Friday, September 25, 2009

Want To Win Spell Quizzer Software?

Ok so I know I said I was having a break from blogging but I just had to share this giveaway with you.

Spell Quizzer Software has been talked about by so many home schooling mums of late and now The Frugal Homeschool Mom is giving away a free license for Spell Quizzer. You'd better jump over there so you can get your entry in.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Break Time

We are officially on Spring Break here with everyone taking 2 weeks off from school. Our Homeschool Network always breaks when school does and we normally take a short break from school or at least lighten our load considerably.

I've decided to take 2 weeks off from blogging here also. I'm behind in my spring cleaning, and have a few other things I want/need to get organised.

I also plan on having a play around on here and change over to a 3 column template so if you do happen to stop by and things are looking not quite right then you'll know why.

I will probably blog every now and then over the next fortnight on our family blog.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Flat Stanley: Second Mailing and Update

We've enjoyed having our very first Flat Stanley here with us. I must admit it has taken us a little getting used to and we did forget to take him along to things or we took him and then forgo tto get him out of the bag. Hopefully we'll be a better at all of this when our next one arrives.

I also ended up a tad off colour for a few days so we missed some photo opportunities then. However we still managed to get Stanley to participate in quite a bit.

Showing his support for B7 as he entered his Lego into the local show.

Playing one of our favourite games with us - Sequence.

Meeting our very friendly dog, Charley.

He got build to lots of Lego,

And play with it.

He visited K5's kindy. (Sorry this is the only photo and we didn't realise she had her eyes shut.)

Played with many of K5's teddys.

Did a bit of bird and wildlife spotting in our back yard.

He is now on his way and we are looking forward to our next Stanley arriving.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Constructing The Harbour Bridge

Well a model one anyway.

Yup another Aldi special this one!

3D puzzles, super cheap, so I was a little concerned that they would be rubbish. We've had them in the cupboard for a while now and when B7 pulled out the Opera House one to do I was wondering how it would all go.

Initially it was all a breeze, then he hit a stumbling block with the roof line but once he got over that hurdle it was all systems go.

From this

to this

and check out the real thing just for comparison.

I thought for a puzzle they did a pretty good job. Now I wonder how the others will turn out.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mosaic Garden Plaques

The kids had their regular monthly Bunnings Hardware Workshop during the week. This time it was Garden Plaque's and it fitted perfectly into our current Mosaic's Theme.

A pretty straight forward, although messy activity, but if you would like to try it out at home I've included quite a few snapshots below.


Materials Needed

Plaster of Paris
Mosaics (stones, rocks, shells, tiles)
Cloth (for spills)
Glove for mixing plaster


Grab whatever you have chosen to use as a mould. In this case it was a drip tray for a pot plant (or at least I think that's what it was). If I redid this at home I would line the mould first with cling wrap, like I did with our Clay Star Mosaics.

Read the directions on your plaster pack and start adding the plaster and water to your mould.

Mix, mix, mix. Keep on mixing and adding plaster powder until you have the right consistency.

This is where you need to start working quickly. Remember to remind the kids about that part or they will be disappointed towards the end when they can no longer add bits and pieces to their plaque due to the plaster drying out.

You need to have it thick enough so that the mosaic pieces you have chosen will sit on top and not sink to the bottom (as would happen if there was stil too much liquid) but not too thick that the plaster is already starting to dry.

Smooth off the top of the plaster and start adding your mosaic pieces. If you want a design you really need to think about that first. It's a bit late to start planning some kind of design after you have mixed the plaster as you just won't have the time to do it.

Remember this is where you need to work quickly. Get those mosaic pieces in and pressed down so that they will well and truly stick as the plaster drys.

Then all you need to do is sit back and enjoy your masterpiece. Let it dry, at least overnight. We left ours for a couple of days.

You might like to use a damp cloth to clean up any excess plaster from around the edges of the mould.

Remove from the mould and place somewhere in your garden.
Let me know if you try this at home, I'd love to see some other variations.

Hey Mum Can I Beat The Eggs!

B7 has a couple of those Lego Crazy Contraptions books, well what 7 year old Lego Love rwouldn't I suppose!

This is the latest contraption:

Might take him awhile to beat enough eggs for 5 LOL! (sorry about the telly on in the background)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tot School # 6

~C1 is 13 months & 3 weeks ~

Tot School

We had a jam packed Tot School this past week. It took me forever to go through all of the photo's for this post. I am actually loving that Tot School is forcing (might be too harsh a word) me to take more photo's. I love having photo's of the kids and everything they do but often we are so busy 'doing' that I forget about the camera.

