Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully Review

I was introduced to another amazing opportunity on the internet....I still sigh and think how people survived homeschooling before.  There's a great website NetGalley where you can ask to review books.  Well I am trying to read more...yes trying to read more adult fiction and less picture books. that's ever going to really happen.   So I signed on to review some wonderful children's literature, what a great opportunity plus it's awesome for our literature/language arts class.

I was able to download the book immediately to an e-reader.  We started exploring.  This book written by Audrey Penn is a great feel-good story about how to deal with difficult situations such as being bullied.  (She is also the author of The Kissing Hand which gets a huge thumbs up from our family.)  The book is a great read-aloud, which is the way that we read it.  But very easily a quiet-time read by children Grade 2- and up (depending on reading level).  The illustrations of all the forest animals were remarkable.  Chester actually looked soft, even though we could not touch him!

I really liked how the animals went to their mother to seek out help, in this situation.  We were able to discuss that Chester had a bit of a hard time telling his mom what was going on and bothering him, yet she was willing to listen.  So they should always remember that Dad and I are here for them, even if we seem busy. 

Then we discussed why kids (and adults) sometimes act like bullies.  And why Mrs. Raccoon's advice worked out really well for all the kids, including the bully.

The kids really enjoyed the story and I enjoyed that the Kissing Hand references that appear in this title.  I wanted to do a project to help them to think about how to be positive around others.  There has been a HUGE fighting issue in our house the last couple weeks, so I thought this project and book will possibly help out in this area. 

We made Good Apple baskets.  I saw this project a couple years ago and it was perfect for this book.  (I'm sorry it was in a therapy book and I do not know which one.)  Basically you can use a list of positive adjectives to describe a person.  Write one on each apple and then build your basket up.

I cut out the apples quickly and we took turns writing something nice about each of our siblings.  Each child got a turn at saying something nice about another child.  I would write it down and they would add it to their baskets.  By thinking about nice things when we feel frustrated and upset at one another, we can avoid being the bully to our siblings.

 Here's two of our finished baskets.

The Krazy Kuehners' gave Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully....... ALL THUMBS UP!

Here's the publisher information:
Title:  Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully
Author:  Audrey Penn
Publisher:  Tanglewood
Pub Date: 8/14/2008
Contributor:  Illustrated by:  Barbara L. Gibson
URLs to Check out:
Audrey Penn's official Website:
Tanglewood Publishing:


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another Impromptu Learning moment - Mosquito Larvae

Life is an endless educational cycle.  We had another impromptu moment tonight.  As I was cleaning our grill, I looked over and saw sand in the dog's water dish.  Go figure....the girls playing again.  So I went to empty the dish and saw something moving.  There has been a ton of things crawling around our backyard this week...alot of frogs mainly.  So I investigated, saw 50+ larvae floating around.  At first thought it may be frog eggs, but thought how could that be. I know it was clean last night when I filled it before going in for the night.  So went to the internet....How did people homeschool before the internet?!?!

This is what I found.....

Mosquito Life Cycle

Apparently we were raising mosquitos.  I can't remember ever seeing anything like this before. 

Had to show the kids before cleaning the dish out.  Not going to raise anymore mosquitos.   :(

Wordless Wednesday

Our 11 year old!!!

(We did these today in one of the local parks near the Maumee River.)

Fizzy Paint

Saw this post last Week on Quirky Momma it looked like a lot of we had a quiet afternoon with lots of sun today....why not!  Instead of food coloring, I used liquid paint (saw it on another version of it) and adjusted the liquid amount added.

 We painted and the sun was drying it quickly.
We sprayed with vinegar and watched in amazement!

Another successful day of learning!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tuesday Fun Blog Hop

Meet other moms!!!

Menu Monday


B- open
L- Free for all
D-Fried Green Tomatoes & Fried pickles


B-Hash browns
L-Chili Dogs
D-Chicken on the grill w/ carrots & potatoes


B-Pancakes & fruit
L-Gazpacho w/ Shrimp (Rachael Ray Recipe)
D-Ribs on the Grill w/ corn & honey mustard potato salad


B-apple struedal
L-Veggie burgers w/ quinoa (cilantro) & honey mustard
D-Cornbread stuffing w/ grilled Chicken


L-English muffin pizzas & stuffed squash w/ ground pork, rice & peppers?
D-Spanish rice w/ black beans & corn


B-Bacon Gravy over hashbrowns
L-potato skins
D-roast on the grill w/ carrots, chips & potatoes


B-pancakes w/ strawberries
D-shrimp tacos w/ corncake and quesadillas for kids


I am linking up with I am an Organizing Junkie Menu Monday Hop....check it out for some awesome ideas for when they Say, "What's for Dinner?!"

**My disclosure to my is subject to change and dishes are subject to be traded around on different nights depending on whatever situation arises causing me to not prep or have time to complete that dish.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Workbox Monday

It's been a while since we have posted what's in the boxes.  Thought I would do it for this week.  I actually sat down and concentrated on our lesson plans a bit, and even found a workbox schedule from Julie at the Creatin' Classical Chaos blog.  If you use workboxes and trying to get organized...check this out.  It's a great blog!!!  The kids requested new workbox tags, so I made Strawberry Shortcake for Caty, Pokemon for the boys and Lydia wanted Cats.  I'll put the pictures of Lydia's up later in the week.

