Monday, August 28, 2017

Afterschool Homeschooling - Week 3

Hello everyone!  I'm getting this post done as fast as I can being that the twins have finally taken a nap. lol  This past week, Caleb's class was learning about magnets in science so I decided to build on that.  We have magnets at home so I knew that'd be easy for me to do. 

So here's one of our first activities.  We cut up some pipe cleaners and put them in a plastic container, like the Crystal light kind.  I gave him a small magnet and a bigger one for him to try and pick up pipe cleaners through the container.  Then we switched containers and added them to a glass jar and did the same thing.  He said he was able to pick up more pipe cleaners through the glass than through the plastic.


The twins were determined to get in on this too.  They climbed into a chair to investigate.  Cason saw Caleb hold the magnet on top of the jar and he was trying to copy to see what happens.  If you follow me on Instagram @cuddleskissesnchaos, you probably saw a video of Cason screaming over the magnets.

We also watched two videos on YouTube over magnets and magnetism.  Then, I created a little "fill in the blank" type sheet for Caleb to do.

So... What is magnetic?

I dumped some beads and string out of this Melissa and Doug box and filled it with some random things around the house for him to test.  You can get these big red and blue magnets are from the Dollar Tree.  I think the smaller ones came as a prize from some school fundraiser years ago.  I can't really remember, but they probably sell them somewhere too.

We did this one Friday or Saturday night.  The whole house was kind of in on this one.  I found this experiment on YouTube and decided it would be fun for the kids to do.  We got three different liquids to see how magnets respond through liquids. 
We put three paper clips in each jar.  I had them make predictions on what they thought would happen and/or how the paper clips would move through each liquid.  Then, we tested them.  The paper clips moved quickly through the water and oil, but slowly through the corn syrup.  We talked about why that was.  This became a messy sticky experiment for us.  We have impatient and quick pouring people over here. 

Ice cream addition

To make math facts more fun, I decided to make little ice cream cones.  Who doesn't love ice cream?  These were just drawn and cut out of the construction paper.  I think I should laminate them because they are just too cute (in my opinion).

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you can use some of these activities with your little ones!


After school Homeschooling - Weeks 1 and 2

School started back on August 1.  We have a 10th grader, a 7th grader, 1st grader and twin tot schoolers ( we are starting tot school at home).  Everybody but the teenager was excited.  No surprise there.  I was partly ready.  I was more ready to get back into some type of a routine with the twins.  The summer puts them off because everyone is at home and busy, which means not much down time.

Over the summer we've continued to add little learning activities and "homeschool" lessons every now and then.  It is just my nature.  I can't help it.  However, I am often asked by the first and seventh grader for activities to do.  Of course, I'm happy to do that.  Since school has started back, I've really started back with the mini lessons.  They are mostly for Caleb because middle and high school kids already have enough to do.  However, if I have something that I think will help them, I'll pull it out. 

I like to look at what Caleb is learning for the week and plan activities to reinforce and build on what they are learning at school.  I also go ahead on my own with some things, especially if he seems ready to move on.

We took this pic the week before school.  We were reviewing all of the site words we had when Cameron started to throw them on the floor.  We decided to make the most of it.

They didn't have homework the first week of school.  You know they are busy learning all the rules and routines, but we did a few activities.  Caleb is always looking for something to do anyway.  We are trying to get his books of the Bible down so I pulled out our popsicle stick books to sort.

We've been doing math facts on and off for about half the summer.  We just put three sums at the top here and had him fill in the facts that created the sum.  I put out a box of random counters if he needed some help.  These are just old game pieces and dominoes that I've saved to use as manipulatives.


We had a little STEM activity set up and Cate decided to join in on this one.  Marshmallows are a good motivator.  Caleb did get a little frustrated with this because the toothpicks and the marshmallows kept falling over before he could finish anything.  I helped him out a bit after escaping the twins.  I think we'll use gumdrops next time.  We've using them before and they work well because they are more sturdier.

This week was the first week of homework.  They receive a homework packet that is due on Fridays and usually a phonics sheet. Well, he had finished all but one page of his packet by the time he had gotten off the bus.  He finished the rest when he got home and was bored.  He operated like this last year too.  Amazon prime boxes to the rescue!  I asked him if he wanted to make a rocket and he agreed to that.

He could already spell his spelling words too, but we needed to practice writing and forming letters correctly.  I dug out an old laminated writing sheet to use just because it makes it more interesting.  That red and yellow thingy there is an electronic math fact thingy.  Yes, thingy.  You can rotate the numbers in each row.  You can listen to it recite the math facts and answers or you can listen to it ask one.  You bop the end when it says the correct answer.  I found this little gem at the Goodwill.    Reading practice for the day was "Go Away, Dog."

More writing practice made more fun with shaving cream.  The twins got in on this action too.

Nerf bullets and site words

Our class has a site word folder where they are tested weekly on the site words.  We read through them and he kept reading through each page until he got to ones he didn't know.  So since he knew a good bit of his site words, we opted to start on week 12 vs week 1.  That way he is still learning, but not stagnant.  We also practice using the site words and spelling words in sentences.  If you don't have spelling words yet and want to start, the Dollar Tree has some good little spelling books in there.  We practiced with those over the summer.

Math facts.
These are a few things we did leading up to the new school year.