Participating in things like Tot School 'makes' me remember to take the photo's. I plan on making each child a photo book at the end of the year and it will be so easy simply from joining in with weekly themes like Tot School.

Do you kinda get the feeling that we have another little lego lover on our hands!!

This is a Galt Pop Up Toy. When I first saw it on Deals Direct way back before his 1st birthday I had never seen anything like it. I knew instantly that C1 would love this simple little toy and he does.

I have recently seen other more 'jazzed up' versions of this, such as zoo animals and the like, however I prefer our plain colour matching one. At this stage for C1 it is as simple as placing the little wooden 'men' in the slots. Pushing down on them and they jump back up at you. Later we can use this as a colour sorting activity. This is a great Tot Tool and one I would highly recommend.

He also got this shape sorter for his birthday and we haven't had it out as yet. The box states from 18 months, but I thought we could give it a try. The circles were a breeze but as I guessed the other shapes were far too tricky for him. Needless to say they ended up on the floor.

I've been making sure he has access to crayons at least every other day, although his interest only lasts a couple of minutes he really enjoys doing what he sees his brother and sister do alot of. I think this activity makes him feel very grown up, he just gives us that look you know - wow aren't I a big boy mummy!

These blocks were out for B7's math one morning, whilst C1 sat on my lap at the table he started threading them onto the pencil. Remember he did that awhile back with one of K5's dress up rings he found on the floor! I'm going to add this as a regular activity for him, until he is able to thread with string.

As long as he is supervised working with a pencil (or piece of dowel the same size) makes threading for these little hands possible.

Here's our little 'Yoga Baby'. I kid you not he does this every day and several times a day. He has been doing it for awhile too. The first couple of times we all just chuckled and then I started calling the pose - Yoga Baby - now he loves it when I call out Yoga Baby to him and he does it over and over you think I could get him to show the bigger kids a thing or two. I'd so love the kids to do some yoga but they won't be in it.

LOL this was a week of pulling out Birthday Gifts that we haven't tried yet!! This puzzle was another gift and I knew he was not ready for it but we had a go anyway. Getting those pieces into the slots really isn't as easy as it looks.

Obviously always lots of reading. We've had this book since B7 was a baby so it is very well loved as you can see.

And guess what, another birthday gift LOL truly that was not intentional honestly. I've only just realised now as I'm typing that we had out all of these gifts, too funny!
Anyway back to the topic at hand. B7 felt that it was just plain unfair that C1 had a money box now and he didn't have any money in it. So he sat down and gave him a big pile of change to put in it. Needless to say that C1 was thrilled, not at the money obviously but at being able to put all of those round shiny things in the slot and then hearing them jingle inside!

He had quite a few firsts at this years show visit too. He was such a tiny bubba last year that he slept through the entire show. Not this year though, he had a turn on the 'clown balls' or in this case a goofy look alike.

A merry go round ride with sister. This is the only photo I took and I know he doesn't look as though he was enjoying himself but he wanted to get back on when it had finished. I guess though that a merry go round was pretty tame compared to....

...the Jumbo Slide! (sorry about photo quality). We weren't sure on this one but he has always been such a daredevil baby. He loved it! Again the photo doesn't show that on his face but he went on 3 times and each time was pointing feverishly at the slide until he was at the top. I thought he was going to have a baby tanty when we said it was all over lol!

At least K5 had a smile on her face!!

Next stop was the fireworks. They were behind on their schedule so it was getting pretty late and cold. I really thought that he would cry as he has before with loud noises. But no, he was just in awe, total awe. He couldn't take his eyes off of the pretty lights.
Watching him with all of these firsts was definitely my highlight of the show.

Watch Me Grow
  • Walking (or at least trying) lots. Has taken up to 13 steps at any one time.
  • Rolling a ball between two people really well now
  • Has added woof woof and ta to his vocabulary
  • Tells us when something is 'gone' with the held out hands (must take a snapshot)
  • Plays peek a boo all the time (and has been for quite awhile) he loves being 'gone' and then found again.
  • Hides his little toys or whatever he can get his hands on. Pushes things between cushions so he do his 'gone' and then finds them again......too adorable.
To see what other tots have been up to this week check out Carissa's blog.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Open Ended Art: Paper Mosaics


We are a little on the late side with sharing our Paper Mosics project, but I have been a bit off colour this week.

I really liked how Susanna's kids did theirs on black card so I dug mine out of the cupboard for this activity. Anyway, without further ado here are this weeks creations.