This is a few of the things we will be working on. 

Lydia has Horse Camp all week in the morning.  She'll have a few things to work on in the afternoons so she doesn't fall behind.

Bible-Jesus Ministry  (This is evening time activity.)
Handwriting-Proper letter formation (the boys will start using tracers to control the size and shape)
Math-(Boys) Adding totals and determining if they have enough for pretend purchases (girls) Coin Recognition
Language Arts-(Boys) Review of parts of speech from Summer Bridge Book (Girls) Language Lessons for little Ones.
Science-Finish our lapbook on Butterflies from Homeschool Share.

History-Story of the World - Nomads (cave painting and life)

Upper Elementary Workboxes:

Brayden and Joey have new Pokemon Tags.  The top drawer of their boxes are now supply drawers for all the older kids.  Caty only has 6 drawers, so she has a little supply box.

 Drawer #1 -- Journal
 Drawer #2 -- Handwriting
 Drawer #3--These have some great grammar review sections.
 Drawer #4--Coin Addition
 Drawer #5--Puzzle
 Drawer #6--Word Search
 Drawer #7 - Reading
 Drawer #8--Pokemon Look N Find and Coloring Sheet
 Drawer #9--Beginner Sudoku
 For Joey -

The same for the first drawers and then:

Drawer #6 -- Drawing book

Drawer #7 -- Sticker Books
 Drawer #8--Pokemon Coloring Pages
 Drawer #9--Snap and Circuits activity for him to start with

Here's Caty's Tot School:

Drawer #1--Everyone is starting a daily journal.  They can draw, write, put in stickers, etc.  A page a day during the week.
 Drawer #2--Color word match from Confessions of a Homeschooler.
 Drawer #3--Another Erica Creation.  Size sorting game
 Drawer #4--Tracing book...We love the Kumon Activity Books.
 Drawer #5--Sorting Bears while I read to her.
 Drawer# 6--Melissa and Doug Tanagrams puzzles.

Everyone have a great week!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Our Week in Review June 19 -24, 2011

We had an up and down educational week.   Monday was a Field Trip to the zoo!!  I had a pain attack that took me out of commission for a couple days and trying to paint the garage took me out another day.  Dad had surgery today.  Just another typical week where the kids are learning life skills.  In the end though, what really matters is will someone be able to take advantage of them when purchasing something and who do they put their trust and faith in.  Yeah this week was mainly working on Math and our Bible Study (and learning to appreciate nature that we have all around us).
We all worked on Money.  Lydia on basic recognition.  Caty is playing along as well.  The boys are working on not only recognition, but also adding and subtracting money.  They are putting some of their Teaching Textbooks on hold for a couple weeks to go through Math Mammoth supplement on Coins.  I do not care if they ever learn Algebra, as long as they understand money!  There are too many nasty people willing to steal money from those who just do not understand.

I found these great manipulatives at Staples a few months ago.  The girls like them, and they are great for the boys also.  They are very large and easy for the kids to handle.  They were in the Dollar Section.

 Brayden and I played the new Cars 2 Video Game tonight.

On Tuesday our friend Emma came over to watch the kids while I was painting.  She brought cupcakes to frost and decorate.  I let them do it first...then the kids were sugared up for Emma:)

We are working on learning about Bearded Dragons since Lydia got one for a graduation present.  I am so petrified that something is going to happen to this little guy.  I know they are sturdy animals, but that thing cost $50.00!  And we have had enough emotional issues in the house without the lizard dieing!  Brayden has tried to help me though to feed him.  I had to catch the excess crickets...he put 12 in the tank! 

Little fact we learned, crickets must be small and purchased dependent upon your dragon's size.  If he is smaller, need smaller crickets or he will choke.  Another fun fact....crickets will gang up on the dragon if they are too large for him.  More fun dragon facts when we make up our presentation on how to take care of Lollipop properly and learn more about him.

Lydia had American Girl Club this week.  We are studying Kaya and one of the wonderful moms in the group saw a Native American Storyteller at a local library.  Our meeting was planned around his visit.  It was very interesting to learn about clothing and how Native American names were really messed up when the "white man" arrived. 

We also learned about Brain-tanning....makes you think hard about leather tanning!


 Lydia loved the beading. 
 Flute and Plains Indian mocassins.

We all worked on butterflies for Science.  The kids were not enjoying the Mountain habitat lesson.  And since our butterflies/caterpillars had arrived we put the habitat lesson hold.  Our butterflies broke out of the chrysillas very quickly.  I was disappointed.  We may have to order them again just to have more time hopefully to watch the earlier stages.

Next week we will be finishing up Butterflies, Money recognition, and continue in the Summer Reading Club.
Lydia also has Horse Camp every morning.  We are hopefully getting our first Vegetable Share from the Community Garden also.  I am waiting on an email since we entered into this late.