Wonder what other families did this week? Check out 1 +1+1=1 and 123 Homeschool4Me for many more great ideas.
Last week we finished up our study of community helpers. We had several centers each devoted to a separate community helper. Here are some pictures of of different centers. I used toys and materials we had already and coupled them with learning activities. Our Doctor station had several books about the human body. Our Firefighter station had an addition booklet and a craft. Our Veterinarian station had a Brain Pop video about community helpers and an online quiz. Our Trash collector station had a craft and our Dental station had a counting activity and a number match activity. Our construction station had a floor puzzle (not pictured) with various construction vehicles. The kids had a blast and actually played with some toys that had been in their closet or toy box and long forgotten so win win in my book!
Wonder what other families did this week? Check out 1 +1+1=1 and 123 Homeschool4Me for many more great ideas.
We released our butterflies this week. It was the perfect day it was a little on the cooler side with a breeze. Butterflies need a temperature of 72 degrees I believe in to be able to fly. So on day five with our butterflies we headed outside with our picnic blanket and our afternoon snack and with a nice 74 degree day we released the butterflies. In past years the butterflies have flown out of the Butterfly Pavillion immediately upon opening. This year since it was a bit breezy the butterflies hung around a little longer and we were even able to release them from our finger tips. Normally we release the butterflies on day four but it was little too cold this year so we had to wait an extra day. In our area the Painted Lady butterfly is quite common. We purchase the caterpillars from a local Children's Discovery Museum. The kids love checking the caterpillars each morning to see how much they've grown or if they've formed their chrysalis' yet. This year we had two firsts- 1. my husband used a time lapse app to actually record one of the butterflies forming a chrysalis and 2. My daughter and I had the unique experience of actually seeing one of the butterflies emerge from the chrysalis. It tool only about 15 seconds which is why if you turn away you miss it- lol. It seemed every time we left the room a new butterfly emerged. Here are a few photos from our release.
I realized that I had not posted the pictures I took of our classroom space. We do not have a separate room for our homeschool space so I took a section of our family room and bought some great space saving furniture from Ikea and made us this great Jungle themed space. It works great for both the Princess and Mr. Man.
Well it has been quite awhile since I've posted anything that we've been doing. This is for a couple of reasons: 1) I haven't been using anything that is original that is ours and it is a lot of work to put all the links in and also trying to remember where I downloaded each activity and 2) I have not been very diligent about taking pictures and keeping up the blog.
This week Mr. Man is working on the letter K and the Princess is continuing in our various curriculums. But I did want to share just a couple things with you. The first is an activity practicing Left and Right. I used some of my old Creative Memories stickers left over from my scrapbooking supplies. I tried to find animal stickers where the animals were facing left or right. (We were working on an animal unit last month by Unit Studies it was called astonishing animals and I really recommend it) I made a grid 4 x 5 on a piece of copy paper using a ruler and thick black marker. Then I placed an animal sticker in each square. Next I laminated the sheet then cut out all the individual squares. I wrote Left with an arrow on one sticky note and right with an arrow on another. I placed each of the sticky notes in the appropriate side of a 2 section tray and let the Princess sort all the animals into the correct section of the tray. Mr. Man wanted to try too. They both got them all right, I think the arrows really helped. I scanned my finished sheet incase you just wanted to use mine instead of making your own. However by varying the stickers you could personalize this activity to your child's interests or your own theme (dinosaurs, cars/ trucks etc). Look under my resources tab for the Left/Right animal sheet.
The second activity I want to share was a pouring/ measuring activity. I got out our old sensory bin filler from last Thanksgiving (three beans and fall colored rice) some scoops, measuring spoons and several cups, jars and bowls. I challenged Mr. Man to count how many scoops it took to fill the jar. The I challenged him to scoop some beans into one clear plastic cup then try to get the matching or equal amount into the second plastic cup. I had an old mayonaise jar that had some lines molded into the plastic and asked him to guess how many scoops it would take to get to the second line etc. For the Princess I put out a 1/4 measuring cup and we talked about Halves, Quarters and worked on equal amounts etc. This was good for Mr. Mans motor skills but also touched on science with predicting and testing and math with the counting and measuring and estimating. They really enjoyed it.
