Crafty Thursday- What Makes Rain?

I do not know how it was in other parts of m the world today, but here in our little ol’ town it was rainy and gloomy. I had planned on making a craft with the girls and thought, why not learn something in the process! Enter our dearly loved flap book What Makes Rain?

I am a part time Usborne Books and More Consultant. My children eat these books up. Who am I kidding, I do too! Their favorite right now are the flap books. Each flap book has little bits of information under a flap. This specific one was about the rain. What makes it? What are rainbows? What is the sun? It answered many different questions. Along with this book I put together a little craft.

As you can see it was cute but simple enough my two year old could do most of it on her own! To make your own umbrella picture you need these materials. 1 long strip of colored paper. 1 white piece of paper. Yellow construction paper cut into a triangle to look like a jacket. (or whatever color you want!) Construction paper cut into boots. A marker and some paint. And googly eyes. Viola! Set those kiddos free and see what they come up with!

Here are our girls busy working on their creations. Look at S’s serious concentration face. Too cute!

And now here are the three beautiful creations made by the girls. I bet you can’t tell whose is whose! ha! I love how the progression in drawing skill goes up through the three girls. Our youngest S was so proud of her self for the little circle she made and the sliver of yellow hair on her girls head!

Have fun! and if you decide to do this craft, drop a photo below, we would love to see yours!

Until next time xoxo,

Jenna Jury

Advertisements

Home School and Loop Scheduling

We are finishing up our home school year with an 8th grader, Kindergartener and a Pre-schooler. I’ll be honest with you. We are just now finding our groove. That is one thing I love about home school, if something doesn’t work, we change it. I’m not talking about curriculum. I am talking more along the lines of scheduling, what we incorporate, what we don’t, etc.

So today I want to talk a little about loop scheduling. I heard of it sometime last year, and I thought to myself, there is no way I could pull that off. Then I read Teaching From Rest, if you are a home school mom I highly recommend. This book helped change my way of thinking when it came to school and what needs to get done. Now we don’t focus so much on cramming everything in on specific days. We focus more on one thing and then moving on to the next. We take as little or as much time as the children need, and then move on. I use My Father’s World curriculum for the two youngsters. The 8th grader uses Abeka. So we do use the curriculum as a guide, but I also wanted to incorporate their interests into their daily lessons as well. I just didn’t know how to do that without overwhelming the kiddos. Enter loop scheduling. It’s really basic and easy type of scheduling.

Everyday we do a morning basket. In the morning basket I include a devotional, a couple of books that go along with their lessons or some of their favorites and new ones, and we also read a couple of poems together. Right now we are reading poems from “Where the sidewalk ends” However the other day my 5-year-old said “Mommy these poems are rather silly, can we read ones that aren’t so silly.” I agreed with her, because while they make her giggle, the poems have no real depth to them. I am now looking for a different book of poems geared towards children.

31339901_730395703830762_73452252_o

After we do our morning basket, we move on to what is on our loop schedule. This is what ours look like.

Art

30920406_730395883830744_639595043_o(1).jpg

Cooking

31122976_730396000497399_943121116_o.jpg

Nature Study

30849987_730395850497414_134984579_o

Science

31033844_730396283830704_1269418596_o.jpg

We also use the Math dictionary for our math lessons.

31290070_730395713830761_1496986809_o

This is how loop scheduling works. We start at the top and we do that subject. We may move on to the next subject the same day or we may take another day to finish out art. It doesn’t matter how long it takes us because we are not on a schedule with looping. After we finish art, we move on to cooking the next day or later that day, whenever we want to, then nature study, then science. We then start all over again. This is nice because say one of the girls has a doctor’s appointment during the week and we only got to cooking. We can pick up nature study the day after the appointment and not feel guilty. That is because it’s a continuous loop. I plan on continuing this loop through the summer. After we tackle what is on our loop schedule, we move on to their individual curriculums. I like being able to tie in what their individual interests are. It includes quite a bit of hands on activities, my kindergartener is so crafty! She especially loves art. Since I also sell Usborne Books on the side, I have incorporated their books into our loop scheduling. They are filled with hands on activities that we all love. I also want to mention, most of the kids participate in the morning basket and activities. There are six kids in my house most days, two babies, they sometimes will sit with us during the books, but for the most part, they just play along side of us.

Here are some activities being done throughout the last few months.

Overall I have been very happy about our home schooling experience this year! I cannot wait to see what the next year will bring.

Until next time,

Jenna Jury

practice sharing.

A Peek Inside Our Homeschool Day with a 14, 5, 3, 2, and 1 year old.

Peek inside our day.

It is 2 o’ clock and I just sat down with my fourth cup of coffee for the day, but who’s counting right? I am squeezing some work in while the young kiddos have quiet time. I am praying my Kindergartener takes a nap, but those have become far and in between. Instead, she is happy to play or read by herself in her room during quiet time.

