Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Preschool Number Clouds

Repeat from my other blog ... this took place in the fall after Scholar had turned 3.   I will be pulling out this craft and "dusting it off" for Sunshine very soon.

Several years ago, some of the cousins and friends all did Horizon Preschool together  - and I got to be their teacher!

The curriculum follows the days of creation - and early on we were talking about all the great things about AIR and WATER. This day's topic was clouds (we only met twice a week, and often combined two days of work that were very similar - it works well as a 2 days a week for 3 year olds, and then 3 days a week for 4 year olds ..... though it is designed for 5 days a week for a 4 year old). I decided to combine their math lesson, writing lesson, and art cloud project. So we made number clouds with glue and cotton balls. They loved it.

First we called the big sister brigade. We just happened to have 3 big sisters and 3 students - later we added more students and the girls helped 2 kids each. I then wrote the numbers really big on the blue paper - gave each of the big girls some cotton balls to tear into little bits of fluff - and traced each number with Elmer's school glue.

They had such a blast forming each of the numbers with their cotton. Engineer said, "This glue is a little bit sticky, Aunt Lamb." And we all cracked up.
What fun!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Keeping Track of School Goals

Two weeks ago,
I realized that I wasn't prepared to do workboxes.
Maybe later,
but not right now.
But I was getting really confused about what
Scholar had and had not finished.
So I whipped up a schedule for him.

It worked so well,
that I did a "table" in Word,
and printed it out.

Song liked the look of it,
and asked for her own sets of boxes.

Instead of workboxes,
I put his school tags from his last years chart
on binder clips,
and we hung them in front of his desk.

As he finishes a subject for the day,
he gets to turn it around.

he does whatever it says in the little block,
and turns around a clip.

At the end of the day,
he counts them up,
receives points for the ones turned around,
and then gets a penny for each point.

He uses his pennies to buy time on the computer 
and movies.

At least in theory.
We've been just barely keeping any type of schedule,
while getting the house ready for my Aunt's arrival.
Lots of comings and goings of relatives and friends as well,
helping out and lending hands.

I hope to get into a firm rhythm next month.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Wordless Book Mobile Craft

After discussing the Armor of God,
I felt led to really go into the doctrine of salvation.

Of course,
these are 3 - 5 year old children,
so you've got to keep it simple.

The first week we worked on the BLACK tag.

I've noticed that fewer and fewer children understand
the concept of "being bad".

Thirty years ago,
when I first started working with the preschool aged children,

I could say,
"Have you ever done something bad?
Told a lie?
Disobeyed your parents?
Were mean to a brother or sister?"

And I would get solemn head nods
and stories of "I was bad because..."

But about 15 years ago,
I began to notice a change - though I had always seen
the one or two "I'm good - I'm never bad"
children's comments.

only one or two would understand
"being bad"
and most of them adamantly and enthusiastically
confirmed that they were never bad.

As time passed,
it became harder and harder to explain sin.

As I was explaining this concept a few weeks ago,
I could see that there was no connection there in my group.

I prayed for inspiration and wisdom...

And then I told them that sin was like a super stinky pig pen
with tons of rotten stinky moldy vegetables and such.

I asked them if they could clean that stinky sticky mud off of themselves.


I asked them if their mom's and dad's would let them inside of their houses
all covered with slimy stinky mud?


how would you get into your house?

Confused eyes looked back at me,
until one fellow said,
"My mom would wash me off with a water hose and soap,
and clean me all up before I could go inside."


And that is what God wants to do for you.
But the muddy pig pin of Sin is so slippery and gooey,
you can't even stand up!

There eyes were round
taking all of this in.

God is willing to reach down and wash you

The next week was RED.

We talked about Jesus dying on the cross,
even though he never fell into the pig pen of Sin.

And the only thing that could get our hearts,
not the one that goes "lub dub",
but the part that makes us who we are ...
the only thing that can get us clean is Jesus' blood.

We talked about the Christmas story,
and the Easter story.

And then we talked about baptism -
and that it was a picture of what God had done
inside of our hearts.



We repeated the story of the Black and Red

Then we talked about being clean.

So clean that all of the Sin Mud was washed off of our hearts,

like washing clothes
or sheets
or shoes.

Clean and New and Bright


But only because of God's Love,
reaching down to wash us in Jesus' blood.

I asked them,
now that God has washed the Sin away,
can they get into God's house.

They all excitedly yelled, "YES!"


That is for heaven.

We talked about what is IN heaven.

Golden streets,
God's love

and what would not be in Heaven

Splinters and Stickers

We talked about Hell a little bit as well.


What do we do after God has washed our hearts clean,
but while we are waiting to go to heaven?


We grow by...

reading the Bible
Going to church and Sunday school
singing praise songs and hymns
obeying God
obeying parents
loving our neighbors

we tied them all together,
and put a hanger on top.

I almost forgot to take a picture!

But Sunshine and Pinky were happy to help me out.

