Monday, September 30, 2019

Homeschool: Fall Leaves (Week 5)

We just completed our fourth week of homeschool. You can view our daily schedule (including which curriculum we use for math and reading) by clicking the link. Below you'll find the art and science activities we did this week - focusing on The Fall Harvest. 

  • Book: Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber or Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins
  • Activity: Make a Leaf Rubbing Book
  • Supplies: Leaf Rubbing Book PDF, Leaves, White Print Paper & Crayons
  • Focus: Parts of a leaf (stem, veins)
After reading our books, we went on a leaf hunt outside. We looked for different shapes, sizes and colors of leaves and placed our favorites in a brown paper sack. Once we got home, I showed my boys how to make leaf rubbings. Flip a leaf over and place it underneath thin printer paper (I used half sheets of paper, so we could staple the finished leaf rubbing together to make a book). Rub the side of a crayon over the leaf to make a print as shown below.

  • Book: Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert (optional: Look What I Did with a Leaf by Mortezi E Sohi)
  • Activity: "Look what I did with a leaf.."
  • Supplies: Leaf PDF, leaves, glue (optional: acorns, sticks or pinecones) 
After reading our books, we went outside and found leaves in our backyard. They boys got ideas from the books we read and both wanted to make turtles out of the leaves they found. Even though they both made turtles, they turned out so differently. I glued my leaves into a lion.

  • Book: Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro
  • Activity: Leave Chromatography
  • Supplies: Cups, Rubbing Alcohol, Leaves, Coffee Filters
From our book, we learned that leaves already have shades of yellow or red in them, they are just hidden from all the green chlorophyll. We wanted to prove this. We found a different few leaves outside, cut them up and placed them in rubbing alcohol. Then, we place a coffee filter in the cup as shown below.

After a day, the coffee filters looked like this.. You can see the shades of yellow and  brown.

  • Book: Leaves by Ezra David Stein
  • Activity: Fall Tree Craft
  • Supplies: White Printer Paper, Construction Paper (green, brown, yellow), Tissue Paper (yellow, red and/or orange), Glue, Scissors, Cotton Balls
After reading our book, we made a fall tree craft. I traced my boy's arm and hand to make the tree trunk and then they cut it out. Then we added the grass (also cut by the boys), sun, and clouds. Next, we added the tissue paper leaves. Again, everyone's turned out differently. My four didn't want any leaves. My five drew a squirrel in his tree. 

    • Book: Hello Autumn by Shelley Rotner
    • Activity: Fall Leaf Slime
    • Supplies: 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup glue, glitter or food coloring (optional), saline solution (must contain boric acid and/or sodium borate), 1/2 tsp baking soda, acrylic leaves
    After reading our book, we made fall leaf slime. Here's what to do:
    • Mix 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup glue + food coloring (optional) + glitter (optional) in a bowl until well combined.
    • Mix 1/2 tsp. baking soda.
    • Add in saline solution (this is the one we used). You basically add this in a little at a time and knead the slime together until it thickens and is no longer sticky. The recipe we used called for 1 Tablespoon, but I bet we ended up using a 1/4 cup or possibly more. It depends on which saline solution/contact solution brand. 
    This kids helped me make the slime and we had a lot of fun. This is one of those activities that took 5-10 minutes to put together, but we played for over an hour. Our favorite thing to do was add straws to make slime bubbles. You can see the slime is really stretchy, not sticky, and gets those creativity gears moving. I loved my fours "monster" he mad (see below). 

    Other Ideas: The Magic School Bus Gets Planted (photosynthesis)

    Thursday, September 26, 2019

    Homeschool: Fall Harvest (Week 4)

    We just completed our fourth week of homeschool. You can view our daily schedule (including which curriculum we use for math and reading) by clicking the link. Below you'll find the art and science activities we did this week - focusing on The Fall Harvest. 

    • Book: Hello, Harvest Moon by Ralph Fletcher
    • Activity: Harvest Moon Silhouette Craft
    • Supplies: Dark blue & black construction paper, white paint, q-tips, and puffy paint (glue, shaving cream, & yellow/orange food coloring).
    Last weekend was the "Harvest Moon" - which is the full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox (equal day and night). We decided to take a night trip to see it for ourselves. We bundled up in our pajamas, grabbed a little treat and watched the moon rise from our van. The moon wasn't "orange" like I was hoping, but it was still fun to see the white moon rise over the mountain and the kids thought it was so cool to stay up late and get a treat.

    After reading our book, we made our Harvest Moon Silhouette craft. I love how these all turn out so different. We started by painting a harvest moon made from a modified version of "puffy paint" --> 1/4 cup Elmer's glue + 1/2 cup white foam shaving cream + yellow and orange food coloring. We set our moons aside to dry and made a sky from blue construction paper and "stars"/clouds from white paint and q-tips. The next day we added our mountains, trees and animals (upon request). My boys loved adding bats, owls and even a night bear. Haha. 

