Category: Totally 3

{Art} : 3D Hand

A couple of months back the boys and I went to an art studio for a painting class.  While we were there the boys saw a hand that looked like it was 3D.  Of course, they really wanted to try to make their own.  So a couple of weeks back, they boys attempted to make their own.  However, the patience required left our attempt somewhat unsuccessful.

First we started by tracing our hands.  Next, the boys were to draw straight lines until they reached their hand.  Once inside the hand, they were to draw arched lines until they reach the other side.  Needless to say, the boys lost patience pretty quickly.

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However, this is what Thing 1 was able to accomplish before he was done with the art project.

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Thing 2’s.

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Here is mine.

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Have you ever done a 3D handprint?

{Science} : Fingerprinting

One thing I wanted to do with our school this year is to have more fun.  One area it is easier to have fun while learning is science.  A couple of weeks ago (yes, I’m that far behind), we learned about the uniqueness of fingerprints.

First, I showed the boys pictures of fingerprints on the internet.  We discussed how fingerprints are used to identify people and talked about how there are three different types of fingerprints.

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Next, using black ink, we fingerprinted everyone in the family, even Daddy Cameron.  I think everyone had a whorl except Thing 2, who only had arches, if I remember correctly.

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The boys thought it was pretty cool to see what their fingerprints looked like.  I thought it was interesting to see how the boys’ fingerprints were so different, especially since they have the same parents.

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Have you ever done any fingerprint studies?

Clay Boats : Round 3

Every so often I like to repeat experiments that the boys and I have done in the past.  For one it is a great way to see if they learned anything from that experiment.  Secondly, I like to see how there thinking has changed as they have gotten older.  Lastly, Thing 3 all of them are to the age where they can participate.

This week we were suppose to have terrible storms, so I had planned to do a repeat of the clay boat activity we did back in 2011 and 2012.  The big difference this time around is that each boy created a boat on their own.  Ok, I may have helped Thing 3 a little bit, but Thing 1 and Thing 2 were all on their own.

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Here is each ones original creation.

Thing 1

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Thing 2

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Thing 3

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The first thing we did was test to make sure everyone’s boat would float.  While Thing 1 and my boat floated, Thing 2 and Thing 3’s immediately sunk.  So I gave Thing 2 and Thing 3 some time to redesign their boats.

Round 2: Everyone’s boat floated, so we all begin adding pennies to our boats to see whose could hold the most weight.  We may have raised the stakes a little by saying that the losers make dinner.  😉

Thing 2’s redesign

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Thing 3’s redesign

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Thing 3 was the first boat to sink, but that may have been because he added some water to his boat too.

Next was Thing 2, but I think his boat had moved too far away from him, which caused him to sink it with his hand.

Thing 1 and I were close, until Thing 1’s boat sunk and I was the winner!

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The boys continued to build and rebuild boats for at least 45 more minutes.  It was a great time.  I am sure we will be repeating this experiment a few more times in the future.


This is What Our Homeschool Looks Like

Everyone’s homeschool looks different at different times. Some people have “school” at home, where they have a room dedicated to school.  Everyone has their own desks and that is where they do all their work.  Others gather around the kitchen table to work. Still others do school on the couch.

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This week Daddy Cameron was home with us and the weather was amazing!  We spent almost every day outside and we did most of our school while sitting on the front porch.  It was awesome.  We soaked up some sun, listened to birds and got our learn on!

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What does your homeschool look like during the spring?

{Art} : Jackson Pollock Art

I had been waiting for a warm day so that the boys and I could do some Jackson Pollock inspired drip painting.  This is a messy, but really pretty cool way to paint that is perfect for boys. 

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I started our activity by reading a little bit about Jackson Pollock and showing the boys images of his work.  It was really interesting to hear what the boys saw within Pollock’s work.  In one painting, Thing 1 said he saw tree branches.  In another he saw what looked like concrete.

I set Thing 1 and Thing 3 in the grass with some watercolor paper (because it was what I had and it is thicker than regular paper), a bucket of paint brushes and paints (red, yellow, and blue).  I explained to the boys he worked and set them loose.

Here is Thing 1’s first work.  It took him a little bit to get into his work.

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Here is Thing 1’s second work.  While he was working he said that painting this way was like sword fighting.  Of course, he would relate to sword fighting, because that is what we do.

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Here is Thing 3’s attempt.  He didn’t quiet get the whole concept, but he really enjoyed watching Thing 1 go crazy with the paints.

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I have really enjoyed doing art projects with the boys over the last few weeks.  I am also thankful for all the space we have to do such projects.  Thing 1 really gets into the art, once he gets started.

How have you studied Jackson Pollock?


