Sunday, August 23, 2009


I have been wanting to plan a Where the Wild Things Are mini-unit for a while now. With the new movie coming out it seemed timely and a great opportunity to make it extra special. (However...after seeing the preview I am not sure about taking Josh sight unseen! Going to have to read reviews!)
Nice read along guide with discussion ideas
Author info and some cool activity ideas such as

  • Language Arts ~ write a story of their own adventure with a “Wild Thing.”
  • Physical Ed. ~ Bring music to class and have a “Wild Rompus”
  • Science ~ Grow wild thing grass in cup

Great cross-curricular ideas such as

  • Language Arts ~ discuss how wild things change...becoming less scary etc...
  • Math ~ grouping/sorting wild things by attributes (tails, horns, etc)
  • Geography ~ Introduce concept of Island.

Would love to take this opportunity to introduce the Montessori imaginary island (although I am still not sure how to best create this....any suggestions????)

Practical Life ~ Wild Thing Pillows (Would obviously need help with this one!)

Science ~ boat sailing (maybe even do a paper folding boat like this!

Crafts ~Amazing idea for shadow puppets
Articulated Beasts
Where the Wild Things Are Masks

Finish up the unit with a celebration serving...

Chicken Soup with rice and several other goodies as found in
The Fairy Tale Cookbook: Fun Recipes for Families to Create and Eat Together and of course wearing jammies and crowns!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Well, as A Thousand Joys pointed out, this Science Curriculum looks really good! But for some reason (control freak)...I am just not feeling it. So here is what I am thinking...

There are about 9 months of school not including summertime. We will still do schoolish activities in the summer but a lot less planned.

Anyway....9 months = 9 general themes.

  1. Weather/Seasons March
  2. Biology - human body, 5 senses, nutrition, hygiene September
  3. Earth Science - Space, landforms, volcanoes January
  4. Zoology - living v. nonliving, vertebrate v. invertebrate, kingdoms February
  5. Physical Science - gas liquid solid, magnets, buoyancy, surface tension, evaporation, volume, weight, measurement October
  6. Biomes December
  7. Simple machines November
  8. Botany - Nature Study, plant parts, insects April
  9. Dinosaurs - (Because I can!) May

I plan to share my resources as I get them ready.

***This order makes sense to me for several reasons. March in MI can produce all types of weather so is a really great time to study here. January tends to be very cold and clear so good for star gazing. December is busy and biomes can happen with zoology as well so... Bugs are back in April. Dino's are a fun way to wrap up the year! Just a little insight into my madness!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day in the Life

This one is more for me than you! I am feeling like I need to document everything possible before Josh starts school and everything please forgive my indulgence!

8am Wake up...Josh crawls into bed with me every morning at 8 often after he has gotten dressed.
Josh gives the cats fresh water and dry cat food, I give them can food.
Breakfast while watching Magic School Bus or something recorded.

9ish I get ready while Josh plays, generally with Lego's.

10am We do we...

  • worked on handwriting (specifically his name) using sandpaper letter, sand tray and making a name rainbow. He still struggles w/ upper vs lowercase.

  • Read the next Aesop's fable. Discussed being happy with what you have.

  • Played Hulk Smash to work on addition.

  • Josh read Mouse Soup (funny cracked him up!)

  • Sorted letter tiles and wrote words. He wrote table, quest, food, zoo, and a few others.

  • Used Red Rods...put in order, made the maze, made 10 with the different combos

12pm Lunch -Turkey corndogs, pretzels with Vermont white cheddar, oranges, and water.

12:15 Andrew calls

1ish Outside Josh played on his scooter for a while, we had a light saber battle, he played a bit of pretend superhero that seems to involve a lot of running and jumping!, then we went to the backyard and he jumped on the trampoline.

1:40 Snack - dry cereal and raisins and water

2pm Quiet time-he watched SpyKids 3D while laying in Andrew and my bed.

4pm Came clomping down the stairs (I was on the phone) he grabbed every art supply on his shelf and got busy creating at the table. I joined him eventually.

