Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tea Party!

Today we had a real tea party in honor of our week studying the United Kingdom. The girls got to dress in full costume, and Caleb even got a cute little stove-pipe hat we made him. It was a big deal, and for my favorite quote of the day: "Mommy! Ladies do NOT scratch themselves at tea parties!" (Sarah) - for the record, I was scratching under my hat, not under my dress ;) Enjoy the pictures!
p.s. if you want to see larger versions of the pictures, you can double click on the top pic. and it will switch to slideshow view.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Math Games- Playing Banker

I'm recording this here because 1) I have no idea how to pin things to Pinterest, nor do I want pictures and names of my kids floating around on there, and 2) I wanted to share this with some of my other homeschool moms so they can use it, too. We invented a new math game for the kids this morning after trying to find creative ways to teach 1 to 1 correspondance and numeral recognition to Caleb. I noticed they all have a deep and abiding love of coinage and putting things in their piggy banks, so we invented "Banker". There are two versions, one for preschool, and one for school age.
In Caleb's case, on index cards I made card "dollars" with a numeral on each card made to look like a dollar amount (from 1 to 5, in his case). On the back of each card I drew a corresponding number of penny-sized circles (ex, on the 5 dollar "bill" there are 5 circles on the back of the index card), that way he can lay out the appropriate number of pennies in the circle if he has trouble counting them out. Caleb used his magnetic fishing pole to fish for a dollar amount (with paper clips on each "dollar" index card), then he matched the appropriate number of pennies up with the number on the card he fished out. After that, he got to put that number of pennies into a piggy bank, made from a raisin can with a slit in the top.
Here are the pictures:
After that, the girls were clamoring to play, too, instead of doing math worksheets, so I quickly modified the game for them. They're goal lately has been to recall plus 8 and plus 9 math facts (ex- 8+4= , or 9+7= , etc.), so I made more "dollar bills", so that we had numerals 1 thru 9 on the cards, and then I glued a number 8 to one side of a quarter, and a number 9 to the opposite side of a quarter. Their goal was to fish for a "dollar" amount, then flip the coin to reveal either an 8 or a 9. They then had to add up the number from their dollar bill with the number from the coin (ex- they fished up a number 5, and flipped the coin to number 8- meaning they had to sum 5 + 8). When they arrived at the total, they then had to determine the right coins and the right amount for each coin to add up to that total. Since they're very unfamiliar with coin values, I made a guide for them showing that dimes are worth 10, nickles 5, and pennies 1. That way, they got to put the combination of coins that best fit their amount into the bank. (ex- Hannah summed 14, so she wanted more coins than just a dime and 4 pennies, so she decided on 2 nickles and 4 pennies).
The game was wildly successful, and the kids are still up playing without my assistance as I'm typing. Here are the pictures for their version of the game:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

You might have Mommy-brain if...

OK, so this is a list of thinks I thought in the last 24 hours. Seriously... I have not been able to put two thoughts together in a straight line today, and I'm chalking it up to Mommy-brain. If you are familiar with Mommy-brain (the grouchy, caffeine-aholic, not-so-cute-and-cuddly cousin of Pregnancy-brain) then you can relate, I'm sure, but if not, this is what your brain looks like "on kids," in the form of a 24 hour (not organized chronologically because did-you-read-the-first-part-of-this-paragraph?) synopsis of all my lovely screw-ups:
-I shampooed my child's hair twice. Because I couldn't recall if I did it the first time.
-I threw out two batches of baked goods. Because sugar and salt look too darn much alike.
- I lost my broom on three separate occasions. Really? How hard is it to lose a 5 foot stick with a day glow yellow straw tip? Kinda tough to miss, you'd think. I had to send a five-year-old off to find it.
-I discovered I have a delightful form of sleep-deprived language disorder (aphasia) which makes me able only to produce intelligible speech when it is made up of words I shouldn't say in public. Kinda like motherhood-induced Tourettes. (ex- "We gotta go! Get in the .... DOH... DAMMIT... you know... the big 'ole mess with wheels that we take to the library. And where is your... CRAP! You know... the warm thing you wear outside?!!")
- I salted my hubby's veggies for his lunch tomorrow twice. This is because I forgot that I did it the first time, until I noticed that the scene playing out in front of me looked hauntingly familiar. I cannot WAIT for the call at 1 pm tomorrow asking why his lunch tastes funny. And yet, I still haven't fixed said error. Shhh.
- I have been blaming the kids for the shortages of silverware in our drawer, thinking they have been tossing it in the trash when clearing their plates (which, I'll note, is true since I've caught them red-handed doing it), only to notice that I just threw a spoon the trash while clearing my own plate (face-palm, sigh).
So there you have it- Can you relate?
"Shh, I'm working hard to convince her she's lost her freakin' mind. Tee hee!""