Monday, October 31, 2011

And The Winner Is....

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my Lamb's Book of Art giveaway!  It means a lot to me that you each entered and showed your support for my blog in some way. decided that the winner is comment number 2, which is Danielle.  Congrats!

If you didn't win, but would still  like the book, head on over to How Great Thou ART to get your own copy.  I'm sure you will not be disappointed!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How Great Thou ART Drawing Demo

I want to share with you a drawing demo from How Great Thou Art's Intermediate Drawing DVD.  This is a product from the same company that my current giveaway (Lamb's Book of Art) is from, so if you like this, make sure to go and enter the giveaway! (giveaway ended)

This Intermediate Drawing DVD is geared for children age 8 & up.  Is has six hours of detailed and informative teaching taught in a step-by-step manor that children will enjoy! The website says that it is...

"Ideal for going deeper into drawing education.  Sutdents will learn to draw more complex things like animals, portraits, anatomy, and even perspective and depth."

If this interests you but looks a little too advanced for your child, check out their Beginning Drawing DVDs.

If you would like more free drawing instruction like this video, make sure to check out How Great Thou Art's facebook page.  And remember to enter to win your very own copy of Lamb's Book of Art!  Giveaway ends Sunday night.

Happy Drawing!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good Books Copywork - at, on, a, it

Here are this week's copywork pages.  If you frequent this blog, you might remember that I am putting together copywork pages for each of the spelling words we are learning this year.  These sheets are a marriage of two resources, The Writing Road to Reading and the 1000 Good Books  list at Classical Christian Homeschooling.  The spelling words are taken in order from the Writing Road to Reading and I have paired each one with a sentence from one of the books on the 1000 Good Books list.

If you missed last week's pack (me, do, and, & go) and would like it, you can download it here.  

The four words in this pack are at, on, a, & it.  You can download the pack here

These sheets are a great way practice the daily spelling word, gain greater proficiency in writing letters, and start to learn basic sentence structure (capital letter in the front, lowercase almost everywhere else, punctuation at the end, space between words, etc.)

I have seen great improvement in Trevor over the course of just a week or so.  I'll show you the picture of the first sheet he did and also his most current on so you can see the improvement =)  Keep in mind that this is mostly an independent assignment for him.  We go over the spelling word together and then I read the sentence to him (prompting him to read the words he might know), but after that I pretty much let him do the writing himself.  I try not to hover too much, letting him have the satisfaction of accomplishing the writing himself, and hope that the errors will work themselves out as we copy more and more sentances.

This is the first page he did.  The letters are pretty crazy and definitely not the right size for the lines!
Here is yesterday's page.  I didn't make him do the second line of 'on' because I thought he did so great on the first line!  This time his uppercase letter is the right size and so are his lowercase letters (well, except for that last, backwards 'e')!  And I guess he missed two letters, but I was pleased with his work and the progress he has made in such a short time.

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Feedburner Issues Resolved (?)

Thank you to those of you who told me that you hadn't been receiving my posts in your RSS reader lately.  I really know nothing about this sort of thing, but after lots of clicking and one randomly helpful website, I think I have the problem resolved.  Could those of you who subscribe to my RSS feed please leave me a comment if you get this in your reader?  I really hope this works because if it doesn't I don't have a clue what to do =)  Thanks again, friends!

Lesson Plan Week 8

                                          (You can click on the image to make it bigger if you are interested)                                                                                            MV = Memory Verse   CB = Chapter Book   CT = Character Trait   FP = Forest People  KNB = Kid's Nature Book

Posts related to this week's lessons:

You may have noticed that we pretty much took last week off of school.  But as many of you know, just because you are not following a lesson plan doesn't mean that you're not learning!   We went to the gymnastics center one morning for 'open gym,' carved a pumpkin, went to a class at church, and of course the normal playing games, reviewing memory verses, and talking about words as he sees signs out the car window.  I enjoyed taking last week a little slower, but I was ready to get back into the saddle this week!

Ray's math is going really well.  It's such a gentle way of teaching math concepts, but I can tell that Trevor is starting to grasp how it all works!  At this stage, it's all hands-on, which is fun for little ones.  Our new science activities are a nice change.  Hopefully I'll get a post up soon about the estimation activity we did yesterday.  Trevor's very favorite thing continues to be writing, so he is always eager to do his copywork page each day.  I'll get this week's copywork pages up soon, so you can print them out for your children if you'd like!

If you want to see the resources I'm using, click here.  This chart really isn't an explanation of what we are doing, so if you want to know anything more specifically, just ask. 

What are you doing this week?  If you have a blog, put a link in the comments, I'd love to check it out!

Happy Learning!

Monday, October 24, 2011

100th Post and A Giveaway!

 Giveaway has ended.

I noticed last week that I had written my 99th post, meaning of course that my next post would be number 100!  I was excited to have reached this milestone, but I wanted to do something special to celebrate, so I was hesitant to write another post (number 100!) until I could figure out what to do.  I thought a giveaway would be a perfect way to share in the celebration with you, my readers!

Before I get to that, let me say a big THANK YOU to those of you who faithfully read my blog, comment on my posts, and like/follow me on facebook/twitter.  When I started this blog in January of this year I wasn't sure what it would become, but I knew I wanted a place to share what is going on in our home, especially focusing on our schooling.  Since then I have tried to narrow the focus to mostly just what we are doing in school, sharing our lesson plans, expounding on some of our simple activities, and even sharing with you resources that you can use with your children!  My desire is to share with anyone who wants to read, what preschooling your child can look like in a 'living,' mostly hands-on kind of way.  I am obviously very early on in my teaching career =) so I have TONS to learn, but I just love sharing what we are doing with all of you, hopefully encouraging you to try it too (or to stick to it!)   So whether you are stopping by today for the first time, a faithful reader, or anywhere in between, THANK YOU for your support!

To help show my gratitude, I want to offer you a great art book to use with your children.  I have teamed up with the fantastic people of How Great Thou ART to give you the chance to win a copy of their Lambs Book of Art.  If you have read my blog before, you may know that we are currently using their Baby Lambs Book of Art with Trevor.  He always looks forward to doing these art lessons, and I love that it is not just a free-for-all-scribble-fest.  I am all for creative expression, but I also think there is a time for following instructions actually coloring WITHIN the lines =)  The books from How Great Thou ART do just that!

From their website...
"ART... is a learned discipline. Our purpose at How Great Thou ART is to teach students the fundamentals of drawing, painting, color theory, etc...We believe the most important quality in learning is having a good attitude; students need to believe that they can learn to draw, paint, letter and so forth. Art is not for just some , or those we call "talented." God has given all of us, to one degree or another, abilities in art that should be nurtured. The lessons in our text have been created to be both enjoyable and educational, challenging the students while preserving their sense of joy."
Up for grabs is your very own copy of this Lambs Book of Art.  The description is from their website...
"This award-winning 1 year curriculum teaches a well rounded education in art and has been a favorite with homeschooling families for years. Subjects include color theory, drawing, perspective, nature studies, anatomy, portraits, cartooning, lettering, creative writing and more. Although this program is designed especially for students in grades 3 thru 6, junior high and high school students will also find most of the lessons enriching in building their foundation in art. Primary grade levels (grades 1 & 2) will need more parent / teacher assistance. Includes over 65 lessons/100 pages in a spiralbound softcover text. Also includes a 20-page sketchbook built into the back of the text."

I encourage you to check out their website, or head over to their facebook page  to learn more!  You can even check out sample pages from this book and from their other art books on their website.  As a bonus on their facebook page, you can watch a video from one of their DVD series'.

To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post!  For extra chances to win, do the following (please leave a separate comment for each entry)...

  • Follow this blog (publicly) on Google Friend Connect
  • Like Living and Learning at Home on facebook
  • Like How Great Thou ART on facebook
  • Share about this giveaway on facebook
  • Follow me Twitter
  • Share about this giveaway on twitter
  • Blog about this giveaway - you must link back to this post (three entries)
***This giveaway is open for those of you in the continental US and will close at 11:59pm on Sunday, October 30th.

    This really is a great book from a great company, so I hope you take the time to enter!  Best of luck to you =)

    Happy Winning!

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    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Science Activity - Making Apple Butter

    The beautiful fall view out my living room window.
    Fall is such a beautiful time here in the Midwest!  It may be a little chilly and a little wet, but the stunning colors and the plentiful harvest more than make up for it.  Around here, you can't think about fall without thinking APPLES, so I figured making some apple butter with Trevor would be a great activity!

    This activity is suggested in The Kids' Nature Book that we are using and the concept is also used in one of the Sid the Science Kid experiments, so I put the two together, added a little of my own flare, and came up with a great little activity for this fall morning.

     First we gathered all of our materials.  I know this is not a precise kind of recipe, but we took the opportunity to get out the food scale and weigh the apples.  We talked about what a scale does and then Trevor watched the numbers as Mackenzie added apples to the bowl on the scale.

    I let the kids watch some TV while I sat and cut up the apples.  This is what we were left with after Mackenzie ate about every other one that I put in the pot =)  The lesson learned is to feed your little girl breakfast before you start this activity!  (You may have noticed the kids are still in their PJ's...we started this activity first thing in the morning since it's supposed to cook all day!)

    This is where the science part came in.  As soon as I finished cutting the apples up, I told Trevor to come over and mash them up into apple sauce for me.  He tried and the first thing he said was "They're too hard!"  I asked Trevor to tell me what else he observed about the apples that were in the pot.  He needed a little prompting about what to look for, but he came up with that they apples were kind of yellow, cold, and crunchy.  I told him that we would observe the apples again after they had been cooked.

    So we set the slow cooker to cook for a few hours.  After about two hours we observed the apples again.  Very carefully I had Trevor try to mash the apples.  This time they were soft!  Now they were also hot (instead of cold), turning brown (instead of yellow), and mushy (instead of crunchy...but of course he didn't taste them at this point....too hot!)  Then we added some honey and our spices and left the apples to continue cooking.

    Then I made up this copywork sheet for him to practice reading and writing the words that he had used to describe this apples.   Fell free to download this to use with your children!

    Here is the recipe that I ended up using:

    Slow Cooker Apple Butter

    5 lbs  Apples, peeled and cored
    2T     maple syrup
    1/2 c  honey (adjust to your liking depending on the type of apples you use)
    1T     cinnamon
    1t       cloves
    pinch  nutmeg

    • Cut apples into chunks and place into slow cooker.  Add maple syrup and cook on low for 2 hours (or until apples can be mashed).
    • Add honey and spices and mash to combine.
    • Stir/mash every hour until desired consistency is obtained (it may take several hours).  Let cook with the lid off if you have excess moisture.
    • Use immediately, refrigerate leftovers to be used within a few days, or save in a jar to be frozen or canned for future use or to be given as gifts.

    If you are planning to give apple butter as gifts,  head over to Money Saving Mom to print off some free labels for your jars!

    Happy Fall!

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Homeschool Group - A Trip to the Cider Mill

    This past Friday, we had the second meeting of our new homeschool group.  This time we headed out for a field trip, and went to Blake's Orchard and Cider Mill.  Too bad it turned out to be a rainy day, so our activities were limited, but we still had a good time!

    First we went inside and watched cider being made.  The kids (and us adults!) were intrigued for quite a while.  You really get to see the whole process at Blake's, which is nice.  Trevor described it to his daddy later that night like this (you can imagine the motions he used while talking =), "they duuuumped, then they went uuuuuuuuup the conveyor belt, then they got mushed up and into the bottle!"

    Next we headed to a covered picnic-table-area to do our craft that Miss Debby put together for us.  It was a really neat craft.  She (with her girls) had collected leaves earlier in the week and pressed them so they were dry for us.  Each child laminated a few leaves and cut them out (with some help =).  Then we hole punched them and strung them and tied them onto a branch.  The project turned out great that I think the kids really enjoyed it!

    Trevor working diligently trying to cut out his leaves.

    All the beautiful girls working on their leaves!

    Trevor displaying his finished product (too bad it blends in perfectly with the background so you can't see it, oops!)

    All the big kids with their mobiles (well, Trevor calls his a tree).

    After we finished our craft, we enjoyed some yummy doughnuts and cider.  I read a book about an apple to the kids, but the people around us were a little loud, our kids were starting to get cold, Mackenzie was crying and both her and Trevor wanted to sit on my story time was pretty much pointless =) Oh well, we had good intentions!  I was really hoping that we would be able to pick apples, or at least walk around the premises, but the weather just wasn't cooperating, so we went back inside and I bought a bag of apples and let the kids enjoy a caramel apple on the way home.

    I'm already looking forward to our meeting next month!  I thank God for these like-minded ladies and their wonderful children (though I am praying to find another mom who would be a good fit to add to the group who has a BOY...did you notice that every single person is a female except Trevor!)

    Happy Fall!

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    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    Science Activity - Charting Favorite Fruits

    If you happened to read my Lesson Plan Week 7 post earlier this week, you might remember that I decided to switch a few things up regarding Math and Science.  One thing is that I want to start doing one science activity or 'experiment' each week in addition to the one more nature related activity that we have been doing.  

