Thursday, December 1, 2016

Another November In the Books

We had a fabulous November in school enjoying the end of the fall season and all the fun activities about pumpkins and leaves that were featured throughout the month!  Even though we didn't do every single suggestion in our curriculum,  A Year of Playing Skillfully, for November, the ones we did do were greatly enjoyed.  We also added a few hands-on learning lessons of our own.  Here is a pictorial documentation of some of our fun memories!

Painting dot letters with Q-tips.

Isaac working the letter "N"...

JoJo painting the letter "T".

The final products!  Isaac decided he wanted to "outline" the capital N with paint too. :)

JoJo and Mr. Lester snuggled up reading books together at our November Open House.

Pumpkin peg pounding - an idea inspired by my cousin who is a former Montessori school teacher.  This one goes down in my book as absolutely brilliant!  Especially for my brand of boys!

We used the pumpkins that the boys picked out from the pumpkin patch the month before, a package of colored golf tees, and some Melissa and Doug toy hammers we had in our toy collection.

The result was hours of fun for them -- and great fine motor skills being worked on, as well as hand-eye coordination!  A definite win-win!

That's our Thankful Tree in the background - another super fun activity inspired by our preschool curriculum in conjunction with fond memories I have from childhood days when we made something similar.  Every day, we filled out a leaf or two with something we were thankful for as we geared up for the Thanksgiving holiday.  The boys loved this activity and begged to do more than one leaf every day.  We also invited our guests who came to the open house to hang a leaf on the tree, which they enjoyed doing!  This was a super simple way to keep thankfulness at the forefront of our minds throughout November - plus it made for a cute, colorful decoration in the kitchen!

I think they liked pounding something real (not just pretending) and feeling like Daddy, who can often be seen fixing things around the house. :)

Later, after baths, books, and little boys being tucked in bed, Isaac returned to the peg pounding activity and worked at his pumpkin for at least another half hour.  
(Oh, and don't you love that adorable little card table he's sitting at?  I found that at a garage sale recently for $4 including the two folding chairs!  It has been the perfect addition to our school days as it's just the right size for any writing activity we do.  It's also gotten a ton of use for coloring, puzzles, and general play time.  So thankful for this great bargain!)

After we exhausted the peg pounding activity, we cut open the pumpkins and scooped out the seeds to see which pumpkin had more seeds, an idea that was inspired by a book from the library.  Isaac worked very diligently with me to make piles of ten seeds in order to count up the totals.  

This provided great counting practice!

Later, we used the empty pumpkin shells to make pumpkin volcanoes with vinegar and baking soda, another idea from our curriculum.  As you might imagine this was a big hit with the boys!  We did the "experiment" at least 3 or 4 times for the exciting wow factor of it!

Our fall-themed "sink or float" game.

Leaves, gourds, walnuts, pinecones, apples, rocks, sticks, and a few toys from around the house made it into the water!  First, they had to give their "hypothesis" for what would happen to each item, which I noted on a piece of paper.  Then we compared that with the reality of what actually happened and why.  Simple science for the win!

Isaac's hotel that he built out of Duplos and a hammer.  He also painted it with the paint brush you see on the table.

He was very proud of his creation!

Making placements with leaves from our yard.  Isaac made a set of two as gifts for Grandmommy's birthday, then he and JoJo each made themselves one to keep.

Isaac really enjoyed this activity!
(Our $20 laminator from Aldi has come in SO handy for projects like this!  I'm super thankful for such a great deal on a tool that we will be using over and over again in our home school!)

The finished product!
It was a happy fall, y'all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Plexus Sale!

I know this is late in the game, but today has been a crazy busy day of fielding questions about Plexus on Facebook and giving out information to interested friends!  The reason for this is due to a fantastic sale Plexus is running today and tomorrow in honor of "Cyber Tuesday."  Everything in their product lineup is 10%!!  This is a special deal that rarely comes around.  

If you or someone you know could benefit from balanced blood sugar, better gut health, reduced inflammation, more energy, and improved sleep, Plexus products can help!
These make great Christmas gifts!
Promo Code: PLEXUS10

If you have any questions or want more information, write me a comment on this post, and I'll be sure to get in touch with you!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

October Memories

October was a month overflowing with fun experiences, messy school projects, and the beauty of autumn!  Therefore, this blog post is overflowing with pictures to capture all the memories! :)

In school, our theme was all about apples and autumn.  After studying about the life cycle of an apple, we made wrapping paper by stamping apples into paint.

I think the red and green colors will work nicely for Christmas!

We have spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying the beautiful fall days.

The boys are loving the leaves!

Colors starting to change.

My sweet boy.

Chatting with a chicken.

Driveway art.

We traced around our bodies and then filled in the details.

Well, sort of.

It was our first year to attend the annual Bob Evans Farm Festival, which was a ton of fun!  Isaac, who is particularly attached to a stuffed lamb and who often pretends to be a shepherd, found both the sheep shearing and the border collie demonstrations to be most interesting.

That is a lot of wool!

Playing in another corn pit!

Isaac and his pal, Mr. Dillon, in for a visit from New Mexico (along with his lovely wife, Stephanie - not picture)!

Daddy had to burn a bunch of stuff one night, so we made it a "campfire and s'mores" night, much to the boys' delight!

Helping himself to the chocolate.

Little man coming over for a treat!

This kid is always on the go!

JoJo's turn to roast a marshmallow.

We didn't have any graham crackers on hand, so we made do with whole wheat Saltines. :)
(Honestly, it's a miracle we had marshmallows in the pantry, because I never buy those things!  These were leftover from a party last December.  Thank you preservatives for keeping them edible.) : /

Having a ball!

This was supposed to be apple-cinnamon cloud dough, but it officially went down in the books as our first AYOPS school fail.  Apparently, red Koolaid powder is not a good substitute for red powdered tempera paint, and the baby oil we used totally overtook the nice pumpkin-pie/cinnamon spices we had going.

Oh well!  The boys had fun with it for a few minutes anyway.

Here they are teaching numbers to their "little people".

Apparently, because I can paint murals on walls now (sort of), it was assumed I could probably manage face painting, so I was recruited to be the official face painter at an event at our church recently.  This was my first attempt.  Meet "The Scary Tiger." :)

Is he cute, or what?

Josiah opted for a bumblebee on one side and a rocket ship on the other.

And somehow, unbeknownst to me, Little Man ended up with paint in his hair...?

The recent view out my kitchen window.

The view out the front.

Fall is my favorite!

Love those colors!

Our "B" sensory bucket.  The kids had to gather up whatever items they could find that started with B.

Can you tell what they are?
(Blocks, book, ball, bottle, bell, bread, boy.)

They love rice sensory buckets!

Making a masterpiece.

I love to see his creativity!