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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our Seaworld Trip 2010

DJ and Caitlin's big Christmas gift was a year pass to Seaworld. That means we get to go as many times as we want, until December 2011. Yesterday was our first time ever going. It was a blast. Both kids went on their first roller coaster ride. DJ went on the Manta, and decided the Kraken could wait until the next time. We were disappointed that we didn't get into the Polar Express exhibit, but hopefully it will still be there the next time we go. You will have to wait for the kids to go back to school, for you to get to see the pictures DJ took for his 4H photography class. He will be doing a blog post on it. Unless you are a FB friend of mine, they are posted there.











Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Super Teacher Worksheets

Another great website I found to share with all of you, is Super Teacher Worksheets. I just discovered this site, so I have not actually used it yet, but I will be using it when we start back to school. I have a Health book, but these worksheets will go great for DJ along with reading assignment. They offer worksheets for almost anything you can think of. I think if they expanded the Social Studies section it would be great. Check it out. As you know I use free online resources plus the books I purchase to make our lessons more complete.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The History of Kwanzaa

So I covered Christmas, Hanukah, Sinterklaas, and now Kwanzaa. Yes, Kwanzaa is an African American celebrated holiday, founded during the Civil Rights movement. I do not personally know anyone that celebrates this, but I have asked a lot of people. You can watch the two videos below, and share them with your children to help learn about other cultures celebrations of the holidays.




Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hotchalk One Cool Website

All right this is one cool website. I will be sharing some of my favorites, and new ones I have found, while we are on Christmas break. I actually found Hotchalk three years ago, when we first started to homeschool. But I forgot about it, and now it is a huge website with tons of stuff, and it is all free. You do not have to homeschool to use it, matter of fact it is for all teachers and students alike to use. I love the lesson plan and curriculum page, they have some very creative ideas for teaching different subjects. Check it out, and take advantage of this awesome resource. If this particular website does not suit your needs, check my archives, and the links at the bottom of the blog. I am sure you will find something you love.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To All!

The big day is almost here. I am not sure if I will online tomorrow, so I want to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas today. If you want your children to learn how to say Merry Christmas in some other languages, then this website is for you. I will be sharing this with my children for sure.

Twas the Night Before Christmas, probably one of the most well known and beloved stories of all. Your kids can watch it on the video below. The Thomas Kinkade tree shown, tells the story from Mr Kinkade himself. I actually own this tree. It was a gift to me a few years ago, from my husband. My kids listen to it several times, and my daughter loves to watch all the different rooms light up as the story is told. Before we put our dog to sleep, he would bark at the tree every time we turned it on. He was an interesting dog. We have hung is name tag on our tree so he is still with us this Christmas. There are so many needy and sad people this time of year. Take a minute and donate to some holiday charity, or a family you know is in need. Cats, dogs, the homeless, ill, and poor could all use an extra blanket, hats, mittens, pajamas, food, anything you can afford. It doesn't cost a lot to make someone else feel loved on Christmas. A blanket at the Dollar General is only five bucks. This year we donated to Toys for Tots, and over 400 children right here in our very own small county were helped out this year. Be kind to those in need, and you will be rewarded ten fold. Merry Christmas to all!





Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't Forget Your Feathered Friends On Christmas!

My kids love to feed the birds, and we have several bird feeders, and one house. Some were made when we did our recycling lesson, and one was made by Grandpa Ed. We have a whole bunch of these pine cones, that were given to us, but I didn't want to just throw them away after the holidays. So voila now I can use them to make bird feeders for the birds. This is so easy it is sinful. I already have craft wire, because I use it for jewelry making, and seed and peanut butter. Now I just need to get cracking and do it. Check it out if you want a fun and easy way to thank your feathered friends.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Wetlands Biomes and Lunar Eclipse

Did you get to see the Lunar Eclipse overnight? If not you can go to http://www.nasa.gov to see it. I woke the kids up at 2 AM so they could watch some of it. It was cold so we only stayed out about 30 minutes.

You still have time to enter my giveaway for icaughtsanta free photo. I have four to giveaway, and only one person has entered, so you still have time. It is the post right below this one.

Even though we are doing school this week, it is relaxed. DJ is finishing up his biomes with the Wetlands, and Caitlin has African animals to add to her animal book. Over Christmas break DJ will have to do math each day, and Caitlin will have to read. Either through their regular books, or online games and activities. I do this on purpose.



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review And Giveaway For iCaughtSanta.com



I have a fun review and giveaway to share today. iCaughtSanta.com
is a new website where you can take one of your own pictures and add Santa to it.

The one shown is the picture I created at iCaughtSanta.com. I chose this picture because I wanted to show Santa sleeping in Caitlin's rocking chair. This is a picture from last year which DJ quickly noticed, since we no longer have that ugly rug, and have tile now. Caitlin was thrilled to think Santa fell asleep in her chair. There are lots of different poses to choose from, and you can make Santa bigger or smaller to suit your picture you choose. You can also make Santa brighter or darker, to fit into the scheme of the picture. I think I should have mine a bit darker. You can also move Santa around before saving the picture. It was very simple to do, and only took a few minutes. You can print copies to send to family and friends if you choose to.

