The Worth of a Challenge

If you give a child a fish, you feed him for a day.
If you teach a child to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
But if you teach a child to learn, you feed him for a lifetime
and he doesn't have to just eat fish.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

need a complete curriculum?

this is a great site for complete free curriculum....we may be using the second grade version. We'll see!

Friday, October 22, 2010


so in the process of looking at other blogs and learning stuff from other moms who have been there done that, I always seem to find little hidden treasures....

here are some great free treasures for your little learners.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

cute idea I saw on a blog......

ok,  I know...I almost everything I like and do is a "knock off" or alteration of someone other person's work. It's just my job to be the word of mouth. I came upon this lovely little sign above a door way and I really liked. It is like a preview of coming attractions in my crafty world. Now I just need to work on my penmanship with a paintbrush and I will be all set!
I found it here: I am momma hear me roar

Curriculum for reading

So, you are saying to your self these oh so familiar words:

*I don't have time to put together reading lessons for my child
*I don't know where to begin
*I don't know how to "think" like a teacher
*I can't afford those kinds of resources

    I say look no further! I have the solution, but first a little trip down memory lane........

          The people at my house love music and in my pursuit to find music that is both free and printable for kids I came upon a website called kididdles and they are great. They have song lyrics and audio and printable song sheets for tons of kids songs and it's all FREE......well then they decided to launch a sister site. The sister site is called Reading Lessons. It's also geared toward young kids and it is marvelous. It is aimed to help your child learn to read write and spell. It has everything thing you and your child need to accomplish just that.

    We personally have used it as a supplement to the curriculum we are using now and really enjoy it very much. It gives a detailed plan of execution for the games lessons and activities and gives us all the printables we need. 

     There is one catch(isn't there always!) that some times they do use resources from a site called reading a-z and it is what I would consider pricey at $84.95 for a classroom of 1-9 kids for just one year. While I know that is cheap compared to many curriculums especially for this group size, free or next to free is really more of my market interest.

     Aside from that, most everything else is provided and is both delightful and fun and have my children asking to play the activities or sing the songs again and again. I also like that they do link you to a few sites that are no charge like Starfall. Not familiar with starfall.....stay tuned they will be featured next week.

    My bottom line: they are good, and mostly free and follow a good rounded progression...a good supplement for us but could serve as a good base for others.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Felt Food?

Felt food for our play kitchen!
I want to make felt food for the play kitchen for the kids....we play with it for all kinds of fun and educational reasons.

"This very real looking lettuce was made by Helping Little Hands"

"This wonderful "fried egg" is from Homemade By Jill "

So for the last couple of years or so, my kids have had play food, and it was made of felt, but I did not make it nor did I think it was something I was capable of making....I purchased it from a wonderful company, Land of Nod. It is well made and sure has lasted and keeps on going through even my children's wildest moments. 

Being that we have a budget that does not include me purchasing more pre made ...I have branched out....I think I CAN craft felt food. So I am in the market for a project. Post a link to a tutorial or a picture of one you have made and I will try your tutorial and feature you here for the whole world and say how much I enjoyed crafting and how much my family enjoyed said craft....So lets go for it!

another math monday!

Hoping to cure a case of the are some super fun math games and activities enjoyed by my youngest....mostly because the older one is with Daddy on an adventure!

count up the scoops!
So what did I come up with? I searched and found a great website with free printables. I printed off an ice cream cone numbers activity to cut color and assemble. They also have one you can do for colors, however today our focus is math......they also have tons of other way fun activities that are also free.

Five Little Speckled Frogs Activity

 Sadly I have no photo, but we made a log out of brown paper and found some copies of a little frog to color online* and we sang the song (as follows) removing the froggies.

Five Little Speckled Frogs 

Five little speckled frogs, 
Sitting on a speckled log, 
Eating the most delicious bugs, yum, yum. 
One jumped into the pool 
Where it was nice and cool. 
Then there were four speckled frogs.

Continue until only one frog is left

One little specked frog. 

Sitting on a speckled log, 
Eating the most delicious bugs, yum, yum. 
He jumped into the pool 
Where it was nice and cool. 

Now there are no speckled frogs.   

*I found the frogs here  from Kinderprintables(a great free resource by the way) and just reduced them by size and then printed off how ever many I needed. 

**We also did the frog puzzle found here as well, color cut and then have fun!    

First Frets from Simply Violin

First Frets

A product we do have and use.....

I found these little goodies while surfing the suzuki parent forum when a parent got sick and tired of the tape falling off their kid's violin and what's better is the price....a whopping $2.45 each regardless of size and they come in all sizes. oh and did I say no shipping, because there is no shipping folks! I got them very quickly too in my regular mail. When you get it just peel and stick...It says to loosen the strings but I didn't have to, even on Benji's 1/16th size, so I can imagine most everyone can shimmy it up into place.

Want one too? I found mine here:Simply Violin They are a great web resource for not only this product but for other great products and much more....just check them out!

