Celebrating Easter

Easter is a pretty big holiday at our house.  We buy the Easter outfits, the Easter bunny comes to visit, we do lots of fun crafts, and of course we spend a lot of time at church.  Our church has 3 days of worship experiences and watching people celebrate our Risen King is one of my favorite things to do.

Over the last few days I put together a few of our favorite activities to share with y’all.

My good friend Angela brought her kids over to have a little Easter party at our house.  We had a lot of fun having an egg hunt, bunny hop and egg drop races, and lots of playing.

I made lots of yummy food.  I love how Annie’s has a lot of bunny themed food, so I got a lot of their snacks to enjoy.  I also bought their mac and cheese, but I ended up using the noodles but doctoring up the cheese to make a crock pot version instead of the powdered cheese.  I also made a bouquet of flower cupcakes and bunny sugar cookies.  (And yes, I used my buttercream icing for both!)

I  had crafts for us to do.  We were so busy playing outside that we didn’t get much done, so I ended up sending them home with Angie and then afterwards the girls and I did them together.

The first thing we did was some Pinterest things that I had printed off.

For the last few years we read through this “devotional” about the Easter Bunny.  I feel like it kinda gives a reason of why the Easter Bunny comes to our house. (Found here)

Every year we also go over the Resurrection story using Resurrection Eggs.  We still used our eggs this morning, but I also saw these printable/coloring Resurrection egg craft and decided to do these too.

Then we also read these Bible verses about the Easter story.  (I’ve also used the Valentine’s hearts and the pumpkin verses in the past.)

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The girls favorite craft was making these pompom bunnies and chicks.

All you need is some yarn, googly eyes, and some different crafting puff balls. (And scissors and glue.)

Start by wrapping the yarn around your hand a bunch of times.  I didn’t really count how many times… Just remember the more you wrap the bigger and fluffier your pompom will be.  Also I tried to use the kid’s hands at first, but they were way too small.  I had to do the wrapping around my own hand.

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Cut a small piece of string to tie around the middle of your loops.

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Cut the loops on both sides to create your pompom.

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Puff and then add your eyes, nose/beak, and ears for the bunny.  (Actual cotton balls work best because you can stretch them out for more of a bunny ear shape.)

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Cammie also was really proud of her spring flower.  She could do it mostly by herself so she felt like a big girl.  All you need is green popsicle sticks, glue, and cupcake liners.  A dot of glue and you have a happy 2 year old.

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Every year we also make Resurrection Rolls.  (See my Instagram post for the recipe and Bible verses.)

And of course we dyed eggs.


I’m excited about getting dressed up and going to church in the morning and celebrating that HE IS RISEN!

 

Around Our Homeschool Room

Our homeschool room – sometimes we use it a lot.  Sometimes we are gathered in the kitchen around the table or counter.  Sometimes we are laying on the floor in a bedroom or cuddled up on the couch.  But this room is the headquarters… and the storage room.  I thought I would give a mini tour around the room.  Literally.  I stood in one spot and took four pictures just to show you a little of our classroom.

Classroom 1

When you walk in, my desk is facing the door.  I have a little set of drawers that holds papers, files, etc.  On top is a basket with all my teachers manuals. To the left are some colored cutouts. Those are the books that we have read together this year.  Alyse has her own little wall of cutouts for her books on the other side of the room.

Classroom 3

This room is almost all windows, which I love, but we only really have one wall.  Sometimes it kinda drives me crazy that this wall is top to bottom posters, but we are working with what we got.  I did hole punch a bunch of charts and posters and put them on the chart stand that is to the far right.

We only have a small white board right now.  Eventually I would like to get a bigger one.  We have a small black board also.  We don’t usually use that one very often.  Our yearly verse is written on it and the girls say it everyday.  (Psalm 19:14 – May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.)

The bookshelf has a bunch of baskets filled with flashcards, paper, computer games, CDs, and other things.  Each girl has a basket too that they have extra books in.

We have a calendar and a “Math Meeting” pocket chart (the green one on the cabinet door).  The yellow pocket chart is their Spelling Spot.  Alyse writes her spelling words each week and puts them there and Breeley has about 10 sight words at a time that she has there to work on.  The bulletin board on the top is for their art projects to be put on. Above the door is multiplication tables.  On the side is our daily count of how many school days we have had.  Each month we change the theme.  Apples, pumpkins, snowflakes, hearts, etc.

Classroom 2

This is my usual view.  Well, actually there are usually three little people in those seats.

We bought the desk in the middle for Alyse about 2 years ago.  This summer I posted on Facebook and asked if anyone had seen anything similar to it for Breeley.  By the magic of Facebook, my friend Ashley had 2 that she was trying to sell.  Amazing! One is a little smaller, but that works perfect for Cammie.

The cabinet is full of books, manipulatives, files, craft and school supplies, etc.  I try to keep it organized, but since this school year is almost over, it isn’t really in the best of shape.

Classroom 4

The windows in this room make it very bright, which I like.  They also can kind of distract the girls a little.  We just put a birdfeeder on one of the windows, so that is their latest distraction.  We also have a little seed science project on one of the window ledges.

