Me and my girlies learning from each other

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We had a ton of fun with our letter L week! We LOVED rowing the book “Lentil” by Robert McCloskey! We experienced with several new things, the best of which was playing a harmonica!

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We did several activities to get the girls familiar with the letter L. This was all pretty much review for both of them but it was a chance for RJ to really actually start practicing writing a letter.  We used the letter puzzle from COHS with our magnetic blocks.


We practiced making letter “L”s with our magnastix.


And we practiced making letter l’s with the notebook from our magnastix set.


RJ traced L’s.


And she traced and colored the letter L sheet from her tot school notebook.


We did a scavenger hunt to work on the letter L sound and found things from around the house that started with the letter L and lined them all up with our alphabet soup words.


We continued with our Raising Rock Stars Preschool and Kindergarten curriculum with our letter L verse: Matthew 5:16- “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Last year MK just learned “Let your light shine.” But both girls were able to memorize the entire verse this time around. I’ve been amazed at their memorization skills and big help has been setting the longer verses to musical tunes.

MK gluing the words in order for her verse.


RJ being camera shy measuring her verse with her length.


Practicing our verse one morning, we busted out our Melissa and Doug birthday candles and also sang “This little light of mine.”


RJ gluing her verse craft for RRSP.


For All About Reading this week, the girls had a ton of fun painting their Llama and then gluing yarn all over him for hair!


MK enjoyed some hands on work with syllables with this AAR lesson. She had to jump for each syllable of the word. She already really grasps syllables so we played this one with RJ just for fun.


RJ again used her gems this week to count syllables of the words from her RRSP cards. This exercise has been the best at helping her grasp the concept of syllables.



We made lizards out of our lowercase letter l sheet from COHS.


We used another lapbook/ unit study from Homeschool Share this week. We didn’t really “lapbook” it this time because I got lazy but we still enjoyed doing a lot of different activities.

MK practiced handwriting by tracing this sentence from Lentil.

We made American Flags on paper. The book Lentil focuses a lot on Patriotism in the small town of Alto, Ohio. We noticed that there were a lot of American Flags in the middle of town in a couple of their pictures. The girls love pointing out American Flags when we are out driving around town so it was easy to relate back to that throughout the week.


The highlight of the week for me was the harmonica. I just HAD to have one before ROWing this book. I picked one up a couple of weeks ago at a local music shop and had been stowing it away in anticipation. RJ LOVED it. She carried it around everywhere she went trying to become an “expert” like Lentil. She even carried it in the car with her. (Why did I let that happen?!)


The girls pretended to whittle like Old Sneep using bars of soap. (I’m pretty sure he was their favorite character in the book….go figure….the grumpy antagonist in the story.)


RJ was trying her best to look grumpy while she did it….but was just having too much fun to act that part!


It then occurred to me that the girls have never really used a bar of soap. I know…absurd…but I’ve always just bought pump soap. So I filled 2 buckets with water and put all the shavings and the bars of soap in the water along with some dishes and toys to “wash” and they had a great time! (And got super clean in the process.) Also as an interesting sensory experiment side note…..I left these buckets sitting out all afternoon. When I went to clean them up in the evening, all the soap had congealed and made this very slippery goo out of the water. I begged the girls to play in it but they were a little freaked out by it. I bet some kids would love that though!

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The girls colored little maps of Ohio from the lapbook and also counted how many states away we are from Ohio.


RJ colored some little maps of Ohio as I got too lazy to use that particular sheet for it’s intended use.


We did our states and capitals puzzle just mostly focusing on matching the pieces to the shapes they fit in and then we pointed out Missouri, and Ohio and “traveled” there. Then we spent some time talking about and pointing out the other states we’ve been to.


We used The Usborne Flip-Flap Body Book this week for a lesson on taste buds. Because Old Sneep sucks on a lemon in Lentil, we expanded on sour and the rest of the taste buds through a little experiment.


We talked about the different taste buds, how we experience taste, send signals to the brain, etc. The girls did not really grasp it all, but were still very interested.


I set out a plate using coffee to represent bitter (it was REAL strong!), pretzel for salty, lemon for sour and sugar cookies to finish off with for sweet. The girls kept reviewing what the 4 tastebuds were before we dug in to guess which one each food represented.


Here is salty pretzel.


MK with bitter coffee. “Bitter mom, that’s bitter.” Perfect response!


