Monday, August 31, 2009

MFW Homeschool Week 4 Review

I've jumbled up MFW's plans a lot so far. We are on week 5 for science and bible and are on week 4 for history. I've combined much of MFW science into full 5-day weeks and am adding Sonlight science between MFW weeks. The kids crave science! So, this week we are learning about the sun and stars, how Jesus is the light of the world, Obedience and about North American Indians. In Preschool, Angelica Pickles is learning about Frogs. We are a few days behind due to 3 school days of sickness, but hope to catch up by the end of next week.

The kids are really enjoying the hands-on projects, so I packed them in this week. There were just too many fun ideas for Indians! I had to only pick a few or I would have gone nuts. We made the Tepees and Wigwams that MFW suggested, along with some paper Indian dolls, an Indian rainstick and a doll outfit for Princess Pea's 18" knock-off American Girl doll. We also did some fun games using Indian sign language and teaching Boo Boo more signs for different animals and made some Indian letters using picture words. Sid the Science Kid did a little book report on Small Wolf by Benchley that he read himself. I ended up writing it out, but he drew an awesome picture! Here are some photos of our Indian week:

The kids really have enjoyed all their Indian toys this week and almost every morning our table is covered with tepees, wigwams and Indian battles. Either that, or Pocahontas and John Rolfe's adventures together.

I can't take the credit for this idea, but this is the cheapest American Girl doll outfit EVER! It's all made from paper bags! I honestly can't find the site to give them the credit, but if anyone wants directions on how to make it, I can send them along. Princess Pea LOVED this....

I wish I wouldn't have taken back Small Wolf today to the library so you could have seen the resemblance of this picture to one in the book. Sid the Science Kid did an amazing job on this picture! He even has the "white man's land" on one side and the "Indian's land" on the other side with a tepee.In science we learned about the sun, stars and constellations. Although, I avoided getting too far into teaching about constellations. We made a sun out of our hand prints and put "Jesus is the Light of the World" on it with our bible memory verse. We were going to cook our lunch in the sun one day - hotdogs and sun tea - but the weather didn't allow us to. Then, at the end of the week we made our own constellations for fun. We've also had these glowing stars to put up in Sid the Science Kid's room for months, so we plan to put those up this next week sometime. The pictures books I found for these topics were wonderful this week. Finding books on Indians that were age-appropriate was a much harder task. Here are some photos of our science projects:

In Preschool Angelica Pickles learned about frogs. We did some F activities, colored some frog pictures, jumped around on paper lily pads like frogs, made some frog crafts, and learned about the life cycle of the frog. I think she learned a lot. She wasn't as patient with the informational books, but they were short and sweet and having her siblings sitting and listening to them helped. She carried around a beanie frog all week long that she found, too.

Our lily pad frog game...
Paper bag puppets....
Our character trait we are working on for the next two weeks is Obedience. I do think my kids are pretty obedient, and even do what they are told when they don't want to often. But, at times we have whining when it comes to picking up toys and stomping when we are sent to our rooms. On a rare occasion we even have lying and hitting. I think one of our biggest problems is not stopping something right away when we are told to; be it a project, wrestling or arguing. So, before the new baby comes and while I can't physically get up every time and "make" them obey, we are going to discuss the importance of Obedience and learn our C verse, Colossians 3:20. I have a few Help Me Be Good books on whining, fighting, throwing tantrums and disobeying and a number of Aesop's Fables and other stories pertaining to the topic.

Onto week 5 of homeschooling....It's really gone FAST! This next week we are learning about the Pilgrims and the Plymouth settlement.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

3 Weeks Until Baby....maybe.....

Well, I am now 37 weeks along. These last two months have gone by fast! Mr. Prince is back to work, school is on a roll and life is basically back to normal....for a few more weeks until the new baby arrives! I've been racking my brain trying to think of things I need to do before baby comes, but haven't had much luck coming up with much....

Until this week!

