Calendar Notebook

Update: Check the end of this post for links to calendars for 2017/18, and to more colourful versions of the calendar notebook! :)

I’ve always loved the idea of the calendar notebook over at Mama Jenn’s.  Skeeterbug quickly outgrew our calendar wall, and our younger two weren’t ready for it yet.  There were certain things I wanted him to practice so I finally got around to creating our own calendar notebook at the end of last year.  This year I added a bit to it and it seems to be working well.  I bound it with binder dividers inside to make it easier to find each section.  Skeeterbug starts each school day by completing his calendar notebook.  Actually, we don’t do it every school day.  If we have a morning appointment (swim lessons, etc.) and don’t do any school work before we go, he usually doesn’t complete his calendar notebook for the day.  For example, on the days we have playgroup in the morning, when we get home we go straight to reading and projects and don’t do any table work for the day.
 

Our Aussie Homeschool - Free Calendar Notebook with Blank & Traceable Calendars & Daily Math Practice!          
First is practice writing his name, in his best handwriting, once a month.

Our Aussie Homeschool - Free Calendar Notebook with Blank & Traceable Calendars & Daily Math Practice!

Next is the calendar.  I opted to print calendar pages with the date in them so that he can trace the numbers to practice his handwriting, since it could use some (ahem) improvement.

Our Aussie Homeschool - Free Calendar Notebook with Blank & Traceable Calendars & Daily Math Practice!

Next up is practice for spelling the days of the week, ordinal numbers, and different date formats.  Aussies choose to write their dates dd/mm/yyyy.  Because they can.  (At least, that’s the only reason as far as I can see!)  I’m trying to teach my kids to do it this way.  I don’t think it will ever come naturally to me, but maybe it will to my kids.

Our Aussie Homeschool - Free Calendar Notebook with Blank & Traceable Calendars & Daily Math Practice!

Under the next tab is the weather section.  Notice the lack of snow, I didn’t even bother to put it on the page.  :)

Our Aussie Homeschool - Free Calendar Notebook with Blank & Traceable Calendars & Daily Math Practice!

After the daily weather pages is a summary page.

Our Aussie Homeschool - Free Calendar Notebook with Blank & Traceable Calendars & Daily Math Practice!

Practice with line graphing, recording the temperature each day and drawing a line in between.  It will be interesting to go back and see these through the year.

Our Aussie Homeschool - Free Calendar Notebook with Blank & Traceable Calendars & Daily Math Practice!

How many days of school?  Not a completely accurate count since he doesn’t complete his notebook every day we do school, but it’s fun to keep track of.  And to celebrate 100 days when we get there!

Our Aussie Homeschool - Free Calendar Notebook with Blank & Traceable Calendars & Daily Math Practice!

Tally mark for each day.

Our Aussie Homeschool - Free Calendar Notebook with Blank & Traceable Calendars & Daily Math Practice!

And finally, daily math practice.  I was inspired by The Teacher Wife’s Everyday Learning book, and by Aussie Pumpkin Patch’s Math Journal.  You’ll see elements from both of these on my daily math practice page.  Looking at this, I’ve realised I need to have him change how he does the place value section to show quantity with symbols rather than digits.  I’ve been thinking of adding a place value page similar to Mama Jenn’s, where she uses the plastic sleeve and her kids add stickers each day.  I’ll probably wait and do that once Jitterbug is ready for a calendar notebook of his own.

Our Aussie Homeschool - Free Calendar Notebook with Blank & Traceable Calendars & Daily Math Practice!

  I’ve printed these back-to-back.

Our Aussie Homeschool - Free Calendar Notebook with Blank & Traceable Calendars & Daily Math Practice!

I’ll have Skeeterbug keep doing these until he doesn’t have to ask me how to spell the day of the week, or if his number sentence is right, or if the number of coins he is using is right, etc.  Since Aussies don’t use 1c coins he has to round up, and he often forgets when he needs to add another coin.

These pages are available for download here, and also listed on my Printables page.  I originally designed some of these in portrait format and decided to switch to landscape, so you’ll see different formats for some pages.  The calendar pages are available blank or with numbers to trace.  I did add snow to the weather pages, so there are pages both with snow and without.  I’ve also left the date off some of the pages so you can use them in future years.  Thanks to Mama Jenn for the inspiration.  Enjoy!

ETA: Need an American version?  A temperature page for Fahrenheit and a Write the Date! page formatted for Amercian dates can be found here

Updated calendars for 2017 – 2018 are available here, now in both a manuscript and italic font.  A more colourful version of the calendar notebook is here.

Making Craters

We’ve just finished our lesson on Mercury.  Our project for this lesson was to make craters, Mercury is covered in craters.  This is the good old drop-some-rocks-in-some-flour project.  Simple, but we haven’t done this before so I knew the kids would enjoy it.  I read a tip here to cover the flour in cocoa powder so that you can see the craters better.  It worked well.

