Friday, September 28, 2012

Comments are now open

Because of some input I have made comments available to everyone; you don't have to sign up/sign in to comment. I thought I'd try it out, but if I start getting a bunch of spam or inappropriate comments I will change it back.

So if you've wanted to leave a comment, but didn't want to deal with the verification, you are free to do so!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Joseph's Coat of Many Colors

This activity is for Story of the World One: Ancient Times, Chapter Six The Jewish People. The activity guide offers instructions for making Joseph's coat with butcher/construction paper or a more realistic coat made with a button down shirt. I didn't want to go to the effort of the fabric coat because I didn't think the boys would wear them very many times. So I made the paper coat, but I used a paper grocery bag instead of taping paper together. I wanted there to be a weaving element to it as well, so here's what I did:

  1. I cut the bag in the front in the middle, starting at the bottom. I continued the cut down the middle of the top of the coat (the bottom of the bag.) 
  2. I figured out the hard way (I had to toss my first attempt) that the best way to make a weaving area is to fold the front side parts in half (long open side to long other side) and cut slits to weave strips of colored paper through. Start cutting the strips on the side part where the two edges are touching, not in near the middle.
  3. I folded the bag inside out so the outside looks nice (it's easier than I thought it would be, and I didn't have any tearing.)
  4. I then cut out ovals at the neck and arms. 
  5. Next I cut out colored paper strips for the boys to weave on the the font part. (I cut quiet a few strips because I thought Early Bird might join us, and I didn't know what kind of pattern they'd want to make.)
  6. Builder Boy weaved in the colors he chose and I glued the ends to make sure they'd stick.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Pin it! Button

You can now "pin" my posts on Pinterest! You do have to click on the individual post, it doesn't show up on the "Home" page. The code from the main site apparently doesn't work on blogger, so I used the code from another site (but it still pins it on Pinterest.) This means that the button is not next to the Twitter, Facebook, etc. buttons. It is above the "posted by theYoungerMrsWarde" part. It also won't be in the exact same spot each time (sorry about that.) I hope it's not to much of issue spotting it. It also allows you to chose which picture you want to represent the post.

I also have a "Follow me on Pinterest" button on the side, which was much easier to add, and to see.

Please post a comment if there are issues with using the Pin it! button or if you know a better way to add it to blogger.

Supplementing FLL1, Lessons 11-20

A continuation of what we did to teach lessons from First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 1 in a kinetic way. (Click here for my post about the first ten lessons.)

Work poem (Lesson 15)
   We know a few signs thanks to Signing Time and two great sites online, so we worked out signs and hand motions for this poem. Blue words in the poem are linked to that sign on an awesome, free website that has videos of the signs. Not all hand motions are official ASL signs. The descriptions in blue are official, the black/gray is our own interpretation.

Work, by Anonymous

Work while you work, tap fist on top of another fist (palms down)
Play while you play; make "hang ten" or "y" hands and shake

This is the way  point down, then wave your hands in front of you to show a curvy path
To be happy each day. cup your hand and lift it up your chest, then lay one arm flat and use the other hand to "set" a pointer hand down


All that you do, make cupped hands down and move side to side
Do with your might; make a strong man pose


Things done by halves use one hand to split the fingers on the other side in half*
Are never done right. steeple hands and then move them to the side and down, shaking your head**


*The sign for "full" shows the top of a cup (your fist) being full. We decided to shoe"half" as the cup(fist) at the half way point.
**This is the sign for "not" rather than "never," but this is the one we know better and is more natural.

Places are nouns (Lesson 17-20)
   To get the idea of places we drew blueprints (on blue paper) of a made-up house plan and labeled all the rooms. The next day we drew a map of a town and identified all the different buildings that are found in towns. The next day we drew a map of a county with different places (which was a great review of the different habitats we learned about in science.)

*Click here for my post about the next 10 lessons.*

___________________________________________________________________________________ The original link takes you to the author's printing press online store. The picture is a link to the page. All extras ideas are my own, and I don't get paid for reviews.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sumerian Seals

Builder Boy's on the left, mine (a heart around the cuneiform letter "W")
'B" stamp on the left, Builder Boy's seal on the right
Friday we learned about Sumer/Akkadia and we made Sumerian Seals with air-dry clay. (Story of the World Activity Book One: Ancient Times Chapter Five The First Sumerian Dictator) We used popsicle/craft sticks to make the groves deep and wide enough for the seal to make a good impression. They dried over the weekend and today we reviewed what we learned and then tested out the dried seals. Early Bird's was too thin (thinner than a pencil) and broke in three pieces when we tried it on the wet clay. Builder Boy's and mine were thicker, and fine. We made holes in the stamped clay to make pendents to wear.

