Friday, September 29, 2006

Learning from my children.

I have learned more from my children then they will ever learn from me. Looking at what they see has showed me things that you don't ever get to learn growing up. My son has taught me how to think and wonder. I was once a person full of ideas and opinions that I thought of as RIGHT. I remember thinking when I am a Mom my children will....... LOL! I knew it ALL! My first few weeks of being a Mom I found out that I knew NOTHING! I saw a lady with her baby in a sling when my son was only a few days old. I looked at her and thought that lady has her baby in a BAG!!! That tiny baby can die in that BAG! 2 weeks later I had a sling and my tiny baby was in the same type of bag. LOL! He needed to be held all the time or he would cry. My son's doctor said I needed to use one so I could have free hands to get things done. I am very happy I learned that lesson.

My son loves the Lord and has a very close relationship with him. He would share his faith with others in line at the grocery store at the age of 2! He will preach the good news to anyone who will listen and a few who wouldn't. I wish I could say that I have done the same. He prays for family members who don't know the Lord. He once prayed for a fish that was swimming on its side and it got better. My son is a thinker he thinks about everything all the time. He has taught me to stop and think. I love the questions he asks. I don't like having to look up the answers all the time. I guess you can say we are learning together. I hate to admit this but many of his questions go way over my head. SHhhhhh...... Don't let him know that. He stands back and watches everything. He doesn't care what the toy does at all. He always "needs" to know HOW the toy works. "JUSTICE" is what he searches for all the time. We think of him as our young Yoda. He always wants what is right and fair. He has taught me to take a minute to see the others person side before I say you are wrong and I am right. He will often give up things so he can be fair and do what's right. If he and his sister each had 6 candies and his sister lost hers he would give her 3 of his to make it even. He would do the same for someone who wasn't his sister. I once had to leave the register at Best Buy so I could walk him across the store to give a lady a dime she dropped on her way in the store. I often wonder if I would have done the same. He has taught me responsibility. From about the age of 2 he always felt the need to pick up in a store. If a toy is on the floor he needs to pick it up and put it on a shelf in the correct spot. In my 6 years of being his mom he has shown me to stand up with my faith, remember to pray for those often forgotten, look at the other side before deciding right from wrong, think about what is fair and honest, and to be responsible even at times it could be someone else's job. I am so grateful to be able to now see things this way.

My dd is a ball of joy. She has taught me to LOVE life. She is happy full of laughter. She will dance and never cares who sees her do it. She loves to sing and dance. Her singing is a lot like screeching at times and yet she never worries that someone might notice she is off key. She has such a great understanding about who she is. It would be very hard for someone to hurt her self esteem. She doesn't care what others think about her sillyness. She can make you get up and dance when you don't want to. She is afraid of nothing. She climbs the walls and jumps off furniture. She has a contagious laughter. She is FUN. She will find a way to make everything we do FUN. She has a wonderful old fashioned side to her. She loves fabric, yarn, cooking, cleaning, and mothering her dolls. I would love to say I taught her all of that stuff but that wouldn't be true. She seasons plastic food and asks with a please for us to taste it. She mothers her babies in a way that is so loving. She carefully wipes down the house with a damp rag and never skips a spot. She has a giggle that makes me laugh when I am in the worst of moods. She has taught me to laugh when I want to cry, to live when I want to sleep, to jump and dance for fun, to sing and not care how it sounds, how to show love from deep inside, and to always have fun.

I think my parents spent a lot of years trying to teach me all that stuff. I was young and immature I wasn't ready to learn it. Now that I am a Mom I am finally getting it. You know it is true.... You need to be a parent to know how much your parents loved you. The love children show us is so great. I am so happy that I can be a Mom!

Block center

We have a few block play areas in our house. We love to build with blocks. We have wooden blocks, baby blocks, Lego's, cardboard blocks, jumbo blocks, and I am sure many more around. This is the block set they fight over most.
My parents made this for my son a few years ago. They have a wood shop and the logs are cut very smooth. We once had a lot more blocks but My son uses them in his room for his toy men to fight on. We got them at first for him to paint on. I wanted them so my son could make little wall decorations. He did paint up a bunch. They have a lot more fun building with them. When they build they can take down and build again. When they paint them they don't have much interest in them afterward.

