Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

Because child rearing takes so much thought, especially when home educating.

Important Subject for Education

I remember when I was in school, eons ago ;) , we had home economics, sewing, wood shop, metal shop, and drafting. I actually took metal shop, wood shop, and drafting. In the school I went to in the 70’s, both boys and girls took all 5 classes. Actually one year it was wood shop and the next year it was metal shop.

Life Skills!

While educating my children, I ran errands with them. One of them would be in charge of reading the grocery list (even at a young age) and ensure that we got everything we needed. I also taught them how to know which item was the best value.

They each had assigned household chores and all helped tidy up each day. In their senior year, each child was responsible for planning and making one dinner each week. I wanted to ensure that they would be able to cook and not rely on restaurants. Yes, even my boys did this their last year of high school; I wanted them to be able to help their wives when needed.

It’s important to teach these life skills to children, so that they will be able to handle things as young adults and for the rest of their lives. They should also be taught how to care for a vehicle, yard maintenance, and gardening would be helpful too.

Of course don’t forget about handling money, savings, giving, writing checks, and balancing checkbooks. I had my children give gifts on Christmas to extended family; I didn’t want them to just expect to receive gifts themselves. I tried to encourage them to give something that was thoughtful and useful but since we never had excess funds, they frequently made gifts. I’m sure some were not appreciated but they were accepted with love. :)

So as you are planning your next school session, be sure to include life skills in the plan. We need to eat and clean up things every day of our lives, so it doesn’t need to be confined to just school days either. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Country Videos and Science

As I was going through my old emails I came across a couple that I thought you might be interested in.

Country Videos

One lady made playlists on a youtube account for a variety of countries so that she could share them with her children in their studies. She graciously shared the link to her playlists with a group I was in.

Well, I checked and the playlists are still there, albeit some of the videos are no longer available. I thought there was enough here to help make your studies a little easier. ;)

Playlists

She has since added a few new playlists that are not country related but the rest are still there.

Science

I was signed up for Krampf’s emails. He sent out so many interesting things. In my email purge I found a link to his website, which is still available today. :) He has a variety of videos with experiments to do in many areas of science.

The Happy Scientist

This page tells how to find videos/experiments that you want to incorporate in whatever area you are studying.

Disclaimer: I do not believe he is a Christian and thus you may have to overlook some things or use them for conversation starters with you children.

I remember there was a show on PBS that my children enjoyed watching. Inevitably it would say something about evolution or the age of the earth or something in most episodes. Rather than disallow the viewing of the show, I just would say “Not True” from the kitchen as I was working in there. It got to the point that the kids would yell it out when they heard it. :D

This carried over into other things we watched too. If a show said a curse word, we’d say, “Bad Word!” :D It made the point and we didn’t feel the need to turn it off immediately because of an infraction or two.

Well, I hope these two blasts from the past will help you in your children’s educational journey. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

~ Lifeofjoy.me

Early Learning Activities and Books (Online Digital Color Books)

I was cleaning out my email yesterday because I have WAY, WAY, WAY, too many emails, like approaching the limit too many. :p As you might imagine, they go back for quite a few years. :D

Part of the reason I’m a pack-rat, even with emails, is because I homeschooled for so long and never wanted to be without useful information. I also signed up for quite a few email lists. :D I know, that is a shocker. :D

Well, since I cannot seem to just do a blanket “delete all”, I’m going through them and keeping some that I can’t bear to part with. In so doing, I’ve come across some interesting old links.

Early Learning Activities

This first one has pdfs with activities with early literacy activities for 3-5 year olds. There are 36 of these activity cards, so that is one per school week. These are basically just fun activities but they help get your child ready for learning to read and such. This link has links to some simple line drawings to use for the activities in the pdfs. And this page has links to the pdfs for book suggestions for the activities.

I love the activity of drawing to music. It is such an interesting idea. I also love that Harold and the Purple Crayon is one of the suggested books.

Another website I found had a lot of preschool games but unfortunately most of them don’t work anymore. However I did find some really interesting worksheets on their printables page. It is a color by letter, where letters are assigned colors and any section with that letter is colored that color. Here’s an example:

It has a print button on the page. I think it is adorable! There are other kinds of worksheets available to print as well and then there are some kinds, like crosswords, that sadly no longer work.

Old Books Online

The other interesting find I want to share with you today is this children’s books online site. It’s really interesting. I haven’t been able to go through it very thoroughly yet. I did see that it had Alice in Wonderland and A Christmas Carol.

However I also saw this cute little book, Axel the Freeway Cat, so I know they have some picture books too. And this Baby’s Own Aesop is adorable! It rhymes! Did I mention they are in full color too? Lovely!

There is Father Goose by L. Frank Baum. Yep, that Baum, the author of the Oz books. Of course I only knew that from the television show Sarah Connor Chronicles. :D There are a number of children’s books here. You just have to be careful because they are not all in English. So if you are interested in books in other languages, there are some at this website. They say most of their books are in English but there are a variety of others as well.

