Category: Reading

Our Butterfly Book

On Monday, the boys and I headed to the Texas Discovery Gardens.  The boys loved the butterfly house.

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While we were walking through the butterfly house, Thing 1 came up with the wonderful idea of taking pictures of the butterflies and turning it into a book.  Luckily for him I was already trying to take pictures of the different types of butterflies.

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I took all the best pictures of the individual butterflies and inserted them into a publisher document.  I intentionally left the pictures blank so the boys, mainly Thing 1, could identify and write out the names of the butterflies.

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The boys were super excited about their book and Thing 1 has done an amazing job of identifying the different types of butterflies.  Our field trip turned into great reading and writing practice. YAY!

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When he finished identifying all the butterflies, I bound the books so that each one has a reminder of our trip.

What have your field trips inspired in you?


It finally clicked…

This year I have really been focusing a lot of time on helping Thing 1 learn to read.  He has always loved to look at books.  He has been “reading” books by looking at the picture for years now.  Although he was making great progress, it just often seemed like torture to get him to read.  When I would get him started he would do fine, but getting him started was the problem.

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However yesterday things changed.  Yesterday afternoon the boys and I had to run a few errands.  As we were getting ready to leave the boys found some beginning readers that I had recently bought.  So they each took a couple of books and headed to the car.

I expected the boys to do what they usually do, which was to look through all the pictures in the book.  Thing 1 had a snake book and suddenly decided that he was going to try to tell me about what he was looking at.  However instead of describing what he was seeing, he started to read the words.  Next thing I know he is reading the snake book to me, with very little assistance needed from me.

Next he asked to look at the Alvin and the Chipmunks book that Thing 2 had chosen.  I soon hear Thing 1 ask Thing 2 if he wanted him to read him the Alvin book.  We finished up our errands to the sound of Thing 1 reading to everyone in the car.

When we arrived home he got out of the car and exclaimed that he loved reading, especially to his brothers.  I was in shock.  This was coming from the same kid, who that morning I had to ask 50 times to come read with me.  It was a complete 180.

What amazed me even more was that he continued to read to his brothers, even as they played outside.  He also wanted to read the bedtime stories.  He was so excited about reading to his brothers.

However, I guess the biggest shock came this morning when we sat down to read during school time.  He finished a whole book within the 20 minutes and needed very little help from me.  Just a week ago we sat down to read that exact same book and it took him 20 minutes to read 4 pages while I helped him out what felt like every other word and I had to prod him along the whole time.

I even caught him reading to Thing 2 during their “recess” time after lunch today.

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Honestly, the last 24 hours have been exactly what this very tired home school mom needed.  We have about 8 weeks left in our first official home school year and needless to say I am tired as I work to finish up this year and plan for next year (which will start in May.)  It has been amazing to watch Thing 1 finally get it.

{DIY} Books on CD

In our house we have rest time every day.  It is a time for Thing 3 to take a nap.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 can wind down from the morning events and mommy gets a little break.  There are two requirement for rest time.  Number one, is that you stay in your room.  Two, is that I can’t hear you.  Rest time has become a cherished part of the day for me and the boys.

Today, Thing 2 asked for a book on CD that we had checked out from the library probably 6 months ago. (Random, I know, but that is how Thing 2 rolls.)  Anyway, it got me to thinking that I should make the boys their own books on CD from their favorite books to listen to during rest time.  Thus we now have books on CD.

Simply using my compter and some left over CDs from college, I sat down and created a CD of each boys favorite books read to them by me.

I asked each boy to go and gather 10 to 12 of their favorite books.  It takes me on average 5 minutes to read a story, so this would give the boys about an hour worth of stories to listen to during rest time.  Then I sat down and read each story, making sure each one was a different track, so that if we ever just wanted one story we could go right to it.  Once I had all the stories read, I burned all of them onto a CD and labeled it with the track number and story.

Over the next few weeks I hope to create several more CDs for the boys.  I figure they will be great during rest time, on long car trips as well as for those times when mommy really needs to work on something else or everyone wants a different story.

Have you ever made books on CDs for you kids?  What are some other rest time ideas?

{Krazy in Kindergarten} : Starting World Geography

This week I added world geography and science into Thing 1’s school week.  I thought that Thing 1 would be really excited about world geography since he loves U.S. Geography so much, boy was I wrong.  He was resistant to starting parts of our geography lesson this week.  I have no idea if it was because he was tired or if he was just trying to be a little difficult this week.  Despite his five year old issues, we did have a pretty good week.

This week we focused on learning the doubles addition facts.  I was really surprised how well he did considering he is not one to like to memorize anything.

We also focused more on the numbers 1-20 again this week.

This weeks sight words include: all, for and help.

He also read 3 more books this week:
*The Secret Code by Dana Meachen Rau
* Meet the Little Blue Engine that Could by Watty Piper
*The Little Blue Engine that Could and the Lost Hippo   by Watty Piper

Spelling words for the week are: up, fun, bug, sun, run, bus, dug, mud, us, rug, pup, yum, gun.

