Reasons to Celebrate in March

Posted March 3, 2015 By Jill
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March 1- Lion/Lamb

March 2 – Dr. Seuss birthday

March 2- Read Across America Day

March 8- Daylight Savings Time Begins ‘Spring forward’

March 14-Pi Day/Albert Einstein’s birthday

March 15- Ides of March

March 17- St. Patrick’s day

March 20- First day of spring

March 31-Lion/Lamb

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All about that Seuss

Posted March 2, 2015 By Jill
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Today was a Dr. Seuss day. We took a break from nutrition to do some activities inspired by the author in honor of his birthday.

To see past years of Celebrating Seuss (and watch the kids shrink)… click here: 2014   2014  2013

Both:

Used toothpicks to count out 1-6 and place them on the 1fish 2 fish page from obseussed (no goldfish, and snowed in- we also had no pretzels, or small candies)… definitely a sad day.

I read them 2 online books and 4 regular books (and the 6 year old re-read the 4 regular books)

Writing for Dr. Seuss birthday. I differentiated for the kids by having the 3 year old write the letters, and the 6 year old write a word that goes with each letter, per instructions.

Media:
Episode of Cat in the Hat (afternoon treat!)

6 year old:

Colored a Happy Birthday page for Dr. Seuss find one for the next 5 years here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/192036371587391138/
Unscrambled simple sight words inspired by The Lorax
Colored a pattern of numbers (up to 100) to reveal a Cat in the Hat!
Dr. Seuss ABC inspired ABC Order page (alligator, bumblebee, camel, doughnuts– sound familiar?!?)
Oh Say What Does it Say addition of 2-4 numbers (up to 25) to reveal a message (I can add with my eyes shut!)– this was too difficult, but if I’d waited until next year? Probably too easy.

Hop on Popcorn blank pages used to write addition problems in dry erase (find at obseussed.com)
Hop on Popcorn blank pages used to find what word doesn’t belong from a set of 3 also dry erase.

3 year old:
Colored a Happy Birthday Page for Dr. Seuss
How many apples inspired by 10 apples up on top, counting apples 1-6  and writing the number

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WWU: Nutrition continued Feb 20-26

Posted February 27, 2015 By Jill
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Weekend Happenings:

This weekend’s happenings seemed to stem a lot from a GoodReads Preview book that I read and passed down to my 6 year old. It’s called Time Flight. Briefly, a boy loses a paper airplane and goes on a marvelous adventure. Before she had even finished reading it…. Saturday the kids learned about and colored paper airplanes and did tests flights. Sunday night the kids drew pictures of beaches, and learned about folding paper boats and hats. They really get a lot of value added fun when dad decides to teach them something, too. Does that fall under art, aeronautics, origami? Hard to say, but they had a blast. The 6 year old learned a few things about coloring in pictures as well, such as losing details in the background because you decide to color the whole background… ahem… she’s messed up quite a few gorgeous pictures by scribbling the sky blue.. hopefully she learns this time, because she has quite a lot of imagination and it looks nice on the page when she tries hard. I realize there are no mistakes in art, but really when you have something so pretty and basically ‘blue’ it all out so you can’t tell what anything is… it’s just a mess. But.. it’s also a learning experience and hopefully a good one. She’s learning technique and that’s what counts.

So obviously weekend reading was Time Flight for my 6 year old.

She also read the scripture at church. This continues to impress people. She only went over it once right before hand, and although I didn’t go (I hate the ice and snow), her dad said she did a good job and only flubbed one word. I’ve seen adults do worse, so no complaints there. I’m glad she isn’t ‘backward’ and can’t speak to people or a crowd (I snort in mirth)… anyway…

We discussed different foods and Sunday night they helped according to ability to prep some foods for dinner: opening cans, using a pizza wheel to cut tortillas up for chips, etc. We talked about the food groups and what nutrition was in them, and had the 6 year old read the food label and identify the ‘good stuff’ in the can of beans, and how we can make ‘restaurant food’ at home.