I cheated slightly and bought pre cut paper, @ $1.99 a packet it was well worth it!

K5 loved this, in fact after she finished her butterfly she proceeded to use the remainder of the mosaic paper and black cardboard and covered it in mosaic squares. Not quite what I had in mind for the leftovers but oh well, she enjoyed herself!

B7 still hasn't finished his. I think he realised that he was probably trying to get in too much detail with his dinosaur. The paper squares just weren't small enough.

To see other paper mosaic creations visit Teaching My Little Bookworm.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Preschool Corner # 4 ~ More Math & Even Some Reading

We had another bumper week with K5's Preschool, I'm not sure what has come over her, she is begging for her school stuff and is powering along.

This week she finished off the last 5 lessons in the 1st Singapore Math Preschool Book, these lessons included:

  • Counting Orally
  • Arranging Numbers in Sequence
  • The conversation of Number
  • Ordering according to size
  • Ordering according to capacity
  • Visual judgement of sizes of different containers
  • Finding capacity by counting
  • Awareness of heavy and light
  • Comparing heavier and lighter
  • Awareness that weight is not necessarily related to size

Working with volume, this lesson alone she worked at for nearly an hour. It was so hands on and so wet, two of her favourite things to do (getting wet and doing pretty much anything hands on)

Discussing lighter and heavier.

Trying out an assortment of things in the scales, relating to lighter and heavier.

Making patterns of 5 with square pieces of paper. This was to visualise that the same number of things can look very different in a group. (the conversation of number).

She also started the 2nd Singapore Math Preschool Book and finished the 1st lessons from that, which covered:

  • Recognition of solid shapes: sphere, cube, cone, cylinder
  • Reading & Writing nummerals: 1, 2, 3, 4

Tracing and writing numbers.

And we both had a grin from ear to ear when she picked up some readers and read them!!

I got these from the last Lifeline Bookfest for 50c (that's about all they worth IMO). Their not the best of readers, just very simple sight word introduction. Once the child has been shown what the 'special' words are (in the top corner of each book cover) and the first sentence of the first page they can pretty much read the whole book. Each of these (5 in total) were read every day this week.

They certainly gave her a wonderful boost and it surely must of been a really nice feeling to know that she could read and that it really isn't that hard afterall. So if nothing else at least these little books gave her that.

This is another Aldi special, I think I paid around $6 for it. Basically you need to match up 3 puzzle pieces with a cause and an effect. For example, there is a puzzle piece with a plain white tshirt on it, one with some paints on a palette and then another with the same white shirt but it is covered in the exact paint colours from the other puzzle piece.

Some of these are very easy and some a little tricky, probably more so because some of the pictures are a little hard (for a 5 year old) to distinguish exactly what they are supposed to be. She did 3 or 4 at a time so as not to be overwhelmed with all of those puzzle pieces in front of her.

I am sure that I have mentioned before that K5 also attends a community preschool/kindergarten 2 days a week. I asked her to draw me a special picture this week and here it is for your viewing pleasure *grin*

Our little family, mum, dad, K5, B7, C1 and the dog. B7 really wasn't impressed that he had no arms LOL!

She also completed this cool spray bottle painting (and was covered head to toe in paint I might add!!). I love it and am thinking that these paintings would make great wrapping paper. We have tried to paint our own wrapping paper before with stamps but it just seems to take forever to get even just a few pieces completed. This way I could peg a bunch to the fence, give the kids various bottles of watered down paint and off they it's loads of fun too boot!

We headed to our local show on Friday night, the kids were eager to see how they went with their entries. Just seeing their work on display was exciting and noticing other people admiring what they had created was cool.

**Sorry really bad photography ahead**

So of course you can imagine the grin when K5 saw that she had won 2nd Prize for her Lego House entry.

It's quite difficult to see here as they put everything behind cages, away from touching fingers. I will try and get a post about the show on our family blog inthe next couple of days and will include a clearer photo.

She had her first ride on a super dooper fast fair ground ride. I was a little worried for her at first but she loved it! She's such a daredevil and B7 went on the whizzer the first time when he was 5 and enjoyed it also. DH said that as soon as it stopped all she wanted to do was go again.

Getting finger printed from the local police. Or should I say hand printed, these guys this year decided to do her whole hand, what ever happened to FINGER PRINTING!

And she was a fantastic big sister and held on to her little brother the whole way for him to enjoy his first fairground/merry go round ride.

We had another great week of Preschool (even if I am a little late at posting). Hop on over to Homeschool Creations to see what everyone else got up to this week in their Preschool Corner.

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