Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer School - Week #3

The Creation/Solar System

Shannans Additions: Print up Fact Files and Worksheets for everyone on (under the “Space” header in the “Theme Sheets” section). Put sheets in brad folders for the kids to read and work independently on throughout the week. And once again - credit for the original lesson and all worksheets goes to!!

- Start with a prayer.
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.
- Song, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" pg. 228
- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Isaiah 45:18.

Opening Excercise - Start out by showing your children a Bible. Open it up to Genesis and say, "This book is called Genesis. The word Genesis means beginning. Today we are going to see what happened in the beginning of the world. In the beginning, on day one, Heavenly Father created the heavens up above and the earth. The earth was empty, so God made light (day) and dark (night).

Blindfold one of your children. Place them with their back facing you. One by one ask them, "Do you believe I will catch you if you fall straight backwards?" Ask the child to fall straight back. Remove the blindfold and ask everyone if they had been able to see, would it have been easier? Why is light important?

Science - You can create constellations by poking holes in construction paper, then place the paper over the end of a flash light. (You can also use a nail to poke holes in the end of a Pringles can to create a constellation viewer. Your children can then view the constellation by looking into the Pringles can.)

Math - Racing Math Rockets (click here to download the worksheet). You can easily turn these worksheets into a file folder game...or laminate one page on front and the other on back and make it into a worksheet.

Music - Sing, "Oh Mister Sun"

Oh mister sun, sun, mister golden sun, (Place hands over head to form sun)

Please shine down on me. (Wiggle fingers while moving hands down)

Oh mister sun, sun, mister golden sun, (Place hands over head to form sun)

Hiding behind the tree. (Place hands over eyes)

These little children are asking you, (Points to children)

To please come out so we can play with you. (clasp hands together like begging)

Oh mister sun, sun, mister golden sun (Place hands over head to form sun)

Please shine down on, (Wiggle fingers while moving hands down)

Won't you shine down on, (Wiggle fingers while moving hands down)

Please shine down on me. (Point at self)
Vocabulary Words - For today's assignment, have the children write each word out on a 3 x 5 card with a sharpie marker. For younger children choose a couple of words and you write the words a few times on the paper for them. Then have them trace the words with a marker.

creation, sun, moon, stars, earth, light, dark, comet, planet, rotate, space

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: I’m thinking about adding the names of the planets to the vocab words for the older kids. We’ll do the same as we did the other two weeks – adding the pictures to the front of the flash cards.
Journal: Which of Heavenly Fathers creations are you most thankful for?
Reading/Flashcards/Computer: You should totally be getting the hang of this!!


- Start with a prayer.
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.
- Song, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" pg. 228
- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Isaiah 45:18.

Art - Paper Mache planets using balloon, newspaper strips, glue paste etc. Making them today will allow drying time to be painted at the end of the week.

Having made these, let me offer a few suggestions. Don't inflate balloon to full capacity. Put at least two or three layers of newspaper on the balloon. Even if you think one layer will do won't. It will be fragile and most likely collapse. Allow plenty of time to dry. No need to pop the balloon until it is completely dry.

Math - The colors of God's creation! (click here to download the M& M Math worksheet). For this activity, you will need a candy bar or snack pack sized M & M's. Give your child the package of M & M's and have them sort some of the colors of God's creation using the M & M's. After all the M & M's are in place, have them write the number of M & M's in each pile. For my older child, I had him graph the number of M & M's in each pile on a second worksheet (it's included in the original download).

Anyway, after the activity was complete, I had my oldest divide the pile of M & M's in thirds. He asked me, "What is a third." It was a good opportunity to explain that it is three equal piles of M & M's. So, he sorted them out, "One for me, one for you and one for you...." until they were all gone. This gave one more opportunity to learn math, without them knowing it! : )

Cooking - You will need a tube of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough or make your own. Cut a portion of dough for each child. Have your children flatten out the dough and use their fingers to poke holes in them to make moon craters. If you have black food coloring you can have your children paint their cookies so they can look like the moon. Bake cookies according to package directions. Let cool and eat. (If you have extra dough, use it to make letters to spell some of the vocabulary words).

Language/Vocabulary - God saw that it was good....look at descriptive words putting various objects in a bag that have different textures (i.e. hard, soft, rough, smooth, etc.) Have the children describe the object without looking at it and then try and guess what it is. Choose another object that they can see and they have to describe it using 5 or more interesting words.

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: Copy vocab words 3x each (print for littles and cursive for biggies)
Journal: Pretend our family is chosen to be the First Family on the Moon. How would we get ready for our outer space adventure?
Reading/Flashcards/Computer: Stick with the drill


- Start with a prayer.
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.
- Song, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" pg. 228
- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Isaiah 45:18.

Heavenly Father created the universe with all of its planets, moons, and stars.

Science - Make an edible Solar System. Use a paper plate. Make the solar system using different candies. Just check around your house and see what will work best, but here are some suggestions in case you need ideas. First, have them draw circles to show the rotation of each planet. Then, have put the candy on the planet it represents:

Sun - butterscotch candy
Mercury - orange jujube
Venus - Nestle Snow Cap
Earth - blue skittle
Mars - red skittle
Asteroid belt - candy sprinkles
Jupiter - peppermint with red hots stuck on top
Saturn - lemon drop with twizzler wrapped around it
Uranus - green jujube
Neptune - aqua skittle
Pluto - Did you know it is no longer considered a planet?
Vocabulary - Using any kind of cereal, have the children spell the vocabulary words for this week. For older children, tell them a word and have them sound it out and spell it on their own. For younger children, tell them the word and how to spell it. For example, "The first letter is e. Use the cereal to make an e. Okay, the next letter is....."

Poetry - Poem from Blue's Clues -

The Sun is a hot star
Mercury's hot too
Venus is the brightest planet
Earth is home to me and you
Mars is the red one
Jupiter's most wide
Saturn's got those icy rings
Uranus spins on its side
Neptune's really windy
Pluto's really small
We wanted to name the planets
And now we've named them all.

Story - Goodnight Moon by Margeret Wise Brown. Read books that pertain to the creation or solar system. Use your own or rent some from the library.

Lunch Idea - Make moon pizzas with English muffins - English muffins resemble the moon's surface with lots of craters.

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: The vocab activity today with the cereal is great!!
Journal: Imagine you discovered a new planet? What is it like? What would you name it? Describe your planet and draw a picture!!
Reading/Flashcards/Computer: Stick with what works!!


- Start with a prayer.
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.
- Song, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" pg. 228
- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Isaiah 45:18.

Activity - Let the kids watch this short video clip online.

Thursday and Friday are dedicated to reviewing the seven days of creation.

Read the scriptures listed and do the corresponding activity together. (If you have the church's Old Testament Stories book you can have the children draw their own books. Type up each day (1-7) at the bottom of the page and then they can draw it and staple the book together at the end. For younger kids you can draw pictures and they can color it in.)

Day 1 - Read and discuss Genesis 1:1-5.
Activity - Sunshine gives us warmth and light. It also helps the plants grow which give us food. Discuss what life would be like without the sun. Express gratitude to Heavenly Father for giving us sunlight.

Day 2 - Read and discuss Genesis 1:6-8.
Activity - Boil some water in a pot (or a tea kettle) until steam forms above it. Then fill a pie pan with ice cubes and hold it above the pot in the steam “cloud”. Have your children observe that when the steam comes in contact with the cool air from the pie pan, drops of water form and fall back into the pot like rain.

Day 3 - Read and discuss Genesis 1:9-13.
Activity - Use washable markers or stamp pads. Stamp the side of your hand for the trunk of a tree. Then you use your finger in green for leaves and red for apples or cherries. Stamp side of palm multiple times to make tree trunk. Use your fingers to stamp other parts of the picture.

