January 18: Winnie-the-Pooh Day

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What child [or parent] doesn’t love Winnie- the -Pooh? This lovable, adorable bear has been a wonderful companion of children since 1926.

In honor of the day that will celebrate the impact of literature, here are some facts about the characters and the author, A.A. Milne.

  • Winnie-the-Pooh is so well loved and recognized that he even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
  • Winnie-the-Pooh’s name came from a combination of a real bear and a pet swan.
  • Pooh was purchased at Harrods department store in London and given by A.A. Milne to his son Christopher Robin on his first birthday, August 21, 1921. He was called Edward (proper form of Teddy) Bear at the time.
  • The above picture is a set of a lot that was sold at Sotheby’s in 2008 for $1,262,863.00 British sterling pounds ($1,623,029.00 US dollars)

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  • The original toys are encased in bulletproof glass and live at the New York Public Library in the Children’s section of the building.
  • The stuffed animals range in height from 25″ (Eeyore, the biggest) to 4 1/2″ (Piglet, the smallest).

I thought it would be fun for your child(ren) to have some quotes from Pooh and his friends for copywork. I hope you enjoy these and spend some time discussing them. There is a link below to click on for the document to download for your convenience. (The adorable bees border is from ClipArtMag.)

Winnie the Pooh copywork

winnie-the-pooh copywork

 

 

Traveling the World without Leaving your House

Teaching geography can be interesting, exciting, and fun, but sometimes you just need a little help when it comes to ideas. I located three resources that I think you and your children will enjoy. Happy Travels! 😉

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Atlas Crates by the Kiwi Company look like so much fun! These particular crates are designed for ages 6-11 and focus on giving your student a glimpse into the geography and culture of a region of the world. There are activities, projects, information about the country and a mini book about interesting aspects of the country for you to read. Every box has all of the supplies included so you don’t have to scrounge around the house looking for glue or yarn. It’s all in the box! You can save 30% on your order if you sign up for their newsletter. (The cost would be $39.95 for a 3 month subscription.) You can readily incorporate these crates into your geography and/or fine arts studies, and you can have your son/daughter write about the country you are studying. 🙂

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Little Passports for ages 6-10 is similar to Atlas Crates. Each month’s global adventure is packaged in a suitcase and has souvenirs such as postcards and crafts, and hands-on activities. Here is what would come with your first month’s Explorer Kit: a passport, and a world map, the country’s currency, an activity sheet and access to country-themed online content on their website. I love that you get a wall-sized map and can not only locate the country, but can talk about neighboring countries and teach a lesson on latitude and longitude. You can get one month to try for $16.95 + shipping or can get a 6 month or 12 month subscription.

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Universal Yums was brought to my attention when a homeschool mom came for a portfolio review. She showed me the scorecard of snacks that their family tried that were from Turkey. Each box has a variety of packaged snack foods to try and you can rate how much you liked that particular item. There is also a booklet that has information about each snack so if you have a son/daughter who is unsure of the contents, you can read all about it before eating it. Note- These are not “healthy snacks”, but are cookies, candies, etc. But, they sure look like fun! Past yum-yum boxes include snacks from countries such as Pakistan, Belgium, and Russia. You can easily extend this into your Social Studies lessons by locating the country’s box on a map or globe, play some music from the country that you found on the internet, and graph the likes and dislikes of the food items that you have eaten. Prices vary depending upon the number of snacks you choose and shipping is included in the price. (6 snacks- $14.00 per box, up to $39.00 for 20+ snacks)

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

3 Ways to Beat Homeschool Blahs

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Living here in Ohio can make the cold days of winter and staying indoors hard on homeschool mom and student(s) alike! Daydreaming of warm weather, palm trees and sandy beaches is what I find myself doing more and more. Do you wish that your children had somewhere to go or something to do besides complain to you that they are bored? How about taking advantage of the indoors to do some fun and creative activities?

Build a fort The easiest way I found to make a fort was to take sheets and drape over the kitchen table on one side. You can lay the sheets perpendicular (criss-cross) so that it is nice and cozy. Be sure to have something heavy on the top of the table over the sheets so that they do not move. Inside the fort, add blankets and pillows, some snacks and books for the occupants to enjoy. Yes, I know the table is out of commission for the time being. What about cooking something easy to eat for dinner (like sandwiches or walking tacos) and everyone eating their meal inside the fort?  Of course, you can make your fort more elaborate and here is a video for inspiration. 

Have a cooking class would be a great way to not only spend time together, but you can incorporate health and safety into your lesson. Once you teach your son or daughter how to prepare that particular dish, they can make it one night when you are too tired to cook. 🙂 That’s a genius idea, isn’t it? lol Some simple ideas to do with your child are macaroni and cheese, tacos, spaghetti with ready-made salad, potato bar, or a crockpot soup like Quick and Easy Vegetable Soup They might be even more inclined to eat the veggie soup if they made it. (maybe?)

