Tag Archives: learning

A Garden Made for You

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Finally after years of wanting to make a garden, I finally pulled my big girl gardening boots on and started digging. I have my little ones to thank for it. Their little minds can soak up a lot of info and memories helping out with a garden and luckily I have a whole lot of tiny little hands to help me.

We’ve got some zucchini, squash, onions, cauliflower(my absolute favorite), peppers, lettuce and will be planting some melons in May.

My sister gave us one row of her cement blocks and brought my very crafty niece over to help the kids paint them. Fun all around, now lets just hope something grows!

Here’s to getting dirty!

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Fun little update because I didn’t get this posted right away. A glimpse of our first little seed sprouting. Zucchini is the only one to break through so far! Fingers crossed for the rest of them!

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Television Free Summer?

Does anyone live in a television free home?

This is something I’m really considering and really trying to convince my husband to get on board with or at least think about the possibility of maybe doing without it for the entire summer. Stowing it away in the garage and reevaluating at summers end.

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been MIA for the last month or so. Not even really sure why but in that time I suddenly want to buy land and add a little more simple to our lives. Less distractions, more time for family, for discovering, for learning together and making lasting memories. Now the land might not be a possibility right away but I know that adding a bit of simpleness to our lives is something we can achieve right now.

Anyways let me know if you’ve tried a T.V. free life? We will have to keep our computer to continue living in the world today (and I would never be able to convince my husband otherwise) and I would love for my kids to still be able to watch the educational shows that they love such as The Magic School Bus (love it)!!

Also I have thought about just turning the t.v off at night. Really don’t watch much at all while kids are awake but at night is when I catch up on my shows and I really feel like lately my time is completely wasted on this. Although I do love my shows!;)

What do you guys think? Have you done this or thought about it? Would live to hear some input.

Makeover Monday – Old Oak Table

Im pretty sure that spring or so of last year I promised more dIY projects by me. You can read about that here. Then nothing happened until a couple months ago I started watching Fixer Upper on Netflix. Not only do I just love Chip and JoJo but I love pretty much everything they do. So my virgin DIY self started getting antsy! I’ve never actually tackled most of the DIY projects that I yearn to do on pinterest so this is my year to turn my house and everything in it around. Major house makeover. As a family we are practically spilling out of it with the 5 of us so our plan is to put it up for sale in 2017 which means we need to update it on a budget to get it ready. I’m hoping that mostly paint will do the trick but I know that in the long run new flooring is needed and a cabinet makeover for sure. But that’s months away.

Here’s what I started with. This old oak table.

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My parents gave it to me after my dad made them a new one. I grew up with this table. My sisters and I all had our designated seats for dinner. Many a memories at this table and I’m thrilled that I will get to use it for my family. But that honey oak color isn’t my favorite by any means which really stinks for me because everything in my house is that color; trim, doors, cabinets, floor. So an update is definitely due. Now this being my first actual do it yourself project I had to call my mom. She came out and showed me how to do a couple things and ta-dah, a wee bit later we had this.

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Supplies and the “how” behind it:

Sander
Paint brushes (We didn’t use anything fancy)
123 Bullseye Primer
White Paint
Stain
Polyurethane

I sanded the top and sides but left the bottom glossy. My first time using a power sander, lets just say I felt the power! It made me very giddy like a school girl. The primer we used for the base is supposed to go over any surface so we went for it. My mom started staining the top, one section at a time and waited 3 minutes before wiping stain off.

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I started painting the bottom of the table with the primer. This is the only picture I got after stain and primer was applied.

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This is what we used for the top of the table and the bottom of the table.

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Sorry my can of white paint has seen better days.

I’m a bit in love with this table and can’t believe how amazing it looks.

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The plan is to get long benches for both sides and I updated a couple of the matching chairs to the table to go at the end.

One question I still have. Should I rough up the white bottom of the table and make it a little more rustic and farm house like? I think I know what JoJo would do but what do you guys think?

My first Makeover Monday under my belt and hopefully there will be many more to come!

Mud Pies in December – Unheard Of

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Today my children made mud pies for the first time ever. The fact that this was able to happen in late December in Missouri is pretty much a miracle. If you know Missouri at all you know that the weather is unpredictable, there have been days it starts out warm and sunny and is freezing by late afternoon but you can pretty much rely on a pretty cold December, January and February. That is until this year. It has been absolutely gorgeous and play worthy weather the last couple weeks. Not that cold and snow aren’t lovely in their own right. Love love love winter weather but it sure is nice to have a couple surprise warm weeks to enjoy.

Today I gave my kids some old pie pans and plastic serving spoons and they went to town. They added sand and mud and grass and a little love. Today I held my youngest and watched the wind carry the clouds across the bright blue sky and I couldn’t stop thanking God for this opportunity to play and appreciate his lovely creations.

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My daughter asked, ” Is this how we show God we love him?” (This is due to the fact that they watched Boz the Big Green Bear this morning and it was talking about all the ways we can show God’s love) She asked this while mixing her mud pie with all her little 2 year old might.

I told her that when we enjoy and play and love on all that God has made then we are definitely showing him love too.

Today we’ve had some surprise blessings and some surprise play and it was all around beautiful.

Here’s to being thankful for the little surprises that each day brings!

