samantha liz

Archive of ‘home free’ category

Traveling, again. Part 2.

We had so much fun on our trip that it took me until this evening (oh, only a couple weeks after our return) to get settled back in finally and post the rest of my pictures!


We went to Legoland, the kids loved it.


…and their awesome boat rides…20120723-185604.jpg

Molly even drove her own lego car!20120723-190159.jpg

We also got our kicks on Route 66 and checked out the Wigwam Motel! Oh, yes. We checked out the awesome race, and were a super cheer team for all the Spidertrax racers.


It was really a fun time for all of us.

Today’s Trays

I know it’s probably a bit early to be calling our trays a success, but introducing them into our day has been exciting so far. The kids were a bit mixed this morning about me taking down the trays from last week, which were a huge hit, but that all changed when I put up the new ones.

Molly loved the ladybug spot counting, and Thomas quickly levitated to the number decoder. He had to match the quantity with the symbol to the written word representing a number and he was focused and intense. Lastly, they both tried out the language matching CVC cards. Thomas breezed through it with ease, while Molly had to put a bit more concentration into it, but persevered through until she had matched all 12 words with their pictures.

Every day I’m more and more impressed by them. I can’t wait to see what they’ll be up to tomorrow!

Fourth Of July Week {introducing our trays}

I’ve had a bit of an ulterior motive behind the rearranging of our school room last week {and adding a new bench over the weekend}. We are now adding rotating trays into our weekly work. Starting today, the shelves look like this:

Pretty neat, huh? Here’s a tour of each of the trays:
Open Craft with red, white, and blue. Open Craft with red, white, and blue.

Older kids pattern blocks.Older kids pattern blocks.

Dice counting.Dice counting.

Pattern sequencing in the round.Pattern sequencing in the round.

Domino star addition.Domino star addition.

Fourth of July words and spelling.Fourth of July words and spelling.

Marcus has three of his own trays! {and he’s already sharing them nicely, lol}
Shape matching.Shape matching. Molly even helped make this for him.

Size sequencing.Size sequencing.

Marcus' pattern block matching.Easier pattern block matching.

It was fun putting these together, I am already plotting what to do next week. You’ll have to excuse me for now, we are back to work!

Perpetual Calendar… with obligatory gnome.

After following mamaroots blog for several months now, I always look forward to spying on her perpetual wood block calendar. Today, she posted a “Happy July” post and I just couldn’t resist it any longer. I rummaged through the kids building blocks, turned on my Silhouette Cameo, and got to work on my own take…


After it was all complete, I proudly showed Molly. “Uh, mommy? You forgot the gnome on top.”

Oh. Hmmm.

Humbled, I returned to my craft closet found a closepin, some wool felt and a bit of embroidery thread and whipped up this…


Mental note: Perpetual calendars are NOT complete without a gnome. Who knew?

Wonders of Wind

This past week has been windy {hello understatement}. So much so that Thomas asked, “Where does wind come from?”

We talked about climate changes, air pressure and conduction. Ten minutes later I asked him to explain it to me, and well… he needed some visuals.

Oh, did we have fun with that…

Wonders of Wind
First, we painted with wind to show that it has a force and a direction.

Wonders of Wind
We decided to use watercolors to show movements better. They had fun with blending the colors too.

Wonders of Wind
Then we used matches and eggs to demonstrate air pressure. The kids {especially Thomas} loved this. We originally used 1 match, which caused a minor pull on the egg… then worked up to 4 matches causing the egg to split into two. {did I mention Thomas loved this?}

Wonders of Wind
Finally, they drew what we did.

Wonders of Wind
We are home free! Hope your weekend is not too windy!

Winter Wildlife Walk

Well, kinda. I walked, the kids rode their bikes and Marcus had a glorious stroller ride that… well… you’ll see.

Since the snow has thawed a bit and the sun was shining out today we thought it would be a good idea to see what the animals and nature scene looked like in winter.
Noticing that the flowers and bugs that go along with them are gone now.
The first thing they noticed was that the flowers were gone so no bugs! Molly even stopped to take a picture of it.

Wow, the stream is frozen!
Next, they saw that the stream had frozen over and we talked about how the fish are alive and safe underneath the ice.

