Thursday, January 31, 2013

Week 18 - Silly Ocean Study Fun

Today we decided to make some silly sea creatures using our hands and feet to take a break from the four ocean floor types study and lighten things up!  We made a lobster and an octopus.  Both kids enjoyed it.  Simple - just need large piece of paper, paints, google eyes and I used sandpaper for the ocean floor.  Fun stuff!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Week #18 - Ocean Floor Project /Groundhog Day!

Today for Wonderful Wednesdays we made a diorama of the Ocean Floor to help with our memory work for science week 18.  We also celebrated Groundhog Day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wonderful Wednesdays in other Communities!

I'm excited to share that we now have other CC Communities replicating their own versions of Wonderful Wednesday's in their areas.

Jess from CC Joppa in Maryland, writes...."Hi Colleen, What a great blessing you have been with your Wonderful Wednesday idea.  We started Terrific Tuesday last week with 12 children in attendance.  Today we had 17 children at the table!  It has been great!  Thank you for all your great 
planning and ideas! I have attached some pictures of our new adventure."

Friday, January 25, 2013

Week - 18 Mountain Ranges Project

My daughter loves the volcanoes - sooooo we kept going with them.  We've made an ocean floor mountain range volcano.  This fits with the four types of ocean floor.   This one is water proof and we will be erupting it this week.  Very fun to do and not too difficult but does take a few days to complete.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Week #17 - Sculpting -studying Michelangelo further

So today we took on the adventure of learning how to make a sculpture.  We made a simple sculpture of a fish out of a bar of Ivory soap.  I wanted my daughter to understand the skill and time involved in making great sculptures like Michelangelo.  She commented that she didn't realize how hard it was and how long it takes!  She suddenly realized why it takes years for some large sculptures to be completed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Week #17 - Aztecs and Totem Poles!

So as I was doing my deciding about what this Wonderful Wednesday would encompass, I came across some interesting history about Totem Poles!  It fit perfectly not only with some of what we have studied, are studying but also what we will be studying in later weeks.  I was then at a scrap exchange perusing through their things and I saw these big fat beautiful corks!  I thought - wow - those would make awesome totem poles for the kids and with what I had learned about them, I thought it would be an interesting caveat to our studies.  So the project was born to do totem poles.  Here's a blurb from the handout the kids got today along with pictures of Totem poles for recent and ancient history....

"Many different cultures made totem poles, not just Native AmericansWhile poles made by Native American tribes are the most famously known, the Mayans, Aztecs, Native Canadians, Native Australians, Maori, ingenious Koreans and ingenious Chinese are also known to have built totem poles."  (fits perfectly doesn't it?)!

This week's history sentence was on Montezuma - so I decided doing some headdresses was in order.    This all turned out to be a fun Wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Creating a Master! Week #17 Michelangelo

I wanted my daughter to take a look at a Masterpiece in a new way...noticing the details in lines, technique, color and expression.  So I found a fairly "simple" masterpiece of Michelangelo.  One that wasn't too detailed and complex but enough so that it would convey the great skill he had in his craft.  So I looked up his most famous works online under google images.  I decided on the Prophet Jeremiah below.  Here is a link to it prophet jeremiah painting

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Week #16 - Four Types of Volcanoes!

Wonderful Wednesday's today we worked on a project involving labeling, painting and adding effects like smoke or snow to 4 different volcano types to go with our Science for this week.  The pictures don't do it justice on how cute/good these turned out with the kids.  We also had a little Mesoamerica feel going on with the kids outfits/hats!  :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week #16 - Mesoamerica lapbook

We started our Week #16 for Wonderful Wednesday's prep tomorrow.  Today my daughter and I did the lapbook by newbeehomeschoolers.  Here is the link for the lapbooks to download them.  They did a great job creating a simple to do but key information lapbook.

We enjoyed doing it -it was easy and we were able to complete it and read through our History in about an hour and a half total.  Lots of projects like this are part of the Solagratiamom Enrichment Teaching Plan for suggested resources to help you build out your memory work each week.  There are many projects like this throughout the Teaching Plan that you can choose from each week!   It really helps make memorizing permanent and memorable.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog - we're doing 4 types of Volcanos Project.  It is going to be a big one! Don't forget to enter for the free drawing to win a lapbook for the Orchestra!  See how to the right of the page!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


You all know I love Karen Gill's lapbooks!  She's awesome and has worked so hard to put together such wonderful lapbooks to coincide with our Cycles for CC.  We use them each week in Wonderful Wednesday's to begin our time together as a group and learn our new week's memory work.  She has recently come out with an additional supplementary lapbook for our Cycle 1 Orchestra!

I took a look at it and I love it!  It is so detailed in the information that you can go beyond the lapbook with, that Karen provides.  You can go as deep as you decide with each composer and regarding the orchestra.  Her hands on lapbook portion is fabulous, colorful and interactive, as always.  This is another fine product from Karen.

