Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Happenings

We are having a fabulous Fall so far! I am still loving teaching my blessings!

 JP is thriving in Pre-K! He goes 2 days a week and I can tell he is learning so much! One thing I truly appreciate about his preschool is the collaboration between school and home. The preschool has school wide themes for each week. His teachers sent home a calendar in the beginning of the year for the whole year of all the planned themes. You know what immediately went through my brain don't you??!!! I can align what I do at home with CA to match what JP is learning and enrich JP's learning even more on the three days a week he is home! I was giddy when I learned this! His teachers even email their lesson plans to the parents weekly!! It is working out beautifully!

In fact for my birthday back in August I told my husband the one thing I wanted for my bday was to go to Starbucks alone to plan, think, and research preschool ideas! So being the amazing husband that he is he made it happen for me. Here is a pic of all my happy planning items: computer, calendar, lesson planning notebook, and yummy drinks! I was one happy gal in my happy place!

This year I decided to make my own lesson plan template on excel instead of using a premade lesson plan book like I did last year. I used to plan this way during my teaching days and it works really well for me. If you would like to see my template you are welcome to check it out here for FREE!  This year we are working on a character development trait, literacy skills, math skills, one memory verse per week,sight words, and continuing to read a plethora of library books. (Remember I have a little addiction to the library?!?!) There is a section in my template for each of these skills.

In September we have focused on these themes:
  • All About Me/Family
  • Friendship
  • 5 Senses
  • Camping/Daddies
Here are a few pics of our fun times together.

My three blessings!

CA reading his Bible to Baby Brother

The Daddy reading to the boys! Love it!
How was your September? I really do hope to blog more. My three blessings keep me pretty busy and some days just plain ole tired! :)

Virtual Book Club-Lois Ehlert

I am participating in a Virtual Book Club for Kids this year hosted my many awesome bloggers. To participate we will read a book by the author of the month and do an activity based on the book.  I'm excited! This month we have read Lois Ehlert books.  Click on the picture above to learn more about it.

We did an activity with the books:

 After reading the books a few times and reviewing the shapes and colors I gave CA an assortment of foam shapes that I picked up at the Dollar Tree for him to create his own animal shape. We had a lot of fun discussing the shapes and colors together.
Here is his final creation. He says it is a cow, looks more like a person to me, but what do I know?!!

We had a lot of fun together and that's what's important. I am looking forward to more specific author activities throughout the year in the Virtual Book Club! Won't you join us!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

4-6pm Activity Time

Please tell me I am not the only mama whose children go crazy wild from 4:00-6:00pm? I know many days they are hungry, tired, and ready for a new face (AKA DADDY!) And well, honestly let's face it most days so am I!!!  Usually during this time of day Baby Brother needs to be fed and dinner needs to be prepared. It is just a hard time of the day. I found that I was becoming a really grumpy Mommy during this time of day so I began brainstorming how can I make this time of day better. Here is what I came up with: Rotating Activity/Stations/Centers-Whatever you would like to call it!

I set up 4 stations near me in the dining room area and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off the boys rotate to a new activity. It has worked brilliantly this week!! Less fighting, more engaged boys! Who could ask for more?!

Some of the things we've tried are:
  • Playdoh
  • Squinkies in a salt tray
  • Legos
  • Big coloring books on the floor
  • Puzzles
  • Mr. Potato Head 
I am sure more ideas will come to me as we continue this new fun activity time. My goal is to keep them engaged while I try to multi task during this hard time of day.

I am pretty sure I originally saw this idea at one of my favorite blogs ever, Meaningful Mama., where she shares a tip, craft and character development strategy daily. Be sure and hop over there for some awesomeness.

What do you do to keep your family happy during this challenging time of the day?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Preschool Plans-Updated!

