Category Archives: Activity Planning

Prepping for the Week of July 27, 2015 – Romeo and Juliet

The wait is nearly over!  Every summer, our local Shakespeare Festival presents a children’s adaptation of the play they are performing.  This year it’s Romeo and Juliet!  I want to get the kids excited for the play, so I have been doing a little research into adaptations.  I found some really cool things!

Movie – Romeo & Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss – This is currently streaming on NetFlix! – I found this fun review of the movie over at Or What You Will, a blog about Shakespeare:  Romeo and Juliet for Preschoolers.

I came across the website: Kids Love Shakespeare.  It has lots of great information and adapted scripts available for purchase.  Check out their page on Romeo and Juliet – scroll down and click on the Romeo and Juliet Summary for a great one-page description of the play.

We recently scored a second-hand doorway puppet theater.  I am excited to see what the kids think about putting on a show…  Maybe even working on writing a little story to perform…  We’ll see how it goes…  I hope this gets them excited about the play!

PuppetTheater

Letter of the Week – D
We are going to use some old magazines we have to do a letter “D” search and make a collage!

Ongoing Activities

Check out our posts about these ongoing topics…  🙂

Spanish – Aprendamos español – Let’s Learn Spanish!

Gardening – Dirt, Digging, and Dreams…

Safety – Safety Series

Music – Musical Mayhem…

Mascot – Hamiltina the Hamster!

Bring on a week of drama!

Prepping For the Week of July 20, 2015 – Our Solar System and Pluto!

With so much awesome information about Pluto hitting the news right now, I thought it would be fitting to make this week’s theme: Our Solar System and Pluto!

Check out NASA’s New Horizons Mission website for more info and lots of awesome pics!  (All links in this post will open in new tabs.)

Solar System Activities
Learning About the Planets – We are going to enjoy the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Exploring the Planets Online Exhibition.

Painting – Since Lala’s favorite activity is painting, we are going to look carefully at van Gogh’s Starry Night and see what kind of fun we  can have painting our own…  Check out the painting at the Google Cultural Institute.

We may also try Shirley’s Preschool Activities Starry Night Glitter Craft.

Rocket Science – I am going to get Mic to help us with a Water Rocket Construction from NASA Education!  For more info, check out the complete lesson plan – Rockets Educator Guide – including instructions for the rocket launcher!

NASA has a Rocket Science 101 app that allows you to build and launch rockets too!  Check it out on your smart phone!

Reading
Good Night Galaxy by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper  (Amazon Affiliate link – If you use this link to make any purchases, we will receive a small commission.  For more information, please see our Legal Stuff page):

Letter of the Week – C
We will start with “Cs” made out of dough snakes and see what else strikes us…  🙂

Ongoing Activities

Check out our posts about these ongoing topics…  🙂

Spanish – Aprendamos español – Let’s Learn Spanish!

Gardening – Dirt, Digging, and Dreams…

Safety – Safety Series

Should be a fun week!  Time to get busy!

Beginning the Third Year of Chansen Academy

Two years ago today, we observed ‘opening day’ for Chansen Academy!

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Though I am sure some might criticize and others might laugh at my ‘serious’ approach to homeschooling, I am doing what works for me and my family.  I am inspired by the concept of child-led learning and hope to create an environment that will allow my children to explore the things that they are passionate about.  For myself, I need structure or I won’t accomplish anything.  I don’t expect that my kids will attend an Ivy League School, but I do want them to have the skills they need and enough belief in themselves that they can achieve whatever they dream.

When we started on this journey, Mic and I agreed that unless we were going to do a phenomenal job of homeschooling our kids, we should put them in public or private school and spare ourselves the effort of educating them ourselves.  That may sound like a tall order for some, but to strive for excellence is extremely motivating to me.  We all have to do what works for us.  🙂  I am really hoping to be able to get some ‘Chansen Academy’ swag ordered up in the near future.  hehe

I also find comfort in traditions, so I am trying to start some for our family.  Tonight, after Mic gets home, we will be taking a ‘first day of school’ picture and measuring the kids to see how much they have grown in the last 6 months.  Lala has been begging us to measure her for a couple of weeks.  I know she and Tbear have both grown a lot!

