from the book as we saw the various insects on the lake.  Fun times at Lakeside Homeschool!

Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting Chasing Cheerios. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Discrete Schooling

The girls are often doing schoolwork, and they don't even know it!

They love playing with paper dolls, and since we are studying Josephina (American Girl) this month, they had fun playing with their Josephina paper dolls while listening to a Josephina audio book on the ipad (via Tales 2 Go).

They LOVE to catch caterpillars to observe in this habitat.  They name all of their caterpillars either Katie or Lily, and whenever they spot a new caterpillar, they shriek with excitement "There's Katie!"

We learned so much during a recent visit to a local botanical garden.  The girls loved this living wall.

We had fun interpreting this art at a recent art festival.  I loved hearing their impressions of what they saw.
O(6) had fun practicing shooting her bow and arrow while building the skills of concentration, focusing, and attention to detail (among many others!).

We have 2 tadpoles that we observe daily.  We've loved watching them grow and setting up their habitat.  We were excited to discover 2 tiny snails in the habitat, which is perfect since we are studying mollusks in science!!!

We love playing with the magna-tiles!  They built a cathedral complete with an attached graveyard.  We've been studying lines of symmetry in math, and magna-tiles are great for illustrating this concept!

O(6) has finally admitted that she loves to kayak!  This makes me SO happy since I LOVE to kayak, and I've been trying to get her to love it for years :)  When we are kayaking, we have fun looking for egrets, turtles, blue herons, and fish.  We also go out to the middle of the lake and sit completely still and silent to practice making silence and absorbing the peace of nature around us.  O has gained so much confidence and seems so joyful as she kayaks around the lake. 
Most of our schooling is discrete schooling with only about an hour or 2 of formal lessons each day (for O).  Fun times at Lakeside Homeschool!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

One More Month...

is feeling a sense of dread/relief after finally scheduling Elliott's brain MRI and follow-up appt today. If I sound like a crazy basketcase at times over the next month, it's because I am! I can't wait until June, so this will (hopefully) be over for another year!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

We Love Word Fun!

We love this book!  Word Fun is a fun book that is a great compliment to O(6)'s grammar book, First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind.  

We have fun reading a section or 2 of this book during breakfast or lunch each day.  After reading each section, we have fun playing the games.   This book covers nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, interjections, and propositions.

This is a great book for first and second graders, and E(3) also loves it and has learned so much from it.

Becky- I think Sadie will love this book as much as O and E do!

Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting Chasing Cheerios. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cheerios Books!!!

You can find these wonderful bilingual books (English/Spanish) in boxes of whole grain Cheerios now! We love Cheerios (obviously!), and I always stock up when they offer books in the boxes of cereal.

We love all 3 of those books, but Where Is Home, Little Pip? was our favorite. E(3) was so engrossed in this book that she clasped her hands together and tears came to her eyes as I read the book. I rubbed her back and assured her that everything would be ok, and her face glowed with joy when we finally got to the happy ending.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Nature Walk Bingo

I REALLY love taking walks with the girls.  Unfortunately, they usually don't want to go, so I have to make them.  Once we get going, they enjoy themselves, but it's hard to tear them away from their play that they are always so engaged in.

However, these Nature Walk Bingo cards motivated them to get moving, and we had a WONDERFUL walk today!  Both girls were much more focused on noticing their surroundings, and we saw so many things that we usually would have overlooked!

E(3) was reaching down to pick up this flower, when we noticed the bee in it.  We observed the bee for a few minutes before she picked up another flower.  She sniffed the flower and then had pollen on her nose for the next hour or so.
We were sad (but intrigued) to find this dead baby turtle.  The girls insisted that we take it home, so I carried it home on the leaf (I was a little squeamish about touching it, and it was covered in ants).  We buried it when we got home.  There is an ongoing discussion about whether or not we will eventually dig it up so that we can have the shell for our nature collection.
We saw this dead fish by a tree.  It was pretty far from the lake, so we are guessing that a bird accidentally dropped it there.

The girls LOVED walking through this field of thousands of tiny yellow flowers.  Their goal was to make it across the field without stepping on any flowers.

