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Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Homeschool Mothers Journal - Field Trip



I'm not that great at linking Graphics but I am participating
in the  The Homeschool Mothers Journal.


In our Homeschool this week....

We are In summer mode and enjoying many of the things that summer
has to offer us. Recently we went to a local park Richard Nixon Park.
I spoke about this before but I'll mention again that our library has
a program along with their summer reading in correlation with our local
parks system. The book we were given this year is called the garden book.
Each park that participates is listed inside and is represented by a fruit.
Children  go to the park of their choosing and follow the directions for the
walk until they find a plaque and can do a rubbing of that fruit. Some of
the walks are short and some are long and difficult. Most not over a mile
and a half. There are two that have museums attached to them.

Nixon park has different displays all summer and wildlife activities. This
particular week is reptile week. It cost us $2 per child and the 3 year old was
free. So $10. for the family. Very reasonable.
 

They had a lot of interactive exhibits and many the children could
touch and play with. I'm not sure if you can read the top bar but
this one is about the food chain. The kids wanted to try this one since
they had learned this in Science a few years ago . This was taken
before they played. I should have done it after. I might have to create
sometime similar with cut outs and magnet tape. The kids really enjoyed
manipulating the animals.




Of course the kids kept giving me the this is scary face. lol Some of the
exhibits weren't real like this one and some were .








This is an actual Bee hive and those are live bees.








They had a turtle and a snake that you could touch. The turtle was
less interesting because the kids have one as a pet. Sweet pea
the youngest was the only one to pet the snake, no fear.





Some of the displays were very realistic. (scared look again)







Of course copy cat has to have one by the bear too. :)
Princess was avoiding photos so I have none with her in.








Some were rather silly... but informative. The plaques
had information about each animals displayed.







There were containers of live animals of course lizards , turtles
and snakes .  I'm glad this guy is in a tank.. Yikes. Can you tell
I'm not a snake fan. Sorry reptile lovers, which would be members
of my own family.






Daddy getting in the act too.






Of course sweet pea wanted a photo with just about every animal.








And then we went on our walk and found our rubbing. This
one was the peach. It was a 1.2 mile walk. Sweet pea walked the
entire thing. Daddy did go get the car for her and drove to the end of
the trail but she made it. 









This is I think our 5th or 6th rubbing. We are really enjoying this program.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki
 

Weekly Finds





I have a couple of weekly finds this week. I admit I haven't been on the
internet very much , summer fun. Still I found a few things along the way.


First I found a new blog that I like. A friend sent it to me. She doesn't
have a Graphic to share but her blog is called Life as Mom
She has her blog organized very well. There are tabs at the top of the page.
I am enjoying her home keeping tab, good eats and homeschooling.


Next thing you might want to jump on starts today....





The Homeschool Post Locker Sale
Bloggers are sharing their gently used curriculum on sale. You might
be able to stock up on a few school goodies at lower prices.


The next thing are these reading charts from Walking by the Way.
I think they will work great for my beginner reader. She will
be releasing them one at a time so you might want to subscribe
To her RS feed or email subscription.




That's about it this week. I hope you can find some goodies
at the curriculum sale.


Warm Blessings all . Have a great weekend.

Nikki




Friday, June 28, 2013

Random 5 @ the Pool

The Pebble Pond




1. This has been the best week of our summer so far. For my daughters
16th birthday (which isn't till July 8 ) my parents gifted our daughter and our
entire family a membership to a local pool. Our new home away
from home. We have been there almost ever day. This one
was taken on a not so sunny day. We left soon after and it began to
pour down raining. Got out of that just in time. This photo is of the
diving boards. Its a very large pool . I even managed to cut off some of
the water slides on the end. Not great backdrop scenery back there but
you really don't notice while your there. 




2. It took my son one day before he was going down the water slides. 







3. Sweet pea loves the kids pool. It's pretty big I think for a kids pool.
She loves using different containers to pour the water and tools to mix it.
Hours of fun really. The pool leaves different containers in the pool area
for the kids to play with. They empty and clean the kids pool regularly. 




















4. The little kids spend a lot of time in the sandbox or on the swings.
We can spend all day there. Usually we go at 11 and come home by 4
to make dinner and rest for the evening. We have the idea to go a few
times for the moonlight swim . 















5. The boys have started taking tennis lessons. They go Mon. Wed. and Friday
from 9-11 then we go to the pool. We are all exhausted at the end of the day.



Warm Blessings,

Nikki



 
 

 

 




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer




We are just having this best time this summer and we aren't planning
to go anywhere this summer but local.

