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Friday, January 31, 2014

Random 5 Non productive

The Pebble Pond


1. This was not a productive week at all.  I ended up not attending
church on Sunday because I as sick and that has taken my entire
week. Today I am feeling a little better but a tad wore out.

2. This week the boys had dental appointments. We so love our
children's dentist and I am so sad to hear they are no longer going
to accept our insurance. I can't afford to pay out of pocket for 4
children and so we will have to find another dentist.  I just hope
we can find one we love like this one. Insert sad face here.


3. Our house looks like a tornado went through it. That's what
happens when mom is sick. So I can't wait this week to get started
on Motivated Moms. (A little something I get to review with the
schoolhouse crew. )

4. I love to read and am reading several books at once. They are
and in no particular order...

The Bible
Crave
The Daniel Plan
12 Steps to be Organized
Sing you Home by JodiPicoult


5. I always wake up at 3 or 4 am and then want to go back to
sleep later but can't because the little ones wake up. Blaaaa.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow and Tiffany Lamps



Welcome to another post on the Virtual Refrigerator.  I have
gathered with a  group of 3 other bloggers  working to share
our children's art each week. I feel that Art and creating things
with our hands is important to our studies. It is so nice to see
what other ideas there are out there for kids to do and to have
a platform to share my children's creations.


We would love to have your join us. You can share art,
crafts, or even photography in our link up.






Let is snow. Let is snow. We have had so much
snow this winter that it shocks me and yet the kids
can't really go out and play in it because of the cold
temperatures. I am hoping this weekend when they go
up a bit they can get out and blow off some steam so to
speak. Looking out our window my son superboy created
this snowy art scene.



We also did a mini art study on Tiffany lamps and stained glass.
Superboy designed his own lamp below.



Thanks for joining in on our art this week.

Warm Blessings,
 

Nikki
Friday, January 24, 2014

Homeshooling Essentials- Free Resources



Let's just be forthright here. When you home educate most of the
time that means that you are on one income. Now I know there are
some out there that do both. They school and they work maybe part
time or have an at home business. For many of us though educating at
home means one income. Your time as their teacher is spent working
on your children's morals , values, and education. Now I work a part time
job in children's ministry and sometimes part time at the local elementary
school as before after care coordinator but mostly I enjoy those and they
don't pay all that great that we have an abundance of wealth coming in.

For us the Biggest Resource we could have is our computer (laptop)
and our printer. Without it I wouldn't be able to produce all the
great activities to my children that I do. So for our last day of
Homeschooling Essentials I'd like to share some of my favorite free
resources with you. Before I do if you missed it you might want to
stop and read the other four posts about what I feel is essential to
home educate...


Family Focus- Sharing a brief look at why we school at Home.
The Good Book- The importance of each on of my children holding
and having Gods word at their finger tips.
Promote Free Thinking- Allowing our children to be thinkers. Not just
doers or followers but to use their minds to find what is right for them.
Make a Plan- Being organized and creating a plan you can be accountable
for your child's education.

So let's Get Started... My favorite Free
Home Education Resources
.


Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool
- Right here you will
find all you need to home educate. This is the full curriculum
for Grades Prek - Highschool.

Ambleside Online- Another complete curriculum using the Charlotte
Mason style of learning.

Khan Academy-  Your child starts out taking a pretest and then the
system adapts to your child's learning style. Teaching with videos
and other resources. (We use this one in Alg. all the time)


Home School Share- offers a wide variety of lessons and activities
for all ages of children. I like to do many of the lapbooks available
through homeschool share. I also like that it matches to friar.


Homeschool Radio Shows- My kids love Cinnamon bear. We listened to
this one many years ago and it's still a holiday favorite. Homeschool
radio show offers free resources from time to time. You can also purchase
many of their radio shows. Great listening skills.


Free Homeschool Deals- This is one of my very favorites. Each day you
will receive a message with new free resource around the blogs and
the internet including free kindle books .


Homeschool Creations- Jolanthe is a blogger but she has some amazing
resources on her website for Early Elementary and Pre K. There is also
a geography resource as well as many other free printables.


Donna Young- Mom's need to be organized and Donna Young offers
the tools to do just that. There are other printables available for your
child as the work through their studies.

Hippo Campus- offers many free resources for educating those upper
level grades. High school and college courses.


Currclick- Offers one free resource a week and seasonal freebies.


Old Fashioned Education- offers a variety of lessons, activities and free
books for our school


Lapbook Lessons- Valerie offers a variety of free lapbook resources.
If you sift around her site there are other goodies to be found.


