Sunday, April 26, 2015

Photo Blog - April 23rd Curriculum Class

Here's a picture peek at our class using The Homegrown Preschooler Curriculum. 

And this time I had a very, special helper!
J and I headed to Starbucks, then the Toybrary to teach.

Shaving cream on top of water; using drops of colored water to show "how clouds work" and working those fine motor skills! 

Hello to everyone!

Painting with veggies and fruits!

J having fun in the Animal Rescue Center.

Teddy Bear check up!

Plant dissection and planting - Looks serious!

Sharing Sparky the Guinea Pig - she was a part of the Animal Rescue Center

Everyone got a chance to hold her.

Contact Paper - Sticky side up = LOTS of fun!

Looking forward to our May sessions - May 7th and May 14th

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fun with Food Fridays!

Gosh!  I really don't think I have ever blogged about this one.
Fun with Food Friday's have been going on for a LONG time!

It goes WAY back to when I taught first grade with 2 amazing teachers, Mrs. Bozeman and Mrs. Sollmann!  And yep...we'd cook every Friday with our 1st grade classrooms.

So I took that experience and applied it into my homeschooling week.  When we aren't on Friday field trips with our friends, we are at home cooking for fun!

Just think of all that these little learners are getting...Reading a recipe, measurement for Math, team work, listening, food I need to go on?!

We always start with a recipe.  This is the recipe for Smore Snowman.

And then we cook!
Here's Smore Snowmen for the month of January...

Here's our penguins from February.

Here's our green eggs from March.

And our caterpillar made from cupcakes for this month.
This kept MiniM busy while we mixed up with batter. 

All these recipes will go in our Recipe Book - just like I gave my 1st graders when they walked out my door their last day of class.  

You don't have to make anything fancy and it really doesn't have to planned!  Like this day:

The day the boys said "Let's make fruit salad!" 

So have fun with your Little Learners in the kitchen!  They can cook with you and learn so much at the same time!

Happy Learner with your Little ones!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

These few days with only one...

When your kiddos don't go to "school away from home" - I don't ever get that moment every day when they run into my arms after being away all day.  We don't get to really miss each other.  I don't get just ONE kid during the day while the others are away at school.

And when you are the baby of the family, you hardly EVER get Mommy all to yourself for a few days...but MiniM and I got just that a few weeks ago!

The inlaws had come down with their camper to take J & N on a mini-vacation.  Which left me with only 1!!!!!  ONLY ONE KID!

So we...
painted in the bathtub and used squirt bottles to clean up!

We made colored rice one night and I learned that he COULD say the word "Yellow!"

We stacked paper town rolls for a good 30 minutes and would knock them down ... Then do it all over again!
We pulled down the old microwave and replaced it with our new one.  And HE got to play with it and still does!

And the most precious moment was when he called out for me in a SCREAMING cry during his nap just so I would come and swoop him in my arms and lay down with him "in the big bed".  

And he was about this old when we last napped...just he and I!

These few days ...
Made me wish that when I just had J, I would have relaxed more.  But that's impossible when you have your first.

These few days with just one...
Made me want to commit to more days, more grocery store trips with JUST Mommy.

The few days away from my other 2...
Made me realize just how blessed I truly am and how awesome it feels to hear someone whisper in your ear after a night away from you...
"I missed you Mommy!"

We don't get time apart now and that's just ok!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Homegrown Preschooler Curriculum Class - Photo Blog

Last Thursday, I hosted a curriculum class for Mommy's and the Little Learners using The Homegrown Preschooler's lessons.

Just wanted to share a quick photo blog with ya!  Enjoy.

I set up a station outside on the sidewalk.  It was fun to see kids reading and doing whatever as they came inside for the class!

Here's a simple listening came we played using a cup and a "Fuzzy Ball"

Fine Motor - Attaching popsicle sticks with double sided tape, then making a "rub" using markers.

Here's our littlest learner of the day enjoying the Cupcake Sensory table using Cloud Dough and Color Rice.  When you mix these 2 together it looks JUST like confetti cake mix.  Good enough to eat!

Another station was Bot Building using magnets and dice.  Such a proud kiddo!

Making a homemade bubble solution - first water.
Then Corn Syrup!  

Then dish soap!  Look at those faces!

 Here's the info for the next class!  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

No good, very bad day! You asked for it.

I could tell the second they started "playing quietly" in their room at 7:15am.

The nastiness filled the room with crabby sounds of brotherly yells!  

"NO!  You can't see this Lego set!"

"Mommmmmmm He just told me to "Cut it out!"" (Which makes my blood boil!)

I read a quick devotion,  Psalm 28:7 for strength, guzzled my last bit of coffee and stomped upstairs.

And this was just the beginning!!!

That morning, we were headed over to the library for our Reader's Theater class.  So I spent the morning gathering up materials while the kids ate breakfast and watch a good 45 minutes of Ninjago.  

By 10am - I had given a few threats and a few hugs.  FINALLY, we were loaded up and headed out for the walk to our class at the library.  

I needed help setting up the room before our class and got some "Hummmf" and whines from both big helpers.  But we got it done and I made sure to give them a high-five for their help.

N has a hard time when I'm the teacher to other kiddos - and today he was at his yuckiest!  Bless him.  I heard him 2 times tell me "Mommy, I just wanna go home and learn!"  

And just how do I leave 30+ kiddos and their moms to just "go home".  I was frustrated, he was frustrated.  

