4th of July activities

This 4th is a special one for our family!! Kaleb turns five on the 29th of June and requested a 4th of July/birthday celebration party. My birthday is July 2nd and he asked that we share a party too!!! Grilling, cake, ice cream, fourwheeler trailer rides, s’mores by the fire, fireworks, and camping with family and friends! I picked up all of the decorations (which aren’t many considering we’ll be outside), plates, and napkins from the Dollar Tree.
For the week before, I printed off some lapbook materials from Lapbook Lessons and the Live and Learn Press yahoo group. Plus I found some other printables at Enchanted Learning. I didn’t print everything from the LNL lapbook…just choose a few things.
Some other ideas for the week:
  • bake and decorate star-and flag-shaped sugar cookies
  • crafts from Enchanted Learning
  • coloring sheets printed from the internet (google)

I love the idea of having a mini-parade!! We may do that too!!

Mostly we’re looking forward to the big party on Saturday night! Kaleb requested an “Air Force.” I’m still working that out in my head! =)

Happy 4th!!

Look what I made today!!!

I was so excited to share this that I left off three more pieces to this set! lol Also I plan on replacing the ribbon with a ring. We are currently moving things around in the house, rearranging so things are scattered everywhere and I can’t find my rings. Then I’d like to embellish it like Traci did. (blog link below) I messed up one of the pages with the title on it so I just made my own with some scrapbook supplies. =)

Thanks to Traci for the idea and link.
I have a few more printed and cut. I just need to laminate them. I LOVE these little ring books!! They will be the perfect for the workbox system!

workbox system

Have you seen this yet? I heard about it on the WTM boards and started doing a little online research. I found Sue Patrick’s website and several blogs with pictures of how they implemented her system. I am in LOVE!!

Now I’m trying to figure out how to do this myself. I know, with my two littles running around, the original system won’t work in my house. I am thinking of putting a few shelves up at a managable level for my two oldest boys, and then putting the boxes there. Same idea, just a little higher up. =)

I eventually want to do this for all four boys. I found another WONDERFUL blog while googling the workbox system….Walking by the Way (link below) This mama does tons and tons of fun preschool activities with her little one. My boys would LOVE all those activities….and to have them so organized each day!!

Here is a list of just a few blogs I found that talk about this system:


I have finally made our curriculum choices!

I am really excited about the MEP math. I know Kaleb will love it!! We did a couple lessons already to see what he thought. I really think it will help Nathan with his math issues too…it is more hands-on.

I am MOST excited about our history!!! I have started working on getting it all planned out. Soon I will have everything printed and put in their binders.

After reading Preschoolers and Peace, I’ve decided to make binders for each child in each subject. Then use dividers to separate each week’s work. All we will have to do is pull the appropriate binder for each child and get to work! No running for copies or having to stop to organize. I am working hard this summer to make sure everything is planned and ready to go by August 3rd.

Still working on some fun *back to school* ideas. So far I have decided to get each of the three olders their own 2x3ft bulletin board to hang above their own workspace. We’ll take a trip to Mardels so they can pick out their own border and decorations for the boards. They’ll be able to put whatever they want on their boards. We’ll use them to show off prized works of art, special school pages, and anything else they want to put on their boards. I’ll also use the boards to leave little encouraging notes for each child…I’m really looking forward to *surprising* them with little notes throughout the school year. I am also going to put together little baskets of fun school goodies for each child to have sitting at their workspaces for the first day. I think we’ll have a very light day, a lunch treat, and some fun park playtime. Also I read about a fun idea of having them fill out a questionnaire of sorts…questions about all their favorites, their expectations, what they are most excited about in the new school year, and other fun stuff. Won’t that be so cool to look back on years down the road?

I have a lot to do before August!! I am just so excited for this new school year!

Circle Time

I have been reading a wonderful blog lately. It has motivated me to get working on my circle time plans. I LOVE circle time. It was my favorite part of the day when I was teaching at a local preschool. I’ve tried several times to have a circle time with my kiddos but it just never worked out. I think because I didn’t plan it as well. Why is it sometimes easier to teach other’s children? lol

Thanks to Preschoolers and Peace, I have been working on putting together our circle time schedule and materials for the upcoming school year. I have tons of materials and have had a blast going through them all….some that I haven’t even touch since buying.

Our circle time theme this year is the alphabet (letter of the week). I will have a kindergartener who needs practice writing his letters and a preschooler who is currently learning his letters and their sounds. My oldest will join us for bible lesson and read-aloud before moving on to his independent work. He will also have a separate, more age appropriate bible time for himself.

I am using a book I bought and mentioned several weeks ago…Hands-On Phonics Activities for Children. We started the book but never really got into it. I’m just going to start over with it when school starts again. Also I am using ABC, I Believe for bible lessons, handwriting for K, simple art projects and math lessons, and fun games. Also we will use our morning board.

I have some other things I would like to add to our circle time. I just haven’t gotten to them yet to see how they will fit in. I would like to keep the time around one hour. I think it we move at a good consistant pace, my three year old will be able to hang in there with us for the duration.

By having circle time first thing in the morning, it will help my feelings of guilt toward the littles on the days when Nathan’s school work commands the majority of my time and attention. Plus I know all of my boys will LOVE it!

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I’m looking for some fun *back to school* ideas. I’d like to make it very special and exciting, especially since Kaleb will be starting kindergarten and Nathan will be in 6th grade which would have been his first year of middle school if he were in ps.
We haven’t completely stopped schooling. Nathan and Kaleb both are still working on math, and Kaleb is doing a little phonics still…mostly fun stuff. Nathan really struggled this year with math so I don’t want to lose our progress by taking a bunch of time off. Also thanks to the library’s storytime summer reading challenge, they’ll get plenty of reading time in. Everything else will start again in August.
So fun, fun, fun back to school ideas to really get them excited about school starting again…….care to share some?
I read a few articles and blogs to get some ideas. Here are some things I found:
to create excitement for the new school year-do things like ps families do….ps kids shop for school clothes so take kids out to pick out an outfit or two for hs group field trips. ps kids shop for supplies, backpack, and lunch box….let the kids pick out their own school supplies (I’m going to have the boys pick a color and that will be their color for the year to help keep stuff more organized ). Backpacks for schooling on the road…when we travel with Daddy. Lunch boxes for hs group picnics and field trips.
build excitement by letting them see you bring in bags of *school stuff* that the kids don’t get to see until the first day. I’m getting each boy their own special notebook for journaling, some personalized school supplies (if I can find a place to order for Kaleb), and some other first day of school surprises.
let them *catch* you working on surprise school stuff. I’m going to start on their mini offices this month some time.
let them help decorate the school room/area/space. We’re actually working on that now, turning the playroom into a half school room/half play room as well as purging a TON of toys that they don’t play with anymore. I have posters and stuff for the wall. We’ll do a small bulletin board. We already have their artwork spread all over the house…a bunch on the walls of the playroom. I’m going to pick up some more cute school room stuff when Mardel’s has their back to school sale.
Still reading to find other fun ideas. Comment if you have any ideas to share!!