Friday, May 31, 2013

Take back your turf Thursday-7 steps to a successful Summer

Summer is almost here! 5 more days of school,a birthday party,and a baptism!Yikes and that is just the beginning of June! There is so much out there to do for the Summer,too much!!All this month I have been gathering ideas on Pinterest. Next I put them in order of educational, important dates and what parties I am in charge of,vacation and our bucket list!I am calling it my Summer of Success! I will walk you through what I have done and my lesson plans,hopefully in advance! Here is 7 steps to a successful Summer.So what is first?

1.Print out a calendar for each Month and fill it in with important dates! This is a MUST!
2.What do you want to do to keep the kids skill sharp? There is many options my favorite so far is the one hour schedule This is where you do 15 minutes of different subjects and the kids are done!The old work before you play motto.
The next idea is to have specific days for things ,like make it Monday or Wet Wednesday.I found this do it yourself Summer camp She has great ideas!
I want my kids to write,and read as much as they can.We will go to the library once a week.I  will have them write grocery lists.My 8 year old may plan and make a meal.I want to teach responsibility with chores and values.They will earn money and save for something.I am also going to do a girls and boys club to work on skills,make things and experiment.The kids will have quiet time to read scriptures,write and draw.
3.Write your bucket list with the kids.Write it down with as much or as little as you want.
4.Each weekend we will plan for the week ahead and hopefully everyone will be on the same page.
5.I will make my grab and go bags with the kids so we are prepared for it all.It will have food,drinks,extra clothes,first aid,sunblock and well you get the idea! I will do a more detailed post soon!
6.I will have to fit in exercise somewhere!We are on week 6.I found another tough but worth it set of exercises, Brazilian bum workout Need I say more! I am serious about this.
7.Create an area to create,craft,write and dream.It should include a writing surface,any pens,crayons,paper,tape etc....I will make a more extensive list later.
Get packed and set for a fun and best Summer ever!Are you ready?

What are your plans for Summer?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

10 ways to make learning and reviewing letters fun

Here are ways you can make reviewing or teaching more fun and engaging!

  1. Find printables in subjects they like.There are many out there and a lot of them are free!
  2. Make games to keep them engaged.We like the alphabet run.This is where you call out a letter and the kids run and find it
  3. Take a walk and see what you can find.For example B is for bird.How many birds do you see? Can you hear the different sounds they make?
  4. Take a drive.This is like the walk only you can look at buildings,license plates and much more.Plus if they are tired they can fall asleep.
  5. Find things around the house.This can be tricky but you can think outside the box.
  6. Look in newspapers
  7. Look in books.
  8. Alphabet freeze.All you need is letters in a circle.When the music stops the kids stop on a number and say it's name and sound.
  9. Think of animal that starts with that letter and have them make a sound or do an action.
  10. Match letters with each other.You can do uppercase with lowercase.We just had the foam letters out and I used smaller letters.

    We are almost done with our letters of the week.I have been working on my plans for Summer.Look for my posts coming soon! What are your plans for Summer? Do you do activities to keep the "summer slide" from happening? 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review letters K-T

Faith is like a little seed.....                                      
We talked about faith and hope as we read Hebrews11:1.Afterwards we did the activity,or you could say it's a finger play,found here

This week is review week for us.We are going over K-T.We start this off by walking on letters with music.When the music stops they say what letter they are on and the sound.My 2 year old recognized a few!My Kindergartner practiced writing her letters.

We focused on letter K-M.As we read books they tried to find those letters.We read blue train,green train and Fire Truck by Peter Sis.These books were the favorite from our Transportation theme last week.We actually read for over an hour.

We noticed a lot of words ending in ck:
Here is what we foundTruck,clickety-clack,track,back, sack,stack,thick,and trick.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Meditation Monday

There are only 2 weeks left of school.I can't believe it! This Summer will be a test to see if I like or can do homeschooling.However, it will be a lot more relaxed version.There is still a big fear to actually go through with it.Fear can stop us in our tracks.What am I really afraid of? What are your fears?

