Saturday, August 24, 2013

Start of Non-School

OR Non-School Start, OR Non-Start of School

"Stickers" are a reward system that is still working!

Blueberry got some "not-back-to-school PJs". I read about another mom doing that for her homeschoolers and I liked it. Since she is completely potty trained, her footie PJs won't work this fall/winter so even though they still fit, we needed new ones for our independent 3 1/2 year old. She loves them. She loves to be independent.

We have already started schoolwork, but we are officially getting into our routine on Monday. We finished up some family trips and things should me moving into "routine mode", at least until the holidays hit....

Curriculum is finished and worksheets are printed for the first 1/3 of the year. We are still finishing some Pre-K workbooks and starting some Kindergarten level workbooks. This is a bit of a summary.


Faith: "Beginner Bible" with activities and we are going through that along with "Hide 'em in Your Heart" 1 and 2 Worship Music CDs. ABC bible verses found online (printed and laminated).

Language: Pre-writing and tracing worksheets. I pulled some stuff from Letter of the Week curriculum from Alphabetizing. Read-Build-Write cards and worksheets with sight-word cards. Pre-reading books.

Math: Counting to 100. Counting by 2s, 5s and 10s. Addition and Subtraction flash cards and manipulatives. Number recognition and tracing worksheets. Shape sorting and pattern sheets by theme throughout the year. Simple pattern block activities.

Science: Animals and Habitats. Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, etc. recognition. Various hands-on projects throughout the year. Cooking "reactions". Seasons and climate. Nature walks. Activities out of "Good Science" by Richard Bliss. Children's Science Museum Preschoolers program.

Art: Various mediums including watercolors, clay, cut-and-paste, mosaic art, collage, chalk art, etc. Craft projects by theme related to other subjects. Play-dough play mats and cookie cutters.

Circle Time: This year we have Tiger too so it feels more like "circle time" than in previous years. I am collecting a variety of songs and poems for Blueberry to memorize (just by repetition). We also read books together and play.

Social: MOPS and Unschoolers playdates, as well as playdates with a neighbor friend. Library Story Time.  Making cards and writing letters to family. Skype with family members. Cooperation (Chores) Chart for family responsibility with age-appropriate tasks.


He is only 8 months old, but he will be participating in circle time. He enjoys songs and reading books. 

We are teaching Baby Signs. Tiger already knows "milk" and "up". We will be working on others as he figures out he can get what he wants with signs. 

He is steady sitting up and is pulling himself up and seems to want to walk. He might skip crawling altogether. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Resolving Contradictory Values in Our Society (or Teaching a Three Year Old Confidence Without Pride)

Boasting. Confidence. Pride. Gratitude. Self-awareness. Faith. Dignity. Self-expression.

As a mother of a little girl (but this goes for boys too) I have been pondering how to give her confidence without pride. How to teach her gratitude instead of boasting. How to teach her self-awareness and at the same time teach her to appreciate being created by a perfect God who loves her. How to teach dignity while allowing for self-expression.

We tell her how smart, brave, cooperative, friendly, kind and yes, even beautiful she is. However, I cringe when I hear her say "I'm so pretty!" When someone gives her a compliment, her reply is usually "Uh huh!" We are working on "thank you."

To those without faith in the Lord, it may seem like our world is confusing and holds such contradictory values. Our society puts the spotlight on gorgeous people who seem "perfect" on the outside and flaunt their "assets" while at the same time breastfeeding in public, doing something that is clean and natural, is a "controversial issue". We value autonomy and independence, but have given a whole generation of people "confidence" without earning it, which just leads to entitlement. No wonder teenagers are confused.

Christians are not immune to these woes of the world, but if we examine the Word, it becomes so simple:

...May I never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. -- Galatians 6:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. -- Psalm 139:14

If we make everything and do everything for Him, then we praise Him for what and who we are. Humility can co-exist with Pride in our Lord. Confidence in Him, Self-awareness of our need for Him. Gratitude for all the blessings He has given us, both material and spiritual. This is what we can model for our children. Simple? Yes. Easy? I'll let you know....