Friday, April 27, 2012

Moments to Remember ~ An Afternoon Movie

Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember. 
The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end these are the moments that keep us going, the ones we need to remember.

We decided to just take it easy and relax with a movie this afternoon.  
I like that kind of flexibility.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sidewalk Chalk And A Spray Bottle

Jonathan gets a thrill out of snatching up the water spray bottle, find a hiding place and soaking the wall, the couch or wherever he can point the nozzle.  So I  thought it was a perfect idea when I saw this fine motor activity idea in my Mailbox 2009=2010 Yearbook.

All you need is some sidewalk chalk, a spray bottle filled with water, and, of course, a sidewalk!


Write some large letters (or draw a picture) on the sidewalk and let your youngster wash it away by squirting water all over it.  In our case, I drew letters, had them say the letter and its sound before I let them aim and shoot. 

I'll have to get a bigger spray bottle next time, b/c we had to refill the bottle way too frequently. 


When our pavement was soaked and we couldn't spray anymore, I let them write on the wet ground with the chalk.  They observed the difference between writing on dry versus wet pavement.  

This is another fabulous fine motor activity we'll have to add to our list! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cocoon to Butterfly

A week ago today, we received a cocoon from the local nature center.  We kept it in a cool dark place, per the directions that came attached to the little plastic container.  About 3 to 4 days later, the cocoon turned dark green. By Saturday night, it was very dark green and you could see the wings through the cocoon. I'm sad to say that I did not succeed in a good photo of this stage; the cocoon looked so cool! Sunday morning, we woke up to a butterfly in the container in place of the cocoon!  We then took him out to the tree and set him on a branch. It was so amazing to watch this Monarch open and close his wings to dry off and get his strength. 

God is an AWESOME creator! 


This was a fabulous experience for all of us. This is certainly something my children will always remember!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

An Alphabet Bingo Twist

We enjoy playing Bingo! Alphabet Bingo, Numbers Bingo (homemade), & Outside Sounds Listening Lotto are a few  games that we own.  I give it a big thumbs up because the children are learning and they don't know it. The kids love it because it's fun! 

Adelle and Jonathan both recognize ALL the uppercase letters. Adelle recognizes all the lowercase letter and Jonathan is almost there. We have moved on (per Adelle's lead) to beginning letter sounds.  

Yesterday, we played lowercase letters Bingo (Hooked on Phonics version) with a twist. I called out the letter sound instead of the letter name. We also used our pom pom magnets to cover the letters instead of the chips the game came with. They enjoyed that as well.  

Adelle is on the ball with this, but Jonathan still hasn't learned all the sounds.  When he couldn't figure out which letter to cover, then I'd show him the letter in my hand and repeat the sound.  He happily covered the letter I showed him.   It looks like he isn't thrilled in the pic above, but I think he's just tired of the camera flashing at him all the time.  *Flashing a devilish grin* What can I say? I'm taking after my grandmother, who always whipped out the camera when us kids would visit.  

This summer, we are going to play a LOT of bingo games.  We just enjoy them so so much!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Paper Art: Stained Glass

I was looking for some art ideas and I found this wonderful project in my 2009-2010 Mailbox Yearbook.

Supplies you'll need are:
*Tissue Paper - Cut into shapes of your choice.
*Wax Paper
*Glue - diluted
*Paint brush

Paint a piece of wax paper with the diluted glue. 
Make sure the paper is very wet. 



Next, press the tissue paper onto the wet wax paper.  


Then paint another piece of wax paper with diluted glue and place it painted side down on top of the decorated paper. You can make a construction paper frame around the edges or cut a shape out of the pretty paper or just trim up the edges.

Aren't these lovely?  

This art project took a little bit of time, but it was super easy! 
We will certainly do more of this in the future.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


You are about to read an extremely personal and transparent post. 
(That's my intention for this blog anyway.)

I have practically fallen off the face of the blog world.  That's not so bad, I suppose, but I would like to stay connected with other homeschooling bloggers out there.  I get a lot of encouragement (and fabulous ideas) from all the said bloggers. I know it's not the same as having a relationship with real people.... IN PERSON, but there in comfort in knowing you're not alone when you get the privilege to peak into another person's experience down the same road, especially when there isn't very many people around you who are in the same boat. (I have yet to find a homeschool support group). While my blog may not have very many fabulous ideas, I hope to encourage my fellow homeschooling families with this blog journal (and, of course, to keep a record of all this for myself).