I was given the opportunity to give 5 of my readers a free Santa picture. It is easy to enter, but will only last five days, so don't hesitate. If I get more than five entries, I will draw names like I do for every other contest I have. To enter is it easy go to
http://www.icaughtsanta.com/favoritesanta look at the various poses available, then come back here and in a comment tell me your favorite pose, and why you would like to win this contest. Remember I have five of these to give away. If you know someone who would like this, send them here to enter. The contest starts right now, and will end on 12/23/10 at 8 AM Eastern time. All winners will be contacted and asked for their email addresses, so I can send them the code to log on and make their picture. Good luck!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.


Friday, December 17, 2010

The Ecosmart Winner Is!

I had three entries Anne, Lori, and Kristy, and the name drawn from the magic hat was, Anne! Congrats Ms Anne you are the winner. I need you to email me at melissaruede@yahoo.com with the email address you want me to share with the promoter. Thank you to my other entries.

Today is Friday which means grocery shopping, and lesson planning for next week. At least we don't have school today, and next week is our last week before Christmas break.

I thought I was going to be making a turkey breast for Christmas dinner, but my husband came to me last night and said he knows what he wants for Christmas dinner. I could have sworn we already decided that LOL! Anyway he wants a prime rib roast. I do not cook these, or choose the meat, he does. He is overly fussy about it, and it is easier for me to just have him do it. Works for me I don't want to cook on Christmas anyways. I am unsure if friends are stopping over or not this year. My mom will be here.

I start a new giveaway tomorrow that is really cute for kids, so be sure to check back.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Immune System Week 2: Mold Experiment, and PCN

Tomorrow DJ will be on his second week of the Immune System and will be doing a mold experiment, and learn about Penicillin. The experiment is easy and you can have your kids do it too. Take a slice of bread, drip a few drops of water on it, seal it in a zip lock bag, then set in a warm sunny spot for a few days then evaluate. This will be DJ's first time of setting up the experiment and then making a hypothesis of what will happen, and then evaluating his hypothesis for results. He will also look at the results under his microscope for evaluation. Be sure to watch the mold growing video below, it is gross. Caitlin will be doing hand washing for prevention of spreading germs. Tomorrow is a half day again.

Lesson Plans For 12/16/10:

DJ:
Health: Mold experiment, Penicillin,
Math: Saxon 54

Caitlin:
Animal Book
Hand washing video below with discussion
Printing Practice
Math: Addition
Calendar work, clock work, sight words, skip counting





Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Return of Wolves To Yellowstone Week 2

DJ will continue this week with parts four, five and six, of National Geographic's series on the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. Plus he will have a reading and question on the next biome Deserts. Next week will be The Wetlands for the last biome before Christmas break. He is also doing Saxon Math 54 Lesson 46 reading fractions and mixed numbers. I have stopped the Spectrum math workbook for now, and am just concentrating on the Saxon math. While the Spectrum is challenging for him, it was too much, and he was losing focus. If I want him to excel in math, I have to back off a bit. For today Caitlin will do mostly computer educational games.





Monday, December 13, 2010

Learn To Draw Christmas Designs

This is a new set of videos I have discovered, on learning to draw. I really like this instructor. If you or your children love to draw, or want to learn how to draw, these are awesome!

We have a fun relaxed week of schooling, this week. I love when it gets close to Christmas because we get to relax a bit. Today we are supposed to be waiting for Progress Energy to show up, that is why we have no lessons today, I am still waiting and getting irritated. If they don't come today I will not cancel another day for them.

So we bake two Christmas tree cakes today. They are both in the freezer awaiting decorating. One will be for 4H tonight, and one for our playdate on Wednesday. DJ can read a recipe, measure the ingredients, mix, and today even removed from the oven and checked for it being done. Caitlin helps add ingredients, mix and she loves to give orders too. We decided that on the once a month 4H meetings we will have cooking class, to make a special treat for everyone. Because it is cold we are baking. Come summer I will have to be more creative.

Caitlin and DJ also learned to wrap their first Christmas presents today. This was an interesting task, indeed. Thank goodness they each had to only do one LOL! We continued our letter addressing today as well with a few more Christmas cards sent out. If any of my husband's family doesn't get one until after Christmas I apologize, because he has not provided me with a full list yet.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Doing The Right Thing Is Not Easy

I won't go into too much detail, but how can I teach my children to have good character, if I do not have good character? My job is a challenge, to say the least, for many reasons. One of the reasons I stay there, is because I feel I am needed there, for some reason. I am not a follower and I do not take bullying well. I was once again placed in a situation where I had to choose my character, or the way that everyone else goes. I chose my dignity, and my character, unfortunately that may cost me my job. I spoke the supervisor and made my feelings known, but Monday when all the management returns from the weekend, will decide my fate. It does not help that they are do for inspection and are hoping for a good one. I felt guilty at first, as I did not know this, but then I thought why should I feel guilty for doing what was right? If you want your kids to learn good character, and to be stand up citizens, you have to do the same. It is not easy though.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Nativity Story

This is so cute. Little kids act out the story of The Nativity, while an adult reads the story. Check it out.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Immune System Week 1

Today for Health class DJ will be learning about the Immune System. He has learned in previous years about hand washing, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, things like that. Now he is going into the nitty gritty of it. The short video below will accompany a reading assignment. This is only part one, with the next two parts to be finished on consecutive Thursdays before Christmas break. Tomorrow DJ and Caitlin will learn about addressing envelopes, as we are sending out Christmas cards. With the use of online email and social networks I am afraid this will be lost in the shuffle, so we are going to get it done.

