You are my reason.

I have had a classroom sign saved in my phone as inspiration…a reminder of how I want my girls to feel and be treated when they walk into our “classroom”. When we sit down or go outside or lay in the bed to do our work, I want them to know that they are capable, that they are important, and that they are my reason for everything.

Then my husband made me some blank wooden signs out of scrap wood and I decided to turn that inspiration picture into a sign that can hang in our home.  A sign that my girls can look at and read daily.

I had a bit of trouble with the paint bleeding but I was able to correct enough of that and overall, I’m THRILLED with how it turned out.

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Summer School

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, we will be homeschooling year round.  Our “year” is just about to end and then after a weeklong break, we will start up again.  I’m not a monster though so our summer schedule will be more relaxed and more of the fun stuff.

Here’s what I’m planning and why…

Science: workbook twice weekly, experiment once a week.

*I picked out a Kindergarten workbook because it is between the levels of my 2 girls.  There are 47 “lessons” listed in the workbook but each is a single page and many of them go together easily so I think it will be closer to 20 lessons for us.  During the school year, we do our science at our co-op but that has a very small focus for the year.  We will be doing this brief overview workbook to introduce the girls to more varied science concepts.

Art: twice weekly

*Art is something that I have a hard time organizing or teaching.  The girls have a free range art space where they are welcome to go and create anytime and they use it often.  We also do pinterest crafts fairly regularly but I don’t consider myself very artistic so I haven’t really done any “teaching” as far as technique goes.  We are going to be participating in An Art Habit which is a twice weekly online course put on by Rachelle of Tinkerlab.

Math & Geography: Once a week

First Language Lessons: Twice weekly

*These will just be once and twice a week to keep us on track throughout the rest of the year and so that we have more freedom to take breaks when we want them. I’ll be most flexible with these because I am really just looking to do enough over the summer to give us a head start and keep us from getting rusty.

Jot It Down: daily

*This is going to be our gateway into Brave Writer!  I am so excited to start and I was going over the project ideas with Avery and she is also excited.  I say “daily” but some of those days might just be reading relevant stories or poetry teatime or a quick 5 minute free write.

 

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Our summer “happy place”….we’ll also be taking a 3 week vacation HERE to rest & relax with family!

So what are YOUR summer plans? School wise or vacation??

 

 

 

Tinkerlab Art Challenge

Tinkerlab recently did a 5 day art start challenge in which we participated. It was free and used mostly we already had around the house.  There was a Facebook group to share, ask questions, etc. But each day, we got an email explaining the setup, materials, daily journal prompts, and extension ideas.

We are crafty people so daily art isn’t that far off of our norm. However, I did get some great new ideas and some guidance in how I can best foster the girls’ creativity. 

We had a blast with this art challenge and the girls loved the surprise every day of seeing what the setup would be.

Day 1 setup.

Avery’s creation with her painted coffee filters…a Hawaiian Hula Girl!

We will definitely be watching for anymore of these organized art challenges but until then, I will pull out my Tinkerlab book and schedule in different setups for the girls on a weekly basis. They love them and it is so easy to get a setup going (way easier than any Pinterest art projects we’ve tried!).

Tinkerlab

Where do you go when you need inspiration, validation, or just new ideas?  Do you have a favorite homeschool mama author or book?

We have a pretty good art table at our house that the girls use often but I don’t often plan or teach art projects.  I grabbed Rachelle Doorley’s book Tinkerlab recently during a sale and I have been loving it!  I was looking for artsy ideas and projects for my little ladies but I found so much more than that.  I was totally surprised to find that I really loved the introduction, the how & why to create a tinkerlab, and the real life examples and experiences.  I loved this part so much that I’m looking for other homeschool mom inspirational books (hence, my request for your favorites).

This book also made me realize that we’re already headed in the right direction with our art table.  Here I was thinking that I was doing something wrong because we weren’t doing organized art projects. When in fact, having that open, free range art space is part of the GOAL.  We have that.  Our art table has paper, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, sequins, feathers, pom poms, stickers, pipe cleaners, stamps, etc etc that the girls are always free to use and create.  Our art table is over a carpeted floor so paint is a mom-supervision-required medium but everything else is a free for all (even glitter, much to my husband’s dismay).  And the girls use the space daily.  Their daily use is what made me seek out more guided art projects.

Although we are doing well with our easily accessible art space, the Tinkerlab book has so many more ideas.  There are 4 sections in the book: design, build, concoct, and discover.  Each section focuses on a different element of the creative mind.  The experiments and set ups in the book are mostly EASY to do and don’t require much more than what I already have at home.  There are a few ideas in the build category that involve small toy motors and wire strippers that I’ll leave to my husband….

So many great ideas for getting them to explore and discover without telling them what to do.  I love that instead of projects, this book has set-ups.  Give your child materials and see what they can come up with instead of telling them what to make.  I love this!

As I was reading, I got a quick set-up going for my girls.  I gave them paint with q-tips, feathers, pom poms, and plastic forks.  Once they got going, I sent them on a scavenger hunt around the house for anything that they thought would be fun to paint with….the only rule was NO actual paintbrushes.  This wasn’t a set-up that was directly out of the book but as I was reading, I was catching on to the idea.

A little mess can create a LOT of fun!

A little mess can create a LOT of fun!

And now I have 500 beautiful paintings to admire....

And now I have 500 beautiful paintings to admire….

 

(I bought my copy of Tinkerlab from Timberdoodle. No strings, I wasn’t asked to write about it….just sharing something I love.)

Homemade Puffy Paint

It is no secret that we love craft time at our house! We try a lot of new craft ideas and methods but of course, there are always more ideas out there.

Today we tested out a homemade puffy paint that I have had pinned for awhile now. I have the same recipe pinned as different projects…ice cream cones, pumpkins, and today we made cotton candy.  You could make whatever you want with this. It is 50/50 shaving cream and glue, and then a few drops of food coloring depending on what you want to make.

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We are only a few hours out and it is dry to the touch but not quite dry enough for the kids to poke at (and they really want to…it just looks so puffy and inviting to those tiny fingers!).

We will definitely make this again….it not only makes cool art but is also just fun for the kids to stir and scoop as sensory play.  I left the extra in a Tupperware to see how long it will last before drying out, I’ll update when I know the answer.

Life is sweet

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Today was too hot to go outside so we made a canvas for the kitchen! A chose a cupcake…i did a pencil drawing on the canvas for her and she painted it herself. I added the words, which are admittedly,  not that great. But A did an awesome job and she was so excited when i took down store-bought art to hang hers in its place!!

Life IS sweet!!!