The girls each have their drawers, one for each subject.  They keep their books and whatever is needed for their lesson in the drawer.  In the middle is another vintage school desk.  The crate has a bunch of books (mostly for Cammie to look at or for me to read with Breeley.)  We also use the bench front to stack projects on.  Those are some canvases waiting to be painted on when its a nice day, and some books that I need to go over with Alyse.  The little white chair pulled up to my desk is our conferencing chair.  That chair makes it easy to have one on one instructional time with the girls.

This whole room is colorful, kinda crazy, and a comfortable spot for us to work in. It makes my teacher heart happy to have our own little classroom to work in. As I said, now that it’s towards the end of the year it is a little messy and unorganized, but I like the phrase: Excuse the mess. The children are making memories.

Love Day

Last week we threw together a little Valentine’s party with my friend Angela and her kids.  We both homeschool and we always try to make sure that we celebrate holidays and do “class parties” so our kids don’t miss out on the fun and childhood memories.

I had a few activities and craft stuff put out for the girls.

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Most of the activities I found on Pinterest:

Heart sort and graphing

Valentine’s Word Search

Valentine’s I Spy

Valentine’s Tic Tac Toe (We used Hershey Kisses for the game pieces.)

They had a lot of fun.  I had bags for them to decorate and put what they didn’t get to finish, along with some bubbles and stamps into.

They got a little distracted because it started to snow big pretty flakes while they were sitting at the table.

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For the food the kids made fruit kabobs with melted chocolate and then they made their own heart shaped pizzas.

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They also decorated their own cupcakes.

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It really was so much fun.

Can’t wait for our next little party/playdate.  It’s always a little crazy with 8 kids running around but they have crazy fun.

(Thanks Angie for sending me some pictures!)

 

***On actual Valentine’s Day, Josh made sure all of his girls woke up to roses – pink for the little 3, purple for me. And chocolate – heart shaped chocolate donuts for them, chocolate covered strawberries for me.  He’s good to us! ***

 

Triple Oaks Academy

We are a homeschool family.  This is our 4th year of homeschooling.  It is perfect for our family in this time and season of life.  I love having my girls home with me.  Some days are hard and long…. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just send the older two to school, but then, when I really weigh it all out, I know this is what is best for all of us.  Plus, in my other life (pre-children) I was a teacher.  I have my Elementary Education degree and Teaching License. I like that I am getting to use them.

Our homeschool is called Triple Oaks Academy.  We based our name after this sermon called “The Orchid and the Oak Tree”.  This sermon is near the top of my list for my favorite sermons.  It is based around Jeremiah 17:7-8.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.”

I hope to raise three beautiful “oak trees”.

This year Alyse is in 3rd Grade.  I taught 3rd Grade for 3 years, so I was very excited about this year.  You kinda need to know that I like to mix and match curriculums.  I also believe there is no perfect curriculum.  So, I tend to use a lot of different curriculums.

Here are some of the books that we are using for Alyse:

We use “A Reason for Handwriting” for penmanship.  This year she is doing book C and learning cursive.  We also use “A Reason for Spelling”.

a reason for handwriting c A reason for spelling 3

We are now using Positive Action Bible Curriculum.  We started off using another curriculum this year, but we were not very happy with it.  I went to our local homeschool store and decided to give this curriculum a try.  So far we like it.

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Language Arts is where we focus a lot of our attention.  We use a combination of all of these.  Some Abeka, some Explode the Code, Wordly Wise, etc.  First Language Lessons and Writing With Ease are the foundations for our instruction, but I like including all these other workbooks for extra practice.

Daily Lang review explode the code 5 wordly wise 3   Language 3       first language lessons 3Writing with ease 3

We base our Reading and Writing units off of novels.  Right now we are reading the Little House series.  We also are working through classics such as Anne of Green Gables.

Little House  Anne of green gables

Math is not my specialty.  Josh helps Alyse a lot with her Math lessons.  We also use Teaching Textbooks which gives her lessons on the computer.

Teaching textbooks 3Horizons 3

We are using Abeka 4th grade for History.  We are learning all about US History and will soon be doing her North Carolina State project.

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For science we are also using Abeka.

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Breeley is in Kindergarten.  A lot of her learning is play based, but of course she does have some textbooks to teach her the basics – Reading, Writing, Arithmetic.

Again, we use A Reason for Handwriting for penmanship.

A reason for Handwriting k

Positive Action Bible Curriculum

Bible k

And Horizons Math

Horizons k

Most of our phonics and reading is Abeka.

Phonic readers Letters and Sounds blend ladders

I do use some Bob Jones readers, Explode the Code, and some other different products for sight words, journals, etc.

We also use Abeka for Science and Social Studies, but these also tend to revolve around what Alyse is studying and seasons/holidays.

Science kSocial Studies k

Both girls are in Dance class and also a Tumbling/Homeschool PE class.  We do some “specials” at home.  They do typing, Spanish, piano, and art.

Typing instructor Spanish my pianoArt k

This year has been a lot of fun.  The girls are doing an excellent job, and are learning a lot.  And we have a lot more exciting things to come!