Saturday, September 27, 2014

Airplane/Airport School!

We took this week off from Five In A Row to do something different (I love that we CAN do this if we want to, ah, one of the beauties of homeschool...).  The kids and I are taking a trip on an airplane next week and in an attempt to prepare them for the whole experience, we spent the week learning about airplanes and airports (fellow airplane travelers, I did what I could...).

After doing our usual math, grammar and handwriting each day, we talked about the history of flight, how airports work, what happens when you take an airplane trip and all sorts of other airplane/airport related things.

 Working on that math!

 We also talked about Self-Control and went over our rules of the airplane. 

On our calendar board, I had pictures of JetBlue Airbus A-320s (what we will be flying), our airplane rules, our Self-Control verse and definition page, an airport scavenger hunt, a packing list and an airplane seating chart showing our seats (which isn't in the picture must have walked off).

 Our calendar board for the week...

We practiced rolling our suitcases around...

And read lots and lots of books...

 Mommy, read this please?  Oh that face...of course, I will read you that book... for the 100th time...

Today, after our soccer game, we got to finish the week off with a trip to the Heart of Texas Air Show!  Of course the first thing my kids wanted to see were the fire trucks from a fire department a bit north of us.  We did learn that there is a jr. firefighter program that starts at age 15 and you can be a full-time firefighter starting at age 18, so if that's something LittleBear still wants to do when he gets older, there are definitely opportunities.  The firefighter giving us the tour encouraged him to really work on his math and chemistry skills...good to know!

LittleBear wearing it proudly...

 LadyBear trying on a helmet...

 Two Brown Bear Cubs together in a fire truck!



Random train ride!

I don't think this part of the airport was open as part of the air show, but we stood outside the hangar and admired the airport fire trucks which LittleBear (along with the rest of us) has never seen this close before and has had great interest in seeing.

Fly, LittleBear, Fly!

So, it was a bit of a different week for us school-wise, but it went well and the air show at the end was a treat that I think everyone enjoyed.  We also read a lot of great books on taking an airplane trip and I think we're about as prepared as we can be...they were all well-read!

Here's the list we read:

All About Airplanes (featuring Backpack Jack) DVD
Planes by Byron Barton
Kevin Takes A Trip by Liesbet Slegers
Airplanes and Flying Machines by Gallimard Jeunesse
What Happens At An Airport? by Amy Hutchings
Flight 1-2-3 by Maria Van Lieshout
My First Airplane Ride by Patricia Hubbell
Richard Scarry's A Day At the Airport by Richard Scarry
We're Taking an Airplane Trip by Dinah L. Moche
The Airport by Patricia J. Murphy
My First Trip on an Airplane by Vic Parker
Airport by Byron Barton
How Did They Build That?  Airport by Matt Mullins
Flying by Donald Crews
Going On A Plane by Anne Civardi
The Noisy Airplane Ride by Mike Downs

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fun Things From Our Backyard: Butterfly Garden!

maybe laying eggs?

It all started with something that caught my eye fluttering outside the window...

This Queen butterfly has been visiting us today and has been out there pretty much all day.  I *think* she may have even laid some eggs on our milkweed (YAY!), but I'm not certain about that.   Needless to say at least one, if not all of us (including Orbit) have been looking out that window all day long :)
We spent some time just watching it from both inside and outside and these are all the critters that we saw (I can't imagine how many more were there that we didn't see!)

We love our butterfly garden!! 

It's humble, maybe a little wild-looking, but it has given us lots and lots of opportunities to see fun and beautifully made critters outside our home.  I am super thankful LittleBear had the idea one day to plant one...

Texas Spiny Lizard...can you see him?  A whole family of them lives under a bush nearby...


Our Queen butterfly friend at her best...

 LittleBear watching the butterfly...

 LadyBear joined us...can you see it flying up near the top of the window?

 Ladybug enjoying some aphids...

 An Oak Hairstreak first time seeing one!

 Purple lantana!

Naptime for Orbit!

The little black dots, I think are butterfly eggs...we'll see.


 Ladybug on a pepper plant!

A rainbow skink who did NOT want his picture taken...sorry buddy.

I'm not sure what kind of moth this is, he was super fast!  I'm guessing a Hayhurst's Scallopwing...