5:30 I start dinner (Chicken Parm) he is still creating at the table.

soon after...we clean up art supplies and I get him started on chores since it is chore night. (better known as garbage pick up tomorrow!) He brings the cans from upstairs down, takes care of any recycling that I have placed on the stool. And checks to see if the soda can bin needs emptying. I am still working on dinner so I send him downstairs to pick up a game for this evenings game night. He picks Mouse Trap.

5:54 Andrew gets home and we eat dinner.

6:30 We all clean up our dishes, I wash dishes, Andrew gets a quick job done (we are getting our house ready to go on the market).

6:45 We all play Mouse Trap...I win!

7:30 Josh is still playing with the game. He is acting silly and rough as he cleans it up accidentally breaking a piece...we once again talk about our house rules of being gentle, kind and safe. We also talk about wasting and how we earn money to buy nice things.

7:40 We do bed routine. He reads to us from the DR DOOLITTLE book he is reading (about 3 chapters) I turn on his CD (Go To Sleep Baby Child...listens to it every night!) and fan.

8pm We head downstairs and he goes to sleep.

Pretty normal day. I think in the long run, Josh going to school is what is best for him but I am really going to miss our time together. Although, I do have to admit I am already signed up to work in his classroom twice a week. He can not get rid of me that easily!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What? Another New Schedule?

Oh is true. Our old family evening schedule was no longer working, or at least we were no longer working with it.

So here is the new "after dinner activity schedule"...

Monday - Movie Night (same since we need to just do nothing and veg on a Monday.)
Tuesday - Reading Night (we all pile into A & my big bed and read to each other.)
Wednesday - Board game Night
Thursday - Math/Science night (will help to ease our "afterschooling schedule" and include A in our scholarly pursuits!)
Friday - Wii night (so many fun family games!)
Saturday - Video Game night and my night off!
Sunday - Art night

Monday, August 17, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ August 17th

We really enjoyed the Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole! It will definitely be an occasional meal, however I think it definitely needs to be cooked longer than the 25 min.

This week~

Breakfast choices- Cereal, toast, Cinnamon waffles, and yogurt.

Lunch choices- Cracker/cheese/turkey, PBJ, Leftovers, Quesadillas, noodles, fish sticks, and soup.

Dinner choices-

Andrew's request- Chocolate chip pancakes and sausage (plain for Josh...he hates chocolate!)

Tuesday- Out to dinner...the beginning of the school parent meetings!

Cream Cheese Crockpot Chicken - did not get to it last week!

Taco Cornbread Pizza

Pop-up Pizza Pie New Recipe! We will replace the Ground Beef with ground turkey.

Macaroni 'n' Cheese and Turkey Dogs

BLT's & Oven fries

Join the fun at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

100 Books!

Well he did it! Josh read 100 books this summer. He is mainly reading the stage/level 2 & 3 books. Some are chapter books; also some picture books. We made a chain with the title and author written on each paper strip. It now stretches across his entire room.

We anticipated it taking MUCH longer to get to 100 so we celebrated at each 25 books read. He earned a prize for each celebration, some we picked some he picked.
25 - The movie Iron Giant on DVD (I had bought it for his Easter Basket...then forgot and bought it was waiting for an occassion.)
50 - He fell in love with a set of those stick in water and they grow to 4x their size superheroes.
75 - A slurpee from 7-11 (rare treat for someone who does not have dye)
100 - A trip to Chuck E Cheese. (Can you guess what we did today?!)

Not exactly sure what we are doing from here. He wants to continue to do a chain but I am sort of burned out on it. So we will see...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

History Planning for The Story of the World Volume 1

With the major help of this SOTW unit, this SOTW sheet, and and all this SOTW info. I have planned our History for the coming school year.

Obviously, we are using The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child; Volume 1: Ancient Times. I ordered the CD's but wanted to plan the activities myself. Seemed like a good plan until I realized I am a COMPLETE moron when it comes to anything having to do with History and Geography. Thankfully I found some amazing resources that pointed me in the right directions. I planned one activity to do with each of the 42 chapters. It took FOREVER but I am happy to share...hopefully it won't take as long to post and edit Html's! (Sorry, I got lazy and tired! I may go back and edit later but for now...HUGE LINKS!)

