Monday, September 15, 2014

MFW K Creation Unit (Max’s School)

{Phew!  After typing out this whole post, I am reminded of why I split Alex’s creation post into 3 separate posts a few years ago…this was a PROJECT to put this whole post together.  Happy Reading…or skimming…whichever you choose to do!}

Many of you know that we absolutely LOVED My Father’s World Kindergarten with Alex.  For us, it is a perfect year for a late 4 or young 5 year old.  We are THRILLED to be starting “Round 2” of MFW K now with Max.  He’s excited, too!  He feels so special to have this new program!

I love the creation unit, as it gently eases a child into a school routine.  It also gives you a good idea of your child’s coloring, cutting, and gluing skills.  I learned in the past two weeks that Max can cut far better than I realized! 

For those who are just happening upon this post, our oldest (“6, almost 7”, as he says) did MFW K a few years ago.  This year, our 5 year old is doing MFW K and our 3.5 year old is tagging along for fun.  Our oldest is joining in whenever he would like, but we’re not insisting that he participate.

We love using the book God Made It For You (pictured below) as we work our way through the creation week.  It’s a beautifully illustrated account of the creation week.  On Day 1, we read only the Day 1 page.  On Day 2, we read the Day 1 & Day 2 pages.  On Day 7, we read the whole book – which includes an amazing message to remind children of how creation and the cross tie together, and how God created this world AND sent His son for YOU!  I very highly recommend this book if you choose to do MFW K!

Here’s a day-by-day recap of Max’s creation unit:

Day 1 – God Separated Light from Darkness

I was impressed by Max’s cutting skills!  I didn’t know he could do as well as he does with a scissors!  It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good!  We had chocolate & vanilla pudding for a snack to represent the light and the darkness.


Day 2 – God separated the waters above from the waters below

We did a creation day number strip this time around.  Each child proudly added his/her creation number to the chart each day.  Max did his own cutting; I cut Jensyn’s numbers for her.  We had popcorn and blue Mio (a *VERY* special treat, as we don’t usually give our kids fake sugars) to represent the clouds and the water.  We used cotton balls to make the sky on our daily art project.


We used the alphabet bingo cards that come with MFW K to play bingo with all 3 kids. 
They each chose a snack food to use as their bingo markers.

Alex was helping Jensyn cover her Bingo letters, as she doesn’t know all of her letters yet.
(We do comb her hair.  I promise!)

Day 3 – God made land, trees, and flowers.

This may look like I’m super-amazing mom to come up with such a creative snack.  I’m not.  I was scrounging to find ANYTHING in our cabinets that would be a good snack for Day 3.  We have trees made from grapes and pretzel sticks.  We have flowers made from Trix cereal and crispy breadsticks that I pulled from a snack mix.  The kids thought I was a bit crazy to feed them such a strange snack!




a quick view of the chaos on our kitchen table during school time Smile


Day 3 art project – construction paper trees with apples and oranges, flower stickers



Day 4 – God made the sun, moon, and stars.

A few years ago, we received a fun set of glow in the dark moon and star wall stickers.  We used these for Alex’s MFW K creation unit, and now we used them again for Max’s unit art project.  I have some put away for when Jensyn is ready for MFW K, as well.  This year, we had a little fun.  One night when Max was busy with Daddy, Alex and I decorated the boys’ bedroom walls with glow stickers.  It was a fun to surprise Max at bedtime that night!


We also had some glow in the dark squeeze paint that I purchased for a project at our homeschool co-op.  We used that to outline the sun and stars on our creation numbers.  I’m really impressed by Max’s coloring on this page – every child is different, but Alex would NOT color like this when he was that age!  The whole ‘take time to color’ thing is completely new to me!


This day’s snack was also making use of whatever I could scrounge up in the cabinets – cheddar cheese slices cut into star shapes with a cookie cutter, paired with saltine crackers.


We also used chocolate chips to play a ‘cover the letter’ game with Max.  He knows all of his uppercase & most of his lowercase letters, but he still gets them mixed up on occasion. 

Day 5 – God made the birds of the air & fish of the sea.

We had Nemo fruit snacks.  I only buy fruit snacks for birthday parties or vacation snacks, so this was a special treat!  I’d wanted blue jello (which is also a rare treat in our house) topped with gummy fish, but we found out that our local grocery store doesn’t carry blue jello!  Instead, we used blue plates left over from Max’s b-day party as our ‘ocean’.


We used sea creature and bird stickers for this day’s art project.


(This picture had our first & last name; I blurred out the last name.)

Day 6 – God made animals and people. 

I can’t find the pictures!  Hmm…where do pictures hide?!
But we have our snack – they had animal crackers for 99 cents at our grocery store, so I let the kids each pick a pack. They thought this was great fun!

Day 7 – God rested.

Since the seventh day is our Sunday, we did what many MFW K families do, and we had SUNDAES for our special snack!  We had leftover ice cream from Max’s birthday party, so we finished that off along with chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, and rainbow sprinkles!


coloring 7s
making creation crowns 
(thanks to Heather on the MFW K Facebook group for sharing the crown link!)
separating Man Made/God Made cards


Jensyn shocked me when she traced the numbers on her creation crown just as nicely as Max did on his.  Seriously – she PERFECTLY traced each number.  I have a feeling she will be doing quite a bit of MFW K right along with Max. She won’t put up with being left out!  I am learning that girls are so very different from boys – those fine motor skills seem to develop much earlier!