Day 4 - Read and discuss Genesis 1:14-19.
Activity - Have the children use their journals to draw the first four days of creation.

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: write definitions for vocab words
Journal: See above activity…record everything (observations, art, and entries) in your journal.
Reading/Flashcards/Computer: You know…


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" pg. 228

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Isaiah 45:18.

Day 5 - Read and discuss Genesis 1:20-23.

Activity - Animal Matchup. Print out the following worksheet. Cut out each animal. Glue the large animals around the edges of a paper plate or 8.5 x 11 sheet of cardstock (laminate). Glue the smaller animals onto clothespins. Match each animal.

Additional Note - I printed the animals in black and white and glued them onto 3X5 cards, and then made a Memory game out of them. Way more fun.

Day 6 - Read and discuss Genesis 1:24-31.

Activity - Give each child a ball of play dough. Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus created Adam and Eve. Using a person-shaped cookie cutter, have the child create a person. (If you don't have a cookie cutter, have them use a plastic knife and have them cut out their own.)

Explain that we are really all the same, regardless of color. We were all created by a loving Heavenly Father. Also explain that even though child 1 may use the same cookie cutter as child 2, their creations are still going to be different. Ask your child how that could be so. Emphasize that each one of us is unique and special.

Day 7 - Read and discuss Genesis 2:1-3.

Activity - Rest and relax! Pamper yourself. You've all done great this week. Ask your children what they like to do when they relax.

* If you made paper mache planets earlier in the week, they should be dry and ready to paint.*

(The above picture shows what happens if you don't have enough layers...despite my counsel, we have a squashed sun. the bottom picture shows a perfectly round earth!!!)

Make a planet from our Solar System

Optional Field Trip - Visit a planetarium or go star gazing.

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: Spelling test for big kids, vocab match for little kids
Journal: same journal as Thursday, only for the last 3 days of the Creation
Reading/Flashcards/Computer: I think I’m going to stop writing this…
Field Trip: The planetarium would be great!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer School - Week #2

Summer Camp "Johnson"


- start with a prayer
- recite Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto
- Song, “Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?” CS pg
- Scripture – Recite and Memorize “Ecclesiastes 3:1”

Shannans Additions: Okay – seriously…this whole lesson plan is my addition. It’s the only thing I’m going to genuinely come up with…and it’s not going to be that great.

The reason I’m doing it is because both my older kids are at day camp this week - they leave early in the morning and come back in the afternoon. It kind of screws up our school schedule because I’ll be dropping off and picking up instead of teaching. So, as not to have my little guys feel left out, we’re going to have a mini camp here, which I’ve dubbed “Camp Johnson”. It’s going to be mostly fun and crafts, and I hope they’ll enjoy it.

We will still do reading, vocabulary, journals, and computers. In fact, my big kids will still have to study vocabulary words and write in their journals everyday. Only they’ll be writing at night, and all week their journal topic will be: “Today at camp I…”. The little guys and I will also still do a field trip (I hope), and all the regular outings like library, movies, park, etc. while their big brothers and sisters are at camp.

Opening Exercise – When you go to camp, you get a “Camp Name”. It’s a code name that everyone calls you at camp. When the kids are little, they typically choose their own name. When you get older, a name gets “assigned” to you, and it usually has something to do with your personality, talents, or some embarrassing story from your past. You decide how you want your kiddos to get their names…just remember that while at “camp” you only call them by that name. (EX: Savannahs name is “Aquamarine”, and Josephs is “Dragon Keeper”).

Craft – Make camp shirts. It wouldn’t be camp without camp shirts, so we’ll be making ours first thing Monday morning. We’ll probably buy a tie-dye kit and tie-dye shirts from Wal-Mart. When they dry, I’ll use fabric paint to write “Camp Johnson” on the back and their camp names on the front. You can also take scissors and fringe the sleeves and bottoms of the shirts and add beads to bangle (although it is decidedly “girlie”).

Free Play/Family Activity – Build a camp fort. Gather any and all pop-up tents or tubes you have and make “camp”. If you don’t have tents, do it the way we did when I was a kid…use blankets and chairs and build a fort. (Now, I have a little house…so my furniture might get pushed against the wall or removed entirely to accomplish this). Try to leave space in the middle for your “common area/campfire”. Put sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows in the “tents”. When you have it all set-up, proceed with you day. Try to leave it up as long as possible…can you leave it up all week? (Yah, right).

Art – Make these fun family totem poles. They require a lot of supplies, but you could use number 10 cans instead of coffee cans and use cheap plastic lids from the store. If I can gather the supplies, each of my kids will make a portrait. My big kids can work on it at night. And if you don’t have crazy colored exterior paint (I don’t)…use regular acrylic craft paint and buy outdoor clear craft sealant. It can be found with the spray paint at any craft store. I’ve never made them – but I always wanted to.

Tin Can Totem Poles

Nothing sets the mood at summer camp like a totem pole, especially one flickering in the light of a bonfire. Make a tin can version for your backyard camp by painting your family portraits on coffee cans.


Materials for a 5-person totem pole:

5 coffee cans, each with 2 plastic lids that fit
Can opener
Water-based exterior paints in a variety of colors
Craft knife
4 clear plastic milk or water jugs, emptied and cleaned
Liquid laundry detergent bottle, empty and cleaned
Wooden dowel 7/8 inch in diameter and 48 inches long
Duct tape
Time needed: About 1 to 2 Hours

1. First, cut the bottom off each coffee can with a can opener, then give a can to each person to paint his or her portrait on.

2. While the paint is drying, choose the can that you want to put on top of your totem pole and set 1 of its 2 lids to the side. Use a craft knife to cut a quarter-size asterisk in the center of each of the other lids, then set the lids aside.

3. Next, use scissors to cut the ridged spout from each plastic jug (recycle the rest of the jug) and set aside the spouts.

4. Finally, draw the wings on the detergent bottle, as shown, and cut them out (recycle the rest of the bottle).
5. Once the cans are dry, place a lid on the top and bottom of each, using the uncut lid for the top of the can that will crown your totem pole. As shown in the diagram at left, wrap a thick layer of duct tape about 6 inches from the bottom end of the dowel, then add the cans, jug spouts, and wings.

6. Place the finished totem pole in your yard by pushing the dowel into the ground.

Outdoor Activities – Go on a scavenger hunt hike. Print up the worksheet at the end of the lesson, arm your kids with a magnifying glass and binoculars, and walk around your neighborhood looking for the items on the sheet. How many can you check off?

Vocabulary – camp, tent, craft, s’mores, bandana, lantern, campfire, hiking, canoe, archery, friend
Write words onto 3x5 cards and glue pictures (at end of lesson) to front. Big kids can review words and practice spelling, while little kids can work on picture/word recognition.

Journal – “Today at camp I…” Big kids can write about their adventures…Joseph (10) should be able to write 3-4 paragraphs (optional picture), Savannah (7) at least one well-structured paragraph (optional picture), Brigham (6) about three sentences and a picture, and Nicolette (3) will tell me what to write and I will write for her, and she will draw a picture.
Another fun idea would be to visit Under their “Summer” heading, there are some links to “Summer Printables”. There is a cute “Summer Camp Scrapbook”…the first link takes you to the cover and stickers. Skip the stickers unless you actually have sticker paper to print them on…when you go to print, it will tell you there are three pages…just print up the first (the second page is stickers and the third is an instruction sheet with only one sentence on it). The second Summer Scrapbbook link takes you to the Scrapbook pages. There are 4 pages in all…the first three are actual pages, and the fourth is instructions…so only print the first three. The pages have places for pictures and lines to write your favorite activities, moments, and friends. They are 8½ x 11 pages…you could cut them out and fit and glue them into their journal notebooks or put them in a folder or binder. Kinda cute!!!

