Thursday, March 31, 2011

Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert

Instead of doing a lapbook this week for our book, decided to just do Story Art instead.  We read Feathers for Lunch.

We read about each of the different birds in the book.  And then we painted with feathers.  We used Tempura paints.

 Joey really liked this project (I think).  He was very particular about his bird and what colors it was.

 He thought it was cool the different patterns made by the feathers.
 He even finger painted some!!  That is a HUGE deal to someone with autism!!!!!

We had a beautiful flock of birds when we were done:)

Our Week in Review

We finished up our Spring Unit this week.  Two weeks ago we put some seeds in a water bottle to watch them sprout.   We left it under a lamp in our school room and made sure the paper towel stayed wet.
 This is the result of the two weeks. 
 So we got a good look at the seeds split open and the roots.  Lydia really liked the explanation that the roots of a plant are like an anchor.

 We learned about bees and then Watched the Magic School Bus on Beehives.
 We also played with some gummy snacks (which the kids really didn't enjoy).

 We found some interesting programs for the IPads so far.  We played Brain Pop.
 We talked about Butterflies and looked at their lifecycle.  And yes, there's a Magic School Bus episode for that!
 We planted our Aerogardens.  (Although I'm afraid one may not be working properly).  Our tomatoes are already sprouting up.
 We talked about the water cycle and watched more Magic School Bus.
 We also talked about Rainbows and Watched Magic School Bus and Beakman's World.

Lydia worked on Number recognition.  For some reason she is struggling on this concept.   And the boys continued their Teaching Textbooks.

The boys finished Lesson #2 in All About Spelling.  Lydia seems to be enjoying More for phonics.

Our reading this week involved many stories around Spring.  We read fun stories like Mouse's First Spring, and character stories like Strawberry Shortcake and Blue's Clues.  We also read Feathers for Lunch.  I will post that separately because of the amount of pics.

We are finishing a day early so we can kind of rest and I can run errands tomorrow.  The kids will do some review of Math tomorrow. 

Next week we are going to start learning more about Rainforests.  We are going to do the whole Habitat series from Hands of a Child.  Since the kids have been attending the Rainforest class at the local Zoo, I thought this would be a good one to start with because next month will be their Year End Wrap-up.  I hoping  alittle extra at home will help it sink in for them.  We are going to learn about Poland in Geography.  Keep counting along in Math.  Lydia will continue phonics and letter sounds.  Brayden and Joey will start lesson 3 in All About Spelling.  I'm not sure what Story Art we will be doing yet.  We might do one of our Edible book Fest projects since we missed that this week.  That will be fun for the kids.  We have a tour of an area Water Treatment plant next week.  As well as dental cleanings for all 4 kids and World Travelers Club.  Going to be a busy week:)

Homeschool Mother's Journal - Week 3

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week... Trying to keep positive.  All of us has been struggling the remnants of a cold we caught.  We have also been getting ready for our upcoming family anniversary party.  We include the kids in our celebration and since our anniversary is a week after my parents and my brother's and sister-in-laws is a week after ours, we all celebrate together.  It's a huge time and the kids look forward to it every year.  I have been frantically checking my gift checklist and wrapping presents and finalizing any plans I had in the works for this Saturday.  I also have been trying to not pester the doctor's office, but cannot help calling daily to try to find out the results of my blood work from last week.  I so hate the direction that medical care seems to be going.  The doctor usually shows a caring nature, but the insurance companies control the nurses and office staff.  So their goal is to push through as many patients as cheaply as possible.  Just sad!!  Especially when we pay as much as we do for health care!!

In our homeschool this week...We finished our Spring unit that we have been crawling through.  It took us way longer than it needed to.  But with illness and appointments and field trips, well you all know how it goes!  Still doing the same stuff in Math.  Our literature book this week was Feathers for Lunch.  We painted with feathers and talked about birds (and why we don't see so many sometimes in the winter).

Places we're going and people we're seeing...This week we should have gone to LEGO club, but I had a sore throat.  So another wonderful mom in our group took over...boy was I grateful for that!!!  She and I are going to share the club now.  YEAH!!  Other than a med check for the boys, we haven't gone anywhere. 

My favorite thing this week was...Watching Joey paint with feathers today.  It was really neat to watch him "create" the colors on his bird.

