Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth day sale @ pittsburgh cloth diapers!!!

have you checked out Pittsburgh Cloth diapers!! they are having an Earth day sale!! AND the best part is they have FREE SHIPPING!!! LOVE THAT!! I have been to their new store and they are awesome and then some!! here is the link buy something today!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A face lift..

I love graphic arts. I wanted to give this new blog a bit of jazz in hopes to attract some new followers. I understand that some people use feed readers and such. I have gotten a few emails and that is wonderful so thanks for that!! I would love to get more followers and increase the traffic so we can start doing some contests and give aways. So spread the word!! I would love some feedback on the new look and anything you would like to see featured here on this blog. I also want to start featuring a homeschool or a teachers blog once a month. To give other homeschooling & teacher blogs exposure and a little bio about the mom/teacher behind it. I will start this in may so that the mom/blog will get a full month. So if you have fellow homeschooling and teaching friends let them know. If you would like to be featured please leave a comment and I will get a list going TY!!

have a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Freebie

My Friday Freebie this week is to share some fun and of course educational plans we will be doing next week.

Basically its a simple method that has been practiced widely among PreK teachers, websites and more.

The basics..
Our Theme is What can you find?
Our Color is Yellow
Our Shape is Oval
Our 3D shape is Cylinder
Our Letter is C
Our Vegetable is Corn
Our Number is 6

With this as our guide we will have a scavenger hunt in our house (and outside weather permitting) We will find things that start w/ C that are yellow or oval shaped or things that are in groups of 6 etc.

Monday we will make a Silo with Popsicle sticks and an oatmeal canister. So this will let us talk about cylinders, where corn is stored & farming, yellow & my 4 yr old LOVES to glue.. so its win win.

Tuesday we will make Lemon (yellow) Jello in our leftover egg dying cups which are oval shaped.
this will reinforce our color & shape and give us a yummy snack too.

Wednesday we will make popcorn and talk about how popcorn is from corn and such. She loves to watch the popcorn maker.

Thursday we will make a big letter C out of yellow ovals (that mom will have loads of fun cutting out) and we will also practice writing the letter C

Friday we will make a big letter 6 by gluing leftover popcorn to paper. and will practice counting things to 6 and writing the number 6. we will also review everything we learned for the week.

These are things we do in addition to our basics, like Bible verses, workbook stuff & computer games and lessons.

Its so easy to come up with these types of plans on your own. Their is a website that has stuff like this broken down for you and when I remember the link I will post it. Have a great weekend everyone.. Please feel free to comment I'd love to hear from you!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Education anywhere!

Homeschoolers are blessed that they are not bound by walls. You can teach anywhere, anytime and pretty much anyway you see fit. We love the outdoors here (when weather permits of course)
So many teaching moments that you never even thought of exist beyond the confines of your home. Learning through nature, events, even grocery shopping has some wonderful teaching moments. For example you always open a package of eggs to make sure they are not cracked. Allow your preschooler to count the eggs to. Take a trip down the produce isle and name vegetables, colors, shapes etc. For older children you can talk about breaking down price by ounces and finding the best vaule, read nutrition labels, discuss serving sizes etc. So much exists even in you own backyard. We have a wonderful retaining wall that has turned into our outside chaulkboard, gardening, talking about nature and trees.

Our Seedlings (tomatoes, peppers & jalapeƱos)
Our outside chalkboard. Mostly used for creative works but we have done math here too lol.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Power of Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss has this amazing power of inspiring young children to read. It's no wonder at all that he is highly celebrated by children and adults of all ages. Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote 48 children's books under the pseudonym Dr.Seuss. Because of the popularity of his books lots of lesson plans have been developed. His books are wildly available in thrift stores which is great for homeschooling families on a budget. Dr. Seuss has had quite an impact on my 4 yr olds thought process. One of my favortie memories is her questioning me about the "Cat in the Hat" she really was wondering why their mother left them home alone. It was a great conversation between the two of us. Here is a great site of activites to go along with his books.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Freebie

Every Friday I will post a Free find that I plan to use myself in the coming weeks. I would love feedback on if you found it helpful. I will also do some of my own freebies when I have time to create them. This sounds like fun with any preschooler or younger elementary student.


Shaving Cream Art
Add a few drops of paint to shaving cream. Have the children use this to paint with. Not mixing the paint in will give it a special look.

Bubble Art
Click here to see an example.
Supply the children with a bowl with bubble mix in it and a straw with a hole near the top to prevent children from sucking the soap up. Have the children blow into the straw while it is in the bowl creating bubbles. Then, have the child place a drop of food coloring on the top of the bubbles and quickly press a piece of paper on the top of the bubbles to create bubble prints.

Bubble Prints
Obtain packing bubbles. Cut them so they are the same size as the paper you would like to use. Have the paint the bubbles. When the child is done painting, before the paint dries, press the paper onto the bubbles to make bubble prints.

