Chasing Cheerios

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sorry for the long break...

We left for a super fun and amazing road trip on Valentine's Day and didn't get home until Sunday night.  I unexpectantly had to work on Monday (and then again on Wednesday and Thursday), and now sweet E(3) is sick.  So, I'll be back next week with some new and exciting bloggy goodness :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

More Preschool Reading Work

E(3) LOVES to do reading work!  I do NOT make her do this work...I give her the opportunity, and she either takes it or doesn't.  If she doesn't want to do the work, that is absolutely fine.  I follow her lead, and right now she wants to read like her big sister! (but she spends most of her time engaged in pretend play, listening to us read books to her, and playing outside...she spends less than 15 minutes a day doing reading work and only about 3 days a week....I don't want to push reading on her as it is not really developmentally appropriate for a 3 year old.  However, since she wants to read desperately, I'm not going to deny her. She's having fun, and that is what is most important!)

She loved reading simple words using the sandpaper letters last week!
E loves the spinny speller!
Since O(6) is doing All About Reading Level 2, E(3) was THRILLED when I ordered All About Reading Level 1 for her!  She begged to read the stories and was disappointed that the lessons didn't have her reading stories right from the beginning.  She loves reading the words on the green cards, and she had fun making the words on the Spinny Speller match her flashcards.  I love that the lessons are so short and engaging for her.  We haven't done any of the worksheets yet...I'm not a fan of worksheets, but E really wants to do them, so we probably will.  (I'm not a fan of flashcards, either, especially for E's age, but she loves them, so she reads them).

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Paper Dolls

I'm so excited about the Valentine's paper dolls from Lily and Thistle that we are giving our girls for this special day!  I realized that the paper dolls would be the perfect activity for a Valentine's party with their friends, so they'll be getting them a little to be added after the party.  (I wanted to post this now so that you would have time to by your own set for your sweeties!).

Click here to go to the paper dolls.  I'm especially excited about the included subscription for the Outfit of the Month club (Around the World)!

More Valentine's Work

I wrote letters and numbers on these shiny heart stickers for O(6) a couple of years ago, and we use the same ones every February.  E(3) has LOVED working with these letters.  She asked me to make words for her to read, and she did a fantastic job reading them. 

E(3) also enjoyed putting the hearts in the heart per opening.  She started off using chopsticks, but ended up using her fingers.  It was too difficult to pick up the stickers with chopsticks...even for me!

E was proud of the long word that she made.  After she finished making it, she said "Read it for me, mama!" 

Valentine's Work

The girls were excited when I found these cookie cutter hearts from last Valentine's Day!
Both girls had fun putting the hearts in size order.

After putting the hearts in order in a line, they put them inside each other to check their work.  Fun and simple!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Last Week in Review

Here are a few highlights from last week...

The girls found the flower button board that I made for O(6) about 4 years ago.  O loved it, but E was only moderately interested.

We had a Valentine's Day themed homemade playdough playdate.  The kids helped make the playdough and then had fun playing with it. 

We cut hearts from flour tortillas to make heart shaped cinnamon and sugar tortillas for a playdate snack.

Goobi magnets are the most chosen work in our school room!  E(3) had fun making different shapes.

The chocolate playdough was a little crumbly!  It made a mess, but clean-up was fairly easy.

O(6) enjoyed her Rightstart Math lessons this week.  She created and solved math problems using the balance, and then recorded the problems in her notebook.

E(3) enjoyed spreading out and looking at the cards from our Impressionism memory game. 

We took a long walk on a beautiful day! 
E is running to me with her arms open for me to pick her up.  Love!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bird Song Identification Game

The girls and I have had so much fun playing our bird song identification game! We take turns wearing an eye mask while someone else chooses a bird from the basket and squeezes it to hear it's song. If you guess the bird correctly, you get to keep the bird. They beat me every time!

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

10 Tips for Homeschoolers to Stay Organized...Guest Post by Jo from My Organized Chaos!

I am happy to have Jo from My Organized Chaos as the first ever guest post on Chasing Cheerios!  Jo's blog, A Bit of This and That, was one of the first blogs that I ever read years ago before I started Chasing Cheerios, and she has always been an inspiration to me.  
Jo Ebisujima is a Brit living in Japan, she has been raising her bilingual son in a Montessori environment and is the founder of My Organized Chaos, where she helps busy moms to organize their home and kids so that they have more time for the fun stuff.

