Chasing Cheerios

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Self-Portrait Mirror Painting

E(4) LOVED painting her self-portrait on a mirror about a month ago!
She wasn't really that interested in this activity at first, but I encouraged her to give it a try.  As soon as she got started, she was into it!  She spent a LONG time painting and seemed to love every minute of it.  I planned to wash the paint off the mirror, so she could paint it again another day, but she wants to keep it forever!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Picking the Bounty from their Birth Trees

We planted fruit trees (or bushes) at the birth of each of our girls.  O(7)'s peach and fig trees produce abundantly each year, and E(4) was THRILLED to see pears on her pear tree for the first time ever this summer. (Unfortunately, it appears that her blackberry bush has died...hopefully, it will come back).  We picked almost all of the peaches today, but have barely even scratched the surface of the figs.  We really need to learn to make fig preserves because there is no way we can eat that many figs!  Hopefully, E(4)'s pears will be ready to pick soon!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Our Cucumber Dome

We planted our cucumber plants over our old climbing dome, and they is doing wonderfully!  (we did this last year, but all of the plants died)  The girls are reluctant gardeners, but they love to pick the cucumbers.

I planned on the cucumber dome being a fun outdoor playhouse for the girls, but it hasn't worked out that way at all.  The cucumber plants are covered in bees, which is great, but O(7) is allergic, so we certainly don't want her to be in an enclosed area surrounded by bees!  Also, I'd forgotten how prickly cucumber vines would be no fun to play in a house made of them!  So, next summer we may grow a more kid friendly dome, but this summer we are just enjoying our delicious cucumbers!

Friday, July 11, 2014

July 4th Tradition...American Flag Cake

The girls and my mom decorate a flag cake for July 4th every year.  I love that we have this tradition (and so many more).  Doing these same simple and fun activities every year creates the memories that  our girls will cherish and will hopefully repeat with their own children one day.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Absorption Color Wheel Revisited

As I mentioned before, we are big on re-doing experiments that we've loved, and this color wheel was a fun one!  (Following the link for instructions)

We put 6 glass jars in a circle and filled every other jar with water.  The girls took turns putting food coloring (red, yellow, blue) in the water.  We then connected every jar with rolled white paper towels.
The girls were THRILLED to watch the paper towels absorb the colors.  They were calling out excitedly which colors were moving the fastest up the paper towels.  You know your kids don't get much screen time when watching water travel up paper towels is so thrilling!

We were all pretty excited when the colors started mixing!
We left the color wheel in the center of the table until the paper towels absorbed all of the water and dried.  The girls are now excitedly making plans for things they can make with their beautiful paper towels!

Bubble Room Revisted

We found the plastic from our bubble room this weekend while cleaning out our shed.  I was excited to blow it up again, but we only left it up for a few minutes.  The plastic smell was just too strong, and we didn't want the kids breathing in any fumes.  They had fun in it for about 5 minutes though!
Eventually, I'll tape around all the edges and fill it with water for the kids to jump on.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just an FYI...

I thought I should make this clear...

Whenever I post about our curriculum, I am including everything that I have planned.  I love to plan, and I always plan wayyyyyyyyyyyy more than we have the time, inclination, or motivation to actually do.  The good thing is that there is always something to fall back on if something falls through.

So, I just thought I should let you know that we are, by no means, doing all of the things that I planned to do in this post.  There really just isn't enough time in the day :)   The huge emphasis in our homeschool is reading aloud (followed by narration), spending hours out of doors, and free and independent play.  Everything else is just gravy!

The things we have NOT done yet this summer are...

Discovery Streaming Elementary Spanish...I'm not sure why we haven't done's easy and fun.  I guess the main reason is that I don't like for the kids to watch tv during the day, especially during the summer, so I'm just not turning it on at all, even for school. 

Sequential Spelling...I decided to give O(7) a break from spelling this summer, so we'll begin this again in August. 

Typing...O loves this, but we are waiting to start again in August.  She is really looking forward to getting back to this. 

Woodworking...It's wayyyyyy to hot to do woodworking during the day around here.  This will be a fall and spring activity. 

Meet the Masters...I just can't seem to get this going.  I really want to, but I haven't made it happen yet.  I can't remember my password, so I guess getting a new password is the first step...

The things are ARE doing this summer....

We do fun art and science projects outside almost every day.  These activities are very simple, fun, and quick.  We basically do the same things that we love every summer, and the girls look forward to these specific activities.  

They swim, play, and "cook" on the beach for hours.  They love to lay in the water and listen to me read and read and read.  

We've done a few cooking projects, but nothing major.  We'll do more of that in preparation for O's upcoming birthday.

We've played a few brain games, but we haven't played games everyday like I'd hoped we would.  It turns out that I love the games a lot more than the kids do!  Although, they enjoy them once we get going :)

The girls love Life of Fred, and we read about 3 chapters per week.  The main thing "school" thing we are doing is reading and narration.  They both are excellent narrators, but neither of them enjoy it very much, unfortunately. 

Plaster of Paris Beach Art

This is a fun activity that we haven't done in a few years (we basically do the same activities every summer, so if you are looking for new, innovative ideas, go somewhere else)!

The girls made impressions in the sand with the bottom of an old cooking pot.  They then arranged shells, pieces of old glass, and other random objects in the impression. After I took this picture, I explained to E(4) that she would need to place her shells upside down so that she would be able to see the front after she poured her plaster on them.
We mixed up the plaster of paris (2 cups of plaster of paris and one cup of water).
And then poured it over their creations in the sand.
We let the plaster sit for at least 2 hours before popping it out of the sand.
We all love their beach art!!!!!
This is E(4)'s...she said that she loves the glass mouth because of the ridges in the glass.
And this is O(7)'s butterfly and shell art.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Favorite Summertime Activity...Ice Excavation!

Excavating treasures from ice has been one of our favorite summer activities for about 5 years!  The girls and I had fun making their ice treasures yesterday afternoon, and they had a great time excavating this morning!
They were excited to see that their ice hadn't frozen all the way, so they had ice caves which then melted into very large ice bracelets.
They poured salt and water on the ice to melt it.
We couldn't find a hammer, so O(7) brought her softball bat to the beach to beat her ice.
They enjoyed playing with the ice in the lake even more than excavating the treasures, so we are going to make a lot more icebergs just to have in the lake to play with until they melt.  Fun times at Lakeside Homeschool!