Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

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

History, Geography, and Biographies

Stacks ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany and I had a library day last week because we needed to use some faster internet than what we have at home to do some updates and downloads on our laptops. Then we also wanted to browse the stacks.

I had seen a kids non-fiction book series that I wanted to check out. I’ll share some of that next week after I’ve had a chance to read some of them. But while I was looking for these books I had an idea that I wished I would have had when my kids were young.

Here is the idea . . . take your children to the children’s non-fiction section. Point out the 900’s section and have your children each pick out one book for them to read and later tell you about over the next week or two. Our library has a really interesting selection of books in this section. There are books about people, places, and historical events.

If you are prone to only spend time in the library once every couple of months or so, then have them plan accordingly with maybe a couple alternatives in case they just cannot read one of the books they brought home.

Of course, be sure to have them write down the title, author, and date they read it on a log to keep track of it all. But I recommend keeping it as a reminder of all the books they’ve read and things they’ve learned rather than one of those logs that makes you write down your times and/or how long your read. There is some research that the latter type of log can actually be a deterrent to reading.

They can keep this log on any piece of paper. You can dress it up with stickers or you can print out one of these available online free of charge. (Remember to stay clear of the ones with times, unless it is something your child desires.)

I hope these ideas and resources are helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Dandelions and Home Education

Dandeliions ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy father told me dandelions were weeds. I remember seeing him digging them out of the yard he had sodded. I didn’t understand why they were bad but Daddy didn’t like them, so neither did I.

Mom did not like them because it brought back sad memories of when she was a little girl. She knew things were tight financially when her mom would send her out to pick dandelion greens for dinner, which would be made into a gravy . . . a gravy Mom did not like.

Fast forward MANY, MANY years and I realized dandelions were just a wild flower. Sometimes it had the poor taste of growing in people’s well-manicured, lush green lawns. But I live way out in the country now and have grown to appreciate dandelions for what they are. :)

So when I saw the title of Sarah’s post over on her website, My Joy-Filled Life, I was intrigued. The title was “Discovering Dandelions“. I had to go see what she had to say on the topic. Knowing she is a homeschooler, piqued my interest all the more.

I love how she did not influence her children’s opinion of that ‘flower’ but instead allowed them to discover for themselves and make up their own minds. But she didn’t stop there. I encourage you to go read her article; it isn’t very long, so won’t take a lot of time.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Help for Fidgety Kids

Help for Fidgety Kids ~ Lifeofjoy.meI sure wish some of these ideas and products had been available and I had known about them when my children were young. My kids all seemed to need to tap, pat, swing, or make noise or some combination of all these most of the time. I cannot tell you the number of times I had to tell them to stop that. :D Even today, in their twenties, I occasionally tell one of them that I need him to stop making noise. LOL

Well, I read that some schools are banning these fidget spinners. I can understand why but yet it is sad for those that can really benefit from using them. At any rate, this article has some really good links to some homemade fidget toys.

Here’s a link to a recipe to make your own Calming Glitter Slime. It looks really interesting. I think I’d like to have some. ;)

Then there are these Lego Calming Stress Balls. I think I’d like one or more of these as well. Years ago, there was this one kind of small ball that when I squeezed it, it felt really good. It was a different sensation but I really liked it. I wonder if these are anything like it.

Here is a post with links to some homemade spinners, like the ones that are all the rage right now. If your child is old enough, you could look at this page with him or her, let him/her make their own fidget spinner.Help Fidgety Kids ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I got this fidget cube for Sean and Tiffany recently, very inexpensively. They really like them.

This is a good post on why children fidget. What I took away from it is that children fidget because they don’t get enough movement.

They even say that heavy chores are helpful for those who feel the need to fidget. Hey! This is a win-win. This post even links to a list of appropriate chores.

And this page has LOTS of fidgety ideas.

Don’t get overwhelmed. Just pick one or two to check out. Most of these links came from the page on the first link. There are many links on most of that site’s pages.

I hope these can be helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Great Resource

I checked out My Joy-Filled Life last week, to see if the monthly scripture handwriting was available. While I was there a few things caught my eye.

 

First there was this post with lots of links for games to make grammar fun. There are some really great ideas here!!! Check it out!