Lesson Plans For 12/09/10:

DJ:
Health: As above
Math: Fractions
Sign Language
Writing
Language Arts: Adjectives
Art: Draw a winter scene from a famous painting, Caitlin already did hers and it went in her weahter/seasons lapbook.
Reading Comprehension with WS

Caitlin:
Health: Motion, and the Immune System
Math: Addition
Language Arts: Blends, syllables
Read Sentences to Color the Picture WS
Spelling List 10
Printing Practice
Following Directions WS




Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Travel In Mexico City and Ancient Egypt

Yesterday was a sort of free day. We had a play date at the park, and library trip planned. But some members were sick, and it was so cold with the wind chill, that we postponed both until next week. My children still enjoy the trip to the library and reading books hands on. I can assume at some point ebooks will enter our lives. Because we didn't do either of those things, DJ played Neopets puzzles on the Wii, a challenging puzzle game he got last year for Christmas but has refused to play, until yesterday when I made him. Now he finds it quite entertaining, and challenging. Caitlin played it a bit as well. Caitlin spent a great deal of time playing educational games online at Nickjr, GirlsGo, and watching animal videos on NatGeo Kids.

Today is Social Studies, and DJ and Caitlin partially is still doing Ancient Times. Today is about Egypt. They have a cool craft for Friday, to go along with this chapter, and one from last week, that I will share on Friday. We are still traveling to Mexico, and will be learning about Mexico City, the largest city in Mexico. Next week we start Brazil.

Lesson Plans For 12/8/10:

DJ:
Social Studies: As above, and map skills
Math: Fractions, and mixed math
Sign Language
Spelling: Chapter 10 write each word three times each

Caitlin:
Social Studies: As above, and parts of a bicycle
Math: Addition
Language Arts: Blends, contractions
Read sentences to color the picture WS
Spelling: List 10
Printing Practice
Following directions WS
Calendar work, clock work, sight words, skip counting





Tuesday, December 7, 2010

100 iPhone Apps For Homeschoolers

This is a link to a guest blogger article that I was offered to share with all of you. If you have an iPhone, which I do not, then you know all about apps. Those handy, fun, and cool tools you can download to your iPhone. Well Paula has put together 100 apps that are awesome for homeschoolers, or anyone interested in education. I have looked at them all, and now I want an iPhone LOL. To check them out for yourself go to http://phdonlinedegree.com/100-iphone-apps-that-are-awesome-for-homeschoolers/

Thank you to Paula, for offering this to me so I can share it with all of you.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Eight Crazy Nights

This is a guest post from Small Town Mommy, about Hanukkah. Thank you, Anne! I am doing Christmas around the world with my kids, and would love to have more guest bloggers if anyone is interested

Eight Crazy Nights


Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights, is an 8-day celebration in the Jewish faith. Hanukkah is a joyous time, dedicated to prayer and gifts along with the lighting of candles and fried food.

The first question, of course, is how to spell it. You have probably seen Hanukkah, Chanukah, or Chanukkah. Which is correct? Technically, all 3 can be used. Since the name Hanukkah is based upon a Hebrew word, some letters just don’t translate to English so people have made it up as they went along.

History
Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the revolt against the Syrian-Greek empire. At the time, the government oppressed those who practiced the Jewish faith, with worship forbidden and many of the Jewish laws made illegal. A group called the Maccabees were driven from Jerusalem but were able to create an army and return to reclaim it. After their return, the Holy Temple was rebuilt and the eternal flame, which was supposed to always burn, was lit. The builders discovered that they only had enough oil for the eternal flame to burn for one night. While new oil was being pressed, prepared and consecrated, miraculously, the flame was able to burn for 8 nights from just one day’s worth of oil.

Current Celebration
The current celebration represents the 8 days the eternal flame burned. It takes place for eight consecutive evenings with a prayer ceremony and candles in a 9-branch holder called a Menorah. Each evening, an additional candle is lit along with the Shamash (the 9th candle), which is there for religious reasons as well as used to ignite the Hanukkah candles.
Along with the candle ceremony, there are other Hanukkah traditions that are more recent. Like most holidays, there are traditional food items that are significant for the holiday. We always had brisket for Hanukkah but I believe that was more a function of the host. Latkes (potato pancakes) cooked in olive oil are eaten in many families to symbolize the oil that lasted for 8 nights. In addition, donuts, fritters or other fried pastries are often eaten for dessert for the same reason.

Kids play dreidel, a Hanukkah game involving a special top with Hebrew letters and Hanukkah geld, which can be chocolate coins, real money, raisins or other small items (my kids always prefer the chocolate coins). More recently, gifts have been added to the Hanukkah tradition, with a small gift given to children for each of the 8 nights of celebration.

