preK: week 21

Character Trait: Joyful
Bible Story: Paul in jail, from My First Hands-On Bible
Science/Social Studies theme: Winter
Letter focus: Bb
Sight Word Focus: said
Word Family Blend: review
B4FIAR book: Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?

This week I pretty much reverted back to my style of teaching from last year - which was just learning from play.  This year I had gotten too caught up in traditional 'worksheet' type school and Connor lost all interest.

Connor is very smart for his age, so I think that caused me to think he'd be ready for a more formal school.  Note to self:  he is smart, but he is still 4.  Because he mentally *can* do it, doesn't mean he's emotionally or physcially ready.  Good grief the wiggle worms this kid has! ha!

It's kind of ironic... I wanted to keep him home (partly) because I believe it's unfair to make 4 and 5 year olds sit still for so long, especially for boys.  Then.... that's exactly what I found myself doing.  Trying to get him to sit still. 

So.  This week we did no 'extra' that he didn't want to do, and we didn't sit at the table other than to eat.

We read Jesse Bear everyday and did most of the things suggested in the b4fiar guide.   In addition, Connor wanted to do the measuring and the rhyming printouts from homeschool creations that went along with our book.

For "art" I got out some forgotten homemade paint I made a while back and let Connor squirt it on many many papers.  I think he did 6.

I went along with Connor's want to play with his transformers and turned it into a game of sorting, tallest to shortest.

For confidence I gently persuaded him to 'read' to his sister.  At first he tried to tell me he couldn't.  He was so proud when he realized he could, and he's done it several times through out the week now.

A book I liked more than the Jesse Bear, for our "joyful" week was a long forgotten childhood favorite of mine, Snow .

Love love love this book!

Hubbard's Cupboard
Confessions of a Homeschooler (k4)
Homeschool Creations: Jesse Bear


preK: week 20

Character Trait: Modest
Bible Story: Ruth, from My First Hands-On Bible
Science/Social Studies theme: Winter
Letter focus: Review
Sight Word Focus: for
Word Family Blend: review
B4FIAR book: The Snowy Day

We're still struggling with burn out.  Mostly just Connor now.  He wants nothing to do with school, which is frustrating.  I have to keep reminding myself he is only 4 and to not push him.  Especially being one of the many reasons I chose to homeschool is so he wouldn't be pushed to sit for long periods doing 'boring worksheets' at the age of 4.

So, we've gotten creative.  I have tons of things I could have been using around the house, but it always escapes my mind when we're immersed in our day.  There's educational online games.  We have educational ipad apps.  We have a leap pad.  We have have educational dvds.  We have role play, arts, crafts and on and on. 

To start the week, after listening to Connor whine yet again to not do school, I gave him a new paint with water book I found at the $ store.  It was right up his alley, x-men!!  He was so excited he painted the entire book.  It never crossed my mind that he would love it that much and that I then wouldn't have that "art" to do any other day of the week.  lol.

He loved it so much he started to cry after they were all done, wanting to continue to paint.  So out came the water paints.

He painted 6 pages.

Then he dictated a story for me to write on those 6 pages.

It is a story of a "bear" (the paint brush) who "walked along" and had many mishaps along the way, like falling into a swamp.

I had to use my creative juices almost everyday of the week to get him to do something, anything, in the way of "school".  One time it was color snowflakes with my markers.

Which, as it turns now, is a horrible idea.  My table is now permanently stained with a 4 year olds writing of his name.  Not on purpose.  It leaked through the paper.

We switched to highlighters and glitter glue to finish the snowflakes.

He liked reading "The Snowy Day" each day, and liked finding the shapes in the book and around the house, but couldn't be bother to trace the words or even trace the shapes.  So I had him traces the "faces".  He loved that.  ha! (pictured above)

It also helped to allow him one morning of hiding under the couch, watching Netflix.  Then, it also helped to pull out a dry erase board from Hooked On Phonics.  He hasn't seen that in over a year.  I didn't even ask him to trace, he begged too.

Two of the four days were "Daddy school" days, and that helped greatly with Connor's attitude towards school.  Until he realized it was still a lot like "mommy school".  lol.

