Tag Archive | notebooking

Chinese New Year, Year of the Goat/Sheep

 We really do enjoy celebrating Chinese New Year and this year was no exception. This is our first big unit in months as our work on Thanksgiving and Christmas was much more worksheets and stories than actual research. This is also our first unit trying a more Notebooking sort of theme. Though after working with the twins I definitely want to try and put more lapbook aspects into our notebooks – the folded little booklets and the like – to add to the look and the ease of use.

So in 2015 I am trying to over view a month which was working with the blog when I got behind instead of daily reflection. But with big units I still want to make these individual blog entries to share our resources and the like. Bear with me we LOVE covering China and Chinese New Year so there is a lot to share!!!IMAG1500


IMAG1508Links of Specific Interest:

  • We had Zander choose two famous Chinese people and write a few sentences… he used a general list HERE thanks to Buzzle, and then to further our knowledge about the more contemporary individual used Wiki to learn more about basketball player Yao Ming HERE.
  • 10 Good Luck Foods thanks to Chow HERE. I admit it, we did do some Wiki peeking when we found things we were not totally familiar with but I am sure you can figure that out!IMAG1510
  • Something on the more traditional side I was assured by my experts… The Kitchen God HERE thanks to about.com. For a picture to include in our notebook we used Activity Village’s picture HERE.
  • Learn more about the Lion Dance (sometimes mistakenly… ok OFTEN… called the dragon dance) with HelloKids.com HERE, and on Wiki HERE.
  • We learned all about the meaning and history of the Chinese flag on the site A China Family Adventure HERE. With a little additional information HERE thanks to Facts.co.
  • We get TONS of information from Activity Village. Their printables are amazing… HERE.
  • For interesting landmarks we used the top 10 attractions listed on ChinaHighlights.com HERE.
  • China’s phyisical geography thanks to About.com HERE.
  • General country facts on Science Kids HERE.
  • An excellent map on iLibrarion HERE.
  • When you think of animals you inevitably come to the Giant Panda. Science Kids has a fact page HERE.
  • We discussed tea and China… totally Gavin’s idea on that one! You can find 10 interesting facts about tea at the Food Network HERE. For its history and cultural connotations in regards to China you can read China Highlights HERE.
  • Zander researched the couplets you put around doors during Chinese New Year. There is a great example (that we copied into our notebook) HERE thanks to China Page. And a bit more of a description and a way to purchase some for yourself HERE thanks to China Sprout.
  • Of course we did a page on goats… I basically looked up goat facts and let the twins at it. You can read up on what we found HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. Thanks to Lively Run Goat Dairy, Edelweiss Acres, One Kind and Animals by Pawnation.
  • Of course we had to cover some animals found in China. Each child chose an animal and wrote a few facts for us to include along with an illustration. Trinity chose the Chinese Pink Dolphin. We used the WWF page HERE for hers. Gavin chose the Golden Monkey (Golden Snub-Nosed  Monkey) and while he just sort of wandered the zoo and such sites this is the one I found that I liked thanks to Konica Minolta HERE.
  • While watching Wild China I heard mention of an amazing bridge… so of course I had to find the way to spell it and look up some OTHER bridges. Check out 4 HERE on Vision Times.
  • Introduction to Buddhism for kids thanks to World Religions HERE.
  • A good topography map thanks to Ilibrarian.net HERE.

Craft Ideas:

  • Dragon Parade Puppet thanks to Crayola HERE.
  • New Year’s Dragon paperbag puppet thanks to TeacherVision HERE.

Resources to Purchase:

  • Teachers Pay Teachers has a great mini unit for K-3 gr. You can find that HERE. Super thanks to creator Emily Nutt Bynum for an amazing file that both Trinity and Emanuel enjoyed and learned from.


Animal Books (We did not use many and was mostly online with our looking but here are the ones we used):

We covered Origami this year. While commonly known as a Japanese art, it originated in China! You can check out our informational links HERE and HERE thanks to Origami with Rachel Katz and About.com and also check out the books we got to play around with:

Movies and TV Shows:

  • Celebrate with Kai-Lan! a Nickelodeon Show
  • Wild China Mini Series. We watched this series on Netflix. There are listings where you can purchase it. Though not new it is AMAZING in images and cultural history. A must watch if not for anything but the imagery.

