Archives for August 2010

Raising Rock Stars Preschool ~ Lesson Planning Sheets

You may have noticed in my RRSP Letter Yy post, that I have added lesson plans for each unit as a pdf download. I began creating these for myself on the computer and thought they might be helpful to some of you. I linked up activities directly in the plan so when you open the PDF file, you can directly click on anything linked up to see where I got the activity or the specific toy. I hope these help and I will be making them for the remaining units, I may even try to go back and create them based on my notes from previous units-we’ll see! Yy Lesson Plan

You can find the lesson plan downloads on each specific letter’s page. Here’s what it looks like on letter Yy webpage {see below}, you click on the Bible verse to download the entire printable unit, click on the lesson plan to download the filled in plan and also a blank version so you could write in your own plans.image

I hope this is helpful to some of you! Even if you don’t use my form or even RRSP, I hope it can at least helps you with ideas for particular letters units. It should also give you fresh ideas for other preschool learning tools. I am constantly searching myself {gaining ideas from many of you} and I know my own sheets will help me when I go back in a few years to plan for Ladybug!

If you are looking for non-RRSP planning forms, you can find those Preschool Workbox Planning Forms here!

Behind the Scenes ~ The New Homeschool Room

Behind the Scenes

I know many have wondered about our new school room and where it is, or where it came from. Today I hope to share a bit of the behind the scenes info about it and how this amazing blessing has come into our lives! The story will be as condensed as possible ;-).

When we moved to the inner city to be missionaries over 6 years ago, we moved into a row home on a major street in our neighborhood. At the time the property next door was up for sale, which we didn’t think much about. Within a few months God began to work and long story VERY short-my parents ended up buying the property to “give” to the church for ministry purposes. My parents “rented” the property to the church free of charge and owned it themselves. {In case you are wondering-properties are very cheap around here because of the neighborhood we live in} At the time I was the children’s ministry leader and ran several programs out of the property which became known as the Hope House. 011Since it was next door, it was very easy for me to balance work and family at the time {this was when I only had Pac Man}.

Fast forward a LOT…years later we realized that we did not have the correct insurance policy to be doing ministry in the Hope House, so research began. In the end we realized that to insure the property for ministry use was outrageous, our current company wouldn’t even do it! My parents had a decision to make-either sell the property or figure something else out.

They prayed and talked and came up with a solution. The upstairs was renovated {very nicely} to make a 2 bedroom apartment which is now rented out by our good friends and ministry partners, a young couple-married almost a year now.

The downstairs was gifted to us for personal use!

My parents truly just wanted to bless us and surprised us with the gift of the space. Since it is right next door to our house AND my husband is the renovation MASTER, it became a very clear reality of what we could do with the space. The plans were made and work began this past spring. We hit the major turning point in July when the houses were connected…IMG_4396 The boys are standing in the current kitchen looking into what is now the new dining room, which today looks like this {well, not quite that clean still}…IMG_6217The dining room was completed last week and today the carpet is being put in the school room which is two steps down below the dining room to the right {when looking at the photo above}! The addition of the dining room is an additional blessing due to the space it provides for fellowship! We have people over here a lot and it is always a tight fit in our kitchen to eat meals and socialize. Now we have a large comfortable space and we are SO excited to share it with MANY!

So yes, the schoolroom was an addition onto our house, but in a most unusual way-totally God! We feel very spoiled and blessed, I have actually shed many tears of joy over this. You homeschoolers will understand that for sure-the gift of a large homeschooling space is something we all dream of. I NEVER thought it would happen for us, I was just thankful to have the 9×10 room we had. It is not something we needed, not even something we asked for-just a total surprise! We are so incredibly thankful!

Stay tuned for the pictures of the schoolroom in progress. The carpet is being put in right now and then the move in begins. I plan to share an update with you soon!

UPDATE 11:00 AM…Feet have hit the carpet!!!!!!!!

Tot School

~Ladybug is currently 16.5 months old~

Tot Trays

Ladybug’s Tot Trays for the week…

  1. Fisher Price Farm Bingo {consignment sale find, no longer available}
  2. Straws and an empty parmesan cheese bottle
  3. Paint tray from Oriental Trading, beads to put in it
  4. Empty baby food container with cut outs done with a pocket knife 😉 for the little foam shapes we got form Target’s $1 aisle recently!
  5. Crayons and paper.


Good thing I snapped a photo at the beginning, because I barely had my camera out during her Tot School times at all!  Here’s the only 2 photos I got from the entire week {and she DID play a lot with her stuff!}IMG_6480 Trying to ask me to put the lid on!!!IMG_6485

  Learning Toys

Krash and Ladybug both continue to LOVE our Bristle Blocks!IMG_6489

Life SchoolWe were away on our semi-annual church staff retreat Mon-Wed, so Ladybug’s life school was super fun!  She got to go swimming…

IMG_6245 IMG_6249

She got lots of extra Daddy time!  We were at a retreat center on the Chesapeake Bay, so it was beautiful!!!  Riding in the ErgoIMG_6335 Listening to Daddy whistle the grass…IMG_6362 Figuring out she doesn’t actually like the grass!!!IMG_6381


Additionally, Ladybug has mastered signing please and thank you, I thought you might want a peek, since it’s so stinkin’ cute {and NO I am not biased, at all}  😉


She has since added “book” and “all done” to her list, and is VERY into it all now, a light switch has definitely gone on in her brain!!!


