Homeschool Pre-K Week 13

Sunday, November 28, 2021

My dad called at the beginning of the month to organize a quick fishing trip in Erie with all my boys for steelhead and they were all thrilled (thank you dad!) It was going to be Rusty's first steelhead trip and he was both excited and nervous (two sleeps is too long to be away from you Mom! sweetiepie son, you won't always think that, so I'll take it while I can get it - hah). I knew the fishing trip was going to be all the best kind of learning: hands on and outdoors!! So we did some fish-focused learning and reading earlier that week before he headed out like a real big boy on their steelhead fishing trip in the later part of the week. 

Rust had a good time, although he did miss me (aw!) and he was still a little on the young side to be able to handle the rigor of the cold and the strong steelhead. He got in some major quality Chum (grandpa), Daddy, and big brother time though which can never be replaced or priced. Luckiest boy and luckiest momma/teacher for this special week! 

 Experience based learning
Lesson: Fish

Books we read:
The River: An Epic Journey to the Sea by Hanako Clulow
Max has a Fish by Wiley Blevins
My First Fly Fishing Book by the Hunting Daddies

Memory Verse:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Once I caught a fish alive
6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Then I let it go again
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right.

Patterns (ABA, AABB) 
Recognizing numbers 1-10 and matching by counting 1:1

Visual Differentiation:
Spot the difference: fishing scene

doodling a fish with youtube
coloring a fishing scene

Field Trip
2 day steelhead fishing trip to Erie, PA with grandpa, dad, and big brother
        -this included: nature exploration, fine motor (baiting a hook), gross motor (casting, setting the hook, holding balance in stream), listening and following directions, cross-generational hands-on learning from grandpa, observational skills, etc etc etc SO MUCH LEARNING! THE BEST KIND!

Homeschool Pre-K Week 12

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

While attempting to do our bus focus last week, Rusty got really hyped about doodling because we followed along with Mo Willems' lunch doodle video to recreate the Pigeon from his book. Rust is a good boy though, so he was still going along with my parent-led ideas of bus themed stuff - but in all the off moments, I would find him re-doodling the pigeon or showing his siblings how to draw it, or pulling out our Step by Step Drawing Book and filling papers with little images. 

When I found a post it note that said "Mom" on it next to a post it note of a tiny pigeon doodle stuck to the book I'm reading on my nightstand table I finally had the face palm moment of like - why am I not leaning into this curiosity. So we bailed on the bus plans and took a child-led dive into doodling this week! 

We kept it light and fun and I didn't push too hard on beating the learning out of it. I let Rust have opportunities to doodle and made sure I gave him an audience to show it and feel proud. It was a good week!

Child led topic
Lesson: Doodling

Books we read:
The Dot by Peter H Reynolds
Frida by Jonah Winter

Reference Books:
The Usborne Step by Step Drawing Book
How to Draw 100 Animals 
Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals

Reference Channels: 
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
Doodling for Beginners: Fall Doodles (warning: she curses a little bit so if your kids would be shocked by this, maybe choose a different artist). 

Self portrait (with mirror)
teddy bear
scenes of castles and dragons
random animals
fall themed items (leaves, foods, clothes)
eggs with animals hatching out of them
bubble letters
family members

Around Here Week 45: 11/07-13

 A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this moment. 

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 555+ hours (of 1000)
Aw man, a super fall week of super fall beauty. Gosh - it was fall hardcore here this week which is usually a sign that it is very close to winter. It was perfect in all the ways - warm sunbeams, cool breezes, and leaves everywhere. I'm so glad we got out one afternoon to rake a pile of leaves to jump in because the very next day we got a little snow shower and turned everything to sloppy, muddy mess. The kids were all excited to see the snow though, so we've officially moved into winter mode and I added digging out the snow clothes inventory to my to do list! 

Reading and finishing Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy That novel chewed me up and spit me out but in the best way possible if that's a thing. Because I am still thinking about it and probably always will be. Such a good story with so many little loops and spirals to get lost in - just like real life. And the writing (!) so atmospheric and vivid. Big recommend from me. I started What I Carry by Jennifer Longo at the suggestion of my dear friend Shelly who I definitely trust in book recs because she is an avid reader with great taste. (check out her blog here). 

Satisfied with my minimal make-up routine! I ordered a stack from SubtlBeauty and it has been a really great and super easy addition to my mornings. It is quick and simple but also enough to make me feel like I'm put together and not rolling my eyes at every time I accidentally catch my reflection throughout the day (hah!)  this is not an ad, I am actually just happy with my experience and passing on the info. 

