Thursday, September 22, 2011

Did Cohen pick up that bunny all by himself?

The Red Barn Farm visited Cohen's school this week. It was lots of fun going to see all the cute animals.

This is our second year to visit the Red Barn Farm, click here to see last year's post.

Here are a few pictures from our fun.

I was very excited to see a goat at the Red Barn Farm, because in our homeschool curriculum, we are on the letter G and we learned a lot about goats the day before this fun day.

And here is Cohen, holding the bunny he picked up all by himself! Such a sweet kid! I'm so happy I did not have to help him hold the bunny this year!

Friday, September 16, 2011

What fun M&M activity did you do?

As mentioned in my blog yesterday, Cohen and I did a fun activity with M&M candy. I'm always looking for creative ways to teach Cohen....and anyone that knows Cohen will understandy why candy is really the best way to teach him. Cohen learns the most by eating!

I saw this cute pattern on Pinterest. I think it was actually designed for older kids, because it is a game where you roll the dice, and depending on what number you land, you get that color. I decided that might be a bit too advanced for Cohen, so I just had him match the colors.

Below is the picture from Pinterest (there should be a link at the bottom of the picture).

Here is Cohen's finished rainbow! (there were not enough yellow M&M's in our package to complete the yellow section, so he just used brown M&M's for that part).

He did a great job!! Next he got to eat the M&M's. He's asked to do this activity several times since. I love doing fun learning games that he loves too!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Did you earn your Learn Something New Badge?

As you are probably all aware, Cohen and I have been working our way through Family Fun Magazine's Badges of Fun. The badge this month was the Learn Something New Badge.

We decided to play with the alphabet (since Cohen is learning about his letters in our homeschool program). Cohen and I made our own letter writing tray.

Prior to this learning experience, I purchased a set of 3 cheap cookie trays and spray painted all 3 with chalkboard paint. I love chalkboard paint!

I used the smaller tray and some chalk  to draw the letters/shapes on my tray. Cohen used some moon sand to "draw" the letters/shapes. It really was a lot of fun!!

Here is a picture of Cohen's "C." (Note: prior to this activity...Cohen did an activity that involved M&M candy...that is why he has chocolate on the side of his face....check the blog later for info on that activity).

After all that hard work....he got his Learn Something New Badge!!

And we added it to our collection!

The next one is Family Night Fun badge....can't wait to do that one!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How was Cohen's first day of WeeCare PreK3?

As mentioned in a prior blog, Jace and I were torn between keeping Cohen home everyday with me and sending him to a preschool/mom's day out one day a week. We we decided to go ahead and sign him up for First Baptist Church's Wee Care Program and let him have the opportunity to play with other kids, one day a week. Last Wednesday was his first day.

To see how things went on his first day of Wee Care last year, check out this post.

He's grown just a bit....he looks so skinny in those old pictures!

Here are a few pictures from his first day this year.

I'm not sure what was going on here, but it sure is a funny face!

I told him that I wanted to take one picture on my phone to send to his dad and grandparents, but this is all I got (sorry about the phone does not take very good pictures).

This is him at the door of the school....peeking in to see if Mr. Eddie is in there. When we parked the car, Cohen immeditaly noticed that Mr. Eddie's truck was in the parking he was on a mission!

Cohen's cubbie at school.

A little later that day, I had the privilege to pick up these two beautiful little girls from their first day of school (they go to St. Timothy's...which is just up the road a bit from Cohen's school).

After lunch and a short nap, Molly, Stella, and I headed to Cohen's school to pick him up from his first day. Cohen is so lucky to have such wonderful friends!! 

And one final shot...all the kids, in their car seats, in the minivan. Good thing we went with the van!! (Fear not parents of Molly and Stella....everyone was safely buckled in prior to leaving the parking lot).

I think all three kids will agree that it was a great first day of school!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Have you ever been on Monkey Hill?

On Labor Day, Jace, Cohen and I met up with some good friends of our, The Safley's, at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.

We had lots of fun with the animals. I think we saw more animals on this visit to the zoo than all our other visits combined (mostly because Monkey Hill was really cold, and the Aztec ruins were a total mud pit).

Here are a few of the Safley's checking out the elephants.

From the elephants, we moved on to the petting zoo. Cohen loves this part of the zoo! I think he's convinced that the goats and sheep are just like Lucy and Ella...they are about the same size.

This goat was showing off his mad climbing skills! Cohen was very impressed.

I caught this picture from far away (the reason for the fuzziness....I zoomed in a bit so you can see that pig). Cohen is not supposed to stick his finger in there because the pig can bite. I guess he'll learn eventually.

Cohen tried to drag the animals around the petting zoo, just like he does Lucy and Ella at home. These animals were a lot more stubborn!

We moved on to the "kid trap." I'm not sure why I've never played on this before. It was kind of like a crab trap, only much bigger, for the kids.

Moving right along to Monkey Hill...Cohen's favorite part of the zoo. Mattie Anne loved running down the grassy hill right next to the waterfall. Oh if only we could all have a small bit of her energy!

Matt and Lyons visited the lion statue at the top of Monkey Hill.

This was Jace's first time down Monkey Hill...Cohen's a pro by now.

Matt may kill me later for this shot...but I had to post it. He rolled his pants up to play in the water and well I thought it was very much picture worthy!

