Sunday, May 15, 2011

Summer Scholar Sunday #2

Each week, I will feature an activity found in the Sun Scholars Summer Program and share some highlights from our Summer Scholar Families.  We'd love to have you follow along.  If you like what you see, and would like to learn more about my Sun Scholar Summer Program, click HERE.

Bird Feeders
Subjects:    Art & Science
Time:         10+ mins
Supplies:        Pine Cone or Wooden Bird House, Peanut Butter, String, Bird Seed

No matter what time of year, you can attract birds to your home with a simple bird feeder.  Have your child create their own bird feeder and see what kinds of birds stop by for a snack.  On your next outing to a park, make sure to grab a couple pine cones, or how about a wooden bird house!  We found our bird house at Hobby Lobby on sale for $3.50.

How to Make a Bird Feeder
·         Tie a string around your pine cone, giving yourself enough to allow you to hang it when it is complete.
·         Fill a shallow bowl with bird seed.
·         Using a butter knife, cover the pine cone in peanut butter (suet, vegetable shortening, or lard will also work).
·         Roll the peanut-covered pine cone in bird seed until well covered.
·         Your bird feeder is done!  Be sure to hang it where you can see it.

For the bird house, we used a tray, and the children pat the bird seed onto the sides of the house.  We also added a fancy red flower we had left over from the holidays.

Note: If you can, make a few bird feeders each with a different type of seed. What kind of birds will you attract to each bird feeder?  You can extend this activity by keeping track of your bird visitors using THIS birdwatching worksheet!

from week 3 of the Sun Scholar Summer Program

Let's hear from our Summer Scholar Families...


This week we did Mail Mania.  The projects we did were:
Story Time
Doorknob Mailboxes
What's In Your Mailbox
Mail On the Map
Stamp Art
Math In a Bag
Card Creations
Letter Writing

My kids loved checking the mail everyday and graphing it. The doorknob mailboxes were tons of fun. They enjoyed sneaking notes in and finding them in their boxes. They even used them to send invites for a movie party Friday night. The stamps were fun and creative. Math in a Bag was probably the favorite. It was easily adaptable to all ages. The older ones did fractions and addition/subtraction, the younger ones did sorting and color identification. We had a great time this week.

This week we used The Great Outdoors as our theme!  Since we went Camping for Mother’s Day it fit right in!

Story Time: We read Let’s Go Camping with Mr.Sillypants! Discussed any words that were “hard” for Zachary. The book is great and we recommend it for sure!

Painted Rock project. Making our Ladybugs this week as we are into our Insect Unit for homeschool!  The kids had a lot of fun with this project and the pictures turned out great on my Mother’s Day Sunflowers!  I think we will make some for Daddy also for Father's Day fast approaching!

The Nature Hike was AWESOME!  We incorporated this project into camping and also recruited the two children (not homeschooled technically) to do it with us!  The kids had a blast finding the things on the list. Even the dads got in on it!  We found so many things not on the list also!  I would suggest adding more to the printables list for sure!

Our last project from The Great Outdoors was the Map Making!  Zacchary loves to read maps and make them. The kids used their portable chalkboards to draw maps of the campsite!  Loved it!  We discussed how we use maps in the woods and with nature also the use of a compass!


Kids loved this unit and we will continuing with some of the additional projects over the Summer!  Overall great unit! 

This week was fantastic. We focused on all things Mail and all three of the kids had a great time. One of their favorite activities was getting to make their own stamps. Before we started Sun Scholars, we had been trying to teach our children how important it was to write thank you notes. Using their "personalized stamps", we continued to encourage them to write thank you's to grandparents, friends, and anyone else they felt they would like to write to.  

The activity got them extra excited about writing these letters. They each set up a little writing spot in their rooms where they have notecards, envelopes, and their stamps. I have an adhesive machine, so once their stamps were done, I ran it through the machine and made them into stickers, just like real stamps, so they could just peel them off the paper and stick. 

Once they write their letters, they put their own stamps on the envelope and then bring them down to me for a real stamp. All three of the children were especially excited to see their artwork on the front of their thank-you letters. 

I also made a few phone calls and found out that our local post office will allow kids and their parents to come down and see how a real mail room works. Similar to field trips that kids take to the firehouse. Once they are out of school, we are scheduled to go down and take the tour. The kids can't wait.

This activity was fantastic. Another testament to the power of the program. What a great creative learning tool these activities are. And, even though the kids have a week and half of school left, there really isn't a lot going on in their school classes as the year winds down. These activities keep them learning, and from asking to watch t.v. or felling bored. They really do wake up asking what activities we will be doing that day.

I really enjoyed this last week.  It was so fun and the kids liked it too.


We love "The Jolly Postman". We reread this book over and over again and it prepared us for the rest of the activities.  It also helped me explain the different type of mail.

Doorknob Mailboxes.  The kids enjoyed making their own mailboxes, but not as much as they loved getting mail.  This was the first time that my son wrote words without copying what I wrote.  It was a blast.

What's in your Mailbox and Mail on the Map.  Getting the mail was a huge hit at our house.  The kids loved sorting the mail and then looking for up the city and states to mark them on the map.  My kids love geography and this was fun to see how far our mail had come.

Musical Glasses.  The kids not only had fun pouring the water in the jars and "making music."  I also added some food coloring to the water, letting the kids decide what happens to the colors as you mix them.

Letter Measurement.  We first gather all different objects from around the house, and then measured them.  It was an eye opener for me to see how the kids measured things and what they choose to measure.

Back to Calendar Math.  This was a great with the kids.  I love how I could use this with all their different skill levels of my children.  For my youngest we just worked on recognizing the numbers.  My second youngest worked on his counting skills.  My older boy practiced adding numbers and then used the counters to make sure he had it right.  My oldest worked on her adding skills picking four to five numbers and then used different coins to add up to the sum.  This helped her with her money skills.

Sun Scholars

Thanks to the Summer Scholar Families for sharing with us.
We'll see you back next Sunday for more Summer Scholar fun!

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