Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Memorizing Scripture

We did not choose to homeschool our children because we wanted to keep them away from the world for religious reasons. We began homeschooling because we knew our child would better thrive educationally with more one on one attention. Also, we wanted to homeschool because we enjoy being with our child, and we wanted to leave our life open for travel and for real life experiences. We wanted to free him to learn in his unique style and address his particular need. wE know over time this will fluctuate, and we want to stay open to that.

Nevertheless, one great benefit of homeschooling is the option to teach faith in God, in conjunction with secular education.

One feature of our curriculum that we  simply love, is scripture memorization.
When I was young, I thought it was so cool that people could memorize large passages of scripture, or Shakespeare, or verse of any sort. I wanted our kids to be able to do that.

So we embarked on teaching and memorizing scripture;
an entire alphabet of scripture.

You ought to hear this Lil' Monster go through the alphabet, singing a scripture per letter.
I love hearing him singing these verses during his play time.
©Mamma Sass
Here Lil' Monster is playing and
learning the 10 Commandments, 
©Mamma Sass
by pretending to be Moses.
©Mamma Sass

The benefit of homeschooling, is that we can help our child be educated in all subjects; not just secular, not just religious, not just worksheets, not just daily activities, etc - but a well rounded knowledge. We believe Homeschool is about learning to learn.

But I do love that we are free to teach faith.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

First School Picture

©Mamma Sass
I can't believe Lil' Monster is off to take his very first professional School Picture!
Don't you love the "all business" on top look?
And his first school picture is going to be with a (2) toothless Smile.
Who could not fall in love with this cute kid.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Make the Date with Money

For several years, each day we have done calendar time. You have probably seen in a number of our homeschooling photos, our lovely and large green calendar.

This year, we are going to spice it up and make it a little more challenging by adding new features and activities.

I found a great idea from Carisa at "1+1+1=1" blog to use money to "Make the Date."

Money is a concept that Lil' Monster doesn't know much about, making it a new challenge.

First, we did our typical calendar work of putting up the day, date, month, weather, etc.
Then we discussed the different coin names.
Using counting blocks to show value, we counted out how much each coin was worth, in columns of 5.
 Then we discussed the date (yesterday was the 9th) and counted out how many blocks we needed = 9.
We formed columns of five.
Then we placed a nickel on the top.
We discussed the remaining four blocks as singular units (as they can not be grouped in 5s) and then placed a coin on each of those.
 I was surprised at how quickly he picked it up.
As Lil' Monster begins to remember the value of each coin, I will begin to phase out the counting blocks.
This is a great way to mix up our calendar time and teach new skills.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back To School - Kindergarten

copyright © Mamma Sass
copyright © Mamma Sass
It is the first day
Lil' Monster is one happy boy.
copyright © Mamma Sass

We decided to being a new tradition of celebrating the first day back to school with some fun activities.
copyright © Mamma Sass

Today we began with a delicious breakfast, of pumpkin muffins and doughnuts from our favorite local bakery (The Moose is Loose).
copyright © Mamma Sass

This was followed by casting a hand impression, for future memory.
© Mamma Sass

We then followed this up with reading, some review of materials from last year's school, and calendar work.

Then off to Gymnastics - a fun way to close out the school day.

We then celebrated by having a nice family dinner at a local restaurant - a rare treat indeed.

By bed time, Lil' Monster was exhausted but content.

The rest of this week, our lessons will consist of a review of last spring's education.
Next Monday, we will begin our new Lessons of our Sonlight Curriculum.

Post update: I just wanted to share the finished handprint project:
What a great remembrance this will be when he is older. He is still deciding if he wants to color it or add anything to it or leave it as is. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Gymnast

It is fun to watch Lil' Monster grow up.
There are so many "firsts."

Today was the first time that Lil' Monster was signed up for a regular activity outside of our home.
He is a bundle of energy and is often found, leaping around the house, throwing himself off of things and tumbling on a regular basis.
We thought, it was high time for him to do those things with a goal, as well as to learn to do them safely.
Luckily, through our district homeschooling program, we are able to sign Lil' Monster up in classes in our community that address school courses. Gymnastics is a P.E. credit.
What luck.

Today was the first class day.
© Mamma Sass
 He was very excited to get ready.
Shorts and T-shirts are required gear.
But Lil' Monster begged to wear his beloved track suit on top.
© Mamma Sass
He looks like quite the professional.
After class, he was so happy AND thoroughly worn out.
I am thinking Gymnastics is not only going to be very good for Lil' Monster,
but for this Mamma! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Let's Take a Time-Out

In our home, time-outs are a common .
We realize it is not the most effective consequences for most children, but for our son the elimination of sensory stimulation is vital. Too much visual, auditory, or physical stimulation can put Lil' Monster into overdrive, and the end result is a major melt down followed by hours of trying to pull things back together.
Time-outs are the perfect solution to discipline for him.  It allows him to gather self-control and calm down. We have designated a few spots in our home where Lil' Monster can sit or stand facing a wall, thereby eliminating stimulation. He takes a few minutes to calm down using breathing exercises. He stays there for a few minutes (the time is determined by how old he is). We have practiced this since he was a wee one. Now, all I even have to do is point to one of the spots when he is in trouble, and he goes to time-out without a fight. I even see him put himself there when he is overwhelmed.
Today, he had a rather large melt down. He was instructed to sit in time-out until he could find some self-control. I admit, I got a bit distracted taking care of something else, and lost track of time. After about 10 minutes, I realized he was not out and playing. So I went to check on him.

This is what I found:

Now we know why he was out of control.
He clearly was exhausted.

When he came out of this time-out he was quite refreshed and ready to take on the world.

(Don't worry, I didn't leave him in this position, I laid him down elsewhere, where he finished his nap)

It's interesting to note, this is not unlike how many grown-ups deal with stress and feeling overwhelmed.
Naps are the best time-outs and rejuvenation a person can have - be they young or old.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cupcake Cones a Childhood Favorite

Cupcake cones
are a favorite treat from my childhood.
I think there is nothing more delightful,
than sharing a childhood favorite with your child.
I love the soft and crunchy textures combined.
I love that there is less crumbs and mess than with typical papered cupcakes.
I love seeing the smile on my son's face when he enjoys a bite.
Won't you join us and enjoy Mamma's favorite childhood treat?

How to make Cupcake Cones:
Make your favorite cake recipe, and instead of dropping the batter into paper cups, drop it into premade ice cream cones. Carefully balance them in a cupcake pan, and bake as you would plain ole' cupcakes. Baking time might need to be increased. Check the center by poking with a toothpick to see if it is cooked through.
Top with cake frosting. Or try topping with a scoop of ice-cream.


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