Play Games! Your children will be learning quite a few valuable things while playing games: giving and following directions, cooperating, and physical education (balance and coordination). The children can play Mother (Father) May I?; a version of Hide and Seek  where an object is hidden instead of a person; Simon Says; an indoor obstacle course such as carry a small toy in a soup ladle from point A to point B, crab walk or crawl a certain distance, roll a paper towel tube across the floor with only your chin; or walk the distance of your living room or hallway while balancing a book on your head, jump over a chair cushion, etc.

Enjoy your week! ~Lisa~ 

 

 

 

 

Schooling During Busy Times

Screen Shot 2018-12-23 at 6.52.36 AMSometimes our schedules get so busy that school can feel rushed, leaving us feeling harried. So, how do we teach with joy and peace in the midst of the busyness?

Praying is what I have found to be the best way for me to get things in perspective. I can be anxious and fretting about things, but after I pray I realize that God cares about me and what I am going through. He has the answers and that quiets my mind and helps me to think more clearly.

Making a list of what needs to be done gives me a broad view of my day/ week and helps me prioritize. For instance, I may want to accomplish these activities in one day: do the laundry, teach school, go to the library, post office, and the grocery store, call my friend, tutor, make dinner, clean the kitchen, and get gas for the car.  The four things on my list that I must do and cannot put off for another day are teaching, tutoring, making dinner and cleaning up the kitchen. I can call my friend after lunch or when I am prepping dinner. I can do the laundry, get gas, and run errands tomorrow. I like lists because I can see what tasks are there and it gives me a sense of accomplishment when they are completed.

Writing out a schedule helps me to see if all of the things that I want to do can actually be accomplished. Don’t you find that your list of To Do’s is nearly always longer than how many hours are in the day? I am not saying you have to keep a schedule of time down to the minute but having a general idea of things helps. In my experience, I have come to realize that it takes longer to accomplish things than what I had alotted and so I try to add a margin of time if possible. It’s a bonus if I get things done and still have some “free” time. I feel like I won some kind of prize!

Getting help when you are feeling overwhelmed is beneficial to you and your family. Homeschooling can be draining and at times overwhelming. I have been there! January and February were the hardest months in our school year. Our anniversary is in late December and I can remember one year crying in the parking lot of Outback Steakhouse (on one of our few date nights). I was asking, nearly pleading with Dale if we could consider putting our sons in school. It was that kind of year, my friends! What a way to celebrate our anniversary, huh? We talked about what was making me feel that way and I came to the conclusion that I could use some extra help. I called a friend and she offered to keep the boys for an afternoon. This was such a generous and much-needed act of kindness that really helped me when I was at a low point. I would encourage you that if you are feeling this way, reach out and ask for some help. Is there a friend that you could trade one afternoon where she keeps the kids and the next week you do that for her? You might even feel ambitious and do a mini-lesson with the kids. Certain projects are better done with a group than just with our children. There may be a high schooler who would love to sit with your beginning reader or do an art project with them. You could pay them or make them a batch of cookies. That is money well spent!

Making time for yourself helps you and ultimately, your homeschooling. When I feel pulled in so many different directions I get grumpy. A couple of weeks ago I was stretched to the limit on time and commitments and, oh, was I was frazzled! My husband and I were pulling out of the driveway on our way to church and the garage door opener refused to close. I jumped out of the car, manually entered the code for the door, trudged back to the truck and plopped angrily into the seat.  “What’s wrong?” my husband inquired. “I am tired!” I retorted. “Do you want to stay home today?” he asked. “Yes!” I responded without hesitation. So, Dale opened up the garage door, parked the car in its spot and I went and took a two-hour nap! Boy, did I need that and everyone was much happier that I took that nap. 🙂 Find something that will recharge you, whether that is taking a nap; drinking a cup of coffee; calling a friend; taking a walk, or listening to some music, do it! That activity will help you and give you the energy needed to accomplish the other things you need to do.

Have a great and relaxing week! ~Lisa~

 

Easy Soup Recipes

imagesThere are just times when it is hectic and dinner is an afterthought. Unfortunately for me, that happens more than I would like. 😦 I have found soups to be a quick, nourishing meal that can be made in large batches. They can either be eaten for several days, shared with someone in need, or frozen. That’s what I call a win-win situation! Here’s what I cooked up over the past week using my InstaPot.

Instant Pot Potato Soup  This soup takes about 20 minutes to get up to pressure and just two minutes to cook. It took me more time to chop up the vegetable than it did for it to be done! You can add extra vegetables to make it even healthier.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup This was introduced to me by my daughter-in-law at one of our family dinners. My husband l-o-v-e-s this soup and laps it up within two days with no help from me. I am not a fan of curry, so I keep a bowl of it out for me before adding it to the recipe at the end of its cook time. I had an unfortunate accident while peeling the butternut squash soup and cut off part of my thumbnail. OUCH! So, I have opted to buy frozen cubed butternut squash and save time and body parts from additional harm. The recipe’s instructions are for it to be cooked on the stove, but I put everything in the InstaPot and hit the soup function. Yay! Dinner is ready in 30 minutes from start to finish.

Carrot Ginger Soup This recipe calls for the carrots to be sliced, but I just chop them up since they are going to be put in a blender when they have been cooked. You can cook this on the stove top or choose the soup option on your InstaPot.

Enjoy your week! ~Lisa~