Sunday, September 25, 2011

'Happy Fall, Ya'll!'

Yippeee!  It's Fall!  My favorite season is here!  And to celebrate it right, we always make decorating the house a part of our homeschooling day, a mark of transition, perhaps.  We think you'll find lots here this season to do in your own home, so check in with us regularly, and check our old posts, too!  (Last year, we did quite a few neat things before Thanksgiving that I would recommend ... and might do again!)

Here are photos from the last few days:

Mags, heading into the animal shelter, with the dog biscuits she made ...
 Meeting some new furry friends ...
 And sharing her biscuits!  (It's hard to see it here, but she wore her 'I Love Puppies' T-shirt.)
 Of course, there was no way we were getting out of there without visiting the kitties (Maggie's favorite)!
 This little guy adored Mags and kept corralling and kissing her.
 Working on her dog puppets ...
 All done!  A Yorkie and a French Bulldog (in honor of Stella)!  :)
 Over the weekend, Mags got a special package from her furry 'cousins,' Lily and Ginny.
 Very cute!
Thank you, Lily and Ginny!
For breakfast this morning, I made 'Mini Apple Pies,' made with refrigerated biscuits.  Using a rolling pin, you flatten each biscuit (I used one tube of flaky, layered buttermilk biscuits, 12 ounces, or 10 biscuits) into a 3 or 4-inch circle. In a separate bowl, combine 1 peeled and finely chopped tart apple, 1/4 cup raisins, 3 tablespoons brown sugar (the recipe called for white, granulated, but brown sugar just tastes better),  and1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.  Place a tablespoonful of your mixture onto each biscuit round, then dot with bits of butter, like below.
 Next, bring up the sides of each biscuit to enclose your filling and pinch to seal.  Place in ungreased muffin cups.
 Bake at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown!  (The flaky, layered biscuits were a good choice because they browned so nicely.)
 Ready to eat!
 Next, with Daddy home (who's great at carving things), we worked on our 'Shrink 'Em' apple heads.  First, we peeled a couple of apples ...
 Then, we carved funny faces into them.  After that, we baked them at our oven's lowest temperature (170 degrees) for three hours. 
 Finally, we set them in a warm dry place where they are supposed to sit for a few days.
Once they have fully dried, we will decorate them with yarn hair, black-bean eyes, and rice teeth to look like the ones in the article that we got the idea from.  Stay tuned to see how they turn out ...
For a Fall project, we made the 'Fabulous Foliage' tree using paper, a stencil cut from paper, and sponges dipped into Fall-colored paints.  First, we made a brown trunk, with limbs and branches, using a brown paint marker.  Then, we laid our cloud-shaped stencil (simply cut from construction paper) over our branches and taped them into place so as not to move during the painting process.
 Then, we sponged on our Fall colors inside the stencil.
 Lastly, we removed the stencil to reveal our Fall tree!
 Do you remember our pom-pom trees we weren't able to finish Thursday?  Well, we finally got the rest of our 'leaves' on and this weekend, added the apples.
 Very cute!  
 To finish up our Dogs curriculum, we made a doghouse out of a large cardboard box.  (It's so nice to have Daddy around to help with these projects!)
 All done!  She put a lot of animals in it to simulate the story of Move Over, Rover! by Karen Beaumont (one of her favorite books).
 Then, we made an apple pom-pom necklace, using a red pom-pom, a green bead, leaves cut from green felt, a green ribbon, scissors, and tacky glue.
First, glue your bead onto the pom-pom so as not to cover the holes in the bead.  Next, glue on your leaves to either side of the bead.  Finally, once the bead and leaves have dried, string your necklace onto the ribbon and tie!  Super easy!
She was quite proud of it!  :)
 For a counting activity (and a lesson in time), we made a paper chain to help us count down the days until the camping trip Maggie's so excited about.
 Here we are!  We counted 47 links, which means we have 47 days left!  Each day, we'll tear off one link so she can see the amount of time left before the big day arrives!  (This is a great way to get your child to conceptualize an amount of time.)
 We hung it over the door of her room so she can see it daily.