If we were participating in the school system, Lala would start ‘pre-kindergarten’ this fall.  My goal for the next 6 months is to make sure she has learned and grown enough to meet our state’s ‘kindergarten readiness’ requirements.  I have looked through them briefly and believe that we are already nearly there.  Our focus is going to be on the alphabet.

I have so many things I want to do with the kids…  🙂  Here is an overview of my plans for the next 6 months.  (The links below are Amazon affiliate links.  If you use them to make any purchases, we will receive a small commission.  For more information, please see our Legal Stuff page.  Links will open in new tabs.)

I know this probably seems like a lot…  I am curious to see how far we get with all of it…  Part of the reason I started the Academy so ‘early’ was to give myself time to read and learn and get into a groove before it mattered very much to the kids.   They are happy as long as we are doing fun projects.  🙂  I’m sure some of these things will fall by the wayside and others will be added.  That’s part of the fun of homeschooling!

I will be adding some separate posts about many of these topics.  I am especially excited about the Family History Project!  I hope you will continue on this journey with us!  I am sure we will all learn and grow as we go.  🙂

Prepping for the Rest of June 2015 – Father’s Day and Summer Solstice

Between crafts for Father’s Day and some fun activities for the Summer Solstice, we are looking forward to the next couple of weeks!

Alphabet – We will be finishing up the alphabet with the letters Y & Z using  the printables from Crayola’s Free Coloring Pages website. (All links in this post will open in new tabs.)

Numbers: 19 & 20
We’re still working with the number book I put together.  For more info, see the post: Binding a Book of Numbers.

Reading
The Summer Reading Program at our local library started a couple of days ago.  I get ridiculously excited about this every year!  Unfortunately, because of our trip last week, we weren’t able to go to the annual pancake breakfast kick-off.  Oh well!  It looks like the reading program will be managed online this year.  One of my tasks for the next couple of days is to figure out how to get us signed up.  I’m looking forward to the special story times planned for the summer.  Libraries rock!  If you haven’t participated in a Summer Reading Program, there is likely one at a library near you.   They have all sorts of fun activities and prizes.  Last year, Lala won a backpack full of art supplies and a friend won a tablet!  Go check it out!

Father’s Day falls on the Summer Solstice this year.  How fitting that Daddy’s Day is the longest one of the year!

Father’s Day Activities
I found quite a few cool ideas for Father’s Day crafts…   You can check out some great ones from Martha Stewart under Kids’ Crafts for Dad.  Now I just have to decide what to have the kids make…

  • Dad Libs
  • Spinning Greeting Cards
  • Cut Out Frame…

Hmmm…  😉

Summer / Solstice Activities
I am going to utilize this information from Universal Preschool under Celebrate Summer With Fun Activities!  There is a nice age-appropriate discussion of the Solstice and some awesome crafts.  I am really excited to try the Suncatcher!

I recently saw a post on Facebook about building a solar oven and the idea has stuck with me…  I think we will try it!  I found some instructions over at Home Science Tools under Build a Solar Oven.

Ongoing Activities

Check out our posts about these ongoing topics…  🙂

Spanish – Aprendamos español – Let’s Learn Spanish!

Gardening – Dirt, Digging, and Dreams…

Safety – Safety Series

We are looking forward to a couple of weeks of some fun activities, wrapping up a few things, and getting organized for a new ‘year.’  We hope you have some time for some learning fun too!