I need to get to a point where the way isn't so dark and scary.It will take a big leap.It also means that I have to take another look at my happiness blueprint.What made me happy 10 years ago,a year ago or even a month ago has changed. The best way to evaluate your blueprint is to set a goal.What are you looking for?Do you want the same thing you did a while ago?The more honest you are with yourself the better.Write it all down and don't forget the negative ones too.It is the only way to make them positive.I have been so busy with the baby I haven't had much time to do much else.I need to figure these things out.It's back to the drawing board for me! Will I take this leap of faith?What helps you make difficult decisions?

Breathe, relax and be calm

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Take back your Turf Thursday-Week 7

Today I looked at the dishes to be washed and stared them down.I am the boss in this here kitchen and they needed to go! Why do I let it pile up? Oh yeah I am a Mom of four busy and inquisitive children. The baby screams and all comes to a halt.I cannot live up to the world's idea of a perfect Mom.However, I do have days where I get things done and play with my kids.I discovered today that my toddler can wash his cars while I wash the dishes.It goes right along with our theme for this week,Transportation. There are days when I can get things done and others where the piles of things I have to do laugh at me and say I will never catch up.I think what a mess.A mess just means we live here.We experiment and play.The kids left there dishes on the table but the food is gone.I may not be the best housekeeper by a long shot,but I am the best Mom I can be.(at least trying to be.)
Sometimes my life is upside down 

I just had to share my thoughts.Now as I move on to my exercise challenge I grimace because I have lost some motivation lately, but here is week 7.My challenge is to strengthen our core.I am strengthening one core,the very center of my world,my family! But my belly still reminds me I have that weight to lose! Here is a challenge to do 6 core abdominal moves
Are you ready?Bring it on!

Are you new to my 12 week challenge?Here are the weeks so far.
1.Week 12 and count down
2.Week 11
3.Week 10
4.Week 9
5.Week 8
Good luck this week! I hope I inspired you today!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Letter T-Transporttion and Wright Bros Patent of the airplane

Today we celebrated the Wright Brothers patent of the airplane.So we went to Hill Air force Museum and had a blast! We even made and flew paper airplanes.Who can go the farthest?
The kids got to do a lot of hands-on activities.Here they are flying a plane with a joy stick .The plane was suspended in the air and fans were blowing on it.They could steer it.On the wing is the alleron Controls the roll.The flaps increase lift or the drag.

They had a block area to play in.Here the kids are building a runway for the airplane.

They even got to be pilots and sit in a cockpit.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Endangered Species day and the letter T

Scripture D&C 3:2
“For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.”

I found a talk by The straight and Narrow Way by Joseph B Wirthlin where he starts out with a story he says:
While traveling along a mountainous road one evening through a driving rainstorm punctuated with frequent claps of thunder and flashes of lightning, Sister Wirthlin and I could barely see the road, either in front of us or to the right and the left. I watched the white lines on that road more intently than ever before. Staying within the lines kept us from going onto the shoulder and into the deep canyon on one side and helped us avoid a head-on collision on the other. To wander over either line could have been very dangerous. Then I thought, “Would a right-thinking person deviate to the left or the right of a traffic lane if he knew the result would be fatal? If he valued his mortal life, certainly he would stay between these lines.”

That experience traveling on this mountain road is so like life. If we stay within the lines that God has marked, he will protect us, and we can arrive safely at our destination.

The kids and I talked about what Jesus meant.He is not talking about a real road but the path we choose in life. He will forgive our mistakes or our detours and he will make the way back to him straight .This he will do if we repent and ask no matter how crooked and wrong our choices.

Next I drew 2 paths,a straight one and a zig zag.I asked which would get them to their destination.Here are the kids trying to figure it out.They decided it was the straight path.Good choice!

We used the box the babies high chair came in. We made ramps and had so much fun.

