"If Psalm 1 is to be believed, we must not allow our children to stand, sit or walk with those who deny biblical truth and morality. Instead, we must place them in situations that will aid them in meditating on the law of the Lord 'day and night.' Surely this involves how and where they are to be educated." — Voddie T. Baucham Jr.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Free Music

Here is a free sampling of some of our favorite music. They are also giving away one free CD to whoever wants it for Christmas. You can get it for yourself or they will send it to anyone in the USA. But you can download this album for FREE! Enjoy. Visit their website @ http://music.songsforsaplings.com/

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fall fun

Here are some picture we took in the back yard on a beautiful fall day. I love the autumn sunshine. 

 Janelle took this one.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

God's World "the 1st day" level 1

Week before last we spent a whole week learning about the solar system. My reason behind this was to introduce science in the order of creation, an idea I got from The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach. On the first day God made the heavens and the earth. I didn't have any thing specific to work with other than the earth so I decided to start with the heavens. We learned all about a solar system. I did this Charlotte Mason style using only books and some coloring sheets. I would simply read the book and make no other comments or explanations unless she asked a question, to which I would give a very simplified answer. I never asked her any questions to see if she was "getting it", or asked her to identify the planets in books we had already read. I just had to trust that if I put it in there, eventually it would come out. I even wrote a song with the names of the planets that I would sing while she colored her solar system, in the car, at lunch, whenever I would think about it. I never asked her to sing it with me, and she never did.
Well this past Sunday daddy had taken the kids upstairs after dinner while I cleaned up the dishes. They were gone a few minutes when he called me to come upsatirs. I get up there and he said, "did you know that Janelle knew all the planets?" I said no. He said that she was looking at one of her books and asked him if he knew the names of the planets. So she begins to sing the song that I didn't know she knew. I was very impressed. She did get it. She also told daddy that God made all the planets on the first day. Since then other things have come out as she plays with her dolls or while she's telling made up stories like traveling through the milky way and  going around the sun. It was a very successful week. I'm learning more and more to trust my child. To trust that God gave her a mind, and that it works just fine without all of my prodding and poking around to see whats in there. What's in there will come out. All of the testing only fustrated both of us because she would always give me the wrong answer on purpose. So I just stop asking. And now I can see that she is learning.
Charlotte Mason says information to the mind is like food to the body. What I was doing before was giving Janelle something to eat and then asking her to give in back to me. Well, I wouldn't do that with food so why with information. She needed time to assimilate it just like the body needs time to digest. And in this case it was two weeks before it came out.
Well I'm excited to continue, and see what she'll tell me next. Here are the books we read: 
And here is our solar system song

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pay attention

Here is a great article I read on cultivating the habit of attention in toddlers.  I'm going to begin this with James and Janelle so I'll post some of our attention activities.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Math Dots

Here's a video I made of James doing one of his math sessions. We started the program this summer and I didn't do anything for the month of August. But we started back up a few weeks ago and I've been pretty consistent with the lessons. We just started doing equations last week and the kids, and myself are enjoying them. I will make a video on how I made the cards as well as some info about the method. You can read more about this in How to Teach Your Baby Math and How to Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Habit training

Habits: The Mother's Secret to SuccessHere is a great e-book that I'm reading on the formation of habits by Charlotte Mason. You can download it for free here. While reading this I am becoming more aware of just how powerful habits are. Charlotte Mason says that habits are ten times stronger than nature, and if I want to change some bad habit I must to "great damage to myself". So glad I found this book while my children are little. I can make life a little easier for them by instilling good habits. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brain development

Here's a great talk about early brain development.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Crayons

I found these at Target today. I'm hoping that it will eliminate broken crayons and little pieces of paper all over the place. I'll let you know how they work out.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What we read today

This is a cute story about a hermit crab that is saved by a little boy, and the crab discovers a way to pay the boy back.

