Monday, April 30, 2012

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #4

Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  If this is your first time here, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

Don't forget to visit the All Things Classical Blog Post Index if you are trying to remember a post that someone linked up or are just looking for encouragement or help on a specific topic related to Classical homeschooling.  I have organized posts that you have linked up here at Trivium Tuesdays so that you can easily find posts on the topic you are looking for.

I was so encouraged (as usual!) by all of your link-ups last week, but my very favorite was Lamad Living's post on Notebooking.  The post talks about why they notebook and what they include in them.  This post caught my attention because I am planning on starting some notebooking with my son for this coming year.  We are going to start a nature notebook this summer, recording the kinds of critters we see on our nature walks, and then in the fall we will start a history notebook.  I love how notebooking can capture all sorts on information pertaining to a subject in one place, making it easy for the child to go back an reference.  Also, it's a neat place to look to see your child's improvement over time in their drawing, writing, etc.  So thank you, Lamad Living, for this great idea!




Now onto this week's link-up!

Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

Happy Linking!


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How do YOU Plan for School?

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 This is the time of year when everyone (public schoolers, homeschoolers, etc.) gets a little restless.  The weather is turning beautiful and we all itch to put down our lessons and go outside!  I'm ready to quit the lesson plans that served us so well through the winter and move on to nature studies and reading books on blankets outside =)

Getting tired of our current routine also makes me think about next year.  What books should we read?  What worked for us this year?  What would I like to do differently next year?  So far I have pretty much figured out what books we are going to read and what material we are going to cover, but what I'm currently thinking about is the plan itself.

I love a good plan.  I could plan all day long =)  The problem is that I end up feeling bound by my plan.  I don't mean that I always follow it perfectly (I don't!) but that I feel like I'm not doing well if I don't stick to it...it makes me uneasy, I guess.  I know, I know, a plan (or schedule, or whatever) is supposed to serve you, you are not supposed to serve your plan.  But, I still find myself wanting to say 'no' when outside things come up that would interfere with my plan, or even things like when someone is sick or my husband takes a vacation day.  I'm just feeling too bound and am trying to figure out a better way to do it.

One thing that I love about the concept of homeschooling is the freedom that it brings.  You can study what suits your family best, you can study it for as long as you want (it doesn't have to be in 56 minute segments before you move onto the next subject for another 56 minutes), and you can study it how you want.  I'm just feeling like I really want to remember that more next year. 

So I've been thinking of different ways to plan out a school year.  Of course there is the traditional way of writing what you plan on covering for each day in each subject.  That is essentially what I did for this past year. 

I heard of another lady who said she works with her children and then writes down what they did at the end of the day, sort of a reverse lesson plan.  Personally I think I would need more structure than this.  Perhaps if you are on your 5th child and really know what you need to do each year, this could be a great way to embrace the freedom of homeschooling while still having a great record of what you accomplished.

I was thinking, what if you made a big list of what you needed to cover for the year (or quarter, or month) and then just worked as you pleased, making sure it was all finished at the end.  That way, if your child was really loving art one day, they could work diligently at their project without you hurrying them along because you have three other subjects to cover by the end of the day.  I love this idea, but what about a young child who really does need to practicing reading every day?  I wouldn't want them to regress in their skills just because we chose to study something else for a week.

So this is what I think I've come up with for our studies next year.  I am going to make a daily plan, without dates, for reading/writing and history.  For our early grammar stage, reading/writing is probably the most important thing, so I think we really do need to practice it almost every day.  In Classical education, history is the backbone of our curriculum, so I'm thinking that it should be done each day (I could be wrong, we will see. =)  Each day that we do school I will check off what we covered from the list.  Since the list won't have dates on it I won't feel behind if we miss a day for a field trip or from being sick or whatever.

For the rest of the subjects (math, art, science, read alouds, music, etc.) I will write down what I would like to cover maybe for the month and then just do it as we are inspired =)  Of course sometimes there will be a particular activity that ties in with a history lesson so we will do it where it fits, but otherwise I'm hoping that this will bring me some of the freedom and flexibility that I'm looking for.