Especially thankful for my little sister; the veteran; my hero - Kitty. Happy veteran's day to all of our family and friends who have given so much so that we can breathe easy. 

Breathing a sigh of relief when we got our big four kids the first shot of the covid vaccine. 6 out of 8 family members vaccinated is pretty great and we are feeling safe and happy to have our kids' bodies with the cheater code installed for this virus. The kids took the vaccine like champs and had no adverse effects (they are always good with vaccines though).. 

Enduring hunting season in full swing. B and Grey headed out to Uncle Jonny's house on Wednesday and Thursday to attempt to bag a buck (no luck) but as I reminded Grey - even if you don't get a deer; time in the woods with your family and friends is never time wasted. The two of them had such a great time with Uncle Jonny -as always (thanks for hosting Ninna!) and I was so glad they got a chance to get away. Gem spent a morning with Pap in the shooting house out at Uncle Dave's one day this week and B took Rust to the hunting blind behind our house on Saturday afternoon. 

Sporting with 2 basketball practices for Gemma and two basketball games. It has been such a joy to watch her improve each and every game in some small way. She is really enjoying the game and her team and Brandon started to help coach because he literally was born to be on the bench encouraging and teaching kids (not even exaggerating). We closed out the football and cheer season with the end of the year banquet at 814 Lanes and Games on Sunday. The kids had a total blast and it was a really great afternoon buttoning up that season (Grey's last year in youth league! gulp!!) 

Making Chuck roast in the crockpot and then I made beef & noodles with the leftover roast later that week. We also had sheet pan kielbasa, potatoes, and veggies; copycat Olive Garden crockpot chicken and pasta; pizza bombs with crescent rolls, and copycat KFC chicken bowls. I also whipped up a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies because YUM. 

Around Here Week 44: 10/31-11/06

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

 A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this moment. 

photo cred: Greyson

photo cred: St David's Youth Group

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 550+ (of 1000)
Fall is still hanging on and the sunrises and sunsets are killer - they have been stopping me in my tracks these past few days. I didn't get many outdoor hours this week as I made the adjustment to an extra baby in the house, but I was able to pack on both babies (Liv in the backpack and Wells in the front carrier) and take a few laps around the house with them both! The kids are still enjoying daily trampoline wrestling/football matches after school and we are soaking up all the evening light hours before daylight savings time kicks into effect. 

Reading Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy  and loving it a lot. What a beautiful writer - I am honestly blown away by the way she weaves the characters' stories through the setting so gorgeously. Like the whole setting is also a character somehow. All of the reviews call her writing 'atmospheric' and I hate to copy their word - but honestly that's spot on - so yeah - same. 

Juggling all the babies in my first week of babysitting my sweet nephew Wells. I can't believe I get to spend my days surrounded by squishy babies - honestly - my dream come true since I was a little girl. Of course three diaper kids plus one preschooler is busy (and loud!) all day, but the blessing to be here to see their sweet smiles and kiss all those squishy cheeks and watch their delight in each other is not lost on me. The two littlest are synced in up schedules for the most part which makes things so much easier for two naps a day. Rust is a big help and even Reddy likes to help by giving binkies back and picking out diapers when needed. Thank you Uch and Kev for entrusting your little man to me - I am the luckiest girl in all the land; truly. 

Voting for all our local offices on Tuesday! 

Clapping for Olive who figured out balancing to sit upright this week! She is also trying to pull herself along the floor, slither style to reach for things. And she's eating so much more and interested in trying new types of foods. Such a biggie sweetie squishy cutie girl - I can't stand it! 

Sighing like a drama queen about the endless loads of laundry that need done in a family of eight. HON.EST.LY. It's unreal. 

Dancing and moving with Grow with Jo videos! I found her this week as I have been trying to get in a few miles a week walking with Leslie (who I still love) but then I found Jo and now I'm obsessed. What a joy Jo is; so happy and smiling and her videos are fun but really work up a sweat. Like many of the commenters - I agree that it is so nice to have a fun workout that is all standing - truly for beginners. And after having two babies in two years, what I need is a way to move and sweat and laugh - and Jo really gives that. The kids usually hop in on the workout with me because it's so simple and fun. Check her out - I'm officially a Grow with Jo superfan. 