 

Monday:
Reading Together:

My q book by Moncure
My U book by Moncure
The Magic Pasta Pot (play) by Hall
Why Should I eat well by Llewellyn

 

Sign Language: alphabet Q and U
Art: Trace, cut, glue-create a pizza out of construction paper

3 year old:

Music: P-I-Z-Z-A (like BINGO), On top of Spaghetti, Head/Shoulders/Knees/Toes
Letters Q and U phonetic sounds
Math: Writing letters 1-20
Alphabet: Trace A-Z, write a-z
Color by letter page

6 year old:

Independent reading:
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Wiggin

Writing: M-F Dinner menu including all the food groups
Spelling (grain group words)- read, write, remember  [bread, grain, food, group, pasta, rice]
Alphabet: Write upper and lower case

Math: Finish subtraction page (color by answer)
Macaroni Math: Estimate pieces of 2 kinds of pasta needed to cover a ‘pizza piece’ , then using subtraction to figure out how close the guess was.

WE GOT OUR NEW PRINTER AND IT IS AWESOME. WELL WORTH THE EXPENSE! THIS HOME SCHOOL THING JUST WENT PRO!

 

Tuesday:

3 year old:

Alphabet:
Letter Q and U worksheets
Trace upper case letters

Math:
Trace numbers 1-20
Count the (angry bird) piggies and color the page
candy graphing page (with actual graph!)

Games with mom:
Picnic Basket Game (collect cards)
5 Senses sorting game

Multimedia/Tech:
Finished reading part of BRAINZY (Pre-K level of education.com game site) via ‘reading’ various stories online, answering questions, recognizing letters, etc.
Checked progress on math section, completed one small section that had been started (numbers 1-10) in January.

6 year old:

Independent Reading:
The Secret of Cacklefur Castle by Geronimo Stilton
Paws Off, Cheddarface by Geronimo Stilton
Here’s Hank by Henry Winkler “Bookmarks are People Too” –> Check this series out if your kids are dyslexic or have troubles flipping letters, the font is specially made to make it easier to read!

Alphabet:
Write upper case letters
Write Lower case letters

Math:
Write numbers 1-50
Graphing candy page (this time with actual graphing page, yeah!- Krystal’s Kreations from teachers pay teachers – freebie)

Writing/Language:
2 color by sight word pages
6 food word list (she recalled how to spell all of them without needing to look at them, yeah!)
Write the nouns page spelling out VALENTINE [she had a lot of trouble with this, mostly the ‘I don’t feel like trying trouble’]
Write results of experiment

Together:
Candy heart science experiment based on download from Curriculum Castle via teachers pay teachers freebie- check this out, there’s pins to the observation sheets and graphing sheets mentioned above.

 

Wednesday:

Oral A-Z food list during breakfast

Reading Together:
Growing Vegetable Soup by Ehlert
Eating the alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A-Z by Ehlert

3 year old:
Eat a rainbow coloring page
Food Pre-K learning packet (page 1-5)
Q and U alphabet worksheets

6 year old:

Eat a rainbow coloring page
Food themed Math Grade 1 workbook (page 1-7)
Life Science by Mr. K {Chapter 35] – read and completed 3 worksheets on nutrition
Color by numbers double digit math addition with regrouping/carrying

Independent Reading:

The Search for Sunken Treasure by Stilton
Field Trip to Niagara Falls by Stilton

Multimedia/Tech:

Brainzy Pre-K math from education.com

 

Thursday:

Together:
Multimedia/Tech: Video on George Washington Carver (biography-Inventors of the World series) describing his life and work with peanuts (meat group introduction).

3 year old:

Sort pictures into T and U categories
Pre-K learning packet- finished!- this including graphing (she did surprisingly well!), color by number, etc.
U and Q alphabet worksheets

6 year old:
Math:

Writing numbers to 50
1st grade math packet- finished (addition, some subtraction, etc).
Art:
Drawing fruit pictures (from education.com)
Language/Writing:
Long A worksheet — she needs more practice with this skill, or she’s faking not knowing that Sn-A-il has a long A sound– so I’ll hunt for more of these!
Writing dessert menu for a week
Writing down 6 spelling/vocabulary words

 Home Ec: Kneading dough for fresh bread!