Sour lemon. I was laughing so hard at their faces RJ asked to go look at herself in the mirror while she tried to pucker.



And the sweet reward of a cookie.


We talked just a little bit about fractions. I’d intended to do this with lemons and then make lemonade…but by the end of the week I was falling off the wagon hardcore. So I pulled out our Guidecraft fraction action puzzle and talked with the girls about whole, half and thirds. They both really caught on to the concept of halves so that’s a start!


We reviewed several vocabulary from the book. The words we focused on were, citizen, expert, alley and grumble. Below the girls were making a city (which later somehow turned into a Chik Fil A) I put some houses out beside it and made a little alley to reinforce that word for them.


I made lemon scented play doh and the girls enjoyed playing with that several times this week. Below RJ was practicing the spelling of her name by cutting the letters out with cookie cutters.



The girls both really enjoyed working with their Mighty Mind pattern blocks this week.


RJ was really into these number wooden puzzles and kept asking to pull them out each day.


We practiced beginning letter sounds by using several letters from our Alphabet Soup cans and matched up the words with the right cans.

I’ll be linking this post up at Homeschool Creations

Homeschool Preschool


Jan. 27. We were all done eating dinner….except MK. This is the situation almost every night. MK has a hard time getting through meals. This is Daddy in one of his shining moments…literally talking MK through E.V.E.R.Y bite. RJ was of no moral support but was taking advantage of the opportunity to climb.


Jan. 28 Worked on table with Dad again.


Jan. 29 Gymnastics. It’s really blurred….but that’s what we did that day!


Jan. 30 Met baby Simon.


Jan. 31


Feb. 1


Feb. 2 She was pretending to be a cat. She asked for a bowl of milk.


While these are not some of my greatest pictures photographically speaking, I’m excited that this week I was able to capture a little of the true essence of every day…which is after all, why I’m doing this!

Jan. 20th- Daddy had Monday off work for MLK day so we enjoyed a LAZY family day.


Jan. 21- Somedays you just need to remember that God is Good ALWAYS….that everything God does is GOOD. This was one of those days.


Jan. 22- Family game night.


Jan. 23 I was staring at this beautiful little girl and I just thought…”I wish I could understand what is going on inside her head so I could help her get it out.” MK has been having a hard time expressing what’s going on in her head/ how she’s feeling, ect. This was a particularly hard day that really showed Daddy and I that we need to be praying more about how to intentionally parent her through this time. Her sweet little heart is just so full of stuff, we want to help her pull it out.


Jan. 24 NOT  a good picture of me. It was FREEZING in the garage so I had 3 sweatshirts and my dad’s coat and ear covers on. Would never post a picture like this of myself except that this day needed to be documented. I needed a new table. After weeks of looking for the right one, I persuaded my dad to help me build a farm table. This is day one of the project. I’m excited for the finished product. I’m excited to be doing this with my dad. I’m excited to have a priceless piece that we created together that can be passed down for generations (hopefully they value it as much as I know I will!)


Jan. 25- Costco….on a Saturday….no more really needs to be said. The girls were D.O.N.E. by the time we checked out. And MK’s eyes…yeah…went home and found out she had a 102.8 temp.


Jan. 26- The glory of God displayed for all to see…..Every time I see a sunset like this, that is exactly what I think. Except I didn’t notice this one first. My silly little 3 year old who would not sit still at the dinner table glanced up through our tiny little window across the room, above the front door and said “Oh! Look at all the colors in the sky!” I took her out on the front porch and told her that when we talked about God’s Glory (which we often do) this is a picture of what that means. Then we said a little prayer to thank God for his colors.



I posted yesterday about our trip to the post office and pretend play with a mail box. Here is what happened the rest of the week of October 20th, 2013. (Sounds like so long ago!)

I made a letter E basket with some letters and the Alphabet Soup letter E can and a few elephants. We talked about the sounds that E makes and all the different words we could find in the basket…practicing making our e sounds while saying them.


MK was pretty excited to see the elephant wash cloth/ hand puppet. She wanted to introduce the elephant to Murphy and Ziggy, our other school room puppets.


We continued with Raising Rock Stars Preschool and Kindergarten curriculum. We worked on our Memory Verse: Proverbs 20:11- “Even a child is known by his deeds.” We talked at great length about what deeds meant and gave many examples of good deeds versus bad deeds. We discussed what kind of deeds we wanted to be known by and prayed God would help us to be known by our good deeds.