First thing we did was join our library summer reading program
Dig into Reading. So far we haven't gotten to attend any of the library events
but in coordination with the parks system we are doing some Geocaching.
Our local parks have set up walks. The children look for plaques and when they
locate them they get to put a new rubbing in their book. So far we have found
4 of the rubbings and have more in mind to go hunting.

Something we plan to do but haven't yet is to attend free movies
at RC Theatres. We went through and marked on the calendar the ones
we might like to see. So far we haven't done any of them but hope to get to it.
The reason we haven't is because the kids have been deep in learning how to
play Tennis.


In our county there is a free program for children to learn how to play
Tennis. The program is called Tennis for Kids. We have gone 2 times now
and the boys just absolutely love it. We play Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
They don't just play games . They do drills and play other kinds of games as
well. While the boys play  us girls go to  the playground with our
chairs and sun umbrellas. Little Sweet pea has made several little girl friends.
Princess usually likes to sit and watch everyone and I sit and catch up on reading.
After attending 6 times the children are given their own free racquets.

Another thing we haven't done yet this summer is  Bowling but its in our plans.
We were able to sign up to bowl for free. Go to the link to see if you can
participate in this with your local center. I believe you get 2 free games but
have to pay for your shoe rental. This sounds like a nice rainy day activity.


Today The kids grandparents gifted us with another activity for the summer.
Princess will be turning 16 July 8th . My parents gifted the entire family
passes to the local pool. We are so excited to be able to swim whenever we
like . Although I think today I may have gotten a little to much sun. I'll have
to be a little more careful tomorrow.


Hope all of you are enjoying your summer. If you come across any
ideas for summer staycations pass them on.


Warm Blessings,


Nikki
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Review That Summer By Jo Huddleston




ISBN-10: 1939219035 | ISBN- 13: 978-1939219039 |
 
List Price: $14.99 Softcover, $4.99 Kindle
|Format: Soft cover and Kindle | Page Count: 220

I was given for review the book That Summer by Jo Huddleston
in correlation with the CWA Review Crew.

The Summer by Jo Huddleston is a historical novel and is book one
of the Craney Creek Series.  I don't usually like to review books in a
series but I am glad I did this one. Historical Fiction is something that
I typically choose to read. I like books that keep me coming back
for more and Characters that I can become invested in. That Summer
has both of these elements.

That Summer Takes place during the Great Depression in the Southern
Appalachians. Jim a young man ready to start out on his own escapes his
fathers physical abuse and their dirt poor farm life. His path takes him
to a nearby town where he is able to find a place to live and work at the
local mill. His job begins on deception of his age and Jim Struggles with
honoring his family and talking to the Lord to get by. He finds that it is
easier to continue his life of lies and secrets than to stand firm with God.

Soon he is gallivanting around with the bosses daughter and yet the young
girl he met months ago is still finding a place in his heart. He soon finds
himself among a real live love triangle. Jim has strayed away from God and
from the things his mother has taught him. How will these choice affect
those that he most loves? You will have to find out for yourself.

I really enjoyed this book and will be getting the rest in the series.
It was an easy summer read and a nice change of pace from what I
have been reading. I had a difficult time putting the book down.
This is a story of forgiveness and love. It was unusual in that
I didn't have a favorite choice for Jim. Both girls in his life had a place
in his heart. I grieved alongside of both women as choices were made
and how those choices affected their lives forever. This story is a good
example of trying to go your own way without God to lead you. When
you choose for yourself and not choose for God things can get a bit
mixed up. As Jim finds his faith God is faithful to him and helps him
to resolve all that he has undone.

Warm blessings,

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






Monday, June 24, 2013

Education Theory



Earlier this year I took a college course on education theory.
In all honesty I was very curious about it but what it came down to
was that I already knew by a mothers instinct the obvious. Obvious to a mother
who homeschools and has 5 children. I did learn something though and it helped
to put my thought process out there into a outright process. Meaning something
I think through compared to just doing it. And so I thought I'd share some of
what I learned.

"Young Children have an especially strong urge to develop the artistic and
imaginative personalities." William Cranes letter to a reader.

Children have this innate want to learn and honestly not just children
humans in general. Do we not all strive to learn something new. In
small children it just happens. It would be really hard to stop it but it
can be slowed if we don't present things to our children in away that pushes
the curiosity through their play and atmosphere. A child's development is
not a precise science. Temperament, health, environment, culture and personality
 play a huge part in a child's life, in all of our lives.


