Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Groundhog Day ideas...

February 2 is Groundhog Day. We will be reading a few groundhog books that day that I got at the library and discussing this day. I don't plan to do too much regarding that day, just a few books and exposure to what the day is with my 4 and 2 year old.

Here are two other awesome blogs with great ideas if you need them for inspiration. There are great printables, books, and ideas for Groundhog Day at both of these links!
Preschool Alphabet-Groundhogs Day Fun
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom-Groundhog Day

Enjoy! Just thought I would share these ideas with my awesome followers if you need them! :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Build and Grow

The boys went to Lowe's for the Build and Grow workshop today. They love their special time with Daddy and so do I! I enjoy cleaning and vacuuming the whole house while they're gone! :)

The Build and Grow workshop is offered twice a month on Saturday mornings for FREE! Each participant also receives a free apron, goggles, a project themed patch, and a certification of merit upon completion of their project. They get to use hammers and nails to build their wooden project.

If you have a Lowe's near you check out their website at http://www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/ and sent your sweet children out of the house for a fun outing with Daddy.
I love the smiles on all 3 of their faces! I love that the boys have an awesome Dad who teaches them so much!  So blessed! 

This is a special moment I want to remember even though it really doesn't have a lot to do with our week of learning. I love that the Daddy was able to be involved in this learning moment!

Linked up here:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up!

This week we focused on:
Letter of the week: N
Color: Brown
Shape: Triangle
Character Development: Thoughtfulness (See this post here)
Bible Verses:
"No one can serve two masters." Matthew 6:24
"So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you." - Matthew 7:12
Fine motor skills

In December I did an informal assessment with both of the boys to see what colors, shapes, and letters we needed to focus on. CA needed practice with the color brown. Hence, our color of the week.

I found a few great activities at Preschool Palace for shapes and colors.

We read Brown Bear, Brown Bear and then worked our Brown Bear puzzle to coordinate with it.

JP breezed through all the colors.

CA needed a little reinforcement on a few colors. Here I am doing what I love, teaching my blessings.
I had plans to do a bug theme this week, but honestly we ended up doing a lot of other fun things too. We did use parts of this awesome printable from 1+1+1=1 on bugs and nets.

We used brown paper bags, brown markers and brown stickers for this craft.

For some tactile practice I put brown paint in a ziploc bag and asked CA to make shapes and letters for me. He really enjoyed this activity. JP wanted no part of it. :)

Then we used the grocery ads to search for brown items to cut and paste onto brown construction paper.

Then we pulled out our new tracing stencils that some sweet friends handed down to us.

Overall, we had an awesome, busy week learning and having a ton of fun!

Check out my new page to see where I linked up this week!

Fine Motor Skills with Trays

This week we focused on fine motor skills and colors a lot. 

I saw this great idea somewhere(sorry I don't remember where) to use paint swatches and paper clips for matching colors. Both boys loved it! They also worked very hard on their fine motor skills as working with paper clips is challenging!

We also used tongs, pom poms, and a mini muffin pan to transfer the pom poms into the muffin pan.
We also used pipe cleaners and a colander to work on fine motor skills.
 JP enjoyed making a tunnel for his "Little People" character.
Overall our tray activities were a lot of fun and I will continue to use trays as I feel it organizes our learning a bit. :)

Linked up to:
These are frugal activities as I had the items at home or bought them at the Dollar Tree. I obtained the paint swatches at Home Depot.

Sticker Fun!

One of my goals lately has been to put more of our activities on trays. This week I put blue construction paper and snowmen stickers on a tray.

My original plan was to allow the boys to put the stickers on the papers to work on fine motor skills.

CA loved this idea and ran with it!
Then I had the idea to ask him to sort the snowmen as he put them on the paper. I then asked him how the snowmen were the same and different. I then "recorded his thinking" by writing down his observations.

I then decided to change the activity a bit for JP. He wasn't as excited about this activity and even told me "Mom, this isn't a good 'preschool stuff' idea." Oh, ok then. So I put a few stickers in a row for him and then allowed him to find the one that is different. He loves it when we do this kind of activity! And thankfully, he was willing to participate then. :)
I also recorded his observations. What amazed me was that he saw differences that I didn't see.
I am loving teaching and learning with my amazing blessings!

Linking up here:

Thoughtfulness-Character Development

This week we have focused on thoughtfulness. I want to train my boys to be thoughtful, kind, and considerate. We discussed the meaning of being thoughtful is showing consideration for others; considerate. We have also been focusing on learning this verse: 

"So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you." - Matthew 7:12

We made our thoughtful card together. This week I printed the word, meaning and verse on card stock. Then JP decided he wanted to decorate it with apple trees! Quite thoughtful of him! I found clear plastic magnetic frames that we aren't using anymore and thought these would be perfect to hold our cards and keep them on the refrigerator. Then we can all see them on a regular basis.

We then baked homemade brownies to go with our color of the week. As we were quickly getting ready to go see Daddy at work one afternoon I reminded the boys that we could be thoughtful and share these brownies with the other coaches at Daddy's school and the boys were so thrilled to be thoughtful. I think they truly enjoyed thinking of someone else. We talked a lot about how the treat would make the other person feel. And oops, I forgot to take a picture of our baking adventure and our giving of the treats. Oh well. :)

I also decided to start an "I caught you being good!" chart. I wrote "JP can..." and "CA can.." although I used their real names on it instead of their blog names, therefore I won't be able to show you a picture of it. Sorry. :( I have then been putting a sticker with an affirmation of what they did right on the chart. One thing I learned from my teaching days is that children love validation, affirmation, and positive reinforcement.   So far today, JP's chart says "JP can give compliments." During calendar time this morning JP told CA what a great job he was doing being the calendar helper. It was precious! CA's chart says "CA can say please.". I plan to keep this posted on the refrigerator as a way to see their progress. This is also helping me to praise the boys specifically. I hope this makes sense even without a visual.

Hoping my children become more thoughtful,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gentleness Challenge-Week 4

 Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

This month's Gentleness Challenge has definitely stretched my thinking and provided a needed challenge for me. I never realized just how much I needed to work on gentleness until I started reading the amazing posts and tips at http://womenlivingwell.org/. Courtney always says things that resonate with me and challenge me. Feel free to hop over to her blog to read the full post today. :)

This week she writes about having a role model in the area of gentleness. Her role model tries to “praise her children 10 times more than she corrects them.” She also challenged us to praise our children specifically for the right things we see them doing. I have really been working on these 2 tips just this morning and I can say we had a more calm Monday morning. She also challenges us to whisper when we get angry and that one is really working for me! Just last week JP said to me, "Why are we whispering?!?" To which I replied, "I am whispering to your brother, so I won't yell at him." To which JP said, "Well, can you just talk louder so I can hear you?!?!" I had to laugh at that point!

I want to be a mom that is gentle, loving, and kind to the most amazing blessings given to me in my life: my tender children! May I honor God in all that I say and do!

How is the gentleness challenge going for you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section! 
Happy Gentle Mothering!  
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