Gumdrop & Toothpick Tower Challenge

A couple of years ago, we had invited some friends over to build things out of gumdrops and toothpicks and the boys loved it.  After looking at the weather this week I knew today was supposed to be rainy and cold.  I remembered this activity and thought it would be a perfect rainy, cold day activity, however, this time I challenged the boys to see who could build the tallest tower.

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Gumdrop & Toothpick Tower Challenge


To see who can build the tallest tower only using gumdrops and toothpicks.

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The boys accepted the challenge.  Thing 1 immediately set out constructing a tower made out of cubes.  When his tower was about 2 feet tall, he realized that he was going to need a bigger base to keep his tower from falling.

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Thing 2 started with a similar pattern as Thing 1, however he forgot to brace it in a few places, so it fell over.  This lead him to try something different using a diamond shape.  It was pretty cool to see him try something different.

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Thing 3, well Thing 3 just had a good time sticking toothpicks into gumdrops to create sea creatures.

It was a fun way to spend an afternoon.  Next I want to challenge them to build a bridge…


Getting Back to Work

After nearly three months off from school the boys and I got back to school this week.  To be honest, I was a little concerned how this week would go.  Would I have to fight them to get some work done?  How much was I going to have to re-teach?  How far behind are we?

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However, I am happy to say that this week went great.  Thing 1 got straight to work and Thing 2 took about 10 minutes before he got to work.  Both boys were actually able to pick up right where we left off.  Yay!

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I also started looking to see how far behind we truly are in comparison to my original plan, which had us ending our year the first week of April.  Surprisingly we are only 5 weeks behind. This means that with a little shuffling and a little bit of hustling we are still going to be able to finish this school year as planned.  Instead of working only 4 days a week we will be working 5 days a week.  We will also lose the 2 complete weeks off that I had built-in to our schedule.    I think that we can live with that.

How’s your year going?


“X” Marks the Spot

Over the last few weeks Thing 3 has been begging to “do school.”  He actually asks to do school, while Thing 1 and Thing 2 try everything they can to get out of doing anything school related.  I realized that I needed something more structured to do with Thing 3, for my sake and his.

I did some research.  I didn’t want anything that was too worksheet based.  I wanted something that would introduce him to the alphabet, but wasn’t the main focus.  I wanted something that would give me a good base that I could easily add to based on what type of activities appeal to Thing 3, because I just can’t seem to use a curriculum straight out of the box.  I have to adapt it for me and the boys.  I really didn’t need something that was too preschool.  Thing 3 just turned 3, he needs more hands on, but I don’t/can’t have to create it all.

I decided on God’s Little Explorers.

God’s Little Explorers has great hands ideas for hands on activities as well as easy to use worksheets.  I was easily able to add to a few more activities that interest Thing 3.  However, the best part of using this curriculum is that I have been easily able to included Thing 1 and Thing 2.  Some activities are ones which they do right along side of Thing 3, while others they are my helpers.  In the end they will all be learning and working together.

Today we started week one with a lot of fun and success.  This week’s theme is “God’s word is a treasure.”  What do you think of when you think of treasure, pirates of course.  And x marks the spot for every pirates treasure.  This is right up all three boys’ alley.

Together, we started by reviewing the scripture for the week.  Then while Thing 3 worked on some of his pirate activities, Thing 1 and Thing 2 went on a secret mission to hide 24 x’s in our backyard.

Once they were all hidden and the boys had completed a certain amount of work, we lead Thing 3 outside to begin his hunt.  He loved it.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 had fun “helping” him find all the x’s.  It was a great break for all of us to get outside and do some learning.

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Thing 3 worked on identifying the letter x.  Saying the sound for the letter x. We also worked on counting as we counted the cards.

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Overall it was a successful and fun activity for all of us.

Pumpkin School!

Last week Thing 3 decided he wanted to “do school” like his brothers.  Like I admitted last week, Thing 3 really hasn’t been doing a lot of school because of lack of preparation by me and lack of interest from him.  However, that has all changed.  Thing 3 has been begging for school.

This week we are doing  pumpkin themed week.  While I was printing things out yesterday, he saw all of “his school” and begged to do it.  So I printed out a whole pack from somewhere so that he would not do everything I had planned for the week.  I think he sat at the table for 2 hours doing all everything from the pack I had printed off.  He was so happy hanging out at the table with me doing pumpkin school.

Today, once he finally made it over to the table where his brothers and I were working, Thing 3 proceeded to do everything I had planned for both Monday and Tuesday.  He would have done all of Wednesday’s work too if it hadn’t been for the fact that we had to leave to run an errand.

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These are pictures of just a few of the activities he did.

I also captured these two pictures.  Thing 2 practicing his reading.

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Thing 1 working on his addition problems.

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I think the printables we used came from 2 Teaching Moms, 3 dinosaurs, and stuff I had made in the past.

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