Saturday, November 10, 2012

Adding on to our house.... A CHICKEN COOP

Join us on our newest journey... raising and caring for Free-range, inner-city chickens ;)

Here's the Coop ...

Meet the Ladies...

Our first Egg... 

All in the past 24 hours. I can't see what the future holds for this adventure! :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Math Caps ~ For Re-purpose-ful Math-time FuN!

Another simple, and virtually cost free, homeschooling manipulative. Saw this idea floating around in the Pintrest world, but couldn't track down it's original source. Still, I put it to use with my own little twist...

First - Collect water bottle caps 

Second - Write Numbers and Math symbols on them with permanent marker (I recommend AT LEAST 3 of each number 0-9 and 2 of each symbol - X = /and +)

Third - Find re-purpose-able container to store them in

Fourth - Put them to good use!

Easy enough, Right?!
Yes, that IS my mulleted child in CAMO!!! :oP
We are using them for simple math (addition, subtraction, multiplication) with my 1st and 2nd graders. They even did some more complicated, multi-step problems. 
Another benefit to homeschooling... no shoes, no shirt.. NO PROBLEM! :-D
For my K4 daughter (Princess Serenity) I was having her count objects (cheerios) to add up to the # presented to her. Quickly realized that this skill was beneath her level, so we started learning to ADD!  :-D She did GREAT! Used a silicone muffin pan to keep things neat-n-tidy for her. 

This new manipulative even traveled with us to the Dr's office, and the church this week. The little container I have them stored in drops nicely in our cinch-sack (Little educational bag we haul around) or diaper bag to take on-the-go! PLUS if they git lost/ruined... NO WORRIES. I can just make more for FREE!!! LOVE <3 <3 <3 This!

Working on a series of making Homeschool manipulatives on a very small or ZERO budget. Still to come...

Colored Rice 
Eye Spy Bottles 
Sensory Boxes
Domino Math
CandyLand Counting
Morning Board (for the basics)
Story prompt sticks

Home made Fingerpaints
Easy make Playdough
and MORE!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

How do you help your wee-ones understand what's going on?

Everyone needs to be able to relate... even if that someone is only two.

My sweet little girl (River, age 2) fell from the pew during worship service this past Sunday. She's not usually much of a complainer so when she threw such a fuss, I knew something was wrong. Now, to figure out what... Everyone that had witnessed the fall said that she hit her head. Naturally, that's where I focused my attention.  She was crying so hard that she couldn't tell me what was wrong. Was she just shook up, or hurt?  I wasn't sure. Eventually she let me know that her 'foot' hurt. Come to find out [after a couple hours, and a trip to the ER] she had broken her little leg.
The tears that came when the pain set in, broke my heart.  She would be herself. Then, as the ibuprofen wore off, she would change. She'd cry, and whine, and kick and squirm. She was so uncomfortable.  All I could do is comfort her and treat her with the pain relievers to try and dull the pain.

On top of the pain, I could tell that she was scared.  What IS this thing on my leg, mom? "Take It OFF, Mommy. I don't want it! I want it OFF" she kept saying.  How do you comfort someone so little through something like that?  Here's how I helped my 2 year old feel more secure about the cast on her leg. . .

Her grandma had sent her a new baby doll to help busy her as she recouped.  The day after it came in the mail, River was having a hard time coping when her medicine would wear off. Each time, I would sit with her and play, talk, or sing to her to keep her mind off of the pain. Mid morning, she and I sat down and 'doctored' her baby. We gave it a 'band-aid' just like she has.  First the 'sock'... then the padding... finally the colorful [coban] outside. (I wish I had though to do this BEFORE we went to the Orthopedic doctor. She would have better understood what was going to happen to her.) She stopped pulling at her cast. Stopped asking to have it taken off.  Now, every-time she starts to be bothered by it, she just asks for her baby, and comforts her the way that she wants comforted. She is turning into such an caring little momma and doing a great job of teaching mommy just what she needs in order to feel better.  For now she still hasn't stopped crying out in pain every few hours, but she is coping with the discomfort and unfamiliarity of having her leg casted much better.

 I love when I have the opportunity to allow my blessings to take the lead and show me what they desire from me.  I take comfort when they are able to 'show' me what they need, when they might now know the words to tell me.  I pray that you will never have to see your little one through a painful time, but if you do... I HIGHLY recommend giving them a way to relate to what's going on, and if they are too little to communicate effectively, give them an outlet to show you what they're feeling.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Friday Family FuN Days... ABC Style!

We decided to change up our Friday Family Fun days. (This means we ALL spend our entire Fridays with EACH OTHER... doing something "Fun" together.) To keep with the spirit of 'un-schooling' our way through the summer, we decided to give each Friday a letter theme.  Friday numero uno was a 'P' themed day. We thought of a couple of 'P' things to do & eat for our Family Fun Friday....

Our day started with our Breakfast: PoPtarts, Pitted Prunes, and Pink milk.

We geared up and headed out to the Park to Play. . . 

