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Friday, January 30, 2009

How Hotwheels Cars Became A Science Project

My 8 yr old son, got some money for Christmas. Last week he decided to spend the remainder of it, and bought some Hotwheels cars. Two of specific importance were color changers. According to the package, they change colors in warm water, and cool water. Neat right? Well not so fast. They changed very easily in the warm water, but when we tried to change them back poof nothing. So of course he was not happy, since he felt like he had been jipped. Me and my natural obsessive self, figured there must be some secret we were not aware of. I visited the official website to see if there were better instructions. Imagine that, there were not any. Matter of fact the commercial clip they have available, clearly shows the cars changing with just a squirt of water. There was no email address, that would be too easy, and the message boards had a few similar questions that of course were unanswered. So I posted the question, on one of the forums I belong to, to see if anyone else had kids with these seemingly useless toys. While I waited for my flood of answers to come in, I continued to think, and wonder what the magic was. I only got 4 responses, 2 were just as curious, and the other two suggested maybe the water was not cold enough. Ah Ha, so we put the car in the freezer for 10 seconds and bingo, it was back to its original color. But wait, it quickly turned back to the warm color. Ok so now we are starting to put two, two together. It is all based on the room temperature as to what color it is. So that if it is warm in the house, the car will change to the warm temperature color, no water really needed. If it is chilly in the house, the car will adapt to the cold color. Of course it would have to be really cold in the house for that to happen. So we got thinking, and experimenting some more. I asked DJ what other things can produce heat, to turn the car to the warm temperature. Of course the first thing he thought was the microwave. While that would be true, that is not what I meant. I told him to think again, about Science and what things naturally produce heat. He said Friction, makes heat. So he began to rub the car with his hands, and bingo it changed to the warm color. Then I told him to put in his armpits, to see what happens. Same result, but the car only changed color partially as the heat was not even across the car. Dj discovered that cupping the car in both hands also worked, as did breathing on it. So you see a simple 3 dollar car, can turn into a Science experiment.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sylvan Workbooks And A Contest

I was recently asked to review the new line of Sylvan workbooks. This is a new line or workbooks, that you can purchase for at home education, or for extra work for public school children. Sylvan is well known for their tutoring, now you can get tutoring in a workbook.

I was supplied with 3 workbooks, all for the 4th Grade. These workbooks will be given as a contest prize, to start in teh middle of February. See the post at the top of this blog, for details.

The first book is Spelling Success. I really like this workbook, as it is complete with fun activities to help learn spelling. Each chapter has keywords, and then various activities to help learn those keywords. Each chapter focuses on a topic such as, prefixes, suffixes, root words, and homophones. There are also review chapters, for a total of 17 chapters, in the workbook.

The second book is Reading Comprehension. I love this book. Of the three books, this one is my favorite. It has all kinds of great ideas for learning, and evaluating your child's Reading Comprehension. The activities are thoughtful, and extensive. There are a total of 10 Chapters, with 4 to 5 activities per chapter.

The third book is Vocabulary. Like the spelling book it centers around keywords, with various activities to learn, and use the keywords. There are reviews, and 14 chapters. Each chapter has its own set of activities with topics like prefixes, suffixes, root words, and homophones. The only thing I did not care for with this book, were the chapters on foreign languages. There are two, and you have to find the meanings of the words, as I doubt most kids will know that many foreign language words. These two chapters, were the only two inconveniences I could find in any of the books. It is not like they are that big of a deal either. You could easily find them online, and incorporate them into the chapter.

While browsing at the Sylvan website I noticed that these great books start at 12.99, a great value, in my opinion. I also noticed that they have a 5th grade writing book, which I will definitely be in need of, in the very near future.

If you are starting to plan your curriculum for next school year, you might want to check out these great workbooks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Puzzles and Preschoolers

Puzzles can be a great way for your preschooler to learn memory skills, fine motor skills, spacial skills, cognitive skills etc. My 4 yr old, is the puzzle queen. I include them in her preschool lessons. For one thing she loves to do them. She started out with the simple board puzzles, she quickly became bored with them. So I said OK I will buy the 25 pc puzzles. I thought it would take a bit for her to get them, nope she mastered them quickly. She now is up to 100 pc puzzles, and she has mastered most of them. They do take her a bit longer, but she has memorized some of them already. It is funny because my son had absolutely no interest in puzzles, and really had to be forced to do them.