How do you plan out your school year?  Do you follow a pre-made less plan that is written out to tell you what to do each day?  Do you make your own daily lesson plans? Do you have a more free schedule like something I mentioned above (or even less structured!)?  I would love to hear what you have found works best for your family...or what you are thinking of trying new for next year!  If you comment, please also say what method of schooling your most closely identify with (Classical, Charlotte Mason, traditional, unit study, etc.)

Happy Planning!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Early Grammar Stage Focus - Reading and Writing

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I was recently directed to an article called 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10.  If you've never read it (and have young children), I highly encourage you to do so!  It talks a bit about Classical education in general and then focuses in on the early grammar stage (what they consider to be before age 10).  It says that the early grammar stage is all about laying a firm foundation for the more formal academics that will follow.

The article goes on to list 10 areas that should be focused on with young children and specifics about each area.  I was so inspired by this article!  We do most of what the article recommends (to some degree or another), but I want to take a closer look at each of the 10 areas and sort of evaluate how we are doing .  My goal is going to be to cover one area a week for the next 10 weeks, writing about how we are doing in that area and then setting any goals necessary to improve in it.  Then, after I go through all the areas I will revisit them one at a time to report on how we have done on our goals.

You can get this "10 things..." article plus SO much more information in the book Teaching the Trivium from the good people at Trivium Pursuit.


The first area is Reading and Writing.



The article says that you should teach your child to read at some point before age 10.  It stresses the importance of a phonics based method of teaching.  Teaching a child how to read phonetically gives them the tools they need to read on their own.  It may seem like more work at the beginning (learning all the sounds of the letters and letter combinations, memorizing a few rules, etc.), but once that is down, a child can figure out new words without assistance.  This is so liberating for the child!  In essence, that is the goal of a Classical education..."to liberate them from the drudgery of task-performance and to make them independent scholars."

First, of course, a child needs to learn to recognize all of the letters and how to write them.  With Trevor, I began when he was two, teaching a letter a week.  Mostly this was just recognition, but I would also say the sound the letter makes.  By the end of the year he knew all of his letters and their sounds.  Then when he was three, I began teaching him to write each letter (one a day).  We used tracing pages for practice and then he would try to write it on his own using a wipe-off board.  At this point, I was also teaching him sounds of letter combinations.  We us The Writing Road to Reading as our guide, so I followed the order of teaching phonograms from there.

The article recommends having your child make an English Language Notebook.  They recommend having a three-ring binder that the child can add to as they learn.  This notebook would have pages dedicated to each letter.  Your child could find things in a magazine that start with a certain letter and glue them onto that letters page (ex. a bear, ball, and boy for the B page).  Then when they start writing, have them add their practice page for each letter behind the picture page for the corresponding letter.

I did not do this with Trevor, but I think it's a great idea!  We had lots of loose sheets that I store in a folder, but I love the idea of keeping it organized in a binder for your child to look through.  I will definitely be doing this starting in the fall with Mackenzie.

The Writing Road to Reading suggests having each child keep a writing notebook, so that is what I currently have for Trevor.  In one half of the book I write all the words he has learned (I add a few each week from the list in the book).  If your child is older and can write clearly, they should do this themselves, but because Trevor is so young I write them out so they can be very clear for him to practice reading.  In the other half of the book the child practices writing the words and phonograms they have learned.  Most every day I will 'quiz' Trevor by reading a few words of phonograms that he has learned and he will try to write them himself.  It is really neat to look through the book and see his progression in writing and spelling over the year!

The last thing suggested in the article under Reading and Writing is copywork.  This has been a staple in our schooling this year, so I was happy to see it there!    We started this once Trevor knew how to write each letter.  The point of copywork is to have your child practice their writing by perfectly replicating good sentences.  The article states that "Copywork is a good way to practice handwriting skills, re-enforce phonics instruction, introduce grammar and proper sentence structure, and lay a foundation for creative writing at a later age."

Currently Trevor does copywork that I have made to go along with what he reads in his McGuffey's Eclectic Primer.  If that is something you could benefit from, you can learn more about it here.  Before he started reading in the primer, I made some Good Books Copywork to go along with the words he was learning to write/read.  Really, you can have your child copy anything!  Choose what is important to you and write it out to have them copy!  Next year I want to expand what I have Trevor copy to include Bible verses, poetry, literature, quotes, etc.  I will have to think more on the specifics of that, but that will be a goal for next year.

