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Monday, October 31, 2011

The leaves are Falling.





Concept Basket:

This week the basket was full
of fall leaves. This was a completely
new activity for Princess. She loved throwing
the leaves and swimming in them on the carpet.


Art:
Princess played with Crayola Modeling clay.
We read the story of the Tower of Babel from our
Beginners bible and then created these dough towers.
(Sorry for the blurry photo)


Songs and Fingers plays:


2 Little Blackbirds

Two little Blackbirds (Hold up two fingers)
Sitting on a wall.
One named Peter(hold up one finger)
one named Paul (hold up two fingers)

Fly away Peter (finger behind back)
Fly away paul (finger behind back)
Come back Peter (Finger out)
Come back Paul (Finger Out)

Pumpkin Faces:

Here is a Pumpkin who is happy
Here is a pumpkin who cries
Here is a pumpkin who is sleepy
Here is a pumpkin who sighs
Here is a pumpkin who is angry
Here is a pumpkin who is noisy
Here is a pumkin whos Glad

(Frame face in hands and it becomes a pumpkin smile)


Favorite Book this week:

Her Beginner Bible. I thought she might be to young
for it just yet but she loved looking at the pictures.

Beginner Bible



Warm Blessings,
Nikki



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Power Outages

We are dealing with power outages here in our area.
We have had an unusual snow storm. For our area we
don't normally have snow yet. In fact we hit a record.
The autumn leaves usually fall before we have snow.
It's strange to see the leaves caked in it.

We lost power on Saturday evening at 5:00 pm. It came
back on at 3:30 am. Just as we were all beginning to
celebrate the warmth. The power went back off at 7:30 am.
We did not attend church as no one could take showers.
We did by 10 did the ice off the car and headed out for
some breakfast. The restaurant was so packed we had to
wait in line to eat at a little diner. We came back home
to still no power. At 2 I reached mom and dad again
we had gone to breakfast with them and went to their
house for showers and to warm up. By 4 Dad said the
power was on and we could come home. I am so exhausted
I am going to be early. I am hoping this isn't and
indication of what our winter is going to be like.

Stay Warm,

Nikki

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Letting Go




Today I just want to talk.
It can be so difficult raising children. On the day
of their birth you are suddenly full of joy, fear and love.
Emotions I can't even describe in words. You follow
them as they grow . Worrying over their every move.
Worrying about each situation and how it will affect them.
Then one day you blink and they are grown up and fighting
for their Independence. I know this is how it is supposed to
be but it doesn't make it any easier to see/ be a part of.
You know that they have earned this and you have
earned the joy of seeing them fly.

It doesn't make it easier to deal with. I have always
been a mom involved. One who knew where her kids
were at all times. They surrounded me. I enjoyed every
second of it. Now Heart is ready to grow and move on.
It's what all my work was for but I'll miss it, Miss her
so terrible. I know she will still be here but much less
and that makes it difficult. I have four more children to
go through this with. I doubt it will get easier as they
leave the nest. I have talked about this before I know.
It is heavy on my heart at times. It's strange to have this
feeling and have a toddler. I busy myself with that and
hopes for all of them right down to the smallest.

I know this is why God put me here which makes
me wonder all the more if I am choosing successfully
for them. I suppose we all question ourselves and
this feeling will pass over tomorrow and return on
occasion. It is time to find my new role as a mom.
of an adult child. New territory indeed.


Warm Blessings,
Nikki

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Book Look

As I am creating this post. It is snowing outside like crazy.
I really don't remember a time that we had snow this early.
I remember snow on Thanksgiving but not the end of Oct.
Our power seems to go in and out. Luckily it has come back
on so far. I'd like to share a list of some of the Halloween
books that we read this year. Some have become a tradition.