Lesson Plan for 1/29/09:

Reading: Chapter 2 of Ghost Town at Sundown
Language Arts: Commands and exclamations, punctuation
Math: Multiplication, division, subtracting across zeros
Writing: If you could be invisible, where would you go, and what would you do
Health: The ideal friend
Spelling: Lesson 17- put your spelling words in alphabtical order
Vocabulary: Lesson 17- write each vocabulary word, and meaning 2x each
PE: 30 mintues

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sleep How Much Are You Getting?

I have read some really interesting articles about sleep lately. Like the fact that children need at least 8-10 hours of sleep every night, and adults 8 at the very least. Do you get 8 hours of sleep, do your children get 8-10 hours. One of the reasons I decided to homeschool was because of just this fact. I would have had to get my kids up at 5:30 AM to prepare to be to the bus stop by 7 AM. Then they would not get off the bus until the earliest of 3:30 PM. With baths, homework, playtime, and other family commitments bed would come the earliest at 8 PM, and probably closer to 9. That leaves just enough time for sleep, if your child falls right to sleep, of course most do not. Add all the extra homework that gets added every year, and your child will slowly whittle away at their sleep. Sleep is when your body rests, and recovers. Without proper sleep you are more prone to illness, stress, poor grades, behavioral issues, just to name a few. I personally have seen what the lack of sleep does to people. It can destroy your nervous system. So get on a schedule, and get plenty of sleep.


Lesson Plans for 1/27/09:

Reading: Chapter 10 of Dolphins at Daybreak
Language Arts: Statements and questions, punctuation
Math: Multiplication, division, add 3 or more numbers
Writing: You are at Pirate Camp, write a letter home
Science: Animals, recalling facts about animals
Spelling: Lesson 17- write each spelling word, and circle the consonants
Vocabulary: Lesson 17- use each vocabulary word in a sentence
PE: 30 minutes

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Discovery Channel Online, Simple Egg and Ham Dinner

We love the Discovery Channel. There are many learning opportunities, to be had. My son wanted to know when Shark Week started, so he went to their website to check dates, and times. What we discovered was that their website, is another portal for learning. They have all kinds of videos, on Space, Health, Planet Earth, Global Warming and a ton of other things. You have access to all the info for free, too. It is a great supplemental learning site.

Need a quick, and easy dinner idea. I got this recipe from Rachel Ray, and her 30 minute meal show. I like quick, and easy. All you need is, some slices of ham, eggs, onions, cheese, or any other variety of these items that your family likes. Here is how I made it. Preheat oven to 350, spray a muffin pan with non stick spray, in each muffin slot put a slice of ham, then add sauteed onions, cheese, and the egg on top. Place in the oven until eggs are the consistency your family likes. We like the yolk a little runny, so this took about 30 minutes. They slide right out of the muffin tin, the ham is crispy, and the onions add a lovely taste. Try it, you might love it too.

Lesson Plans for 1/26/09:

Reading: Chapter 9 of Dolphins at Daybreak
Language Arts: Sentences, punctuation
Math: Multiplication, division, adding 3 digit numbers
Writing: You won the lottery, write about what you plan to do now that you are rich
Spelling: Lesson 17- write each spelling word 2 times each
Vocabulary: Lesson 17- look up the definition of each vocabulary word
Arts and crafts- Valentines Day
Music- 30 minutes if time permits

Friday, January 23, 2009

Back To Work I Go

Anyone that reads my blog, on a regular basis, knows that at Christmas time I had a tif with my boss, about something that was rightfully mine. Because of that I have not worked in 5 weeks. Some because of the tif, and some because Medicaid funding to Nursing Homes has been cut, forcing them to cut their nursing hours. I was starting to sweat between standing my ground, and running out of money. Yesterday they called me, and offered back my Friday nights. This works great because I have a set schedule again, but do not have to work, and sleep the whole weekend. I start back tonight, and I am very much relieved. This also means we will be able to go to Seaworld, as planned, in March. I was very disappointed to have to possibly tell my children we would not be able to go. It all worked out in the end, but it was a tough go.

