Friday, February 8, 2008

The Snowy Day

We picked the perfect week for The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats since there has been snow on the ground for quite sometime. We had a huge snow storm a week ago, dumping a foot of snow on us followed by a few other minor storms. I planned several indoor activities for the sub zero days, but we still managed to get outside to help the neighbors shovel their driveway, and to soak up a few sun rays that occasionally peaked through the overcast skies.

Since I knew we would be stuck inside, both kids did several worksheets each day. To my surprise, they did this willingly since there wasn't much else we could do after being snowed in for so long. We began our discussions in the area of science by talking about temperature. Tom had bought a dozen test tubes at the homeschool convention last year, for reasons he could not explain at the time. He said, "we might need these". Well, his time came since we used some of them to demonstrate differences and similarities of snow, water, freeze, and melt. Stephen was able to watch the tubes filled with snow turn to water and compared them to the tubes already filled with water. We then put some in the freezer and some in the refrigerator to re-freeze them. We then talked about the difference between the two temperatures and why the water didn't freeze again in the refrigerator. It was cute to watch him check on his project six times a day to see if anything had changed. I was impressed with how quickly he caught on to these concepts. This science experiment was followed by a mini book about temperature. Stephen had various picture cards depicting temperature and clothing. He was instructed to group the cards together according the the appropriate hot and cold category. Found at

Rhea's solo project for the week was working on her file folder games by I made these for Stephen two years ago and he wasn't that crazy about them. Luckily, Rhea really enjoys the various matching games and has remarkable accuracy given the minimal help she recieves; and people wonder why the second child is so independent..... We were just talking today that I do virtually NO planning or teaching with her, but she picks up most if not all of the things that I am doing with Stephen.

I always pick out 8-10 "go along" books to read with our main book of the week. It always amazes me when they gravitate towards the main idea book. Stephen was really facinated with Peter and all the adventures he encountered. We took advantage of some warm (er) days of the week to do some of the same things. Stephen took pictures of his footprints. He also rides around the sled in the yard (or inside) both are activities from the books. Daddy and Stephen also built a snow house as illustrated in Mouses's First Snow, by Lauren Thompson. The beautifully painted illustrations took us through similar adventures, but with baby mouse and Daddy mouse. Another very similar book that we read was Tracks in the Snow by Wong Herbert Yee. The illustrations were also identical to The Snowy Day down to the red snow suit worn by the adventurous child. Rhea's favorites were Snow by Manya Stojic and Footprints in the Snow by Cynthia Benjamin. Both had painted illustrations that were gorgeous and the stories that lead you down a path to meet various animals and experience their anticipation for the coming snow. The Snow is Falling by Franklyn M. Branley was also a great find, not for entertainment purposes, but wonderfully illustrated the science of snow on a toddler/preschool level. Daddy's favorite was Punxsutawyney Phyllis by Susanna L. Hill. This was a cute story about the aging Punxsutawyney Phil and an eager granddaughter that wished so much to follow in his footsteps. It was a little long for the kids, but a really touching story.
This is Stephens' picture of our footprints BEFORE the big snow storm. We tried to take pictures later in the week, but they were more like leg prints instead of footprints. I was also trying to help Rhea through the snow, so it wasn't the best environment for a camera.
Stephen's Snow Angel
One of Stephen's solo activities was to read a book called "Burr, it's Cold" by He had manipulatives to guide him giving him a huge sense of accomplishment at the end. I included a video of one of his read throughs. I appoligize in advance for Rhea's exhuberance over her Natioal Geographic Kids Magazine and the dog barking in the background. Ah, homeschool at its best!

Stephen has been increasingly involved in creating his Lap Books. Several of the art projects in this book are from A Becka Pre-K Crafts and others are from
Stephen's Mini Book based on the poem White Fields, by James Stephens found at
Stephen's My Snowman book by and a folding project by the Kumon Method.
Stephen's What Is White from

