samantha liz

Archive of ‘home free’ category


Remember when I said that we needed to go into the mountains more often?
30/52/Life - In the mountains.

Yup, totally wasn’t kidding.
30/52/Portrait - On the top of the world

We have already been back, and can’t wait to go up again. Next time with our picnic baskets and a snack, or so the kids tell me.



This was a week of exploring, wilderness exploring to be exact.
Wilderness Explorer!

The kids had a great time and Molly did her fair share of mouse spotting.
21/52/Portrait - It's a mouse!

And while it’s good to be adventurous, it’s always better when you bring along a friend.
21/52/Life - Everything is better with a friend.


We are road tripping again.

It always amazes me how the simple motion of a car can cause so much peaceful silence…
…and how a simple paper and pencil can cause so many joyful smiles.

13/52/2013: Traveling, again.

This week brought us to a lovely cabin right outside Moab, Utah. There, along with the inn keeper, his wife and their 18 month old son, lived this sweet girl. Petting the puppy.
Marcus immediately fell in love with her. “She’s so soft!” and “Aww! She’s cute.” were words he frequently said over the course of our stay.

They played and ran together.
13/52/Life - Chase that puppy!

…and when he dreamed, I’m pretty sure it was of her.
13/52/Portrait - Dreaming about puppies.

Ah, the little joys of a boy and (not) his puppy. What can be cuter?

Dr. Seuss… plus a bit botany, thanks to the Lorax.

This week our theme was Dr. Seuss,
Plants, seeds, and flowers,
but not moose.
The kids enjoyed playing for many hours,
With our theme of plants, seeds, and flowers.
Our Dr. Seuss theme was such a treat,
We all decided to repeat.
Repeat? You say, “What is your aim?”
Next week our theme will be the same!




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.}

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.}

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.