Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Word Wall - but not on a wall?

In elementary classrooms, you'll find a GIANT word wall that students can use during reading and writing time.  And it's just want it says... a WALL covered in WORDS.  These are usually basic sight words that kiddos need to reference because they are tricky to sound out or spell.  

(For a great list of basic sight words...check out this resource from Lakeshore Learning)

Back in the day, when I was still in "teacher mode" rather than "homeschooling mom mode' (yes! there is a difference)...I had a word wall in our Learning Room.  It was beautiful and BIG!

We had only hung names of our family members (with pictures) at this point.  J was only 4 and wasn't reading.
This wall had its benefits - like exposure to the alphabet, visual formations of letters and a reference for kids when we were discussing words and family members.  

Now, we are in a different house and kids are older!  My schooling style has changed and I honestly don't feel that we need one wall devoted to just words. (plus my husband might kill me!)  So this is how I helped with the adjustment.  And maybe some day, when I have a space designated for just "schooling", I might devote that one, lovely blank wall to just words.  But for now, we learn EVERYWHERE and this "wall" can move with us.

Personal and Portable Word Walls

This sweet, little thing can go ANYWHERE!  We keep it in the Writing Area or hanging up by our computer.  J uses it ALL-THE-TIME!  I have taken words that he can read and writing them in this book using a fine-tip sharpie.  As he learns more words, we add them.  **Remember, this is a resource that is for words that can't be phonically sounded out.  Refer to that link above for examples**

Below, he is using it to write a letter to our elderly neighbor.  

J also uses it when he types emails to friends and family.  So I have a hook that he can use to hang it up on above the computer.  This really eliminates the "MOM!  How do you spell...."  which can get frustrating with you are playing and teaching other kids in the house.  

My sweet friend saw our portable word wall and created her own that is MUCH cuter.  So feel free to download that here, print it off and get started!
 Portable Word Wall Printable Freebie

If you take your colorful copies into a office supply store, they will laminate and bind it for you at a good price!

Happy Learning with your Little Ones.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Peek inside our Week

I hope you have had a great week!  Ours has been exciting, fast and blessed.

Here's a quick peek inside our Homeschooling week.


I got the awesome opportunity to speak on behalf of the homeschooling community in Austin Texas.


After our morning calendar and quick must-dos, we met up with some other kiddos and went hiking!  It was beautiful that morning. 


This is a out-and-about learning day.  Here's our co-op group using problem solving strategies combined with team building to "to get across the swamp to the island".

That afternoon, I drop off J's at his Saints PE class.  Snooze and snuggle with the lil guys while J is at class...then do a quick 1:45pm Tuesday Scope using the Perscope App.

Here is my REPLAY link

Afterwards, we ALL head to the skate park before dinner.  Those boys sleep SOOOO good on Tuesday nights!


Days at home are my favorite!  We started our Shark Unit Study and this was a great morning for measuring shark lengths out on the side walks. 

That night, we drove dinner to a mom/wife of a Veteran.  We ate, played and enjoyed each others company.  Even made cookies for desert!


Things were off to a rough start!  We had stayed up LATE and woke up early.  But after a few cups of coffee and some backyard play time, we were all set up for a successful morning of learning.

We added to our Shark lapbooks.  

Learned how to use tracing paper...
 Painted a shark...

Then snuggled in bed to read books! (Daddy was out of town!)


Tomorrow, we are taking our learning to the park with other Homeschoolers.  Just a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather, meet new friends and learn somewhere fun!

I'll be sure and post a few pictures from this great event!

Happy Learning with your Little Ones!

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Burrito Brothers - The BIG Business Plan!

On October 31, 2015, my young business boys suited up and sold 60 breakfast burritos in record time!  

All the prep work had been done about a month before and it blew me away how this one experience taught our whole family!

And if you miss the post on how this all came about - check it out here:
How it ALL Began!

Let me start from the beginning of our successful business plan....

We knew we needed a logo for this business and he wanted to make it unique!  So we called up a sweet 10 year old friend that has some mad-skills in Art and he created this...
It's it awesome!  We even decided to take the logo one step further and ordered t-shirts!  

If we were going to make and sell breakfast tacos, then we needed to know what "good" tasted like and how much they were going for. We knew that the price of eggs had gone up.  Something that we learned when we visited Ken's Tacos for a fun & tasty field trip.

Our tasty test at Ken's Tacos.  
We also stopped by El Faro for some breakfast tacos.

We made sure to study and notice where their menus were located and few other fine details.

We made a budget with brought out a SERIOUS MATH LESSON!  And created a "time line" to keep our business plan on track.

Back to the "price of eggs on the rise"... we wanted to invite a 5 year old friend that has backyard fresh eggs to partner up with us.  This would help with the cost of our eggs AND make them super tasty!  So our sweet friend donated 3 dozen eggs AND created her own logo to advertise with at the business fair.  

 Throughout the month of October, J learned how to use Google Drawings to create his own menus.

I incorporated making change into our monthly math focus.  One morning, we even had Jackson set up a Dollar Store.  MiniM and N were customers.  Perfect learning in every way - Imaginative Play for all while learning how to give correct change back to costumers.

Next up, was a Taste Test at Toybrary Austin!  This was GREAT practice for J to use his business-man words to sell his samples.  That kiddo brought home $11 in tips from his tip jar.  We couldn't believe it!!!  J and N decided to split that money.

October 30 had arrived.  That meant one thing (on that VERY rainy day!)...LET'S MAKE SOME BREAKFAST BURRITOS, BOYS!
And everyone needed to help!

It took a good 3 hours to make them all!  But the next day, October 31st, we found out all that time and effort was worth it!

Stay tuned for the next post, The Burrito Brothers - The Successful Business Fair

Tips for Hitting the Road with Kids

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