 Multimedia/Tech: Brainzy educational games

Independent reading: The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining by Mazer

 

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Conversation Candy Heart Science Experiment

Posted February 25, 2015 By Jill
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Experiments are a fun part of our home schooling adventure. Since the kids are still young (3 and 6), I try and base them on things that they like and/or that are easy to visualize. Since all kids love candy and I’d planned to have them count, sort, and graph candy before they ate it anyway, might as well add a little science to it, right?

 

I used the Candy Heart Science Observations sheets from Curriculum Castle (teachers pay teachers freebie). For an easy pin to use later, click here: Candy Heart Science Experiment. I don’t see any reason this couldn’t be duplicated later with different types of candy (or as a good use up for Halloween candy!)

 

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After several hours, these were our results. Even the smallest kids can appreciate the different reactions, and learn about observation, and how things change over time. Just don’t let them drink it. Shudder. Mine did want the candy-laced soda. I said no, and shooed them away. They did however, graph and count, and then eat their tiny boxes of hearts. For the graphing page(s) please click this pin: Graphing candy hearts.

 

My 6 year old used the observation sheet and wrote down her full results (7 am, 12:30 and 5:30 pm observations) as well as what happened when she TOUCHED all of them. Good times. I particularly like the lovey-dovey rings the vinegar left on the bottom of the measuring cup after sitting on the bottom for a while.

 

If you decide to do this, please come back and comment with your results! Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to follow our boards on Pinterest, and our FB and twitter @teamshoemaker.

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Wrap up Feb 13-19: Nutrition Week 2

Posted February 20, 2015 By Jill
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FRIDAY:
Normally we don’t strictly do any homeschooling on Fridays, as my kids are 3 and 6 and are well advanced for their ages, I don’t find it necessary and I need a break from time to time to get some other things done, focus on the youngest not destroying the house, etc. But we were having company and I thought it might be nice to have them engaged in something in the morning while I cleaned. No dry erase markers, no pencils, no crayons. Just food!

 

The first thing we did was something I’m naming the toast project. It involved the combination of the human body and the nutrition units to compare bread to toast using the 5 senses. Pretty awesome. Then we compared red and green apples, discussing what they would look like on the inside before cutting them open, then talking about the taste, and finally comparing what happens to fruit when you bake it versus bread when you toast it. Plus how we could use our senses to know that food was bad.

 

I also took the opportunity while cleaning to discuss how we knew what was food, what was NOT food, and how we know the difference (using our 5 senses- or hopefully 4 and NOT tasting) and our memory of where food is kept to remind them to keep out of medicines, cleaning products, etc. for health and safety. It led to a discussion on what would happen if the baby was left alone with the kids and she got hungry. I told them to call another adult, although really, how often do you think we’re going to be leaving the 3 and 6 year old together with the toddler? We talked about places to find phone numbers, although really, it’s so unlikely as to be laughable, it seemed important to the 6 year old, so.. there you have it. I’m listing this under health and community resources.

 

Read aloud: The 6 year old read Scrambled Eggs Super by Seuss to the 3 year old

 

When I was recording items from last week, I noticed that one of the videos we didn’t get through all the time on it, and found a bonus feature which was like a mini-movie that talked about kids cooking, showed making ice cream, cutting snacks into shapes, and also making pizzas. So they watched that Friday morning, as well. Guess what they wanted to make for lunch? Since we were having company, the kids got their little aprons, washed their hands, and helped make pizza for them. The oldest helped stir one bowl of dough, knead and roll out, as well as top the pizzas and put things away, add stuff to sauce, etc. The 3 year old got to help roll and top the pizzas, and put a LOT of ingredients in her mouth. They were delighted to have what they made fed to someone else and it put a little ‘check’ in the box that I wanted to get done that week, and that was to get the kids involved in making a ‘grain’ product, and the dough was it!

Weekend:

Both- Counted and sorted boxes of candy hearts- and ate them (Math)

 

valentine bird made from hearts

valentine bird made from hearts

6 year old

Art: Valentine bird (see picture)
Math:
Graphed heart candy by color and saying
Independent reading
:
Who Stole the Wizard of Oz by Avi
Ready Freddy the King of Show and Tell by Klein
Scooby Doo  Map in the Mystery Machine by Herman
Garfield and the Mysterious Mummy by Kraft
Garfield and the Beast in the Basement by Kraft
A Little Princess by Burnett

The snow hit Sunday night and really put a damper on getting any more library books, so I had to string it out a little bit until we could get back in there (closed for inclement weather). At the same time I had computer troubles and we still had internet and printer issues, so we’re working with what we have pre-printed and not starting ‘new’ worksheets.