I hope everyone has a splendid weekend. It is finally going to warm back up, yay. If anyone reads my blog, and lives in the Alachua, Gilchrist, Levy, or Dixie county areas, I started a new playgroup on Meetup.com and we are looking for members. Comment me if you are interested.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Homeschool Grants

So I have been thinking, as my children get older, their homeschool supplies will only increase. Especially as they get into middle, and high school. So I was wondering if I could apply for a Homeschool Grant. I did some research, and the results were not all that optimistic. It seems it is very difficult to actually get a Homeschool Grant. Matter of fact research said, Microsoft is pretty much the only company that has awarded Homeschool Grants. Ah Ha but I love a challenge. So I am going to try getting said grant. I am not 100% sure yet, how to go about it. If anyone has any experience in writing a grant, I would love to hear from you. This could take me a while, but it is a good goal. Wish me luck.

Tomorrow is test day, and a half day, so there are no lesson plans to post.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inaugural Ball Pictures


Don't they look stunning, and happy. I love a ball. You get all dressed up, and feel like Cinderella, for a night. Congratulations to President, and Mrs Obama, and Vice President, and Mrs Biden. I had the Inauguration on through out the day, and saw bits, and pieces of it. I saw a little bit of the 10 Balls that were on last night. I really do not think, with the economy the way it is, that 10 Balls necessary. One sad story, that occured yesterday, was Senator Ted Kennedy had a seizure, and had to be taken to the hospital. Reports are, is he is doing better, and will probably go home today.


Lesson Plans for 1/22/09:

Reading: Read chapter 8 of Dolphins at Daybreak
Language Arts: Parts of speech, punctuation
Math: Multipliation, division, estimating
Writing: Robin Hood wants you to join his team. What special talent will you bring to the group?
Health: Exercising your mind- emotions
Spelling: Put your spelling words in alphabetical order
Vocabulary: Write each vocab word, and the definition, two times each
Spanish: Food and utensils 3

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fun And Easy Animal Science Project

It seems like much of 2nd and 3rd grade, we have spent learning about animals for Science class. That is okay because my kids love that topic. It does get a little boring, though after a while. Anyway, I was sifting through one of our Science books, and I find this cool Weekly Puzzler, and I thought I would share it. This is geared towards 2nd and 3rd graders, though my 4 yr old joins in the conversation. Choose a live animal to watch, we have fish, birds, dogs, and cats that are easily visible from our home. Draw how your animal looks. Write what the animal is. Then compare the animal with yourself, with these things in mind: Its body parts compared to yours, how it moves compared to you, what it eats compared to you, sounds it makes compared to yours, where it lives compared to where you live, if it lives with others compared to you.

I have been asked to evaluate a new spelling program. I hope to get to that this week, and have the information posted.

Lesson Plans for 1/21/09:

Reading: Read Chapter 7 Dolphins at Daybreak
Language Arts: Parts of speech, punctuation
Math: Multiplication, division, round 3 digit numbers
Writing: You will be meeting Batman. What would you like to ask him?
Social Studies: Inauguration, flat maps and globes
Spelling: Lesson 16- write each spelling word, and circle the vowels
Vocab: Lesson 16- Use each vocabulary word, in a sentence
Spanish: Food and utensils 3
Arts and crafts

Monday, January 19, 2009

Do Your Kids Ask For Nontraditional Pets?

I read this little article, in my Family Circle magazine. Some of it I was already aware of, but some was new information as well. For instance I knew turtles, lizards, snakes, and other reptiles could carry the Salmonella virus, and that children under 3 or 4 should not handle them. However I did not know that turtles, chicks, and mice can carry Herpes as well. Herpes is usually considered a sexually transmitted disease, so this was startling to me. The basis of the story is that if you are considering a cute chick for Easter, you might want to talk to your Pediatrician to be sure it is safe, for the age of your child. While we do have lizards that share our yard with us, my children have never handled them. My son has considered asking for a turtle, but this is not a common topic. Good handwashing would be of the utmost importance.

I was given an award, which I will post about on a day when I have no lesson plans to post.