We stopped to touch the bark of trees along the way since their cards had "rough bark" and "smooth bark" listed as things to find.
The Nature Bingo cards came from Ladybug magazine.  You can find a printable black and white version here

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Preschool Reading Work...Or Not!

Lately, E(3) has not been interested in "doing" school at all.  Each morning while O(6) is doing her school work, I offer to do a lesson with E.  She says "No, thank you," and off she goes.  While O is completing her lessons, E(3) spends her time digging up earthworms in the dirt, observing bees buzz around the Azalea bushes, following our cat around the yard, inspecting the blueberry bushes, etc.  She creates games and a wonderful world of pretend play.  Honestly, I'd much rather her spend her time engaging in free and creative play in nature with little restrictions (she has to stay within the fence...we live right on a lake) than inside doing  "school" lessons.  She has the rest of her life to read, but the time for engaging in creative and open ended pretend play is now!

I admit that earthworms make me feel a little squeamish, but my girls LOVE to play with them.  E(3) names her earthworms and will sit and play with them for hours. (In this picture, she was excited that she created an earthworm ring!)  What a joyful childhood they have!

Life Cycle of a Frog

A friend recently gave us a jar of tadpoles, and we have enjoyed creating a habitat for them (a larger container with more water, weeds, and sand) and observing the tadpoles.

I bought these life cycle of a frog figures from Michaels, and the girls (especially E) love them!
The girls traced around the figures to draw the life cycle of frogs.  O(6) has plans to make a book.  Fun times!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Lake Observation

The girls and I have LOVED the warm weather over the past few days. We've spent hours playing outside, and they've gone swimming everyday. The water is cold, but they don't mind! This afternoon we walked down to our friends' house and laid down on their dock to observe the underwater lake life. We only saw one fish, but it was big and very exciting!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Color Your Costume

E(3) chose this color your costume set as her souvenir from the New Orleans Art Museum, and we have had so much fun coloring it together!

The girls and I spent at least 3 or 4 days working on this costume.  Luckily, we all love to color :)

The markers didn't last long, but luckily we had extra fabric markers in our craft bin.  Once those started running out, I bought a new box of fabric takes a lot of ink to color this costume!
The girls haven't worn this costume much since they finished coloring it, but I'm sure they will eventually.  It was well worth the money because it provided us with many hours of family fun whether they wear it or not :)
I searched around and found a website that sells these it is.  I love the geisha costume, so I'm fairly certain that one of my little loves will be getting it for her birthday :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

One year ago today...

Elliott's benign brain tumor was removed via craniotomy one year ago today.  In some ways, it seems like last week, and in other ways it seems like it was all just a bad dream and I can barely remember it.  We are so incredibly fortunate that his recovery was fast and remarkable.  His follow-up MRI will be soon, and we are hopeful that there will be no regrowth of the tumor.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Caroline (American Girl) Day

The girls received the Caroline paper dolls and activity book in their "Caroline" (American Girl) fun pack.  We've really enjoyed reading the books, and after we finish each set of American Girl books, we have either a party or playdate to act out the characters.  We were excited that my niece was able to join us for our "Caroline Day!"

We had fun playing the board game that came with the set of Caroline books.
We had hoop races.  I won every time :)  It was very windy and cold, so we didn't do this for very long.

We had bean soup and cornbread for lunch.  We made butter to go with our cornbread, and it was delicious.
We went down to "Lake Ontario" to get water.

The girls dipped their feet in "Lake Ontario."  It was COLD, so we didn't stay out for long (this time last year we were already swimming...I don't like the weather this year!)
The girls had fun dressing up, and O(6) was especially excited to wear her new hoop skirt.  E(3) danced with her corn husk doll, and we attempted (without success) to make hankerchief dolls.  O(6) and E(3) recited poetry, and O wouldn't let me take pics since there were no camera phones in 1812 and she's a stickler about authenticity.  This was a fun day, and I can't wait for our Marie-Grace/Cecile party that is coming up soon (we had to postpone due to the terrible viruses that have struck the girls recently)!