Week 3

So tomorrow begins week three of preschool. I'm so excited about this week because I have more planned for us to do than the previous two weeks. My focus is till consistancy. I just need to keep it up and add as I go along. I have so many ideas that I'm just dying to impliment. This is defiantly a test of patience for me. But I know it's good for me to learn how to wait. He makes all things beautiful in His time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our Tree

So today we had our first nature "walk". I think I'm just going to focus on developing Janelle's observation. Just getting her to be aware of the natural things around her and how they change with the seasons. I got the idea from Nature for the Very Young. It's a great book with activities for preschool aged kids. The book suggested having one designated area that you visit all year and observe the seasonal changes. So I decided that we would adopt a tree near the playground at the park. That should be simple enough for her. We'll visit our tree every couple of weeks or so and see how it's changed. We'll also take account of the weather and temperture. We're going to keep all of this in a journal that we can look back on at the end of the year. So here is the tree that Janelle picked to be her tree.

Curiosity didn't kill this bug, but it did find it

So we, and by we I mean Janelle, found a dead bug in the driveway. She had commented on it several times before I figured out that I should stop telling her that it was disgusting and not to touch it, that we should go examine it and put her curiosity to rest. Not sure what it used to be. Defiantly a flying insect. 
 Here is Janelle with the bug for scale.
 James along for the adventure.
Janelle ran into the house and emerged with one of James' toys to move the bug around. She insisted that it would fly again one day. What an optimist.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

So grateful

        So today was my first real day of school. I started last week but I wasn't really together. Today we did everything that I planned to do. I didn't plan much, which is probably why I was successful. I'm learning to keep it simple. It's so tempting after reading all these great homeschool blogs and websites to want to do it all. But I can't. And instead of comparing myself with others (which the Bible tells me is unwise anyway), I've decided to be grateful. I'm grateful for all the homeschooling moms that have gone before me. I'm grateful for all of their ideas. I'm grateful that they've been doing this thing a lot longer than I have  and that I can glean wisdom and inspiration.
        I'm also grateful for my own little ones who are so oblivious to their own needs, and subconsciously look to me for guidance hoping that I will make the best decisions concerning their future. Yes, I've decide to be grateful. Instead of crumpling under the enormous pressure of it all, I will give thanks. I'm grateful that I live in a place where I can make choses for my children, and that their future is not determined by someone else. I'm grateful that I've let go (or at least trying to) of self-imposed burden of living up to some ideal, and just excepting myself where I am, knowing that I'm not going to stay here. I AM growing, I AM learning, I AM changing, and one day I'll look back to this season and smile knowing that I did't waste a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. Thank you Lord for your grace.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I did it!

I finally finished a project that I started before a year (or two) had past. I covered the chairs to the little table set I got at a yard sale. You can see the before pictures here. I really like how they turned out and every time I walk in the kitchen and see them I smile :)

I started with some pretty scrap booking paper.
Measured and cut to fit the seat of the chair.
 I cut the contact paper with about two extra inches on 
either end and 1/2 inch on the sides
Then I cut little notches out of each corner.
Peeled the back off of the contact paper and placed the SB paper face down with the corner of the paper touching the corner of the cut out notch. Then I folded the contact paper along the
side over the SB paper.
I put the paper down on the chair and pressed the 
contact paper down in the front and back.
I also put SB paper on the back of the chairs 
following the same steps.
You can see here how I folded the contact paper over the SB 
paper to create a little pocket. That way I can wipe it 
off with a wet towel without the paper getting wet. 
Pressed the contact paper over the top and bottom.
I think they look nice.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Half moon

So we went out for a drive tonight and Janelle looks out the window and says "look mom, it looks like the moon is in half". Sure enough it was a half moon.

 Here's a great book that explains the moon cycles in a very charming way. Someone gave it to Janelle when she was born and it has always been one of her favorites. The story is cute and the illustrations are wonderful.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Guess who

 Guess who is five months old today!

Happy Birthday to my sweet baby boy.

