Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Hatmaker's Sign

 Jack's latest FIAR book was The Hatmaker's Sign, a retelling of a story Benjamin Franklin told Thomas Jefferson when others were critiquing the Declaration of Independence.

 We mapped the thirteen colonies and made a new sign for the hatmaker.
 And, of course, we made hats.

 I love this book!  All it is is the Declaration of Independence, but it is broken down and illustrated to make the language easier to understand.  I used this with my fifth graders every year.

 We really enjoy Jim Weiss CDs and Thomas Jefferson's America is a great go-along for this book!

 This is another good one left from my classroom days.  We read some of these biographies during our morning basket time.

 The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence tells what happened to the Declaration of Independence after it was signed.  It was very interesting!

 We read the Jean Fritz biographies of John Hancock and Ben Franklin.  I love those books!

 Jack really enjoyed this one.  It's very short, but it's funny and has some good information.

 We also read this biography--Homeschool Share has a free lapbook for this one!

 On Ben Franklin's birthday we had hasty pudding.  We used the recipe from Ben Franklin, American Genius: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities.

 Since Ben's father was a soapmaker (we read about this in the Jean Fritz bio), we tried making our own soap.  I was not feeling too adventurous, so we just got a kit from Hobby Lobby.

It was a lot of fun and they turned out great!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cooking School: Blueberry Pancake Day

 My kids are always wanting to cook--this is a picture from the evening they made us Krabby Patties.  Truly, I don't like to have them cook.  It stresses me out that they will burn themselves or spill everything everywhere and when they do try it, I realize I am a huge control freak.

One of my goals for this year, though, is to have them cook more.  Today was Blueberry Pancake Day, so that's what we made!  (You can find out about awesome days like this with the fun calendars on the Homeschool Share Blog!)

 One of the books I purchased to work toward this goal was Pretend Soup.

 I got this book because it has lot of pictures so Alice can follow along.  I have Honest Pretzels (by the same author) in my Amazon cart now because I think it will have some things Jack will enjoy more.

 They scooped and measured.

 And they poured.

 The first one looked like a crepe, so we added some more flour and tried again.


No one was burned (too badly) and no one made a huge mess.  All in all, a big success!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fun Friday: Show Time!

 Today we went to a show at the PAC.  Jack has been before, but this was Alice's first time.

 We saw Rock the Presidents, a show that was about an hour long and filled with Schoolhouse Rock-type songs about the presidents.

 Afterward we had lunch and played with friends.

Alice worked on her tree-climbing skills.

 Tonight we went to my mom and dad's to see the new episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Jay and Jack had planned on watching it together, but Jay wasn't able to leave the office, so he watched it there while Jack watched it at home and they stayed on the phone the entire time so they could discuss it.

When we got home, the kids wanted to have a sleepover, which means they get to watch a show on the Kindle while they're in bed--a rare treat.  Even Boris joined in!

Speaking of shows, I have finally gotten the chance to start watching Downton Abbey and if my children didn't require food or attention I would probably lock myself in my room and watch every episode over a 24 hour period.  It's that good. 

I often forget to share links, but I'm still blogging at the Homeschool Share Blog and at MetroFamily, so check them out!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Learning Together: Hanna's Cold Winter & Goodnight Gorilla

 This week I have a post up at the Homeschool Share Blog about younger and older kids learning together.  We did this a bit last fall when Jack rowed The Pumpkin Runner while Alice rowed Katy No-Pocket, but I never got around to sharing it here.  Over Christmas break I worked on coordinating some of the books they would be using so we could have some overlap in our fun activities.

First up:  Hanna's Cold Winter for Jack and Goodnight Gorilla for Alice.  For printables we used Homeschool Share.

 I really love Steve Jenkins books.  (You might recall that I stood in a really long line to have him sign our books even though I was on the verge of getting sick in line.  I'm still glad I stuck it out!)  We read this one...

 ...and compared our hands to a gorilla's hand.

 We also used these as go-alongs.

 Tilt your head and see if you see anything funny about this picture.

 Jack learned about symbiotic relationships with How to Clean a Hippopotamus.  Yes, it's another Steve Jenkins book--review to be on the HSS Blog in March, I think.  I used the type-it-in lapbook templates that are free to HSS Blog subscribers to make a lapbook piece for the book.

 When I was looking for books on hippos at the library I happened across this one and brought it home.  It is the true story of a hippo who was rescued after the 2004 tsunami and formed a relationship with an Aldabra Tortoise.  You can read more about them at their website.

 When we went to our zoo we were able to get really close to the Aldabra Tortoises!

 We don't have gorillas or hippos at our zoo, but we saw the chimpanzees.

We saw a few other animals from Goodnight Gorilla, too!
During that week's tea time we had zoo animal cookies.

Next week the second part of my post will be up and we will be starting our second round of learning together!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Water Zoo

 Yesterday we got up very early to visit the Water Zoo.

 Alice loved the splash pad area.  She went on the tiger slide over and over but she kept sliding off the blue mat and eventually had to stop because her buns hurt from sliding on the rough floor.

 Most of my pictures of Jack look like spy pictures.

 That's because he spent most of his time climbing this huge staircase--64 steps, he tells me.
 He loved the water slides.

 The slides start inside then go outside and then back in.  The yellow one puts you into the blue and green circle and I kept going around and around and finally had to hang onto the sides and push my tube toward the exit!

 Playing in the basketball pool.

 Floating on the lazy river.

 We just chillin' on the sea.
(We've listened to this song about a million times over the last few days.)

 Alice wasn't sure what to think of the wave pool.

 There's a water playground upstairs with slides for smaller kids.

 Jack about to get doused!

We spent seven hours there and another seven on the road.  This is what they looked like at the last stop light on the way home.  We all went right to bed!