Hanukkah has become more familiar to many from different faiths, thanks to the media. Adam Sandler wrote “The Chanukah Song” {} (which is where the title for this post came from). The Maccabeats have been getting quite a bit of publicity this year for their recent song “
Candlelight” {}. This, along with the chronological closeness to Christmas has made Hannukah one of the best known religious holidays in the Jewish faith.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wolves In Yellowstone National Park

Because we have a playdate, and library activities on Tuesday, we are doing Science on Monday, this week. Caitlin will be learning about wolves and the importance of their presence in the ecosystem. Reading assignments with review questions, plus the three videos below. This is a several part video, 1-3 this week. This is actually a quite interesting lesson. They have learned that the predator is a very important part of the biome, or ecosystem to maintain balance of the habitat. They have brought the wolves back to Yellowstone National Park and their numbers are increasing.

Lesson Plans For 12/6/10:

DJ:
Science: Wolves in an ecosystem, and transferring heat
Math: Fractions, mixed math
Spelling: Chapter 10 write words three times each
Sign Language
Writing: Fishy Monday Sunshine Chromis blog post

Caitlin:
Math: Addition
Science: Wolves in an ecosystem, weather lapbook winter
Printing Practice
Spelling: List 10
Read sentences to color the picture WS
Language Arts: Contractions, blends
Following Directions: WS
Clock work, calendar work, sight words, skip counting





Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Around the World Sinterklaas In The Netherlands

First I must give a big thank you to Laane for sharing this wonderful article about Sinterklaas. I will be adding her website link to this blog, as a way of saying Thank You. If you live in another part of the world, or even in the US, and you have traditions or customs you would like to share with my children and readers, I would love to have you as a guest blogger too. Just contact me at melissaruede@yahoo.com for details.

Sinterklaas is the original of Santa Claus.

He was a bishop, living in Mira, who heard the story of two girls who wanted to marry, but couldn't, because they didn't have the money to do so.
In the middle of the night he went to their house and threw a bag with money in their room.

To honor this great man and great gesture, people started to celebrate his birthday by giving presents to others.

During the ages the legend made place for the story of Sinterklaas, who was a bishop living in Spain with a lot of black people who assisted him in finding presents for children. These black people were called Zwarte Piet/black Peter.
Each year, at about the second week of november, Sinterklaas arrives on a steamship, loaded with presents and his assistants, at the harbours of The Netherlands.
The official arrival can be seen by all children on TV.

From that moment on they are allowed to put their shoes ready for a present.

When I was young we put them in front of the open fire. It was told that Sinterklaas went down through the chimney to put a present in the shoe for each child.
When the open fires disappeared people had to be creative and many children now have found another place and have created in their minds another story of how Sinterklaas is able to put a present in their shoes.
My children used to put their shoes behind the front door, telling me that Sinterklaas had a key to open all doors.

The shoes were never put there empty. They contained carrots for the horse, and water too. Sometimes even a drawing for Sinterklaas or something nice for zwarte piet.
And they never left their shoe just like that. No, traditional somgs were sung in the small hall so Sinterklaas could hear they're good kids.
Sometimes the children could hear the white horse of Sinterklaas on the roof.

All through november until december 5th these rituals take place.

In the night between December 5 and 6 Sinterklaas visits all homes before leaving to celebrate his birthday at home.
At many places he leaves the presents beside the shoes, but in our part of the country he leaves the presents on the table.
So when the children come downstairs in the morning they'll find their surprises.

Older children and grown ups draw names and make presents for each other, which are usually unpacked during a small party at the evening of December 5.

When people moved to America they took their tradition with them.
Ofcourse it was adjusted mainly in such a way that the referral to the christian background disappeared. hence the different clothes of Santa Claus.
But hopefully the reason of the gift event is as inspiring to us as it was to Sinterklaas.



Friday, December 3, 2010

Try Ecosmart Pest Control For Free!

Do you like free stuff? Of course, who doesn't. As some of you know, my children and I, did a whole 4 week course on being more Ecosmart. Now I have been given the opportunity to try Ecosmart Home Pest Control, and I get to give away a bundle of it to one of my readers. Each bundle will contain a can of ant and roach killer, home pest control, flying insect controller, and insect repellent. Each item is shown in the picture.


Ecosmart is an organic and natural pest controller, that is safe for your home. For example, do you live where pesky gnats are a bother in your home? How to kill gnats in the home, is no longer a problem. The Ecosmart products are safe for yard, homes, pets, children, and your garden. I have a dog, rabbit, and children so keeping them safe while keeping fleas, palmetto bugs, gnats, flies and all other types of nasty bugs, we get here in FL, away from my home is very important to me. I do not like bugs all that much. As my children will point out to me, they serve a purpose. While that may be true, I am not fond of sharing living quarters with them. I can not wait for my bundle to arrive, so I can try it. The winner of the Ecosmart Home Pest Control bundle will have their email and name shared with the distributor of this product. Jeffrey will then contact you for your shipping information.