For science this week we discussed the food chain and the different roles that every living thing plays in the world.  We spent a lot of time looking at pictures on the internet of decomposers, herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores.  Several times this week while we were out and about, Thing 1 would love to show his knowledge about the food chain.  It made me feel good to know that he was actually absorbing some of the information.

World Geography
I was really excited to start world geography with Thing 1.  My plan is to follow the order of Expedition Earth, but add a lot of activities that are better suited for Thing 1. (This is why we homeschool.)

On Monday I introduced the map of the world that is included in the Expedition Earth curriculum.  I have no idea what happened, but that was it for him.  He kept telling me that it wasn’t the world.  He wanted nothing to do with the map.  He was done.  So we were done for the day with geography.

To be honest, on Tuesday I was a little worried what was going to happen when it came to geography.  So instead of introducing the map from the curriculum again, I brought out our globe and world map.  Geography went over much better.

We also made a cute book, that I have seen numerous places, to help visualize how exactly everything fits together.  The smallest circle started with our house.  The next smallest circle included our town.  In the next circle, Thing 1 drew a picture of Texas, which is not an easy task.  That was followed by the United States, North America, and then the world.  He thought the book was super cool, so cool in fact that after we were done with school for the day, he added to it.

The rest of the week, I did not try to use any flat maps when it came to discussing the continents, I only used our globe.  Thankfully our globe is an inflatable globe, so I can use dry erase markers on it and it not ruin the globe.

Thankfully, everything went much smoother and we were able to discuss most of what I had planned for the week.

Thing 1’s writing prompt this week was to tell me about his favorite book.  It really surprised me that he said his favorite book were about outer space since he is so in to trains.  Ultimately he wished that he could fly on a rocket and travel in space.

Just another week Experiencing Life with My Boys!



{Totally 3} : P is for Penguins

In case you didn’t know, Thing 2 loves penguins.  So I knew this week was going to be a big hit for Thing 2.

We practice counting 1-15 using our little penguins.  We also continued to work on locations such as top, bottom, left and right.

He also practiced writing the numbers 1 and 2.

Thing 2 did his letters maze, circle the letter, and putting the pieces together.

Thing 2 helped me locate the letters P and p in several books this week.  He has also started to notice letters on different signs and such as we are out and about.

Like I noticed last week Thing 2 does a much better job of knowing the sounds of the letters than the names of the letters.

Although we didn’t do as many hands on activities as we did last week, Thing 2 still had a great time learning since he was able to play with the penguins all week during school time.

{HERE} is a copy of the printables I made for the week.

How was your week?

{Krazy in Kindergarten} Finishing Up Last Week

Last week was our first week back home from vacation.  I had plans of Thing 1 doing school every day last week, but it didn’t happen.  He only completed one day of last weeks work, so we this week he finished up.

*Identifying and locating the missing numbers from the numbers 11-20.
*Grouping items into groups of 10.
*Adding 10 and another number.

*Doubles math facts.

He read four library books this week, including one which he received as his prize from the summer reading program at the “big” library.
*Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss
*Puppy Mudge Takes a Bath by Cynthia Rylant
*Burn E the Fix It Bot by ??? (we seemed to have misplaced the book right now)
*Slam and Dunk Visit the Moon (or something like that, it seems to be misplaced also)

We also worked on the sight words: little, we, and do.

Things 1’s spelling words this week were: dot, jog, pod, Ron, sod, fog, lot, pop, rot, Tom.

We had some fun this week practicing our spelling words.  On Tuesday I had planned a shaving cream activity for Thing 2.  Well Thing 2 couldn’t be the only one with shaving cream, so both Thing 1 and Thing 3 played in the shaving cream too.  While they were playing I asked Thing 1 if he wanted to do his spelling words in the shaving cream for the day.  He loved it and did a great job spelling.  The only word that gave him any trouble this week was jog.

We are continuing to practice handwriting on a daily basis.  I am having to work on breaking some bad habit he obtained when he first learned to write in preschool. I will say that over the last several week I have seen great improvement in his handwriting.

This week his sentences related to our beach trip.

We had one last week of review of greetings, numbers and colors.

U.S. Geography:
We are still spending just a little bit of time each day learning about another state in the United States.  This weeks states were North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska.

We had a great week.  Thing 1 is really fallen into a school routine, which allowed me to focus on getting Thing 2 back into school this week.  Next week I will add in the rest of Thing 1’s curriculum to his week, since we are done with all of our big trips.

How was your week?


{Totally 3} S is for Snakes

Thing 2 had another great week of school this week.  I am so glad that he is finally the slightest bit motivated.  He also is demonstrating to me that he actually remembers what we have been learning.

This weeks letter was the letter S, which of course stood for snakes.  One of his favorite props this week was the small container of snakes that we got while we were on vacation.

We are loosely following the Horizons Kindergarten math curriculum.  This week we continued to focus on counting 1 -10.

