P31 Wannabe

HS Week 19: Sense of Smell May 29, 2012

Filed under: Homeschooling,Life — Lacey @ 12:45 pm


This is our 3rd week studying the 5 senses. And obviously, as the title suggests, we studied smell. They really did good this week and seemed to enjoy all the hands on…or should I say nose-on (hehe) activities. I had a lot of fun with them, too.

We started out by reviewing the last two senses that we’d studied (touch & hearing). Then we added a nose to our “Mr. Senses Potato Head.” Ok, just so you know, the 2-yr old put his nose on…that’s why its off center. My OCD self would have been more precise, but its not about me, right?


We talked about what Mr. Potato Head could do with the senses that he currently has and what he can’t do. Haddie is very sure that he’d have to communicate by sign language. I corrected her that he doesn’t have eyes, so he can’t see sign language, and besides he has ears so he can hear. But then I realized that he can’t talk since he doesn’t have a mouth yet, so he would have to communicate by sign language after all. At least for his side of a conversation. Yep, I got schooled by my 3-yr-old. I love it!

Next, we read this great book about smelling:


It covered a lot of different aspects of smelling, including the technical side of mucus, smell sensors, nerves, brain, etc. I highly recommend it. Cute pictures, too. The last pages of the book recommended playing a smelling game while blindfolded. Ironic, since I already had one planned. So, that’s what we did next:


I took empty (and clean) aluminum cans (days like these make me so thankful that I have been saving random containers in my school supplies) and covered them with pieces of old trouser socks. I read some blogs that suggested fabric or using containers with lids that you could poke holes in. I chose the darker color so that they couldn’t cheat and look through into the can. Inside each can I first put wet cotton balls (a blog said that they’d help intensive the smells of the spices or items inside). Here’s what I put in mine: Smashed super ripe banana (figured it would smell stronger), coffee grounds, onion slices, cinnamon powder, grapefruit slices and crushed fresh garlic.

I had the kids all smell it, guess what it was and then tell me whether it was a good smell or a bad. We ended up with 3-3 on good vs. bad smells. They did surprisingly well guessing the items. Haddie guessed the cinnamon, coffee, and banana. Titus agreed with most of Haddie’s guesses, except he thought the cinnamon was cookies. But he also did a great job guessing the grapefruit. He thought it was oranges (close enough, right?), and said, “mmm, juicy.” These kids crack me up.



After we had gone through all of the cans, we passed them around to smell again and then they got to each take turns removing the covers. I think they enjoyed that part about as much as the smelling!


Next, they got to put their noses on their “Senses Guys.” They colored and cut out their own noses and then wrote the letter “S” for smell next to them.


Then they got to make their own gingerbread men. Well, sort of. They used cinnamon sticks to rub on sandpaper gingerbread men to make them smell all cinnamon-y. I told them it wasn’t often that they got to color with a stick.


Then, they watched the “Nice to Meet You” Signing Time DVD while I prepared lunch. Haddie can now say “What’s your name?” and “My name is H-A-D-D-I-E.”

Then, we had a picnic lunch in the front yard under the big tree (well, pretty much our only shade tree). We talked about some of our Spanish colors and just enjoyed eating. They are so cheesy : )

(Poor Malachi got in a fight with his swingset…and the swingset won…)







After a little outdoor fun, we came back inside and read another smell book from the library. Then they colored their nose page. They also wrote their names on the bottom of the page and traced the word, “Smell.” We talked about the Spanish word for nose (“nariz”), and reviewed the last two weeks pages and their Spanish names.





Next, we played another smelling game. We talked about how sometimes things look the same, but smell differently. Inside the jars were rubbing alcohol, water, and vinegar. They smelled them and tried to guess. They guessed the water one, and Haddie said the rubbing alcohol was hand sanitizer. I’d say that was a pretty good guess since hand sanitizer is made from rubbing alcohol.