Moms Favorite

Not only is this my favorite photo of Ladybug, this is my new favorite THING.  We were recently sent this amazing bean bag chair from and I cannot even begin to tell you how much we LOVE it!  As you can see, it’s VERY popular with Ladybug 😉IMG_6518


Raising Rock Stars Preschool ~ Letter Yy

Raising Rock Stars Preschool Letter Y

Rock stars This is the main section of our preschool posts-focusing on what we do for our Raising Rock Stars Preschool Curriculum. I am not sharing photos of each part every week, just what I happen to catch! We do the entire unit even if I don’t show it here in the photos!

Our letter this week ~ Yy, our verse: You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. IMG_5940


Krash colors his verse, this is one of the first time he intentionally colored for a while with thought.  He used different colors and really tried to stay in the lines!IMG_5948

After he cuts out his vocabulary cards, we put them in his RRSP Notebook together.  He likes to use the pointer to find words I call out!  Sometimes we review past letters too!IMG_5944


Measuring his verse…IMG_6522


We used the gel tracing pack {included in the Grasshopper ABC kit} to practice before writing this week …IMG_6529


Making his Bible craft…IMG_6534


We brought out our foam ABCs to work on our sight word: you.  I also used our dry erase board.  After doing a bit of word work, we read the easy reader and he found the word on each page.  He is just on the edge of really grasping words, but not quite there yet.  He still looks at me like I am a bit nuts when I ask him “what word is that?”  😉  it’s pretty funny!IMG_6508






Krash loves the counting portion of the RRSP PowerPoint shows.  Learning to make each number with his hands is always fun for him! IMG_6478


The Power Point lessons are located in the Members Only section. You can see a video here showing a PowerPoint lesson. You can learn more about the Members Only section here. The entire printable unit {everything else you see pictured above} is available for FREE on the main RRSP page…

You can download the entire letter Yy unit here.

NEW for RRSP…lessons plans!  Included is our exact plan, with links to everything we used.  Page 2 is blank in case you don’t do exactly what we do! Yy Lesson PlanYou can download the PDF file on the Yy page!


in the box {A few things that were in his preschool workboxes for the week, not all activities are pictured}

He did one drawing an orange from his Kumon Drawing book this week. My favorite part of this activity is definitely his dictated stories!  I know I will love this collection of drawings and stories when it is complete!  I highly recommend doing this with your preschooler {going through this book or something similar and keeping them all together in 1 notebook}.IMG_5311


We worked with our Pom Pom Numbers again, but this time a bit differently.  I used them more for fine motor practice.  First he pulled off all of the dots, and put them on the tray.  Then I showed him a number and told him what color pom pom to “eat” with Mr. Crunch from our Grasshopper Preschool Prep Kit.  He LOVED this!!!!  After Mr. Crunch ate them, he “spit them out” onto the number and Krash used his fingers to place them on the velrco dots.



Yy’s on a Play Doh mat…    IMG_6493


We did a few fun letter of the week activities. Here he is doing the Y color-by-number!IMG_6526


We combined the Grasshopper ABC kit letter building Y card along with our foam shapes form the book, How to Build an A.  Krash made a Y…IMG_6538

We are continuing our ABC Crafts, here is his Y is for Yak…IMG_6047


My mom bought us this cute shape magnet book from Costco.  Krash enjoyed finding the correct shapes to put on the farm scenes as we read the book!



More Grasshopper Preschool Prep Kit work, making “split pea soup.”  He really enjoyed this {much more than I actually thought he would to be honest}.  He worked really hard to make tons of peas for his soup.  This is actually the first time he successfully rolled balls like this using dough.  He usually can only make snakes!IMG_6499


A bit of Kumon cutting….IMG_6045



star boxes This is where I share the 3 special open-ended toys that were in our Star Boxes for the week.

Our 3 STAR boxes for the week: Foam ABCs, Stacking Pegs, and Felt Food.  Believe it or not, I don’t have any Star Box time photos!  I do have a Felt Food giveaway for you though! 😉




game timeOur game this week was Qwirkle.  This is a game for older kids but we modified the rules and we all had tons of fun with it, this is a great game!  I was actually very surprised with how well Krash did, even when it got a bit tricky as we got going.IMG_5076 He also enjoyed just playing with the tiles…IMG_4889  See more of our favorite preschool games here.

Life School This is where I share games, toys, and life experiences that occur outside of our planned preschool time.