But we made it through our class, skipped out on a park picnic (which was hard to say no to because of the weather and a chance to hang with friends)

We walked home, me hearing more whines and "Hummf"s.   And my heart was burning with frustration!  I had the kids that were complaining about everything.  I had the kids that weren't following directions in the library.  I had THOSE kids today!  Oh this No GooD, very bad Day!

1:00pm was nap time!!!  And silence was all throughout the house.  

Before I knew it, J was up (claiming he need to go #2), MiniM woke up screaming after 30 minutes and N ended up peeing in OUR bed (totally forgot to slip a pull-up on him)

So I turned on...yep...another episode of Ninjago!  Started some bed linens in the wash, rocked a sleepy baby, and just sat wondering what could I do to make this day better...
I decided on outside snacks and bubbles!  Bubbles makes everyone happy, right?

"One episode and we are going to outside for snacks and playtime...Yes Maam?"  
And I got an arm crossed "ugggg" from the 4 year old!  

So he got sent back to him room while J, MiniM and I whipped up some bubbles solution outside.  

N joined us later for some watermelon...

And we were all getting back to our happy-hearted- selves.  

As I reflected on the day, I noticed a few things.  My boys have a hard time sharing me and I need to embrace that in this season of life. So maybe next time I host a homeschooling class where I'm "the teacher", I sit down and have heart-to-hearts with them all.  Telling them what I expect.  

We have been rock'n such a good, fun schedule lately!  And today was a different schedule - so maybe next time, I need to prepare them for that alittle better.  Letting them know that we are learning in a different way today.

Also, everyone has bad days.  It's just going to happen!  And as Moms we HAVE to allow ourselves a "dose of grace" each day, but especially on no good, very bad days! (Right Val?)

And the last thing - we ended out day outside with love, laughter, a water hose, and some watermelon.

I wanna bet that 99.9% of the time we've had a nasty moment, session, or morning...we head outside for a walk or to play.  Maybe head to a near-by park.  Or maybe its a blanket and a book under a tree while Mommy takes a shower.  But it's out in the sunshine...out where kids NEED to be!  

Nature feels refreshing and gives ALL of us a chance to reset.  So try it!  Rain or shine, snow or sleet - just alittle bit of outside is all a little learner (and their mommy) might need on a No Good, Very Bad but BLESSED day!

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Peek inside our Day!

I did a blog post a few months ago like this one and I got alot of comments about doing it here ya go!  Just a chance for you to get a peek inside our Homeschooling day!

Today was just a great day!  So I want to celebrate and share it...hoping that it inspires you!  (And just keep in mind, that not every day is this awesome!  I promise to blog a "terrible, no-good, very bad day" post...when it happens!)

8:00am - Breakfast

8-9am - TV time/clean up from breakfast/feed Sparky, our class pet that is visiting this month

9am - Start morning chores

9:20ish - Dressed, shoes on and ready for our jog to the park.  J rides his bike, while N and MiniM are in the double stroller

9:45 - I enjoy my morning smoothie while the boys play at the park.  

10am - I decided to start bringing their Reading materials to the park.  This is a great chance for me to work 1-on-1 with N and J.  They swap off playing/watching MiniM.

10:30 - Jog/bike back home for more fun learning.

Today I set up stations using The Homegrown Preschooler's curriculum.  

This was a preposition game using a Fuzzy Ball and a cup!  Put the ball on TOP of the cup!
He got this one!  Put it on your head!

And then we got silly - Put it in your glasses'!

10:45 - We added some building blocks
*There were a few problems with MiniM and knocking over the masterpieces that the other boys had built.  But we go through it...and practiced understanding.*

Gave everyone a job for clean up!  J picked up the blocks, N picked up the pattern blocks and MiniM held the empty containers.  We used their Easter buckets for a fun way to pick up!
And I have learned that MiniM just wants to be a part of what we are doing.  Sometimes, its HARD and sometimes it works beautifully!  But he is learning too and I need to remember that!

11:05 - J decided to head outside to play; N played this Build A Robot Game and MiniM was putting chicken nuggets on a cookie sheet for lunch.  

11:15 LUNCH

11:30 **I was wondering if I should start such an activity before rest time, but I'm glad I did!**

Cloud Dough!  4 cups of Flour + 1/2 cup of Baby Oil = Sensory FUN!!!  And so relaxing...

The 6-year-old just kept playing and playing!  He added water to see what would happen and it turned into the sticky dough!
I read with both lil guys and got them down for naps and J was STILL outside playing with this stuff!

1:30 All are resting; I'm mopping, showering and emailing

2:00 J gets up and checks his email.  I LOVE this because with this one learning tool, he can read, comprehend and reply (writing/keyboarding).  He thinks he is cool when he gets to work in the floor with a drink and a snack AKA "brain food".  

3pm J & N are up and asked if they could search for Hot Wheel toys on the computer - YES!!! So I gave them 10 minutes to do so and then we needed to clean the Guinea pigs cage before MiniM woke up!

3:30 Everyone is up!  Afternoon snacks! Then we head outside to play...some more!
N dressed up as an astronaut and we practiced "blasting off"

MiniM found a chain and played with it for a LONG while before we walked down to check the mail.

J is ALL into hacking electronics and tinkering.  He found an old fan and decided to take it apart.

And that was our day!  Lots of play, lots of laughs and lots of fun for this mommy and her 3 little learners.  This is what our homeschooling day looked like TODAY...tomorrow will be different.  It may be wonderful again, it may not be.  But it will be 1 more day that God blessed me with.  Doing what I love and loving what I do...all with my boys!

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