Lesson Plans for 1/20/09:

Reading: Chapter 6 Dolphins at Daybreak
Language Arts: Parts of speech, punctuation
Math: Multiplication, division, greater than, less than
Writing: If you could zap yourself into a TV show, what would it be, and why
Science: Animals-vertebrates, animal watch
Spelling: Lesson 16- write each spelling word 2 times each
Vocabulary: Lesson 16: Look up the definition for each vocabulary word
PE: 30 minutes
Spanish: Food and utensils 3

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Contests Coming In February!

Hop on over to my jewelry blog, and check out the contest starting in February. It is easy to enter, and easy to win. One lucky winner will win a Cross and Blue Pearl pendant. Be sure to check it out.

I was recently contacted by Sylvan Learning Center. I am sure most people have heard of them. They offer tutoring services, as well as a whole host of other things. One thing I did not know they offered were workbooks for Homeschooling, or extra help for children that need some help in Writing, Reading, or Math. Anyway, I have been offered the wonderful opportunity to evaluate their new workbooks, and they are sending me extras to offer in a contest to my readers. Obviously you will need to be someone who homeschools, or has an age appropriate child that will use the workbooks. I will announce the rules, once the items have arrived. You might want to follow my blog so you dont forget about the contest. This will be a great prize, and I am excited to offer it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Presidential Inauguration History And Events

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr day. For ideas, and printables you can see my post below. Tuesday January the 20th is Inauguration Day. Like that is not special enough, this country is Inaugurating its first African American man. I probably will not watch it on TV, but I am sure soneone will post clips of it on youtube for all of us to view. I did find some great reading material, and free activites on the Presidential Inauguration

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday. My mom came over to celebrate her birthday, and we were actually able to go outside for a bit, without freezing. Tomorrow will be even warmer, yay.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr Activities, Health For Children

Today was test day here at Melissas Homeschool, and Monday we have no school due it being Martin Luther King Jr day. Below is a 10 min piece, done by a child for a school project. Check it out. Here are some other Martin Luther Kind day activities I found http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96jan/king.html http://www.education-world.com/holidays/archives/mlking.shtml

One of my favorite websites for teaching young kids about all issues to do with Health including, their body, being safe, fire safety, drugs, peer pressure just to name a few can be found here Nemours Foundation We do have a Health workbook, but it is kind of over mature for my 8 yr old, and 4 yr old. I use this website for most of our Health classes. There are no worksheets, but I make my own, if I feel I need to. Most of it is discussion, between the three of us. I will be adding both of these links to my side bar, for future reference.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

OMG I Have Forgotten Algebra, and I Am Freezing

As you can see from my picture I am freezing, again. We had almost a whole month of 80 degrees. Shorts, tees, open window, and now brr back to the big freeze. It is 48 degrees right now, here in N Florida at Noon time. Ugh it is awful. I knew I should have kept my snowsuit from when I lived up North. Unfortunately it is going to be this way all week, and I might be a popsicle by then.

It seems I have forgotten how to do Algebra lol. Math was one of my best subjects in school, and now poof I seem to have erased my brain. To my credit it has been over 20 yrs since I used the majority of it. Obviously not all of it is gone, but the harder stuff has magically disappeared. Good thing my son, is not yet learning this, it gives me time to re-teach myself. Grr it is so embarrassing.

Lesson Plans for 1/15/09:

Reading: Chapter 5 Dolphins at Daybreak
Language Arts: adjective and adverbs, punctuation
Math: Multiplication, division, count by 100's, 10's and 1's
Writing: Imagine you are a dolphin, write about your day
Fire Drill Week: Discuss fire hazards and prevention
Health: Parts of the body
Spelling: Put your spelling words in alphabetical order
Vocabulary: Lesson 15- write each vocab word, and the definition 2x each
PE- 30 minutes

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Practicing OPhotography Skills

