Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Watercolor Pencils

If you need to get your kids excited about drawing and coloring their nature journals, get a set of these. They are a nice pencil color, but when you go over the colored picture with a wet paint brush the picture is transformed into a beautiful water color. My oldest daughter used them most recently on her Fashion Design Storyboard and now wants to use them for everything. I got my set at Michael's and they were pretty pricey (about $10 for a set of 12). If you are looking, you might want to wait for a coupon.

Mrs. P

A Pillow Case Dress

Want to teach your littlest girls to sew? Have them make a pillowcase dress!

Miss J made this pillowcase dress for the County 4-H Fashion Show. She had a great time sewing it and is so proud that she wants to wear it on Easter Sunday. Instead of buying a pillowcase, I purchased the fabric at my local Wal-Mart for $2 a yard. I then made a pillowcase and she followed the directions from there. After I had the pillowcase made, it took about an hour for her to sew. Here are basic directions for a pillowcase dress. Instead of using elastic, I just had her sew a casing and she then threaded long pieces of ribbon through. This was pretty easy to do, but the ribbon comes out easily so you may prefer to use the elastic as in the tutorial. Here is another tutorial starting with fabric instead of a pillowcase. Miss J is 6 years old and she sewed hers on the sewing machine. In order to make that work, I put the presser foot on a huge stack of books until she could easily reach it. Also, my sewing machine is a Bernina 180 and is able to sew r-e-a-l-l-y slow. I helped her guide the fabric through so the stitches came out reasonably straight. This had just enough sewing for her to remain interested, yet feel very fulfilled to have a completed project in such a short time.

Happy Sewing,
Mrs. P

Monday, March 29, 2010

Learning to Crochet

Miss J learned to crochet at a recent 4-H workshop. She can now make crochet chains with the best of them and can't wait for read aloud time to work on her newly acquired skill.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Finished Botany today!

Today we finished up our study of Botany. We used an Answers in Genesis book called The World of Plants. It was a good fit for our family, with short chapters and interesting activities for each lesson.

Topics included:
Classification system
Carl Linnaeus
Plant and Animal Cells
Flowering Plants
Monocots & Dicots
George Washington Carver
Special Roots
Stem Structure
Stem Growth
Arrangement of Leaves
Tree Identification
Pierre-Joseph Redoute
Annuals, Biennials, and Perennials
Meat Eating Plants
Parasites and Passengers
Other Survival Techniques
Reproduction without Seeds

Next up we will be learning to use a microscope.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

When Mama has Limited Energy

Having just left the first trimester of pregnancy and all it's entails from nausea to extreme lack of energy; I was glad to read this article and see how one experienced Mama has handled that and so much more. Kendra blogs at Preschoolers & Peace. She utilizes many of the principles in Teaching the Trivium as well as ideas from Charlotte Mason. I really love all of her book recommendations and classical ideas. In addition to that, she is homeschooling a large family and all the challenges that go along with such age varieties. So if you are wondering how you can "do it all" during times of life when you have less energy, pregnancy, hospitalization or other issues that try your soul, read When Mama Has Limited Energy for encouragement and ideas to help you get through those tough days. In fact, I regularly read her blog for ideas and encouragement as she is an experienced homeschool mom that I can learn a lot from. I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did.

Handicrafts: Decorative Eggs in a Basket

Here is a cute Easter Handicraft for you and your kids. I am thinking that my oldest daughter could do this independently. My 8 year old son could do the paper covered eggs with a little help. My 6 year old daughter could easily make the doily baskets or the glittery eggs. I'm always looking for crafts that won't require a spendy trip to the craft store and this fits the bill. We have an abundance of eggs, I happen to have a collection of fabric and crochet doilies, and I always save scraps of pretty tissue paper and scrapbook papers. So really, I would only need the fabric stiffener to complete this project as everything else is already here from previous crafting moments. Click here for the directions.