    • Book: We Gather Together Celebrating the Harvest Season by Wendy Pfeffer
    • Activity: Face Masks (how Nigerians celebrate the harvest)
    • Supplies: Paper plates, markers, Kwik Stix and glitter glue
    Today we focused on ways other countries and people celebrate the harvest season. There are many ideas in the book, but we focused on Nigeria. The people there wear raffia skirts and masks that portray turtles, lizards, trees, and the sun or moon to celebrate a cycle of nature. We made our own masks.

    • Book: Apples by Gail Gibbons OR Apples by Ken Robbins
    • Activity: Apple Picking & Apple Volcanoes 
    • Supplies: Apples, Baking Soda & Vinegar
    Today we went apple picking and talked about the different fruits and vegetables that people harvest in the Fall. My five loved climbing the apple trees, my four enjoyed helping himself to the apples, I watched my ten month old crawl around and explore, and my husband did 99% of the apple picking. Haha. It was a fun memory to have together.

    We came home and I carved out the inside of a few apples (like you would a pumpkin) and let the kids explore with baking soda and vinegar. We added some dish soap at the end to make a "grand finale." It got a little soapy. My nine month old joined in for a little while.

    • Book: We Gather Together Celebrating the Harvest Season by Wendy Pfeffer
    • Activity: Equinox Corn Muffins (recipe in the back of the book)
    • Supplies: 2 cups cornmeal, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs, 2 cups buttermilk, chocolate frosting (for the night) and vanilla frosting (for the day). Also, globe and flashlight.
    After reading our book, we talked about the Autumn Equinox - which means equal day and night. We talked about how the earth spins and that's why it's light/day where we live and dark/night in China. I found a little globe from the dollar store and we shined a flashlight on one side. It was obvious to see how one side of the globe was lit up while the other side was dark. 
      Photo Source: Stephen Lippa
      Then, we made equinox muffins. You mix 2 cups cornmeal, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs, and 2 cups buttermilk together. Pour into 12 greased muffin cavities. Back at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled, frost one side with vanilla frosting to represent the day and the other side with chocolate frosting representing the night. 

      • Book: The Reason for the Seasons by Gail Gibbons
      • Activity: Paper Mache Earth
      • Supplies: Balloon, newspaper, flour, blue and green tissue paper squares
      My five has been asking to do paper mache for a long time. It's messy, but I try not to let the mess bother me and remember the memory we're creating. Blow up a balloon and set aside. Cut the newspaper into strips. Whisk flour and water together in a bowl to make a paste (similar to pancake batter). Dip the newspaper strips in the paste and place on the balloon. Continue adding strips until the newspaper is completely covered. Then, add a second layer. (my boys made it to this point and then wanted to tub). Then, add a third layer with the tissue paper squares.

      Paper Mache was fun, but the real highlight of the day was blowing up balloons and watching them shoot up in the air. This entertained my boys for a long time today!

      Other Books we enjoyed this week: Kitten's Full Moon by Kevin Henkes, Possum's Harvest Moon by Anne Hunter, Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins, & Ten Apples up on Top by Dr. Seuss. 

      Fruit of the Spirit - September Come Follow Me

      Items Needed:


      Song: “The Holy Ghost” - Children’s Song Book page 105.

      Opening Activity: Blindfolded Taste Tester

      Preparation: Just prior to the lesson, cut up five different fruits into bit size pieces. Place each fruit in a separate bowl or cup. You’ll also need a blindfold.

      Explain that you are going to play a game, called Blindfolded Taste Tester. One person will put on a blindfold. Without being able to see, this person will eat a piece of fruit and guess what fruit it is. While you play, have the person explain what each fruit feels like and tastes like. Ask them if the fruit all tastes the same or different. Optional: You could also play this game with multiple people blind folded. 

      Scripture: Galatians 5:22-23 

      Just as fruit has many different tastes, the Holy Ghost speaks to us in many different ways. In the scriptures it teaches us that: The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsufferning, gentleness, faith, meekness, (and) temperance. Read through the verses again and have your children count the different ways the Holy Ghost speaks to us. 

      Activity: Fruit of the Spirit 

      Place the tree (page 6) and cut out fruit (page 7) on the table. Explain that each fruit teaches us a different way the Holy Ghost speaks to us. Have your children take turns drawing a fruit. Explain the word on the fruit (definitions included in PDF) and have your child place it (or glue it) onto the tree. Ask your children if they have felt any of these feelings before.

                Love: A feeling of deep devotion, concern, and affection.