We had to build a bridge to get the people safely across from the bears.  I love how he decided to just use the slide at the end to slide in the car.  This was also another "I'm bored" day.  Well, here you go little dude.

Nature study with trees and leaves.  We are supposed to be making leaf journals, but haven't made them yet.

The book "Mouse Paint" with mixing colors and trying to spell the color words.

We used old 75% off gingerbread houses to go along with the video story of Hansel and Gretal.  We talked about shady people (strangers).

So this pretty much wraps up the first weeks.  I'll be getting last week's after school homeschooling activities up and also our tot school toddlertivities this week.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Eclipse 2017

Well, the eclipse had to be one of the most exciting things that happened this week.  I admit that I was probably more excited than the kids were.  We were not in the totality area, but I do believe we were at 97 percent.  However, the clouds took over throughout the day and messed with our view.  We were able to see the moon passing over the sun at different times though.  I wish we would have charted it like I planned.  However, the eclipse must have had a terror effect on the twins who seemed to just be screaming the majority of the day. lol

Cate knew she was staying home the day of the eclipse because she wanted to see it.  AJ went to school because he had football practice, but we checked him out early.  Caleb went back and forth between not wanting to miss school to being scared of being at school during the eclipse.  We changed his form 3 times and eventually just kept him home.

We did do some activities leading up to the eclipse and the day of it.  Check them out below!

Moon phases!
I printed these free cards from  Just Google phases of the moon cards.  We talked about each phase of the moon, drew them, and used oreos to create each phase.  Of course, that was the best part for Caleb.  He was really concerned about eating them afterwards.

Stages of the eclipse
We had looked at some videos about the eclipse earlier.  Then, the actual day of the eclipse, we used the phases of the eclipse cards to talk about them as we watched it on the tv.  I printed these free cards from cosmic Montessori .com. I was so glad I found them to use with the kids.  Then we decided to use the golden oreos to represent the sun and the regular oreos to represent the moon.  The kids put them over different parts of the (sun) as the moon passes over. 

Now you know, of course, there was some type of party.  I told you guys I was probably more excited than the kids plus I just like to create things.  lol  I decided to make crescent sandwiches to represent the moon and you can see our galactic popcorn back there.

A closer look at our galactic popcorn.  It was actually kind of a fail.  We were trying to melt candy melts that refused to melt so we could drizzle it.  So we ended up slinging it. Then, we decided to just use cake icing and food coloring.  TA-DA! We added sprinkles for that extra space touch.

Pretzels and marshmallows made constellations and an easy stem activity.

They were camped out in the yard trying to see the eclipse.  Aj went in and out because he said he didn't want to go blind. 
It was pretty sunny at first.  Then it got really cloudy and even drizzled a bit.  These two came inside for umbrellas and went back out.  Cate really wanted to see the diamond ring in person and not just on tv.  She did get to see it on tv though and said, "that's the ring daddy should have got mama!" Haha!  Caleb wanted to see the Bailey's beads.  He said that it was his favorite part.

This is one way Caleb watched the eclipse.  Andre taped his glasses into one of his superhero masks.  He's wearing a different superhero mask in the picture above this one.  That one covers half the face, but we noticed a small crack in it and decided to switch it up just to be safe.

Documenting their eclipse day experience was made easier by this little doodle sheet that was printed from

I attempted a very not together word search.  Very not together. 

Cate decided to help her mama out! 

Earlier in the week, Caleb started working on a rocket and Cate helped him. They picked today as the day to launch it off.  The twins climbed in too.

How was your solar eclipse experience?  Did you get to see all the phases?  Did you do any fun activities to share?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Money Mondays - Renew Your Mind And Shut Your Mouth

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2

Like many problems that we encounter, they usually erupt or are made worse by a particular way of thinking.  A negative way of thinking.  Sometimes we are so stuck in a mindset {or have been conditioned to a particular one passed down by generations and/or encouraged by our every day encounters) that we find ourselves bound to them. It is most easily accepted and believed.  It is the norm.  It is the ordinary.  It is my supposed life.

Not. Today. Satan.

We have to ask God for help to change our way of thinking, to renew our minds.  It's easy to believe the negative especially when it seems that's all you see.  However, we must change our way of thinking so we can progress in a positive direction.  We have to believe our situations can and will change.  Mark 9:23 says "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." I remember when I used to sit to the table and cry and stress over our finances.  It seemed like every step forward was followed by 10 steps back.  I believed that our situation was going to change, yet when things got worse I had doubts.  Just like the father cried out to Jesus, we have to ask God to help our unbelief.

Then, we need to shut our mouths! I mean talking that negative talk!

What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. Mathew 15:11

"I ain't gonna never get out of this debt."  "I can't save any money." "I'm not even going to try."

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  Ephesians 4:29

Remember you are listening to you!  How many others are listening to you too?  How long are we going to say that until it's the only thing we believe?  There is life and death in the power of the tongue.  We can't get discouraged or content with where we are and start speaking death over our finances or lives.  You think I'm just going to give up like that? I'm looking for greater.  I don't know when it's coming, but I'll be speaking it into existence until it gets here.   "I am going to get out of debt." "I can and will save money." "I'm going to try and keep trying."  I don't care what is looks like, feels like, or sounds like.  My greater is coming!  Our greater is coming!  Speak Life!

Big thanks to my sister for volunteering her face for my blog antics!

Read my first Money Monday post here.