We did eventually realize that we were putting
most of them together

But the kids happily told me this week
that their parents had hung them up

they excitedly mentioned
living rooms

I love how you can incorporate the wordless book into so many crafts.
In the past,
we have painted beads,
made bracelets or necklaces
made chains (5 of each color)
made fans
and even fingers on a hand print.


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Friday, October 19, 2012

Making Soap

Repost from my other blog...
I'll be updating and expanding with lots more pictures soon.
Back when I posted this... Blogger limited us to 5 pictures on an upload.

I make my own laundry soap - and I've been doing it for about 5 years.

Never seem to get the same results twice - which slightly irritates some people. But I don't care - I USUALLY like the results anyway.

One thing I've learned it that the DISTILLED WATER is important.

To that I add some kind of soap base -
1/3 bar of deoderant/antibacterial soap,
or 1/3 cup LOC, or Dr. Bonners.... whatever I have on hand.
Avoid soaps with conditioners or lotions - like Dove.

1 Cup Borax

1 Cup Washing Soda

1/4 cup Tri-Zyme (or other color booster)

1/4 Cup Lysol Cleaner (germ killer)

and usually I add drops of Eucalyptus or Peppermint essential oils.

Sometimes I remember to add 1/2 tbsp. glycerin to make it gel better.

And I store it in the same pot that I mix it in - on top of the washing machine.

Cost is approx 8 - 10 cents a load - adding the cost of the extras in there.
(Due to the rising cost of ingredients - cost is up to 15c a load.)

 I put the water on to heat - and dumped in some small dried up bars that I found when making the soaps for Christmas. It was a bit more than 1/3 bar.

Then I forgot I was making it.

I ended up turning it off late at night and going to bed, promising to finish it the next day.

And when Story pulled the lid off the next morning - look at what we found!

We turned the heat on low, stired in the rest of the ingredients, and called it done. It's WEIRD looking, kinda like playing in raw egg whites, or slightly cooked ones?

But it's kind of fun to use.


We have been making it more or less like this ever since.
We melt down the soap base,
and then add the powders as it is cooling,
and the oils and Lemon Antibacterial Cleaner after it cools.
Stir thoroughly.

Now we keep it in an old powdered soap plastic container.

we actually found Fels Naptha Soap...
and we didn't like it at all.

IF we want it for Whites,
I make a small batch with bleach added.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Celery Experiment

Scholar found an experiment that called for a white carnation.
We didn't have one, and it wasn't in our budget.

But we DID have celery!
And that worked almost as well.

In a tall class,
fill half full of water,
add several drops of food coloring.

Cut off the bottom 1/4 or so inch of the celery stalk.
Talk about the dots that are going to suck up the water like a straw.

Check back every 2 or 3 hours.


After several hours,
pull the stalk up out of the water,
and show that the little dots are now colored.


This is an awesome and easy experiment
for ages 2 and up.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Peek at Our Week - Oct 1 - 14

For the last two weeks,
we've been sleeping past our alarm clocks in the mornings,
rushing to get a little bit of school done
between breakfast and lunch,
relaxed for lunch (sort of)
and cleaned and organized after lunch until supper,
had supper,
cleaned up and did chores,
worked well into the evening trying to finish up what we started,
and finally collapse into bed 2 or 3 hours after our bedtimes.

Every day except Sunday.

But I did remember to take a FEW pictures.

Sunshine working on puzzle stacking blocks during school

Sunshine playing a computer game during school

A WINKING Sunshine - playing with Jenga blocks during school

Playing with a train during school.
Scholar built the track for her.

Sunshine painting during school.
Rather than giving her a cup of water to spill,
we just put a tiny bit of water in the lid.

I was surprised how well it worked!

Playing in the kitchen.
Actually, she usually "cooks" in her kitchen,
and brings us lots of snacks while we school.

Song at her computer.
But is she doing school?

The ceiling we helped my Dad repair.

Cleaning the floor in Dad's old office / Scholar's new room.
We also painted the walls yellow,
and refinished the floor.

We organized the shelves in "Sunshine's Room"
Which is really just part of the living room.

We pulled all of the weeds and "trees" in front of the trailer,

Helped install a couple of mailboxes.

Cleaned the weeds and trees behind the trailers.
There use to be sweet gum trees in this area - lots of them,
and they keep growing back from under the trailers.

Still need to trim and clear lots of the area.
These weeds range from waist to chest high on me.
They are all pretty much over Scholar's and Sunshine's heads.

"Recording" a radio show.
Can you see the plug in her hand pretending to be the microphone?
She sang for over an hour!

Fresh paint in Joel's room.

Scholar teaching Sunshine how to play the Furby game that they found.
It was Story's when she was 5 or 6.

His protectiveness of his sister melts my heart.

A rare treat!
A bluegrass concert!
The Bluegrass Brethren

We went to a bag sale at Salvation Army,
and came home with 5 bags of winter clothes
for us and friends.

And Sunshine turned 3!
So far this is the only gift she's gotten,
plus a card in the mail.

My goodness but she looks like me in this picture!

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