Saturday, October 30, 2010

Psalm 127:3

Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man whose quiver is full of them; They shall not be ashamed.

It's so easy sometimes for me to get overwhelmed with 4 kids under 7. The house isn't always clean, the kids aren't always well behaved, mom isn't always energetic...but when I read these words, HERITAGE; REWARD; ARROWS; HAPPY; FULL; NOT ASHAMED it really encourages me. God has blessed me with these beautiful children, and I should always treat them like a blessing.







Friday, October 29, 2010

Homemade Clay

The other day we made homemade clay! It was super easy and the kids had a blast. It was also super messy. Here's the recipe:
Mix together 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup salt. Add 1/3 cup water and knead. Add food coloring and knead until blended.
Actually the recipe called for 1/2 cup water, but we discovered that was too much water and had to add flour until it was not wet and mushy anymore! Imagine the kids horror and delight when I told them they had to use their hands to mix it up! Here is a picture:


                                               Here are 2 of the file folder games I made. The turkey one is addition and subtraction up to 5. Eli loved that one. That's exactly what we're doing in math. He hates his worksheet (just 1 a day and takes about 5 minutes?) but he loved this.

This is a  color matching game I made for Mercie. She could match her colors, surprised me!
Super easy to make, well not quite that easy to laminate and cut with a 4 month old sitting in your lap, but in theory, they are super easy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pictures and Pattern Blocks

We got some new pattern blocks in the mail today, and Mercie was the first lucky person to notice them. She got to play with them a whole 20 minutes before big brother and sister discovered them. They thought that the pattern blocks were the greatest thing in the whole world, and I was very pleasantly surprised that Mercie could actually match the shapes on the pattern boards. She has been hiding her child prodigy side from me... :)

                                            My sweet girl concentrating hard! So smart.
                                     All 3 big kids played for about 1 hour and looooved it.

Games!

We have just started incorporating more games into our daily lessons. I was just going to share a few of them.

Shopping Game: I cut out pictures of food from the Sunday coupon ads in the newspaper, glued them on index cards, and wrote a simple price beside them. ($1, $2, and so forth) I give the kids random instructions such as "You have to spend exactly $15" or "Buy breakfast and lunch for under $10" or "Buy 4 items for $20". They think it's a blast! So they are getting math, reasoning and strategy skills, and they don't even know it!!

File Folder Games: I actually bought some of these from our local teacher supply store, and then I realized that I could print out free templates from the internet and make my own. Go to Filefolderfun.com and they have tons of them for many different grade levels, plus they have blank templates so you can design your own game with whatever you are learning at the time. I'm still in the process of making mine but when I get through later today I will post some pictures of them.

Mother May I? Math Drill: Like Mother May I? but they have to answer a math problem first. My kids are young so it's simple. "You can take a step forward if you can tell me what 4 + 7 is."

I am discovering that my kids love to learn...especially when they aren't sitting at the table working a math sheet. I think for a while, we aren't going to do anything at the table except eat. Who says you can't complete a math sheet on the living room rug? Or write a poem lounging on the couch? Or learn phonics while working a puzzle? School in disguise = Playing more games! Plus, it's alot more fun for Mommy, too.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My First Post

I guess I will start my first post by introducing us to you! I'm Megan and those four gorgeous children above are Mikaela (7), Eli (5), Mercie (2), and Silas (4 months).  We are a homeschooling family trying to raise our children with a solid foundation of faith. We are eclectic, using pieces of what we like, are interested in, and what works for us. It's a learning process, and I am still learning!

We use Christian Liberty Press for math and spelling and phonics, Bob Jones for Mikaela's English, and different things for history, science, social studies, and whatever else strikes our interest. We only have about 1 hour of "formal" learning, but how formal can you get when you have a 2 year old running around and a baby wanting to nurse and a 5 year old who hates, absolutely hates, handwriting and a 7 year old full of questions!! I am slowly figuring out that Eli doesn't have to learn how to print with a pencil just yet, a marker or crayon works fine as long as he is learning how to correctly print them. He doesn't have to read before 1st grade, as long as he's learning his sounds and some words. Mikaela doesn't like math, so although she's technically in 2nd grade, we are in 1st grade level math. Which is fine with me, because she is so smart in everything, especially English, and loves to read. She reads all the time. American Girl books, Boxcar Children books, her Bible (which is not a story Bible, although she does read those to her little brother and sister). The rest of the day we spend cleaning the house and doing chores (which teaches them work ethic among many things), cooking (and little hands love to help), reading books, playing games, talking and joking, and of course they love to play outside.

I just wanted to keep a record of what we are doing and learning and maybe it will interest or help someone else on their homeschool journey!