Definitely a fun way to spend our morning :) Now, I need to go clean that window...yikes.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Something New and Fun...

This model had so much detail in it, it was amazing!

Today we had a chance to go to the Central Texas Area Model Railroaders annual show and boy, did it go over well with the kids.  This group puts on a big exhibit at our local children's museum every December and LittleBear talks about it all year long, so we were glad to be able to go today to their annual bigger show.  

LittleBear enjoyed looking at all the different cars and identifying the parts he knew...

He also really liked pushing the buttons and seeing what changed in this setup...

LadyBear enjoyed watching from my carrier...

LittleBear found some signs...

and lots and lots of train cars...

LadyBear liked the working models the best.

We met lots of nice people and saw some really neat model train exhibits in all different sizes.  LadyBear was just as into it as LittleBear was.  It was great!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five In A Row: The Rag Coat

This week we read another "new-to-us" book called The Rag Coat.  It's about a little girl who lives in the Appalachian mountains and doesn't go to school because she doesn't have a coat.  Her Daddy (A coal miner) dies and the "Quilting Mothers" come together to make her a coat.  LadyBear didn't like this one quite as much as the others we've ready, but it was a bit longer and LittleBear did!

Our calendar board for the week...

This week we watched more movies than I usually go for, but they fit with our theme and I felt like they really made a difference in making things real to LittleBear.   We learned a lot about coal mining and listened to some great music.  On the bright side, I've also become a big fan of the mountain dulcimer!  
LittleBear gets excited about videos...especially ones with huge dump trucks and trains!

 We continued to do our math, grammar/spelling and handwriting every day and I am really proud of how LittleBear is improving, particularly in his handwriting.  It's still his least favorite thing, but most of the time he is doing it with less fuss and writing better, so I keep trying to point out that the practice is paying off.

 Working hard at spelling...

 Handwriting practice...
We also made "Chunk of Coal" cookies, which were super tasty and something LittleBear was particularly excited about doing.  

 Pouring the "oreo dust" into the marshmallow/butter mixture...

 Chunk of Coal cookies!!!

They are in the frig cooling as I type and we'll have those for dessert tonight!  YUM!

Next week we are taking a break from Five In A Row to talk about airplanes and airports in preparation for a future trip.  We're hoping to teach LadyBear what it means to use her quiet voice...we'll see how that goes (prayers are greatly appreciated).

We didn't get to read all of our go-along books this week, which I regret, so you won't see as many *s on this list. 

Resources and printables I used for The Rag Coat can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board
Appalachian Dulcimer- Amy Fabbri on Youtube
Shady Grove on the Mountain Dulcimer on Youtube
I'll Fly Away on the Mountain Dulcimer on Youtube
Take A Ride Into A Mine video on Youtube
Where Does Our Coal Come From? video on Youtube

Go Along Books we used for The Rag Coat (* indicate ones we especially liked):

* Appalachian ABCs by Francie Hall
* A is for Appalachia by Linda Hager Pack
* Coal (A True Book) by Christin Ditchfield

* Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z by Linda Hager Pack
Appalachia by Cynthia Rylant
Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton
Growing Up In Coal Country by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
The Pioneer Children of Appalachia by Joan Anderson
The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt by Barbara Smucker
Log Cabin Quilt by Ellen Howard
The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco
The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy

 Putting this week's story disk on our map...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Guess Who's Two Years Old? LadyBear!

That's right, LadyBear is two years old!!  Our strong, determined, joy-filled lover-of-life who enjoys trying new things and loves her people in a really big way, is now two years old.  Wow, time is flying...

We wanted to wait to post this to get her official numbers, so here they are.  She currently weighs 26 lbs and is 33.25 inches tall, which is a wee-bit shorter and heavier than LittleBear was at this age.  She also is currently getting the last tooth I knew her to be missing and seems to be outgrowing her shoes and clothes like there is no tomorrow.

LadyBear loves animals and the outdoors, LOVES books (yay!), enjoys chocolate, really loves to jump and play with her brother.  Swinging on the swingset is a favorite activity and "hide-and-go-seek" is another favorite game.  

LadyBear is also enjoying the alphabet and numbers and enjoys "doing school" alongside us at home.  Anything he is doing, she also really wants to do.

We are so thankful to have you, LadyBear!!!!!  Here she is at 1 years old...