Category Archives: Education

Tools I have used or created in the process of educating my children at home.

An Egg Is Quiet Story Time

An Egg is Quiet

This book is a really fun couch book.

An Egg Is Queit cover

The illustrations are wonderful. It is great to take the time to pour over them with your children.

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The artist included lots of information in her pictures.

God is so creative.

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Explore making designs like the eggs in the book. We discovered a crayon rubbing over the drywall texture made one of the eggs quite nicely.

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An egg is quiet, colorful, clever and many other things. Watch for the surprise at the end.

What stories do your children enjoy?

Reflect God’s Love: Story TIme

Story Time: Reflect God's Love. The Story About Ping
Story Time: Reflect God’s Love. The Story About Ping

Supplies:

  • Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese
  • paper (here’s one you can print)
  • paint or oil pastels or crayons and an iron*

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Lesson:

Read and discuss the story. Enjoy. Stop to ask and answer questions. There are many great lessons to explore. In Story Time I touched on discipline being better than other options. I figure most children hear enough about that. I focused on the reflections in the water showing how we can reflect the love of God to others.

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Discussion ideas:

  • Why are there rules?
  • Why do we get disciplined?
  • Would it be better for Ping to have taken the swat than hide?
  • How important is family?
  • How do you reflect God’s love? How can people see God’s love in you?
  • Share how you see God’s love reflected in each other.

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Project:

  • Fold your paper in half. (Our group, using the picture I drew, did the process twice. First for the boat, then for the duck and water.)
  • Draw and color or paint a duck like Ping on the fold of your paper.
  • Add some water around Ping.
  • Fold the paper the other way and press the color from one side to the other. *If you color with crayon iron lightly to transfer wax from one half to the other.

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Carry the Cure: Jesus is Good Medicine

Carry The Cure: Story Time

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Supplies:

  • The Great Serum Race: Blazing the Iditarod Trail by Debbie S. Miller
  • Paper plates
  • hole punch
  • decorations, we used beads, foam shapes, tissue paper, and crayons
  • stapler
  • “Jesus is good medicine” sticker (optional)

Lesson:

The Iditarod dogsled race begins the first Saturday of March here in Alaska. It is a big deal. Many amazing athletes are involved, two and four legged ones. This book gives the history of the heroic events that inspired the Iditarod, a life-saving run of diphtheria serum from Anchorage to Nome in 1925.

If you want to learn more about the Iditarod Race here are a couple helpful sites.

Iditarod Education

Official Iditarod Site

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Dance Fan of sorts

Something special has happened the first Sunday of March for the last 5 years. A group called Carry the Cure takes the good news of Jesus love to the people who live along the Iditarod trail during the Iditarod. Alaska’s villages are struck with other epidemics today, ones not cured by any man-made serum. Our native people suffer some of the highest rates of suicide and abuse of all kinds in the country. Carry the Cure with the band Broken Walls goes into villages with a message of life and hope for all ages. They do school assemblies and concerts in native music and dress.  One of their songs is Jesus Is Good Medicine.  I could only find a recording of it on Facebook so I did not include a link. You can listen to samples of their music on their site.

Please take time to learn more about the ministry of Carry the Cure and Broken Walls

Read the book.

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Student Dance Fan

Discussion ideas:

  • Discuss the amazing things that happened in the book.
  • Discuss how different things work today.
  • How is Jesus good medicine?
  • What would it take to run a team of dogs in such harsh weather?

Project

We made dance fans. Native Alaskans dance their stories, their history, and their faith. The women often use dance fans. The men often drum. Our dance fans don’t really resemble real ones but the kids had fun. You can decorate any way you like. I’ll explain what we did.

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We stapled tissue paper and foam shapes to our paper plates.

Instructions:

  • Punch holes around the edge of the plate for the beads to run through.
  • cut tissue paper in strips to staple around the top edge of the plate
  • staple on foam shapes
  • color
  • add stickers

Happy Birthday Abe: Story Time

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Supplies:

  • Abraham Lincoln by Amy L. Cohn and Suzy Schmidt
  • black construction paper
  • pattern for circles (scrapbook tools or a small plate and your empty can)
  • empty can
  • scissors
  • tape or glue
  • Lincoln activity Things I Learned from Abraham Lincoln printable or slips of paper. I printed on both sides of the paper. You could print one sided and have them glue then to other paper or leave them separate to try to match them up.
  • crayons, markers
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Lesson:

• Read and discuss the story.

• Discuss the lessons can we learn for Abraham Lincoln. I chose: Work hard. Keep trying. Care about others even if you disagree. Learning is important. Speak well. Listen well.

