Paper Plate Fish

I’m loving having a preschooler around again to make crafts with. I think I have as much fun with her crafts as she does.

We decided to make fish the other day, because we have been enjoying this great music album for kids called God’s Treasures Under the Sea. (And yes, I paid shipping from Australia to the USA for the CDs. It was very worth it. I’ve ordered more to give as gifts.)

God's Treasures Under the Sea


Here you are fishy-fishy!

Paper Plate Fish

And I’m not the only person in the house who is having too much fun with preschool crafts, so are my older kids. This next fish was made by Ace.

Paper Plate Fish (by Ace)


Force and Motion Lapbook

For science, Ace and I are doing the Noeo Science Physics I curriculum. This curriculum was written specifically for homeschoolers, grades one through three. So far, we are enjoying it. It pulls together several different books both on science and biographies on scientists. This curriculum includes Young Scientist Club Kits for experiments. I really like the experiments, and making notebook pages to go along with some of them is great practice too. We did not do a notebook page for every experiment, because being that Ace is nine years old, he still considers writing and bookwork to be boring, but he loves doing the experiments. (At my age, I actually still agree with him, but if nobody recorded their findings, we wouldn’t have science.)

This science curriculum claims to be a Charlotte Mason style curriculum with all “living” books. I will agree that some of the books qualify as “living” books, but some are a bit dry, with mostly little text boxes around pictures. That works, but I was hoping for something more fun to read. I am thinking about trying to figure out what sections of The New Way Things Work book correspond with the different units in the Noeo Physics. That is a really great book, and I already own it. We read it some last year, and loved it. I was really hoping for an open and go science curriculum that was really interesting and fun to read, and while this one is really good, I think it still has room for improvement.

Okay that is my review after doing one unit, now on to a few pictures from our first unit. The first unit was “Force and Motion.” There were lots of fun experiments about friction, gravity, Newton’s third law of motion and more. We enjoyed things from racing cars on sand paper to slamming coins into a line of other coins to see what happened.

Here is the lapbook that we made to go with this.

We laminated the cover image and then glued it on the left side of the lapbook with glue dots and attached it to right side of the lapbook with a velcro dot.

Force & Motion Lapbook Cover

Force & Motion Lapbook Spread

Newton's Laws of Motion Mosaic

What is Friction  What is Friction
Centrifugal Force Wheel  Gravity Mini Book  Gravity Mini Book

Force & Motion Lapbook Spread 2

Unbalance Force Drawing

Excuse that I misspelled “Centrifugal”–bad teacher moment.

The list of sources for the lapbook: (no affiliate links)
Newton’s Laws of Motion from Jimmie Langley (Scroll down to find Newton’s Laws of Motion Book)
Cover for Gravity Mini Book from Crayola
Both Friction Mini Books from Tools & Technology Book by Dinah Zike
“Force x Distance = Work” Mini Book also from the Tools & Technology Book by Dinah Zike
Balanced & Unbalanced Flap Book by Haley Grant (Scroll down quite a ways to find link.)
Cover art by Phillip Martin

I have to admit that we looked at the lapbook that was done by Jimmie’s daughter from Jimmies Collage quite a bit since hers was also based on the Noeo Physics 1 forces and motion unit. If you’d like to take a peak at hers, here is the link.

Overall, he seemed to enjoy this unit a lot. He especially enjoyed the experiments. Next is Sound and Light.


Armor of God

Recently, Ace attended a Bible class about the Armor of God. At the end of the three-day class, his class put on a presentation for the parents, which included: marching for us, describing Roman armor, and also explaining the meaning of the fiery darts. He really enjoyed himself and learned a lot about the practical application of Ephesians 6, but the best part was the armor that he made. He was very proud of his armor and strutted around in it a for quite awhile at home after the class was long finished, and even went on to make some for his little sister and his big brother.

Armor of God

Cheers to his very excellent teacher (my cousin) for teaching a class he will never forget!

Leif Erickson Lapbook

My third grader and I are doing the Early American History Study by Beautiful Feet. We just finished our first unit in the guide—Leif Erikson. We read the book, Leif the Lucky through two or three times, just because we enjoyed it so much. It’s not only well written, but has great illustrations, and that makes a book a win-win for an early elementary student. We also had lots of fun researching online about Vikings and Native Americans that Leif may have met.

Leif the Lucky

And, of course, Ace thought that being Leif Erikson was one of the best parts of the unit.

Ace The Viking

Ace made a lapbook to show some of the things that he learned about Leif Erikson. Here are a few pictures.

Leif Erickson Lapbook Cover Leif Erickson Lapbook Spread Leif Erickson Lapbook Spread 2
Vinland Natives Leif Erickson Map Viking Ship AnatomyViking Gold Coins Erik & Leif Erickson Bio Erik & Leif Erickson BioErik & Leif Erickson Bio

List of sources for the lapbook (Some are affiliate links):

Cover picture from Exploration of North America Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book)
Map from Interactive 3-D Maps: American History by Donald Silver
“Who Were the Vikings” and “Vikings Were Also Called”  both from Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Blog Vikings Lapbook
Northern Lights from Google Images
“Native Americans in Vinland” from Google Images
“Father & Son Explorers” from History Through the Ages Timeline Figures
Viking Ship from Homeschool Share Viking Multi-Theme Unit
Coin idea from Homeschool in the Woods’ Great Empires Activity Pak
Viking mask from
Paper Ship Model from (not in English)

So far so good, as far as the Beautiful Feet Guide. What a nice pick of books they have made for this age group. Next comes Columbus, but first we are working on finishing up a science project.

Back at the Creekbank Album


Okay, I just can’t contain my excitement! I recently found that a couple of albums that I loved as a kid have been remastered for CD. I’ve ordered both. We are playing the first one that arrived just now. In fact, it arrived yesterday evening and we must be on our tenth round about now. My kids like it almost as much as I did as a kid.

This one is called Back at the Creekbank. It is the story of kids going fishing at the creek bank with Mr. Jenkins, and includes songs to teach great morals for kids. My favorite songs are “Drop a Pebble in the Water” and “God Paints the World with Love.” My kids’ favorite song is the same as mine was when I was their age—”Riddle Me, Riddle Me”

I have to be just a little sentimental too. My brother Ben and I sang two or three songs from this album for special music as children. I can remember that one or both of us were missing teeth when we sang one of these songs and were lisping with the best. Wish I had a recording of singing with my little brother. It makes me miss him. He would enjoy listening to this album with my kids as much I do.

Tree in the Trail Map

Tree in the Trail with Map

At the end of the summer, my poor little third grader couldn’t stand not doing school any longer, but his poor teacher wanted every minute of break possible, but I can’t hold out when kids beg to do school! We read the book Tree in the Trail a few times and then colored in this map together with the assistance of his older brother. It was a fun story and a great geography lesson.

Hand Colored Tree in the Trail Map


Beautiful Feet offers an entire geography course based on four of the Holling C. Holling books and make and sell the corresponding maps. The maps are beautiful, but I didn’t feel like making an entire unit study at the time, so we just read the book and looked at an atlas to figure a few things out that were mentioned in the book. Sometimes keeping it simple is best, at least for me.

Canning Peaches

We managed to can over 100 quarts and to freeze about 50 quarts. We will be enjoying lots of peaches this winter, especially peach smoothies from the frozen ones. Yummy! Can’t wait!

We like our set up pretty well, we keep all the mess outside.

Canning & Freezing Peaches Sept. 2104

Canning Peaches Sept. 2014

I consider canning to be a very educational experience and it does well to teach everybody to work as a team, but I never count it as “school” because it doesn’t get the algebra done.

Now off to can pears or do algebra.

Museum of Glass

If you are ever in Tacoma, Washington, I have two tourists stops to recommend: the Point Defiance Zoo and the Museum of Glass. This post is not about the zoo though, it’s about the Museum of Glass. (Hence the title.)

The museum of glass is one of the neatest places to visit. Some of the art pieces are almost like eye candy, they are just so colorful and pretty.

Glass Exhibits outside of the Museum


There is a bridge next the museum that goes over the highway, and has all sorts of interesting pieces of art. The above picture shows a pair of art pieces. The two pictures below show the ceiling that looks like it is full of colorful jelly fish made of glass.

Ceiling in Glass Bridge

Ceiling in Glass Bridge

Along the bridge is a wall a glass vases of so many sizes, colors and designs, that it is just stunning.

Glass Bridge


You also get to watch glass blowing. They actually have a glass blowing institute in the museum, so there are very good artists in there teaching students their different techniques. It’s very interesting (and warm).

Watching Glass Blowing

My favorite exhibit at the museum (a traveling exhibit, unfortunately) was the Paul J. Stankard exhibit. (Click on the link to see some of his pieces.) They are so much prettier in real life though. The next time it’s back at the museum, I will definitely go.