Monday, September 26, 2011

Music Monday

As a parent, I'm always on the hunt for kid's music that doesn't make me want to puncture my eardrums with a q-tip. Sometimes it's hard to find that balance of appropriate content and musical satisfaction, especially these days. I like a lot of acoustic guitar, quirky lyrics and a melody that's easy to to hum (my brother calls it "folky girly music"). I just stumbled across an album called Fascinating Creatures by Frances England, and it's just the kind of thing I like. I read her bio on her website, and it's no wonder that I enjoy her music, for she also grew up in the South and now lives in San Francisco! Check out all three of her albums on iTunes, as well as some of her videos on youtube. You can visit her website here and listen to full versions of all her songs.

I'll leave you with a special Monday treat, her video, "Sleepyhead Mommy". I definitely fall into that category! Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


We did a two-week unit on butterflies, and I wanted to share some of my resources. There is a lot out there to do!

We used this butterfly unit study and lapbook from Homeschool Share as the basis of our study. 

I found some wonderful nature videos of the Monarch butterfly here. ARKive is a wonderful site---just be careful as there are some graphic videos of animals mating and giving birth. Best to preview without young children to make sure which videos you want to watch.

We made this mobile of the butterfly life cycle from Enchanted Learning.

We put out plates with slices of bananas and oranges in the yard to attract butterflies.

The girls acted out The Very Hungry Caterpillar as I read the story

We used these fingerplays here and here from Cullen's ABC's.

Books we read (most from our local library)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Monarch Butterfly by Gail Gibbons
Waiting for Wings by Lois Elhert
Are You a Butterfly? by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries
The Butterfly Alphabet by Kjell Bloch Sandved
From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman and Bari Weissman

We used The Very Hungry Caterpillar and this song to learn the days of the week.

I also the The Very Hungry Caterpillar to start a conversation about the importance of eating healthy.

We used this math fishing game. I printed out the symmetrical butterfly  pdf from Homeschool Share and used it as a template. Then I cut out a butterfly in each of ten different colors of construction paper and numbered them 1-10 to play the game. I figured the colors would be a helpful clue for Doodlebug, and once she has mastered the game, I will cut the butterflies out all in one color for a bit more of a challenge.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Question Asking and Answer Seeking

I have to admit it: the more we go into our homeschool, the less structured it is. In this early stage of learning, though, I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Instead, we go outside and observe, do science experiments, get paint and glue on nearly everything, and ask tons and tons of question then attempt to find the answers (sometimes asking questions takes a little guidance from Mommy). I hope that by nurturing this curiosity and teaching them how to seek out information that they will have a solid foundation for research later on.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago Darling wanted to know what sound a giraffe makes, and our search for the answer turned up this video from the Blank Park Zoo in Iowa. I thought the answer was pretty interesting, and wanted to share.

We've watched a few more videos from the Blank Park Zoo, and really enjoyed them. I wish our zoo did something like this. Enjoy!