Friday, August 26, 2005

Insect/Spider 5 Day Plan

Math - Ladybug

- bugs and insects, eric carle,

- bug/spider anatomy

Crafts - ladybug

Misc. -
scavenger hunt

Math - Bug

- insects, insects work together, i know an old

- types of insects

Crafts - paper mache

Misc. -
grasshopper jump

Math - Tarantula

- spiders, spiders lunch, little miss

- types of insects
Crafts - make spider web,

- curds and whey

Misc. - relay race, little miss
muffet pages

Math - busy

- dangerous insects

- fruit fly

- wasp chamber

- buzzy bees & ants on a

Math -

- insects, eric carle

- jumping grasshopper

- Bug cake

Misc. - 

free stuff

This blog has lots of links to free curriculum supplements.

The Underground History of American Education - read it online

I've wanted to read this book for some time - I just found the entire thing available online.

The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto

From the prologue:
     If I demanded you give up your television to
an anonymous, itinerant repairman who needed work you’d think I was
crazy; if I came with a policeman who forced you to pay that repairman
even after he broke your set, you would be outraged. Why are you so
docile when you give up your child to a government agent called a

I want to open up concealed aspects of modern schooling such as the
deterioration it forces in the morality of parenting. You have no say
at all in choosing your teachers. You know nothing about their
backgrounds or families. And the state knows little more than you do.
This is as radical a piece of social engineering as the human
imagination can conceive. What does it mean?

     One thing you do know is how unlikely it will
be for any teacher to understand the personality of your particular
child or anything significant about your family, culture, religion,
plans, hopes, dreams. In the confusion of school affairs even teachers
so disposed don’t have opportunity to know those things. How did this

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Asia 5 Day Plan

- Panda

- Panda craft, color map of Asia
Math - file folder games,
math workbook

- cut out pictures of asian people, make paper,
look at the panda cam

- Asia, Tiki-tiki-tembo, Ancient China, reading

Tuesday - Tigers
Crafts - tiger puppet,
color coloring page

- file folder games, math workbook
Science - wild

- Where the wild things are, wildlife, nepal,

Wednesday - Cobra
Crafts - paint coloring
page, make snake from tie, paint japan flag
Math - color patterns on
snake, math workbook
Reading - Japan, scary animals, reading
Cooking - Japanese lunch

- Leopard

- make patterns from potato prints, color page,
fill in spots

- go on a pattern hunt, math
Reading - How many spots, China, reading

Friday - Yak
Crafts - color page, build
great wall of china

- math workbook
- reading lesson
Cooking - Canton Corn Soup

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Beginners Art Curriculum

This is the coolest site!  I can't believe it's all free LOL.  This has 8 units, each with several lessons.

Beginners Art Curriculum

September Unit Studies

Africa Unit Study
Neighborhood Unit Study
Asia Unit Study
Insect/Spider Unit Study

Africa 5 Day Plan
Neighborhood 5 Day Plan
Asia 5 Day Plan

File Folder Games ideas/links

File Folder Games

Materials needed:
Letter Size File Folders
Clear Contact Paper or a lamination machine

All file folders will need a cover picture and file name glued to the
front of the file with instructions on how to play, and write the name
of the game on the tab.  Attach a ziplock bag to the back of the
folder to hold the pieces.  These games are good for quiet times,
work alone times, and car rides!   To make a file folder
game, laminate the base pieces and glue to the insides of the file
folder.  Or, glue to the insides before laminating, and then
laminate the entire folder.  After laminating, add small pieces of
velcro to the base pieces.   Then cut out and laminate the
playing pieces, adding velcro to the backs of those.   Now
the playing pieces can attach to the base piece.


How to play:

Match the rhyming pictures.

To make:

out rabbits and glue a smaller picture of household items on top of the
rabbit picture.  Glue half the rabbits to the file folder, and
leave their pairs loose.  To make this more advanced for a reading
child, you could write the words on each rabbit, instead of a picture.

Answer key:

Net-Wet; Snail-Mail; Chain-Rain; Nose-Rose; Rake-Cake; Moon-Spoon;
Bag-Flag; Tree-Bee; Rock-Sock; Can-Pan; Log-Dog; Ring-King; Tie-Eye;
Duck-Truck; Bat-Hat.


How to Play:

Match shapes to make a picture.

