Monday, September 29, 2014

Music class with Jimmy Fallon

Today we did some free play with instruments for music class.

Then I remembered these fun music videos and the kids played along with Jimmy Fallon. Oh yay, and belted "Let It Go" with Idina Menzel. Zoe's line was classic, when it started she said, "Hey, I've heard that voice before!"


Saturday, September 20, 2014

How We Share Household Duties

For my H&H group, our current blog assignment is how we share household duties.

First, I have to add that I am very lucky to have a hardworking husband who also helps out at home (when he's here)! He also referees a lot of soccer since I don't work now that we are homeschooling. He literally has had at least one game every day this week and WAS IN three different CITIES for games' today!

So anyhow, here are the household duties my husband does: 
  • all the lawn care. I will confess I have never once mowed a yard! Cut grass is one of the thing sets off my allergies and I have never wanted to nor had to do it. Thanks goodness I had a brother and then got married when I was a grown up! ;-)
  • the dishes (anything that can't go in the dishwasher, sippy cup parts, hand wash items, and sometimes he has to load or unload the dishwasher if a kid forgot. I cook, he cleans up. We have had this arrangement since we got married. I think Brian's dad and mom had this same set up, so he doesn't know some men won't. Don't tell him!
  • all the gross stuff - he will clean vomit, clean toilets, kill bugs, pull kids' peed on bedsheets off the beds etc..
  • anything I need help with! He is great to help me with anything if I ask.
What I do:
  • all the cooking
  • all the laundry - by my choice... I'm really crazy about laundry.. that'd be another blog entirely!
  • most of the cleaning
  • most of the care of the kids
  • all the care and feeding of the baby
  • and I almost forgot... be the teacher to 4 kids at 4 different grades with their gazillion subjects ;-)

What our kids do:

Honestly, until this year, not much! We have asked the kids to participate in the home more. I used to offer them allowance to do things to help out. Then, after pinning like a crazy woman about chore charts (see that board here!) and asking my friends on Facebook what their kids have to do, I have changed that a bit. Some of my friends said their kids have to help because they are part of the family. So that really sunk in and I really appreciated that sentiment. It is true. They are part of the family and should help and in a big family may NEED to help! With that said though, I am not big on the kids having to do massive amounts of chores either. Their main job right now is to do their school work and apply themselves to the best of their ability.
Another FB friend said they have their kids do all the chores that pertain directly to them and some to help the house. That was probably the one that clicked the most for me. 

Here is what we do now:

The kids are responsible for putting away their own clothes. I like all of Grace and Cian's clothes to be hung up, so they have to hang them. Zoe and Ellie have dressers for shorts and pants, but all the shirts get hung.
  • Grace hangs her own clothes and also hangs Fionn's since she is too young
  • Zoe hangs her own shirts and Ellie's shirts because she is too young to hang them
  • Ellie does put away her own shorts, socks and underwear in the dresser
  • Cian hangs his own clothes and since he doesn't have to hang anyone else's he is in charge of the shoe racks
I have yet to find a schedule for which days this happens though. Laundry really fills fast with 7 people and I usually do laundry daily unless I want to end up with a marathon day of it. Clothes tend to live on the couch for a few days until the pile for each kid is pretty big then they put them away. I'd like a better system or schedule, but haven't figured one out yet. Is it too much for kids to be putting away clothes every day?! Anyone have any good ideas on that one?? :-)

They also have to clean up their spot at the table. It doesn't sound like a lot, but since we homeschool at the same table, they have to clean books off 4 times a day for two snacks, lunch and at the end of the school day. After each time we eat there, they also have to put their dishes in the sink, throw away any garbage and rinse their cup out so it can be reused later that day.

Each kid also has a daily chore assigned to them:
  • Grace is to unload and put away items from the dishwasher
  • Cian is to reload the dishwasher after dinner
  • Zoe is to do the above mentioned spot at the table cleaning for Ellie since she can't or more likely won't
Something new we have started this month is a Saturday household chore. We just have too much during the week between all the subjects we cover, field trips, weekly events during the school day and evening dance classes 4 nights a week to add housework into the mix during the week. I have also had to have the kids take on more for me because of the stage - cranky teether - that Fionnuala is in right now. There are some nights that it is 10pm-12am before she is happy being put down instead of being held by me so I can do stuff, grade schoolwork and pack the workboxes for Zoe and Ellie for the next day of school.

We are still trying to decide who does what chore, because they seem to all want to do the same one. I am thinking about a rotating schedule I saw on pinterest or drawing the chore out of a hat, but here is what we did today:

Zoe's job was to dry mop the floors

Cian's job was to wet-mop the floors

Ellie's job was to "clean the windows" and by clean the windows, I mean wipe them with a swiffer duster. All two to three feet she could reach. But, she felt included and involved and that's what matters most!

Grace's assigned job today was to help with Fionn while I prep school work or make lunches etc..
She's the baby whisperer!!!

You can read what my fellow H&H'ers do at their blogs: Carla, Laura and Jen!

Art with Nanny

Zoe and Ellie got a nice surprise on Friday- I asked Nanny to come over and do an art project with them!
Nanny is a retired Kindergarten teacher, so the kids are very lucky to have her nearby!

Ellie is on Letter C week, so I had asked her to supervise some painting and COLOR mixing to make secondary colors. Ellie was SO excited at the result of red and blue.....

