FI♥AR: Make Way For Ducklings

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"Rowing" the Week (@ Co-op)
April 23 - April 29th
Make Way For Ducklings by: Robert McCloskey
{FIAR} Volume II
This is a beautifully illustrated and we written, tenderhearted story about a family of ducks, well, soon to be a family.  The book has many wonderful themes woven into it, using an easy to predict style for younger children.  I love the opportunity this book gives for discussion about families, parents and caring for others.  The author spent much time observing ducks in the Boston Commons Gardens, so you can also use this book to teach the importance of studying God's creation ; ) again.

I created a "sensory table" to help inspire some creative narrative stories.  We discussed ducks, their habits, what they eat, what they do during the day.  We discussed personification and how Mr. McCloskey uses several human traits to keep his story funny and interesting.

The students came to touch the items on the table.  You cannot see it well in the pictures, but the plastic bag is filled with blue "pond" water.  I was sure to double bag it, one word, BOYS!  When each of the students felt inspired, they began writing: My Day as a Duckling!  They took a 18" x 12" piece of construction paper and folded it down to book size, covering the front with an illustration and pasting their story inside.

We lined up in alphabetical order during the week, just like the ducks in our story.

I drew a map on the board and we used the peanut factor from our story to review our multiplication.  Example:  Jack, Kack and Lack are sitting under a bush.  A child gives them each 2 peanuts.  How many peanuts did they get together?  3 x 2=6

We used this resource from Homeschoolshare.com to complete some more multiplication and addition practice.

Just Mommy and the Bug 
These are rowing activities that the Bug and I enjoyed at home.

Found Boston on the map, then discussed and research the historical sites in Boston.  Then we created and labeled a map of the Boston Commons Garden, where part of the story takes place.

"Make Way for Ducklings" sculpture by Nancy Schön. Photo by Gareth Owen

Word Fun: Each word must be looked-up in the dictionary, spell out each word with our Spill and Spell, acted out and then written in a sentence.
molt, cozy, incubate

Handicraft: Cross-stitching
I found a cute little pattern on the internet for the Bug to use in her cross-stitch work.  I colored her pattern with maker onto a piece of mesh drawer-liner.  Then we placed it inside her hoop so she could work on her duckie.

Hope are you "rowers" out there are enjoying Rowing Around the World with us!

Happy Homeschooling!
The Joyful Socks Mom      

Be sure to check out and follow my Pin Board on Five In A Row - I find great resources and pin them there before we create them in the classroom.

Resources have been included to help inspire Five-In-A-Row Homeschool families in their "Rowing' journeys as well.  Enjoy and comment!  We would love to know what you are "rowing' too!

*Note: Five in a Row, Vol. 2 {FIAR} is made to be a five day curriculum and should be used with the Teacher's Manual - as we only attend Co-op 3 days per week, I will post what we have done in class and fun resources for that you may want to do at home. (Not REQUIRED homework - just some family fun options.) 


Enriching Everyday: The Macrame Project

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The kids and I have been inspired recently by one of our Resale Shop finds.  The Reader's Digest Book - Crafts and Hobbies: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creative Skills.  The book cost me a whole $1.00 bill!  It contains a smattering of creative skills to learn like crochet, macrame, leatherworking, weaving, spinning, and basketry just to name a few.

This book has been a great spring board for our handicraft work this spring, and I thought you all might like to come along for the ride.  Our newest handicraft skill to add to our proverbial tool-belt is Macrame.  Which I see is making a comeback.

The first project we tackled was this Macrame Key-chain.  It was a great project for teaching the basic knots in macrame and practice.
  • Here is the tutorial from That Artist Lady blog that we used: Key Chain
Here is are the Square Knot basics, with a little verse to help us remember the steps in our knot.  Here are the verbal instructions I gave to the Bug:

1. Starting with Yarn 1 and working from left to right (just like you read)
2. You jump over the alligator (Yarn 2 and Yarn 3)
3. Then you go under the little bridge (Yarn 4)

4. Now you start with Yarn 4 and work back, right to left.
5. Now you go back, under the old rickety bridge (Yarn 3 and Yarn 2)
6. And up through the tunnel (Yarn 1) and back out the other side.