Reading – One book/chapter each – Joseph and Savannah read aloud to group, Brigham reads with assistance, Nicolette chooses a book for mom to read

Computer – 30 minutes each on educational sites

Flashcards – Big kids can review math cards, and little guys can do alphabet, shapes, and numbers


- Start off with a prayer
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto
- Song, “Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?” , CS pg
- Scripture – Recite and Memorize “Ecclesiastes 3:1”

Free Play/Family Activity – Rebuild your fort, if you took it down. Can you make it differently?

Arts and Crafts – Make these super cute caps!!!

Campfire Caps

For each cap, you need:
Felt, ½ yard of orange, two 9- by 12-inch sheets of yellow, and 1 yard of green
Fabric glue or hot glue
Small twigs
6 to 8 mini marshmallows
2 large paper clips
Time needed: About 1 Hour

1. To make a cap, cut a strip of orange felt approximately 5 1/2 inches wide by 16 inches long. Cut the felt widthwise into flame shapes (see diagram).

2. Next, cut yellow felt triangle flames, about 1 1/2 inches wide at the base by 4 inches tall, and glue 1 to each orange flame.

3. Lay the felt with the yellow flames facing up and glue short twigs between the flames.

4. Next, cut a green felt strip 2 1/2 inches wide by 26 inches long and glue it along the bottom of the orange flames, sandwiching the twigs. The flames and twigs should poke out from the top of the green strip. Lay it flat to dry.

5. Once the glue dries, stick mini marshmallows on the twigs, then wrap the green strip around the camper's head. Use paper clips to secure the cap in place and trim off any excess felt.

Science/Safety/Environmental Responsibility and Awareness – Gather everyone in your common area and talk about forest fires. (Visit for ideas).

“Forests are extraordinary places which cover almost 1/3 of the Earth's land. They provide shade, food and shelter for an enormous variety of plants and animals which call them "home".Forests are invaluable to the Earth. Not only are they places of beauty and recreation, but all over the world people rely on trees for fuel, food, raw materials and medicine. Even more importantly, forest trees and plants ensure that the temperature on Earth is livable and that we have enough oxygen to breathe!One of the greatest threats to these forests is fire. Fire can destroy not only the lives and homes of the forests' plants and animals, but those of the people whose communities are nearby. Can a forest ever recover? The answer is a yes BUT, unfortunately, it can take a lifetime, or longer! An average forest of trees is about 70-100 years old – older than your grandparents. And trees in some forests can be 4,000-5,000 years old!

When the weather is hot, dry or windy, or when thunderstorms occur, there is the danger of forest fire. Forestry fire fighters have developed a system to calculate and distribute fire danger information and provide daily weather reports from more than 1,000 fire danger weather stations throughout the country.Additionally, the firefighters working with Smokey have expanded the tools they use to reduce and prevent forest fires that can occur under such dangerous conditions. They are using their old 'enemy' fire wisely and under selected conditions to clear forests of debris. These 'friendly' fires not only reduce undergrowth but help many plants reproduce and increase food for wild animals. But, most importantly, planned fires can lessen the possibility of an unplanned wildfire caused by lightning or human carelessness raging out of control.There are thousands of brave men and women who fight forest fires. They can use water or they can remove the fuel from the fire by cutting down trees or setting small fires to create a fire break. Firefighters' tools are necessarily limited. That's why it's especially important for you to practice forest safety!

Ready to roast that marshmallow, cook that meal, or tell stories around that campfire? Make sure that the adults building the campfire follow Smokey's Campfire Rules.Over half of the forest fires in this country are caused by human beings. Two of the ways you can help prevent forest fires are proper campfire building and match safety.

- Smokey’s friends don’t ever play with matches
- If you find matches, or see a younger child playing with matches, give them to a grown-up”

After reviewing all the above information, go over the rules of building a campfire. If you don’t know…here are the guidelines (as per Smokey Bear):

1. Dig a pit away from overhanging branches
2. Circle the pit with rocks
3. Clear a 5 foot area around the pit down to the soil
4. Stack extra wood upwind and away from the fire
5. After lighting, do not discard match until cold
6. Never leave a campfire unattended
7. Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby

Snack – Now that you’ve reviewed the rules, it’s time to learn how to build a proper campfire…only we’re going to make a campfire we can eat!! Here are the instructions:

A Campfire You Can Eat

Not only is this snack fun to build and delicious to munch, but the process of preparing it also teaches campers the how-tos of safe campfire building.

12-inch flour tortilla
Red licorice rope
Peanut butter
Fried Chinese noodles
Tootsie Rolls
Mini pretzel sticks
White grape juice
Hot cocoa powder
Candy corn

1. To make an edible campfire, first clear a space on the table to build a safe fire. Lay down a tortilla fire base and wrap a licorice rope safety circle around the tortilla about an inch in from the edge. Build a peanut rock ring halfway between the safety circle and the center of the fire base. Spread a circle of peanut butter in the center of the fire base, then lay a small handful of fried Chinese noodles on top for kindling.

2. Lay Tootsie Roll logs around the peanut butter circle. Use mini pretzel sticks as fuel wood to build a tepee inside the ring of logs and over the kindling, sticking the pretzels into the peanut butter at a 45-degree angle.

3. Add another layer of logs, setting them across the corners of the first layer to form a box around the tepee. Lay a few more pieces of fuel wood across the logs.

4. Make sure buckets of water (glasses of grape juice) and dirt (hot cocoa powder) are nearby to put out the fire if necessary, then light the fire by adding candy corn flames.

5. After the camp director approves the fire, throw dirt on the fire to put it out. Now, the moment the fire builders have been waiting for: Eat your fires!

Vocabulary – copy vocab words 3x each…in cursive for big kids, in print for Brigham, and Nicolette can draw pictures of the words.

Journal – same drill as Monday (same topic and everything)

Reading – same drill as Monday – try reading in your tents with flashlights!!

Computer – I am going to let the kids go on today. There are a lot of games. Also – if I had bigger kids at home this week, there is a section called “Only You” that has some GREAT stuff about fires, firefighting, and even prescribed firefighting (it talks about how sometimes fire is necessary for forests to grow). There is some GREAT science stuff in there. There is also a section about the history of Smokey Bear – which would be a great history lesson, and lots of coloring pages. If you can, I recommend checking out the site and using it to further your kids fire safety knowledge. Later lessons include some on forest life and home fire safety. This would give them a heads up on both upcoming themes.

Flashcards – same as Monday


- Start off with a prayer
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto
- Song, “Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?” , CS pg
- Scripture – Recite and Memorize “Ecclesiastes 3:1”

Free play – If you had to take it down, and are feeling up to it – rebuild your camp

Science – Sky Watching: The sky above can be fascinating…be a sky watcher. Go outside and lay on your backs and look the clouds in the sky. How many different shapes do you see? What do the clouds look like on rainy days? What do they look like on sunny days?

Make a cloud picture. You will need: blue construction paper, cotton balls, and glue.
- Twist or cut the cotton balls into cloud shapes you saw in the sky
- Glue your clouds to the paper

Drama/Creative Movement - Storm Warning: There are many types of storms. Make up your own “group storm”. In a clear space, have each person act out one part of a storm – the wind, thunder, lightening, clouds, rain, snow, hail, etc. Then create a giant storm by having everyone act out a part at the same time. How will each person’s part change as the “weather” changes?

