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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Let's Just Calm Down



Mommy- Sweet pea what are you doing?

Sweet Pea- Nuffing

Mommy- Are you sure?

Sweet pea- Nuffing Mommy...

Mommy- Sweet pea are you playing make- up

Sweet pea- Yes, but mommy I want to be beautiful like Heart (Grin)



Isn't she a little sweety. Lately she has been a struggle in the discipline
area. She has been really testing limits. We go back and forth with that which is
natural. Children become comfortable in a role in the family and then
try out new boundaries. It can become difficult when all the kids seem to be
changing and learning at once and that is where we are at the moment.
I feel like I"m hovering on a transition page emotionally with the children.
They are each in their right stage for their age and level, and mom is spinning
in circles trying to meet every ones needs.


3 Year olds and Defiance

Sweet Pea is in the defiant 3 stage. With the other kids the difficult
stage came at 4 maybe we are early or maybe we have more to come.
Thats a scary thought. (grin) I have to have a lot of patience when dealing with
the frustration levels for the children. It doesn't help at all or teach anything
if I become frustrated too.  Now Sweet pea often  spends sometime in the
time out chair . My biggest goal right now it to teach several of the children
that anger is not the answer. They need to see the result of  becoming angry as
their first knee jerk reaction .It all has to do with ages and stages. Each
has to learn how to take that time out for themselves. At this point Sweet
pea is asked to sit  at her little play table. I set a timer and she sits until she gets
control of her emotions. I do have puzzles,books and a teddy  available for her
to use while she sits but she often is to upset with being spoken to
play right away. Your probably wondering why I give her puzzles ,books,
and teddy. I give teddy to her as a support for her feelings. Nothing
like having a softie a hug. I give her the puzzles and books to show her
that when she does calm down she can quietly rest for a moment to
gather herself emotionally so she then can go play again. She of course
cannot verbalize this to anyone but this is the process we take.


First Grader and not wanting to complete school work

She is not the only one that has been frustrating easily lately. Spirit (grade1)
has been frustrated during his math lessons. He wants to be able to solve
his problems quickly and move on. He's not quite at that stage yet . He still
needs to use guides for solving equations such as manipulative's, number lines
and drawing out the problems with pictures. We are using flash cards to
practice facts but until then he has to work them out in this manner.
What has worked the best for us is the 3 card game. I give Spirit 3 cards.
It can be from a deck of cards, or uno cards whatever he likes. Dollar
tree has some with just fun pictures on for the beginner readers.These work
just as well. You could also use Bingo chips or other material that your child
 can see. The idea is for them to keep the cards or chips by the end of the
lessons. Children do not want to lose them all. If I see him becoming
frustrated I might suggest that I need to maybe take a card. If it continues
I take one. The goal is to have at least one left at the end and have an
immediate gratification for hitting that goal. Yesterday for example
he had all his chips so he got a special treat from the dollar store,
Sticky hands. Usually the prize is less prizey oriented toward time like an
 extra story with mom, 20 minutes outside, a game of candyland or chutes
and ladders. Find something your child enjoys. One day I hope to not
have to use the cards anymore but for now I'm teaching him the reward
for calming down is a quiet morning. My favorite thing to tell the children
is use your words to build up not tear down. This goes for me too.
I

13 Year old and becoming easily frustrated
If you read my 3 year old story this might sound similar. Kids hitting
the teen stage are testing limitsand getting a feel for the world around them.
This often comes with frustrations.Teens feel like they are beginning
to become adults but they still have limitations within the family. This
can cause family battles if you aren't careful. My biggest
goal for my son is to just listen to him first. If he is frustrated I allow him to
talk it out and if he doesn't want to talk it out I allow him to take some time
alone. If I feel disrespected in anyway then I ask him to walk away until he
is ready to speak to me in a mature way. Some boys may go to aggressive
behaviors at this stage. Managing that is the key for success later in life.
Instead of time outs like the toddler teaching them ways to calm down
are best for this age and stage. We do not tolerate language that is hurtful
to parents or the other children. Its a hard balance.

Just recently Superboy had some testing done. If you follow my blog
you might remember he had some delays. His testing showed that he
is now on level for math and above his grade in reading. I am so proud of
him . I told him this and his reaction was Great now everyone will expect
more. This is a boy thing and how they think sometimes. I'm proud of
him anyway even if he doesn't want the applause.