The boys asked to get out Perler beads one day and it kept them busy for a long time!IMG_6079

Of course there’s always a bit of playing with Ladybug’s Tot Trays ;-p, He was very interested in her magnetic dress up doll.  He turned her into a super hero, complete with shoes on her shoulders {I am sure they were probably guns of some sort knowing him}.IMG_6483



Moms fav While on our staff retreat we got to swim!!!  I adore this boy in his goggles!!!!!  IMG_6228





More Preschool Links…

Be sure to visit Preschool Corner to see all of the other amazing home-preschool moms!

Do you have a blog post featuring this unit-RRSP Letter Yy? Link your exact post below, choose a thumbnail showing the program in action for your link!

~any non-RRSP Letter Yy posts will be deleted.

Out of the Zone ~ Lessons 1-10

out of the zone2 We have completed 10 lessons of Calvert’s 3rd grade and I am loving it so far.  I am wanting to keep more of a journal for Pac Man {which I neglected to do for 1st and 2nd grades ~ bad mommy}, but better to start now than not ever!  I did well with journaling {privately and on this blog} for his PreK and Kindergarten year and want to do better for him.  Honestly I am learning new things right along with him now {relearning most} and it is fun!  I am enjoying 3rd grade so much more than I thought I would.  I also think the grandparents {and maybe some of you} will enjoy reading specifics about what he is learning.


I am amazed with how fast 3rd grade math has moved.  Pac Man LOVES math though so this is fun for me since I hate math!  He is very easy to teach so far.  Daddy also loves math so he casually teaches the boys lots of math skills before we even get to them in school!  Pac Man has flown right through many new math skills so far with no trouble at all.

For spelling, I still would choose to do All About Spelling, but for now Pac Man is doing well with the spelling book we are using with Calvert, I will be adding in AAS lessons as needed down the road as needed..  For his first 2 pretests he got 9/14 correct and then finished both with a perfect score for the post-test!  Calvert has an awesome online program called “Calvert Mastery Spelling” which gives Pac a simple activity each day to work with the words.  He loves this and I think it really helps.

Speaking of the computer, he has some cool programs that are integrated into Calvert.  The technology lessons are wonderful and he really enjoys them.  He is currently learning typing and has already learned many word processing skills.  IMG_5303 Daddy actually walked in and saw him working and said, “man, I don’t even know how to do some of that!”  Pac loves the computer {like me} so this is really fun for him!  Calvert also has daily check points online, which are brief review questions for each subject taught that day.  He logs in and takes the checkpoints and I can easily see his scores immediately to see anything we need to review.

He doesn’t usually like Calvert writing lessons, at least he didn’t for 2nd grade.  But, this year he has more freedom to construct his own stories and he is really enjoying it so far.  Once I got him over the “I hate writing” attitude, he was good to go for the most part.  His first story assignment was “School at Home” which I think he did really well on!IMG_6469

My favorite line… ”I am excited because my mom is going to keep the little kids away from me.” 😉


For reading he really enjoyed his first stories, “The Lost and Found,” and  “The Ballad of Mulan.”  Would you believe we have never even seen the Disney movie Mulan, and I was unfamiliar with the story myself.  Not only did Pac enjoy it, but he also read the story aloud to Krash one day!  Pac’s reading comprehension is amazing, and we rarely have to review anything. 

Science is fun, but not as fun as it will be when we begin to actually do the experiments.  I have put those on hold until we are in the new school room ;-).  We have been studying living things, and really enjoying the science book.

Nothing too exciting in Social Studies or Geography yet, but it has been GREAT to see how much P already knows.  The basic geography that has been taught is just a review for him so far.  I can already see where our USA PowerPoints have come in handy!

Neither of us are really enjoying Mythology, it is just so far fetched and I am not into it-never really was when I learned it in school either.  He struggles with it, I believe at the heart level a bit.  He doesn’t really understand why he has to study “fairy tales” as he calls them.

We are both loving the Famous Americans book!  So far we have learned a lot about the American Revolution and studied these people: Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Paul Jones, and Molly Pitcher,   I am reading this aloud to him and it becomes a nice cuddle time for us.  I decided not to have Pac do the written pages included {they are optional via Calvert} and we go over them orally together.  I think he is really enjoying the laid back approach to this subject and in turn really enjoying it.  He has actually asked to read additional stories each day!  I am researching some supplemental activities for us to do about the American Revolution, probably a lapbook ;-).  We’ll see!


Overall the first 10 days have been a success.  He really struggled for the first 5 days or so with the amount of work and the difficulty.  He breezed through school until now and is finally having to put real thought into things.  This was a very hard adjustment for him but I am amazed that he has handled it well for the past 5 lessons.  He really turned a corner and the excitement about the new schoolroom keeps him going!

We are still not in daily school mode yet, just getting a bit of a jump start before we go on our 2 week trip in September. We will be officially staring our every day school year when we return mid-September.  Pac is working hard now so he won’t have to take any schooling with him when we travel!

~I asked Pac Man if he was OK with me publicly blogging about him and school, he is very interested in my blog.  I have promised him I will never write anything about home online without him knowing first {things that could possibly be embarrassing.  He was fine with it and excited to be featured! ;-)  I hope this will be a neat thing for him to look back on!