Not so much because the kids needed it, but I decided to make dividers for each of the sections of sheets we had to go with our notebook project. I have confirmed these are the correct words… enjoy

  • China HERE thanks to NamesOnline.org
  • Book HERE thanks to a dictionary site
  • Schoolwork HERE thanks to the same dictionary site
  • Drawing or picture HERE thanks to above dictionary site

IMAG1512IMAG1514Hopefully I have included most of the resources we used. It was a lot of fun to take our usual China and Chinese New Year study a little further than we have in the past! Here are some pictures of our Notebook! Enjoy!







Leaning Towards Learning

Insomnia is never a good thing and on a Sunday night it certainly leads to a messed up Monday! Thankfully Ken was able to compensate and I got some sleep around 7am while the kids did their spelling, drawing and outside play. What we did accomplish was TWO crafts! I had been waiting to do these for over a week and am so glad we were finally able to assemble everything and get them done. 

Letters first

First was the Fairy Loom or Autumn Loom if you like. We used branches from back when Ken and his dad took down the trees in the backyard. They were easily cut down to make nice Y shapes. The boys did the stick hunting… And then we used some of the yarn that was laying around… this is a very thin yellow I have not found a use for… perfect for creating our woven framework.  Add in some pretty leaves and bright coloured feathers I got at Michaels with a coupon and there you are! 

Cutting down the branches

Weaving the thread

Adding feathers and leaves


We had a lovely conversation about how many fairies are going to come and enjoy our looms, whether or not they will dance in the night time and what they would look like. I love imagination and belief in the magical world around us! Trinity especially was sure they would love to sit and play on the feathers!

Apparently Fairies love bright coloured leaves!

Our second craft was a family one for our school corner in the basement. We made a wreath of all our hands. The boys helped each other and Emanuel to trace their hands and they cut out their own. We all wrote our name on our own hands and then Ken glued them onto a circular piece of paper. I think they turned out really nice!

Tracing hands

The final product

Of course we did our usual book work and spelling etc. but really the lack of sleep didn’t work in our favour. We tried a recoup on Tuesday, BUT due to an accident on the weekend, we couldn’t pick up our school supplies until that morning. I am so appreciative! A mother who is still on an egroup I joined here in Minnesota is done schooling – her kids are in college (I like that – homeschooling kids IN COLLEGE!) so she was looking to get rid of the last of her supplies. Well, this family is in need of expanding, so we drove out to Minneapolis and collected what she no longer needed. For our 40 min drive we got to see some pretty residential areas AND get a lovely pile of new supplies, some for later years but a whole box of stuff that will work for us immediately, games… some math manipulatives… books… again I am so grateful! We really cannot afford to go out and buy buy buy so these little bits and pieces are going to supplement what we do have and help us lead on in new directions! 

Supplies!! Thank you so much!

When we got back it was time for spelling and general busy work. Trinity tried her new binder on for size and really enjoyed tracing her finger on the numbers and colouring her A page. I really like this notebooking set. Some of the pages are in sleeves for the dry erase marker and some she is colouring herself permanently. I am going to assemble the elementary version as well once I have some spare time… and another binder! She was so proud to have her own book though! We did not do all the activities but did as many as we had attention for. You can find that downloadable HERE

Dry erase markers with the numbers

Trinity has this little princess book she brought down when we moved that has a few crafts and such in it. There was instructions as to how to make a crown… well this is HER interpretation of what she saw. I don’t think that it is wearable as a crown but to hang up… quite possible!!! 

A crown

It just happened that Trinity and Echo were wearing coordinating dresses, so of course we took some pictures!

Girls together

Now we sent the boys outside to collect the sticks that were left under the deck… our hope is that we can get all of the branches and leaves cleaned up and either stacked for wood or in the proper receptacle before Ken’s parents return. They got pretty well all of it to the front and Ken spent some time getting pieces chopped down to manageable sizes.  All in time for our evening plans – cupcakes and supper (spaghetti) with Quinn, Bree and Scott.