Final Thoughts
The great thing is at this time my 15 year old has really matured lately.
I am seeing a big difference in her emotionally. She has been taking care of
her school assignments and being responsible for herself .She is hoping to
find work ,get a car and her drives license in the near future.
I think she may be ready. I tend to hold them back a little if I feel it is
necessary. Heart has been so busy with college and work that I barely see
her. I know this too shall pass just like all the other issues. It feels goods
seeing the girls and knowing that what I have been doing has worked.
(so far at least) As a parent it can be really overwhelming at times with
the kids all having different needs. I have to remember to take time to sit
quietly with God. It really helps to rejuvenate my mind and heart.

Just to help the kids remember and use positive thinking. I posted
some notes in our dining area.

Use your words to build up not tear down.

You can do whatever you set your mind to.

Motivate yourself. It is your choice.

Believe in yourself

Your braver than you believe
Stronger than you seem
and smarter than you think

I print these little saying and quotes I find on facebook or pinterest.
The kids think their corny but they like to read them .
I know they are hearing it thats the fun part about it and they find
it fun to see what I find next. Sometimes I put up funny cartoons, Little
Motivators like this and sometimes I write a little hand written note.
It has become the thing in the morning to see what mom posted on
the wall next. Keep encouraging moms and don't forget to take care of you.


Warm blessings,

Nikki



Monday, February 25, 2013

We are T.R.I.P ing along.....Update #3

We are just T.R.I. P. ing Right along and working hard to improve our
reading using the Targeted Reading Improvement program. We began our
Journey Jan 24 with our first  T.R.I.P. and I updated on Trip Take Two.
Today we are just T.R.I.P.ing Right along.

Superboy Age 12 ....

Superboy is doing fabulously on his T.R.I.P encounters. He has been
working hard. He is still moving along quite quickly and doing well as he goes.
I really like the comprehension sections for him. I can see how this has helped
him while reading. He still has trouble focusing on what he is reading and may
have to read the text a few times. The only complaint form him is how slow the
text is read. Its is becoming difficult to keep his attention but its coming.
I feel like I am seeing gradual improvements. I have noticed more fluency
in his writing. With Dysgraphia he does not like to write and usually avoids it
at all costs but he doesn't seem to mind writing the words with the flash mode.
I think its almost a game for him to see if he can see it and then write it
I know how important those sight words can be and I'm glad he has taken
to the process. After this program I may just make a few powerpoints with
words on to do some vocabulary challenges since he seems to enjoy
this way of learning. Thank you to T.R.I. P for showing me a few things
about how my son likes to learn. He is definately an auditory learner
so he will say the flash word and then write it.

Spirit age 7...

Spirit is still going rather slowly but this is ok. He has really taken to the
program and that is a good thing, Course his brothers enthusiasm has helped.
 He seems to enjoy doing the lessons. We are taking things slow because he is
younger. The sight words need to be practiced over a course of a week or
so depending on how difficult he finds that particular  list. I know how important
these sight words are to his reading ability in the long run. I have noticed a
few reversals are becoming clearer for him. His lower case a has turned
around. We still have the b, d issue and the p, q.  He is still a first grader though
so we have hope and it seems to be coming to him.

Join us again in a few for a new update.

Warm Blessings,

Nikki


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

10 Education Websites for Toddlers



This is my little one. She is three years old and she loves to play
games on the computer. I can use this to my advantage. If I can find
educational websites for her to play on, well then that is half the battle.
Just remember that the American Education of Pediatrics recommends
no more than an hour to 2 hours of screen time per day. This includes
any electronic device. Perhaps a good idea is to use computer game
time as a reward only once or twice per week and limiting that time to
maybe 20 minutes. I was surprised at how quickly my little one figured
out the mouse. I never really had to give her instruction. This might be
different for you . I think for her it was a monkey see monkey do
sort of things. I hope you enjoy the games we found as much as we do.

 Here are her favorite top 10.


1.Sprout Online- is my daughters number one favorite site.
Probably because she loves to watch Sprout on TV. These are her
favorite characters and they are there to help her play games like
matching, puzzles, ABC's and counting. Sprout often has a kindness
activity so that the kids can share  what they did to be kind to someone.
Parents can log in and share their little sproutlet doing a good deed or
even wish them a happy Birthday. The characters are familiar to the little
ones and they want to come back and learn more. I have watched Sweet
pea go from struggling to do simple puzzles to being able to do 6 pc. puzzles
on sprout. She is able to do them off screens as well. Her favorite character
is Calliou. I love the quiet demeanor of this little boy.



2.PBS Kids- is another of her favorites and I love seeing the old characters
from books like the Cat in the hat and curious George. You do have to
be careful that you find the correct level activity for your child here. There
are some things that a three year old may have difficulty doing without
a parents assistance. Of course Sesame Street is always a hit with our toddler.
Its funny because it took me to the 5th child to find one that enjoyed watching
Sesame Street.