7.  And now, the birdie flies up to the sky.

The next project that we are working on is macrame jars to make hanging planters . . . I know, it sounds totally 70's but it is really turning out lovely.  We are working on our  Macrame Herb Hanging Garden as a team.  I find the Bug especially does better with her handiwork, if mom is working on the same type of project.  So the big kids and I are getting the larger project done, while the little one is working on her basics.

 {Here is my contribution to the Macrame Herb Jar Garden}

Here are some more Macrame projects for you to enjoy:
{This is the Bug's Macrame Key-chain . . . it may take us a few more tries}

We will keep you updated on the Macrame project.  That is, if I can type anymore after all of these Square Knots and Reverse Square Knots!

Happy Homeschooling!
The Joyful Socks Mom     

Be sure to visit these other great resources for teaching Art:
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Natural Play: The Hair Care Tray

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Today, we are bringing you a new, and quite necessary learning tray.  The Bug and I left the kitchen for more pressing Personal Care matters.  Mr. Big Daddy Mac, the Bug's papa, has been unhappy most recently at our child's lack of hair washing abilities.  The Bug is equally discontented.  She does not want Daddy to wash her hair, "He's not good with the soap, Mom."  Whilst Mr. Mac's complaint is, "She is old enough to do it herself."  Time for some conflict resolution betwixt father and daughter, Answer:  Super mom and her Tray to the rescue.

Hair Care can tend to be an enormous task in our home . . .Okay, perhaps not enormous as some - like my friend Smockity Frocks with 6 girls who require hair maintenance.  Let's just say our process in caring for our hair may be a little bit looooonger a process than others.  Long hair x 3 Ladies = Lots of vacuuming!

Materials Needed:
Shampoo and Conditioner (if you use it, we don't)
Hair styling products (if you use, we don't)
Hair clips, barrettes, headbands, etc.
Blow dryer

Here the Squeaker is demonstrating brushing for the Bug.  See how helpful older kids can be? ; )

1.  Teach your child dry brushing techniques first.  We teach the following: Brushing from the top to bottom, Counting to 100 while brushing hair, Brush hair with head pointed down from the nape of the neck to brush out dirt and particles, How to part hair while dry.

2.  Explain the shampooing process in your home.  Example:  Wet hair, Shampoo, Rinse, Repeat  . . .   Use clear, easy to follow instructions.  Try to make this process less than 4 steps, using points of reference that are age-appropriate.  Example: "Pour a quarter-sized amount of shampoo into your hand."

3.  Now your ready to let them hop in the shower and give it a try.  Great time to review shower safety!
4.  Teach the wet hair parting and brushing method.
5.  Explain and demonstrate how to dry hair.  We did not set her free on this task, but if your child is ready for this responsibility then go for it.
6.  Finally explain a hair style that the child can fix on their own.  The Squeaker demonstrated the sideways braid and the Bug was able to duplicate this.  

Now, everyone is happy . . . for now anyway.  : )
Have some fun banging hair ladies!

Happy Homeschooling!
The Joyful Socks Mom    

Where we are at:
Homeschool on the Cheap 
Friday's Nature Table

HOME EDUCATION: Freebie Friday - Nature Study

Greetings Readers!  I am joining in today with Gricefully Homeschooling and Kathy's Cluttered Mind to bring my friends around the homeschool block a little neighborly gift of Homeschool Freebies.  I will be focusing on sharing some of my favorite Nature Study and enjoy the glory YHWH reveals in His creation.  Enjoy getting outdoors with your kids.  You may learn something too!