This month we have focused on bugs. I purchased a Butterfly home and a ladybug home from Amazon and the Easter Bunny was kind enough to leave them with the Easter Baskets. We watched our caterpillars grow, form their Chrysilis and then emerge as butterflies. We later let them go. I can not seem to find my camera which has many of the activities we did this month. I did make a couple printable to play Swat! One is an ABC review game for my Little Man and one is a sight word game for the Princess. Both are available in the resources/ printables tab of my website.
There were so MANY bug activities we could have done a whole other month on bugs and insects. I have a ton of great pins on my Bug/ Insect Pinterest Board. Check it out here.
Update 6/11/12 The Camera has been found!! Yay! SO here is a mish mash of pictures of some of our bug fun. There were many other activities but since I misplaced my camera I didn't take pictures. Check out the pinterest boards because that is where most of the ideas came from that didn't get photo graphed here. (Like the Pringles Can with the Caterpillar in the back.
Warning this post is not for the faint of heart!!! Below is a slide presentation of the toys that have taken over our home. Yesterday I posted about entitlement. The truth is My Husband and I are guilty of this "sense of entitlement" our children have. (Although there is plenty of help from the grandparents- lol). As you will see our children have so MANY TOYS that they don't even play with the vast majority of them. It's not their fault, how could they? There just are not enough hours in the day. Not to mention that they can't even get to some of them because they are buried so deep. Here the CHRISTMAS EVE presents are so superfluous they can't even all fit in the corner under the tree.
I feel like my children have no sense of appreciation and they have no idea what it is like for some families who have to make huge sacrifices for their children to have the basic necessities and a couple extras. We talk abvout less fortunate families/ kids. We go through the toys and clothes and weed out occasionally and donate the surplus but they just really don't get it. It drives me crazy when I see then standing on a book or throwing a toy. I want them to respect not only their own belongings but other people's belongings as well.
Recently my daughter made the connection that she has money in her piggy bank and toys at the store cost money. She asked why she couldn't take the money out of her piggy bank to buy more toys at the store. I was thinking to myself "What toy could you possibly want that you do not already have?"- LOL
Yesterday, Clarissa, over at 1+1+1=1 posted on her blog about her struggle to be a more Christ like parent. This got me thinking about my own struggle. In my home Entitlement has crept in and it's robbing my family of happiness and hurting our relationship with the Lord.
Like Clarissa I "Know" the right things to say and do in my head but in the moment when the kids push my buttons my blood pressure spikes instantly and it goes out the door then words are coming out of my mouth sometimes in a very loud fashion and I am not even thinking about what I am saying. Then moments later I am hit with regret and remorse as I realize I have just said the exact things I was trying so hard not to. To add to the guilt, my husband is a yeller and he does say ALL those things that we learn through positive parenting we shouldn't. You know what I am talking about, threats (mostly empty), name calling (stop crying like a baby), comparing (why can't you ... like your (sister/ brother) etc. I've been to a few parenting seminars and classes, I've read a fair share of books on parenting and on age appropriate development. All of this has helped to shape me into a better parent and leads me to be a more Christ-like parent BUT...sometimes it all goes out the window.
My daughter is a real mystery to me. She is SO SENSITIVE and she is seemingly always sad or mad about something. She doesn't have a large interest in her brother in less it is to boss him around. It makes my heart very heavy. Most recently I joined a parenting group at my church. Our facilitator had gone to a workshop on entitlement. The lights went on and suddenly so much made sense. I went home and purchased the book From Innocence to Entitlement a Love and Logic Cure for the Tragedy of Entitlement by Jim Fay This book has changed my whole mindset and has really influenced the way I parent more than all the other workshops, books, seminars and meetings with a parent coach. I discovered that my daughter's issues are most likely related to her sense of entitlement. The book tells us that Entitlement robs us of our happiness. It causes anger and depression. (It's not fair. How come he gets...? But I wanted the ... one. But it's mine, Everyone else has... etc.)
