Sunday, September 29, 2013

Puffy Paint

Learn Play Imagine
My kids love to play with puffy paint. My friend, Allison, over at Learn Play Imagine loves messy play. She introduced me to the homemade version of puffy paint. Check out her latest post for fall themed puffy paint here.

Since Little Man had so much fun with our last batch of puffy paint I made more. If you have never made puffy paint for your little ones, I strongly suggest you give it a try. It is not very messy, it is really cheap, and it is a lot of fun!!

Puffy paint is made with equal parts flour, salt and water.
I used food coloring for the color but you can also purchase liquid water color. I've used both, since they ran though my last batch so fast, I decided to use the food coloring as it is cheaper.

I mixed 1/3 cup of each ingredients in a sandwich size Ziploc baggie. I added about 10 drops of food coloring to get the colors that I wanted. For the brown I did use liquid water color. I massaged the bag to get out all the lumps. You really don't want it to be liquid but you don't want a solid either. Think about paint consistency. I then cut the end off the baggie and squeezed the paint into my squeezie bottles. A funnel would have made pouring it into the bottle easier, but I don't have one that small. I then repeated the process for each color. EASY!!

Let me know if you give it a try and how your kids liked it.


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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

GLE W1: Treasure Hunt and Fun with 'x'

Little Man (4) has started Pre-K!!

I went out searching for a curriculum that I could use with Little Man because he has been asking for months for 'school' to do like sister. I just happened to stumble upon God's Little Explorers by Motherhood on a Dime. I'm excited to see where this journey takes us. I am not forcing him to do anything. I have our weeks planned out with things for him to accomplish but if he loses interest and wants to play away from his sister, I'm good with that. If he wants to sit and work with us, then that is great, too. Pre-K, for us, is to be fun and engaging for my little man nothing else. So, here is how our first week went.

Theme: God's Word is a Treasure / "x" marks the spot
Letter: 'x'
Shape: rectangle

The first day went pretty well as planned in the planner. The rest of week one... well, you can read my reality check here

Our 'school' day begins with Bible and prayer and then we fill in our calendar notebook. The calendar notebook is mostly for my daughter, Miss E (6), however, Little Man (4) really wants to do everything she is doing. He just follows along. Our calendar is a work in progress, I will post what we do exactly when I get things ironed out. Our first day was a disaster. 

We started our week off with a treasure hunt! I read Going on a Bear Hunt to the kids and then told them that I had hidden some school supplies around the house. The way the could find them was by finding the 'x'; 'x' marks the spot! They had a lot of fun. Miss E even told me she wanted me to hide things again so she could continue looking for things.

While I had Miss E work on her math, I had Little Man work on the cover to his ABC Binder. I got out my letter stamps (I found them at Target) and let him go to town. Once he was finished decorating his cover page, he worked on putting the stamps back into their little box. This kept him busy while I finished up math with his sister. A total win for me!

Both kids had fun making binoculars. They were both excited about using them to 'find' things. Little Man even told me when he was done that he wanted them stored up high on a shelf so they wouldn't get ruined. Pretty much the first time he took pride in one of his projects.

The rest of week one pretty much fell apart as far as the 'lesson plan' goes.
I bought this large magnetic oil pan from Wal-Mart. I pulled out all my capital letter magnets and put them in alphabetical order. I asked Little Man to find the X. He did and then he played with the letters. When he was through with the letters I got out my magnetic sticks and he started 'building' with them. He did make a rectangle among other shapes. I actually left this up for the rest of the week and he played with it several times.

 We also made our treasure map and put on our first piece. He just loved being able to use the marker.

Miss E has a lot of copywork to do with her curriculum and I thought it would be fun to work on her spelling words without pencil and paper. Of course, if you do one thing with one child you have to do it for both. So, out came the shaving cream. Little man worked on making 'x's. NOTE: Next time I will just put the shaving cream on the table. The cookie sheets kept sliding around and both kids got frustrated.

He did a couple of more little activities with the letter 'x'.  Mostly our week was spent trying to balance 1st grade with pre-k and keeping everyone, included this mom, happy.


You can find God's Little Explorers Week 1 here.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Reality Check

I have many, many friends who homeschool their children. Some are like me and are entering their second year and others are further down the road. I had heard it said that 1st grade was a lot more work than Kindergarten ever would be. I nodded my head, said I can understand that, and continued on in the shelter of my own mind, working to finish Kindergarten. I think in my head I knew 1st grade was going to be more, I just had no idea how much more until we started a week and a half ago.

OH MY WORD!! I have yet to complete our first weeks worth of work. It has been 8 weekdays and we are barely on day 4. To be fair I did take Miss E into her school to take the MAPS test and then I had a workshop that pretty much took up a day and then we had a play date with friends we had not seen all summer; we lost several days with those activities. So, maybe it really isn't as bad as I think it is but for a planner, this is bad!

I talked with a very wise friend and she reminded me again that 1st grade is a lot more demanding and that until you start it you have no idea. I was very encouraged after I talked with her. It is funny how sometimes you hear things, thoughts run through your head, but until you have that one-on-one conversation things don't really 'sink in'. It is like when you tell your kids something over and over and they still do it, but when a third party comes in and tells them the exact same thing they 'understand', my conversation with my friend was exactly that!

So, I'm going to have to squash the box that I hold homeschool in, in my head. The plan that worked for Kindergarten is not going to work for 1st grade. How I planned last year is not going to work this year. Our curriculum is broken up into weeks which amount to 5 days, however for us it might take just a little bit longer. Not because Miss E is slow or anything, we just have other commitments that will take up time. One of the beauties of homechooling is the flexibility one has to teach their own children.

Our first day went great! I'm praying that we find the rhythm that makes most of our days successful both for Miss E and for Little Man. Letting go of the 'calendar' is going to be tough, but I think it is something God wants me to work on. I know that HE called me to this adventure and He will help me get through it as long as I trust in Him.