Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scrabble Spelling

My youngest daughter learns so differently from my oldest daughter. With my oldest daughter, she's never had a problem with spelling. She can look at a word one or two times and know how to spell it by the end of the week...without even hardly practicing. Its crazy! That's also why she is in a homeschool spelling bee the middle of this coming month.

But as for my youngest daughter, she learns differently. Spelling is not her strong point. I can't just have her write words x amount of times. She doesn't get it that way. She just copies and moves on without even remembering how to spell the word. She's more of an auditory learner. She has to constantly spell the word out loud. Word searches work good for her, because she is having to FIND the word. For instance, when she is looking for the word "snow". She is constantly saying the spelling out loud..."S", "N", "O", "W". And she continues to do this until she finds the word. I haven't ever made her do this, she has just always done it on her own. And I noticed that this is the best way she learns. Its amazing learning how your kids learn.

In January, when we start back, I've pulled out my scrabble letters. Its kind of going to to be the same sort of concept as a word search. All the letters are in front of her and they aren't in any sort of order. SO, again, she has to search out the letters for what she's trying to spell.

Copying the words doesn't work for her. She is just copying and not seeking the next letter. She has to repeat the letters to herself. I've learned this works best with her. Its amazing how God makes two daughters so different. They're night and day! But I love the challenges!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Everything's CHRISTMAS!!!

We've had fun this month with Christmas...and we're not through yet! We've been doing lots of activities such as mapping out the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, to making a pretend budget and going through ads for the girls to get things as Christmas gifts, to learning about what a census is. And ofcourse, we can't forget making ornaments!


So far, we completed a Nativity lapbook (the girls love lapbooks) and The Christmas Day Kitten lapbook.




Below is a picture of my oldest going through magazines and ads for her pretend "Christmas Shopping" and making sure she stays within her $200 budget.

And who can forget Christmas traditions...this week we'll be doing a Gingerbread lapbook and A Legend of the Candy Cane Lapbook!



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where's the line to see Jesus?

My eight year old has discovered the truth about Santa. "He's not REAL!" is what she keeps arguing with my six year old.

This morning, Ashlyn, my youngest and I were up all alone in the house and she came to sit on my lap and just flat out asked me, "Is he real, Mommy?" We didn't want to force this question from her, because we've wanted to let her have her childhood and pretend. Well, when she came up and asked it - I had no choice to tell her the truth. And this is what I told her...

"His name was Nicholas, and we call him St. Nicholas, because saint means someone who belongs to God, just like we do. In St. Nicholas' town there were many poor children. They didn't have enough food, clothes, or toys. St. Nicholas used his money to buy food, clothes, and toys for the poor children. He didn't want them to be embarrassed by his gifts, so he gave secretly."

"St. Nicholas also told everyone about Jesus and how much God loved them. Many people became Christians because of what St. Nicholas said. Then some mean people who hated Jesus put St. Nicholas in jail to keep him from telling people about Jesus and from helping people. St. Nicholas kept on telling people about Jesus until the mean people had him killed."

"Because of how much St. Nicholas loved Jesus, and because of the many gifts he gave the poor children of his town, we still remember St. Nicholas at Christmas time. All of the gifts he gave, and all of the Christmas presents we give, are to remind us of the very best gift anyone ever gave: when God the Father gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to us for our salvation."

"Today there are many people who don't know the truth about St. Nicholas. They call him 'Santa Claus,' and they tell children pretend stories about him living at the North Pole and having elves and reindeer. But we know the truth, and when we see a department store Santa Claus or a picture of Santa Claus in a magazine, we remember the real Santa Claus, who loved Jesus so much and whose life and death remind us about God's gift of Jesus Christ to us."




I can't take credit for this, I saw this on a website while searching for Christmas things to do with the girls. However, I saw it just before she asked me. So I am thankful that I knew just how to answer her. After telling her all this I read her a poem that I had also found called "Jesus is better than Santa Claus".


