Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

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

Scheduling the School Year

Our friends are still here, so today’s post is a quickie but a goodie. ;)

How Much Time

First up is a link that shares how much time children should spend on “school” time and gives an example or two, as well.

You do have to scroll down a bit but there is a large purple graphic that summarizes it for you. The rest of the post is about scheduling and has some good information. :)

Scheduling

I actually visited this page before the previous page (and it led me to that one). It has information about scheduling both the daily kind of schedule as well as some different yearly schedules.

She talks about block, loop, checklist, and term, as well as year-round and public school calendars. It’s an informative article.

I hope these helps you set up daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly schedules. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Early Learning (and older) Freebies

I landed on this page from a link in a homeschool freebie Friday email. I saw the playdough mat and wondered what that was, so I followed the directions and downloaded it.

It is cute but could be a bit of an ink user, if that is a concern for you. It is in color but has things left in white for the child to add to the mat with playdough. One page has an ostrich and its nest and asks the child to put eggs in the nest . . . things like that.

Then I clicked on the Animal Habitat Printables lower on that page, to see what was there. Once there I was drawn to the Tot/Pre-K packet Woodland Animals Themed Printables. So I clicked over on that and was introduced to the wonderful free resources of In All You Do. Now not everything on the site is free but most of the Toddler/Pre-K packs are and they are cute. This is the link on that page to here other TOT packs.

But Wait There’s More ;)

Back on that first link, there are so many more free printables and several I clicked on were black and white, which means inexpensive to print! :) Plus it can be used as for coloring too. ;)

The link to cut and paste animals and plants had some good free printables too. For a little bit older children there are some cool color by code free printables too. I imagine you’d cut the picture apart on the thick solid lines and then have the child color according to the code (think color by number style but reinforcing the concepts being taught) and then the child assembles the picture. So it is a couple of activities in one, as well as reinforcing concepts. It’s really a neat idea.

I encourage you to look around these links . . . surf around . . . and see what you can find that will be helpful to you and your children.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Ask First ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Teaching Children and Teens How to Make Requests

I mentioned on Monday needing to remember that sometimes Michael (my husband) asks me if I want to do something when what he really means to ask is would you do this with me. Well, since that reminder, I’ve realized that sometimes my grown children will do the same thing.

Recently Tiffany asked me if I wanted to go to the lake that today. I asked her, are you asking if it is something I want to do or if I would go with you because it is something you want to do. Thankfully, she was really wanting to know if I wanted to do it that day and I could truthfully answer, no. :D

This is something that I hadn’t thought about teaching before. So I thought I’d break down how requests should be made.

  • May I ________ (play video games)?
  • May we _______ (go to the park)?
  • Would you please_______________ (scratch my back)?
  • I’d like to _____ (go shopping) , would you please go with/take me? OR
  • I’d like to _____ (go for a walk), would you like to _____ (go) with me?

 

It is very mature to ask if someone would like to do something, but that doesn’t always make for clear communication. It also leaves the requestor open to hurt, if the person asked doesn’t desire to do what was requested.

It’s important to instruct teens especially, to ask for what they desire, rather than hint at what they want and expect the person to figure it out and offer. Especially if the teen will have hurt feelings if the outcome is not as they desired.

I hope I’m clear with this. If not, please ask in the comments and I’ll try to clear it up. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Tip, A Link to Freebies, and Beginning Homeschool Help

Well, Back to School sales have begun. Target has several items for 50¢ each this week, including a 24 count box of Crayola crayons and pink eraser, glue sticks, and glue bottle. I like to look at the sales and pick up any supplies I need. Years ago I got a bunch of spiral notebooks and I still have a about a dozen remaining. Needless to say, they were an incredible deal. ;)

So, be on the look out for any office supply type items that are also school supplies that might be on sale over the next several weeks.

Starting/Continuing to Homeschool

I came across this good article on starting to homeschool, setting up your goals of homeschooling, and other things to consider. It is a good article with some good information to consider.

Cute Calendar Freebie

Blessed Beyond a Doubt has some nice printables on the site. If you go to this page and subscribe near the bottom of the webpage and click download button.

It’s good for Pre-K through 4th grade. There’s pages to make monthly calendars for the whole year (scroll down to find the month you want). There is a weather tracking graph for each month, a 100 days tracker, and more. There’s also pages to write about the month, a page for writing/tracing the day’s date, a shapes page, plus a few more.

Jill also shares weekly freebies that are worth looking at. :)

Book lists and a Literature Based Curriculum

One of the emails I got this week had this link for How to Homeschool During the Summer. I realize it is over half gone already but I went and read it anyway. I liked what she shared and was very similar to how we did summers with my kids.

One of the things she shared was links for three book lists she uses to pick books, aside from their favorites or ones left from their Sonlight curriculum. I, of course, checked them out.

Christian Books Only

The first is from Not Consumed and is a list of only Christian books from beginning readers all the way through suggestions for high school students. You have to give your email address to get the list but it is a good list with links for each book, to purchase. It’s nice to have a list of nothing but Christian books.

Wholesome Books

The second is from The Good and the Beautiful. I had never heard of it before but it looks quite interesting. It is a literature curriculum. The author is a member of the Latter-Day Saints but the curriculum is non-denominational, from what I read. The book list is a compilation of books of high moral merit, literary value, educational value, and clean.

Once again, you have to give your email address to obtain the list (you can unsubscribe at any time). I really like this list because it has summaries as well as age recommendations. This is a great list and very valuable.

Previous Sonlight Books

The last one is a link to Paths to Learning which has compiled a list of books that were included in the Sonlight curriuculum at one time but removed over the years as others were added. I used to like to use the Sonlight curriuculum catalog for book suggestions, so I imagine that is the purpose behind this. Here is the link directly to the list, no subbing required. ;)

I hope these lists are helpful to you in your search for good books for you and your children to enjoy.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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