Friday, September 30, 2011

Do Everything

This first verse is where I live. I don't get the chance often anymore to listen to the radio but I did this morning and this is the song I heard. Anyone else relate???

Steven Curtis Chapman - Do Everything Lyrics
You’re picking up toys on the living room floor
for the 15th time today
Matching up socks and sweeping up lost
Cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip and color on your lips
and head out the door
And while I may not know you I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes does it matter at all
Well let me remind you it all matters just as long as you
Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do
OOoh ooooh oooooh
Maybe you’re that guy with the suit and tie
Maybe your shirt says your name
You may be hooking up mergers, cooking up burgers
But at the end of the day
Little stuff big stuff in between stuff
God sees it all the same
And while I may not know you I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes does it matter at all
We’ll let me remind you it all matters just as long as you do
Everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you
To do every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace with every move that you make
And every little thing that you do
Well maybe you’re sitting in math class
Maybe on a mission in the Congo
Maybe you’re working at the office
Singing along with the radio
Maybe you’re dining at a five star
Or feeding orphans in Myanmar
Anywhere and everywhere you are
Whatever you do it all matters
So do what you do and don’t ever forget
to do
Everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace as you do
Everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace with every move that you make
And every little thing that you do
Ooh oooooh
Every little thing you do

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Mom Learned

Highlights from this week:

What didn't work:
1. Physically keeping a checklist with me during teaching time
2.  Printables are keeping his attention less. We may start using those more sparingly.

What did work:
4. Finding labels to write our areas of work on the pocket charts
5. Labeling the separate tubs to put my materials for each subject
6. Making a day for each major area of learning approach. It's really helping me see what kind of learner he is.
7. Having a play date and making playgroup. Helps us all :-)

What makes all the hard work worth while:
8.  Matthew's vocabulary improving and getting to know more of my child's heart
9.  Reading the bible with my boys every morning, praying and listening to praise music during the day. --This one is a permanent advantage and a constant reminder of why God has placed me in this unfamiliar schooling journey.

Best Projects:
10. for M:  New shape and color sorter I picked up on a whim from our church's consignment sale for dirt cheap.  He cried because it was nap time after 15 minutes of playing with it.
For Mommy: He counted along with me. :-)))))) 

Worst Projects:
10.  for M: Those with similar texture. 
For Mommy:  Something about this morning. Maybe it was the 3rd night of interrupted short amounts of sleep or a week of daddy working late catching up with me. I'm really needing to pray to push through.

Rewards this week from homeschooling:
11.  He got the pattern activity when we did it with building toys in a longer string. He placed the right color next :-D
12. He's getting the concept of putting the letters on top of the bottle caps activity.
13. Feeling after 4 weeks of this that I can expand crafts and get more creative with sensory bin textures.
14. M asking me to read more bible stories (again this week, it's so great!)

Challenge of the week:
15. Daddy working longer hours at this new job.

Tip for the week:
16.  Organization for our day and with our materials gives me more time to focus on  ideas for future projects.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Midweek Peek

Arts & Crafts Day is fun :-) M got a great nap afterwards, followed by playgroup time,  and baking bread and cookies with mommy.  Our full day ended with bubbles in the back yard and then daddy came home :-) D was in a great mood, laughing and giggling. Although mommy was only on 6 hours sleep in three hour increments, I was having too much fun today with my boys to slow down and realize I was tired. Now that I'm still it's starting to catch up with me ;-)

Markers, and crayons and blotters, oh my :-)

Our craft caddy was a wedding gift 7 years ago. It's P*mpered Chef's utensil caddy. It's the perfect height for crayons, markers and pain brushes, plus it has a built in lazy susan.

Week 4

Moses: Birth to Exile, Letter C and Shape Circle

Here's how we kicked off our week:
Baby in the basket

"C" Character trait

Circle Sensory Bin

Monday, September 26, 2011

Progress of Organization

I thought I'd share how the Lesson Plan form has been changing as I get more in to the rhythm of our learning process with a 22 month old. I'm a visual person so I definitely like the color, organization and symmetry of a spreadsheet. My prior professional experience gave me quite a bit of exposure to Excel. I know, nerd alert, but it works for me :-D

You can see we will have daily tasks for our basic learning that can happen as we work on our two major themes for the week. How M experiences those concepts each day will change.
For now, I'm going to use a guideline for what I've some to see is the primary ways we learn through Printables, Manipulatives and Arts/ Crafts. The days that can fluctuate every week. There will be:
1. Intro day on Monday that will be about every day living learning with toys, books, conversations with mommy, errands, doing laundry etc. I listed a few toys but, we never run out of teachable moments.
Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, the core days will include : 
2. Printables Day- Activities with corresponding print outs to help with the major themes and  concepts
3. Craft Day- Art & Crafts. Aka: M gets to wear his smock day
4. Manipulatives Day - Montessori style activities that are M driven like the sensory bin.
5. Field Trip/ Assessment - Just to give us a planned activity for the day. We work well with focus & structure. I have Ladies Bible Study each week at my church which also gives M some group play time with other children. 