Pre-reading/writing mat

I posted a few weeks ago about a pre-writing page I made for dd. I had to tape it to the table to use it. I forgot to write that 2 days later I made her one with shelf liner. I like this a lot better. I was worried that the tape would damage my table if kept the old paper one around for long. This one has green dots to start with, the color lines to follow and red dots to stop on. It is not my best work but it will do!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I need to thank my friend Ellen in Texas for the ball pit idea again. When we aren't using the balls for the baby to play in we keep them in buckets for what we now call our ball wars game. When ds is done with he school for the day we build forts and each take a bucket and have a fight with them. We call it ball wars. My son will do his work very neat and quick to have a ball wars game. This has been a BIG help with getting our school work done each day! On Daddy's days off all 4 of us join in. I know this isn't what some people think as a game that should be played inside but nothing gets broke, nobody gets hurt, and we all have fun. I feel like I have to give my son a great education (my husband holds me to that). At the same time I feel he should get the fun at home that public school often gives a child. This is just my thoughts on what is working for my own family. In a few years I think I will look back at this and wonder what was I thinking!!! Why would I let my children toss balls in the house???? We have LONG winters and this game should help us with the stuck in the house long winter feeling. KWIM?

Busy box #3

This is a wipe container with cookie cutters. She has a hard time figuring out what some of them are. She loves that they are bright bold colored things. Not the best "learning toy" BUT! It does keep her busy so I can teach her big brother. I do have an add on to this box but I don't have pictures of it yet. When I get a few free minutes I will post my add on activity for this.

Busy box #2

This is a wipe box with plastic starfish. They fit nice in the slot and this was the first of my busy boxes to entertain her for a long time. She loves sticking them in the slot. At first she couldn't open the box up so I had to do it for her. For a few weeks she didn't "get" that she needed to let go of the stars to get her hand out. She would fuss and fuss over it. We would tell her to let go of the starfish to get her hand out. Once we told her to let go her hand would come out and she would be happy again until she forgot again to let go (about 2 minutes later). LOL! She can sort them now. This week her new thing is to hide them. I keep finding them in the sofa, under the rugs, and in other little boxes. You can see in the picture that a few are missing. I think we have 3 of each. Mondays I clean out the living room and find them all. Once she sees them all in the box she runs off and hides them again.

Silly fun time.

When my son was younger he didn't have any interest in the wiggles. I chuckled at the thought of some of my grown up friends dancing around singing silly songs all the time. Fast forward a few years and another child. My 1 year old LOVES the wiggles. She does the dance moves with the TV. In just a few months time she now has ALL of us doing the wiggles dances with her. Her brother thinks it is fun to do now. I do the dances with them and even DH has been seen doing the wiggles. I heard that he even does some of the moves at work! I guess my family has become something to chuckle at. It does add some silly fun into our days.

Science and a sweet tooth.

My son must be getting a sweet tooth. Our science book said to use marshmallows OR gumdrops to build some models of molecules. He told me we needed to get gumdrops AND marshmallows because he didn't know what would work better. He did make models of each and then he did eat them both! LOL! BTW ds said the gumdrops (dots) worked out better.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

My crazy parenting style.

I bet most of you don't know this about me but I have what some might call a crazy parenting style. I do think that parents are parents and children need to respect parents. The thing that might put me in the crazy lady name is my punishments. I do have to be harsh sometimes but not often. I choose to come up with ways to stop things before they turn into something big that needs a harsh punishment.

note...... I don't think my way is RIGHT or that anyone is wrong!!! I have a lot to learn still and I am only writing what works for me right now! I might change my thinking next year, next week, or tomorrow. Right now the method I use came from my Mom. She didn't use the exact same punishments but the same way of thinking.