 

snow painting!

snow painting!

carefully making it snow!

carefully making it snow!

 


Monday

Art: Snow painting- aka glue and shaving foam (see pictures)
Engineering: aka snow fort
PE: sledding, deep snow walking, etc.
Snow-day TO DO lists (written or drawn)
Math: Estimating and measuring the amount of snow with a yardstick (around 8 inches, by the way)

not done yet!

not done yet!-before the kids woke up

Reading Together:
Oodles of noodles by Hendry
Freddie’s spaghetti by Doyle
More spaghetti, I say! by Gelman

Multimedia: Despereaux (technically this wasn’t part of the plan, but it did revolve heavily around soup, food making people and animals happy, healthy, and etc)…so I’m counting it!

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learning minute by minute

Tuesday
Reading Together:
Gino Badino by Engel
Bread, rice, and pasta by Martineau

Dramatic play: Restaurant

Multimedia:
Math
: Episodes of Peg + Cat– to differentiate for the 6 year old (although it IS age appropriate technically), I had her guess certain things that required division/multiplication, and she did fairly well (example: 16 pieces of fruit to separate into bowls for 4 hungry pirates, how much fruit does each pirate get?– she answered correctly nearly instantly, yeah!)
Spelling: Super Why

PE: Snow play


3 year old:

Color by number
Letter K booklet
Color/cut/match picture to seasons
L and K alphabet tracing pages (continued as our printer continues to be unusable)

6 year old:

color by sight word
Letter K booklet
Science/Language: Food picture cards– write the name of the food group that corresponds to the picture
Math: Equator game on tablet (played with mom)

 

Wednesday
Reading Together:

The Pizza Book by Krensky

Dramatic play: Restaurant

Multimedia:
The Cookie Thief (Sesame Street) – featuring counting, famous works of art and artists, museum etiquette, investigation skills, colors, types of art and artists.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

3 year old:

recognizing numbers 1-20 with flashcards
Color by number page

6 year old:

Reading: A recipe, discussed measuring, more and less, time, heating the oven, etc.
Independent Reading: All Because of a Cup of Coffee by Geronimo Stilton (oral report)
Color by sight word
Writing:
Create a bakery menu (writing, pricing, slogan, what’s sold at a bakery)
A-Z Foods in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Thursday

Reading Together

My L Book by Moncure
My K Book by Moncure
Ask Kermit All about Food by Teitelbaum
Good Enough to Eat by Rockwell

3 year old:

Tracing/writing numbers 1-20
Tracing upper case alphabet
Coloring page
Bubble rific by Disney (Doc McStuffins)

 

6 year old:

Writing upper and lower case letters
Mini lesson on nouns and verbs
Worksheet identifying nouns and verbs (circle which is which)
Mini lesson on synonyms and antonyms
Coloring page on synonyms and antonyms
Writing synonyms to match underlined word
February words in ABC order
‘Valentine’ vowel and consonant worksheet

Independent Reading:
The Curse of the Cheese Pyramid by Geronimo Stilton
Junie B Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy by Park
June B Jones is a Party Animal by Park

To find out more about why I’m posting, view other people’s topics, or participate in the WWU, click here: Weekly Wrap Up!

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The Toast Project: Featuring the 5 senses

Posted February 19, 2015 By Jill
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Target Audience: Pre-K, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten or lower elementary grades science nutrition or the 5 senses activity or project

Learning the 5 senses Pre-K

Learning the 5 senses Pre-K

 

I was trying to come up with a simple solution for explaining what the 5 senses were to my 3 year old. The 6 year old has a fairly good idea already and did some of the more usual explorations at public school in the fall (spoil sports) so I planned on trying to avoid the whole ‘blindfold and taste’ sort of thing. I wanted to come up with an idea for exploring all 5 senses in a super simple way, and as I was working on laminating a 5 senses manipulative/game set, I realized how many things encompass several senses at once.