Those of you that follow my blog, know that I make my own jewelry. Of course that would entail taking photos of said jewelry. It is something I have been practicing for years. What you may not know, is that I love taking pictures, they are the memories of our lives. My children have also taken up this hobby. DJ, my son, got a kids digital camera for Christmas. It was more of an investment thing, than an educational thing. He would buy those disposable cameras and then of course you had to have them developed, which no offense to him were more often than not, not very good. So this way, they can be downloaded to the computer, and deleted if not any good. DJ, and his 4 yr old sister have been having a ball taking pictures since Christmas, and they are fast learners. They are learning about good lighting, esp since the camera has no flash, up close vs far away shots, posing, outfits, etc. It was not my intention for it to be so educational, but they have decided to make it so. The first dark pic shown is the one my 4 yr old took of her brother. Not bad for her first shot. The two of her, were taken by DJ. It took him several tries to get the fish tank to show up in the picture, but he was happy with the end result. As for me, well I must be more of a slow learner LOL. The remaining pictures are my attempts to take shots of the full moon, on two separate evenings. The darker night picture one is far, and the other I finally figured out how to do a zoom shot, and you can definitely note the difference. The lighter one was when the full moon was just coming up. I was kind of disappointed, I used the zoom and it still did not look nearly as beautiful as it actually was. I will continue to practice, and encourage my children to practice as well.

Lesson Plans for 1/14/09:

Reading: Read chapter 4 of Dolphins at Daybreak
Language Arts: adverb and adjective review, capitalization
Math: Multiplication, division, numbers in order
Writing: You can have only one food x 1 wk, what would it be and why
Fire drill week: Discuss alternate exits, and safe meeting places
Social Studies: The continents, MLK Jr
Spelling: Write each spelling word and circle the consonants
Vocabulary: Write a synonym for each vocabulary word







Monday, January 12, 2009

Schools To Lose Millions In Florida's Budget Woes

One day after reporting that Florida's public schools, have showed vast improvement, it was reported that they will have to shave millions off of their 2009-2010 budgets. This means millions of dollars will need to be eliminated. Of course they do not want to cut teachers, but it is reported they will not fill positions of vacant jobs. Plus one of the first things to go will be extra curricular activities, such as field trips, art, music, and sports. There are rumors that Principals will be required to have more than one school, as well as possible school closures, with combined schools needed. This is a shame, considering all the progress that has been made. Hopefully it will not have a negative impact on education to children.

Lesson Plans for 1/13/09:

Reading: Chapter 3 of Dolphins at Daybreak
Language Arts: adverbs, capitalization
Math: Multiplication, division, greater than and less than
Writing: Aliens have landed on Earth, draw a picture story explaining life with aliens
Science: Animals-awesome adaptation
Fire Drill week: Fire safety
Spelling: Lesson 15- write each word, and circle the vowels
Vocabulary: Lesson 15- Use each vocabulary word in a sentence
PE- 30 minutes

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Florida Dept Of Education Announces Improvements

The Florida Dept of Education, has announced that the overall ranking of Florida schools, has jumped from a score of 14, to a 10. This is the statement given to the public: Governor Charlie Crist today announced that Florida’s education ranking jumped from 14th to 10th in the nation, and its overall grade improved from a C-plus to a B-minus, according to the 2009 Quality Counts: Portrait of a Population report released today. The report, issued annually by Education Week, tracks state policies and performance across key areas of education and assigns each state with an overall letter grade to signify their education standing in the nation. This is obviously good news, to anyone that uses the public school system, in Florida. Even though I homeschool, I find this encouraging, you never know if you might have to send your children to public school someday.

Lesson Plans for 1/12/09:

Reading: Read chapter 2 of Dolphins at Daybreak
Language Arts: Adverbs, capitalization
Math: Multiplication, division, place value
Writing: If you could be one age forever, what would it be, and why
Fire Drill week: practice fire escape routes
Spelling: Lesson 15- write each spelling word, 2x each
Vocabulary: Lesson 15- look up the definition for each word
Spanish: Food and utensils part 3
Art: Feb puppy picture

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some Free Writing Prompts For 2nd-4th Graders

Here are some writing ideas, for a 2nd-4th grader, depending on their abilities.

