Friday, September 24, 2010

My New Vinyl Scripture!

My friend over at Wall Worthy made me this gorgeous vinyl scripture for my birthday! I am so excited to have something to fill up that space! Check out her store too. She does custom work and has a real talent for designing quotes, scripture layouts and more. I know you will love it!

$5 Lapbook of the Week Johnny Appleseed

This weeks $5 Lapbook of the Week is Johnny Appleseed! This is a great lapbook for younger students!

Making Moving into a New Home a Learning Opportunity

I was reading my favorite homeschool forum and came across a question from a mom who had just moved and was now having trouble getting her son to focus on his school work. This got me thinking about how we turned moving into our new house into a learning experience.

Moving is a big deal and can really mess with your schedule so my first tidbit of advice would be to not worry if you don't get school in every day! Take a few weeks off if you need to, but if you wanted to throw a few activities in here and there here are a few that I suggest.

Depending on if you built your house or moved into one already finished you may have to adjust some of these to suit your own needs.

Watching our house being built was an amazing experience for our children. We actually built in the same neighborhood that we were already living in (just needed a bit more space with babe #3!) so we had the added convienience of being over to drive over to check on progress often.

1. Take pictures of the stages of the house building process and make a book with them.

2. Talk about what an engineer does.

3. Talk about the math involved with building a house.

4. Use an online program or graph paper to design a house.

5. Build your house out of toothpicks or popcicle sticks to scale.

6. Measure your moving boxes and do the math to find out how many items of a certain size and shape will fit into the boxes.

7. Take several items of various shapes and sizes and have your child pack the box in the most efficient way they can.

8. If you are close enough to your new house to drive or walk to it figure up the number of miles to it.

9. Have your child look at a map and plan the best route to the new house. You can do this even if it is far away!

10. Go to the new house and have your child figure up the square footage in each room.

Once you have moved in you may want to:

1. Take a walk around the neighborhood and talk about nature around the new home.

2. Go on a drive and find your neighborhood helpers (fire station, police, post office).

3. Bake cookies and go meet your new neighbors!

4. Take a family photo in front of your new home and add it to your book you made.

5. Have your child figure up a loan with interest.

6. If you have an older child you may want to talk about all of the other expenses involved with moving (closing costs, realtor fees)

7. Talk about what makes a house feel like a home.

8. Figure up how many gallons of paint you would need to paint your child's room.

9. Let your child help unpack!

10. Go out and let your child pick out something special for his or her room.

Moving is daunting for adults and can be a stressful experience for everyone. Making it a fun learning experience will help break up the stress and keep your child learning while having fun during the process!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sunday Book of the Week Tuesday Edition

A few days late but here it is!

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

The tiny town of Chewandswallow was very much like any other tiny town except for its weather which came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. But it never rained rain and it never snowed snow and it never blew just wind. It rained things like soup and juice. It snowed things like mashed potatoes. And sometimes the wind blew in storms of hamburgers. Life for the townspeople was delicious until the weather took a turn for the worse. The food got larger and larger and so did the portions. Chewandswallow was plagues by damaging floods and storms of huge food. The town was a mess and the people feared for their lives. Something had to be done, and in a hurry.

Lapbook to go with this book


Friday, September 17, 2010

Another great deal from! Right now when you purchase $30 in LeapFrog Tag items you get $10 off! Some of the great deals I have found are:

LeapFrog Tag Reading System (32 MB)

Leap Frog - Learn to Read at the Storybook Factory

LeapFrog Tag Junior Book Cars Shapes All Around
There are MANY more books in the $10-$12 range!

Don't forget that you can also get free shipping by spending $25 or more! Be sure you are buying through and not a third party seller.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Amazon 4 for 3 Book Sale

Amazon has a pretty good book sale going on right now. Purchase 3 books and get one of equal or lesser value for free. Even better is that if you spend $25 you also get free shipping. I am unsure of whether this is before or after the free book is deducted.