With all that being said, I must admit that I have been struggling lately. I think I am just plain discouraged. Why? First, I must give some background information......  I am a planner.  I have a plan for EVERYTHING: a monthly cleaning calendar, a monthly dinner menu, a daily routine plan, lesson plans for the kids, etc....  I. Am. A. Planner.  However, and seemingly contradictory, one of my many many many faults is that I don't TRULY commit to anything. I can't keep a regular routine for longer than 3 weeks! When I don't at least have a plan, I feel absolutely lost, out of control and certainly downcast.  That's not to say that I always follow "the plan", but if I have a plan written on paper, where I can SEE it, I feel like I'm ok. I am also a visual person!  

 If I am such a planner and feel disoriented without a plan, then how can I not keep up with my responsibilities and stay committed?  What a fabulous question!  I seriously don't know.  Maybe it's the way I was raised, or maybe I just get tired or maybe I'm just that lazy. Nonetheless, because of this defect, I worry about the quality of my children's education when they begin their "school years".  I have indeed ordered a basic phonics and math curriculum for Adelle's kindergarten year, which will begin this fall. I tell myself that if I had a curriculum, a plan, to follow, we'll do ok.  I'm not so sure about that anymore. I purchased the Letter of the Week curriculum (from Confessions of a Homeschooler) to follow and I haven't done such a great job with that!  I just feel like I'm really doing them an injustice.  :-(

And lets not talk about the chores that aren't getting done either. I'm barely floating in that department right now too.  I haven't quite figured out when (during the day) and how to teach the children to help with small chores that they are capable to accomplish. 

Honestly, I could go on and on.  

I don't really know how to end this particular post. If you can give me some feedback, I would appreciate that. More importantly, I would appreciate your prayers.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter ~ Resurrection Rolls

In my last post, I expressed my determination to find ways to teach my children about the true meaning of Easter.  I am ecstatic to say that I have found some fabulous ideas.

We made a salt dough resurrection tomb. I borrowed the idea from Mama to 4 Blessings and Almost Unschoolers to create our own.  You can get full instructions here and here

My favorite thing we've done so far is an idea taken from Catholic Icicng.........

Resurrection Rolls!

These are super simple and is a fun tool to help teach the children about the Resurrection. It gives a visual aid, if you will. 

The ingredients are:

                                             *Canned crescent rolls
                                             *Small bowl of melted butter
                                             *Small bowl of cinnamon/sugar mixture
                                             *Large marshamallows

I melted the butter in a microwave safe bowl, preheated the oven, lined the cookie sheet with foil and opened the can of rolls before we started.  

I gave the kids a marshmallow and told them it represents Jesus. They dipped it into the butter then the cinnamon sugar mixture. These represent the oil and spices used to prepare Jesus' body for burial. 


Then I gave them a crescent roll and had them wrap up the marshmallow tightly, pinching it closed.  The roll represents the linen cloths that Jesus body was wrapped in.

Then we placed the rolls in the oven (the tomb) and baked them according to the package directions.

When the rolls are baking, the marshmallow melted away, representing the empty tomb. Jesus has risen!!

Adelle, being a smart as she is, figured out the marshmallows melted.   :-)   These rolls were super easy and tasted like in inside out cinnamon roll.  

Happy Easter!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why is Easter So Important?

I truly enjoy spring. All the trees are becoming green again, flowers are blooming, birds are singing and the wind is mild.  Spring wakes up the animals, waters the earth and radiantly displays God's wonderful artwork of nature!  Spring is my second favorite season! Can you tell?  :-)

Spring also brings Easter.  Everywhere I go, I see chocolate bunnies, marshmallow peeps, plastic eggs, egg dying kits, spring stickers, fake basket grass, egg hunts, all sorts of candy, etc, etc, etc....  All of this is fun, fun, fun. However, bunnies, candy and eggs are not what Easter is about.  Like Christmas, the true meaning gets lost in all of the commercialism.  

Why do we celebrate Easter? Why is this holiday so important?  These are the questions I want to answer for my children.  It is vital to their souls to learn the TRUE meaning of Easter.  Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who came to earth to seek and save us!  Easter is about Christ's death on the cross, bearing all our sins and shame, so that we may live for an eternity with God!  Without Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection, we would still have to depend high priests, the only ones allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, to sacrifice animals and beg for God's mercy on our behalf. Jesus Christ is now our high priest, sitting at the right hand of God, petitioning to Him on our behalf! 

I don't know about you, but I am grateful that we allowed to converse with God no matter what time of day (or night) or where we are.  I am grateful that forgiveness of our sins is applied when we truly repent with a contrite heart. 

Sin, where are your shackles?
Death, where is your sting?
Hell has been defeated!! 
The grave could not hold the KING!!

This Easter cannot pass us by without our children learning the true meaning of it all. I am compelled to find ways to relate this crucial lesson to them this week.