Enjoying Our Journey

Living, Loving and Learning Together

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Just a reminder to myself. ; )

I started this blog after the start of the school year so I missed the opportunity to blog about the set-up, curriculum, calendar board, etc. before the craziness of the year started. So trying to catch-up along with blogging about current activities is feeling like a big job. I will get it all done in time.

I do need to include more information about what my older kids are doing. Unfortunately. there is no fun way to take pictures of them working on math, grammar, composition, etc., which is the majority of their day. (Hmm. Maybe I should take that as a challenge to find a way to take fun pictures…) There are more opportunities for fun pictures and printables to link involved with Pre-K. 

I will figure this out. Little by little. Step by step. Slow and steady. : ) 

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Pre-K Reading and Patterns

Preschool Corner

We are using the Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading for my youngest. He is starting to blend sounds and read small CVC words. He likes to use the letter magnets to spell the words from our lesson. We use a cookie sheet and letter magnets from the dollar store.

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My son loves to make patterns. We have used some printables (see Pre-K Fall Fun posts for links), but he kept asking for more complicated and longer patterns. So I quickly grabbed a roll of smiley face stickers and made some patterns on a piece of scrap paper. Next time I will hold the paper the other way so that I can make the patterns longer. He had so much fun with this. Maybe I should keep these things in my purse for times away from home. ; )

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Election Day Activities

We are finishing up Ancients for history, but I did take a bit of time out to explain the electoral college, how the election process works, who the candidates are, etc. We watched the Schoolhouse Rock video on the electoral college. In our discussion, we compared our checks and balances form of government to some of the Ancient governments. We also colored in the electoral college map and looked at an interactive map on C-SPAN observing the changes in how the vote went in past Presidential elections. As we were working on our map, we started to quiz each other on the names of the state capitals. So then we decided to play a game of Sequence, the States and Capitals edition.

The kids told me that they had held their own election with their stuffed animals. They chose a President, Vice-President, a Senator and a Representative to Congress. I asked them how they decided on each and they said that their candidates had to tell 5 things that they wanted to do and 5 laws that they wanted to pass. I was impressed that they really thought about how to choose a candidate. It seems that the big issues in this house were later wake-up times, more free LEGO building time, and everyone sharing. Also, lower taxes, higher wages and more time with family were mentioned. I loved hearing their insights. As one of the benevolent dictators in this house, I will see what I can do to make some of those things happen. ; )

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Finding the Joy

I served PB breakfast cookies and yogurt to the kids for breakfast. My middle son exclaimed, “Cookies and yogurt! This is the best day ever!” A nice reminder to find joy in the little things along the way. Especially important this day after the election when many emotions are raw. This has been a difficult season for our economy and our country. And this election season seemed to really divide our country, and even friends. Life is all about finding joy in our journey, even in trying times. May we all find a little something to find joy in today. 

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More Pre-K Fall Fun

Preschool Corner

 

We have been enjoying a fall theme over the past few weeks. Here are some highlights and links to the resources we used.

I found this idea for a tree with leaves that actually fall on Pinterest. My son colored the sky background and tree trunks with crayons and then set to work putting it together. I cut the small pieces out, but he assembled it with minimal help. Picking up the small squares and gluing them was great fine motor skill practice. Here is the link to the instructions.

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He made another fall tree as well. For this, I traced his hand onto brown construction paper and cut it out. He glued it to another piece of paper to represent a tree. Then, he used Q-tips to add leaves to the tree and the ground. We did not have orange paint, so he got the chance to mix up some which he thought was magical. : )

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I found this adorable apple paper plate craft on Pinterest which links to this blog which has a ton of ideas for apple themed activities. My son had fun painting the plates and we added the seeds with a Q-tip.

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom has become one of my son’s favorite books. So we made this little coconut tree out of a toilet paper tube and construction paper leaves. He added the letters in his name with some foam letter stickers. He was very pleased with this project and couldn’t wait to show Daddy when he got home. This site has lots of other cute projects too. 

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These dot marker pages are adorable and fun to do. We purchased our dot markers at Walmart, but I have seen some at the Dollar Tree also.

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We used many of the printable included in this pack from 2 Teaching Mommies over the past few weeks. I will definitely use more of their printables in the future. There are letter matching games, pattern activities, pre-writing pages, counting and number recognition activities among others. I laminated the pre-writing pages and the maze so that my son could use them over and over. We use a dry-erase marker and just erase to reuse. This is one of the pre-writing pages.