Searching for Summer… 12 Sizzlin’ Suggestions for a Sensational Season

As our weather has suddenly changed from ‘unsettled’ to ‘rather warm,’ I have been pondering this change of season.  It is so easy for the warm and welcoming days (and nights!) of summer to slip away and, before we know it, the leaves are changing and there is a chill in the air.   I can honestly say I love all the seasons, but am well aware that different times lend themselves to different activities.  😉

In the interest of ‘seizing the season,’ Mic and I put together a list of activities we want to do with the kids this summer.  We choose 12…  theoretically one for each week…  Like life is ever that organized…  haha…  Without further ado and in no particular order, here are our sizzlin’ suggestions for a sensational summer….

  1. Go to the lake….  Often!
  2. Roast marshmallows over the fire pit in the back yard
  3. Hit the pool
  4. Explore a cave
  5. Go camping
  6. Stargaze
  7. Release some lady bugs
  8. Spend a whole day outside, observing how the sun moves and the day changes
  9. Go for a bike ride in the mountains
  10. Hike!
  11. Visit the ocean
  12. Take a bus or trolley ride – This one is a little random, but Lala has been obsessed with wanting to ride a bus.  😉

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What would you put on your summer ‘must-do’ list?  I’d love to hear your ideas!  Now, what are we all waiting for…?  Let’s go celebrate the season!

Belated Prepping for the Week of May 25, 2015… Family History Project

We enjoyed some family bonding time over the Memorial Day weekend… sharing germs…  😉  It started with Lala running a fever on Wednesday evening and has continued with all of us getting some variation of the bug…  What’s the saying?  “Sharing’s caring…”  hahaha  We are somewhat on the mend, but still not back to full capacity.

I didn’t get around to putting together any plans for activities this week, so it’s time to get busy!

Letter of the Week: V
I plan to finish out the alphabet using the printables from Crayola’s Free Coloring Pages website. (All links in this post will open in new tabs.)

Number of the Week: 16
We’re still working with the number book I put together last week.  For more info, see the post: Binding a Book of Numbers.

Activities

Catching Up
We weren’t feeling well enough to put together an anemometer or wind speed meter.  Hopefully we will be up to working on it this week using these awesome instructions on Instructables using paper cups, straws, a pencil, and a push pin…  Check it out: Paper Cup Anemometer.

Family History Project
I have been giving some thought to a Family Tree Project since Arbor Day.  It’s taken a while for my thoughts to gel, but it’s starting to come together.  Mic and I are about to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, reminding us that time marches on.  🙂

WeddingPic

I want to start with a small project that I have been meaning to do since Lala was a baby.  I have some small photo albums that I got from Dollar Tree.  I want to print out pictures of our immediate family members and make mini family albums for the kids.  It should be fun to go through some pictures!

This project will be on-going.  I am thinking about helping the kids ‘interview’ their grandparents and perhaps some other relatives about their lives and adventures.  I also want to create some sort of family tree art project.  Stay tuned!  More ideas to come!

Ponies
The pony book I ordered arrived!  We are excited to start reading it and learning more about ponies.  (Affiliate link – If you use these links to make any purchases, we will receive a small commission.  For more information, please see our Legal Stuff page.):

Ongoing Activities

Check out our posts about these ongoing topics…  🙂

Spanish – Aprendamos español – Let’s Learn Spanish!

Gardening – Dirt, Digging, and Dreams…

Safety – Safety Series

I am looking forward to a quiet week of getting healthy.  We wish you health and happiness on your learning journey!

Prepping for the Week of May 18, 2015 – Wind!

The weather has been so unsettled lately that I decided next week we are going to learn about… WIND!

PinwheelPic

The local kite festival this weekend will be a nice way to get started…  The first things that come to mind for me are:

  • Streamers
  • Flags
  • Plastic bags
  • Feathers

Letter of the Week: U
I plan to finish out the alphabet using the printables from Crayola’s Free Coloring Pages website.

Number of the Week: 15
I am looking forward to using these Number Coloring Pages from 3Dinosaurs.  They look really cool!

Activities
We are going to make an… anemometer!  A wind speed meter!  I found an awesome set of instructions on Instructables using paper cups, straws, a pencil, and a push pin…  Check it out: Paper Cup Anemometer.

