Thursday, September 29, 2011


Poor Mags.  We had to miss today's field trip because she is still sick, but we managed to get caught up on all of our homeschooling for the past two days, so that feels good.  Here are some photos:

A silly girl, working on her Fun Foam Fall tree!
I gave Mags some apple socks for a surprise today!  What better thing to wear when making our 'Classic Waldorf Salad?'
 For our 'Classic Waldorf Salad,' we mixed together 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
 We added our dressing to 2 diced apples, 2 thinly sliced stalks of celery, 1/2 cup walnut pieces, and 1/2 cup halved, seedless grapes.  After it was all well blended, we refrigerated our salad for one hour before enjoying it for lunch.
Next, we got to work on our 'Painted Leaves.'  First, we tore a brown paper bag into several pieces, and crumpled up each.  Once they were well crumpled, we laid them out flat again.
I then prepared the paints.  We used the colors of Fall leaves -- orange, yellow, red, and green -- and I added a bit of water to dilute each.  Once they were well mixed, we could start our painting.
We brushed the paints on in criss-cross patterns and made our brown bags a bit more colorful, being sure not to get them too wet.
Almost done with this step ...
After our colors were dry on our bag pieces, it was time for the next step.  We took copper-colored paint and sponged it onto each bag piece, giving our colors a beautiful sheen.
 Then, we used an old toothbrush to splatter diluted dark brown paint spots onto our copper, painted paper.  We let the bag pieces dry again.
Finally, we cut our dried paper into leaf shapes, folding each leaf in half, to simulate the veins that you see down the center of real Fall leaves.  We went a step further and poked a small hole at the top of each, and used some thin string to hang our leaves from for decoration throughout the house.
Here, Mags is making big D and little d with dots!
For a counting activity (today, we focused on 'pairs'), we sorted socks, counting each sock individually, then matched them to count the pairs.  I asked her questions like, 'How many socks are in two pairs?'
For another counting activity with pairs, we read Three Little Kittens by Jerry Pinkney (one of Maggie's favorite books) and then matched paper pairs of mittens to three kittens that she colored herself. We read the rhyme, acting out the parts, then discussed how many mittens make up the three pairs.  (Any form of this old rhyme will do if you can't locate this book.)
For today's creative project in honor of Keep Kids Creative Week, I gave her some 40-grit sandpaper and bits of differently-colored yarn to 'draw' with.  (The rough surface of the paper makes the pieces stay put.)  
She loved it!  (This is her bug.)
For today's journal entry, I asked her, 'What's the worst part about being sick?'  She answered, 'Sneezing, like, "Achoo!"'  (She informed me that the orange line next to her right leg in the picture is her 'sneeze wind.'  Funny girl!)

