samantha liz

February 2013 archive

President’s Week {aka 8/52/2013}

Presidents' Week Trays
We had lots of fun with presidents’ week, and it gave us an opportunity to work on our coin skills, since they happen to feature many of them.

Branches of the US Government.The kids made a tree featuring the three branches of our government and sorted who’s involved in and the responsibilities of each branch.

While we were talking about our country, I thought it was a great time to introduce the nesting geography blocks I made up.

They started out life as these. I spray painted them and drew up silhouettes on my computer and used my vinyl cutter to make the geography decals.
Geography Nesting Blocks

Molly played with them for hours on end all week, building and stacking and nesting.
Nesting Geography

While we are on the topic of building, we learned about simple structures and Molly decided to demonstrate a load bearing post and lintel construction that she came up with.
Post and Lintel

Followed by some excellent presidential poetry. {disclaimer: Thomas doesn’t think that the president is a snake or an egg, they are just words that he thought of that started with those letters and that he could spell on his own. ;)}
Presidential Poetry

I made up these US Currency Nomenclature Cards to help the kids conceptualize some features of our coins. They actually had a great time working these together, which was unexpected and lovely. {psst, download them for yourself below!}
US Currency Nomenclature Cards
Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 8.12.31 PM
US Currency Nomenclature Cards

We also conducted the “Many Penny Experiments“. We discussed what solution would make a penny look the newest. I even threw in ketchup, which they thought was hyesterical, which also turned out to work smashingly well. ­čśë
The Many Penny Experiments.

We baked cupcakes and sang happy birthday to George Washington on Friday. He would have been 281 years old.
Singing Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles.
8/52/Portrait - Happy Birthday, Mr. President!
Happy Birthday, Mr. President. {We are not only home free, but we are full of surprises with our reigniting candles.}


This week was a challenging one.

My most┬ácooperative┬ámodel was really sick this week {it was her turn, first Marcus was sick, then me, then Thom, then Thomas and well, she was the final holdout. It’s been over a month of sickness around here, eeks, it’s really been tough.} Although she’s been a real trooper about it, every time the shutter went click Molly went *cough*. Not a pretty picture does that make. ­čśë

Fortunately, Thomas has been on the mend, so he has been most smiley.
Immersed in schoolwork
The theme for this week’s life photo is “Negative Space”. I had an unusually hard time choosing. I almost went with the photo above, because the negative space around Thomas really tells the story. I felt like it wasn’t enough negative┬áthough, as it had A LOT going on around him, so out that went.

Then came this shot…Bench Hiding
Thomas was hiding from me to take his photo, and was laughing and giggling under his hood, but well… remember how I said the last one didn’t have enough negative going on? Yeah, not a problem here… lol… but not the “negative space” I was going for exactly.

Park Magic
Finally, enter this weeks 52 – “Negative Space”. The sun was in just the right position behind him and it really captures Thomas.

7/52/Portrait - ┬┐Tienes naranjas?
This week’s portrait photo, brought to you by SpeekeeTV. No, no… they didn’t sponsor it or anything, lol, but they did make it all possible.

Indirectly, of course.

The kids have been LOVING SpeekeeTV and are currently obsessed with the song ┬┐Tienes manzanas? {Do you have apples?}.┬áThey like to bring out their play food when they watch it, and offer up the different fruits as Lupi and Dino ask for them. The theme for this week’s portrait 52 is “connected”, and they most certainly are.


Happy Valentine’s Day {aka: Valentine Unit Study, Part 2}

Valentine week continued with the kids awaking to a clothesline alphabet and silent-e matching.
Clothesline Alphabet

Changing words with the silent-e.

We did some probability and graphing of sweetheart candy colors.
Probability, sweetheart style

Sweetheart Graphing

We watched SpeekeeTV and the kids offered up manzanas, pi├▒as and naranjas during their favorite Do you have apples? song.
┬┐Tienes naranjas?