We are talking about Transportation this week.
What better way to study than to drive around and see the cars,buses,trucks,strollers and bikes.We talked about colors and where they were going.
Today is Endangered Species Day.We learned about tigers and the kids made a cage for the pretend train to take the tiger to the zoo.
We sang a train song

For baby
 Nursery Rhymes: This little piggy
Song:The wheels on the bus

Monday, May 20, 2013

Meditation Monday

I am a little behind on my posts.I think my baby is teething.So for Meditation Monday I am doing just that.I am going to take care of my body so I can get some sleep.

Before I go here is our week.The school year is coming to a close.We are almost done with our letters.This week we worked on S.We traveled our Solar system.Also we talked about the creation.In addition we learned about the constellations.

The baby enjoyed the Nursery Rhyme Star Light Star Bright.We are talking to him as we change his diaper about his body.Here is our Sun hand print.Our song was Twinkle Twinkle little star. He is a strong 3 month old.He can hold his head up pretty much on his own.We also bought him a high chair.

The kids enjoyed the park and feeding the ducks.My 2 year old actually had one of the ducks bite his finger!

I missed posting my Take back your Turf Thursday. We are on week 8 of my countdown to getting ready for the beach.I am just mixing and matching the previous exercises.

My 2nd grader finished soccer this week.Yeah!Now maybe I can have my weekends back.

This week we play with the letter T and Transportation.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Sun Moon and Stars lesson plan

How amazing are the stars that make up the sky.We have been talking about the stars and planets.I poked some holes in paper to look like the constellations.I shone a flashlight through it.We learned about the myths behind big dipper and Orion
Next I had the kids make up their own constellation with a story.My daughter came up with Princess Penelope looking for her shoes she looked and looked but could never find them.She asked the Sun but he could not help.She asked the moon he lifted her up and asked the stars to help.She is still looking to this day.It is another chance for my Kindergartner to practice her writing.

I also want to share this cute Tale of the Sun and moon.We also talked about the Moon phases.

The kids enjoyed this clip about Super Sun.
We did our nursery Rhyme and I named a part of the baby like his nose and had a star I made out of felt touch his nose.We continued naming different body parts.I recieved many coos and smiles.It is a good sensory activity and greet for language development.For my Second grader I made a list of Vocabulary words like orbit,gravity,phases,constellation.
We also did some fun finger plays and songs This is good for fine and gross motor development.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Letter of the week S-Solar system

S is for Solar system. It is made of 9 planets, galaxy and billions of stars.There is a cute song on You Tube about each planet.
The kids pretended to be planets orbiting around Sun.I played music and if I stopped it they would freeze.
They pretended they were stars.

We started our new Nursery Rhyme Star bright Star light.
How was it formed?What better way to know then to look to the scriptures about the creation.In Genesis chapter 1,it states that on the 4th day he created the moon and the stars. I had the kids draw pictures of each of the days.

I printed a coloring sheet from coloring castle.Then we cut the pictures out and played pin the planet by the sun,like pin the tail on the donkey.

Next we did sight words and making a sentence with them.I got the idea from a picture I saw for a pack on 1plus1plus1equals1.There are great preschool packs there for a variety of themes.

We mostly talked about Mercury,Venus,and Earth.Tomorrow we work with constellations,Sun,Moon,and Mars.We are going to have a very fun activity with the baby!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Meditation Monday

I am going to have to admit that I have not allowed myself to relax much.For the first time in years I really wanted a bath because I am so tense.Not to mention I am fighting a bad sinus infection.I get the whole stuffiness and headaches. Yet through it all I am voraciously searching.Some of it is still about homeschooling. Some of it I am not sure what I am looking for.Why do I feel this need?I have been on my knees trying to figure out where God wants me to go.I thought I had the answers but now I am not so sure.Do I jump in hoping for the best? Will I still be searching?Am I making my path too complicated?It seems to be leading me to the same place yet I keep looking.I am afraid! I am afraid to take that leap.
When have you taken a leap of faith?Are struggling now?I will continue on my knees.

Brethe,relax and be calm

Saturday, May 11, 2013

How are rocks formed?