Over the past two days, we:
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We completed our calendar activities, putting the date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what day of the week it is, what 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 both day's dates -- 'Healthy Teeth,' about thanking God for our teeth and for dentists, and 'Names,' about our names and how we are special to God.  Then, we read Genesis 49:8-12 and Luke 1:57-66 together.
2.  We read On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman.
National Good Neighbor Day (yesterday):
1.  We read The Berenstain Bears Love Their Neighbors by Jan & Mike Berenstain.
2.  We read The Berenstain Bears' Neighbor in Need by Jan & Mike Berenstein.
3.  We read pages 24 and 25 of our Character Counts! Parents Guide together, about caring for others.
4.  We completed page 2 of our Citizenship workbook, about neighbors working together.
5.  We made the mini book (page 3) out of our Citizenship workbook, about what it means to be a good neighbor.
5.  We completed the 'Good Citizens are Good Neighbors' worksheet out of our Citizenship workbook, page 5.
6.  Together, we read page 18 of our Raising Responsible Kids workbook, about respecting our neighbors' property and belongings.
7.  For yesterday's journal entry, I asked her, 'What is your favorite way to help others?'  She responded, 'Making them a card.'
Keep Kids Creative Week:
1.  We read Oliviatown by Allen Levi.
2.  We made the 'Knitty Gritty' art, as seen in Family Fun magazine, September 2011, page 22.
1.  We read Lionel in the Fall by Stephen Krensky.
2.  We read A to Z of Autumn by Tracy Nelson Maurer.
3.  We read Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins.
4.  We read The Fall Festival by Mercer Mayer.
5.  We made the 'Painted Leaves' as seen in Family Fun magazine, November 2010, page 32.
6.  We made the Fun Foam fall tree we bought from the craft store.
1.  We wore our new apple socks!
2.  We made the 'Classic Waldorf Salad' recipe as seen in our Yum for Kids magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, page 36-37.
3.  We listened to the 'Apple Juice' song on our Wee Sing In the Car cassette tape.
Children's Good Manners Month:
1.  We read Rude Giants by Audrey Wood.
2.  We completed the 'I Can Show Respect' worksheet out of our Character Counts! Respect workbook, page 21, which required her to look at the different pictures, and select the ones that show people showing respect to others.
Letter Dd Review:
1.  We completed page 5 of our I Can Learn With Pooh: Early Skills: Beginning Sounds workbook, which required her to identify words that start with the d sound.
2.  We completed page 80 of our Getting Your Preschooler Ready to Read workbook, which required her to identify objects that start with the d sound.
3.  We made an uppercase D and lowercase d on the table with dots.
4.  We practiced writing lowercase d on page 3 of our Learn with Dick and Jane: lowercase letters workbook.
5.  We completed page 5 of our Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Alphabet Learning Workbook, which required her to practice writing both uppercase D and lowercase d, to write a d in the center of a word to complete that word, and to match all uppercase D’s on the page with the lowercase d’s among the many other letters.
Math Concepts (Counting (cont'd)/Counting By 2's, 3's, and 4's):
1.  We read From One to One Hundred by Teri Sloat.
2.  We read More Than One by Miriam Schlein.
3.  We read Eating Pairs: Counting Fruits and Vegetables by Twos by Sarah L. Schuette.
4.  We read How Many Twos? by Judy Hindley.
5.  We read Counting Pets by Twos by Rebecca Fjelland Davis.
6.  We completed the 'Sock Sort' activity out of our Math Play book, page 26.
7.  We read What Comes in 2's, 3's, & 4's? by Suzanne Aker.
8.  We read Three Little Kittens by Jerry Pinkney.
9.  We completed the 'Three Little Kittens' activity out of our The Everything Toddler Activities Book, page 214.
10.  We completed page 41 of our Getting Your Preschooler Ready for Math workbook, which required her to match equivalent sets of 4-6.
1.  For today's journal entry, I asked her, 'What's the worst part about being sick?'  She answered, 'Sneezing, like, "Achoo!"'

Tomorrow, we'll be making Fall place mats, 'Leaf Glitter,' and doing more counting activities!  Check back in with us!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


There will be no post today as Mags is sick and we're taking a day off.  Poor girl.  :(  Today, we had big plans to visit our former neighbors in honor of National Good Neighbor Day, and to enjoy a playdate with Leah and Lucy, but a new lesson sprouted from Mags' illness ... as good neighbors, we don't get our friends sick!  Unfortunately, this means we'll probably be missing tomorrow's field trip.

See you soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

'It's not easy being green!' -- Kermit the Frog

Welcome to our 4th week of Pre-K!  This week, we'll be studying the Bible, National Good Neighbor Day, Keep Kids Creative Week, Fall, Apples, Children's Good Manners Month, and the letter Dd.  We started off the week with our Forest Friends class this morning, where we studied small mammals.  Here are some photos from the same:

