Friday, April 29, 2011

The Curiosity Files - Puffer Fish review

We had an opportunity the last couple of weeks to do a homeschool product review courtesy of The Old Schoolhouse!  We received a free download of an e-unit from the Curiosity Files about Puffer Fish!

 Although this unit study was designed for 8-13 year olds, I adapted if for use with my Kindergartner pretty easily.  The first section of the unit was interesting and factual information about Puffer Fish.  I actually printed off those pages, stapled the edges, and used them like a book.  Kayley and I read the homemade book together and then I offered the provided review questions orally.  I was really surprised when she answered the majority of the questions correctly!  Way to go Kayley!

The unit also includes each of the basic school subjects:  
Math - ordinal numbers, measurement, time, currency & multiplication tables
Language Arts - Common vs. proper nouns, sentence combining exercises and scripture based copy work in both print and cursive
Spelling & Vocabulary - both a recommend Elementary & Jr. High list, wordsearch & crossword
Art, Music & hands-on activities including sign language and games!
Science with recommended simple lab experiments
Geography - Where in the world does one find a Puffer Fish anyway?

The activities all include ideas for younger and older students and many were adaptable down to the Kindergarten level for my daughter.  We printed out several of the activities to complete and used the recommended template to create the "Fact File" (which Kayley LOVED).

The printables provided were convenient and, once cut out, fit neatly into our Fact File!
We also utilized the coloring pages and the recommended reading list.  We enjoyed reading together the story of The Fisherman and His Wife and Rainbow Fish: Puffer Cries Shark!  Both books were in print and available at our local library.  And Kayley enjoyed coloring the puffer fish pages.

Pro:  In our homeschool we LOVE unit studies and the convenience of the downloadable, printable, pre-done e-unit cannot be beat!
Con:  We were only able to do about 1/3 of the printables since Kayey is still so young.  Adapting it was a minor inconvenience but if we were stronger readers we could've anjoyed more activities!

The Puffer Fish unit retails for $6.95 at The Old SchoolHouse Store and is one of many different types of e-units available! 

This product was given to Swinging On Small Hinges for free for review purposes.  I am receiving no compensation and the opinions are all my own. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Are any words necessary to go with these incredibly messy and cute pictures?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chocolate Unit Study

 While on vacation we completed a unit study on Chocolate!  
We read several chocolate themed story books...
 And a book about Milton Hershey and an interesting picture book about how chocolate is made. 
 We saw a honest-to-goodness Cacao tree while at the National Museum!
 Then went on the ultimate fieldtrip to Hershey!

 We created our own Candy bar in the Hershey Innovation Center

 We even designed our own label
 Then we waited in line...
 To package our own Hershey Kisses!
 The streetlights in Hershey look like kisses!
 Up the airy mountain...down the rushing glen...  You see - nobody ever goes in...and nobody ever comes out!!  Ok, so this isn't Wonka's factory, but a chocolate factory was a great adventure!!

Kayley's completed lapbook.

We also made chocolate suckers and listed to Roald Dahl's Charlie and The Chocolate Factory on our trip.  (The audio book is narrated by Eric Idle and was fantastic!)
 We completed an M& M graph and discovered that there are more Orange M & Ms and less Brown.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fun in our own Backyard...

Yes, that is a campfire...and Yes, that IS our backyard. 
No...the burned up ground behind us isn't because our campfire got out of control.
We decided to do a little controlled burn...and Kayley thought we needed marshmallows.
We all thought so too.  :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Baby's First Popsicle...

Baby's First Balloon...

Discovering the kitchen drawers...

First time in a booster seat!  (bye-bye highchair!)
   playing smarty-pants games...  
I think, for a 15 month old, she has some pretty impressive hand-eye coordination.
You might have noticed the bang-trim haircut too.  I did trim that myself and I do NOT consider that to technically be baby's first haircut.  We just had to get the hair out of her eyes...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Road Trip'n (again)

 I'm always game for a good road trip.  I think my Mom is too or she wouldn't agree to go with me time after time.  So, off we went, on a road trip, to visit Papa in Virginia.  No trip is complete without a self portrait.  Which gets harder and harder the more people we add to it...but we made it work!
 It was a rough first day.  Maggie kept yanking out her ponytail (and hair!) and was giving me the "how could you torture me with a road trip" kind of face....
 Kayley did what she does best.  Watches movies and sucks her thumb.
 oh, look!  There is my new car!
 We stopped at a tourist info center and Kayley found a bug.  Which the docent there promply scooped into a bag and told Kayley she could take it home and have it.  Uhm...Ew.  Kayley thought it was great.
 It took two days but we finally made it!  Yay!
 We saw this cool double decker bridge somewhere in Frankfort, Kentucky.
 And this is the side of a truck.
So!  There are more posting than can be contained on this page, so make sure that if you want to see MORE of our adventures that you click the "older Postings" link at the bottom!

National Mall

 We headed down to the National Mall...and we were pretty excited this day that Daddy would be arriving to spend a few days with us!  Doesn't Papa look excited?
 I'm excited (look, that is the Potomac river out the window).
 Yup...everyone in the backseat is pretty excited!

There is this obnoxiously long bridge that crosses the is actually pretty freaky.  You can feel it move and shake, and of course...not stopping.  So, here we are stuck in traffic on the bridge.  Haha.
 Look!  The 'National Waste Water place'..
(Yes-THAT is where the President and First Lady's poo goes!)
 Iwo Jima Monument.  
Who knew that it was in the middle of a bunch of traffic?
 The Air Force Memorial.
 The Pentagon off in the distance.
 Waiting for Daddy at the airport.
 After we picked up Daddy...(sorry-no picture, my hands were full!)...
we headed to the Pentagon Mall where we took the metro to the National Mall.



Look, the capitol!

The Grotto.  A pretty, cool, little resting spot on the capitol grounds.

We stopped in the National Arboretum for a few minutes and we were pretty excited when we walked in to spy a cacoa tree!  We've been studying chocolate for several weeks!  (More to come on that later).

Washington Monument in the background...
 Look, here comes the president!  He always travels in an entourage of 3 helicopters.  They are going to land on the lawn of the White House nearby.

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