How are rocks formed?We watched a video and then talked about how and the rock cycle.The kids thought the volcano part of it was pretty cool.
Build rock formations sculptures and all you need are rocks.We went on a walk to collect rocks.I then hot glued the rocks however the kids wanted me to.We added beads for fun!The kids couldn't stop so we did this the rest of the day.

Hope you had fun with us this week!

We will rocket into the letter S for Space next week
10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 blast off!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Take back your Turf Thursday -week 9

How is the workouts going?We have been having so much fun exercising with the baby! Today I went to a class where they really worked the abs and glutes.I am very sore and realize I need to work those areas more! No pain no gain right?Well have I got a treat for you?How does a no squat belly,butt and thigh workout sound? There are only 5 exercises and they have a way to make it more challenging or easier.As always listen to your body!
The exercises are as follows:
1.Wall bridge
2.Wind shield wipers
3.Toe reaches
4.Wall scissors
5.knee press
See website for pictures and explanations. As always be careful and talk to Dr if you are not sure about these.I think the kids might like these! I foresee some giggles ahead!
What are your favorite glute exercises?

Now for a cleaning tip! Clothes belong in the hamper not the floor.Get your kids or yourself out of the habit of dropping clothes on the floor or bed.Even Toddlers can do it.Make it fun like shooting hoops in the basket.See how far away they can stand and try to make it.Next time have them beat it!Play horse or toss it over your head while you stand backwards! High five when you are done! It doesn't have to be a chore.That is my new motto! Have fun shedding junk in your house and your trunk.That is my pep talk I couldn't help myself!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

8 ways to play with the letter R

1.Row Row Row your boat.We tried to rhyme with boat and talked about the "oat" family.Then I asked what does the boat look like?What color is it? Who was inside? Where is it going? A great story took shape! My daughter said it was going to the other side of the lake.It is a great way to spell and practice writing.
When we got their we got chocolate ice cream.Then we went home.

My toddler glued scraps to make his boat.He said the boat was going to jail.

2.We went outside to look for rocks.It is finally starting to feel like Spring.

3.Will it float or sink?Will a rock sink or float?
After that experiment take 2 sheets of aluminum foil and 2 pennies.1.Put one penny in aluminum and crumple into a ball.

2.Lay other penny flat on sheet of aluminum.

Good vocabulary for older kids like aluminium, and displacement.The balled up foil with the penny sank.The flat sheet floated.
Find the lesson plan here

4.We made boats out of foil and people to go in it and their imaginations from there!

5.We counted rings.
6.We counted how many pennies it took to sink the boat.7.We also played Simon says with R words like Run,roll,rub,reach,rake and rowing your boat of course.I got the idea from
8.My daughter also wanted to play red light green light

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Letter of the week R-Rocks

We introduced the letter R and sound.My Toddler recognized it.Awesome! For Kindergartner we practiced writing R.For older kids you can have them write a story using words beginning in R or write a report on animals with R like raccoon, and rat.The kids put pillows down and jumped on them like they were rocks.
I lined up rocks and hid an R under the rocks and the kids tried to guess which one it was under.

We did a variation for the baby where we hid a rock under plastic eggs.He is still little for it but both of these games are good for fine motor skills.

Nursery Rhyme: Row row row your boat
For a fun activity sit the baby in front of you.As you sing hold the babies hand And rock them gently.Pay attention to their head and make sure its safe.For the older kids have them sit with their legs apart and hold each others hands and rock forward and back.

My daughter wanted the baby to feel the rock.It is important to teach them textures.The rock is smooth.

We did a sensory bin with rocks and water.I added cups and toothbrush.They had fun brushing the rocks.

For our craft we made a craft we found @ Hi my name is rectangle and I am no square.

Join us tomorrow for more activities with the letter R.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Meditation Monday

Lately I have been troubled by what to do about my kids schooling.It has consumed me really.Maybe it started out as curiosity?Maybe it was the bad weather that got me started.All this research has opened doors I didn't know even existed! We are praying and asking the kids to do it also. The only thing about worrying so much that the idea is no longer fun.