Now I have a massive to-do list and my nesting has finally kicked in. I'm not so much on a cleaning kick like I was with our last baby (I actually hired someone to clean our house for 10 hours!) but I'm on an organizing kick. There are some major areas of clutter, in my opinion, that need to be reorganized. Then, there are the basic things you have to do with every new arrival, like clean clothes and get the car seat ready. So, here is my current to-do list. One is for me and one is for my husband. I have always been overdue, so we probably have more than 3 weeks to get these things done, but I generally like everything done at least a week before I'm technically due.

MommyK's list
Finish bills for Sept early and reorder dentist payment checks from insurance
Finish making Cherry's diaper bag that is now 9 months overdue
Purchase small stool for new nursing chair
Get clothes, car seat, swing, bouncy seat, bassinet from attic/basement and clean
Organize changing table drawer
Get new dresser from garage and move Boo Boo's clothes in with Sid the Science Kid's
Collect supplies for homebirth
Make an upstairs diaper basket for nighttime
Clean crib sheets and put on bumper pads
Finish Boo Boo's baby book (a goal of mine before each new arrival is to finish the previous baby book)
Finish Boo Boo's brag book (a weekly photo of him through 6 months - I have one for each kid)
Organize bathroom cabinets
Organize foyer closet
Organize mess in mudroom (laundry room - our junk door broke and it's all over the floor in there)
After baby: make new nursing blankets, add gender fabric to wrap and make a new gender specific sling

Mr. Prince's list
Clean shower thoroughly
Get dresser from garage
Fix Saturn muffler and vacuum
Move fan to master bedroom from girls' room
Fix broken window
Mow and work on overgrown vines in yard

Oh, and on both lists...NAMES!! We seriously have had a few light conversations about names and that's it. We really need to sit down and discuss them. Angelica Pickles was named when she was almost 7 days overdue, but we did have a different name picked out prior to that. So, we aren't really quick at picking out names, but I also don't want a baby without a name for a few days either! The pressure is bad enough as it is!

Mr. Prince actually did a lot this weekend. He fixed the dryer and upstairs toilet with his dad and put my railing back up on the stairs. He's fixing the muffler tomorrow. I reorganized our kitchen cabinets and the girls' closet, which has the girls' clothes, mine and Mr. Prince's (a walk-in). So, all in all a successful Saturday. More to do tomorrow!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Learning New Things Daily....

Well, these last few weeks have definitely been a learning experience for me! With a gifted child, it seems like the parents do more hard-earned learning than they do!

Sid the Science Kid, if you don't already know him, is an exceptionally intelligent child. At 18 months he knew all his phonics and was reading at the age of three. Not just simple books like Bob books, but was reading our Christmas cards that winter at 3.5! And this with no formal instruction, trust me! He just picks up things easily, and now at 6, teaches himself about many topics he's interested in. His favorite topics to discuss and read about are the solar system, geography, nature and the human body. He can tell you how many moons Jupiter has and what type of gravity is on it's surface. He can tell you where most countries are that I would have to take time to find myself. He enjoys living creatures and cries when Mr. Prince trims the bushes or we have to let our pet grasshopper go. And lately he enjoys telling everyone the path their food takes as it comes and goes from our bodies and how our new baby is growing inside my tummy, or uterus. He is extremely intelligent and I often wonder what God will do with him someday.

So, there are many perks to having a self-motivated, intelligent child. He taught his younger sister her phonics and counting, he helps teach his baby brother sign language, and he can read chapter books himself. I love reading to my kids, but would be couch-bound all of my days if I read to the girls AND him all they wanted me to read! He creates elaborate drawings of the US and makes books about the digestive system.

I've been wondering this past year if I even need to start "real" homeschooling with him. He is enjoying learning and isn't "behind" by any means. But, I decided more structure could be useful within the home, he probably needed to start writing with lowercase letters at some point, and though he could calculate multiplication problems in his head, he needed to know what addition and subtraction looked like on paper and not just in his head.