Big Pumpkin is a story of a witch who grows a pumpkin
in the hopes of making pumpkin pie but the pumpkin
grows to big for her to move. In her struggles her friends

come along and try to help her move the pumpkin.
None of them are successful. Smallest and last of all comes
the bat. You will have to see for yourself if the bat can help to get
the pumpkin inside to make pumpkin pie.
You can peek at Big Pumpkin By Erica Silverman
at Amazon or try looking searching U tube.

Bat Jamboree is a musical style rhyming/counting book.
Each year the bats gather together for a special musical.
The book is not Halloween related but the kids tend to
pull it off the shelf at this time of year.
Bat-Jamboree-Kathi-Appelt




Corduroy's Halloween is a cute story for the young preschool.
Lift the flap books are always fun. It's a surprise to see what



Is underneath the pumpkin or under the halloween costumes.
I love that the characters trick or treat for unicef.


Corduroys Halloween Lift a Flap book






This book I found at our local Library. It is a cute book
of children who's imagination runs wild. A little boy and
girl are to go get milk from town and something in the tree
frightens them. See if you can guess what it is.

Ghost Eye Tree









I love Gail Gibbons books and this one is no different.
It illustrates all the Halloween is and talks about how
some traditions came to be. Good for an introduction
of what Halloween is to a elementary child.


Halloween is by Gail Gibbons











I have check this book out of our local library several times.
It is a group of 13 newberry award writers telling short stories
all in one book. Makes for a fun read aloud.






Pumpkin Hill is a fun story about a farmer who
plants pumpkins and no one picks them. They
grow and grow till they take over the town. What
will they do with so many pumpkins.


Pumpkin Hill






Charlie likes School. His teacher uses a pumpkin
to teach his class about math. Gave this mom
some ideas when we open our pumpkin.


How many Pumpkin seeds






Happy Hallow Reading.
Nikki






















Thursday, October 27, 2011

Monsters, Comics and Things that Move.

* I finally got around to creating a picture top for my middle
School boys posts. Not sure I like the lettering . I may change it
somewhat. For now its there.



Do you know that I have tried and tried to find something
to motivate my son to read and to write. It is something
that he doesn't enjoy, which is words I have heard from
many a home school mom with a boy this age. I can not
remember a time that he liked reading and writing. I
still don't think he will be rushing to write but I did find
something that he enjoys. When the boy enjoys something
then it becomes worthy of working upon. Boys are Left
or right you know. They either like it or they don't and if
they don't you will have to force the effort from them.
It seems there is no middle in a middle school boy.

This day however we came upon a lesson on poetry.
Thinking I'd hear a huge groan but did not. Perhaps
I am thinking its because the reading is less intense.
Although the understanding can be more intense depending
on what you are reading but we won't tell him that.

This day our assignment was to create a poem that had
alliteration and onomatopoeia. Alliteration is to create
words with music or rhyme. Now tell me what middler
does not like music at this age. Perfect . Onomatopoeia is
a word that imitates sound. Now this is a wonderfully
fun thing for a boy to use words that make sound.
Boom, Ching, Squack, ding, peep etc..

Of course as the boy writes this his mind is on monsters
and mayhem. Perhaps you know that my "Superboy" is
of the comic book family. His actions are motivated by
them. At times I think he came from toon parents. We
frequent the local comic store as comics are the
only material he will read on his own. He is also somehow
able to find a comic book in our local library each
time we go. I'd say even more than one a stack. Well he is
reading so I do not complain. Recently he went to a
special art class on how to draw cartoons at our new
favorite comic store Planet X Comics. This store is awesome
and has a real way with kids. So know that creating
monsters or writing and drawing silly characters is right
up his alley. I was able to let my Boy be himself without
giving him that Oh brother this is strange look. He could
be as strange as he liked and came out the best in
his class. I'm not saying that because I'm his mom. Not
at all . Really. Anyway here is the poem he came up
with . Course we had to create the art to go with it
or it wouldn't be Superboys.

In case you can't read it.

At the dead of night
A mummy comes to fright (Yeah rhyming words)
In the mummy tomb.