"Each of us is continually creating our own knowledge . " Piaget

Piaget states that children are only capable of learning what is known naturally.
The idea here is that children learn by what they know. What they see
and experience. Then  in turn how they interpret it. Children are not able
to preform certain tasks until they are mature enough to do so.  See as a
homeschool mom I knew that. I now that children learn by play and by what they
see. That is one of the reason I homeschool. I know what's out there in the world
of public school and I do not want that to be the things that are known and then
interpreted by my children. I want them to form their  values through our
family experiences by our discussions and the things I show them. Not what
someone else feels is important  to know.


Vygosky has a  theory too but his stages are slightly different and he
feels that there is an added element to learning and you the teacher are it.
Children have a zone of proximal development where they can learn the
most. In this way certain things are presented to children by the teacher so
that they can grow that natural ability but with a gentle push by the parental
figure.. You don't want to push to hard or have it to easy or the child doesn't
learn anything. That is the Zone where your child learns the best.


We all look for that zone don't we. Homeschoolers like to call it the Aha moment.
That moment when you show your child something, allow them to explore it
and then yes .. they put together from their past experiences what it all means.
And we know all this didn't we. We know are children best. We know as
parents where that push stage is. We look for it and we know when its time
to stop . Sometimes we aren't sure but the child leads us and we figure it
out in time. We realize too that sometimes its not the child. Sometimes it's
the way we are presenting it. Maybe not breaking it into the smallest steps
and the child becomes lost. It is not their knowledge it is what we didn't
give them. It's an experience that they are lacking and that they need.

There is a lot more to it all, this is just the jist of it. If you want to learn
more you might want to research it on the web or even You tube has
some very good videos that will tell you all about these theorists.


Basically we want our kids to learn and we want to find those Aha moments
as homeschool moms. We understand that without the theorists because
we have something more important and that is our love for our children.
We worry over them and read books to train ourselves for their future.
But when we look at it what becomes most important is the time we take
to play with them. To show them positive experiences and to wait for that
time when they really see what you want them to see.

Just remember today that your children are not little adults they are
little minds to be molded . Be gentle moms think it through and love
them with your deeds, and words. In turn they will love you and
be a treasure to your heart.


Last week we looked at Child development and I used that to create learning
Goals if you missed it you can take a peek  at our Learning Goals.

Next Monday join me again with a look at Dyslexia and Dysgraphia and
learn some tips I have learned over the years to teach them.

Warm Blessings,

Nikki

 
Saturday, June 22, 2013

Weekly Finds - Shopping for School Supplies




Welcome to Weekly Finds. This week I thought it would
be fun to share with you links to different supply companies
to help you get ready for your new school year. Sometimes Walmart
is the cheapest place to stock up on school supplies. Just waiting for
those back to school sales to fill up our cabinets again. I also like to
frequent Staples. Last year Staples had a special discount on supplies
by purchasing a $15. card you received 30% discount (I think it was on
products). We really saved with that deal because we purchase so many
items that it was a big success for us and I love Staples. I watch for deals
there and their Back to School Sales. July is when to begin looking for
them . This is when most retailers in PA begin promoting their deals.
Staples also has a reward card for customers and teacher reward card. If
you homeschool you are eligible for the teacher rewards. I have gotten my
coupons for using this card and if I return my ink cartridges I get a $3.00
coupon for my next purchase of ink. Three dollars is three dollars. I also
like to shop for Craft supplies and love to use our locals Hobby Lobby
and A.C. Moore. AC Moore has been in our little town for sometime now
but Hobby Lobby is rather new so I'm still getting to know that one.
If I watch for deals A.C. Moore puts out 40% off coupons of anything
in the store. They also have special deals. Last year I bought White T-shirts
for the kids to decorate for $.2 a piece. you just have to watch for those sales.

On occasion I like to do some special shopping online to give the kids
things they typically wouldn't have for our particular area. My
favorite catalog for buying arts supplies is Discount School Supplies.
I buy mostly paper from here. I love the selection and art papers lasts
me quite awhile. I normally can go 2 years without purchasing again.
This is my purchase year so will have to make an order soon but will
watch for deals first and back to school sales. I also like for crafting
and little trinkets Oriental Trading . You can get catalogs sent to your
home for both resources. These are my main sources for Supplies but
I have found a few more that I may order from this year.

Hygloss products- This one has a wide variety of school supplies.
Lots of little art kits and trinkets for the kids. They often have
promo deals. Right now you get 15% off summer supplies.

Homeroom Teacher- I just recently found this one. I was looking
for a new Calendar since I haven't used one in quite sometime.
My preschooler could use one and our old one is looking pretty
bashed up. Many of the Calendars are on sale right now. So if you are
Interested in one too you might want to check it out.