More Science/Art – Visit In the “Search” box – type in “Kids”, and it will take you to several links that have reading materials, games, quizzes, and fun. See if you can make a family disaster plan on-line for hurricane season. Print up Owlies hurricane preparedness coloring pages. Learn the names of the hurricanes for 2008. (It would also be a good idea to visit this site in advance, and have all your supplies ready to go. Then, instead of going over everything on-line, you can do a tour of your home with a check-list to make sure you are ready and prepared, and everyone knows what to do in case of a hurricane…or other natural disaster, if you’re not in Florida. There is info on tornados, severe winter weather, flooding, etc.)

Snack – Make Oven S’mores. (You can make s’mores on the grill, but on a hot day – this is just easier)

- Turn your oven or toaster oven to the “broiler” setting
- Place half a graham cracker on a cookie sheet and top with one marshmallow
- Cook under broiler until mallow starts to lean and brown
- Remove and quickly top with chocolate squares and other half of graham cracker
- Eat with wet wipes close by!!! Delicious and messy!!!

– older kids write definitions to vocab words. Brigham and Nicolette draw pictures of vocab words.

Reading – repeat (probably in tents, again)

Journal – repeat

Flashcards – repeat

Computer – I can’t recommend enough that if you have older kids at home this week – do a little extra research and elaborate on the storm and sky stuff. There is so much info out there – and all you have to do is press “Print”. If you get any great finds, please feel free to pass them on – I’ll post them for everyone to use!! I’ll be printing up NOAA’s chapter on Hurricanes for my little guys to color, and we’ll do the home preparedness walk-through. But please do whatever you feel would enrich your kids!! The science stuff on storm-watching alone would keep any elementary-school ages child VERY busy!!


- Start off with a prayer
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto
- Song, “Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?” , CS pg
- Scripture – Recite and Memorize “Ecclesiastes 3:1”

Free Play – C’mon, now!! Get those tents up!! You know you want to!!

Games – Make an obstacle course/relay race for your kids. Time them to see how fast they are. Line up tents for them to crawl through, or make a tunnel with chairs and blankets. Have a sleeping bag on one end they have to roll up and secure. Have them use a flashlight to find a small item in a duffle bag full of stuff. Sweep the campsite. Leap over a “river” (a blanket on the floor). Blow a whistle. WHATEVER!! Make it fun and engaging.

Craft – “Gods-Eye” Memory Keepers…the most classic of all camp crafts…

God's-Eye Memory Keeper

Kids love this traditional Mexican yarn craft because of its fun weaving technique, and this framed variation is perfect for displaying your family's summer vacation mementos.

6 sticks, two 18 inches long and four 14 inches long
1 or 2 skeins of variegated yarn
Hand pruners (to cut sticks, a parent's job)
Time needed: Under 1 Hour

1. Start by crossing the 2 longest sticks as shown above. Tie the loose end of the yarn around the intersection and wind it around several times to secure the sticks. Next, wrap the yarn around the closest stick, flush against the intersection. Now wrap it around the next closest stick. Continue in this manner, working your way toward the ends of the sticks until only about 3 inches remain exposed. Cut the yarn and knot the end around a stick.

2. To add a frame, place the 4 smaller sticks in a square around the edge of the weaving, wrap yarn around the intersections of the sticks, and tie them in place, as shown at left. Finally, tuck summer vacation photos and souvenirs between the strands of yarn.

Snack – Make “Gorp” AKA “Trail Mix”. Combine peanuts, M&M’s, raisins, granola…and anything else you feel like adding (suggestions are pretzel sticks, banana chips, dried cranberries, cherries, dates, or apricots {snipped with scissors}, other nuts, cherrios, coco puffs, or capt’crunch…don’t forget your left-overs from your edible campfire snack!). Eat it while story-telling or watching movies.

Reading/Creative Play – Storytelling. It just wouldn’t be camp if we couldn’t listen to stories around the campfire. Native Americans are some of the many people who’ve used stories to teach children , pass down history and genealogy, and share wisdom. Our own American heritage is filled with folklores and legends about great deeds. At the library, pick up some books about Tall Tales and Native American legends (or look them up on-line). Can you re-tell the stories in your own words? Can your children? Have the older children read a story to them selves and then re-tell it in their own words to their little brothers and sisters. (They can dress-up, too – to make it more fun!!) Or read these tales to your kids!!

Some suggestions for American Folklore:

Johnny Appleseed, Hiawatha, Molly Brown,
Paul Bunyan, Rip Van Winkle, King Kaamehameha,
Pecos Bill, John Henry, Casey Jones,
Daniel Boone, Zorro, Mike Mulligan,
Davy Crocket, Ichabod Crane, Annie Oakley

Native American Tales:

Ka-ha-si and the Loon (Inuit), Rough-faced Girl (Algonquin),
Little Firefly (Algonquain), Dragonfly’s Tale (Zuni),
Turquoise Boy (Navajo), Dancing Drum (Cherokee),
Quillworker (Cheyenne)

Additional Fun – If you have any animated features or short films about these stories – it would be fun to watch them today. You could eat your “Gorp”!!

Vocabulary – Use vocabulary words in a sentence. Big kids can write on their own – little guys can dictate if necessary.

Reading – taken care of by storytelling activity

Journal – same old, same old

Flashcards – ditto

Computer – 30 minutes on Educational sites!!


- Start off with a prayer
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto
- Song, “Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?” , CS pg
- Scripture – Recite and Memorize “Ecclesiastes 3:1”

Cooking – Make this cake RIGHT AWAY!! Or, if you’ll have too much help (you know what I mean!!), do it the night before and have it ready to go on your last camp day!!

Campfire Cake

Built with frosted pound cake logs, doughnut hole embers, and fruit leather flames, it's sure to be the tastiest -- and easiest -- campfire you'll ever make.

2 pound cakes
2 1/2 cups chocolate frosting
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white frosting
12 to 15 glazed chocolate doughnut holes
Confectioners' sugar
Red and orange decorators' gel
Red, orange, and yellow fruit leather

1. With a knife, shave the square edges off the cakes to give them a log shape. Next, mix 1/4 cup of chocolate frosting into 1 cup of white to make a light tan. Place one log on a platter (a dab of frosting on the bottom will help hold it in place). Frost it with the chocolate and tan frostings as shown. To create bark and tree rings, scrape the tines of a fork across the chocolate frosting, then scratch a spiral into each tan end.

2. Pour the doughnut holes into a bowl and sprinkle them with confectioners' sugar. Arrange 10 doughnut-hole embers in a single layer next to the frosted log, sticking them in place with frosting.

3. For the branch stub, cut a 1-inch slice from one end of the second log and trim it into a 2-inch circle; set the piece aside. Frost the bottom of the log and set it in place as shown. Use frosting to stick the stub to the second log. Create bark and rings again.

4. For flames, take a piece of fruit leather and, with the backing still in place, lightly wet half (lengthwise) of the fruit side with water. Fold it in half lengthwise and press to seal. Cut out flame shapes with scissors as shown, then remove the backing.

5. Slice 2 doughnut holes in half. Put a dollop of the remaining white frosting onto the cut surface, then set a flame on top. Squeeze decorators' gel over the decorated doughnut holes, then set them on the platter. Use any remaining doughnut holes to fill in the gaps between the logs. Decorate them with more flames and gel, if desired.

Free Play/Family Activity – LAST DAY!! YOU CAN DO IT!! Gather your strength and get those tents up for one more day (just keep reminding yourself that your kids are having a BALL, and they’re NEVER going to forget this, and right now you’re the COOLEST mom EVER, and remind yourself that its just ONE week out of ONE summer out of ONE year of their very short childhood – and you’ll find that today you’ll make the best tent city of the whole week!!).