After that, I let them just paint with the colors they made and the primary colors:

Here are the finished masterpieces: 


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Zoe's "MY FAMILY" project

My mom used to have her Kindergarten classes do this project and I always loved looking at what her students picked out for their family.

I decided to have Zoe make one this year in Kindergarten!

You give them lots of old magazines and let them cut out people for the people in their family.

Here is Zoe with her finished "My Family" project!

Cian's name was written in yellow. It is there, it's just hard to read.

PreK / K Science

When Zoe was in preschool, I had her just listen in to the older two kids Noeo Science Biology I (1st-3rd grade). This year, the oldest two are doing Noeo Chemistry II (4th to 6th grade) and since the first lesson on day one was labeling an atom... I decided I needed to find something a little bit more LITTLE kid-friendly for Zoe (K) and Ellie (Pre-K 3)!

I found this book at a local teacher store and LOVE it!!

How Does It Do What It Does? by Frog Street Press

The first lesson is "I Take Care of My Body." The girls LOVED the egg experiment that teaches about why we need to brush our teeth! They also loved that it had a song to go with it! (Each lesson does!) Here are some pictures from the Egg Experiment:

Before going to bed, the girls put a hard-boiled egg into a glass with water and a glass with coke.

Eggs in and ready to spend the night in water and coke!

Note to self- if doing this in the future, don't do it RIGHT before bed! The girls were so excited hypothesizing about what would happen to their eggs it took them forever to go to bed!

The next morning when they pulled their eggs out they couldn't believe what the coke one looked like!
 Ellie's expression cracks me up! I'm so glad I caught it on camera!
 The point of this lesson was to talk about how we take care of our teeth and why we brush our teeth! We don't want to go to bed and let food and drinks stain our pretty teeth! 
So next, we took some toothpaste on our finger and try to clean our coke egg.
 And it worked! If you look closely, you can see the white spot on Ellie's egg.
 These worksheets were also in the new book to fill out about what they learned. I like that it was a coloring activity since Ellie is just now learning to write letters, but she could color what she saw!

Here is Zoe coloring and Zoe's final experiment paper:

My only complaint about the book is that it only has 10 lessons! I wish there was one for every week! I decided to do a lesson every other week and fill it out with lessons from Pinterest projects I could find.

I have been pinning away on pinterest- my apologies to my pinterest followers who had to scroll through the day I pinned TONS, lol!

Here is what we did for the "I Take Care of My Body" lessons the past two weeks beside the egg experiment and listening to the song 57 million times:

 We exercised and listened and danced to the song from the book 57 million times. Did I mention they asked to listen to the song 57 million times??

We did this worksheet about The Foods We Eat I found on Pinterest.
 Zoe's turned out really pretty!

I liked the idea a lot, but was a little creeped out by feeding the faces, so I made a worksheet that had 2 columns, " Every Day" and "Once in a While." Most of the worksheets called the foods "good" and "bad," and I didn't like that idea at all. I think if you make a food forbidden, it makes it more desirable. So, I called mine fine to eat "every day" and eat "once in a while". I did have a hard time not cracking a guilty smile when they had to put soda on the once in a while side. Pot, kettle, Mommy....
Ellie LOVED glue sticking on her foods!!



For a final project, we made this cute skeleton out of Q-tips!

All of these additional ones we did can be found on my Pinterest page, by clicking here.

More Noeo Science Chemistry II FUN!

We use NOEO Science for our Science Curriculum. I really like that it doesn't use a textbook. It is Charlotte Mason style in that way. Normally, not my style, but I love it for Science! We read books and encyclopedias instead. I also really like the experiments they match up with the reading. I am not a huge "lets try crazy experiments" person, so it works well for me as the parent also. All the experiments are simple to do, use household items, aren't going to blind anyone etc.. yet they match up nicely with the lessons on molecules, atoms, ions, and now states of matter, density etc.. that the kids are learning.

Here are a few from last week and the week prior:

Do Hot Molecules Move Faster Than Cold Molecules

The kids put food coloring into a hot cup and a cold cup of water.
 The food coloring moved much faster in the hot water.
 Even when we were done making our conclusions and I was cleaning up, the cold was still not fully spread!

Is there space between Sugar Crystals?

Adding Sugar to Water


Are Gas Molecules Farther Apart Than Liquid Molecules

The CO2 in the balloon:
 The kids really liked this one!
 The kids most important question after the experiment was, "can we drink the coke now?" LOL! I told them no! We NEVER eat or drink anything we have used for a science experiment as a standard rule for safety.
I didn't tell them we have FOUR unopened bottles left we didn't use!
I am a Mt. Dew girl though, so I think I will "Share a Coke" with my friend Bethany!

"O" is for Doughnut

So... we just finished our 3rd week of school this year and we managed to have doughnuts EACH week! Not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed by that! Let's just leave it at the kids were EXCITED by that! LOL!

Day 1 - we always have doughnuts as a tradition
Week 2- We were on Letter "D" and I try and have for Ellie's Preschool LOTW, a snack each day that starts with the letter of the week. OF COURSE we had doughnuts for D week.
Week 3- Letter "O" week- I was at a Walmart and saw KRISPY KREME doughnuts!!!!! Please note, they are in fact called Original Glazed Donuts, just sayin'...
What Ellie thought was totally exciting though, was the doughnut was actually an O!

Ellie and her O-shaped doughnut for O week!