Friday, June 26, 2015

Chore Jar for Kids


I came across this idea on Fabulously Frugal. The can that she made is cuter than mine, but the idea is the same. (I was trying to be frugal!) On each stick is written a chore, but not the kids normal chores. Each of my kids have morning chores to complete every day, which are clearing and wiping the table, sweeping, and picking up the toys and shoes in the kitchen and living room. In the jar are extra chores that aren't regularly done, many of them are more in the "deep cleaning" category. See the picture below for a sample. The reason for the tape on one side is genius! Once a chore has been done, the stick is put in, tape side down, to signify that is has been done recently. Once all the sticks are tape side down, I will just turn them all right side up and we will start again.


How am I using this jar? Well, whenever my kids are disrespectful, fighting with each other, or just complaining, their consequence is to do a chore out of the jar. I have been surprised that they actually like doing them! (I know it's probably the honeymoon phase.) Today, they were outside playing and just kept fighting with each other until I couldn't take it anymore. I made them all come inside and pick a chore. Caleb picked "wash the garbage can", Rebekah picked the "bathroom mirrors", and Joshua picked "wash the door into the garage". They actually cheerfully did their chore. Matthew was jealous, so I had to go get him a rag too, and he helped Joshua. Once they were done with the door, they moved on to the front door, the stair railing, and the closet doors just for fun! Rebekah did about 5 extra chores because she was having fun too! To reward them, we made brownies, yum!

How did I keep this frugal? I went to Dollar Tree to buy the sticks, but they only had the small ones. A bit disappointing, but they will work. Then, instead of spending money on cute washi tape, I just bought a roll of colored duct tape, also from Dollar Tree. Lastly, I used a cleaned out peanut butter jar instead of a can, just because that's what I had. I just wrapped it with the tape so they can't see through it. Please check out Fabulously Frugal's site to see her can and how she uses hers.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Antarctica - MFW ECC & 1st, Weeks 33 & 34


We finished our school year with Antarctica!  This has been a good year, but I'm ready for our summer break!  On of the activities for Antarctica was to design a flag.  Caleb's is above.  He loved learning about the explorer Shackleton.  Rebekah's is below.


Speaking of Shackleton, his story was amazing. Caleb read several books about him, and then we all watched the documentary, Endurance. I highly recommend it, although it was a bit boring for the younger ones. 



We also did a few ice berg experiments, including making a blubber glove to show how penguins fat keeps them warm. (It was shortening between two baggies.)


We also tried to make a glacier and see how it would move down a sand mountain. Unfortunately, it didn't go very far. I think the sand was too wet. The first picture is our glacier still in the bag, then the second one is after is mostly melted.



Below is a picture of our Venn diagram comparing and contrasting Antarctica to the Arctic.


Here is Caleb's geography test. In the beginning of the year, he knew 15 countries, now he got 42 right! I was actually a bit disappointed that he didn't get a few more, but I know I got lazy with playing the geography game at the end. Rebekah had only 1 right on her first test, and 23 correct at the end. They were supposed to label the continents and the oceans too, but they didn't want to, and since it was the last day, I just decided to be done.




Rebekah wanted to do an end of the year project, and Caleb had to get in on the fun too. It was supposed to be a poster of their favorite country, but it ended up a collage of pictures and flags from everywhere. They used the rest of the flags from their sticker books. Rebekah's is first.



Here are Rebekah's last two bible notebook pages!



And her completed timeline!


Lastly, here are a few pictures from our life.  Below, all the kids were helping to clean and cut asparagus for our freezer.


Our first family selfie! Just having fun with some silly glasses.


Enjoy your summer break!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Australia - MFW ECC & 1st, Weeks 31 & 32


Australia was a very fun country to study! Above is our feast: egg and ham pie from Cooking the Australian Way, fruit salad with mango, pineapple, kiwi, and banana, and anzac biscuits (cookies) from The Kids' Multicultural Cookbook.