Carson Dellosa- What I love about this company is the quality of
their products. You can shop by age , need or theme. I love the
cute quality of their graphics. Everyone loves cute.

Last but not least is Dick Blick if you are looking for quality art
supplies this is the place to go. Often our local store doesn't carry
what I'm looking for Dick Blicks will have it.


If you have any to share please add them in the comments and I'll
post them above as they come.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki


Friday, June 21, 2013

5 on Friday Rough week.




It's been a hard last two weeks. I am reminded that I have to trust in God
and lean on Him in times of strife. My heart is heavy but I will persevere.


1. I have had allergies all week long. The farmers are cutting their hay
My eyes are itching , I'm stuffed up and very tired all the time.


2. We have been taking park walks  in conjunction with our library and
parks system. This day we went to an out of the way park with old mining caves.
They are blocked off with metal bars but it was neat to explore near and around
them. It was a rigorous walk and one we hope to try again soon. 



3. The week before I missed Random 5. We were enjoying our churches
VBS program . The kids had a wonderful time. Our theme this year
was Kingdom rock. I taught Pre K as usual





4. We finished up our school this week and are FREE for the summer!!
Not much going on though we are staying home because of finances.
Praying something gives for us soon.







5. We began our great clean out. With school things don't often
get cleaned up like they should so we are doing a major clean up project.
Throwing things away, giving things away and organizing. I want
that simple life plan.








 
Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Get Real Stop Hiding Behind the Mask By Jamy Whitaker




I was given in exchange for a review the book
Get Real Stop Hiding Behind the Mask By Jamy Whitaker
in correlation with the CWA Review Crew.


We all have things that we try to hide from. It is hard to really put yourself
out there for God. It shouldn't be. We should be jumping for joy and shouting
his name to the ends of the earth and back. Instead we allow shame, societal
standards and our own fears to seep into our soul. We allow that to come over
our beings and so we hide. We use excuses as to why we are not  forthright
in front of God. We should know, we really should, that you can't hide from God.
Adam and Eve tried and they could not find away to hide their thoughts and
fears from Him . We can put  a mask on for those around us but then while we
hide from them are we really honoring God. Can we truly Glorify Him in hiding?

It's time for us to unveil our masks so that we can do and be all that He wants
us to be. He Gave us so many gifts and talents. It's up to us to find those things
fine tune them and present them to the world in honor of his glory. Jamy Whitaker
helps you through that process of pulling down that veil and presenting yourself
in her book Get Real and Stop Hiding Behind the Mask.

Her book is set up into three main sections Identity, Insecurities, and
perspective. Each one digs deeper using bible principles to learn more about
how you can become more of you for Him. I like that Jamy uses the bible to
convey her thoughts. Having it presented any other way would have less effect.
The very back of the book you will find study guide questions to go along with
each Chapter so that you may dig deeper into your study.

One thing that I took away from it all is how busy our lives get and that busyness
can become distractions for a life that is supposed to represent God . We
get involved in our schedules and routines of the day that we forget our real
purpose. There is so much that can take us away. We have the distraction
of internet, television and telephones. Instead of God being our soul focus of
our day we try to fit Him. He should be our first priority and often times we have
him added as we see fit. In doing this we miss opportunities that God has laid
before. We don't see them because our "mask" is in the way of the view.

There is much more to learn here. If you get a chance pick up your
copy of  Get Real and Stop Hiding Behind the Mask. 

You can learn more about Jamy  at her website on Facebook
Or Twitter

ISBN: 978-1449764043 | List Price: $11.99 |
Format: Softcover | Page Count: 122


Warm Blessings,

Nikki

Cleaning and Grocery Shopping



To my Readers:


Hi everyone still not feeling to great but I'm awake a little more
today than usual. My parents came over again to help with the boys
bedroom. They have such a hug mess up there I didn't even realize how
bad it had gotten. No wonder they didn't want to clean it up when I asked
them. We took storage tubs and loaded everything into it to be sorted later
so that we could actually clean the room. The only problem is we are still
trying to pull out things so we can clean!! Yes, it is that bad. I don't have this
issue with the girls just my collector son. The exciting thing is that they are
actually starting to throw some things out. We have all these piles though
that it's a little crazy right now. Piles for my grandson, for keep, for throw
away, for yard sale, for church, for storage, and to deal with later.


While my mom and the boys worked on cleaning up I ran for groceries.
What a mess that is. Our local store is remodeling. They actually moved the
entrance door so everyone crams to park by the entrance. The isles are better
than they were this time. Before I couldn't find anything now I can at least
Follow the signs. Much of the store is the same with a few changes and now
a bigger selection. A bigger selection is good but not for the pocket book. I tend
to spend more when I have more choices.


