Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rowing Week 9: If I Ran for President Part 1

After a long search of the internet I could not find one election unit study that was right for my five year old. After a leisurely afternoon in Barnes and Nobles I came across this wonderful book by Catherine Stier and illustrated by Lynne Avril.

An reviewer sums up why I love this title:

"This book takes a very complex subject about our election process (which itself is confusing, even to adults) in the United States and breaks it down in to easily understood concepts that run from the beginning stages of announcing your candidacy through actually winning the election and being sworn in to office. Kids learn about the two party system, the electoral college, primaries, campaigning, and campaign promises. I loved that the author chose not to dumb down the information, but instead used words that kids understand to explain how elections work. It is an excellent factual book, and the story is engaging enough for children that it will keep their attention while they learn about serious, important subject matter. FIVE BIG STARS to Catherine Stier for tackling a complex, complicated subject and making it enjoyable for children to learn."

In the book the potential candidate travels around the country participating in various activities to drum up support for their campaign, which leaves them tired and in need of a nap. Our science discussion will be about the importance of sleep.

Read-Along:Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science Books: Sleep is for Everyone.

Experiment: Chart daily emotions and sleep duration for one week.


Election Unit Study Math (HSS)

How old do I have to be to vote?

What year will I be able to vote? (Subtraction)

What year will I vote for president for the first time? (Skip counting by 4's)

Tie in To Math General Math

  • What president's are on what coin?

Social Studies-Geography

Where does the president live?

  • Make a story Disc and place on Washington DC.
  • Learned about the White House from Target's Places Around the World Cards.
  • A map of Washington D.C. with famous sites from Enchanted Learning

In the book the author does an excellent job describing the election process from the decision to run, through the primaries, conventions and elections. It also describes the political parties.

Define the two major political parties and match the candidates to the party.

Language Arts

After reading the book complete the Vocabulary Flap Book with Cover from (HSS).


Watch party conventions and candidate elections videos at These videos are each less than 4 minutes and give a kids summary of the conventions as well as the major points about the candidates.

Discuss the colors used in the book on posters, buttons and banners.

  • What are the main colors in the book?
  • Why do they use those colors?
  • What do those colors make you feel? Discuss how color help convey feelings and emotions.
  • Define patriotic
  • Make your own campaign poster on
  • Why did you choose the colors, theme and symbols for your poster?


Continue Discussion on Fruits of the Spirit: Self-Control


TS accompanied us to our local polling location to participate in early voting process.

Fine Motor Activity

We shall attempt to build the White House with Lego's.

Social Skills Activity

The candidates are required to shake lots of hands on the campaign trail. How did this tradition start? What's the proper way to shake hands?

Lapbook Resources

Homeschool Share

Enchanted Learning

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nine Week Evaluation

In order to work with TS's interest I did change the order of our Rowing. The green blocks are units completed with lapbooks. Papa Piccolo was a big hit and went on for two weeks.

Our math dilemma has been solved using Houghton Mifflin Math online for K and 1st grade.

Unfortunately the economic down turn affected the number of homeschool classes offered in our area. So currently we only have gymnastics, weekly playgroup, monthly fieldtrips, library story and craft time.

I have been encouraged and motivated to start a Kindy Co-Op using lapbooks. I will start with one a month focusing on holidays in November.

Sandbox Academy Fall 2008 FIAR


Mike Mulligan




A Pair of Red Clogs

Papa Piccolo

Papa Piccolo


The Glorious Flight

How to Make an Apple Pie

If I Ran For President

Pumpkin Free


Space Shuttle

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Cranberry Thanksgiving (Holiday Vacation)


Make Way For Ducklings

Digital FIAR-Christmas

New Year Around The World

(Holiday Vacation)


(Holiday Vacation)

Kathy and the Big Snow

Night of the Moonjellies


Sunday, October 19, 2008

We ran out of butter…so we made some

  • Carton Heavy Whipping Cream
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 super air tight container
  • 1 energetic five year old
  • Imagination Movers CD
  • Silly Dance for 15 minutes

And It's Butter Baby

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rowing Week 3: Madeline


Leaning about Self Care (HSS) and FIAR Science Section 22

Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science Books: Germs Make Me Sick

  1. Used magnifying glass to see small objects.
  2. Reviewed hand washing and self care routines.

What is an appendix?

We used our Scholastic Dictionary and Enchanted Learning to identify the appendix.


Madeline: 12 Little Girls Math (HSS)

FIAR discussion on sizes (HSS).

  • Completed experiment on sizes.
  • Did worksheets on sizes and sorting of objects.

Discussed Day and Night

  • How many hours in a day?
  • Did worksheets on time of day.
  • Introduced time tracking.

Social Studies

Where is France?

  • Map Disc (HSS) and FIAR Science Section 18
  • France worksheet from Target's Places Around the World
  • Learned about the Eifel Tower from Target's Places Around the World Cards.
  • Welcome to France (Welcome to the World)
  • Chick-fil-A
    foreign language French CD

Language Arts

We discussed the difference between fiction and nonfiction.

TS was not thrilled about reading Madeline. In his words there was not enough action and too many girls. He did like Ms. Clavel. So to make things a little more interesting we also read Madeline to the Rescue. He really loved this version of Madeline because in his words..." it has action."


Listen to the always classic Frère Jacques.

TS drew his favorite scene from Madeline which was the Eifel Tower.


FIAR Character and Bible Study : Compassion


We attended playgroup and library storytime.

