Thursday, October 22, 2009

Taking a Short Break


I didn't want to just take off for a little bit without posting first. I need to take a few weeks off from posting. We haven't stopped learning and doing activities, but typing is very hard for me right now. I cut my finger on a broken pie dish and severed the nerve. I can no longer feel the top half of my middle finger on my left hand, and I'm left handed. So while we'll continue learning, I won't be able to share the lessons for October like I originally planned. I hope to pick up again in November. Happy homeschooling!

Monday, October 19, 2009

HSLDA'a Christopher Klicka Dies.

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association's first full-time attorney has lost his fight against Multiple Sclerosis. Christopher Klicka, a great advocate for homeschooling and a parent's right to homeschool, passed away on October 12th. He was an integral legal voice for many homeschooling families. If you'd like to learn more about Christopher Klicka's life or leave a tribute, you can visit this HSLDA page to do so. It's always sad to lose a homeschooling pioneer and advocate who has helped so many families on their homeschooling journey.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Preschool Lesson Plan for Ordinal Numbers

Preschoolers are notorious for chanting "me first" when it's time to get something or stand in a line. But what about the rest of the ordinal numbers? Would it cause less meltdowns if kids thought they were 4th in line rather than last in line? Probably not, but it's worth a shot. Here is a simple lesson Avlyn and I did the other day, taking full advantage of fall time and pumpkins.

Teach ordinal numbers 1st through 5th using the "5 Little Pumpkins" song and a craft.

*Long piece of brown paper - an flattened wrapping paper tube works best, but you can staple a few pieces of construction paper together.
*Orange and green construction paper

Begin by drawing a fence along the bottom of the brown paper. Let your child color the fence. Avlyn added some spiders to her fence. While your child colors the fence, cut out five orange circles that will fit comfortably on the top of the fence. Also cut out five green squares for stems. On the bottom of the pumpkins write 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Leave enough room for your child to draw faces.

After the fence is colored, review the ordinal numbers written on the pumpkins. Show your child how each pumpkin has a place based on their ordinal number. Then, have them glue the stems on the pumpkin based on their number. For example, you will say "glue the stem on the 3rd pumpkin" and so forth.

Let your child draw fun faces on each pumpkin, but instruct them not to cover up the number. Once the faces are drawn, ask your child to put the pumpkins in order based on their ordinal numbers. Review ordinals and give any help needed. Next, sing the
5 Little Pumpkins
song, holding up the corresponding pumpkin.

Tape the fence to a wall and have your child attach the pumpkins on the fence in ordinal number order.
I mixed up the pumpkins and then had her pick which was 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so forth. Then we sang the song again and she pointed to each pumpkin. I also gave her a speed quiz where I quickly told her to point to the 1st pumpkin, 4th pumpkin, 3rd pumpkin and so forth. And that was our lesson plan for working with ordinal numbers up to 5. Happy homeschooling!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Halloween Songs

I have only two Halloween songs that I can remember learning as a child. They are Old Mrs. Witch and 5 Little Pumpkins. Below are the words, as I remember them, to these two Halloween songs. There is also a short song, sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" that my daughter and I made up to go along with a ghost craft. 5 little pumpkins is a great song to go along with teaching ordinal numbers. We will be doing a craft and lesson plan for the 5 Little Pumpkins song that I'll post later this week. If you and your child practice the song, you'll be all set to do the lesson plan. Happy homeschooling!

Old Mrs. Witch

Old Mrs. Witch Old Mrs. Witch
Tell me how you fly, tell me how you fly

I fly on my broom stick up in the sky.

Old Mrs. Witch (repeat)
Tell me what you see (repeat)

I see a little jack o lantern looking at me

Old Mrs. Witch (repeat)
Tell me what you'll do (repeat)

I'll fly on my broom stick and SCARE YOU! (Yell loudly)

5 Little Pumpkins

5 little pumpkins sitting on a gate
the first one says, "Oh, my it's getting late."
The second one says, "There are witches in the air."
The third one says, "Oh, I don't care."
The fourth one says, "Let's get ready for some fun."
The fifth one says, "Let's run and run and run."

Oooohh went the wind, out went the lights, and the 5 little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Flying, Flying, Little Ghost

Flying, flying little ghost
You're the one who scares the most
Trick or treaters walking by
As you chase them from the sky

Flying, flying little ghost
You're the one who scares the most.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Christopher Columbus Coloring Sheets and Activities

Columbus Day is October 12th. If you live in America, you may spend some of your homeschooling time teaching your kids about Christopher Columbus. Preschool is the perfect time to build a foundation on this historical figure. While a complicated history lesson isn't necessary because it won't be remembered, and most likely not comprehended, letting preschoolers color a picture of Columbus is a great way to start. The history lessons you teach your preschooler now can be built upon a little each year. This method helps build a solid education about historical topics.

You can find Columbus coloring sheets HERE.

For a more hands-on approach to Christopher Columbus, you can help your preschooler complete a craft. My son brought home an art project he did at school for the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. (Pictured above) I think it's very basic and works for a preschooler, too. I would start by reading a book about Christopher Columbus and then proceed with the craft. Here's a suggestion for a good preschool level book:


I hope this gives you a couple of ideas, or at least a jumping off point for Columbus Day ideas for a preschooler. Happy homeschooling!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy October

Welcome to fall everyone. It's officially gotten colder here, and I do love this time of the year. Although we live in Missouri, we're originally from South Florida, which means we're still getting used to seasonal changes and actually having to wear sweaters in October. I've decided that at the beginning of each month I'll post a rundown of what's gonna be on the blog. Hopefully, you'll see something you're interested in and come back to check it out. Of course, I'll add posts as the inspiration strikes, but I'll use my general homeschooling outline to let you know what's coming up.

Vist the blog in October for posts on:

Pumpkin painting

Pumpkin lesson plan ideas

Halloween songs

Halloween crafts - including a bat and ghost craft

Fall foods - particularly apple-filled muffins

Weighing and measuring activities using apples and pumpkins

A recap and pictures of our pumpkin patch field trips (yes, it's plural. We'll be pumpkined (is that a word?) out by the end of October.

Happy Homeschooling!