After that I came home to sleep. I could sleep for hours with whatever this
Is that has a hold of me. I just got up a few minutes ago. Have to take Spirit
to his Karate class and then to moms for my sons playstation game.


I hope you don't mind the format today and just chatting. I'd like
to do more dear reader type posts in the future. I like to journal without
worrying about the pictures I place or the details of reviews. Plus I'd like
to get to know my readers better too.


Hope all of you are well.

Nikki
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just a little note.


To my Blog friends....


I am so sorry that I have been missing in action. I have so many
things to tell you about but right now I am so very sick. I don't
know what I have but it is knocking me out. I wake in the morning
for a few hours and then am sleeping again. I dislike being sick like
any other person but I really dislike it when it's hot outside. At least
we have the air conditioning running.

In between being sick and sleeping I have been working on doing some
clean out projects. Our school cabinet is virtually empty. I have piles laying
around to be sorted. We have also been doing a deep cleaning of the boys room.
They save everything and it shows. I think this is going to be a few week process
of cleaning and purging. Especially since I need to sleep every two minutes.

Daddy is working 10 days straight with no break, which is good.
However hard when your sick on top of the extra things that occur when
you don't have extra hands. Hopefully I will be well soon.


Hugs to you all,

Nikki 
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Christianity Cove

 photo christianitycovelogo_zpsb3aa66f4.jpg

I was given for review two E-books by Christianity Cove  in exchange
for my review through the SchoolHouse Review Crew .

The Divine Dozen - $24.00
 (12 Parables of Jesus that every child should know)

 photo biblecraft_zpsb7e926f9.jpg


My kids love to craft. I think they got it honestly from their mom.
I am pretty creative in thinking up ideas for different activities
but always like to see what others come up with and how we can
incorporate that into our homeschool.  I also teach Sunday school
in a old schoolroom style setting. I work with ages 3-12. It helps
to have activities that the older children won't find boring and the
younger ones can do. Not an easy task I might add.  I am always
searching for new ideas and new ways for us the learn about
Gods word.

Let me introduce to you Make and Take Bible Crafts . There are 47
craft ideas included in this E book. You will need very common
craft supplies, so prep is very easy and cost is effective for those
churches or families on a tight budget. The scripture verses and
stories are included in the packet if you are pressed with time and
need them readily available. However I strongly urge you to use
your bibles whenever possibly with children. The  crafts
themselves only take about 15-20 minutes to create. Very feasible
for those with limited time restraints in a Sunday school setting.
This book would be great for Preschool and early elementary ages.

20 of the crafts go with Old Testament stories such as Play dough
snake, paper bag ark, David and Goliath hand prints and hair growing
Samson just to name a few. The next 20 crafts are those that go along
with stories from the New Testament having to do with Jesus.
Examples include Jesus as a little child plate, walking on water
brown bag boats, Ten Lepers thank you fans and many more.
The last 7 are crafts to teach biblical lists like fruits of the spirit,
the 10 commandments, and salvation scripture dice.




I ended up using this with my youngest daughter (age 3)
and my son (age 7) We used it during our bible time. I read the
stories from their children's bibles and then we'd make one of the
make and takes. They worked well for our early morning circle time
because they were simple and quick freeing us up for other things. 




My son was being camera shy but this is my little sweety wearing
some of her new bible jewelry. Her bracelet is the Isaac and Rebecca
paper clip charm bracelet. This is one I really like because I think I can
adapt it to go with other lessons in our Church environment. All the
ages 3-11 in our classroom will be able to make them.

We also made the Ruth and her Mother in Law necklace.
The little one liked this one because she loves hearts. We talked a bit
about friendships and what it means to be a family. All good things
for little hearts to learn.








Here is my little one below with her fishers of Men fishing rod.
We changed it a bit with what we had laying around. We just happened
to have some pvc piping from our VBS activities so we used those.
She added glitter and sequins to her fish to make him shiny. Girls
love glitter and sequins. Well, at least mine does.

I'm not sure what that look is. I told her to say cheese and this is
what I got. 




 
We had a fun time with Christianity Cove.  Some of the crafts were
new to me but many were not after 16 years in children's ministry.
I think that this E-book would be great for those of you who are
not very crafty but want to add that element to their bible education.
In our Sunday School class another teacher and I take turns with
the lessons. One week she teaches and one week I teach. She struggles
with finding crafty things. It's just not her thing. I might have to
have her purchase this one because I think it would be perfect for her
needs in our ministry.



 photo divinedozenHL_zpsd842573f.jpg


The second E-book we were able to review is The Divine Dozen
12 Parables of Jesus that EVERY Child Should Know.



