Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Flashback: my mom

I'm scanning old photos of my grandmothers again, and came across this photo of my mom.  The minute I saw it, I thought of Mackenzie.  I've compared them before...

That was when they were 5-7 months old and here's when they are both around 2 or 3.
I had to find a picture of Mackenzie with her mouth open because that's why my mom's picture reminded me of Mackenzie.  Anyways, I think they still look alike at this age, what do you think?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

First Swing

Meredith had her first ride in a playground swing a week or so ago.  We have a swing in our backyard, but for what ever reason, I never thought to put her in it.  When I took the girls to one of the neighborhood playgrounds, Mackenzie asked if Meredith could swing too.

She loved it!

We've since put her in the swing in our backyard and she still liked it.  The problem at our own playground is being able to push both girls at the same time.  We have 2 other swings for Mackenzie but she prefers the baby swing when she wants to swing really high.  I think she feels more secure.  I'm trying to teach Mackenzie how to move her legs so she can swing herself, but it's not going well.  Why learn, when you can just have someone push you? ;)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

RRSP: Letter N and Birds Theme unit

This week's letter was "N".  And since nest starts with N, I added a bird/nest unit to our week.  We only did 2 days of school, since we went to the strawberry patch on one of our school days.  We didn't even come close to doing all of the things I had planned, but since we had a field trip and went outside for some fresh air, instead, that's ok. ;)

This week's verse was, "No one can serve two masters" Matthew 6:24.  We spent a little time discussing why the girls praying had a check mark above her, while the boy holding all of the money had an "X" above him.  The concept of "master" is a little too big for her, but she understood the basic principle of following God's commands and loving him.  This is her coloring her verse...she got a little tired at the end, so we have big scribbles on this one.
Tracing...we are trying to work on proper holding of the marker.  I usually have to tell her to hold the marker further down so that she has more control.  She also tends to turn her wrist to move the marker rather than moving her arm.  So, every once in a while, I remind her of that, too.
She specifically asked me to take a picture of her next to her verse to show how short it is.
For our "N" collage we glued "nuts and noodles".  This could have easily been a P collage with pecans and pasta, but we chose "nuts and noodles"! ;)
Our N sorting on our color of the week:
She likes the letter N search and find sheets...
Since our number of the week was 10, I found this cute worksheet where you have to draw the correct number of candles on the cupcakes.  She really enjoyed doing that.  It also helped teach a little about spacing to fit all 8, 9, or 10 candles on a small cupcake.
Other than nursery rhymes or Dr. Seuss books, we haven't really talked much about rhyming words.  So, when I found a rhyming matching activity, I decided to try it out.  Some were a little hard and some were easy for her to figure out.  I had her tell me what each of the pictures were and if she didn't know, we talked about them a little bit.  Then, we picked one card at a time to find it's rhyming match.  This is her when we had matched them all - so happy!
Our bird unit from Homeschool Creations and 1+1+1=1 were fantastic.  We did a few more activities than pictured below and still managed to leave out a lot!  That just leaves more to do next year! ;)

Size sorting birds/nests.  In the past, we've only sorted sizes by going smallest to largest/largest to smallest, so the concept of sorting small, medium, large was fairly new.  She did great, though.  I taught her how to find one each of the smallest, then the largest and then the remaining size would be medium.  Once those were determined, she matched the remaining pieces. 
Sorting birds and birdhouses.  She talked to me about random stuff the entire time she did this (cutting the pieces, sorting them and gluing them down).  It took forever since she was "multi-tasking" but that's ok - I'm glad she likes to talk to me about anything.
Matching birdhouses.  We've done matching silhouettes before, but this one took a little bit more of an effort than she thought.  Some of the bird houses look very similar, so she had to really look a the pictures and details.  I need to find more of these types that make her take a little more time and attention.
She loves when I let her do dry/erase activities.  I put all of the remaining bird activity sheets in page protectors in a binder and let her pick and choose what she wanted to do.  She traced letters...
traced different lines...
and many more things not pictured.

I asked her at the beginning of the week what she wanted to play with at some point and she said play dough.  Using laminated numbered sheets, she created a few numbers with her play dough and was glad she got to play with it. 

This week, the letter Z...and another exciting field trip.  Can you guess where?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Strawberry picking

I took the girls to pick strawberries last week.  Well, I took Mackenzie anyway.  Meredith hung out with my grandparents at the picnic tables just outside the farm.  I had intended to do this the week we studied fruits and vegetables, but the weather didn't cooperate.

Granny and Papa brought Mackenzie some rubber boots just in case it was muddy from the rain we had again 2 days before we went to the farm.  She decided to put them on about half way through the picking, but didn't really need them.  We only ventured into one row that had mud about halfway down.  Of course, I forgot about the mud and being the crazy photo mom, I stepped back in the mud while trying to take a picture.  Oops.  Luckily, I had switched out my flip flops in the parking lot and was actually wearing closed toed shoes.

 In the picnic area, they had silly things for kids to do.

Won't ride a horse or pony, but a giant, fake armadillo - no problem!
Washing our strawberries...
 So, pretty...