WHY JESUS IS BETTER THAN SANTA CLAUS
(author unknown)

Santa lives at the North Pole ...
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh ...
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year.
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies ...
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited ...
JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and enters your heart.

You have to wait in line to see Santa ...
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap ...
JESUS lets you rest in His Arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is
"Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?" ...
JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does He know our name,
He knows our history and future, and
He even knows our hearts & how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly ...
JESUS has a heart full of love, grace, mercy & forgiveness.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO ...
JESUS says "Cast your cares on me for I care for you."

Santa's little helpers make toys ...
JESUS makes a new life, mends wounded hearts,
repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but ...
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree ...
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree,
For you & for me.

It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
We need to put CHRIST back in Christmas,
Jesus is still the reason for the season.

Yes, JESUS is better,
He is even better than Santa Claus.

After reading this poem, she said, "Why don't we have a line at the mall to see Jesus?" She said this in reference to the part in the poem that said, "We have to wait in line for Santa..." I then began to remind her of one of her songs that she has in our church Christmas play this year. Its called WHERE'S THE LINE TO SEE JESUS. It has a wonderful message and I cry just listening to it. Here's the video below with Becky Kelley singing it. This song is based on a real question that her nephew had one day in the mall.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving


As an adult, I've gathered so much myself from teaching my own kids about Thanksgiving. I think that growing up, we have just taken it for granted. But it really is amazing to me, learning about the pilgrims and realizing that they came to this country so they could have the freedom to worship God. WOW! How we take that for granted! Yet, today - its disappointing that not enough people want to worship God. Our country truly was founded on Christianity. Somewhere along the way and through the years - it seems we have lost that. Now, we can't even say Christmas in a store! The first Thanksgiving, after half of the pilgrims had died from sickness, the other half had the chance to go back to England and they chose not to. They, instead, chose to stay here and thank God for their blessings! What a great group of amazing people. If only we had more "William Bradfords" today!

Over the last month, we've learned about pioneers from Spain, England, Holland, and France. I love the book we got from Christian Liberty Press that we've been reading "living" stories from. Its called Pioneers and Patriots. You can check it out here. We've learned about Indians. Meant To Teach: Native Americans...or as Christopher Columbus named them "Indians" We've learned about the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. We've learned interesting facts about the turkey, as well with how Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his daughter saying he thought the turkey should have been the US National Symbol. We've also gone over the Thanksgiving custom of "Pardoning the Turkey" at the White House. The list could go on and on. There's so much information!

We've had a week full of Thanksgiving copywork. It is all verses from the Bible that have to do with giving God thanksgiving! We got these for free from http://www.copycatbooks.com/free_m_printables.htm. You can find them in cursive or print. We just started doing copywork. Kylee loves it!

We've ended each day with a craft! Pictures are posted. Under the picture, I posted the link for where I got the craft (just in case you want to do these with your chitlins' - this is my made up slang word meaning "children").

Over the last month, we've done everything imaginable that is related to Thanksgiving. I gotta say, I'm actually anxious to move into December - because we're going to be doing ONLY Christmas projects. Its going to be a sort of "long" break for us as far as school. Something I'm looking forward to in December is teaching my girls more about the Birth of Jesus. We're going to take an in-depth look at the Christmas story. That's something you can't do in public school these days. We'll be learning about Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh and what all that really is. As well as mapping out the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I'm looking forward to teaching my girls less about Santa (now that we can avoid that from being in Public School) and more about the REAL reason for Christmas. Not that anything is wrong with Santa, but my oldest daughter knows the truth now - so now we can move onto something more meaningful. :)



The girls put on a puppet show with their puppets. These cute pilgrim cutouts were easy to make with a paper bag, a little glue, and some crayons! You can find them, along with many other crafts, at http://www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/crafts-pilgrims.htm. I like to go here a lot for craft ideas!

