Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Before FIAR co-op: Goodnight Moon

This is a catch-up post, but its still really appropriate for any time of the year, right?  Our co-op group met to have fun with the classic children's book Goodnight Moon.  What a delight to walk into a room remade ... into the "great green room".  Look at the pictures on the wall.

 And the red balloon!
 So many fun details from the story captured in the decorations!  It was so much fun.
 We started with a devotional and reading of the story.  Then it was time for some games.  One of the first ones involved a big pile of mittens and gloves.  Each child took a turn looking through the pile to find a matching pair.
 My youngest silly one found a pair of mittens and then put them on ... her feet!  LOL
One of the pictures on the wall is of a cow jumping over the moon.  We took time to read the entire poem that this came from and then had the children act out some of the fun parts of the rhyme - like the cow jumping over the moon.  

We also played a memory game using pictures from the story.
The children all do a wonderful job waiting and taking turns.  Some of them were really good at remembering where the cards were too!
Then it was snack time.  Yum!
The "moon cheese" were the round balls (you can see them on the table below).

 The "mush" was rice pudding.

 Next, they learned more about the moon.  Daniel came with me this day and was a great helper.  Below they are talking about the different phases/shapes of the moon and what causes this.
 For craft time, they made their own moons.  They could cut the round plate into any of the moon shapes/phases that they wanted and glue it on the paper.  Then they painted it with glow in the dark paint!!!  Isn't that a fabulous idea!!!
 They also added stars to their pictures.  They turned out really cute!
 Our sweet hostess invited us all to stay for a delicious lunch and play time which was fun for everyone!
This is such a fun group and a precious group of moms and children.  I'm thankful to be a part of it and my heart is happy to see Eliana participating with them too!

Our next co-op will be on the ABC Bunny and I'll post more on that after we've met.  


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Shakespeare co-op 4, 5 and 6

I combined the pictures from our last three co-op meetings while we were studying Shakespeare - A Comedy of Errors.  During this meeting we had two topics - apothecaries and Greek myths.    
The students learned about various characters and the myths surrounding them.
They matched the pictures with the stories.
This was a film online about apothecaries of the renaissance.
Smelling various herbs which are used to treat a variety of sicknesses and maladies.
The students each made their own sore throat soothers with lemon, honey and ginger.
Hoping we won't have need of these this year (a girl can hope, right?), but will be thankful to have them if the need arises.
Then they played a game to find out how much they knew about various herbs.
Each card had a question with a small description of what that herb could do.  They then tried to match it up with the list that they had on a piece of paper.  They could look inside to see the answer.
There were 2 stations set up and the girls and boys rotated through both of them.

After our lesson, we enjoyed a delightful lunch of comfort foods - chicken lemon rosemary soup with cheese and garlic bread.  
Next up is our 5th meeting of the Shakespeare co-op.  We were fortunate to have an artist in residence from a local theatre, David McClutchey.  He taught the children about stage combat.    Oct 31:  Playmaker's artist in residence, David McClutchey: stage combat and staging Comedy of Errors  (S. Regional Library)
Nov 14:  Performance day!  Location TBA.

They learned how to make fighting look more realistic without actually hurting!
Things like a slap, hair pulling and a punch.  He also told stories from some of the performances that he had been a part of which was quite entertaining.
And weapons!  Lots of different weapons are used in plays.  The students were able to learn about some of them and hold them too.  (But not practice with them!  LOL)
It was a fabulous morning with a wonderful teacher!  So thankful for this opportunity!
He also helped with staging on some of the scenes from A Comedy of Errors.
For out last meeting, it was time to perform.  We did not do the entire play, but rather some key scenes from the different acts.

We had a great time watching and participating.
This is quite a funny play and some of the students really got into their parts!
They ALL did a super job and it was a really great learning experience.
Rebecca even stepped in to play a part for one of our missing students.
Um, and Eliana adding some comic relief in there too.
Great job to everyone!  To the two moms that spearheaded all of the teaching and lessons and to the delightful group of students!
This was a really fun semester studying Shakespeare.  It has opened my eyes to new things and made me want to learn more!  I love that I'm learning along with my children.  God is good.

I hope you are having fun and learning new things too!  We are never too old to stop learning and appreciating new things.