• Did you notice where Lincoln kept his important papers? (In his hat.)

Project:

• Print Lincoln activity: Things I Learned from Abraham Lincoln or have your children make their own slips of paper for what they learned from Abraham Lincoln.
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• While the children color their slips of paper cut a strip of black wide enough to wrap around the empty can. Cut circles, one larger than the can for the brim and one the size of the can for the top. Tracing with a white crayon or chalk works well on black paper.

• Wrap the can in black paper. Attach with tape or glue. Glue the brim to the bottom of the can.

• Tape the top of the hat on one side so the hat can be opened.

• Place the colored slips inside the hat.

 
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The Empty Pot: A Lesson in Patience

Story Time is a class I am teaching at the home school co-op we are trying out this year. We read a quality children’s book and then do some type of activity. I can’t seem to help but tie in a Biblical lesson, too.

I am posting the successes here so you can use the lesson with your family.

The Empty Pot: A Lesson in Patience

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Supplies:

  • The Empty Pot by Demi
  • Large and small square paper (I used 12×12 scrapbook paper and 6×6 origami paper) the thicker the paper the harder to get nice folds.
  • Craft sticks (popsicle sticks when I was young)
  • Green markers or colors
  • Stapler (a really good one) or glue dots or time to let things dry with good old white glue
  • Optional: printed verse James 1:4 (I did 2×4 shipping labels. There’s a file to download if you like. James 1v4 labels)

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Lesson:
Read and discuss the story. Enjoy. Stop to ask and answer questions. There are many great lessons to explore. In Story Time I focused on patience. We touched on others in our discussion.

Discussion ideas:

  • Ping grew nothing in his pot despite his faithful patient work.
  • Ping chose to be honest and present his best to the Emperor even though and it looked like nothing.
  • We discussed the character qualities that grew or were shown by Ping like patience, trust, honesty, and hard work.
  • When Ping’s seed did not grow he did not lose his confidence in his talents. This is a lesson I would bring out with more time.
  • When we try and fail we are not failures. Still learning this myself. You?

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Tying in Scripture:
I chose James 1:4

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.


This story is a beautiful example of patience having her perfect work. Ping patiently worked and waited for a full year. A very long time for a child. His reward was a kingdom, he was lacking nothing. We are also promised a kingdom, the Kingdom of God. Jesus said the Kingdom was at hand, the Kingdom is here, the Kingdom is coming. Patience, faithful work and waiting, in our calling will bring us to being “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

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Project:
Flower pot – We used 12×12 scrapbook paper and this flower-pot design.
Flowers – We used 6×6 and a few 5.5×5.5 thin paper. We used these flower instructions.
Color the craft sticks green. Write the character qualities you admire in Ping on each flower. Attach paper flowers to craft sticks.
We put the label with the verse on our flower-pot.

Flower pot with verse

I hope you enjoy this project and the opportunity to share memorable lessons with your children.

Dreaming for Fall

Dreaming for Fall

I enjoy dreaming and planning- too much sometimes. I can dream and plan the day away while not really accomplishing anything. There are many reasons I am sure, but that would be another post This one is moving me to action, maybe you too?

 

Fall is rapidly approaching, with it the realization that school starts soon. Since I am the teacher this means I have got some work to do! I enjoy the planning and organizing. I get great pleasure from new office supplies and pretty notebooks. I am one of those that can get lost in an office supply store, I don’t even go to them anymore.

 

This summer has been different though. I have not accomplished near what I hoped for in work or play so I have been dragging my feet about admitting it is almost over. I have to be a good example to my kids so my goal is to get our plan in place this week.

 

When I sat down to start planning I asked myself what I wanted. Energy. Direction. Peace. These three flowed from my pen and surprised me. I was expecting language programs, science topics, something school related. However I realized these ae really what I want, my dream in life right now. I wrote down a few ideas for action on each one.

Energy:

* Get enough sleep and rest

* Start exercising

* Maybe it’s time to see a professional about my health

 

Direction:

* Ask God for wisdom and do what He tells me

* Create routines of good habits

* Make sure my priorities are right and taken care of

 

Peace:

* Create routines to take care of my responsibilities, planning, cleaning, cooking, paperwork, writing

* Make time for friendship. I joined a Bible study group at the beginning of summer and have been so blessed and enriched by connecting to godly women. I will always make time for genuine relationship.

* Add intentional worship to my days. I have enjoyed quiet mornings with the Lord this summer. I want that to continue but I also want to bring worship and prayer into daily life with my children again. I am still pondering what that will look like.

