Chasing Cheerios

Sunday, March 31, 2013

O(6)'s Daily Work

At O(6) request, she is learning to write in cursive.  She has wanted to learn to write in cursive for years, but when we tried last summer, she wasn't ready and she didn't enjoy it.  When we tried again a couple of months ago, she was ready, and she LOVES it!  We are using the Handwriting without Tears cursive workbook.

When the weather is nice, we have school outside.  O(6) wrote her sentences with sidewalk chalk before identifying the nouns and verbs in the sentences.  She is doing her First Language Lessons in the picture.  She usually loves her language lessons, especially the poem recitations and stories for narrations.

Both girls love creating with the Handwriting without Tears letter forms.
O(6) had a great idea to make reading fun!  She asked me to write her new reading words (from All About Reading Level 2) on the driveway, and she would ride her scooter over them as she read.  She zoomed so fast that she only had time to read 2 words!

She then decided to throw a hula hoop at the words and read the words that the hoop landed on.

We are using Science Odyssey Life as our science curriculum, and the girls had fun digging for earthworms (they only found 2 and they both escaped, so we had to buy worms).

They created landforms with clay for our homeschool class.  I was surprised by how engaged they were in this activity.  I thought it would take about 20 minutes, but they worked with the clay for more than an hour and would have worked longer if we hadn't had to stop for supper.
O(6) finished All About Spelling (AAS) Level 1 in December, and we took a couple of months off before starting Level 2.  Lately, we've been using the moveable alphabet for the AAS lessons rather than the magnetic letters.  We both like using the moveable alphabet much better!

O(6) learned how to tell time recently, and we've had fun playing games to review these skills.  It's been a great introduction for E(3) to learn about telling time, too!

So, there's a look into some of the things that O(6) is doing as part of her first grade curriculum. In addition to these things, O(6) is about to finish The Story of the World, Volume 1 (we'll finish this week), and she recently finished Writing with Ease, Level 1.  For math, we are doing Rightstart Math and Singapore math.   I'm hoping we'll finish most of her lessons in April or early May so that we can start our summer's going to be so much fun!

Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt

The girls had so much fun having a nighttime glow in the dark Easter egg hunt! To make the eggs glow, I ordered a set of led finger lights for amazon and put one in each egg. Thanks to Amber for this super fun idea!

Unfortunately, we've only had one glow egg hunt so far because both of the girls have been very sick with viruses. We're missing most of the Easter festivities, and we've canceled lots of fun plans. Luckily, the girls felt well enough for their egg hunt to find their prizes from the Easter bunny this morning!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Yummy Lunch

It always surprises me that the posts about the girls' lunches generate so many emails and hits. So, since this is an easy post to write and since Elliott mistakenly made the comment that he thought the kids weren't eating healthy enough (this highly offended me and I now take frequent pics of their food...he quickly rescinded his complaint!), I'll be sharing more of their simple and healthy meals.

The girls loved this lunch...they had watermelon, boiled shrimp, salad, and walnuts. Deeeelicious!

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Painting with Scissors" like Matisse

We studied the art and life of Henri Matisse during the month of February.  We read a couple of books about Matisse (library books that I don't remember the names of) and looked at his works of art.  After learning that Matisse stated that he "painted with scissors" when creating his collages, I decided that this would be the perfect project to wrap up our study (we also did this art project at our local Montessori!).

I put a stack of construction paper in the middle of our kitchen table, gave the girls scissors and glue sticks and white cardstock, and told them to cut shapes to create a masterpiece.  O(6) immediately decided to create a rainbow scene.  E(3) loves to copy her sister, so she also decided to make a rainbow.  E(3) had trouble cutting the way she wanted to, so she told me exactly what she wanted and I cut for her.  She did all of her planning and glueing.
O(6) LOVED this activity and was completely engrossed in her work.  As she worked, E(3) decided to make rainbow hills rather than a traditional rainbow.  She then decided to turn a couple of her hills into trees.