We also worked on identifying first, middle and last using our snakes.

Thing 2 also worked on identifying and writing the numbers 1-3.

Each week Thing 2 is practicing writing his letters.  I am trying to find fun ways to do this activity since doing it on paper all the time can get a little boring.  So this week I brought out the shaving cream for him to use as we practiced writing the letters S and s.  We also need to experience wearing it too!

We also did one of our favorite games, letter blackout.  You have a board that is nothing but the letter you are studying.  Each person take a turn rolling a die.  You color or dot out that many spaces.  The person who fills the board first wins.

We also used play dough to make snakes and to form the letters and numbers we were studying the week.  I think he honestly like playing with the play dough more than he liked the shaving cream.

Pre Reading Skills:
I am also trying to work on making sure that not only can Thing 2 identify the letter, but that he also knows the sound that each letter makes.  Honestly, he knows the sound better for the letters than he does the name.  So we worked on finding objects that start with the letter s.

We also read books together where I had him find the letters S and s on each page.  It becomes like a hide and seek game and he loves to do this.  I have him say the letter and make the letter sound every time he locates one.

{HERE} are the printables I made to go with the letter S.

What fun activities have you done with the letter s? 



{Krazy in Kindergarten} : Reading Frenzy

The last two weeks have been super crazy.

The week of June 18-22, Thing 1 had a lighter week of school, since I was busy trying to pack for our trip the beach.

We have taken a break from All About Reading Level 1 and have moved back into the BoB Books.  Thing 1 read books 2-5 in set 3.

He also practice the sight words: play, find and run.

Thing 1 spelling words this week consisted of Bob, God, mop, pot, Sam, Dan, Jim, Pam, rob, and sob.  All of these words were really easy for Thing 1.  Hopefully, he will continue to spell well, because I don’t.

Thing 1 is continuing to work through Singapore Math 1A.  This week we focused on ordinal numbers.  These were great lessons to use his trains as our math manipulatives.

Since it was a busy week, we continued to review greetings, colors and the numbers 1-10.

To go along with our trip, we studied the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

In an effort to get Thing 1 to clean up his handwriting a little more, I am going back to giving Thing 1 one sentence a day to copy.  This weeks sentences were all about the beach!

We completed lesson 2 in Artistic Pursuits, where Thing 1 used watercolors to create a picture.  The focus was on using the correct brush stroke.

In an effort to help Thing 1 start getting his thoughts together write, I will be giving him writing prompts to write about.  This weeks writing prompt was: What if there were no other colors?

June 25-29: Beach Vacation!
Since we spent the entire week with family at the beach, I really cut out everything but reading and math.

Our beach vacation just happened to coincide with the first three reviews in Singapore Math 1A.  So we spent the week working on those three reviews.

This is where the reading frenzy came into play.  Thing 1 read a total of 21 BoB books while we were on vacation!  He finished set 3, read all of the Kindergarten set and then finished all but 2 books in set 4.  He did finish those last two books today.

His reading is really starting to come along and much smoother.  However, I think the biggest accomplishment is that reading is finally coming a little easier to him, thus he is more willing to pick up a book and read.  Today, for the first time he realized that he can read things besides what is in books and he doesn’t need our help.

Despite two crazy weeks, Thing 1 really accomplished a lot.  I am so proud of how many books he read while we were on vacation.

How was your week?


{Krazy in Kindergarten} Week 4 : 6.4-6.8

So I am a little behind in my kindergarten posts, but instead of stressing out and trying to catch up, we are just going to get back on track today.  Here is what Thing 1 and I worked on last week.

We spent time working with both addition and subtraction.  The most of difficult concept of the week for thing one, was deciding which sign (+ or -) was needed to make the problem correct.  I was really proud of him for staying patient and figuring it out.

Thing 1’s favorite lesson of the week was doing subtraction by counting backwards instead of using some sort of manipulative.  To introduce the concept I put the numbers 0-10. I then had Thing 1 stand on any number.  I would then give him a number to subtract and he would jump back that many numbers to get the answer.  What was so great about this activity is that he was so in to it he asked to do addition problem too.

Thing 1 sight words for the week were here, big, and said.  He also read three short books during the week.

Spelling words for the week were: bit, hip, pit, win, dim, lid, rib, zip, fit, lip, rip, hid.

Thing 1 and I took a trip through the states of Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho.

This week was our first week of learning Spanish.  Our focus was on greetings and the numbers 1-10.  I choose this as our starting point because Thing 1 was partially familiar with these concepts.

We are continuing our study in Story of the World, Volume 1.  This week we covered Chapter 2, which was about the Ancient Egyptians.

This was the bulk of Thing 1’s week.  Over the next few weeks, I plan to add in our science, art, music, PE, literature, and handwriting to our weekly schedule.  My desire to slowly work up to including everything in our weekly schedule instead of going from zero to sixty in one week.  So far this has been great for both of us.

 Thing 1 is 5 years, 1 month.


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