MK putting together her verse word by word.


RJ cutting out her verse. I think this was around the time she started cutting without me helping to hold the paper for her.


RJ putting together for RRSP craft. Before she glued the egg to the basket, we used the egg to practice our positional words by putting the egg over, under, beside, behind, on the basket.


MK working on phonics sheet from RRSK pack.


This was a math counting sheet from the RRSK pack. I pulled out some eggs from our Easter themed activities and she used those to count. She then used the eggs to make different patterns.


Both girls enjoyed doing the Letter E Find It!



We used several printables from this adorable Letter E/ Elephant pack.

Dot painting.


Trace and color the E is for Elephant



Tracing and naming shapes.


Capital and lowercase E elephant puzzle.


Dot painting lowercase and capital E’s.


We used the letter E collage page from COHS to make elephants based off of this craft I found on Pinterest also from COHS.


They both LOVED getting to color on their thumbs and putting thumb prints all over the paper for peanuts for the All About Reading Pre-Reading E for Elephant sheet!


I LOVED this lapbook and unit activities from Homeschool Share to go along with Humpty Dumpty! The girls love nursery rhymes and we spent 2 whole days just focusing on that nursery Rhyme with these printables along with reading “Horton Hatches an Egg.”

We learned about amphibians. We talked about what amphibian means- on the most elementary level, I explained this as animals that begin their life in water and then develop to live on land and/or water. We discussed animals that hatch from eggs.


Grouping different amphibians together.

We read the book “Bullfrog Grows Up”. This book is a cute illustration of a tadpole becoming a bullfrog and the process it goes through- Although unrealistic as mice take the tadpole to be their pet before it grows to be a Bullfrog, but still a well-loved illustration.

They made egg people…like Humpty Dumpty. They thought this was hilarious and insisted on adding googley eyes to all the eggs.

This was a story sequencing activity for the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme. They colored, cut and glued the different parts of the story in order.


They colored (MK outlined) letter E’s and then glued pictures of different things that start with letter E to make a little book.


Here is the front cover of their books.


Here’s the inside. The girls loved that their big “book” was made of all the small “books” and wanted to read them over and over, which was fine for me because we got in tons of review.


I pulled out these eggs from our Easter printables so the girls could work on counting and number matching.


I’m not sure where this tied in with our theme for the week, but I pulled out our matching blocks and boards that we got from zulily for Christmas last year and the girls had fun matching them all. We then played feel and match where the girls would have 5 or so boards and put the 5 matching characters in the bag. They had to close their eyes and feel for the right figure to match the board in front of them. They love any game where they have to squeeze their eyes shut!

So I’m finally going to slowly go back and start recording our 6+ weeks of school from last fall that I never blogged about. I was diligent to take pics so I definitely want to post about them so I’ll have them to look back over. This is from the week of October 20th. We talked about the letter E. Most of school was about elephants and eggs using the books, “Horton Hatches and Egg” and the nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty”.  I’ll do a separate post for those. But I also have been really wanting to make them a mail box after seeing so many fun ideas on Pinterest about them. I knew that it would provide a great opportunity to work on Handwriting and some fun pretend play. So I incorporated a day all about Envelopes to tie in the letter E with mail.

I started out by showing the girls the mailbox and letting them play with it. Then I explained all the pieces and let them play and write and letter match.

I had a ton of left over stationary from our wedding…yep 9 years later I knew it’d come to good use at some point! I covered the front of pieces of stationary with each letter of the alphabet lowercase. The girls could choose any letter, open the card and practice making that letter (lowercase or capital) inside the card. For RJ I put little dotted lines for her to trace.


I wrote the capital letters on the outside of envelopes and arranged them on the floor. After the girls chose a card and practiced writing, they went to find the matching capital envelope.



Then they stuffed their cards into envelopes. I helped a lot with this….it was a little more difficult than I imagined and I was afraid of little paper cuts:(

Then they got to play with the mailbox. They put letters in, pulled them back out of the back opening. They put them in the “mail” bag and then proceeded to deliver them around the room.




I then had them separate the cards from the envelopes and sort them…kind of like backwards of the way they do at the post office…kind of….


Then we read Richard Scarry’s book “What do People Do?” page all about mail and the postal delivery person. We decided to write letters to the girls’ grandmas. We addressed the envelopes and I explained that is how the postman knows where the letters should go. We then took a field trip to the post office to buy stamps and mail the letters.


