Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Still, we have had great memories and activities. I only have pics. uploaded on my computer from the first week so I will have to add the rest after Christmas.
We made a Scripture Countdown chain. So everyday we take turns on breaking one off and reading out loud the verse.
We put up our tree. It's a 4ft tree this year. The boys love it the same.
We made our first popcorn garland. It was fun, easy, and took some time. I can't imagine how long it would take for a 7ft tree and look good. ... I'm thinking about having the boys do it next year. It takes preciseness, concentration, and patience.
I read A Treasury of Christmas Miracles by Karen Kingsbury. I found it very inspiring!
I also read a few stories out of A Prairie Christmas Collection. They were great heart warming, happy ending stories.
I hope everyone has a Beautiful, Wonderful, Merry Christmas!!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
*We kicked off our farm series by making a farm sensory box. I got this awesome idea from this awesome teacher! Because her ideas are fabulous the boys loved this! I took a wholesale pasta box, construction paper, and farm templates and let them decorate the outside. They each got 2 sides to their self. I spared you all four sides and posted one. :)Here's the inside: The boys spent two hours straight playing with this when it was finished! Seriously!! They played with it at least 30 minutes every day! I was astonished at how much they took to this project and plan on incorporating more when I can.
* I used DTLK's Farm Crafts and Kidzone's Farm Unit. I found the Kidzone the most resourceful. From their farm unit we made mini farm books, played farm sudoku, created a collage of crop fields, and played with farm sentence sequencing cards! Spread out over the three weeks of course. :)
* I recommend these books with the farm lessons for MFW:
The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen
Animals That Live on the Farm Goats by JoAnn Early Macken
Animals That Live on the Farm Cows by JoAnn Early Macken
Animals That Live on the Farm Horses by JoAnn Early Macken
They offer great basic information (no overload so they'll remember what they do learn better) and great REAL pictures (excluding Maple Hill Farm - it's drawn).
* A friend of mine who also uses MFW is working on a Farm Field Trip for the kids! I'll post pics. if it works out.
Well that wraps up our extras for MFW Farm Lessons. It also wraps up MFW Lessons for the rest of 2010! We're breaking from MFW for December. It was a great stopping point so it just worked out that way. We will use December for plenty of other learning opportunities!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Bookmark: I made this bookmark for my mom. Purple & horses are her favorite. I'm going to purchase a book for her and put the bookmark in it. I'm thinking of The Shack but not sure yet.
Fingerprint Ornaments: I made one for each set of parents. I got the idea from Girl and a Glue Gun and just turned it into a Christmas idea. :) I used Sculpey clay and play doh cutters the boys had. I also used my new Shimmerz Spritz! I wrote our names and year on the back of each with a Sharpie. It was pretty easy and I liked how they turned out.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I am enjoying my little paints so far and will be posting on them soon! Tomorrow I will be linking up to A Handmade Christmas in one of my present crafts I used Shimmerz!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
- 1+1+1=1 has a Fall Fun page filled with lots of cute downloads
- 1+1+1=1 also has a Thanksgiving Preschool Pack that I downloaded that is really neat!
- My Montessori Journey is filled with November activities! My boys have enjoyed lots of her ideas!
- Paper Glitter has a free Thanksgiving decoration download. It's really cute and I already used some of the print outs to decorate food I brought to my MOPS meeting.
- On Money Saving Mom quite a few bloggers put together a thanksgiving e-book that is free. I made the pumpkin dip recipe in there for MOPS as well and it was pretty good. My boys loved the leftovers when we got back from the meeting. I've also made the pumpkin rolls a few times and they are yummy.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
- Encouragement in my choice to teach at home was refreshing. (chapters 1 & 2)
- the "take extra time" paragraph on page 40 was convicting. She is so right about when I'm in a hurry I find myself doing things for my boys that they can do for themselves. She suggests adding on 15 minutes to give your child time to get ready in whatever ways he has mastered.
- "From the earliest days, give your child choices whenever you possibly can: 'Do you want to wear this red shirt or the blue one'?" ~ yeah I so did not do that whenever I first read this book. I am slowly working on that and getting much better at it!
- She suggest to demonstrate things in slow detailed movements when first teaching your child a skill. I got an absolute kick out of picturing one of us walking painfully slow to bring a bowl of cereal to the table!
- She had an interesting take on why we should make child size spaces for our toddlers/preschoolers that I enjoyed.
- One of her suggestions for developing concentration is coloring books. Many "mason advocates" blogs and writings I've read have scorned against these. However, Curtis brings up some points worth thinking about such as we are created in the image of a Creator - it would take more than a mountain of coloring books to stifle the creative impulse of a young child. They also help develop fine motor skills. My own personal opinion on coloring books is - if your child likes them and you have a great art curriculum you are doing who cares if he/she colors in their free time. Seriously, there are worse things!
Most of our trays have come from Chapters 4 and 5 in this book. I plan on doing some of the activities in the Geography chapter as well as the Fine Arts chapter. Chapters 6 - 8 & 11 I didn't find that great. However, I think the foundation of what is taught in this book as well as there are many great activities will make it worth your time and/or money!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Sewing Cards: eye-hand coordination, fine motor control, and development of concentration (both)
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
- Read this article for inspiration.