                Joy: A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

                Peace: A feeling of love, and safety, and quiet that come from the Lord.

                Long-suffering: Patient. Patience means active waiting and enduring.

                Gentleness: Kindness, meek or tender.

                Goodness: A desire to do good and be good. Righteousness.

                Faith: Believing in someone or something. Includes a hope for things which are not   
                seen, but are true.

                Meekness: Righteous, humble, teachable, and patient. The meed are willing to follow 
                gospel teachings. 

                Temperance: Use moderation in all things or to exercise self-control.

      Activity Options:

      1. Coloring Page (page 10).

      2. Fruit Memory. Print out two fruit pages and play memory. Emphasize the "fruits of the spirit" as you play the game. Repetition of these words is especially helpful for little ones.

      3. Make Applesauce. Have your children help you cut the apples and help with the process. Eat for your family lesson dessert! 

      4. Fruit Painting. Print page 11 onto piece of card stock. Dip fruit in paint and stamp the fruit on a piece of paper. Hang this up on the fridge as a reminder of the lesson this week.

      Testimony: Share an example of when the Holy Ghost helped you feel a fruit of the spirit.

      Monday, September 16, 2019

      Homeschool: Mini Beasts (Week 3)

      We just completed our third week of homeschool. You can view our daily schedule (including which curriculum we use for math, reading and writing) by clicking the link. Below you'll find the art and science activities we did this week - focusing on Mini Beasts. 

      • Book: Minibeasts under a stone (where to find mini beasts) by Sarah Ridley
      • Activity: Hunt for Mini Beasts
      • Supplies: Scavenger Hunt Worksheet, Magnifying Glass, Bug Jars
      After reading our book, we went outside and looked under rocks to find mini beasts. My boys LOVED this and we spent about an hour and half exploring and catching little bugs. We found spiders, millipedes, snails, slugs, ants, a beetle, and woodlice. We had just read about ant eggs and found a ton of them under one of the stones! We caught a few mini beasts and put them in bug jars (from the dollar store) to get a better look before returning them to their home.

      • Book: Spinning Spiders by Melvin Berger OR Spiders by Gail Gibbons
      • Activity: Catch a Spider's Web
      • Supplies: Black paper, hair spray, white spray paint.
      We were planning on "catching spider webs", but it rained today! We made these mini beast art projects instead. These projects never turn out how I imagine them in my mind. I enjoy seeing my boy's creativity and what they envision in their minds.

      My four drew a blue spider under his "rock" and my five drew a black widow. 

      • Book: Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer OR Yucky Worms by Vivian French
      • Activity: Build a Worm Hotel
      • Supplies: Glass jar, rocks, sand, dirt, leaves, grass, worms
      Digging for worms was so exciting and fun. We've enjoyed watching them build tunnels this week!

      Fill a large glass mason jar in layers - small rocks, sand, dirt, sand, more dirt, leaves and grass. Find lots of worms and add them in. You'll immediately start seeing them bury themselves in the dirt. Keep the jar in a dark place. Add squirts of water as needed to keep the soil moist.

      • Book: Ladybugs by Gail Gibbons OR Ladybugs: red, fiery and bright by Mia Posada
      • Activity: Lady Bug (Directed Art)
      • Supplies: White paper, crayons
      These turned out so cute. Although this was a directed art project, my boys chose the color of their ladybugs and what they wanted the grass/sky to look like. We also bought Ladybug Land to watch ladybugs transform from larvae to ladybugs and The Lady Bug Game to play this week. This board game is a great number review and helps us learn to take turns and be good sports. My boys have requested to play this game a ton this week! 

      Our ladybugs came in the mail! My boys are doing "team work" to bring them inside.
      They start as tiny black bugs and we are going to watch them "molt" into a pupa and then into a ladybug. This will take a couple weeks. 

      We loved playing the Lady Bug Game. 

      • Book: Review Books. 
      • Activity: Play Dough Mini Beasts
      • Supplies: Easy Homemade Play Dough, googly eyes (dollar store), pipe cleaners
      It was raining again today, so we made some hot chocolate, grabbed our mini beast books and a blanket, and read books outside. We each chose our favorite mini beast book to read. We also enjoyed  these other books this week: "The Hungry Caterpillar" and "Inch by Inch".

      Reading in the rain with hot chocolate. I have a feeling we're going to be doing this a lot this year.

      Afterward, we made a batch of home made play dough (seriously, so soft and easy to make) and made mini beast bugs. Play dough is so great for strengthening fingers, fine motor skills and so much creativity.

      My five wanted to build an army of slugs. Blue against green. The guys in the middle are ghouls. 
      This caterpillar was my four's favorite. 
      Keeping baby busy while we play with play dough. We LOVE these squigz. They suction to the table and provide lots of entertainment for this little guy.