Wednesday, October 27, 2010

F is for St. Francis, Fuchsia Fairy, Flowers, and Fire Safety!

We wrapped up our work with the letter F on Monday, and now we are heading into G for the rest of the week! I am thinking that, although a bit late for F, we make take a trip next week to the aquarium to see the fish!

Here are our themes for the week, all of which went into the Word Box, as usual.

Our F poems for the week from An Alphabet of Catholic Saints and God's Alphabet

~Work Activities~

Caroline does a new puzzle of The Frog Prince (not that we have read the story...)

Fairies of the Field lacing cards - Caroline really enjoys these

Cecilia had various farm puzzles out on her shelf for F week

Caroline displays one of her lacing cards

~Foods for F Week~

I love this cheese fondue... what a great excuse to make it for dinner!

French onion soup


French toast - stuffed, that is!

Farmhouse Pizza and fruit salad

Yes, you may be thinking, "That's not a pizza; it's a pie!" Well, for some reason, it is called Farmhouse Pizza. That is the name of the recipe. It is filled with ricotta, provelone, mozerella, parmesan, spinach, and pepperoni... and we carved some Ff marks into the top crust for fun! Too bad Caroline doesn't like pie crust... weird for a kid who likes pretty much anything!

fettucine... specifically, pumpkin fettucine alfredo! The girls loved this one and ate it up!

Other F foods enjoyed were fajitas, fig jam, and baked French fries... and lots of fresh fruit!

~Tea Time~

We made fig bars for tea time and had them outside so we could get a little fresh air and outdoor time. Do you see that there is no tea?? Well, I attempted to get apple cider, but when I did, the girls began fighting for the 8 billionth time that day, and so I decided that if I couldn't even walk to the kitchen and pour two mini-teacups of cider and then walk back without Caroline getting in Cecilia's face and Cecilia whacking her, both of them screaming, then there would be no apple cider! If you won't let me go get it, then it doesn't happen! ;)

As a side note, they had an absolutely wonderful day today (Tuesday), with no arguing... Cecilia even set the table for Caroline and randomly told her that she loved her, and Caroline set up a "flower contest" for Cecilia to discover after her nap. :) Just a little inside look at the good and the bad that both occur when homeschooling!

I think these are before they found out there would be no apple cider... ;)

~Circle Time~

For show and tell, Caroline and Cecilia both brought frog toys from the bathtub. Caroline also brought a squirrel Beanie Baby and claimed it was a flying squirrel.

Here's Cecilia reaching into the mystery sound pouch to fell the secret F object...

Songs and Rhymes
Farmer in the Dell
Make New Friends
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
Fall and pumpkin songs and rhymes

~Letter Formation~

forming letter Ff using playdough (and looking at the very tall F a bit suspiciously!)

writing F's in cornmeal

Cut and Paste F Collage... this time, she tried to spell lots of the words herself. For the E collage last week, she began labeling each picture for the first time, and you may have noticed that I spelled many of those somewhat difficult words for her. She wanted to try all on her own this week!

Punch Out the Letter - Capital and Lowercase Ff

~Flower Fairy for Letter F: Fuchsia~

I don't know what happened to the photo of Caroline coloring her picture, but here's one of Cecilia... she really bears down hard with the crayon. It was like a perfectly smooth layer of yellow wax when she was done! Not sure why she always colors over faces with a pencil, though...

Caroline's completed Fuchsia Fairy

~Saint for Letter F: St. Francis of Assisi~

painted St. Francis

St. Francis poem copywork from An Alphabet of Catholic Saints

Illustrating the saint

Caroline's completed work - see the animals with St. Francis (the tiger is most obvious!)

~In the Book Baskets~

Science Theme: Flowers
(there are lots more flower-related books for next week's theme, Gardens!)

