Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Homeschool Kindergarten 1 Lessons, Interactive Notebook and Activities - October 2016 Week 2

Here's what we're doing this week:

Comm Arts


  • names of things
  • noun identification
  • writing nouns
  • days of the week
  • final sound

  • transportation 
  • correct way of riding a vehicle
  • means of communication

  • addition 
  • subtraction
  • subtraction story
Science, Filipino and more CA:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Homeschool Kindergarten 1 Lessons, Activities and Interactive Notebook - October 2016 Week 1

Sorry for the late post. My son is sick so I have adjusted our lessons and activities this week.

Comm Arts

  • Letters X, Y, Z
  • names of persons
  • names of animals
  • names of places


  • transportation


  • vertical addition
  • find the correct addition sentence

Science, Filipino and more CA:


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My Top 5 Disney Junior Shows for Homeschooling

Disney has a lot of really good shows on both the regular and Junior channels but there are some shows that I don't allow my son to watch (i.e. OddBods - too much violence). My son has lost interest in Disney Junior shows for a couple of years. He shifted his attention to the Disney channel and watched big kid shows (hello Phineas and Ferb!) when he was around 15 months old. About a week ago, my husband put the Disney Junior channel on and my son rekindled his love for some of the shows he used to watch when he was younger. (My son is 3 years old now for all of you newbies here)

The TV mostly serves as background noise because he prefers to do activities instead but there are times when he will pay attention to some of the shows. I take advantage of these shows to teach him something new or to use in our homeschool discussion.

Here are my top 5 homeschooling shows in random order. I chose these shows for their content, themes, graphics and for their appeal to both boys and girls. 

Captain Jake and the Neverland Pirates

I'm not a huge fan of Peter Pan the animated movie but I was (still am) smitten with Jake and the Neverland Pirates especially now that Jake has become the captain of the Colossus. My son's favorite was Captain Hook when he was younger. Well, Captain Hook is one of my favorite characters of all time. In this series, Captain Hook is a good guy. Well, he does some mean things at times but now he is part of the League of the Pirate Captains and acknowledges Jake as a captain so he is not all bad. Also, he is not portrayed as an evil character in this series unlike in the original story. And do I need to mention how adorable Mr. Smee is in this series?

I like Jake the series because it teaches about friendship, teamwork, cooperation and manners (thank you Mr. Smee for always reminding the captain to thank the popinjays). It also has a little bit of math with the doubloons counting bit. I also like the adventure and suspense and the different themes they use for each episode. It's not just all fighting. Sometimes it's problem solving. I also like the music, singing and dancing courtesy of Sharky and Bones. We always have a blast when we watch this. And not to forget, the triumph of good over evil. 

This series is great for homeschooling as we can do some singing and dancing (to "wiggle all the waggles away") to help my son focus on the show and on the lesson. We have the Busy Book set which we use to recreate the story we just watched. We also have a Duplo play set with Captain and Hook and Scully which we use for math and other activities. I incorporate the values we learned from the show into our lessons. 

Sheriff Callie's Wild West

Sheriff Callie is geared more towards girls but there is a good mix of male and female characters. The themes are also for everyone. This series is like Jake and the Neverland Pirates but in the Wild West setting. It teachers manners, good attitudes and a lot more values that each child should have. They have tackled different situations like bullying, lying, making friends, valuing friendships, saying sorry, etc. The show reinforces the values that I teach my son. We also like the singing and dancing. I just love Mandy Moore's voice. 


Need I say more? Anybody who has a child in Asia knows this group. With Hi-5, you don't have to plan for a unit study. They have it all in one episode. Just a few hours ago, we watched Hi-5 with the theme, "places we come from". It talked about the diversity of the Hi-5 cast. They all live in Australia but their ancestry comes from South Korea, South Africa, Lebanon and Greece. This is the episode where Stevie, Mary, Lauren, Dyane and Ainsley were the cast. This episode had songs, dancing, musical instruments from different countries, how to write names in Korean, different expressions and the story talked about different places on earth. You can base your unit study on an episode and just give further activities to your child.

Sometimes the theme is about food, sometimes friendship.You can literally just watch an episode at the start of the week and reinforce the lessons with books, other videos and activities for the rest of the week. 

Doc McStuffins

Doc McStuffins is great for health and science. It teaches kids good health habits. The show also helps kids to become familiar with doctors so that they won't be afraid to go for checkups. My son doesn't like going to the doctor. Until now, he cries a little but shows like Doc McStuffins really help a lot to help him understand what goes on in the doctor's office. 

Aside from health habits, the show also teaches good values, problem solving, story comprehension and retention (with the review question at the end of the show). 

