Field Trip to the Police Station

This week we enjoyed a fun field trip to the Cuba Police Department. Before we headed out we got our pretend police set out. We talked about what police officers do and how we can trust them.

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The handcuffs were a big hit by both. Cuffs20160315-IMG_4589Eli loved the hat so much that he ended up wearing the hat on the field trip. He was pretty cute so I didn’t fight it.

Our field trip was organized and sponsored by our homeschool co-op. We started in the lobby where we got to meet the Lieutenant who was great with the kids and led a very nice tour.20160315-IMG_4495

We got to walk through the station and saw several rooms including: offices, the kitchen, the courtroom, and the training room.

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Eli got to try to lift the “big” weights as he calls it and after a few failed attempts the Lieutenant gave him a two pound weight which was much more manageable. Eli felt pretty special.

20160315-IMG_4560The highlight of the day was getting to see and sit in the police car.

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When we got home I had a small craft for the kids to create. I found it here if you want to make one yourself.

20160315-IMG_4635The weather is once again beautiful so we were able to spend most of the day outside for this lesson and the rest of our homeschool time.

20160317-IMG_4713They turned out pretty cute. Next week we are off to the fire department.

 

Buffalo Hunt – in Oklahoma

We are currently learning about Native Americans (there will be another post on that later) and this week we learned about the importance of the Bison or the Buffalo as many mistakenly call them.

My parents live in Bartlesville, Oklahoma and while Joseph is participating in the MOJO ride (this too will be another post) we are spending a few days here. One of the things that is special about Bartlesville is their Buffalo Stampede. The Buffalo Stampede began in 1998 as Senior Gold Project for Girl Scout Troop 208. The troop chose Mary Martha Outreach as the recipient of profits from the buffalo.Buffalo Bill

Each of the buffalos are painted differently by different artist and situated in different place around town. Buffalo Bill is found out side the city stadium.  Patch

We spent a whole day going around town on a buffalo hunt to find as many of the buffalos as we could. We found Patch in front of the Boy Scott office.Van Gogh-falo

The kids had a blast walking around and climbing under each of the buffalo. Van Gogh-falo was beautiful.Amadeus

Amadeus was inspirational.OSU Baffalo

OSU Buffalo and Eden had matching boots.Barney

Some of the buffalos, like Barney, had hidden pictures that Eden liked finding. Frankie

This buffalo is named Frankie after Frank Loyd Wright who built a cool tower just on the other side of the buffalo but I didn’t think to take a picture of it (sorry).Tree of Life

This is our favorite. It is found at my parent church and was done by a cancer survivor from their church. Tree of Life2

Small animals can be found hiding all over. We really liked the owls. Others

This is the rest that we found and were able to take pictures of. Left to Right: Woolaroc Wiley, Osage Buffalo, & Wildcat.

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Left to Right: Magic, Splash, and SGS Buffalo. We found a total of 23 (8 not pictured here as we couldn’t get close enough for a good pictures) of the 30 listed buffalos. We also found 2 of the new baby buffalos that are soon to be put on display.

woolaroc logoWe finished off our stay with a field trip to Woolaroc wildlife preserve and museum to get an up close experience with real life wild buffalos.  This was a fun trip for me as I remember visiting here as a child.

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We got really luck shortly after we entered the preserve. Papa spotted a buffalo coming over the hill and slowly a whole heard followed and crossed right in front and behind of our car. Buffalo2

Eli liked seeing the huge animals up close but I think he liked being out of his car seat even more.

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My favorite as a child and now a favorite for Eden was the crash collecting buffalo. This vacuum mouthed sculptures collects trash (leaves from us as we didn’t have any trash) through its’ mouth. It makes cleaning up lots of fun.

Community Helpers – Librarian

Each month we are learning about a different community helper. We had a great time this past month learning all about Librarians and Libraries.

IMG_6138Our first field trip was to our local library. We are regulars here, coming at least once a week if not twice.

IMG_6101We received a private tour; Eden learned there is a lot more than just books in a library. Her new favorite is the kids magazines.

IMG_6135She also learned that she could check-out movies, music, and audio books.

IMG_6136Eden even did a short interview with the librarian.

IMG_6126One of my goals for our first year of homeschooling was to grow a love of reading.

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It is important to me that our kids see us reading, and I have made it a new personal goal to read more often.
IMG_6076At home we recreated a library in our living room. We already had a good selection of children’s books on our living room shelves; so we only had to bring in a few small tables, shelves, and props, move the living room around, and add library signage and we had a working library.

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We had lots of fun taking turns picking out books, checking them out, reading each one and then returning them at the drop off. Eli even got the hang of it, but Eden preferred to play while he was napping as she likes the quiet cuddle reading of just her and me.

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We finished up the month with our first trip to the Magic House in Saint Louis, Missouri. Their current exhibit is based on the Magic Tree House book series.

IMG_3692  IMG_3663  IMG_3679Here we were able to jump into the one of three books and travel back in time with Jack and Annie (the main characters).

IMG_3673“In each book” we got to experience the events of that time period. The costumes and activities made it feel like we really traveled back in time.

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We have not read any of the books in this series but have one waiting for us to start tomorrow. Maybe once we have read these three stories we will make a trip back to the Magic House and try these activities again to help reinforce the idea that books can really take us anywhere.

 

First Day of Kindergarten Homeschool

We too have started school. And what first day of school would be complete without those first day of school photos?

IMG_6011My little girl is growing up so quickly. Kindergarten already?