O(6)'s finished masterpiece.  I think she did a beautiful job, and she was so proud to present her art to the Montessori class as an example before we did the activity with that group.
E(3) was also very proud to present her artwork to the Montessori class, but she seemed a little disturbed that the children thought that her rainbow hills and trees were popsicles!

We have almost all of the Touch the Art books, and the girls LOVE them.  These books are a wonderful introduction to art!
Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting Chasing Cheerios. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Living History

Our girls LOVE history!  They beg for history lessons, and when we are finished with a chapter of Story of the World, they beg for more.  In addition to studying ancient history through Story of the World, we study American History through the American Girl books.  On Saturday mornings, the girls usually watch PBS cartoons, but lately they have chosen to watch historical documentaries on Netflix.  I was concerned about the violence on one of the shows (Alexander the Great), and O(6) looked at me very solemnly and said "Mama, you know there is never a good war and never a bad peace."  Then E(3) said "They have to have wars!"  When I asked why, she said "So they can protect their land."

These girls, at ages 3 and 6, know more about ancient history and American history than I ever learned in school.  Because they love what they are learning, they remember it in a way that I never did since I was taught through reading mind numbing textbooks and listening to boring lectures while taking copious amounts of notes.  I love that through homeschooling we have the freedom to teach history in a way that enables the girls to love and understand this subject at their very young ages.

To further our study and their love of history, we recently took the girls to a Civil War reenactment.  They watched a man make soap, learned how to spin wool, and watched a lady sew on with an antique sewing machine.
They each chose one of these handmade dolls for a souvenir.  O(6)'s doll's name is Molly, and E(3)'s doll's name was Agnes Lee.  However, E(3) immediately changed her doll's name from Agnes Lee to "Old Time Cotton."  (These children never cease to delight and amuse us!)

O(6) was thrilled when her grandparents bought her a pair of fancy, satin gloves which will enable her to re-enact many American Girl scenes with a little more authenticity.  (She even wore them to the grocery store and had a fun time washing them by hand and hanging them on the clothes line).   E(3) was very excited to buy a beeswax candle.  She said "I'm going to name my candle 'Candle'."  Later, when she lost her candle, I heard her calling "Dear Candle!  Where are you, dear Candle?"

We watched a Civil War skirmish, but we didn't stay for long because the cannon fire was VERY loud, and it made E(3) feel nervous and scared.
The girls were thrilled to wear their Victorian dresses made by Cheri at Ashley's Attic to the reenactment, and they received countless compliments on their beautiful dresses.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Silky Soap Dough

The girls and I had a wonderful time making and playing with silky soap dough last week!  We mixed a cup of cornstarch with a half cup of handsoap.  Once it was thoroughly mixed, it was silky and soft!

We had a discussion of measurement to incorporate a little bit of math into this activity.

O(6) loves making bowls out of clay and dough, so I wasn't surprised to see her making a silky soap dough bowl!  She used the fork to make designs in her dough.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sorting Animals Work

Our toob works are some of E(3)'s favorites!
She really enjoyed this science work in which she sorted the figures according to whether they were birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, or fish.  O(6) and I had fun helping her complete this work.  (We used the labels from the animal sorting work from Montessori Print Shop.)

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

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Musical Instruments Work

The girls received several sets of toob figures from their grandparents for Christmas, and they love them!  I'm excited about the figures because it is fun to incorporate them into our schoolwork.

 Both girls had fun identifying the musical instruments while E(3) matched the instruments to the pictures in the book.

Our copy of Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin is from a Cheerios box, but you can also find it on Amazon (see link below).