The article states that your child should do reading and copywork each day.  This may sound like a lot, but it really only has to be a few minutes of each to reap great results!  Trevor reads one lesson in the McGuffey Primer each day (a few simple sentences) and does one copywork page (usually two short sentences) and reviews words in his writing notebook.  I'm sure this will look different as the years go on, but the basics are the same in this early grammar stage.

Goals to work on:

  1. Start an English Language Notebook for Mackenzie.
  2. Expand sources of copywork for Trevor.
    1. Compile Trevor's work into a binder instead of being loose in a file folder.

    See how we did on these goals in the post Reading and Writing Re-Visited.

    This post is a part of the following series:



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    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #3

    Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  If this is your first time here, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

    Once again, I was so encouraged to read what each of you had to share last week.  I encourage you to check last week's link-up again because there were a couple of late additions that you might find interesting.

    As I've been reading your link-ups, I keep thinking "I need to remember that!"  The problem is that I'll never remember all of the great things you have been sharing (and will share in the future!)  So, what I decided to do is compile a master list of all of your posts, sorted by stage and subject.  I'm hoping that this list will be a useful go-to place for me and you to find specific information on whatever you have questions about or need encouragement on!  So far I have included each post that has been linked up to Trivium Tuesdays and will continue to add posts as they are linked up each week. It is called the All Things Classical Blog Post Index, and you can check it out by slicking on the banner below or on my sidebar.

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    After reading each of your posts from last week, my very favorite was Questions About a Classical Education from Preschoolers and Peace.  Here, Kendra answers questions that most beginning Classical educators have.  If you missed it, make sure to go check it out!  What I also loved was the article that she linked to called, Ten Things To Do With Your Child Before Age Ten.  I read through it over the past couple of days, took some notes, and boy was I encouraged!  We do most of the things that they list, but I love being reassured in what I am doing and spurred on to do even better!  If you have children under ten, please make some time to read it!  Thank you, Kendra, for suggesting the article!


    Now onto this week's link-up!

    Here are the rules:
    • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
    • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
    • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
    • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
    • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.

    I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

    Happy Linking!



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    Friday, April 20, 2012

    Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!



    Today my baby girl turned 2 years old!  It really is a little bit of a shock because I definitely still consider her my baby.  I am excited because when Trevor turned two I started 'officially' doing school with him, so it's a little reminder that Mackenzie really is getting to be a big girl!

    I took some time today to start my evaluation/goal book for her like I have done for Trevor.  I thought about her strengths and weaknesses and some long and short term goals that I have for her.  I also looked back at some of the academic goals I had written for Trevor for his 2 year old year.  It is neat to see how much information she has soaked up from from being with Trevor and I when we do school.  I honestly have never sat down and tried to teach her any numbers or colors (using legos, or by reading books, etc.) like I did with Trevor when he was a toddler, but none the less she knows quite a bit!

    I will share with you some of what I wrote down.  Please bear in mind that none of this is perfect, complete, or set in stone, it is simply what came to my mind today as I wrote.


    Purpose Statement:

    That Mackenzie would come to love and obey Christ and learn to live (and love!) a life of service to her family, church, and community.

