Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Levi and I are celebrating by doing NOTHING today  - my parents and sister aren't around, and its actually nice to not have any obligations for the day.    We are thankful for all of the offers to dinner today though, we had offers from friends (even willing to accommodate our special diets), and even my college professor, and a complete stranger.   How nice of everyone to ask!  

First is some Christmas sewing that I've been working on. 

For a swap: 

Christmas jammies for a friends boys (these are SO cute, I love this pattern!)

And what I'm thankful for:

Berkshire's 12th birthday, which the shelter we got her from says is about on thanksgiving, so a good day to celebrate it - you wouldn't know this do was so old (except for the greying muzzle), she is still active and sure does love to eat!   Levi made her a special hat to wear, and she got treats and a toy. 

And my family - And of course all those not pictured as well!   We are looking forward to spending time with Grammy for christmas, going on a family+ cruise!   

And Levi wanted to make a video (I said he should write down what he is thankful for, instead he made a list, practiced it, and then requested that I film him - he loves to make these videos, even though he does take it too seriously!)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Levi's First Violin Concert

Levi did a wonderful job at his first concert!   He joined a group called "Creative Young Artists"
They have been working hard to practice for this performance.   The theme was "Dreams and Fantasies" and Levi's group, the String Ensemble played two songs.    The first was "Antagonist" an exciting song representing the "bad guys" in fairy tales.    The second song was a performance of The Frog Prince which was played to accompany actors playing the role of the princess, prince/frog and narrator/king.   Lots of fun to see the show!   

Here they are warming up:

Here is the first song, Antagonist: 

Levi was at the back, so we mostly could see his tuft of hair! 

And here is the second one, Frog Prince:

After his turn, he got to sit near the front to watch the rest of the concert.  During one of the breaks he spotted us and did some enthusiastic waving.   No flash allowed so it was a dark pic!

My sister and her boyfriend surprised Levi by showing up to watch him - and instead of flowers, they brought him some bread he can eat from a bakery near where my sister lives.   He was pleased!

And this outfit I made for him last night - cotton backed satin for the shirt, and the pants are black fabric from my stash... I think from an old sheet.   But he looked very handsome in his outfit.  I even monogrammed his initial on the pocket in white, and his initials on the cuff in black.  

Even though this was his first experience playing for a group, he was confident and did his best to preform well - and he looked great on stage!   He is still really enjoying playing his violin, and is excited to be moving on to the second Suzuki Violin book pretty soon, and maybe even learn a new Christmas song.   

Monday, November 3, 2014

Bats Lapbook and Unit Study (October 2014)

This month Levi learned all about bats.   We timed it with Halloween to go along with the theme.  

These are the lapbook sources we used:
Royal Baloo Bat unit study
Homeschool Share Stellaluna
Enchanted Learning (anatomy)
Bat Graphing
Stellaluna lesson plans

I also made a lot of lapbook elements mostly using the fact boxes from the Magic School bus bat book.   I just wrote the title or question on the front and Levi filled in the inside.  

And this page has lots of great hands-on bat activities:
Bat Lesson Plans and also Easy Fun School.

Bat Artwork inspired by:

Some of the Books we used

The Truth About Bats (Magic School Bus chapter book)
Bats (Gail Gibbons)
Zipping, Zapping Zooming Bats
Eyes on Nature Bats
Bat Jamboree
Amazing Bats (Eyewitness Jr)
Zoobooks (magazine - link goes to this issue in a kindle format)

We also used the FREE animal report pages from Teachers Pay Teachers.  I can see us using this again for other animals, its laid out really well and includes all of the main things we learn about when studying an animal.  





And here is Levi explaining his lapbook:
Link to video on youtube

Friday, October 17, 2014

Some Halloween Pictures

I made Levi an outfit for Halloween, just to wear around this month.  I used a bunch of appliques from Nobbie Neez Kids.    My friend Natalie took these great pictures of Levi at the pumpkin patch. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Volcanoes and tectonics lapbook, unit study and playdate!

We learned all about volcanoes, tectonic plates, and a little about earthquakes! 

We made some artwork, made a lapbook, and had a really fun volcano science playdate.

Some volcano artwork: 

First, we did a dimensional piece using paper clay.    I had the kids cut a volcano shape from paper, then mush the paper clay onto the paper.   Paper clay is like a powdery paper, you just add water and it becomes a lumpy sort of clay, perfect for any project you'd use paper mache on.   It dries hard as a rock!  

Next, they painted their volcanoes with black and brown.  We did this while the clay was still wet, which works fine but makes it take a bit longer to dry.    I didn't get a picture, but the next step was to glue it down on black paper and draw lava with chalk and pastels.  We added a bit of glitter flake too.   Pictures of the finished art are below the next project...

Second volcano art project:

Paint a volcano shape on white paper. 

Add a few drops of red, orange and yellow liquid water color (food coloring would work)

Blow the paint with a straw: 

Here are the two finished projects!   These were done by two 7yr old boys and a 3yr old girl - as you can see they look pretty similar, so these work for all ages.   


Here Levi was learning about plate tectonics.   He used his books to demonstrate the different ways plates move.    (Convergent boundary here) -  His shirt is an anatomy shirt I made him when he took a "human body" class. 

We had some lava rocks in our fire pit, I let the boys hammer away, it kept them entertained for a long time!  

Then we mixed the "ash" with water to demonstrate mud slides that can occur after volcano eruptions.   The boys also spent a long time sweeping up the extra rock dust (more entertainment there!)

Next is our Volcano Science playdate: 


First, the kids labeled parts of a volcano:

We talked about the layers of the earth, colored in a "key" and made a model out of clay.
   Recipe here

The little ones were entertained by lava slime , water beads (lava rocks?) , and baking soda in a box with vinegar to drip into it.  

We peeled an orange, and tried to put it back on with toothpicks.  This represents the tectonic plates and how things happen at the plate boundaries.

I demonstrated different types of eruption by squeezing a water bottle - little bits for, and then a big splash!   The kids took turns trying afterwards. 

I made volcanoes out of baking soda and enough water to make a clay like consistency.  I shaped them into mini-volcanoes, and then froze them to keep their shape for transport.   I showed the kids how to put in a drop of soap, food color, and then drip in vinegar.   They really enjoyed this one! 

We spread icing on foil, and then used crackers to represent tectonic plates, moving them to show the different way plates move. 

We did the same volcano "blow art" project with water color paint. 

I also did the "mentos and coke" demonstration for a big eruption.  I should have bought more coke and mentos because they wanted to see it again 2 seconds after it was done (doesn't last long!)
I asked Levi to take a video, and all I got was this: 

Here is how it works, courtesy of Mythbusters: 

Here is Levi's finished lapbook: 


Lapbook elements: 

 National Geographic Reader Volcanoes
DK Volcanoes 
Magic School Bus Chapter Book Voyage to the Volcano 
Magic School Bus Blows its Top   (Also a video, see it here)
Read and Find Out Volcanoes
Magic Tree House Vacation Under the Volcano
Pompeii Buried Alive
Horrible Geography Violent Volcanoes
Geology Rocks (this has hands on experiments that are very "doable", great book)
Are Mountains Getting Taller?
What's the Earth Made of? 
Natural Disasters
Golden Book of Volcanoes

My Pinterest page on volcanoes (lots of experiments on here!)