Lala found a colorful flower pinwheel in the garage and has been having fun with it…  Let’s make a couple more!  Here are some great directions from Shirley’s Preschool Activities using simple materials for Pinwheel Paper Craft.

I also found some great information in this Preschool Wind Theme from Everything Preschool.

Since it is often windy where we live, I think we will have some fun with streamers and anything else we can think of to get ‘blowing in the wind!’

Going Off Topic…

It’s time for us to learn more about ponies!  We need to get up to Grandma and Grandpa’s place to visit the new pony soon and it’s time for us to know more about how to take care of her.  My go-to for learning new things…  books!  I think I will get this book ordered from Amazon (Affiliate link – If you use these links to make any purchases, we will receive a small commission.  For more information, please see our Legal Stuff page.):

Ongoing Activities

Check out our posts about these ongoing topics…  🙂

Spanish – Aprendamos español – Let’s Learn Spanish!

Gardening – Dirt, Digging, and Dreams…

Safety – Safety Series

Thanks for traveling with us on our learning journey!  Hold on…  we are going to let the wind carry us away on an adventure this week!  🙂

Belated Prepping for the Week of May 11, 2015 – Catching Up!

Life is a moving target!  We finished up a session of our homeschool co-op last week and Mic unexpected got a few vacation days off work, so we got distracted and have been a little ‘lazy’ the last few days.  (If keeping two small children fed, clothed, and entertained could ever be called ‘being lazy!’  😉 ) Anyways…  we’ve been having a lot of fun, but haven’t done many of our planned projects.  We did get a lot of “Mother’s Day” crafts done.  Yay for a flexible homeschooling schedule!   The plan for the next few days is to have some fun with the projects we want to do, but haven’t gotten to yet.  And Daddy will be home to join in the fun!  We also want to get out and about for some hiking and other outdoor fun.  So, what’s on our agenda?

Letter(s) of the Week: S & T (Somehow I got confused and listed last week’s letter as Q…  because Q comes after R, right? Agh…! Anyways, we will do S & T this week to ‘catch up.’
I plan to finish out the alphabet using the printables from Crayola’s Free Coloring Pages website.

Number of the Week: 14
I still want to get out our Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Clock and talk about the number 12 and telling time….  14 is actually a ‘great’ number at our house…  because I fill my vitamin organizers for two weeks at a time…  Lala has known how to count to 14 for a while…  though the numbers that come after are sometimes random…  LOL!  We may skip a printable this week…  *gasp!*  😉

Activities
Watch for a post on our “Mother’s Day” Crafts…

We did get a Rain Stick made…  Will be trying out (and posting about) the Rain in a Jar activity.

Storytime – I hope to make it to our local library’s story time this week.  It’s at the same time as co-op, so we haven’t been in a few months…

Spanish – Wow!  I just searched “preschool Spanish” on YouTube and so many things popped up!  The Internet has changed our life so dramatically….

Gardening – We need to get our beans planted and make some labels for the seeds that are popping up!

Safety – We are still working on fire safety…

Kites!  – It has been really windy and there is a local kite festival coming up, so we will be checking out the kites we have and perhaps making some simple ones.

Whew…  I’m jazzed about these activities!  I hope we can get them done…  🙂  I’m sure we will have a fun week regardless and hope you do too!

Prepping for the Week of May 4, 2015 – Mother’s Day!

Wow!  The last few days have just flown by…  Lots of things going on…  Co-op, dance performance, museum visits, yard and house work…  Life gets so busy for us all!  We’ve done a lot of fun activities and learned a lot!  We completed some of our planned activities , but not all of them…  The beauty is that…  we can adapt and change our plans!  Since I have a tendency to be kind of ‘uptight,’ being flexible is often a challenge for me, but with kids I am improving…  hehe…  😉

One activity we ended up doing that wasn’t on the ‘original plan’ were Mini Alphabet and Number Books…

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I am tickled with how they turned out…

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We used some old scrap book paper, book rings, stickers, and crayons….

