## Sunday, July 31, 2011

### 100s Chart Puzzle

Common Core Standards:

K.CC.1. Count to 100 by ones and by tens.

K.CC.2. Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).

Vocabulary: more, less, counting up, counting back, counting words, numerals, 100s chart

Materials: 100s chart; recording sheets; pencils

Directions:

1. Print out the 100s chart above for your child.  Review the number chart, counting first by ones, then by fives, and finally by 10s.

2.Ask,“What patterns do you see on the chart?” Point to a row and ask what your child notices. Point to a
column and ask what your child notices. “What else do you see?”

3.Explain that you will be giving your child a part of the 100s chart that has been cut out from the whole.  He/she will need to complete the missing numbers.

4. Print out this 100s Chart Puzzle Math Journal Prompt.  Have your child complete it.

Variations:

• Copy the 100s chart with pre-written numbers on cardstock and laminate. Cut the 100s chart into

pieces and have your child put the pieces together like a puzzle. (this would make a great workbox activity)

• Cover numbers on a 100s chart and have your child decide which numbers you covered.

### Monster Squeeze Math Game

Here is a fun monster themed game for helping to teach your little ones how to recognize, compare, and order numbers 1 - 30.  You can print out the complete directions and template here.

Here is a great activity that mixes math and creative writing.  Print out the Numbers About Me template here.

Ask your child to color and personalize the booklet cover and then fold it in half. Staple a stack of 3” x 4-½” blank paper inside the folded cover. Then challenge your child to think of numbers that describe himself/herself. If they need some inspiration give them an example, such as “The numbers one, two, three, and six describe me. I have one nose, two thumbs, three pets, and six children.” Have your child list in the booklet the numbers that represent him/her and a brief explanation of each.

### Free On-line Issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Are you looking for a magazine all about Homeschooling?  Well, you may want to check out The Old Schoolhouse.  Right now you can peruse an issue on-line for FREE!  Just head over here to read all 180 pages!  This issue features articles about lapbooking, teaching, your right brain child, and 17 ways to commect with literature.  If you are homeschooling a child with special needs, there is also an article that focuses on how to best serve their needs.

One thing that is really nice about this digital version is that you can easily skip to the articles you want to read without sifting through pages and pages because really, we are all so busy!

## Saturday, July 30, 2011

### Homeschool Organization Inspiration

I love looking at and stealing getting ideas from other homeschoolers' homeschool spaces.  Here are just a few ideas I've beeen looking at lately:

This scissor display from Spell Outloud is practical and fun!  She made it using a magnetic knife holder from Ikea.  I love the label at top - adds an element of literacy for the kiddos, and really what kid does not love to play with magnets?

I am all about color coding - with 6 boys it is one of the things that helps keep me sane - each boy has their own color and I try to get everything for them in that color from cups to hangers to notebooks and folders.  That is why I love this idea from Mama to 4 Blessings.

She has divided each week of work for her homeschooler into folders by color.

But the most ingenious part of her system (in my humble opinion) are the matching color coded tags for when she needs to make copies.  Love That!

Be sure to visit her blog to see how she makes the whole system work.  She will be sharing her workbox organization soon.

I also am going to be adding the idea of keeping a library bag like the one used by Amber at A Classic Housewife in a Modern World.  Usually each of my boys keeps their own library books, but then it is a scramble to find them or we have to re-check them out because we don't know where they all are.  I think this year I will make them keep them in one bag, they can take them out to read, but must return them to the bag.

You will also want to visit her blog to see how she organizes her calendar!

Also, I am seriously jealous of Amber because she has one of these - it has been on my Amazon wish list for awhile now :)  Do you have one? Do you love it? Hate it? Pros/Cons?

Stay tuned for some more inspiration - including shots from my own home!  Aren't you excited? LOL!  If you would like to share some of your own tips leave them in the comments below or email me and I will link up to you and share some link love!

### i.am.FIRST: Science is Rock & Roll ABC Special

All of my boys are big science fans.  They are also big music fans.  That is why I know our tv will be set to ABC for their i.am.FIRST: Science is Rock & Roll special on August 14th from 7 to 8 PM.  The show features will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas who teamed up with inventor/FIRST founder Dean Kamen to put together this groundbreaking, one-hour special promoting education, science and technology.

The show will feature musical performances by by The Black Eyed Peas and Willow Smith along with special appearances by such celebrities as Justin Bieber, Jack Black, Bono, Miranda Cosgrove, Miley Cyrus, Josh Duhamel, Willow Smith, Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, and  Steven Tyler.