Astronomy – Look up constellations on-line or refer to an astronomy web-site. Use an oatmeal container, Pringles can, or any cylindrical container with a bottom. Draw a constellation on the bottom by punching dots through the container. In a very dark room (or a dark tent…you can make it darker by covering it with a blanket), shine a flashlight through the container to light up the constellation on a wall or ceiling.

Craft – Make a rock necklace…

Rock Necklaces

A variation on the age-old nature necklace, these wire-wrapped pendants are fun for kids to trade. Some girls paint their names on one side and their best friend's on the other, and wear them as a proclamation of their unbreakable bond.

A small rock
Colored wire (we used 22-gauge)
Needle-nose pliers
Colored leather cord
Time needed: Under 1 Hour

1. Place the rock at the center of a 15-inch-long piece of wire and wrap the wire around the rock a few times to secure it.

2. Twist together the ends, then wrap the twist around a pencil to form a loop. Use pliers to close the loop, then cut off any excess wire.

3. To finish, thread a necklace-length piece of leather cord through the loop and knot the ends.

Vocabulary – Spelling test for big kids, word recognition test for Brigham & Nicolette

Reading – same as Mon, Tues, Wed…

Journals – same as all week

Flashcards – same as all week

Computer – same as all week

Field Trip – Take your kids canoeing, or hiking, or plan an overnight camp-out in tents in your backyard 9or go away for the weekend).

Summer School at Home

So - every summer I make these elaborate summer school plans. My goal is always to send them back to school EONS ahead of the other kids...which never, ever happens. In fact, what normally happens is that about 3 weeks in, my kids are so tired of WORKING that they become REALLY uncooperative and defiant, and I become REALLY frustrated and authoritarian. In the interest of sanity, we do less and less until sometime around late July I realize we're not doing anything AT ALL. So this year, I decided that I wanted to have a much more laid-back summer school...something that would bring our family closer together, and where they would be having so much fun that they wouldn't realize that they were actually learning. I also wanted to find something that would be easy to plan and work with, so I could have a less stressful summer. So I found these great lesson plans LAST YEAR on a web-site called (, and they seemed really fun and simple...and best of all, they were GOSPEL THEMED, so it was kind-of like one big Family Home Evening Lesson. I copied them and did some minor revision and addition to accomodate my kids, who are older than the lesson is geared for. I decided to post them in case anyone wants to use a whole or in parts. If nothing else, maybe it will give you some ideas for your own summer school at home. Original credit for the lessons has to be given to, and the lessons can be found in their original format on that web-site. Thanks!!

Week One - Jonah/Oceanography

Shannans additions: One of my favorite web-sites is Membership is FREE, and they have some FANTASIC worksheets for grades Pre-K through 4th grade. They have an Ocean unit, and I will be printing up all the “Fact Files” and putting them in brad folders for my kids to color and read this week. They have “Funsheets” too, of math and language and science.
Each of my kids will also have a notebook “journal”, and each day there will be a topic for them to write about OR draw a picture of (depending on their age level). That way I can work with the kids who need essay skills and grammar work, and the littles can color and draw or work on simple sentences.
During the week, we’ll also be visiting the library (we go once a week in the summer). We’ll be going on Monday to get books that go with the weeks’ theme. The Summer Reading Program is always awesome.
We’ll also have time for computer work (sites like Starfall) and flash card work with math and letter & number recognition. Believe it or not…with all this stuff, I’m still planning on spending only a couple hours a day on this…excepting field trips and outings.
Each week there is a scripture to memorize. I would write this scripture on a large piece of poster board or construction paper and post it where everyone can see it. You can have a “test” at the end of the week to see who’s memorized it, and a “test” at the end of the summer to see how many everyone remembers (like scripture mastery).
Another thought from the BYU Women’s Conference article on summer learning is setting up a reward system to keep kids motivated. It states:
“Now if your child isn’t that excited about doing this. Make a reward system. Each day they get points for doing their reading, flashcards, etc. When they reach a specified number of points they get a predetermined prize. For example, 200 points, you’ll go to an amusement park. Whatever your family likes to do.” (To view entire article…see end of lesson)
We’ll probably be trying a reward/behavior system like this. It won’t be as fancy as an amusement park, but a weekly trip to the dollar store sounds reasonable, as does a night to help mom make their favorite dinner, or getting extra computer time on “fun” (not educational) sites. Whatever works!!


-Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, “Follow the Prophet” (Jonah Verse - Verse 7)

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Jonah 2:7.

Opening Activity - Play Hide and Seek with your childrenAfter playing hide and seek, have everyone sit down and ask the following questions:

1. Did I find you every time? (Yes)

2. Did I ever stop looking for you? (No)

3. Why do you think I kept looking? (Because I love you and don’t want to lose you)

Heavenly Father didn’t want his children in Ninevah to be lost and so he called on Jonah to teach them and to have them repent.

Use the following to tell the story of Jonah - The children are going to pretend that they are Jonah. As you tell the following version of the story of Jonah, they supply the necessary actions as indicated in parenthesis. The actions are done all together as a group.

1. One day a man named Jonah, who was a special prophet of God’s, received a message from Heavenly Father. He wanted Jonah to go and preach to the wicked city of Nineveh.

2. Jonah didn’t like the assignment at all.(EVERYONE SHAKES THEIR HEAD NO)

3. He was afraid it was a job he couldn’t do, so he decided to run away and hide. (EVERYONE MAKES A RUNNING SOUND AND THEN COVERS THEIR HEAD WITH THEIR ARMS.)

4. He got on a boat that was sailing the opposite direction. He fell asleep in the bottom of the boat. (EVERYONE CLOSES EYES AND SNORES LOUDLY.)

5. While he was sleeping a terrible storm blew up. Lightening flashed and thunder crashed. There were huge waves and plenty of rain. The sailors tried throwing things overboard to lighten the ship, but they were still afraid they would sink.

6. When they woke Jonah up, he told them the storm was his fault. If they would throw him overboard, they would be safe. They didn’t want to do it, but finally they had to. Jonah sank down into the ocean. EVERYONE MAKES SWIMMING MOTIONS.)

7. The storm stopped immediately after Jonah was tossed from the ship. God sent a large fish to swallow him. He sat in the belly of this fish and did some thinking. (EVERYONE TAPS FOREHEAD WITH INDEX FINGER.)

8. Jonah told God he was sorry (EVERYONE FOLDS HANDS IN PRAYER) and he was ready to go to Nineveh to preach.

9. Jonah began walking back to Nineveh. (EVERYONE MAKES WALKING SOUNDS WITH FEET) He preached to the people in Nineveh and they repented and asked God for forgiveness. 10. Heavenly Father had used Jonah in a special way. He helped Jonah and He will help us too.

Vocabulary Words - For today’s assignment, have the children write each word out on a 3 x 5 card with a sharpie marker. There are pictures at the end of the lesson to print up. Have the kids glue them to the front of the cards, with the vocab words on the back.

whale, fish, water, shark, eel, coral, seaweed, starfish, cod, seahorse, octopus, clam, stingray, boat, squid

Math - Just Fishie, Not Tricky Math Worksheet (click here to download worksheet). Color and laminate one for each child. Have them use a dry erase marker to complete worksheet. When done, erase with a tissue. Younger Children - Complete worksheet togetherOlder Children - Have them work independently. For a greater challenge, use a count up timer and see how quickly it can be completed without mistakes. Have them break their own records.