So, I bought a few curricula to follow and off we went.

But, it hasn't been easy!

I really thought he would just eat up school, but it doesn't seem to be that way all the time. He likes reading and discussing the books. He likes having access to the books whenever he wants to read them again, too. He also has liked the hands-on projects and map activities we've done. But, give him copywork to do and it's "too tiring," or I give him a math page to do and "it hurts his head."

He's written longer books than all of the copywork he's done for me combined in the last 3 weeks, so what's up with that?

He loves math, so why doesn't he like his math work?

Well, I'm learning. Slowly, but I'm still learning.

He is 6, so he still needs some instruction in forming his letters properly. He improves greatly every month. I am taking 3 letters a day currently and going over the proper way to make them and trying to watch him whenever he writes on his own to see if he's following the rules or not. He's a boy, so I don't expect too much, just that he does them in the correct order and doesn't pick up his pencil when not necessary. He does well when he tries hard. And getting him to write with lowercase letters instead of all caps is less of a struggle than a few weeks ago.

But, copywork has been a real struggle the last week. His first two assignments of summarizing a character we've learned about or a story we've read he did really well and copied them without complaint. But, the last two have been tearful events. He says it's too much and then pretends he doesn't remember the story. I wasn't really sure how much a child his age with his capabilities should be copying, so I posted on a My Father's World Yahoo Group and ask some others teaching the same curriculum. The consensus was that it was too much to have him copy three sentences. It seems like so little to me, but I guess not. And I don't quite get why he can do it in play but can't do it for school. I assume it takes a lot more concentration to copy than to create your own work. I was eliminating all other copy work besides the stories to keep it to a minimum, but maybe I need to do the short copywork (from First Language Lessons and such) and just dictate the long summaries. Today the tears ended when I sat down and wrote the story out myself. He insisted he write the last word. =)

Math has also been a battle the last week, but I think I've figured it out, too. Horizons does a good job of shifting around the topics of study, which Kyler needs, and the lessons are very short and to the point. We only do two pages a day and then try to do some flash cards or a computer game to speed up his addition table. Well, this week I've given him an "independent work list" to check off that included math, copywork, reading and some additional activities like flash cards, file folders and math games.

This is the first week I've tried this.

It is simply not working.

I thought I could leave him to himself to check off the boxes. The only thing he completed with a smile was the reading. Everything else, it took me the whole week to figure this out, he wants me to do WITH him. He started his checklist on Thursday and immediately started grouching. I sat down and ask him why he didn't like school anymore. He said he didn't like writing so much. But, when we started doing his math page, he didn't care about the writing.

He just wanted to talk to me while he did it. He didn't want to be alone.

When I gave him the option of skipping certain problems, he didn't care to do so. I asked him if he just wanted me to do math with him and he said YES!

So, there we go.

Problem solved.

I did tell him that I wouldn't be able to sit down with him for his whole math lesson every day and we agreed that some days he would work on them alone, but most days I would sit through much of it with him. At the end of the lesson I told him to do that last two problems himself and he did fine with that.

So, everything in moderation I guess.

Sid the Science Kid has been an interesting one to figure out. I have a feeling this won't change any time soon....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

MFW Homeschool Week 3 Review

We finished learning about Columbus this week and moved onto learning about Pocahontas, John Smith and Jamestown and did a few fun projects I wanted to share.

I found this page on comparing Columbus' childhood to your own childhood, so each of the children made a notebook page of comparison. The children found it amusing that Columbus was also taught at home like them and that his mother was also a homemaker. Although, Sid the Science Kid on his own wrote down that I was the "baker" before I defined what a homemaker was. =)

We also made our own Coat of Arms after learning about Columbus'. Daddy also made one for them to look at, too. Here are the kids':

Sid the Science Kid's quadrants included his family (color-coded by girl/boy with the new "baby" having both pink AND green letters - can we say perfectionist?), sports, the world (because he's obsessed with the solar system and geography) and a cross "because he's a christian."

