Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Loving Lapbooks

We are really enjoying making lapbooks. Every morning the kids ask me when we're going to do our lapbook activity. I wanted to share Ella and Joshua's first individual lapbooks that we did this week. Ella chose to do hers on flowers and Joshua wanted to learn more about the solar system.
The cover is a color by numbers picture from HelloKids.
Flower petal number matching game can be found at Preschool Printables.
The minibook "A Garden" can be found at DLTK.
The pattern block flower is at PreKinders.
We just printed out a flower coloring page and labeled the parts.

When you flip the "My Space Story" page up, there is a creative story written by Joshua about children who take a rocketship to space.
We got this idea for the moon phases from another blogger.
Several of these activites came from Homeschool Share.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pattern Blocks

One of my favorite homeschooling blogs Confessions of a Homeschooler posted about a great website Prekinders with free pattern block mats to use with pattern blocks. You can print them in color or black and white and laminate them. I chose to do b&w to make it more of a challenge. They are so cute, I had to print every pattern. Great workbox activity!
Ella showing off her snake. "Look, Mommy! I made a patternern!"
I'd correct her, but it's just so cute how she says it.
Brooke's turtle (with some help from Mommy)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Learning About Lapbooking

I was first introduced to lapbooking by my sister-in-law and fellow homeschooler of five precious ones. After reviewing some on our visit to PA that her kids completed, I decided we should give it a try and see if it's something that would work for us. So after lengthy research one night reviewing other blogs and websites with great information about lapbooking (see below for links), I picked an easy free one from Homeschool Share. I chose to do our lapbook on If You Give a Mouse a Cookie because I knew my kids were very familiar with the story already. The lapbook can be downloaded here. I chose several activities that I thought each child would enjoy and could do based on their level and printed out the templates. We began by reading the book (Joshua read the first half and then I finished it), and then we all sat at the table and worked on coloring, cutting, and putting together each of the items that would go into the lapbook. Since they weren't really sure what a lapbook was yet, I was in charge of putting the whole thing together. This is something I'd like them to take over once they get the hang of it. It was alot of work to get all the items completed and put into the lapbook in one morning. So I decided that from now on, each child could do one activity or minibook each day on their topic for the week and then we'd put them all together in a lapbook on Friday. Ok, enough chatting, here are some pics of our masterpiece.
I printed out the image of the cover of the storybook and cut it to make a puzzle for the kids to put together and glue to the cover of our lapbook. 
Here is the inside of the lapbook. Joshua and Ella did the top left minibook "I Spy Circles," which has drawings and words describing circles they found in the storybook (eye, cookie, flower, etc). Underneath is the Cookie Match envelope holding cookies with numbers that can be matched to the cookies with the same number of chips. In the top middle is a mouse that Ella colored based on the color given for each mouse part. In the top right corner is Joshua's Mm Book, which has pictures of things that begin with M and dotted Mm's for him to trace. On the bottom right is Brooke's mouse craft that she colored and then glued the pieces together on blue paper.
On the back is a cute printable of a story wheel that we cut out and attached to the lapbook with a brad. As you turn the top wheel, a picture of each item the mouse wanted shows through the window. The kids loved retelling the story using this wheel.
So there you have it, our first treasured lapbook. The best thing about lapbooking is that they can be done on any level (toddler through high school) and on any subject. You can purchase one, download a free one, or just come up with your own items to go in one. It's all a matter of how in depth or how big you want to go. This week Ella chose to do one on flowers and Joshua wanted to do the Solar System, so they are getting one activity/minibook to do each day and we'll put them together on Friday. We may not do this every week, but I think it will be a great way to reinforce things they're learning about already or to help them learn new things. Here are just some of the links which helped me to learn more about this great tool and inspired me to get lapbooking. Hopefully you'll be inspired too!

1+1+1=1  -A great place to start with many other links to great lapbooking websites.
Homeschool Share -Free downloadable lapbooks and templates for activities and minibooks.
Homeschool Helper - Folding instructions for a lapbook.
Homeschool Helper - More great free lapbooks and templates.