What is quiet time you may be asking? Maybe it is a foreign concept to you. To me, it is a life-saver. Quiet time is when everyone goes to their perspective places and nap or rest. Except for the 14-year-old, because I’m mean and have her do school work during this time.

This is the time that I can rest, or work on my writing. I can pay bills or do other household chores that I would rather put off, if I’m being honest. Like put away laundry. Who enjoys putting away laundry?? Not me. That could be why there is a basket of my clothes sitting in our bedroom, going on a week and a half. A basket of my girl’s clothes sitting on top of the dryer and a basket of socks sitting upstairs in the hallway. It drives my husband batty. I never claimed to be the most organized person when he met me.

But I digress.

Quiet time is important to me because it is the one time during our busy day that I get a breather. It is also the time that the kids get a break from one another and get to recharge their small bodies. Trust me they need it. I need it. I’m a huge advocate for rest. And early bedtime. I mean, have you ever tried to drive a car when it is running out of gas? It’s nearly impossible. It slows down, flashes a sign at you that says HEY I NEED GAS! Okay, so that’s not what it actually says, unless it’s some new fancy car that I have never heard of but that is the basic gist. I actually ran out of gas once, right on the highway. That was embarrassing. But in my defense the gauge was not working and I thought I actually had gas.

Kids are like cars.

Their energy is their gas. When it is running low, it’s not a pretty sight and honestly it’s not good for them. They get cranky, especially my kids. They become unfocused. The children who have strong emotions may find themselves becoming emotional at every little thing. My children have strong emotions. So quiet time is just as much for them as it is for me. I enjoy peaceful days, don’t we all?

have been told that my house is so peaceful, more times than I can count.

I usually look at the person and say are you crazy? There are five children here most days, and I often feel like I am running around with my head cut off. Have you ever tried homeschooling an eighth grader and a Kindergartener and a Preschooler? With two toddlers running around? It’s not easy. It sure is fun though. It makes my days so interesting and chaotic. This is why I believe peace is something that comes from within. It’s not created by perfect kids who are not rowdy or whiny. Because, trust me, I hear my fair share of whining on a day-to-day basis. Peace is about love and kindness. Calmness. But I digress… AGAIN. That is another post for another day.

What does our home school day look like?

Well to be honest, every day is different. So this is not necessarily what it looks like every single day. However, this is what it looked like TODAY. It is also what it looks like the majority of the time. I home school my sister. Who is in 8th grade. I home school my Kindergartener. I also home school my niece who is in Preschool. She does not come to my house every single day. That is one reason why Our home school day does not always look this way. I also try to do some sort of “Tot schooling” with the two youngest ones, ages 1 and 2. I often end up thinking to myself, who am I kidding, these girls could care less what color blue is or what sound a cow makes. So I usually end up turning on Minnie for them so I can focus on the big girls.

I typically try to wake up between 4:30—5 am. But today I hit snooze so many times and ended up waking up around 5:50. When I get up I will do my devotions and prayer. After that time, I will try to tackle some basic chores. I try to keep these chores the same every morning so that it becomes routine. If I don’t do these for a few days, my household tends to suffer. I will throw in a load of laundry. Unload/Load dishwasher. Sweep the floors in the laundry room, bathroom and kitchen.

After that I sit down and write-up what the Eighth grader needs to do today along with her homework.

She will typically arrive around 7 am. But today she didn’t come until about 7:50 with my nieces. See, even today didn’t start out like a “typical” day. She will grab breakfast when she gets here. Then she will head upstairs to her work area and start on whatever independent work she can do. Since she has a list of what she needs to get done, she does not need to stop and ask me what she needs to do next. This is nice for me because it keeps her undistracted and me focused on working with the younger ones. She will get a break about two hours later, then back upstairs she goes to work on some more of her work. She will typically work for four hours in the morning. Then she will take a break for lunch.

During the morning my girls usually wake up at 7 am and my nieces will get here around 7:45 am, unless their Mom goes to work later in the day. Today they were here at normal time. My girls however, slept until 8. I swear I think they are going through growth spurts. Sleeping in is not in the vocabulary. My Kindergartener has been getting herself dressed and making her bed every morning. I have been rejoicing every morning because it is such a life saver for me. She has processing sensory disorder and getting dressed has been difficult for the past year. However, lately she has come really far, and now that she knows what type of clothes feel comfortable on her, she feels more comfortable picking them out herself.

So the younger girls will eat breakfast together, then we will start on school work.

Today they begged me to play with play-doh first, so I allowed them to play for about an hour and a half with play-doh. I think imaginative play is such an important part of learning. Not to mention the tactile stimulation they are receiving from it. I have never met children other than my own that could play with play-doh as long as these girls do. After playing with the play-doh, we did our morning basket.