Here is a lovely little FREEBIE from me!
  • Nature Study Notebook Coversheets PRINTABLE - Slip these beautiful seasonal cover pages into your notebook for inspiration and organization.  Hey, what's more inspirational than organizing your Nature Study Notebook?
Nature Study Notebook Cover Pages FINAL

Nature Study:  
Enjoy your Homeschool Freebies and be sure to check us out next week.  Same bat-time, Same bat-channel.

Happy Homeschooling!

The Joyful Socks Mom    

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Nature Notebook Reflections: Constant and Faithful

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Reflections from my Nature Notebook . . . Oh, and there is a FREEBIE at the bottom of this post, so read on please.

Here is a look back at my own Nature Notebook.  I have been so ready to share with my readers about the joy of studying God's creation and equally excited about what can be found in my kid's notebooks.  I have been less than enthusiastic about sharing the content of my own notebook.  In a moment of surrender and in the hopes of becoming more transparent with my readers, here are some sketches and reflections from my own Nature Notebook pages.

From Galveston, TX on Crystal Beach, March 27, 2010 . . . 

"Waves carrying themselves in to the shore,
to and fro the waves continue to go.
The tide comes in and carries it all
away again into the sea.
Consistent and true the motion is
of the wide and brimming ocean.

Yet still, my God, You alone are more
Constant and faithful than all of these.
For Your mighty hands have crafted them all,
The consistent and true motions of your creation have be fashioned by 
You alone."
{Hermit Crab sketches from the Hermit Crab Farm we harvested that day.  Don't worry, we returned them to the ocean.}

{Sketch of a Sandpiper from Crystal Beach, Galveston, TX}

Okay, that was a bit of a leap for this mom.  Thank you for sticking with me!  Here is a thank you for hanging in there . . . a new Nature Study freebie, from me!  Nature Study Notebook Cover Sheets - You can download these and print them out to use in your Nature Study Notebook.  We put ours in sheet protectors (I should take out stock in sheet protectors, just saying) and use them to separate our Notebook studies and sketches by the season.  Enjoy!
---------> Click HERE to download your freebie.

Happy Homeschooling

The Joyful Socks Mom    

Stay tuned to this blog for a super, extra-special, HUGE little secret about one of the Blogging Moms just discussed in this post! :) 

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4 Moms, 35+ Kids eBook:Review

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What a delightful few afternoons I have enjoyed while pouring over my new read, an eBook called 4 Moms of 35+ Kids: Answer Your Parenting Questions.  This 195 page eBook was authored by four of the most practical and entertaining mommy bloggers out there.  This eBook was borne out of a compilation of the many questions that these hard-working homemaking mothers receive about parenting.  These questions come from their loyal readers in a blog series named the same, 4 Moms, 35 Kids.  Let me just say when you are seeking practical, no-nonsense advice, these are the ladies that you should listen to . . . sorry Oprah, they have you beat!
If you don't know the ladies behind the most popular and heart-warming blogs on the homeschool block, well then sister, take a moment to say ,"Howdy!" and knock on their bloggy doors at Smockity Frocks, The Common Room, Life in a Shoe and Raising Olives.

These ladies all blog and write with distinctively humorous anecdotes, heart-felt truths and practicality, each with their own style and set of experiences.  They are all tried and true homemakers and home educators, that are true to paying-it-forward.  These gals will share their experiences, transparent about faults, in order to serve and help other parents in training their own children in "the way they should go".
  • What will you find in this wonderful eBook?
No sugar-coating to make it look easy.  Parenting isn't a picnic and these mothers are honest about that fact.  However; they are delightful and joyful about raising their children . . . their MANY, many, many children.  This is comforting to novice parents and veteran parents alike, who just need a kind word and a practical, non-judgmental bit of sound advice.  This is exactly what these moms have to offer in their well-written, witty and organized contribution to your eBook library.
  • What you will not find?
No apologies or side-stepping on being blatantly Christian and Biblical in their viewpoints on child rearing and discipline . . . THANK YOU VERY MUCH!  Just the way all proud homeschooling Christian mommies should be! (too many adjectives, sorry)  You go girls, we are behind you. :)
  • Why should I read this eBook?
The authors who contributed to the writing of this eBook have vast amounts of godly wisdom to share.  Weather you have two kiddos, or Duggar-style numbered children, you will glean some "truth universally acknowledged" in this eBook.  The encouragement these mothers offer is worth far more than I can pay for, and these ladies give it willingly.  I especially recommend heading straight to these little tidbits of advice:

* Connie speaks simply on "How do you teach your children the birds and the bees?"
* Kim C regarding "How do you keep your children still and quiet in church?"
* "How do you keep things fair for all your children?" with the Deputy Headmistress
* And Kimberly speaks frankly on "Do you ever get discouraged or overwhelmed?"

Here is Kimberly answering, "How do you avoid sibling squabbles?"

"Sibling relationships need not be characterized by sin anymore than the marriage relationship should be characterized by sin. All relationships will be affected by sin, but by God's grace and mercy we can have relationships that are characterized by the fruit of the Spirit."                       ~ Kimberly 
You will also find a cracker-jack bonus of an Appendix in this eBook: An Age Appropriate List for Chores, Fruit of the Spirit printable, You Might Be A Large Family If . . ., and Sermon Notes printable.
  • When can I get my hot hands on a copy?
4 Moms 35 Kids

Glad you asked!  Now of course.  One of the many perks of the internet is being able to purchase online and download quickly all you want to read.  One of the few times this mom will be promoting "instant gratification" on this blog, is to buy this lovely parenting eBook today.  This a is more than worthwhile read and is also available on Kindle now.  Head over HERE to get your copy today.

Happy Homeschooling

The Joyful Socks Mom    

Stay tuned to this blog for a super, extra-special, HUGE little secret about one of the Blogging Moms just discussed in this post! :) 

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Everyday Enrichment: Nature Study in the Garden

Spring is all around and it is just in time!  The Mac kids are ready to bust this house at the seams.  Mommy has been a bit confined to the house by some allergy and lung issues, so we have had to find ways for them stray outside . . . but not too far.  Thus, the birth of our little effort at Organic Gardening.  We have decided since mommy cannot venture out, this is our best chance to stay consistent with our Nature Study.

My sweet next-door-neighbors, a.k.a. surrogate grandparents, plowed a nice plot behind our backyard, on THEIR property for the kids to use for our garden.  Here is what they have planted so far:  Cabbage, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Squash, Zucchini, Eggplant, Poblanos, Jalapenos, Strawberries, Beets, Carrots, Herbs (Lavender, Basil, Dill, Sage, Rosemary).  The kids also have some plans for these veggies this weekend: Corn, Sugar Snap Peas, Garden Beans.
{Girls working in the garden, beginning to plant}

{Wildflower seeds we scattered during our read of  FIAR Miss Rumphius}

For the Garden: Here are the notebooking pages we will be using to journal our outdoor gardening time.  We will be using the Crop Plants Challenges for the upcoming weeks of gardening and massive weed pulling!
------------------> Garden Nature Study Challenge

For Spring Walks:  We love reading the Outdoor Hour Challenge on Barb's blog, The Handbook of Nature Study.  I still haven't found time to participate in the Blog Carnivals, but they are an excellent resource and source of inspiration for spending more time outside with our nature journals.  Well, mom can get the kids ready, and dad can do the outdoor work, for now!

Nature Study Bag:
Speaking of journals . . .
I wanted to share how we keep organized with nature study.  When we are ready to start Nature Study, it is typical that the kids are ready to get out of the door . . . quick!  I decided to make a Nature Study Bag last year to help us keep all the materials we needed on hand and ready to go when we are set to head outside.