The first drop…

 making cratersmaking craters

The rocks bounced a bit.

making craters

It was easy to see how rocks of different shapes and sizes made craters of different shapes and sizes.

making cratersmaking craters 

I wanted Skeeterbug to have a go by himself (he’s the one officially studying astronomy, the others are tagging along) so I didn’t round up the other two when we started.  It wasn’t too long before Ladybug found us.

making craters

Jitterbug wasn’t far behind.  Apparently the boys were sharing the pirate costume that day, as Skeeterbug has on the shirt and Jitterbug is sporting the headband.

making craters 

Notice how Ladybug is just hanging there, swinging her feet back and forth, waiting for someone to bring her some more rocks.

making craters

We started with only one big rock but the others wanted their own.  The big rocks quickly outnumbered the small ones.  Fighting over rocks ensued.making craters 

After many craters the layer of cocoa was well mixed into the flour.

making craters

Ladybug carefully lined up her rocks on the post next to her each time before she climbed up on the railing.

making craters

Love little feet.  :)

making craters 

The only bad part of the project was when Jitterbug wouldn’t listen to me about not dropping rocks when someone else was near the tray, I had to send him inside for a bit and he was very unhappy.  Ah, the realities of homeschooling kids of different ages.  Jitterbug is very good at pulling sad faces that tear your heart out.

Here’s my Pinterest astronomy board, I’m building it as we go.

Reality

I have shared our schoolroom photos before.  Look how clean that table is, it practically shines!

schoolroom

Look how lovely and organised it all is!

schoolroom

But then there is reality.  A full day of homeschooling often ends with the schoolroom looking more like this…

schoolroom

Here’s the kitchen table where Ladybug kept herself busy with some playdough.

playdoughAnd the lounge.  Sigh.messy lounge

One day I won’t be homeschooling while a toddler and preschooler roam freely throughout the house.  One day.  I”ll miss having a toddler and a preschooler but I’ll never miss the accompanying mess!

A Camping We Will Go!

We recently went camping, and before we left we had a week of camping activities.

We did some various preschool printables from here and here.  Many I put into a display book and Jitterbug used a dry-erase marker to complete them.

camping themecamping themecamping theme

We enjoyed a campfire snack.  (Inspiration here.)  Not as authentic without the orange cheese.  (No orange cheese in Australia that I’ve seen.  Is it a dye of some sort that makes it orange?  Not even cheddar is orange here.)

camping theme

We played camping bingo.  (Found here.)  We played during lunch, please excuse the mouths filled with crumbs. :)

camping theme camping theme camping themecamping theme 

We played with our camping sensory bin/diorama.

camping theme

We made a pretend campfire by painting paper towel rolls and coffee filters.  We ran out of brown paint for our logs and had to use some orange.

camping theme camping theme

We painted those brown coffee filters to look like flames.  Squeeze on some paint.  Fold, smoosh and squish around.  Unfold.

camping theme camping theme camping theme

Love our messy mats!  (I have the larger size but I don’t see them on their website right now.)  So easy to wipe them down when we are done.

camping theme camping theme

We made oven s’mores.  (Inspiration here.)  No graham crackers here that I could find.  We tried these Malt biscuits instead.  They were a little small and crumbly.  (At first I could only find these little marshmallows.  By the time we went camping I found some bigger ones, but they look more like marshmallow drops than the shape I grew up with.  I also found a different type of biscuit that held up a little better.  When we were actually roasting them over our real campfire it rained.  Such is March in Australia, or so I am learning!)

camping theme

The kids were unaware of the lack of graham crackers!

camping theme camping theme

We took our campfire into our cave.  I hid a flashlight in it, the kids were so pleased when I turned off the light and we could sit around our campfire.  We read some camping books (our favourite was this Olivia book), sang some camping songs, and ate some s’mores.   In the Olivia book one of the items on her list of things to do on a great camping trip is to find the perfect stick to roast marshmallows.  This tied in with our afternoon perfectly, we found the perfect roasting sticks- pretzels- and roasted some marshmallows.  (Sorry for the blurry pictures, lighting isn’t so good in the cave.)

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camping theme camping theme camping theme camping theme camping theme

These activities are aimed at Jitterbug who is 4.5.  Ladybug likes to try her hand at the various printables and happily participates in whatever we are doing, and Skeeterbug loves to tag along too, playing any games and doing any art projects.  But like I said, it’s really aimed at Jitterbug.  He really enjoyed the afternoon we did the s’mores and the campfire.  After we were done and I was cleaning up (and the kids were sneaking more marshmallows), I suddenly found him wrapped around my leg in a hug of sheer happiness.  He was just having so much fun.  So glad he enjoyed himself.  I find this type of thing exhausting to pull together but it’s such fun for the kids.

My camping pinterest board is here.

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