Princess Pea's quadrants were a picture of Jesus (top left), herself in ballet shoes pictured with the new baby, a boy quadrant and a girl quadrant. Obviously family is important to her!

The kids really enjoyed the stories of Pocahontas, the Powhatan Indians, John Smith and the Jamestown settlement. I purchased these Powhatan Indian Toob figures this week and they have had a blast with Pocahontas and Chief Powhatan. I also had these other Indian and Englishman figurines (we have a ton more than pictured) I found last year when they were learning about Johnny Appleseed that we got out again, and it's been their favorite toys all week.

I also found this Jamestown replica at Homeschool in the Woods that we had fun putting together. They put their Englishmen on the inside and their Indians on the outside and play Jamestown. Though, the people are as large as the houses...they don't seem to mind!

We watched a number of videos on Columbus and Pocahontas this week, too. So now, Angelica Pickles at 3 can tell you quite a bit about the history of these characters, too.

The kids were sick Thursday and Friday, so we did little school those days. We made up some of the reading this weekend, so Monday we should be able to finish last week's read alouds and start up on the North American Indians. I'm excited for this week!! I think we have 1-2 projects every day!

Friday, August 21, 2009

No Children! ....a poem by Edgar Guest

No children in the house to play -
It must be hard to live that way!
I wonder what the people do
When night comes on and the work is through,
With no glad little folks to shout,
No eager feet to race about,
No youthful tongues to chatter on
About the joy that's been and gone?
The house might be a castle fine,
But what a lonely place to dine!

No children in the house at all,
No fingerprints upon the wall,
No corner where the toy are piled -
Sure indication of a child.
No little lips to breathe the prayer
That God shall keep you in His care,
No glad caress and welcome sweet
When night returns you to your street;
No little lips a kiss to give -
Oh, what a lonely way to live!

No children in the house! I fear
We could not stand it half a year.
What would we talk about at night,
Plan for and work with all our might.
Hold common dreams about and find
True union of heart and mind,
If we two had no greater care
Than what we both should eat and wear?
We never knew love's brightest flame
Until the day the baby came.

And now we could not get along
Without their laughter and their song.
Joy is not bottled on a shelf,
It cannot feed upon itself,
And even love, if it shall wear,
Must find its happiness in care;
Dull we'll become of mind and speech
Had we no little ones to teach.
No children in the house to play!
Oh, we could never live that way!

Preschool with Angelica Pickles

This year I'm doing some FIAR-like or unit study teaching with Angelica Pickles, who turned 3 in May. She loves doing science, character training and spanish with us in the mornings, and I'm convincing her to do bible with us everyday, too. We do all our history, math and other subjects in the afternoon when she's sleeping so she can still have play time in the morning with her siblings.

This week I decided to do books on bears. I tried to find ones she hadn't read before, but I did repeat a few she knew. Our booklist was:

Corduroy by Don Freeman
Ask Mr. Bear by Marjorie Flack
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom
Bear Party by William Pene Du Bois

We read a new book each day and repeated the others daily as well. We acted out some of the stories with her toy "Corduroy" bear and dancing princess bear, used bear counters in little games, learned what bears ate and how they hibernate for the winter, and the big project was making our "party bears" from the book Bear Party by William Pene Du Bois. Of course, Sid the Science Kid and Princess Pea are always included in her preschool time (because I can't get them to do anything else!) and made a bear, too. Here they are, a knight and two ballet princesses:

Angelica Pickles can't decide what she wants to learn about next week. I'm thinking maybe....bunnies? We'll see...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

MOTH schedule gone, Block schedule takes over

Well, I had this great Managers of Their Homes schedule all figured out. It really looked good on paper... But, it didn't live out in real life. Either our breakfast ran late or preschool ran over or we didn't use the whole 30 min for science. No matter what it was, it was never done at the "allotted" time. Did it Not exactly. But, my goals seem much more attainable with routines and a list for a morning block and an afternoon block. No more looking at the clock, except to know when to start lunch. Maybe later when I have multiple kids in school will 30 min increment works, but for now this will do better. So, here is my revised block schedule with similar goals to my now "old" MOTH schedule that I listed here:

Morning Routine
Shower and devotions for Mommy
Breakfast/Vitamins, Preschool Bible Story read, Clean up/Helping Habits
Brush Teeth, Calendar/Rules, Pledge, ABC Bible Verse review
Preschool Time with Brynnan

Block 1

Bible and Character Training
MFW Science
Book Basket for History
Outside play time or Nature Walk

Lunch Routine
Helping Habits/Tidy house
Lunch and Read Aloud
Patriotic song review

Block 2

MFW History
Bob Books/Reading Instruction
All About Spelling
Independent Work

What is nice is that our school does not take the full 2-2.5hr blocks. It's laid back. So, if I want to do bible and character training and then take a break to catch up on the dishes, I can. Well, as long as my kids are willing to take a break from school! This schedule will go more smoothly with a new baby, too. I have more of a checklist to get done before lunch and before dinner. And, it also allows for spontaneous teaching and play.

So, here we go again...another change of plans. I'm finding out this homeschooling thing is not as easy as I thought to create a routine and plan and stick with it. I already have curriculum changes for next year, organizational changes daily and now schedule revamps, and I'm only a few weeks into school! How much more will a new baby flip over my whole world?!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Boys

Mr. Prince with Sid the Science Kid and Boo Boo. They all were so cute on the way to church this morning with the same little cargo pants and a plaid shirt!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

MFW Homeschool Week 2-3, Putt-Putt and a Chess Tournament

Well, we are finishing up our 3rd week of homeschool this weekend. So far the klan is still really excited every day to work and can't get enough of it. We got a little behind with some trips to Indianapolis, some visitors and helping friends out with childcare, so I've had to adjust the original plans quite a bit. I'm hoping to be completely back on track by this coming week when Mr. Prince goes back to work.

So far the klan has learned in history about the Vikings, learned the Pledge of Allegiance and about why our flag looks the way it does, and are currently learning about Christopher Columbus. Here are a few projects we've done...

These are our runes names written in the Vikings' language:

These are replicas of the cauldrons the Vikings used to cook with. We are excited to see these in use at the Johnny Appleseed Festival this fall and eat some food cooked in one!

Here are the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, the ships Columbus took to find India by traveling west when he discovered the Americas. I made the Nina for Angelica Pickles and Princess Pea and Sid the Science Kid made their own. We sailed them westward in the bathtub from Spain to the Americas.
The klan enjoyed these projects, but unfortunately MommyK is not a project mommy. I'll suck it up for them, though.

Sid the Science Kid is flying through his First Language Lessons for 1st/2nd grade. We did the first 9 lessons in one 15 min sitting because he already knows what nouns are. I'm sure we will move through this quickly. I haven't really done a ton with All About Spelling. Princess Pea is working on her vowels right now, memorizing all the sounds each one makes. She has all the consonants down and the letter A. I think memorizing them this way would be difficult. I need to start working with Sid, but am not in a rush. We've done a little with MFW bible and science, but I feel they are pretty weak. I'm doing Sonlight science in addition to MFW and also my own bible and character training lessons. Princess Pea is flying through her Bob Books and is on the second set now. She is loving them! The sticker system we use is a great motivation and now she has three of her friends using them, too. The klan is really liking nature journaling, but Sid is taking a looooong time to complete anything these days. Most of his journal is incomplete right now. I'm having to find extra times in the evening to sit him down to complete it. He has been interesting to watch react to this scheduled homeschool. He teaches himself so well, but doesn't do as well being directed in his learning. He wants to do his own projects and extention activities and doesn't care much about the ones I ask him to do. Today I came downstairs and he had drawn Columbus' three ships for me. But, yesterday it took him 45 min to write out the 4 sentances about Columbus! So, this should be an interesting year! Princess Pea just wants all school all the time, and is currently asking me to get off the computer to teach her....ha!