Shannans additions: For my older kids, I am using white-out to change the signs from addition to multiplication and division.
Journal: Jonah was afraid of going to Ninevah. What are you afraid of? Why?
Reading: Read one book for each kid (Joseph and Savannah will read their choices aloud to everyone to help with fluency, and Brigham will “help” read with the words he knows). Teachers recommend a couple of activities to help improve fluency. One is to record your child reading a book or passages from a book and then listening to it to learn to self-correct mistakes and learn how to character read. Another way is to get a PVC elbow joint big enough for your child to talk in one end and have the other end to their ear…like a telephone. They read aloud into the pipe and hear it in their ear – so they are reading AND listening at the same time…learning to correct mistakes, improve fluency, and character read! Try it!!
Flashcards: Have big kids review math flash cards independently while I work with Brigham and Nicolette on letter and letter sound recognition.
Computer: Each kid gets 30 minutes of computer time on EDUCATIONAL site. Teacher Recommendations:,


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, “Follow the Prophet” (Jonah Verse - Verse 7)

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Jonah 2:7.

Science - Fill the bathtub or container with water. Help the children collect 10 items from around the house that won’t be ruined if they get wet. Before starting the experiment have each child fill out the first part of their worksheet (click here to download this worksheet). For younger children, ask them the questions and mark their answers for them). Once the first set of questions have been answered and recorded, have each child test their items and mark the results on their worksheet. You can repeat the activity with ten new items if desired.

Handwriting - Practice the letters of Jonah’s name (click here to download this worksheet)

Shannans additions: I’m making a similar worksheet, but with cursive letters, for Joseph and Savannah. See

Vocabulary Words - For today’s assignment, have the older children take one (or more) of the 3x5 cards. Have them choose a word that challenges them (whale, fish, water, shark, eel, coral, seaweed, starfish, cod, seahorse, octopus, clam, stingray, boat, squid). Have them cut the word up into letters. Have them put the letters in the correct order until they can do it really fast. If it was easy, have them do another word or have your child see HOW many words he/she can create using the same letters. Have them write them down. For younger children, show them one of the 3 x 5 cards with a vocabulary word on it. Have them say and trace each letter of the word(s).

Shannans Additions: Instead of the above activity, I’m going to have them copy the vocab words 3x each…in cursive for Joseph (yeah – his handwriting sucks, and maybe Savannah, too…since she’s learning). Brigham will print, and Nicolette will do picture recognition.

Math - Jonah’s Name Worksheet (click here to download this worksheet) - First, guess how many goldfish crackers it will take you to trace Jonah’s name? Second, lay out the fish over the lines, tracing Jonah’s name. How many fish crackers did it take you? How close were you to your guess? What is the difference between the guess and the answer?

Shannans Additions:
Journal: “If you were a fish, what kind would be?” Older kids can make up a story about being a fish or being turned into one.
Reading: Read one book for each kid (Joseph and Savannah will read their choices aloud to everyone to help with fluency, and Brigham will “help” read with the words he knows).
Flashcards: Go over math flash cards with big kids while littles review alphabet cards.
Computer: 30 minutes EACH of computer time on EDUCATIONAL sites.


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, “Follow the Prophet” (Jonah Verse - Verse 7)

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Jonah 2:7.

Opening Activity - Have your child practice their numbers with this fish lacing card (click here to download it).

Cooking - Make Prayer Pretzels

You’ll need:
1 package of dry yeast

1-1/2 cups lukewarm water (not hot)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups of flour

1 beaten egg


Dissolve yeast in warm water and let rise a few minutes. Add sugar and salt and blend in 4 cups flour. Turn dough out on floured table or breadboard and knead until smooth. Refrigerate until you are ready to use at your table.
Preheat oven to 325 . Lightly grease cookie sheet or toaster oven tray. Cut off 4” piece of dough roll into ropes about six to eight inches, or a length you can easily twist. Twist into shape with loop at top and two arms folded over. Arrange on lightly greased toaster oven tray or cookie sheet allowing space between pretzels for expansion. Brush with beaten egg—those places you miss will not brown. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 12-15 minutes. Ovens may vary so check after 7-8 minutes.

Lesson Plan - Review the story of Jonah from Monday - Specifically read some of the passages dealing with prayer and how many times it is mentioned—also talk about the importance of prayer. There are many types of prayers. Ask the children if they can think of any:.

o Prayers of Gratitude (food - family - home - health - earth)
o Peace (giving talk or performing so nerves will be calm)
o Safety (travel, etc.)
o Someone’s health - friend family member facing surgery or medical problem
o Strength / Priesthood Blessings (to get through a tough situation)
o Sacrament Prayers

Review prayer language.

Tell the story of the Pretzel - In about 610 A.D. a very creative Alpine Monk decided to make use of the dough left over from baking bread. The Monk formed them into thin strips folded into a looped twist to represent the folded arms of children in prayer. This scrumptious treat was given to the children as they learned their prayers. They began calling the treat “Pretiola”, which is Latin for “little reward”. Soon it was known to the world as pretzel. The secret of making great pretzels is not only in the baking but also in the shaping. We, like pretzels, are made from the best ingredients, by the best hands available, the hands of our Father in Heaven. Have you ever seen a broken pretzel, or one that has lost it’s shape? We too, can lose our shape when we don’t pray always to keep our spirituality in place. The simple shape of the pretzel, arms folded in prayer, reminds us to pray each day. Our “Pretiola” or “little rewards” are the blessings we receive.During this twisting time, it may be possible to talk about what happens when we pray for others. Francis of Assisi said, “The gift of prayer is no small gift, to whomever it is given.” It is a gift implying love, thoughtfulness, and often action on the part of the person who says the prayer.

While the children are making their pretzels, ask them to think of one person they can pray for and to challenge them to remember them throughout the day and in their prayers. (Before starting family prayers at night, review the names of those you want to remember so that you can pray for them as a family too.)

Journal - Each child should have their own notebook/journal of paper for the summer (regardless of age). For younger children, have them draw a picture of Jonah and the whale. For older children, have them share what they’ve learned about so far on Jonah and how we are sometimes like him.

Shannans Additions: I’m actually doing the above journal on Friday. Todays journal is: “How has prayer helped you in your life?”
Vocab: We’re going to play a “fishing game” with the letters of our spelling words. We’ll use refrigerator magnet letters and a “fishing pole” with a magnet on the end to attract. When they “catch” the letters, we’ll use them to spell words on the fridge or a metal sheet. Maybe we’ll fill in the missing vowel, or unscramble the words.
Flashcards: Have the big kids quiz each other with flash cards while reviewing alphabet cards with littles.
Computer: 30 minutes EACH of computer time on EDUCATIONAL sites
Fun Stuff: Today is the day we’ll be going to the movies!!! (see to find theatres offering the "Free Family Film Festival" near you)

What else I did: I found these cute "octopus'" in a Family Fun magazine. You took skeins of yarn and covered a styrofoam ball with the yarn. Then you braided the yarn hanging off the styrofoam balls into 8 "tentacles". Add some googly eyes, and it was done!! It was cute and a good way to help the kids learn to braid. They really love them. It was a great activity for the afternoon when Floridas' skies open up and we get drenched!!


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, “Follow the Prophet” (Jonah Verse - Verse 7)

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Jonah 2:7.

Art - Whale in a Bottle.

You will need an empty two liter soda bottle with lid, small balloon, blue food coloring, sharpie marker and water. Fill a 2-liter bottle half full of water and put in desired amount of blue food coloring. have your child shake to mix well. Inflate the small balloon but do not tie. Using a sharpie marker, have your child draw eyes, fins, spout, mouth, etc. to make it look like a whale. Deflate the balloon. Place one end of the balloon inside the mouth of the 2-liter bottle (make sure bottle is standing straight up). Inflate and tie balloon and push inside the bottle. (Optional - if you have a little plastic person, you could put him inside the bottle before sealing it up to make it look like Jonah). Seal lid tight (you can even hot glue it shut if desired). Whala! Whale in a bottle. (Optional - you can insert a little glitter in the water for a little fun!)

