Toys on Rotation

I’m not sure what your toy stash looks like but at my house, my kids are blessed to the max with toys.¬† ūüėȬ† I’m pretty particular about the type toys my kids receive- toys that promote violence or contradict our family’s moral code are out.¬† I prefer to buy my kids toys that are fun and educational, so when people ask about gifts for my boys, I try to steer them in that direction.¬† ūüôā

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And it just so happens that we receive a lot of cool hand-me-down toys from family members whose children have outgrown them.¬† One of the perks of being the ‘baby’ in the family, I suppose.¬† ūüėČ

I love having so many people who love gifting my children….that’s a huge blessing (to say the least)¬† but I got tired of seeing toys all over the house long after playtime was over.¬† So I had to come up with a system that would work in our little house.¬† That’s when ‘toys on rotation’ was born.

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Here’s how it works: ¬†we store a certain amount of toys in the kids’ room, all others are placed in containers and stored in the basement.¬† After 6 months or so, we pull out a couple containers and switch things out. ¬†That’s it. ¬†It’s that simple.

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And honestly, my kids seem to play so much better with less.¬† And clean-up time isn’t near as overwhelming now that we’ve cutback on how much we have out at a time.

Take our wooden train set, for example.¬† I considered giving it away. I felt like my boys were starting to outgrow it and they hadn’t played with that particular set in about a year.¬† But Sunshine asked about it one day out-of-the-blue and voila! It’s like Christmas time at our house!¬† I love it when that happens!¬†¬† ūüėČ

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Sounds

Bible History Our Bible story today was about Jubal and Tubal-cain, descendants of Cain.  While I read the history lesson, Buckaroo colored the picture for our timeline and Sunshine drew a picture about the story.

To help them get a better understanding of the¬†genealogy, I sketched a quick ‘family tree.’ ¬†I know…. I have some mad drawing skills. Not. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†And for those of you who are really observant, I mistakenly wrote Jabal instead of Jubal. ¬†Jabal (Jubal’s brother) was a tentmaker. ¬†Not a musician. :/

We discussed the genealogy from Adam to Jubal, Jabal and Tubal-cain. ¬†Then we drew two family trees of our own [not pictured]- one for my side of the family, the other for my husband’s. ¬†We compared how many boys/girls there were on each side and discussed which set of grandparents had the most kids, etc.¬†

Buckaroo placed his piece on the timeline.

Science Genesis records that Jubal was a musician. ¬†Since I love for our subjects to correlate, I decided to do the chapter from our Science curriculum on ‘Sounds.’ ¬†The boys took turns stretching and plucking a rubber band. ¬†They watched it vibrate and listened for the sounds it made. ¬†

Then Sunshine had to write in the verbs that matched each sound.  We also listened to several different sounds on CD and the boys had to guess what made the sounds.

Language Arts We added two new words to our vocabulary wall:  sound and vibration.
¬† ¬†Buckaroo practiced writing the letter ‘e.’

Math Sunshine took his first Math ‘test’ while Buckaroo worked on copying patterns again. ¬†He seemed to do better with this concept today than he did last time.

Music ¬†The weather was absolutely perfect outside today so we grabbed our instruments and the kids banged away. ¬†This particular set was a gift from one of their Aunties. ¬†That’s how we get a lot of our school supplies/games.¬†

I heard Sunshine giggling with the egg shaker. ¬†He said, “Hey Mom… Look at me, I’m a RATTLESNAKE.” ¬†I looked up to find him shaking his katooshie in beat with the egg shaker. ¬†Yep…. that’s my boy. ¬†Ahhh the life with little boys. ¬†ūüėČ

We Added Sign Language

Bible History The boys colored the timeline figures (that coincide with the Mystery of History) while I read the lesson on Adam and Eve.  Then we added the pieces to our timeline board.

Sign Language Sunshine has been asking me to teach him sign language, so I purchased a set¬†of¬†these¬†flash cards and hung the alphabet symbols above the letter it represents. ¬†When we discuss the alphabet, I have Buckaroo name the letter and Sunshine shows the sign for it. ¬†Aside from the alphabet, I wasn’t real impressed with the packaged set and just decided to look online for other basic words. ¬†A quick Google search ¬†usually provides us with a [short] video so the boys just mimic what they see on the clip. ¬†And from there, we practice that sign several times throughout the day. ¬†So far Sunny has a sign vocabulary of about 15 words.

Science We discussed the type environments animals live in and how God provided a home suitable for all of His creation. ¬†Then we played a game from this book called ‘Animal Homes.’

Math Buckaroo worked on matching objects to numbers and <, >, =.  The alligator signs were a free download from here.  He did really well with numbers 0-10.  Sunshine did a lesson in his workbook and then reviewed patterns for fun.

Here my little [left-handed soldier] man is working on identifying and circling items that are the same/different.

Practicing how to cut on the lines.

Geography  The boys completed the first lesson in their Geography books.  We learned what a map is and how to use one.  Then they had to draw a map of their bedroom.  Buckaroo drew a picture of his bed and decided he was done.

Don’t you just love how he pulls the hat so far down on his head that it smooshes his ears? ¬†That’s my boy. ¬†ūüėČ

Sunny took his time and drew every piece of furniture that is in his room.