I’ve spent way too much time enjoying this site. :) I even found Heidi! Tiff is going to love that.  I hope you enjoy these links. Let me know what your favorite is and if you found any cool books on the International Children’s Digital Library. By the way, the Simple Search has the easiest interface and appeal. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Christian Alternative to Camp NaNoWriMo

If you or a family member is a writer, you may know of or have heard about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place in the month of November, and I’ve written about here.

In April and July, they hold Camp NaNoWriMo. Where instead of a 50,000+ word goal, you set your own custom goal. It can be editing chapters, writing a word goal, writing or editing a certain amount of time or whatever you choose–a very personal goal. In camp NaNoWriMo, you are placed into a virtual cabin where you are surrounded by 10+ writers. They have forums on their website too (although Tiffany never felt it to be a safe place and stayed away from there). All of this is an encouraging place for writers to “mingle and mix and be” and actually write or work on their writing.

Recently NaNoWritMo has been very vocal with the LGBTQ movement and in a recent email stated that all cops are racist. When a friend of my daughter’s friend replied to said email, saying, politely, that it is not a fact that all cops are racist, NaNoWriMo responded with a nasty, harsh, and extreme email.

This along with NaNoWriMo pushing their liberal views and political agendas, this was all that many conservative Christians could take. Consequently, there are many groups being formed as an alternative. One such group is The King’s Daughters’ Writing Camp.  It is hosted on the app Slack, an instant messenger app.

It doesn’t even really kick off until July and already 20+ people have signed up and are  already engaging with one another providing encouragement and feedback. Some people have brainstormed with others working through story blocks and other such situations. They’ve done many writing sprints and are getting to know one another both in their own tents and group members at large.

If you or your daughters are interested in joining send an email to: kingsdaughterswritingcamp@gmail.com . You will have to have a slack account to participate but it is free too.

Tiff says, “What’s really cool is:

  1. Every cabin has a group Auntie who is a mature woman of God.
  2. There are three “channels” on the group where you can do writing sprints and talk about your writing.
  3. There is a “channel” for the mechanics of writing where you can ask about grammar, story structure, outlining, et cetera.
  4. They have not only a chapel “channel” where they share a daily scripture and spiritual encouragement but there is also a prayer circle “channel” and you will be prayed for, no matter how big or small your prayer is.
  5. It is an extremely safe environment for women/girls only, where debating theology or politics is not acceptable.”

She also said she could continue talking about the virtues of this group for a very long time but decided to cut it shorter for me. :D She did want me to mention that the conversations are not limited to writing. ;) She’s only been involved for a day and has been so encouraged and progressing in her works in progress already.

Seriously, this is for all age writers! Okay, maybe not ALL ages . . . but you know, it would probably be a very rare instance for a very young child to want to/be able to participate. ;) And if you are a ‘more mature’ woman, you are welcome too. ;)

I’m so excited to see how encouraged Tiffany is already! :) She did say that there are quite a few homeschoolers and homeschool graduates participating too, which is nice for us also. :)

Summer is a great time to encourage children to write. It keeps up their skills and keeps them busy.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Dollar Tree Art Supplies

I wish that I had taken pictures one of the last three times I was in Dollar Tree recently! I’m such a horrible blogger sometimes. :D

In the past I’ve gotten Apple Barrel or Folk Art acrylic paints from Walmart very inexpensively. But when I went to Dollar Tree the last several times (all within the last month), we saw that they have paints now. These bottles are bigger than Apple Barrel and Folk Art. They also have washable paint for children to use.

Tiffany needed some acrylic paint for a wall mural she wanted to do in her room on her closet doors. We have a fair amount of paint but she needed a bit more. We’d heard that Walmart was out or very low on paint, so since we stopped at Dollar Tree first and saw they had some paint, we decided to give it a try.

They have some acrylic paint in tubes and since they were out of white in the bottle, we got one in the tube. We also got blue, green, and black in the bottles. She used the black and really liked it. She said the quality seemed a little different from the Apple Barrel she’d finished off, which was a rather old bottle, so she isn’t comparing new to new.

She said that the white paint in the tube wasn’t opaque enough. This week they had white in a bottle, so we picked up one of those. We’ll see how it works.

But all this to say, if you or you children need some inexpensive art supplies, check out Dollar Tree. They have a decent variety crafting items available. Of course, all stores are not the same. The one we’ve been going to recently is the biggest one in our area. Our normal store, a little closer to home, is a bit smaller and doesn’t have the same craft supplies but they still have a good variety. So if your usual store doesn’t have what you are looking for, check out other stores in your area. We have six that I can think of off the top of my head and there are probably more. (Yep, I just searched and there are about 13 to choose from in the Tulsa area.)

They have stickers, hot glue sticks, glitter, wood items, craft sticks, paint, little canvases, pom poms, flowers, “rocks”, posterboard, pens, craft kits, posters, and coloring books, just to name a few items. You do have to look around the store though. The store we were in today had two sections of flowers and floral supplies. They have ribbon of different types in one floral section.

There’s the office type supply section and the school/teacher type supplies are sometimes nearby and other times back by the party supplies. There are coloring posters in the kids section and in the office supply/books section some regular-sized coloring books and even sometimes some extra large ones. There are stickers in several sections as well.