    Trevor loves watching Sid the Science Kid on PBS.  The kids are slightly crazy on the show =) but I think that the 'experiments' that they do are really solid for beginning little scientists!  So, I was excited to find that on PBS Parents they have a list of each episode and instructions for how to do the experiment that they did on the show!  I went through the list and picked a few that I thought would be age-appropriate and interesting for Trevor.

    We did our first one this week and it was about making a chart.  The purpose of this activity is to collect data and display it in a way that we can analyze it (on a chart!)

    They suggested making a chart about people's favorite fruits.  We recorded our favorite fruits, asked daddy and Mackenzie, and called all three sets of grandparents to see what their favorites were.  I wrote the names of the people, and put pictures of the people for names he was unfamiliar with reading (sorry, I couldn't find my picture of Grandma and Grandpa Berry!)  Then I wrote the name of the favorite fruit and Trevor drew a picture (his drawing skills still need some honing =)

    We practiced reading the chart (very basic..."What was Grandma Schoonover's favorite fruit?")  Then I asked him some more difficult questions so he could analyze the data ("How many people liked bananas?"  "Did more people like apples or grapes?")  It was great for early science skills as well as early math skills (and reading if you count sounding out names).  Here is what our chart ended up looking like...

    (Mackenzie decided to be an artist at the bottom with a pencil =)

    This was a good, fun challenge for him!  Also, it was very simple and required really no prep on my part.  I am looking forward to doing more of these types of activities in the future!  I definitely don't think that science needs to be started with preschoolers, but this kind of activity is fun.  If you do science with your little ones, I'd love to hear what you do or what resources you use.

    Happy Charting!

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    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Lesson Plan Week 7

                                                       (You can click on the image to make it bigger if you are interested)                                                                                            MV = Memory Verse   CB = Chapter Book   CT = Character Trait   FP = Forest People  KNB = Kid's Nature Book

    Posts showing in more detail some of the items above:

    If you follow these lesson plan posts, you'll notice that I changed a few things up this week.  First, we are starting spelling words and copywork that goes with each word.  I wrote a detailed post on it yesterday where you can download the copywork for your own use, so check it out!

    Also, we are officially getting to Ray's math book lessons.  Trevor gets the idea of how numbers work up to 100, so I think it's time to start these lessons.  We will do official math two times a week, while purposing to play a game or do something that works on math skills the other three days of the week.  Each math day we will review reading numbers on flashcards and also do a lesson from Ray's.  These lessons are very simple, they really just encourage manipulating objects to come up with the answers to simple questions.  I hope to have a post up about Ray's math in the coming week.
    Science has also seen a change this week (and hopefully for the weeks to come!)  We are now going to do a science activity from on Mondays, read a story from Among the Forest People on Wednesdays, and do a nature activity on Fridays. 

    If you want to see the resources I'm using, click here.  This chart really isn't an explanation of what we are doing, so if you want to know anything more specifically, just ask. 

    What are you doing this week?  If you have a blog, put a link in the comments, I'd love to check it out!

    Happy Learning!

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    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Good Books Copywork - me, do, and, go

    I have put together copywork pages that I will be using with Trevor this year.  Now that he has learned how to pronounce each letter plus phonograms 1-45 in The Writing Road to Reading and also is familiar with how to write each letter (uppercase much better than lowercase), we are moving onto spelling.  These sheets are a great way practice the daily spelling word, gain greater proficiency in writing letters, and start to learn basic sentence structure (capital letter in the front, lowercase almost everywhere else, punctuation at the end, space between words, etc.)

    These sheets are a marriage of two resources, The Writing Road to Reading and the 1000 Good Books  list at Classical Christian Homeschooling.  The spelling words are taken in order from the Writing Road to Reading and I have paired each one with a sentence from one of the books on the 1000 Good Books list.

    We started with our first spelling word and copywork sheet today.  This is what it looked like when he was finished =)

    Like I said earlier, we have spent most of our time on uppercase letters, so I am excited for him to have these opportunities to practice his lowercase writing.  The first two 'me' words that he wrote were with his left hand (oops!) so they look especially rough =)  Then daddy took over supervising (while I had to change a diaper) the last word, and it got a little off track...oh well =)

    If you would like to download these pages for your own use, please feel free!  I just have the first four pages available now and I will add the rest each week as we get to them.  The words in this pack are me, do, and, & go.  Click here to download.  Like my last download, GoogleDocs seems to be changing the font, but once you actually download the PDF to your computer, it should come up right.  If not, please send me an email and I will get the sheets to you!

    Happy Writing!

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