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Look for a post about this activity soon!

Anyways, this coming Sunday is…  Mother’s Day!  I know we will be doing some fun Mother’s Day crafts in co-op this week…

Letter of the Week: Q
I plan to finish out the alphabet using the printables from Crayola’s Free Coloring Pages website.   Q is for… Queen…  Moms get to be Queen for a Day this weekend, right?  😉

Number of the Week: 13
I still want to get out our Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Clock and talk about the number 12 and telling time….  For the number 13, I plan to let the kids cover the number with stickers…  I think this simple #13 Printable from SheKnows will work.

Books:
We are still working on the pile of books we got during our last trip to the library…

  • From Seed to Sunflower by Dr. Gerald Legg
  • Let’s Recycle – by Anne L. Mackenzie
  • The Friendship Tree by Kathy Caple
  • Trees by Nicola Edwards
  • Who Will Plant a Tree by Jerry Pallotta

Activities
Mother’s Day Crafts
I have a bunch of ideas for this that are still gelling…  I feel a separate post coming on for these ideas….

  • ‘Lanterns’ – Using toilet paper rolls and LED tea lights, along with tissue paper and stickers, we are going to create ‘lanterns’ for Mother’s Day…  Mic found an old train conductor punch in the garage that will make “stars” for the light to escape from the cardboard roll…  I’m thinking I will need to get small paper plates to set the ‘lanterns’ on…
  • Upcycled vases using tissue paper and stickers
  • Tissue paper and/or coffee filter flowers… and maybe butterflies…  (Since we never got around to making the butterflies for Arbor Day…)
  • Air dry clay hand prints

I still want to do these activities we planned for last week…

Rain Sticks – I want to try these cool sensory bottles I found over at In Lieu of Preschool.  Check out their DIY Sensory Bottles: Rain Stick instructions.

Rain in a Jar – I also want to try this colorful activity from Teach Preschool.  Check out their post: Clouds in jars and on the table top too!  

So many exciting things to do!  Let the living and learning continue!

Prepping for the Week of April 27, 2015 – More Spring Activities…

We have been having so much fun with all these spring… Earth… tree… activities that I have decided we will continue with them next week…  (All links in this post will open in new tabs.)

Letter of the Week: R
I plan to finish out the alphabet using the printables from Crayola’s Free Coloring Pages website.   Hmmm..  R is for Rain…  We have gotten a couple of thundershowers this week…  Time for some ‘rain’ activities…  (see below)

Number of the Week: 12
This seems like a good opportunity to start talking about the 12 hours on the face of a clock…  We ordered a really cool Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Clock from Amazon a while back.  Time to put it to use.  🙂  The affiliate link is below. (If you use this link to make any purchases, we will receive a small commission.  For more information, please see our Legal Stuff page.)

Books:

Our trip to the library resulted in a pile of fun books to read:

  • From Seed to Sunflower by Dr. Gerald Legg
  • Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  • Let’s Recycle – by Anne L. Mackenzie
  • The Friendship Tree by Kathy Caple
  • Trees by Nicola Edwards
  • Who Will Plant a Tree by Jerry Pallotta

Activities

Rain Sticks – I want to try these cool sensory bottles I found over at In Lieu of Preschool.  Check out their DIY Sensory Bottles: Rain Stick instructions.

Rain in a Jar – I also want to try this colorful activity from Teach Preschool.  Check out their post: Clouds in jars and on the table top too!  

I think we will be continuing to work on our Tree Identification and doing a little birdwatching.  🙂  And I still want to put together a Family Tree project!  I’ve been doing a little research, but my ideas haven’t gelled yet…  Stay tuned!

Ongoing Activities

Please check out our other posts on these topics… Click on the corresponding blog categories in the left column menu.

  • Gardening – Dirt, Digging, and Dreams
  • Safety – Safety Series
  • Spanish – Aprendamos español – Let’s Learn Spanish!

I’m looking forward to a fun week!