We Are So Blessed!!!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Another Fun Friday Post...this time Science!

How would you like to do a science project that involved eating lots of cookies??
Yep that's how my kids felt too! Actually they love science projects even without cookies, but this project looked like too much fun to pass up!
As we came to the end of our unit study on owls, we transitioned into a small study of the moon. Kids are naturally fascinated and curious about that circle in the sky that is sometimes a crescent or some other odd shape. They have asked countless questions about it, so I was glad that the moon tied in nicely to our owl study. One of our books in our unit study was called "Owl Moon" and also since owls are nocturnal (see what I did there, hehe) and additionally this serves as the perfect segue into our next unit study (beginning on Monday) which will go more in depth into astronomy (constellations and more)- I love it when a plan comes together :)
What the heck do cookies have to do with this? Well, we used Oreo cookies to create our "Phases of the Moon" Chart!! The kids each used 8 cookies- WAIT.... they ate how many?? Dang!
Oh well, it was for science, right?
I know you want to sign up for our school now too right? Yeah I didn't do awesome stuff like that in first grade either- our school rocks!!

Look at my little cookie monsters- er, I mean "scientists"!

For the first time in our house, there was very little talking, say what? Yep, just a lot of eating and concentration.
That is... until these two got all hopped up on sugar, then they were all loud and crazy- haha!

Here are both of their completed charts!

The best part: they learned quite a bit from our little study too! I was quite impressed with some of the things Maletch retained (I really love it when they tell me facts they know)!

If you would like to do this project, you can get the printable for the chart on Teachers Pay Teachers (I will add a link shortly)... also you can find many wonderful "phases of the moon" resources on spaceracers.org including a "flip book" so check it out (I will add a link).
If you are interested in doing our entire Unit Study, or would like to know about the other projects we did, or would like to see inside our Lapbook- I am happy to share, just let me know.

Stay Tuned.. we will be posting a new Craft Tutorial video very soon!! Watch for it on our YouTube channel!! A few teasers: Grown ups will love this project! You will find it very versatile! It can be used alone as a high-end home decor look - to a cute thing you can do with your owls (if you made some of those) and many other uses... that's all I'm saying... you'll have to watch!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fun Fridays with Project Tutorial!!

Fridays are a BIG deal in our house and everybody counts down all week to what we call, "Fun Fridays."
I am always looking for a chance to make every school lesson a fun hands on experience whenever possible (I call it "getting outside the books") but on Fridays I always schedule a super fun activity-filled day. Although still very academic, we substitute educational activities for workbooks, and always end with a more elaborate project. By elaborate I mean: time consuming and/or messy :)
We rotate our final Friday projects between arts & crafts,  science experiments, cooking lessons, and field trips - always tying the project into our "unit study" that we are working on at the time.
We are currently working on an "Owl Unit Study." Each unit study lasts 2 weeks, so this past Friday we did a "snowy owl craft project" and next week we are doing a super fun science lesson- wait til you see!

We made this Lapbook for our Owl Unit Study.
See the little guy next to it, that is what we will be making- so fun!!

We even made a fun pink one too!
The kids say they are brother and sister :)

 Here's the whole family, aren't they cute?
Want to make some? They are easy to do, check out our video(s)...

We posted 2 versions of the video (long and short). For the long video, I included the kids so that other parents/teachers could see what it would be like and how long it might take to do with young children. Plus, I knew our friends would want to see the kids anyway :)
The short version is definitely faster moving and more concise and I expect most people will prefer that version.
Our 6 yr old didn't need much help at all, and our 3 yr old needed a moderate amount (she surprised me, I didn't need to help her as much as I expected). So I would rate this craft appropriate for any age, but ideal for ages 6+.
We hope you enjoy making lots of these fun snowy owls - or- cute and funky owls with your little ones! If you like these little guys, we will be back with another video (coming soon) sharing a fun idea you can do with them- wait till you see!!