1plus1plus1equals1- offers a variety of resources for the Toddler
to early Elementary. Some really fun printables. We have used
several of her resources.



Hands of a Child- offers one free lapbook about once a month.



Wholesome Childhood- offers one freebie per day but you better be
on your toes because the next day the resource is no longer free.
HS Printables- is just what it says. Free printables resources for
your every day use.


Pinterest- tons of freebies on pinterest but you might want to
check out this page of free printable resources. And of course
my Pin Page.


These are just a few. There are tons of resources out there...
These free resources are essential for our School.


Warm Blessings

Nikki





You might want to stop by and read some of these gals from the hop.

Annette @ A Net in Time


You can read all of the post by click the banner below.


5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials
Thursday, January 23, 2014

Looking Out my Window I See...



Welcome to another post on the Virtual Refrigerator.  I have
gathered with a  group of 3 other bloggers  working to share
our children's art each week. I feel that Art and creating things
with our hands is important to our studies. It is so nice to see
what other ideas there are out there for kids to do and to have
a platform to share my children's creations.


We would love to have your join us. You can share art,
crafts, or even photography in our link up.







This week I only have one art work to share. My son and I were looking
at art  this week from Ancient Roman. We found some pictures of
the walls of ruins from Mt. Vesuvius. Many of the walls were done
as frescoes which were similarly done in plaster. The work we looked
at showed painted windows of architecture of that time period.


Spirit created this work of art from a window view. It was up to
him what he wanted to show out of his window. Then is
was to watercolor paint it.





He shows a sunny blue sky with clouds. A tree growing in a garden
with a walkway and a trellis. Reminds me a little of the yard we had at
our old house. I'm thinking he was basing it off of that.


Please share your art and link up.
Warm Blessings,

Nikki



Homeschooling Essentials- Have a Plan





 If you read my blog then you know I'm a list maker. I make lists and
cross things off. This is how I function. For some reason for me if it is on
the list I tend to complete it. I just need that order in my life to keep me
consistent. Educating my children is no different. Now I completely
believe in free thinking but we can still plan our day and schedule in our
lessons so that we don't spend our time idly . It can happen it really can.
Especially this time of year when winter has set in and you just want to
snuggle up under the blanket and not come out till spring.  That is good
for one day but we need to be vigilant teachers and intentional about
our children's education. ( Have you seen Good Morning Girls
bible study on Intentionally living)


 My very favorite Calendar planner is this one  by Blue Sky.
I found mine at Walmart. I had never seen a planner like this one.
It has the Calendar on one page. The Things to do list on the other.
 
 



Now what I like the most about this planner is this...
I like that I have so much space on each day. Remember me telling
you I'm a list maker. Well I can make a list for the day and have so much
space to do so. Love this planner!!! It helps me stay organized.



Now I also keep a notebook....
 I use my notebook as a place to store the things I use during our
school session. Generally I use it more for storage. What I really
like to use is a clipboard. I typically take out all the forms I need and
attach them to my board. I find the three ring binders to bulky to work
with and comb binding can get expensive. Plus I am ever changing my
mind as to what I will use to plan and organize.


The front pocket of my notebook has my sons Barton program. The CD
is the manual for everything. I usually print out that weeks worth of work or
what I think we will complete that week. It sort of depends on weather he is
understanding things or he's not and how fast we go. Those things always go
in the front so I know where they are. The CD has gone missing a few times in
the shuffle of clean up. Since I have put it in the binder it has not gone missing
once. My notebook is divided into 5 sections. The first is the Calendar section.


 


 
This page when the time comes may be attached to my clipboard. I am
using this one to help with keeping track of attendance. Basically  I will
highlight the day after all the kiddos have completed their work.
 I downloaded it free from ...

When you get to her blog click the 12 planning pages on her side bar
and you will locate her original post.

 

For each of my children I created a planner similar to this one below.
These a screen shots of our originals. You can see Mon. -Wed here.
Thursday and Friday have music instead of art and Science instead
of History. There is plenty of space for me to write our plan. All of
this goes on my clip board. The older children have their plan on a
clipboard of their own. They can cross things off as they go. All their
plans are slightly different  depending on what they are working on.

This one is for my 2nd grader.


 




To me having a plan and being organize is Essential for
our Home education experience without it I think we would be
less productive and scattered. This may look like we are not flexible
like we stick to the plan and that is it but in all honesty we really use
this as our guide to our day and if something comes up then it
just gets moved to the next day. 