Enjoying Brandon's company a little extra this week since he took a three day hunt vacation from work. Which just means he hunts in the morning and then I get some extra hours with him in the afternoon. I'll take what I can get! No luck on a deer yet, but he is having a great time spending time with his Dad in the woods which is what it's all about anyway. 

Laughing instead of crying because TODDLERS. gosh, how do we mommas forget? I know, toddlers are crazy right - we all know this. But somehow the true desperate insanity leaves our mind, because lemmetellyou - I am desperately insane every evening when I look at the devastation, destruction, and terror that has been left in the wake of our 19month old. HAH! It's just not even possible to make a mess as big as him if I was trying. Just remember to pray for mothers of toddlers, that's it. 

Gathering up the Halloween decorations and sifting through the inventory. I got rid of a bunch of stuff and trashed some things that were getting old. I'm hoping that each holiday I can keep doing this so that our stash thins out about and only includes the things that we use. Our attic has really gotten away from me over the last two years of babies/pregnancies and I need to reel it back in. The holiday decor is my first step. 

Upgrading our phones. B's phone died on Thursday and so after years (!?) of using our cracked screen phones we were forced into upgrading - hah #parentlife B had the hateful task of going to the actual store to upgrade our phones and get everything sorted out-why does it take so long? (thank you Babe) and now we are both trying to get used to our new phones with the upgrades and size. Countdown on to see who can crack their screen first (#notfunnybutlife) 

Smiling about Grey's fun Saturday with the church youth group. He got up bright and early to help make 400 apple dumplings for their fundraiser and then the group went to a trampoline park for the evening. He had an awesome time and it is just felt like a confirmation that it was a good move to switch to our new church! 

Sporting with equipment turn in for football and cheer (everything all organized, cleaned, and packed up! Always kind of a relief to get equipment clutter out of the house) Gemma had one basketball practice and two games. Brandon OC'ed the last Varsity game on Friday night too! 

Making meatball sammies, slow cooker cream cheese chicken taquitos (a Studer house favorite!), ham and noodle casserole, meatloaf, and frozen pizzas on Friday night. I also made a batch of each: pumpkin/chocolate chip muffins and fruity pebble muffins for breakfast. 

Homeschool Pre-K Week 11

Monday, November 8, 2021

For our Bus lessons, we first read Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (one of my must-have children's books!) and then we watched a Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems (the incredible author).  Rust spent a lot of energy and focus on perfecting his Pigeon doodle and then teaching his brothers and sisters how to draw the doodle too. Once his pigeon was perfect, he then copied the title of the book (in the fancy font) and colored it all accordingly and even included the speech bubble! 

Each time I tried to steer us back towards a bus focus, Rusty was kind of antsy and he was doing it (because I was making him) but then I would find him asking for more blank paper to draw using our doodle book as guide - or asking for more Mo Willems Lunch Doodle videos, or hanging up post-it notes all over the house with his name or "Mom" written on them.  

By Wednesday afternoon I finally realized that it would be so much more focused on learning and growing if I just went with him on this one. So, we flipped from Things that Go: Bus to Doodling & Writing which we will continue next week - more on that to come! 

Unit: Things That Go
Lesson: Bus

Books we read:
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
The Berenstain Bears Catch the Bus 
Gus the Dinosaur Bus by Julia Liu
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

The Wheels on the Bus

Language Arts:
Recognizing letters: Color by letter worksheet (bus)
Discussion: not all letters make words - letters have to go in a certain order to make words (like R-U-S-T-Y in order spells your name. M-O-M in order spells mom. But UMTYRSO doesn't say any words because it's not in the right order. This came about because Rust will bring me a page full of random letters and ask, 'what does this say?')

Bus: Counting & recognizing numbers 1-10
Counting the wheels of a real school bus

Fine Motor: 
Pinching a clothespin to choose the correct number (bus numbers)
Copy work: Fancy letters in the title of Don't Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus

Social Studies: 
Maps: Using a neighborhood map to make a pretend bus route to school
Manners on a bus (discussion): stay seated, talk respectively/no shouting, saying hello to the bus driver, etc. 

Watched & followed along with: Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Play red light, green light (and yellow light: slow mo!)

Around Here Week 43: 10/24-30

Thursday, November 4, 2021

 A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this moment. 

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 548+ hours (of 1000)
The weather is really turning the corner and nothing is more clear an indicator than the sky in the morning and the evening. The sunsets have been incredible and in the morning there is all that spooky fog. I think this was probably peak week for viewing the autumn leaves on the trees too - it always hits a tipping point where it is so brilliantly beautiful and then BAM! the trees are bare the next day. 

