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Friday, April 30, 2010

Relaxing day.... Week wrap-up

I am amazed how well our day went today.
I have been praying for some peace and some organization.
I am reading a book called Passionate Housewives Desperate
for God. ( A Vision Forum book) It has been a very good
read. I plan to post about it when I finish it up. I only
have two more chapters. I would really recommend this
book. It has put many misconceptions of the world and
from my own mind into correct order . Somethings were a
surprise to me and somethings I already knew
but needed
reminding. It has been a wonderful read when I have the
time to do so. It can be hard with a baby on hand. I
sometimes read in the dark of the night or nap time, but
I enjoy that time with God. Sometimes I start a passage
and reread it several times because someone needs
something or baby needs me. There were times I'd
begin one word and have to put it down. Yet it has
been worth the effort.

Our school week started misty just like the weather
and brightened with it. Today the children are
so eager to finish their studies. I particularly enjoyed
princess studies on water currents and ocean waves. Some
of it will be interesting to bring up again when we are
at the beach actually witnessing these things over the
summer months. Hopefully it will bring it home all the
more as we are wading through the currents of the sea.

Superboy zoomed right through his lesson and then
pauses on math each day. This used to be his favorite
Subject but because it requires writing it is like pulling
teeth out. As he gets farther along he needs to write
things out to solve the problem. Many times he takes
shortcuts and then has to redo his work to find the error.
I had hoped after the first few times that he would
realize that if he puts his work on paper finding his
error would be simpler to do.

Spirit has enjoyed his plant life lesson and his activities
with clouds. I will post some of them here next week.
His enthusiasm is contagious. The older children
gather around his activities and want to see only to
boast his spirit even more. Interestingly enough the
biggest hit was playing in a tub of cotton. Spirit had
the illusion of walking on a cloud. Even the oldest
had to try this out. It was awesome to hear their
comments. Telling Spirit he couldn't really stand on
a cloud because its made of air and water and how
his feet would feel wet if he could.

Sweet pea has made my load easier of late as she
tends to want her daddy a lot of the time. She
crawls to him and lays on his belly to fall asleep. I
sort of worry about when he does go back to work
how she will deal without him. I secretly wonder
how he will do without her too. They seem mesmerized
by one another. Which is a grand thing.

Heart is almost finished with school. Her and I took
our own photo shoot. Senior photos are sooo expensive.
It only cost us about $6. at walmart for 8X10s and
wallets. Time seems to be whirling around us. She plans
to take things slow just as I'd expect her to do. She
has always been a sit back and take a look at things
first sort of girl. She is looking more into her options and
working . Last night she went and put some applications
in for a job. My hope for her is the will of God. What
his will is, is what she will be. She has always
presented such strong leadership. I expect that wont
be able to hide to long.

Each of my children seems to be growing so quickly.
Princess made me a bracelet today out of yarn. I
remember many years ago when Heart was into
creating them too. I suspect that is where she
learned to make them. Our activities are all coming
To an end the month of May. I look forward to the
rush slowing down. Choir has already ended for
Princess. Scouts has 3 more meetings and Co-op
is finishing up for the year. I haven't decided
if we will continue with that group next year or go
back to our old group. I missed many of our friends
this year. I only went to this new one because of
location and finances. It just doesn't have the feel
of friendship as our other group. I can't explain it.
We will see. I won't decide now. We will rejoin
our friends at playground days.

Our church activities have been slowing as well.
Some of them have ended. I offered to teach 2
Sunday school lessons over the summer months
and I will lead music for our VBS. Little nervous
about that one . I prayed about this one for awhile.
I am not a singer by any means but wanted to do
something new. One night I awoke to all these musical
ideas to do with the children. I have no idea where they
came from and at our local curriculum fair I picked up
a box of instruments for only a few dollars. I am
sure God was on my side.

I leave you now as I have to get back to our day.
Sweet pea is napping and Spirit just was stung
by a wasp. I stopped typing mid to go and fix him
up. I am happy to report he is doing well. I worried
at first as his daddy is allergic to stings. Luckily
it seems Spirit is not. While all are playing I will
gather our supplies for some fun Science experiments.
Maybe I'll remember the camera to share them with
you. Have a lovely day and if you are near PA enjoy
the sunshine.




Thursday, April 29, 2010

Workbox Planning sheet


I am beginning to get the hang of setting up the workboxes.
The first week was a little hectic in the area of planning as far
as this mom goes. I am one that likes to jump headlong
into something. If it doesn't work then I change it as I go.
Finding eight things for Spirit to do each day was great for
him. He loves it but organizing that many ideas was a
little wavering for me. Then I decided to try creating a form
and so far this week that form has helped so much. It took
me some time on Saturday to find things for the boxes. I
thought it would be harder but really the boxes filled up
rather quickly. I have found the sheet very helpful when
restocking the boxes after the day is over. Using my chart
it takes little time at all. Any worksheets I may have
for him to use I put in a folder. Then the manipulative's
and crafts go in a basket on my desk. This had made
my week and planning so much simpler.