Social Studies Theme: Fire Safety

Liturgical Year and Religious F Books:

Favorites for Letter F:

After we read Best Friends for Frances, Caroline planned a "no boys, best friends outing" just like Frances did in the book. Frances did this because a friend of hers said she couldn't play with him since it was a "boys only" game. Caroline made a sign, packed a picnic basket, and even brought along some toy frogs for the frog-jumping contest. Cecilia went right along with the idea... and just so this doesn't sound too picture-perfect, with my children happily re-enacting a book as part of their own self-learning, homeschool-inspired life... Caroline also brought out balloons as "prizes" (just like in the book), and then the wind blew them away. Well, one was Cecilia's, and it popped when it hit a rose bush (or should I say, what used to be a rose bush and is not just a kind of thorny vine that keeps growing back). Cecilia dropped her snack, ran over and cried that her balloon was gone - her balloon which Caroline did not ask her permission before bringing it outside - and, in the meantime, a few of the chickens discovered the snack laying unattended on the picnic blanket. It was one of those rice krispie nests we made at the end of E week, remember? So, the chickens made off with the treat, which upset Cecilia even more. I gave her a chocolate chip to make up for it (since it was a special kind of treat that got eaten by the hens!)... ahh, what fun that all was! ;)

~Word Box Work~

We had enough words in the C section of the box that I had Caroline do a word sort: soft C, hard C, and ch words. We also added the F words to the box (boy, that sounds a bit inappropriate, ha ha!).

~Picture Study: F is for Feet and Fountain~

This week, we had Leon Bonnat's Roman Girl at a Fountain as our picture study. The paintings in Museum ABC all featured feet, but this one also had a fountain for F. I sat down and did my own version of the painting alongside Caroline, thinking I could model for her how to fill up the paper and not leave random empty space. Well, I started out too big and so the girl's feet didn't even make it into my picture, ha ha!

~ABC Virtue of the Week: Friendly~

These are virtue coloring sheets found here. Using the great idea of another Catholic homeschooling mom, I am reading Caroline a relevant story from this sweet little book full of stories with morals to them. I am choosing a story from Devotional Stories for Little Folks that reinforces the virtue for each week. This is Caroline's favorite part of our homeschooling routine, I think... she will be very sad that the virtue coloring sheets end after about letter N! I may just have to draw up some of my own...

Her finished page... I colored the top of the sky. The white space is "clouds."

~Activities for F Week~

F is for Fire Safety

Caroline made a Fire Safety Lapbook, which included things like escape routes from each room, tips on fire safety like burn care and how often to change smoke detector batteries... I found all the info for this lapbook compiled here at Shower of Roses... I love when free lapbook resources can be found, already put together, online! I am grateful that people take the time to post links to it all! So far, I have put together one lapbook from scratch on my own (and by "from scratch," I mean that I came up with a theme and searched for pre-made components online!), the All About Me lapbook that Caroline did during A week. It's a time-consuming process!

Cecilia pursues her own creative endeavors... I love letting her loose with open-ended art materials because it is interesting to see what she does with them!

Gluing all the little mini-books and other components into the lapbook

The inside of the finished product! Caroline likes having these and being able to look back through them!

F is for Fruitful Os

Caroline and Cecilia used plastic embroidery needles to thread Fruitful Os cereal onto thread...

...then they wore them as necklaces and snacked on them as they played outside.


~Art Project for F: Making Flower Fairies~

I saw this idea in a Family Fun magazine... first, the girls gathered items from the yard like leaves, flowers, stems...

I had drawn the outlines of some people and given them faces, and then the girls used glue to attach various details, like leaves for wings, a flower on a stem for a magic wand...

the finished products

~Cooking Project: Fig Bars~

Caroline pours the oats

the girls press the dough into the pan

We used dehydrated figs (rehydrated in hot water!) to make the puree that is spread in the middle

~Chores/Practical Life: F is for Folding~

I worked with Caroline on how to fold up blankets... this is an important skill for her, and she and Cecilia are always dragging out all the blankets to make tents, picnic blankets, capes, beds for stuffed animals... she was really pretty good at lining up the corners and folding them straight without much help at all!

~Outdoors: F is for Frisbee and Freeze Tag!~

We practiced throwing and catching the frisbee outside... Caroline is probably almost better than me at it lately! We don't have any photos of freeze tag because, well, have you ever seen a game of freeze tag with only three people, one of which is a two year old? Yeah, pretty lame... but Caroline didn't want to stop playing it, she was enjoying it so much! One day we'll have to play it in a larger group!


KaraMalkowski said...

Hi Erin,

This is Kara M. I made the comment on Single Dad Laughing regarding birth control and its fault in why women see themselves so negatively. Thanks for your positive feedback.:-)

What a great blog you have! When I have more time, I'm going to be sitting down and doing some reading. You have such cute kids!

