Friday, July 23, 2010

Discovery Scouts Program

We finally found a scouting program for kids 3-5 years old!!!!  My girls are 18mo and twin 4 year olds so we can be apart of this for several years.  I signed up to be a troop leader and quickly shared the info with my preschool homeschooling group.  We decided to get together and make t-shirts for the members while we waited for the badges to arrive. 

We used flat fabric paint...make sure all the kiddos are wearing clothes you don't mind trowing out afterwards as this stuff obviously wont wash out!  It didn't occur to me to do this as well...I'll really miss that tank top now that I have fabric paint miscellaneously placed about.  At least now mom has a art/painting top like the girls do!  As you can see with the 2 middle hand pints that its important to have the shirt flat to avoid any creases.  This paint dries fast so you'll want to have a little dish on hand to re-apply.

 We put the groups kids hand prints on the back of our shirts and my kids put their handprints on the fronts.  I made them into flowers and used glitter fabric paints to make their handprints special.  Since we had to wait for the paint to dry we decided as a group to write our kids names by each handprint with a sharpie at a latter date.  I can't believe the blue handprint is that of my 18month old daughter - she's going to out grow the twins so quickly!
I even made one for myself!  In Vegas you can happily wear a tank top 3 seasons out of 4.  My front is blank.

Its a super easy program.  As a homeschooler I have an issue with conformity, but still like to see it so I can change it to suite my family.  The Discovery Scouts just provides the outline of projects (like ideas) and supply you with the badges.  Its totally up to the parents as to when their kiddo earns the badge.  I carried that idea over to my homeschooling group.

We are starting with the Outdoor Living badge.  We'll begin with hiking, then work our way into our Jr. Ranger Program.  Most National Parks offer this.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Free Family Film Festival

Rave Motion Pictures Free Family Films Festival
 Nothing is better then FREE movies AT the theater!  Every summer some our movie theater chains put on a Free Family Movie Festival where twice a week there are free movie showings.  Since its geared towards families you are prepared to have little ones running thru the aisle, walking between strollers, and hearing the adorable comments you wouldn't stand for at a regular movie. 

We work on our manners during such outings in case I ever get the nerve to take my goof troop to the real movies, where kidless patrons pay money to attend.  I have to admit that each showing we went to was pretty laid back.  Most parents are just as nervous as I am of our little ones disrupting others so it went really well.  Since I have a baby with me we only went to a few this year, she wont sit for more then 15 minutes since she learned to walk.

Can't wait to do it again next year!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saving Money with workbooks

Anyone who has one homeschooler much less two knows how important it is to save money.  I think the workbooks can be cute and good for the just kills me to use one page and recycle it.  I bought a laminator to help this issue so the kids could reuse it with dry erase markers.  At one of my preschooling homeschoolers group events a mom brought up the idea of using sheet protectors instead.  Could it be that easy?  Yes.

 I bought a big Preschoolers Workbook at Walmart for about $10 but Amazon has it too:

I have to admit, I had to bribe Princess B to write so I could take this picture.  She likes to write in private...on my walls, the patio, my car, the toilet seat (???) so I only have dry erase or washable pens in my house. 
 I am so excited one of the twins is a lefty!  It has everything to do with me being a lefty, I think our baby is going that direction as well.  At least I'm aware of issues she'll run into with scissors and dry erase markers.

They really look forward to doing these "mazes", since they can do them over and over I don't mind giving these to them as often as they ask for them. 
We don't do workbooks everyday, or even weekly.  I let the kids ask for them, I like to learn thru play so if they think this is fun, then we'll do it.  Once the get bored they did in their heels and we move onto something else...its not hard to find something else they'd enjoy!

Diary Tour - FIELD TRIP!!!!

 As a homeschooler I am constantly asked, "How do you socialize your kids?"  behind the question is that second question, "How will they be normal"...maybe not, but I feel like its next.  I politely smile and just remember that our social calendar is so booked with playdates, field trips, scouting adventures with our troop, and learning dates that I barely have enough gas money to get to the dollar store.  I used to set aside our mornings for some version of structured learning.  Considering all my appointments for the kids are before noon I've had to move our "structured" learning to after 2pm.  Which is fine, baby sister is taking a nap, I can truly focus.

One of the highlights of homeschooling, we get the BEST field trips!  Schools book them up pretty fast, but being that I'm at home I can make arrangements very quickly and I know my group is flexible.  The downside?  We often get mixed in with school groups.  Not to sound like I've mounted a high horse, but the kids are pretty unruly in the school groups (hey, even I can remember that far back: the pure excitement of being out without mom, knowing there's one adult per 15-20 kids...its natural) and I'm a little less then excited with some of the new vocabulary words my daughters learn while grouped with them.  The pure joy on their faces when they've seen my horrified face as they test drive these new phrase to their playgroup friends is, well...uncomfortable.  Not just because I'm the main organizer of these groups, but geez, do they have to say it so loud?! 

I did find the "Holy Guacamolie" super cute and although I'm sure I was supposed to be shocked but the pile drive and head lock moves they attempted on each other after this Anderson Dairy Tour was camera worthy.  They're twins, I think their supposed to wrestle each other???  Mind do!

In my homeschooling group we thought it would be fun to take the kids to the Anderson Dairy Tour.  I was amazed at how well all our kids did sitting in a big group of kids, watching the dairy show, walking with the group, and waiting for ice cream.  Now when we go to UT to visit family the kids yell out at every cow, "Milk, Cheese, Yogurt"  I do mean EVERY COW.  I love it, it reminds me to talk about life cycles, different cows, farming, how to process cheese, etc...  When in UT we actually get to hike near cows that are let out to graze, they have the big horns (the boys) and are actually territorial.  This city girl was reduced to squealing as they approached us AND as to my horror a dragon fly landed On Me (so much prettier from a distance) and kept buzzing.  My girls weren't sure what to scream at so they just laughed at me, thank goodness.

To my surprise the girls were intrigued by the factory workers and the assembly belt - they stood at this window as the group progressed onto the next step.  I could hear the leader so I knew what to tell the girls as they moved onto the next step.  It pays to have friends pick up where I slack off, my girlfriend of 4 BOYS (there's a set of twins in there as well) watched my baby as I hung back with my girls.  I have the best preschool homeschooling group!
The girls and group had so much fun we'll be doing this one on a regular basis!  Thank you Anderson Dairy!
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