Something happens to you
over Halloween night
The growling of Gross (Alliteration and onomatopoeia)
Roar comes!!

Not Shakespere but good just the same. I love
The Growling of Gross
Roar comes.
That phrase could go anywhere.
More comics and writing to come. I think I'm
on to something. Perhaps I can make this new
found love stick and perhaps not.


Warm Blessings,
Nikki



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stellaluna


Last Year in Pre School we did a few activities with Bats
and the Story Stellaluna. Spirit loved the story but was
ready for a different level of learning. Here is what
we did last year Stelluna Batty Cup.
We made these brown paper bag Bats and acted out the story.
They were more fun to just fly around the room.



We worked on our rhyming words by using the word family at.
He did wonderfully with writing and reading the word list.
He was proud to read it to every member of the family.







For his reading journal we created this writing
assignment. He filled in the site words and his
bat word. We also created a diagram of things
that are different about bats and birds and things
that are alike. He easily gave ideas. Some I hadn't
thought of.









We Created some fun toilet tube bats to hang in our
kitchen for the upcoming Halloween holiday.






Happy Halloween,
Nikki










Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Fun





Concept Basket:

This weeks concept basket was a fall felt board.
Sweet pea enjoyed this activity . I plan to leave it
for next week along with some fall leaves.




Here are some Scenes we created. We counted leaves,
Squrrels and pumpkins . We practiced saying their names.


Art:I have found that Art works best along with her brother. At times
I have to modify things but her part worked great.

I put together her face, hat and shirt. She added the straw
and loved every second of the gluing experience.
Can you tell which is hers. He is almost glowing.





Word plays and songs:

Instead of our normal finger play songs I pulled out a
old Cassette I had called bean bag activities and
coordination skills. Both Her and Spirit enjoyed
playing the games with the bean bags. Spirit
enjoyed the fast paced passing games and Sweet
pea liked the tossing the bean bag up song.

You can find the Bean bag Activities at Amazon.






Favorite book this week:
Is the Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons.
Sweet pea enjoyed the pictures and naming the pumpkins
Really a wonderful book full of color. Great attention
pictures for a toddler.





Warm Fall Blessings,
Nikki
Sunday, October 23, 2011

Preparation

I feel rather stretched to the limit. There are things going on
that I can't talk about yet but it is for the better. It is just

taking a lot of time and energy to prepare. Beside that my
mind is constantly on teaching my children and teaching the
bible to other peoples children. Our Sunday school lesson has
been so neat. It has been a big project and the kids are loving
every second of it. I'll share when they are through.

I feel as a women I am in constant preparation mode. I am
always pre.. paring for the next thing. In doing so I find
myself always looking forward. It's often hard to settle into
the now but God is great at reminding me. For me the
preparation is just as fun as seeing their excitement over the

activity I have given. Sometimes I think I should have been
some sort of party planner or event coordinator. The only big
problem with this for me is I find I am often in my own
thoughts and have to jiggle myself out of it. How my brain
holds it all is so awesome.

--------------------------------------

I'm feeling rather nostalgic this evening. Our refrigerator
went out and my grandma had one for us to use that she
no longer needed. While there she showed us some things
grandpa had cut out of wood before he passed. Still sitting
on the table how many years now. She showed

Us the stash of canes he carved and a replica of their home
he created. I always feel like he is right there with her when
I go there. It is hard to be in that space. Even that space in
the basement brings back so many memories from when
my brother and I were kids. We spent many summers in
the cool of that room playing and talking. I wish my children
could experience the closeness that we all seemed to have
then. Time and business do away with that childhood activity.


Blessings,
Nikki
Saturday, October 22, 2011

Writing a book report Part 2





The next step of writing a book report is to create an outline.
Writing an outline helps you to organize your thoughts and
helps your reader to understand what is happening in an
organized way. Below is an example of the outline that could
be used. You could change it around or add some of you own
ideas to it. Each topic is noted with a letter A. Each number is
an idea or thought. It doesn't need to be written in a complete
sentence. Just some notes or ideas for when you begin writing.
Try for at least 3-4 sentences per paragraph.