When my 6 year old runs, jumps, or gets ants in his pants I send him out in our yard to run laps. I have him run as fast as he can 5 laps in the yard. If he uses a LOUD voice inside he has to run laps in the front yard and sing or yell as loud as he can for 5 laps. I feel that my son is VERY ACTIVE! Not in a bad way it is just how God created him. I don't feel that making him lay in his bed, sit in a chair, or spanking the right punishment for him when he is bouncing around and only needs to burn off some of his energy. I don't have time to scold and correct him all day long. I need that time to teach him his school work, care for his little sister, clean the house, cook meals, hang clothes and all the other stuff on my list. This works well for us. If he gets mouthy at ALL when I tell him to do 5 laps he has to do 6. If he does a maawww do I HAVE to? It goes up another. I will cheer him on with his laps sometimes. I will stand on the porch and say WOW! You are running fast! When he gets in I ask him if he ran out the energy or does he need to go back out. He always says he ran all his extra energy out. He is happy. I am happy. For my family it is a win win happy solution. I find that I can get back to our school work quicker this way.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Busy Box #1

I am going to try and post pictures of my busy boxes. They are not fancy at all. I am trying to use things I already have around the house for them. So far they do a good job at keeping my one year old busy so I can teach her older brother. I think some of them will make you laugh. They are NOT fancy or expensive. I am a little embarrassed to even share them but I hope that in sharing they might help another Mom who needs a few minutes to get something done. This is a wipe box with plastic silverware. I show her how to sort them out by color or utensil type. We count them and play pretend with them. I then stick them back in the box and hand it to her. She will find her own way to play with them. I then get a few minutes to help my son with his school work.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Over an hour free time for 88 cents.

When we went to the store the other day DS was looking at the wooden trucks. I let him get a new one. We have several already. Some of them are over 3 years old. I toss them when they break. Anyway, he brought it home and asked to paint it. I asked him if he wanted to give his old ones a fresh coat of paint. He got very excited and ran off to get them. He spent over an hour painting them. Kept him busy I got some cleaning done and made up dinner. Well worth 88 cents if you ask me. It goes along with my motto.... A busy child can not get into trouble. Sorry the last picture is a little fuzzy. DS has taken them out to play in the sand so I doubt I will ever get another picture.

More felt

I was at the store the other day and found a butterfly printed felt sheet. I got it and cut out the butterflies. I hope to use them for counting sorting and such.

Book marks

This was a quick craft I had the children do the other day. I took my DH's roll of packing tape cut out 2 strips about 10 inches long. I put them down on the table sticky side up. I taped the ends to the table some so they didn't stick to the children. I had a bag of assorted spangles hiding in a craft corner. I had the children stick the spangles on the tape and then put a piece of card stock on top. Punch a hole and add a yarn. Quick easy book mark. I used stuff we had around the house so I didn't have to run out and buy stuff.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Felt fun!

I am having fun with our felt board. I made up a Jonah set. I used Pellon to make the people and the boat and I think it is great stuff! I had a few pellon pieces back when my DS was little my sister made them up for me. I don't know why I didn't make any myself.

This is my set I made 3 Bible people I made up a simple boat. My fish is a simple shape I did on my own in about a minute. I used waves I had from years ago. I used colored pencils to color the boat and people.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

$1.00 fun!

I picked up a pack of finger puppets at our local $ store. I thought I would let my children try them for a buck. This is great for my family. DS is old enough to sew them and draw faces. DD is at a great age to watch them dance on your fingers. They tickle her tummy and she laughs. DS has only made 2 so far. 6 came in the pack with extra sheets of felt to cut and decorate the puppets. This picture isn't very clear. I don't have time to take and upload a new one. I am sure you get the idea.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pre- writing/reading

I lost my first worksheet to HOH. I made up a sheet to replace it. My DD is NOT ready to write! She isn't able to use a crayon yet (she does like the taste of them...YUCK!). I made up this page to work on very early reading/writing skills. I made a orange dot for her to put her finger on and then she is to trace across to the animal. When she gets to the animal I will say the name of the animal and make the sound. I thought I could use this to show her reading goes left to right top to bottom, teach names duck, rooster, pig, and cow, and animal sounds. My first try went BAD! First she tried to tear the paper. I gently took it away and put it on the table. She screamed and tried to tear the paper again. I tried to get the paper back and she went running away with it. I got some tape and taped the corners down to the table. She screamed and instantly started working her fingers under the paper trying to tear it again! I was calm and looked happy with all this but the ENTIRE time I was ready to CRY! I used some more tape.... Then some more..... and yet more tape. My DS was laughing at this! DD kept screaming! I kept saying It's OK, this is going to be fun.... OH YES! Mommy missed that spot! and I kept using the tape telling myself that this can still workout. Once the paper was taped all the way around the outside. My DD let out one more scream and then looked at the paper. She noticed it had animals on it. LOL! I put her finger on the top dot and said look lets start at the orange dot and slide over to the animal. Duck goes quack quack. I used hand over hand and went down the rows. She used a flat hand and not her pointer finger after the duck. I thought it was a big FLOP! I was thinking she isn't ready to do this I will try again in a month or two.