A little critter that was waiting for us today at Forest Friends!  (An interesting fact I learned today:  The chance of rabies in an opossum is extremely rare!  Scientists think it has something to do with the opossum's low body temperature (94-97 degrees Fahrenheit), making it difficult for the virus to survive in its body.  I never would have guessed!) 
 Maggie, helping Ms. Libby set up today's craft!  :)
 Feeling a coyote's hide ...
 Making a raccoon puppet!
 She decided her raccoon needed lots of extra color!
 Making animal tracks in the sandbox ...
 Today's snack was Kermit the Frog, made out of apples and a marshmallow, decorated with a food color pen!  (I'm quite proud of how it turned out!)
 She was thrilled with him, too!  
 Later, we made some crackers to look like Fall leaves!  With cookie cutters, we cut shapes out of wonton wrappers, then sprayed them with cooking spray.
 After that, we seasoned them with sesame seeds and dried parsley, and put them in a 400-degree oven for four minutes.
They turned out beautifully!
Then, we took the Fall leaves we had collected today and discussed their sizes, shapes, and colors.
 We picked a few for drying and pressing in books, for working with again at a later date ...
And with the leaves that were left, we made a Fall 'Leaf Crown,' using construction paper, our leaves, and a glue stick. 
 Very cute!
 Time to snack on those crackers we made!  Delicious!
 Later, in honor of Keep Kids Creative Week (and our Bible devotional this morning, 'Mixing Colors is Great Fun!'), we set up glasses of water, with wooden skewers for stirring, and experimented with adding drops of food coloring to see what colors we could make.
 'Blue and yellow make green!'
 After we were done mixing,  I gave her the medicine dropper to take water from one glass and mix it into another to variate our colors some more.  (Teaching them to properly use a medicine dropper is GREAT for motor skills!)
 She could have done this for an hour!
After color mixing, we got to work on our 'Taffy Apple Pizza' for tonight's dessert.  First, you pat a little more than 1/2 cup of refrigerated sugar cookie dough onto a pizza stone or onto a pizza pan, coated with cooking spray, to make a diameter of about 7.5 inches.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let cool.
Next, mix together 3 ounces of softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract until well blended and creamy.  Spread over your cooled cookie.
Mags is demonstrating here how good this peanut butter mixture is!  Silly girl!
 After that, arrange thin slices of half of a medium tart apple onto the cookie, and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, a drizzle of caramel topping, and a bit of cinnamon.  Cut into wedges and serve!  YUM!
 For some more color mixing practice, we held up two small squares of tissue paper (each a different color) to the light to see what color was made.
Then, we took our squares and adhered them to a large leaf cut from paper to make a colorful Fall collage!

Today, we:
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We completed our calendar activities, putting today's date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what day of the week it is, what 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 today's date -- 'Mixing Colors is Great Fun!', about all the people in our lives that teach us.  Then, we read Daniel 1:3-17 together.
Keep Kids Creative Week:
1.  We did the 'Magical Water Mixing' and 'Tissue Paper Collage Leaf' as seen at, so we could both see the results of mixing colors (which coincided with today's Bible lesson), to honor Keep Kids Creative Week.  (The leaf pattern also credited our study of Fall!)
1.  We read Now It's Fall! by Jeanie Lee.
2.  We read Fall Leaves by Mary Packard.
3.  We read The Falling Leaves by Steve Metzger.
4.  We read There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro.
5.  We collected leaves of every shape, size, and color.  Then, we slid our finds between the pages of a heavy book for a few days to press them. Once they are flattened, we will use the internet to identify the names for our leaves, and mount them on paper, making a label for each.
6.  We made a 'Leaf Crown,' as seen in our The Everything Toddler Activities Book, page 227.
7.  We made the 'Leaf Collection' spiced crackers as seen in Parents magazine, October 2009, page 190.
8.  For today's journal entry, I asked her, 'What are you most looking forward to doing this Fall?'  Her response was, 'Looking around for leaves.'
1.  We read One Green Apple by Eve Bunting.
2.  We sang the 'Apple' and 'Have You Ever Seen An Apple' songs as provided on the Columbus Public Library 'Apples N’ Pumpkins' idea sheet.
3.  We made the 'Taffy Apple Pizza' as seen in our Fun Food 2011 magazine, page 73.
4.  We made the Kermit apple snack as seen at[kermit]_[food]_[].
Letter Dd Review:
1.  We read Dd by Kelly Doudna.
2.  We read My "d" Book by Jane Belk Moncure.
3.  We looked at the Dd letter page we made last year to review words that start with the d sound.  We looked at the d words in our picture dictionary as well.
4.  We completed a dot-to-dot letter D and d.
5.  We completed pages 10-11 of our Hooked on Phonics: Learn to Read Pre-K Level Workbook, which required her to color the uppercase D and lowercase d, and identify the pictures that begin with the d sound.
Math Concepts (Counting (cont'd)/Counting By 2's, 3's, and 4's):
1.  We read One Was Johnny: A Counting Book by Maurice Sendak.
2.  We read Who Wants One? by Mary Serfozo.
3.  We read Let's Count Critters 1-20 by Caolan Madden.
4.  We completed page 40 of our Getting Your Preschooler Ready for Math workbook, which required her to determine quantity in sets up to 5.
1.  We attended Forest Friends at Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve in Auburn, where we studied 'Small Mammals.'

Join us again tomorrow when we'll be celebrating National Good Neighbor Day and enjoying a playdate with our friends, Leah and Lucy, as we prep for our field trip on Thursday to see Oliviatown.