# one topic/many subjects and lots of art!

We kicked this rainy Tuesday off with a math lesson, mostly multiplication facts on MEP, and Chapter Four in LOF, which was also about multiplication and similes! Yes, the Life of Fred math books include more than just math topics! We also covered some Geography today, this week’s state is Arizona. We broke out the map and read the book “Unique Arizona” then colored in Arizona on the U.S. map sheet using the states abbreviation.

U.S. History was also covered, reading a few pages on colonial life and what kinds of medicine people used, what went on on Sundays and what a watchman’s job was. “…If you lived in Colonial Times” by Ann McGovern, is the book we’re reading. Nice child friendly book, gives a quick glimpse into the daily lives.

Another favorite book of mine is “The Big Handbook of  Nature Study” by Anna Botsford Comstock. Today we did a bird study on the White-Breasted Nuthatch.  We have one that we frequently watch in our yard and who comes to our feeder every now and then. As I read all about the bird, I provided a picture of the White-Breasted Nuthatch as a visual study. This came in handy as we read about the coloring as well as the footing it has that enables them look at the world mostly upside down. We then proceeded with a narrative speaking exercise in which he answered and discussed the questions at the end of the chapter as well as things he has observed with the birds in the yard.

Within this chapter was a poem about the nuthatch, so I typed it into Word, added lines for copywork.

He will copy two sentences each day until complete as part of his grammar and spelling lessons this week.

In keeping with the topic of the White-Breasted Nuthatch, we next did an art activity. First studying the picture I asked how many colors does one see in the birds feathers. I then asked him to choose the tubes of paint that best match, and if there wasn’t one, such as the silver blue of the bird, he picked three colors to mix to create this color. He got it right on with the first mix of colors! I then talked about negative space in art. Today I wanted him to use the coloring of the bird and make a negative space collage using feathers.  Using the watercolors, he held down the feather and painted on top of it letting the water do the work! It came out really pretty!

Meanwhile, my two year old is playing with his trains on the floor since 5:30 this morning! So with him still occupied, we started reading our second book of the year. We just finished a Fiction book (Wonder Struck), now we’re headed into the genre of Animals.  I chose “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame.  We managed to get in about 10 pages, just enough to get started!

Good timing, now my two year old is ready to “play a game” as he always says. I had planned on doing shape printing with him today. I had kept a variety of circle objects aside from various objects: caps, tubes, lids etc.  I handed him the tools and he did the rest!

Once he was finished with this, he still wanted to do more! So we did another circle print using bubble wrap this time!

Paint the bubble wrap, press the paper down and lift!

# Free Educational Resources

Here are some free sites for books and other online educational freebies! I use most of these, some more than others.  A few are geared toward homeschooling, but can be enjoyed by anyone just the same! If you have   favorite that needs to be added, let me know! Check back often as I will update and add to the list as I come across new sites/resources!

Elementary Math:

Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching- (MEP)

Fun for the brain-mulitplication

Math Fact Cafe

Mothmatic Math-online game

Book and Language:

International Children’s Digital Library

Magic Tree House

Shel Silverstein

Kids Literature

Usborne

Shakespeare for kids

Online Mad Libs- Wacky Web Tales

History:

Scholastic-colonial times

History for Kids

British Culture

Lego Castle

Civil War

The Middle Ages

Science:

50 Birds and more

Animals Myths and Legends

Nature Detectives

Kids Biology

National Geographic for kids

Space Place-NASA kids

Biology for Kids

Bats for Kids

Art/Music:

Olga’s Gallery

Classics for Kids Music

National Gallery of Art for Kids

Norman Rockwell Museum

Getty Games-Art Museum

Social Studies and Geography:

Heifer International-build a better world

Connecticut Kids

Social Studies for Kids

Foreign Language:

Spanish for Children

Foreign Language printable worksheets

Online Educational Game Sites:

Funbrain

Brainpop jr

Brainpop

Poptropica

Covers all Subjects!:

Some of these are not free, but can be used for ideas, resource and finding supplies. Easy Peasy is totally free and a complete curriculum.

Easy Peasy-

Simply Charlotte Mason

Queen Homeschool Supply

The Tanglewood School Supply

An Old Fashion Education

Documentary Tube

education.com

neok12-site that has videos on all subjects

Discovery Kids

# A couple of Bumps,Birds and Sunflowers

We began our morning with math today, this is the subject that gets the most complaints, so I figured lets dive in and move on! This is a new program for us, so I wasn’t sure where to begin, we are using Singapore Math and started with 3A. After three days starting with exercise one, we jumped up to 14, which was more like where we left off last year.  Only a few grumbles, then we did indeed move on. I ordered a small book on spelling as most of his spelling comes from copywork, but I did want a backup source for those days that required something new to keep the campers happy. I have to say I do not like the pages or the exercises, so my thought is to use the word list for each week, if he can spell the word orally we move on to the next, if he’s not able to, he is to write it down and we will memorize it until he’s got it! There’s always a few bumps in the curriculum as the new year begins and getting a smooth routine going. Tweak this and change that, forget this and add that!

Part of this years studies are on the 50 states, and as we study them one by one, I am asking that as we go through a resource card is made with facts for quick referral when ever needed. He chose to write the state name and abbreviation on one side and the capitol and state bird on the backside. He loves birds, so I wasn’t surprised that this was one thing he wanted to remember! For this particular state he chose a yellow card to write in on because of the state bird, good choice!

He then asked if he could look through the rest of the book to see which bird was which for each state and proceeded to do so only to find himself questioning the book and saying this has to be wrong!…..some states have the same bird? Shouldn’t they each have a different one? I asked, so you think they made a mistake in the book? Go look it up on the computer then. So he did, and turns out that one bird is indeed the bird of more than one state! Ok, next!

After doing some writing, time for a creative break…. we studied Vincent van Gogh’s biography earlier in the week and I placed the picture of “Fourteen Sunflowers in a Vase” for a picture study, then grabbed his picture/art journal for him to apply his own artistic take on sunflowers.  He wanted to use markers, but I persuaded him to use colored pencils as it has a more “fine arts” appeal to them and not so “kiddish” as I put it. Well, his eyes lit up on that one! He always likes to feel more grown up… He to my surprise, planned it all out and took his time, and even asked how to make it look shaded around the sunflower seeds at the bottom. He was very proud of it and asked if I could take a picture of it to show everyone.  So here it is!

Vase with 12 sunflowers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Meanwhile, my 2 year old is fascinated by trains, trucks, and anything else with wheels right about now! The only books I have taken from the library lately are all bout transportation! We read a whole pile together each night, I start, my husband finishes and he’s off to sleep. He helped me put tracks down and had certain spots he wanted either the tunnel or the bridges to go and he took it from there! Early math and language skills, perfect for a toddler!

We wrapped up the morning with the first chapter in “The Burgess Bird Book for Children” meeting Jenny Wren as she explains to Peter Rabbit why she’s been away all winter long.

Another great living book about birds! Very enjoyable, with gentle lessons on wildlife.  Next week we look forward to meeting, The Old Orchard Bully!

Then off to the dentist we went!