 

In fact it would be hard to say which is more useful in the case of say, a puppy. You hear a puppy pant and bark, you see a puppy wag its tail, you feel the soft fur, you smell dust or dog shampoo… I suppose a toddler might try to eat the puppy in a nice way of course… but you get the idea, how do you place those cards into categories, especially side by side? It’s impossible, right? You have to talk about them all at the same time. A more vocal child might argue the point.

 

That’s how the toast project was born. I took a simple concept of something that you could use all 5 senses to explore, we happened to be studying the grains group at the same time and the combination of bread and toast is perfect! Before the toaster, it has many different properties than after the toaster, doesn’t it?

 

 

All Ages: 

Examine bread and toast with a magnifying glass.

For younger kids:

True sensory exploration, touching each and explaining orally or drawing the differences as it is discussed. New words might be texture, spongy, vision, sight, compare, examine, along with familiar words like color, sound, touch, taste.

Questions to explore:

How does each piece of bread/toast SOUND as it is folded or eaten?

What happens inside the toaster? How does it look different?

Does it taste different?

How does it feel different?

Does it smell different?

Is it still bread?

Older kids:

Allow them to observe the bread and toast and write down the differences, listing each sense in a different column.

Ask them to write 5 other items that you could list in at least 3 sense categories.

Rhyme words with toast and bread (or pan/jam)

 

Note: A piece of white bread as pictured above would work best, as the color change would be the most obvious.

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Wordless Wednesday: Are pom-poms back in?

Posted February 18, 2015 By Jill
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I was watching a segment on tv a while back, and it was featuring ‘jazzing’ up every day items… with pom poms… at first I thought it was strange.. and then…

 

pom-sanity

pom-sanity


 

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Weekend: We spent a lot of time outdoors, the 6 year old has nearly conquered riding without training wheels, and her bike is basically too small. She’s so tall! If she had been home in the fall, I bet she would have had it done then, but I’m glad she’s learning! The 3 year old wanted to play in the creek, so we let them have the learning experience of splashing in really cold water. It may be a while before they try that again!

uh-oh, cold, cold creek!

uh-oh, cold, cold creek!

 

The kids really seem to enjoy worksheets with a holiday theme, I’m glad that I got a TON of Valentine’s worksheets printed off .. ahem before we ran out of ink. Again. It’s the bane of my existence trying to keep the printer held together with duct tape and a prayer (I’m kidding, but I’m not- it’s a nightmare to print, it’s so finicky!) Anyway, they seem to be thrilled to do worksheets with hearts on them, so we’ll just keep on with what I’ve printed until we run out I guess! We got a laminating machine, too, so we are official with getting some stuff the baby can’t destroy in case it falls on the floor, YEAH!

We talked about the foods we ate and what’s in them and why they’re good for you every morning. This is not out of the ordinary, but they were happy to have it tie in to their theme this week!

Weekend Reading together:

Letter H and letter J books with the 3 year old.

Monday:
3 year old:
Valentine coloring page- color by numbers
Recognizing numbers 1-20 via flashcard
sign language alphabet review

6 year old:
Valentine coloring page- color by numbers
Worksheets from K-2 valentine packet including math and language (continued from last week)
sign language alphabet review

Independent reading:
Lila and Myla The Twin Fairies by Daisy Meadows
Scooby Doo and the Case of the Devilish Doughnut
Eerie Elementary: The school is alive by Chabert
The Case of the Mummy Mystery (Jigsaw Jones) by Preller
The Case of the Spooky Sleepover (Jigsaw Jones) by Preller

 

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She hasn’t said she misses her class in a couple of days…. maybe she likes the jammies?!?

Tuesday:

Reading together: If you give a moose a muffin by Numeroff

Discussed the fact that food can be categorized and introduced the grain group, discussed whole grains, looked at pictures of grains in our cookbook, talked about different grains and how they are eaten worldwide, made into different products, etc.

6 year old:
Independent reading:
Winnie the Pooh and Valentines, Too- Disney
Where is Nicky’s Valentine?- Ziefert
Cook with the Cat – Cat in the Hat
Arthur and the True Francine by Brown
Arthur’s First Sleepover by Brown

Handwritten valentine math problems by mom (addition and subtraction)
Worksheets from K-2 valentine packet including math and language (continued from last week)
Valentine themed sheets: Writing numbers 1-20, Upper Case letters, lower case letters
Lamb sign language worksheet, copy letters.