 



3.
StarFall- is a fun site for kids to work on learning their ABCs.
Children can click through the Alphabet and her words that
begin with that particular letter and her the sounds it makes.
The great things about Starfall is that it follows your child to the
beginner reading level.



4.
Fisher Price- I grew up myself as a little girl with Fisher price.
I think the excellence of their toys is to be rewarded. They always
have your child at heart. I remember playing for hours with my little people.
Here your little one can play games with some of Fisher Prices
toy characters. Little people that your little ones can relate to. You will
find shape games, color and so much more. Preview which games will
work best with your little one.



5.
 
Sesame Street-

Here you can visit just with the Sesame Street characters.
Doing with Sesame street does best teaching colors, shapes, letters and numbers.


6.
Paint like Jackson Pollock- Very easy to use . Fun mouse practice for
little ones. It is rather mesmerizing I played for quite awhile myself.
This is my little creation from my screen shot below.


7.
Alphabet games for kids- Your kids can play games to help them
learn the ABCs. Like ABC whack a mole  or go fish.




8.Maisys Fun Club- if you have every read Maisy books with
your toddler than you will probably enjoy Maisy fun club.
Printable games and online toddler games including a matching
game with three levels of difficulty, a jigsaw game, online
coloring, and a Maisy dress up game.




Read some of Maisy's storybooks together with your tot or print
out a "pin the tail on Maisy" game, as well as a dot to dot and counting game.





9.Mini Mops- Join the Minimops in a delightful site for two to five
year olds. It's so simple to navigate and play! There are dot to
dots, puzzles, a clever music show game where your child can
record and replay their musical creation, the Rainbow game which
is true magic for little kids who love to point... click.. drag the mouse...
 The Flower activity will keep tiny ones entranced again and again.







10.
Go Baby from Disney - play lots of fun games here.
 Disney is always a great place to meet up with
familiar friends like Winnie the Pooh. Search for pictures in
picture books and spend time with your little one.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Flowering Baby, LLC Three to Four

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ABOUT:
Flowering Baby, LCC  has made working with small children easy inexpensive and
fun. Flowering baby is for children Birth to age 5. You will work on many skills such as
 cognitive language, gross motor and fine motor, social, emotional and self- help
competencies. Flowering baby can be downloaded right to your computer or
you can order it on CD. You will spend about 20-45 minutes per day on lessons
with your child. Very easy to do especially for us busy homeschool parents. Most
of the time my daughter loved it so much that I had to find more for her to do.

There are 5 levels of flowering baby.

Birth to One - With this level you will find one activity, a book and a song
The price of Birth to One is $30 . You will find examples at the link provided.

One to Two-  This age range is the time of moving babies. It is a time
of exploration . Young ones will explore with play dough  using various
other tactile experiences. One to Two Costs $30. as well.

Two to three- Two to  three year olds are becoming ready to sing songs,
count and begin learning the ABC's. Children will explore through tactile experiences
enjoy music and many stories. The cost of this level is $30.

Three to Four- This is the level my daughter is in at this time. Three to four
changes from the 0-3 levels. Here your child begins working on writing skills,
language, music, social and emotional skills. He or she  will also begin
enjoying  theme based activities. The price of the Skills series
and the Themes is $38.

Four to Five- four to five level builds upon the three to four level. At first glance
It looks as though some themes are repeated but now you are able to dig deeper
into the topics because you childs age level has developed. You will begin
pre-Kindergarten  skills.  The cost of the skills and themes are $38.

If you wanted to purchase the entire 0-5 year lessons you can for $132 on
download or CD. I highly recommend doing the all at once if you have very
young children.

For a 10% discount Flowering Baby has offered a discount code.
Use Blog10 when ordering.

Our Experiences with Flowering Baby Three to Four


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In flowering baby 3 to 4 you are given two ebooks. One is separated into various
skills and the other has Theme suggestions. I have worked in early childcare for
about 18 years myself. I was pleasantly surprised and happy with the skills
associated with this curriculum. Flowering baby can be used as is or it can
be a guide to explore using some of your own ideas but working toward the
skill and level. Skills begin with the month of January but you can start
where ever you are with the curriculum it doesn't have to start in January.
You can start at any time.

Skills are simple tasks that take only a few minutes to work on.
My little sweet pea is just beginning to sing her ABC's she is so cute.

Another skill we worked on was some pre-writing practices. Here
I taught my little one to draw some simple circles. As you can see
She is all smiles.