Bubble Gum Wrapper Collage
Obtain many bubble gum wrappers. (It may be a good idea to ask parents to help.) Have the children glue the bubble gum wrappers to a piece of paper.

Clean Collage
Have the children cut out ads for cleaning products that make bubbles, like dish soap, laundry detergent, etc. Have the children glue the pictures to a piece of paper.


Sung to "Here we Go Round the Mulberry Bush"
This is the way we wash our hands
Wash our hands, wash our hands
This is the way we wash our hands
So early in the morning

This is the way we wash our (fill in the blank)
Wash our ___, wash our ____
This is the way we wash our ___
So early in the morning

You can fill in the blank with face, clothes, hair, etc.

Pop goes the Bubble
by chicky
Sung to "Pop! Goes the Weasel"
All around the giant playground
The toddler chased the bubble
The toddler thought twas all in fun
POP! Goes the Bubble

You can substitute a child's name for toddler to make it more interesting. You can also sing this song during circle time, then have each child stand up and sing the song to them as you blow a bubble for them.

I will Blow a Bubble
by chicky
Sung to "I'm a Little Teapot"
I will blow a bubble
In the sky
It floats away
I don't know why
If you try to touch it
It will pop
So I'll blow another bubble, for you to pop

Ten Little Bubbles
by chicky
Sung to "Ten Little Indians"
One little, two little, three little bubbles,
Four little, five little, six little bubbles,
Seven little, eight little, nine little bubbles,
Ten little bubbles for you to pop.

by chicky
sung to "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
Bubbles floating in the air,
in the air, in the air.
Bubbles floating in the air,
Pop, Pop, Wow!

by chicky
Sung to "I'm a Little Teapot"
I am a bubble, round not flat
If you try to touch me
I go ker-splat

Science, Math and Games

Blowing Bubbles
For some quick bubble action, try using a couple of fans to blow large amounts of bubbles at once. There are also quite a variety of bubble blowing machines available.

Rainbow Bubbles
Have bubbles available for the children to observe. Point out the iridescent colors, like a rainbow that the bubble has.

Bubble Bottle
Fill a bottle with water, but leave a little air in the bottle. Seal the bottle with hot wax and let cool. Allow the children to play with the bottle and observe the air bubble.

Air Bubbles in Food
You may use bread to show how air bubbles are in the food we eat. What other foods have air bubbles?

Blowing Bubbles
For older children!!! You can have a bubble blowing contest, for the biggest bubble or how many in a minute.

I Heard It Through the Grapevine
You will need a tall clear glass, raisins, fresh club soda (This won't work if the club soda is flat.) Pour the club soda in the glass. Drop in half of a raisin. Observe!!!

Baking Soda Raisin Dancing
You will need a tall clear glass (big enough to hold 2 cups liquid), raisins, water, vinegar and baking soda. Pour 1 cup water in the glass. Add one heaping teaspoon of baking soda. Add five raisins. Slowly add one cup of vinegar. Observe.

Bubble Gum Tally Chart
Graph the students favorite flavor of Bubble Gum

Bubble Count
As you blow bubbles, prompt the children to count them. For older children, ask them how many they popped.

Soap Sort
Obtain ads for various cleaning products. Glue each picture of the product to a seperate index card. Encourage the children to sort the cards. Ask why they put each product in each group. Did they sort them by color, by use?

Pop, Soda, Cola
Whatever you call it, carbonated beverages!!! Anyway have the children observe the bubbles in carbonated beverages.

Dramatic Play Area

Some great ideas for your dramatic play area include: a washing machine and dryer (made out of a box), plastic dishes and sink, empty soap boxes, empty dish soap bottle, empty laundry detergent bottles and boxes, sponges, empty shampoo bottles.

Car Wash
Do a real car wash, or make a pretend one in your sand and water table.

Rub a Dub Classroom
Have the students wash items from the classroom in the sand and water table.

Provide the children with plastic combs, a hair dryer (with the cord cut off), plastic rollers, barrettes, empty shampoo bottles and plastic smocks to pretend to be a beautician.

Sand and Water Table Ideas
Add Soapy Water
Add shaving Cream
Add soapy water, and let the children wash dolls or toys

Field Trip Ideas

Car Wash
Hair Salon
Pet Groomer

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Focusing on Schooling around holidays.