Photos Courtesy of the Hubs @Paldinos Paldinos Photos (Bill Paldino)
and have a Picnic of Pretzels, PePPeroni, Pickles, PePPer jack, Provolone, Peaches, and Peanut butter oreos.

 Then on to the ool we went! (notice, no 'P' in that Pool... we told the kids to keep it that way ;o)

For Dinner:  Pizza. . . 

and PoP!

We topped off the evening with a movie and PoPcorn!  

But wait, we can't forget about a phonetical Phinish to our Phriday Phamily Phun:
 Push PoPs!

 Stay Tuned for week 2's 'B' Theme and our 'S' themed week 3!

My life, UN-EDITED... Cranky mornings (problem solved!)

What do you do when your day starts out like this...
CRANKY Kiddos!  I took these pictures all within an hour of each other one morning! O.o

Those days, in my house, everyone just needs one of these...
YAY for NaP TiMe!!!

Problem solved!
There are those lovely HaPpY faces! <3 #Blessed!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Sunday's 10 minute Children's Church Lesson.

I only had 10 minutes left before service was over.  There goes my plans for the morning.  I had a lesson with coordinating craft, snack and game planned, but plans changed.  We spent some time performing our VBS songs for the church, then watching a slideshow from the fun-filled week.  Now we only had 10 minutes to fit in a lesson and make it something worth coming back to.  I had an idea.  Got out the Parachute and chose a story. NOAH's ARK!  I had each of my 11 kids that morning grab a handle of our parachute.  And gave them these simple instructions:
  • When I say the word 'boat', you raise the parachute as high as you can. 
  • When I say the word 'Flood', you flap the parachute as fast as you can.
  • When I say the word 'Rainbow', we're all going to walk in a big circle with the parachute
  • When I say the word 'Noah', lower the parachute as low as you can
Then we gave it a little practice run."NOAH" "FLOOD" "RAINBOW" "BOAT" And threw in a beach ball just for fun!
Stock picture from VBS (front left is Serenity (my 3 y/o daughter) & in the gray shirt on the right, is Obadiah (my 5 y/o son)

I began... "NOAH (down down) heard from God. God told him that there was going to be a great FLOOD (ruffle ruffle) and that he wanted NOAH (Down down down) to build a very big BOAT (Up up and away)".... you get the idea.  I went through the whole story, making sure to use our key words as often as possible.  The kids LOVED it, and it insured that they were paying attention to what I was saying.  Once Noah got the animals all on board, we all boarded the 'Boat' too.

Then the story continued.  I wish I had gotten video of it, but I didn't this time. This was a definite WIN, and I will be using our parachute to tell more stories in the future!

Once our story was over, we even had a couple minutes to play a 2 by 2 animal game with the parachute.  I assigned them each an animal (By pairs, of course) and as I called on their animal, they crawled, hopped, slithered, or walked underneath the parachute to where the other 'animal' of their kind had come from. Swapping spots with them. 
Another stock photo from VBS.  The beauty in the striped shirt is my daughter, Theorie (10)
This is my 2 year old, River.
This story and game, worked with my vastly varying group of children on Sunday morning (ages 2-12) They all came away from it excited to spread the word of GOD to their family and friends as they left my classroom for the week ahead.  I will make disciples of them yet! :o)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Are Your Kids Bored, Whiny & Restless? Tell them to TAKE A HIKE!. . . Literally!

Started our morning out getting our math done.  The kids were having a hard time focusing, I wasn't that interested in making them, and the sunshine outside looked Oh-So-Inviting.

So, I did what any good homeschool mom would do... told the kids to put their books away and forget about today's work.  I pulled out our binoculars, compasses, journals, and magnifying glasses; put the kiddos shoes on their feet, and we headed out!

We were headed on a nature walk. Hiking through the acres surrounding our house; recording and discussing all of our observations.  

We talked about the senses, what we "see" "hear" "smell" and "feel" while we're exploring. Well, we DIDN'T go around tasting the things we ran across, but you get the idea.
We saw lots of things of nature: from woodpeckers, to bugs, from lizards to flowers. We also saw quite a few things of man as well. 

We discussed cardinal direction and learned to use a compass. This was a first for my youngest 5 (ages 6 and under). They got to hold and use compasses themselves too. We also talked about remembering where you are headed and what direction you came from when you're out in nature.

We looked at things from afar using our binoculars, and took a closer look at things with our magnifying glasses.

We observed lots of things from shapes (like the circular shape of the litter, sphere of the berries) to color (the yellow of flowers, red of the berries, orange of the fungusgreen of pine needles and brown-ish-tan bark) to size and position. 


We discussed boundaries (when you can and CAN'T leave the yard, street safety, and how important it is to pay attention to what's happening around you when you're outside (especially near the road).

While we were out there, in the great wide outdoors, we checked on our "compost pile" (I use that term Verrrrry loosely) and found that the wild animals have apparently been enjoying all of our uneaten fruits and veggies :)

There are many other things we talked and learned about while we were out there, too.  Nature itself is a learning experience and an excellent opportunity to show your little blessings just how AWESOME our BIG GOD is.