Let me explain to you how I am using the form
Starting on the left and working over. My
First row is the numbered folder. The second is a place
to write what skill is being learned. I didn't want to
be suck with only doing a certain amount of math or
language. I want it to be flexible. I have been thinking
of keeping one literature, one math and one calendar pocket
in the future. Then filling in as I go. The reason for the skill
even though I am being relaxed is more for myself so
that I can look back and say ohh we need to do more cutting
or we need to practice number recognition we haven't
done that for awhile. For me it helps to keep my thoughts
together. Then the last row is for the activity itself.


You can download my planning form Here.





Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Family Walking Challenge

Get out there and Get Moving!!!

You are invited to join us in our Family walking Challenge.
It seems to me that we have been sitting around quite a bit over
the winter months. It is time to dust ourselves off. To get out there
and start moving. Since Daddy's heart failure occurred in Oct.
I have begun to be more conscious of what we are eating. It
has been a slow process and always ongoing. My goal for the
summer months was to get my family out and moving along
with myself. To begin I decided a spring walk would be a great
way to start. (You can also use it for gym hours) I created
a Calendar that has walking goals for the month of May. Starting
out slow walking 10 minutes a day with rest days for your
muscles to heal and strengthen. By the end of May you will
be walking 30 minutes. On May 31 we will celebrate by
taking a longer walk on our local trails.

For each day we get out there and walk we will put a sticker
on the calendar.The rest days will also hold for those days it
is rainy or something comes up in our family schedule. This
way walking days can be moved a bit as family activities
or rain comes about. On May 31 the children will recieve
certificates stating their success and some new outdoor toys
to promote our Summer on the Move. You can download the
form the May Walking Challenge .

*note it is up to you if your children will recieve anything
For their work. The reward could just be the walking goal.

If you would like to participate in the walking Challenge
Leave a comment that you are participating. I would
love to hear from you if you decided to walk and if you
are enjoying the time with your family. If you post about
your challenge please link back to us.


Zoo book



Our unit on zoo animals is finally over. I could have touched on
several more animals but I could see that Spirit was ready for
another topic. My beginning intention was to create a lapbook
from the crafts and areas of learning but some of his projects
were larger than lapbook material so I decided to put them into
one big book. Here are a few of our pages. You will probably
recognize our crafts. These are my three favorite.


Beginning a little site word practice each page begins
This is a....
Some of the pages have pockets like the one above
so that Spirit can take a game out and play it again.


This lion is my favorite. This is a book we created
using the lion hunt song. We still do this activity over
and over. He loves acting things out.

You can check out all of are zoo crafts and activities
on my sidebar under preschool.






Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Name Game

I would love to share a photo of our activities while learning Spirits
name but need to keep our privacy. Today though I'd like to share
my name ideas. There are so many ways to practice a childs name.
Here are just a few of the ideas I have had lately. Many would
work for spelling as well.

*Writing practice- There is a website called Amazing
handwriting worksheets. You can visit them at
http://www.handwritingworksheets.com/
The awesome thing about this site is that you
can create writing sheets with whatever words you
are working on. In my sons case his name.

*Shaving Cream- Child writes his name in shaving cream.
You can spray it on a cookie sheet or directly onto the
table. Depending on the kind you buy you can really
create a clean smell in the house.

*Rainbow writing- On a large sheet of paper write
your childs name. Then provide them with a rainbow
of colors. Have them write their names over and
over your black writing to create their names in rainbow
colors.

*Bean writing- Write your childs name with
sharpie again really large on a piece of paper.
Then have your child glue beans, stickers, corn,
small pieces of tissue paper, yarn or pipe cleaners.
Really the list is endless be creative.

*Foot stomping fun- I got the idea to create foot
game with Phonics Fun from Jamin many moons ago.
Today I put out only the letters of Spirits name
and arranged them on the floor. He enjoyed leaping
from one letter to the other yelling out the spelling to
his name. This went on for some time as he rearranged
the letters and asked to do it again and again. I have
been meaning to create a similar set but with lily pads.

*1+1+1=1 had neat idea using tops of soda
bottles spelling out the names of the members in
the family. I have been saving my soda tops to play
this game. So far I have Spirits name now working on
another member of the families . He really enjoys
this game. You can visit her site by clicking the graphic
on my side bar.

* Letter cards- I also created letter cards with
his name on so he can find the letters from the
box of magnet letters that we have .

*Playdough mat-Type out your childs name on the computer
as large as you can. Laminate it and you child has a
name playdough mat.