Flowering baby also encourages sequencing of events and other reasoning skills.
I had these cards from a previous Sunday school curriculum. There are several
  in the set but this snowman one was her favorite. I also have a sequencing puzzle
so both worked along with this skill. There are times that you can pull other resources
that you may already have at home to include in your studies.


You will also work on math skills counting various things in your home or
just counting out loud. Here I had an old cocoa game and we used blue
"marshmallows" since our color of the week was blue.


I also had a color snowman game and we matched scarves and hats to
the buttons on our snowmen. There are various similar games around the
web for color matching. Matching , sorting and color recognition
are all apart of the 3-4 level.


Flowering baby incorporates music and gives you various suggestions as
well as a book list of stories to share with your child. I had shared the
Billy goats Gruff with my Sweet Pea. We used plastic goats to pretend
act out the story and worked on the new skill of narration. Charlotte
Mason early. I love that.

 

Each Month the children have the choice of two themes. The suggested Or
you can choose one from the list. This one was from the Artic theme which
was suggested for January.

We were to read many books on the Artic, talk about what to wear,
and act like the animals. We named each of them and then I found these coloring
pages in the photo below so that we could work some more on the names of
the animals. We posted those on our refrigerator to point out and
name again and again.

You can see I made my sweet pea into an Eskimo putting cotton around
her head. We read "Momma do you love me" and then I added in the
Sweet pea Eskimo. We did this alongside flowering baby .I often found
myself coming up with more ideas that went with the curriculum.

The blue painted paper in the background of her coloring pages
was part of her blue color day.
(*Note the animal coloring and Eskimo was beyond the Flowering
baby activity.)




Our Second theme for January was Dinosaurs. We were in luck because
MGM came to our local area with a fun museum tour. We read many books
on dinosaurs. Put dinosaurs in play dough to enforce that dinosaurs came from
eggs and we also created this dinosaur craft which I found online to go alone
with the theme stories and activities.







My thoughts on Flowering Baby...

My little one and I really enjoyed flowering baby. I liked the outline
it provided for me in creating more ideas as I went. I loved the skills
as it is in line with all that I was taught as an early ed worker.
Flowering baby is simple to use and doesn't take up to much of our time
My  little one still feels special and a part of our homeschool family.
I often found that I ran out of time for my little one, in planning and in
actually doing. Flowering baby has freed me up planning wise and
I am actively participating with my little sweety.
As a little added bonus I created planning pages to go with
flowering baby 3 to 4 you can view it in my google docs sheet
 and download if you are interested Planning pages


Warm Blessings
Nikki,

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew
in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review,
nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are mine
or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulation











Grandpa and the Golden Plate


A true story about Grandpa and his Golden plate. Our grandpa is
a little corky. We love him so much. He is different than other grandpas.
He is retired now and Grandpa loves to recycle. He takes trash and
makes it into treasure. Well, at least treasure for him. It is not uncommon
for family to call him to haul their metal away. He loves when you give him
wire . He will strip the rubber coating and recycle the metal in the wire. This
is very time consuming. He has made up to 800 dollars recycling copper wire
and other metals. He says he will do it as long as he has the energy to
keep doing it. He is a very active seventy year old man. Over the summer
he was there keeping time with Daddy as they shoveled rocks in the driveway.

When ever we go to grandpas he likes to take us on a tour of the house showing
us the new things he has done. It is a very clean home and grandpa loves
collectibles. He loves all things shiny and if they are not shiny he paints them
shiny. I think the man has some stock in silver and gold spray paint. We often
joke that if the item is gold grandpa will paint it silver and if it is silver he will
paint it gold. He seems to just love spray painting. He even painted his truck
with tan patio paint that the neighbor gave him. This he rolled on the truck with
a roller. I know what you thinking but it really looked so much better than what
 it did look like. So this visit to grandpas he shows us the pile of new painted
Silver and gold items and hands me this plate....




Its a thin tin. At first I thought it was plastic and almost chuckled thinking he spray
painted plastic but realized it was a very thin metal. Then he said you keep that one.
What ??? Wait???? How did this happen. Oh I couldn't do that.... Ok Ok yes...
Ok Thank you. My style at home is rustic country. I'm not sure where I"m
putting grandpas plate. We love him so I must find a good spot...

Then he suggests I paint the fruit on the front. I see daddy from the corner of
my vision and I say with  a sober face.... Oh I think it like it better this way.

Perhaps the kitchen, or the hallway or maybe the summer house. Princess
suggest the attic door on the other side. (wink) What do you do with
gifts your not sure what to do with?

Warm Blessings,

Nikki

 
Monday, February 18, 2013

Spaghetti Love...



My brother is here for the weekend. Its always nice to see him.
I hate so much that he lives so far away. I always envisioned us living
close to each other, almost next door. It makes me sad that our kids
can't spend more time together.