Over the past few days, we:
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We completed our calendar activities, putting the date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what season it is (Yay ... a new season!), and what kind of weather we're having.
Bible Study:
1.  We completed the daily devotion out of our God and Me book, for Friday's date -- 'Harvest Festival,' about all the good things God has given us.  Then, we read Genesis 41:47-57 together.
First Day of Fall:
1.  We read Fall by Ann Herriges.
2.  We read Fall by Patricia Whitehouse.
3.  We read Fall by Nuria Roca.
4.  We read Let's Look at Fall by Sarah L. Schuette.
5.  We read Fall Leaves Change Colors by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld.
6.  We read Fall is Here!  I Love It!  by Elaine W. Good.
7.  We read Hooray for Fall! by Kazuo Iwamura.
8.  We read Clifford's First Autumn by Norman Bridwell.
9.  We decorated for Fall!
10.  We made the 'Fabulous Foliage' picture as seen in Family Fun magazine, November 2009, page 20.
National Dog Week:
1.  We read Old Mother Hubbard and Her Dog by Paul Galdone.
2.  We read Too Many Dogs by Lori Haskins.
3.  We read Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp (Copyright 1994).
4.  We read the 'Five Little Puppies' action rhyme in our High Five magazine, January 2010, page 34.
5.  We read our 'The Adventures of Spot' comic strip in our High Five magazine, July 2011, page 5.
6.  We made the two dog paper bag puppets out of the Martha Stewart craft kit.
7.  We made the cardboard dog house as seen in the Kindermusik: Fiddle-Dee-Dee book, page 5.
8.  We volunteered some play time at the animal shelter, playing with the dogs, and offering the dog biscuits we made for them on Thursday.
9.  We watched Lady and the Tramp.
10.  For Friday's journal entry, I asked her, 'What if dogs wore shoes?'  She answered, 'Maybe they would walk!'
11.  We read Dogs: The Sound of D by Alice K. Flanagan.
1.  We read We All Fall for Apples by Emmi S. Herman.
2.  We made the apple pom-pom necklace as seen at
3.  We made the 'Mini Apple Pies' as seen in our Fun Food 2011 magazine, page 50.
4.  We made the 'Shrink 'Em' apple heads as seen in Family Fun magazine, October 2008, page 57.
Letter Cc Review:
1.   We completed page 4 of our Disney Learning: The Alphabet: Grade K workbook, which required her to find the C’s and c’s hidden in the picture, and practice writing both.
2.  We read Phonics Tales!  Chimp and Chick's Lunch by Liza Charlesworth (which illustrates the ch- digraph).
3.  We completed pages 28 and 42 of our Getting Your Preschooler Ready to Read workbook, which required her to practice writing both uppercase and lowercase letters A, B, and C.
4.  We completed page 43 of our Getting Your Preschooler Ready to Read workbook, which required her to match the lowercase letters a, b, and c to their uppercase mates.
Math Concepts (Counting):
1.  We read 3 Pandas Planting by Megan Halsey.
2.  We read Each Orange Had 8 Slices: A Counting Book by Paul Giganti, Jr.
3.  We made a paper chain together, counting and labeling each loop as we added to our chain.  (We made the chain with enough loops to match the number of days we have left to wait for our camping trip.  That way, each day, as we get closer, she can remove a loop and make sense of how much time has to lapse before we go.)
4.  We completed page 37 of our Getting Your Preschooler Ready for Math workbook, which required her to represent quantities 1-4 by drawing.
5.  We watched the Barney's Numbers! Numbers! DVD that we borrowed from the library.

So, that wraps up Week 3 for us!  For Week 4, we'll be celebrating Keep Kids Creative Week, as well as continuing our celebration of Fall, and prepping for our Thursday field trip to see Oliviatown on stage!  See you Tuesday afternoon!


  1. So happy you included a trip to visit the animal shelter :) I'm also very glad that fall is here at last!

  2. Thanks again, Mary Lee, for the mailed surprise! :)