So...beginning on Monday January 14th you can enter to win a FREE Orchestra Lapbook that coincides with our Cycle 1 orchestra studies!  In order to be entered automatically just use the link on the right side of the page to share my blog on your facebook page or tweet it.  The giveaway will end on Monday the 21st and the winner(s) will be given the download for this great new resource for CC families.  I have 2 lapbooks I can give away!  So begin sharing and entering!!  Good Luck!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Half-way Through...Remembering What is Important

So we're just over half way through our CC year.  As I got ready to share my information with some CC Mom's today for a small group class I was teaching, I was taking out all the hands on projects/crafts we've done since beginning Cycle 1 to give them ideas on how to build out the Memory Work and what that looks like. I was sharing with them ways they can bring the Memory Work to life for their kids and help them hang a memory peg.

I later attended a class this evening myself, that was taught by Lynn Custer from Whole Heart and it affirmed what I earlier was myself teaching - that the experience of making school interactive and engaging is so important, when they are younger especially.  I whole heartedly agreed with everything Lynn said and already do most all of what she recommended.  It's counter culture but it's soooo beneficial to your child, in my humble opinion.  You want them to want to learn because it captures their imagination and shows them the world in a new way - always pointing them to God through all they see and do.  Helping them make connections and connect previously learned information with new information.  Our society pushes too hard too soon -plenty of studies show the brain isn't wired for it and kids do better when it's slower.  See the book Better Late Than Early.  I know for us it has worked - I see it in her age equivalent/overall knowledge scores on end of grade testing.  For us, it works really well.

I really focus 24 weeks of the year on CC Memory Work.  There are 52 weeks in a school year.  If I don't get to all the spelling and math that I might want to cover during that period, I don't sweat it.  I just focus hard on that once CC ends in April for us.  I still have the remainder of April, May, June and July to get all the math/spelling she can stand in!  I try to capture that 24 weeks of CC grammar work and catapult her imagination about the world it is opening up to us - the science, the history, the timeline and more - all great things for her to take off with.  I look at the Memory Work and see what would capture her imagination or give her a better understanding of her world and God and build out our project work on that.  Her reading is often geared around the CC Memory Work as well -so it all just blends for us throughout the CC year.  During the summer or time off from formal CC we are busy with nature and being outside, continuing our nature journal, bug collecting, exploring our world and doing our math, spelling and continuing with reading/Bible study - always reading.  My daughter loves to read and I've found that the Imagination Station books coincide with our CC Cycle 1 year pretty well.

Our Week's Wall 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Favorite Bible Study for Kids!

I went into our local homeschooling store and said to the woman working there that I wanted a Bible study to do with my daughter that focused on the foundations of faith and doctrine - you know - meat and potatoes.  She directed me to this Bible study and it has been the BEST study I've ever seen for a kid and such a joy to do with my daughter.

The name of the study is just called Foundations and it's by Kim High.  I don't know her or do I get anything for telling you about it - but I love it that much that I think the word should get out about this study!

You can purchase it here....

Each week you do a study on a different aspect of the Christian Foundation's of Faith and on the last day you do a craft together that reinforces the concept they just studied.  Well - you know my love of hands on learning - so this is just up my alley!  I think you'd love it too!

First they make a Bible Treasure Box to put all their crafts in and review the concepts they are learning.  It's like a "stone of remembrance" that they are making for themselves for all they will be learning.
Then each week as they make a craft it goes into the box for safe keeping and to treasure about a Truth from God's Word.
 The crafts are easy and well laid out and all the materials you need are right there for almost all the activities.  I think only 2 or three required me to look around the house and find things to make it.  There are a total of 20 lessons in the study, so 20 crafts total go into their Bible Treasure Box.

 Here are Sarah's treasures....
 Sarah likes to build like her Daddy -so this was a favorite craft.  :)

If you end up doing the Bible study - let me know what your thoughts are and how you liked it!  Blessings to everyone!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Celebrating Epiphany - Our Three Kings

Today we celebrated Epiphany!  We made crowns, beards and dressed in some robes I had on hand.  Then we had a 12 crowns hunt to find Baby Jesus and ended it with baking cookies!  

We used the crowns that you can purchase from Oriental Trading - they've come in very handy this year for multiple projects actually!  We glued various "gems" and feathers and star stickers to them.  Then I just cut out beards from construction paper and they glued cotton balls to it.  I punched holes in the sides and attached pipe cleaners to hang the beard over their ears.  Lastly, we put on the robes I had and viola' we had a "wise man"!

The next thing we did was have a 12 crowns hunt for Baby Jesus.  Here is the crowns I made and the clues I gave.  They basically went throughout the house finding each clue until the final clue which took them to the Baby Jesus.   I kept the clues simple and made it easy for the kids given their ages.