Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mr. Popper's Penguins Lapbook

We have finally finished our Mr. Popper's Penguins Lapbook. I got the penguins craft from a Sea World Teacher's Guide. Aren't they cute? I got most of the elements (except for compass rose and color wheel which I made myself) from Homeschool Share

We had so many elements that we had to connect three file folders together. The left side has information about penguins, the center has big sheets and "school" stuff, and the left side has information about seals.

Left side is about penguins.

Some of the penguins in the book were named after famous people. Some of the famous people are Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and James Cook. They are represented by a picture of Victoria, and maps of the routes of Columbus and Cook.

The center of the lapbook has various "school" stuff. We learned about a compass rose and some basic map reading, complimentary colors, snow, writing a print ad, occupations, compound words and word problems.

We learned about the food chain and what happens if we change one "link" in the chain. We also learned a lot about seals. By the way, they are pinnipeds.

Friday, September 26, 2008


We have been busy runnig around. I have many pictures to post. Hopefully I will have time next week. My daughters made their first loaf of bread and a their first quilt block this past week. We are still struggling to get through Mr. Popper's Penguins (the book is great, it is just finding time to read it and do the lapbook elements). The girls start swimming lessons in a couple of weeks. I am excited but that will be another chunk of our day lost for the next four weeks (twice a week). I know I need to RELAX!!! I am trying---really I am. I am trying not to think about all I want to accomplish tomorrow (or next week). Breathe. Relax. OK--Good night. I am going to bed now.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My 7 by 10 foot space

My 7 x 10 foot space. That is the extent of my "school room".

I have two 2ft x 4ft tables (one for each girl), my "homeschooling" computer (along with computer table) and a bookcase in that space.

(Curly's Desk)

(Angel's Desk)

(My Desk)


I don't have a dining room table and sometimes I want to scream "Where am I supposed to put MY stuff?" Then I turn around and see my two beautiful girls working on their lessons (or staring out the window) and I smile. Yes, I have a small space--but if I had a bigger space, I might not have been able to stay home and have the privilege to teach my kids.

I would not see my oldest turning into a sweet beautiful lady of the Lord right before my eyes. She is my serious one. She loves reading and learning new things and is ready to share with us at a moment's notice.

I probably would have spent a lot of time in teacher's conferences with my youngest. She is the type that will not let you know she knows something until she is good and ready. I am convinced she knew how to read months before she decided to share it with us. I have seen her mature and have seen the complete joy she has in learning something. She calls it getting "her smarts."

(I am in green with Angle beside me. Hubby in front with Curly beside him.)

Also, I have a terrible confession to make--are you ready??--I like my kids. I want to be with them. Even when they drive me crazy, I still want to be with them. I want to be the one who teaches them right from wrong (not situational ethics but right and wrong). I want to be the one to teach them the facts of life (not some kid down the street or some government program in the schools).

Am I overprotective? You bet I am. My kids are a gift from the Lord and I am responsible for them. I have had people say ,"When they get in the real world, they won't be able to handle it." My goodness, they are 5 and 8. Unfortunately, they get enough of the "real world" at church. If you think there is no peer pressure at church, you are sadly mistaken. We learn how to handle the "real world" with Biblical principles (how would that go over in public school--can we say "detention")

I want them to have a love of learning not just digesting and regurgitating (yes, I said regurgitating) facts. That is how I got through school and I can honestly say I have retained absolutely nothing.

So I thank God for my 7 by 10 foot space. Without it I would have missed this wonderful opportunity to homeschool my girls.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Starting a new lapbook-Mr. Popper's Penguins

I am so OCD. We are using Sonlight Curriculum and my girls somehow got whopperjawed (is that really a word?) in regards to what week they were on. Angel just ended week 8 and the Curly completely missed a read-a-loud book and was only half way through with week 8. Now I do know that you do not have to do all the read-a-louds, but this is one I really wanted to do. I had a lapbook for it and everything (insert whining here). SO after completing the other work for week 8, I decided to just do the book and let Angel listen along while she watercolored (her new most favorite thing to do). Tonight we read the first 3 chapters and worked on the elements that corresponded with those chapters. We learned that the Emperor Penguin was the tallest and heaviest bird, the Marconi Penguin has the biggest population, and the Galapagos Penguin in the most endangered. Oh and there are 17 types of penguins. I look forward to posting the pictures of the completed lapbook.

MY FAVORITE PENGUIN VIDEO (yes, it is in a foreign language)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Meet Me In The Stairwell

No other words are needed. --dottie


You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news On September 11, 2001. Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.' I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, 'Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK . . . I am ready to go.'

I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to Me for help. 'I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!' I said. 'Of course I will show you the way home - only believe in Me now.'

I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls.
I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.

I was in Texas, Virginia, California, Michigan, Afghanistan. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name - though not all know Me. Some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor.

Some sought Me with their last breath. Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames, 'Come to Me... this way... take my hand.' Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me. But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You may not know why, but I do. However, if you were there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me?

Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey for you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are 'ready to go.'