Our morning basket consists right now of devotions, a story book that typically has to do with what we are learning that week and our chapter book. Today we just did our devotions and our chapter book. Our chapter book right now is Charlotte’s Web. My five-year old loves it! She is a huge fan of Templeton. I can’t say I am surprised. I don’t know why she likes him so much though. She usually leans towards liking the outspoken characters who are true to themselves.   We all sit on the floor on a blanket, including the baby, and read the books. I am going to be adding more activities to our morning basket next year. Right now, I don’t want to overwhelm them to much or me. I lay blocks out for the babies to play with during reading time. The big girls usually play with them too, but surprisingly they listen so much better when they have something to do with their hands.

After our morning basket, we delved into the Preschool lesson.

working hard

I use My Father’s World for both Preschool and Kindergarten. I LOVE it. It has a Charlotte Mason approach and is not overwhelming for their ages. Today they learned about King Solomon and David. They made crowns to wear. After making their crowns they finished up their “About me” books. Earlier this week they drew faces that were supposed to look like theirs. They counted how many eyes, ears, noses, and mouths they had, and I wrote it for them. Today we traced their hands and feet and counted their toes. The Preschooler is working on the number 5. It is a review for my Kindergartener, but she enjoys doing school with her cousin and I think the review is often good.

Craft about me book

About me books.

After the crafts, they built a temple, like the one from the bible. Then they practiced sharing with one another.

practice sharing.

Practice being kind and sharing.

Practice Sharing

 

After the Preschoolers lesson was over, she looked at a seek and find book while I worked with my Kindergartener. During this time the Eighth grader is still working independently. The 1-year-old is playing with the blocks. My 2-year-old gave up a long time ago and begged me to turn PJ Masks on. I tried to distract her with coloring, which lasted about 10 minutes, then she was done. I will be honest with you. She is my most difficult child to home school with. Very clingy and into EVERYTHING. I know “they” say to give the toddlers plenty of education toys to play with during home school. But she is just not interested. Who are “they” anyway? So I turn the cartoons on for a good amount of time during school. She is happy, I am happy, and the students are not distracted. I say it is a win for everyone involved. Even the cartoon program is getting viewership out of it, so they are winning too.

coloring

2-year-old coloring

coloring

My Kindergartener is working on the letter C this week.

Since today was the last day of her lesson for the week, she worked on her drawing page and cut and paste page. She enjoyed the drawing page because the kid is so creative. She loves to draw. She had to draw four different things that started with the letter C and then write the letter c below. She didn’t receive any help from me and was able to think of the items herself. Sounding words out in her head is pretty easy for her. Sounding them out on a piece of paper, is a different story. Which brings us to her cut and paste page. The cut and paste page today was full sentences to read. This, I would say, is her weakest area right now. It is also the area where she grows the most bored and distracted and where Mommy gets the most impatient. I am working on it and think I keep my impatience in check pretty well.

drawing page

Working on the drawing page.

She sounded out the words and tried to read the sentences. Sentences like A cat can sit. A cat can not add. She did okay. However, this activity took her the longest. It probably took around 25 minutes and I had to help her a great deal. But every kid learns differently and at their own pace. After this activity we quickly did her calendar and 100 days of school chart. Then we called it a day because I saw she was becoming restless. There was another painting activity planned for the day but I just scrapped that and told the girls to go play. It was lunch time by that time anyway. That’s one thing I love about home school. I don’t have to check off just a bunch of to do activities every day. Each child learns differently as I have said. If that means stopping school for the day when they are becoming restless, then okay.

After lunch the girls go down for quiet/nap time and I help the 14-year-old with any questions she has and review her work. She then continues to work until about 3 o’clock and I have about an hour to myself to rest or work on something.

It’s a busy day almost every day. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love seeing my kiddos learning new concepts and ideas. I enjoy watching them think and figure things out.

Today my Kindergartener asked me “Mommy do you enjoy teaching me?” I said “I sure do kiddo.” She replied with “Good, because I love that you are my teacher.”

She sure knows how to make my heart full and day bright.

Our First 12 Weeks of Homeschooling

abc-books-chalk-265076.jpg

How is our home schooling year going?

If any of you don’t know by now, this is year has been our very first “official” year of homeschooling. Last year we did home school preschool and I have always done some form of tot school with my oldest. This year however, I am teaching 3 grades. It is a huge adjustment to our family. However, I am enjoying it and I know the kids are too! Here is the run down.

Grade/ages: 8th grade, Kindergarten, Preschool, two Toddlers

Curriculum: My Father’s World for the youngest grades. Abeka for the older child.

Whew.

I wanted to share with everyone HOW homeschooling is going for us this year.