Spying Birds
Then we saw birds nests and tons of birds.

Marcus was soo happy to come out with us...
That was certainly the highlight for Marcus. Seeing birds always makes a smile come to his face.

...until he fell asleep.
That is, until he fell asleep.

Drawing what we saw on our walk and what we wear in the winter.
Finally, we went back home and drew everything we saw {and photographed} and talked about how animals change what they wear in the winter and so do we.

That’s all for this week folks, we are home free!

Tune in next week for more adventures with:
Marvelous Molly


Tenacious Thomas

If you’re happy and you know it…

One of my favorite parts of our day is circle time. It’s usually done in our pj’s because it’s one of the first things the kids ask to do after breakfast. Today, we were nice and dressed, so I figured I’d show you how we do it. First we start out by lighting a{n LED} candle.

Then, we stretch and each kid gets to pick a song they’d like to sing. Since Grandma’s {read my Mom’s} birthday is coming up on Monday, we have tons of balloons around {you know, in preparation of course} so after the singing came the balloon toss.
Opening Circle Time

Followed shortly by Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush where the kids act out different things like “This is the way we brush our teeth”. Once we are through the normal verses the kids add their own. Today, Molly chose “This is the way we hug our brothers” and “This is the way we play outside” which was followed by more balloon playing and general silliness.
Circle Time Fun

Thomas insisted that I show you all his wicked “little teapot” moves:
I'm a Little Teapot!

Next we did some fun verses of If you’re happy and you know it
If you're ___ and you know it!

which include scared, sad, angry, and of course… silly.
If you're ___ and you know it!

By the looks of it, I think it’s pretty hard to see why we homeschool…
This is why I homeschool.

Yup, pretty much a mystery…

So happy we are home free! Enjoy your weekend!

The Story of a Tree.

Last week as Molly and I were playing in the yard, she looked up at our trees and said, “Mommy, I wish that the trees still had leaves on them, they are so pretty with their leaves!” I explained to her that trees lose their leaves in autumn so that when winter comes they not only have a nice blanket from the fallen leaves to keep them warm, but also the snow would collect on their leaves and break their branches and hurt the tree. She nodded and agreed, but I figured it certainly wouldn’t hurt to do some paper cutting to illustrate the concept.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Fridays I’ll be talking about what we’ve been doing in our homeschooling adventures that week. Aptly named Home Free. 🙂

Introducing: The Story of a Tree.

First, you need soil. Then, of course, a seed.

Our story starts with soil and a seed.

Clouds come in. With the clouds come rain.

In comes clouds and rain, providing the seed with much needed water and draining the soil of its nutrients.

Plenty of sun. The seed sprouts!

Soon to follow is the sun which tells all the plants it’s time to grow! The seed sprouts.

Then grows in to a tree! The tree keeps growing with many leaves.

It grows strong and tall and sprouts many leaves.

If trees didn't lose their leaves, snow would gather on them and break their branches. Pretty Colors! So good think the leaves change colors.

If trees didn’t lose their leaves, snow would gather on them and break their branches. {Ha! I didn’t expect them to have so much fun breaking their trees!!} So instead, the leaves change colors in autumn before the snow comes.

And gently fall to the ground.

They gently fall to the ground, creating a nice warm bed to insulate the roots for the snow fall.

To protect the tree by creating a nice blanket. When snow comes it falls past the branches.

When the snow comes it passes safely past the tree’s branches and onto the ground.

Many days and nights pass. The sun comes out and the snow melts and the leaves decompose into soil. In comes the rain and the leaves sprout again.

{The kids came up with this part} Many days and nights pass and the winter is over, the sun and rains come again and leaves return to the strong tree once again. The end.


Then the kids made their own pictures:
Free time!!
Thomas created a spring picture.

"Me, Walking on the Sidewalk" - 365, 364
Molly’s “Me, Walking on the Sidewalk” – 365, 364 (My 364 of my 365! Eek!! Only one more left!!)

Marcus got in on our school time too!
Marcus even got in on the fun today.

Molly, Thomas, and Molly had a great time!

Then, I hung up their beautiful artwork on my refrigerator. Hooray for the weekend! We are home free. 🙂