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.


Additions to Kaya Lapbook

Curly dressed up as a Native American.

The one thing I really love about lapbooking is that you can add to a book whenever you want. Case in point, Curly went to her American Girl Book Club meeting and they had games and food. We got to add those things to her lapbook even though it was technically done.

Underneath the inside center flap, we added the Food Menu that we ate at the Kaya AGBC meeting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Curly's First Lapbook American Girl: Kaya

Curly belongs to an American Girl Book Club through our homeschool support group. It has 10 girls that enjoy a book discussion, a period craft, and the opportunity to try foods from the time period. Curly is going to make a lapbook for each American Girl to share when their book is discussed.

This is Curly working of her first lapbook. We got the templates from http://www.homeschoolshare.com/

The front of the lapbook has a picture of the fictional Nez Perce Kaya and the historical Nez Perce Chief Joseph along with a short biography and famous quote.

The inside of the lapbook with center extension flap down.

The top of the flap extension has an accordian fold about living in 1764 that is glued in a mini folder. The Kaya Family and Friends has pictures and Curly had to write down their names.

The center pocket has recipes that she tried at the American Girl Book Club and her opinion of them. The bottom is a petal fold book.

Curly glued this picture in the center of the template.

Backside of center extension flap.

Center part of book with extension flap up.

Instead of traditional vocabulary words, I had Curly translate Nez Perce words to English words (found in the back of the Kaya books).

For the American Girl Book Club, the girls have an opportunity to design an outfit for the American Girl we are studying. This is a dress that Curly designed for Kaya out of some fabric.

Curly proudly showing off her first lapbook.

The sites that I got American Girl graphics from:
Chief Joseph graphic and information

Sweetie's First Lapbook "All About ME"

Sweetie is hard at work on her first notebook. I got the free "All About Me" lapbook at http://www.liveandlearnpress.com/.

The is the front of the lapbook. I just love this picture. It was taken at her aunt's store.

This is the inside of the lapbook. My daughter is not really into "crafty stuff" so I did not use the "stick" person that was in the set. She loves to have her picture taken so I took her picture resized it in MS Publisher to 7 1/2 inches tall and printed it on cardstock.

My Angel is a beginning writer so I had her copy the important information.

The kit had a timeline with it. Well, I am not very good with dates. I have to ask my husband when we got married :-) I replaced it with a picture of our family. BTW, Angel just love the way the Grinch was messing with her.

Showing off her completed lapbook.

How did it all start.

Well, a couple of day ago we started our lapbooking adventures. I did not know about lapbooking until I stumbled across the word in a conversation with a friend. So I did what most people do now-a-days, I googled it. Boy, was I amazed. So I joined some message boards and lurked for quite a while--reading and downloading all the free resources I could find. Then it was time to start school. We did real well for about 8 weeks and then stuff just started falling apart. I was starting to prepare for church activities (Sunday School Veggie Connections and Awanas Puggles) and my oldest daughter American Girl Book Club (I am in charge of doing crafts) for the upcoming year.

I love all that I do but I do tend to obsess and be a perfectionist when I comes to preparing activities/crafts/or whatever it may be. I feel that if it is not perfect, it will reflect badly on God, my church and my support group. WHAT AN EGO I HAVE! Due to that attitude (which I think became very prideful and sinful), I went in total shutdown on everything except what I was focusing on. So, schooling was kicked to the curb for about three weeks. (Please understand that I don't advocate mediocracy--I just went waaaay far in the other direction.)

When I came up out of my self induced workaholic attack, I just could not get started back with schooling. The kids had gotten out of the routine and I was completely unmotivated. When we did try to school, it was horrible. I love the curriculum that we have (Sonlight). As I said, I just could not get motivated. After about a week of that nonsense. I decided let's just do something fun. This is where lapbooking entered into our homeschool journey.

My youngest wanted to do the "All About Me" lapbook from http://www.liveandlearnpress.com/ Boy was that fun. You will see in the next post the pictures and the modifications I made so that it would work for my youngest.

My oldest wanted to do a Kaya: American Girl lapbook. We got a lot of the templates from Homeschool Share (HSS) http://www.homeschoolshare.com/ and then I added Kaya graphics from various sites to personalize them. The main source was http://www.americangirl.com/. Pictures will also be in another post.

I BECAME HOOKED. I am already planning our next lapbook. DD1 is working on an election lapbook with her dad and we are going to do a lapbook with Mr. Popper's Penguins (from HSS).
I think I am going to do a Mother Goose lapbook with DD2. (not quite sure though)

I am learning to slow down and enjoy the ride. I am trying not to be obsessed with completing Week 1 completely in Week 1. I want to instill a joy of learning and discovery in my girls. Not just the "learning what the teacher wants and memorizing that" attitude. I did not enjoy school--I have a second chance. I get to enjoy it with my girls. Boy, I am learning to have fun.

I want to primarily devote the blog to our lapbooking adventures but I am sure I will stray away at times to post some of our fun non-lapbooking adventures also.