To enter is about as simple as it can be. No fuss, and you don't have to give away your first born to enter. Just leave me a comment stating why you want or need the Ecosmart Home Pest Control bundle. Don't worry no answer is wrong, or better than the other. Anyone who leaves a comment stating the reason will be entered. The contest starts today 12/3/10 and will run for two weeks, until 12/17/10. I have made a fancy little badge that will be on the sidebar as a form of sticky post, to remind others to join. On 12/17, at 8 AM, all entry names will be put into a hat, and one of my children will draw the lucky winners name. Those of you who follow my blog know this is how I do all my contests. Simple and fair. You must live in the US, with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska, to enter. Those are the requirements of the company.

This is a great giveaway, so hurry and enter. Be sure to tell your friends too.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Need Guest Bloggers For Christmas Around The World, and I Did Something I Said I Wouldn't

Some of you have noticed that I removed Entrecard from my blogs. I know you noticed because you have been emailing me, asking where it went. It has been gone for about a month, and I swore I would not put it back. Well I put it back LOL. Not because my traffic died, it didn't. Not because my PR fell, it didn't. But because I miss reading all the blogs I used to read. There was no way for me to remember to check them all, without logging into Entrecard. So it is back on three of my blogs, but only for limited usage. I won't drop 300 drops, and I will only drop blogs I know and trust. If they have popups, redirects, or malware, I will be never dropping them again.

I am hoping to find some guest bloggers who are willing to share their Christmas traditions in their home countries. We are obviously in the US, and I am teaching my children about Christmas around the world. It would be nice to have a few international friends willing to share their traditions and customs. Nothing fancy, and it doesn't have to be real long. I will post free links to your blog or site, for those who participate, for one year on this blog. If you are interested please email me at melissaruede@yahoo.com or leave me a comment here with contact info so I can contact you.

Photos are of the kids that I took, and DJ took one of me and Caitlin. It was extremely windy, that is why I am holding my hair down. I feel like Winnie the Pooh in the Blustery Day. BTW I am not nearly as photogenic as my children are. Ugh I don't like pictures.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Endocrine System

As you can see by the title of my post, tomorrow is Health class. DJ will be reading and learning about the Endocrine System. This is actually a large and complicated subject to cover. DJ will be covering the basics. For Caitlin she will be doing left to right awareness, jumping, and other balance activities. If you want to check out the advent calendar we created, using candles, head over to Melissas Jewelry. What clever ideas have you used to make an advent calendar? Please share.

Lesson Plans For 12/2/10:

DJ:
Health: The Endocrine System, About 4H
Math: Fractions, and mixed math
Language Arts: Adjectives
Writing: Sensory details
Reading Comprehension with WS
Sign Language
Proof Reading

Caitlin:
Health: Motor skills activities, About 4H
Math: Addition
Printing Practice
Language Arts: Blends, compound words
Read sentences to color the picture: WS
Spelling: List 9
Sight words, calendar work, clock work, skip counting



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Ancient Mayans, and Taxco Mexico

Tomorrow is Social Studies, and we are still studying Mexico in our journey around the world. Some of you may know the story of the Mayans, and some may not. It is very interesting, and the short video below highlights their journey. Taxco, Mexico is called the silver capital of the world. View the video to learn why. DJ is also still doing his Story of the World Ancient Times lessons, and Caitlin will pick up something that I have not decided yet. I think I might have her do some geography games. I can not believe at the end of December, we will be half way through our school year. It doesn't seem possible.

Lesson Plans For 12/1/10:

DJ:
Social Studies: As above plus map skills
Math: Fractions, mixed math
Spelling: List 9, put words in alphabetical order
Sign Language

Caitlin:
Social Studies: As above and possibly geography games
Printing Practice
Math: Addition
Spelling: List 9
Language Arts: Blends, compound words
Read sentences to color the picture WS







Monday, November 29, 2010

Biomes: Life In The Grasslands

Tomorrow for Science class DJ is starting Biomes, which is basically a fancy way of saying animal habitats. This will be an easy four weeks for him, because he can probably teach it. Tomorrow's biome is the Grasslands. The video below is for him and his sister to watch. Use it and enjoy it in your lessons. Caitlin is doing insects and the Grasslands. Since the first is on Wednesday I will be sharing our two new ideas for Advent Calendars for the 25 days of Christmas. Be sure to check back, I am ultra frugal, so anyone can make these.

Lesson Plans For 11/30/10:

DJ:
Science: Biomes: Life in the Grasslands
Math: Fractions, mixed math
Spelling: List 9 write each word three times each
Sign Language

Caitlin:
Science: Dinosaur lapbook with last drawing, Grasslands, insects
Printing Practice
Spelling: List 9
Language Arts: Blends, compound words
Read sentences to color the picture: WS
Sight words, clock work, calendar work, skip counting






Sunday, November 28, 2010

Verbs Helping and Linking

Well I am glad this very busy week is beginning anew. I am ready to get some school time in. If you have a child that is learning about verbs, including linking and helping verbs, then a quick review video could be helpful to you. I try to review grammar lessons already learned frequently, because quite frankly they are easy to forget. Caitlin will be beginning her Winter season door tomorrow by making snowflakes. This is a simple craft, that all kids love to do.