To Make:

a picture from a coloring book that includes lots of triangles,
circles, rectangles and squares. You could draw your own picture also
using a sun, water, round fish and boat made up of a combination of
several triangles, rectangles and squares. Make two copies of the same
picture, large enough to fit one picture on each side of the inside
folder. On the left side of the folder show the completed colored
picture. On the right side of the folder do not color in the shapes but
leave the lines in black and white. Laminate the folder. Cut out
colored cardstock of the shapes your child will need to complete the
right hand side of the folder.

Animal Habitats

Cut out images of a desert, ocean, jungle and other habitats. 
Glue them onto the insides of the folder.   Cut out images of
animals, and the child has to match the animal to the correct habitat.

Body Parts
out 2 copies of a human body/paper doll.  Color and
laminate.  Glue one body down, and cut the other one into pieces -
hands, feet, face, etc.  For older kids you can label the parts of
the body.   To make it more educational as the kids get
older, you can go to a specific system, like the digestive, or the
brain, or do something like the face.

idea is to print out a copy of a paper doll, and then print out clothes
for him, and the kids can change their clothes/face/shoes.

Some examples of FFG I'm going to make (a lot of ideas came from the following links) are:

Car Matching numbers - matching 1-20
Umbrella alphabet - matching upper and lowercase letters
Umbrella shapes - matching single and double shapes
Number Shape - matching numbers and shapes, 1-30
Body Parts and clothes
Animal Habitats
Alphabet matching - matching a letter of the alphabet to an image that it starts with - ex. A would match up to an apple.

Free Printables - Some File Folder Games
File Folder Yahoo Group
Phonics Games File Folder Games
6 File Folder Games
Enchanted Learning File Folder Games
Game Boards and Ideas

$40 worth of free school supplies

I saw this posted on another blog -
apparantly a few homeschoolers have sent this in and recieved their
free stuff, so that's cool!!!

Free School Supplies

file folder game - picture

Then you would stick a small piece of velcro on all of those watermelons.  Then you would have 10 more watermelons, only with the numerical number on them, also with velcro on the back.   Then the kid takes the numerical number and has to match it up to the amount of seeds on the watermelon.  Everything is laminated, too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

File Folder Games

I have just discovered file folder
games.   Are they the coolest things since cd's or what? 
(side note - I actually had a guy my freshman year tell me that I was
the best thing to happen to him since cd's.  I probably shouldn't
laugh, but I still think that is just a hilariously cheesy line LOL)

Anyway.......I am having a field day looking stuff in a day
or two I will have a post with lots of links/info on file folder
games.   And as soon as I go school supply shopping, I'll
have pictures too :)

bingo cards

this is a good site with bingo cards pre-made.  BINGO

Neighborhood - 5 Day Plan

Another schedule for a week of preschool.  On nice days, take walks around the neighborhood and visit stores/bank etc.

Monday - Firemen/Policemen

Science - water experiments
Crafts - Fire collage, fire painting
Cooking - Fire truck cookies
Math - do pages in book
Misc - fire safety
Reading - Firefighters, police officers, community helpers, do a reading lesson

Tuesday - Grocery Store
Math - play grocery store, work with money flashcards
Crafts - 3 men in a tub craft, baker TP roll craft
Cooking - bake some muffins
Reading - Rub-a-dub-dub, Richard Scarry, do a reading lesson

Wednesday - Post Office
Math - Mail Carrier
Crafts - make a mailbox out of cardboard box, make stamps, mail letters
Reading - Richard Scarry, Mail Carriers, do a reading lesson
Misc - Work on learning her name and address and phone number.

Thursday - Bank/Restaurant
Math - matching game, play with money cards
Crafts - Make traffic light, play with cars, make a menu
Cooking - help with dinner - play restaurant
Reading - do a reading lesson
Misc. Get play money and checkbook/atm - play Bank

Friday - Library/Garbageman
Math - draw map of the neighborhood, math pages in book
Science - make compost piles with different types of items.  Watch how they decay.
Crafts - paint coloring sheets
Reading -community books, librarian, garbage, do a reading lesson
Play Bingo to review

Africa - 5 day plan

Another schedule for a week of preschool.

- Ostrich
Color the map of Africa, look at it on Google Earth.
Paint the ostrich coloring page.
Math - Ostrich eggs. 
Reading - Africa book and Ostrich book, zoobooks, Do a reading lesson
Crafts - African Drum
Science - listen to sound of an ostrich.  Watch a video clip of it running.