It was a great trip! For the last picture....little Evans. He was a perfect little angel the entire time we were at the zoo! I can't wait until he's big enough to climb monkey hill with the rest of us...but for now, we will just enjoy his sweet company!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What starts with the letter E?

Cohen and I have had so much fun last week learning all about the letter E. If you don't have a half hour to devote to my blog today, you may want to read this later. I've packed this blog post full! I don't think I could possibly fit more stuff into one post.

Our animal alphabet friend was an elephant so we started with a fun elephant craft.

Thanks to Pinterest for this great idea. If you are interested in finding out where my ideas come from, please follow me on pinterest.

We actually turned our cute elephant handprint into a card and mailed it to Cohen's grandparents. I also LOVE elephant jokes, so we found one that both Cohen and I enjoyed and we sent that to them as well.

Next we moved on to England. It was fun learning about England, but I didn't do any crafts for this country. Instead we read several books about travelling and other languages. It was fun pretending to travel around the world without ever leaving our playroom.

The next day we had to cram two of our Language Development cards into one day (because we only do school 3 days a week, and I really wanted to cover all 4 cards provided. Most weeks I just omit one card, but not this week). Anyway, we covered Eskimos and Eggs.

Cohen does not love to color, but every now and then I convince him it would be a good idea. Look at what a great job he did on his eskimo!!

We made a fun paper plate Eskimo.

Cohen's finished product...this may be upside down, I'm not sure. I'll have to ask him about this later.

And it looked like so much fun, I joined Cohen and made my own Eskimo.

Then we made some Faberge Eggs. This was probably one of my most favorite crafts yet. It included paint, glue, sequins, and gem stones. It was a lot of fun to make and it was very messy! I also loved this one because it gave me another chance to talk to Cohen about Russia. We looked up pictures of real Faberge Eggs on the internet, learned about how these were made many many years ago for the Russian Czar, then we made our own eggs.

On our last day of school, we learned about Thomas Edison. This was a lot of fun for us, because we LOVE science! We made sugar crystals, wrote with invisible ink, and learned how to put out a candle without blowing it. We watched a short cartoon on YouTube about Thomas Edison (another reason I love schooling at home, I can pull from all different resources. When I taught at the preschool, we never would have been able to incorporate a video like this one).

Before I go into explaining our experiments, please remember that I'm teaching a preschooler! We did not learn all the chemistry that goes along with these things. Also, I realize that Thomas Edison is known for inventing things that use electricity such as the light bulb, but Cohen doesn't understand electricity…so again, I'm working on his level.

So for our first Thomas Edison experiment, we made sugar crystals. You need sugar, a glass or jar, cotton thread, small pot, pencil (or knife), measuring cup and spoon for stirring.
First you boil 1 cup of water. When it starts to boil, turn off heat and add 1 ½ cups of sugar and stir. If all the sugar dissolves, add more and keep stirring until no more sugar will dissolve. (This is the exact instructions from our Thomas Edison Experiment book – listed below – I actually only made half of this recipe).

After the solution has cooled, pour it into the drinking glass or jar. Hang cotton thread all the way into the solution, using a pencil or knife to hold it at the top. Put the glass or jar in a safe place.
Cohen and I added food coloring, because that makes everything more fun! And it gave us a chance to work on our colors.

Here are our sugar crystals on Day 1:

Our next experiment was writing with invisible ink. We learned that when things are heated, sometimes it changes the way they look. This was more fun for me than Cohen, because I got to play with the fire. To do this experiment, you will need a toothpick (with one end cut off so that it is thicker), some milk or lemon juice (we used both and the lemon juice didn't work at all, but the milk worked great…so I would suggest going with the milk). To write with the invisible ink, just dip the thick end of the toothpick into your ink (aka: milk) and write on some paper. You can't see what you are writing, so be careful!

Then you take the paper and pass it over a candle and heat the ink…then it magically appears! Cohen and I loved watching our drawings turn come to life!

Cohen got a little fusterated with not being able to see what he was drawing and kind of dumped some of the milk on his paper....looks neat, right?

Our final experiment was snuffing out a candle. This experiment taught us that without fresh air (or oxygen) a candle cannot burn.

I shot a short video of Cohen explaining how this works.

Reading list for the week:
Walt Disney's Dumbo (Disney Wonderful World of Reading) by Inc. Disney Enterprises
Babar's World Tour (Babar (Harry N. Abrams)) by Laurent de Brunhoff
Busy, Busy World by Richard Scarry (I couldn't find this one on Amazon, and we did not rent it from the library…we own it, so good luck finding a copy).
North American Indian (DK Eyewitness Books) by David Hamilton Murdoch
Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews and Ian Wallace
Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse and Barbara Lavallee
Egg Drop by Mini Grey
Inventing the Future: A Photobiography of Thomas Alva Edison (Photobiographies) by Marfe Ferguson Delano
From Egg to Robin (Welcome Books: How Things Grow) by Jan Kottke
From Tadpole to Frog (How Things Grow) by Jan Kottke
The Thomas Edison Book of Easy and Incredible Experiments (Wiley Science Editions) by James G. Cook (this book is not for reading…but this is where we got all of our experiments from…so it's a must have if you want to learn about Thomas Edison).