We modified this craft just a little bit, but you can find it at www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/turkey_crafts.html.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Native Americans...or as Christopher Columbus named them "Indians"

This week and next week, we are learning about Native Americans. So far we've covered the Woodland Indians and the Plains Indians. We've had fun so far learning about the different kinds of houses for Indians...such as wigwams, longhouses, etc., along with learning about wampum and warshields. We even went to the Red Clay Pow Wow and found someone with wampum earrings on and the girls got to see what wampum really looks like and the man told us that the shell that it comes from was cut under water. He told us about wampum being used as money for the Indians as well. We finished up the lesson on Indians with doing Hopi hairstyles and making Navajo fry bread. Learning about Indians was much more interesting than I remember as a little kid!
















This is our Indian Lapbook.

The girls made a key and mapped out where the different kinds of Indians lived.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jesus Wept...

The shortest verse in the Bible is "Jesus Wept." A lot of us already know that. But what does it mean? We know the story. Its when Jesus came to the tomb of his friend, Lazurus. Even though Jesus knew in a matter of seconds that He was going to raise Lazurus from the dead...He stood at the tomb with Mary and Martha and He wept. Why would He cry for that? Why would He cry when He knew He could fix everything?

He was crying because He felt the pain of what Lazurus' sisters were going through. He cried because the fear that Lazurus must have felt right before he was dying. He cried because of all the pain that everyone felt. He felt that pain, too.

Jesus wept. Jesus cried! I believe He did it to show us that God knows our pain, shares our pain. Every tear we cry - He knows it. Why? He loves us. The depth of His love is so much that I don't think I can even understand. I often think of my husband's love for me and his children and my love for him and my children. It's that unconditional love. There's so many times when I feel my husband's love for me and think, "Wow - I've never had someone love me this much." And then I start to think..."Wow - God's love is greater than this!" That's amazing! God shares our hurts and our struggles. I just find that amazing.

I shared this because my husband and I have been searching and seeking direction for our family and our children. When I was a little girl in church I don't think I grasped what "Jesus wept" truly meant. I just knew it was the shortest verse in the Bible. I want to teach my children what it really meant when Jesus wept. We're starting a new journey in our household. My husband has started the "COURAGEOUS" effort and we want to make sure that we aren't just pouring Bible verses into our children, but that we are showing our children how to SEEK God's word and LIVE God's word in EVERYTHING we do.

Choose this day whom you will serve...as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. -Joshua 24:15

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ashlyn learned her 50 states!

She was a little slower than Kylee (only two weeks to be exact), but she's two years younger. My 6 year old learned her states! We took the girls to Pinstrikes to celebrate. We were celebrating that Ashlyn learned her states and Kylee learned her states and capitals! Yet again, I am a proud mommy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Celebrating Autumn

This month, we are celebrating fall. We'll be doing tons of different topics ranging from bats, owls, and ofcourse, pumpkins. This week will be full of fall activities and crafts and even cooking!

We already started our first day off with a fall scavenger hunt, making a "Fall Tree" with ornaments, and cooking homemade applesauce. The girls had so much fun today, that we didn't even get finished with "school" until 4:30 - but I didn't get a single complaint (we didn't even wake up until 9:30...so I guess they shouldn't complain). Besides, it doesn't seem like school when you are having fun! Enjoy some of our pictures below. I'll probably add more to my blog (www.meanttoteach.blogspot.com)by the end of the week.








EASY HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

4 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ahhhhhhh!!!!

Ahhhhhh!!! That's all I heard after I downloaded the sound meter app on my phone. The girls wanted to make their screams get up to as much decibels as they could on the meter. Can you tell we are learning about sound this week? We've learned all about sound waves and how sound travels. Oh and ofcourse, the measurement of sound. We did some music fun, too. We made music with water and glasses. Each of the glasses had a different tone when hit with a spoon. The glass with the most water had the lowest pitch while the glass with the least water had the highest pitch. The girls understood that the vibrations are made when you hit the glass, this creates sound waves which travel through the water. More water means slower vibrations and a deeper tone.
But we aren't done yet...by the end of the week - Chris has a customer that is an audiologist and hopefully going to let the girls come and peak around and learn stuff in their office. Let's not also forget about plugging Helen Keller in to our lessons as well. We'll be talking about her tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kylee says the 50 states in 30 seconds!