We didn't get that many strawberries, but I was afraid if we filled up our basket, they would go bad before we ate them all.  If we lived closer to that farm, I guarantee we would go more often.  No parking fees and once you buy the $1 bucket, you only pay by the pound whenever you go back.  Plus all of the awesome fresh veggies in the store, make you want to bypass the grocery store produce section.  We might try to go again next month when we visit my grandparents again, but if we don't, we'll definitely go back next season!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Trying for a good picture

I tried to get a picture of the girls in their matching outfits the other day and this is the way it went.  First of all, I thought after the first few, that I was finally getting somewhere and then I looked beyond Meredith's smile and realized that her bow was too low and was making her ears stick out.  Once I adjusted that, I didn't have too much more time that both girls would cooperate.  Take a look for yourself!

Neither are interested...
Really, mom? you need us to smile?
Mackenzie: I am so bored...
Meredith: This arm rest looks cool...
Mackenzie: what's on TV...
Meredith:  what was that noise momma just made?
Bow is fixed, but Mackenzie has her fake smile on...

Starting to lose it...
 Almost, except my aperture setting is too low, so Mackenzie's out of focus...
Mackenzie:  Turn this way Meredith...
Mackenzie:  No, I said this way...look at momma!

And we are finished.  No more.  Not going to do it.  Oh well, I took at least one semi-decent picture and with a little cropping and ignoring Mackenzie's deer in the headlights look, it's not too bad. ;)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

RRSP: Letter Y and St. Patrick's Day

*Update - I updated the bottom half of this post since I just realized I completely forgot to align the pictures and talk about what we did. oops!* 

Last week we studied the letter Y, the number 9, the color yellow and site word "you". Our memory verse was John 15:14 - "You are my friends if you do whatever I command you." We did school Monday through Wednesday this last week since we didn't have dance or Ladies Bible class during Spring break.

Coloring is becoming a little more popular.  Still not her favorite, but she does it anyway.
She likes the color by numbers still.  We pick all of the colors first and lay them in order.  She was working on number 3 and asked if I would help.  When I offered to color the Y in the picture (number 5) she told me no because we hadn't gotten to that color yet.  Remember when I wondered if she liked the color by numbers because they were more ordered and structured.  I'm pretty sure I'm right about her really liking order.  We might need to work on loosening up a bit! ;)
We did our letter Y sort this week.  I've decided we'll only do these when the uppercase and lowercase letters are distinctly different.  We didn't do one for the letter V and we won't do them for letters Z, W, U, C, S or O.  The only way she can tell on the print outs she sorting is if the letter is slightly smaller than the others, so we just won't do them.
We did a sound sorting game again.  I think on this one we had a picture of a "harp".  When I explained what a harp was and asked if she had seen one before, she said, "yes, on that favorite show you and daddy like to watch."  That would be The Big Bang Theory when Sheldon's girlfriend plays the harp.  She remembers everything!
A size sort with yarn balls.  It's too bad I don't have any yarn in the house, otherwise it could have been fun to make our own yarn.  Maybe I'll remember that next year or when I do this with Meredith.
Our Y collage started out with the lower case y using "yellow" tissue paper at the ends of a pencil to make it stick up.  This was a little too hard for her, so we decided to use crumpled tissue paper instead.
We made Y's with our small wooden cubes we bought at the dollar store a couple of months ago.
 She really liked playing with these and decided to make several of our past letters.
During lunch one day we looked at a shape presentation from 1+1+1=1.  I was explaining to her what a triangle (musical instrument) was and her response was, "yeah, like when it's time for dinner."  Why yes, you are right.  She went on to explain how they have a triangle on one of the Cat in the Hat episodes she watches in the morning.

When I asked her what a dollar bill was, she said "money, you know for church".  That's probably the only time she actually sees money, since we use a credit card almost all other times.  At least she recognizes that we give to church.  I did explain that we use money to buy everything, but that it's just different kinds of money, not just dollar bills.
We also did several St. Patrick's Day activities as our extra theme unit.

Again, these hundreds pictures are above her skill level, but I help her by pointing to the number she should color.  It also helps her to see what numbers in the 40's, 50's, 60's...look like.
She loves stickers, so why not put stickers on our pot of gold!
We did a couple of number puzzles.  This was the first time she did a puzzle with numbers 11-20.  With a little help, she did awesome.  This is her happy dance sitting in a chair! ;)

The picture only shows us sorting the pattern cars (and a messy bed head), but we did do some patterning.  She is really getting the hang of it.  I have always said the items as I've made the pattern, so this week I might have to just make a pattern without saying the objects and see if she can do it visually with out the auditory learning.  It might not make any difference, but it's worth finding out.
This was a "roll and graph" game I found online.  As you can see from the picture, we had to roll the dice A LOT!  Half way through she got tired of marking the X's, so I marked them while she rolled the dice.  This one took forever and we were both glad we were finished at the end.  After we graphed everything, we practiced reading the graph and her telling me how many times we rolled what picture by using the graph rather than counting each x.
Counting and pinching skills!  I pulled out some little clips I found at the dollar store rather than use the same clothespins we always use.  I think she liked the variety.  About half way through, I usually have her switch hands so that she's not always pinching with her dominant hand.

On St. Patrick's day itself, we did a few different tracing sheets, a maze and a "what's different" sheet with a St. Patrick's Day theme.  We also did a Lucky Charms graphing exercise.  We did this for valentine's day with Sweet Hearts, but this time we actually glued the marshmallows down.

Her favorite part - eating the left overs! ;)

This week we are studying the letter N.  And since "N is for nest", we'll be looking at birds too!
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