 

I also know that the days of the children sleeping in must come to an end. In some ways I wish I could let them sleep and then we would just go about our day as they were ready, but I know that does not work well for any of us. So we will be transitioning to a regular wake time, breakfast time and agenda for the day.

Dreaming for Fall

To be successful in transitioning to a fall routine the planning and new habits are most important. I need meal plans for all three meals of the day. I usually do good to plan dinner, like I don’t know what we are eating tonight… I need a time set aside to plan those meals. I need a weekly planning time for myself and my family so we can all be on the same page.

 

I want to transition to our full schedule a little at a time. I tend to need to work backward in my planning. Where do I need to be when? Then I can decide what steps to take to get there. So, I think we will start some classes the week of September 9. I am thinking of this transition as a fade out. As summer anda fall activities fade out school will fade in until we have completed the transition. Sounds lovely! I hope I can pull it off.

 

First thing will be creating a new morning routine. Next week, August 26, I want to start having breakfast at 8. This means breakfast will have to be planned- what to make, when to start it (ie. night before, 7:30). After breakfast I want to work on projects and planning. The projects will be something to do together and some things for them to do while I am at Carol’s. Then hopefully fun, but at least free time for the kids, in the afternoon. This means a list of what I want to work on. Cleaning, defining chores, organizing school stuff. Even more I want to include God time. I need a good idea of what that looks like.

 

I want to focus on the habit of planning and communicating because I think things are going to have to stay in flux for a while. I don’t think I can make a schedule that will work for us until Christmas. Instead we need to learn to use tools to make sure the important things get done each week like checklists for chores and school.

 

It is wonderful to dream. It is more wonderful to make things happen, even if it is hard to get started. I am excited about moving toward what I want. I am excited about helping my children do the same.

 

What about you? Have you gone back to school? Does fall bring changes to your routine? Are you taking steps to live your dream life?

 

Perhaps you could do the activity I did. Ask yourself what you want. Identify some changes you can make to move you in that direction. I would love to hear from you if you do!

Another Week

Well, another week without an article.

I am trying to get prepared for another year of educating my children at home. I have been in denial about that just like the fact that winter is coming.

I told my son yesterday, “I hat to tell you this. We need to start making a list of jobs to get done before winter.”

“I can’t hear you, Mom.” he responded.

“Me either.” I said.

Back to school means evaluating priorities. Priorities brings me back to Colossians 2:2,3

[blockquote][2] that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, [3] in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. – Col 2:2-3 ESV[/blockquote]

Fleshing that out for my day… well I’m working on it, thus no writing.

A reminder to that tomorrow ends the Children’s book giveaway I am part of. The winner gets 21 books. Enter soon!

Vocabulary Spelling City Review – Part 2

I accepted an offer for a month free trial of full features of Spelling City. We’ve been using it for about 3 weeks.
The Toolbox is full of great features. I can manage students, create lists and assignments, and track the progress of each child.
I have chosen several activities that I want each child to do for each list of words I enter. I entered words from our reading curriculum. Words lists can be added one word at a time, in a batch, or cut and paste from another document. Not only can you save custom word lists you can save sets of assignments. This makes getting ready for next week simple.
One activity requires them to write sentences with the word list. They can have their sentence read back to them by the computer to see if they typed what they meant or left any words out. They can edit their sentences before submitting them. They go to the writing section in your Toolbox for you to grade.
On the vocabulary side they can play games with lists you make or lists already in the system. There are math, science and geography lists ready to go.
Besides the online games you can print many of the activities for off the computer use.
They also offer lesson plans and a wealth of language education related articles and links.
At just under $30 a year for 5 students it’s a great value.

Vocabulary Spelling City Review – Part 1

Practicing spelling words can be a boring task. It also can be quite time consuming with three children who need practice. Since we homeschool it is sometimes good for someone other than me to help them with things.
I have used some of the free features on Spelling City in the past. I like to enter my own list or just to change things up a bit with some learning games.
Now I’m excited to try out all their new features. You’ll see why and how in the following disclosure:

I’ve been given a Premium Membership to VocabularySpellingCity.com for a candid, personal, online review.

VocabularySpellingCity helps students study word lists using 25 different learning activities such as Unscramble, Hangman, WordFind, and Crossword Puzzle. Parents can create their own spelling lists, find published lists already available on the site, or use any of dozens of free teaching resources on topics such as Multiple Meaning Words and Possessive Nouns . Be sure to come back in three weeks to read about my experience.
There might be more free memberships available for bloggers. If you’re interested, find out how you can review VocabularySpellingCity.com

Looking forward to trying it out.