- Take out fall & winter clothes and put up summer clothes. During this time I take a mental note of everything we have and make a list of what everyone needs. We shop sales off season so one child may have winter boots and another doesn't based on what was available or able to be handed down. I put the list in my wallet (because I go back and forth between purses, bible study bags, library bags, diaper bags ... you get LoL). No matter what bag I'm using - I have my wallet with me so when I see a good deal/clearance/sale I can pull out my list, not double buy, and purchase with confidence.
- I better plan my routines, outings, and cleaning schedules. I do this more in the winter because that's when your inside more. So cleaning matters more to us. Some may find it as important year round. In the summer we just keep the home de-cluttered and picked up, there's no dusting and deep cleaning. However, when your inside all the time and it's too cold to open your windows cleanliness matters. :) I adapt FlyLady's ideas to fit our family during this time. She is awesome! I refresh my FlyLady memory and create new routines and schedules.
- I create a two week menu plan and shopping list so that when I know the weather is going to be rough for awhile I just pull out my two week shopping list and am ready to go!
- I print out my Holiday Control Journal. I used a Holiday Control Journal for the past 4 years and I think I will do so for a long time! It works perfect. I even created extra pages adjusted to our family to add.
- I keep all my papers divided and organized in a Control Journal. Here is an awesome post on building a home planner!
- Check our medicine stock. This is different for everyone as well. I'm big on trying/using the natural remedy first before using something man made. Whatever you choose for your family when a member "comes down" with something it can be costly if not prepared! I make a list of what's needed and buy one to two items once a week until our cabinet is restocked. I feel this makes it as easy on our budget as possible.
These are my basics that I find the most helpful and make sure I do every year. Hopefully something has helped you as well or at least inspired you in caring for your family. :)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Abbi @ Proverbs 31 Living is hosting a Handmade Christmas for the next few weeks. You can link up w/your own ideas or go to view others. She also shares her own thoughts and ideas. I think it's awesome! She is on week 2. Here is my link from week 1.
I think "handmade" puts a little something special in Christmas season. Especially when there are families you want to bless because they have meant so much to you. We just started this last year. I really liked the idea but had lots of conflicts when it came to making for family. Friends were easy to think for - bake! However, we have big families and though whom we actually buy for is a small list I wanted to make sure that what we made meant something, looked good, stayed in our budget, and wouldn't be tossed somewhere. So here is what we did last year:
Ornaments: The actual glass ornaments were only $1/each at A.C. Moore! Then we bought the ribbon and charms for about $5/all. The biggest expense was the special paper we needed. Which was this. If you decide to make these and buy that paper - make sure it is exactly that paper or it will not work. It needs to say print, apply, and transfer. For a total of $32 for 8 people ($4/person) plus tons of that paper left over for future projects or gifts!
Once we had all of our supplies together we picked out meaningful pictures for each person. Here are a few I found-
Left: my Grandma - a pic. of her with all her children in their younger years, the young man on the right has passed away a few years ago. this meant a lot to her as she didn't have any ornaments w/her children on them!
Well those are my ideas from last year ... working on this year's! We all really enjoyed it!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
You can climb haystacks plus play other farm games...
Feed their animals - which are llamas, goats, cows, horses, and chickens...
Monday, October 25, 2010
Painting Backgrounds: Gluing on the Beans:
This was a fun project that also is a good start for toddlers learning two - three step projects. We painted one day, then glued the next, and had to wait for them to dry.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Foundational Value: Eye-Hand Coordination;Development of Concentration; Gross Motor Coordination
Foundational Value: Cognitive and Fine Motor Skills
Matching & Sorting Cards: (Zack)
Foundational Value: Eye-Hand Coordination; Pincer Grasp
Workbook: (Chris) I wouldn't usually put a workbook on a tray but since we were not doing the curriculum for the month I gave Chris two workbooks that he did a page a day. He loves workbooks and even though he did have to complete them he did.
Foundational Value: Practical Living Skills; Eye-Hand Coordination
Foundational Value: Practical Living Skills; Eye-Hand Coordination; Development of Concentration; Fine Motor Control
I needed the tray break in order to get back on track after everything. I love making trays though and am considering some new ideas from some Montessori books I'm looking at! It feels good to feel back! :)
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Movie: I seen this movie in Redbox and checked it out to watch since one of the days suggest going to an aquarium and our closest one is 3 hours away. It was pretty good and something different since we don't watch TV or movies often. FYI: It did mention evolution quite a few times.
Books: We started out the week reading Exploring the Deep, Dark Sea by Gail Gibbons. It was a great introduction to the ocean and some of the creatures living there. The pic. is linked.
Other books we read this week were: The Amazing Octopus A Bobbie Kalman Book, Sharks by Gail Gibbons, and Whales by Gail Gibbons. They were all great books.
Map: Chris' first map. We talked about how the Earth is mainly water and the names of the main bodies of water.
In addition, we found some ocean color books and play sea creatures in the dollar section of Target.