Monday, April 26, 2010

Simple Women The Rainy Season







Today is...April 26, 2010 .

Outside My Window....

The rain is falling in buckets. Last night it was
Sort of spraying all over us after youth group. It
felt like someone had the hose on mist. It was very
odd. Today though there is no mistaking it, it is really
raining out there.

I am Thinking About.....
God, Every now and again I like to ask God if I am
doing the things he would like me to do. When I think
of the list of things I have given myself it can be overwhelming
and when I get to that point I need to say.. God what
is your want for me. I am over extending. I need to
find my way through with some prayer. I spent the morning
in prayer as I drove to an errand. I loved the peace
of the long prayer. Typically they are short because of
responsibilities. It was nice to really talk with God.

Health Care....

Daddy is to call the Dr. office about some
test results hoping all is well.

From the learning rooms...


Princess
Math- Finding Area, Perimeter, surface etc...
Literature- Learning to write a research paper
History- Roaring 20's
Science- Global warming

Superboy
Math- Adding and subtracting Fractions, Mixed numbers
and Improper fractions
Literature- Reading Sarah Plain and Tall
History- Learning about Germany
Science- Rock Hound

Spirit
Learning about Spring, Planting seeds and
Birds.

From our kitchen...
(Time for an easy week)
Monday- Steak Sandwiches and french fries
Tuesday- Sausage, peas and potatoes
Wednesday- Soup
Thursday- Subs and chips
Friday- Pizza
Weekend leftovers.

I am wearing...
Black jeans and blue shirt

I am creating...
photo memories

I am hearing....
Sweet pea fussing, going to get her...
Fed her and am completing this post.

Favorite things.....
Baby monitor

I am Thankful for..
Snuggles with sweet pea. Her giggles
are so adorable and her little face so soft.

Fun afternoon with Spirit completing his workbox.
I was amazed today at his desire to work with letters.
He loved the activities today. His joy is mine too.

Nice talk with Superboy. I love when he smiles
his crooked smile.

I am also Thankful for the all the books I picked
up at our local curriculum fair and library book sale.
Hope to hit the library sale once more when they
change it to a bag for a few dollars.


I am praying for...

Our VBS coordinator.

financial situations

Two friends who had corporal tunnel surgery



Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week


Monday- School, Superboy testing
Tuesday- School, testing
Wednesday- School, Choir , testing
Thursday- School, Cubscouts , last day of testing
Friday-School , J-train
Saturday- Family day
Sunday- Church, Path youth


Photo I'd like to share.....
Hearts Senior photo.








Thursday, April 22, 2010

Snakes Alive!!


Along with our zoo unit we had to visit the snake. I hope
to do a little more of this later. Spirit really enjoyed
the snake activities. Our favorite activity was this
snake game I created by purchasing plastic snakes
at the dollar store. Using our number cards we choose
a card and counted out that many snakes.

 
Our Alphabet snake comes from Kidzclub.com which is copyrighted
so I can't share but you might be able to go and find it there. I
was surprised that Spirit had such an easy time completing
this task. You begin by cutting out the circle letters. Some of the
letters are already on the snake. You have to paste in the letters
that come next. I precut the circles for Spirit as it was a tad
time consuming.

We also played with our playdough and learned how to roll and
create snakes to put in the grass. This also worked well one day
with our counting cards above. A friend had sent out this
sheet in a yahoo group. I printed it and put it into a page
protector so I could keep the sheet clean.


Last but not least Spirit created this craft from craft foam.
I precut the snake for him. Then he stuck on the foam shapes.
These shapes are cut from sticker foam. I had used the sheets
For something else at one time and the foam that was left
over I cut into shapes and put into a ziplock baggie not knowing
what to use them for. I still have many shapes so this is the first of
many uses I am sure.









Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cultivating the life God desires...


holy experience

We are in our rainy season here. One day it is really warm
a tease of what is to come and the next chilly and wet.
I take each of those warm days and enjoy them to the fullest.
I can barely contain the hope of the warm sun.

We have finished our zoo unit and are
now working on Spring, planting and signs of spring.
(I will continue to post zoo items till I have shared them all)

This time of year makes me somewhat restless. I am getting
geared up for a new school year in the fall. Which requires
searching the school sites, organizing plans and purchasing
supplies and books. Everything seems to be opening into
something brand new. As each day goes, rains and then
the Sunshine's, I open my eyes to the awe inspiring sights
that are opening forth for all to see. Those things that were
in hiding during the winter months. Things that we not
only hide visually but the hiding in my(our) heart. Winter seems
to be an easy time to grab your comforter up over yourself
and give into your fears. It is easier to ignore stirrings of
your heart if you are not ever careful.