Story of the World Volume 1
Misc.~ coloring pages Egypt Rome Greece Christian
Other Countries
Some of The Story of the World text here!
Ch. 1 - The Earliest People

Activity - Cave Painting

Ch. 2 - Egyptians Lived on the Nile River

Activity - http://http//

Ch. 3 - The First Writing

Activity - Hieroglyphs

Ch. 4 -The Old Kingdom of Egypt

Activity -

Ch. 5 - The First Sumerian Dictator

Activity - Make a Sumerian seal (name writing clay mold) examples

Ch. 6 - The Jewish People

Activity - Make Josephs coat from old shirt and paint

Ch. 7 -Hammurabi and the Babylonians

Activity - Create own laws (rules)!

Ch. 8 - The Assyrians

Activity - Fairy Tales

Ch. 9 - The First Cities of India

Activity - visit

Ch. 10 - The Far East: Ancient China

Activity - make a Ming Bowl

Ch. 11- Ancient Africa

Activity - make a Paper bead necklace

Ch. 12 - The Middle Kingdom of Egypt

Activity - check out

Ch. 13 - The New Kingdom of Egypt

Activity -

Ch. 14 - The Israelites Leave Egypt

Activity - &

Ch. 15 - The Phoenicians

Activity -

Ch. 16 - The Return of Assyria

Activity - Library field trip (first library created)

Ch. 17 - Babylon Takes Over Again!

Activity - Horrock's (local greenhouse) for hanging plant

Ch. 18 - Life in Early Crete

Activity - Volcano

Ch. 19 - The Early Greeks

Activity -

Ch. 20 - Greece Gets Civilized Again

Activity -

Ch. 21 - The Medes and the Persians

Activity - HELP>>>Any suggestions????

Ch. 22 - Sparta and Athens

Activity -

Ch. 23 - The Greek Gods

Activity -

Ch. 24 - The Wars of the Greeks

Activity -

Ch. 25 - Alexander the Great

Activity -

Ch. 26 - The People of the Americas

Activity -

Ch. 27 - The Rise of Rome

Activity -

Ch. 28 - The Roman Empire

Activity -

Ch. 29 - Rome's War With Carthage

Activity - or

Ch. 30 - The Aryans of India

Activity -

Ch. 31 - The Mauryan Empire of India

Activity -

Ch. 32 - China: Writing and the Qin

Activity - paint name

Ch. 33 - Confucius

Activity - tangrams

Ch. 34 - The Rise of Julius Caesar

Activity -

Ch. 35 - Caesar the Hero

Activity - Roman Numerals

Ch. 36 - The First Roman Prince

Activity - Toga toga toga

Ch. 37 - The Beginning of Christianity

Activity - Mosaic cross necklace w/ foam. e.g.

Ch. 38 - The End of the Ancient Jewish Nation

Activity -

Ch. 39 - Rome and the Christians

Activity - discuss

Ch. 40 - Rome Begins to Weaken

Activity -

Ch. 41 - The Attacking Barbarians

Activity - &

Ch. 42 - The End of Rome

Activity - "gifts" of Rome Collage using

We plan to do one chapter a week! We realistically will not get to every activity. Especially since we are also planning to do Science and Geography. Not to mention our regular activities. Oh yeah...and his school!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yep...More Books!

So, after reading this review on the goddess Pioneer Woman's blog, I have been shamelessly coveting the Explore and Learn Science books she mentions toward the bottom. (These!!!) I am seriously OBSESSED with all thing science and geography right now. I may need to soon be medicated...anyway...I was over at my neighbor's when she runs in the house to grab something to show me. Out she comes with that exact stack of books...still shrink wrapped and everything. She says she does not want them and are they anything I would be intersted in?????

What???????? To her defense we are not too close... I still hide most of my crazy from her family.

So, I snatched them up, tossed a ten dollar bill at her and ran across the street to my house before she could come to her senses. Have I mentioned all 6 still in UNOPENED?