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This apple seed counting activity (also from 2 Teaching Mommies) was my son;s favorite from the pack. I used some number cards I had on hand and some black beans for seeds. Soon, my son wanted more and more. I only had cards up to 10 and he wanted bigger numbers, so I used a dry-erase marker on the laminated page to give him larger numbers. We have done this on a few separate days since he enjoys it so much,

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We are going to continue with a few more fall activities before winter comes. We will be focusing on pumpkins and turkeys next. I also try to find activities based on whatever books he happens to chose to pick out at the library. So we will have some bear activities coming up soon too.

 

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20 Chore Tuesday 11/6

  • Vote!
  • 2 mile workout
  • school with boys (making progress)
  • bake PB breakfast cookies (2 batches done!)
  • bake blueberry muffins
  • make pizza dough (2 batches)
  • prep dinner for crock pot
  • bake chicken for pizza night
  • 3-4 loads of laundry
  • knit on House sweater
  • publish 2 blog posts (besides this one)
  • clean sink and toilet
  • sweep living room
  • wood treatment on living room floor
  • sweep bathroom
  • wash dishes  I will be doing more dishes today, but I think doing 2 sinks full is enough to cross this off of the list. ; )
  • type more of the script for the kids’ puppet show (in progress)
  • print Pre-K activities (in progress)
  • laminate Pre-K activities
  • cut out Pre-K activities
  • watch election results and fill in map with kids
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Half-Blood Heroes

I was thrilled that my older boys each chose to be a character from a favorite book series for Halloween. My middle son decided on Percy Jackson. We are reading the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series as a family read-aloud and he is loving it. My oldest chose to be Jason Grace from the Heroes of Olympus series, also by Rick Riordan.

Both Percy and Jason dress like regular boys their age, so deciding on what to have my boys wear as a costume was challenging. We wanted them to look like the characters and not just boys wearing their usual clothes but carrying swords. After discussing it, we settled on making shirts to reflect the camp that each boy attended in the books. Unfortunately, we did not have any luck finding solid colored t-shirts in orange and purple, so we improvised.

I had several white t-shirts on hand for crafting purposes already. I painted a rectangle on each shirt in the correct color and added the camp logo. I used a free hat pattern for the logo for Percy’s shirt. And Google had several images for the logo for Jason’s shirt. Of course, now both boys want me to knit them one of the hats too. Maybe after I finish their Gryffindor House Sweaters…

I was pleased with how the shirts came out, and more importantly, so were the boys.

Percy’s shirt:

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Jason’s shirt:

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My husband made swords for the boys. I will need to get a good picture of them to add to this post.

My oldest was especially excited when someone recognized him and knew the character from the books. She expressed how much she loved the books and they talked for a minute. It made his night!

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Pizza Night

Once a week we have a pizza night. It has become a fun way to try new taste combinations. This week we found a new favorite which we named “squashage”. It was topped with buttercup squash, sausage, carmelized onions, herb and garlic goat cheese, and mozzarella cheese. I didn’t have any greens left or I would have added some. It was really delicious and is already on the meal plan for this coming week again. The other pizza recipe we tried was Potpie Pizza from a recent issue of Family Fun magazine. It was also delicious and will make it onto our menu again soon. 

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Halloween Feast

Halloween falls in the middle of the week again this year. As a result, dinner that night is usually something quick on the way out the door for Trick-or-Treating. We all love a fun, Halloween-themed dinner, so we decided to have it on the weekend before the holiday to allow enough time both to prepare and to enjoy it. The kids’ favorite Halloween meal is Mummy Meatloaf. I can’t remember if this is the second or third year in a row that we had it on the menu. Here is a picture of ours. (The picture on the link to the recipe is nicer since they used a platter to serve it. I will try to remember to do that next year.)

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And the perfect side dish for Mummy Meatloaf is of course mashed potatoes served to look like ghosts.

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As always, our Halloween feast was a big hit.

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Pumpkin Carving Party

One favorite family tradition is to get together with friends and carve pumpkins before Halloween. We always have a blast! This year included a spooky dinner of Swamp Creatures and Hot Dog Mummies.

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Then we had cupcakes decorated especially for the occasion, apples with caramel dip, and some sugar cookies. After our feast, it was time to get our pumpkins going. We cut and scooped, drew, poked and cut some more.

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Hard at work…

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And posing with the finished products…

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We had a wonderful time with our friends and got to cross another item off of our Fall To-Do list. : )

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