Cultivating Knowledge in Mommy's Garden

Following the adventures of two little girls and their mommy, as they learn and create together!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Postcrossing Map January 2011

Sent to:
St. Petersburg, Russia
Taipei, Taiwan
Brest, Belarus
Japeri, Brazil

Bananagrams and IHOP

Yesterday we got a special treat, we got to go out to breakfast, and we got to play a game while we waited. 
For Christmas, I got the game Bananagrams, and I love it!  (Thanks Jason, Sara, and kids!)  While the girls are still a little young for it, we still have fun making words that they know with the tiles.  This is a really fun way to spend 10 minutes or more :)

Mommy and Me Geography: First Batch of Postcards

For our first batch of postcards we had the following locations (followed by what we learned/know about the places)
Sankt-Peterburg, Russia;  the Church of the Savior on Blood, is the building that we most associate with St. Petersburg, it is a beautiful building that is used as a museum of mosaic now
Netherlands; My favorite artist, Vincent Van Gogh was from the Netherlands, windmills are something that we see and think of The Netherlands, and we also think of tulips and flowers
Taipei, Taiwan (ROC);  We learned that Taipei is the largest city on the island of Taiwan, and that there is some very interesting architecture, including the beautiful Taipei 101 building
Brest, Belarus;  The city of Brest is along the River Bug, there is a wildlife refuge called the Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park, it is home to the rare wisent (similar to our American Buffalo)
Japeri, Brazil;  Japeri is very near to Rio de Janeiro the home to the 2016 Summer Olympics!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mommy and Me Geography: Why Geography? Postcrossing

I just learned about postcrossing this last week.  It sounds really neat!  What you do is send a postcard to a provided address (randomly selected postcrosser from around the world), and then you get added to the list, and you get postcards from other postcrossers.  We went to the store last night and bought some post cards to get our first batch mailed out.  We are putting 5 in the mailbox today, and can't wait to get some back!!!
We are going to use postcrossing to learn about other countries and their cultures.  We are going to get a large world map, and mark each place we've sent a postcard to, and where we receive them from.

Dollar Tree and Sight Words

I love the dollar store, more specifically, I love the Dollar Tree dollar store!  When the girls are good, they can have a dollar and pick something out, sometimes it's coloring books, sometimes a holiday thing, today it was an Easter basket for Selena and Princess frisbee's for Gabriella.  They started with headbands, traded them for baskets, then Abby decided she wanted the frisbee pack more.  They love it, and I love it!
Also today, as I was browsing the educational area for a map (see related postcrossing entry), I found packs of sight words, pre-k, k, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, as well as k-3rd adjectives, verbs, nouns, adverbs and classroom labels.  Love, love, love these!  I was just getting ready to buy a more expensive sight words game and make my own labels for around the house.  Perfect!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This week's theme for story time was alligators.  There are so many stories that are fun for the kids to listen to.  This time we talked about all the teeth alligators have, and having an alligator stuck to your head! 

The kids got into the, Five little monkeys sitting in the tree, teasing Mr. Crocodile, can't catch me!  They really like that song/story.  After the sit down part, the girls reenacted the Five Little Monkeys on the felt board, it was really cute. 

For activities, they chose the shape sorting boxes, and bead sequencing sticks.
We are so thankful to have our library and all of the activities that they offer to kids.

"I read a book, all by myself!"

This past weekend, the girls stayed the night at Grandma's house, and while Abby was napping, Selena had some really good one-on-one time with grandma.  Grandma helped her to read a book, and worked on sounding out the words.  Selena is so proud of herself that she can read the book now.  She is getting good at sounding out the words (cap, flap, rat, rap, tap, bat, cat, nap, flat, splat), she even wrote out the words.

Ice Skating Week 3

What an improvement the girls have made in just three lessons!  This week Selena was able to go quite a ways without holding hands, and even was ready to try the step step glide, and could get up on her own!  Abby also made improvements, making it all the way across the ice a few times.
I'm so glad we are doing the lessons, even thought they aren't ready to skate on their own, they are building confidence in themselves and preparing them for future activities.  This is the first thing they've done that hasn't been "easy."  I love to see their faces when they are excited about succeeding, even if all they are doing is standing on the ice, or letting go of my hand.  :)

 I filmed this on my phone, holding it the tall way, I don't know how to rotate it... :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lowe's Build and Grow

This weeks activity at Lowe's was a ball toss.  The girls love going to Lowe's and getting to build toys.  Next time is a Valentine's music box, but the stores here in town are already filled up.  We will have to go to Coeur d'Alene if we can get registered... Cross your fingers :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Storytime and Google Earth

Tonight at storytime at the library, we heard stories about cows.  There were fun books about cows, including one about how people get cowlicks, and turnips for birthdays!  Abby, as usual, enjoyed "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" and wanted to do it FAST!  After stories, it was playtime, Selena picked bowling and the straws, and Abby chose the color sorting boxes.
We picked up some books about Yellowstone, to start reading up for our trip this summer.  We have really been enjoying looking at Google Earth, and seeing all the places we've been, and all the places we are going to go.  Selena asks to see the globe on TV which is what she calls it when we plug the laptop into the TV.  I can't wait to start reading the Yellowstone books, and learn about all the cool things we are going to see!

Ice Skating Lessons

Today was the second of five lessons through the City Parks and Recreation department.  They have a really great Parent and Tot/Homeschool Family program.  This weeks lesson was much better than last week.  Last week, Selena would scream "I cannot do this!" over and over as she marched across the ice, and Abby had spaghetti legs and wouldn't put weight on her feet.  Today, Selena made it across the ice a few times, only falling on purpose (when she wanted a break), she did really great!  Abby still tried to play spaghetti, but once we figured to tell her to stomp her feet, she was pretty good.  Now we just need to practice marching in place, taking small steps, and balancing.  They had fun, which is the point, and were much more comfortable in their skates and on the ice.
Next Tuesday, we try again!

The best part, getting to ride the ponies on the way out :).  Selena asked me as we were driving down to the rink, "did you remember quarters Mommy?"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Beginning the Journey

I have always wanted to homeschool, before I had my darling children, before I got married, all the way back to when I was in school and wished for something different. 
Now that I have kids of my own, and the oldest is nearing "school" age, it is time to put all my half-way plans into action, to get serious, and start planning our homeschool adventures!  One of my 2011 Plans/Goals is preparing a weeks worth of lesson plans per week, not preparing them the week I'm doing them, but to prepare in advance a weeks lesson plan.  I think I've done a pretty good job, seeing as it's only the third week of the year, and I've already done way more than three weeks worth of planning.  I think the trouble I'm going to have, is limiting what I want to work on to not overwhelm the kids.  I've found many resources on the internet that I want to utilize, and lots of blogs to read through to get ideas. 
There are so many things that can be used as learning opportunities, I can't wait to share all of them with my girls.