Reading Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy and getting into the chilly season. I picked this book because I read a lot of reviews about her nature imagery and how it reminded a lot of people of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (which I read earlier this year and loved). Just getting started but already liking it! 

Coordinating school outfits each day this week as both the elementary school and the high school celebrated Red Ribbon Week. The kids had pajama day, jersey day, and anything but a back pack day (hs) among other themes. On Friday Grey wore his costume to school and I packed up the girls costumes for their fall fest party. 

Excited to work with Moms of Tweens and Teens who shared an article I wrote for them: 10 Ways to Hug Your Teen Son. I'm a big believer in the Virginia Satir quote about getting enough hugs a day (we need 4 to survive, 8 to maintain, and 12 to grow!) So even as my kids get bigger, I still need to be intentional in getting those physical touches of affection in for them to be healthy and happy. 

Always surprised by Violet's artwork. She's very into mixed media these days and so she's been tearing apart random things (oh sheesh) and affixing them to her drawings. When she gets inspired, there is no stopping her from creating. It's really a wonder - always has been!

Researching minimalist make up. Ugh, I've made it to 38 years old and finally feel like I need some kind of make up routine. I literally know nothing about make up because on a daily basis my make-up routine is moisturizer for my face and then Cover Girl lip stain that stays on all day. If I'm going to a wedding or a fancy dinner then I put on some mascara and maybe blush too. I know - punch me in the face - I'm annoying. But these past few weeks, I've been looking in the mirror and really feeling....old? tired? bleh? So I need some make up that takes literally under 3 minutes (because I am an impatient brat) and something that helps make me less old and tired. I'm leaning towards SubtlBeauty (thanks for the suggestion - Kitty). 

Dressing up for Halloween. Grey was a Globetrotter with four of his friends, Gemma was Sandy from Grease along with one of her best friends Cooper who went as Danny. Violet dressed up like Evie from Descendants. Rusty was a member of the Miyagi Dojo (we watch too much Cobra Kai, hah). Reddy was a hunter (I was a deer for trick-or-treating!) and Liv was a pumpkin! 

Trick-or-Treating twice (!) this week. We had great weather for Thursday night when we walked all through the neighborhood with friends and then had some snacks post-treating at the Huffman's house (thanks for hosting!) Grey was too cool and hung with his friends all night up ahead of us. Gemma had an awesome time going from house to house with Cooper. Violet met up with a friend too and they were so sweet being so surprised and thrilled to find a classmate along the way. Rust and Red hung with us while Heather pushed Liv in the stroller up and down all the streets (thank you!) Then we went again on Saturday night at Aunt Kitty's house. Another great neighborhood - house after house. Kitty had pizza for us and our whole Adams family was at the house. And now our house is overrun with Halloween candy - HAH. 

Giggling about Red's confusion with trick-or-treating. He thought that at every house when you got candy, you just ate it. Like, why are we carrying bags at all? Just eat it right now. So it was a little bit of a struggle, but by the end of day 2 he was starting to figure it out. Oh, those wacky toddler years - sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry!  

Asking Heather to be Olive's godmomma (finally!) I had been holding back on this question for so long as I tried to finalize the arrangements for Olive's baptism at our new church - and now that things are coming together, I was so grateful to ask Heather. Olive is so lucky to get you as a Godmomma, Heather - you are always looking out for each of my family members (especially me) and I am so grateful to have you in my life. Thank you for promising to be there for Livy Lou. 

Packing up the two biggest for sleepovers on Friday night. Grey spent the night at the Rummells house and getting to go to the Thomahawk hockey game (thank you!!) while Gem spent the night at my parents' house going for a long bike ride. (thank you!)  It is always such a blessing for the kids to get special one-on-one time with people who love them. 

Sporting with one basketball practice for Gem before her games started this weekend. She played her first game on Saturday and they did well for the first time out of the gate. Gem is playing up with the fifth grade team and then the whole team is in a league with mostly sixth grade teams (hah), so they will probably take a few beatings this year but come out way stronger for it in the end. I am excited to see how much she grows and learns. Brandon had Varsity football walk through on Thursday and then OC'ed for the Varsity on Friday night at the away game. 

Making ham in the crockpot, teriyaki chicken over rice, turkey tacos, chicken parm over spaghetti, and ordering in pizza before trick-or-treat in our neighborhood.