We have began using several new items in our bag to help enhance our Nature Study experience.
{I carry the Nature Reader, a selection of Nature poetry  and Hymns with us to use while on Nature Hikes.}

{Using solar printing paper has helped us take from nature WITHOUT taking from nature.}

{We have started flower pressing and collecting things that do not disturb the natural surroundings. Example: butterflies that are already deceased, flowers and leaves that have already fallen on the ground, etc.}

We each have our own Nature Journal, mommy included.  I use several sights for the best Nature Study resources (that might be a great post later on), so we use quite a bit of Notebooking printables from around the internet.  Barb @ Outdoor Hour and Harmony Fine Arts is hands-down my favorite . . . so who cares what the kids like?  Just kidding.  They love it and it is something they all look forward to during the week.  If you need somewhere to start with Nature Study, Barb's blog is the place.
------------------> Getting Started: Challenge #1
Ready to start your own Nature Study Notebook?
-------------------> Notebook Challenge

Here are a couple of selections that we have completed using the Outdoor Hour Challenges:

Next week on Enriching Everyday - The Macrame Project

Happy Homeschooling

The Joyful Socks Mom   

Where We Are At:
Homeschool on the Cheap!

P.S.  We have a HUGE little announcement next week!  Be sure to subscribe to this blog via email so you won't miss the BIG small news! : )

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This is How We Row: Passport Tutorial

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Welcome Rowers and those who want to be "rowing"!  This post is an informational post about rowing and will include a look at how to make your own Five-in-a-Row Passport - so, read on . . .
A quick word on passports.  You can always purchase your passport for use with the  Five-in-a-Row curriculum from Rainbow Resource.  We found that making our own was more fun, but we are homeschoolers that way!

We are sure when rowing to take a look at our maps closely, in order to learn about where we are "rowing" and where we have "rowed" before.  Here is a FREE download for the "Land of Make Believe" map, which is definitely off-the-charts.

{This is a picture of our Rowing Map at Cooperative}

I like to visit the library a couple of times a week . . . duh, I know it's obvious!  Anyhow, I am constantly on a look out for books that make a good match with our upcoming rowing "theme".  I usually have plenty to choose from at our local library and from my own overindulgent collection of children's books.  I put these books aside in a Rowing Book Basket that students can peruse later when work is completed or during centers.
{They Were Strong and Good Book Basket @ Cooperative}

Here is an example of the selections I make for the Five-in-a-Row Book Basket.  Let's say the book we were rowing was They Were Strong and Good by: Robert Lawson.  You could choose books to accompany this book using several different themes: Bees/Beekeeping, Slavery, Civil War, Soldiers, Evangelism, etc.
{Closer look at the Five in a Row Book Basket}
 Now, on the the Five-in-a-Row Passport. . . .
Written Paper Bag Book Tutorial - - - - >
Materials Needed:  Basic Brown Lunch Sacks (garden variety brown is fine, but you can upgrade to colors if you want to feel fancy), glue, scissors, sewing machine with thread.

1.  Sort the bags in alternating order according, the amount of bags to use is determined by how large a passport you want.  Each sack will ultimately provide you with 4 pages, excluding the front cover, inside cover, and back cover.
2.  Place each bag flat and position flush for sewing.  Now, bend the bags inward, folding in half like a book.
3.  Sew a straight zig-zag seem down the center of the bag, along the crease that you just created.
4.  Clip the edges of thread from both ends of the passport.
5.  Go HERE to print the Front Cover and inside cover pages of your Passport.
6.  Now you can use this excellent resource from Tamara and Homeschoolshare.com to illustrate all the places you are going to row!  Download  Volume 1 Here, Volume 2 Here, Volume 3 Here, Volume 4 Here.  Cut out each illustration page and glue to the pages of your passport.

Here is an AWESOME easy-to-use tutorial HERE on how to make a paper bag book!  Mucho better than mine. . . I found this on Pinterest of course!

Now you are ready to row around the world and beyond.

Happy Rowing!

The Joyful Socks Mom   

P.S.  We have a HUGE little announcement coming up NEXT WEEK!  Be sure to subscribe to this blog via email so you won't miss the BIG small news! : )

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