Comfort Zones

       So we went to the park yesterday and the water still was pretty high because of the recent hurricane. Janelle wanted skip rocks and play in the mud. Two things I have no interest doing. But I think that is because I wasn't outside much as a child. I grew up in Urban America and though I did play outside, it was with the neighbors playing freeze tag and kick ball. Never did I stoop down in the mud to study anything. I didn't go to nature parks or get exposed to nature study in general.
       I do have some knowledge of nature, but only what was outside my front door. I know a maple tree because my grandmother had one in her front yard. I know roses, petunias, begonias, and spider plants all for the same reason. And now that I have my own front yard, I naturally gravitated to the petunias to plant around the trees because thats what my grandmother planted each spring. And all this I "absorbed" on my own, without any formal instruction from my mother. Which tells me that nature study does stick with you. I just wish I had had more of it.
       I say all that to say that I'm uncomfortable being outside with nature. I'd much rather stay inside away form all insets and other outside annoyances. But I don't want my kids to turn out like me. At least I want to give the opportunity to love nature. Which leaves me just having to suck it up and go outside. I do want to study nature with Janelle this school year. I think it will be good for us. We can learn together. I just have to get out of my comfort zone.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fashion design

"Look mom, I made a sandal"
Janelle made this "sandal" all by herself. She took two hair ties, tied them together and stretched them over her foot.  She took it off soon after the picture was taken because it was cutting off her circulation. :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I love stickers

I got My Big Book of Stickers for Janelle yesterday at the thrift store for $1. I looked it up on Amazon and it was originally $11. It has 600 stickers of all kinds of things like farm animals, dinosaurs, jobs people do, and places around the world. I really like it for a number of reasons.

1) Since Janelle is a visual learner she befits from pictures. Each picture is labeled as to what it is so you are learning about all kinds of things, not just putting the sticker wherever you want to.

2) She has to use her hands to peel the stickers from the sticker page being careful not to tear them, and then place them in the correct place. This is a great exercise in dexterity and hand eye coordination which she will need for writing among many other things.

3) She can't do this by herself. Each sticker is numbered and has a certain place. So she needs me to read the numbers for her and show her which page and place to put them. Which lends itself to a bonding experiences and increases her chances of academic success.(See below)

4) It makes her happy. She loves stickers and has since yesterday begged me to do sticker book with her several times.

Not bad for $1.

Read here for more info on the benefits of bonding.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good Find

I just found this at the Thrift Store for $2. I plan to use it for Janelle's math program.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rolling Over

So I started reading How to Teach Your Baby to Be Physically Superb last week and realized I hadn't been giving James enough tummy time. According to the book he is "behind" in his physical development and was in need of a lot more opportunity to gain strength in his legs and upper body.
Now, I'm not one to keep their baby lying on their back all day, or strapped into some other baby confiner. James is usually being held or is propped up on the couch or bed. I would occasionally lay him on his stomach for a few minutes a day to make sure he was getting tummy time, but the book recommends a minimum of four hours a day. I was no where near that. So I started changing some habits. Whenever I would put him down on the bed, I put him on his stomach. I got a small blanket to put on the floor down stairs (we have hardwood floors) to put him on while I make dinner instead of his bouncy seat. I've tried to be consistent everyday. Not sure if I'm up to four hours yet, but he's defiantly getting more than he used to.
So the third day of more tummy time, he did something for the first time. Something Janelle didn't do until she was 7 or 8 month old. He rolled over. Now, I read that he should be able to do this at 2-3 months. So it's not super amazing. But I don't thinks its a coincidence that it happened when he started to get more opportunity.
Anyways, I'm proud of him, and I intend to keep up the program and see what he'll do next.

James is 4 months and 4 weeks old

Friday, August 26, 2011

A little project

I got this little table and chair set at a yard sale for $5. One of the chairs has a crack in it. The owner said that an adult sat in it and it broke. He had repaired it and reinforced it underneath with a 2x4. It seemed pretty stable, at least for the kids to sit on.
So my plan is to cover the seat part of the chairs with some pretty scrap-booking paper, and then with clear contact paper. I may also add some to the back of the chairs because they seem a little worn.
I'll keep the table in the kitchen for snack time and projects where I would prefer a cleanable surface beneath. I'll also use for learning how to set a table and other Montessori type skills.
Now that I've made this post I have to get it done. My husband can tell you that I am notorious for starting and not finishing projects. :) But I now the public is waiting, so the pressure is on.