Warm Blessings,

Nikki
You might want to stop by and read some of these gals from the hop.

Annette @ A Net in Time


You can read all of the post by click the banner below.


5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Homeschooling Essentials- Promote Free Thinking



 



I grew up in a public school setting. Now I'm not going to say I had
the worst education because I didn't but there were many things about
It that I grew to hate. One was that I was lost in the system. There was no
creativity and the right answer was their answer. The systems answer.
Now I'm not one to conform my ideas to blend in with what others want
or what others think I should be and so my creativity was squashed. I had to
blend in there to succeed. I remember history classes being the worst for me.
I loved the stories but the classes were so boring. I had one teacher who
wrote notes on the board. Three boards all the way around the classroom
and I was to sit during that time period and just copy his notes. That was class.
That was history. What creativity is there in that. I had another who would
give me the answers to the test before the test the next day. So I didn't have to
think or give my opinion because there was one opinion. That was of the text
book. I could research no other idea or if I did it wasn't allowed or
considered a right answer.

Similar things occurred in my other classes. Math in particular. There
was one way to solve it. Yet there are a number of ways to solve math. I
often hear moms say why does the math book show us so many ways to
solve it. Why not just solve it the old way and its done. I don't believe in
that. Why show them  one way when maybe they can think of another
and do just as well. Conformity... We are teaching our kids not to
think. When what we should be doing is modeling and waiting...
Allowing them to ask questions and find the answers themselves.

Now again my school experience was not all terrible. I had the best
art teacher around. He was a free thinker. Even though he taught us art
he taught us so much more. He allowed us to talk and to think for ourselves
out loud about what we wanted in our lives. It was my favorite class and I
learned so much in that environment. I think of that teacher when I model
our school. Not the whole public school mentality but just the free thinking.
Allowing my kids to express their feelings and express what they are thinking.

Have you ever heard of Product Vs. Process in Art? If you haven't
Product are the cutesy little craft projects that have one end result. Everyones
looked the same. The art has a step by step instruction to say create a flower
and vase. In the end everyones art looks very similar. Then there is Process.
I experienced this awhile ago with my 4 year old daughter at the beginning of
the school year. I gave each of the children a canvas and left them go. She
began painting with orange, then yellow, then blue, then green , then pink and
so on covering the entire canvas each time . Maybe not in that order but you
get the idea. The paint sometimes painted over well and sometimes it
didn't She ended up with a grayish purplely canvas. Now that is process.
She learned so much there that I could not have taught her. She learned
about color and mixing color. She learned about using a paint brush
and washing .She learned about texture and depth. So much was going on
in that little canvas practice. That was process. It may not be beautifully
done but the thought process is what the child needs the most.

The great thing about Home education is that we can allow them to
explore what they need to to learn to the best of their ability. We
can allow that grayish mess to dry and can paint over it with the pink
she originally wanted. We can figure things out and learn at our pace
with our hands and our minds. This thinking is essential to our schooling.

I'd like to share with you an example from my little ones. ...







This is my little Sweet Pea. Over Christmas we found a link to Santa's
reindeer webcam. Sweet pea was taken by this webcam and watched the
 reindeer for hours. She wanted to know what they ate, how often they
ate. She wanted to know all about them and she wanted to learn to draw
them too. It was trial and error. She is four after all but she found her process.
She learned all about an animal and it was all her idea.  She was learning
and loving learning and didn't even realize it. 






Superboy last year wanted to learn how to make puppets and
put on puppet shows. I bought him the material and allowed him
to figure it out. He make elaborate Puppets now. I should take some
pictures for you I haven't shared them in awhile. The end result was
his own. It was his thinking that lead him to this new love. 







The last one I have here is my sons project on Recycling.
I kept it very open ended and he had to think. Use his mind and
be creative to find the end result. He even made stories up about his
robot. This is what I am talking about . One thing leading into another.


I guess what I am getting at is that something that is Essential to our
education is THINKERS.I don't want kids that routinely go through their
day . I want kids who know how to learn something new. I want them to
be creative in their ideas and to form their own opinions. This is essential
to our Education.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki



I am participating in the Homeschooling Essentials Blog Hop....
You might want to stop by and read some of these gals from the hop.

Annette @ A Net in Time


You can read all of the post by click the banner below.