Then we talked about how sometimes things smell the same but look different. Inside these jars was water with lemonade mix and food coloring. Titus said they all smelled like juice.


After that, they got to pick a little of each of my herbs (with supervision) and smell them all. They said they all smelled “yucky,” except for the spearmint, which was “yummy.”


And finally, we made smelly play dough from jello. They got to choose their own flavor/smell. Titus chose Raspberry, Malachi Peach and Haddie Lime. They each got to stir and pour their own ingredients.



Then, they got to stir their own play dough on the stove. Yes, I’m crazy. But they did really good. And they really seemed to enjoy it.





We ran out of cream of tartar, so Haddie had to learn to be a good sport and wait until later to cook hers. Thankfully Malachi was also a good sport and shared his play dough so Haddie could play, too. Then they got to play with lots of play dough toys.



Here’s some of the websites I used for the hands on activities we did this week and the play dough recipe:



Play Dough Recipe– http://childstoryhour.com/recipeclay9.htm

My Lesson Plan w/ nose pic: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GAbJLlVxqFraBUzrbNQKceY0U_VVbj2kvZoYI4ApMu8/edit


HS Week 18: Sense of Hearing May 28, 2012

Filed under: Homeschooling,Life — Lacey @ 6:45 pm


This week we got a later start so we ate lunch first. After they ate their lunch, they enjoyed a little Easter candy. I used this chance to review our colors in Spanish and sign language. They didn’t get any M&Ms or jellybeans until after they told me the color of each piece in both languages.

After lunch, we reviewed last week’s sense of feeling. Then I introduced our Mr. Senses Potato Head. Please excuse the out of proportion body parts. Lol. They put on his hands and feet for the sense of touch last week. Then we added his ears for this week. We also discussed what senses/body parts the potato was missing.


Then they got to add ears to their own 5-Sense Guys:




Next, we read a library book about hearing. It went into a good bit of detail about all the parts of the ear and how it works to help us hear. Then they looked at their own hearing pages that had a picture of an inner ear and an outer ear, with Spanish words for the outer and inner ear. I had the older ones trace the word “Hearing.”


Next, they sat on the floor and closed their eyes. It was a challenge to actually get them to keep them closed. Then I had them listen and pick out the different sounds they heard. I also added a few sounds like snapping, clapping and stomping. Then we went outside in Haddie’s new playground and tried to see what sounds we could hear.


Once we went back inside, we created a model of an eardrum with a pot and Saran wrap. We put a few grains of rice on top and watched how they jumped when we banged a cookie sheet next to it.



Next we experimented with making telephones from cups and string. My first attempt with using yarn didn’t work so well, but they still had fun with it.


I looked up the actual proper method online and learned that string is best to use and it has to stay taunt. So we tried again and it worked this time.


While I was working on the cup telephones, they jammed out with some play instruments.



We also made our own instruments with items I had laying around. Here’s our rubber band guitars:


And our egg shakers:

They decided on picking out small rocks to put inside instead of rice. And I glued them shut. Believe it or not, these cows are Easter eggs. Lol.

We finished up the day by watching a new Signing Time DVD, “Nice to Meet You.”. Before we watched we talked about how people need sign language when their sense of hearing doesn’t work. They learned such words/phrases as “nice to meet you,” “my name is,” “whats your name,” friend, old, and new.

Then they got to work out all their energy playing outside on the playground.

I also wanted to play this Magic School Bus online hearing game with them, but I didn’t have to laptop to use. But I’m going to do it with Haddie this week: http://www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/games/sound/

Cup Telephones

Hearing Experiments


If you’d like the printouts I made for this lesson just comment on this post and I’ll email them to you.


HS Week 17: Sense of Touch

Filed under: Homeschooling — Lacey @ 6:40 pm

Again, this post is from a few months ago…

This lesson is the beginning of our unit on the 5 senses.

