"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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blanket Time

We started blanket time and sitting practice last week. James sits quietly on his blanket on the floor and Janelle sits quietly on the couch. So far its going quite well. I say that solely on the fact that we did it every day. One of the keys to my success was writing out a morning schedule. I put down blanket/sitting time right after breakfast clean up. We started with five minutes for last week. I set the timer and sat off to the side while James played and Janelle sat. It took James a few days to figure out the whole "stay on the blanket" thing. Today he still crawled off a couple of times, and I would place him back on the blanket and tap his little hand and say very sweetly "no no, it's blanket time". I would tap the blanket and say "blanket" and then tap the floor and say "no no". We listened to Bible stories I downloaded, which was more for Janelle than James. Janelle did well. It took her until Friday to not talk. She did much better today. This week I'm going for six minutes, and I hope to stay consitant. It's like watching a plant grow, but I know it will be worth it in the end.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

God's World "the 2nd day" level 1

So we spent a long time on the second day. We covered everything in our outline except learning the oceans. Janelle really enjoyed learning about the water cycle and how the clouds are formed. One of things that I love about this approach is that it relieves the pressure of trying to cover everything about a subject. If there was something that was missed, we'll get to the next time around.
Janelle did a craft project to show all the components of the water cycle which included the sun, water, clouds and rain. We did an experiment making "clouds" with a pot of boiling water on the stove. I boiled the water with the lid on and then opened the lid just a little to let the steam out. Janelle was very excited to see the clouds in the kitchen and still asks if I can make some more clouds.
I wrote a little song to be sung to the tune of Ten Little Indians.
    The water goes up that's evaporation
    The clouds come together that's condensation
    The water falls down that's precipitation
    And that's (we clapped on that's) the water cycle

I loved learning about the second day as much as Janelle did. It gave me an appreciation for all that God has put in place for our benefit. The heavens do declare the glory of God.

Here are some of the books that we read. I found them all at the library, but I may purchase some of the ones she really enjoyed as we will be covering this again.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on teaching the water cycle to children. I'd love some more ideas.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Goals for this year

I was inspired to make a list of goals after reading here. I haven't had much success with goals in the past, but that's probally for a number of reasons. One being that I've never written them down. So here goes nothing (or something I hope).

For Janelle ~

Complete Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Right now we're on lesson 16.
Reading on a first grade level by the end of the year
Teach 1000 bits of intelligence as outlined here
Counting to 100
Addition and Subtraction to 10
Write first and last name
Know her phone number and address
Complete one cycle through the six days of creation, right now we are on day two.
Memorize one Bible passage a quarter, so four for the year.
Know 200 Dolch sight words
Establish some kind of exercise program

For James ~

Start and work through the Brightly Beaming Toddler curriculum (April launch date)
Complete the Little Reader course curriculum
Complete the math dot program as outlined here
Teach 1000 bits of intelligence (same as above for Janelle)

Thats all I have for right now. I'm sure more will come to me as the year goes on. But if I just accomplish these things, well that would be awesome.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tell me a story

 I had been wanting to get these cards for a while and finally got them for Janelle  for Christmas. We have enjoyed playing with them and have come up with some really crazy stories. There were a few cards that I took out before I wrapped it, but she still had 32 cards left in the deck. We have used these several ways. You can deal a certain number of cards out to each person and go around as each person picks a cards from their hand and adds a part to the story. Or turn the cards face down in a deck and take turns drawing from the deck to add to the story. The cards are pretty stable, I may laminate the or cover them with contact paper. These are great for developing imagination and taking turns. It can also strengthen memory if once the story is laid out, start back at the beginning and retell the story.

How very odd

This was our math book for the past two weeks. It is about Farmer Bill who can't find several mittens to make pairs for himself and the animals on his farm. Janelle has enjoyed reading it and has requested it several times at bed time. I reinforced the concept of even and odd numbers throughout the day in very natural settings and found that she would bring them up on her own. We would be driving and she would see a tree and say thats one odd tree or she would ask for something and I would give her two and she would say that she wants an odd number.
Here was a game I made up to find whether or not a number was odd or even. I took a sheet of paper and drew a line down the middle. We would go through each number an count out that many bottle tops. Then place them on alternating sides of the line. When all of the caps are on the paper we would see if the sides matched. If they matched then it was an even number if they didn't match it was odd. 
Then we played with the bottle tops. Lining them up in rows and stacking them . This doubled as a fine motor skill activity. We also sorted them by color. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012