You can find the list of 4 for 3 Eligible Books here. Most books are in the sale and alot of them are marked down right now too!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Book of the Week

Now that I have a reader we have been on a search for great age appropriate books for her to read. So here is the first post in my Sunday Book of the Week series as well as some lesson plan ideas for the book.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Who would ever suspect that a tiny little mouse could wear out an energetic young boy? Well, if you're going to go around giving an exuberantly bossy rodent a cookie, you'd best be prepared to do one or two more favors for it before your day is through. For example, he'll certainly need a glass of milk to wash down that cookie, won't he? And you can't expect him to drink the milk without a straw, can you? By the time our hero is finished granting all the mouse's very urgent requests--and cleaning up after him--it's no wonder his head is becoming a bit heavy. Laura Joffe Numeroff's tale of warped logic is a sure-fire winner in the giggle-generator category. Felicia Bond's hilarious pictures are full of subtle, fun details.

Activities to accompany the book:

Make Cookies

Mouse Writing Sheet

Complete Lesson Plans for 1st-3rd Grade

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Lapbook

Let us know what ideas you have for this book!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

$5 Ebook of the Week Five Little Pumpkins

Here is the Hands of a Child $5 Ebook of the week. Looks really cute and just in time for fall!

5 Little Pumpkins Project Pack

This is a thematic unit focusing on skills and concepts needed for school, there is no research guide included with this unit. This unit covers the following concepts: the Color Orange, Numbers 1-5, Circles, Squares, the Letter P and its sound, Sequencing, and Graphing.

Tracer Font or Cut and Paste answers are provided for this unit

Starting New

As you have probably noticed I have added a few information posts and a new PRE-K tab to my header. Let me explain.

To make a long story short last week I left my job. I was a teacher for a homeschool enrichment program that I helped build. I poured myself into that program working long hours outside of my regular hours because I loved it. My own children were both involved so that was an extra incentive to make it great. This year one thing after another happened and it was revealed that from as high as the pastor down to the administrator of the MDO our program was attached to, that things were not right and the environment became very stressful and toxic to work in. I have grieved over this program as the children involved have become very dear to me. This year was the first year for us to have over 10 enrolled and I was very excited! However, God made it clear to my husband and I that it was time to move on, and move on I have!

A friend and I have decided that since our gifts are working with children that we are going to open a 2 day a week pre-K out of my house and hopefully move it to a more sound church once it grows. This works out perfect for me since my children love to be around other kids and since we will be working from my home for now I will be able to keep my son in an environment that is familiar and consistent during these important years. Most of all it will not take away from my time as a wife and a mother! I think it is important to tell you that my husband is 100% behind this and is very excited! Over the past few days things have moved into place and already we have seen a good amount of interest and are hoping to start enrolling on Monday! If that isn't God moving I don't know what is since we only started "advertising" on Wednesday!

I will save all of the advertising for you to look at in your own time, but if you have a child and would like to see them in a safe, nurturing, Christian, play based Pre-K program and are in the Dallas Area please have a look and feel free to contact me!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Earlier cutoff date to enter kindergarten a step closer in California

A bill that would require pupils entering kindergarten to reach 5 by Sept. 1 and that would create another level of instruction for younger children was passed by the Legislature and awaits the governor's signature.

Read the rest of the article here...

Enrolling NOW!

We are now enrolling for Fall 2010. Our first day will be October 4th. Enroll now and the enrollment/supply fee is only $25 and the monthly tuition will be $100 per month for the entire school year! Email us at for more information or to schedule a time to look around.

Parent Handbook

Goals and Objectives
Build a positive self image
Increase your child’s confidence and independence
Learn to share with others
Alphabet and number recognition
Language skills and early writing
Social and emotional development
Ordering and sorting
Identify and use shapes
Gross and fine motor skills
Music and worship time
Discover that learning is fun!

We believe that each child is unique and special. Our program is designed to meet each child’s individual needs. We have a great responsibility to the children in our care and will provide your child with a safe, inspiring and educational intended to create a lifelong love of learning in your child.