Make A Home For Everything: This is my mantra and I say it because it works. If everything has a specified home it is much easier to keep the place tidy and organized, (and much easier to find things when you need them).

Storage Bin and Boxes: Perfect for keeping things looking neat and tidy on the shelf. Make sure they are well labelled and you keep the contents according to the labels.

Store Subject Items Together: This might be easier said than done, depending on the size of your home but having subject zones make it easier for you to grab what you need when you need it.

Learn The Art Of Rotation: Often we have too much 'stuff' to have it all out on the shelves at one time. If that is the case, rotate your activities. Using a seasonal basket or shelf is one easy way to introduce rotation. I also recommend setting a time each week to swap your shelves around. Rotating items keeps them fresh for your child and having less on the shelves makes it look better, tidier and more organized and makes it easier for your child to decide what to study with next.

Use Colour Coding: If you have more than one child then colour code your binders, the children's notebooks etc. Alternatively use colour coding for subjects, Montessori makes good use of this and it makes it easier for bother teachers/parents and the children. Whatever your labelling system of choice is, be sure to stick with it for the year to prevent confusion.

Set A Week To Declutter: It is easy to over accumulate 'stuff' so set a week aside before the start of your school year to give your homeschool area a good de-clutter. Throw out, or pass on anything you no longer need or your children have outgrown.

Family Schedule: You can do this on paper or on the computer but try and get the whole family into the habit of keeping up with their schedule making. We use google calendar for all our scheduling, we all have our own calendar, a family one and my husband and I have our work schedules on there too. It is easy to check at a glance to see if a new event will clash with something else.

Pinterest: Use pinterest to keep project ideas and lesson plans all in one place. Set up boards for each topic or subject then anything you stumble upon as you are surfing the net can be kept all together in one place, much easier than wading through hundreds of bookmarks.

Specify Your Work Area: So often we end up having homeschool bits all over the house. Decide where is the work area and make sure that your child has all the items they need at hand in that area. Of course you can have different zone, they might have a writing statoin in one room and a study and experiement are in another room.

End Of Day Clean Up: This should be applied to everywhere really, when you and your children have finished for the day, tidy everything away so that you have a nice clean desk/room/kitchen to start on the next day. Having to clear away the previous days mess before you can et started for the day is a downer and a waste of precious time, much easier to get it done at the end of the day.

The next My Organized Chaos e-course kicks off February 18th, the doors for early bird registration are open now.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday at Lakeside Homeschool

You can expect to see fairly frequent posts without too much wordiness since I recently learned to blog from my phone!  It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier and faster than before, so blogging is actually fun again!  However, I'm not very good at typing on my phone, and autocorrect just kills me (if I say something that makes absolutely no sense then you can assume that I have been autocorrected).

Now that I am (temporarily) on my desktop computer, I'll add captions for these photos.

The girls LOVE our world map, and we sing the continent song each morning while locating the continents on the map.  Lately, we have been focusing on Great Britain (since we've recently finished reading The Secret Garden), France (since we studied Picasso in January), Canada (since we are reading the Caroline American Girl books), and Russia (since we are studying Tchaiovsky this month).
Our smartglobe is also used frequently by the girls.  They love to listen to the national anthems of the different countries.

O has recently become interested in the knobless cylinders (they came from Montessori Outlet, I think).

Both girls love these blocks.  They came from Lakeshore (I think).

Inchimals are always fun!  E was putting them in order and having lots of fun doing it!

Toob animals are always a hit with E!  These animals are from our South America bin.

Initial consonants work

Here is the box for the initial consonants work that I wrote about a few days ago. This activity is leftover from my mom's teaching days, and I have no idea where it came from. Hope this helps all if you who have asked about it!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Snowflake Tortillas

The girls and I had a great time making snowflake tortillas last week when we visited our local Montessori school! (So I bought tortillas so we could make them at home, too!)

First, the kids folded the flour tortillas into triangles, and then they cut triangles on the folds to make beautiful snowflakes. After they finished cutting, they spread softened butter all over the tortillas. They shook cinnamon and sugar on top of the butter. We then baked the tortillas at 400 degrees for 4 minutes.

Thanks to Lindsey who was the creative genius behind this delicious and fun snack/activity!

Saturday, February 2, 2013