Our transitional year to be honest. I want to share what has worked for us and what I am going to be changing.

First I want to say I really LOVE My Father’s World!

I wanted to try it because it has a Charlotte Mason approach to home school and I am drawn to her. I love the fact that her method incorporates reading living books, a ton of outside time, and the lessons are short. I am not a huge believer in a child sitting in a classroom for 7-8 hours a day, taking part in twaddle (as she called it). These were the reasons I decided to try my hand with My Father’s World. So far we are loving it. My Kindergartner and Preschooler love it as well. Kindergarten takes us around 45 min.-1 hr a day. Preschool is anywhere between 30-45 minutes a day, four days a week. The eighth grader takes between 3-5 hours a day on her work depending on how much she has to get done and how quickly she gets it done.

We love it so why change anything?

Even though we have loved these last twelve weeks, there are a few things I am going to incorporate into our school day, in order for the day to run smoother.

First I decided to give a four day school week a try instead of five. The reason is simple. Even though I am a teacher to three different grades, I also am still a Mother and a Wife. As a stay-at-home Mom there are still many things I need to get done in order for our household to function.

I also sell Usborne Books and own a Hair bow business.

Along with writing a book!  I want to be able to dedicate as much time all of those things as I can! I also want to be able to do something fun on Friday’s if we choose to, like a field trip or park day. A four day week offers that small break at the end of a long week, and helps me and the children keep our sanity. The eighth grader uses that last day to catch up on any work and take her quizzes for the week.

The next thing I decided to give a try, is something called a “time out break.”  I read this in a blog from someone else. As soon as I find it, I will add it to this post, to give the writer credit for this awesome idea! I felt as though most of our day consisted as school, school, school. I was feeling as though I couldn’t concentrate on one single grade because everyone needed me. That is why I broke the days into sections, instead of all the kids doing school at the same time. As the children get older, doing school together will be easier. As of right now, what they really need is a break and attention. Along with one on one school time. For 1.5-2 hours in the morning, after our morning basket and a little bit of school work, we all take a break and hang out with one another. Even the big kid. We can do anything the kids want, within reason. Go to the library, park, build some blocks, make a craft, do a science experiment, etc. Even Mommy puts her phone away. There are no electronics during this time. So far they kids really seem to enjoy it, and they love that extra attention and I love that I am giving them what they need the most. It is difficult for me to put aside the feeling that we need to get “school” done and out of the way to enjoy our day. I’m getting there though! Then after our time out break, the kids are ready to get started on their school work.

Here is a breakdown of what our schedule looks like currently.

7  Get up (kids, I’m usually up for a while by this time) or get here (because I also home school my niece and my sister) eat breakfast, do devotions.

7:15-8:30 Little ones do Morning Basket with Mommy/ look at books and then play. While big Kid works on Spelling/Vocab/Reciting her poems and other memorization work. Then on to Math.

8:30-10:30 Our time- out break, where the kids get to pick whatever they want to do.

10:30 snack

10:45-11:30ish little kids work on Busy boxes, binders, and bags. I teach Big Kid

11:30ish-12 Preschoolers turn for school!

12-12:30 Tv break, so I have a chance to get lunch ready!

12:30-1 Lunch

1-2 Little ones go down for a nap, big kid works on independent work. Kindergartner’s time for school, this is also a great one on one time for me and her! She really loves the one on one time and so do I.

2-3 Kindergartner has quiet time in her room and I finally rest! whew

So far this routine works well for us.

I just started using it though, so hopefully it still works well in a few a months!

This is always subject to change, because, let’s be honest, life can often throw us a curve ball. One thing that I love about homeschooling is it is flexible. If something comes up during the day, we can hit pause on our school work and go do what needs to be done. School can be done anytime of the day. Morning, afternoon, even at night. I’m a huge believer that learning is not linear. A child, and even adult, learns at all times, everywhere. Not just in a brick and mortar building during the hours of 8-3.

I am going to post updated blogs about our weekly lessons starting from week one (for the Kindergartner), as soon as I am able to! This week we are working on W is for Water. I may start with that instead of trying to catch up. We will see! Let me know what you all want to see! Until then, here are some fun School pictures from the last 12 weeks!

 

First day of School

First day of School

Conner Prairie Field Trip

Conner Prairie Field Trip

Field Trip at Conner Prairie

Our Morning Basket

Field Trip at Conner Prairie

Picture Box Worksheet

Working with Alligator ABCS

M is for Moon week

M is for Moon week

Tracing Letters

Foam Letter Puzzle

Number Worksheet

Matching Words with PIcture

God loves you! Card

Octopus Hotdog- O is for Octopus Week

B loves to make her own things.

Sorting Bears

 

Until Next Week!

Jenna Jury