Monday, January 9, 2012


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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Teach me Chess Mommy!

How many four year olds want to learn chess? Over the past few months chess pieces have found their way into dollhouse beds, added to train cars, wacked around by cats, baked in toy muffin tins, and nearly sucked into the vacuum. Trying to keep them from getting lost was a loosing battle until now! Giant chess! Check out this set at TRU. Amazon has a set as well but for $20 more.

What is not to love about huge pieces that will never find their way under the vacuum? Love it! The only thing I hate is the vinyl "board". We do our best not to buy any vinyl products due to the toxic off gassing so I may replace this with a canvas board eventually. The first 24 hours it smelled horrible and momma earned a severe headache so I suggest airing it out before letting small lungs breathe the nastiness. Smelly toxic mat aside this set rocks! The pieces are perfect size for kids and everyone gets a clear view of the game. The king appears to be approximately 9". The mat is 3' x 3' and clearly labeled.

All the girls have helped set up the pieces and are learning the proper names as well. Sugar Bean is eager to sharpen her skills and played a very good game today. She is doing quite well understanding the value of each piece and was nearly devastated when I showed her a poor move would cause her to loose her queen. She took great pleasure in capturing my pieces and held a very strong opposition. She would show me which piece she wanted to move and I would help her foresee my next move if she moved to that spot. Talk about a smart kid! An hour later I was finally able to checkmate her, only after we both put each other in check numerous times.

She is not pouting but giggling that I finally caught her king! Lol! I miss having someone to play with and who better to teach! She loves having mommys undivided attention. I'm not sure skipping naptime is going to be good everyday but it is the ONLY time the two of us can focus on her schoolwork uninterrupted and she is craving knowledge. Momma needs a siesta too so we will have to split the time somehow. Don't hesitate to teach your child something you enjoy doing just because you think they won't get it, they may just surprise you! Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Homeschool Mom Pet Peeves and wooden love

So perhaps it's just me but I get annoyed with educational toys and books that are incorrect or just plain old lacking. For example...

I LoVe fact I really love puzzles! I seem to collect them for my children although hubby is quite certain they are for me. I have an infatuation with wood toys in general and beautiful wood puzzles are on the top of that list. It may of began as a kid admiring the eye candy of wooden toys in my Great Grandmothers small private school or when my first wood shop project was inspired by younger sibling and I made simple wood puzzles with the scroll saw. But either way I can not resist picking up these gorgeous natural toys. That being said along w its warm fuzzy reminiscing I must say educational mistakes annoy the crap outa me!
This awesome wood puzzle from a well known big box store sporting that yellow smiley face and roll back prices, well it's just flawed and yet I intend to remedy it. Sugar Bean stated the RED is actually OrAnGe. In fact none of the pieces are even remotely RED! So she asked if I could fix it. Why sure! Let me just whip out my magic paint fixer! No really I'm going to have to fix it!

The other issue I have... There is an absence of INDIGO! Say what? Okay here comes another pet peeve.... It's ROY G BIV folks! Not Roy G Bp. I don't know why I'm so obsessed with the proper color names but I am. Even the munchkins have been instructed its not ", purple"
It is "blue, indigo, violet." Is it just me or is it a weird homeschool mom thing?

Here's my other issue with a puzzle I haven't bought yet and still might if I can remedy it. The Solar System. That big box store that I dread has a very nice wooden puzzle of the plants and you guessed it... minus PLUTO. Ugh! Okay I know it's like some dwarf planet or something but it's still a planet to me! So this will be like teaching creation evolution to my kids... Some believe this and some believe that. I'm strongly tempted to buy the darn thing and slap a Pluto sticker on it! I also saw LeapFrog Tag reader has a solar system map that I'm interested to see how they interpret Pluto.

Many toys have come thru these doors with good intentions just for me to get frustrated with a mistake or misinformation. I want things my children play and learn from to not conflict with what is right. One such toy was supposed to say alphabet sounds and failed with pronunciation.

Yes I'm finicky with my children's education and what I expose them to. What mother isn't? I love love love beautifully made wood toys and anyone who has been to my house can tell you, our home is full of great wood toys and only a few plastic that pass my approval. Not to mention I just want them to last thru more than one kid. I believe the toys my children play with influence them in ways we may not notice but they do. I know my childhood toys influenced me and my choices later in life. It's sound silly and maybe it is but I'm a weird homeschool mom so who cares!?!!!!

Do you care what your kids play with?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My First Hands-On Bible

Last I checked I don't know any toddlers or preschoolers who will sit long enough for you to read anything without pictures or something to intrigue them. Well I do believe we have finally found a way to atleast get some munchkins to sit thru Bible time and actually get something out of it. I present to you.... My First Hands-On Bible.

The kiddos love it and so do I. Sugar Bean always begs for school time to begin and now she even enjoys Bible time made specifically for preschoolers!

There are some great reviews on this Bible all over the web but I just wanted to share our experience thus far.

Each of the 85 Bible stories are packed with hands-on activities to keep your young audience from straying away.

As you read the story you come across these little hands that give an activity to involve little ones in the story. Today we were reading about the creation of man. I love how it even has the verse numbers as you are reading along and it's actual scripture not a diluted story book.

At the end of the story there is a "Jesus connection" to bring the meaning of the story right back to the root of Jesus.
Two cute characters Cuddles and Pockets give the children further activities. In this story Cuddles has a rhyme time that you do simple motions with. There is also an activity suggestion, in this case we molded people out of homemade play dough as God created Man.

"Let's talk" gives some discussion questions to get your kids talking about the story. Finally Pockets the kangaroo lets us know "it's time to pray" and suggests a simple prayer.

This really is the girls favorite part of our school day. I have a feeling we will be going thru this Bible atleast three time as I'm sure June Bug will enjoy the activities more as she gets older. For now she sits and listens and plays along while Sugar Bean and Wiggles do most of the acting and talking. Im so happy to finally have a Bible they can get involved in! We still have quiet reading time where they mimic me sitting and reading my Bible quietly but this really gets their attention.
My First Hands-On Bible is written in the New living translation which although I prefer KJV, I find this very easy reading for the little ones. I have also seen there is a hands-on Bible we will grow into as well made by Tyndale.

Enjoy those teaching years and make every moment a moment to learn.

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Tip Tuesday

Yea I know I'm a day late but in my defense I had to see if these tip worked before I posted it and that meant waiting for kids to go to sleep!

What do you clean/polish chrome with??

Aluminum foil dampened w water! A little circular rubbing on this chrome and bam look at that baby shine! I don't have a before photo but I can tell you the chrome had some tiny rust spots and was a bit icky.
A little elbow grease and no chemicals, it's a win win. Now there is a scientific explanation for this amazingly simple process but we all know the joy of finding something out is in the research... So get to googling, it's out there somewhere. I know I read it!
Happy shining!
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall party with snow!

Snow in October? Yep we enjoyed our first snow for the season today and my oh my it is beautiful. Just wanted to share some pics...

View of the back hillside

The front walk is blocked by down trees :-(

The hens are not happy about the sudden change in weather!

Some quick decorating for the much requested "party" that momma was continually questioned about for the past two weeks. We just ate dinner at the cool pumpkin table and danced around with costumes from the dress up box.
If you are curious how I made the "bat tree" as it has been named, you'll need...
Scrawny corn stalks (from our failed corn crop)
Tree limbs (we used crab apple)
Canning jar
Pack of rubber bats (found these at Kmart)
Spider web stuff
Optional marbles or sand to weigh down jar or stack some pumpkins around :-)

I just crammed everything in the jar, Sugar Bean hung the bats and we strung some webbing. That's it! Instant decor! I put some candy in canning jars because who doesn't love some country charm?!

We don't go all creepy Halloween here just fun kiddi stuff. Painting pumpkins, make cookies, a few coloring projects, and throw around some streamers. Then momma makes dinner and we eat. Super simple and just enough excitement to make the kids happy.

Wiggles making cookies.

Sugar Bean too! They ate half of them by lunchtime!

Snow before November is just crazy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tip Tuesday

We often have lil ones making big messes and momma can only keep up with so much or shall I say put up with so much! Don't overlook the opportunity to teach even the wee ones how to clean up after themselves.

Spilled milk? Hand them a rag as well and let them assist in the clean up. No point in yelling or throwing a fit just show them how to clean it up.
June Bug is notorious for coloring the floor, furniture and appliances. So....

Time for baby to clean up...

Never overlook the chance to teach!

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