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(Even the guys joined in)

Continue reading Mud Pies in December – Unheard Of

Defeated by High Expectations

Today I learned from my sons part-time preschool teacher that he is extremely smart academically. He’s 4 and can read sentences, knows how to spell small words etc, etc… but… his hand writing isn’t very good. His letters are two big and sloppy. My son is 4 and he has bad handwriting… was I surprised? Yes. But not the way you may be thinking. I was surprised, not that my sons handwriting was sloppy (I homeschool so I’m aware) but that this was even an issue. I nodded and said I would work on tracing more and using scissors and I smiled and I got in my car and that’s when my brain clicked back on and I started to think and wonder…

Why are public school’s expectations so high?Don’t get me wrong I’m all for having expectations for my kids. I expect my 4 year old to have manners, to be kind to others, to try his best, to have good listening ears. I expect him to still have an eagerness to learn after the elementary years are over. I don’t expect him to stay seated for more than 20 minutes without getting wiggly butt, I don’t expect him to write his letters in 1 inch lines that are always legible. I don’t expect his cutting skills to be immaculate, all of that will come with time and patience.

A little background on our schooling plan. When we decided to homeschool full-time about 6 months ago I had already put my sons name on the waiting list at our public school’s preschool. So when I got the call about him getting in I was a little apprehensive because of our homeschooling decision but my husband and I prayed about it and decided that since we wanted to eventually do a hybrid homeschooling plan that we would go ahead and start part-time preschool and see how it goes. And all in all it’s been great. His teacher is awesome and the activities they do are fun and its only a total of 4 hours a week and I homeschool the rest of the time.

Until this latest update I’ve been pretty happy with how it’s been going but now I’m feeling a little stumped. While we were talking I immediately felt deflated, not only as a mom but a homeschooler as well. When my brain clicked back on in the car, all that deflation went away and I felt frustrated. Frustrated at the school system for making me feel so defeated. Frustrated that my child and his abilities are lumped together with 10 other kids his age and they are all expected to go at the same speed. All kids excel in different areas, kids do not learn the same. While my child excels at reading and is more visual, another child may do poorly in that area but excel in hands on activities such as writing. Knowing all of this, again I have to ask the question why does the school system expect so much?

There are so many studies showing how preschool and kindergarten in the US are getting it wrong (and public school in general) less recess, more academics when in all actuality it should be the reverse. Here are a few articles I love on the subject and what caused me to ultimately choose homeschooling.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/09/01/the-decline-of-play-in-preschoolers-and-the-rise-in-sensory-issues/

http://www.woodlandadventurers.org/news/forest-kindergarten-finland

http://www.onlinecollege.org/2011/09/13/15-key-facts-about-homeschooled-kids-in-college/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pauline-hawkins/my-resignation-letter-teaching_b_5160721.html

All that being said, I have some great friends that are great teachers in the public school system and my son’s preschool teachers are great teachers. So my concerns don’t fall on those awesome teachers out there.There are a lot and they don’t get enough credit, that’s for sure. I am questioning the school’s expectations only because they do not make sense to me nor do they make sense to impress on my little ones. We actually moved to a great school district to make sure that if we don’t homeschool through high school that they will be in good hands. And I’m hoping that the expectations they have in high school will actually be something that is attainable. Please, before I get any haters out there, research for yourself, check in and see how many expectations your little one has to meet to move on to the next grade. I’m only looking at elementary so please to do not chastise me for coddling my old children. All that I want is for my children to be excited about learning throughout their schooling years. I don’t want them to have so much pressure to live up to their peers that they lose that joy and that love of learning.

When You Know it’s Working

About two months into this new homeschooling adventure and I finally got a pretty reliable sign that both of my children are getting something out of it.

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My 4 year old has been working through the book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and we are about a third of the way through. Today we were finishing up an entirely different lesson about our left and right sides. He was looking at the work sheet and I could tell he was contemplating something. Before I could inquire he asks the following.

“Why in the word are g and h in the word right?” He pointed to the word “right” and those two silent letters inside that word.

I tried to explain that they were silent. We’ve only just touched on that in his reading lessons so to him seeing a gh in a word that does not sound like it has those letters in it was flabbergasting. I eventually googled his exact question. You can find the only answer I could find right here but to be honest I didn’t do a thorough search at all!

Anyways I am thrilled. I am thrilled that my son is recognizing letter sounds within words when we aren’t even doing a reading lesson. I’m thrilled that he’s interested enough to ask questions. My heart does a double pump when I think about it. One of the most beautiful things is to see my children learn something new, learn and be excited about it. It’s encouraging for someone who is planning on homeschooling full time.

I’ve seen improvement in my two year olds letter recognition as well. Before we started the school year she could only identify a couple of letters, 2 months in she already knows so many more and gets excited when she sees them. It really makes me so giddy! Giddy I tell you!

As for my Littlest, it wouldn’t be right if our 4 month old didn’t get a proud update from momma, he’s rolling over like crazy and grabbing stuff! I got a little emotional when this started happening, our last little one learning to roll. Oh my!

So homeschooling is actually coming together quite nicely. The kids are learning and my hair is still all intact. Intact hair makes for a good first couple months!:)

Happy Homeschooling!