Saturday, January 16, 2010

I am thinking about getting this book to use with my 5 year old Sassafrass...has anyone had any experience with it?  It gets pretty good reviews online and a friend of mine has just started using it with her son with good success.

It is going for $14.96 on Amazon right now, and at that price I may just have to get it and see what I think. 

BUT if you have had any experience with this book/program, leave a comment and 
let me know about it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Physics Circus!

We went on a field trip with our homeschool co-op this past Monday, to the Physics Circus, put on by the University of Minnesota Physics professors.  The intention behind the event is to dispel the commonly held belief that physics is boring and that all physics profs or students are nerds.  Though I hate to admit it, I will...I had a wobbly belief that physics is boring and that so are the physics profs!  AND I was kinda scared of physics too - all of which explains why I never actually TOOK physics in high school or college!

But I am now a convert...and I think I missed out on some major physics fun in my early days!  I think I will have to live vicariously through my kids' learning!

So how do a bunch of college professors make physics fun and interesting for a 4 year old, 10 year old and 12 year old (not to mention a physics-dumb 35 year old mama)? 

CLICK HERE and watch several of the videos of the various experiments...SO FUN!

My faves are:  Hoot Tubes, Boiling Flask, Barrel Crush (super duper cool...made me jump in my seat!), "Monkey & the Hunter" (anything involving shooting a cannon whilst dropping a person several feet HAS to be cool!), and the Giant Puffer (my son is currently working to figure out how we can do a "home sized" version of this one)!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Make It With Letters: Featuring "B"

When I explained to Sassafrass how to write a capital B, I said it was like drawing a line, and then a butterfly wing.  We enunciated the B sound and how Butterfly started with B.  Then as Sassafrass practiced writing her B's I heard her say under her breath "Line, Butterfly wing...Line, Butterfly wing) as she wrote the letter over and over again.
SO that gave me the idea of what to make with her letter B - a Butterfly!  Her sister decided to join in and make one too!

First we cut out two capital letter B's from bright red construction paper and pasted them on the blue construction paper - drawing a caterpillar in the middle.  THEN Sassafrass chooses her embellishments!

Angie glues on embellisments like beads, pom poms and sequins to decorate her 'butterfly wings'!

And there is the "B for Butterly" works of art!! 

Other ways to teach "B" to your pre-schooler:

Are you teaching a preschooler?  What ideas did you or will you use to teach your child all about Letter B?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Make It With Letters: Featuring "A"

With a four year old in the house, we have preschool homeschool going on!  Preschool homeschool consists of about an hour or so of activities every morning for Little Sassafrass.  I don't use a curriculum, but purchased one of those all-in-one preschool curriculum workbooks from Sam's Club.  Then I supplement the worksheets with crafts, games and activities.

Sassafrass has been learning all her letters in depth this year - including the sounds and upper/lower case recognition.  One thing that we've enjoyed doing is figuring out how to make some sort of picture craft using either the actual letter we are learning this week or something related. we go along I'll get pictures of what we make with the letters and do a post on it, along with links to other preschool ideas for that letter theme.  Should be fun!

Letter A provides folly for a lot of, alligator, ape, but we decided to go with...ANT!

I had a plethora of egg cartons piling up in my recycling bin, so I decided to think about what kind of craft we could do to help learn Letter A using egg cartons. egg-carton ant!

All the kids AND I put together an egg-carton ant.  So I cut up a carton for a dozen eggs, making each 'ant' three egg cups long.  We then painted our 'ants' however we wanted to.  As you see, some are very traditional all brown...others are wildly colorful!

Once the paint dries, we used glittery pipe cleaners to poke through the top of the egg cup on one end to create curlique antennae!

Then we wrote the word "A - N - T" on the side, one on each egg cup, stressing the way the letter A is written and the sound that it makes (click on the picture above and note the detail on the side of the red ant).

Then our ants went on display...the ONLY ants I will allow in the kitchen!