The post office worker saw what we were doing/ heard me explaining the process to the girls and so she let us peek back in the front mail room to show the girls where the mail goes and how its sorted. (If you look closely, you can see MK’s letter to Grandma right on top of the pile.)  She also gave the girls pamphlets all about stamps.



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Jan.13 MK was reading the Devotional to RJ and Jingle.


Jan. 14- For school this week we were reading the book “Lentil” about a young boy who learns to play the harmonica. I bought the girls one to play with/ learn and RJ immediately loved it and wanted to play it all the time.  MK was scared of it for the first 5 hours and then, true to her nature, eventually warmed up to it and wanted to play as well.


Jan. 15- RJ after a bath. Yes…she is on the toilet…but the shot was too cute to pass up.


Jan. 16- Here is another of those scenes RJ creates that I just love walking up on. RJ looked at me and whispered, “everybody is watching baby giraffe sleep.”


Jan. 17- Lemons are another part of “Lentil” so I made the girls taste one. Classic lemon face.


Jan. 18- The girls have never used a bar of soap before. Shame!!! So I let them play with soap in a bucket of water.  Lots of good, clean fun.


Jan. 19- Sunday brunch….Daddy’s chocolate chip pancakes.


Jan. 19….again.  After posting this I just had to go back and add in a pic from Sunday night. The girls’ aunt and uncle came over for dinner and to ask to girls to be the flowergirls in their wedding next summer. Both girls were sooooo excited. Aunt Nina was reading them a book all about being the flower girl….very precious moment.

Jan 19

Every time we do a ROW of a book, I come away from the school week saying how much FUN we had. This week was no exception and has made me decide that I’m going to be heavily focusing on Five in a Row for the rest of this year. At 3 and 4 both girls LOVE it and absorb soooo much information it just shocks me. We learned all about Australia, where it is on the map, what kinds of animals live there and so much more. We learned big words like Nocturnal and Marsupial…uh yeah…I had to look the second one up to give a proper definition! While using Five in a Row can seem time consuming to me at times, it’s waaaaaayyy worth it when the girls get so into the activities!


Ok so yes….we ROWed Katy No Pockets by Emmy Payne. We studied all about Australia and Kangaroos. We loved using the Unit Lapbook printables from Homeschool Share for this unit. Here are the girls doing several of the activities that made up the lapbook. They love putting these together and I love having them to go back and review!

Cutting out words that begin with the letter “k”.


Coloring a map of Australia while we talked about the different Regions, animals, etc.


Locating Australia on the “earth”….they still won’t call this the globe, which is quirky and I love it. We also found Missouri which happened to be right under the “I” in North America so it was easily found again and again after that realization. We followed the globe around many times to track the journey between our state and Australia.


Cut and glued animal families and learned the names of babies, mothers and father animals.


Colored the front page for our lap books.


Colored a cute little Kangaroo rhyming page and then sang the accompanying song several times along with actions.



Made a small fact book about Kangaroos.

Here RJ was reviewing everything after it was all placed and telling me everything she remembered (Love that review!)


MK was telling her “Jingle” dog all about her lapbook.


The girls put on their craft aprons and put small animals in their pockets and jumped around like mother kangaroos.


We also did this Kangaroo craft. The girls LOVED this and took it all over the house for 2 days playing pretend with Katy and her baby Freddy. We also drew a city on long butcher paper for them to hop to but RJ destroyed it before I had a chance to snap a picture. We made many buildings focusing on making little squares for the windows. Neither of them have really mastered drawing any shapes except for a circle so this was a good chance to get some practice in.


We worked on some new Vocabulary words. MK has really been into asking lately when it comes to any new word she does not recognize or understand. So I decided to make that an “official” part of our row. We talked at great length about the words, their definitions and some examples. Words were: Nocturnal, Marsupial, Mob (a group of kangaroos), Deaf (the owl in the book was “deaf as a post”), blind (baby kangaroos are blind when born), and contagious.