We’ll be taking all of our art projects from the creation unit and putting them together to make a yarn-bound creation book for each child, and we’ll hang their creation numbers and man made/God made charts on the stairway to our playroom (bonus room over the garage).  That stairway is filled with the children’s artwork, school papers, posters, and school stuff.  Since we school in our kitchen, we need a special place to display their school ‘stuff’…that’s our spot!

We are excited to begin Unit 1 tomorrow!  I look forward to seeing how Max handles this curriculum, and I’m sure we’ll have LOTS of fun together!  We will probably do 3 – 4 days/week, stretching it as long as needed to complete each unit.  I am so excited for the terrific children’s literature, fun art and science projects, cooking and baking, exploring, and learning about God’s creation together this year!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

THAT wasn’t on the lesson plan!

I don’t think I’ve ever given the impression that we have a perfect little homeschool.  I hope I’ve never made anyone feel that we have our act all together.  BUT…Just in case you’ve ever gotten that impression, let me set your mind at ease:

We. Have. Crazy. Days.

Take this one for example.  The day started out great!  We got started according to plan, gathered in the living room to sing some fun songs together, got Max & Jensyn settled in to some fun activities, and did Alex’s history and science lessons.  Sounds good, right?

Alex’s history lesson was about George Washington and his men crossing the icy Delaware River in the darkness of Christmas night.  His science lesson/dramatic play involved filling a pan with water and ice.  You then use a toy boat and a plastic figure to re-enact the George Washington’s adventure.

This was great fun!  All the kids sat on stools to give it a try!  I snapped a few pictures, watched the children re-enact the story, and THEN…the phone rang.

It was a lady from the apple orchard returning my call about a field trip we are planning for our co-op group.  Silly me, I decided to go around the corner so that I could converse without loud squeals in the background.  You know, let the children continue their re-enacting while I talked on the phone…OUT. OF. SIGHT.

You know this isn’t going to end well, right? 

So…exactly 4 minutes later, I returned to the kitchen just in time to see a great big WOOSH of water.  They’d been using the (almost silent) reverse osmosis faucet on our kitchen sink to fill the “Delaware River” to the top.  In doing so, they’d puddled a great deal of water on the counter, which had been dripping over the edge.  As I rounded the corner, a child tipped the “river” and caused a great big flood.

I’m not even sure how much water they’d spilled before I came into the kitchen.  All I know is that water was pouring down the counters.  It was puddling in the silverware drawer.  It was draining from every crack on the dishwasher door.  It was oozing out from under the kitchen cabinets.

(This is a picture of the aftermath.  There was no time to take pictures during the flood!)

After soaking up all the puddles with bath towels, we dried out the silverware drawer and the cabinet under the sink.  Water was still oozing out from under the cabinets and dishwasher.  I ended up unscrewing the dishwasher mounts, pulling it out, and using the shop vac to clean underneath.  I lifted the pipe covers inside the cabinet and set up a fan to blow under the cabinets to help dry it out underneath.  Keith, who I called at work, suggested using the shop vac to suck out any water from under the cabinets.  I spent well over an hour trying to dry it out, and I occasionally went back throughout the afternoon to run the shop vac a few more times.

That night, the dishwasher wouldn’t run.  Too much water had gotten into the panel inside of the door.  Keith had to take apart the dishwasher door to dry out everything inside, and THANKFULLY, the dishwasher worked after that.

Our family will FOREVER remember George Washington’s icy and dangerous trip across the Delaware River. 

*I* will FOREVER remember that it is a TERRIBLE idea to leave my children with a ‘river’ of water while taking a phone call!

YOU can walk away from this post knowing that, if you have crazy days in your homeschool, you are SO. NOT. ALONE!

Hopefully you got a good laugh for the day…I can laugh now that the mess is cleaned up and all is well! Smile

Monday, August 25, 2014

Entertaining The Littles

We started back to school on August 4th.  We haven’t done school every day, but we’re slowly easing back into our routine.  I opted to start only Alex, saving Max’s MFW K to begin after Labor Day.

But Max and Jensyn need to keep busy while I’m working with Alex.  They’re not interested in staying in a bedroom with busy boxes this year.  If I don’t find ways to keep their minds and hands busy, then Max is jumping off of chairs, interrupting us with silly questions, and pestering us all.  Jensyn is sitting my lap coloring on my teacher’s guide with a purple glue stick.  (True story, sadly.)

Max’s favorite so far has been to spend up to 30 minutes playing with our pattern blocks.  We have the Melissa and Doug pattern block set, and we have a few pattern block workbooks as well.  The one pictured below is my favorite for a 5 year old to get started working with shapes and spatial relations.  It’s hard enough to make Max think, yet easy enough for him to do independently.

Here’s the snowman he made last week.  He had to stop and think hard in order to fill in some of these spots, but in the end, he did a great job.  He was SUPER proud of his end results!


busy thinking about how to complete the Melissa & Doug pattern blocks puzzles


I realized recently that Jensyn LOVES tracing letters, and she loves using our ‘dot magnets’.  I printed a princess preschool pack for her and she’s stayed busy with markers, magnets, and tracing.  She loves to use the magnets to make hearts on the cookie sheet.


Max is also working on Rod & Staff preschool workbook pages. 
Here, he’s doing a color by number page. 
He took this very seriously, and he sat and worked on it for almost 45 minutes!

Once we begin MFW K in September, both Max & Jensyn will have new things to keep them busy, but we’ve enjoyed these simple ways to keep their minds and hands busy while we get back into the swing of things around here!