Monday, September 23, 2013

Math fact practice

We decided to take a break from L's Saxon math fact sheet today. I saw this idea on Pinterest and was excited to put my own spin on it. I filled water balloons and wrote doubles and doubles + 1 facts on them because that is what we are working on.

 I went outside and wrote 2 columns of large numbers 1-20 on the street with sidewalk chalk. I would have used our driveway but couldn't move my car since my husband took my keys with him to work today. ( I am always the one who does things like that so it was nice to not be the only forgetful one!-haha...I'll save that for a later post) But no worries...vehicles rarely go down my street and if they do it's usually a golf-cart, so we were safe.

I had the boys take turns. When it was L's turn, he had to answer the problem and tell J what number to stand on. J had to find the right number, stand there and hope L didn't hit him. Poor guy! If he got hit, L got a point. When it was J's turn, L still had to answer the equation, stand on the number and J tried to hit him for a point.

  When we ran out of balloons,  I counted out loud  to 20 and had them race to pick up the broken balloon pieces for extra points. The score was L-27 and J-16 but who's counting. I don't think J had any clue he came in second place but L stood by me and counted piece by piece to make sure he was the champion. I also emphasized the letter B for balloons for J's letter of the week.

  E enjoyed handing the boys the balloons. And for all concerned mama's out there...I promise I took it away from her before it popped in her mouth but isn't she the most adorable thing on the planet?

Here's our heart moment: About two hours after we finished, I was working with L, J was on the computer using Starfall and E was asleep. J stopped what he was doing and said with a precious, trembling, baby voice, " I sorry I took sissy's balloon and broke it, Mommy. Will you forgive me?"
I looked at him and he was trying his hardest not to cry but looked absolutely heartbroken.  I picked him and up and hugged him and told me of course I forgive him. I love that tenderhearted little fella so much! 

Did I mention that I LOVE homeschooling??

Sunday, September 8, 2013

All I have is Christ

There is not much more I can add to this except to beg God to change me to be more like Him. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Happy Grandparents Day

I have been blessed beyond measure with an amazing woman to call my Gramma and quite the incredible Poppy too. She was young when I was born, 37, and most people thought she was my mom when we went out. I hated it, she didn't mind. Every Friday, Poppy would pick me up after school to spend the night at their house.( unless it was my sister's turn of course.) Poppy would order Pizza for him and Uncle Jerry and Gramma and I would eat Chinese. Sometimes we would go shopping or to see a movie but my favorite thing would be to cuddle up and watch TV in her big comfy chair. There was no safer place. I continued this tradition until I left for college and even now although I am married with babies of  my own, when I am home in NY, I still spend a night with Gramma. Unfortunately,  we no longer fit in her chair (we tried)  but we still stay up all night talking. She always had the best breakfast-crispy bacon, egg and cheese on a roll! Last time I was there, I was the one who cooked but it didn't taste as good. They came to every birthday party and major event, whether it meant coming to all of my track meets, church plays or singing concerts. Gramma proved she was the coolest when  at my second grade grandparent's day party she held our class pet, Monte the boa constructor. Poppy and I would sing opera on top of our lungs in the car on our way to my orthodontist appointments and any other chance we got. Gramma and Poppy were there to watch me get on the bus for kindergarten and every other first day of school. They watched me go off to college and Poppy shared a special dance with me at my wedding. Gramma is the one I call when I am upset and she never judges and always listens and cares. She is beautiful, funny, giving, a cancer survivor and my best friend. She has gone through many trials but last year in 2012, I saw my Gramma go through the hardest thing anyone has ever had to endure. She lost her first born son unexpectedly, my daddy, and yet she tries to be strong for all of us. That same year, she lost her home in Hurricane Sandy. Through these tragedies she has not complained, or given up and somewhere in there her spirit is not broken. She is still strong, beautiful and my shoulder to cry on. My daddy is watching her and she has made him proud. I love my Gramberloo and Poppernickle so much and I want to wish them  a HAPPY GRANDPARENTS DAY!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Triplett Preschool

  J is doing preschool this year!  I have put together many resources as he is learning one letter per week starting with the vowels. We are so blessed by this day and age to have unlimited resources at our finger tips, and many of them are free!  I am having more fun than I imagined with the Letter of the Week. Every homeschool looks a little different so I'm going to share our version of Preschool. Here's how we do it!

# 1. The bones of my curriculum is Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington. For K3, my goal is to do the first 26 lessons and stretch out one lesson per week. Each Monday, I make a new flashcard and we learn a little poem. For example, A's poem would be " A is the first letter will say /a/ is the short letter sound of A."  We then review and finish the lesson during the week.                                                          

I store my flashcards in a little case that I found at Staples. 

#2. I also use large alphabet flashcards from Abeka. J loves these because each one features an animal with a cute name and story on the back. I keep it up by his desk for the week and we review it and read a little more of the story each day.

# 3. I have him work on my computer independently with headphones while I am working with L. We  use educational websites like Easy PeasyStarfall and He only has access to a kid browser under our family login that has a password. I am amazed at how well he can navigate the computer at age 3.

#4. He does Letter of the Week hands-on activities. This is my favorite part of preschool because it's fun and besides learning the letters he is also learning math skills like numbers, colors, shapes,  patterns, and grouping . I found my materials by mixing  and matching curriculum from some of my favorite blogs like and There are probably many others but those are the main two that I use along with whatever I can find on Pinterest. 

We practice the alphabet often and he uses a Daily Learning Notebook too!

A is for apple! Here he is putting the apples in size order and you can see his dot page in the background.

He LOVES using dot markers. 

Here he is using the dot page and making the letter O out of o's. ( cheerios) This is great for his fine motor skills. 

I know he is upside down here, but I wanted to show the page he is doing. He is practicing his colors with octopuses. 

Here he is using his fine motor skills by cutting and pasting the octopuses. The sheet says " O is for Octopus"  and he did his best tracing the sentence. 

I also have so many activity books from Walmart, Target and even the Dollar Tree that I use. My goal was to have everything printed, laminated, cut, filed and ready to use before school started but that did not happen. A was the only letter that I had prepared. I just stay about two weeks ahead now and so far so good. At least it will be done when E is ready to use it. I have about 10-15 activities per letter and I store them in a letter size portable file tote. ( I had to look at it to know what it was called.) Each week, I take all the activities and put them in weekly folders so they are ready to grab and use. At the end of the week, I file them back in  the tote. 

# 5. I also reserve books from our local library to go with the letter of the week. He loved reading about igloos and iguanas last week, but I think Izzy Iquana was his favorite. We probably read this book 50 times. 

#  6. Lastly, we do hands on experiments, crafts and projects that go with each letter. This works great because I can usually incorporate a phonics sound that L is working on. E does everything with us too! 

We made apple trees with our hand and foot prints. Poor E screamed when I tried to paint her feet, so no apple tree for her. 
Can you guess who's is who's?? 

Practicing  the letter E with shaving cream

                                                   We made Italian Cream Soda's


We also discovered the fastest way to melt ice by rescuing insects from ice! We tried salt, water and saltwater.

We concluded that the fastest way to rescue the insects was by throwing the ice on the road and breaking it! 

YAY!! He's free! 

We practiced the letter O by making ocean boxes. 

J is a joy to teach and we are having a blast at Triplett Preschool!  My goal is not to have him reading by age 4 but to instill a love for reading and a love for learning.

Oh, and for all of you who are thinking that I am an ignorant slob for saying octopuses and not octopi... watch this!  Haha!