“The Mitten” Play

Today’s language lesson was based on the story The Mitten by Jan Brett. I first read the story aloud to the boys. The illustrations are beautiful and it’s a perfect story for winter! The both loved it! I had found a few ideas and downloads to go along with the story on pinterest and they are on my board if you’d like to follow or pin for yourself.  I printed out the animals and a mitten template, one for each of them. school play 008 We attached the mitten on to a brown paper bag so the animals could actually go in “the mitten”, at first I was just going to read the story to them again with the props in hand, but then I thought….let’s do it as a play! They both loved it! We set up a blanket to set the stage. Liam went first and put on his play for Luke. I read it as he acted it out with his puppets. Luke clapped and yelled “good job Liam!” “My turn!”

He went next and did great with finding the animals as I read the story. He came across some new animals too…What’s a badger? he asked.

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After they each took a turn Liam asked if he could make up his own play now and perform it for us. Of course! He made a new title called The Animal Opera. Each animal sang for us. Some animals rapped, some sang opera, and the rabbit was nervous! I started giggling and Luke reminded me to “not laugh, and calm down” 🙂  We had great fun!

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While on pinterest getting the downloads, Liam spotted that I had pinned Going on a Bear Hunt for a future idea, since he had asked about it on our last hiking trip. He really wanted to watch the video I had found today.  So we did and they both had a blast with that too.  Luke listened to it a handful of times as we acted out the actions in front of the screen. I think I know what our next play will be come spring time!

Cover of "The Mitten"

Cover of The Mitten


Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished~Lao Tzu

Last week our hiking friends contacted us, as we had not been able to join the group for our weekly hikes for a couple of months now. Gratefully, they were flexible and accommodating to our availability this week and we met for a two-part hike yesterday.  The quote “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” fits perfectly as our hike was one of the longest yet; 7hrs on the trails!

-Haley Farm State Park and Bluff Point State Park-

Upon our arrival our friends were there to meet us as well as a new family! It was great to see our older family and we immediately hit it off  with the new family.  We set out and the boys all ran ahead, grabbed sticks, talked about legos and such 🙂 It wasn’t too long before they spotted a nesting area in the woods and took guesses on who’s home it may be. We then stopped by the water’s edge and they climbed along the rocks- the imagination and conversations never stopped!

Next, they all spotted a huge boulder to explore and had a quick quiz on what type of rock it was and how it was formed. A few of the puddles surrounding the rock had baby spiders  in them! They all loved this find!



We headed out took a new path that led us to a foot bridge over the train tracks and as luck would have it, the train came by. As we continued walking the boys continued with games; hiding behind trees, climbing rocks spotting different specimens to examine and throwing rocks into a small body of water we came across. We stopped for a snack, explored some rocks and shells then turned back to head towards the cars….again many stops for exploring, conversations and climbing rocks!

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Once back at the cars, we decided to head over to Bluff Point about five minutes down the road for a picnic lunch. It was only down the street, but the difference in temperature was drastic! We all had to bundle up as the wind was pretty constant and cold by the picnic tables. As we all cleaned up and re-packed our bags for our next hike, the boys had gathered their legos and started a new games chasing each other around and making plans for a get together to trade pieces with eacNew Image09h other.







Once everyone was ready (many bathroom trips and last minute adjustments later) we headed out to make our way to the Bluff. As we came to the first beach area, the boys found many rocks to collect, jellyfish and clam shells to explore, etc. This stayed true for the entire walk! We kept joking that we were going to be hiking back in the dark! A normal hours walk out to the bluff turned into  about a two hour walk- We finally made it to the bluff, took some photos and then headed down to the rocky coast just down below for some more explorations and a lesson on types of rocks as one of the parents has vast knowledge on rocks and their formations.

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At this point the sun was starting to set, so we started to head back. We were using flashlights by the time we made it to the parking lot! It was a beautiful sunset and a great way to have spent our day! A round of hugs for all, plans to get together soon-we were off! Nothing was rushed, and everything was accomplished!





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Favorite Halloween/Fall Lessons

Cover of "Pumpkin Elf Mystery (Ready, Fre...

Cover of Pumpkin Elf Mystery (Ready, Freddy!)

Cover of "It's Pumpkin Time!"

Cover of It’s Pumpkin Time!

This is my favorite time of year! The temperature is pretty fair, the leaves are beautiful and there are so many things to do, places to go and not to mention plentiful ideas for teaching! Here are a few of our favorites that we’ve done so far…


Leaf Patterns found here

Preschool level- an easy match game numbered 0-10

Elementary: Roll the dice, which ever number it lands on; add, subtract, double, multiply or divide. Use for even or odd recognition etc.





