Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our Japanese Lapbook Project Begins

We finished our corduroy lapbook a couple of weeks ago and for some reason, I am unable to upload the video of Chloe presenting her project. Arg! Since then, we have started a lapbook on the country of Japan. One of my dearest friends traveled to Japan the first of this month with her husband as short term missionaries. They offer 5 minute English lessons to the people of Japan in train stations and at parks in order to strike up a conversation, friendship and eventually lead into a gospel presentation. I wanted Chloe to take an interest in their work and in missions in general so I thought it would be a good idea for us to study the country of Japan while our dear friends are over there.

This week I borrowed books from the library about various Asian animals. (Most of which probably do not roam the island of Japan, but hey...close enough, right?) Each day this week we focus on a different animal. Monday we chose elephants. I read a book filled with facts about elephants (most of which were african elephants) and we pretended to be elephants ourselves. Chloe adores these types of play exercises.

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We drank water by sucking it up through our trunks and then spraying it into our mouths. We sucked up dirt into our trunks and sprayed it over our heads onto our backs to protect us from the sun. We rolled in the mud to cool ourselves off and we slept under a shady tree.

I thought it would be fun to learn origami while working on our Japanese lapbook. Its a Japanese craft, after all. I found a book at the library for preschoolers filled with origami animals. PERFECT! I immediately turned to the elephant section and we got to work. Lo and behold, I discovered that even a book for preschool origami proves difficult. I now present my feeble attempt at an elephant.

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Supposedly, this elephant sits up. Mine flops onto his nose (trunk.) He needed a little help from the pencil box to actually sit up. I think I will practice some of the basic origami folds before attempting another animal. And I will most likely teach those same basics to Chloe too.

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We then inserted a picture of an elephant with a few facts on the back into our animal pocket for the lapbook to finish off our day. What fun! Today we will learn about Rhinoceroses if there is time before ballet class tonight. I will have to show you some of the other things we've added to our lapbook previously. Its been quite fun.

Art Class

Sadly, with all that has been going on in our lives lately, I have not taken the time to update our homeschool blog. I am so far behind on everything so I am trying to play catch up today...with the house, with errands and with school. Yikes! What a task.

Anyways, I wanted to tell you all about a new class we added to our routine. Art. I checked out a book from the library with art projects ideas for preschoolers. Chloe picked our first project. Rice painting.

First we dyed the rice blue, red, green and yellow with food coloring. (She practiced scooping and pouring the rice into the bowls for an added learning exercise.)

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I helped her draw a picture onto the poster board. She found the large piece of blank, white paper a bit intimidating so I gave her a few ideas to get her started and then she imagined her own creative picture. She wanted a tree with her Mama standing next to it. I drew a shape of a tree onto a smaller piece of paper to give her an example of how it worked and she came up with the larger scaled picture herself.

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We painted watered down glue in sections on her picture and sprinkled the colored rice onto the paper. It took us a little while to get used to the idea that we needed to be quick before the glue dried. Mama was also forced to let go of her "clean floor" fetish and just allow the mess which invariably happens with creativeness.

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Chloe added a blue flower before she deemed the picture complete.

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So, I've scheduled art class for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We will learn to sew on Tuesday and Thursday. Chloe spied a kidlet-sized sewing machine at Joann's the other day and just about drooled the entire walk through the store. She begged for it so she could sew her own doll clothes. How precious is that??? I thought about it for a couple of days and finally formulated a plan. I sat Chloe down, looked her in the eye and explained the plan. If she will work very hard and learn each step to sewing that I teach her during the next few months and IF I think she is ready...I will buy her the sewing machine for her next birthday. She agreed to this plan. So...I implemented sewing into our school day. More on that in another post though.