I choose this E-book because it is often hard to teach the parables to
young children. They often have difficult deeper meanings, the
consequences of the characters can be harsh and scary , and they often
contain words that are hard for children. As a Sunday school teacher
I often avoid many of them and stick to the ones that feel are child friendly.
The great thing about Christianity Cove is that they set up the wording
for you. You are given the Story but when needed it is paraphrased and
worded for children of elementary age.

The great thing about the parables is that that don't need to be taught
in any particular order. So you can teach squeeze them in where ever
you need a lesson or you can do them all in a group cluster of lessons.
The parables covered in the Divine Dozen are :

The Good Samaritan
The Wedding Feast and the Unwilling Guests
The Weather Signs
The Pharisees and the Publican
Faithful Servant and the Thief in the night
The Rick man and Lazarus
The Weeds in the Grain or the Tares
The two Debtors
The 10 Maidens
The Rick land owner
Parable of the Lost Sheep
The unjust Judge and the Helpless Widow


Each lesson takes about 25-30 minutes to compete. For our Sunday
School that means we have enough time for snack. There are 5
steps to your lessons. The first is the Capsule which will let you
know at a glance what the parable is about. Then you are given
God's word but as always you might want to use your bible. I would
 have the printout beside it for wording. Next you will find the supplies
list and then any preparation you may need. You will be able to read
a story lesson that relates to children in their world today pertaining
to the parable. I  love this about the lessons. I think to often the
parables are to hard for young children to understand. This simplifies
it for them. After your story time you will be able to complete a craft,
game or worksheet that goes along with the lesson.


We took a few of the parables and tried them out. It worked best
for my elementary child over the preschool age . My middle
schooler sat in sometimes just for pure interest. I was able to modify the
conversation after for his ability. The lesson were easy to follow and
I hope to do some of these with our Sunday School class this summer.
They are perfect for our relaxed days ahead.

I would recommend Christianity Cove. There are many other bible
resources on their website for the Sunday School teacher, Homeschool
mom and dad, or for family bible time .


Warm Blessings,


Nikki


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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Busy Busy Busy



Just a little note to let you all know I haven't abandoned you. hee hee!!!
Working with our church VBS this week and its been a big job but
so much fun. I have so much to share and I know I missed my bible post
Sunday no worries I'll post it this Sunday for the first few chapters of the
Anything book. I also have a review for you this week and will hop on
as soon as I have a moment.


See you all soon,

Nikki
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

See the Light - Shipwrecked

 
This was one of my favorite products for art. We are in love
with See the Light !!! I don't usually start that bold but it definitely
is product we will order for more art lessons in the future.

I was given for Review Shipwrecked Story and Art Lessons



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Shipwrecked  comes in DVD form for the low price of $14.99.
This particular DVD is for ages 6 years and older.


The Story - This DVD shares a 15 minute story about the Apostle Paul.
We learn about Pauls' faith through the eyes of child Giovanni.
Giovanni and his father are on a special journey when a storm hits
their ship. The ship is beginning to be torn apart and fear grips the
passengers and Giovanni. Everything seems lost until Paul , the prisoner,
steps forward and teaches them all about his Wonderful faith in God.
This is a exceptional story that tells of The Apostle Paul's adventure
through the eyes of a child. The video is not animated but better yet
is drawn with pastel Chalks. This did not deter our children at all
while watching it they became memorized by the artist and the story.



Art projects- On this particular DVD there were three art projects
for my son to complete. I was so grateful for the list of supplies for
each project. I would suggest watching the videos before you
purchase your supplies. I have experience with art materials and I
wasn't sure about some of them. We did have a large box of pastel
chalks but I'd suggest purchasing the fluorescents from See the light.






 My sons first project was a lettering project. The words are to look
like wood and when you take a black light over it you can see highlights
of yellow. For our black light we purchased a bulb and put it in our light.
This wasn't the best way because it was hard sometimes to see the
glowing parts of our work unless we were very close to the bulb.
I would suggest see the lights black light. When we order our next
project we will purchase the black light from them. 




His next assignment was called Who would save us?
Artist Pat Knepley take your child through step by step direction on how
to create this pastel drawing. When you turn on the black light you would
see the cross that saves Us. My son also added other things that glow. He
was into making more things stand out. I think his sea turned out so awesome. 




 


I had a really hard time capturing his art with the black light I just
don't have the right camera.