Tuesday - Hippo
Color coloring sheet with markers
Math - do pages in math book - practice writing numbers
Reading - Hippo books, Do a reading lesson
Crafts - texture paint
Music - listen to African music
Cooking - Sweet Potato Cookies
Science - listen to sound of hippo, watch a video on Africa

Wednesday - Cheetah
Color coloring sheet with pastels
Math - Jaguar Spots, running like a cheetah & measurements
Science - animal coverings, listen to african languages
Reading - cheetah books, animal camouflage, zoobooks, Do a reading lesson
Crafts - Rain Stick
Cooking - Cheetah cookies

Thursday - Elephant
Color coloring sheet with crayons
Math - pages in math book
Science -  listen to sounds of an elephant.  Make habitat.
Crafts - using salt dough recipe, make some elephants - bake and paint them.
Cooking - Ginger Root Beer
Music - fingerplay, play along with rain stick and drum to african music
Reading - Elephant books, Do a reading lesson

Friday - Zebra
Color coloring sheet with colored pencils
Math -
Zebra matching game
Reading - Zebra books, Africa book, Lion and the Mouse, Do a reading lesson
Crafts - stamp with rubber stamps
Color a map of Africa again, and mark where the various animals live.
Review the week.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Useful Websites

This had some good ideas throughout.  Preschoolers and Peace

Excellent clip-art.   ArthursClipart

Outline maps of countries

2 good articles

Here is a good article I found on how home-schoolers are challenging the education monopoly.

Here is another excellent related article on Socialization.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Insects/Spiders Unit Study

Another preschool unit
study.  A lot of these ideas I got off of a very well done insect
unit study I found online.  I printed it off a few months ago - I
can't find the site again, either.  If I come across it, I'll post
it.  I hope I can find it - it was great - color coded and

Some tips from doing this one:  Don't
use Elmer's glue for the ladybug necklace.   It's too easy to
rip the felt out of the caps.  If you're going to do the paper
mache insects, it is a week long project.   Fun, but a long
project.  And you'll need to use sturdy glue to glue them
together.   I also used toothpicks in between each section to
hold it together better.  For the bingo cards I made, I made them
1 inch by 1 inch.  I should have done 2 inches square
instead.  And the puff paint spider web wasn't that
cool.   The puff paint bottle was hard for the kids to
squeeze, and when it was all was cool to touch since it was
dimensional, but the paper was flat.  I had been picturing the
paper a bit more dimensional along the folds, but it
wasn't.   So nothing spectacular there LOL.


I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
Little Miss Muffet
Eric Carle insect books
Bugs and other insects / Bobbie Kalman & Tammy Everts J 595.7 K
Dangerous insects / Missy Allen, Michel Peissel J 595.7065 A
How insects work together / Jill Bailey J 595.7156 B
Insects / Anna Claybourne J 595.7 CLA
Insects, bugs, & art activities / Steve Parker & Polly Goodman J 595.7 PAR
Spiders, centipedes, and millipedes / Sally Morgan J 595.44 M
Spider's lunch : all about garden spiders / Joanna Cole J 595.44 C

Tarantula's Bananas
tarantulas and bananas.  Color, laminate and cut out.  Have
her match the number on each tarantula to the correct group of bananas.

Ladybug Game
Duplicate 5 copies of ladybugs, and number 1-15.  Color, laminate,
cut out.  Have her look at the number on the back of each ladybug,
and then place the correct number of black beans on the back of each

Give the kids each a magnifying glass and a
notebook.  Go outside/on a walk and mark down how many bugs they
find.  When we come back inside, make a graph of the kinds and
amounts of bugs they found.

Do the activity cards with Busy Bugs
Practice adding with rubber bugs.

Draw a map of our neighborhood.  Take a bug and figure out how to get from one place to another, following the roads.


Identify body parts of insects

Learn about metamorphosis

Learn about the types of insects:

garden helpers
edible insects

Fruit Flies
a ripe piece of fruit and place it in an open glass jar.  Put it
near an open window for a couple days.  Place a cap on the jar and
leave it in a warm area.  Watch what happens to the fruit. 
(In a few days, fruit flies should emerge - gag)

Listen to sounds of insects on the computer/by cd

Make curds and whey
- either the real way by making homemade yogurt, or heat 2 cups whole
milk until just boiling.  Remove from heat and add a tablespoon of
vinegar and stir.

Buzzy Bees
Fill a drinking cup with juice (nectar).  Make large paper flowers
and tape them to a drinking cup.  Put a straw in the glass (so it
comes out the center of the flower).  Drink the nectar from the
flower like a bee or butterfly would.

Ants on a Log
Fill a celery stick with peanut butter, and put raisins on top.

