Edible Playdough!

Today we studied the story of the Israelites waiting at the bottom of Mount Sinai and how they built a golden calf because they were tired of waiting for Moses to return.  The activity to go with it was to make Edible Playdough to create our own golden calves that we could crush and then eat, just like Moses crushed the golden calf into powder, threw it into the river and made them drink it!  What a fun activity and yummy too!!

Here is the recipe for the edible playdough:
Mix 1/2 c peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of honey, then add powdered milk until you have a good playdough like ball.

That’s all there is to it!!  So if you need a fun craft/snack to try you can even bring up the story if you want!!

Have fun!

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Addition File Folder Game

If you don’t know what a file folder game is check out this site – File Folder Fun, then come back here and make an addition file folder game to help your little one learn their 1-10 addition facts!

I created this file folder game to help Sweetie Pea learn her addition facts.  Initially it was just match the number sentence to the answer (top of the file folder) or visa versa (bottom of the file folder).   After we tired of this “game” we made new ones, we turned them over and played a “matching” game where we took turns picking a card from the pile and put it where it goes.  We either played with the top or the bottom of the file folder, we haven’t played with them both at the same time but that could be fun too!

When I made this I forgot 4+4=8, so that is why there is an extra on the top and the bottom.  I have since fixed the file and made sure that 4+4=8 is included in the pdf you can download to create your own file folder game!  All you need is a file folder, two copies of each page of the Addition File Folder Game, a laminator (or contact paper would probably work if you print on cardstock) and adhesive velcro dots.

Glue/tape one copy of each page to the inside of the file folder.  I cut apart all the pieces before I laminated them, but I’m sure if you didn’t want to do that you could laminate the page and then cut them, though the lamination could start to come off if you do it that way, it would save a lot of time cutting though!  Then place the velcro dot in the middle on the top of each box (mine are on the left but when I rearranged the numbers to add in the 4+4=8 it worked better to place the velcro on the top) and then the matching velcro dot on each matching piece.  I then store the pieces in plastic bags (number sentences in one bag, answers in another bag) inside the file folder.

Now you are finished and ready to play!  Let me know if you come up with any other ideas on how to play this “game!”

i ♥ my dishwasher!

You wouldn’t think the dishwasher would be the answer to a distractible kitchen but for me it has been a huge help!  I used to fill the dishwasher and run it when ever it needed done, it was an “on demand” dishwasher.  So any time of day it could be running or it could be full or needing emptied.  This was a huge distraction and even cause of stress for me and my kitchen.  Some days I would have dishes piled high waiting for the dishwasher to finish or for it to be emptied.  Other days we would fill it all day and then I would think, “I can fit a few more, I’ll run it after breakfast tomorrow”.  This would inevitably end up with me thinking I can fit a few more all day or forgetting to run it all day and then having to run it before dinner.  Then I would have all the dinner dishes sitting out all night (because who wants to hand-wash?!)!  Ugh.  So as you can see many things surrounding the dishwasher were causing me to be distracted during the day  or stressed out about when I would unload it (was not my favorite thing to do…) or when I would run it.

i ♥ my dishwasher!

Well, fear not, about six weeks ago we started running the dishwasher every day, right before we go to bed!  WOW!!  I must say this has been AMAZING!  Now when I get up in the morning while I get breakfast for the kiddos I unload the clean dishes and I start the day with an empty dishwasher!  This has made a huge improvement in how I feel towards my dishwasher and my kitchen in general!  YAY!  Now I am not piling as many dishes to be hand-washed, I put them in the dishwasher!  Saving time and causing me one less distraction when I am in the kitchen!  My dishwasher is now pretty full by the end of the day just because I am more liberal with what I put in it.  Instead of just dishes and glasses, I put in measuring spoons, food processor parts, you name it if it isn’t a pot or pan and says that it is dishwasher safe it goes in!   I like the routine of unloading in the morning, I used to avoid unloading it because I had to stop everything to get that done.  You can’t be distracted while unloading the dishwasher because someone might put a dirty dish in with the clean dishes?!   So not only has the dishwasher become my best friend it has saved me stress and distractions in my kitchen. So make your dishwasher your best friend, let it help you remove some distractions!  Or if you already do this (maybe I’m the last person to figure this out?!), try to think of other ways that you can minimize a distraction by creating a new routine.  Routines save me from a lot of distractions and I know I need to make more!