Since reading this book I have mostly done away with the empty threats and the exasperating sarcasm (hurry up, it shouldn't take all day to...) I am using what the book calls "Enforceable statements" Mom's car is leaving in 5 minutes if you don't have your shoes on you'll have to leave without shoes on. ) Another example is instead of "Why can't you brush your teeth like a big girl? " (Because she is playing around being silly, making a mess etc) to "You have 2 mins to finish brushing your teeth and cleaning up your mess before you start using your bedtime story time". It is working -when I remember to use the enforceable statements.
I've also assigned my daughter (almost 5) the task of putting away the clean silverware. After the third day she asked me why she had to do this everyday. I simply told her "because we are a family and in a family every needs to help each other". She then asked why her brother didn't have to do a job. I just told her "when he is 4 he will have a job to help the family also." I want my children to feel like they have something to contribute to the family. I want them to give back and not just take.
My children are entitled. My house and back yard are overrun with toys. They want for nothing; but to ask them there is something they want that they don't have I'm sure. I don't even have any room/ space for ANY new toys. My Daughter has over FORTY stuffed animal toys/ dolls. (sorry about the lighting in the picture). My son has over TWO HUNDRED hot wheel cars and this is only one example for each child. My Husband and I are to blame. We did this. How can my children appreciate anything when everything is always given to them or done for them? So now we are working on helping them become more independent and appreciative. Mom is NOT doing EVERYTHING for them anymore. This has been so hard on me because I am so use to anticipating and acting on all their needs and wants. I have to pause and consciously think to myself, "Is this something he/ she can do?" I have to be ok with letting my children experience being uncomfortable (struggling through a task) so they can grow and become independent. This is hard with my daughter because when she struggles she shuts down and just cries. It's a process for sure.
My daughter is still sad and angry often and I still forget and yell sometimes but it is getting better. I recently borrowed the book Too Many Toys by David Shannon from our local library. We've read it now 5 times I'm not entirely sure she has made the connection to herself but she has made a couple comments about her brother and all his toys.-LOL We've read books about good character, especially sharing. I realize it is a long road ahead of me but I really do not want my children to have this sense of Entitlement. I want them to be appreciative, respectful, loving and most of all I want them to Love themselves in a healthy way and know that they are perfect because God made them.
Sigh- We did two weeks on bugs, two weeks ago and I have not been able to find my camera anywhere. I haven't posted what we've been doing since I couldn't find my camera to upload the pictures.
I took a few pictures today of The Princess doing some money activities so I thought I'd at least post about these. She is not only learning what each coin is called and it's value we are also adding coins together to make sums and learning how to read the name of each coin. Like the average child she is still confusing the Nickle and Quarter but other than that she pretty much has it down. Today we did a matching activity where she had a sheet with the denominations and she had to put the corresponding coin on top. A similar activity with the words rather than the denominations and then we played a game where we put the coin cards on top of the denominations (this Carousel game came from a File Folders- Time and Money book). The boards for the first two activities were a freebie from
The Little Man has been obsessed with "having a car wash" ALL WEEK. We did shaving cream with paint brushes two days, cars in the bath with a scrubber and bath gel and today we had a bin full of soapy water and a bin full of clean water and a tooth brush. He has REALLY enjoyed his car wash activities. Because I can not find my camera I didn't take any pictures.
On Friday I took a few shots on my camera phone just so I could actually put up a new post. So here is what I got on camera.
Here the Princess is placing coins on her math mat which has denominations written on it. This was a Freebie from Counting Coconuts (Money Math from May 30th).
Similar activity but now the math mat has the coins' names and she is matching the correct coin to its name.