I hope this helps you and your family afford to try your hand at some new crafting endeavors. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Two Free Summer Studies: Bugs and Stars

I found a website that is offering two free studies this summer. They will begin next week.

Backyard Bugs

The first is a study on backyard bugs. Go here for a description and to sign up. I think it looks really interesting and wish it’d been available when my bug-loving boys were little. ;)

Stargazing

The second is Summer Stargazing for Families. I actually signed up for this one and intend to “play along”. It’ll be fun to get Michael’s laser out and share this with my family, even though we are all adults now. :) Go here for a description of the “course” and to sign up.

I hope you’ll check these out and have some interesting endeavors this summer!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Revisiting Some OLD Websites with Good Educational Content

I’ve got way too many emails in my inbox! Seriously, thousands and thousands of them. So the other day I was going through and deleting some. But because I’m a packrat, even digitally :D , I couldn’t just blindly delete some things.

I opened some and found some very old links still active. I’ll be sorting through these and deciding what is good to share here and what isn’t. Today I’ve got one that is good, especially for younger children. :)

Learning Treasures is one that I found was still active and still had some working links and cool ideas. There are lots of things to do with younger children and even some for older children. Some links don’t work any longer but there are some good things here. So spend a little time and see what fun you can find.

There are some interesting science ideas as well as some spelling lists and worksheets for grades 1-3. I really liked the parts of the plant salad activity. :) I think the Printables links all work but I haven’t checked every one of them.

One of the links on Learning Treasures site goes to another neat site: Kids Kreate. This one has some nice printables and overall cool things. The homemade stickers made with jello is cool. Most of the links on Kids Kreate are active working links. :)

I hope these are helpful to you. It was interesting to find some active links from emails that were soooo old (2012) :D.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Site Reminder: Homeschool Freebie

Periodically I feel I just have to remind you of the Homeschool Freebie of the Day website. If you are a subscriber, you receive more freebies there. I love their resources. Recent gifts have been the Handbook of Nature Studies.

They haven’t had consistent updates on the website lately but I scrolled back and found some really nice ones. There’s some on music theory and stories of great musicians. There’s also a link for visual processing skills, which I thought was neat. There’s also an exclusive pdf for Kids in the Kitchen.

It really is a treasure trove of resources. I hope you’ll go check them out and find something useful.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

How to do a Biblical Character Study

I was reading in Acts and came across Barnabus and Paul. I started wondering about him because I’d only ever thought of him as Paul’s “side-kick” so to speak. So I did a quick Bible study on him and I thought I’d share my process with you today, even though it is quite simple. Sometimes the simple things are easily overlooked. ;)

  • Step One:  look up the person’s name in the appropriate Bible concordance (I believe there are different ones for different versions of the Bible). I think there are others but I use the Strong’s Concordance or sometimes I’ll use the referencing system in my Sword Bible. At any rate, look up all the verses with the name of the person you are studying in it. Be sure to read before and after the stated verse to get the context and find any scriptures that use a pronoun to refer to your character.

Be thorough! You never know what small piece of information you may glean.

:D Well, that can be the end or if there isn’t much information, you can move on to other resources and see what Bible scholars and historians have to say about your character of choice. Be sure to read your Bible’s information about the book(s) that have verses containing the person you are studying. My Bible has an introduction to each book of the Bible and sometimes has good information there.

For my study of Barnabus, I found that he was actually the one that brought Paul to the disciples (in Jerusalem, I think) and stood up for him in the very beginning. I found that quite interesting. There were a number of things I found interesting but I’ll share that another time.

As you read each passage for the character chosen, be sure to take notes. I took notes and since I haven’t done this in a while, they weren’t precise enough and now I’ll have to go back and look at it all over again. But that is a good thing because it will give me time to look at the passages again with fresh eyes.

I know this is pretty simple but it really is that easy. Just let the Bible speak for itself and read enough of each passage to be sure you understand all of what is going on in the passage.

I hope this helps you and your children as you study God’s Word. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Using Art to De-Stress for People of All Ages

Art is a great de-stressor. I’m guessing that during a time like this, even children can use some de-stressing. :)

I highly suggest introducing them to Zentangle. Look at most of my Wednesday posts or ones tagged zentangle, to get an idea of what it is.

It is simply a process of drawing simple patterns together. There are some websites that have a collection of these patterns.

  • Pattern Collections This one has skill level groupings of the patterns so that you can start with easier patterns.
  • Tangle Patterns There is a selector on the left side of the webpage, which allows you to select patterns of a certain type among which include hearts, orbs, diamonds, grid based, and a number of other ways.
  • Musterquelle This one is in another country and language but it also includes fragments and reticula, which are fun to play around with.

The basics of drawing a tile are to

  1. take a three and a half inch square paper (but you can use any size you desire)
  2. put a dot in each corner
  3. connect the dots, in straight, curvy, wavy, or even loopy lines
  4. draw a string be it a Z or X or loops or whatever (those sites have some string suggestions as well)
  5. then choose a pattern and fill a section the pattern
  6. add a little shading, either simple or more complex

It really is easy and can be quite fun. I hope you and your children will give it a try.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº