Monday, March 21, 2016

Hiding the Alleluia 2015 Edition

It has been a long time since I have posted on either of my blogs. I have missed it, but life has brought great busyness, with a move in the fall, followed by my oldest daughters wedding, a few days before Christmas. My hope for January was to find our groove again, getting back to a normal routine. Sadly, I lost my dad at the end of the month. Winter has been all about trying to find a new normal. I haven't felt up to doing much of anything but really wanted to get this post out about our scavenger hunt from last Easter, before Holy Week flies by. This was the second time we "found the Alleluia" and it was such a nice twist on an Easter egg hunt. Much more meaningful and engaging.

So here is how we did it last year! This time I used the Parable Pouch in addition to the Resurrection Eggs.

# 1 Egg filled with straw to represent how Jesus came into the world.
 Question/Clue: When Jesus was born they laid Him in a manger in a stable. Do you remember the town He was born? How can we find that town?  The kids realized they needed to go to our globe to find Bethlehem. The globe was where they would find the second egg and next clue.

#2. Wooden Jug from the parable pouch to represent the Wedding Feast of Cana.
Question/Clue:  Jesus performed many miracles when He was on earth. Do you remember His first miracle at Cana? Think about something that would remind you of this and see if you can find your next clue! The kids would then go to our china closet to find an egg in a wine glass.

#3. Wooden fish from the parable pouch to represent the miracle of loaves and fish.
Question/Clue:  Another miracle was when Jesus fed 5000 people. Can you remember what Jesus did during this miracle? What do we eat that may remind you of this?  After some quick discussion about the loaves and fishes The kids would then find their next egg inside a bag of goldfish!

#4. The wooden shell from the parable pouch to represent Jesus’ Baptism.
Question/Clue:  Do you remember when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the river? What do we use to baptize babies when they are born? Where do you think you can find the next clue? The kids found the next egg at our holy water font.

#5. The Donkey from the Resurrection Eggs.
Question/Clue:  When Jesus went back to Jerusalem He came in on a donkey.  What do we have that reminds you of where donkey’s live?  The kids had to find the next egg with their play farm toys.

#6. The Cup from the Resurrection Eggs.
Question/Clue: Think about The Last Supper. What did Jesus give us that night and why? After discussing the Eucharist and that Jesus is the Bread of Life and that the main ingredient in bread is flour, the kids found the next egg in our bag of flour.

#7. The wooden cross from the parable pouch.
Question/Clue:  Jesus was condemned to death. As He walked the long road to Calvary He fell trying to carry His cross THREE times. What do we do when you fall? The next egg was found where we keep our Band-Aids.

#8. The cloth from the Resurrection Eggs to represent the cloth Veronica used to wipe Jesus’ face.
 Question/Clue:  Veronica wiped Jesus’ face during His walk to Calvary. Where do we keep things she may have used? Go there for your next clue. The kids found the next clue in a linen closet.

#9. Nails and rock from the Resurrection Eggs.
Question/Clue:  After Jesus finally made it to the top of the hill they crucified Him and He died. A man named Joseph took him to be buried in a tomb. Where do you think you can find your next clue? The girls found their next clue in the open, empty tomb in the Resurrection Garden we made the day before.

#10. A note in the empty tomb.
Question/Clue:  When the women went to the tomb on Easter morning to anoint the body they found the tomb empty. And angel was there and asked why they were looking for the living among the dead. Do you know what this means? Do you remember what we should say to celebrate that Jesus is Risen?!! What did we use as a “tomb” this morning? Go there to find something special! We used the oven as a “tomb” for our Resurrection rolls in the morning. The girls found the Alleluia banner near the oven!

 Here are some pictures of the girls putting together our Resurrection Garden and the scavenger hunt.

Blessings to you the Holy Week and Easter season,

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Learning Through Books

As I was planning my kindergarten year for "G" I became very excited to plan this years Five in a Row (and other great literature) adventures. This has always been a favorite curriculum of mine. My plans began with finding ways to have fun with the geography aspect (a huge part of FIAR) and quickly snowballed into something a little more.

First, for the geography, I found this passport at Micahels in the scrapbook section. It looks very authentic. I used a 40% off coupon so it really wasn't much.

 I think I will use a picture of her on her first day of school in the photo area.

I am planning to use this world traveler stamp (pictured above) that I purchased in the stamp section a few years back for a different FIAR activity. (note-the link is to a different store. I couldn't find it anywhere else to share here) As we read through our books that take place in different countries we will stamp the passport and add these great stamps that Plano Area Moms FIAR Circle so generously shared. You can even edit the date within the stamp! I will have "G" add a country flag to the page as well. I found some here that I was able to shrink to the perfect size for the mini passport pages. For world travel we have this fun passport but I wanted something to track all the fun places within North America that we'd "travel" to. So I created a sort of passport/ travel log for that too. I used this one FREE from Teachers Pay Teachers. (I printed at a 60% scale in order to have this log be about the same size as the mini passport)

Inside this log We'll use these state flags and these state coin stamps. (This site actually has an entire printable passport, which I found after I already had mine). I still need to find Canadian stamps. I'm sure it won't be too difficult with all the great Pinterest resources!

Here is my snowball idea... I was thinking, while it's so great to focus so much on the geography fun of these awesome books, I should be focusing on all the great lessons and themes that each book offers in a more tangible way. So I created a very simple notebook for "G" to keep track of the things she is learning from each book.

I began with a simple binder

 And added many pages with themes. 
Here are just a few...

As we read each book "G" will add a picture of the book cover to the appropriate page(s) and we'll write a little bit about what she learned. I created this document with images from all the books we'll be reading this year. The amount of covers for each book is based on the amount of themes or lessons for each. (document link below)

I am sure there will be more themes that I will think of as we progress through the books, but we can easily add pages to the binder and quickly add book cover images. I think this is a good starting point and we are ready to go!

If you'd like to use any of these resources you can find the cover and pages for my binder here
The book covers for the books we'll be reading are here
and my themes list, by book, can be found here. A quick note regarding my notes in parentheses in this document; F&L stands for Fold and Learn. If you follow the Five in a Row Blog you will receive a link to free prinatbles to go along with many of the books. HS Share is for the website Homeschool Share. They offer free lapbooks for tons of books, themes etc. Those are just my personal notes to remember what activities I need to print. I left them in to hopefully help you as well. 

We are very excited to take off on our adventure through books! I hope you have fun learning your way through books too


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Snatching Summer Moments

Ahhhh Summer; My most favorite time of year. Remember those great Country Time Lemonade commercials filled with images of joyful, relaxing summer days; family gathered in rocking chairs on the porch, children running and jumping off of a dock or swinging on a tire swing? Those commercials captured what summer is to me. Joy, relaxation, fun, a slower pace…
With each passing year my children’s lives become busier and my homeschool planning time grows as their school lessons become greater. Homeschooling is a full time job. Gone are the days of a clean-cut end to our school year and beginning of summer. They sort of blend together now. Just this year my high schooler continued through just about all of the summer catching up on a few subjects. These past few summers I have become irritated and frustrated that life will not give me that dream summer I envision in those commercials. This year I decided I had a choice to make. I could give in to the frustration that life won’t give me a break, and allow it to ruin my mood, or I could snatch up as many moments of summer as I am able and enjoy those moments as they come. God doesn't want me to be so busy with things that I miss out on special moments with my family, or quiet times with Him. He wants us to enjoy life not survive life! So while I didn’t have some long, stretched out period of time before me with beautiful blank spaces on the calendar, I did steal quite a few wonderful moments. Pieced together they have added up to quite a nice summer and I feel blessed for having experienced peace and joy in each one of those stolen moments. In addition to lingering snuggle time after sleeping in, a picnic or two, and some fun family outings we enjoyed moments like these...

 Playing in the rain. 
When the first 6 weeks of summer are rainy you just have to get out in it!

Prayer time on the porch in the mornings

A garden party with friends

Blueberry picking, a time...

...or two!

ahhhh the bounty!

Simply enjoying the flowers

Lesson plans from the porch

Because the weather (after all that rain!) was too gorgeous to stay inside!

A quick trip to the beach

There are just under 4 fleeting weeks until Labor Day. How will you snatch up some moments before they are gone? I have many school plans to do still but for now I am off to enjoy some time outside with my kiddos.