This is a math mat activity from the Scholastic book Math Mats & Games Money. On these activities there is a denomination written on a piggy bank in the center (this sheet says $0.07) Then the student adds up the coins in each box and finds pairs that add up to $0.07.
Here we were playing a money game from the Scholastic book File Folder Games Time and Money. This is a carousel theme which is great for my pony loving princess.
Here is Little Man washing his "Crazy Coupe" This was our carwash activity for today.
A few months ago I took a wonderful parenting class at my church it was based on the book Being the Parent You Want to Be by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot. I went to the class hoping to get a few tools for my parenting tool belt but what I got instead was a Divine Intervention that quite possibly may have saved my marriage. Now there isn't really anything wrong with my marriage right now mind you except that all my time and energy is spent taking care of my kids and then what little I have left I use to attend to my Spouse.
I've been to two different parenting presentations and told by two different Marriage, Family, Life Therapists that you have to take time out for your self (happy, recharged mommy = better mommy for the kids) and time out for just you and your spouse. This as we all know is so much easier to say than to put into practice. But in all honesty I've noticed that in the 14 years I've been married I feel like my spouse and I have drifted the farthest apart in the last 4 years (post kids). This is not his fault and it is not my fault. Life just happens.
This weekend my husband and I attended a marriage seminar at church titled The Art of Marriage, and guess what. There it was again, this idea that the marriage has to be before the kids. WHAT?! But here is why and it makes sense. The kids will grow up and leave when they marry their own spouse. They will Leave their mothers and fathers to Cleave to their own spouses. This is God's design and how wonderful that is. Our spouse is God's Gift to us. Our spouse should be valued above all others with a certain reverence that demands our attention, our love, our understanding and patience and our forgiveness. Our loyalty should lie with our spouse. So often I hear other women talking negatively about their Husbands- his short comings, his latest offenses etc. I too am guilty of taking part in this. But NO MORE. I get it now. My Spouse is the one person who is a true confidant, the person I can be myself with, the one person who will cheer me on to be a better person always, the one person who will be there- ALWAYS.
Now I LOVE my children, they are the world to me and I want all sorts of happinesses and successes for them. But the GREATEST gift I can give to my children is to love their Dad first and always. This will give them confidence, security and a great role model of what a healthy loving relationship should be. When I think of the marriage I want for them (happy and loving, with attentive and forgiving spouses) I realize that I need to first have that and model that. I can not do that if they get 95% of me and my Husband gets 5% of me.
I don't want to find out in 15+ years as my children leave for college that my spouse and I have grown so far apart that we are really strangers with little to nothing in common because I was so busy taking care of the kids that I neglecting his needs. I am living intentionally in the present making time for my spouse and I to reconnect often. It might just be making a special dinner once a month for just the two of us after the kids go to bed, or taking the time to walk into his office and rub his shoulders for two minutes while he's working. I make sure to kiss him before either of us leave the house and to acknowledge him as soon as one of us return home.
We found out the results of Sam's blood work. He has cancer in the lungs, in fact the xrays show several tumors. He is coughing a lot and we have him on predisone. We had a nice talk with the Princess so she now knows that Sam has a "doggie sickness". We didn't want to use the "C" word or say he was sick because he is old or anything else that would scare her. We were honest and told her that he would die sometime soon and that he would not be with us for another Christmas. We told her that he had hard lumps in his lungs and it made it hard to breathe. We explained that he would get sicker and when he got really sick Mommy and Daddy would take him to the vet to get some special medicine that would make him feel a little better but wouldn't heal him and that he would not be coming back home when that happened. It was hard to talk about it and I was so glad my hubby and I had discussed what we were going to say ahead of time. I started to get all teary eyed and got a huge lump in my throat so the my dear hubby did most of the talking.
I thought she would ask if he was going to go to heaven and what would happen when he died. I had read up in my 200 questions kids ask about God and the Bible and 104 questions kids ask about heaven and angels and I was ready-- but she didn't ask. So, now we will try to make Sam as happy as we can for the time we have left with him.