Contagious was not a word in our book, but very naturally ended up fitting into our reading one day and turned into an entire beautiful conversation. When Katy goes to the city and receives an apron covered with pockets from a nice man, she breaks into a huge smile. (sorry for those of you who’ve never read this….I know I’m talking totally out of context…I guess that means you’d better just go read it for yourself so you’ll understand! It’s worth it….) Surrounding onlookers initially looked concerned about the kangaroo in the middle of the city. But when they see her big smile, they all smile too. We talked about how Katy’s smile was contagious. I expanded on the concept that when things are contagious they can spread. We talked about good things that are contagious and bad things. We talked about the importance of striving to spread good things like joy and the gift of Jesus. These are the conversations that make me feel so blessed to teach the girls at home.


While still pretending to be kangaroos, the girls hopped around the room in search of all their letter K words from RRSP. And then we spread them all out and talked about them.


We continued with RRSP and RRSK this week with letter K and the verse Psalm 34:13- Keep your tongue from evil. We also had some really good conversations about what an evil tongue would look like.

MK putting together her RRSK verse. This week I printed off a version where she had to trace each word before cutting it out and gluing it. She really liked that addition.


RJ measuring her verse after cutting and gluing it. While she really liked memorizing this verse, she was quite disappointed when she realized how short it was on paper.


As RJ is a kid who loves to hang her tongue out of her mouth, she took great joy in this week’s verse craft!


She was saying her verse while showing me the finished picture.


MK coloring her sight word sheet. She started out making each letter have every color of the rainbow in it. She remembered them all without any help from me. (Thanks to the Minnie Mouse rainbow episode I’m sure.)


She was extra motivated to trace her letters this week because she got a new marker with an eraser on the end and I let her erase all her worksheets each day after she completed them. This was much fun for her for some reason.


I had to take a picture of one of her calendar notebook pages. I don’t think I ever remember to take pictures of this part of our school routine. Which is most likely because it is fit in so randomly throughout the day. But I had to snap a pic this particular day because it was her first successful time of making the number “2” on the first try! We’ve been practicing them quite a bit as she learns the date and she was very proud of herself and asked me to snap a picture.


Making a letter K with our new magnetic lowercase letters set from Fundanoodle. I LOVE this set! It came with the magnets to make letters, the magnetic whiteboard (which both girls and I love) the marker, a great lowercase writing spiral book, and a few extra activities.  (Thanks grandma!!) 🙂 This set is supposed to be lowercase letters but I’ve been pulling out the pieces for them to make lowercase and uppercase each week. I know there will be many letters where we won’t have that option and I’ll have to get some uppercase magnets at that point.


Making the letter K on the peg board.


One big change I made starting this week was splitting the girls up for reading and writing time. I’ve been dragging my feet on doing this for the longest time because in most other activities they do so well working together and well….I’m just lazy. But I am soooo glad I finally did this! I was really noticing that we were moving too fast for RJ and she was not catching on nearly as well with All About Reading as she would if I spent more time on each lesson. MK on the other hand seemed bored because most of what we are covering are skills she has already mastered. So this week I was able to breeze through 3 lessons with MK and focus repeatedly on just one lesson with RJ until she got it. I’m just sad I didn’t make this change a few months back!

Ziggy was helping MK identify the longer words.


MK coloring her letter K worksheet. She is almost at capital Z with her lessons but I’m just letter her do the coloring sheets that coincide with our weekly letters. We are both such creatures of our routine that it felt unnatural to do any other way!


RJ worked a lot of counting syllables of words. We did the suggested activity for her lesson and then throughout the week I also pulled out several other syllable counting activities. I really think after hitting it from several different angles she is catching on to the idea and is not frustrated because I was able to take it at her pace.

We used her letter K RRSP cards and she put a jewel down for each part of the word as she said it.


Then she would put the pictures in with the corresponding number on her pocket chart.


We also played a game where she would hit her tambourine once for each part of a word and then tell me how many syllables. She loved this game, even though it took her a little longer to catch on.



Here are some of the Kangaroo themed books we read this week. My favorite (besides Katy No Pockets of course) was A Kangaroo Grows Up by Amanda Doering. This b0ok wasn’t necessarily cute or super catchy…but it was chok full of information. I learned a ton from it about the life cycle of Kangaroos and the girls really seemed to get into it as well!


We also watched several videos of Kangaroos hopping and one rather disturbing one of a joey drinking milk from his mother (of course the girls wanted to watch it several times..) This week was such a blast and we are looking forward to ROWing “Lentil” next week!

I’ll be linking this post up at HomeschoolCreations.  Be sure to check out all the fun preschool ideas over there!