Lesson Plans For 11/29/10:

DJ:
Spelling: Chapter 9 write each word three times each
Writing: Fishy Monday: Princess Damsel Fish blog post on DJ's blog
Writing: Sensory details in writing
Language Arts: Verbs helping and linking
Sign Language
Math: Fractions, mixed math
Reading: Comprehension with worksheet
Proofreading WS

Caitlin:
Printing Practice
Math: Addition, estimating
Language Arts: Blends, compound words
Read sentences to color pictures WS
Dinosaur lapbook with art work
Site words, calendar work, clock work, skip counting
Spelling list 9




Saturday, November 27, 2010

Division, Long Division, Division With Remainders

These are four videos to help your child learn long division. DJ is being challenged right now with two digit by three or more digit division. He can two by two with no problem. I hope the videos will explain it a little better. It starts with level one and goes to four, so there is something for all levels. This gentleman talks a lot, but once he gets going it is good.









Friday, November 26, 2010

Native American Shirts, Fall Door

First off I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. My kids don't eat pie, but they love cake. So I made them the cute pumpkin cake shown.

We have been studying Native Americans their dress, culture and customs, for some time now. I decided to have the kids pretend they were part of a Native American tribe and to design their own clothing. You can see the results below. I forgot to make the headpieces though. The door is Caitlin's Fall door, with all things related to Fall. She will be starting a Winter door next week. These are more fun than some of the other ways to teach and learn about the Seasons.

Electronics appear to be the hot Christmas gift items this year. If you are interested in purchasing an Ipad if you could use my link below, I would greatly appreciate it. I did some Black Friday shopping right here from home, on my computer. Toys R Us has some awesome toy deals, just none I wanted. I picked up PJ's for the whole family for only $4.50 at Walmart, and a digital photo frame for me for only $29 dollars at Target. Some of these stores are extending their sale times, and inventory is running out, so be sure to check around before they are all gone.














Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Barkonomics Tips For Frugal Fidos: A Book Review



I was given the opportunity to read and review the wonderful book, Barkonomics Tips for Frugal Fidos. First let me say, yes I have a dog. Matter of fact until just recently we had two. We also have a rabbit. So we are animal lovers. I am also very frugal, and learning new ways to save money, yet keep our pets healthy and happy is wonderful.

If you want helpful dog tips, in all areas of caring for your dog, then Barkonomics is the book for you. It was an easy read, without complicated words and phrases. It laid out step by step how to save money on feeding, toys, vet visits, flea control, plus accessories for your pooch. I do not want to give away too much information, but some of my favorites were ways to make dog beds for like next to nothing, those dog beds are expensive. Because we also have a rabbit, I found this also helpful in teaching me how to make a small bed for him to keep warm. I also liked the chapter on where and how much to spend on choosing a puppy. This was a great reminder that all dogs need love, not just purebreds. Be sure to pay extra attention to the dog treat section. Dog treats are another very expensive thing people buy for their pooches. You don't have to spend a ton of money for your pet to be healthy, happy and loved. To purchase Barkonomics Tips for Frugal Fidos, click the link below, or you can head to Dog Tipper to purchase there.



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Desert Plants and Animals

Tomorrow we only have a half day of school, and a good part of it is History and Math. The video below is quite long, but suits the needs of both of my children. We have been traveling around the world, learning about different countries. We are currently on Mexico, and tomorrow they are learning about the Mexican peso, and plants and animals of the desert. Since I couldn't find a video directly on Mexican deserts I chose this one because it is NM and AZ, close enough to Mexico. Plus Caitlin is learning about animals, and habitats, so this suits her needs as well. I will be doing a review on a cool dog book tomorrow, so be sure to check for that. If you have cable be sure to record History Channel's show on Thanksgiving, it is very good. We will also be making Native American shirts and dresses, to be worn on Thanksgiving Day. If you buy a plain white Tshirt then cut the bottom and sleeves to make fringe, then let your kids paint and design them you can have Indians for dinner too. The hats are easy. Just measure around your child's head then cut construction paper to correct length. Glue or tape to fasten. Then either make a feather, or print one off and fasten to the headband. Then we bought some big bold jewelry to go with the outfit. The kids are excited about this, and I will share pictures.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nebulas, Galaxies and the Milky Way

Because we have a short week this week, DJ and Caitlin are doing Science today, and History on Wednesday. Tuesday is our play date in the park, so there are no lessons. No school Thursday or Friday.

Today DJ is continuing learning about space with nebulas, galaxies, and the Milky Way. The assignment in his book focuses on the Hubble telescope, so I have included a video below with pictures from the Hubble telescope of galaxies and nebulas. There is also a cool video of the Milky Way in 3D. Watch them and enjoy them, they are really cool.

Lesson Plans For 11/22/10:

DJ:
Science: As above, and About 4H
Reading Comprehension with worksheet
Reading: Viking Ships at Sunrise with book report
Writing: Bee poem, blog post
Math: Reducing fractions, mixed math

Caitlin:
Reading: Wet Legs, and Crab Trap
Math: Addition, beginning fractions
Moses coloring page
Phonics: Blends, same sounds
Printing Practice
Read sentences to color pictures correctly
Science: Dinosaur lapbook with art work, pond animals
Clock work, and calendar work





Sunday, November 21, 2010

Printable Christmas Games



How many Christmas parties will you attend this year? Are you hosting one? Then some Christmas printable games would be a good way to keep your party exciting and fun.