This Saturday my Princess and Superboy were to help with the youth
group Spaghetti dinner. Superboy wasn't sure he wanted to try
waiting on people but in the end he decided to give it a try.

Usually I get involved too. We decorate the church all romantic like.
 I typically organize the youth that will serve the people and handle the money.
This year my parents couldn't babysit the little ones and Daddy had to
work, so I dropped the older ones off and brought the little ones home
for a bit until they were ready for us. They were so excited to go eat
spaghetti at church. My parents got them little bags of clay to take while
they waited for their food because my parents are great like that.

The little ones cheered Spaghetti Spaghetti!!! As we left the house.
I think Spirit briefly forgot that he doesn't really like Spaghetti all that
much. When we got there Princess waited on us. Not long after
Superboy hoovered over our table to talk. It was precious how they
flocked to our side. The littles and I got our salads first. The youth
set up a make shift salad bar. Sweet Pea's salad was a bowl of croutons.

Our Spaghetti came and Spirit remembered he really doesn't like Spaghetti
so he got another Salad. Sweet pea decided it wasn't as much fun as she thought
so we proceeded to run to the potty several times. Just about every 2 minutes.
ok maybe every 5 minutes. After dinner we stayed to help clean up and
retrieve the older children.

Sweet pea figured out she could line two folding chairs up and push
them like a train. Here this little girl is barely big enough to see over
the top of the chair even if she can see and is pushing two at a time.
My kids made me proud of them how they handled all of that work
willingly. Superboy did admit to not liking restaurant work. He says he'd
much rather prefer a sit down job. Lots of lessons learned this evening.

I remember wayyy back when I was in Youth... This tradition of spaghetti
and serving has been around for a long time. I remember doing so in
the church basement with really only my family showing up to be served.
Now this is a really big event. I also remember a dear church member
who helped put it all together. A man who taught me corky Sunday school
songs and later taught my son corky Sunday school songs. He made the
best secret salad dressing. We miss you John.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Apologia- Zoology 3

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About Apologia:

Apologia is Science based on a biblical creation world view. Apologia
offers curriculum to home educators. They offer apologetics, inspirational books,
 homeschool tools, retreats for homeschool moms and mission opportunities.

I was given the opportunity to review
Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Creatures of the Sixth Day 
and the Junior Zoology 3 Notebooking Journalfrom  the Schoolhouse Crew
Zoology 3 is the 5th  book in the Young Explorers
series. This K-6 curriculum uses a Charlotte Mason style of learning
and gives you a beginning to the world of land animals.

Ease for the Teacher

The first page of the text book begins with contact information from Apologia so
that you can ask for help  if you need it. Then you are given a brief
tour  as to how the book is set up. You are also given a link
to be able to obtain fun extras . There is so much you can do here that I could
have spent days and days on just one topic. There is also a guide for each chapter
telling you what supplies you will need for that particular
lesson. You can work at your own pace or follow the suggested timeline . I
was really impressed with how the information was laid out for parents/teachers.
They made lesson planning so much easier.

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Using the Textbook


The first lesson is an introductory lesson telling us that we are going to be
going on a safari. We learn that God made the animals through the text book
and verses from the bible.

"And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their
kinds: Livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals,
each according to its kind. "  And it was so. God made the wild animals according
to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good (NIV)
We learn that God created each animal special according to their purpose on
our earth and in our lives. Then we learn about jobs that are available to our
students who love these land animals . The chapter concludes with a What
do you remember section, Map it out (more on this below), track it, notebooking
activities (more below) and an Experiment.


Experiments:

The idea behind the experiment is to teach our children about  camouflage.
We learn how these animals are protected in the wild by their own adaptations,
gifts God gave them. Children are given a Science speculation sheet to fill out.
I am using apologia with my 3 year old, 1st grader and 6th grader. The
text book is for children K-6th grade and the Notebooking Jr. is for K-3.
Although for my 6th grader who isn't a big writer I felt like it would work
for him as well but I'll be interested to see the other Notebook for the older age.
 I divided activities by age level and we were able to work
together as a family.

My 3 year old and my 1st grader worked on dividing our skittles into
containers by color. (The book suggest M&M's but these worked too)  



My 6th grade son worked with my 1st grader in filling out the hypothesis and  all of
the children tore up construction paper to create a habitat for our skittles. We then
sprinkled the skittles through  the habitat. Set the timer and saw how many were
found in a minute compared to how many were not found. Great math for my
1st grader. I gave each child a turn and then we placed the date on our worksheet.