Geography - You’ll need a globe or map, 2 small drinking cups of water for each child. Fill one cup with fresh water and the second cup of salt water. Point out the oceans on the globe/map. Let them try the salt water first. Then point out the lakes and rivers and let them try the fresh water. Explain that there are some fish and animals that can’t survive in fresh water.

Snack - You will need goldfish crackers, stick pretzels and peanut butter. Have your child dip their fishing pole (pretzel sticks) into peanut butter (bait) and catch a fish (goldfish crackers).

Game - Using this clipart, make nine squares of fish and nine squares of boats. Make fifteen squares, number them 1 through 15, and lay them on the table or floor in a horizontal row. Divide the children into two teams, or make it you against the children. Give the fish to one team and the boats to the other team. The object of the game is to get three fish or three boats in a row. Ask the fish team a question. If they answer it correctly, they place one fish over one of the fifteen numbers. Ask the boat team a question. If they answer it correctly, they place a boat over one of the numbers. Only one card may be placed on each number. Continue to ask each team questions until one team gets three of their cards in a row. Sometimes they will have to decide whether to block the other team or go for the win themselves. If no team gets three in a row before all the numbers are covered, the team with the most fish or boats is the winner.

a. Will everyone automatically be forgiven of their sins when they die? (No)

b. Who made it possible for our sins to be forgiven? (Jesus Christ)

c. Where did the Lord tell Jonah to go? (Nineveh)

d. Why did Jonah get on the ship? (To flee from the Lord)

e. What was Jonah doing on the boat when the wind started to blow? (Sleeping)

f. What did the shipmaster want Jonah to do? (Pray)

g. What did Jonah tell the sailors to do to calm the sea? (Throw him overboard)

h. Did the sailors want to throw Jonah overboard? (No)

i. How did Jonah get to the shore? (The fish vomited him onto the shore)

j. Will Heavenly Father always love us, even when we sin? (Yes)

k. What did Jonah do when he was in the belly of the fish? (He prayed and was sorry)

l. Is feeling guilty about our sins bad for us? (No, feeling guilty is how we know we need to repent)

m. Were the people of Nineveh too wicked for the Lord to forgive them? (No, they were forgiven because they truly repented)

n. What did Jonah tell the people of Nineveh? (That they would be overthrown in forty days unless they repented)

o. What were some of the things the people of Nineveh did to help them repent? (They believed Jonah, they fasted and prayed in sackcloth and ashes, and they turned from their evil ways)

p. What did the people and the animals wear while they were fasting? (Sackcloth)

q. Does Satan want us to think we are too bad to be forgiven of our sins? (Yes)

r. If we do not repent of our sins, can we live again with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? (No)

Shannans Additions:
Vocab: My older kids will be writing definitions for their vocab words today while the younger ones work on some language worksheets from

Our journal topic: “Imagine a future where we lived under water. Draw a picture of it and write a brief explanation.” (obviously – this journal is less writing and more art).
Flashcards: Switch back to working with big kids and letting littles review.
Computer: 30 minutes each


- Start with a prayer.

- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and/or family motto.

- Song, “Follow the Prophet” (Jonah Verse - Verse 7)

- Scripture - Recite and Memorize Jonah 2:7.

Reading - Have your older children read the story of Jonah online.

Vocabulary - Download these pictures (pdf file). For younger children, help them recognize each one. For older children, have them spell each one. (These pictures are the ones we’ll glue to the front of the vocab cards).

Art & Lesson Summary - Call a few appliance stores and see if one of them will let you have a large appliance box. You and your children can then decorate the box to look like a whale. Use a sharpie marker to draw the whale on the box and have the children color and decorate it. Have the children sit with you in the appliance box (or a dark closet if you don’t get a box). Fit as many in as possible so there isn’t any room to move or shift about. Ask them to pretend they are inside a fish’s stomach. Imagine what it must be like. Ask the following questions:

1. What does it smell like in here? (Seaweed, rotten food, salty, stale water etc.)

2. What does it feel like in here? (Slimy, slippery, wet etc.)

3. What does it look like in here? (Probably pitch black)

4. What can we hear in here? (Gurgling, digestive noises, echos, etc.)

Summary - Sometimes we may be tempted to think, “So, what was the big deal with Jonah anyway? He should have just gone and done what Heavenly Father asked him to and he would have been spared three days in a fish’s belly.” Are there things Heavenly Father may ask us to do someday, that we may not care much for? Read the following statements. Tell your children that if it is something they feel they could do without any problem, they are to stand up and say, “Here am I”. If it is something they would rather run away from like Jonah did, they are to run in place in their chairs.

1. You are asked to sing special music in church alone.

2. Your teacher asks you if you would try to make friends with the kid nobody else in class likes.

3. Your coach asks you to give the opening prayer for your teammates before a big game.

4. You need to tell your mom that you’ve been telling quite a number of lies lately.

5. You have to tell your friends you can’t come to the party they’ve planned because it’s on Sunday.

Optional Field Trip - Go to a local aquarium and learn about the different types of fish. Bring your vocabulary pictures with you from today and have the children point out anything that matches the pictures.

Shannans Additions:
Journal: We’ll do the journal summary from Wednesday
Vocab: I’ll give a spelling test to the bigger kids, while quizzing Brigham on the words as sight words and Nicolette as picture recognition (so they don’t feel left out).
Flashcards: have a Timing Race to see how fast they can go with as few mistakes as possible
Computer: Skipping computer today
Field Trip: I think for the field trip, we’ll be going to the beach, since the only aquarium I can think of is the Seaquarium, and it is just too expensive. We love the beach anyway!!
Additional Fun: It would be fun to watch the Veggie-tales:Jonah movie today from inside our whale (especially if you can’t go on a field trip). Another good day to watch would be Tuesday or Thursday.

Title: “Summertime, and the Learnin’ is Easy”

Exhibitor: Lisa Neubert


Summer learning programs are a great way for you to be involved
in your child’s education, and they are not that difficult to do. Daily activities include reading, math, computer study, and music. A weekly schedule can be set up for art day, science day, cooking day, library day, etc. A summer folder is created along the way so all can review a treasure of memories at the end of the summer.

Why would you want to start a summer learning program?

It is getting warmer; the days are getting longer. You know it’s coming, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Yes, it is summer vacation. If there’s anything that makes a long hot day longer and hotter, it would have to be the words, “I’m bored.” You’re there. You’re on the spot. Your brain freezes. You can’t think of anything for your child to do. Maybe it’s time you started a summer learning program for your kids.

Now first off—DON’T PANIC! It’s not as difficult and time consuming as it sounds. Plus it has a lot of benefits. So let’s start there.

1. Gives your kids something to do besides watch TV.
2. Helps your kids maintain their academic level.
3. Keeps your kids reading during the summer.
4. Adds some structure to your day.
5. Lets your kids learn about their community.

How do you start a summer learning program?

Those all sound pretty good but how do you go about doing it without giving yourself a headache? The first thing to do is to establish a daily schedule for the things you want to do. You want to create the schedule based on your kids and what you want them to accomplish. For your average elementary school child you might divide the time into the following categories:

§ Workbook pages (You can buy these at any teaching supply store)
§ Free Reading
§ Math flash cards
§ Educational computer games
§ Music practice
§ Activity (We’ll talk about this later)

Obviously if your child doesn’t play a musical instrument or you don’t have a computer, you would skip these activities. Also you want to cater the time spent on each subject to each child. Do what you think is important.

We’ve found if the kids get these basic daily activities done first thing in the morning they are more successful and have a good attitude. But another time of day might work better for you, so do what is best for your family.

What types of activities do you do?