Then the boys got out the play-dough and tried out the seals on that. This showed how the seal could be used a lot of times, and that it was easier than writing your name in cuneiform every time. We also have letter stamps so it was a good example of stamping names/words in our time, too.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chicken Mummy: Day 1

My 100th post turned out to be the Mummy Chicken!

I have been looking forward to this project since I first read about it over a year ago. The instructions come from Story of the World Activity Book One: Ancient Time, Chapter Four: The Old Kingdom of Egypt. I had read that a lot of people bought Cornish hens instead of chickens because they are smaller, and therefore easier. Not having a lot of experience in purchasing whole (butchered and trimmed) chickens, I went to the grocery store intending to compare prices. I found a 5 lb chicken for 98 cents/lb which looked small and a good price, so I got that and didn't look any further. It looked bigger out of the bag when I was cleaning it, but it still fit in a gallon sized Ziploc freezer bag, so I'm happy with it.

I had a problem with the directions for the baking soda/baking powder/salt mixture. The instructions say "cans" and "boxes" instead of cups. We buy in bulk at Sam's Club, which means my boxes/bags are much bigger than standard. Knowing that, I went to the grocery store to see what size cans and boxes they had there. They had them measured in ounces, which was not very helpful, especially since the internet gives varied results as to how many ounces/cup those ingredients are. But that didn't matter much because I lost the list with the measurements I wrote on it. So I had to guess. I ended up using 6 cups salt/2 cups baking soda/ 1 1/2 cup baking powder.

The kids have been having fun watching the Horrible Histories Mummy Song, so Builder Boy really got the gross factor. Because of that he was hesitant to reach in and pull out the organs (they were already been cut off, but they were still inside.) He pulled out the neck (?) and I pulled out the dark things (did I mention I don't often cook whole chicken?) The book says they will still stink even if we try to mummify them, so we put them in "canopic jars" and filled them with vinegar. 

We mixed the first batch of baking powder/baking soda/salt before hand. Having Principal Daddy there with us to take pictures and hand us stuff helped a lot. I held the chicken while Builder Boy poured in the salt mixture. Then we used the rest in the bag. It was just the right amount for filling the cavity and covering it in the freezer bag.

After finishing the chicken in the bag I mixed three more batches of the salt mix and put each batch in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. We're going to probably use all of it in the changes in the next week or so. I had a 25 lb bag of salt and we used maybe 2/3 of it. The whole bag only cost about $5, so if you can buy it in bulk it is definitely worth it.

Builder Boy decided that the name of the chicken is Pharaoh Chicken King.

For the next steps on our mummy making journey, click here for 7 Tips for Easier Chicken Mummification.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Animal Habitat File Folder Game

Right now we are going, rather slowly, through Learning about Animals (Evan-Moor) for science. I'm using it to supplement our science plan from The Well-Trained Mind. We have spent the last three school weeks studying various habitats. I printed out and assembled the Animal Habitat File Folder Game (for free!) from File Folder Fun. Builder Boy loves it and it applies what we learned with Learning to Be a Scientist by making observations, making comparisons, and sorting into different categories. We're moving on to the next topic, but I thought I'd share the game on here. Just click on the links below the "Print this game for free" icon. (You don't have to sign up to print it.)

(Just in case you were wondering, I don't get paid for referring the game or website.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Color Lab

Today was an Art Day! Thanks to a recommendation from the Teaching My Baby to Read blog I bought 123 I Can Paint! on It has 6 painting activities to teach kids simple color concepts and painting techniques. The first activity is "Mix It Up" that makes an ocean scene and teaches mixing red, yellow, and blue to make orange, green, and purple.