It is time to open up and stop hiding those things. Stop hiding the
used up candy paper behind the sofa. Time to dust off the cobwebs
in the corner that you never can reach. Time to wash the windows
so you are able to open them and peer out into the vast beauty God
has created. Time to push off that comforter and dust
off those pants/skirts and clean up. Clean up the inside and
the outside. Accepting what you have been hiding in your
hearts those winter months and letting it go. Feeling lighter
and freer then ever before. Knowing that if all along you
had done so instead of hiding then life would have felt
brighter , more cheerful. Renew in your heart what you
know is good and right. Sit in the quiet of the day and
watch and listen. Breathing in natures beauty. Close your
eyes and listen to the song of the song bird. Let it
float you up to God and touch his hand.


Each new life stirring to be heard and viewed. Open you heart
to new things, to new life, and to new understanding. Dust
out the sin, pray and repent. Clean out the cobwebs and feel
lighter and new again. Just as spring blooms forth. God is so
Good, Awe inspiring and awesome.

Signs of Spring have touched our door. Have helped to
empty my soul in servitude. Birds building their nests,
Our first big fish to fry for dinner. Trees budding, flowers
blooming and the smell of cut grass. Drink it all in. Hear
the brooks and Let it go. Let it with God. He can handle all.





Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monkeys and Kangaroos...

We read many books about monkeys. How they live, what they
eat. We even had an old movie around here on monkeys. Superboy
has several animal movies. He loves animals and whenever I see one
out and about I pick it up for him. Last year I found a great 3 series
CD on birds. He has played that over and over again. He often tells
me little facts about animals. Anyway this game above
is a clothes pin game. The child counts the numbers of
monkey and clips the clothes pin on the number. (you could
really use any marker) This game was created by me
and is in my file for share under zoo on my side bar.
This monkey we created above hanging on a straw. I'd
love to tell you there is a pattern but I just drew him by hand.
We took number cards and then counted out how many
times the monkey could swing around his branch. (straw)
We had bananas for lunch.


For Kangaroo we created this pocket kanga fromwww.daniellesplace.com You have to have a membership
to download the items on the site. We did the bible lesson
that went with it. I intended to keep his bible verse in the
pocket but if you look close you can see he glued his
pocket on upside down. I really love Danielles place
I have used this site over and over again for activities
at home and at our church.







Monday, April 19, 2010

Simple Women's Daybook



Today is...April 19, 2010 .

Outside My Window....

It is a lovely day out again. The sun is shining. You
should have a jacket if you go out but it is very
confortable. A nice day for some yard work or a walk.

I am Thinking About.....

The show the SuperNanny. I love to watch those type
of reality shows The nannys and wife swaps. Its interesting
to me to see into other people lives. I can see most of
the time why families have so much difficulty. Typically it
is lack of time, lack of interest, and lack of consistancy.
I honestly think that parents and wifes should take courses
to help them be better at both things. These are the two
hardest jobs that I can think of for women and no one tells
us exactly how to do them. If you don't have a mother that
is a good role model then you are guessing your way through.
It would be so much better to have a older figure in a
young womans life to help them with these things. Our
society is lacking in so many areas. I am glad I had good
models in my mom and my grandmother.

Health Care....

Today Daddy had to go and get his medicine again. It is
always such an ordeal. He has to call the Dr. office.
read all the labels to them, wait for them to be ordered,
and then pick them up at walmart. He can not have his
meds immediately refilled. It is such a pain.

Update on Sweet pea.... She is doing much better.
She is finally eating well and beginning to play a little bit.
She is still a little fussy.

From the learning rooms...


Princess
Math- Finding Area, Perimeter etc...
Literature- Learning to write a research paper
History- Roaring 20's
Science- Global warming

Superboy
Math- Adding and subtracing Fractions, Mixed numbers
and Improper fractions
Literature- Reading Sarah Plain and Tall
History- Learning about Germany
Science- Rock Hound

Spirit
Learning about Spring, Planting seeds and
Birds.

From our kitchen...
Monday- Lemon Pepper chicken and baked potatoes
Tuesday- Gilled cheese and tomato soup
Wednesday- Chili and corn bread
Thursday- Subs and chips
Friday- Meatloaf
Weekend leftovers.

I am wearing...
Jeans and teal blue shirt

I am creating...
Nothing at the moment

I am hearing....
Sweet pea cooing

Favorite things.....
Iced cold drink

I am Thankful for..

Sweet pea feeling better. Praying this is the
last illness for the warm weather.

Medical insuarance

Warm weather

Tulips and daffadiles

Spring




I am praying for...

Our VBS coordinator.

financial situations




Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week


Monday- School
Tuesday- School
Wednesday- School, Choir ( I think this is our
last Choir for the year)
Thursday- School, Cubscouts
Friday-School
Saturday- Book fair at our library.
Sunday- Church, Path youth


Photo I'd like to share.....
My dad and Sweet pea at Easter.









Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Tall Neck Giraffe





As part of our zoo unit Spirit learned all about the giraffe.
We visited the San Diego Zoo right in our living room. We
loved looking at all of the giraffes online and enjoyed live
webcams. We created the above giraffe from Busy Bee Crafts
I especially liked that the head of the giraffe is the
outline of Spirits shoe.



Using the fun facts from the San Diego Zoo website
I created this measuring assignment.
The older children enjoyed it just as much as the younger.

Here are the facts I used the photo above is a tad blurry.
A giraffe's feet are the size of a dinner plate—12 inches across
A giraffe's tongue is 18 to 20 inches
His tail can be 8 feet long

We took each of these sizes and measured them with yarn.
Then taped them to the back of our giraffe card labeling
each at the bottom of the card. You can download our
giraffe card in our file4share on the side bar under zoo.

More zoo animals to come.






Friday, April 16, 2010

Productivity with a sick child... Not happening.

I wish I could say today was a really productive day but
I have not had one of those for several days now. You see
Sweet Pea is sick and when baby is sick all you get done
is tending baby. Which is as it should be. My eyes
right now are soo tired and burning. I have barely slept
in days and instead of getting better last night seemed
to be the worst. I did take her to the Doctor yesterday
only to find out she has a Viral infection. I do not like
when the children are told that they have a Viral because
that means no help, no meds and just wait. My mommy
heart wants to do more for them then just watch them
suffer though. For the last several days Sweet Pea has barely
eaten anything. The Doctor has her on Pedialyte and cereal
till her appetite picks up. I have found that she is actually
favoring it over her formula. She is beginning to eat more
but is very very fussy. When she lays down her little
nose stuffs up so badly that she just moans. She is so
tired but can not sleep. Last night I helped her sitting up
on the sofa the entire night just so she could rest because
as soon as her head hit the bed she would stuff up
so badly and then could not sleep. I try suctioning her
nose out for her but that isn't helping much either.
She did sneeze a few great big sneezes this morning
which seemed to do the job mom could not get.

Daddy headed off this morning for a bit of fishing while I tended
baby and the children worked on assignments. The house looks
like a tornado went through. When she is happy for
brief moments I run around picking up like I've lost
my mine. Daddy came back just a bit ago and is giving
me a little break . I though I'd take a moment and just type this all
out. Then I will begin picking up more of the mess despite being
tired. I know what needs done. I would not be able to rest
even if I could knowing things needed taken care of.

We will see how far I get before Daddy needs me to help
him. I have a feeling I won't get very far. I hear her already.






Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sick in Bed again....

Little Sweet Pea is sick again. I think this year so far
we have taken turns being sick. Daddy seems to be sniffling
as well. I feel all I have been getting done is wiping noses
and disinfecting. Each time after someone is sick I go through
the regimen of disinfecting everything including toys and
blankets. It takes some time to complete and with the
row of illness around here it seems I am in constant clean
mode. At least today her fever seems less and she has
been playing for a little while this morning. I still may
call the doctor. I am undecide on that .

I hated to do it but this morning I had to run for a few
things form the grocery store. Typically I stay way
ahead of the game as far as shopping goes. I buy
what I need for two weeks. Then if I go for a few odds
and ends I may shop again instead of making another trip.
Today I needed water for baby, diapers and baby food.
I went through our supplies and while I was out restocked
a few things. No point wasting a store trip.

While I was gone Daddy helped hold down the house. I
assigned each of the children some work and was
even surprised that Spirit and Daddy had gone through
his workbox while I was gone. I have to say I am
really loving this system and am pretty sure Superboy
will use it in the fall too. He needs the organization that
it will give him and I believe this will help him move more
smoothly from task to task. Time will tell.

I have so much to get done today with Sweet pea
being sick besides tending to her. She is taking a
nap as I type this. It is difficult to get anything done
when she is awake but even more so when she is
asleep because then I am afraid that the noise will wake
her. I suppose I better get off of here today and start
getting things straighted up as best as I can. Daddy
decided to grill tonite so most of the cooking has gone
his direction. He is the only man I know that loves to
cook. I am so lucky to have that. I know most moms
don't get that cooking break like I do as often as I do.

Before I go I will leave you with our hope. Yesterday
my brother in law stopped and told Daddy that his
boss asked about him today. Work has picked up in the
mill and they are running a week behind. We are hoping
that Daddy will be called back any day now for work
as the doctors have released him quite awhile ago. We
do not know what is in the minds of his bosses we can
only wait, hope and pray.

I hope that this post finds your family well today.







Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Elephants



On our zoo journey we stopped off to visit the elephant.
I picked this book up at our local library and it is so
adorable. The baby elephant is having trouble adapting
to life as an elephant. His truck is so new to him and hard
to handle. He struggles and then begins to watch the adults
to learn how to use it to his advantage. He drinks with it,
he eats with it, cools himself, keeps from getting lost,
and snorkels as he swims. This was such an enjoyable book
and Spirit was able to act out the scenes and uses for the
elephants trunk

Suggested activity.. Have your child put a tube sock
on their hand and pick up peanuts as if it is an
elephants trunk.


This worksheet is always fun to do. I found the blank
sheet for
Elephant Bingo at PreK printables. I added
the numbers with sharpie that Spirit is beginning
to learn. The spinners I found in a pack of 6 at my local
dollar store. I wrote on the colors the numbers 1-5 just
like on the bingo sheet. You can really put anything on
these. This way Spirit could play alone. If he landed
on a 4. He would color the 4 elephant the color of his
four.


I found this cute shape elephant at First School.
Spirit did have a little trouble putting him together.
I modeled it a few times and then we glued him together.








Monday, April 12, 2010

Workbox System


Last year I came across Sue Patrick's workbox
system. It sounded like a great idea to me and so I
bookmarked her site with every intention of trying it out.
Time went on and things seemed to be working as they
were, but lately I have found that I have less time with an
8 month old running around. Sweet pea is into everything
these day. She has been pulling herself up to the sofa,
wobbling and falling over. I have to keep my eyes peeled
for what she might get into next. Princess seems to be able
to work independently well with her schedules and checklists.
Superboy struggles to work alone. He is still always by my side
and Spirit wants more and more school work it's hard to
keep up with him some days. So I decided maybe now was
the time to try the workbox system. The workbox system
is a organizational tool in helping children work more
independently with their lessons. It also helps to create
a smooth atmosphere from one activity to the next.
Your child knows how much and what to do with supervision
from mom or some explanation from the parent. I
decided to first try this with Spirit since he is the youngest
and ever eager for more. Yet at times my hands are
tied with helping the older children and Sweet pea. This
system would allow him to find activities on his own.
You can find more information on the workbox system
at Sue Patricks site or you can peruse the sites
that I located on my search.

Sue Patrick’s

Home school shares workbox forum

Squidoo Workboxes

Workbox Idea blog

Workbox tags

Homeschool Creations

I personally do not have the space for large storage containers
in my home. So I decided to go with a smaller system. I
bought a simple crate file folder storage box from walmart
I believe it was about $6. and the hanging laminated files
6 for $3. Ours is a simpler system since we are working
with a 4 year old. Once I give this a try for a bit with Spirit
I may add the other students in the fall. (possibly only
Superboy I don't want to frustrate Princess with something
new. She has been working so smoothly through her lessons)
I decided to start with 8 folders and if that still is not enough
I will add 2 more to the box . I had room in the back of his box
for his latest library books. I nice safe place to keep them until
their return. Most of my games I have are already in file folder form
or in Ziploc baggies. If there is something I want to put in
that is to large for the box. I have been sitting it beside the box
with a number attached to it. Here is the inside of our box
all set for a day of learning.

I believe for that day we had ...
1. A baggie of links
2. elephant story with ABC cards
3. Shape elephant
4.Name game
5. Elephant color bingo
6. Elephant coloring page
7. Lacing cards
8. word book

Today he has -
1. Animal matching lotto
2. Name game and writing sheet
3. Snake book and ABC cards
4. Snake counting game
5. ABC snack and cutting practice
6. Snake S writing sheet and snake decorating
7. Activity bag of matching
8. snack in the grass play dough mat

Our first day with the elephants Spirit did the entire
box in less than an hour. He was so excited about
it and more so excited about the number system on the
front of the box, probably because it had to do with
transportation. Today with his lesson on snakes he
was a little preoccupied and so far has only completed 3.
That is ok with me since he is only a preschooler. I
am not forcing boxes on him. He may even come back
and finish them later today. You never know. I like
that he can accomplish them at leisure and honestly
its even ok if he doesn't complete them at all. It is for
those days he wants an activity to do. Now if I decided to
do this with my older students they will need to complete
the boxes.

Now his tag system is also not as detailed as Sue Patrick's
but then he is only 4. I decided to go with a simple number
system. I copied 8 square sheet that I use often for patterning
from my files. It will appear later this week in my file for
share under patterns on my side bar. I actually cut out two
so I could cut the shape of the craft foam the size of the
square. I cut colored craft foam squares for each and had
transportation foam stickers that I added to the tags. Then
wrote the numbers with Sharpie. I didn't use Velcro as
some do. I found a type of sticky tack at our local dollar
store and that seem to be working great. Spirit can handle
it just fine and you can see all of the number without
the ugly Velcro.


