Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up! {The one about Madeline with Lapbook}

Whew, to say we are exhausted is an understatement for this week!
First off, our baby girl, CeCe turns 1 tomorrow, so we had her birthday party this weekend! It was such a sweet little party for such a sweet little girl. I still cannot believe how FAST this first year has flown by!! I now understand when people say having multiple children causes the years to pass exponentially---it is true!
 This is a little bit of the banner I made for her birthday. I even have the "proof" that she has been here for 12 months, but I still cannot believe it, ha, ha!!
Here is our sweet little Ce Ce with her proud parents at the party!

OK, so we also had a productive week of homeschool. Our girls LOVE the Madeline Books, so we decided to really focus on that and make a lapbook as well. 

 "And the smallest one was Madeline."
 The girls had fun learning about France. Geography, landmarks, language and food (of course). We built an Eiffel tower out of pretzels and cheese and also made some crepes (sorry, no pics). Next time, we will have to make fondue again---yummy!
 Elle did an amazing job on this Rhyme Time book. She put the whole thing together herself and wrote out words that rhymed with words from the Madeline book!

 If for nothing else, Em LOVED the fact that Madeline starts with the letter M!! It inspired her to keep writing M's over.and.over.and.over again--hey, it worked:) She was so proud of her work!

 I actually found a little Madeline doll and book on Ebay for an insanely cheap price. It is so cute--it even has a "scar" on her belly! The girls love talking about this. I have a really ugly keloided scar where I had to have a tumor removed 6 years ago. The girls always ask me about it and this was fun to see a doll have a "scar like Mommy!"
 In the original Madeline story, she has to have her appendix taken out and stays in the hospital. The girls from her school (orphanage) come to visit her and bring her flowers. 
The girls had an amazing time making tissue paper flower and arranging them in vases. We also decided to decorate CeCe's birthday party with the flowers Elle and Em made-they were so proud!!

Em had so much fun arranging the pipe cleaners. She slid buttons on them and made all kinds of abstract floral arrangements--too creative and cute!
Elle continues to improve in her spelling and language arts. This is a WONDERFUL book we found for 29 cents!! It each spiral flips through the alphabet (a-z) so you can form 4-letter words. There are photos at the bottom that suggest words to spell. Elle loves doing this book!
 I just couldn't resist posting this pic--the girls LOVE reading together;-)
 I have tried to be creative in getting Elle to write more. She really does a great job, but find it tedious if I give her a workbook to continue to write it if it involves tracing. My girl does not want to trace, just write, lol. So, I got her a little notebook. She loves to go around the house and write down things she sees. She will write words, phrases, pictures, lots of things. Here she has written from 1-50 on her own--I did not help her at all. She even self-corrected her 9 on the top line and started over (she's a perfectionist like her Mom:)
 And, speaking of flowers. My younger brother is getting married this year! He is so sweet! He came over to officially ask the girls to be his flower girls in the wedding. He brought them roses and a card---they are so excited!!!!!

It reads "Will you be my flower girl?" He is so romantic--he will make a great husband!

 Of course, we spent some time at the library!

 And, our local Children's Science Museum.

This table was perfect practice for our upcoming week--full of lessons on Manners!
Have a wonderful week!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

FREE and/or Frugal Fun with Learning!!

We have been having a really busy time with learning lately! The past few weeks have just flown by! I wanted to update the blog on what we have been doing as of late. We are year-round homeschoolers, so took a bit of a break from the formal learning coursework to spend a few days with Daddy. We celebrated our 6th Wedding Anniversary and also Mother's Day. It was wonderful!!

All of these ideas were either FREE or very inexpensive to do/make. Enjoy!!

Morning Exercise/Warm-Up Class
We all love to exercise and keep healthy. The benefits are so wonderful, but the weather here has been raining cats and dogs, so we decided to check out some new music cd's from our local library that focus on Movement for Toddlers and Preschoolers. 

Some of our favorites are:
~anything of the cd's by Jim Gill 
~Toddlers on Parade
~Preschool Aerobic Fun

The girls have so much fun listening to the cd's and following the movements!
This is how we start our morning after our worship music and prayers. The girls are usually doing this while I cook their breakfast.

Fun and FREE!

Our City Skyline

For this, all I did was use some blue painter's tape and use it to make outlines of buildings on the wall. Em had a GREAT time building different shapes and sizes of buildings and structures!! It was an amazing hit! {We already had the building blocks, but this put a whole new spin on them}.

FREE Sesame Street Learning Kit
PNC Bank is now offering this FREE learning kit. We haven't had a chance to view the DVD, but it is Sesame Street, so I would guess it would be pretty suitable for our girls. We just haven't turned on the tv in a month, so maybe the next time we do, we will pop this in!
But, we have had a chance to work through some of the Spanish vocabulary cards and other inserts. The girls are having a good time with it and it was FREE!

Here is were you can get one!

Fancy Toes
Our girls love to get their little toe nails painted. We always use a really faint color or just clear polish and now that it is "sandals season", we made sure to get those toes looking good:)

As always, tons of books to be read while the nails dry, lol. And, we also incorporated many entrepreneurial elements and match skills as we play "nail shop." Good thing our prices are LOW! LOL.

Quiche AKA "Egg Pie"
We also love to try new recipes. And, if it is healthier and pretty reasonably priced, it is a winner in our book! We tried this LOVELY quiche recipe 
 and just had to share it with you!

We tweaked the recipe a bit to suit our tastes. We used ground turkey, sauteed onions, mushrooms and spinach! It was so GOOD!!!!
Feeding the Birds

We simply used some twine/yarn we had hanging around and laced it with some organic O's type cereal that was in the kitchen already=instant, easy and CHEAP bird feeders:) 
They were gone in no time....

Hope you are enjoying your spring and had a fabulous Mother's Day!
Here is our family at brunch on Mother's Day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

FREE Pizza Hut "Book-It" Reading Incentives Program!!

 {Our oldest 2}

Our family LOVES to read! I remember as a child having to volunteer at my local library to "work off" my fines from keeping my favorite books much too long:) I have always loved to read (in fact, I would much rather read than watch TV-I know, I am "weird.":) and love that our girls love to read as well! We frequent our local library weekly, and sign-up for their summer reading program, but this is another great program for homeschoolers (and anyone really) to enroll your children in!

Here is the info from the Pizza Hut website regarding their reading incentives program! 
It is FREE for all student and they even have a Homeschool sign-up form!

About BOOK IT!
BOOK IT! motivates children to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with praise, recognition and pizza.  BOOK IT! is simple for the teacher to use, flexible because goals match reading ability, and fun because achieving a goal is a great reason to celebrate. BOOK IT! was created in 1985 and currently reaches over 10 million students annually.
BOOK IT! runs every school year from October through March.  The teacher sets a reading goal for each child in the class.  A tracking chart and reproducibles are included to make it that much easier.  As soon as a child meets the monthly reading goal, the teacher gives him or her a Reading Award Certificate. 
BOOK IT! goals are based on reading ability.  Number of books, number of pages, or number of minutes – they all work.  BOOK IT! can also be used with the reading curriculum or as support for comprehension or intervention programs.  For children not reading independently, the goal can be set where a parent or others read to the child.
Pizza Hut is proud of all BOOK IT! readers!  The restaurant manager and team congratulate every child for meeting the monthly reading goal and reward them with a free, one-topping Personal Pan Pizza, BOOK IT! card and backpack clip.
Best of all, BOOK IT! materials are free to schools! 

Go here for the homeschool sign up for K-6 grades!
Happy Reading!



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