"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, 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. :)