We had another paint day, where Emma swiped Connor's stuff and he very patiently waited for me to gather him more papers.  As a bonus... it finally started to snow outside!

To end our week of "The Snowy Day" .... we went out and had "the snowy night".

Hubbard's Cupboard
Confessions of a Homeschooler (k4)
Homeschool Creations: the snowy day


preK: week 19

Character Trait: Prayerful
Bible Story: Jesus teaching the Lord's Prayer, from The Jesus Storybook Bible
Science/Social Studies theme: Winter
Letter focus: Review of Dd & Rr
Sight Word Focus: was
Word Family Blend: review
B4FIAR bookPrayer for a Child

After our 'dailies' (like calendar time) Connor began his week with choosing people he wanted to pray for.   Whenever he prays he almost always includes mom, dad and sister .... awww!  He also always remembers our Pastor.  How cute!  I love that Connor loves him so much.  As a child I was always shy of Pastors.

I have started to include Emma in our homeschool.  While Connor colored his praying hands I opened up Emma's little book, My ABC Bible/My ABC Prayers, to read her the "Rr" page.  It made me laugh, because it was currently raining outside.  In January.

We made a "prayer necklace" with pretzels.  Connor really loved his edible necklace.  lol.  He would ask for each pretzel, "Can I eat it!?"

We did many of the printables from Homeschool Creations, for Prayer for a Child.  One sheet in particular I loved watching Connor put together.  It was the last sheet we did for the week, "what I'm thankful for".  Connor was to choose the things he was thankful for, cut them out, and paste it in the box.  He looked the choices over, found one he liked then proceeded to cut it out.  Then he held the picture in his little hands and stared at it for at least a whole 5 minutes.  His first choice?  Grandpa.

I had so much fun watching him carefully choose what he was going to be thankful for.  He'd pause and excitedly say something about each one.  Like the leaves picture, "Mom!  Do remember when we jumped in the leaves with .... " and he went on to tell me all about the time we had Thanksgiving at Aunt Sue's.

On thing I couldn't understand was that he cut out the book picture and set it aside, loudly declaring he was not thankful for books.  ha!  From the boy that loves books!  Maybe he was thinking school books, I don't know.  lol. 

In the end, all pictures made it onto his "thankful" page, including the books.

More fun:

left: he got confused with his maze and I showed him the right way; middle:  "Mom, this is the best snack I've ever had!!"; right:  geoboard free play


White Winter

We haven't had a normal winter at all this year, so this day when we opened the curtains and seen this blanket of white we all scrambled outside.  First thing in the morning.  Baths?  Breakfast? Clean clothes?  School?  They can all wait! 

The Paper Mama


sunshine, lollipops and rainbows

I've heard many times people tell me, "I wish I could stay home, I'd get so much done and my house would be so clean!"  No it won't.

And the not so nice, "Must be nice."  It is.  But not everyday.

Then there's the, "You're just lazy.  At least in the 'olden' days they made quilts or something to participate in the household finance."  Right.

Now.... I'm not going to turn this into yet another debate of which grass is greener on which side.  Because they're the same.  It's hard to be a working mom. 

It's also hard to be a stay at home mom.

It's hard to be a homeschooling mom.

I'm sure it's also hard to be a work at home mom.

It's not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.

This week we had a really bad day.  Everybody was in tears at least once.
The house was a disaster.  This is after 1 hour of solid cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming and mopping.  You couldn't even tell I did one thing.

All of us were in bad moods.  To be honest, I'm not even exactly sure why.  Full moon?  I don't know.  lol.

Then Connor found an old favorite book of his and asked me to read it.  I threw the thought of school for that day out the window and read to him.  It's one of my favorites too.

It is such a fun book.  The boy keeps trying to call his Grandma and keeps getting a wrong number, with the last being a crocodile that want to eat the boy for lunch.

This spurred role playing of a snapping crocodile (Connor) and the scared boy (played by me).   Then I remembered our CD.  This gem of a CD, I don't even remember where I got it.  But I do remember it looked cute, was $1 and I scooped it up not knowing at all what to expect, but it was only $1.

I am in awe.  I love it.  It is an amazing and fun CD. 