Things 4 Strings™: Violin and Viola Bow Holds

Cool stuff on the web that I found!

Things 4 Strings™: Violin and Viola Bow Holds

this product is fantastic for the young who are learning to have the correct hold and the old who need support! I consider it to be on the pricey side but it is a "one size fits all" so no matter what they would only need one set for life.....maybe some day down the road this will be more than a whim on the web for us.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A cool give away!

So, A cool gal on one of my favorite blogs is having a give away!

My kids have had the chance to play with these at school and at the learning store....but don't yet have a set of their own....oh Santa Claus guess what's on your list!

She is giving away a set of the rainbow blocks from this site....
Here is her link with tips on how to enter to win this cool give away!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Griffith Park with Great Grandpa!

Wednesday, we had the opportunity to go visit my Grandfather(Benji's Great Grandpa) and go to Griffith Park with him. I had a great time as did Benji. We consider it a treat to spend time with him.

The park was huge and accessable for children with disabilities and all age was very cool!

Did I mention there was a train?

Grandpa put the play ground in reverse. Great job working the standard transmission!

You're never too old to take a trip down the slide!

I think I need one of these at home!

And then after about an hour and a half of running around in the heat he was red and tired.

Grandpa we love you!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Field Trip!

It's just me and Benji since my husband and Jacob are off house hunting. We joined my Aunt and fun cousins at the world renowned San Diego Zoo. We had such an awesome time, and Benji enjoyed having my undivided attention. 

so I wasn't really sure what he would be most interested in seeing. He likes frogs, but beyond that, I wasn't really sure. 

I soon realized he LOVES the polar bears. He just could not get enough of those bears.

Perhaps it is because they are as playful and unpredictable as he is. What ever it is, it kept him going back for more.

This is the closest to getting one as a pet as he was going to get!

Other cool highlights from the zoo include:







Monday, October 11, 2010

Math fact mondays!

Math facts at Math is fun

So are you sick of the same old stuff? I found this great and FREE website called math is fun and they go up fairly high in level for Math. Jacob played on the website for what I would consider a long time, had fun, learned stuff and that really seems to fit the bill for me. I was especially fond of how they teach money in an applicable sense.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Our New Unit Studies

Packet 2 Unit Studies

Science: We are continuing our study of the earth with the text below and talking about volcanoes, plate tectonics and more.

For Literature, we will be learning about folk tales such as Aesop's Fables and Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears?

For History we will be taking the next step through time in American Heritage and learning about life during the civil war.

* I will try to do my best to post the activities we do as related to these units, but I make no promises!

stuff we love!

After the millionth time of the kids longing for this item at the learning store, I caved and let them get it. It is actually very fun and easy enough for the tiny tot to do.  They are also very sturdy as my children seem to strength test anything they get their hands on!

A Weeks Worth!

I think in the shuffle of us getting ready for our big move, and looking at houses on the market I neglected the blog(again!) So here is what we have been doing all week...these work well for work boxes, centers and some even work well for circle time.

1. Danny and the Dinosaur at the listening center. We found this little gem at the local book store and then I had the kids listen and make a little "book report". For Benji (preschool/preK) it was as simple as circling the face that represented if he like the story and then would dictate to me what he thought about it. For Jacob(first grade) he had to write down the title, auther, and one sentence about what he liked about the book i.e. "I like the dinosaur because he was funny"

2.We wrote in our journals. Jacob would write and illustrate one sentence and Benji would dictate and color one sentence.

3. Jacob completed another part of his geography book we found at Enchanted learning to go with our daily geography given to us by the school we charter with.

4. We just started our German Book one by learning how to count to ten in German. My kids can now count to ten in English, Spanish, French and German. Apparently it's fun no matter what language it's in.

5. Benji did a center where he had to put the right items in the right room....he kept trying to put the microwave in the bedroom for some reason! Take your own photos or find cute clip art on google and you can create this same activity

6. During Circle time we told the story of the three little pigs and why it is more important to get work done first and then make time for play.

7. Benji matched the right fish with the right number of cubes.

8. the boys both matched up pins with quantities. Benji did 1-10 and Jacob did 11-20
*this was another great activity from confessions of a homeschooler, her button is the beautiful flower on the right side of my page.

9. Jacob sorted the vowels sing vowel songs and then spelled words with the tiles.

finishing up a unit

Finished Lapbooks

My first grader, Jacob did three lapbooks and here they are all finished and a small description of what we've learned.

The first lapbook was about rocks and minerals and it came together really fast and fun.

Here is the second, it was about westward expansion and traveling on the Santa Fe and Oregon Trail. For our inspiration we went to the Mormon Battalion in Old Town San Diego and got some hands on experience there.

Lastly, we finished our lapbook about Chrysanthemum. It was a sweet story about a little girl who over comes being teased over her name. The story is great because it gives little kids tools to over come being teased and a great perspective about why we should never tease.