This proves to sometimes be difficult in many homes. Anticipation of the holiday & commitments to your friends, family & church can sometimes be overwhelming. As most homeschooling families go we always try to incorporate learning into everything we do. I find that Easter has some wonderful teaching moments. One of our favorite teaching moments is making resurrection rolls. We have been doing this for quite sometime now with our children and its so wonderful that the older children are now trying to take over and teach it to the younger children. With a preschooler easter eggs provide some great review of basic skills and science all in one. We talk about the shape of an egg, where the egg comes from, how to cook the egg, how the dye works etc. We started something new last year which was an easter basket scavenger hunt which is great for critical thinking skills. for your younger children you can print photo clues. We tried to challenge our older children a bit more and gave them some riddle type clues. the older children have asked if the "Easter Bunny" was going to do it again this year.Keeping the focus on education is quite simple when you get them excited to learn about the holiday. Your local library usually will have a display of books pertaining to the holiday and you can incorporate them into your regular schedule. Of course taking breaks from schooling is important as well so if you plan to take an extended break hit the studies hard a few weeks prior and slowly back down to your normal schedule then take that well deserved break. Their are loads of free sites that have great sections for holidays this week so far we have made a fuzzy egg (egg coloring page that we glued colored fuzz balls to it) We made a popsicle stick cross, and we are going to make this tomorrow for our centerpiece. Now its totally understandable if things happen around holidays and you fall behind a bit. My solution is we will cut out our extras for a week or two (extras as in art, science experiments, and other fun time consuming things) Then we have what I call "Super Saturday School" we then take all the fun things we had to skip out on and do them all in a day. They enjoy it a lot. Have a Blessed Easter :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Developing a lesson Plan

Their are several objectives to creating a lesson plan that will work for your child. You can find plenty of free lesson plans on the web but sometimes you just want to do your own thing.

I have sort of developed my own guide to writing a lesson plan.

  • what is the goal?
  • what are the required materials?
  • what are the step by step procedures to accomplish said goal?
  • what basics (as in abc's, 123's etc) are you going to incorporate?
  • what do you have for the child to work on independently when instruction is done.
  • how will you close the activity, what will you review.
Now for a real example of a lesson plan we used last week
  1. The goal: re-introduce a favorite book Chicka chicka boom boom & review alphabet
  2. Materials needed: The book, Markers & printout of traceable coloring page of a coconut tree.
  3. Step by step procedures: read book allowing child to say the letter when I point to it, encourage letter sounds, encourage tracing carefully and coloring creatively but carefully in the lines.
  4. The basics covered: letter recognition, listening and recalling pars of the story & Tracing
  5. Independent work: tracing and coloring tree
  6. Close the activity by reviewing favorite parts of the book & encouragement for a job well done
Now I don't always write it all out sometimes its a plan in my head depending on complexity of the lesson. I do like to make sure I have a few things jotted down monthly in case I need to obtain a new book or supplies. I find lesson planning extra helpful for math & science.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Typical day in PreK

I thought I would put my daily basics out their for those who are looking for a jumping off point. Our "school" day starts roughly between 8:30-9am it depends on what time my husband leaves. The first thing we do is check the weather (helpful when planning outside time in the afternoon) We have a simple little bulletin board where we have a calendar and weather center we usethese I taped yarn loops to the backs so my daughter just has to put the loop on the tack. We then change the date, day and month if applicable. for this I have simple index cards where I wrote it all out we keep them in a ziploc tacked to the board. We then recite our bible verse (generally spend 2 weeks on one verse) I then generally have 2-3 worksheets either printed out or from books that she does while I prep breakfast and tend to my 16mth old. I have a simple file folder that says "today" on it where I keep her morning worksheets. After breakfast I let her spend about 30-45 mins on starfall while I clean up and play with the baby, check email etc. Around 10-10:30 the little one goes down for am nap and we work on more hands on stuff such as crafts, our abc project, flash cards etc. At this point unless she asks to do something else I let her have freeplay till lunch. Lunch usually happens between 12-12:30 I try to plan meals that can go with our lesson.. Like apples for A or red, a star shaped sandwich for our shape (you get the idea) After lunch we spend about 20-40 mins on what I call "core skill" this is the skill that we want to master (or try to master by weeks end) this can be anything from sequencing to rhyming words etc. We then spend about 10-15 minutes on penmanship and tracing. We then wrap up with "circle time" we have a book of the day and discuss our feelings, ideas, dreams etc. I ask simple comprehension questions about the story and sometimes have an art activity. Around 2-2:30 my 16mth old goes down for her pm nap and we go outside have free play, nature walk around the house, have a scavenger hunt.. and the newest is the retaining wall that she says is her "outside chalkboard" She loves learning and generally asks for more work, more crafts etc. I keep a good stock of supplies so I can make something up or we love the craft ideashere. I do allow for rest if she is sleepy, Tv time if she is not abusing it or if we plan to watch something educational. We do have days where she simply is distracted and wants to do nothing. We call these pajama days.. and lets face sometimes Mommy needs those days too.

This is a photo of one of our projects we did today for our school room wall and for number recognition.
Here is our bulletin board (to show our date/weather center)

Welcome to Educate and Relate.

I have been slowly working for sometime on getting a homeschooling blog & message board back on the web again. I have had some downtime this past week or so, therefore I was able to take my many piles of chicken scratched notes and bring them to life back on the web. This blog will provide tips, tricks and incite into my world and ways of homeschooling. You will find my favorite 3 little words are Cheap, discount & Free. I have homeschooled preschool-5th grade, and prior to becoming a mother one of my many jobs was teaching PreK. I hope to be able to help many homeschooling families though this adventure.