This kid loves to draw! ¬†And he’s really good at it too. ¬†Another skill he must of inherited from his dad! ūüėČ

Incorporating Games

Another busy day in homeschool land. ¬†Aren’t they all? ¬†ūüėČ ¬†We began with our Morning Board [as always] and then we jumped right into the school towers.

Language Arts/Grammar Sunshine is working on nouns/pronouns. ¬†When we moved over to his Grammar lesson, I asked him if he remembered the name for the symbol we use that shows possession of something. ¬†He thought about it a second, grinned and said “APPOFACY!” [apostrophe]. ¬†Yep, that’s pretty close. ¬†Good job, Sunny, good job. ¬†ūüėČ

We are honing in on Buckaroo’s fine motor skills. ¬†This child LOVES costumes and imaginative play…. oh and sucking his thumb! ¬†Sitting down for more than 5 minutes and writing/drawing/coloring….. not so much. ¬†:/

Check out the third picture [below], he told me he was being “coorative” [creative] by using two crayons at once. ¬†Yeah, uh-huh…. or ¬†maybe *someone* was in a hurry to get done and move on to some rough and tumble play. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†ūüėČ

Math Buckaroo worked on number recognition and tracing/writing his numbers. ¬†We also discussed <, >, and =. ¬†He can use the symbols correctly [b/c ‘the alligator’s mouth always chomps the larger number’] but we’re still working on identifying/naming the symbols. ¬†ūüėČ

After the boys finished their ‘book’ work, we played a¬†game together. ¬†We use LOTS of games during school. ¬†Another perk of teaching [young] kiddos. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†And both boys enjoy this¬†game. ¬†It’s a fun and interactive way to teach parts of speech. ¬†The object of the game is to be the first person to complete a [silly] sentence by obtaining nouns, adjectives, articles and verbs. ¬†The boys love reading their sentences at the end:

Sunshine’s sentence: ¬†“The scary dinosaur cooks a banana.”
Buckaroo’s sentence: ¬†“The shiny sandwich crawls a squirrel.”
Mommy’s sentence: ¬†“The funny hat looks a leaf.”

Sunshine’s expression in the second picture [above] cracks me up. ¬†“Now what’s a verb again?” ¬†Look at Buckaroo’s grin in the next to last shot. ¬†The sillier his sentence, the better he likes it! That’s my boy. ¬†ūüėČ

In an effort to stretch my 5yr old’s ability to sit still and complete a task, we played Memory Match together. ¬†I just went through the box and grabbed all the animal matches b/c I wanted it to tie in with what we’ve been learning. Besides the whole set is too big for my littles to play at once anyway. ¬†And this seemed like the easiest way to review our land/sea/sky concepts from yesterday. ¬†I happen to like ‘easy’…. a lot. ¬†ūüėČ

Bible/Science We reviewed the Creation story and sorted the animals by which day they were created.  And discussed more animal facts.

And that wraps up our second day of school.

First Day of School

First Day Pix [with Favorites]


Somebody please remind me to interview my boys separately next year. ¬†Either that or let my little [copycat] Buckaroo go first! ¬†ūüėČ

This morning we read the first lesson from our Mystery of History book. ¬†I love how MoH focuses on Bible history and inserts world history as it fits chronologically. ¬†I searched long and hard for a history curriculum that taught history from a Biblical perspective but also implemented world history, too. ¬†To me, each are important…. so I was thrilled to get my hands on this book.

With that said, I’m not in love with the aesthetic appeal of the book itself. It has a very organized layout (yay!) but there’s only plain black print, page after page with very few pictures to grasp [small] kids’ attention. ¬†Sunshine is a visual learner and needs colors, pictures or graphics to keep his attention. ¬†Buckaroo is definitely a move-and-groove kind of guy. ¬†Sitting still is not his¬†specialty, so I supplemented with additional activities to try and make the story more meaningful for my boys.

Bible History focused on the Creation story and the order in which everything was created. Discussed WHO created us and HOW, WHEN, and WHY we were created.

Science expanded upon the Creation story with an activity from this book called ‘Zany Zoo.’ ¬†The boys sorted animals based on whether they: walk, fly, swim or hop and we read facts about each group.

Speaking of facts, we all know that birds are lightweight by God’s design but did you know that some birds have bones that actually weigh less than a feather? ¬†Or that the larger the footprint of a land animal, the slower it walks? ¬†I never thought of it like that. ¬†Guess Mommy’s [re]learning some concepts with the kiddos. ¬†ūüėČ

Next the boys told me which day of the week God made land/sea/sky animals.

Math-  the boys cut out animal cards and graphed them according to one of the four categories (discussed above).  We discussed more/less.  Sunshine also completed a couple lessons from his Math book while Buckaroo worked on shapes, colors and recreating patterns.

Spelling- ¬†Sunshine reviewed AAS level one from last year while Buckaroo was off playing in his room. ¬†With his guitar. ¬†Loudly. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†I was SO proud of Sunny b/c he only missed ONE ¬† consonant team out of the whole box from last year….. that’s after doing little to no refresher spelling during the Summer. ¬†[slacker Mommy]

Now we’re off to reload towers for tomorrow. ¬†ūüôā ¬†What did your school day look like?