The 2012-2013 school year will begin a new adventure for us! After thinking and praying about the decision for almost five years we have decided for JP to "wait to start" kindergarten until next year. He has an August birthday, so he just turned 5 in late August. This is a decision that many parents of boys with summer birthdays discuss. In my teaching experience young boys often needed more time to mature. My husband and I have discussed this plan since JP was a baby. My husband has an August birthday also and his sweet mom always wished she had waited for my hubby to start school. JP is a smart, creative student, although he has never been to preschool. Thankfully he has been home with me for all five years of his life. We decided last Spring that he would need some kind of preschool environment for this school year to prepare him for school. So with much prayer and careful consideration I researched a few of the options in my area. I am thrilled to share that God lead me to an amazing Christ centered preschool just right for our family. The moment I walked into the school to tour the facility I knew it was the right fit for him (and honestly, for me too). He will attend Pre-K two days a week from 8:45am-2:00pm. His first day is tomorrow. We have had a lot of fun picking out a new backpack, a new water bottle and preparing. Tonight we read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn by listening to it on a video on Youtube. 

 Both of the boys listened to the story and then I kissed both of their palms and explained that they could feel my love by placing their hand to their cheek tomorrow. I used to read this story each year when teaching and I am sure a copy of this precious book is in a tub in the garage. Thank goodness for technology. I found exactly what I was looking for on youtube!

CA will be doing Preschool at home with me this year, but I am including him in all the fun 1st day of Preschool activities too.

I found an awesome printable here for his teachers to fill out some of their favorite things that they like so I can spoil them a little this year. I remember how special I felt when parents of students took time to learn the things I liked and would treat me every now and then! Awesomeness!

I also found a very cute printable at Its Overflowing where a dear friend of mine writes and hosts an amazing blog! She is super creative and amazing! I loved her idea to make teachers cookies with this adorable printable, so I tweaked it to fit my style and budget. I used pink card stock I had on hand. Then I picked up some clear treat bags and cute ribbon at Micheal's to match the pink card stock. So here is what I made for JP's sweet teachers! I hope they feel loved and appreciated on their first day with Pre-kindergarteners!

I also found an adorable "First Day of..." at I Can Teach My Child that is absolutely perfect! Can't wait to take their pics in the morning!

So now I am off to rest my tired eyes. Honestly, I am a little nervous as I haven't ever left JP for very long other than MOPS and Sunday school. I know he will do great and I know I will too once I leave him. He is ready and needs this year to build his independence. He needs time away from CA, Baby Brother and well Mama. It will be a new adventure for us all! Off we go!

So the first  week has gone great!! He loves Preschool! He went into his class Tuesday morning with no trouble. He got right to work and told me all about his fun when I picked him up! He already seems bigger and more responsible to me!

 These sweet munchkins are still home with me! CA and Baby Brother and I have had a fun week at home doing our "preschool things" too! Love them!

How was your week? I hope great!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, JP!

I can't believe I have a 5 year old!! Where did 5 years go!?! I am one proud mama of this precious boy! He is smart, loving, curious, and creative! He is a wonderful big brother and such a precious child. We celebrated his birthday together with family and friends at our local recreation center.  He loves all things superhero, especially Batman so we had a Batman theme party. We rented the rock climbing wall and a classroom to use for the party. It was a blast and worked out really well! All the kids really seemed to enjoy rock climbing. I think it was a unique, fun activity.

I saw where another friend of mine interviews her son on his birthday each year and then blogs about it. I thought this was an excellent idea, so I am copying her. :)

So I asked JP a few questions and these are his responses:

-Who is your favorite superhero?
I LOVE them all! 

-What is your favorite food?
Pepperoni pizza and pretzels

-What is your favorite TV show?
Super Hero Squad, Batman from 1970s, and Doc McStuffins

What is your favorite song?
On My Lips by Ross Parsley

What is your favorite resturant?
Chick Fil A

What is your favorite color?
orange first, then green

My favorite thing to do with mommy is go on a date.

My favorite thing to do with daddy is go on a date  

I loved all of his answers and loved that I knew the answers to all of these before he ever answered. I do love knowing my children so well. We do try to go on 1:1 dates as often as possible. Guess we need to schedule on really soon for him!

Happy Birthday, JP! We love you!!!
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