We used the See the light Dvd as 4 different lessons. First we watched
the story part together as a family. Then my son did the art assignments one
per day. This DvD could have been a month of art lessons if done one per
week or a two week project doing two per week. We did ours in 2 sittings.
It was just so much fun!!!







His last project is called God is my lighthouse and is presented by Jim
Pence. Jim gives your child instructions to create a mixed media piece.
This one was small enough that I think I was able to catch the glowing
parts with our black bulb and take a picture of it. It's still a little difficult
to see but if you look closely I think you can see the light. 



He used water colors, marker and extreme colored pencils by Crayola.











This is the black lighted ones. You can sort of see the light coming off
the lighthouse. It shows better in real time. 






The only thing I was unsure of was all the supplies we had to purchase.
They weren't things that we had readily available and we have a lot
of art supplies. However once we did get them the kids are enjoying
the new found supplies and I'm not sorry we got them. It also helps because
I think we will be doing more of these and many of the supplies are
similar across the lessons.

Again I cannot stress enough how much we enjoyed this art lesson
and bible study. There are several more bible art lessons and a selection
of art projects without the bible lesson.



Warm Blessings,


Nikki






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Monday, June 3, 2013

Personal Development Homeschool Style - Child Development and Goals


(this graphic is from morguefile)


Over the summer I wanted to spend sometime becoming more intentional about
how I'm teaching my children. There is so much information out there
that it can become overwhelming. Over time I think I have lost sight of the
real purpose and the focus for our learning time. I thought it would be a
good idea to regroup my thoughts on what I think about what I'm already
doing. Each Monday I will write a post about the topic I have chosen. I
will also at the end of the post announce the new topic. I will then research
what I need all week long and you can to if you like. You can add any
information you find in the comments section. Then on the following
Monday I will post my finds so that I can put my thoughts in order.


This weeks Topic is Child Development.

As each year passes by I see how different my children become and
how much they grow. I often see one phase go out and a new one come in.
Understanding the development of each age is helpful in creating teaching
strategies that are effective to the learning process. When you look at a child's
development you have to remember that some children may develop faster
or slower than another. So when referencing you might want to look at
the development of children an age below and an age above their given
age. Overall though there are predictable patterns of development in 4
principle groupings physically, emotionally, socially and ability to think.
Keep in mind if your child has a learning disability or learning challenge
the timeline may differ and that is ok.  The reason I want to look at the
development stages is so that I might find what is appropriate for
learning. It's not for me to compare my child to another or to a standard.
It just gives me a basis and an understanding about why a particular behavior
may suddenly appear in my child's life. Often times growth is uneven and
learning comes in spurts. I feel that children learn naturally that they desire
to see what the world has for them . They want to know more about what
comes next. Overall the development of children is always changing
just as our world is always changing. It is good to relook at your  child's
development every so often. Possibly more than just your once a year
well visit. It provides a basis , a window so to speak into the way you
will be able to connect with your child.



Let's start with my youngest. She will be 4 in August.
Last year looking at her development I used the website zero to three
There is a lot of good information there and you can spend hours reading
many good articles. There is also special podcasts that you can listen to
I have listened to the entire series. Little Kids Big Questions
You might want to try clicking the behavior and development tab at the
top of the page as well.



Now my favorite source for taking a quick look at each child's level
Is the book Yardsticks Children in the Classroom Ages 4-14. What I
like most about this book is that it doesn't just show developmental stages
but it shows them as to how they relate to a child and their academics.
Yes it's based on a classroom setting but still it has information that
is useful to the homeschool mom as well.  I can use this information and
begin planning ahead .




.  Again starting with my 3 soon to be 4 year old here is what I have
gathered.  After the dashes are my notes to myself. Its a mix of development
and learning goals.




Development 4's



*Needs lots of physical activity- Movement activities, use lots of music,
learns best using large muscles.

* Loves Jobs- taking attendance, putting out snack, passing out pencils
I can use this to my advantage when she becomes frustrated with waiting
on the older children. I'll have to think of some small jobs ahead of time.

*very talkative (which means lots of disruptions for my other students)
I will need to find a plan for her so she remembers to respect their study time.

*loves to be read to- Perhaps using older children to read to her would
help with my time management and help to develop her reading skills.
Since she is a talker having her retell the story will help her develop skills.
Fascination with fairy tales, acting them out and dramatic play.

*Not ready for close visual activity- should do very little paper skills.
Hmm not what I have seen on the blogs. Will need to work on developing
a Paperless ABC curriculum with less writing skills. Until she is ready.
Want to base it on her Children's bible.