If you could be one age forever, what would it be, and why?
Aliens have landed on the Earth, draw a picture story.
You can only have one food, times one whole week, which would you pick, and why?
Imagine you are a dolphin, write about your day.
If you could zap yourself into a TV show, what would it be, and why?
You will be meeting Batman, make a list of questions to ask him.
Robin Hood wants you to join his team. What special talent would you bring to his team.
You won the lottery. Write what you will do now that you are rich.
You're are Pirate Camp. Write a letter home telling about your time.
If you could be invisible, where would you go, and what would you do?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Florida's Financial Crisis Worsens

It has been reported that 1 in 10 Floridians, have filed for food stamps. That is almost a 100 percent increase. Unemployment is up to 7 percent, in the state of Florida, national unemployment is 7.2%. The freeze on foreclosures imposed by Charlie Crist, is going to expire, and there will be a flood of new foreclosures. Florida, is only second to California, in the financial crisis. There appears to be no sunny spot, in the Sunshine State. I hope this will turn around soon, it sure does look bleak.

Today was our first day back to school, and this is our lesson plan for today:

Reading: Read chapter 1 of Dolphins at Daybreak
Art: Draw puppies from January. This is actually something my son wants to attempt. He wants to see if he can from the eye draw a calendar picture. He picked a picture of puppies.
Writing: Write about your Christmas break
Music: 30 minutes
PE: 30 minutes
Language Arts: Capitalization, adverbs
Spanish: Food and utensils part 3
Math: Multiplication, division, number names
Ant Wars: 60 min documentary if time permits


I hope everyone is having a splendid Friday.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This Could Be A Cool Fieldtrip

I wish they would give more notice for these events, so I could plan appropriately. My son would absolutely love to go to this Video Game Tournament Otronicon @ Orlando Science Center He loves his video games, and they actually can be useful in learning, if you apply them correctly.

Video-game-tournament

The Otronicon Video Game Tournament, is being held in Orlando, FL from January 16-20, 2009. It is open for school trips, and group trips on the 21st-23rd. Pricing is reasonable at 17 dollars, for adults, and 12 dollars for children under the age of 12. If you happen to be an OSC member, you will get in for free. This tournament will be held, at the Orlando Science Center.

Some of the activities that will be taking place, include: video game tournaments with Rock Band, Wii Fitness, Guitar Hero just to name a few. There will also be a wedding performed. That is right, a Halo Wedding will be performed of two people who met through gaming. Pretty neat, huh? For full details on all the events you can go to http://www.otronicon.org/

If you are a Playstation, Wii, or other video game player, this would be a cool Tournament to attend. Be sure to save the date, and make plans now to attend. If you do get to go, please come back, and share your experience with all of us.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Laptops For The Kids

Santa brought both of my kids, new kids laptops for Christmas. These are great, as I spend more, and more time working online limiting their educational games online. Each of these have over 60 educational games on them including, spelling, math, grammar, music, and many other learning activities. My son will use his, at the end of the school day to fill in time left over. Caitlin will be using hers, as a main part of her education day, as she finds it more fun and interesting than just paper projects. They both come with a mouse, increasing basic computer skills. These were an affordable purchase, and very helpful in teaching certain skills. Eventually, as they get older traditional laptops may become an integral part of their educations.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tips For Learning Vocabulary

Yesterday I posted some tips for teaching spelling, here are some of the methods we use to learn vocabulary words.

Each week I pick 10 words from our spelling list. These are the vocabulary words for the week. As with spelling every day we go over the meaning of each vocabulary word. These are the other activities we do every day, for Vocabulary.

Monday- using a standard Websters Dictionary, look up the meaning for each word, and write it on your paper.

Tuesday- Use each vocabulary word in a complete sentence. Use each word only one time each.

Wednesday- Think of either a synonym, or an antonym for each vocabulary word. I generally alternate this from week, to week.

Thursday- Write each vocabulary word, and the meaning two times each.

Friday- Test to see how much was retained.

One other thing that I find to be very helpful is, if DJ finds a word during his readings that he does not know, I have him look it up in the dictionary rather than just telling him what it means.

I hope everyone is having a marvelous Tuesday.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Tips To Help Teach Spelling, Birthday Wishes

Today is my moms birthday, so Happy Birthday Mom. Today is also National Bird Watching Day, which is fitting because my Mom loves birds. My children love to watch the birds too. We always make sure they have food, and they try to look up what kind of birds they are. This time of year we get tons of birds, so there is plenty of watching to do.

Here are some great Spelling Activities, to help your child learn to spell. I have been using various ones of these, for 2 years.