We also used notebooking pages that provided us with Charlotte Mason
narrating work, coloring pages, copy work , and mini books. A page
called Explore More listed suggested activities such as books, DVD's
and field trips. We had a wonderful start to our zoology experience.


Dinosaurs Chapter 12
Then I noticed in our local newspaper that MGM's Dinosaur exhibit
was coming to our local town. So I skipped to Chapter 12 in our
zoology book to the lessons on Dinosaurs. Each of the children
at the Dino exhibit was given a scavenger hut. The scavenger hunt
had some basic facts for the children to look locate. This was a great
start to our dinosaur lessons and created much excitement.


There were other activities available such as riding a dinosaur,
digging for fossils in a sand area with a large paint brush, Mining for rocks
and fossils and other fun things less educational but exciting all the same.
My 1st grade son enjoyed the dinosaur ride. My 6th grade son enjoyed
completing the scavenger hunt and spent some time drawing the dinosaurs.




Here is my littlest child with her scavenger hunt book. Her favorite thing at
the animated museum was the sand and searching for fossils.







Notebooking
We also used notebooking pages that provided us with Charlotte Mason sytle
such as narrating work, coloring pages, copywork , and mini books. A page
called Explore More listed suggested activities such as books, DVD's
and field trips. We had a wonderful start to our zoology experience.




With our Dinosaur lessons we began to dig more into our notebooking pages.
These are just wonderful to have and well worth it to have one for each child. In
the back of the  notebook you will find color mini books and stickers for your map
it sections.

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Map it

In the map it Section children are able to map where an animal lives
or lived in our world.

We pulled out the dinosaur stickers and dug out a map to place our
dinosaur on the continent where they we found. My 1st grader absolutely
loved this activity since he recently has been able to name all seven continents.
Not all the dinosaurs listed had stickers. It was suggested to
use clip art for the others. We decided to just stick for now with the dinosaurs
we had that came with the notebooking book.



My little one helped place stickers on the lower part of the map that she could
reach. Here they are showing their hard work. I actually taped this over a picture
in our dining room .We plan to leave it up as we go through our Science book
and  add the other animals as we go.

Coloring pages

The younger children enjoyed the coloring pages. I love the details of them.
This is scanned right from our notebooks.



More Notebooking

As we read about each of the dinosaurs my sons wrote some notes in their
notebooks. This is the page of my 1st grader. He really enjoyed this activity.



My thoughts


For the first time in awhile we are really enjoying Science. I highly recommend
Apologia. As a parent I found it easy to use. There is a lot of extra for fun learning and
really digging into the topic. The biggest bonus is that the children loved it so much
that they didn't even realize they were learning. I hope to work through this book
and go back and purchase some of the others. I think Apologia will become a
friend when it comes to Science.

Head over to the Crew to read more on what others thought
of Apologia.
Photobucket


Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew
in exchange  for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I
compensated in any other way.  All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family.
I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations
Warm Blessings,

Nikki



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

12 Links of Lent




What is Lent? And what We do...

  Ash Wed. is today. Lent begins on Ash wed. This day is
different each year because Easter changes each year but it typically begins
in Feburary. This is a time for Christains to fast and to give of your self to
Christ. Preparing your heart for Jesus death and resurrection of Life. Christians
often fast as a form of forgiveness of past sins. We pray , fast and often give
something up (self sacrifice) to the Lord. On Ash Wed we make our way to
the church to recieve the sign of the cross on our heads . This reminds us of our
mortality and our need for Jesus Christ. I once asked our pastor where the ash
comes from. He told me that they save the left over palms from palm sunday.
Then they  burn them and save the ashes for next ash wed. Lent lasts 40 days.
40 days is significant in the bible. You will find that number various times.
Moses waited 40 days to recieve Laws. Isreal wondered 40 days in the
wilderness, and Elijah walked 40 days to meet God. There are many other
examples as well. The 40 days are associated with waiting and preparing.
This Ash Wed. I have not decided yet what I will give up. I have been
prayerful considering what it will be. It varies from person to person.

To help get ready for Lent I thought I'd share my favorite 12 Lenten Links.






Holy Heros - Are you a busy parent or homeschool mom ? Then this is
really an easy way to take your children through Lent for the 40 days.
All you need to do is enter your email address. Then Monday, Wed. and
Friday you will be emailed a Lent activity. You'll recieve a short video,
pray along with the audio, coloring pages to print, word searches , crosswords
and quizzes.


Devotional for your Family from Holy Experience- You can download the
free devotional and the printables for an Easter Tree.

Lent Countdown calendar- Here you will find a Lent count down Calendar.
The website is Catholic but much still applies if you are Christian like me.
There are a lot of other activities pretzels for Lent, Ash weds. , and Cross stations.

Lent displays- Beautiful and meaningful Displays for lent. These are beautiful and
might help you to get your creative thoughts flowing.

Lenten Wreath- Primative but creative Lenten wreath

Lenten Prayer pots- Easy to craft for young children.

Lamb of God washcloth craft- Learn how to make your own lamb of God
on U tube

40 bags in 40 days- Remove 40 bags of clutter from you home. Clear out
you mind and your Home this lent Season. Clutter often clutters our hearts
as well as our home.


You can print out this Lenten Poster Guide.  This really explains lent
and gives you many ideas to share with your family.



Lent Chocolate Crown of thorns- these look yummy. Simply use
Chocolate and pretzels.


40 ideas for keeping Lent Holy- there are some really good ideas
here and the plan goes that you do one of these each day. Love this.


Explaination of Lent by Whats in the bible


Warm blessings,
Nikki


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jump into a Story



We love books!!! Shout out if you love books!!! I personally
love to read. My desire is to impart that to my children. I work
diligently to show the children how fun books can really be . I
take pride in seeing their faces light up when a book comes alive.

Many times an easy way to see if a child understands a story is to
have them narrate it back to you. Narration is a good start to
beginning story telling and it helps the reader to begin to comprehend.
It is particularly good for those auditory learners. Depending on your
child's age you can read a small paragraph or you can read an entire
novel. Then simply have them retell the story back to you with as
many details as they can think of.

To add a spin to that you could have your child act out the story.
The other day we read the Billy Goats Gruff. One day the children
used blocks and animals to act out the story and the next day.
They stomped across their own pretend bridge bringing the story to life.


Even though it is after Christmas we have been working on the Nativity story.
God showed us so much love when he gave us Jesus. The holiday season
is so busy. I wanted us to really have time to sit and enjoy the lesson.
We just finished completing the lessons I had planned and as a review
I thought it would be fun for the children to create puppets. Then
We did an I Am game....

I am Mary. Mother of Jesus. I love God so much that
HE gave Mary his Son. I rode a donkey to a barn .
Baby Jesus was born. By Sweet Pea age 3


I am a Shepherd. I watch the sheep. Angels come from
Heaven to tell me that Jesus is born. I visit Him and worship Gods son.
By Spirit Age 7.



Give it a try next time you want to review a story try puppets or acting it out.


Warm Blessings,
Nikki


T.R.I.P. Take two.


Awhile ago on January 24 I began a T.r.i.p. with my boys to try our best to
improve their reading using the Targeted Reading and Improvement program.
So today as we go on this journey I thought I'd update you on our progress so far.
If you'd like to read more about the program you can stop and read my original
introduction to see how the children have or have not improved. This is my first
T.R.I.P. Today we will see if there were any improvements for each child.

I'll start with my oldest Superboy Age 12.

So far with Superboy I haven't seen a drastic improvement. As we have been working
I have noticed that many of the sight words are words he knows. I think that it may
almost be to easy for him but we have been hanging in as a review .Some words
have had to be straighted out as far as spelling as we get to the middle lessons. He
has been able to make those changes rather quickly which has been refreshing. If nothing
else I seewith this program his self esteem soaring as the material is something he is
able to accomplish with smiles. That in itself it worth more than gold. I have noticed his
writing has improved. He seems to be able to take his thoughts a and apply them
to paper a little easier. Perhaps its the flash practice that has spurred this on.
We will continue on just to see where it will take us.


Spirit Age 7

Spirit is younger and I have not pushed him to hard with the program. We are taking
it slow so that he can grasp everything and have taken our time. Some lessons we
were able to do a few times until he had the confidence he needed to complete it with
a smile. It is fun for him to use the flash mode. He likes to try the faster speeds as
he become stronger with the sight word. I also have noticed when we are reading
passages that he is becoming smooth and reading at a faster pace. I really
contribute that to the flash practice. As you can tell I really like that part of
The lesson. Spirit comprehension seems to be about the same but he was able to
understand most passages well to begin with  but we continue to use this as
a practice. Both boys did complain a little that the reader of the story was a little
slow but I think that is what helps them comprehend .


So far so good. I see mostly improvement. I keep you posted.

Warm blessings,

Nikki

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review.
I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any
other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this
in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew
Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book Review- A love Story How God pursued me and Found Me



About The Book: This is a true to life story by Samantha Ryan Chandler. Samantha shares with us
her struggle through life to come to a closer relationship with God. She finds that
God Pursues her and continues to follow her through her life. Samantha gives
her Testimony and shares her struggle through the rough times.