Stephen's Lap Book back cover by A Becka Pre-K Crafts.
What would our week be without making at least a little mess? We tried the best we could to make our mess by creating our own snowmen and snowflakes out of marshmallows and tube icing. Stephen was given an instruction sheet to follow while Rhea just poked sharp wooden objects into her marshmellows. The grandparents might want to move on to a section not involving potentail bleeding hazards :-) The kids had been eyeing the bag of marshmallows all week and were very excited when it was finally time to use them! Instructions at
Sorry, the smile was just too cute not to include it! What would a week at the Bough's be without family fun night? This week involved four activities. All of these activities except the Matching Game, and all worksheets used this week came from The first one was the "Freeze/Melt" Game. We turned the music on and acted like we were freezing. When the music stopped, we melted. The kids thought this was really fun but Mommy should have picked a shorter song. Whew!! Next was the "Matching Bag Game" by The cards can be viewed on the first page of the Lap Book above on the bottom left hand side. It is labled as a memory game but Rhea does much better with matching games right now. This is an original idea created by the kids. They have always enjoyed matching card sets, but are never able to hold on to their treasures. This is why they use a bag and really do a great job working together. We mostly decided that everyone won in the next game, but Stephen insisted that he was the winner. It was a "Prop Box" dress up relay which pretty much ended up being a competition between Tom and I; an unlikely circumstance, I know, for those of you that know us well. We first separated all of the articles of clothing in the appropriate pile labled by word cards, and then it was time to "race". For the next game, we don't have to pretend that it is snowing in our region of the US, but it was fun doing it anway. Mostly, I wanted them to come up with ways to act out the story without the "real thing". Besides, it is much warmer inside!
Winter Relay Word Cards

Sequencing cards for The Snowy Day.

Pretend Word Cards Making Snow out of Paper
Running the stick through the "snow" as Peter did in the book.

Thank you to all of you that have had wonderful things to say about our work. We have so much fun together, and it brings me even more joy to share our experiences with you in the homeschool world. We love you too, friends and family!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Goodnight Moon

We had another great week at the Bough house reading Goodnight Moon. The best way to describe this week is to take you through our Lap Book. These Lap Books are Stephen's prizes at the end of the week. I put them on his shelf and he spends every evening going through each one until it is time to go to sleep. It's wonderful to see him embrace all of his work and revisit his "treasures" every night. Most of our projects this week came from Our first project was the Three Bears House that Stephen ornately decorated with glitter glue. Each window and door opened with a bear on the inside. I was really surprise with how much time he put into this. Next, was a sequencing activity on the top left page. Stephen has been sequencing everything lately. Really neat to watch! Rhea's project was the green Three Bears mini book. Stephen cut the pictures out for her and I helped her glue them in the correct place. Animal classification cards and two other projects are located in the pocket. The small brown folder contains sequencing cards for the Three Bears story and finger puppets by A Becka Pre-K Art Projects. The other project was a puzzle that was printed on cardstock and then cut into pieces by Stephen. I wanted him to glue it back onto a piece of paper, but he knew that he would have it in his Lap Book to play with later.

The next page contains a folding project from the Kumon Method. Stephen has just started liking these after a little resistance in the begining. He doesn't like new things if they are complicated, but it doesn't take him long to get comfortable with the idea. Stephen really enjoyed the Rhyming Words House. I wasn't sure how he would do with cutting out the small pictures, but he really enjoyed it since he knew he was going to be placing them in the house. This page also contains a letter M folding card, Right/Left hand folding card and his phone number cards. Stephen has known his phone number for awhile thanks to a song that I made up for him. He has so much fun with it that he frequently sings it to people while we are out of the house. Oh well, not that I am that concerned about privacy anymore. I was going to glue his other two folding projects on the folder, but Stephen requested that I put them in the pocket so he could play with them later. The first one is a fold out pig and the second it a picture of a night scene on one side and a day scene on the other.

The next page contained worksheets that Stephen and Rhea completed throughout the week. The 1-2 Buckle My Shoe Rhyme Cards where put in the left side folder and are by A Becka Pre-K Crafts. This doesn't fit in the Goodnight Moon book, but it was a really cute rhyme that the kids enjoyed acting out.
The next page contained one of Stephen's favorites, "Hey Diddle, Diddle". Stephen made both tracing pages of the rhyming words and a mini books that he first used for sequencing. Daddy got creative on me and taught him a "dance" to go along with his book. You will see water color paintings by Dover located in the pocket. Finally was another mini book containing different color balloons to enforce the red balloon in Goodnight Moon.

Lastly, I threw in the story of the Three Pigs since I thought it went along with the rest of the nursery rhymes in Goodnight Moon. I made a book with a pocket on the front for more finger puppet by A Becka Pre-K Crafts. I printed out the story and we pasted it on the inside along with the three different houses.

The kids worked very hard this week, but we didn't forget about our family fun. Several evenings involved red balloon games. My intended game was for the kids to play "balloon hoops", but Rhea became partial to getting in the basket, followed by Stephen suffing balloons in on top of her. We also tried to stuff all the balloons in the basket without Rhea, and we were able to fit all 15 with a little help from Daddy. Our evening activities ended with a presentation of The Three Pigs. We began with Daddy pretending to be the Big Bad Wolf, and then Stephen wanted to give it a try. You will see in the video that we had a great time and a big finish to the week.