Happy Valentine’s Day

DSCF5970

For Valentine’s Day I signed Decca up for a card exchange on a homeschool forum we are on. It was so much fun! For the last ten days Valentines have been coming in from around the country (and Canada too!). Decca has been collecting them in his mailbox that he made, and this morning he finally was able to open them!

DSCF5977

Of course because we are homeschoolers we also had to turn this project into an educational experience. My mom made a map of the United States, and Decca placed pins on the map from where his cards came from. It was a fun project!

DSCF5982

DSCF5984

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

*

TAD Town

I am not a crafty person, and the truth is I hate crafts. I not only hate crafts, but for years no one in the house was allowed to do them. This was mostly when the twins were little, as they were CRAZY for crafts, but the stress of having three young children, mixed with craft supplies, was too much for me. The sight of glue sticks, pipe cleaners, scissors, construction paper, glitter, markers, and any other craft supplies would literally bring out the worst in me. I was so anti-crafts that it was actually a running joke in the family. Oh well, at least I always provide my family with plenty of comedic material.

Anyway fast forward a number of years, and I still hate crafts. My kids however don’t, and, in fact, my daughter excels at them. She is artistic and talented and crafty, and she is older…

View original post 228 more words

Mystery Boxes

I posted a few weeks back about a little project Decca worked on and how much he loved it. Someone asked me for the directions, so I thought I would make a post about it.

The box was an assignment that dealt with learning about the mystery genre, and after learning about the genre the student was to make a cube. On the sides of the cube the student would write information on the mystery (that he or she created on their own) such as the title, the suspects, the culprit, the setting, the mystery, and the clues. Decca had so much fun thinking up his own mystery and writing it all down.

The first step in making a mystery box is to cut a cube out of cardboard or card stock. We used an old shoe box for our cube, and it worked great. You can make the cube any size you want, but you need to make sure each square is the same size. Here is a picture of ours. (In subsequent cubes I added a little flap to one square to make it easier to glue together. You may want to consider doing this)

While the cube is still flat have the student fill out the information on their cube.

This is the title of Decca’s mystery.

This is the characters from his mystery.

The setting for the story.

What is the mystery?

The clues that help solve the mystery.

And finally we find out who is the culprit.

After the student has completed all the squares you simply glue or tape the box up.  Then your student should try to write the story out. The outline of the story is already done, so the transition to paper goes rather smoothly. Have fun!

3D Printing

Mecha X's

The picture above is a 3D printed model that my son Tru made. The boys have been working on this project for a while now with their Grandpa, and they finally got their models in the mail. I wanted to share them with everyone because I think it is a great idea.

Side view of the models

I wasn’t involved in this project at all, so I don’t know much about it. My step-dad sent me an email explaining the whole process, and I have copied it and posted it for everyone.

“The site to make the model is Shapeways.  The 3d modeling tool we used was Blender, and we uploaded them in X3D format. They check the models automatically and once it is approved, you can order them.  Takes 10 days from upload to delivery.  They have a video on their site about the process.

Decca’s model is here. Tru’s model is here.

You can set up a store to sell things, but the boys didn’t want to, so I’ve just made them visible to the public.

I’ve attached the drawing Decca did of Hazzy so you can see from 2d to 3d.  Tru did his on paper so I scanned it and attached it as well.”

Here is Tru's sketch.

Here is Decca's model. He calls him Hazzy.

And here is Hazzy after being made into a model.

The boys loved working on their 3D models, and the finished product is great. They are a little pricey to make, but if you are looking for a creative project to work on I would recommend Shapeways.

Fun Project

We were in Target the other day, and we came across this. They were 50% off, and the kids somehow convinced me to buy one for each of them. This is an amazing feat, as I have a real hatred for crafts, and I usually do not want things like this in my house. I must have been in a good craft mood, for I bought it for the kids. Then we got home, and the kids started decorating their monsters, and I left the house…for an hour…with my dog. (I just can’t be around crafts and the mess.)

Working hard, which they did for two hours

When I got back home they were still working on decorating their monsters. They spent over two hours on them, and I was quite happy about that. As a working mom, who works at home, anytime I can get all three kids to concentrate on a project for a long period of time I am happy. The kits were only $5.00. If you are looking for a fun little project for the day, I highly recommend them.

Their finished creatures

Snowflakes!

I thought I would re-post this from last year. Enjoy!

