Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Playing around with the blog

I'm going to apologize now for what will probably seem like constant changes to the blog format over the next few days.   I'm trying to find something that goes well with the "Universe" part of the title while still giving a "homeschool" feel.  Since I'm not the most artistic person there will probably be quite a few misses before I hit on something I like. ;->

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: A Book About Santa and Toys

We spent this week doing some crafts, reading some stories and counting down the days until Christmas.  Georgie was playing with some fun Christmas foam stickers I bought from Oriental Trading and decided to write a story.  He did the actual writing of the first page himself (with some help on the spelling).  This is way more writing than he usually will do so I wasn’t too surprised when he asked to dictate the rest of the book for me to write.   I wrote down exactly what he said word for word.
This is A Book About Santa and Toys by Georgie.
Snowflakes were falling from the sky carrying a stocking when Santa Claus was coming on a train.
But a big storm was coming this way so Santa hopped on a airplane to see what was causing all the trouble.   (this page didn’t make it into the book because there was no airplane stickers but he did write it so here it is)

Up Santa goes saving the jack-in-a-box stuck on a cloud.  Then Santa and the jack-in-the-box went down, down, down.  The End. (not really)
So Santa decided to fight the evil big dolls and he had help.  The good guys won.  And Santa was one of them.  So the good guys decided to have a party.
But then the 3 bad guys came but the toys came to help Santa Claus by getting back his train.  He didn’t think of what he could do but then he drove the train over the 3 bad guys. (????)
Then a magician came and disappeared.  Before that he made Santa and his toy friends that were there float in mid-air.  Thanks to that magician.  The End.
I don’t think creative writing is ever going to be a problem for this kid.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up/Teddy Bear Tea

We didn’t do much in the way of school this week since Georgie was on vacation with Granny Franny.  But, Vicki and I did attend a special Teddy Bear Tea at the museum.

First we enjoyed tea and sandwiches.  Vicki very politely shared hers with Cedric the Bear.
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After eating, there was a dress-up area with lots of fun hats, glasses, beads and a nice big mirror to gaze into.
Next, there was a fun Magic Show with lots of singing and audience participation.  Vicki loved watching the show with Cedric.
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At the very end of the show, Santa Claus arrived!  Vicki told him what a good girl she was all year and got a special present that she named Cedric Jr.
After visiting with Santa we went to see the beautiful Christmas Trees on display in the museum.
Vicki’s favorite was a butterfly tree that even had some hidden caterpillars to find.
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Vicki just loves the Museum and we’re definitely going to be visiting there often.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up 11/29-12/3/10

I can hardly believe December is already here.  Georgie was very excited since December means Winter and Winter means SNOW!!  Wednesday morning he eagerly went to look out the window to catch his first glimpse of…..rain.  Lots and lots of torrential rain.   So I explained once again, as I have been since the middle of November when the idea first came up, that Winter was when it COULD snow but that didn’t mean it WOULD snow on any given day.  I don’t know what the poor kid will do if we don’t have a white Christmas after watching all those holiday movies.  Since we are in NJ, there’s a chance but no guarantee.

Our main activity this week was talking about Winter and doing some crafts.  Our first craft was to decorate foam snowflakes using winter-themed foam stickers – polar bears, penguins, hats, scarves, mittens, smaller glittery snowflakes and some glittery letters.  Here are Georgie’s completed snowflakes:

Notice how I integrated spelling practice into our craft?  Aren’t I just soooo brilliant to do that? 
Yeah,  except it wasn’t my idea.   Let’s take a closer look at the first of Georgie’s snowflakes.

They are meant to be read across – the words SIT, WET, LOT and TEN.   If you study them closely you may realize these are the letters that would be used to spell “LET IT SNOW”.  Something that it’s actually logical to see on a decoration consisting of snowflakes.  Evidently my son disagrees.   I ended up giving in and pulling out more of our glittery letters and letting him go to town.  This actually kept him busy for quite some time as he did Y words….

words that end in T but do NOT rhyme…

words that begin with CA….

and a few other random selections.  It was actually a very useful exercise to reinforce the idea (from a recent AAS lesson) that every word has at least one vowel.  He had to continuously search through the pile of letters for vowels and even remembered to pull out Y when we decided to make a separate pile to make it easier.   And of course all his snowflakes are now hanging from our living room rafters as the perfect homeschool decorations.  ;-)

Vicki did also make some snowflakes but she was much more interested in the polar bears and penguins.  She lost interest in this much faster than Georgie did and asked to “paint on nothing” (blank paper) where she made some lovely art work with her Paintastic pens, which she still loves.

Our next project was one I thought would be a hit and ended up over quickly with little interest shown in extending it.  We made cotton ball snowmen. Vicki’s is the one with white eyes since she didn’t want to wait for me to get out the black pom-poms before getting started.  She seems to be getting over her love for glue and didn’t even attempt to make a complete face.  Georgie did a little more but even he lost interest before fully covering the face.

I then introduced Georgie to fold and cut snowflakes.  He was completely fascinated as the first one unfolded and sat on the couch for over an hour trying different combinations of folds and cuts.

It was like looking for shapes in clouds at times.  He’d open up his latest creation, look at it for a minute and declare “looks like a dog with a fuzzy tail” or “hmmm, that’s a dragon laying down with his tail in the air”.  Many of these didn't make it into his snowflake pile but he really enjoyed the process.

Vicki did a little bit of cutting and was very proud of her little flower.

After a while, Georgie had enough of cutting and wanted to paint some of his snowflakes.  He did not want to paint them with our icicle glitter or silver paint.    Once again showing his creativity, he made them fun colors.  Even here in NJ, those are some strange colors for snowflakes. :-D  The Christmas trees looking one was actually one of my attempts.

Our final project was to take some of our few remaining foam snowflakes, paint them with watered down glue and dip them in icicle glitter. (yes, I was determined to use some icicle glitter on our decorations).  They had a lot of fun with this but it didn’t take them very long to finish and it wasn't nearly as popular as the much less messy foam stickers.

Georgie is on vacation with Granny Franny next week so it will be just Vicki and I.  Depending on how cooperative the little girl is being next week’s Wrap-up may be pretty brief.

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