Showing posts with label home schooling in Arizona. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home schooling in Arizona. Show all posts

Friday, January 20, 2012

Studying Birds @ the Phoenix Zoo

We used our Phoenix Zoo membership to study birds this week and it turned into a fabulous unit study. On Tuesday we took school out of the house and over to the zoo with a small project that packed a big punch. We packed a picnic lunch, some water colors, worksheets and clip boards.

As our week was about birds, I had each child pick a bird to study and after completing a worksheet about habitat, diet etc. they used a blank sheet of paper to draw the bird.

I talked each child through the drawing process using geometric shapes (you can view a great tutorial on how to do this over at Fairy Dust Teaching). After their drawing was complete they used water colors to get just the right look.

Not only did they have a blast but their brains were deeply analyzing the details of every animal we looked at following the activity. This was such a great project I am thinking of working it into our regular routine.

On Wednesday we used play doe to make our own birds

and cut outs to build bird pictures (well mostly), my youngest was "board of birds" so he constructed "a mouse wearing a jet pack."

We also launched airplanes in the backyard (jet airplanes). @ 'high tea' we feasted on traditional bird food; nectar, bird seed pate' (I think that is what those forks are for), ants on a log, and carrot and cheese nests.

We also used cardboard and  Christmas lights to construct our own light up bird, an idea I found @ Roar.

We finished the study on Thursday with a reading and writing assignment guessed it, birds. Here is Chloe's short report.

January 19, 2012


Do you realize God created all animals including you? “You have given man dominion over…the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea” (Psalm 8:8). My paper is especially about birds.

Birds are the only animals that have feathers.  We  saw a black swan  at the zoo and it was pretty. Quails are very very elegant. Bald eagles are very smart and their wing span is about 72 to 90 inches long. The hummingbird is a small bird that buzzes like a bee. I know that because I have watched them. They like nectar and also sugar and water colored red because we did that. Parrots are very colorful and they eat nuts, fruit and seeds. Pelicans live near the water, they have a pouch in their beak and they are big. They eat fish. The woodpecker uses it’s beak to drill a hole in a tree to make it’s nest. Seagulls have a plan to fight. One attacked my mom at Sea World. She dropped her food.

Habitats; some live in the jungle some live beside the sea some live in trees. Some live in swamps. Birds live all over the world and they are very very pretty. I love birds. They live all around you just look outside and see if you can see some, like a dove.


(1997).Exploring God’s World Grade 3. Abeka Book: USA


Monday, January 9, 2012

Making word sandwiches in Arizona

When we are learning to read in Arizona...we make sandwiches, word sandwiches that is.

I cut the consonant's out of white poster board, you can use brown if you prefer wheat bread, and the vowels are different colors of felt to facilitate ham, tomato, cheese etc.

I place the "ingredients" out on plates as a station and give the kids a starter word to get them going. It has survived several years and is a very popular activity at our house.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas homeschool studies

We took a two week Christmas break from the average school day to explore new territory. The North Pole, well Williams, Arizona that is, where they have a mock up of the North Pole. We took a train ride on the Polar Express and my kids saw snow for the first time. Snow is pretty educational when you have never seen it before. Building a snowman for the first time turned into science and the sledding was great!

A look out the window on a snow covered morning is captivating when you have only seen sun and rain.

We left a cookie and eggnog for Santa...

And he came and left us a few new things...

Just as a side note, we tell the story of St. Nick in our house, a Bishop from around 700 AD that did good deeds in secret. We play pretend that Santa stopped by and it is great for expanding the imagination and laying a foundation for faith.

We have now have fresh play doe to sculpt with.

And new dump trucks for the backyard.


We also completed our own unit study of Christmas Around the World. We researched Christmas traditions in different countries, identified them on the map and made a craft or Christmas food from each one. It was great fun and made for a wonderful holiday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Interactive map helps Arizona student learn states

We recently wrapped up a study of United States History by making a decoupage map of the US including Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii.  The project took about two weeks (you must allow drying time between layers), and there was a chance to learn something new everyday from state to mountain ranges to oceans.  It was also a good chance for my daughter to learn to work with a project time line and stay with it. 

We began by printing and tracing a large outline of North America and painting a base on the board.  I believe we had to blow up the image and then print it off on several pieces of paper and then patch it back together.  The next day we decoupaged the mountain ranges and painted the oceans and land details.  The day after that we filled in the state lines and the following two or three days the state labels themselves.  I allowed labeling to stretch out over a few days for better memory retention.  Once we had all the states and major attractions labeled, I had my student make fun embellishments like Northern Lights made of glitter and stars and volcano's made of fire.  We added cotton balls to the 'Smoky Mountains.'

Spelling and Phonics Made Easy in Arizona

We recently ordered some fun new workbooks to help with Spelling and Phonics skills and with a little help from Counting Coconuts (the bottle cap idea is all her's), we were able to put a Montessori spin on them and make them even more fun.  We simply saved our water bottle caps for about a week and gave them each a letter of the alphabet with a permanent black marker.  Now my kids can try out their word ideas before they write or just break out into a spontaneous game of scrabble.  The Word Ladder workbooks are available on Amazon and they come in several grade levels or you can print off your own Word Ladder worksheets for free online.

Plant biology from garden to kitchen in Arizona

We recently had a beetle attack in our garden. So, in an effort to make lemons into lemonade, we picked all of the flowers from the garden and I had my young guy (preschool) examine and sort the flower parts while my older child (4th grade) helped him paste the flower parts to a flower diagram print out.  It was a new lesson for him and a great way to quiz and refresh her fourth grade memory.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Arizona Homeschool Family Launches Smartphone Bible App

A local homeschool family has launched a new Smartphone Bible App designed specifically to teach you the books of the Bible as well as various Bible facts.  You can checkout this new app on there website, Tollege or download it directly from the AppStore for a minimal fee.  This App is a great way to learn Bible from your Smartphone or IPad and support a local business!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Arizona Homeschooler Takes Science to the Kitchen

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey.  Along came a spider and sat down beside her and frightened Miss Muffet away!

We had a very interesting lesson this week when we attempted to make homemade cheese.  My daughter has wanted to try for a while, so we did.  It actually turned out well and not only did she (4th grade) get a chance to learn more about chemical reactions (the curds were formed when lemon juice, acid, reacted with warm milk, a neutral). 

We also had a great discussion about symbolism in literature when we brought my pre-schooler out to view the "curds and whey." 

We made farmer's cheese that turned out very yummy and further discussion was also given to Midwestern American life.  It is always great to put the books down and take the class into the kitchen for the afternoon.

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8