Update: See the finished project here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I get it, or I think I do

So I was reading in How to Teach Your Baby to be Physically Superb last night, and somewhere between then and this morning it hit me. I had been reading it wrong. The name of Glenn Doman's school in Philadelphia is The Institutes for the Advancement of Human Potential. And I had always understood that to mean that we are teaching our kids so that they can achieve their human potential. But thats not it at all. At least thats not my new understanding, which is this, we teach our kids so that their potential can be advanced. The more I stimulate the brain development in a certain area of my birth to six year old, the greater his/her future potential in that area will be. Not to say that any child over six can't develop new skills and abilities. But they will do so with greater effort and have to expend more energy in doing so than if they had developed these areas before six. I get it now. I'm not trying to raise little geniuses who can rattle off random bits of encyclopedic knowledge. (my best friend put it well here). But what I AM doing is advancing, or you could say enlarging, their potential to be able to store and recall facts about anything that they would wish or need to in the future. Which would make learning new things a little easier for them. And I think that's pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Here is a video I made of Janelle sight reading at 14 months. I had been using Little Reader, (which I got for $60 before they raised the price), and made some flashcards of the words she had learned. She gets one wrong, but you can tell by her expression that she realizes her mistake. I just wish I had been more diligent, who knows what she would be reading today. ----sigh---- Oh well, looking forward to the future.

Mothers make the very best mothers

Mothers were deeply concerned about the collapse of the school system so evident on every hand...
They decided they would be professional mothers. And it was about this time that their gentle revolution discovered the other Gentle Revolution.
The results have been truly incredible.
When this new kind of mother discovered that she could not only teach her baby to read, but to teach him better and easier at two years of age than the school system was doing at seven, she got the bit firmly between her teeth - and a new and delightful world opened up.
A world of mothers, fathers and children.
It has within it the potential to change the world in a very short time and almost infinitely for the better.
Young, bright and eager mothers taught their babies to read in English and sometimes in two or three other languages.
They taught them to do math at a rate that left them in delighted disbelief.
They taught their one-, two- and three year olds to absorb encyclopedic knowledge of birds, flowers, insects, trees, presidents, flags, nations, geography and a host of other things.
They taught them to do gymnastic routines on the balance beams, to swim and to play the violin.
In short they found that they could teach their tiny children absolutely anything which they could present to them in an honest and factual way.
Most interesting of all, they found by doing so they had multiplied their baby's intelligence.
Most important of all, they found for them and their babies, the most delightful experience they had ever enjoyed together.
Their love for each other and perhaps more important, their respect for each other multiplied.
How were these mothers different from the mothers who had always been?
Not only is it true that mothering is the oldest profession but it is also true that they were the first teachers and they remain the best teachers that have ever existed.

Taken from How To Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence by Glenn Doman

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mommy, teach me to read

So my daughter Janelle is begging me to teach her to read. Mainly because she wants to be able to read the stories in her new picture Bible. I had taught her to read some words using Little Reader which is based on the Doman method, but I wasn't consistent. And now the program has lost some of it's novelty, and isn't very exciting to her. So I created a video using iMovie, which after the first viewing she was asking for more. (a very good sign).
What I did was took the words from one of the stories in her Bible (The Story of Moses) and made slides for only six of the words. Doman says to start with five but I thought she could handle learning six at a time. I tried to find a font that was closest to the one in the book and made them large. I added a picture of the book which I got from Google images, and added her picture at the end to make it personal. The music I got from iMovie which I thought was pretty relaxing and the applause adds some excitement.
I'll show this set of words for a few days, unless she shows that she is learning them faster. At which time I'll switch out one of the words and replace it with a different word from the story. I start with nouns and work through to articles, and I'll show the video three times a day. You could make something similar using Power Point or Windows Movie Maker. Or you could just write the words on index cards. Whatever works for your child and is something you know you can be consistent in doing. The key is to make it fun and enjoyable. You can find free Power Point presentations here.

This just in.....

I just got this in the mail today. I can't wait to start reading and implementing the program. I'll update as I go along.