Then kids did some spanish worksheets and practiced with valentine words using Read, Build, Write cards while I made a special valentine lunch, and then they made gigantic valentine cards for daddy.
iPhone pics from the day

They also honed our map reading skills, made snow, and had more fun with their valentine and not valentine trays and shelves.
Making "snow"

Tray fun.

Shelf fun.

Lately, here’s how the end of our school day looks:

Excuse me while I go and dance with them… Apparently, it’s party time.

Valentine Unit Study, part 1.

Our Valentine's Week Trays

This morning we started school right at breakfast time and embarked on a special heart filled cereal box scavenger hunt.
Cereal Box Explorations

Vowel Diagraph Charts.
Vowel Diagraphs

We added with kisses, using a quick little printable I made up.
Counting Kisses

Thomas rocked this monstrously fun advanced addition matchup. Freebie from Emily Ames on TpT.
Monster Math Match

Marcus played with the color tablets today too.
Color Tablet Play

The kids learned about symmetry, and I learned that an ipod touch when off makes a lovely makeshift mirror.
Simply Symmetry

Then, they practiced the hundred’s chart by patterning with M&M’s. Yeah, that was a hard sale…
Hundred Chart Patterning

Finally, we observed Sweethearts candies with this awesome printable from 2 Teaching Mommies.

…and had a little science experiment.
Sweetheart Science

In case you were wondering where the valentine heart number cards are from up top… I was inspired by Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Valentine matchup, and decided to make my own heart number cards from 0-10.
Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 11.05.34 AM
Valentine Number Cards 0-10

We didn’t get to it yet, but hey, it’s only Tuesday! {Promise to update with action shots when we do.}


This week’s life photo theme was “Good Morning” caused me to break out my camera when I first awoke. On Saturday morning, that meant ipod time.
Morning iPod fun.
I even got caught taking a shot by Marcus, who was cooperating nicely.
I was caught with my camera!
While all that fun was going on in my room, Thomas was sound asleep in the boys’ room.
6/52/Life - He quietly sleeps. {or at least he's pretending to quite quietly}6/52/Life – He quietly sleeps. {or at least he’s pretending to quite quietly} – Theme: Good Morning!

Well, more accurately… Thomas pretend slept and giggled the entire time I snapped shots.

I suppose my portrait shot this week is more about life than I would like it to be, and more specifically about getting older.
6/52/Portrait - Bionic Woman6/52/Portrait – Bionic Woman – Theme: Strength.

My knee has been bugging me for months now, and seeing how it’s really not possible for me to stay off of it all that much and take it easy, Thom bought me this lovely brace to help along the healing.

Nothing says I love you quite like an old lady arthritic knee brace. ­čśë

Sound Cylinders; Marcus Style.

Marcus will be turning 3 in a month and a day {gasp}, so I’ve been slowly involving him more and more into our Montessori “school day”. Today, we broke out the sound cylinders.

If you are a Montessori purist, please shield your eyes or close your browser now…



He immediately ran to his car/truck bin, and pulled out his red and blue Lightning McQueens and proclaimed “They match!” Then, he proceeded by stacking the cylinders, and then smashing them by driving the said matching McQueens into the towers.

There you have it. Sound cylinders; Marcus style.


Life, sometimes, is about the process. I was trying to capture Molly with her newly all-mommy handspun and knitted sweater on {afeat that I wasn’t actually sure I’d be able to pull off} and she was just on a silly fit. Which, is all good and well. It totally fits her personality and gave me an excuse to upload multiple pictures as this week’s portrait 52 theme; repetition.5/52/Portrait - Sequencing Silliness.

After that she must have shook all her sillies out {a’la Raffi style} because then she was all serious on her computer, and I snuck in this shot as the light was totally perfect for “Finding the Light”, this week’s life theme.
5/52/Life - Serious Girl.

There you have it. Week 5? Done.