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

Saturday, March 16, 2013

New Orleans Art Museum

One of my favorite afternoons in New Orleans was spent at the New Orleans Museum of Art.  We went on a Wednesday because it was free.
 I packed a sketch book and pack of pencils for the girls, and they each chose a painting to sketch.  E(3) was VERY excited about this activity, and she wanted to sketch EVERY painting on the first floor of the museum.  She kept saying excitedly "I want to sketch this one and that one and that one over there and that one, too!!!"  She especially loved the paintings of mothers and babies and finally decided on this one.  I was amazed by how long she sat on the floor studying the painting and sketching in her book.
The girls, my mom, and I really enjoyed the museum (Elliott was in a work conference, which was the purpose of our trip to N.O.), and I was excited when the girls recognized the works of art from various artists that we've studied.  O(6) was VERY excited to see a painting by Georgia O'Keefe, and E(3) was thrilled when I pointed out a painting by Andy Warhol.  They both recognized a painting by Picasso even though they'd never seen it.

This pic of O(6) hugging E(3) is one of my favorite pictures from the whole trip.  O(6) was comforting her sister because she thought the painting was scary.

It took O(6) a while, but she finally decided to sketch this wall in the lobby.  She worked for a little while, but the allure of the museum gift shop was too much, and she didn't finish her sketch.

The sculpture garden at the museum is also free, and we spent a wonderful couple of hours exploring it.  The girls are looking for their names in this alphabet sculpture.

There was lots of giggling when they saw this sculpture!
E(3) loved touching each sculpture before guessing what material it was made from.  She guessed right almost every time (almost all of them were bronze!).
After this wonderful experience at the art museum, we are looking forward to spending time in our (somewhat) local art museum.  

Magna-tiles + light box = fun!!!

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

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fun with a Printer's Drawer

A vintage printer's drawer might seem like an unusual Christmas gift for a 3 year old, but it was perfect for our sweet E!!!! She loves to set up and arrange her vast collection of toob figures on the small shelves.
This simple and fun activity keeps her busy for hours, and I love to listen to her "talk" her figures. She usually likes to play in this space by herself, but sometimes she'll let me join her, so I can have some fun, too!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Orleans with Kids

We had a fantastic time on our recent road trip to New Orleans.  It took us 2 days to get there, and the girls were great travelers (thank goodness)!  O(6) studied this map as we traveled. She learned the location of many states, and she was especially excited to learn how to spell Mississippi!
On our first day of vacation, we went on a tour of a Creole Plantation (Laura Plantation).  The girls were enthralled and listened intently throughout the tour.

O(6) dug into the crawfish that we had for lunch, but E(3) was a little more hesitant.  Later in the week I bribed them (with chocolate) to try fried alligator, and they loved it.

We went to City Park several times, and the girls loved it every time.

O(6) drew a picture after our trip to see a graveyard.  The girls thought the raised gravestones were very interesting.

Riding on a steamboat on the Mississippi River was a HUGE hit with the girls! They loved watching the paddle wheel and touring the engine room.

Since these girls are obsessed with history, they were super excited to sit next this statue of an "old time" lady in the French Quarter.

Both girls were so excited to choose special Mardi Gras masks!  We read the American Girl Marie-Grace and Cecile books while we were in New Orleans, and the girls are excited about having a MG and Cecile Mardi Gras party now that we have finished the series of books!

The girls played with their Marie-Grace and Cecile paper dolls every afternoon in our hotel room.

O(6) told us that it was her dream to walk through revolving doors, so we stopped and went into this fancy hotel.  The girls were SO excited.  I love that such simple things make them so happy!

Back to City Park!  The girls had fun climbing the trees...

And running, dancing, and playing in this memorial.

The girls were SO excited when this ice-cream truck came by when we were playing on the playground.  They've never seen an ice-cream truck before, so this was a special treat!

The girls were excited to ride a streetcar on Canal Street!

We loved walking around the French Quarter and Jackson Square.  We watched a fun magic show!

The girls threw coins in the fountain and made wishes in front of St. Louis Cathedral.

They were excited to take money to the street musicians in front of St. Louis Cathedral.
When we asked the girls what their favorite part of the trip was, they said that swimming in the hotel pool was the best!  I'm not surprised!  The hotel pool is the best part of most of our trips :)