We started out talking about what it means to feel or touch and what we use to do that (hands & feet mainly). We read a library book about touch. Then I have them paint brushes to play with. We used them to touch our faces, hands, arms, feet, etc. We talked about what it felt like, which parts of our bodies were more sensitive and I also had them touch their hair and nails with the brushes. Then we talked about how our hair and nails don’t have a sense of touch.




Next, they colored their hands & feet page:



I had them trace the letters in the word “Touch.” We also learned the words for hand, feet, fingers and toes in Spanish.

Then, they started creating their 5 senses guys:


They’re going to keep adding to the senses guy each week as we learn each of the senses. This week I just had them color the hands and feet and write T’s beside them for “touch.”

Next they played the feeling box game:




My mom actually made this game for me when I was a kid and I can remember playing it. The basic idea is to just use your hands to find the item that is called out. I kept having to tell the kids to stop looking inside. They were just so tempted. Lol. They had a lot of fun with this game.

Next, we read a library book about feeling and textures. Afterwards, we went outside to find and touch the different textures we had talked about.



We also collected different textured items for our texture pages (I found these via Pinterest):






Next, we played the paper bag feeling game (found this on Pinterest, too). I put 10 different items each in their own numbered bag and stapled them shut. Then they took turns feeling the item through the bag and guessing what it was. Then they took turns tearing the bags open to see what was inside. It was funny to hear some of their guesses. And on some items they did a really good job. After we were done they wanted me to put the items back into bags to do it again.




Here’s what was inside of the bags:


And here are their guesses:


Next, we turned toward more of some messy feeling experiments. First, we made slime (from Pinterest). It didn’t turn out quite the right texture, but they still had fun with it.








Next, I pulled out the Jello excavation (pinterest, too). I just collected some small toys (that didn’t have a lot of holes or area to get too messy) and put them into a dish of jello (not hardened yet of course). If I remember right, I followed the recipe for jello jigglers consistency and not regular jello.



And of course, the inevitable happened, they started mixing the jello and slime together. I tried to discourage it so that they could save their slime to play with again, but I soon gave up. And as you can see, it got really messy very quickly. They had a lot of fun, but they all needed showers afterwards.

As far as the clean up, I rinsed off the toys and then threw them in the dishwasher. They came out just fine.





Here are some of the websites where I got these lesson ideas (discovered on pinterest, of course!):





Baked Parmesan Zucchini

Filed under: Recipes,Side Dishes/Snacks — Lacey @ 6:05 pm

Of course this recipe was Pinterest inspired…

Baked Parmesan Zucchini

It turned out to be really good. I tried not to slice the zucchini too thin and I’m glad I didn’t. It was tender, but not burnt or too soft. However, I did use too much pepper, so I couldn’t eat as much as I would have. I also used shredded mozzarella cheese on top since I was out of Parmesan. I will definitely make these again.


Sage Chicken Spaghetti Squash

Filed under: Main Courses,Recipes — Lacey @ 5:59 pm

Recently I was inspired to trim up my kitchen herb garden based on an article I read. As a result, I was left with quite a bit of fresh sage and basil. I know how to use basil, but I’ve never cooked with fresh sage. So I searched for recipes online. I decided on a pasta recipe.

Then the other day at Walmart, they had spaghetti squash at a good price. Since we haven’t had that in forever, I decided to grab one. With the sage and spaghetti squash, I decided to combine the two for a new recipe. It actually turned out good and it’s gotta be really healthy.


Here’s what I did:

1 whole spaghetti squash
1/4 c olive oil
4 cloves garlic crushed
20 fresh sage leaves
1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut up
1 lemon to juice

1. Poke the whole spaghetti squash at least five times with a sharp knife. Make sure the holes go in deep so it doesn’t explode. I put mine in a big bowl to cook (some liquid does come out). Put in microwave for 5 min. Roll the squash and cook for another 5 min.

2. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, olive oil and sage leaves in a skillet and cook for a few min on med. Move into a bowl.