When he comes to a folder his number card is sticky tacked
to the folder. When he completes the activity he replaces the
items and pulls the foam card from the folder and places
it onto the front card. When his card on the front of the
box is complete then he is finished with his lessons.


I have to say that I am really enjoying this system. I am using
more of my sources than I usually get around to and
Spirit has activity to do when I am working one on
one with my other children. I can also sort of space it out
so that I can work with one child while the other is
doing one on one work. I also love how visual it is in
organizing their goals for the day.










Simple Womens daybook



Today is...April 12, 2010 .



Outside My Window....

The sun is shining again. We will enjoy this since

tomorrow it is supposed to drizzle on us . Spring
is in full swing here in Pennsylvania. I can say
that I am enjoying its beauty. I am always amazed about
how quickly the trees bloom into full green waves.

I am Thinking About.....

The workbox system by Sue Patrick. I decided to give it
a try and today was our first day. I am trying it out with
Spirit only. If all goes well I may do it with Superboy
in the fall to help him become more self efficient. I think it
would do a lot for his self esteem. It is very easy to set up.

Health Care....

I can finally post that all is well here. Everyones health
issues seem to be stable at the moment

From the learning rooms...


Princess
Math- Finding Area, Perimeter etc...
Literature- Learning to write a research paper
History- Review of all we have learned so far
this year.
Science- Global warming

Superboy
Math- Fractions
Literature- Imaginary lands
History- Civil war
Science- Electricty
Creating a notebook of all our fun experiments

Spirit
Still working on zoo. There were lots of
fun fishing trips last week and Spirit had a
wonderful time.

From our kitchen...
Monday- Hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill.
Tuesday- Left overs (had a big ham dinner
over the weekend plus food from yesterday)
Wednesday- Spaghetti and garlic bread
Thursday- pork chops, peas and baked potatoes
Friday- Meatloaf
Weekend leftovers.

I am wearing...
Jean Capris and black shirt shirt

I am creating...
Snake Crafts for spirits zoo lesson tomorrow

I am hearing....
Boys wrestling

Favorite things.....
Sharpies

I am Thankful for..

All that I completed today. It was one of
those homeschool days where you say Yes.. that is
why I do this.

Warm blankets on cool nights

Grilling season

Happy children, last week they were not
so happy. Today it seems they have jumped out
of their bad moods.



I am praying for...

Our VBS coordinator.

financial situations

A dear friend going in for some medical and Praying
it is not more than first glance.
(good news it wasnt more and she is doing fine)



Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week


Monday- School, Co-op
Tuesday- School
Wednesday- School, Choir
Thursday- School, Cubscouts
Friday-School
Saturday- YHSA curriculum fair
I can't get to our big convention but am excited
about digging into our neighborhood curriculum.
Sunday- Church, Path youth


Photo I'd like to share.....
My grandbaby , I love how he sleeps with his arms
in the air with not a care in the world.




Thursday, April 8, 2010

Meltdown...

This morning started out terribly. Daddy woke up
frustrated. Then found out he lost his bank card.
(Luckily it was resolved later. It was at the bank)
Sweet pea has been cutting two new teeth and is
very fussy and then Spirit threw a major melt down,
all before 7:30 am.

Spirits meltdown came about because he woke up
came downstairs and dumped all of his farm set onto
the floor. Not a problem right? Until I notice these
little eyes and hands coming the direction of the tiny
pieces.


Up until now this has not been an issue at all.
Most of the toys he has are large enough for little hands
and mouths. His farm set though was another story.
There are tiny men, tools, hay bales and animals. To
tiny for little ones. I tried to talk to Spirit but he already
had it set in his head that this was the end of the
farm world. I tried to give him a choice but again the
farm world was endanger and he wanted to protect it.
Despite my careful approach with honestly isn't always
the case but this morning I took care. I allowed him
to cry and be upset but it seemed to be going over
the top . I decided he needed help to control his emotions.
My next step was time out. Once he had calmed down
I didn't talk to him about it right away. I had him
pick up the farm for now and then allowed him to do
something else. I could see he was still not ready to
listen. Later when he was ready to listen I went to him.

Its hard being a big brother.

Nods head.

But with being a big brother your job is to protect
your sister. I want to give you a mission to keep her
safe. Would you like that?

Yes.

Now I have a secret tool here that will help to keep
her safe. I hand him a toilet tube. I tell him anything
that fits through this tube is not ok for you sister.
She could get hurt on something that falls through that
hole. You can take the tube and test some of your toys
if you like.

We spend some time testing out different toys.

Then I tell him. If the toy goes through the tube you
have to play with it upstairs or on the table . Those are
places that she can not get to . Only big boys like
you can play in these place. Think you can do that.