A few hours later I looked over and saw her USING HER POINTER on her OWN going down the animals! She is enjoying this. I guess it was a fun thing to to after all!

I should let you all know that she wasn't screaming because I was pushing her. She was yelling because she likes to tear paper. I never FORCED her to move her hand. I didn't make her do this activity. She could have walked away at any time. She screams a lot because she doesn't have enough words. She screams even when she is happy. She likes this activity now. She has done it several times on her own and giggles when she does it. Yes! We do make a big deal when she does it to encourage her to do it again.

I am sharing this long story to give others a look into "how" we do things. I have read things over the years that other people do but I can't always figure out "how" they do it. I thought that because this story went so wrong and turned out good maybe someone else would "see" how I work around things when it goes bad. I am not saying it is the right way to do things! It is the way my family is doing things right now.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'm a little Teapot

I made up a set of felt teapots for our felt board. My DD LOVES the song I'm a little teapot. You can see in the picture that the blue teapot and the top gold one both have cut off handles and spouts. I did that so we can put them together when we sing the song. The bottom one is all one piece I was thinking one piece might be easier for DD to use.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Baby school.

OK, It isn't school it is play. My idea of teaching might not agree with everyone but it works for us. I like to introduce my children to school stuff in a fun way. I feel my job as a teacher is to open of the love of learning in my children. I feel if I make learning fun they will want to learn more. If I can have fun with reading, writing, and math and lay a good foundation they will want to keep going with it when they are older. I DO NOT PUSH! I DO let them learn at a rate they are ready for! My DD is 14 months old. I started what in my house we call her school time. We never called it "school" when my son was this young but he does "school time" now that he is 6. Everyone in my house now calls his work "school". I decided everyone in our house would know this is important baby time if we call it school.

We read the story of Jonah and worked on the verse Obey God. We also clapped to the music. All of that was all from HOH for a 2 year old. I know she isn't 2 but I already had the program and did it with my son when he was 18 months old.

She wanted to color with markers (she can't use crayons well yet). She did draw on her face. I made up some of what I call HOP MATS for her. Today we did the number one. My mats for her are about 12in X 12in. When anyone in our family walks from the kitchen to the living room we have to hop on and shout ONE. My DD thinks this is FUN!

I used the grip type of shelf liner and sharpie to make them up. I will add 1 or 2 at a time.

Square and circle.

LETTERS! This is my take on letters. You need sounds of the letters not names to read. Most of our reading and writing is lower case. I will show her both but I am only looking to "teach" the lower case (I feel that will be done in the next 3-4 years). I will teach sounds over names of letters. My goal is to help her read later on not sing the ABC song. We do say our ABC's but it isn't as important as the sounds for me. Below you will see my "a" mat we will say "aaaaaah" DH and DS might say "A goes aaaaah" That will be OK. I do hope everyone does the aaaaah part when walking on the a. I will use blue for a,e,i,o,u and red for all other letters. I do like Montessori way of teaching reading but I don't follow it exactly. KWIM? I don't think children hop and shout letter sounds in a Montessori classroom. I am just doing what "fits" for my family.

Some of the ways we use the hop mats are hop and shout. Run to the "circle". Toss a bean bags on them. Set up hopscotch with them. Sit on them. Put an apple on the letter a. Put one toy on the number one, two on the 2 and so on. Spelling words and lots of other silly games. I will try to post how we are using them as we get going. I came up with the idea for my son when he was young. He was older than 14 months. He learned very quickly and they didn't get a lot of use our of his letter, number, skip counting sets. I still use this style of teaching with him. His mats are a LOT smaller and he walks on his hands with me holding his feet to do drills. He has a multiplication set I don't think I ever posted. I will do that this week. I have a hop mat grammar sets posted .... My DD is trying to help me type this so I will have to write more later. We are going to read some books. She likes me to read I'm a little tea pot over and over. Hmmm.... I think I need to make up a felt set for that song.