Saturday, October 3, 2009
1. Make a raft. Usually it is a blanket on the floor.
It can make a mess, so I remind the kids that supplies are limited and you have to live primatively on a raft. We are into survival, not luxery.)
Friday, September 18, 2009
I made copies of each of the games and put the pages in their own file folders. I bought a plastic accordian folder at Target for $1. I also stocked a pencil case with with colored pencils, markers, scissors, and glue sticks and put both items in a tote bag. Every time I was going to be in the car longer than a half an hour, I carried the bag with me and worked on my projects. As I was working, I used post-it notes to mark what still needed to be done with each game.
Office Max had free laminating for teachers last year, so I was in for about three weeks in a row with games and manipulatives I had been coloring for a few years in preparation for teaching first grade. This year, they offered 50% off, so I was thankful for that.
If I don't want to laminate, I use peel and stick laminating sheets from Avery. It is much clearer than clear contact paper, doesn't bubble, but it more expensive and harder to find. When I tried to buy it this year at Wal-Mart, the kid sent me back to the fabric store where the rolls of clear vinyl were. When I tried to buy them at Fred Meyer, I ran into a pleasant clerk that hadn't learned the English term, "laminating" yet, but was eager to help me. I knew there would be NO WAY I would be able to describe what I needed, so I hunted myself, but didn't find them. These are my final sheets from last summer's cutting and pasting.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
The original idea came from my daughter Jana's first grade teacher, Mrs. Benson, but she used white frosting tubs. Each week they highlighted a letter of the alphabet and the kids brought items for the jar.
I loved the idea of having see-through jars, but if you have toddlers and glass isn't an enticing idea for a manipulative, you might choose the plastic alternative.
I can't believe how expensive stickers are!
For her first grade phonics, Beka is excited to fill the jars
with little items that begin with the letter on the jar.
We began scouring the house today for tiny plastic animals,
monopoly movers, and scrabble letters.
b. Give them the beginning and ending consonant of a three letter word and have them fill in the correct vowel.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
These model students are attentively listening to Miss Rebekah explain the phonics rules. After they finished phonics, they listened to their teacher read out loud.
As we begin a new year, I am praying for the inspiration to KEEP the monotony away instead of fighting it back, to keep our enthusiasm high and to keep learning exciting.
Monday, March 23, 2009
On a minuscule budget, the Lord blessed my shopping one day by with these white file boxes, two in a package, for $2.50. I bought enough for each child and a few extras. The boxes are now "teenagers" and still used, although worn and slightly tacky from left-over sticker residue.
I have a file for each subject, one for goal charts, one for special projects, and at times, have included Sunday School or Kids Bible Club (like AWANA) files to include all aspects of their lives that need daily or weekly attention.
Colored folders make it easier to tell what week you are on.
It is cheaper to buy a box of file folders
than the smaller cellophane wrapped packages.
I need things to be convenient, accessible, organized, attractive and inexpensive.
This has been a lifesavor. Called the Quilting Mate, it cost $12 at Wal-Mart. I priced them in craft and sewing stores for 2-3 times as much.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Having an efficient laundry room is half the battle. The size is irrelevant, as you can see from my pics below. Functionality is #1, looks is #2. OK, so I like antiques and I like to see them when I am working. It might not be a priority to everyone, but something as simple as hanging pics your kids drew or a beautiful painting or photograph above the washer and dryer can certainly make the time spent in the room a little more pleasant.
My mom, who raised six kids, was the one who began this system of sorting dirty and clean laundry into appropriate containers. I have added my own touches to her system, making sure that the laundry room has everything I need to keep up on the laundry the most efficiently.
Not only do I always know what laundry needs to be done and I enjoy being in this little space because I have made it attractive to my eyes.
As you can see, my laundry room is so tiny, I had a hard time getting a picture of it. The smallest doll dresses on the wall were made by my mom when she was a young girl. I cherish them.
The shelf on the wall contains some stuffed bears and some old laundry supplies. In case you ever wondered - if you knock over an old bottle of bluing that doesn't have a cork in it, it makes a really, really, big mess. I carved my own cork for the bottle after that incident.
Begin with the full hamper. This is in the upstairs hallway by the bedrooms. If the clothes aren't in here, they don't get washed. If they are in here inside out, they get washed inside out. If the undies are still in the pants, (sorry, gross reality - you'll get used to it) they get washed, dried and put in their laundry basket whatever way they come out of the dryer.
Laundry gets sorted into baskets. From left to right I have whites, red, lights and darks. (I haven't labeled the baskets yet, haven't hit on the idea that would be sturdy enough to last and would fit the decor...any ideas?) The towels/jeans basket has to go on the floor on the left side. When a basket is heaping full, it makes a load.
In my other homes that had larger laundry rooms, the dirty clothes containers were kitchen-sized garbage cans, either under an antique chrome/red table or under a counter. Then, clean laundry tubs could be placed on top of that work surface.
My husband mounted a white shelf board flush with the tops of the washer and the dryer, giving me a little extra space for stuff. On the far left, the round enameled tin holds clothespins and lingerie bags. The rectangle shaped tin holds two or three boxes of extra dryer sheets. There is a red tin cup you can barely see in front of the red dress, but it holds all those little treasures you find in pockets - legos, chapsticks, phone numbers scribbled on scraps of paper, business cards, bobby pins - you know those things that would ruin the wash? I KEEP all money I find.
On the left side of the white shelf are tubs, the first for linens, the next is for Mom and Dad. You can barely see it, but tucked between the washer and dryer is a folding rack to dry items that cannot go in the dryer.
And, by mounting the ironing board on the door, you are guaranteed solitude when ironing because the door is SHUT and nobody wants to come in and help.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Geometry doesn't come easily for Grace. It's a given that she's brilliant, she's in the Gifted and Talented Program in our Home School, but it can be downright challenging for this child of mine to grasp different tools and use them for solving problems. She can hardly handle a pencil, let alone a compass, a straight-edge, "why can't we just call it a ruler?!?!?!?!" and a protractor.
Today her challenge came with the following question from her textbook:
"In this lesson you discovered the Angle Bisector Conjecture. Write the converse of the Angle Bisector Conjecture. Do you think it's true? Why or why not?"
The first challenge came when she tried to remember what this conjecture stated. Of course, she was supposed to have this term neatly penned in her Geometry notebook and firmly embedded in her brain. Instead, she thumbed through the book until she found the definition and mumbled it back to me. Urging her to try to grasp the concept, I made her repeat the definition.
"Pretend you're the teacher. You learn it, then you teach it to me," I brilliantly challenged. This time she clearly was able to illustrate and explain this geometric concept.
"OK," I said brightly. "Now, what is the converse of this conjecture?
Blank stares accompanied by giggles and fidgets clearly shouted volumes to me.
Backing up my track, I asked, "Grace, what is converse?"
Meekly, she speculated, "A type of shoes?"
"What?" I was flabbergasted. (Doesn't that sound like the right adjective to put here?)
"A cool type of shoes?....they're really, really cool shoes."
I'm either going to have to buy her a dictionary, Geometry for Dummies or a new pair of tennis shoes, preferably Converse.