Title of Book

A. Opening Sentence

B. About the Arthor
1.
2.

3.
4.

C. Summary of the Story
1.
2.
3.
4.

D. About Main Character 1
1.
2.
3.
4.

E. Second Character
1.
2.
3.
4.

F. Your opinion of the book

G. Concluding Sentence

You may want to organize your outline differently
depending on the book you read. You may consider
adding an object description, a Quote, or the setting.
You might want your about the author at the end of
your report. It is really entirely up to you depending
on your teacher/moms guidelines.


Warm blessings,

Nikki
Thursday, October 20, 2011

Middle School boys brains


Girls process information by Stimuli. Boys by compartmentalizing
Girls are better at interpreting facial features. Boys
Take more risks and are attracted to violence.

Boys account for a large amount of a learning
disabilities.

Boys represent 90% of discipline referrals








I found this guy in my sons room. He is towering tall. His claw
reaches for you as you walk by. His brain is visible from the
outside and his eyes are menacing and watching.

As I ponder his education which I think about often. I realize
how different he learns compared the the girls.
As a side thought to myself as I am a Girl which might
make my teaching style more for a girl. It is already
difficult to understand the male species. How then am
I to teach someone who runs on compartmentalizing
when I myself run on emotion. It's a big question that I
think many mothers wonder about. Especially it seems when
they hit the middle grades. The difference suddenly jump
out at you (me)


Type in your search engine and you will find several good
articles on the difference of teaching boys. Try it just
type in teaching boys and see what you get. I found many
informative articles and this is what I learned.

1. Use good visuals if you are verbally giving information.
Something that they can hold during a story or lesson that
goes along with that activity.

2. Pause to provide time for thinking

3.Provide physical maniplatives. Things they can hold
and move to create an end result so they can see how it
works and feel how it is.

4.Allow for movement. This is a huge one for my young

son. He often takes many minute breaks. Why not for my
older son too. Send them on a mini errand to come back
and work again. Superboy often stands while we school.
Spirit wiggles so much at times he is half rolling in my lap.
(It is exhausting to me to watch and deal with but I allow
it and he learns.)

5. Do not take away physical play for a punishment, which
I never do so not one for me. Thought I'd share anyway .

6. Boys need extra time to complete a task. I hear don't rush
him . This is something I have done. I have to be careful
In my choice of wording.

7. Use vibrant colors in instruction to wake up the mind.

8. Greatest motivator!!! Teach in their interest area.

9. Color code files and materials to help them organize.

10. Boys like to shout so shout out those answers.



Warm Blessings,

Nikki



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Math

I had these Squirrel cut out to use for math in the past.
We counted out that many cereal to feed the squirrel or
nuts. This week I had Spirit pick a squirrel then add that
many dots (seeds) to a pumpkin .
He then he could play a matching game with with the cards.
Lay them all face down. Squirrel on one side and pumpkins
on the other. Play just like momory. For less difficult
play leave face up and match.

Warm blessings to
your Family,

Nikki



Monday, October 17, 2011

Circle Week

This week in "Sweet Peas" Concept Basket-
Exploring Circles "Sweet Pea" found several Balls,
her favorite bracelets and her stacking buckets.
She wasn't as into this basket as some of the others.
At first she enjoyed tossing the balls around but the
basket took second to some of her other toys.





Art:
Art was the big hit. I precut circles and while cooking
dinner her and Spirit worked on glueing a circle collage.
"Sweet Pea" learned this day how to use the glue bottle.
She squeezed it onto the circle and pasted it to her paper.
She used a bit much glue but loved every second of it.

She also matched up the shapes on her paper. Under each
circle is most likely another just like it.





Spirit enjoyed the art as well but he was more into
trying to make it look like something. He has a wild
imagination.