This week the girls had a sleepover for the first time at a friend's house. Their friends are the same ages as them - 5 (Princess Pea is almost 5) and 3. They did good and didn't miss Mom and Dad at all! So, since Sid the Science Kid was left at home with his boring parents, we picked up his friend we'll call Ez, and went to Pizza Hut, Putt-Putt for the first time and Zesto's Icecream! It was a fun-filled night. Here are a few pictures of the boys playing putt-putt. Boo Boo cracked me up with how well he could hit the ball!

Mr. Prince and Sid the Science Kid. Sid liked to putt the ball along without ever letting it stop. We cut the boys off at 4 putts each hole.

Sid the Science Kid and Ez.
Boo Boo showing off.

Sid the Science Kid participated in a chess tournament this Saturday, too. I totally forgot about it until Friday night, so unfortunately we didn't give him opportunity to practice and review. As a mom, I was very disappointed in his manners and behavior most of the day. As far as chess, he was very distracted and wasn't paying attention well at all. And for him, he was in tears at least three times throughout the day. So, it's not something we'll do again soon. But, I met some nice homeschool families and children and we might join the chess club at the library that meets on Saturdays.
There were 6 rows of 12 games going on side-by-side. Thankfully, the little ones were closest to us so we could see a little of what was going on and I could redirect Sid when he was getting completely out of control.

Everyone got a participation Award, but Sid was in tears when he didn't earn a trophy.

A side note, Boo Boo is obsessed with my new chair! I wanted a comfy nursing chair for the new baby but, after two cheap gliders, I wanted something that would last and doesn't look like a nursing glider in my living room after I'm done having children. So, we purchased this beautiful brown chenille rocker chair and I love it! But, so does Boo Boo. He has been known to come up to me and pull on my pants to get me to move. Sometimes I try to sit him with me, but our butts barely fit in there together, so he pushes me away. Here he is laughing at me after he pushed me out...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Indianapolis Children's Museum Mini-Vacation

Well, we decided to take to small family vacation to Indianapolis, IN this Thursday to meet up with Mr. Prince's brother, D. I've been wanting to visit the zoo and museum all summer, so with a free family day on Thursday, it was the perfect opportunity! We headed out a little behind schedule that morning. We had to stop by Target to get some flip flops because all the klan has grown out of their water shoes. I decided we don't use them enough to purchase more at full price, because most of them I've gotten at garage sales, and flip flops we can use outside of water activities. So, after 45 min of shoe shopping and MommyK getting distracted in the $1 isle, we finally got on the road. (See the fun homeschool supplies we found at Target on this post!)

We arrived around 1:30 and met up with Uncle D at Washington Park. I had looked up parks to find a splash park in the area, but this one was a little disappointing. It just seemed old and not well kept up. The kids had fun though! Boo Boo liked the "pool" of water in the middle. He doesn't really like getting splashed, so this was actually a perfect water area for him.

We were there about an hour and we needed to get going. We had to eat dinner and be done before 4pm because the museum was only open 4-8pm and I didn't want to waist an hour of our time eating there. I got the kids dressed, did the girls' hair and we found a local KFC.

We arrived to the museum around 4:30. We were backed up on Meridian Street for at least 20min because of everyone trying to park for the free day. It was crazy!

The museum was fun, but I'm sure glad we went on a free day. It was not worth the $60 we would have spent coming on a regular admission day. I feel like it lacked a lot of educational value. The dinosaurs were probably the most educational. They had some videos on the duckbill dinosaur and they had some hands-on things to do. The kids got to dig up "fossils" in one area and also got to see real people digging real fossils out of rocks from South Dakota. We didn't do all the hands-on things because the kids seemed overwhelmed with all the people and we still had the whole museum to see.

These next two were statues outside of the zoo...very cool!