We’ve found it is fun to have a theme for the week and then to do activities around the theme. One of the best ways to think of themes is to ask your kids what they want to learn about. You might be surprised at the answers. Once you have a theme, then each day of the week has a type of activity, and the activity revolves around the theme. For example:

Monday - Art Day
Tuesday - Science Day
Wednesday - Cooking Day
Thursday - Library Day
Friday - Field Trip

So let’s say the theme was Dinosaurs. On Monday we would make fossils in clay. On Tuesday we’d do an experiment where we put a chicken bone in vinegar and see that it became soft. On Wednesday we’d make rolls that were shaped like dinosaurs. On Thursday we go to the library and participate in their program. On Friday we’d take a trip to a Natural History Museum. It’s that simple, and each day we had something fun to do.

Where can you get ideas?

So you’re excited and you want to try it out, but you don’t have any ideas. Well you’re in luck because there are some great resources out there:
§ Internet—The internet has hundreds of sites devoted to kids, crafts and learning. You might have to search, but once you’ve found a good one, it will probably lead you to several other good sites.
§ Library—The library has tons of books on art projects that are inexpensive and easy to do. It also has science books that can help you find some projects you can do. Most libraries also have a summer reading program that can help reinforce what you’re doing at home. Besides that, librarians have a wealth of information about ideas and what the library has, and all you have to do is ask them.
§ Magazines—There are several magazines devoted to children and families. They often have great ideas. The Friend is also a great source for cooking ideas, arts and crafts, and extracurricular reading.
§ Scouting Manuals and Offices—The scouting manuals have fun projects that you can do for both boys and girls, and the scouting office often has inexpensive kits that you can buy to make projects.
§ Community pages in the phone book—The phone book lists things that are available in your community, such as museums and planetariums, as well as nearby recreation sites and activities.
§ Local Historical Sites, Festivals and Fairs—Most towns have local historical sites that are fun to visit. You might need to call ahead to make sure it is open. Also most communities have festivals. We always try to incorporate our local festival into our learning program. We attend any free activities or cultural events that we can

§ Newspapers—Most newspapers will let you know what is happening around you so you can get out there and do things.

§ Tourist Information Center—Your local tourism board has pamphlets about things to do where you live. These are often helpful because not only will they give you an idea of fun things to do, but they list prices, phone numbers and operating hours.

Weekly theme ideas

Here’s a list of fun weeks that we’ve done as well as possible field trips and other activities, but don’t limit yourself. Be creative, ask your kids what they want to learn about.

Weekly Theme & Possible Field Trips

Farm animals -
Farmer’s market or fruit stand, petting zoo, cooking with fresh vegetables
Pioneers -
Pioneer museum or historical site, churning butter, making pioneer toys
Transportation -
Use public transportation to go somewhere, make boats and have boat races
Dinosaurs -
Dinosaur museum, or natural history museum, make fossils or dinosaurs out of clay
Local University -
Spend time at a local university looking at displays in buildings or museums
Outdoors -
Build fires, tie knots, cook over a fire
Weather -
Learn to use weather charts, track the weather, tour a weather office
Earth Week -
Learn about recycling, recycle crayons, plant a tree
Space -
Planetarium, get star charts and go star gazing,
Garden -
Botanical gardens, plant seeds
Patriotic -
Go to a parade, make patriotic shirts, make a family flag

Recording and rewarding:

One thing that our kids enjoy doing is making a summer notebook. They can put some of their art projects in the notebook, as well as pictures of other things that you’ve done. It is fun for them to look back on what they did.

Now if your child isn’t that excited about doing this. Make a reward system. Each day they get points for doing their reading, flashcards, etc. When they reach a specified number of points they get a predetermined prize. For example, 200 points, you’ll go to an amusement park. Whatever your family likes to do.

Going out there and doing it:

Now you’ve got some ideas. You just need to do it. If it’s easiest for you, plan the entire summer. If that’s too much, then just take it a couple of weeks at a time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t do something every day. Just keep trying. You’ll find it is fun to be with your children and to watch their progress and joy in learning.
You’ll be amazed as the kids become excited with what you are doing, and encourage you by saying “What subject are we studying this week?” I know it sounds too good to be true, but it often happens.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Joseph's Birthday

It was just Josephs birthday, and Jason managed to "score" us tickets to an indoor theme park for kids called "Wannado City". It is really an amazing is over 3 football fields big, and is built like an entire indoor city for kids. The kids go from place to place and get "jobs" to earn Wongas (Wannado City money), and then spend them at other locations. They open bank accounts and get ATM cards to keep their money in, and there are kid-sized ATM machines around the park to take out or deposit money as you need it. When we got there, Savannah first tried to be a Broadway Actress, while the boys headed off to be Archaeologists. Savannah learned a play and then preformed it for an audience on stage in a mini Broadway theatre, and was paid $40. She took Nicolette to the Glamour Salon and got their nails painted for the same amount of money. Likewise, Joseph and Brigham explored an underground South American temple as archaeologists (and found treasure!) and then went on a Mining Expedition as miners. They got paid $30 for each activity, and then spent $60 to go rock climbing. Get the idea? We met the boys by the mountain climbing, and our nails were dry in time to be Paleontologists. Then we had lunch at Johnny Rockets. Lunch was followed by the kids working at Publix supermarket as cashiers and personal shoppers, then making REAL Laffy Taffy at the Willy Wonka Candy Factory. They used their money to ride carnival rides at the fair. Then everyone except Savannah went to the Ringling Brothers Circus to attend Clown College, while Savannah went to J-Jewelers to make an anklet. We met everyone back at the circus in time to watch them perform (it was great), and then tried our hands at being firefighters. They trained, dressed the part, and responded to a four alarm fire at the Fireworks factory. They actually rode through the streets in a miniature firetruck, and put out the fire with REAL hoses and water. After that, they tried their hands at being Inventors, and worked for a while in a veterinary hospital.

The props EVERYWHERE were the vet hospital, they have a life-size Golden Retriever that breathes and is hooked up to a dripping IV and EVERYTHING. They actually CUT OPEN THE DOG, and it was realistic and gooey inside, and opened it's stomach to remove a key it had swallowed. After that we went upstairs to spend some money at a Dance Club. We came downstairs and worked at Plantation General Hospital, where they worked in the Nursery, and then as pathologists, and then as General Surgeons. The "person" they operated on had kidney stones...and it was just as real as the dog. It breathed...the oxygen mask fogged up , and the chest rose and fell, and they had to cut open the "skin", remove some organs, and use all the proper equipment to remove the stones. It was SO REAL, that when they cut the "patient" open, Savannah actually gagged and had to cover her mouth. Another kid had to leave. It's pretty intense. The girls also tried their hands at being Super models, while the boys trained as Wannado City Police Officers (and then they got to be robbers, which I'm not sure is a JOB, per se).

And there was TONS of stuff we didn't get to be librarians, work at the Miami Herald as reporters, photographers, and editors, work at CNN, Cartoon Network as artists, movie actors, chefs, pizzeria cooks, airline pilots (Yes -they have the front half of a full size 737 to fly, navigate, and be a flight attendant for), dentist, radio DJ, their own CSI team, bus driver, cruise ship captain and activities director, etc. etc. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!

As adults, you're not allowed into the "attractions", although most you can watch from outside through the windows. The kids are on their own with only the career guides for that profession. Most parents drop their kids off and head upstairs to a parents lounge where they have food, big screen TVs, and wireless internet access. Each kid is equipped with a bracelet with a sensor that is linked to an identical bracelet the parents wear. If you want your kids, you go to one of many "locator's" through-out the park, hold up your bracelet, and it pinpoints the locations of each of your children at all times. It also prevents anyone leaving without their parents. But Jason and I didn't want to disappear upstairs! We wanted to watch our kids explore and have fun!!I guess we're just WEIRD!!