    Long Range Goals:
    • Salvation (obviously this is not my doing, but we will teach her with this goal in mind!)
    • Become one who loves to care for others
    • Learn to keep a household
     Specific Academic Goals: (these are what I set for Trevor at age 2)
    • count to ten (she can count to six now, so I'm sure this won't be a problem)
    • count items up to ten
    • sing the ABC song (she mumbles through it now, but it is not clear)
    • recognize the 26 letters
    • identify main colors (she knows many)
    • identify shapes (she only knows circle =)
     Strengths:
    •  Strong sense of compassion - (ex. she loves to be motherly to her baby dolls and is sensitive to their 'needs')
    • Good attention span - (ex. she will sit and color for longer than Trevor will even now, she will sit on my lap while I read a chapter book, she sits through church fairly well)
    • Determined, not easily discouraged - (ex. will sit and dump water between two cups or build a tower for an hour, she always wants to figure out how to do things herself)
    • Does not need to be entertained - (ex. I will find her sitting in a room by herself playing...something Trevor still does not do)
    • Diligent worker - (ex. she picks up toys thoroughly, loves to help me when I clean)
    Weaknesses:
    •  I don't want to air her dirty laundry, so I'm not doing to put what I wrote down here.  Suffice it to say that it is nothing uncommon to a two year old =)
    General Observations:
    • She has a very keen sense of smell
    • She loves to sing and dance
    • She puts together detailed sentances
    • She likes pretty things and to be pretty and to complement pretty things
    • She loves all things gymnastics...swinging, balancing, hand stands, back walk-overs off of the couch, etc. She seems quite strong for a little 'baby'
    • She LOVES to rest/cuddle.  She still sucks her two fingers and is obsessed with her "ni-night" (blanket).  She is so adorable I hate to break it just yet!

    So that's Mackenzie!  I love the girl like crazy and am SO thankful for her!

    Happy Birthday Mackenzie!



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    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #2

    Welcome again to Trivium Tuesdays!  This is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

    I was so encouraged reading each of the posts that were linked up last week and I hope you were too!  My very favorite from last week was Latin for Younger Elementary and Preschool by Teaching Stars.  I loved this post because I've been thinking a lot about teaching Latin to my kids recently.  I've wondered when to start (is preschool too soon?) and why exactly Latin is good to learn.  This post covered it all!  Check it out if you are thinking about teaching your children Latin or looking for a good curriculum option for teaching it to little ones.  Thank you, Teaching Stars, for inspiring me to keep thinking more about Latin!




    Now onto this week's link-up!

    Here are the rules:
    • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling.
    • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
    • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
    • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
    • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.

    I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

    Happy Linking!



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    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Dreaming of Summer

    I don't know where you live, but the weather by me has been so nice lately!  Sure there have been a few cold or rainy days, but the warming temperatures have got me thinking about summertime =)

    Last year I planned on taking a break for the summer, but after a few weeks, Trevor kept asking to do school.  I would try to give him something fun to do, but he would say "No, with papers at the table."  So, we ended up continuing to do school through the summer, though at a more leisurely pace.  This year I would like to do something similar.  I definitely want to take advantage of being able to go outside a ton, but I don't want to lose the progress that we have made (especially in reading), so I've made a plan for what I would like this summer to look like.

    For those of you who have been around this blog for a while, you probably know that I like to make plans and schedules, but rest assured I do not follow them...very well at least =)  I'm just the type of person that will get nothing done if I don't plan for something.  I guess I just need something to aim at.  So here is what I came up with...


    Mondays -
    • Afternoons
      • They usually spend time with one set of grandparents on Mondays

    Tuesdays -
    • Mornings
      • Go to a park/trail and jog with the kids in the stroller
    • Afternoons
      • No plans, just naps =)

    Wednesdays
    • Mornings
      • Math
        • review/learn skip counting (2's, 3's, 5's, 10's)
        • keep fresh on reading/writing numbers
        • oral quiz on mental math skills (ex. "You have 3 cookies and your sister gives you 2 more, how many cookies to you have now?)
    • Afternoons
      • No plans, just naps =)

    Thursdays -
    • Mornings
      • Same as Tuesday mornings
    • Afternoons
      • Visit other set of grandparents

    Fridays

    So what are you plans for the summer?  Do you homeschool year round or do you take a break?  If you do school, do you continue on as normal or do you only work on certain days or study certain subjects?  I'd love to hear what you have found works for your family (or even what you're trying new this year)!

    Happy Summer (Almost)!

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    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Painting With Markers

    Did you know that you can paint with markers?  I didn't until yesterday!  We have pretty much reached the end of our art book for this year (Baby Lamb's Book of Art) and at the end there are a series of five 'marker cards.'  Essentially these are just coloring pages printed on card stock so that the marker does not bleed through. 

    Now here's the fun part!  On each page there is a color wheel that the child is to first color in with their markers.  Then part of the instructions is to dip a paintbrush (of course I couldn't find our set, so we used Q-tips =) in water and then rub it in one of the colors on the color wheel.  Last all you have to do is paint with the brush and it comes out a really nice pastel color! Of course, re-dip and re-rub as needed.