Supper with the kids

With her US god daddy Scott

We had a mini celebration of belated birthday for Echo. I baked a dozen cupcakes and a little cake with a cherry chip mix and then with a coupon got a container of icing for around 50 cents!! So we could let the kids help with the icing and sprinkles when it was time to eat. Bree made us cheese bread (yum!) and brought some more adult cupcakes (decadent). So we had dinner, desert and visiting. It was so much fun!

Decorating cupcakes

And then… we got to keep Quinn! Sleepover!!!

Ready for bed

So a great day!!! I am not sure how much schooling we will get done tomorrow but time with a friend and playing and sharing is legitimate learning too – sharing, caring, cooperation… all GREAT skills!!!   I will leave you with my two completed projects to date! TWO scarves… I am pleased with these!!!


Ending Yet Another Week In the US of A

The second week of homeschooling officially for our year was a little more of a struggle BUT Thursday we had Zander’s first spelling quiz – 3 out of 5 right! I am very proud of my often frustrated learner. He is understanding that he has to learn five MORE words over the next week AND practice the two he got wrong. I am so proud of him, he spelled “a”, “all” and “about” correctly. The next set of 5 in our big sight word book are rather simple ones like “and” and “am” but those are GREAT for confidence boosters! Gavin is staggered in time and won’t have his first quiz until next Wednesday. He is starting at the end of the list with words like “yellow” and “would”. First steps to really writing their own sentences and stories.

First quiz

We got a VERY special package in the mail – our Wonder Box that I won from an online draw done by the site The Adventures of Supermom. We had to open it right up and look through…

Wonder box

Even with our not so motivated week I was amazed at how quickly we got through our list of to do’s. Math was conquered, reading done… Trinity started a new workbook with great joy and Emanuel was over the moon with his letter practice. I am so glad that my littles are learning as well as their brothers.

I managed my first tie in of yarn. I had to move onto my second ball of yarn for Ken’s scarf. I think I did a pretty decent job. If you want to learn how to change colours, add that next ball, there are some great left handed instructions in this video. 

Loving the colours

Our investment in beads and plastic string was a great one! As the whole group of them were huddled over the stash creating away! I definitely need to purchase some more. Though there may be an issue with the string and smaller beads. The big draw of the plastic string is that it is easier for the little ones to use and does not fray… but I am sure we will figure it out!


With results

We ended our week rather quietly. Since Ken was dealing directly with HR in regards to the test code they wanted and NOT the developers it turned out that the HR guy was using a term improperly and muddied the waters. So any plans to really go out and about were completely blown out of the waters. Thankfully we DID make it out to Target to ask questions at the optical place and do a little shopping… oh and get a free cookie. Gotta love the cookie clubs at grocery stores!

Instead they created a Lego tree full of parrots!

Trinity and I did her Wonder Box… I am going to do a separate blog entry on this wonderful amazing gift! I cannot thank Supermom enough for her draw! I have wanted to get Trinity a Wonder Box since they came out with the program and here I had the opportunity to share it with her. I have high hopes that in the new year I can get another one for our budding learner. She was so lovely about sharing it with Echo and Emanuel as well!

Sharing her project with her sister

Miss Echo even let me sit and take a few pictures of her in the sunshine. 

Pretty baby

I have a few freebies to share that I have been linked through emails!!! There is an ABC Notebooking set that is free now… you can find it on Currclick HERE. With Emanuel’s new interest in the Turtleman and the Crocodile Hunter I was so excited to see that Activity Village has added him to their famous people section now 6 years after his death. You can find print outs for him HERE. Moffatt Girls has a free fall themed math print out you can download right now as well. You can find that gem HERE. And there is a daily notebooking set you can download and print off HEREfrom Confessions of a Homeschooler. I hope to utilize these soon. I picked up sheet protectors for reusable notebooking sheets for  Trinity so I guess in my spare time this weekend it is time to make Trinity up some learning material.  

Working together (Zander)