1- Write each word, and circle the vowel. I use this one, it not only helps with spelling, but grammar as well

2- Write each word, and circle the consonants, same as above

3- Make flash cards for studying your words. I have not used this one, as my son picks up spelling very easily. I will see for my daughter

4- Write the words and a synonym, for each word. This is great for both spelling, and grammar.

5- Write the words, and an antonym, for each word. Same as above

6- Draw a picture and hide the words in the picture. I have not tried this one.

7- Write a story using most of your words. This is great for spelling, and writing skills.

8- Make a spelling rainbow. I have not tried this one.

9- Write spelling definitions. From each spelling list, I pick 10 words to be the weekly vocabulary words. He looks them up in his dictionary. I will post tips for teaching vocabulary tomorrow.

10- Write your words, and write if they are a noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, adverb, or compound word. I have not tried this one yet, but probably will for fourth grade.

11- Make a cartoon using the spelling words. I have not tried this one.

I hope this can be helpful to anyone, who needs to help teach their child to spell.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hancock A Movie Review

First of all let me say I made a mistake. Yes I know it is impossible to fathom LOL. Yesterday I posted that I would be posting lesson plans starting today, as we go back to school tomorrow. Nope, wrong answer. I pulled out my calender to prepare and realized that we do not go back until the 9th. I forgot that I added a few extra days to Christmas break, because there were dates public school had off, that we would not use.

I posted earlier that on New Years Eve, my hubby and I were going to watch a movie of his choice. I said wish me luck, because we often do not share the same taste in movies. He picked Hancock starring Will Smith. I am a huge Will Smith fan, the only movie I can recall I did not like was, Wild Wild West. When I saw the previews for this movie, I thought it was distasteful, he plays a drunken superhero. So I went into it thinking this is going to be dumb. I found rather quickly that it was quite funny, matter of fact I found myself laughing a lot. Jason Bateman plays the PR guy, who helps Hancock transform himself. I found it to be a story about finding yourself, and liking who you are, love, friendship, and trust. It was really a great movie. There are very few movies, I would say I would watch twice. This is definitely one I would. You can see a preview for it below. If you have not seen it yet, you should. If you have seen it, what did you think of it?

As a side note, I have added some of my favorite education sites, in a widget on the sidebar. I have tons more to add, but it is a good start. Check them out if you Homeschool, or just want to help your child get a little extra learning. Most I post are free, but there are some that require payment.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Husbands New Toy

We go back to school on Monday, so I will be posting lesson plans again, starting tomorrow. Whenever we are out of school, I find different things to blog about. It could be related to family, parenting, education, Florida, or the county we live in. Ideas, tips, and other info is also valuable for me to blog about. Sometimes I just pick something totally random, that I think is interesting. I find this helps to keep my blog diversified, and not boring. I hope everyone had a nice Christmas break, and time to get back to school.

That is my husband on his brand new toy, and whole gift package for the year of 2009. Ever since we bought this house, he has been nagging me to buy him a riding lawn mower. To me this is a waste of money, the yard is big but not that big. Anyway I finally gave in, and it was delivered all shiny and new yesterday. We were able to finance it, and I only agreed because he said it would cover all his gifts for 2009. That includes Valentines Day, Easter, Fathers Day, Birthday, and Christmas. At 1,300 dollars I guess that is more than reasonable.

Have a great Saturday, everyone.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Top Entrecard Droppers For December

Yep it is time to say thank you to all of my Entrecard droppers. These are the top 10 blogs that have dropped on my blog. Please take a few minutes, and visit each of these wonderful blogs.

http://www.smalltownmommy.com
http://www.is8enough.com/
http://california.today.com/
http://www.curiouslyawesome.com
http://clan-os.blogspot.com
http://selcom60.blogspot.com/
http://new-orleans-food.com/
http://www.ragingrev.com
http://blackholesandastrostuff.blogspot.com
http://lermzpascoe.com

This blog is the blog that I got the most clicks from placing my Entrecard widget on their blog
http://california.today.com/ with 37 clicks in a 24 hr period.

If you do not have Entrecard, you should sign up. It is free, and a great way to get traffic, readers, and more comments for your blogs.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

Happy New Year 2009, may the New Year be happy, and prosperous.



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