The gem?  This:

On amazon it is not $1.  However, it is well worth the $$, if you can find it.  The artist, Beau Young, does an amazing job capturing the 'sound' of the animals in the music.  Kids love it.  And it's not bad for us parents to listen to.  Fun for all! 

We've played it many times and have always loved it but this day...... it was icing on the cake after the book pick-me-up.

For the first time, this time, Emma participated.   I could not stop laughing.

She had just gotten done smearing milk all over my freshly mopped floor when we all hit rock bottom of our stress levels.  The CD put a smile on all our faces.  In the photo above we're all stomping around and blowing our "trunks" like elephants.

Connor's favorite (above), Crocodile fishing.  Snap snap!!

a long neck giraffe, swaying side to side.  By the time we got to the lion Emma couldn't hold herself up anymore.  lol.

We finished with gorillas then the kids were so exhausted they had to take naps.

I really need to remember to play this CD at least once a week.


preK: week 18

Character Trait: Review
Bible Story:  Review
Science/Social Studies theme: Winter
Letter focus:  Dd
Sight Word Focus: do
Word Family Blend: review
reading:  we read books about snow, and the "how do dinosaurs ..." books

I am so behind on keeping up with blogging about school.  ugh.

The first week back after Christmas break we took it easy.  It was review week. 

Connor (and I guess me too) has been feeling burnt out on school.  This happened about the same time last year too.   I haven't been able to get him excited for school in several weeks.  However.... on Monday, Daddy was still on 'vacation' from work.  Connor was excited to have "daddy school".   The change perked him up nicely and he had so much fun.

(add it! from confessions of a homeschool)

For the remainder of the week I pulled out some old things from last years "D" week that Connor had absolutely loved then.  He still loved it this time around.

I'm a little embarrassed to share, but I also think it's hilarious, the things that motivate kids to learn. 

Okay.  So this week was "D" review week.  D is for dinos, right?  Well... last year I couldn't think of any math manipulative for him to count until I seen the chocolate chips in the pantry.  Connor loves chocolate.  He loves dinos.  So.... we counted "dino poo".  Since he loved it so much last year we did it again this year.  Nothing like a little "dino poo" to perk you up and get you out of the school time blues.

Also.... Connor has a serious love for skeletons.  So when I found this toy dino skeletons at the dollar store, I had to get them.  He was so very excited.

This week, we also melted broken crayons to make 'new' crayons. 

Both kids loved the "new" crayons.

Then, we had many, many, many lessons on sharing when I brought out our simple sensory bin for January.

Funny how much fighting can happen over a few cotton balls.  Who knew.

Hubbard's Cupboard
Confessions of a Homeschooler (k4)
Confessions of a Homeschooler (letter D)


Visiting the North Pole and Michigan

We've been missing from the blogging world.  Life, holidays, and school took over.  And life with school during the holidays took over.  Which left no room for reading or writing blogs.

However..... we did take time to drive to the north pole.

Some how, somewhere in the 6 weeks we've been missing from blog world and with the drive to the North Pole, we've completed 4 weeks of school.  That left 2 weeks of glorious vacation!  1 of which was spent at a cottage on a river in Michigan, savoring every last second with family.  Four of those family members we haven't seen in over 2 years.

It's funny how family can drive you crazy, but yet, when you're apart for so long.... you start to feel just a little bit lost.  Or at least I did.  Maybe lost isn't the right word.  I started to feel like I didn't fit in anywhere.  I started to feel like the odd {wo}man out.  My quirks and my kid's quirks didn't fit in anywhere.  You start to feel weird.  You're sense of humor doesn't fit quite right.  The way you dress, the way you talk.  A big part of what makes you you.  You miss home.

Then you're all thrown back in under one roof and it all clicks.  You see your kids' quirks in your nieces and nephew and you make jokes with your siblings that don't fall to the floor with an echoing thud.

You make a silly comment to your nephew and he giggles to his sister that that is something his Daddy would say.  And all the world seems right.

Until your routine and all their routines start to clash. Your way and their way don't quite match up, because while you're so very alike, you are also so very different.  You start to miss home.  Your other home.  Your new home.

Ah life.  Sweet sweet life.  lol.

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