    The picture below is the one that we did today.  I colored the left side with the Q-tip so you could see how nice it can come out.  Trevor colored with the marker everywhere else =) 




    Maybe I'm the last one to know about this, but in case you were unaware too, get out your markers and give it a try!  I think an older child could make a really pretty picture this way.  And if you've got little ones like I do, it's a fun, not too messy, activity!

    Happy Painting!

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    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #1

    Welcome to the very first edition of Trivium Tuesdays!  I am very excited to be hosting a link-up where classically minded homeschool bloggers can share with each other and learn from one another.

    Each week, you can link-up your posts that directly relate to classical homeschooling in some way.  Topics could include (but are not limited to): what a day in your home looks like, book recommendations, specific projects/assignments your children are doing, a re-cap of your week, an encouraging word for other classical homeschoolers, etc.  Then take a minute to see what everyone else has picked to share!  I think that this could be a great place for all of us to learn, share, grow, and be encouraged in our classical homeschooling.  If you are not 100% classical in your schooling, that is okay!  As long as your post fits the classical model (using living books, teaching history chronologically, copywork, dictation, etc.) that is just fine.

    Since this is the first week, I thought I would share just a bit about myself.  I have been intrigued by the classical model of homeschooling since before my first child was born.  My children are now three and (almost) two and we are getting into the swing of homeschooling, doing it classically wherever possible considering it is just preschool!  I am excited to continue in this homeschool journey and to learn more about the classical model as I go!  So far, my biggest source of information on classical homeschooling has been Classical Christian Homeschooling, but of course I am inspired by other sources as well (such as Simply Charlotte Mason's Memory Box system!)  Now I'm  looking forward to getting to know a little about each of you through these link-ups!

     Here are the rules for the link-up:
    • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling.
    • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
    • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
    • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
    • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.

    I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

    Happy Linking!





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    Monday, April 9, 2012

    How Tall is it Really?

    For our very last activity related to studying our final sense, vision, we took it outside.  I wanted to demonstrate to Trevor how even big things look little when they are far away.

    First we grabbed our ruler, a paper, a pencil, and some snacks =) and headed outside!

    We started walking and stopped when I spotted a STOP sign a little ways up the road.  I had Trevor hold up his hand and try to put his fingers so it looked like he was 'holding' the STOP sign between them.  Oh, this was more difficult to explain than I expected!  Then I had him hold up the ruler to measure how tall the stop sign was (between his fingers).  We have not done much with measuring, so this was really more him giving it a good shot, than it was getting accurate measurements.

    Trevor's conclusion was that the STOP sign was 2 inches tall.

    Then we continued walking until we got right up to the STOP sign.  Trevor discovered that the sign wasn't 2 inches after all!  Of course we couldn't measure it with a ruler, but Trevor guessed that maybe it was 7 feet tall (good guess!)

    Trying to measure the sign to see if it is 2 inches tall.

    From there, we looked ahead and spotted a tree.  Once again  I had Trevor put out his hands to try to 'measure' the tree, then I held out the ruler to see how tall it looked.

    Looks like about 4 inches tall!  What do you think?

    Then we made our way to the tree and saw how huge it really was!

    It was sure bigger than 4 inches!

    We walked a little ways further and stopped in front of a garage.  I'm really hoping that the family wasn't home watching us through the window =)  We repeated the same process.  By this time Trevor was starting to understand a little more about how to measure.

    This isn't a good angle, but it measured about 10 inches high.

    Now for some reason, Trevor had a terrible time with this next part.  He got that the garage was much bigger than it looked from afar, but when I asked him how big he thought the garage really was he kept guessing in the inches.  So I'd put the ruler up to his leg and show him how high inches were.  Then I'd have him run back up to the garage and see if the garage was shorter than his leg.  We had to repeat this a few times =)  Practice makes perfect, right?  We'll keep practicing =)

    Trying to measure how tall the garage is!

