The kids and I started the first Magic Tree House book this week- Dinosaurs Before Dark!

They are not used to doing lots of written work, so we are baby-stepping into notebooking using some lapbook foldables. I am hoping that by starting out with writing only a few words at a time they won’t get too frustrated and we can add more as we move through the year.

So far, we are doing 2 chapters a day. It seems like a good pace for us in terms of adding pages to the notebook and still having time to do other hands-on things. I am figuring on 2-3 weeks per book to give us time to explore lots of related ideas.

The kids really enjoyed building a dinosaur world to play with last night. We gathered up supplies and went from there. The kids talked about all kinds of dinosaur things while we played.

Today we made “fossils” with Plaster of Paris. They look good so far.

The tree was supposed to represent the treehouse. The kids pointed out there was no treehouse in it…

Here are some of the books and magazines we have so far.

Here are the first pages of their notebooks.

Magic Tree House Books

A few years ago we read and listened to some of the Magic Tree House books. The kids liked the stories and so did I. I also appreciated the variety of settings and people that the main characters visited.

This year, I decided to revisit the books and use them for a themed backdrop for some of our learning. My goal is to find interesting books, movies, games, puzzles, stickers, etc. that go along with each book. I am also planning on trips to museums, zoos, science centers, and more as well as hands on experiments and art.

This will also be the first time the kids and I will be using notebooking. We will each have a binder for storing written stuff as we go along plus photographs of the things we do and places we go.

The kids have each really enjoyed having their stories and art saved in the past, so putting their work where they can easily get it to read and share sounds like a good idea.

I have started a binder for myself to keep ideas, printouts, and trip info. for each book handy. That way, I can easily add things to sections for the future if I stumble upon good resources.

Pics from NC

I didn’t put these up during the week, so here they are in one post.

The weather was stormy for most of the week but we managed to hit the beach a few times. 6 of us went jet skiing and our kids loved it even though it rained on us a bit and 3 of us got dumped into the water! A few of us checked out the outdoor pool and made up some games to play in the pouring rain. Lots of board games and card games were played including Timeline, Dominos, Texas Hold ‘Em, 7 Wonders, Ticket to Ride, Eucher, Boggle, 5 Crowns, Set, and more. The pool table worked for Billiards and as a place to solve jigsaw puzzles. The kids played games, built with Legos, used their iPods, played Minecraft, and in general hung out together and with us. People worked together to cook and clean up and the food was terrific as usual 🙂

Metropark Hike

The kids really wanted to stay home today vs. going to a friend’s house. At some point, however, they decided they wanted to do something with just the three of us. The unanimous decision was to head to the local Metropark. After checking out the indoor exhibits, my son picked the longest trail to hike. We had a great time together and we are thinking of doing their Fall Hiking Spree.

My son picked out a geode from their store and cracked it open when we got home.

Buddy Walk

This year, my daughter and I joined our friends to participate in the Buddy Walk to support Down Syndrome. It took place downtown at the baseball stadium. Although it threatened rain all morning, the downpour waited until we were loading up to come home.

This little guy was our team leader and the reason for our participation.