 I have listed all the resources at our disposal so I can pick which we will do that day. It's not my intent to  fill every waking moment of M's with an activity. We do school for about an hour and a half a day broken up by nap and lunch time. M learns in maximum 20 minutes spurts, then he goes off to play. He'll come back or respond when I suggest and then I know he's ready to learn again. The ebb and flow to our day works perfectly for us.
Screen shot of our week at a glance

Books & DVD's happen through out the week: I read to the Bible stories and repeat scripture to the boys during breakfast, lunch and snack.  We have a reading chair and box that has all of our basic academic books I've posted about before by a reading chair. M through out the day will bring me which ever books he wants and says 'read pease'. While I nurse D, I have accumulated quite a few Educational and Bible DVD's for M to watch that apply to our numbers, colors, shapes, letters and bible stories. D has to feed in the football hold. Mommy doesn't feel comfortable being mobile with a baby in that position using a shield. We make that time as positive and constructive as possible.  This is our phase in life and I remind myself  both the joys and challenges are temporary. Life's too short for guilt. Where was I before I felt the need to defend our choices?? Anyway.....

I've spent the last few days organizing Printables, Manipulatives and Craft supplies. The Arts and Crafts required some extra TLC. Tubs, boxes, cups and caddies help keep all the craft supplies handy for what ever M is inspired to do.  The materials listed in the first column can be used with any Letter, Number, Color, Shape, Bible or Unity Study Craft. The craft idea list is great for vocabulary and counting too :-)

Craft Ideas for 26 of our 43 weeks of learning.
14 of those left over weeks are Unity Study based with built in crafts
So, I have 3 weeks of craft ideas to come up with
and the first one isn't until February.
 I'm trying to streamline the Craft process. I'm efficient, not necessarily creative. So I've researched ideas to help inspire me on Craft Days. Once I feel the process itself is not time consuming, I can start adding some other fun activities I have in mind. The result of organization give me a more peaceful feeling and also eliminates distractions in our surroundings. Plus, we donated our old small TV and stand to charity over the weekend, so that freed up some space in our playroom.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bible- B & Brothers (Joseph)

We've been refining our daily bible experiences. Every morning during breakfast, I read from "The Story" for our lesson, "My ABC Bible Verses" for our memory verse and "100 Ways to Know God Loves Me" for promises from God. 

 The visual comes from 1+1+1=1

 During lunch I read any of our preschool bibles that tell that same story in a different way. Our box of bibles stays in the kitchen, ready to go :-)

We purchased these little single story board books from our local dollar store over the summer. The "Joseph & his Brothers" one is currently in use.

Mommy and daddy read our version in the evening.

Speaking of brothers, aren't they the cutest?? D's legs barely are long enough to reach the end of the chair. M has always sat in his high chair with his ankles crossed.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Colors: Black & White

This was our first planned focus on colors. Each learning day we do something color related. It's part of our core 7 which I'll post about later with my most recent version of a lesson plan form. We have done color i-spy activities, crafts, art projects, flash cards and reading books up to this point.

Here is M in his reading chair with his "Touch and Feel Colors" book.

Sensory Bins for each:

I put out the white bin and went through those objects on Tuesday. I did black on Wednesday. I left them both out for him to play with for the rest of the week

LOTS of art this week!!

Field trip to H*bby L*bby to point out color groupings:

 Our Educubes. We did plain construction paper, because my little guy kept saying rectangle because that's the shape the color was in.

Digging in to the Craft box:

 Crafts with modeling clay, lacing and scrap ribbon

Sorting geo bands and yarn by color:

Bingo cards:


Yes, the bucket/ hat was so much fun and M looks forward to wearing the art smock each week. Our week of learning had an exciting moment today, M said white when I asked him what color daddy's shoes were!! We both worked hard (and had fun!) on colors. We will do more focus on the color black individually during an easy week coming up for us.  

Letter B

Our Letter B bin starts out as a central location for all the supplies to expose M to that Letter for the week. It's one of the reasons I poured so much of my time researching Alphabet, Letter Vocabulary Ideas leading up to this month. We do school for 31 weeks, 26 of those are spent in part on working with  letters. At the end, it just has the fun stuff to play with for  a sensory bin.

Fridge Phonics:

Floor Mat letter:

Butterfly fun:

Education cube. I used 6 different inserts including lower and uppercase for Confessions of a Homeschooler  printables which goes along with all the butterfly exercises. I also used the sing language and exercise for letter b- Balance on one foot

Sensory Bin fun. His favorite things are the full page size upper and lower case letter I print. I laminate them and towards the end of the week I use a permanent marker and make "lanes". He has the best time running his cars over them. He has no idea he's doing a little pre-writing/ fine motor practice ;-) :


Our book fun:

 Stencil fun. Also made sure to use white paper with black crayons since those were our colors for the week:


A couple of our B foods for the week: Banana & blueberries

We also had some ball, balloon and bubble fun. My hands were too full to juggle a camera for those activities.