 

Then there was this one for cardboard box adventures. :) It even has a book suggestion to go along with this idea.

 

 

This also caught my eye. Apparently she has activities/links to activities to do based on a book month (like Five in a Row). So cool! This is the one that I saw and as I looked it over and got to the bottom, I saw she has lots of stories done and/or planned. What a great resource for mommies with little ones.

 

This is a great resource. I hope you’ll find something there you can use.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Animal Names

Animal words ~ Lifeofjoy.meWords are fun. Here are some I was reminded of this past week.

Pachyderm: I thought this was just an elephant but technically it is any thick skinned, very large mammal. This includes elephant but also rhinoceros and hippopotomus.

Dromedary: I thought this was just a camel but as it turns out, it is specifically a camel with one hump. A two hump camel is called a Bactrian.

I always have a hard time with telling the difference between alligators and crocodiles. But evidently the difference is in the snout. Crocodiles have the pointier snout and crocodiles have the more curved. It sure would have been easier to remember if the curved snouted one was the crocodile since the first letter is a curved letter. So I guess that means I have to remember that it isn’t the way I think it should be, analytically.

If you can see it, the crocodiles have their fourth bottom row teeth show over the top jaw, so it looks like a toothy grin. Or so they tell me.

These are some words to get you started.  You can stop here or use it as a spring board to talk about other easily confused critters or other big/fun words.

Here are some more ideas:

  • dragonfiles/damselflies
  • apes (gorillas, chimps, and such)
  • butterflies/moths

I hope this sparks some interest and fun for you and your children.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Games for Learning

Games ~ Lifeofjoy.meI just wanted to remind you today that games can be a good educational tool. I have a board game called NumberQuest that I played with my kids. Each child plays at whatever mathematical level they are at individually. I like math, so this one is a great one for me.

Microsoft Casual Games has a couple of numbers games that can be good to help you or your child. One is Sudoku. If you are not familiar with Sudoku, it uses the numbers 1-9 and they are used once in each row, column, and grid. It is a very good game which promotes thinking through these kinds of concepts.

Another math game I found recently, but have played without knowing its name, is Kakuro. This one I’ve played in paper and pencil format but recently found there is a free game app. I wish it were a Microsoft Casual Game because they have daily challenges, so there is always a new game but it is still a good game. This one is like a crossword puzzle where the digits in each square across add up to the total specified and a number can only be used once in any calculation. It’s some good thinking practice. It takes a bit to get started but I found that if I use the pencil feature and place possibles in each square, I can find the right answer in a few tries.

This week I also found some good games on Gamehouse.com which may be found elsewhere and maybe even for free but I haven’t looked. One is Sumico where you are given a target number and you click adjacent tiles to sum up to the target given. It is really good and makes you think a bit. It includes negative numbers as well.

Another game I played on Gamehouse is Chillout 2048 where you slide like numbers together until you reach the sum of 2048. There is some strategy necessary and lots of practice on the doubling of numbers.

Well, this is running a bit long, so I’ll just remind you that there are also a lot of word games available as well. Microsoft casual games has a couple I like that are quick to play: Wordament and SnapAttack. In Wordament it is like the Boggle game where you are given grid with letters and you create words by clicking on adjacent letters. SnapAttack you are given a rack of letters and a grid with a several words on it and you try to use all of your letters intersecting one of the words on the board.

There are some apps on my phone that I enjoy that provide word building: Word Bird, Word Cookies, and Word Monsters are a couple I can think of right now.

I enjoy games from Gamehouse.com and have purchased some from them without incident. They allow you to play games for an hour to see if you like it enough to purchase it. They also have a monthly subscription where you can play all of their games.

It is good to exercise the brain. I hope this will serve to remind you that there can be value in playing games.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Easter Unit Link

Easter ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m going to keep this really succinct today because you need to run over to the Teaching Home newsletter and do their Five Day Easter Unit. Don’t attempt to do everything listed unless you take some time to do so. It is a very good Bible study with suggestions for music and films to enjoy.