5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Homeschooling Essentials - The Good Book



Yesterday I talked to you a little about Family. Family being
the main focus of our school. Over time I learned and I did different.
My eyes were set on my children's future. It was set on the
moral and ethical standards. It was set on their knowledge
of the truth . It was set on learning in a world where ideas are
often stopped and stomped on. My eyes were opened and I
now knew and did better as their mother and teacher. It is so
stupendous when God works like that in our lives. When he helps
us to really see what is around us challenging us to live in the
here and now for his Good.

My eyes were lifted and I looked to God for guidance. Right then
I knew what our focus would be in our school. I really always knew
because He (God ) should be the center of our lives. Sometimes
we forgot. We get busy with day to day. I didn't want to get so busy
that I lost the essence of what is real. Rushing my kids here to there
was not an answer I wanted. My focus was on them which later I put
words to and realized God had given me my ministry. I could look
all over but in reality it was right here with me. It was these precious
gifts that God had granted me for just a little while.

How? .... How then could I teach God's word? He would give
me the knowledge. He gave it to ALL of us so there is no excuse .
When I need Him  the most the words just come to mind.
He gives me that Guide. My Guidance is the "Good Book"
My BIBLE. The truth is in it's words. The laws and moral standing
 I need are right there. The guide to minister to my family and
the path to live. It's all written down for me and for you .

It would be really sad If I didn't give those words to my family
but I wanted them to understand on their level. I wanted them
to hold the book and love it like I do. And so a friend of mine and
I searched for bibles for our children and for our church. We came
up with these....





For my 4 year old I found the Read to Learn Bible .
Illustrated in picture and gentle in its spirit. The
faces of the characters represent a peace. I also choose
this bible because we were going to work through the
It has been the perfect fit for her. She is ready to sit for
 stories and hear more than a few words. She was ready for
more than a sentence at the bottom of the page. This has
been the best book for her and she loves it. She carries it
around the house and we read together often.







for my 7 year old. He is at the active and ready to read age.
At this age I wanted him to be able to read God's word himself.
I wanted something he could relate to and be able to cherish.
This bible includes hands on activities, Basic facts, information on
the tricky words, games, maps and a scavenger hunt. Just perfect for
my all boy 2nd grader.








For my 7th grader and 11th grader we choose the Deep Blue Bible.
This book is recommended for 7th-12 graders.
God's word in plain English. You will find trivia, devotionals
and other interactive components.






For Mom and an additional for my 11th grader. I got the
Life Application Study Bible . I got one for my 11th grader
as well because it is imperative that she dig deeper into God's
word. For me because it will help  me always have the answer
when asked a question by my inquisitive children. A dear friend
gifted this to me after the birth of my last child. It is my favorite
bible so far.


Each of my children has their own story of Love. Their own
book to hold  , highlight and read. What they will find in these
pages is far greater than any other gift I could ever give them.
This is education that will be with them always.

I really feel this is so important for them to each have their
own bible. God's word right in their hands.

This "Good Book" is Essential for our Home Education.
Warm Blessings,

Nikki

I am participating in the Homeschooling Essentials Blog Hop....
You might want to stop by and read some of these gals from the hop.

Annette @ A Net in Time


You can read all of the post by click the banner below.


5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials
Monday, January 20, 2014

Homeschool Essentials - Family Focus

 


Many years ago I had a little girl and that little girl was my
world. Her daddy left us when she was little but it didn't change
my feelings of wanting to encompass her with complete love.
A love and dedication so strong that she would know she could
rely on me always. I wanted to be here for her in the here and the
now. I knew time was fleeting. Now this little girl and I worked
hard to take care of ourselves. I worked in a childcare center where
she attended because I couldn't bare leaving her there alone to
handle the day to day without me. On my lunch breaks I'd sneak her
off her sleepy time mat and take her for lunch in the local market.
God was our center and we happily managed our days.

Then one day a man walked into our lives and my resolve to
be my daughter's steadfast stayed. In time she came of age to
begin kindergarten. I didn't  know then what I know now.
I dressed her up and sent her to school with a broken heart.
I had to work double hard to teach her to read and write because
she wasn't with me all day. I had to work double hard to keep her
from the world and from falling into trouble. Keeping her home was
in my heart but her dad had a say too... So I just kept working harder.
She attended public school the entire way with honors but it was a hard
road. It was one traveled with some regrets and some joys.

