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Posts Tagged With: homeschool

St. Patrick’s Day, A Missionary’s Story Lesson Plan

I love St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m not really sure why.  But I do know that most of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration seems to revolve around things that are… not as “G” as I’d like them to be for my family.  So I did a little hop, skip, and jump when I read Teaching the Trinity for St. Patrick’s Day from I Have No Greater Joy.  That post and a few quick searches later and this is the St. Patrick’s Day lesson plan we’re working from!

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary's story

We checked out Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint from the library (even before I read the Trinity lesson plan!) and it was the perfect book for introducing the kids to Patrick the missionary.  Did you know Patrick was held as a slave in Ireland, escaped home, and later returned to share the gospel?

St. Patrick, a missionary's story lesson plan

Then we made shamrocks from bits of scrapbook paper by cutting three hearts and gluing them to a craft stick.  Its not in the photo, but we also added ribbons to them to make them pretty.

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary's story lesson plan

We talked about the shamrock shape and how St. Patrick might have taught the trinity with it.  Anna didn’t understand at all, but Brett was able to follow along enough that at least he understands there is such a confusing concept, even if he can’t yet grasp it!  We sang the song “God the Father” as posted in the Trinity lesson and that was a great hit.  It was so easy for them to learn!

At the end of the Patrick book is a short section on the legends of St. Patrick.  Brett enjoyed the story about the snakes (of course) and he loved the gross motor activity we created to go with it.  I had the kids take their shamrocks outside and chase pretend snakes out of the yard.  If there had been any real ones… well, they’d be gone too ;-).

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary's story lesson plan

The kids also enjoyed this video I found on Pinterest.

I bought some dot paints from Hobby Lobby last fall, and if you haven’t tried them, they’re great.  All the fun of painting (mostly!) without the fuss and mess.  When I saw this it seemed like a great idea for the preschool kids in my Homeschool Co-Op class.

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary story lesson plan

And then I used those same leftover bits of scrapbook paper to cut out shamrocks– two of each design.  One shamrock I glued to a paper and the other I left loose.  Tomorrow I’ll have the preschoolers match the paper’s designs, then Monday I’ll make it a math lesson for Brett by writing simple addition facts on the loose shamrocks and the answers on the glued down ones.  Hmm, or maybe capital letters with a lowercase match?  Might need more scraps…

St.Patrick's day, a missionary's story lesson plan

And this has nothing to do with missionaries, trinities, or Christ in anyway, but I couldn’t resist.  Remember that whole me just liking St. Patty’s thing?  Well, I also love Lucky Charms.

There.

I just admitted it.

Online.

I love them.

When I taught kindergarten I always bought one box for my class to sort the shapes and then I ATE THE REST!

Once a year.

But I haven’t taught kindergarten in six years.  So its been a looooong time since I’ve eaten Lucky Charms.  And I couldn’t resist.  Today we sorted the shapes.

It was so educational.

And tasty.

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary's story lesson plan

And then I gave them each a missionary penny.

St. Patrick's Day, a missionary's story lesson plan

What is that?  Well, a missionary penny is one SENT.  All people are sent to spread the gospel, some in foreign countries and under heroic circumstances like Patrick, but all of us are called.  Funny enough, the penny is also considered “lucky,” but plainly states “In God We Trust.”  We discussed that it is not luck but God who gives us all good things– which was important to me in a St. Patty’s Day lesson!

If you have other ideas for making Christ a part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, leave them below!

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Categories: Homeschool, Thematic Unit | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Farm Lesson Plan; Who Grew My Soup

One of the great things about winter is going to farm conferences.  A few weeks ago we attended the MO Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher conference.  Daddy and I learned lots from our seminars and speakers, but Brett probably had the most fun ;-).   He was finally old enough to join the grade school kids at the children’s seminars, provided by the Promotion and Education committee, directed by Diane Olson, Barbra Wilson, and Terribeth Spargo.  They came up with this fun farm lesson plan and Brett loved it.

The activities were based on the book, Who Grew My Soup, by Tom Darbyshire.

