“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”
– Dr. Seuss
“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”
– Dr. Seuss
Anybody else excited about getting their gardening on?!? Last year was our first year of gardening as a family and my kids really loved the idea of it but didn’t get involved like I had hoped… mainly my fault.
So this year we are making a huge effort to get excited about growing our own food. I purchased some summer gardening tools and gloves for the kids at Hobby Lobby(half off of course;)) a few weeks ago and started getting our garden ready not too long ago. So far my kids are digging it! (Get it… digging it!) Anyways I’ve been trying to think of other ways to get them excited about spring/gardening and I came across this garden yoga poses for kids. How fun is this!
Then I started to look for books that might pique their interest as well and I came across several from Usborne Books … haha isn’t that lucky! Here are some titles below that I think look super fun, educational and might really help my kiddos get interested!
With the adorable and fun yoga poses, the new child size gardening tools and these awesome books, I think we will be gardening like maniacs by April.
Here’s to happy gardening!
I’m gonna be honest, my creativity with preschool at home has suffered a bit through the holidays. There were some Christmas crafts throughout December but they weren’t well thought out, which I suppose doesn’t matter if they were well received by the kiddos but still. Something has been off with my organization and I just haven’t felt like I’ve put my best mommy foot forward. Yesterday I decided it was time to make a change.
I have approximately 3 cabinets full of learning, crafts, games, puzzles, activities, etc for the kids. These 3 cabinets are pretty much a tornado of stencils and glitter when they are opened so yesterday was dedicated to organizing and categorizing. Now instead of 3 cabinets in disarray there is some sanity to them.
Puzzle and game cabinet which is pretty self explanatory. Arts and crafts cabinet which isn’t just materials but books on science, holiday, and pretty much all subject crafts. And then the homeschool cabinet which has all the workbooks and learning materials that we use weekly. Ta-dah! I’m organized for at least a month and then I’m sure that my cabinets will become a crazy disaster again, but I’m gonna enjoy them until then!
We started the day right with a craft that suited both my 4 year old and 2 year old. 4 year old is learning to read, working his way through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and then my 2 year old is on her letters. What better way to add a little fun to the learning process than making alphabet and reading monsters who only eat letters and words.
The idea for this came from a page I had pinned a long time ago and just now got around to doing. I mean like 2 years ago. You can find that here. The kids had a blast with creating their own then playing with them. It took about an hour out of our day. An entire hour my kids were focused on something, that’s just unheard of! So with a great start to the week I’m hoping my creative juices continue to flow and we can get some more awesome and educational crafts done in the next few months. Next time though we will be using the table, I had quite the time with the vacuum after this little project!;)
Here’s to creative juices flowing and such!:)
Tomorrow is Dec 1st and I am knee deep in getting all the count downs and activities ready for it. Here are a few of our must have traditions!
Unwrap and Read One Christmas Book a Night
One of our favorite traditions is unwrapping a Christmas book every night to read before bed. I put 24 books wrapped and ready under the tree the night before the 1st of December, the kids get so super excited about them the next morning. They are always the first gifts under the tree so that helps. We’ve actually accumulated about 15 Christmas related books that we own and I reserve the rest at the library to pick up and have ready. I kind of like that better because then they get to read several “new” books.
Every year since we’ve had kids that can walk we do some sort of advent calendar and every day the kids get to do something related to the season such as baking cookies for someone, making ornaments, watch Christmas movies, go and pick out a new ornament for the year, buy gifts for someone, help wrap gifts, visit Santa, make crafts, go look at lights, etc etc etc. Usually I incorporate the bible story about baby Jesus and the real meaning of Christmas into our everyday advent calendar but I’m changing it up a bit this year. Stay tuned;). Our calendars look different every year. Last year I used a mini muffin pan as you can see in pic below…. (sorry it’s fuzzy.)
And this year I’m going totally homemade again but pretty different. I am finishing it up tonight so will post an updated photo later. I love love love homemade advent calendars.
Felt Christmas Tree
Pretty much self explanatory and sooo simple but it’s one of my kids favorite things to do. We put it up on the 1st and they decorate it over and over again. Don’t judge my cut job, totally wish I had more of an OCD personality but nadda!
