Monday, March 28, 2011

Keepers at Home

Today was our first Keepers at Home meeting. For those of you who are not familiar with Keepers at Home, it is a club for girls. There are all sorts of achievement awards that can be earned and the girls also learn about different good character traits and qualities. What I love the most about Keepers at Home is that it teaches girls practical skills that they can use and take with them as they grow up and have a family and home of their own. There are also Bible memory challenges that they can earn awards for. Our Keepers club has 10 girls ranging in age from 5 to 13.  We practiced the club song Stepping in the Light and we started working on our first skill- card making.
The first type of card we worked on was the "praying for you" cards, and so the girls made collages out of bits of paper. Once dry, they will cut heart shapes out of them and glue them onto the actual card, and then write their messages.
These cards are being created for a missionary family in South Africa. As part of the Missionary award, our club has "adopted" a family doing missionary work in South Africa. We will be making cards for them, writing letters, and sending care packages to them. But more importantly, our club will be praying for them as they are called to do such wonderful work in the name of the Lord. The girls seemed to really enjoy this activity and it was really neat seeing all the different papers they used to create their collages.

I am so excited about our Keepers at Home club! I thought and prayed about starting a Keepers Club for quite some time, and now that we had our first meeting, I don't know why I didn't do this sooner! It was so sweet to see all the girls working together, and I had to smile when I saw the older ones guiding the younger girls. If you would like to learn more about Keepers Clubs or Contenders for the Faith Clubs, go to  This is wonderful website with all sorts of great books and materials that you can use to start your own Keepers or Contenders club.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kindergarten Fun

Many people who don't homeschool their children have been asking me- "Exactly WHAT does your little guy do all day for Kindergarten?" Well, after I thought about it a bit, I decided to write a little post regarding this subject.
I do Kindergarten with him before moving on to my girls' school work because he really needs that one on one attention from me. We start out with "calendar time". He counts all the numbers on the calendar and then tells me what the date is today, as well as what color the number should be, based on the pattern already in place. We discuss what day of the week it was yesterday, what day it is today, what day it will be tomorrow, etc... We sing the "Days of the Week" song and "What's the Weather?" song. He gives me a weather report every morning.
Then we move onto his Starfall work. Starfall is a complete Kindergarten curriculum- very thorough and I really love how many different activities they provide for you and your child each day! My little guy has been using his Starfall Writing Journal for most of his writing topics, but every so often, I like to do it a bit differently. The picture above is of a little story he wrote in his journal, which I copied onto chart paper. I then prompted him to do another drawing and then tell me more!
He was able to add two more sentences at the bottom of the chart. I am very encouraged by his writing and have seen progress as the year moves forward!
After writing, I usually give him a little break and he goes off to play one of his Kindergarten computer games such as Reader Rabbit or Starfall.
One of the best things I have incorporated into his day is his "Reading Club". I picked up this cute little bin at Target and made a little tag for the outside which says "Little guy's Reading Club Books". I select specific books each day for his basket- books that he can read all on his own, books that are very familiar to him but that he can't read alone yet, and books for him to just look at and try to find words he knows. In his reading club bin, there is also a timer and a "phonics phone". When it is time for his "Reading Club", he goes and gets his bin and sets the timer. He then sits alone and reads! At the beginning of the year, it was hard for him to sit for 5 minutes and read to himself. Now, he is up to 15 minutes! I am very happy with his reading progress and he seems to enjoy this time. He gets a sticker for each book and then when he reads a specific amount of books, he gets to go to the store and pick something small out.
My little guy has fun with Tub Time Tuesday each week. He enjoys all the different sensory tubs and especially loves the water or dirt play ones!

Well, this is just a small peek into my little guy's day. I will post more regarding his Kindergarten activities another time. In closing, I thought I would share something funny I overheard him talking about with one of his sisters. One of his sisters said to him that she wished she could climb to the top of a mountain, but that we don't have any mountains near us. He paused for a minute, and then said "well there's a HUGE mountain in mommy and daddy's room!" This is what he was referring to:
Yes folks, he was referring to my lovely mountain of laundry that just never seems to disappear! Aren't little ones just precious???

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mardi Gras Park Day

Today was our monthly H.E.A.R.T. Homeschool Group Park Day and the theme was Mardi Gras! Each family was given a special assignment: to create a Mardi Gras float using a wagon! Well, I was quite impressed with all the different designs and decorations.

The kids had a blast parading around with their floats and throwing beads and coins to all of us!
We had a delicious lunch of rice with chicken, "Mardi Gras sandwiches", fruit punch, and King Cake.
The kids always enjoy these park days and had a great time just playing with each other.
My tired little "king" after the parade.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Dr. Seuss Day!!!

Happy Dr. Seuss Day! I just love all of Dr. Seuss' books and we have quite a collection of them. Many are books I received when I was a child, and so they are quite old. Our children have grown up hearing these stories over and over again, and I enjoy not only the style of Dr. Seuss' writing but also the messages he teaches us about how we should treat others.

We started our celebration by watching The Cat in the Hat Knows A lot About That on PBS Kids this morning. They were having a "Cat in the Hat Marathon" today.
Next, we all put on our socks and listened to Fox in Socks. After the story, my kids competed in a sock sorting relay race.

Each of them was timed to see how quickly they could sort the pile of socks. They enjoyed this activity and it was harder than it looked!

For the next activity, our little "nut" read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish to us all while we ate some yummy colored goldfish snacks.

Then it was time for a writing lesson. We discussed all the different books we have and the fact that they had many unusual characters and fabricated words. We talked about the rhyming of the stories as well. Each of the kids chose a book to pattern their own story after. Our oldest wrote a story called "A Mouse In Our House". She is still working on the illustrations.
Soon, it was time for lunch and so I read about the Sneetches as the kids colored and cut out stars to attach to their shirts, just like the star-bellied Sneetches. I really enjoy that book because it teaches such a great lesson about differences and how it doesn't matter what we look like or what "cool" clothes someone has on. We are all the same!
It is always so funny to see the differences in the way the kids do their art work.

For lunch, we had star shaped "Sneetch Snacks" (peanut butter & jelly sandwiches) as well as hotdogs, just like in the story!
After lunch, it was more great stories. Our oldest read The Foot Book and then we played a lively game of Twister.
After our crazy game, we sat down and listened to an excerpt from My Many Colored Days. I gave the kids all sorts of items such as felt, pom poms, construction paper, etc... and had them create colorful collages that described their own colored day.
 They worked for quite some time on their projects. Here is a sample of what they did:
Last but not least, we listened to a bit of Oh The Thinks You Can Think and then ate Schlopp for dessert! If you've read the story, then you know that Schlopp is an ice cream sundae.
This was a busy, fun day and we had a blast celebrating one of my favorite authors. And remember, "a person's a person, no matter how small..."