Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26 2011

I am so excited that May is almost here.
April always seems to be such a blah month.
So much so, that another homeschool mom and I got together and I made a cake that said, `BLAH!`on it.
April`s weather kept us indoors when we so desperately needed to get out, and it felt BLAH.

But today, we got outside.
Played in the dirt for about 7 hours
Collected worms
Stared at bugs
Had a fire and marshmallow roast
Prepared our garden


Days in April 2011

Lots of chic(k) art
We made little chicks: Rockin`Chick, Happy Chick, Chick with lipstick chick
This was a thought provoking art project.
It started when were playing with some string and someone said something about a whip.
I thought that it would be interesting if we could whip a piece of paper with red paint to represent how Jesus was flogged. So we made a paint whip and this was the result.
My youngest girl and I tried it again with a toothpick as she couldn`t get the hang of the whip technique

Studying the insides of lilies
Of course, we coloured eggs
Ta-da! Finished eggs
A matching game of Rotten Eggs
I mixed up the egg top and bottoms for a different game of match up
Lincoln log buildings
My eldest decided to make a restaurant called The Wooden House after her Lincoln Log house. This is one of the menus.

We did an Easter Egg hunt that followed the Passion Week and all the activities that happened during that week. We read the scriptures during dinner and examined all the parts. (click here to find it)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday 4-18-11

We woke up to snow this morning.
Today ended up being about books: reading, discussing, laughing and snuggling.

Ask Mr. Bear
That New Pet!
The Dot!
Mice at the Beach
Peace at last
How Smudge Came
The Red Book
Just You and Me
Say please, Louis
Things that are Most in the World
Two So Small
Bottled Sunshine
No Dragons for Tea
Claire's Gift
Cinderella Penguin
Play with Me
The Little Rabbit
Our Tree Named Steve

A good discussion on Greater than Gold: Eric Liddell book.
A parking lot and highway for the toy cars and an airfield for the planes
Learning about syllables

Watching Franklin
Outdoor ruckus play with friends
Indoor ruckus dancing and tag with family

A beautiful day, my friends! A beautiful day

Tuesday 4-12-11

Math taken seriously by my five year old.
She is playing Double Shutter, adding on the abacus as she doesn't know all her addition facts yet
Time to smash some rocks and search for silver

A walk to the river
And a hike through the grasslands

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday April 11

Write, write, scratch it out, write, write, write
Does anyone else have a child who does not like to use their eraser or white-out?
Whaddup wit dat?
Hurricane Trouble happens in my living room, but admist the ruins two children find a chance for solace from a book
Bubble painting
Bubbles mixed with paints=bubble paint
Gratitude journals
Great discussions about life
Learning new words
A mountain meal. Curry with all the fixings!
Read books...loads of them. I think we are all low on creativity today so we're just hanging out reading books
we took these items and made this:

A garden tomb.
There's a cross, and a tomb that has a stone that rolls away and we have our Easter lily and some seeds that should sprout and grow in time for Easter
Easter puzzles and games

Happy Monday!

5 Ways to Stop Blocking in Learning

Every homeschooling parent runs into "blocking" at some point or another. For some of us, it's a daily run-in.
Here are some Mediated Learning methods you can use to stop a "blocking attitude" in learning. Whether Blocking takes on the form of "I hate this. I don't want to do this", pretend ignorance or silent refusal to move forward, here are 5 ways to get past a Block.

1. Why are you saying that?
Ask questions.
I know, I know. It's redundant of me to say it, because I say this all the time on my blog. But really, it is the foundation.
Ask questions.
Find out why they think they can't accomplish the task. Learn why they are so adamantly opposed to it.
Asking questions let's you get to the heart of the issue.

Sample questions:
Why are you saying that you hate this assignment?
What is the biggest challenge to this task?
Tell me what you understand about this? Can you tell me what doesn't make sense to you?

2. Be a Rapper
That is...break it down.
Ask the question, "Do you think that we could break this problem down into smaller parts?"
Rather than tackling the issue all at once, try grouping or chunking information together. Once the problem is in smaller pieces, tackle one piece at a time.

3. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.- African Proverb
Offer an Optimistic Alternative. Moving forward is so much easier when someone is beside you.
Find a way to move forward together.

Let's solve the biggest part of the problem together, and then you can handle the rest of it
How about I write for the first two minutes while you talk out loud?
This seems to be a challenge. Tell you what, let's go get something to drink and brainstorm some ideas to solve it.

4. If you can't take the Heat, Get out of the Kitchen...or the Living Room
Change your scenery.
Sometimes a change of scene, a deep breath of fresh air, or a visual vacation that lasts for two minutes is enough to calm the nerves and give new perspective.
Come back to the "ol' drawing board" and start again. Only this time, follow rule #1, and get to the heart of the issue.

5. Don't Keep it a Secret
Talk to your kids about Blocking. Tell them what blocking is. Ask them if they know how they typically block when they come to a crisis or problem.
Share with them what happens what Blocking looks like for you.

ie. A while back whenever I came to a problem or needed to make a decision, I would "block" by running around getting everyone's advice and tell everyone my problems. And while getting advice is good, I actually used this to delay making decisions and felt that if I made the wrong decision I could blame others for it. I had to learn to turn to God, and to trust His word to lead me and guide me. I also had to learn who I actually let speak into my life.