Who Grew My Soup, a Farm Lesson plan

Its a silly story with hilarious illustrations that look like something you’d create with an app on your iPad.  Basically this kid decides he’s not eating his healthy soup until he knows what’s in it.  So, because isn’t this what happens every time you declare war on vegetables, a hot air balloon (actually tomato) swoops down and carries him off to the fields where the soup was grown.

Farm Lesson Plan, Who Grew My Soup

Next they had the kids sort plastic food by plant part.  For example, the tomatoes in the soup are the fruit of plant, but carrots are the roots and corn and peas are the seeds.  This chart can get you started if you’re stuck with that one!

Farm Lesson Plan, Parts of the Plant we use for food

The kids also got to vote on their favorite kind of soup.  This, of course, would be a great thing to graph.  If we had more people (one hurdle for homeschooling!) I wanted to make a “live” graph where everyone used an actual can of soup to represent their vote and stack them on the floor as a bar graph.  If you try it, send me a picture please :-).

They ended the seminar by making their own Who Grew My Soup Mix.

Farm Lesson Plan, make your own soup

Ingredients
1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1/2 cup dried split peas (green and yellow if possible)
1/2 cup lentils (red and green for variety)
1/2 rice (white or brown but NOT instant)
1 cup tri-colored spiral pasta

Directions for Mix
Layer these ingredients in the order given into a 1 quart canning jar.  Pack each layer in place before adding the next ingredient.  Attach a gift tag with the following:

Soup Recipe
1 jar Who Grew My Soup mix
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

Remove pasta from mix and set aside.  Place the remaining soup mix in a large soup pot.  Add 12 cups of water.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer 45 minutes.  Add pasta and ground beef and simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Thanks so much to the P&E committee for such a fun seminar.  Especially when it comes to farm lessons, Brett prefers to learn from someone other than mom :-).  I mean really, what does she know about soup?!

Categories: Science | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

Baby Chick Theme Unit

I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner, but Monday morning I realized we needed to started getting ready for our baby chicks, and hey! why not learn about chicks for school too?!  So that morning I scrambled about for a few minutes (thanks Google and Pinterest!) and came up with this baby chick theme unit!

The best resource I found was this one from Missouri Farm Bureau.  It is an online Egg to Chick Web Quest which shows pictures of chicks developing in the egg!  It also had a chart to fill out, which Brett loved doing since we printed pics from one of their links instead of drawing.  He loves glue, drawing– not so much.

baby chick theme unit worksheet

The Web Quest also provided an egg to print and label, which Brett did with a bit of help.

Baby Chick theme unit worksheet baby chick theme unit worksheet

Sorry about that last photo.  Please excuse the mom in me…

We also made chick cookies.

baby chick theme unit

We discussed “habitat” and what a baby chick needed to survive.  We set up a real brooder, but you could easily make a “brooder” in a shoebox!

Caring for Baby chicks, day 1

We watched many YouTube videos of chicks, chicks hatching, eggs incubating, and whatever else YouTube provided.  Seriously though, who videos some of this stuff?  You can watch OUR chick video we made last year– it really is stupendous 😉

I found this pic on Pinterest with no valid link, so if it belongs to you let me know and I’ll give credit where credit is due :-).  We haven’t made ours yet; hopefully we’ll get it done today!

Baby chick theme unit life cycle

This baby chick craft from Rockabye Butterfly also looks like fun, but alas, Brett isn’t into art and doesn’t want to make crafts.  But I’ll post it cause I really want to make one!

baby chick theme unit craft

We also wrote in our journal, checked out chick books from the library, colored a Little Red Hen page, and welcomed real baby chicks!  So overall the thrown together baby chick theme unit turned out to be one of Brett’s favorites.  Go figure, right?!

Categories: Animals, Science | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Amazing Time Managment Tool!

Is your “To Do” list overwhelming?  Mine often is!  Some days are just jam packed or special events crowd their way into my schedule.  Those are the days I am so grateful I stumbled on this amazing time management tool!

Great idea for managing your time!

 

If you are the kind of person who likes printable, well, here ya go!, but one of the things I love best about this approach to time management is that it doesn’t take a lot of time!  In fact, where ever I am in my day I can stop and quickly organize everything I have left to do at any point and with only a few minutes.  All you need is to list the hours (in whatever increments you like– half hour, 15 min)  in reverse order down the side of a sheet of paper.  I do, however, keep a supply of these in THE BINDER, just ’cause I like ’em ;-).

Amazing time managment tool!

Then fill in any place to you have to be, such as soccer practice at 5:30.  When do you need to leave?  5:00?  5:15?  Write that down too.  Figure out what MUST be done for you to walk out the door on time.  Wash a jersey?  How long will that take?  Schedule that in with enough time to accomplish the task.  Do you want dinner in the crock pot by noon or will you make sandwiches at 4:30?  I use the boxes on the edge to make notes of all the things I MUST get done versus things I want to do.  Then I pencil them into my day by priority.

The sample at the top is from the week before my daughter’s third birthday party.  I don’t schedule everyday like this, but that week I made one for each day at the beginning of the week, making sure I made time for everything from cleaning each room to baking to decorating.  Boy was I glad I used this tool because otherwise I would never have left myself enough time to run to town for supplies or finish her scrapbook so it could be on display at the big event!  When I laid all the work out it was easy to see I wouldn’t have time to make the cookie pops I was on the fence about.

One more word of hard-learned advise, be realistic.  If it usually takes you 30 minutes to clean the bathroom don’t schedule for 20.  And make sure you leave room for the basics.  Making lunch.  Eating lunch.  That kind of thing :-).  Otherwise, enjoy your new, amazing time management tool!

Categories: Family, Homeschool | Tags: , | 2 Comments

How to Teach using Thematic Units OR How to Teach a Strong Willed Child!

Yes, we farm around here, but we alsoHow to Teach Using Thematic Units homeschool.  And since I’ve had a few requests to explain how I teach using thematic units, I’m going to continue the current Organizational theme and show you.  First, THE BINDER!

I bought this when school supplies were on sale and I love it.  In fact, I want more 🙂

I have 5 tabs inside, each labeling an important aspect of my daily life.  My first tab is “Calendar.”  This, of course, lists birthdays, appointments, monthly goals, etc., but I also write the theme for the week on each Monday, which helps me see when we should be learning about spring or Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  The key (for me) here is the more stuff is one place, the more I use THE BINDER, so add a babysitter phone number list, shopping list, whatever *you* need.

My next tab is “Brett” for organizing his homeschool curriculum, and this is where the thematic unit magic happens :-).  I made these cute pages with Photoshop elements and a digital scrapbook kit.  You can use mine or create your own using any simple word processing program.

Using Thematic Units printable copySchool Schedule 2

Using Thematic Units printable Using Thematic Units printable 2

As you can see, I list all the areas I want to cover. So after I choose the theme I just work on filling in the boxes with activities.  Pinterest is a great resource– I have a Kindergarten theme board and I follow several others who do as well.  I use www.everthingpreschool.com a lot and just make the activities harder when necessary.  I Google themes, I check out library books, I use the same standard ideas and change them just a little to go with the theme.  For example, each week we journal something we learned about ______ (construction, ag history, pumpkins etc.) We often make a graph, use playdough to create something theme-related, do an image search to look at pictures, write a story, sort materials, diagram and label,  design an object using our collection of toilet paper rolls, boxes, craft sticks, pipe cleaners and whatever.  These kinds of activities save me a lot of time but still encourage learning through themes.

And here is the great part.  I subtitled my post How to Teach a Strong Willed Child because once these activities are filled in and I have completed the “to do” box I can let Brett make his own decisions about what we learn!  A little bit of control goes a long way with the child who must always be right and he’s still doing all the school work I want for him to accomplish in week, so what does it matter if he wants to graph first or read library books first?!  Plus I can choose topics he loves, which helps even more!

Yes, thematic teaching can be more work than teaching from a curriculum, but it is worth it!  Everyone learns better when they have the proper files and folders in their brain to categorize information.  Teaching with thematic units is a natural way to learn!

And if time management is a problem for you check back next Monday.  I’ll post my last in this organizational series about my favorite time management tool!

Categories: Family, Homeschool, Thematic Unit | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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