Rhymes and Songs:


Circle Rhyme

Circle, a circle,
Draw it round and fat.
(Use finger to draw circle in the air.)
A circle, a circle, Draw it for a hat.
(Draw a circle in the air over the head.)
A circle, a circle, Draw it just for me.
(Draw a circle in the air.)
A circle, a circle,
Now jump and count the three:
One! Two! Three!


Favorite Book of the Week:

Mouse Shapes



Wishing you Warm
Blessings,

Nikki

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Keeping Up...



Well I haven't been very good at keeping up with my
little blogspot lately. The rest of my life is organized
and together as much as it can be. Not to worry though
this week will be a week full of posts. :)

I was able to clean our attic out and organize the boxes
into areas of interest to our family. Books, holiday,
Toys to rotate and saved clothing for future use. I have
gathered a pile of clothes for donation and will escort those
out of the house a little at a time. While working I wasn't
very good at keeping our home together . Little
by little I see and feel a little more like I'm home. I
suppose I am still sitting on the edge of my seat wondering
when it will happen again but God is leading me to
sit and enjoy today. Which is hard for me sometimes.

I feel like my days are so full but they whiz right by me.
Sometimes as I lay my head down at night I think I
was just here wasn't I? The day spins by. I keep getting
older and older. There is so much I want to do yet in
my life. (Can you tell my birthday is on its way making me
39 years old. Another year and I'll be ugh 40)

The other day Spirit and I were discussing Halloween.
He was trying to decide what he'd like to be.
He said he'd like to be Jesus and hand out Swedish fish
and rolls. I'm not sure about that child sometimes.

Well off to my family have a happy weekend.

Blessings
Nikki
Thursday, October 13, 2011

Writing a Book Report Part 1 Choosing a book, Read and Play with Words








How to write a good book report.

Step 1- Choose a book that you enjoy. It is easiest to write
about a story you like. If you are writing a book review then it
doesn't matter if you like it or not. When your writing a book
report it makes things easier if you enjoyed the story. Do
some research before choosing your book. Try finding something
that interests you. Once you have the book do the 5 finger test
to make sure it isn't to hard for you. Open to any
page in the story and begin reading. When you come across a
word you don't know put up your finger. If you get to the bottom
and have 5 fingers up then you probably need to choose something
else. For our purposes Superboy choose to read Freckle Juice
by Judy Blume

Step 2 - Take your time and enjoy the story. Look at any pictures
to help you along and READ.

Step 3- Play with Words- This is something fun to do
before you begin writing. It helps you become creative and
have fun with your writing. All you do is think of one character
or one part of the story and brain storm words that would
explain this character or item. Such as:

Freckle Juice- Watery slime, Icky mess, Goey Juice,
frothy mixture

freckles- sprinked face, Spots of brown

You get the idea. It's fun to keep a play with words in
a special word book. You can create a topic for each word.
Later when writing you can look back on it and use it in
other material .


Blessings,
Nikki

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our Body... Them Bones Them bones

This week we learned about out bodies and in particular
our bones. Spirit felt his bones through his skin. We
talked about his spine, his skull and ribs. How the
skull and ribs are used to protect inside organs. I thought
It would be fun to create these Q-tip Skeletons to go with
the lesson. Spirit got his head a little low so it looks as
if he is jumping. A great time to talk about joints and how
they work.






We read several books on the body. Our favorite is a
book called A look into your Body. The book is Interactive
with flaps and see through pages. Plus a skeleton puzzle
in the front to put together.

The lessons we did were ment as an overview we will
add to this each year as Spirit gets older.

Blessings,

Nikki





Monday, October 10, 2011

Magnet Play

Concept Basket:
One Chicka boom boom can palm tree, I later
added a baking sheet, baggie of magnets and magnet
baby playset.



This was hours of enjoyment. She wasn't as excited about putting
magnets on the tree. She tried that once . The rest of the
time she was playing with them on her cookie sheet. She
also put letters in her cooking pot. Picked them out one at
a time and said them with me. Then put them back in
stirred them up and did it again.