What's working/not working for us...Sometimes technology can be a bad thing.  As much as I love using the Internet, it's also a distraction.  Not going to change anything, but working hard at my patience levels.  It takes a long time to redirect kids with obsessive behaviors....A LONG time!!  Just a patience thing on my part.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...My only thought this week was trying reflecting on why we homeschool.  In the beginning it was out of necessity.  Now it's out of desire.  We had looked into homeschooling even before we moved to this area.  Then still sent them to public school.  In a way I am regretting that decision on different levels.  Not all the personnel that we worked with caused issues, but enough of the bad affected me.  I still do thank all those awesome staff/teachers for their help.  But I am glad for the decision we made, no matter how many times I beat my head into the wall on a daily basis.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

So my hubby was super excited about the kids "big" present for anniversary this year.  He couldn't wait.  We bought the boys used IPads.  I found cases that also had keyboards for them also.  So they can use it like a laptop.  It's a really cool idea.  Well at first he handed them headphones and said, since you guys have been going through so many headphones this year, we bought you some new ones.  They were a little shocked (yes...our kids are spoiled!!).  Then he pulled the first IPad out from behind the couch and handed it to Joey.  Joey was like WOW!!!  Brayden then freaked out a bit and said...Where's mine?  Joe said well you have to share.  We explained that money has been tight.  He just kind of got a disappointed look on his face and started opening his headphones. 

 Lydia got an ITouch that she can play educational (and fun) games on.  She can also watch her precious "Justin Bieber" videos on it.  At least I don't have to hear that cd all the time now.

Caty got her own "DS" as she calls it.  We got her a Fisher Price iXL that she is loving.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trip to the Recycling Center

With Earth Day fast approaching, I have been hard at work encouraging the kids to reduce their carbon footprint.  For our family it is near impossible to reduce all the amount of waste we have.  But we can make sure that we are recycling all that we can and using products that are made with recycled materials.  We can also read boxes and bottles and try to only buy items that can be recycled in our area.  I recently watched the documentary entitled Tapped about the bottled water industry.  If you get a chance....I HIGHLY recommend it.

Anyway, we went on a tour of a local recycling center.

I had never actually been to this facility before, they even have a recycle bin for old books.
I love this picture.  Taking kids with autism on a field trip is a massive challenge.  There are so many unknown variables.  Since this is a processing facility, we had the noise to deal with.  But Brayden can be superhypersensitive about smells also.  This was how he dealt with that situation.
These are piles of plastic and aluminum crammed together and waiting for pickup.  I guess I never really thought much about the process of how we buy materials made out of recycled products.  Well the recycled products must come from somewhere.  Recycling centers like this are necessary to sort for those of us who are in the dark.  They sort and sell it to facilities around the state that turns this into new products.    Look at those piles.  Can you imagine how much garbage that was prior to being crushed down?
Here he is sorting aluminum cans up the conveyor belt.  He is watching for pieces of "contamination" or plastic, paper, etc.
The cans are sent through that tube into the truck.  When the trailer is full, it's hauled to companies to meltdown and reuse.
This is another section of the sorting facility.  You can't see the people on the top level.  They are sorting to make the recycling that is being processed is as free of contaminates as possible. 

This is our crew on their way out.  It was soooo cold and started to sprinkle the rain.  Bad day for an outside trip, but it was still very informational and we learned alot.

Sorry pics are out of order.  This is a pile of pressed magazines.
This is a glass pulverizer.

We ended up getting some pieces of glass in our shoes.  Good thing we did a check when we got to the van.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011



On the evenings of April 1 and 2, 2011, prominent buildings across North America and the world — including the Empire State Building in New York City and the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada — will turn their lights blue to raise awareness for autism and to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day on Saturday, April 2.

What you can do to Light It Up Blue

  • Wear blue clothing or your Autism Speaks puzzle piece, and encourage your coworkers to do the same. Sign Up
  • Light your house up blue by putting blue light bulbs in any outdoor fixtures. Sign Up
  • Raise awareness for Autism online or spread the word about Light It Up Blue.
Please visit to learn more information.  The funding these groups receive help those living with autism daily.  There is no extra money involved.....just a few moments of your time to wear Blue or light your house up with Blue!!!!  Show support for those living with Autism daily!!!!!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

European Continent Box

Trying to stay in true Montessori style, I am working on creating Contient Boxes for each of the continents.  Since we are still learning about European countries, here is the items we have collected.

There is a puzzle of Robin Hood and a AAA magazine about Ireland.  There pictures of all the European flags, instruments, popular food and animals.

Russian Nest Dolls of course.

I found this sticker book on clearance and it will be hopping between the boxes as we work on each one.  Roman Numerals information is included and sticks so that we can recreate our own number creations.

Little shoes for the Netherlands, a toob of Knights and Dragons, Stamps from Hungary, and a lier from Italy (which is not clonger the currency there).

Samples of traditional clothing for different areas, a mini Eiffel tower (from a Flat swap) and information on a castle in Britain (also from a Flat Swap).  Stamps from Switzerland.

This is an awesome find from ebay.  This doll is from Germany.  You have Little Red Riding Hood.

You flip the dress over and it's Grandma.

Turn Grandma over and there's the Big Bad Wolf.  Lydia thinks this is cool!

I found Continent Silly Bands.

A puzzle map of Iceland (also from Ebay).

Let's see how the kids enjoy this project.

Have a great week!!!