Now her sister would come along one day with a different course.
She was a little more difficult to handle. She was a tad more demanding.
My little girls and I worked together to spend that time together. When
Kindergarten rolled around again this time for my child who seemed
to be struggling I hesitated but what was I to do.  I wish I knew what
I know now. I sent her to K and to 1st grade and the tears well.
My girls were growing up. Each day was became harder for my
2nd little girl. No more or no less than the first. She struggled to
fit in and to read. It was a frightening time for her . She cried and
needed me. I just couldn't let her down . So I talked with her daddy
and we decided that bringing her home was the answer.




Now it was pretty scary I'm not going to lie . I wasn't sure I could do
what was right for my child going in second who wasn't reading,
who wasn't writing  and  who wasn't solving math. What could I
possibly do because frankly I was only her mom. And then it hit me...
I WAS HER MOM. I could teach her . I could do this. We worked
hard and it wasn't easy but over time she could read, write well and
figure in math. Did I mention we are doing Alg. 2 this year.


As time went we added to our family . Some rough and tough little boys .
Little boys who are growing into men . Keeping them home just felt
natural now. A way of life. We eat together. We play together and we
learn together. Now some don't understand. They just don't think what
I am doing with my family is right but how could loving them and caring
so much be wrong. They are only here 18 years in my home. 18 years
to show them the love that I mimic that the Lord gave to me.



18-19 years seems like a long time but I promise you time is fleeting.
I blinked and in 2015 my oldest will graduate college and is getting married.
My daughter I brought Home is graduating high school . My son is turning
14 ...15 in 2015. My little guy is reading and solving math like a pro and my
little girl begins the journey all over again. We get to see this through and
walk in the Lords path. One day when I'm old and gray I'll have no regrets.
I will have that time and hold it and when I am gone they will hold it
close too and pass that love to their children.





Family is all that matters. You will figure out the books and the plans.
You will learn the homeschool lingo. Those moments those kids. They are
what is Essential to any homeschool plan.



Warm  Blessings,

Nikki


I am participating in the Homeschooling Essentials Blog Hop....
You might want to stop by and read some of these gals from the hop.

Annette @ A Net in Time


You can read all of the post by click the banner below.


5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials
Friday, January 17, 2014

Weddings and Birthdays

The Pebble Pond











1. This week is  Spirit's 8th Birthday. We celebrated at his
grandmas house and then on Saturday he is going glow golfing
with some friends. Sorry for the grainy photo this was a mom forgot
her camera so it was taken on my oldest phone photo.


2.  My oldest daughter and I went Wedding Gown Shopping !!
Egads how did that happen. We took lots of photos but I want to
save the dress for family as a big surprise. She was lucky to find
THE ONE... We all cried . I am so happy for her . So happy she is
able to be able to marry her best friend.
3. I have so many little projects going on that it's hard to
keep up with what all I'm working on. Do you every get that
busy mom syndrome where you overbook yourself. This is me
right now .

4. My new favorite snack is frozen red grapes.
MMM so good.

5. I did a big clean out of my kitchen this week. I have some
more to do but it has become so much more manageable when I'm
cooking. As it was before it was so hard to find everything it had
gotten so cluttered. I am loving my new to me kitchen organization.
I will finish the last details  this week.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki

Lego Challenge

 



Lego Challenge #5 will be extended to Monday Feb. 1st.
Sorry for any inconvenience.  Thanks for understanding...


Warm Blessings

Nikki

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Art Box ...


Welcome to another post on the Virtual Refrigerator.  I have
gathered with a  group of 3 other bloggers  working to share
our children's art each week. I feel that Art and creating things
with our hands is important to our studies. It is so nice to see
what other ideas there are out there for kids to do and to have
a platform to share my children's creations.


We would love to have your join us. You can share art,
crafts, or even photography in our link up.




 
We went through our art tub. I keep all of their art work in the tub for
the entire school year. Then we go back over it throwing away things we don't
want to keep and writing names and dates on the things we do. Then I place
them back in the tub. When the tub is full we relook at our work and make decisions
again about what to keep and what to throw. I have indicated the age my
children were at the time. They are a year sometimes two years older now.

By Spirit Age 6 Circus



Spring umbrellas by Sweet pea age 2 (precut by mom)

Mountains and horse by Superboy age 12

Sister and Bunny by Superboy age 12


Pom pom art by Sweet Pea age 2


Bunny art by Superboy age 12

Marching band by Spirit age 6

Finger paints by Spririt age 6 and Sweet pea age 2


Wilderness by Spirit age 6


If you want to share your art join in, in the comments box.

Warm Blessings,

Nikki

Keep in Touch

I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment or leave a message in my message box. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank- you for visiting Angels of Heart.

Rejoice in the Lord Always.