  Candy Graphing: Estimation, counting, adding, total number, comparing, sorting, predictions and comparisons! Just printed out a blank graph sheet and chose a big box of colored candy!








My sister did a great lesson on pumpkins here Weighing, measuring, estimating and some science too!

Halloween online math game addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

…and of course we did some baking projects as well!

Science and Nature:

Nature walks!! We go out often, this week we met up with family and enjoyed a fun walk! This site has great scavenger hunt ideas and 150 things to do in the fall! I get a lot of ideas from this site.

We did a seed match game,connecting the seeds to its proper leaf. The one we enjoyed the most for science this week was putting together a skeletal outline using items from nature!




We tried a Science experiment with Gummy Worms to make them “wiggle” but it failed! Soaking the worms in baking soda and water for about 20 minutes, then dropping them into Vinegar to watch them wiggle, except they didn’t wiggle as much as just fizz…..

The boys also made Gak and Silly puddy with their Aunt this week.  We later on used cookie cutters in the shapes of Halloween to press into the two different textures and compared the differences!


Language Arts:

This week’s book favorites are : It’s Pumpkin Time! by Zoe Hall and  Ready, Freddy! The Pumpkin Elf Mystery by Abby Klein

A great writing lesson was making up a story board! A Halloween story put into a cartoon form I found here.  A Ghoulish cartoon story!

Making Monster sentences! This is a printable activity, in which I cut out all the monster feet and put them on construction paper and stapled together as a book. Under or next to each set of feet, he had to come up with a sentence about the feet. Such as “The monster with the speckled feet and legs, got lots of candy!”


We did some puff paint ghosts and pumpkins. Mix together shaving cream and glue and add food coloring if you wish. It dries puffy!

While the shaving cream was out, we also did ghost art, simply drawing ghosts with our fingers in the shaving cream on top of trays.

Primitive art study: I found this picture through an image search for Halloween art. With a printed out picture, we talked about the images, the style and then after viewing it for a while, I flipped it over and asked him to tell me verbally all the things he could remember in the picture.

We have many more activities coming this week! Follow me on Pinterest as I have lots of ideas pinned! My sister Homeschool’s as well using the Unschooling method and has many posts on lessons for Halloween activities!  Here is her Blog.

🙂 Enjoy!!












Autumnal Color Hunt

The day began with some online learning with use of the site Head of the Class. We had started using it awhile back and had forgotten about until my sister, who also homeschools reminded me about it recently. Both boys love it as a warm up to start off the day. After that we moved on to some dice math games, my oldest also set up a “store” in his room, so we did some money exchange there and had fun with the prices of his merchandise- nothing in his store was less than 1,000.00! 😉 As he stated, it is all valuable items!

He then wanted to do some pencil drawings in his art journal, so while he did that I researched some outdoor activities for later on and made a train track with my youngest.

In history we’ve been focusing on the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. We took out many books from the library, The Louisiana Purchase A History Just for Kids book is great, a good read.  AHC also has a great Benjamin Franklin cartoon series on youtube that my oldest really enjoys.  In reading about the  Purchase, we came across Sacagawea and Louis and Clark. We read the story Seaman:The Dog who explored the West with Louis and Clark, last year so he was familiar with them.  This week I took out the book Who was Sacagawea? by Judith Bloom Fradin as we came across her name in our purchase book. We read the first chapter in this book,  and so far it is an easy gentle read!

With the sun finally out early in the morning and the leaves so colorful, I really wanted to get outside for a nature lesson! I love the site Nature Detectives and we have a great book 50 Nature Projects for Kids, between the two I got the idea for a color nature hunt.

I made color blocks on a piece of paper and we headed outside to find things to match the colors! They were really into it and being extremely particular in their findings,if it didn’t match exactly they didn’t want to keep it! 😉

We ended up matching just about every single color and lots of different shades of colors. Leaves, acorns, grass, rocks, wildflowers, the sky and the river were some of our finds.

I also came across an activity called Woodland Potions on the nature detectives site.  The idea is while out in the woods gather items to make a potion, using a container add collected items, water and a stick to stir, make up a rhyme and then pour out your potion and make a wish! While I headed off to work my sister took the boys on a walk to gather these items and spent time playing at the playground. Today we’ll work on a rhyme to go along with his gathered items and see what he can think up!? I continually strive to find new was to incorporate writing skills for him and hoping this one is a fun and creative one.

Our Happy Homeschool Hikers Group

Through photos; This is our weekly hikers group, all from this summer! Most hikes started with a two hour hike then it was time to swim!

Mashamoquet State Park in Pomfret,CtSilver Sands State Park in Milford, Ct -Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme,Ct


SILVER SANDS– very early morning hike to make it to the Island before the tide started coming back in.

Unfortunately the beach was closed for swimming so we all headed to Chatfield Hollow for an after hike swim.