Tuition Fees
There is a $50 enrollment/supply fee due at the time of your child’s enrollment. This fee is a non-refundable and due per child. Upon enrollment, you will need to return the Enrollment Form and a signed copy of the Parent Handbook.

Tuition is $125 a month due the first of each month. A late fee of $10 will be applied if tuition has not been received by the 10th of each month.

We also reserve the right to withdraw your child from the program for any reasons due to the best interest of your child and the other children enrolled.

School Hours
We are a Monday and Wednesday program, from 8:30-1:30. We ask that you do not bring your child before 8:25; this ensures ample time for the teacher to prepare their day. You are expected to pick your child up no later than 2:35. After this time, a fee of $1 per minute will be applied.

We follow the Forney ISD schedule. If FISD schools are closed for holidays or bad weather, we will be closed as well. Please check your local TV news or radio to find out about school closings. You will not receive a call from us regarding bad weather days.

What to Bring
Your child will need a backpack of some sort with an extra change of clothes. Sometimes little ones get busy and forget they need to stop and use the bathroom. We also believe in getting messy while learning and may need to change our clothes if we have too much fun.

Your child will also need a sack lunch every day. Please send finger food items, nothing that needs to be heated or that needs extra preparation time. This takes away from our play and learning time and requires a teacher to be away from the classroom.

If your child still naps, you will need a nap mat and a blanket. These can be left at school or brought back and forth from home.

Please keep all of your child’s personal toys at home.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedures
Please bring your child to the door for drop off. I will not be able to leave the house to come out to your car due to other children who may have been dropped off or not picked up(in the afternoon). In general it is easier on the child and the parent/caregiver if the parent/caregiver does not come into the house at drop off as drop off can be a frightening experience to a young child who has never been away from their regular care giver. If you have questions or want to speak to your child’s teacher, please try to do this outside of school hours. The morning and afternoon pick-up procedures help eliminate congestion of people and help everyone to start their day more smoothly. We promise, there will be plenty of times when we have school get-togethers where you can observe your child interacting with their friends.

If your child will be absent, please be sure to let us know. If your child has been sick, please make sure they are well upon returning to school. Persistent coughs, green runny noses, rashes, and fever are all reasons to keep your child at home with you. Your child should stay home if they have a fever above 99.5. Your child needs to be clear of all contagious symptoms for 24 hours before returning to school. We will call you and ask that you pick up your child if they are sick or complaining of aches or pains. If your child requires medicine during the day, we will need a signed letter from you with all medication labeled.

There are no tuition credits for absentees.

Please have your child wear comfortable clothing and shoes. We do not promise that your child will come home nice and clean. It is our goal to teach your child and sometimes we might get messy in the kitchen, during centers or outside time.

Emergency Contacts
You will need to provide emergency contacts on your child’s enrollment form. These contacts can be used when a parent is not able to be reached. You can also use these contacts to pick up our child if you are not available. We do ask that you send a written note regarding a different person picking up your child. The person picking your child up will need to provide a driver’s license.

Playground Time
We will take the class outside every day, weather permitting. We have a playground, picnic table, trampoline, water slide, riding toys and a sandbox. If the weather is not cooperative, we will have extra playtime in the classroom.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

I was cleaning out some of Brianna's old workbooks getting ready to start the new ones and as I was flipping through I began to notice how different her work looks now as compared to then. I thought it would be fun to document some of her accomplishments over the past year.

Last year she could count to 10 and recognized about half of the numbers.
This year she can count past 100 and can reason out larger numbers. She recognizes all of the numbers and can write them.

Last year she scored about 70% on letter recognition and about 90% on letter sounds.

This year she has mastered sounding out simple words with short sounds and is now working on two vowel words and special blends. She reads at a strong 1st grade level.

Last year she could copy what I wrote for her with some difficulty.

This year she has begun to use creative spelling to write her own stories. We have a pen pal and are regularly writing her.

Last year she could look at pictures or items and count them all together (or "add")

This year she has mastered adding and subtraction and we are now starting on double digit numbers.

