I love the tiles floors in our classroom. They have proved so useful this year! I use them in many ways but one way is to teach the kids to be still. For some time I taught English to students in China virtually. One of my students (11 years old) told me a technique her father used to teach her to study. He would have her sit quietly for a time appropriate to her age. When the time was up she got a treat. I started doing this with my kids at the beginning of the day.
My children are instructed to sit in the square. No hands or feet outside the square, no talking, no playing, be a statue. SJ closes her eyes during this time to tune out her brother and will often face away from him. KJ is wiggly (which is appropriate for 4) however, he can go the entire time without talking. The time is between 2 and 4 minutes depending on our morning.
After meditation the receive a prize.
The objective is to teach them to be still on demand. As homeschoolers most of our day is spent up and about they are all over the classroom, the house and eventually outside. Compared to their counterparts in public school they move a lot. On Sundays at church they are in children’s church so they are able to sit still for the lesson and pay attention without any problems.
Meditation is a good practice the Bible tells us to “Meditate on the Word of God day and night.” Joshua 1:8 it also says to, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
I have been obsessed with all these cute book nooks and teepees. So I’d been thinking of a way to make it work for me and my kiddos. I found it! Shower curtains! Why should shower curtains be restricted to the suddy, steamy messy room that houses the commode. No! I will liberate the shower curtain! Free it from its prison and present it as an offering to my messy kids!
Its water resistant fabric makes it easy to clean and the hooks make for easy take
down as I re-model in the future.
Really though this was the easiest, quickest nook ever and they love it!
This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping my sister host a baby shower. We had some cups left over and in the blur of exhaustion set the cups down on the floor by the front door. Days later (don’t judge me) I finally picked up the cups. Did I mention we have a dog, a various curious dog who I am sure put her nose in the cups. So what was I to do with these paper cups? Games!
I took the cups and put letters and numbers on them. I told the kids it was game day and I set the game rules they had a blast!
For the Math Game we used our Base Ten blocks and put the appropriate tens and ones inside the cup to make the number.
As the kids filled the cup I would stack them. They loved seeing the stack grow as a mark of their accomplishments.
We then flipped the cups over and used the letters to make words. Once the kids discovered a word I would write it on the white board. My kids are motivated by praise and a sense of accomplishment so seeing there progress is important for them.
I hope you and your kids enjoy these cup games!
This past week was dubbed “Experiment Week”. Day 1 was DIY Bath Bombs.
Here is what you need:
Empty Christmas Ornament or a Bath Bomb mold
1 Cup Baking Soda
3/4 Cup Epson Salt (Blended until its a fine powder)
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup water
Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
Next place the water, lemon juice, 1 tbsp coconut oil and essential oil (add per fragrance preference) into a spray bottle. Spray the liquid into the dry ingredients until the mixture has the consistency of sand. At this point we added food coloring.
Once the mix starts to stick together start placing into the molds. Close the mod and allow to dry overnight. Due the the size of the ornament molds it took a few days to completely dry out.
We covered the following topics: life skills, science, and math.
Questions and discussion.
1. Can you measure out a cup? 1/4 cup? 1/2 cup?
2. Why is it important to rest and relax?
3. What happens when the wet ingredients mix with the dry?
4. What happens when the colors mix?
This past year we moved into our beautiful home. Unfortunately in the kids room there was this horrible wallpaper. My son loved didn’t mind it but my daughter did not approve of the sports themed room. I knew I had to find a gender neutral alternative that fit both my kids personalities.
My husband was not excited or motivated to go through the tedious process of removing the wall paper and I was not patient enough to wait so I had to come up with a solution.
I used a staple gun, scissors, and four yards of fabric. I folded the fabric in half length wise then in fours horizontally. This gave me the width I wanted at manageable lengths.
Here are a few project tips.
1. Choose a fabric with little to no stretch.
2. Choose a dark fabric that wont allow the wallpaper to show through.
3. Don’t start a fabric end at the corner. Staple in the corner.
The kids loved the boarder once it was finished. Next time I do a project like this I will use a taller ladder so I can cover all the boarder at the top.
For my first time on a project like this I think it went well.
Today we had some fun with money! SJ(5) is currently working her way through Horizons 1 work book. She learned about money while working through the Horizons K book but for this level they are relating money to place value.
This was the perfect excuse to pull out the base ten manipulatives. For this activity we used pennies, nickles and dimes. Though she uses quarters, half dollars and dollars in her math book. I think we will wait a little while to introduce them using base ten.
I placed the money in different increments in front of SJ and she used the manipulative to assign the money value.
We didn’t leave out KJ(3) though. I just used pennies with him and it was a great chance for him to practice counting and writing. He is having a hard time, confidence wise, writing without assistance but my husband and I have decided not to give in to his fussing about needing help at all. We have seen him control his pencil and though we don’t expect his work to be perfect we do expect him to try. When he is successful, which so far has been every time, he is so proud of himself.
This was a great activity, the kids really enjoyed it and I think the younger children are comfortable with money they better they will be managing it in the future.
One of the many benifits of homeschooling is the ability to teach your kids random, awesome things like…CODING!!. I stumbled upon this awesome website that teaches children code.
My kids LOVE it. The teaching is broken into age groups the first group is geared towards kids who are ages 3 to 5. The first few lessons are simple things like teaching children to reach an objective.
The first activity was about 4 squares. The objective was to move the character to the left one square. Once they saw an example the grid got bigger and I even threw in a few obstacles. You can see in the picture above that it took SJ and KJ the same amount of moves to reach their goal. Which was a lesson on taking different paths to reach the same objective.
After the kids got the hang of it on the white board we decided to act it out.
I printed out pictures of SJ and KJ’s favorite characters. I then had one child go into the living room while we placed the character face down along with some blank white pages.
The child who placed the character had to direct the child who had just come back from the other room to their character using the sign below. They could rotate the sign to reach their objective but could not point to the picture.
My kids are 5 and 3 and they really enjoyed this game. The next day when they got to start writing code on the computer they were able to follow along easily. We really enjoyed using www.coding.org and I believe my days will be filled with my children exploring new ways to make things happen.
This past week my little ones have been having a hard time sitting still during our morning reading time. It was time to switch it up. We have been working quite a bit on sight words so this morning I decided to try an activity that would allow them to create.
I found these letter and number craft stickers at Target a while back. I put them in a bin so the kids would have to hunt for the letters. They got to pick a sight word card, find the stickers then tell me the word.
SJ (5) ended up doing five words in the 20 min time frame. KJ(2) did two. Both had a good time but towards the end it got a little competitive since SJ found more words.
for another sight word game my kiddos love to play.
I am loving the tile floor in our classroom and all the cool new ways I am learning to utilize it. This past week I used it for both a sight word and math drill. I define drill as anything I want the kids to answer at a rapid pace.
For our sight word drill, I placed one flash card per tile. The flashcards are double sided. One side is written in blue the other in red. I placed the cards red side up.
When I say the word the kids run to that word and flip it to the blue side. I had to do one child at a time because my kids are so competitive. Once all the cards were flipped to blue I would say the blue word and they got to pick the card up.
For the math drill I allowed both kids to play simultaneously. SJ (5) worked independently since she can count in her head. KJ (3) and I worked together since he still uses his fingers for math.
I placed one equation per tile square on the floor and I gave each kid a stack of cards raging 1 through 10.
I had 30 equations and 20 answer cards so we had to improvise and double up some of the tiles. This is a game we will play often I’m sure.
This game could use any equations, so it is something that is easy to utilize as a learning tool that grows with the kids.
You can also use puzzle mat pieces to play tile learning games, check them out here!
For more math game ideas click here!
I love to combine subjects. The easiest subject to combine with another is reading or phonics. This puzzle mat game allows my kids to use phonics and science to identify and place animals according to their name. In a previous post I told you about finding these wonderful mats at the dollar store. They are awesome!
We have a tile floor so I had the kids place one letter per tile all across the classroom floor.
I then stacked all the animal squares. Each child got a stack.
I had them match the first letter of the animal name with the corresponding tile.
They had a blast!This is something you can use for beginning and and end sounds of the animal names. I then had them put the mat back together in order. This required them remembering where each letter went as well as working together.
This quick, easy, cheap game was a great way to reinforce their letters, and phonics.