Bug Mountain Cake
Bake a dome cake and a rectangle cake.  Place dome cake on top of
the rectangle cake - frost with chocolate frosting.  Cover with
2-3 cups of crushed chocolate cookies.  Arrange rubber bugs on top
of cake, crawling down the mountain.

stamp with my insect rubber stamps

Make a spider web -
a piece of black paper in half lengthwise, widthwise, and
diaganolly.  Open up and lay flat.  Trace with white puff
paint over the fold lines.  Make a spiral circle over that with
the paint, let dry.

Ladybug necklace - Paint
backs of 2 bottle caps red.  Draw black dots on one of them. 
Glue a strip of black felt to the insides of both, to make a
hinge.  Glue a photo inside.  Put yarn around the hinge for a
necklace.  (this will make more sense when we make it and I post a

Paper Mache Insects ( dh and I think this is the coolest project....I have a feeling we're going to have a lot of big insects around the house LOL)

Blow up balloons and tape them together to make body shapes.  Tear
newspaper into strips about 2 inches wide, and dip them into a 50/50
flour and water mix.  Cover the balloons with the newspaper strips
- let dry for an hour or so inbetween layers.  The more layers,
the sturdier the insect.   When you are all done, let dry for
a couple of days.  Pop the balloon with a needle.  Paint the
insect, and attach pipe cleaners for antennae, and whatever else you
want for eyes, wings, etc...

Make a Tarantula
Cut out a spider body and attach pipe cleaner legs.  Make it lifesize - 10 inches across, legs extended.

Queen Wasp Chamber
Paint 9 toilet paper tubes brown, and glue in a pyramid shape. 
Glue one grain of rice in each tube.  Make a wasp out of yellow
clay - use pipe cleaners for legs and antennae.  Draw on details
with black marker.  Place wasp in one of the chambers.

Jumping Grasshopper
Cut out a 3 cup section of a cardboard egg carton.  Paint the
outside green.  Put a rubber ball in the middle cup, pushing a
straight pin through each side to hold it in.  Cut out legs and
wings from green construction paper, and glue to the sides and
top.  Add eyes. 

Ants go Marching 1x1 (I hate this song )
I Caught a Baby Bumble Bee
Listen to Flight of the Bumblebee

Bible Verses
Prov 6:6, 30:24, 25, 27  Exodus 8:20-32, 10:1-20, Joel 1:2-4 Psalms 105:31

Misc. Activities
Go on a scavenger hunt.  Give them a list of insects (use pictures or stickers for the list), and as they find them, mark them off.

Grasshopper Jump - make an obstacle course of things for them to jump over.

Relay Race - Have them race each other, doing things like the caterpillar/inchworm crawl, grasshopper hop, etc.

Make a 5x5 card, with images of insects or numbers on the
squares.  Either call out the name of an insect and she has to
find it and put a marker on it, or ask a question with a numerical
answer, and she has to find the number and put a marker on it.  Ex
- How many legs does an insect have?  Or have a pile with matching
pictures, and flip over the pile, one by one and find the matching
image - first with 5 in a row wins.


Insect Worksheets
Lots of Insect Coloring Sheets
Itsy Bitsy Spider craft ideas
Awesome Insect clip art

Books I used:
Crafts for Kids who are Wild about Insects - Kathy Ross

Unit Topic Themes for the Year

is my revised list of topics for this year.  There is no Nov-Jan
because of me being too pregnant and then finally having Baelin.




South America

North America
Musical Instruments
Planes, Trains, Boats

5 Senses



Saturday, August 20, 2005

Asia Unit Study

is another almost finished ideal unit study for our first month of
school.  It was hard finding stuff online for Asia, and I need to
make another run to the library for a few more books for
ideas.   But this is a good start.    I'm
nervous and afraid at the same time to start - it will be nice to see
how this plays out in reality, and where I'll need to tweak it. 
Not to mention how this will work with a 2 year old running around

Look at Asia and Great Wall of China on Google Earth
Coloring map of Asia
Lots of maps I converted these to black and white with the photocopy option in Photoshop.

Animals to study:

Panda Bears
Tigers - coloring page
King cobra - coloring page
Yak - coloring page
Snow Leopard - coloring page

Color the snake with patterns

Go on a pattern hunt.   Walk around the house, finding things that have a pattern on them.


Have her cut out pictures of Asian people and animals from magazines
and glue to paper.  Talk about how God made different kinds of

Wild Thing
powdered Plaster of Paris into a ziploc bag - add a little water. 
Close tightly.  Have them squeeze and twist the bag into a 'wild
thing'.  Let dry, remove from bag.   Paint.  
Talk about what happened to the liquid and the dry, what it felt like,
etc.  Experiment with other wet/dry mixtures - wet sand - what
happens to the liquid?  Evaporation/condensation


These are very good books:
China: the people
/ Bobbie Kalman J 951 KAL
China: the culture/ Bobbie Kalman J 951 KAL
China : the land / Bobbie Kalman J 951 KAL
Japan: the people /
Bobbie Kalman
Japan: the culture / Bobbie Kalman
Japan: the land / Bobbie Kalman

Ancient China / Judith Simpson J 931 A
How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have?
Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
Asia / Malcolm Porter and Keith Lye JR 950 POR
Are tigers ticklish? : see God's character in His creation /  Debby Anderson E A
The kids' wildlife book / by Warner Shedd J 591 S
Scary animals / by Jean de Sart J 591 S
Japan / Adele Richardson J 952 R
Into wild Nepal / John Woodward J 591.95 INT

Panda craft  Page 2

Make a snake

What you will need: Old ties, polyfil stuffing, wiggly eyes, glue, wire (from a hanger)

What to do:
If you would like your snake to be bendable, straighten out a wire
hanger or use some other type of wire. Make sure you fold down the ends
of the wire with some needle nose pliers so that the edges are very
smooth. Insert the hanger into the tie.
2.   Stuff the tie with polyfil from each end of the snake.
3. Glue or sew the tail end of the snake closed.
4. Push some stuffing up into the point of the snakes head (the wider
end of the tie).  Glue the end closed and glue on some wiggly eyes
to finish.

Potato prints - make patterns with them.

Make a cobra out of clay

Build the Great Wall of China
Mix 4 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, and 1 1/2 cups of water. 
Knead it and shape it into bricks that are 2x3 inches, and about 1 1/2
inches thick.  Bake in a 300 degree oven for 30 min.  Then
stack, and build.

Make a tiger puppet with paper plate and
popsicle stick - decoupage orange tissue paper onto plate, paint on
black stripes and face.

Rice Paper
Fold a white piece of tissue paper in half.  Open the paper up and
lay it on top of smoothed out plastic wrap.  Arrange pressed
flowers and leaves on one half of the tissue.  Fold the other half
of the paper on top.  Use a paintbrush and coat the entire piece
with a 50/50 mix of glue and water.  Let paper completely dry,
then peel off the plastic.
Japanese lunch
Ramen Noodles
Matchstick Carrots
Pea Pods
Shredded Lettuce
Chopped Onion
Sliced Mushroom

Heat 2 TBL oil in wok or lg frying pan. Stir in all veggies and cooked
meat stirring constantly. Fry for aprox 2-3 minutes. Add the flavor
pkts from the Ramen, sugar and boilingwater. Make a well in the middle
of the veggies and meat and place noodles in the liquid. Cover and
simmer 2 minutes. Stir and cook additional minute.  Sit on pillows
on the floor and eat with chopsticks.

Canton Corn Soup
3 c. Chicken Broth, 16 oz creamstyle corn, 3 TB apple juice and 2 TB
soy sauce in pan.  Bring to boil.  Mix 2 TB cornstarch with
1/4 c. watr and add to soup.  Separate 2 eggs.  Lightly beat
whites.  Remove soup from heat, and add whites slowly, swirling
with fork.  Season with salt and pepper.

Misc. Activities

Practice picking up cotton balls with chopsticks.
Paint a Japanese Flag
Go to an authentic asian restuarant

Chinese Children Songs mp3
Chinese Music
Helpful Links
Learn how to use chopsticks
Unit Study Planning Sheet

Books I used
Instant Science for Primary Grades by Sam Ed Brown

Queen of Procrastination!!!

was going to make this as a comment at the bottom of my first post, but
decided to just make a whole entry about this.  I am one of the
most unorganized, unscheduled people I know.  Actually, I'm
starting to think that there are two aspects to organizing.  I can
plan, plan, plan up the wazoo and have all these great looking
ideas........and then Monday rolls around and I don't get anything
done.   And I procrastinate.   About everything.  So
does my dh.   Not a good combination LOL.   Slowly, we're
getting better, since in the real world there are consequences to

I think for me what it boils down to is laziness   And a computer addiction  
I get so into what I, I, I, I want to do, that I don't do a ton of
stuff with the kids and so then they run around and get on my
nerves.    There have been a couple of times where I
have gotten organized for a month or so, and our home has been
wonderful.   It is so peaceful, clean, and fun, and I even
have time to do 'me things' without feeling guilty about it.

I think because I know
with God it is possible, and he's proven that, that Satan uses me and
my laziness to get in the way of being the person I'm supposed to
be.    And that's another neat thing about being
naturally unorganized and very very unscheduled - when I am, I know
it's only b/c of God.

Ok my kids are
distracting me now, so before I start rambling too bad, I'll finish
LOL.     I just want to say, please don't think I
am some really good, organized, homeschool mom.    I
know a couple of them and I wish I was them!!!!!!   
I've never even done this yet - I just have ideas.   I'm
actually very nervous about getting started for real in a couple of

    That's part of why I started this blog - to find
encouragement from people who have been there, and hopefully with my
ideas and what our school looks like in reality, maybe be an
encouragement to someone else.  The last thing I want to do is
have someone discouraged b/c they think they can't do homeschooling
like they want to.   If God's given you the desire, he'll
give you the ability to do it. 

We'll find out together
in a couple weeks as we really begin our journey, how these ideas will
really play out in real life, but if any good comes out of it at all,
it will be only a complete testimony to the power of God. 
Here is a trustworthy saying that
deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save and help unorganized procrastinators—of whom I am the worst. 1 Timothy 1:15
(my homeschooled version)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Great books if you have younger kids

just love this Williamson Kids Can series.  Our library has
several of these books, and they are just excellent.   Lots
of fun, good, cheap ideas.   Here is a sampling of their

The Kids' Multicultural Cookbook: Food & Fun Around the World
Ecoart!: Earth-Friendly Art and Craft Experiences for 3-To 9-Year-Olds
The Kids' Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences
Vroom! Vroom!: Making 'Dozers,'Copters, Trucks & More
Kids' Crazy Art Concoctions: 50 Mysterious Mixtures for Art & Craft Fun
Hand-Print Animal Art
Real-World Math for Hands-On-Fun!

Ross books - she is so creative!!!!!  Once again, a lot of these
can be found at the library.   Although, hers are so cool I
wouldn't mind collecting them LOL!   Here are a few titles:

Crafts for All Seasons
The Best Holiday Crafts Ever
Crafts/Favorite Bible Stories
The Storytime Craft Book
Crafts From Your Favorite Fairy Tales
Crafts From Favorite Nursery Rhymes

Neighborhood Unit Study

Here is another unit study for September.  Later I'll divide this into 5 days as well.

Topics to learn about:

Grocery Store
Post Office
Garbage Man - Coloring Sheet
Policemen - Police Coloring Sheet
Firemen - 32 page coloring/activity book to print 
you'll need to do Image Resize and resize it to an 8.5x11 page - the
pages are zipped and when unzipped, are only a couple inches big.
Library - Coloring Sheet  


Mail Carrier
and cut out mail carrier hat.  Copy houses and letters, let her
color them.  Laminate and cut out.   Put the mail hat
on.  Line up the houses in a row.  Look at the numbers on the
houses, and find the matching letter.  Deliver the letter to the

Play grocery store with her play food.  Use money to buy things.  Play with her money flashcards.

Have dh bring home some blueprints.  Show her what they are.  Learn what the lines and symbols mean.

Learn about water.  Gather various items that absorb water and
items that don't.  Put them in water and see what happens.

Make a fire collage using red, orange, and yellow bits of torn paper.
Rub-A-Dub-Dub Nursery Rhyme
Paint a plastic bowl.  Cut out images of 3 people and place inside the tub.
Duplicate coloring page. Baker TP roll craft

Fire Painting

Using colors associated with fire (red, orange) squirt or
draw thick lines of paint on paper and add a few drops of black
paint here and there. Press clear plastic wrap onto the paper
and squeegee the paint around. Pull plastic off of the paper
using a strong vertical pulling action. (This will cause the paint
to look like fire.) When paint is dry have the children glue a
black cutout of a house (windows cut out) and/or a black cutout of
a fire truck.


Fire Truck Cookies

Graham Crackers

Black licorice


Red icing
her spread icing on cracker.  Put oreos on for wheels.  Put
licorice horizontally, halfway down the cracker, as a hose.

Bake some cookies or muffins

Misc. Activities
- Teach her our address and phone number.
- Cut out a shape of a traffic light and a red, yellow and green circle.  Use with matchbox cars.
Play "Red Light, Green Light"
- Learn fire safety rules: never
play with matches; if clothes are on fire, stop, drop and roll; to
avoid smoke, stay low and go; keep away from hot appliances; and
practice home fire drills.
- Learn about 911
- Make a mail box out of a cardboard box.  Make letters and 'mail' them.
- Play restaurant - have her help with dinner, make menus, etc.

Matching Game
Find object or pictures that correspond with different community
helpers (mailbox, dentist chair, firetruck, etc.). Additionally find
pictures of community helpers in uniform. Let your children match which
object goes with what helper.


Books to Read:

There is an excellent series I found, called the Community Helpers
series.  They are published by Bridgestone Books, and are perfect
for preschool/kindergarten age.   A lot of the Dee Ready
books on this list are part of that series.  

You're a community helper / Karen Bryant-Mole J 331.7 B
Community helpers from A to Z / Bobbie Kalman J 331.7 K
Fire fighters ; by Dee Ready J 628.9 R
Police officers ; by Dee Ready J 363.2 R
Richard Scarry's busy workers E S
Richard Scarry's postman pig and his busy neighbors E S
Michael Berenstain's When I grow up : Oh, the things I can be! /E B
My teddy bear at work / Irwin Jorvik, Ltd E M
Mail carriers / by Dee Ready J 383.145 R
Librarians / by Dee Ready J 023.2 R
Garbage and recycling / Rosie Harlow, Sally Morgan J 363.728 H
Where does the garbage go? / by Paul Showers J 628.44 S
Field Trip possibilities:
Visit a bakery
Watch the butcher at the grocery store
Have her go with me to a dr. appointment
Go to the post office.

Good Links

Fingerplays and Songs
Coloring Pages
Unit Study Planning Sheet
Community Unit Study links

Books I used:
Let Loose on Mother Goose by Terry Graham
Instant Science for Primary Grades by Sam Ed Brown


Planning, planning, planning.  I love planning and organizing and researching.  I'm wierd, I know.   
So I've been browsing lots of blogs on here, and came across an
excellent article.  I'm trying to figure out this trackback thing,
so hopefully it'll work. (edited to say - nope, didn't work )

 The article (hyperlinked) is called

Help! I Have NO Idea WHERE To Begin Homeschooling!
By Cindy Rushton

a great article - really long.  It talks about finding God's
vision, setting goals, and getting organized.   I'm still
fighting an awful sinus infection, so I don't feel bad about sitting
here most of the day working on getting ready for school LOL. 
Although, I suppose I should get up and go eat at some point.

Africa Unit Study

 Here is my ideal unit study for our first week of school.  Later I'll break it up into 5 day sections.

A few notes about this one: - doing the stripes on the zebras freehand
is a pain to make a matching pair.   I'd recommend doing it in a
photo-editing program.  The Sweet Potato cookies were very
good.  I was surprised.  The kids keep scarfing them
down.  The homemade ginger   It had slightly
too much of a ginger aftertaste for me, although I bet that could be
remedied by adding more water or sugar or lemon juice.  Don't use
brightly colored cups for the African drums...the white tissue paper
doesn't cover all that well, even after being stained.

National Geographic Live WildCam in Botswana

Map of Africa to color
look at Africa on Google Earth

Animals to Study:
Ostrich - Ostrich coloring sheet
Hippo - Hippo coloring sheet  Another one
Cheetah - Cheetah coloring sheet
Elephant - Elephant coloring sheet
- Zebra coloring sheet

Ostrich Eggs
Make 20 copies of ostrich eggs.  Number eggs from 1-20; laminate
and cut out.  Have her line the eggs up in order from 1-20, and
then from 20-1.  Ostrich eggs can weigh up to 3.3 lbs.  
Find an equivalent weight and let her see how heavy it is. 
Compare to a chicken egg.

Jaguars' Spots
Make copy of sheet of jaguars.  Have her count the number of spots
on each jaguar.  Place an equal amount of dried beans on top of
each jaguar.    Print out the numeral equivalent to each
jaguar, and have her match the number of spots to the numeral.

Zebra Stripe Matching Game
Print out blank Zebra image
onto index cards.  Draw different amounts of stripes onto each
image - have 2 of each kind. Mix up the cards and let the her match the

Cheetah running/measurement (Zoobooks activity)

Animal Coverings

Get a variety of different animal coverings such as hair, fur,
feathers, etc.  Play with pieces, talk about them.  
Have her cut images of animals out of magazines and match the animal to
the type of covering.  Talk about why God gave each animal the
covering that it does - think about why a zebra with feathers (and
other examples like that) might not work.

Listen to sounds of the animals, either on cd or internet.
3 Hippo video clips, 1 audio

Listen to different languages being spoken, either on cd or internet.

Make a Habitat
- Using finished elephants, make a habitat for them - go on a walk and
find bark, grass, and leaves.  Put in a box with some water.


Zimbabwe Sweet Potato Cookies

2 1/2 cups (625 ml) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 ml) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter or margarine (1 stick)
1/4 cup (50 ml) sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon (5 ml) nutmeg
1/4 cup (50 ml) honey
1 egg
1 cup (250 ml) grated, raw sweet potatoes

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium-size mixing bowl. Set Aside.

Cream the butter or margarine with the sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in the lemon peel, nutmeg, honey, and egg. Then, stir in the grated
sweet potato.

Blend the flour mixture into the sweet potato mixture.

Place rounded teaspoons of the cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie
sheet. The cookies should be spaced at least 1/2-inch (1.25 cm)
apart.  Bake for 7 minutes.

Cheetah Cookies (from Zoobook magazine)

Ginger Root Beer
1/4 lb of ginger root.  Thinly slice.  Put in a pan with 3 c.
water - boil, cover and reduce heat and cook 20 min.  Throw away
root.  Add 1/2c. lemon juice and 1/3 c. sugar.  Stir until
dissolved.  Pour into a jar with a lid and refrigerate.  To
serve - fill glass 1/3-1/2 full with syrup.  Add ice and cold

Books to Read

Zigby camps out / Brian Paterson E PAT
Zebras / by Anthony D. Fredericks J 599.665 FRE
Yellow Hippo / by Alan Rogers E R
Hippos / Jenny Mary Markert J 599.734 M
Africa / Malcolm Porter and Keith Lye JR 960 POR
Ostriches / by Caroline Arnold J 598.5 ARN
Big egg / by Molly Coxe E COX
Cheetahs : fleetest of foot / by Eulalia Garcia J 599.74 G
The cheetah : world's fastest land animal / Joy Paige J 599.75 PAI
Aesop's Fable - The Lion and the Mouse
Animals in camouflage / Phyllis Limbacher Tildes J 591.472 T
Elephants : trunks and tusks / Adele D. Richardson J 599.67 RIC
Elephants The giant animals series/ Johnston, Marianne J 599.67 J
Saggy Baggy elephant : no place for me / by Gina Ingoglia E I
Here we go, Harry / Kim Lewis E LEW

Stamp with my giraffe, lion, and zebra rubber stamps
Texture painting with animal shaped bath toys

Rain Rhythm Stic

Paper towel tubing, plastic lids from milk jug, tape, beans or rice or cereal,  felt tip markers.

a paper towel tube with markers and sticker.  Close one end off
with a milk cap, sealing it with masking tape just to make sure the
filling doesn't come out.

fill the tube with dried beans or rice. Close the other end with a
cap.  Then let them shake, shake shake. It sounds just like

African Drum
Glue two styrofoam or plastic cups together, bottom to bottom and let dry.  Tear off 4 to 5 inch lengths of masking tape and completely cover the opening at the top and bottom of the cups.  Decoupage white tissue paper all over the outside of the cups and when dry, brush overtop with coffee or strong tea.  Draw geometric or other designs around the top, middle and bottom of the drums with permanent markers.

Salt Dough Elephants
2 c. flour
1 c. salt
1 c. water
Mix and knead.  Make figures, bake at 250 until brown. 



I'd like to go to Africa      (Point to self.)

Where natives build straw huts like this (Join fingertips of two hands and form roof)

Where elephants have big, gray trunks (clasp hands and swing arms in front like a trunk)

Where natives’ arrow seldom miss (Shoot arrow in pantomime.)

Where lions shake their manes and roar (Shake head & roar)

I'd like to go to Africa. (Point to self)

Get a CD from the library with african music on it.
African drums

Misc. Activities
Play with felt animals from Betty Lukens flannelgraph Bible stories - The Felt Source

Possibly take a field trip to a nearby Ostrich Farm

Get a National Geographic (or similar) video on Africa

Good Links
Wildlife Safari
Desert link
National Geographic Coloring Sheets
Unit Study planning page link
Books I'm using:

A to Z Math Games by Karen M. Breitbart (picked it up at a garage sale for $4!!!)

Instant Science for Primary Grades by Sam Ed Brown (another yard sale find!)

Copyright 2011
Classical Chaos

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