Anyway...I love them....they are amazing and all MINE! Yippeee.

My favorite one is the Explore and Learn Volume 4 People in Place and Time. It is all about ancient people and will be perfect to use with The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor, Revised Edition that I bought a few months ago on CD. The other Volumes are...

  1. Earth and Space
  2. Science and Technology
  3. The Natural World
  4. People in Place and Time
  5. Me and My Body
  6. Atlas of the World

What I really like about the books is they have super child friendly pictures and info, activities to do about the info and all kinds of extras.

I cannot wait to get started! I sure hope we can find time to do all that I have planned!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Basket

Thinking of adding the set God's Design for Sex by Stan and Brenna Jones to our book basket, it was recommended by Se7en! We are definitely upfront, to the point parents and this seems "our style"! Hmmm, wonder if our library has it for me to preview?

Anyone else read it or know of any good..."the talk" books?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Montessori Monday

Our Practical Life recently has mostly consisted of chores around the house. Josh gets an allowance for extra work he does above and beyond the things we consider his normal responsibilities.

So, for example he does NOT get paid for...
  • Cleaning his room
  • Picking up his toys
  • Putting away his clothes
  • Clearing his dishes
The chores he does get an allowance for ($.25 per)...
  • Putting the recycling in the proper bins in the garage
  • Picking up sticks in the yard
  • Emptying the Soda can recycling bin into a bag(MI gets $.10 refund)
  • Bringing the upstairs garbage cans downstairs
  • Anything extra helpful...e.g. this week he helped with clearing stuff from the dining room before we pulled up the old carpet.
  • Helping to feed the cats

He is currently saving his money for a batmobile we found at Target on clearance. We bought it then and he is paying us as we go. Sort of a rent to own deal. He gets to play with it for and hour every time he gives us $.25, until he gives us enough to total the $10. price.

So, how do you do allowance and chores?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ August 10th

Thoughts about last weeks menu~ We loved the Crockpot Pizza! The pepperoni was a bit burnt on the time I think I will poke it down a bit. We did not get to the Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole so we will put it back on the menu for this week!

It is hot here finally so we are making it a pretty easy week!

Monday~ Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole

Tuesday~ Shrimp & Baked Potatoes

Wednesday~ Neighborhood cookout!

Thursday~ Nachos

Friday~ Pizza

Saturday~ My Mom's Bday dinner!

Sunday~ Cream Cheese Crockpot Chicken with mashed potatoes

Check out the other menus at!!!!!

Check this out!

I know I usually do this on Wednesday but life is a bit CRAZY right now. We currently have about 4 events to attend for Josh's new school, I am still planning our before school "curriculum", we have a neighborhood function this coming week, our new flooring is going in this coming weekend, we are pulling up old flooring, more family birthdays and apparently our home has been infested with tiny elves that just walk around behind me making messes and using vast amounts of dishes!

So anyway, I was checking out a NEW Montessori inspired blog yesterday and she replied to my comment with a super helpful website, packed full of math activities.

The new blog is Sunrise Learning Lab!

And the math website is!

Check them both out!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ August 3rd

Monday~ Chicken Crescent roll Casserole New Recipe!

Tuesday~ Crockpot Pizza New Recipe!

Wednesday~ Leftovers!

Thursday~ Taquitos and salad

Friday~ French toast but w/o the syrup! Sausage for the boys.

Saturday~ Eat out!

Sunday~ Chicken and half baked potatoes!

Cool Geography Ideas

Talk about timely! I am currently planning my "plan of attack" to help Josh not be an absolutely geographical moron like his Mommy! So this article really spoke to my heart! Check it out for great geography ideas broken up by age. Geography at The Pioneer Woman!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Arctic Tale

If you are considering a unit on the Arctic or Environmental concerns check out the documentary Arctic Tale. It is rated G and is completely appropriate for small children (there is death and reproduction but it is really handled VERY well!). The story follows a polar bear family and a walrus family through a big chunk of their life cycle...until the cubs reproduce. It is amazingly beautiful. You also get a chance to see and learn about other types of animals found in the Arctic, including the mysterious Narwhal!