    After we got home, I had Trevor make a drawing to illustrate what he had learned.  I drew two lines down a paper for a road and a stick-figure Trevor (and his bike) at the bottom.  I asked him to draw a car far away from him, then a car close to him (we also measured a car outside, I just didn't get good pictures of it). Before he started drawing, I asked him if the far away car should be big or little, and then the same question for the close car.  We repeated this with a tree, house, and STOP sign.  He did really well until we got to the stop sign and for some reason he got confused...he was probably just ready to be done at that point!  Of course I had him practice his writing/spelling next to the drawings, because...why not!?!



    I think this was a pretty fun, effective way of teaching how things look different sizes when they are up close verses far away.  If you've got nice weather like we're getting these days, head out and do this fun activity with your preschooler! 





     Would you like to have an activity sheet and printable instructions for this and 9 other science activities for preschoolers?

    Get my Preschool Science (& Nature) printable pack for free!






     Looking for more preschool information?  Click on the picture below to find a list of all the preschool posts here at Living and Learning at Home, plus some of my favorite preschool resources!


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    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    March Recap

    I can not believe that it is April already! Where did March go?  Looking back, I was a little slow on the blogging front...sorry about that =)  I am grateful for each and every one of you who takes the time to come and read!  I am also grateful for other websites who direct others to this blog.  On that note, here is the February recap!

    Top 3 Referring Sites:
    1. Pinterest
    2. No Time for Flashcards  
    3. Homeschool Creations
     
    I normally skip over sites that are not personal blogs when I'm noting my top referring sites, but this time I wanted to include Pinterest.  If you have a blog and do not yet utilize Pinterest, I encourage you to get on it right away!  Add a pin-it button to each of your posts and soon you'll people pining your work (make sure you have a picture on each of your posts!)  Then people will re-pin their pin and so on and so forth.  It's a really neat thing!


    Top 3 Posts Here at Living and Learning at Home:

    1. Paper Hats and Cute Corner Bookmarks
    2. Five in a Row - The Story About Ping
    3. Reading and Writing in Action

    #1 is a testament to what I said about Pinterest.  It has been my most visited post since the day I wrote it!  Now if only I could come up with another post idea like that one....  ;)   Anyways,  if you missed any of these posts, take a minute to check them out!


    Featured Blog Post:

    This month, my favorite post was The Why and How of History in My Home from Homeschooling While Living the Life of Easier.  This post piqued my interest because I have been thinking about school for next year and history is something that I want to start.  This post details what I would love our history studies to look like, so it was great encouragement to read that it works for another family.  Check it out!  What do you think?  Does your history study look anything like theirs?

    Hope you had a...Happy March!

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    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Vision Investigation

    We are on to the last of our science activities having to do with the senses.  If you want to check out the other activities we did (so you can do them too!) just look at the Science Activities tab up top.

    This activity had to do with our vision.  (Once again, from Sid the Science Kid.) The purpose was to demonstrate that our eyes see differently at different distances.  Here's what we did!

    1. Draw simple pictures on a few pieces of paper (one picture per page).  Make them relatively small, so they can not be recognized at a far distance.
    2. Have your child stand as far away from you as possible in your house.  
    3. Hold up the picture and ask your child if they can tell what it is a drawing of. (They should not be able to tell at this point, if they can then try again with a smaller drawing.)
    4. Have your child take a few steps forward and have them guess what the picture is.
    5. Have your child keep coming closer and guessing what it is until they can see it!
    6. Repeat with another picture or another child =)

    Talk about how we use our eyes to see and how everyone's eyes are different!  Some people are able to see things farther away than other people can.  I let Trevor put on my glasses and try to see what the picture looked like. Of course he couldn't see through them at all!

    Afterward we switched things up and he held the paper for me and I had to guess.  And of course Mackenzie wanted to get in on the action =) Here are some pictures from when Trevor was holding the picture up...

    First I stood really far away...down the hall and through the bedroom!

    Then I came a little closer to the far end of the hall...

    Then to the close end of the hall...

    Then Trevor got too excited and ran to meet me in the living room.  Can you tell what the picture is of yet?

    Here it is!  A snowman!

    Here's Mackenzie taking her turn =)

     This was a really fun investigation.  Trevor had a great time and I bet your preschooler would too!  Get out some paper and a marker, and give it a try!


    Happy Looking!


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