There is nothing worse than attending, or hosting, a very boring party, with everyone standing around wondering what to do. These can be used for office parties, kids parties, or parties with family and friends. If you click the link above you will see some great printable games for both kids and adults. Games like trivia for Christmas movies and songs. These are challenging and will require your guests to thing. There are paper dolls, grammar games, scavenger hunts, Bible, jokes and tons more. There are games for both Christmas and New Years parties. If you click on the free printables section, you can get some cool items for free to try. I really liked the printable Santa Claus letter that you can print and mail back to your own child. DJ and Caitlin have never gotten a letter back from Santa, so I think they will get a kick out of that. I think Caitlin will really enjoy the paper dolls, and DJ and dad will love the Christmas Story trivia. That is their favorite movie. While mine is A Charlie Brown Christmas, for which they also offer a trivia game. So if you want to have a party full of tons of fun, head on over and check out the Christmas game printables.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Red Nintendo Wii Bundle With Two Games

OK first of all let me say there are only 35 days until Christmas. This is a red Nintendo Wii with one controller and the games Wii Sports, and Super Mario Bros. This is an even better deal than the one they offered last year. Not to mention it is this cool red color. The game Super Mario cost 50 dollars alone, at least that is what we paid for it. If your kids have been wanting one of these, now is the time to get one. Hurry before people start sucking them up.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Germ Protection On the Go



As a nurse and mother, I understand the stress of trying to keep your family protected from unwanted germs. Things like MRSA, and the Flu are especially worrisome to parents. I was asked to review a product called Myclyns germ protection spray, and here it is.

First of all let me say, what a wonderful product to make available to the general public. For years these types of products were only available to health care workers. Now parents, children, and first responders can use this product, and feel safe. Why would you use it? Say your child is at the park and another child sneezes right in her face. One quick spray of the Myclyns germ protection spray and you have prevented your child from getting the cold or flu, or something even worse. Or you come upon an accident and you stop to help, the victim is bleeding and grabs your arm with his bloody hand. You happen to have a cut there, spraying the area with Myclyns germ protection spray will stop any germs from entering your system.

So now we know why you would want one, but is it safe, and what exactly is it? The Myclyns germ protection spray is a non alcohol, non toxic, non burning, alcohol free spray that can not only be sprayed on cuts and open areas but anywhere on the body, including in the eyes, ears, and nose. It is FDA approved for effectiveness and safety. Each 6 oz spray bottle is equal to 60 sprays, and is only $9.99. It is the size of a pen and can fit in your purse, pocket, backpack, or even a makeup case. It is convenient and easy to use. After exposure occurs, remove the cap, spray the affected area until saturated, and let air dry. Yes, I did actually try mine, twice. As a lot of my readers know we have a new rabbit. The rabbit scratched my by accident, and left marks. I didn't want to get an infection from his dirty feet, so I sprayed the area with my Myclyns germ spray. Not only did it not get infected but it seemed to actually heal faster than just washing it with soap and water. Also, I took it to the Aquarium last week when we went. Lots of potential germ exposures there. My six year old followed a child with a runny nose up to touch the star fish. The child had wiped his nasal waste from his hands to the case several times. After she got her turn I immediately sprayed her hands with the Myclyns germ spray. No sickness followed in the days to come, and I was a happy mom.

If you would like to read more info about the Myclyns germ spray, to make a purchase, or to see some of their other awesome products just visit the Myclyns website.













I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fire Safety and Dinosaurs

Today for Health we are doing Fire Safety. We actually do fire safety several times a year, with fire drills. My kids love the Dan Doofus videos. They have been posted already on this blog and your kids can view them here. It is a fun way to teach fire safety. DJ will be doing a writing assignment on fire safety tomorrow. DJ also has the Excretory System today. That video is in yesterday's post. I am posting the rest of the videos about dinosaurs for Caitlin and anyone else who wishes to view them.

Lesson Plans For 11/19/10:

DJ:
Math: Test
Spelling: Test chapter 8
Writing: Blog post about fire safety
Art: Draw Write Now: pots and baskets, dragon art
Reading: Christmas in Camelot with BR

Caitlin:
Printing Practice
Reading: Wet Legs and one other book from list
Art: Dinosaur lapbook art, DWN pots and baskets






Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Excretory System and Thanksgiving Activities

I saw somewhere to make a Thankful tree for Thanksgiving. I took that idea and tweaked it a bit and cut out large acorns for each person to write what they were thankful for, on them. Then I added them to our Fall themed door. I will take a picture of the door on Thanksgiving for record keeping. Another cute idea my children and I thought up is for them to dress like Native Americans for Thanksgiving Day. I will stop at the Dollar Tree on Friday to see if I kind find some nice beaded jewelry. To make the squaw dress and shirt we are taking an white T shirt and cutting fringe into the bottom and the sleeves. I am going to let them paint them too, they just don't know it yet. I have not decided on face paint yet. They should be cute. The feather band is very simple to make with a feather template and construction paper. Tomorrow for Health we are doing Fire Safety, and The Excretory System.