Higgly Town Heroes

I wish Higgly Town Heroes was shown at an earlier time slot but we really like it and so we usually stay up late to watch it. If you are teaching community helpers, this is the show for you and your child. There is some silliness in the show but it also has some merits. It's about a group of friends who like to play and have fun together but during the course of their "adventures" they find themselves in a bind and need the help of a Higgly Town Hero. The hero can be a fireman, chef, baker, carpenter, ambulance driver, etc. It's a great way to introduce kids to community helpers and also help them understand and remember what each community helper does. The graphics are simple, perfect for preschoolers. Aside from community helpers, it also teaches teamwork, problem solving and some values. I watched this show a lot when I taught my son about community helpers. I got a lot of good ideas from this show. Until now, we still watch it as there are a lot of community heroes that my son needs to know. 

Honorable Mention - Chuggington

We absolutely love Chuggington! First, because my son adores trains. Second, we like the adventures and challenges the characters go through in each episode. It teaches a lot about problem solving, teamwork, responsibility, good values and more. I used Chuggington trains to teach my son sight words, colors and numbers. 

Chuggington has been in and out of Disney Junior. The only episodes they show nowadays are the Badge Quests. 

Honorable Mention - Pocoyo

I think Pocoyo is no longer shown on the Disney Junior channel. It used to be on at 10:30pm daily. My son loved it so much. The show teaches simple math concepts, problem solving, values and more. You're lucky if you still have Pocoyo on your local Disney Junior channel. If not, you can catch it on YouTube. It's such a fun show - very interactive, very engaging. The graphics are simple, also perfect for young learners. I got a lot of ideas for our homeschool activities from this show. 

These are my top Disney Junior shows for homeschooling. If you want to save this list, just Pin the image below to your board. 

What are your favorite Disney Junior shows?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Road Trip Lunch - Easy Burgers

Here's another Road Trip lunch idea for you moms:

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Using Lego Duplo for Your Homeschool Lessons and Activities

For me, one of the best toys you can invest in is Lego. It's classic, durable, timeless and fosters creativity in children. Not to mention the fact that it's a great toy for fine motor practice. For younger children, it's a great way to prepare their tiny hands for writing. 

Lego is popular with a lot of parents and kids as well as therapists. Blocks are used in a variety of activities for learning and testing. Did you know that an 18-month old child should already be able to build a tower of 2-3 blocks? My son was already building tall towers even before that age all because I exposed him to different kinds of blocks (wooden, plastic, Megablocks and Duplo) when he was very young. 

My son started with Duplo and Megablocks when he was just several months old and our collection has just grown since. He graduated early to Lego because he knows that these are toys and not food, not to be put inside his mouth. (Lego is a choking hazard so please supervise your kids at all times). My son is 3 years old now and he uses the Lego sets for older kids. 

We use Lego in our homeschool activities a lot and I found some Duplo sets that are great for lessons. Check them out!

This Duplo set is a great investment because you can use it for younger kids as well as older kids. For younger kids you can teach them the following with this set:

  • Animal identification
  • Animal classification
  • Colors
  • Color sorting
  • Transportation
For older kids:
  • You can use this set for Unit Studies Around the World or just a particular country like China or Africa. 
  • You can encourage kids to write stories/ideas/reaction to the different settings or countries that they studied
  • You can teach them about caring for the environment and what they can do to help
  • You can teach them about endangered species such as the panda or tiger in the set (Note - Please take caution when teaching this topic to gifted or twice exceptional kids as they can be very passionate and emotional about it)

I really love this set. I wish I had seen this when my son was younger. It has just so many things that my son likes - the big truck, market setting, food blocks and the tiny people to fit in his truck. 

With this set you can teach:
  • colors
  • color sorting
  • food
  • food classification
  • simple math
  • and even a role playing game on how to buy food from the market and how to act/behave while there

I think this is the most basic set that you can get. It's still appealing to children because of that car and the bright colors of the blocks. Use this set to teach:

  • Colors
  • Fruits
  • Counting

This set is such a great Science Unit Study set about plants and gardening. With this set you can teach:

  • Basic gardening information (build the set and then plant your own garden!)
  • Plants
  • Parts of a plant
  • Plant life cycle
  • How to care for plants
  • Where our food comes from
  • Vegetables
  • And even Math principles such as counting and measuring(since the plants have extra blocks to show how they grow, the child can measure them using a ruler or another manipulative such as erasers or Shopkins! That's even better because you can incorporate two toys into one activity!
Lego is really a super toy and I firmly believe that every developing child should have a set or two or like us, even more! =D

If you want to save these ideas for later, feel free to Pin the image below.

I have not been compensated for this post. We just really like Lego. I'd also like to thank Lego Toys R Us Glorietta for allowing me to take photos. If you want to check out the Lego section of Toys R Us Glorietta, just look for Avel and he will hook you up with the latest deals (Tip: It's Bricktober time and they are giving away a set of 4 Lego figures free with every purchase of P2999.75) and releases from the brand as well as advice you on the best sets to use for your homeschool!