Here's how they turned out:

Builder Boy's Ocean Painting
Early Bird's Painting (updated with orange fish)

My Picture (the yellow and the red were suppose to blend with the blue)

Builder Boy already knows what primary colors mix to make what secondary colors, but he had fun doing it anyway. Early Bird knows his main colors, but this was the first time talking about mixing some colors to make others. So while we were waiting for the paint to dry we did "Color Lab" which is something I had done with Builder Boy before, but it had been a while.

I put water in some small glass jars and put food coloring drops in each, making red, yellow, and blue water. Then I gave the kids larger jars for them to combine the "starting colors" in. Builder Boy knows they are called "primary colors," but so Early Bird could understand I also called them the "starting colors." That came in handy when he tried to mix different colors to "make yellow." It also helped having the primary/starting colors in the small jars and having them pour into the larger jars so that the secondary/mixed colors were "bigger." After we covered all the color combinations I let them play and mix with new water for a while. Early Bird was very excited about making brown, and he kept trying to add yellow to orange to make it.

Once we had cleaned up I put on the Blue's Clues episode about mixing colors (Season 5, Episode 2.) Builder Boy already had all the colors on it memorized, but it was still good review for him. Early Bird had watched it before, but I don't think he understood the mixing concept until today. The Blue's Clues episode also goes over the tertiary colors. It calls red-orange vermilion, yellow-orange marigold, yellow-green chartreuse (which was Builder Boy's favorite color for a long time after seeing that episode for the first time, and don't you mistake it for green!) blue-green aqua-marine, blue-purple violet, and red-purple magenta. However you can't really make them with colored water, as the distinction really isn't there.

Added later: Another way to mix primary colors into secondary colors: Koolaid ice cubes in Sprite! 
_________________________________________________________________________________ Be aware that this is a thin book, only 6 lessons and 22 pages. I didn't pay attention so I was surprised when it arrived in the mail, but I still think it's worth the $5.95 (if it's part of a free-shipping order.)

For older children, Jenny over at Teaching My Baby to Read did an awesome color Osmosis Experiment that can also be used to teach mixing colors.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Helping Verbs/State of Being Verbs

I was reading something that reminded me of something I learned in my English class in Jr. high. It was a way to remember all the (most common?) helping verbs, although I learned them as the state-of-being verbs. I did a quick search on Yahoo and Google and didn't see them mentioned, so I thought it might not be commonly known. It's something I'll share with my kids when we're there in grammar, so I thought I'd share it here.

It starts with Was.were, an explorer from the Amazon rainforest.
His best friend was Be Being Been (like the name Ben.)
His other friends were May Might Must, who was strong, and Do Did Does (like duh,) who was clueless.

Then there were the triplets: Can Could, Shall Should, and Will Would.

First Lost Tooth

Congratulations to Builder Boy for losing his first tooth! (Unfortunately, he swallowed it.)

Because he swallowed the tooth we didn't have it to put in his special tooth box that he had picked out. So I made a paper tooth and wrote "[Builder Boy's] First Lost Tooth" and the date on it. That made him happy.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Clay Tablet or Paper: Which Lasts Longer?

Aka: all the things not to do.

This activity was a continuation of the Story of the World Activity Book One: Ancient Times Chapter Three about the first writings.  Earlier we had made cuneiform on clay tablets and hieroglyphs on paper. I made my own along with Builder Boy because I knew we were going to do this activity and I didn't want to risk ruining his. The idea is to put the clay tablet and the paper scroll through different extreme conditions to see which lasts longer.

It started last week when we put the tablet and the scroll outside for a week. A week later they looked pretty much the same as when they started. I think the paper scroll rolled into the shade so it wasn't effected very much. Today we put the tablet and scroll in the bathtub for 5 minutes to simulate a flood. We used Crayola Air-Dry Clay for the tablet. It worked great for when we were making it, but it started dissolving in the water. Do NOT us that clay if you want to have an accurate experiment. We used the Crayola Washable Kids' Paint for the hieroglyphs on white construction paper and it actually held up pretty well for the 5 minutes.

Next we put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 200*F to simulate the hot desert over time. When I checked it at 23 minutes there wasn't much visible effect on the scroll. I thought to myself "the sun comes from above, not below" so I put it on broil for the last 7 minutes.


Well, at least we proved that if there were a fire in the libraries of ancient Egypt and Sumer, the Sumerian records would (more likely) survive.
This activity was brought to you by Story of the World Activity Book One: Ancient Times. The spectacular mess was brought to you by me. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Giving God Permission

A recent talk with my mother and a sermon at church reminded me of something that happened with Early Bird's birth and it felt like something worth sharing. So although it is not strictly about homeschool, it is about my kids, so I thought I would post it here.

I never thought I would have a premature baby. I have no family history of any complications during birth (and I have a BIG family.) I was the first, and still only, one to develop pre-eclampsia or be required to have an emergency c-section. But that's what happened with my first pregnancy, with Builder Boy. I developed HELLP Syndrome, didn't present with any of the outside symptoms, and was almost sent home with a failing liver before they caught it in a blood test and I had to have an emergency c-section. Thankfully he was two weeks overdue, so he was not any longer in the hospital than I was. At the time I was so grateful that I got to keep him and I got to bring him home with me. I thought of the mothers with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Mothers who had to go home empty handed, and my heart broke for them.

I prayed at that time to God that I would never have to go through that. But then I remembered "not my will, but Yours be done," (Luke 22:42) "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts," (Isaiah 55:8-9) and "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him." (Romans 8:28) So even though I didn't want to have to endure that I changed my prayer to "this is what I want. But your way is best, so you do what is your will." Even praying that, I never really thought that would be His plan for me.

And then it happened. I got pregnant and 7 months later I collapsed with severe pre-eclampsia. I spent the night in the hospital and when morning came I wasn't any better and my blood oxygen levels started dropping rapidly. Out came my baby with an 80% chance of survival and for over 36 hours I could not see him because I was too sick to get out of bed and he was too fragile to leave the NICU. And then for almost a week I could not hold him, could not even touch him. I had to drive in the car 45 minutes to get to the hospital every day from home. I could only hold him for half an hour every three hours when needed to be fed, and he couldn't be breastfed.

The hospital gave us some information about how parents, especially the mother, go through something very similar to the stages of grief. I had my moment when I asked God "Why? Why did this have to happen?" But, because I had already thought about this possibility, had already submitted to God's will, I was able to transition to "What am I suppose to learn from this?" For seven and a half weeks I commuted to the hospital with my husband. We were sustained by God's strength and grace as we dealt with Early Bird's glucose processing problems, low platelet count, transfusion, and non-health threatening (but needing a later surgery for him to function properly) birth defect.

Looking back at that prayer it looks like to me that I was giving God permission to "do this to me." I wondered if I hadn't prayed that, if I had been insistent on asking that it never happen to me, would it still have happened? If I had prayed against it, would God have listened and made it so Early Bird wasn't early? I don't know what might have happened if I hadn't submitted to God's plan for me. But I know now that that prayer prepared my heart for what was to come. Because I had already considered this possibility, because I had already submitted to God's will, I didn't feel like God had abandoned me, or that I was being punished. I felt His love and His guiding hand. He reaffirmed that love and support through the prayers and actions of our family and church family. And looking at our son now I can positively state that he is here because God wants him to be here; and that he has a plan for him, just as he does for us all.

I got to bring him home just a few days before Mother's Day, 2009, after 7 1/2 weeks in the hospital. He was just over 5 lbs.

2012 NICU Reunion Picnic

Every year the hospital that Early Bird was born in hosts a reunion for all the doctors, nurses, and "NICU Graduates." It is a wonderful time for the hospital staff to see the babies they took care of growing up. And it's a great time for us to get together with the other parents and kids who were in the same time as Early Bird.

There were two other babies that were right next to Early Bird for almost the whole 7 1/2 weeks he was in the NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit.) I have kept in touch with them on Facebook, and even though we live hours away from each other it is always like greeting family when we see them.

Saturday was this year's reunion. I spent the previous days looking through all the pictures of Early Bird in the hospital, so tiny. I looked at his coming home pictures and pictures of him growing to where he is now and I am so thankful for our little miracle.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Paper Models of a Pyramid and the Great Sphinx (Free!)

I found this site years ago. I saved a whole bunch of them and then forgot about them until we started learning about ancient Egypt. The Canon Creative Park has a color print out, cut and glue model of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, with a cutaway to see the rooms inside, and a model of the Great Sphinx!

There is also a more basic black and white, color-it-yourself model of the Sphinx here.

(I don't get paid for this review or referral.)
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