The girls have had fun with this!! Ashlyn is more than halfway there, but Kylee learned them in a week in alphabetical order. I'm, ofcourse, a proud mommy!


I must tell you that this comes from a song called "The 50 states that rhyme." When we were listening to the song, it was to the tune of Turkey in the Straw. Here are the lyrics, in case, you want to give it a try:

Alabama, and Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas California, Colorado, Co-nnecticut and more Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho Illinois, Indi-a-na, I-o-wa ...35 to go...

Kansas, and Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine Maryland, Massachusetts and good old Michigan Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, and Montana Nebraska's 27, number 28's Nevada

Next, New Hampshire, and New Jersey, and way down, New Mexico There's New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, now let's see Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee

Texas and there's Utah, Vermont, I'm almost through Virginia and there's Washington, and West Virginia, too Could Wisconsin be the last state or is it just 49? No, Wyoming is the last state in The 50 States That Rhyme!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The three states of matter are solid, liquid, gas....all day long!

Well, the past couple of days, we've been learning about matter and the three states of matter (Solid, Liquid, and Gas). We sang a little song to the tune of "Wheels on the Bus." The girls loved it and it can be quite catchy! It goes like this...

The three states of matter are solid, liquid, gas,
Solid, liquid, gas; Solid, liquid, gas.
The three states of matter are solid, liquid, gas,
All day long.

The floor is a solid; you can jump up and down,
Jump up and down; Jump up and down.
The floor is a solid; you can jump up and down,
All day long.

Water is a liquid you can drink right down,
Drink right down, Drink right down.
Water is a liquid you can drink right down
All day long.

Air is a gas you can breathe right in,
Breathe right in; Breathe right in.
Air is a gas you can breathe right in,
All day long.

The three states of matter are solid, liquid, gas,
Solid, liquid, gas; Solid, liquid, gas.
The three states of matter are solid, liquid, gas,
All day long.

We also did an experiment called sink or float. The girls had fun with this. We had to hunt down items that were in this game that I cut out originally for a file folder, but we turned it into a game and experiment. So we got a paper clip, pencil, salt, nail, scissors, feather, leaf, etc. and we did an experiment on each item to see if it would sink or float. This is also great for cause and effect. We did that too! The girls loved it. Anything hands on, they love! I've posted pictures!





Thursday, August 25, 2011

Labooking a huge success

So we did it...our first lapbook. My oldest daughter loved it! She loved the time we spent together doing it and she loved the artsy part of making it her own. She designed a beautiful cover for her lapbook, too. For vocabulary she learned about "echolation" and a "pod". For spelling, she learned words that have the "ph" sound. You can also see that she did a bar graph comparing dolphins to other whales. She did the anatomy of a dolphin and so much more this week. We've really had fun with this! Lapbooking will certainly be a family favorite. We also put a small one together for my youngest. She had fun with it as well.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I have discovered lapbooks!

I know what you are thinking...lapbooks have been around. Well, I had always heard about them but never knew HOW to do them and where to find what to put on the folders. WELL, I found the site www.homeschoolshare.com and I am in heaven!! I think my oldest daughter will love doing these!!! She can't stand doing "book work". She gets bored too easily and I may have just hit the jackpot. I guess I'll let you know next week how it turns out. She's such an artsy girl, I think this will be right up her alley!

We are going on vacation in a month or so...so guess what we are studying for science before we go. ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE OCEAN!! So our unit for next week is DOLPHINS!! Do you ever get that feeling of once you found something that you can't wait to start!! I wish we'd start it today, but I told the girls they could have the day off. I know I'm a nut, but its just so exciting!!