Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Summer isn't far away

With summer months coming soon we have so much going on. In June our daughter and granddaughter will be flying home for a visit. We have been wanting to get started on the Simply Classical program but we have decided to hold off until after their visit that way we don't end up getting into a good rhythm and grove and then get off track during their visit.
So looking forward to getting to meet my grandbaby for the first time. Isn't she adorable?

In the mean time we are doing our Around the World studies. We are just starting to learn about the continent of Africa. Some of the main highlights we will be learning about will be learning about Egypt, Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, Madagascar, Sahara Desert, the Serengeti grasslands, the Nile River, and learning some words and songs in Swahili. 
We will be spending at least a month on this, learning different countries in Africa and being able to locate them on the map, learning about animals of Africa, learning about mummies, King Tutankhamun, Hatshepsut, Ramesses II and so much more!
Once we finish our studies of Africa we will make a little video about it and post it. 
There are days when I am frustrated with modern technology and wish for simpler times but even I will admit that I LOVE being able to just look things up online, find resources, art projects that support our learning, and just the wealth of knowledge that can so easily be found. 
 I love this slant board we got, it is really helping our kids who have weak fine motor skills to improve their handwriting.
 Daddy built this water table by adding some store bought storage containers to an old train table he had made a few years ago. We just popped the train table top off and put the containers in. It has been a big hit and a wonderful way for our sensory seekers to relax between lessons.
 Working on PT skills before seat work has been something we have noticed has really helped. We require the kids move around at least for 30 minutes to 1 hour before we do any sit down work. It has helped them stay focused longer. Sometimes we use tools such as the one above, and other times we turn on music and dance, or go outside and jump on the trampoline. Anything to get their bodies moving, their blood pumping, and their brains ready for learning.
 Our little guy struggles the most with his fine motor skills so we have found these great rock crayons. They are great for making him hold the crayons the correct way rather than the regular crayons that he tends to just fist.
 Another tool we have is therapy eggs. The pink egg is easier to squeeze and the blue one is harder. We have him do several squeezes in each hand and then switch to get his hand strength built up.
 Fun riding around together on their little bike.
 More water play

 So nice to be able to sit outside and enjoy my beautiful flowers!
I am blown away by this!! She did this all by herself!! Her handwriting is certainly coming along! (now if she would only decide if she is left handed or right, lol) 
Oh well, Hakuna Matata!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sensory Bins over the Years

I was just on one of my facebook groups and was talking with another mama about sensory bins and I thought I would post here. We LOVE sensory bins. We have sensory seekers and sensory avoiders so we always have to have a variety. Sensory bins dont always have to be in a bin either.... sometimes it can be at the table, on the floor, or even in a play pin. 

 mess free paint - I put paint in a zip lock bag and then used duct tape to keep the bag from being opened
 I used different spices and let them smell them and also transfer the spices from one bowl to the next
  we used child size teacups and pitches for practicing pouring
 leaves in the play pin
we went to a pumpkin patch and they had a big bin of dried corn
basket with the large legos
 bottles with glass beads (I had to sit close to them so they would not put them into their mouth) was great for working on their fine motor skills

 we brought the sand/water table inside and just put a blanket on the floor to help keep it mess free

 colored rice, we did some for every season and found some great things at the Dollar store to put inside the sensory bin

oobleck and flubber

different kinds of beans
water beads

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Learning about China and Apples

We have spent the last three weeks learning a little about China. The kids have made a little video of a few of the things they have learned and worked on. 

This is what they are saying....
 China is in Asia
 The Chinese flag is red with yellow stars
    nǐ hǎo means Hello  
   Where is China? - points to China on the globe
The Forbidden City, in Beijing, has about 9000 rooms. 
The official name is People’s Republic of China.
      The Great Wall of China is in China it is more than 13000 miles long.

   China has more people than any other country on Earth.
    Giant Pandas, lives in the misty mountains. They like to eat bamboo. 

 We have also learned some little songs like Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes in Chinese.

Today we read Apples by Gail Gibbons, then tasted several different kinds of apples. We talked about different kinds of fruits and colored a paper with all different kinds of fruits on it.
We talked about all the different colors in fruits and how each of them taste and the different textures.  Of course their favorite part was the taste testing and deciding which apple they liked the best.

We had fun learning about China and are excited about the start of our lessons about apples and fruit, which we will expand into lessons on health and nutrition and some very yummy cooking projects.

Math with a Visual makes it so much easier for them to understand

Our little peanut surprised us today!!!! We have been talking about how to spell mom and dad and she has known how to spell them but writing them was more of a challenge.
Today she was just sitting there playing and she got excited and said, I made Daddy's name!!

After she made daddy's name I asked if she could write mom and look what she did!!!