In addition to the all star perormers, the program also documents the challenges that the country’s best and brightest students faced in the FIRST Regional Competitions leading up to and culminating in the international Championship.

And if you and your kiddos are looking for some science fun and experiments to do right now, check out all of the resources I've posted here.

## Friday, July 29, 2011

### Trying out an Economics Class from Founders Academy on CurrClick

I had of course heard of CurrClick, but we hadn't tried any of there classes.  I'm not sure why, I think mom was just too lazy to sign up  we were so busy that we never got around to it.  Anyway, Palmer has a good friend who is really interested in Economics and Politics, and Palmer just can't keep up with the conversation.  And although I have a Bachelor's degree in Accounting let's just say that Econ was not my fave subject. I had no desire to revisit tables that looked like this anytime soon.

So, when I found out that Lynn from Founders Academy was offering an Economics class I signed Palmer up.  Outsourcing can be a good thing :)

He starts the class in late August, but I will keep you posted with his opinions of the class!

If you are interested in learning more about Founders Academy check out their CurrClick page here, or follow them on Twitter.  If you have any questions, I know Lynn will be happy to help!

### FyrFlyz Review

Tyler and Cody are now 9 and 10 years old, those tween years.  One of the harder things to do as a tween mom is to think of birthday presents for them or their friends.  Usually I go the boring safe route of gift cards or a \$20 bill tucked in a birthday card.   But that was until this arrived in the mail:

Let me introduce you to FyrFlyz!  If you haven't heard of them yet, they are spinning toys that let you create light shows in between your own hands.  All of my boys were amazed by them, from the 5 year old to the 18 year old.

Although he wasn't smiling in this picture (he's at that don't take pictures of me stage) he has been walking around the house for days twisting and turning the FyrFlyz.

Tyler has become quite the pro...

followed in a close second by Cody.

The boys loved their FyrFlyz so much, they even had to take them on our trip to Lake Tahoe, and although you couldn't see the lights in the day, they still caused quite a stir!  Yes we shared reuctantly enthusiastically until mom made us when our mom politely asked us to.

The pictures just didn't show the real effect, so here is a video of the boys playing with them.

I will be stocking up on a few FyrFlyz at Toys R Us for upcoming birthday parties because I know they will be a hit! If you want to learn more check out their website http://www.fyrflyz.com/

Disclosure: We recieved two FyrFlyz in order to facilitate our review.  The boys will also recieve a \$20 gift card for their efforts.

### Our Family's Safari Adventure at Safari West Part 2

After we completed our walking tour, it was time to load up on this jeep.  Just ignore me in this picture (it is awful) look at my lovely handsome boys. I hate love having my picture taken.

The older boys got to take turns riding on the very top of the jeep.  You can see their feet right above us.

Luke was the only one not tall enough to sit on top, but they gave him the very important job of being assistant tour guide and he got to sit up front.

And then we were off in search of wild animals.

Not quite an animal, but Palmer found a skull.

Then our first animal sighting.

You can tell Tyler and Cody were excited about it, can't you?

Which way should we go Luke?

I think this was a herd of gazelle.

And then we saw a heard of Aftican buffalo.

Yeah, this guy got a little too close for my comfort.

Some wildebeest. The tour guide told us that some ancient peoples believed that they were made up of leftover parts from other animals when the world was created.

Towards the end of the tour we saw this magestic giraffe.

Our visit was amazing! We just took the tour, but they also offer overnight stays in rooms designed like huts.  The tour guide said you could hear some of the animals during the night.  I'm not sure if that was much of a selling point for me, but I do think we may try it one time.

If you live in the area, or are going to be visiting, you may want to check out Safari West!

## Thursday, July 28, 2011

### Animal Cracker Learning Fun

You can come up with learning ideas all around you!  I was in the grocery store the other day when I spotted these:

Instantly the wheels in my brain started spinning with all sorts of ideas to use them for.  I knew the boys would enjoy the animal theme since we had just visited an animal safari.

The first thing we used them for was graphing.  Luke used the following supplies:

He then made his own graph and graphed the animal crackers in his snack.  I asked him questions such as: what animal do you have the most of? the least of?  How many more giraffes do you have than elephants.

Tyler and Cody had learned about ecosystems and habitats, so they sorted their snacks by their habitats using this worksheet.

They also learned about animal probability using this worksheet.

Here are a few other animal cracker related activities you could try with your homeschoolers:

Animal Cracker Coloring Page