Monday, January 13, 2014

New Year's Eve!

***This post is very picture heavy so I've tried to make it not word heavy.  If you have any questions about any of this, I'm happy to answer them.  

New Year's Eve.  It has become one of our family's favorite holidays!  We started this idea that was shared by a friend on the FIAR boards some years ago and have continued it ever since.  We have bags to count down the hours  until midnight.  Each bag has a poem and something inside that goes with the activity for that hour. 

 We started with making noisemakers.  Just something simple - paper plates, markers and some beans to go inside.
 I kept this activity mainly for Eliana, but it was nice that the older siblings and friends joined in too.

Here are some of the fun designs!

 The 3rd bag held some ingredients for dinner.  A taco bar.  Yum!
The 4th bag is a huge hit every year - silly string war!  I bought more this year and it still went quickly.

 I think the pictures of the string hanging in the air are fun!

 5th bag had a movie.  Some silliness going on before the movie as Eliana enjoys hanging out with her buddy Dillon.

 Rebecca and Hanna have enjoyed celebrating this event many times together.
Our movie this year was Space Jam which was a fun one.

 6th bag - Minute to win it type games.  The first game had partners -  one to be still and the other to cover his/her head with shaving cream.
 We had some really good sports!
 And then the team mate would toss as many cheetos onto his partner's head as possible.
 It was really quite funny!
 So many fun pictures that it was hard to narrow it down.
 We played this for several rounds - see the Cheeto in the air in this one?
 I hope nobody minds these pictures.  It really was fun.
 I love hanging out with my family and friends on this night - celebrating the year past and looking forward to the one coming.
 And laughing.  Lots of laughing.

 For those that know Daniel, he has come a long way in being willing to do something like this!
 Sweet friends!
 The next game was to see if you could bounce 8 balls into a cup in less than a minute.
 This was a fun one because everyone could do it.
 We played several rounds of this one - everyone having as many turns as they wanted.
 Its a great one to add if you have a wide level of skill and abilities in your group.
 Even Eliana liked trying this one though she resorted to just dropping the balls in the cups.
 Next game was to tie a kleenex box to the back of your waist, filled with 8 ping pong balls.  And try to get them all out in less than a minute.
We had jumping.

 Standing on your hands was by far the fastest method!
Eliana did  pretty well just by bending in half.  (Can I say that I just love seeing her participate!)
 7th bag - and no photos.  We have questions that everyone takes time to write an answer to.  It might be nice to provide the questions in advance so people can think about them.  Most are reflective.  Things like favorite book you have read this year.  Or favorite movie.  Favorite accomplishment.  Something you would like to do next year.  Things like that.  After all have written their answers, we read the answers question by question and try to guess who wrote it down.  I really like this one!

8th bag - Again no photos.  We each take a slip of paper and write down a prayer request.  Then we each take a slip of paper and go around in a circle and pray for each others' requests.  This too is one of the parts that I love.  I love ending the old year and welcoming the new in prayer.

9th bag - Bubbly drinks to toast the NewYear.  We typically watch the ball drop on tv too.

And take group photos.

 Happy 2014!

 We had a last bag.  It was scheduled for earlier, but we ran out of time.  We really could do fun things all day long I think!  This one is also a fun tradition - decorating gingerbread men.  My sweet friend, Rebecca, made some yummy gluten free ones for us to enjoy.

 Lots of fun creating and nibbling on the m&ms too.
 Tried to get Eliana to use some frosting, but she wasn't interested.
She did love taking photos though!  She really does get some great shots because typically people are willing to smile for her.  :-)
 Looking up pictures to get their figures just right!
 We don't decorate cookies at Christmas often and I love that we have this time to enjoy it!
 Hobbit was a big theme with alot of the cookies this year.

 From the dwarves - can you identity them all?  (Can you see the axe blade in one of them?  LOL)
 Bilbo Baggins
 Bilbo again, Eye of Sauron, 2 dwarves and a gingerbread man.
 Love the intensity that the all put into their creations.
 Eliana having fun hanging out with her friend Emily.  (We loved having you join us this year and hope you will do it again!)
 Had to get one last shot with Gandalf in the mix.
We had a great time ringing in the new year and hope that you did too!