Here are a few papers from Australia. I have to admit, I have burned out on playing the geography game, and have skipped most of the art. With Joshua awake during the afternoon, it's much harder to get these things out. I'll have to come up with a better plan for next year.


In science, we learned about Australian animals and also coral reefs.



We read The 21 Balloons as our read aloud, which is more about a pacific island. I found it a bit boring, but the kids seemed to really enjoy it, especially Caleb.


Lastly, here are a few of Rebekah's bible notebook pages:



Sunday, May 31, 2015

Russia - MFW ECC & 1st, Weeks 29 & 30


Here are the kids Russian Easter Eggs! Caleb's is on the left, Rebekah's on the right, and Joshua's in the middle. They also made paper babushka dolls that I printing online (just do a goodle search). We stapled the doll pictures to paper loops to make them nesting. I must not have taken a picture though... Below are pictures of our Russian apple pie! It was basically apples with a pancake type batter poured over them. Everyone thought it was yummy!




Of course, we did a few worksheets. Our science topic was the tundra!



I noticed there was a geography game in the back of our Exploring World Geography book, so I went ahead and printed it out. We had fun playing a new version. I admit, I have let our regular geography game playing slip by the wayside since Joshua quit taking his afternoon nap.


We finished the read aloud, Kingdom Tales, which is actually a trilogy. It was an allegory, which was a little tricky at first to understand, but we all really enjoyed this book! I'm sure we'll be reading it again in the future.


We also found a wooly bear caterpillar and watched it turn itself into its own cocoon. It took several weeks for him to come out of the cocoon, I was worried he was dead! But he did finally come out!


Rebekah is still doing great on her bible notebook summaries. She has been reading a story every day and writing a summary. They are mostly done on her own. Sometimes I help her get started, and I will sometimes spell a word for her, but she's doing great all by herself! Here are just a couple:



Stay tuned for Australia and Antarctica!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tote Bag


I made this tote a few weeks ago when my old one ripped. I wanted something big enough to hold lots of books. I used this tutorial on Make it and Love it, one of my favorite sewing blogs! In hindsight, I wish I would have made a pocket to throw my keys and wallet in. Right now, they just float around the bottom. I was thinking about making a zipper pouch though.


I used leftover fabric from Rebekah's yellow t-shirt dress, so the cost was free! (Wasn't she cute!) The flower is a yo-yo with a button (google how to sew a yo-yo, you'll find lots of tutorials).

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Japan - MFW ECC & 1st, Weeks 27 & 28


Japan was a very interesting country! Joshua quit taking his afternoon nap, so he started joining us for school. Sometimes it was fun, sometimes it was stressful! He loved the Japanese Carp project we did (above). Joshua's is the one on top and Rebekah's is the one that is cut out. We also tried some origami, which was a bit difficult for Caleb. Rebekah has much more patience, but I ended up making most of them!


Here are their worksheets from Japan. I failed at making any food from Japan. We didn't find any good recipes, one suggestion was Ramen noodles, which we had for China instead, oops.



They really liked watching Big Bird in Japan!


In science, we learned about the beach and ocean animals. We watched several documentaries from the library and read a few books. Caleb did a great job drawing a shark!



Joshua loves making notebook pages too! I draw the animal he wants and he colors it. This is a sting ray.


We also did some salt water experiments. We learned about the different densities, and how fresh water stays on top for a while before it mixes. (See pictures below.)



This is just a picture of them working on notebook pages.


The day before this picture (below) was taken, Caleb had an all out fit because he didn't want to do the practice from the textbook. The reason he hates these, is because he has to write the problems himself... However, this day, I warned him of the practice page and told him he could sit on the couch. Instant good attitude! I hope it works next time! (He was also being really nice to Joshua!)


Rebekah started learning about weight. We made our own scale for her to compare common items, it was fun.


And here are her bible notebook pages. She is doing an amazing job. Most times, she won't let me look at them until she's done.




That's it, next up Russia!
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