3 year old:
Reading together:
Where is Nicky’s Valentine?- Ziefert
Cook with the Cat – Cat in the Hat
Arthur and the True Francine by Brown
Arthur’s First Sleepover by Brown

K and L education. com worksheets tracing, writing, identifying, etc.
Valentine themed sheet: Write out the numbers 1-20, fill in missing lower case letters.
Finished coloring sheet from Monday.
Additional Valentine sheet: tracing the word HEART, heart shapes, etc.
Lamb sign language worksheet, copy letters.


Wednesday:

I wish I had a picture or video of the owl that kept being so interesting and interrupting our work. Yes in the day. It’s a perk of living in the country. You see wildlife during the day, and hear them at night, as well. I think around 3 p.m. over the weekend we heard 4 owls calling to each other while we were outside. Insane. Awesome, but insane.

Videos:
Cat in the Hat knows a lot about that Let’s Celebrate: The Last Chocolate (how to make chocolate)
Sesame Street. C is for cooking
Let’s eat!: [funny food songs from Sesame Street]

Reading Together:
From Farm to You: Bread by Jones
Donut Chef by Staake
Walter the Baker by Eric Carle
Jelly and the Donuts by Elyse Schneiderman PhD
Daisy the Donut Fairy by Bugbird

3 year old:

Valentine coloring page and color by number pages
Dry erase alphabet and number writing practice (Valentine style)
Recognizing beginning sounds worksheet (and she did fantastic)

6 year old:

Color by equation (subtraction)- valentine style
Color by sight word- valentine style- 2 pages
Dry erase alphabet and number writing practice (Valentine style)

Music CD: Sing along and learn marvelous math (she lost interest in this, it might have been better in a vehicle)

Independent Reading:
Scooby Doo Disappearing Donuts by Herman
Danny’s Doodles: The squirting donuts by David Adler

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this is why I never…

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…get anything done quickly


Thursday:

Reading Together:
What We Eat (Kingfisher Readers)
Macaroni and Rice and Bread by the Slice: What is in the Grains Group? by Cleary
What’s in your Macaroni and Cheese  by Sullivan

Multimedia:
Cooking Fun For All Ages (inspired by Ratatouille-featuring TV personality chefs, cooking with kids and French recipes)
Ratatouille (movie)

Music:
Muffin Man
On top of spaghetti (this has more verses than I thought!)
Pat-a-cake

Games/Manipulatives:
Food pyramid/groups sorting game done together as a way to introduce the idea of official ‘food groups’
Food pyramid/groups sorting game (different) on own
Healthy vs. Junk Food sorting game (even the 3 year old did really well on this, yeah!)

6 year old:
Coloring by addition problem and sight word

3 year old:
Letter worksheets and writing numbers 1-20– she wrote them independently when asked nicely bribed with candy, so we may do that again. They still have Halloween candy, I can deal with them eating it before Easter arrives o.0! I think I threw away 2014 Easter candy at Christmastime. Our church is very generous with their annual ‘club’ hunt– one of the kid’s activities, for about 30-50 kids they hide around 1000 eggs!

WP_20150212_001

not bad for her first time writing them without the ‘dots’

 

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Nailed it! Chocolate covered strawberries

Posted February 12, 2015 By Jill
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I usually think things through before plunging in head first.. I really do, but this time I didn’t put all my brain cells into it. Pinterest is awesome, if you use it correctly. It shows you awesome ideas and as long as you don’t get sucked in forever, you find some pretty cool ideas to ‘pin’ for later.. but sometimes… oh sometimes you have to say… I NAILED IT!

Chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s day?

Great. Check Pinterest… oh wow, this looks so easy. I’ve melted these coating things before.. it says to pat the berries dry, okay, I’ve got this! It will be a great treat for my hubby and the kids!

I even have both colors of the coating, I can do the drizzle, they’ll look great!

I ended up cutting the stems off because the berries were still 1/2 white on top, because it’s February (hello) — so I had to use tongs to roll the things in chocolate. So how did they turn out? Basically eventually ending up with glopped on chocolate that looked…. less than appetizing!