I, too, am Catholic. (Surprise, surprise) I don't homeschool our four girls, but they do attend the Catholic school just up the road and many of my Catholic friends homeschool their kids.

I'm still breastfeeding our 1.5 year old and the other older three all weaned between 3 and 4 years old (yes, there was some tandem nursing in there somewhere). I used to be a Bradley Method teacher (natural childbirth classes), but gave it up a couple years ago to focus more on my family.

Anyway, sorry to leave a general comment, but I couldn't see a link on your blog where to send an e-mail to introduce myself. A little about me (just so you don't think I'm some weirdo who is writing you): I live in Michigan with my husband of almost 18 years and our four daughters (ages 11, 8, 5 and 1.5). We're conservative Catholics (versus the "cafeteria" style :-) who went through a reconversion to our faith in 2008. It's a long story I readily share, though I won't go into it now.

I do have a blog, but it's gotten to the point where I update it only a few times a year. I'm on Facebook, as well.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your comment about my comment.

Your sister in Christ,
Kara Malkowski

Erin said...

Hey Kara,

I was so glad to see that you made a comment similar to mine on Single Dad Laughing! I was trying to follow the responses to both comments but having trouble going back and finding them since there are so many to begin with! I obviously agree that widespread acceptance of birth control has played a large role in many social problems of today. I have written a few posts regarding the topic, under the tags "abortion," "contraception," "pro-life," and "NFP."

It is always nice to "meet" somebody else who is Catholic and parents in a similar style! My husband and I took Bradley classes before out first was born and loved them - two natural births so far, both 1.5 hours or less after arriving at the hospital!

You last name also caught my eye since it ends in "ski." Polish? My maiden name is Nadolski.

I will have to check out your blog too- thanks for taking the time to say hi! :)

johnston5in5 said...

All your meals look so good, I need to get more recipes. You are so good at planning meals. I only cook a couple times a week and the hardest part is planning! Lots of good ideas!

Tiny Actions said...

F is for FUN! It looks like your girls are having a great time. Your food recipes are fabulous and healthy. What a great idea to incorporate the meals for the week. Princess told me she would like to come over to your house for the alphabet path food.

Erin said...

I am having so much fun with the meals... I am so indecisive when doing meal planning, but I am also the kind of person who likes to have the meals for the week planned out... otherwise, I won't have the ingredients I need and I won't ever know what to cook and then at dinnertime, I will just be staring into the fridge, not knowing what to cook...

I found lots of food suggestions on this blog:
If you search for Alphabet Path, you will find all the posts on it, and most of them have a list of foods for that letter, which has been handy!

Some weeks are more difficult... not many D foods. Next week is I, so we will be having lots of Italian and Irish foods, I think!

Mariam said...


I too am a stay at home mother who and am homeschooling my 5 year old daughter. I also have a three year old and a one year old, so it can get very challenging at times. I was amazed by how much you get done with your girls. How much time do you spend each day with them? And which curriculum do you follow?

I don't follow any set curriculum, but instead am just going by what I remember teaching from my days as a teacher. However, after seeing your blog I really feel I need to do much more with my children. It's really hard though since I have two other little ones. Any advice??

Thank you so much for sharing all of your incredible ideas with us! God Bless!

Erin said...

Hi Mariam,

I mostly use the free ideas at Serendipity for Along the Alphabet Path:
I also have found several additional ideas for each letter from a few blogs, particularly here: I also added a few things like meal ideas and some crafts myself. Some weeks we get more done than others... for Kindergarten, I don't really think it is possible to do too little - they are still so little themselves. My goal is to do lots of hands-on fine motor skill things with my five year old, lots of art and craft projects, and lots of reading aloud. I also like to do lots of cooking projects with both my five and three year old, and we sing lots of songs. We spend from 9-12 each day doing focused activities, and then we have outside time in the afternoon, some reading aloud, and general free play. I bet it is harder with both a three year old and a one year old! I am expecting our third baby in September, so I know first grade will be harder for me than K has been!

I wouldn't sorry too much about not doing enough in Kindergarten... less is more when they are younger, I think! I also have a background in education, and I try to draw on some of what I learned from that as well, but I think homeschooling is different in that you can be more laid back in the youngest grades.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I am sure you are doing great with your little ones! :)