I stepped outside and the Spring air was intoxicating along with the colorful blossoms.I was surrounded by a chorus of birds chirping and singing.I started listening and trying to figure out what birds they were.My point of this deviation is that sometimes the answers come when you relax and stop looking for a little while. This is the power of stillness, of letting go of things you can't control. It's not easy but I am content that God will lead me as he has so far.I am letting go of the stress and now I am listening.

What is on your mind? Can you let it go? What helps you find stillness?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Tree lesson

After we talked about the water cycle we talked about the trees sucking up the water.Trees use the water and provide oxygen and homes for animals.We talked about trees and how they have different leaves and bark.We picked a tree and did a rubbing of the bark.
The baby enjoyed feeling the bark.We talked about Utah's State tree Blue Spruce.

Here is our tree it has pine cones meaning it is Coniferous.  
Here is new pine cones budding.

We also talked about a historic tree in Provo,Ut called the Ulmus Americana.It is 83 years old and it spreads its branches sideways instead of growing up.Here is the website and picture from the website
We added a tree to our water cycle picture.I cut out a stump from brown construction paper.The kids drew branches and then use their fingerprints to make the leaves.I thought it tied it together nicely! The kids always show the baby the pictures when they are done.Too cute!We also started our book on Utah.This is a great lesson for Arbor day.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Take back your Turf Thursday:Week 10

I am moving right along with being beach ready! I tried on my yoga pants that I couldn't fit just a few weeks ago.So I hope everyone is having some success.I don't really have the endurance for hard core workouts. I also need to squeeze in little pockets of exercising when I can.This brings me to this weeks challenge to workout with the baby.You can do it easier than you think.You can do sit ups with the baby laying on your knees on his/her tummy,like an airplane.My favorite thing to do is yoga with my baby.Another great one is the plank which is basically like a push up but instead of going down you hold your core tight and push your belly button into your spine. Don't forget you can stretch your baby out too.Move their legs in a circular motion.You can also sit them on your lap and stretch their arms out to a t and back in,following their breath.Of course always be gentle and never force.I am not an expert so always check with your doctor. I found some fun exercises at the following website: elevator which is basically a chair pose.This is an all out core workout.When you lift you baby up you will feel the burn so if this is your first time go slow and listen to your body. planet
3.divine drops
4.down dog puppy love

I am currently going through the kids clothes to see what fits and what they have outgrown. I do this every season change.I only have
 one girl so I have to buy her all new every time!I recently discovered that if you take an outgrown skirt and a shirt you can sew them together and voila,you have a new outfit.I am not one for sewing but I am going to try it!What do you do to get more wear out of your kids clothes?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review of letters N,O,P and Q

It's raining its pouring letters at our house.We are reviewed letters N,O,P and Q.For my Kindergartner we practiced writing the letters.For my Toddler we practiced tracing and saying the letters and their sounds.After we sang It's Raining I asked the kids if they wanted to see it rain.We did 2 experiments.First we put a plate on a jar of water and watched as it git foggy and wet inside.We talked about the water cycle. First Evaporation. Second is Condensation.   Third is Perspiration.Last is Collection.These words are hard for youngsters but repetition is important. If you have a Second or Third Grader they can practice their vocabulary and spelling of it.The link I used to teach the water cycle and the jar experiment is
The next experiment you take a clear container and fill it with water. Then you put shaving cream on top.Add blue food coloring and you have rain! I got the idea from Pinterest. 

Next we took white paper and my Kindergartner practiced cutting and we glued a blue strip to be the sky and one to be a river.Then they glued clouds on.I showed them how they could stretch the cotton.They drew rain and we talked about those big water cycle words again.We will be doing more with this picture tomorrow.

We let the baby who is almost three months now fee the cotton balls.
The Nursery Rhyme this week is Pat-a cake.After some time outside we sang Pat-a-cake.We rolled the babies arms and patted the pretend cake and I drew his first initial on his belly.The other two wanted to teach the baby.We also did their names too!

Here we are with play d'oh.We rolled it and patted it.We wrote their initials....

We even made the letters we are reviewing this week.

Next we put it in our magic oven