Yes.. (He seems to like this idea)

In hindsight I should have had this discussion sooner.
It may have gone more smoothly if I had had the plan
already in place but sometimes moms forgot about these
things and assume our little ones already know what to
do. I thought I'd share today about the toilet tube. It's
a simple concept I learned working in a daycare center
many years ago and still really works for adults as well.

If its stuck let them pluck
if it falls its not time to play at all.



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Answering Literature Questions.....

I have been working on getting both of my children to learn
how to get their thoughts across when answering essay questions
or questions pertaining to their literature assignments.
Much of the time I have been getting very vague answers.
Such as He is nice or they played or even one word ... round.

Probably because writing for both of them is very difficult.
It is difficult for Princess because of her dyslexia. It is hard
for her to transcribe her thoughts to the paper. She can
tell you the answer but writing it down can be a
challenge. Sometimes it comes out sort of jumbled. Superboy has
trouble because he plain isn't a fan of writing. His writing
skills are very crude for a 4th grader. All year I have been working
on his reading level and have that about up to his grade
but in working so hard on that I seemed to have neglected
his writing skills. There is no time like the present to get started.


Each of my children has a spiral notebook called their reading
notebook. There are times they are allowed to write a
sentence or two pertaining to a story they have read with
a picture to go with it and then there are other times
that I require them to write out answers to questions about
the story. I do not accept... He is nice at 4th and 7th grade.
I am not trying squash creativity only to help get their thoughts
out onto paper in an orderly manor. In a way that both of them
can handle. They need clear concise rules and this state.

Here is a basic example from a story most of you probably
have heard before.

What was the animal that Noah sent out to see if there
was land?

Sentence structure for both children isn't very clear. I would
not allow just Dove as the answer even though this is
the answer . I typically do a few of the questions with the
child to make sure they remember what I require.
I want them to write in complete sentences to work on their
structure. Then I ask them.....

1. What is the question asking?

If the question is long as most of Princess' are more
elaborate and thought provoking. There are times she
reads to quickly and doesn't really understand what is
being asked. So taking a time to pause and really think
about what the question is asking ensures that you correctly
answer the question. To help with this I have them do
the next step which is.....

2. Restate the question.

This is a hard one for Superboy only because he just
wants to get it done. He doesn't want to take the time
to write out his answer in this way but I insist that he
does at this point until his sentence structure improves.
Most times he only has a subject or only a predicate. There
are times I would need to assist. We often do these while
I type them onto the PC and he verbally tells me what to
type. Later these sentences are used as copy work.

Hopefully both children would come up with....

Noah sent out a______ to see if there was land.

If they can not think of the restating part I often assist
allowing them to fill in the blank.

3. Answer the question.

Now it is time to answer the question. Fill in the blank.

Noah sent out a Dove to see if there was dry land.

4. Look back

Last reread the question and make sure you have
answered all that the question is asking. This works
Great for Princess who often forgets what a large, multi
question might be asking. She may need to go back
and add to it or add another sentence restating and
answering.

5. Check.

Check spelling, punctuation and capital letters.


Ask
Restate
Answer
Look back
Check



This is done for the matter of fact type questions. This
is not done for creativity or during the times I ask for their
opinion. This is done solely to enhance their writing skills
and transcribe in complete sentences using their full thought.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter at our House.

We had a lovely Easter Break. Each year my dad has activities
that he takes us all to for his work. The children get to make
a little craft , sit with the bunny for photos and then hunt eggs.

Toward the back we have Hearts boyfriend, Heart, the bunny and
Princess in black. Toward the front is Superboy in green,
Pappy , sweet pea and Spirit. Its funny because all the children
on the left hand side wanted and enjoyed the photo
and the children on the right hand side were not so sure.

This is my sweet girl in her adorable dress bought by her
Grammy. After the activities the entire family, including
my parents and my brother from North Carolina went
for lunch at a local restaurant. (This was Good Friday)


Spirit won a special chocolate bunny during the party.
He is all smiles about this.


We then went back to my grandmas. The children's
Great grandmas and talked. The children played outside
Heart snapped some photos. Later in the evening we
attended church services and I set up for our annual
church egg hunt.



I have no photos of the church egg hunt. This was
pretty busy for me. The photo above is from the egg hunt
on Friday. I had 51 children in attendance plus their parents.
Each child had a basket full of plastic eggs. When
the kids emptied them all they had a half gallon bag
full of goodies. There were 2,500 eggs filled for the
event. After that I took a flower for grandma to grandpas
grave. Then we headed to Daddy's fathers for Easter
dinner. The house was full of children and we enjoyed
each other for hours. Tomgirl came with her little
one. I was in heaven with two little babies on my lap.





It was an enjoyable holiday with lots of smiles.




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Rejoice in the Lord Always.