Art:
Bathtub coloring (no photos)
Loves playing with these in the tub.
You can get yours at the Crayola Online Store
or your local walmart. (PS I am able to have
time to clean most of my bathroom while art is
happening )


Rhyme Favorite this week:

Gray Squirrel

Gray Squirrel Gray Squirrel (hop like a squirrel)
Swish your bushy tail ( Shake your behind)
Gray Squirrel Gray Squirrel (hop like a squirrel)
Swish your bushy tail (shake your behind)
Wrinkle up your funny nose (wrinkle nose)
Hold an acorn in your toes (bend and touch your toes)



Favorite book this week:

You will find Squirrels at Amazon.
The text is a little much for a toddler but she loved
looking at the pictures of Squirrels and trying to say
their name.


Blessings
Nikki




Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Phonics hopscotch

Awhile ago I came across this great idea for learning letter
recognition at Jamin's Blog . I am not sure where exactly in her blog
I found it anymore but I know it's there somewhere.

All you need is some craft foam, scissors and
markers. Trace your childs shoe onto the craft foam and
cut 26 for the number of ABC's. Write the letters with
sharpie onto each foot. Your child can then hop around
to the different letters as you call them out or you can
call them out for them. I have also used them for a fun
way to practice spelling with older children.

Recently I thought of a new use for the feet. I layed
the letters on the floor that Spirit is working on to
learn them phoneticly. I placed them to look like a Hopscotch.
We used our ABC cards turning them upside down on the
table. Spirit then choose a card from the pile. Named the letter.
Found the letter on the floor and laid his card on top of it.
As he hopped through the hopscotch he hoped the phonetic
sound of that letter. Great fun and easy too.

After Spirit had the idea to hide the feet around the room.
So the older kids and I took turns hiding them . Spirit then
found them and named the letter and sound. It worked so
well I had to share it.

Blessings,
Nikki
Monday, October 3, 2011

Dramatic Play - House

Concept basket:
This week instead of our regular concept basket a friend at our
church gave us a new baby center. (well new to us) For our
activity this week Princess pulled out all of her old doll things
for Sweet pea and some new kitchen things for her to play with
as well. I love how much dramatic play can teach a toddler. She
is able to mimic everyday life as a mommy. Practice speaking
words she is familar with and learn a few new.



She can learn how to feed, and love something other than herself.
She is working on learning how to velcro and snap her dolls
clothing. Another big challenge has been opening and closing
the little bottles and containers.




Art:We were unable to get new done in the art area this week.
She did much coloring and drawing on paper. Our
family has been doing a lot of cleaning out ,that was our
main goal. We will get to some fun art in this coming week.

Story Time:The favorite book of the week :




Sweet pea loved reading Where's Spot by Eric Hill. This is an old
favorite flip book. Spot is late for dinner. As you read
you flip and try to find him. She was able to practice
her favorite word as we fliped and saw NO spot.

Rhymes/ Songs and Finger playsThe favorite this week Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy , bitsy spider went up the water spout.
(make spider movements with fingers)

Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
(twinkle fingers like rain)

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
(put arms over the head forming a circle)

And the itsy Bitsy spider went up the spout again.
(Make spider movements with fingers)


I can hardly believe that that completes the Month
of september. Our first week of Toddler time.
Our lesson plans for the month were:

Concept baskets:1- matching photo mat, washclothes, doll baby
2- cheerios, scooping materials and cheerios book
3-Balance and foam shapes
4-Telephones of differnt shapes, sizes and styles
5- Baby doll, kitchen dramatic play

Art:1- shaving cream - Crown
2- cheerios necklace and bracelets
3-Apple pies
4- Paper pizzas
5- Coloring time

Songs / fingers plays as we went and stories
at her choosing. If you'd like to see our planning sheets

and why I decided to plan this way look HereBlessings

Nikki





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Rejoice in the Lord Always.