We also went to the Planetarium, which you can't take pictures of. They showed the Indiana sky for yesterday and showed all the constellations and planets you can see with your bare eyes. They also showed how to find the big and little dipper, north star and a few other constellations. But, they were supposed to teach about an eclipse, meteor showers and the planets and for some reason didn't cover any of those topics. Sid the Science Kid (and MommyK) left disappointed in the show.

They had a few other exhibits we visited, but I just wasn't impressed with any of them. They had one on Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White that was probably really good for older children, but we didn't go in there with our little ones. So, overall I'm not sure if I would recommend the Indianapolis Children's Museum to a homeschool family looking for some educational fun with science. But, it was a great day for us with Uncle D and worth it for that alone!

Here Boo Boo is enjoying the dead stuffed animals at the museum. He kept saying, "Kitty!" HA!

US History/Geography Homeschool Supplies at Target for $1!!

These are the awesome homeschool supplies I found at Target and the Indianapolis Children's Museum yesterday! The World Map floor puzzle was from the museum, but at only $13, I thought it was a good price. It also came with the white world puzzle for your wall you see pictured.
At Target they had these great books. Even though they were board books, they are sturdy books that go over the capitals of the states and some fun facts about the different countries. And we also found this 50 States fact book as a fun reference.

Here are the two 100 piece puzzles we found on the world and the US. The kids will have fun putting these together this year over and over. The map underneath is actually a large wall map of Europe. It looks really nice! I'm going to visit our other Target this week to see if I can find the maps on the other continents. So, I spent a whole $6 at Target.....I love Target $1 bins!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I've Gone File Folder CrAzY!

My blog friend, Shanna, was kind enough to send some free file folder games for our family to try out a few weeks ago from her site. I've finally gotten the chance to put them together today! The kids were excited, waiting over my shoulder for me to complete them, but then my little one was disappointed that not many where for her age. So, this afternoon I searched online to see if I could find anymore free folder games, and I was successful! So, here are the eight I've put together today.

I know, there are only 7 pictured here. I forgot the one when I took the picture. Don't they look great?!

Here are the four that were made by Shanna, a homeschooling mom of seven children ages 8 and under. She has a couple dozen file folder games created so far and is working on more. She will even take requests for special orders. Check out her website! She has a great deal for 17 games for only $15 (+ S&H)!!

Name That State - this was an immediate hit with my geography obsessed 6-year-old. I'll blog more on the kids' experiences with the folders in a few weeks when we've used them more. Younger children can match the shape of the state and older children can quiz themselves on the name of the state based on it's shape and even the capitals.

Buried Treasure - this game focuses on directions like north, south, east and west.

Letter Match - here you match the lower case letter to the uppercase letter.

A.M. or P.M. - this game helps children learn the difference between A.M. and P.M. and distinguish activities that happen at certain times of day.

I found the rest of these at They are great quality for free product!

Chick-N-Place Value - there are eggs that give a hundred-something number and the kids use the chicks to make the number and place them in the correct place value.

Rain Showers: Consonant Blends and Digraphs - here the kids look at the pictures and figure out what blend it starts with.

Hot and Cold - this is a good one for little guys. You just match the item to whether it's cold or hot.

Food Pyramid - this is a game where you take different foods and put them into their correct food group. I was just talking to my kids about food groups yesterday, so I had to print this one! The only thing is, they don't have many examples for oils. So I think I'm going to add my own cards, too.

I had lots of fun making these and all I did was cut and paste! I wish I had time to create my own, but that isn't possible right now. Check these sites out! I really think they will allow me to do more one-on-one stuff with the kids, because right now they all want to do everything together and I can't get them to do different activities while I'm trying to school one child.

Oh, and while I was doing all of this, my husband was working on the yard and these are what he brought in for me and the girls!!

They stood 3 feet tall!! I had to cut them so they wouldn't tip the vase over! They are beautiful....thanks you Mr. Prince!!