3. Cook the chicken in the skillet. When it’s almost finished, squeeze the lemon over and cook for a few more min. Add the oil mixture back into the skillet to keep warm.

4. Take spaghetti squash out and carefully cut in half (it’s hot!). Remove the seeds and first layer of strings. Then use a fork to shred the squash. Combine with the chicken mixture.

Here’s the links to the two recipes I combined:
Spaghetti Sauce

Linguine with Sage & Chicken

I pretty much followed this last recipe, but I omitted the bread crumbs (who needs the extra carbs?). I also used some shredded chicken I had already frozen. And since there wasn’t the regular juice from cooking raw chicken, I added a cup of chicken broth. I also didn’t have any Parmesan cheese (and forgot to add any other cheese).

I liked the texture of the spaghetti squash this time more than any of the other few times I made it. It wasn’t as grainy or crunchy. Much more tender and easier to eat. I’m not sure if it was because it was a smaller squash or because I cooked it whole.


Cloud Bread–Fail May 24, 2012

Filed under: Breads,Recipes — Lacey @ 9:26 pm

I saw this recipe on Pinterest for cloud bread. It was supposed to be low in carbs (no flour) and still good. I mean, it’s gotta be good if it’s named, “cloud,” right? It just sounds fluffy and yummy.

Well…mine didn’t turn out so yummy. Talk about fail…



So much for yummy and fluffy. Seth said instead of cumulus clouds, I ended up with stratus. Thought that was a good analogy.

I dont know what went wrong. I cooked it for 10 min less than the cook time. I made less buns so it should have been thicker (at least theoretically). Maybe I ended up with some yolk in the whites? Maybe my cream of tartar was too old? Who knows. I’m not too eager to try the experiment again. But maybe someday. I put the ones I could scrap off the pans into a ziploc bag to see if they’ll soften up overnight like the recipe suggests. I’m not holding my breath. But maybe you’d have more luck?


Starting Homeschool this Summer–Week 1

Filed under: Life — Lacey @ 2:59 pm

Last week was our final week of doing school together with Haddie’s cousins.  We’ve decided to try doing school on our own now.  We’ll probably do some activities or trips together occasionally and we may even share or switch curriculum back and forth starting in the Fall.


I know its the summer, but I really wanted to get into a routine again with Haddie.  We have neglected her chore chart (I still need to post about that), and I’ve been really struggling with constantly battling her to clean her room.  So, I’ve decided to get back to doing her chore chart everyday and trying to do some type of school activities (even if its only playing together and reading books) everyday.


I ultimately want to create an adventure jar (not sure if that’s what I’m going to really call it) with either slips of paper or written on popsicle sticks.  Each stick or paper would have the name of an activity or adventure to go on. A lot of the ideas would be things I’ve seen on Pinterest that I want to try but that probably wouldn’t fit into a certain lesson type category.  Some of them would be messy activities like making slime, edible fingerpaint, moon sand, etc.  Others could be simple activities like going to the park, zoo, the beach, etc. I think I’ll use these for days when we have more time and flexibility or are just bored.


I also want to experiment with different types of learning and teaching styles to see what she (and I) like most.  I want to try online games and lessons, hooked on phonics (have an old set a friend gave me), work on Spanish & Sign Language, do the millions of workbooks we have, do some fun Bible story activities, work on memory verses, etc.


I want to figure out how we both learn and work best together.  How flexible I want to be in homeschooling vs. how much of a routine I need to create to be most productive and still enjoy it all.

And on a personal note, I want to find ways to be more productive myself with the house work, keeping up a good gym routine, doing better with creating weekly menus, actually cooking those planned meals and being consistent with my own devotionals times (which have been sadly lacking recently). I also want to make time to hang out with the youth who have more free time since it will soon be summer (starting after tomorrow!).