Now I better go unload the dishwasher…

I LOVE MATH!

I LOVE Math!!  I know not many people probably say that but it is true!  I wasn’t always that way, when I was in school I struggled with math, I “hated” math, it was horrible.  Until seventh grade when I had the best math teacher I’ve ever had!  He was a student teacher and made math fun, exciting and so much fun that he actually inspired me to want to become a math teacher!  While I did originally major in Math Education I didn’t end up becoming a math teacher, I found that computer programming was even more fun than math 🙂  However, I still have a passion for math (as long as it isn’t calculus…) and I want my kiddos to love math too because it really can be and is fun!  As I was looking for some kind of kindergarten curriculum for math I stumbled upon Lesson Pathways, it is a FREE online curriculum for grades K-5.  I started using the kindergarten Math Pathway and I was very happy with it!  This site gives you on average five different activities (sometimes more, sometimes less) for presenting the topic for the week.  These were all hands on type activities with some worksheets thrown in once in a while but for us we loved the activities!  We finished most of the 36 weeks, some of them we skipped because she learned it so quick or we learned somethings together.  But, that is another great thing about Lesson Pathways, you don’t really need to go in the order they put them!  You would need to make sure you aren’t jumping around too much if they need to build on things but you can move through the weeks in any order and at any pace!  After purchasing our first grade curriculum math for this year I am even more impressed with Lesson Pathways because not only are they free but we already covered most of the topics in the first grade curriculum I purchased!  WOW!  They really do a great job!

I encourage you if you are looking for some new activities to make math fun again to give this site a try!  They have other subjects as well, I wasn’t really looking for anything else at the time but I’m sure the other subject areas they have so far are worth a look as well!

Remember math really is fun!!

Inspiration for my blog…

In June 2010 I attended my first homeschool conference (NICHE), I was ready to figure this out!  I wanted to know how it was done, what I needed to do to teach my kids at home, what curriculum to buy and maybe even talk to some people that have done this for a while.  I was ready to start my journey and excited to learn new things!!  Well while I didn’t really learn a lot more or figure out much more about curriculum other than there is A LOT out there and there were too many people for me to find the right one to talk to, I did hear an amazing speaker.  Her name was Carol Barnier, she was easy to listen to, she makes you laugh and I totally related to her because I do many of the things she has done!  WOW!  There was another mom out there that sets out to do one thing, sees that the dryer is done, remembers I need to vacuum or figure out what’s for lunch and totally forget what I set out to do in the first place?!  The best thing about her talk was feeling like I wasn’t alone and that it was not totally crazy to be doing these things.  I also had something to blame my distractibility on now!  YAY!  I can just chalk it up to my distractibility how cool is that?!  😉  But really she also gave some very helpful tips and tricks to help with those distractible moments that come along.  While I am a distractible mom Carol also made it ok to be distractible, she thinks of it as “highly unregimented”, it sounds better that way!   God made me this way, it is ok, and I should embrace it and learn how to work with it rather than against it.

There are those moms out there that can start a task and finish it without being diverted; they seem so much more put together and maybe even better than me.  Carol made me feel so much more equal to them just in a different way and maybe even more fun sometimes?!  😉  I’m not saying that those moms are not fun or what they do is wrong at all, they are just differently wired than I am, it is very difficult for me to start and finish a task without at least several interruptions that then lead to diversions from my original task.  This is why I have created my blog, to share with you that it is OK to be a distractible mom, you are not alone out there in this world of what seems to be perfect moms that can get everything they set out to do done in one day.  I want to be real, I want to share some of my struggles with distractibility and some of my successes.  I want to be a distractible mom because God made me that way, I just need to make sure when there are moments when I need to focus I know how and can do that without causing stress or more work!

Now when I find myself distracted from my original task I find myself smiling to myself instead of frustrated or distraught.  I think, “Wow, I should write that down, I’m sure someone could have a good laugh over that!” (Maybe I will start writing them down and posting them here?!)  I’ve been reading the book pictured above “If I’m Diapering a Watermelon Then Where’d I Leave the Baby?” by Carol Barnier and of course I’ve been distracted by other things and have not finished it yet but will do so soon.  She gives many tips and tricks to help with distractions that pop up often for the “unregimented moms” out there.  If you are really struggling then it is a good read, mostly it gives you jumping off points to help spur thoughts on how to fix those common distractions in your day to day life.  My hope is to be an encouragement and jumping off point for you to become the woman of God that He wants you to be!!

Please let me know if you are struggling with distractibility in an area of your life that you would like help with.  I would love to search for fun new ways to reduce the distractibility in your life, I’m sure it will help me in mine too!!  I want to be the best wife, mom, domestic engineer, homeschooler, etc. that God has called me to be, so let’s share life together and rest in knowing you are not alone in this world of distractions!!

SALSA Spanish

 

I discovered this program at Freely Educate and we have really enjoyed it and best of all it is FREE!  We usually watch it while we eat lunch (I know not a good habit but it makes lunch more fun to stop for?!)  There are 42 episodes but 30 of the episodes are only 15 minutes and they cut off the rest of the episode so it doesn’t finish or have closure for the story.  The other 12 episodes are full episodes of 30 minutes.  The other thing I found that was really hard was finding the videos on Georgia Public Broadcasting‘s site, you have to search through to get the episode you want they aren’t listed anywhere very nicely, so I spent some time making a list!

*** UPDATE ***

Georgia Public Broadcasting has refurbished their site and the Salsa site now lists all of the episodes and when you click the episode it has the video embedded in the page!  No more searching for hard to find videos!!  They have also edited the videos to be much more friendly and watchable.  We are on our second time through them all and are still enjoying them!  To access them click the List of Episodes link below!!!  Enjoy!!

***************

The Asset/ID is the link to the episode on GPB!!  The ID’s that start with 4 are the episodes that are only 15 minutes, the ones that start with 8 are 30 minutes.  I don’t really think the episodes HAVE to be used in order though the quiz show episodes do use the words previously learned in the show.
Here are a few other links if you want to supplement the show:

List of Episodes

Activities

Transcripts

Wyoming Department of Education Resources there is a little arrow image next to Salsa Materials you have to click the arrow image to find the materials.  I just glanced at the site and clicked the other links trying to find the materials but couldn’t seem to find them until I spent a little more time looking and clicking!

I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do!  We love watching baby oso!!  This has been a fun way to introduce Spanish into our family, even my two year old has learned many of the Spanish words!!

Have fun!

Workboxes with Heart of Dakota

I just started using Heart of Dakota – Little Hearts for His Glory about a month ago and we are LOVING it!!  I went from planning 5+ hours on the weekend for our week with Five in a Row to being able to just glance through the day and go with the guide!!  AWESOME!!!  Sweetie Pea has also loved it, she asks to start school and loves to pick what we do next, which leads me to our workboxes.  Before Heart of Dakota I had 10 workboxes (with one thing each in them), Little Hearts for His Glory comes with nine parts that you do each day, so it works GREAT for us!  I made some workbox tags to go with the curriculum, each part has a little icon that I used for my tags instead of numbers.  I did have them on our cart on our boxes but we have migrated to different parts of the house or even outside instead of having our school all in one place, so instead I use a schedule card:

The way that Little Hearts for His Glory is setup you can pretty much choose what you want to do in any order (though it does help to do the History reading first because most of the other activities draw from the story).  This way I have all of our tags in one place and all of the books in my basket that go with each part and we can take them where we want and Sweetie Pea gets to choose which one to do next.  The bottom row is for extras that we don’t use everyday.  I printed everything in black and white (mostly because in the LHFHG guide they are black and white), colored them, laminated them and stuck velcro on the back of the cards and on the schedule sheet.  When we are finished with one of the parts we take it off the schedule and drop it in a cup, so when we are finished we are left with only the bottom row of tags. You could just leave those in the cup if you didn’t like them on the strip it’s just easier for me to keep track of them and switch them out if they are on there!

Here are my Heart of Dakota Workbox Tags for you to use if you would like!  I’d love to hear how you use workboxes with Heart of Dakota and if you need more tags I am willing to add them in or send you the original Publisher file if you would like to make changes, add more etc.  Also here is the planning sheet I use for my “workbox” system (I actually keep it in OneNote but I created a “hardcopy” style sheet if someone might keep track of their things that way!) LHFHG Planning Sheet.

Have fun!

I love popcorn!

I especially love that I can make it in the microwave without buying microwave popcorn!! On one of the blogs that I read I found this post on how to make your own microwave popcorn – Our Simple Country Life Homemade Popcorn.  I bought the bags and had the popcorn and tried it for the first time last week.  WOW!!  I don’t think I will ever buy regular microwave popcorn again!?  It only takes an extra 15 seconds or so to mix it all up and put it in the bag, instead of just unwrapping the package and putting it in.

 I’m sure it’s healthier, I can control what goes on it?!  It tastes just as good if not better and really you only dirty one dish in the process to get the oil on the popcorn. So try something new and have fun!

Homemade Play Dough

I love making my own play dough!!!!  I found a recipe in one of my many community cookbooks that my grandma gave me.  I love it because I know what is in it for the inevitable tasting, I can make it what ever color I want and I’m sure it’s much cheaper than buying it!  I usually make it with cheap bleached flour, but I also make it gluten free (corn or soy, because they are cheap) for when my mom comes!  I also recently had some really old rye flour that I thought instead of throwing it out I would make play dough with it and it turned out fine as well!  I’ve added glitter, koolaid for coloring and smell, it’s really up to you and it’s so quick and easy!!

image

Green and purple are rye flour, blue is regular unbleached flour and pink is gluten free corn flour

Stove Top Play Dough

1 c. flour
1/4 c. salt
2 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1 c. water
1 Tbsp. oil
Food coloring

Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar in a medium pot.  Add water, food coloring and oil.  Cook and stir over medium heat 3-5 minutes.  mixture turns globby and then eventually will form a soft ball in the center of the pot.  Turn out and knead on a lightly floured surface.  Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.

A lot of recipes will call for you to store your homemade play dough in the fridge, but I’ve never had a problem with it going bad not in the fridge.  It will dry out just as any play dough so make sure to care for it accordingly.  Gluten free play dough seems to dry out quicker, also when making gluten free play dough it usually takes a little more flour especially when kneading the dough at the end.  It also has a bit different more course texture than gluten flours but I’ve never tried it with anything other than corn or soy so that might help.

Have fun!!

What’s on your coffee table?

I just watched this great devotional video by Jennifer Rothschild, take a listen (less than 4 minutes):

Wow, at first I thought I haven’t had many of those conversations that God would write down, but I was thinking about conversations between me and other women or adults.  I wasn’t thinking about the conversations I have with my kids everyday, I cannot believe how amazing it is that God would take note of those conversations.  I thought they were only for the purpose of teaching my child the way to go, but they are also for God, they let Him know what is in our hearts about Him.  So next time you are talking with your kids, spouse or anyone else about God remember that he is listening and even writing it down because he wants to hear what you have to say about Him.  How awesome is that!!

Here’s my “coffee” table(s), I don’t actually have a coffee table just two side tables.  This is generally what they look like…

       

When they are “cleaned” off they are pretty much empty except for a book or magazines.

What’s on your coffee table?  I’d love to hear or see!