7 Days Before Christmas Bible Story and Nativity.
Last but not least, this is something totally new but now that my kids are a little older (at least my biggest) and their attention span has a little more depth to it we wanted to incorporate more focus on the Bible Christmas story.
The last 7 days leading up to Christmas they will open a box and add to the nativity scene. There is an add on and also a story from the bible to read so by Christmas morning the nativity will be complete and the story will be told. So excited about this new addition to our festivities. I really hope the kids get excited about it too. This is what Christmas is all about folks!:)
So that’s that, we have a few other traditions here and there, pajamas on Christmas Eve and a Christmas morning breakfast table but for the most part that’s the bulk of it and we are so excited to begin!
Here’s to a month of Merry Celebrations!
My decision to homeschool has not been an easy one. As soon as my oldest turned 2 I couldn’t stop thinking about it, wondering about it and the fact that I have one sister that homeschools and another sister that sends her kids to public school should have made my decision easier but it hasn’t. I looked at both sets of kids and they are all amazing and smart and unique in their own ways so when it finally came down to it I had to decide what was best for my family and my family alone. So the praying began and it continued for months and months and while I was trying to decide for certain my homeschooling sister told me that I will just have a peace about it either way and that it’s something that may change with every year and so I waited for that peaceful feeling that she had promised me and I waited some more and about the time that I was about to give up on it…. it arrived and boy did it feel amazing! The last 2 weeks have been lovely and crazy and a wee bit stressful. While I’ve been praying about whether or not I would homeschool I’ve also been searching through site after site of curriculums to use. Yes I know this is just preschool but I wanted it to be something fun and easy for our first year. My son is so excited about learning and school so I definitely didn’t want to disappoint! In the end I chose several different things to weave together and HOPEFULLY make a beautiful preschool year. I’m still working on getting weekly themes together but for now we are just getting into a routine that is more scheduled and that’s a victory in my book.
Here are the following things I’m doing this year to make preschool for a fairly advanced 4-year-old educational and enjoyable.
First up is Christian Light Education which I absolutely love so far. This is something we do during our main “sit down and learn time” I purchased the kindergarten package because from what I read about the preschool package it seemed a little too young for him and I must say the Kindergarten books are perfect for him. They have 5 workbooks and 5 activity books, 30 lessons in each one. I have it planned out to where it will take up a full school year. About 3 pages a day. Can’t say enough about these books!
Next is this lovely book that I happened upon by chance but I’m so happy I did. Honestly I haven’t been the happiest with the idea of memorizing site words and not learning how to sound words out to read. Love the phonics approach and this goes along with that kind of teaching. I love this book because it teaches the fundamentals, learning the sounds that letters make together. I have high hopes for these lessons and so far my son is doing very well. The reviews are absolutely amazing so we shall see. I will keep you updated!
Finally for our bible lessons I chose to go with ABC Jesus Love Me. I can’t say enough about this curriculum! Last year I bought these books and was pretty consistent with it but last year I used the entire curriculum. This year I’m using the 4-year-old curriculum but only the bible lessons each week. I did buy these books last year so that I wouldn’t have to go to the library all the time (and plan on using them with my younger littles) but this year I’ve decided to brave the library printers because guess what… EVERYTHING ON THIS SITE IS FREE! Yes, you heard right free. Weekly lesson plans, daily plans, printables, crafts. You can purchase a lesson plan book and most of the printables you will need just to make it easier and have it more organized which is what I did last year but it’s totally easy do without purchasing especially if you have your own printer!
A few more things I hope to add in are weekly themes which one of my resources for this is 25 Weekly Themes and some Five in a Row books and activities which I’ve heard awesome things about! I’ve also been using Homeschool Skedtrack as a planner. I was going to buy a planner but when I came across this amazing online homeschool planner I about had an attack of the giggles. I realize that this is just preschool but just having our daily plans scheduled and marked off each day, you can also go ahead and plan your year, your days off, your holidays and then it does all the hard work for you! Love it and plan to continue using it through the years!
So my homeschooling has begun! Wish me luck and happy schooling to you whether public, private or in the home!