Be transparent about the ways you Block and handle stress or problems. Tell them about the skills that you've had to acquire to overcome blocking.
God doesn't expect perfection from us, but He does expects sincerity. Your children will be blessed to have the same.

There you have it. 5 ways you can get unstuck in your learning.
Add that to your toolbox!

Friday 4-8-11

Wake up to a light dusting of snow and fresh, fresh air
And then, naturally, we go on a bear hunt...about three or four times
Outdoor time
Run around in circles and sing song time
Another bear hunt
Read books...many books
and nap
We opened up a watermelon and found that it was a bit past it's prime. So we decided to puree it and make it into watermelon ice cream

Then we danced
and read
and sang songs
and talked about The Sign of the Beaver book
and then inspiration took place when folding the dinner napkins
The napkins became the perfect bandanas. And thus was born The Adventures of The Bandana Bunch. Bandana Bob, Bandana Brad, Bandana Ben work together to conquer the West...On their kitchen broom horse named Bandana Broom
And this is the Bandana Mama who rustles up some grub.
After the West was won and settled, we played word games
and practiced reading
and re-lived the many adventures of the Bandana Bunch

Happy Weekend, y'all!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Unmentionable April 7 2011

Today is National No Housework Day!
Did you know that they have a day set aside for that? No? Well, you do now!
Make a note of it and put on your calendar.
Today I celebrated by doing housework.
I know, such a rebel am I.
A rule-breaker.
A rebel-without-a-good-sense-of-timing.
But if you read yesterday's post, you would understand that I've been celebrating this no-cleaning-allowed day for three days now. And you can only celebrate so long until something under the couch starts to smell and you are down to your last clean pair of unmentionables.
And so, today we did laundry.
(Quick side trip: Does anyone else find it ironic that unmentionables are called 'unmentionables'. Isn't the whole idea not to mention them? Surely, I am not alone in this. There are others who have thought this, right?
Side trip over.)

Today was about cleaning with gusto.
With pizzazz.
It was also about me repeating myself twelve times for members to do certain jobs in the house.
It was also about me doubting how well I actually mediate my children on MEANING and significance of tasks.
It was about me wishing I had more time to think, plan, create, and (to be quite honest) sleep.
I came close to frustration.
And then I remembered...

to be grateful.

The smell of clean laundry
The taste of homemade tortillas
little fingers turning pages on books
Forts of wonder being built out of bed sheets
Help from little ones when least expected
and the beauty of giving each other a fresh start
all gifts from Him.
Perfect and lovely in all their frailty.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
James 1:17

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday 4-6-11

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

This morning I went for a massage.
And I came home very relaxed. And when I opened the door and was greeted by the mess left from two days of very hectic living and full schedules, I made a decision:
"Ok, everybody, get it in the car! We're not dealing with this today."
And I drove away from my house and ignored it all day.

I came back home, it was still a mess.
And it's a bomb-site right now.

But that's what tomorrow is for.

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. ~Don Marquis

Well, Mr. Don Marquis, today I happened to feel like being an artist.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday 04-04-11

Ok, so this morning I woke up at my friend's house. She and her hubby are off on an adventure for the day.
Naturally, as a responsible friend I felt it only right to start the day with marshmallows.

I found some marshmallows in the cupboard. i located the toothpicks and said, "Hey, look what I found." Then I left them on the table. Within a few minutes I had some interested minds working at the table.

bridges, houses, extensions and pyramids were built
and then dismantled and eaten
I noticed the Rice Krispies in the cupboard and thought, "Hey, I know what to do! Let's make nests."
I had this brilliant idea to use plastic egg cups to help form the impressions in the nest. Folks, that doesn't work. Save yourself some time. Just use your hands and form them.
And then...a whole lot fo mayhem and foolishness was going on with some wild dancing, tag-like game

making new friends
many requests for food (didn't we just eat???)
Chasing Lucy the cat
stencil art
marshmallow eating
Blue Fairy book stories at www.librivox.org
Human Body book
fridge magnet letter fun
and chasing Lucy the cat
trampoline fun
feeding rabbits
discussions about the wind
magnet filing magic
I gave my little buddy some paint, strings and marbles. I set him up on the floor and said, "Have at it!" It was so amazing to watch him create. Here he is rolling marbles in paint. Move over Jackson Pollock
splatter paint by my girl
Sparkly human figure drawing
sticker art
And as time went on, my little buddy expanded his art efforts and tied a string to the paintbrush and swung it back and forth to create new designs
a talk about composting
more Librivox
chemistry explorations

more painting
and chasing Lucy the cat

We start cooking up part two to this morning's brilliant plan
My little buddy got into drawing in a big way. He made a street and then put the cars on the road. He glued them on it. I should probably let his mother know.

Listen to the Horse and His Boy
hanging out on the couch
watching out the window
chasing Lucy the cat

Cutting out cookies. We used a plastic egg as the cookie cutout
lego play
dolls and horses

Then it was
building forts and secret hideouts
and chasing Lucy the cat
Time to decorate the cookies
Look at the myriad of sprinkles we used
Serious sprinkle work going on here
Everyone stops for a mad game of spinning
Back to the grind in the Easter egg production line
close up of the cookies

Those are a lot of Easter egg cookies--who will eat those, I wonder?

Then there was more Librivox and The Yellow Fairy book
Games of musical chairs
Bouncing on the trampoline
Eating bowls of Cincinatti Chili
making new friends
and chasing Lucy the cat
And for desset--Rice Krispie birds nests!