She just finished learning her first complete Bible verse, John 3:16.

Of course this doesn't account for all of the changes seen in my baby girl, but I hope you will find this encouraging. Most weeks we did 2-3 days of school. Most days we did 30 minutes to an hour of "sit down" school. Sometimes we skipped 2 weeks just because we needed a break. I didn't really have to "teach" her much of what she learned. I simply exposed her to it. We were sort of half unschooling. This year we have been more organized, but I am still convinced that I don't teach her half of what she learns. Here's to another great year of growth and learning!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Over Achieving Parent

When my girls potty trained I wasted no time throwing them into outside activities. From gymnastics to play dates to music lessons we were doing it all! My calendar was filled with an activity for every day of the week. I was tired. They were overwhelmed. My house was a mess and my family was suffering for it. So we dumped it all, and then I started feeling guilty. Guilty that my children were going to fall into that "weird homeschooler" category. Guilty that they won't be able to carry on a conversation or that they will no know how to function outside of our house. And then, I got real.

It isn't just homeschooling parents that suffer from "Over Achievement Syndrome" either. This is one that falls across the board. I'm not really sure what clicked that made me decide enough was enough, but slowly I cut out all but our music lessons and the occassional homeschool get together. I stopped doing produce co-op, I took the girls out of karate, dance, gymnastics, soccer, cheer leading and whatever else we were in at the time. I decided that being at home around the table as a family was more important. I decided that my kids could learn to socialize with their family and that unless we kept ourselves locked in the house it was unlikely that they would be any weirder than any other 1st and 2nd grade child. It's not that I don't want my kids to experience all of these things; I just want it to be reasonable, and I don't want it to interfere with them just being 2, 5, and 6. My kids will not need to schedule their playtime.

Whatever happened to growing up like we did? When I was a kid the majority of my time was spent at home outside playing with no one but my 3 little brothers. That's right. My brothers. My YOUNGER brothers. We lived in a fairly rural area so we had no friends in our neighborhood and GASP we were forced to play with each other. Without the benefit of being on an xbox, wii or playstation. I guess, I am probably a little weird, but over all I managed to socialize enough to snag me a hubby (maybe he just happens to be as weird as I am?).

Sometimes I have to remind myself that it's ok not to be busy every moment of every day. I don't have to justify why I pulled my eldest out of dance, why I won't let my middle do gymnastics or my youngest play soccer. Slowly, but surely I am trying to stop trying to be an over achiever.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Well Planned Day Review and Giveaway!

Dance on Mondays and Tuesday nights. Violin Tuesday afternoon. Piano on Thursdays. Or is it Violin on Thursdays and piano on Tuesdays? Math test today! I really need to clean out that closet! Late fee?! I'm sure I paid that on time!

If this sounds like your current day let me tell you, I have found an AMAZING homeschool day planner. A Well Planned Day is a homeschool mom's dream come true. Packed from cover to cover with planners and advice, everything from your lesson plans to your grocery lists are covered. A Well Planned Day has enough space for up t0 4 student lesson plans as well as pages for daily schedules, chores, goals and little tidbits of advice from other homeschooling parents.
Also, in A Well Planned Day is a daily and monthly cleaning schedule, book lists, monthly expense reports and weekly Bible verses. Trust me when I say that A Well Planned Day will be a definite blessing to you!

Now for the fun part! I have TWO of these wonderful planners to give away! To enter all you need to do is follow my blog and post a comment (if you already follow just post a comment) ! Want a second and third chance? Follow me on Twitter and/or on Facebook. Please post a SEPARATE comment for each entry (up to 3). I will chose the winner using on September 18th!

Chaos at the Molders

I apologize for the long silence. It has been a bit chaotic around here. I recently had to resign from the homeschool co-op I teach at due to moral conflicts. I am at peace with this decision but it is a bit scary to lose even my little bit of income as it paid for most of our extras. Please keep myself and several other teachers who also had to resign in your prayers.