I am not a crafty person, and the truth is I hate crafts. I not only hate crafts, but for years no one in the house was allowed to do them. This was mostly when the twins were little, as they were CRAZY for crafts, but the stress of having three young children, mixed with craft supplies, was too much for me. The sight of glue sticks, pipe cleaners, scissors, construction paper, glitter, markers, and any other craft supplies would literally bring out the worst in me. I was so anti-crafts that it was actually a running joke in the family. Oh well, at least I always provide my family with plenty of comedic material.

Anyway fast forward a number of years, and I still hate crafts. My kids however don’t, and, in fact, my daughter excels at them. She is artistic and talented and crafty, and she is older. Which means she can do many crafts, and clean up after herself when she is finished. This also means that she does not need my help at all. She is also good at getting her brothers involved, teaching them what to do and helping her little brother clean up,  while I am of by myself enjoying a nice cup of tea.

What this all means is that crafts are back in our house, and I am not involved with them at all!

Today Autry decided to make some snowflakes for the house. She had just learned how to do these, and she wanted to share it all with us. She got out paper, lots of paper, scissors, and tape. I ignored the situation because seeing all these supplies made me nervous. She was off cutting and taping and what not, and when she finished she had made a great snowflake. I was truly impressed, mostly because when I was a kid the only snowflake I ever made was just a cut-up piece of paper.  I decided to photograph her making the snowflake and promised her I would post it on our blog. She was so happy that I was interested, and I was so proud of her for making a bunch of these for our house. It sure seems so much more festive in here now!

Step 1: Cut paper into a square
Step 2: Fold once
Step 3: Fold twice
Step 4: Make sure the triangle is held the right way and then….
make three cuts in it.
Open it up, and it should look like this.
Step 5: Tape the sides of each strip together
Tape to opposite sides each time
Until you get this. Repeat all the steps 6 times.
Step 6: Tape all six sides together and voila….
you have a beautiful snowflake!
She is going to make enough to cover the whole living room!


April's Bulletin Board

We have a bulletin board in our classroom that we like to decorate. I like to put a poem on our board each month and usually my mom does the artwork. This month I decided to let all the kids help. First I printed out a pic of a bunny on an egg and had the kids color them. I wanted it to be a mix media project, so they use colored pencils, watercolors, and charcoal. Then we laminated the bunnies and cut them out.

Tru's rabbit

Autry's rabbit

Decca's rabbit

Next I had Autry color the background. She was so excited about this. She has never done the whole board before, although she often helps my mom. She spent a long time thinking about what colors she wanted to use.

Next the kids used rubber cement to glue their rabbits to the board. Autry finished the whole thing by writing Happy Spring. I still have to add a poem, but I haven’t found one I like yet. I would like the poem to be about rabbits or Easter. If you have any suggestions let me know.

Happy Spring everyone!

Snowflakes

I am not a crafty person, and the truth is I hate crafts. I not only hate crafts, but for years no one in the house was allowed to do them. This was mostly when the twins were little, as they were CRAZY for crafts, but the stress of having three young children, mixed with craft supplies, was too much for me. The sight of glue sticks, pipe cleaners, scissors, construction paper, glitter, markers, and any other craft supplies would literally bring out the worst in me. I was so anti-crafts that it was actually a running joke in the family. Oh well, at least I always provide my family with plenty of comedic material.

Anyway fast forward a number of years, and I still hate crafts. My kids however don’t, and, in fact, my daughter excels at them. She is artistic and talented and crafty, and she is older. Which means she can do many crafts, and clean up after herself when she is finished. This also means that she does not need my help at all. She is also good at getting her brothers involved, teaching them what to do and helping her little brother clean up,  while I am of by myself enjoying a nice cup of tea.

What this all means is that crafts are back in our house, and I am not involved with them at all!

Today Autry decided to make some snowflakes for the house. She had just learned how to do these, and she wanted to share it all with us. She got out paper, lots of paper, scissors, and tape. I ignored the situation because seeing all these supplies made me nervous. She was off cutting and taping and what not, and when she finished she had made a great snowflake. I was truly impressed, mostly because when I was a kid the only snowflake I ever made was just a cut-up piece of paper.  I decided to photograph her making the snowflake and promised her I would post it on our blog. She was so happy that I was interested, and I was so proud of her for making a bunch of these for our house. It sure seems so much more festive in here now!

Step 1: Cut paper into a square

Step 2: Fold once

Step 3: Fold twice

Step 4: Make sure the triangle is held the right way and then....

make three cuts in it.

Open it up, and it should look like this.

Step 5: Tape the sides of each strip together

Tape to opposite sides each time

Until you get this. Repeat all the steps 6 times.

Step 6: Tape all six sides together and voila....

you have a beautiful snowflake!

She is going to make enough to cover the whole living room!