*Ready for prewriting skills- finger painting, painting with brushes etc...

*Beginning to read environment- Perhaps the label notebooks would be
a fun start to reading.

*Hands on experiences -Play

* Ready to count using real jobs - Counts now to 10.

* Colors, shapes, sizes, sorting - Exploring opportunities




Development of 7 year old


*moody , sulky, - yes we are at this stage for sure. Lots of sulking going
on. Need to work on a plan to help him work out his emotions. Will have
to look into ways to help with this.

* Need security and structure - relies on me for help. Wants me to see
everything he does. Look at me is said numerous times in a day. Need
a plan so he does not disrupt older children with his look at me wants
and at the same time validate him. Possibly have a special time to look
over the projects he has done.

*Likes to send notes - might use this to my advantage for writing.
Maybe a pen pal this year.

*bothered by mistakes- wants to give up when he makes one. I'll use
Encouragement and praise.

*enjoys games- Should use more in our lessons  . Is very active.

*holds pencil near point, presses hard and finds it hard to relax-
work more in handwriting without tears this year. More copywork.


Find ways to get him to relax. Research

*Doesn't read silently to self- maybe try whisper phones to get
him to move to that stage. Do more silent reading but make sure
to still do the reading aloud time.

*Needs humor- to get through his work and it helps if it looks like
play.

* phonics- work using games and practice reading
this summer. Need to create that summer plan. Summer library
program is a must.

*Need work on improving mental math and number sense.

*likes to verbally learn, and discovery type centers.




Development of 13 year old.



* Hygiene important at this age.

*Lots of physical activity/health- my child does not like, so have to push
The issue. Signed him up for tennis the summer. If that goes well
might do more with it. Would like to do some health education
this coming 2013 year.

*quieter , likes to be alone, moodier and sudden burst of anger.
His feelings are easily hurt.- Oh that last one. He has become very
sensitive emotionally lately. I know its changes he is going through.
I feel like I walk on egg shells. I have to really think before I talk to him.

*horse play and jokes- One practical joke he likes to do is moving my
bathroom decorations. Makes me completely nuts but for some reason he
thinks this is hilarious.

* may get headaches from close work- Yes have had this happen numerous
time. Maybe more breaks in between reading.

*interested in humanity- Maybe should start doing some current events
work. Read fiction and non fiction on social issues. Would love to start
some community service projects as a family.

*Literature and Writing- Still need that read aloud time and want
to get him writing more with a journal this summer. (All the kids)
Add to list of supplies spell checker. Work more on cursive writing.
Classical conversions is on its way for this. So excited.

*Geography- need a better sense of our world geo.
Looking for something to help with that. Wonder if homeschool group
still has geography club. Possibly make one for our school. Varying ages
would be interesting to figure out.


Development of 16 year old (soon to be 16)



*needs lots of exercise and sleep. Often sleeps during the day.

* Adult personality develops. - in that know it all stage.

*Developing larger vocabulary

* working on that deeper meaning in literature and language

*reads a lot

*enjoys small group discussions- meets in online sessions

*growth of individual skills - work on skills for culinary ,
food skills.

*project based learning- Says she doesn't like this but she always
seems so excited about what she has created.


*Couple important things- Need to take PSAT, SAT's
Start touring Schools.



Two other things to keep in mind while learning. Children
learn better with Brain breaks. Need healthy snacks during work time
and Water near work areas.

Using all of this information I can now work on planning my school year.
Using the developmental areas and goals I think I can place just the
right material for my children needs and learning styles. Now I'm
ready to start searching catalogs and our current curriculum.

If you have any other ideas to share or websites please add to
my comments so that I can learn more.

Next weeks Topic: A short look at  Education Theory


Warm Blessings,

Nikki


5 weekly Goals



Our Heart and Home  is hosting a 5 weekly Goals link up.
Lets be intentional about our weekly goals and challenges.
This is my first week participating so I don't have an update,
but here are my week Goals for the 4th...

1. Clean up and put away the little pile of school things I moved
to the summer house. Books need put on shelves and supplies that
I don't need to use need to be stored and packed away.

2. I have stacks of containers in an upstairs room. My goal is to go
though at least 2 this week, putting things away and storing the containers
for a better use.

3. Cut Spirits hair. His hair is so long right now its ridiculous with the heat.

4. Finish reading a book that I have for a review. I am about half way through it.
Work on a few other reviews as well.

5. Get to the fireworks. Every year I say I'm going and ever year we miss it.
This year my goal is to get the kids to the 4th celebration in our area.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki



Keep in Touch

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Rejoice in the Lord Always.