Fine Motor Activity

We built French buildings with Legos.

Lapbook Resources

Homeschool Share

The Homeschool Mom (THM)

Enchanted Learning

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Fall Has Arrived

When I opened the door this morning I found cooler weather and this beautiful fall leaf finally welcoming Fall to our neck of the woods.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Newflash: Homeschooler SAVES more than $700 on books

How? We simply use the local library for the majority of homeschool books and resources. About six weeks ago our nearest Library, which is less than 2 miles from our house, closed for updating so we had to drive a whole 8 miles to use other township’s library. Boooooo!

Considering the price of gas I was a little testy but thankfully the new library had a bigger selection of books. Yeahhhhhhh!

The other great thing is because of Texas’ library share program we do not have to pay an out-of-district charge (savings $45.00 a year). Super Yeah!

In addition, we have found some awesome homeschool families who attend story time so we are not the only 5+ at arts and craft time. Hooray!

Did I mention craft time? Free art with friends once a week and they even do fieldtrips where you met the librarian at offsite locations. Whoopie!

Online book request allows me to pick most of our FIAR titles in the comfort of home so they are waiting for us. Plus they have an email and phone system that calls you 3 days before things are due to help avoid fines. Tears of JOY!

The coolest thing is at the bottom of your receipt they print out how much you have saved on books at the library.

Get OUT!

This is what I proudly displayed for hubby Saturday.

That’s right Dude $728 dollars in just books in six weeks!

So doing that math….you know I have to because I am an engineer….

Savings on books


Free Art Class

$85 monthly

Out of District Fee


Extra Gas (4 trips a month)


DVD movies rental for whole family

$10 monthly

Total Savings To Date


So I can have the Mocha with a little less guilt.

Peace and Blessings

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Menu Planning October 6-12

Inspired by Kysha @ Love’s School and in an effort to become more organized, I am joining the good ladies over at "I'm An Organizing Junkie” for the weekly Menu Plan Monday. I am a firm believer in menu planning and have been doing it “offline” so to speak for three years. However, since we have gone gluten-free I have been slacking on actually writing down my plans and contributing my cost over runs to the new diet. Bad mommy.

breakfast: GF Pancakes and turkey bacon and Simply Apple Juice
dinner: Gluten Free Oven Fried Chicken, baked sweet potato and broccoli

breakfast: GF Gorilla Munch, Clementine oranges and soy milk
lunch: lunch: Hormel’s Natural Turkey, grape tomatoes, GF pretzels
dinner: Crockpot Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole

breakfast: GF Gorilla Munch, apples, turkey bacon and soymilk
lunch: Hormel’s Natural Turkey, baby carrots, tortilla chips, organic Lemonade
dinner: Super Easy Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce With Gluten-Free Rice Noodles and Salad

breakfast: GF Brown Rice cold cereal, grapes and milk
lunch: grilled chicken strips, Organic Applesauce and tator tots
dinner: Steak, salad, brown rice

breakfast: boiled eggs, smoothies
lunch: leftovers
dinner: Crockpot Chicken Stew with mixed veggies and GF corn bread

breakfast: Van’s GT Waffles, turkey bacon, Simply Apple Juice, Watermelon
lunch: Homemade Pizza
dinner: Turkey Meatballs, string beans, brown rice

breakfast: bananas smoothies, Gorilla Munch
lunch: Cuban chicken and salad
dinner: Van’s GT Waffles, turkey bacon, Simply Apple Juice, Watermelon

Peace and Blessings,

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rowing Week 2: Lentil

Leaning about acoustics (HSS) and FIAR Science Section 22

Read-Along: Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science Books Sounds all Around

  1. Experiment from Read-Along using water glasses to test different sounds.
  2. Making telephone from paper cups to see how sound travels.
  3. Making a guitar from tissue box and rubber bands.

Leaning about taste buds (HSS) and FIAR Science Section 22

Read-Along: Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science Books My Five Senses

Lentil Math and Music Patterns (HSS)

Social Studies
Where is Ohio? What is a State? Map Disc
(HSS) and FIAR Science Section 18

Studying human relations and appreciating being unique.

What I Like About Me
I 'm Gonna Like Me: Letting off a little self-esteem

What I Do Best

Language Arts
TS became fascinated with a new word found in Lentil. Whittling. Yahoo Kids’ Dictionary defines it as: To cut small bits or pare shavings from (a piece of wood).
To fashion or shape in this way: whittle a toy boat.

He still didn’t get it. So Mom whipped out a bar of soap, a butter knife and marker. We sat on the front porch swing and attempted to whittle a fish out of a bar of soap. HE GOT IT! The look on his face was priceless. I almost saw the light go on. HE LOVED IT! We now have a fish-ish, car-ish and a stegosaurs-ish out of soap.

Playing the Harmonic and practicing simple songs on the harmonica
(HSS) and FIAR Science Section 21

FIAR Character and Bible Study
Section 7

Introduction to what is the purpose of a prayer.

We attended playgroup and library storytime.

Fine Motor Activity
TS cut lemons for taste bud experiment. He also cut and pasted all of his lapbook himself.

Lapbook Resources
Homeschool Share

The Homeschool Mom (THM)

Key Learnings
TS really go into the science experiments. We spent a whole day doing just science.

I love music. I play music in the morning and during quiet time. It was refreshing to have him play his harmonica most of the week.

My son loves to whittle.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008