The Beginning of More Videos To Come...
Ever since I posted our "Homeschool Classroom Tour" video last year, I have been asked several times if I would make a 'homeschooling video series'. Honestly I thought I was way too much of a homeschool newbie to have anything to offer, I mean really. But after being asked enough times, I've decided what the heck - sounds like fun- so YAY we're doing it! I have no idea what I'm doing, but we're doing it, haha.
Starting today:
With so many topics to choose from, I wasn't sure where to start, so we chose to start by sharing one of our favorite things- "Fun Friday" projects and we made a video tutorial to share with our friends at the same time.
If you have any questions about anything or have requests for topics you would like to see in upcoming videos, we would LOVE to hear from you! Please comment either on the blog or on YouTube with your questions/requests.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Maletch's 6th Birthday!

I am super late in posting this...
For Maletch's 6th birthday, we ended up having a 2-week long Birthday Extravaganza! He had a Lego themed birthday party, with custom Lego cake, we took the kids to see The Lego Movie (in theaters at the time). On his actual birthday we took him to Disneyland where he was chosen for the Jedi Training Academy and got to fight Darth Vader, from there we hopped on the Monorail headed for Downtown Disney. We took the kids to the Lego Store to let them fill buckets at the "Pick-Your-Brick Wall" - that is fun you get to stuff as many as you can fit into your bucket and you choose the sizes/colors/whatever you want. From there we went to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner and the kids absolutely loved it- the huge aquariums, and jungle animals that all come to life! We love that place, that is where John and I went for our first date 11 yrs+ ago! From there we headed back to the park for even more fun- such a fun birthday- and that was not all.... we still had another fun day planned that I will share at the bottom of the post... (and a few other surprises I will add to this post tomorrow).

 Since I couldn't find what I was looking for at the party store - as far as Lego themed decorations, I improvised and made a Lego centerpiece and some other decorations! :)
Although I know many people use real Legos to decorate their Lego themed cakes- I did not want real Legos on the cake because I did not want to have to clean sticky gooey frosting off of those impossible to clean Legos- so I asked the bakery to make some edible bricks! I thought they did a pretty good job!
 Some of his loot!

He got quite a few Lego sets, but his favorite was his R/C Lego Train!! Legos and trains, it doesn't get any better than a Lego train!

 Goofing around in the movies!

Jedi Training Academy:
 We had no idea what the Jedi Training Academy was, the program just mentioned you can learn how to use a light saber, so we asked him if he wanted to check it out. He was one of the lucky ones chosen out of at least 100 screaming/jumping kids, but he had no idea that Darth Vader, Darth Maul and Stormtroopers were going to invade the class and that he was in store for a 1-on-1 battle with Darth Vader! Because of the good actors, sound effects and soundtrack he felt it was real, and he displayed a lot of courage for the fear we later found out he had!

The Lego Store:
 Pick a Brick Wall!
We let them build their own mini-figs too!

Rainforest Cafe:

While we were having dinner, the kids freaked out when they saw these girls walk in! :)

Last year for a school Field Trip we went to LEGOLAND- how fun right? We had never been to LEGOLAND before so we weren't exactly sure what to expect. I knew the kids would love it considering how into Legos they both are.... and we planned it during the 2-week long Birthday Extravaganza we had for Maletch.
LEGOLAND was awesome! The rides were way better than we expected, everywhere we looked- there were life-size Lego sculptures that blew our minds, "That's made out of Legos?" and the icing on the cake for the kids was "The Lego Movie" experience. They have a behind the scenes peek at some of the movie props and then as we were leaving that exhibit- who did the kids spot walking around?? Both kids shouted in unison, "There's Wyldstyle!!" They were thrilled to have a meet and greet with their favorite movie star from The Lego Movie!

Since there was so much to see and do, we decided to make a second trip back later that month and the kids started telling us they liked it better than Disneyland, haha! Although LEGOLAND passes would be much more affordable than our annual passes to Disneyland (holy smokes Disney is expensive)- LEGOLAND is way too far of a drive (we could not do that drive once a week like we do Disney)- and their hours are much shorter too. So we explained it would have to be a once in a while treat only.

Well the kids are all in a LEGOLAND mood right now since they just found out I booked us for another field trip there in March- Woot!! I will post some videos of Maletch driving a boat (not on a track)- that was fun, and he drove a car through their little city streets and a bunch of other fun highlights from our 2 days there. Videos coming soon, but for now, I through a few photos into a slideshow below...

LEGOLAND Slideshow!!