I know, it all sounds like a tall order….especially after I just typed it out!  And we’re still in the middle of our adoption classes, which will still require 3 hours a week of our time, along with needing to get paperwork done and make a scrapbook of some kind. Once the adoption class is completed at the end of June then we will begin the slow process of being matched/choosing a child. Which then creates all new complications and excitement from changing schedules, exploring what to do with school in the future for 2 kids (!) and rearranging the house to accomodate another child’s bedroom (bye bye guest room  or study?).  It’s all so exciting and busy!


But anyways, back to the summer homeschooling. I know this all may sound kinda crazy since Haddie is only 3 (almost 4!), but I don’t want to waste time or be lazy about it.  And I want to figure out a least a bit of what I’m doing before she gets to actual Kindergarten age and/or we add an older child to the mix.


So, here’s what we’ve done so far this week:

Monday: I seriously can’t remember what we did! Isn’t the horrible… I at least know we read some books. We typically read 2 library books before naptime everyday.  And we started the chore chart routine.  Oh, yeah, we spent hours cleaning, and rearranging Haddie’s room.  I really like the way we ended up moving it.  Her bed isn’t facing the door anymore so she can’t be so distracted during bedtimes (she has been really wanting her door left open).  She got super excited about moving her room around.  She was running around her room going “I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I don’t know why I’m so excited!” It was hilarious.  After all that activity there wasn’t enough time for school since laundry and other chores were calling my name.



Tuesday: Haddie’s last dance class before summer.  After we came home we did a few pages in her Erasable Sesame Street Alphabet workbook (did letters A-D) and the entire Sesame Street Seasons workbook (she liked it a lot).  Both were from Twin Sister’s Publications.  So far I have been highly impressed with their materials (we have the Spanish CD/workbooks, and Bible story materials).  I like that you are allowed to copy for use in your own home, homeschool, etc.



Wednesday:  Haddie spent the morning with Seth while I went to the gym.  They learned a memory verse (Joshua 24:15), played outside (in her recital outfit. lol), and built w/ legos. After I got home, we started the summer reading contest/program from the library.  Our library is doing this program where for every 10 books the kids read (you fill out/put stickers on pages they provide), you turn the pages in for a small prize and to enter the child into a grand prize drawing.  I think it will be neat to keep track of all the books we read together to see how many we actually read a week.  I’m going to also make it my goal to go to the library regularly to exchange books and probably try to go to at least a couple of the shows that they are putting on each week.



Thursday:  I wanted to try using the computer today to see how she would do.  So, we did one lesson on this free Spanish website:  http://www.spanishdict.com/learn The first lesson is on Greetings and Introductions.  We we watched the first video, practiced the sayings and did the flashcards.  She lost interest before we reached the halfway point in the flashcards, but I got her to finish.  The material isn’t specifically geared to kids, but I think I’ll try it a few more times before I search for a kiddy type program.  At least I’ll be learning right along with her.  I wrote down the words we learned in a notebook and I’m thinking about using index cards to make some flashcards to review orally with her (and for myself).

After the Spanish program (there are still about 4 more small sections that we can complete for that first lesson), I search preschool games on google and found the Nick Jr. page.  I clicked on her age frame to find games geared for her.  Then let her choose which game to play.  We ended up playing the Dora Mermaid Adventure.  The games are supposed to help develop the kids’ hand-eye coordination.  I also like that the games help get her more familiar with the keyboard and mouse.  She’s an Iphone master, time to move on, I suppose!

After the Dora game, I clicked on the Create button (at the top of the screen), and we played a couple of painting games: Spin painting and the sticker painting.  By this time she was tired of trying to use the mouse and just told me what buttons to push.  Finally, after that, we read a couple books and then it was nap time.  Oh, and before we read, she cleaned up her room without complaint! I’m thinking this routine and chore chart is working great already! Her room has stayed consistently clean and quick to clean up at that.  I really think that makes it less overwhelming for her to obey, which hopefully will lead to less fussing and battles! Win win all around! And now I can actually walk through her room without fearing for my life.

Well, I’m happy with how the new routine is going so far and I’m curious to see where we go from here.