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As I have shared before, we will be schooling at home. It might be a little outside of the norm, but I think it is what is best for us.

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While we will be coving all the basics that should be covered in Kindergarten, I am putting a heavy focus on reading. I think good reading skills is going to make everything else more enjoyable and put us off to a great start. Eden also wants to read and is excited about each new word she figures out.

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We also captured a few pictures with the school principle and homeroom teacher.

IMG_6048-2I wanted to start a few fun first day of school traditions. So I did a bit of searching online and found a few cool ideas.

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Eden found this surprise right away. I covered the doorway into the dining room with streamers. She really wanted to see if she could craw under and through the holes (I will have to remember this and do it as an activity on a rainy day), but I explained that this was the passageway into kindergarten; that once she broke through she would be an official kindergartener. She thought this was pretty cool too and didn’t really want to wait for too many pictures to be snapped. Eli was very disappointed that he didn’t get to run through the streams and kept bringing me pieces and pointing to the wall as to say my turn mommy.

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I let Eden pick a special breakfast for the first day of school and she wanted to make a trip to the store for donuts and chocolate milk. She was excited to find they had a donut shaped like a school bus. About half way through the donut she decided it was too much sugar and opted for a banana.

Lastly I planned a field trip for our focus for the first day. We did our normal morning routing of calendar time, sight word practice, and centers, but then spent the rest of the day at Maramec Springs.

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We enjoyed a picnic lunch. Eden knows that many kids pack their lunch for school, so she though packing all of our lunches was a great idea for our first day too.

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While playing on the playground we meet another homeschool family with kids close to Eden’s age. I love watching the older siblings care for and play with their younger siblings.

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Daddy enjoyed a little afternoon nap with the kids.

In the afternoon we took a long nature hike while we looked for items on a woodland scavenger hunt. We were able to find 6 different kinds of insects, 3 colors of flowers, a spiky plant, and many other things.

IMG_3050We walked the length river to the bridge; the whole time Eden wished to be playing in the water or “at least touching it” as she put it. As a reward for finding everything on our list I let her hop across the rocks in a calm section of the river.

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She was so proud of her last jump that she wanted me to also come out so I could get her picture with the bridge behind her (a little artist in the making as she plans out photo ops). The whole time she instructed me on how not to get my shoes wet and which rocks were a little slick; I guess she was listening when I explained the same things to her as she ventured out.

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Eli was sitting in his stroller through rock hopping adventure; which he didn’t mind too much but once I let Eden take her shoes off, Eli was sure he needed to have his shoes off too.

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He wasn’t as excited as Eden about the water, but I will admit the water did feel nice after our long walk. (Photo by Eden)

IMG_3060A trip to the springs wouldn’t be complete without a little fishing time (this is what Joseph was doing while we were on our hike).

IMG_3064Joseph and Eden ended up getting two fish; a little unconventionally but you will have to ask Joseph about that.

On our way Eden shared that this was the best first day of school ever. (I hope so, since it was her first, first day.)

 

 

G is for Goat

G is for Goat FeatureWe continue through our phonics sounds with the letter Gg. Our theme for the week was Goats.

3goatsWe read several versions of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff and had a blast acting out the story. I found a cool free printable stage (and directions to make it using a tissue box), puppets, and a silly script. Eden loved playing the part of the troll. This was great practice for her retelling the story.

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To practice our sight words this week I made up a small 3 Billy Goats Bridge game. Eden colored the dry field, river, and green pasture while I created a 3-D bridge with card stock and popsicle sticks for the slates. Each popsicle had one of the sight words we have been working on written on it. Those, ones with the word goat, and a picture of a troll went into the bag. She would pull a stick out of the bag; and if she could read the word, she could stick it on to the bridge. If she couldn’t read it, then I will tell her what it was and it would go back in the bag. Goat sticks were free spaces, and if she pulled the troll, she had to start all over by putting all the sticks back in the bag.  This has been a big hit, and will be one that we will keep pulling out to play and practice. We even reused the goat and troll puppets from the activity before.

IMG_2135While in Saint Louis, we made a quick stop at the Saint Louis Zoo to visit the children’s petting zoo. Again she prepared her questions ahead of time. Once we got there and she saw the goats climbing on the rock ledges, she came up with a few more.

I think I am going to try and incorporate time into each field trip for questions. I think it will be a nice way for Eden to learn from other adults and also to practice speaking clearly and planning what she wants to say.

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One cool part of homeschooling is the number of people that get to be part of our children’s education. I have a few ladies at church and lots of family and friends that are so sweet to come up with field trip ideas, activities, and lesson extensions.

IMG_5689Thanks you to Helen and Robin for organizing our Friday Field Trip to a neighbor’s farm to see their goats and other animals (I will stick to goat pictures for this post).

IMG_5710Both the kids loved the baby goat. He was playful but sweet to the kids. Eden loved that baby goats were called kids and would laugh when I would say, “Hey kids lets go” as she joked that I wanted the kid goat to come home too.

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Eden loved letting him suckle on her finger and petting him. On the way home she asked if we could have goats someday.

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Eli enjoyed standing at the gate and calling the goats toward him. The baby loved licking on Eli and “cleaning” his ears. He must have thought it was okay as he didn’t cry or try to get away.

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After learning about dairy goats, we made a special trip to Trader Joe’s where they have a large selection of goat cheese. With some help, we selected a honey goat cheese and a French baguette for an afternoon snack and tasting event. Unfortunately none of us cared for it. We will have to try a different kind again soon.