Lesson Plans For 11/18/10:

DJ:
Health: Excretory System, Fire Safety, About 4H smart shopping
Math: Mixed math, fractions
Proofreading
Reading Comprehension with worksheet
Sign Language
Spelling: Chapter 8
Reading: The Story of Monticello with BR, this was supposed to be done last week
Dragon Art

Caitlin:
Health: Fire Safety, About 4H smart shopping
Dinosaur Lapbook with art work
Language Arts: Same sounds, blends, long vowels
Spelling: List 8
Math: Addition
Read sentences to color the picture WS
Clock work, calendar work, sight words, skip counting


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Discover Mexico

Tomorrow for History class we continue our around the world series with, Mexico. First a brief history of Mexico, and the video discovering Mexico. All countries have a history. What do you know about their history? I will be putting up the rest of the dinosaur videos for Caitlin, and any other kids who want to watch them, at the end of the week. Caitlin has counted by fives, all the way up to 60 now, and is telling time to the five minute interval with minimal assistance. This is great progress for her.

Lesson Plans For 11/17/10:

DJ:
History: As above, plus The Story of the World Ancient Times chapter 10, map skills, The Seminoles
Math: This is being changed as the very long division is giving him a hard time, so we will back track to give him more practice. So it will be division, and mixed math tomorrow.
Spelling: Chapter 8 put the words in alphabetical order

Caitlin:
History: As above, plus off to America a pilgrim worksheet
Spelling: List 8
Math: Addition
Printing Practice
Dinosaur lapbook with art work
Language Arts: Long vowels, blends, short vowels
Read the sentence to color the picture WS
Clock work, calendar work, skip counting, sight words





Monday, November 15, 2010

Newton, Comets, Asteroids, and Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Science with a touch of History. If you go to scholastic.com you can watch the live podcast on the first Thanksgiving. It will be showing tomorrow at 1PM.

This week DJ is studying Sir Isaac Newton, asteroids and comets. The four videos below, are all great adjuncts to any lessons you may use. I am curious if any of my homeschool readers have ever used Edhelper.com I really like the themed units as a way to learn, but I want to be sure they are complete enough for my older learner. I put a lot of time into lessons right now, and really am not fond of all the books we have lying around all the time. I would love to try all themed units next year, but am looking for some feedback from others first. Maybe they have some free ones I can try, for older learners, to see how I like them.

Lesson Plans For 11/16/10:

DJ:
Science: As above
First Thanksgiving podcast
Spelling: Chapter 8 write each word three times each
Math: Division
Sign Language

Caitlin:
First Thanksgiving podcast
Math: Addition
Spelling: List 8
Printing Practice
Science: Dinosaur lapbook with artwork, Weather/Seasons lapbook Fall
Language Arts: Long vowels, blends
Read sentences and color pictures WS
















Sunday, November 14, 2010

Learning About Dinosaurs Velociraptor And Triceratops

Finally we are back on track after a crazy week of fun and excitement last week. Caitlin has begun a dinosaur lapbook. I found a cool art book at the library, and she will be drawing her own dinosaurs to add to her book. I ran out of printer ink, so I won't be printing anything until next week. I will be adding the videos in this series below, as we go along, to help her learn about each dinosaur. Down at the bottom of this blog, are a bunch of free links, in that section there is a website all about dinosaurs for kids to learn with. It is a good site, and you should check it out. Because I use two different math resources for DJ, he will be finishing up division this week in his Spectrum workbook, with no Saxon math. Then after the Thanksgiving break he will begin fractions in the Spectrum math book and mixed math in his Saxon book.

Lesson Plans For 11/15/10:

DJ:
Language Arts: Linking verbs
Writing: Blog Post: Fishy Monday Coral Grouper fish
Spelling: Chapter 8 write each word three times each
Math: Division
Reading Comprehension with worksheet
Proofreading
Art: Dragon Art or Dinosaurs

Caitlin:
Spelling: List 8
Printing Practice
Math: Addition
Language Arts: Long vowels, blends
Dinosaur lapbook with art work
Read sentences to color pictures WS
Calendar work, clock work, sight words, skip counting



Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Is Free Speech and What Does It Mean To You?

In this country we have the right and luxury to free speech. What does that mean, and what does it mean to you? I am not a politically correct person. I am not a conservative, or liberal. I do believe in free speech and our right to have it. I find a lot of things vulgar, offensive, hateful, rude and even disgusting. That does not give me the right to violate that person's right to free speech. If someone chooses to write about disgusting fantasies, violent things, or things they might like to do, or how to do said things, undoubtedly a lot of us will be offended or even disgusted. But does that give us the right to tell them their speech is not protected under our Constitution just because people are offended by it? Why is one person's free speech protected more than another persons? It shouldn't be. We all have the power to not view, read, discuss, yell, scream and holler about things we find offensive. Our will to be stronger than the offending writer to get their material discussed, is what will win in the end. Our will to be aware and know what is going on to protect our families, are the things we should concentrate on. Don't give them the power to win by drawing attention to their cause, but they can have their free speech. Just like all of us who blog and appreciate our free speech to write and discuss at will. It really is no different.

On a more pleasant subject we only have 42 days left until Christmas. I am continuing my countdown to Christmas on all by blogs. Have you started shopping yet?


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