Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Signing off

Ok...I am standing in my semi-packed up kitchen, boiling eggs for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner, power blogging!  My timer is set for 5 minutes...GO!

Unplugging for a day - my goal - but might stretch it to 2 days;0)
Packing and Moving!

Party Planning - This boy turns 6!!! REALLY 6 (for all of you that said "WHAT?!!!?")  
Last Year - hard to believe!

Planning and teach my first Writer's Workshops for Little Learners! AHHHH!!!

This blessed life needs to be all about time, memories and patience with...

these guys!

(planning to write a blog series on how we did it all...ekkk!)

Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 14, 2014

A few things to be thankful for...

Today was just one of those "sweet days".  Everyone was sweet!  The cold weather felt sweet!  Brisket cooking all day in the oven smelled sweet!  So thankful for days like these.

We needed a day like today.  The first of our week was good but not "sweet", like today.  And with Thanksgiving around the corner, it was sweet to get to learn about thankfulness!

I sprinkled a little learning throughout our day.  (Which often end up being some of my favorite days!)

I was SO tempted to turn on Christmas Carols, but I refrained while we cut, pasted and colored this 6 page Pilgrim book.  And while doing that, we talked all about what we had remembered from "This is America, Charlie Brown"...which we snuggled up and watched yesterday.

Something so simple and sweet with great conversation lead to happy kiddos that were so thrilled about the book they had just created!

After lunch, "movie rest time" while building with Legos, we started creating our Mayflower Ships.

Just took washed out applesauce containers, painted them with brown acrylic paint (NOT washable; tell you why later)

While those were drying, we created our sails by tracing shapes onto white paper...
 Then taping them onto wooden BBQ sticks.

We attached the Mayflower Mast to the boat using clay.  I asked the boys to think about how much clay they would need to still keep the boat 'a float.  

Finish product and happy kiddo!  
Tomorrow we will take them outside and use place them in water (probably use the sand table).  **That's why we didn't use washable paint!**

I want the boys to predict if their boat with sink or float.  Then we are going to rein-act the bad weather the Pilgrims experienced and see how our Mayflowers hold up.
I'll post pictures to Facebook...
So be sure and check in there! 

Hope you next few weeks are as "sweet" as I'm praying ours to be!  
I think if we, as parents, just slow it down, enjoy to moments, then days like today are filled with grace and thanksgiving.

Happy Learning with your Little Ones!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What's with those Workboxes? Final part to series

So you have a little background to how we "do" workboxes at this house.  And if you missed it, be sure and check out the Part 1 and 2 of this blogging series.

And I wanted to end this series with a few of my favorite "go to blogs" and a few printables to get you started.
  • Purchase a craft cart or storage organizer for your work box station.

  • Print "worktags" for your boxes and attach them using velcro dots.
"Worktags" are the numbers listed on the front of each box.  Once your lil learner has finished that box of work, they remove the worktag to show that it is complete.  

Here's a few links for FREE printable Worktags:

  • Decide curriculum/subject matter you will stuff your boxes with

This is a great PDF to print to help in your decision.

  • Start implementing workboxes very slowly!  Don't stress over getting it all ready to go at once.  Honestly, I would introduce 1-2 workboxes a week until you and your little learner are comfortable with this system.  

  • Have FUN!  Learning with Lil ones should be fun!  Create excitement by switching out your worktags or adding play into your workboxes.
Feel free to email me with any questions you have about workboxes.  I am NO expert, but can lead you to those homeschoolers/blogs that are!  

Happy Learning with your lil ones!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What's with those "workboxes!"? - Part 2

Welcome back!  I hope that my last post gave you some good insight on Workboxes and the way we use them around here.  Make sure you peek back at the Part 1 post if you missed it.

Part One - Workboxes

Now that J is "kindergarten" age, I see the importance of using the workboxes.  And the past 2 years, just taught me how I should alter and adjust to make these work for my kiddos.  If you google or Pinterest "Workboxes", you'll notice quickly that Homeschoolers have done just as I have - MADE IT WORK FOR THEM!

So here's some of my "Ah-Ha!" moments I have had over the years with on workboxes.

  • Each box that I plan must be a REVIEW for J.  (N doesn't do workboxes)  If I have taught it, this is a great way for me to assess what J has learned or what I need to reteach.  I have tried putting new concepts and skills into the boxes for J and it just turns into a frustration fest for us both.

  • I have marked the boxes to help me plan. (see labels inside boxes)

  • Some need to be fun; some need to be serious.  But overall, keep it simple!  My serious workboxes are usually assessments (which happens every month or so)
This workbox, J is using Halloween stickers to create Math equations or story problems.

  • Just add CANDY and "Work with Mommy" icon!  Wouldn't that make any Lil Learner excited about learning.
"Work with Mommy" icon is in the box, bottom right
Just add candy!  Fun vowel game with candy corn that we played to review vowel sounds

  • Less stress is best!  If I don't have workboxes planned for that week, it's going to be ok.  I just plan more 1-on-1 lessons. Because I don't use a specific Homeschooling curriculum, planning can get tricky and time consuming.  But no specific curriculum is our preference (for now)  I pull from the internet, my own files and my own teaching brain...that can be time consuming.  
I have tried to do lesson plans me old fashion, but the pencil&paper thing is all I need!
I plan in pencils and write updates and notes in red.

And there ya have it!  Alittle peek into how this workbox thing works for us.  Just keep in mind, it's been a LONG work in progress.  But that's what is so sweet about homeschooling - making it all work for you and your child!  You ARE their best and first teacher!

Stop by next week for a bunch of printables to get you started on your very own workboxes for your Little Learners.

Happy Learning! 

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