 

 

 

 

 

no, it's not poo!

no, it’s not poo!

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Losing my identity through social media

Posted February 7, 2015 By Jill
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At first there just was e-mail. It was really slow. I could connect with friends, and they’d write back, chat daily with little programs, before real life set in. Then jobs got in the way, we moved apart and never were quite the same. E-mails exchanged more slowly now, a reply every now and then. Facebook showed up and we could connect with lightning speed once more. We shared jokes, old stories, and then times and lives changed, once again.

 

Wedding bells rang, and babies were born, hurray! But exhaustion and friends branching out, left me in the cold. They had new best friends who came to visit, or families near-by. Always running here or there, no time left for much but ‘hi’. E-mails left un-replied and time drug on and on. I wrote a blog, hoping to have some contact with anyone in the world. What once was a ‘check-in’ once a day became a social hang- out for me. As Facebook opened doors never before seen. Connecting with like minded people, strangers, and friends alike, on any topic. It became a place to share, a place to care. A place to have friends again.

 

But just like anything else, times are always changing. Unfriended and unfriending by the dozens, fast as lightning. It became a place of torment, saddened by all the news. Anything I posted was considered inane. It’s true as a first time mom, I asked a lot of questions and shared a lot of frustrations, honesty in return was what I expected.

 

Not being slammed in the face. Not completely rejected.

 

My husband said ‘don’t list your chores or check-list, it makes you look insane’… and so I was shut-down from feeling accomplished every day. Not important? Don’t share it.

 

My friends said ‘why did you keep your husband around, you seem miserable, it’s true’ they don’t have all the facts. Just because you had a bad day and a miscommunication doesn’t mean your relationship is over, it means you had a bad day..all I really want is him to take the garbage out, or be romantic, or… But no.. that’s shaming. You can’t shame your spouse, in fact, don’t talk about them at all.

 

Same goes for your kids. To say they are accomplished is a brag, and bragging is not allowed I’m told. Since I can’t say how they’re good, I ‘ll say how I’m challenged, I thought, but alas, that’s a no-no. Don’t shame your kids, the internet is forever. While I know it’s true, I long for a connection with another mom, one that says, I really REALLY get you.

 

I found a few locally, but they moved away again. I see them time to time, but not enough to be best friends.

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I shifted to groups of various kinds, on twitter and FB, most to do with diapering tiny cloth behinds. But nasty comments leave me cold, and answering always makes my temper flare. I ask and answer as nicely as I can, and leave the rest. Everything seems to get confused and so I find I rarely find a way to share.

 

While the world has shifted around me and my family has grown, my blog has stayed constant, the only secrets are when babies are brewing before 12 weeks (no, not one right now). It lets me tell my story, share and enjoy my life. Even if no one’s listening, this online journal is a chronicle of me.

 

But it’s a me that isn’t allowed to share her feelings, not about her mate, her kids, or anything else. It’s become my shell in the internet, where I can be safe, leave a legacy.. change one mind. As I retreat further and further from technology, it feels like there’s not much left. My friends rarely reach out, or don’t agree with my life. It’s not that odd, it’s really not I’m not breaking any rules. I’m bombarded with ads, and posts from well meaning folks who want to share their ideas, while I struggle with facebook changes that used to hide my comments in groups, now broadcasts them to anyone I know. Anything I truly want to share via my blog gets hidden– since it’s not organic [this is their way of pulling in cash by the way.]

I yearn for someone to say ‘me too’ in some way besides a LIKE. To be calm and rational when I cannot, not drive my head on a spike. I want a close connection, that’s not wired, to be sure. My  husband works all day, the kids take his afternoon and by then it’s time for bed. Sometimes we manage to connect, but when you have no time for lengthy discussions, it’s better just to be superficial. He doesn’t want to know what I do all day, he wants to know about the kids. So I can’t talk online, or with him most days. My voice doesn’t get heard at all anymore. Even the kids have noticed the shift, and prefer his respectable company to mine.

 

So once I was a complete person, who had thoughts and feelings, and while private occasionally would share, now I’m merely a shell that isn’t allowed to say anything… anywhere.

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