Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Nature Wreath

A couple of times a month we get together with another family and have what we call a "mini co-op"
of sorts. Since between our two families there are 9 children ages 11 and younger we try to keep our meetings simple and easy. We have done a park day, a back to school party, cool crayon canvas art that I need to show you all, and our most recent, a nature adventure with a Fall theme. It's always a fun time and the kids (and I) look forward to our get togethers.

I found the idea for our last activity while browsing through a magazine and immediately thought that it would be perfect for our little group. I was especially excited that it met our criteria: quick, simple and cheap!

Here's what you need:
Poster board cut into wreath forms - this is simply a donut shape cut 7 inches diameter
glue - either tacky or hot glue (2 glue guns would be great)
paper clips, small hooks or anything you have to use as a wreath hanger
paper plates - for the glue
sponge paint brush
plastic ziploc bags for each child
access to a woodsy area

Okay, the first step would be to find a woodsy area that is safe enough for the kiddos to roam around in. Thankfully our friends live in the country so we were able to take advantage of the area surrounding their property. 
Next, we gave each of our kids a plastic baggy and let them fill it up with anything that they like. My
youngest filled hers with mostly rocks (which we didn't use) while the older ones found nuts, pinecones, pretty weeds, dry pine needles, colorful leaves, etc.

Once everything is collected, go back to the house and give each child a wreath form. We had ours
 glue on the leaves first. We just painted their wreath forms with tacky glue using a foam brush and then they covered their forms with the leaves. Then we had each child position the rest of their decoration on the leaves as they wished and us Moms manned the glue gun.
We did have to help quite a bit thus there are no pictures of this part. It was a little crazy but so worth it! I love the way these things turned out. I hung mine using small 3M hooks but you can use paper clips, or whatever else you have on hand.
This was our first nature project that turned out this nice. I think we will try to do this every year.

What nature projects have you been working on lately?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Prairie Apron Tutorial Preview

Made this almost two years ago but haven't finished the tutorial yet. Well, now I'm gonna make myself!


Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Happy Birthday!!!

5 months old
5 years old
I can't believe this little spunky thing is turning 5. What a wild, fun, energetic, crazy and adorable girl she is. We are so thankful for this 3rd Pink!!

Although she was the smallest of all our children, she certainly has the biggest personality. She keeps me praying and seeking the Lord for wisdom on how to parent her. I am always learning new lessons with her and I pray that God will grant me the wisdom to continue to train her in His perfect way. In the way in which SHE needs.

We interviewed her for her birthday. You can watch it below. She is silly. We love you sweet girl! Hope your birthday is amazing!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How We Homeschool-Bible Memory

Been 22 days since I blogged, told ya I'm only an occasional blogger! ;)

I am back today to share another snippet of our homeschool with you. If you missed our first post about how we even came to homeschool in the first place you can read that here.

I feel led to dedicate this post to my favorite area of our school, our Bible memory. Why is it my favorite? Well because although all of the other things that my children will learn are important, I know that nothing, nothing will impact them more than the Word of God. If they take only this one aspect of our schooling with them into their adulthood I will be happy. Happy because above all else, more than all of the grammar, math, reading, spelling and activities that we will absorb, only the Word of God is that which can transform them into the young ladies and young man that God wants them to be. That is what my husband and I want. Children that grow into adults that God desires.

So, how do we hide His Word in our hearts? Well about 3 years ago or so I came across the Simply Charlotte Mason blog. (Lots of great stuff there!) Somehow, I happened upon the post about their method of Bible Memory and became intrigued. An organized, purposeful way to memorize God's Word? We needed that. So, I read, learned and put the method into action. Can I tell you that this method works? It is systematic yet simple and effective. Our family has never memorized Scripture so effortlessly! And you don't just memorize and forget, you retain because...well, I'm babbling, let me just dive into it and you will see for yourself.

First you need to gather your supplies:
  • Large index box (I guess you could use a smaller one until you outgrew it I have just always used a large one.)
  • 41 tabbed divider cards (if they have numbers or letters on them that's okay, just buy some stickers to label your own. See my pic). OR get a free printable of these divider cards here.
  • small labels for your dividers *optional
  • blank or lined index cards
Next you will need to label your tabbed dividers (or stickers if you are using them) as follows:
  • divider 1 - Daily
  • divider 2 - Odd
  • divider 3 - Even
  • 7 dividers - Days of the week (Mon, Tues, etc.)
  • 31 dividers - Numbers 1-31
Now you will need to put those dividers into your little box and get ready to fill 'er up! Decide which passage of Scripture or which verse you want to begin with. We started with Genesis 1:1-5 and are currently working on Philippians 2:1-8. We currently have 31 verses memorized...never counted until today. Wow.

You can choose any verse or passage that suits the needs of your family/studies. For example, we are memorizing the verses in Philippians because we have been studying humility as a family. We are doing this study. However, when we first began this system I also printed out this list of suggestions from Simply Charlotte Mason and keep it in my brain homeschool notebook for reference/ideas/inspiration. Alternatively, you can go here and download a 12 file pdf of the verses from their site. This is the first I've seen of that so yes, I downloaded it.

Next, you will write one verse on each card. Our current passage has 8 verses so we have eight cards. Put your first card behind the Daily tab and the rest in the front of that tab to be studied later.

Each day you will do the cards behind the Daily, Odd or Even, Day of the Week and Date of the Month tabs. Of course when you first begin you will only have the Daily card but you will acquire more and more as you go along.

For example, if today were Monday, the 7th, you would do the following dividers:
  • Daily, 
  • Odd (because 7 is odd),
  • Monday 
  • and 7. 
(If don't you have that many verses don't worry, just do what you have and your little box will grow.) 

The next day you would do 
  • Daily, 
  • Even (cause it would be the 8th), 
  • Tuesday
  •  and 8.
Is that clear as mud? I hope it's clearer.

Okay, final step. As you learn the verse behind the Daily divider, you will move it to either the Odd or Even depending on which divider is first for you. The card that was behind say, Even, will be moved to Odd and the card that was behind Odd would move to Monday and Monday's card goes behind Tuesday. You will just keep moving those cards back one divider as each new verse is memorized.

***This is where I do mine differently than what I learned on the Charlotte Mason site. If we are memorizing a passage of Scripture, I don't move those cards separately, I like to keep them all together. So yes, it takes longer for the cards to be moved around but doing it this way makes more sense to me. I like that we are always reciting entire passages together instead of splitting them up. Once we have them mastered, we will move all of the cards from the passage back one divider. I usually allot a week per verse unless they are short. If I have two short verses I will combine those onto one card.***

The genius in this system is that you are constantly reviewing the Word of God so you don't have time to forget any of it. I have changed a lot of things about our homeschool over the years but not this area. This has been the one constant in our lives. I am in love with this system of Bible memory! 

Okay, well, that's it. I hope you have enjoyed reading about this and I really hope that sharing how we do Bible memory in our home has inspired you to look for ways to integrate Bible memory into yours as well.

If you already have a system in place feel free to share your ideas in the comment section below. By the way, one random statement, I am just loving this cooler fall weather. Hope it's cooler where you are too!

In my next post I hope to show you how our large family of 7 schools in a 1400 sq. ft double wide. Nothing spectacular but it works for us!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by.