I know Easter is in just a few short days but this may have exactly what you are needing to round out your Resurrection Day Celebration.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Easter is Almost Here . . . Countdown

Easter is Here Almost ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe never did anything very big for our children for Easter. I got them Easter outfits and gave them Easter baskets with minimal candy but that was about it. Then when Tiffany was young, I saw a cute book called Benjamin’s Box which told the Easter story. It had a ‘carton’ of eggs that went with it with a little reminder of a part of the story.

You can make your own Resurrection Eggs, as they were called. Several people have put together their own version. Here’s a link to one, or here’s one, and here’s another, all these are pretty similar. These can be done over the twelve days prior to Easter. If you are going to do that this year, you better get hopping because you’re already a day behind. But you could choose to do something like this one and tell the story all in one day. I don’t think it will leave as strong an impact for ALL the individual parts but more for the overall story.

Then there are links that I should have found before Lent. These would be really good to keep remembering and preparing properly for Easter/Resurrection Sunday. This one has free printables for several holidays. For Easter it has 30 names of Jesus, with scriptures which looks really cool and could be done beginning with Easter, instead of ending with Easter (since it is nearly Easter this year). When you click to download the Holidays printables, you will be prompted to give your email address where you will be sent the link to the download; you can always unsubscribe later.

Here are two other countdowns that begin with Lent. Print it now for next year. ;) The first one is some words of Jesus every day. This one is just a group of different readings and such each day.

And finally, this one has several ideas on activities and object lessons. Oh! I nearly forgot. I shared a couple of easy, last minute ideas on this post from last year.

I hope these links will give you some ideas to make this holiday special for you and your children.

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

 

Listening Pages/Sermon Notes

Listening Pages ~ lifeofjoy.me{First I want to beg you to please excuse the formatting on this page. I have messed with it and messed with it to no avail! I wish it were nicely formatted and neatly aligned but alas, it is not. Now on to the mess post. ;) }

I wish I had heard about these when my kids were young. It is a neat idea for children in churches where the they stay in the service with the adults. It is so tempting to allow them to occupy themselves with electronics or books or some such activity. But, although they may pick up a few things here and there, they will not be gleaning the information they could if they were actively engaged.

Well, these pages help do just that. There are even versions for young ones before they learn to read. I’m including a lot of links for you to find the version you and your children prefer. And for any of you that go to my church or one of its sister churches, and are interested in me creating one with words frequently spoken in our church, let me know (comment on this post) and I’ll be glad to give it a try.

Without further ado, here are the links for you to download and print. There are a couple different styles for children who can read.
Pre-Readers Listening Pages:
Anytime
Easter Themed
Christmas Themed

Part of this one can be used with either age child.

Fluent-Readers Listening Pages:
This one has links to five different anytime pages and then links to Christmas and Easter (Resurrection Sunday) pages.
This one has a nice format.
Another anytime page
One more anytime page

With these you have to sign up for their newsletter but the sheets look really good. You can always unsubscribe right away:

From Blessed Beyond a Doubt

From Path Through the Narrow Gate

This last one has a lot of links for you to surf through:

A Link of Links

I hope these are helpful to you!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Book Recommendation: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/Great Glass Elevator

~ Lifeofjoy.meSeveral months ago, Tiffany shared this thing she read online. I’m not sure exactly what link she followed but I found one to share with you. At any rate, the information had to do with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Doctor Who. Yes, we are Whovians. :) Okay maybe not Whovians but we do like Doctor Who.

The theory is that Willy Wonka is the last regeneration of the Doctor! If you follow the link above, you can read all the reasons why some would agree.

This theory had me wondering about the books, so I requested them from the library. I finally got around to reading them. I have to say that with this idea in mind, I enjoyed reading them. Not that it wouldn’t have been enjoyable otherwise.

In other ways these books are good to read, especially the first one, because it shows negative character traits in some of the other children and gives you a good springboard for conversations about these.

There’s also a section where the Oompa-Loompas sing a song about what children did before television. I’m not all that well-versed in the older books the author is referencing but I did get Beatrix Potter, of course it is pretty spelled-out for you. LOL There were a few others I recognized too. It would be interesting to use this as a springboard to find which books he meant.

The second book does show that it isn’t just children that can have character struggles and that in the end, to be happy with what you have.

Overall these were good books and if you are a Whovian, then you can really appreciate them in a different manner. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº