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Schooling Saturday: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day! I look forward to this day all year, and still it has managed to sneak up on me this time. I have a large amount of Irish blood flowing through my veins, and so I love embracing that and sharing it with my children, especially on this day.

We are taking today pretty low-key. We’ve all donned are Irish green shirts, enjoyed some Lucky Charms, and the kids are currently playing a leprechaun spin on hide-n-seek! In a little bit we plan to watch the Veggie Tales St. Patrick’s day short, and then later today The Happiest Millionaire.

Since we got a late start. I’ve decided to extend our enjoyment into next week with the St. Patrick’s Day unit study from Knowledge Quest. It looks wonderful, and includes an engaging, well-written biography of St. Patrick, maps, timelines, and lots of great ideas for activities.

How’s this comparison shot? St. Patrick’s Day last year and this year! Everyone but the baby is wearing the same shirt :)

Today! St. Patrick's Day, 2012 - My Irish Munchkins

 

St. Patrick's Day 2011. Look how tiny Nehemiah is!!

 

Do you have any St. Patrick’s Day traditions? Any favorite resources for learning about St. Patrick or Ireland?

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Schooling Saturday: We are “Rowing” Again!

I’m happy to report we are all finally well again. For the moment! I admit I cringe every time we go to a public place wondering if we will pick up something else, but that’s a whole different post ;)

The highlight of our school week for me is that we are “rowing” again! If you don’t know what I’m talking about (and you probably don’t!), “rowing” refers to the curriculum Five in a Row. Five in a Row is a great unit study curriculum that uses high quality children’s books to teach language arts, social studies, geography, science, and art. You read the book every day for five days, and each day you use part of the story to springboard learning in a related area.

We’ve always loved Five in a Row. We started out rowing a few titles when Makaylah was preschool age, and then used it as our main curriculum when she officially started kindergarten. Our first book was Madeline, and both my girls still remember things we learned about during that week!

When our new co-op wanted to do a story hour for the younger age group, Five in a Row came to mind right away! Although I knew  I wouldn’t be able to offer the benefits of repeated reading to the group, I was  excited about sharing the wonderful stories and activities in my Five in a Row manual.

I chose Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey, as our first book.

I love the sweetness of this story about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard looking around Boston for a good place to raise their family. We learned about the Caldecott Medal, Boston, and ducks, and hopefully all in a way that will stick in their young minds!

This week I will be doing some of the other activities from the manual here at home, along with reading the book every day. I look forward to the wonderful memories I know we will make!

If you are interested in finding out more about Five in a Row, be sure to check out their website. They have very active forums frequented by wonderful Five in a Row veteran moms who are always happy to answer questions, and by Steve and Jane Lambert, the creators of Five in a Row!

Do I have any fellow “rowers” reading here? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


 

 

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Schooling Saturday: Let it Snow?

My children love everything about snow. They love watching it fall. They love tasting it on their tongue. They love crunching through it, and making snow men. There’s just one problem. We live in Mississippi!

We don’t exactly see a lot of snow in this part of the South. We get one or two good snows a winter (meaning a few inches that actually stick!), and a few additional flurries, if we’re lucky.

What’s a momma to do?

A few weeks ago they forecasted snow. My kids were SO excited. We made paper snowflakes to celebrate.

Our first attempt at snowflakes. Some of them turned out a bit funny, but hey, we had fun!

 

The kids had a lot of fun, and it’s inspired me to have a “snow” day(s) this week. We are going to try making these snowflakes, using pipe cleaners, Borax, and food coloring. These will make great decorations, and we can count it as science too – score!

I also want to make these cute fingerprint snowman ornaments. We may even make extra as gifts!

And what’s a snow day unit study without some reading, right? We’ll be reading The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Dream Snow by Eric Carle, and Snowflake Bentley if I can get it from the library.

We’ll also spend some time discussing the science behind snow. The Weather Wiz Kids website looks like a great resource!

So even though we may not get any fun white stuff falling from the sky, I think we’ll have plenty of reason to sing, “Snow, snow, snooooow” (please tell me you can hear that White Christmas song in your head now)!

Do you have any fun snow activities or resources to recommend? Or do you get to enjoy the white stuff up close and personal where you live?

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