At the very beginning of her story She tells of the abuse she endured as a child.
I found this part particularly difficult to follow. I felt a little like the writing was
all over the place. However when I think of abuse and what it does to someone
I imagine the way Samantha wrote it is the way her heart felt it at the time.
Abuse is something that should not occur and there is no rhyme or reason to it.
It can be difficult to explain and convey to others. I know when I am going through
a particular hard time my thoughts fall out just as hers did in the book which I
thought was rather interesting.

I also was intrigued when Samantha talked about the time she saw Gods hand
and the angels. I have had my own experiences but always hesitate to share them
with others because I believe that they may be misunderstood . These were times
in my life that I valued. They were times that stood still and helped guide my path.
They are unexplainable if you aren't looking but if you are your heart just yells YES.
YES, I know there is a God and He loves me.

I also could relate a little to Samantha. Now she ended up marrying a rather
well to do man , but as we all know money isn't everything. She ends up in a
really messy divorce that drags her and her children through the ringer. I am
a person subjected to divorce and could relate to many of the things
Samantha referred to. Our tale was not as difficult and I pray for continued
healing for her family. It is a wound that you find you come back to again and again.
It takes a long time to finally find that peace in your heart but it does come.


Overall I thought it was a good read. There were times I felt like the writer
was holding her breath and writing it in one lump as fast as she could to get it
all out. I felt like a friend sitting across from her as she relayed her life experience to me.


I was given the ebook version to review and worked perfectly on my Kindle.
If you are interested in learning more about Samantha and her book you can
You can find her on Twitter , and you can purchase her book on  Amazon .


Warm Blessing ,

Nikki


I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not
required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.






The CWA Review Crew- Christian Women Reviewing

Saturday, February 2, 2013

30 Days Wholesome Talk


30 Days Wholesome Talk at SmockityFrock.com.


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only
what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it
may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

Just recently I had a talk with a friend on facebook about just this thing.
We talked some about how life is really about people. Not our own
thoughts but all those around us. That we individually have much to go
through so that we may learn more about God and For God. We talked
about how are actions really do mean a lot to God but so do our Words.

Sometimes in the day to day we forget about being cordial to those that
we are closest to and often hurt with sharp words and unkind phrases.

Those little moments can grow into big moments if we aren't careful.
The little things do matter. So I wanted to pick up Smockity Frocks
challenge and use my words wisely the next 30 days.

30 days later it should be a habit. So far today I did fairly well.
I did have a moment there when dad and I were cleaning out the
refriderator. The fact that I noticed I was speaking in a tone has me
really excited about this challenge.


Hop over to smockityFrock.com if you'd like to join in
on the challenge.


Warm blessings,

Nikki



Friday, February 1, 2013

Shepherds... and Legos


Luke 2: 8-12
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch
over their flocks at night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory
of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said
to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy
for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
he is the Messiah, the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby
wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger



I love how God chooses the Lowly to spread the news. He sends his
Angels to these shepherds. The hard working everyday men. I love that
and not just one angel but Many. This has always been one of my favorite parts
of this story. My study bible says it was believed that these shepherds may have
well been the ones that watched the sheep for sacrifices. I found that interesting
and wanted to share. All the while the Jews are waiting for special news of Jesus
coming and God comes to these Shepherds first. He always knows just what to
do. He gives us a deeper meaning into things and makes us think just by going to
these Shepherds first. This always amazes me.




Christmas is over I know but we have been going through the Digg
devotionals.My boys love Legos so we created some Lego sheep.
I had my older son prepare some ahead of time so that my
younger son would not be discouraged. (and our sunday school class)
The kids could then look at a model and try to create a sheep themselves.
We reenacted the story by using our sheep and Lego men that we Pretended
were shepherds.



We then created our own shepherds and Angels using
Home Grown Learners Lego printable. This is our created shepherd.





And this is our Angel.



We played a game not pictured. You will need some Candy canes and cotton
balls for this activity. I threw out little cotton balls all over
the rug and told children that the cotton balls were sheep.  I showed them
Candy canes and told the children that Shepherds often used the crook of
their canes to gather the sheep. So in an active game we said Go  and children
used the Candy canes only no hands touching cotton to capture and slide their sheep
to a area on the rug. In retrospect I should have used painters tape to tape of an area
for each child so you might want to do that so you kids have a place to slide
their sheep into.



Hope you enjoyed our Lego lesson. It was inspired by the little boys
In Sunday school who bring their Lego men each week.  Look at what
your children like and gear lessons toward their interests.

 

Warm Blessings,

Nikki

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Rejoice in the Lord Always.